The Vampire Diaries – Episode 10-7 Review

Last week I noted that despite not particularly liking her, Caroline has developed into one of the most enjoyable characters on the show.  That became possible when the writers allowed her to become more than Bonnie and Elena’s superficial best friend.  And in reflecting on this past week’s episode, I can’t help but realize how pretty much every single character on this show has evolved into strong, multidimensional personalities – many of which could carry an episode on their own.  First introduced as a delinquent drug addict, Jeremy has now become a sensitive, brave, motivated man who truly cares about those around him.  He’s willing to risk his life in order to protect those he cares about.  When we first met Bonnie, she was your typical best friend character who seemed to have some eerie abilities.  We now know she has strong beliefs – almost to a stubborn extent, although she’s still willing to work alongside those she does not like to help those she does like – and that she’s confident in her abilities, yet still occasionally displays some of her insecurities.  Originally, Tyler was the asshole, verbally abusive boyfriend – the bad boy.  We came to understand that he does frequently make bad and sometimes self destructive decisions, but in many cases he’s powerless to what fate has planned for him.  Whether it’s an equally abusive upbringing or Katherine’s manipulations, it seems he’s bound to suffer certain tribulations.  He’s powerless enough that I found myself saddened when circumstances forced his hand, and he succumbed to the werewolf curse.

Of course, not all of the characters are quite there yet.  While Matt has come a long way, he’s still one of the lesser developed characters.  And despite the fact that I like her, Jenna is pretty weak as well.  Perhaps it’s no coincidence that those are pretty much the only two characters at this point who are still clueless about the existence of the supernatural.

Another observation:  The past two or so episodes have done a fantastic job of portraying Katherine as a dangerous, murderous psychopath.  With a lot of shows, characters such as Katherine can rest on their laurels by having surrounding characters constantly bring up maniacal things she’s done in the past.  In turn, the new  character is portrayed as dangerous and the writers aren’t forced to do anything with the characters we already know.  Unfortunately, this method is often unsuccessful.  And a little lame.  I mean, near the end of Heroes, characters would rattle on and on about what a threat Sylar is, all based on the reputation he earned in season one.  In reality, he was typically crying in the corner about some mommy issue or something.  Sure, nobody of substance died over the past two episodes, but we got a clear indication that Katherine is not taking any prisoners.  She came awfully close to having Jenna killed.  She made significant efforts to sacrifice Matt in order to activate Tyler’s curse.  She quite ruthlessly paralyzed and then killed that chick at the masquerade ball.  This is not some pretty, love struck chick who likes to wear black.  She’s a killer.

And she’s pretty clever, too.  I enjoyed the fact that she sensed something was up, and had the foresight to have that spell placed so that any physical harm that befalls her will hurt Elena as well.  And her interactions with Damon and Stefan were fun.  One common criticism of Lost is that the characters never ask the questions your typical person would immediately inquire about.  Stefan didn’t hold back.  Sure, Katherine didn’t answer, but Stefan calmly yet persistently asked her the questions we’re all wondering.  And Katherine constantly asking Damon when he became so fun was pretty humorous.  I do have to wonder, though:  How long do you think it will be before we see her again?  Surely she wasn’t brought back with such fanfare for a seven episode stint?

Follow up question (non spoilers for answers, please!):  Who was the person who abducted Elena at the conclusion of the episode?  And why was Katherine so afraid to reveal his identity when prodded by Damon?

It seems we might see a few new romances as well.  There’s Jeremy and Bonnie, which honestly I think would be pretty cute.  Jeremy deserves a good girl after messed up relationships with Vicki and Anna.  And did I sense any potential sparks between Caroline and Tyler?  Could their forced revelations bring them closer together?

Oh, just a random add-on here:  How fun was it seeing Stefan, Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy, Caroline, and Alaric band together as they plotted to kill Katherine?  I’d say we have a new Scooby Gang on our hands.

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