Viewers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can attest to the fact that there’s nothing potentially finer than a vampire origin story. But how does “The Dinner Party” compare to episodes like “Lie to Me” and “Fool For Love”? Honestly, probably not QUITE as strong, but it did follow a similar path. With Buffy, we learned that the heroic Angel was actually a troubled human who turned into a monstrous, ruthless killer. Meanwhile, the villainous Spike was originally a soft spoken, innocent romantic who was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Likewise, this episode further showed us that Stefan was the one with the unbridled killer instinct, while Damon was reluctant and cautious. But despite what the promotions for the episode indicated, that actually wasn’t the main focus of the hour. The highlight, to me, seemed to be Damon’s plot to kill Elijah, and Elena’s determination to take control of her own fate.
And, truth be told, I found both stories far more entertaining than I thought I would. It’s not that I thought either story wouldn’t be good – I’ve found every episode this season so far rather enjoyable – I just didn’t expect such a thrilling and conclusive resolution. I figured we’d find out John lied and Elijah would get away relatively unscathed, he’d make a new deal with Elena, and we’d all be back to square one. Just a little tenser. Instead, we got a highly entertaining dinner scene that saw Elijah up against the unlikely trio of Damon, Alaric, and John (it’s funny that Damon has killed both of these guys. John is still plotting his revenge, while Alaric refers to him as a friend). I liked the way they all played off of each other, with their colorful histories. And in addition to being a legitimately shocking moment, Alaric killing Elijah was genuinely bad ass.
Elena’s negotiations with Elijah ended just as unexpectedly. I figured we’d see Elena stab herself, Elijah agree to her demands, and then Stefan would save her. Instead, we saw Elena stab herself, not as a way to get Elijah to agree to her demands, but instead as a ploy to kill Elijah herself. And that was truly unexpected. In fact, is it the first time we’ve ever seen Elena kill somebody?
Not sure what to make of Bonnie’s power removal, so I won’t really comment on that quite yet. But I am glad they didn’t do an about face regarding her and Jeremy. No problem allowing at least a couple of the characters to be happy.
If I had one complaint about the episode, it was the same one from last week, and that’s the tension between Jenna and Alaric. Again, it’s just coming out of nowhere. I don’t think this issue of distrust was built up properly enough to find Jenna’s reaction believable. They were perfectly happy one second, John makes some vague comment about Alaric’s wife, and suddenly Jenna won’t trust him? It just feels very thrown together, forced, and contrived.
Tags: The Vampire Diaries, Vampire Diaries