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The Vampire Diaries 1.03 - Friday Night Bites - I worship at the television altar
The Vampire Diaries 1.03 - Friday Night Bites
Well, I guess this is a trend. This is beyond late, but I still want to put my thoughts down, even if they're just for me. :)

Screen cap courtesy of Home of the Nutty.

This show just gets better with each episode. This week we delved a little deeper, and gained new insight into these characters, as their true colors began to emerge. Layers were added, depths were plumbed, and I found myself more captivated than ever.

Damon is a ruthless and twisted killer, who thrives on tormenting his more compassionate brother, and views the humans around him as nothing more than objects for his amusement. So why do I like him so much? :) Ian Somerhalder continues to portray Damon perfectly, and this week added a surprising note of vulnerability to our villain, as we saw Elena slip beneath his evil outer shell. Just as Stefan was finally admitting defeat in his struggle to haul Damon back from the edge, we saw that his brother might not be irredeemable after all. Nicely done, show.

Not that Damon is a fluffy bunny or anything, he's a very bad boy. It's funny, after the first two episodes I saw some Damon fangirls protesting that we didn't KNOW it was he who was attacking the victims in the teasers, maybe it was another vampire, and maybe Damon hadn't killed anyone. Seriously? Well, I guess we KNOW now. :D Mr. Tanner was a dick, but I don't know that he deserved to die for it. And what will the school do now? Wasn't he the only teacher they had? ;)

What Damon is doing with Caroline is even more disturbing. He's feeding on her and making her forget, and further manipulating her thoughts and feelings whenever it suits his purpose. And we saw how badly she wanted to get away from him before he played his mind tricks on her, so any intimate pleasures he's enjoying are coerced as well. It's rape on every conceivable level, and for all I know he's draining the very life out of her as well. Just how long can he continuously feed on her and have her survive? It's very upsetting to watch.

Which brings me to Stefan. When, if ever, does he step in and try to DO something about his brother? I know he's not strong enough to challenge him physically, but I can't help but feel he should be doing something, anything, more. He brought Damon back to Mystic Falls, and put Elena squarely in his sights, and now the whole town is in danger. I suppose all he can do is tread lightly and try to keep Damon from getting out of control. No wonder he's so brooding and angsty. He wants to be normal so badly we can taste it, but I fear it's an impossible dream, and the pursuit of it comes at a terrible price.

We saw Damon and Elena together in several scenes tonight, and I have to say, they have chemistry, BIG time. I kind of feel bad for Stefan, actually. He's sweet, and romantic, but SO serious! Damon is HOT, and fun, and absolutely carefree. And he seems to connect with Elena with an ease Stefan doesn't have, probably because he carries none of the worry his brother does. Their scene in the kitchen, doing the dishes after dinner, was a revelation. Damon started out with his usual agenda, to tease and torture, and ended up completely disarmed by Elena's tenderness. For just one fleeting moment, he was a changed man. Wow. And we saw it again at the end of the episode, as he stood over a sleeping Elena in her bedroom, haunted, skimming her face with the whisper of his touch. *shivers*

Elena wasn't completely immune to Damon, either. After all, he convinced her to quit cheerleading. But she's not about to succumb to his considerable charms. And even his glamouring doesn't work on her, thanks to a special necklace Stefan gave her. In one of the best scenes of the episode, Damon leans in to give Elena a kiss, sure his powers of persuasion will make her putty in his hands. She is unaffected, but does she shy away or blush in embarrassment? No, she hauls off and slaps him across the face, HARD, with a throaty and delightful "What the hell?!" I LOVE her.

Elena is awesome. She's strong, confident, and determined, even as she continues to struggle with the sadness in her life. She's loyal to her friends, even when they're behaving badly, and she doesn't back down. She trusts her own instincts, and isn't afraid to buck the crowd if it feels right. But she has no idea what she's up against, and I fear we've only seen the beginning of the pain her relationship with Stefan, and by extension, with Damon, may bring her.

Bonnie was put through the emotional wringer this week, as she began to discover that her grandmother's stories of witchcraft and mojo might be something more than drunken ramblings. She was weirded out by her newfound psychic powers, but she also had fun testing them out. All that changed when Mr. Tanner was found dead, however. In that moment she realized that her ability to interpret her visions could have life or death implications for those around her, and she was overcome with the weight of that terrible responsibility.

