The Vampire Diaries Episode 4-14 Review – “Down the Rabbit Hole”

In my previous review, I asked if anybody knew if Rebekah would be cast in the proposed Originals pilot.  Latest reports indicate that, yes, she will!  This is good news as far as I’m concerned, as she’s the character that viewers could certainly sympathize with and get behind (along with Elijah, who I understand will also be on the show).  I’m eager to see what this series has in store for us.  Again, I’m hoping it becomes the Angel to The Vampire DiariesBuffy the Vampire Slayer.


Last week I also remarked how this island setting provided the show with such a fresh new feeling, unlike anything we’ve really seen before.  This week, it was the wardrobe that accentuated that aura.  The females, for example, are always made to look as sexy as possible in their low cut shirts and heels (not that I’m complaining).  In these episodes, they’ve been decked out in full winter gear.  And even somebody like Stefan – who almost always wears dark clothing and black leather – was seen in a brown coat with a fur collar.  Little details such as these can go a long way towards making a show feel new and different.


This episode saw things lighten up between Stefan and Elena and Damon significantly.  Do you recall several episodes back, when Elena and Stefan broke up, and I commended the manner that it was handled?  The tone was great.  No anger.  No blaming.  No yelling.  No crying.  And that’s what it felt like here.  Mopey Stefan isn’t fun, and evil/asshole Stefan can only be used sporadically (and considering how much he appeared last season, they need to be careful about when to use him again), so allowing him to “move on” and be able to interact with Elena and Damon was ultimately a wise decision.  I thought it was a LITTLE strong having him refer to Elena as his friend – I don’t think he should be THAT warm with her – but otherwise everything was great.


While I had a slight issue with Stefan referring to Elena as his friend, I had no problem whatsoever with his admission that he’d give up his opportunity to gain his humanity back in order for Elena to get it.  At the end of the day, Stefan is a romantic.  Even through his pain – and realizing that nothing can be the same again – you know he still holds out hope that she’ll become human again and fall back in love with him.  For that matter, I also liked the various discussions between Rebekah and Stefan (and then later Damon).  I thought it was sweet that she confided in him that there was only one dosage of the cure (nice twist of fate, by the way) and even indicated that she WOULD be willing to sacrifice the cure for him, but only if he was the one who was going to take it.


While I’ve had some trouble swallowing the purity of Elena’s sudden devotion to Damon, I am highly intrigued by what happens between them next.  Their different plans for the future will surely be an issue, and Damon has seemingly written off any possibility of having a life with Elena (evident by his urging of Stefan to go after her).  Yet, despite this, he also admitted that he would still attempt to get the cure so that he could give it to her.  Therefore, even Damon doesn’t believe that Elena’s feelings for him are purely genuine.  So will she recognize his selflessness (his willingness to help her get the cure, despite thinking she won’t love him anymore) or will she focus on the fact that he seemingly doesn’t have faith in their relationship?


I don’t have a whole lot to add in regards to the whole Tyler/Caroline/Klaus thing.  Honestly, I don’t particularly blame Klaus for not having mercy on Tyler.  The fact of the matter is, Caroline is nasty to Klaus unless he wants something from him – and then suddenly she’s super sweet and brow beats him into doing what she wants.  I’m not saying she’s wrong for being nasty to him – he’s done a lot of awful things to her and her friends.  Yet she MUST realize that eventually, she’s not going to be able to just turn on the charm and get it what she wants.   I’ll have more to say on Tyler later, but I did find it somewhat humorous how Klaus urged Caroline to get Tyler out of there ASAP….yet they seemingly sat on the porch of that very house waiting for the sun to go down.


While it’s understandable that the group is so hostile towards Shane, I do get a bit of a kick seeing them acting so righteous and tough against somebody who is so much weaker than them.  To varying degrees, virtually all of these characters have been forced to make some morally questionable (or downright reprehensible) decisions, yet they’re constantly justifying their behavior or forgiving the sins of those that they need to work with.  And then here’s Shane, essentially a human who’s now stuck under a rock.  But there’s no judgment from me here.  I appreciated the fact that Bonnie and Jeremy didn’t help him, because he DID screw them over.  On more than one occasion.  I was a little more surprised by Stefan’s actions (again, not a judgment, though).  Out of everybody, Shane’s actions have impacted Stefan the least.  Eliminating the Founders Council essentially saved him and Elena.  And allowing Klaus to dispose of the hybrids worked to his benefit as well, since he had philosophical differences with them in regards to how to deal with Klaus.  I may be forgetting something important, but I honestly can’t think of anything Shane did to Stefan in particular.


Another thing worth noting:  Shane’s actions were motivated by the fact that he was manipulated by the “spirit” of his late wife.  Bonnie almost fell for the same thing, before being talked down by Jeremy (in a great scene.  I loved how they alluded to how he can see spirits).  And speaking of Jeremy, it appears that he’s been killed off, and I’m not entirely pleased by that.  Don’t get me wrong, with such an expanded cast of characters, I think it might be a good idea to thin the herd a bit (plus it gives a little more oomph to the story).  I even like that it didn’t happen in a season finale or any other significantly hyped up episode.  I just think Jeremy was the wrong choice.  He’s not quite fully human, so he doesn’t appear to be a completely innocent bystander in death.  Likewise, he’s not quite supernatural, so it doesn’t seem like he died in the line of duty, so to speak, either.


Additionally, haven’t they reverted to the “make Elena suffer” well a bit too often?  First her parents.  Then Jenna and John.  Then Alaric.  And making matters worse, she never quite reacts to these deaths – so the big moment was wasted.  The show kicked off with Elena coming to terms with her parents’ death, so we didn’t really see that grieving.  And Elena seemed more concerned with winning Stefan back immediately following the deaths of Jenna and John.  And Elena turned into a vampire almost immediately after Alaric died, so she never really grieved for him, either.  The writers want to have their cake and eat it too.  They want us to understand that Elena is torn apart without actually showing her being torn apart.  They’re saying “imagine how awful this is for her!” instead of, ya’ know, showing us how she’s falling apart.  Despite all of those other tragedies, Jeremy’s death should be the most significant loss of her life.  I just don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle of the curse story, which I suspect it will.


Personally, I’m not convinced that they won’t figure out a way to bring him back to life in some capacity.  Nonetheless, I think Bonnie and especially Tyler would have made better candidates.  Tyler because he’s really more of a background character who exists in order to help build the stories for other characters.  At the same time, he’s a well developed character that the other characters like and care about, so his death would have an impact.  And Bonnie because her ever increasing abilities may soon become a crutch for the writers to use when they need the characters to get out of an impossible situation.  Along with that, she never seems to suffer the consequences of using dark magic.  It’s always her grandmother (in life AND in death) that pays the price.  I know Matt seems like the obvious death pick here, but I think it’s important to have at least ONE vulnerable, fully human character.  You need the audience to relate to somebody.


But like I said, I wouldn’t be shocked if they find a way to save him.  Is he still wearing that ring?

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