The Vampire Diaries – Episodes 2-17 & 2-18 Review

Well aren’t I a jerk?  I thought The Vampire Diaries returned this week.  Turns out, it returned last week!  As a result, I watched “The Last Dance” before “Know Thy Enemy,” making it a rather unique experience.  But, you guys deserve two reviews, and two reviews you shall get!


Episode 2-17:  Know Thy Enemy


Like I said, I actually viewed this episode after The Last Dance, so I was more than a little spoiled.  Nonetheless, it was a rather enjoyable episode.  My one qualm is that the writers refuse to settle on a characterization of Isobel.  She’s been featured in two episodes, and in both episodes they’ve spent nearly the entire hour making her as vile as possible, and then in the last moment they attempt to do something to lighten her behavior.  Or, at the very least, they’re trying to make her actions seem justifiable.  However, I just don’t think they’re successful in this regard.  She repeatedly turns against all of the characters we’ve grown to care about, and a quick apology at the end doesn’t discard that.


So, yes, they made it abundantly clear that Isobel was compelled and that she truly did love Elena when she was born, but she’s not an easy character to give the benefit of the doubt.  Remember, in her only other appearance, she was needlessly cruel to the two people who wanted to see her most.  Yeah, she had her reasons, but it doesn’t make her any more likable.


Katherine, on the other hand, I do think they’re handling well.  Katherine is unapologetic in her actions.  She’ll tell somebody something hurtful or vile, right to their face, with no remorse.  She’ll admit when she did something wrong, and she’ll confess when she’s done something in her best interest.  But at the same time, there does seem to be some sense of perverse loyalty.  Think of it this way:  Katherine is like Ben from Lost.  Isobel is like Sylar from Heroes.


The big twist of the episode was one that was spoiled for me, obviously, which is that Klaus is now possessing Alaric’s body.  Fun fact for ya’, though:  When I watched The Last Dance, I thought the witch that did the spell was actually Klaus.  Oh, the hijinx that occur when you watch out of order.


Matt and the Sheriff knowing Caroline’s secret, but nobody knowing they know, is an interesting turn of events.  I’m especially interested in seeing how Caroline’s mother reacts, considering how harshly she behaved when she originally received the news.  Hopefully she’ll be a bit warmer this time around.


And by the way, MAJOR bravo points for mentioning Zack, the pretend uncle who was actually a nephew or something that Damon killed.  Didn’t so much mention the murder part, but still.


Episode 2-18:  The Last Dance


What is it I always say about Mystic Falls?  They love to throw parties.  Oh, and dating Jeremy Gilbert is the kiss of death.


It was a close call with Bonnie, and to be honest I suspected that they were going to somehow bring her back, but for a while there I really did think she was dead.  And I couldn’t help but think – really?  You’re going to do this to Jeremy AGAIN????  But, I’ve grown to like Bonnie so I’m glad they didn’t do her off.  And c’mon, let Jeremy be happy for at least a season or something!


I’m also glad that they didn’t kill off Alaric.  Although I do have to admit that it was pretty fun watching him get his creep on.  Much like Tom in the final few episodes of The 4400, it’s strangely enjoyable watching a normally extremely likeable character acting like a complete villain (and in Tom’s case, it kinda matched the personality of the actual actor).


I also enjoy moments in which a seemingly insignificant scene suddenly becomes important and clear, as we now understand why – from a storytelling perspective – they needed to get Alaric’s immunity ring off of him (and onto John, as seen in the prior episode).


Anyway, that’s it for me this week.  I’d like to tell you that I’ll be back to normal next week, but I won’t.  I’m actually going to be in Texas (for the first time), so my review will be more than a few days late.  Actually, it might not come at all.  You see, my seat for the flight back is 23B.  You might remember that, my friends, as the seat Jack Shephard had on the doomed Flight 815.


So, yeah, I’ve got that going for me.


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