Matt is the latest character to win me over. He was a stand-up guy in this episode, decent and fair, and I have a whole new level of respect for him. Elena is lucky to have a friend like him in her life. Vicki and Tyler, on the other hand, deserve each other. Ugh. And as far as I'm concerned, they can ship Jeremy off to rehab. Or maybe one of those tough love wilderness programs. I am so over his storyline already. And Jenna was nowhere to be found, which was fine by me.

My Smallville senses were tingling during this one. It totally reminded me of Hothead, which was also the third episode of the first season! *cue spooky music* Jerk jock throws a football bomb at someone's head, and our hero snatches it out of the air and returns it with unerring accuracy and maximum force. That spectacle leads to him joining the football team, mostly to impress and be near the girl he likes, who is a cheerleader. In an ironic twist, she quits the squad the same day he joins the team, and he never actually plays in a game. And by the end of the episode, the football coach is dead. Completely coincidental, I'm sure, but noteworthy all the same. At least to my Smallville obsessed brain.

Random thoughts: The music in the episode was great, again. Caroline's ravaged neck the morning after was a little too realistic for me. Tyler looked silly in his do-rag. Did anyone else think that Stefan wasn't being entirely forthcoming about the Salem witches? I fully appreciate the high level of male shirtlessness on this show. And Elena's dream was creepy. And HOT.

Elena's starting to notice things about Stefan, like his mysteriously disappearing cut, and I have a feeling she's not the type to just let it go. She's also astutely observant when it comes to Damon. How long can the boys keep their secret from her? And how will she react when she realizes they're hiding something from her? Just promise me there isn't a secrets and lies speech in her future, please. I so want to keep on loving this girl, and this show.

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14 comments or Leave a comment
From: kates_passion Date: October 2nd, 2009 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
It does just keep getting better, doesn't it? I LOVE Elena, too, and Damon is sooooo wicked. I also love it when a show keeps me guessing and right now there are a lot of questions which I'm intrigued about. Yep. I'm hooked. LOL!

And I was nodding in agreement with your whole review. : )

Do you tape and watch later or have you seen tonight's eppie? It's my favorite so far so I'm still processing what just happened.

Hang in there with this one:

"Which brings me to Stefan. When, if ever, does he step in and try to DO something about his brother?"
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 2nd, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm intrigued, too! And I find the hardest part for me now is avoiding people who talk about what happens in the books. I don't want to know, in case they end up using the thing they're talking about on the show. I don't want to be spoiled.

I watch the show live, but I'm on the west coast, so it doesn't come on here for another half hour yet. *waits impatiently*
christina_kat From: christina_kat Date: October 2nd, 2009 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved it too! VERY MUCH! I'm going to watch the next episode later today!

Damon becomes the most interesting character for me. I was so surprised to see his human side when he was talking with Elena in the kitchen. very well played. The chemistry? I see it too! When Stefan confronted him and tried to make him see that there is still something good in him and Damon got angry and bit his teacher shows one thing! Stefan is right! Damon wouldn't get so angry and wouldn't try to prove something if his brother wasn't right.
Wasn't he really sexy when he hitted on Elena?? Awesome scene.
I loved the "lets get one thing straight, I'm not Katherine"
and he said he is going to seduce her in the old-fashioned way? Can't wait to see that!

I'm kind of sorry about Stefan too. Maybe it sounds silly, but he is so much darker than Damon. At least he looks more like it. Damon is fun and more relaxed in frond of other people.

Great review :)
Another SV similarity? Stefan joined the team, Elena quitted.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 2nd, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
When Stefan confronted him and tried to make him see that there is still something good in him and Damon got angry and bit his teacher shows one thing! Stefan is right!

I agree. That was an emotional response, that happened because Stefan has him all figured out, and that makes him angry. He likes to be mysterious, unpredictable, and unrelentingly evil, not heartbroken and haunted by his lost love.

I loved the "lets get one thing straight, I'm not Katherine"

Wasn't that great? I loved Elena's fire when she said that. But why does she resemble Katherine so closely? Curiosity about that is one of the reasons I keep coming back for more. I have a lot of questions I want answered!
gildinwen From: gildinwen Date: October 2nd, 2009 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
completely OT (And I've yet to comment on your Smallville post) but what do you think of the way Supernatural's been heading. Still watching?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 2nd, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love this season of Supernatural! If I weren't working so much, I'd be posting about it. OMG, last night's episode was perfect: heartbreaking, funny, visually stunning, full of action, full of heart, and altogether awesome! When the boys reunited at the end, I was crying. And yelling at my TV for them to hug, dammit! LOL! I so cannot wait to see what happens next.
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: October 2nd, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I started commenting properly, I'd just be quoting everything and nodding, so I'll just ITA to everything (seriously, EVERYTHING) and just leave it at that. :D

I have to mention, though, that I totally got the SV vibes too, especially when Stefan caught the ball and threw it back, knocking the wind out of Tyler. Hee.

