The Vampire Diaries – Episode 4-10 Review – “After School Special”

Annnnnd we’re back!  I hope everybody had a safe and happy holiday season and new year.  Since we’ve last discussed The Vampire Diaries, we’ve learned that a spinoff is being developed to focus on Klaus and the original vampires.  I think this could be a good thing, I just hope its more Angel than Joey.  Fingers crossed.

 

I don’t know what it is about The Vampire Diaries, but when the central characters are trapped in the school together, it tends to be a very entertaining episode.  I don’t know what it was, but I really liked the way April so casually says to Elena, “And I know that you’re a vampire.”  And the “truth and dare” stuff with Rebekah was surprisingly effective in progressing the story.  In a very Seinfeld-esque way, these characters seem to bring the best out of each other when they’re confined in one space in real time.  I particularly loved the scene where Stefan revealed that he knows that Elena slept with Damon.  The overwhelming feeling of betrayal that took over the scene was great, especially since nobody spoke a word.  It was great how the pain of betrayal began with Stefan (directed at Elena) and then shifted to Elena (directed at Caroline).

 

While this method of advancing the story was effective in not making anybody look like the villain, I still couldn’t help but dislike Elena a bit.  Again, it was smart using Rebekah’s compulsion as a manner to have Elena make these confessions, otherwise she would come across as a bit heartless, but I’m still not completely sold on this Elena/Damon thing.  Elena continues to push this as something that has nothing to do with her sire bond or even her being a vampire, but I don’t buy it.  I could believe that she’s fallen in love with Damon, but her feelings of inadequacy leading to her falling out of love with Stefan seems suspect.  So while Elena wasn’t to blame for saying such hurtful things, I couldn’t help but feel a little ill will towards her for feeling them, without considering the possibility that her emotions weren’t impacted by the fact that she was a new vampire unfamiliar with how her heightened senses might impact her feelings.  At the end of the episode, I found myself feeling bad for Stefan and disliking Elena – and I’m not sure that was the intended response.  Then again, I have stated numerous times that I want Elena to end up with Stefan, so maybe my biases are just rearing their ugly head right now.

 

One complaint I’ve had about this show was how we never really see any long term conflicts between the central characters.  I mean, how many times has Damon literally killed Jeremy?  He did it once without even knowing he was wearing his mystical ring (that’s your love, Elena!)  Yet here they are, now working together without any issue with one another.  And they all always seem to work together, even when their motivation and end game might not coincide.  Over the past few episodes, we’ve started to see some divisions within the group.  This episode in particular, we’ve seen the battle lines drawn.  You’ve got one team with Damon and Jeremy – and presumably Elena and Klaus – another team with Bonnie and Shane, and now another alliance between Stefan and Rebekah (I’m guessing they hook up before the end of the season).  This seems really fun, as we’re seeing some combinations and oppositions we haven’t really experienced yet.  Will there be any sort of confrontation between Bonnie and Jeremy?  How about Elena and Stefan?  And where do Caroline (who seems to want a cure) and Tyler (who doesn’t) fall into this?  Are they going to be against each other?  There are a lot of fun possibilities here.

 

I don’t have much to add on the death of Tyler’s mom and the fact that Bonnie’s father is now the interim mayor, although I am curious about whether this focused attention on the ill effects on all of the town’s secrets is going anywhere.  This season we’ve seen Jeremy and April both take a stand against the fact that they’ve been compelled to forget certain things.  And the fact that Elena now remembers the things she was forced to forget was a topic of discussion at the beginning of the season.  With the essential destruction of the Founders Council (which kept most of the town’s secrets), I’m wondering if we’re going to begin to see the supernatural get “outted” this season.

 

So, what do you think?  Was I too hard on Elena?  Do you think she’ll still end up with Stefan?  Which “team” are you rooting for?  Is Shane good or bad?  Sound off below.

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