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.