And I think we're on the same page with regards to all the characters now. We both love Elena and Damon, we think Stefan is cute and sweet but is too serious for his own good, we like Matt, we don't particularly care about Vicky, Tyler or Jeremy and we agree that Mr. Tanner was a dick and that Jenna is a little boring.

Can you say GMTA? \o/!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 2nd, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
GMTA! \o/ I love that you're watching this show, too!

You were so right about Matt, I adore him now. And I must like Caroline more than I thought, because I freaked last night when I thought Damon had killed her.

I have all your Glee/Smallville/TVD reviews saved, and I hope to comment on them all this weekend (I have to work both days, though). With work the way it is right now, it's all I can do to post and keep up on comments on my own journal. :( I hate this, but just three more weeks and my boss will be back.

That icon is HILARIOUS!
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: October 3rd, 2009 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, take your time hon! It's no problem. :)

I freaked too, when I thought they'd killed off Caroline. THANK GOODNESS.

I know, right? I saw it and just KNEW I had to have it. It's officially when I first started loving Damon.

trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: October 2nd, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL about Tanner being the only teacher in school. hee.

i know who he gets replaced with in the book, but i don't know if it'll be the same. it would be awesome if it was. i only wish they'd waited until halloween, like they did in the books. and we still didn't know about Damon, either. heh.

did you see the new one, "Family Ties" yet?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 2nd, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
When Tanner showed up as the football coach, too, I couldn't stop laughing. :)

I did see the new one. It was awesome! And ZOMG the ending!!
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: October 2nd, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
heh yeah....

oh yes! that ending reminds me of something... just not sure what it is though...
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: October 4th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Three words. IAN! *BLEEPING*! SOMERHALDER! He's always been cute but when did he start oozing sex?! Finally, a bad boy bit that he can really sink his teeth into. (Yeah, I did just make THAT pun!)

And how wonderfully refreshing to actually like the female lead as much as the sexy boys! Finally, a chick who can hold her own and not be portrayed as just a bitch.

I too am extremely disappointed with regards to Jeremy. I REALLY want to like him, but I just can't seem to care. If he wasn't a McQueen I think I would have already given up, but his since his g'pa was Bullitt I'll keep trying a little longer.

I'm having trouble with Paul Wesley as the good guy here though. Maybe because he was so good at being Lucas and I really wish they would have resurrected that character after Lex's departure. He just makes a great baddie IMO. I'm still hoping that maybe he's really the one without a conscious in all of this. Afterall, as you pointed out, he's not really trying to stop Damon. It's pretty much just all about him and making sure he doesn't get found out.

BTW, that "Hothead" connection, bizarre! I hadn't noticed the similarity. But it better end there! I'm out if Elena starts wearing pink or sporting headbands or gets possessed by an evil 17th century witch. Wait, that last one might happen! *eek*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: October 4th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I never expected that Ian would be my favorite of everyone on this show, but he is perfect in this role! Deliciously wicked, and not afraid to step over the line into pure evil. And then, just when you think you have Damon all figured out, he surprises you with an unexpected hint of humanity. And he commands every scene he's in.

Elena is a breath of fresh air, and, as you say, how cool is it to be able to actually like and root for the heroine? I love that she's so much MORE than just the love interest for these two guys.

It was such a happy surprise to see Steven R. McQueen in the Pilot; I had no idea he was part of this show before that, and I really liked him in Everwood. But his character just makes me want to slap him upside the head.

I would love to see Stefan teeter back and forth between the man he wants to be, and the vampire that he truly is. And I think Paul Wesley would rock him on either side of the line. The intense way Stefan stares at Damon sometimes shows us just how scary he could be! And I'd like to see Damon play nice, too, especially because I know it could never stick. This show has a lot of possibilities!

The parallels with Smallville are just a coincidence, I know, but they make me nervous all the same. When Elena brought up secrets in this week's episode, I just about had a heart attack! :)
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