Friday, May 13, 2011

The Vampire Diaries – Season 2 Musings

The last time I wrote about The Vampire Diaries it was at the beginning of season 2. Now the season has ended so let’s see how the characters have fared so far. Who’s still alive, what the character’s arch has been and how it changed them?

The main theme this season was “Save Elena”. After we’ve been beaten senselessly over the head with the lame sun and the moon curse for most part of the season, it turned out it was just a hoax and there were other things, just as deadly, at stake.

It was a busy season, we had: funerals, carnival, new vampires, old vampires, werewolves, road trip, picnic, bbq, charity work, confessions, compelling, love declaration, more compelling, torture, heart rip, double heart rip, masquerade, A to Z plans, poorly executed plans, great plans, kidnapping, distractions, missing shirts, bath and shower, flashbacks, witches, warlocks, werewolf bites, moonstone, soap bowl, magic dagger, magic potion, alcohol, blood, horrible parents, unusual alliance, unexpected hook ups, love triangles, possession, school dance, magic, more magic, sacrifice, psychosis, kiss, cure – not necessarily in this order.

And of course everyone died at least once, but don’t worry, they came back to life one way or the other. Well, except for the expendable characters.

I can see a trend forming: during the first season we got the Damon dance (quite a memorable one!) and now we got the Katherine dance, which was rather cute. Who is going to dance next season? Stefan? Or Klaus? I don’t think Elijah can dance. Also, it looks like having Damon and Elena kiss is turning into a leitmotif for the season finale, sort of like “Carry On My Wayward Son” for Supernatural. But back to our heroes…

Elena – she spent most of the time fearing for her life and those close to her and her self-sacrificing tendencies threaten to reach Bella Swan height. The only thing that sets them apart is Elena’s realization that she does not want to become a vampire (and two sets of dead parents, but more on that later). Good for her. Let’s how she feels when she’s in her thirties and wrinkles and gray hairs start to appear. She did have her hero moment when she pulled Stefan out of a vervain filled well, defying the presence of some badly CGI-ed serpents, and I guess it did feel well to throw a chair though the window and relieve all frustrations, but other than that she didn’t get to do much…Rose smacking her was sort of satisfying, the girl needs to wake up and see the big picture and, most important, she needs to do something about it.

Stefan – this is one flat character who isn’t allowed to break canon. He’s best in his scenes with Caroline and Katherine, but his determination to respect Elena’s wishes is a serious throw back for him. I mean if she’s a kid and makes stupid decision because she doesn’t know any better, it doesn’t mean he has to listen to her. Hopefully, now that he’s back on human blood things will get interesting for him again.

Damon – considering that he started the season by being turned down twice on the same day and he retaliated by snapping Jeremy’s neck, this was a clear sign that it wasn’t going to be an easy season for him. While Elena could be physically compared to a yo-yo given the way everyone pulls on her on all sides, he is an emotional yo-yo. But mopey and whining Damon is not that appealing, and as he continues to make some very bad decisions he loses some of his awesomeness. I miss season 1 Damon who didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. Sure, he got to snap the necks of some random strangers occasionally, but even then he was awesome all the time and not like now in the rare moments when the writers allow him to shine. Some might think that him force feeding Elena his blood was a horrible thing to do, but personally I think that keeping Andie around as his chew toy is much worse. It will be interesting to see how his close encounter with death changed him, since it’s clear that his love for Elena did nothing but weakened him.

Another thing worth pondering over is the way the brothers have reacted to the turning. On one hand there’s Stefan who didn’t want to be turned and had to be compelled to drink the blood, and on the other there’s Damon who didn’t particularly like it but was willing to accept it out of love for Katherine. One can reason that Stefan, who didn’t want it, came to the new life totally unprepared and this was the main cause for his human blood issue and the struggle he had to endure for the rest of his life, while Damon, being mentally prepared, found it easier to adjust to the vampire life. We know that Lexie had a strong influence on Stefan and helped setting him on the right path, even if it didn’t happen right away, but where did it all go so wrong for Damon? He wanted the change in order to be able to be with Katherine, but once he thought she was dead he didn’t want it anymore. Being forced to complete the transition, and left with a monster of a brother he could not control, he had no choice than to leave. Alone, with no one to guide him or care for him, no wonder he ended up by giving in to the ugly part of the vampire life. And there was such a lightness and playfulness to the 18-something Damon. Yep, I kinda have a crush on the Civil War human Damon, minus the hair.

Katherine – there’s no way denying it, Katherine is awesome. She’s a cold hearted bitch, but with awesome clothes and hair, and she has a plan for every letter of the alphabet. Then how come she ended up spending the last half of the season trapped in places she could not leave? Me think she’s losing her touch. Maybe she needs a vacation. She’s much more scary and interesting when she’s on top of her game.

Caroline – the best thing that could have happened to her was to become a vampire. Caroline is made of awesome and if she were given more screen time she’d be even better than Katherine, who in spite of all of her plans didn’t achieve much beside staying alive, while Caroline is successful at anything she sets her mind to. She’s my first girl crush ever actually.

Bonnie – this is one badly written character, who keeps pulling spells out of thin air. Sooner or later, it will all come to bite her in the ass. Probably sooner now that she brought Jeremy back.

Jeremy – such bad luck this kid has, he gets killed both in the first and the last episode of the season. It’s good to see he’s aware of what’s going on and he becomes actively involved in the plot, too bad that being constantly hot gets to be a distraction at times.

Matt – still mainly used as plot device, though I must say he’s really scary when he’s mad. I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with him.

Tyler – I didn’t care for the werewolf storyline, but he did developed into an interesting character once he was given some material to work with.

Jenna – she will be missed. I liked the fluff she brought to the show.

Alaric – glad to see they’re keeping him around for another season, hopefully he’ll get some good storyline too.

Sheriff Forbes – I’ve always liked her and her scenes with Caroline are great.

Uncle John, Isobel, Mason, Jules – annoying from beginning to end (Mason nearly fooled me for a moment there). These characters came into town, did their things and died when they were done, without revealing their motivations or what was going on with them behind the scene. We never got to know them.

The Martins – what an awful family, all of them.

Rose – I had high hopes for her and Damon, unfortunately she was written as a wimpy vampire and came in with horrible hair. Too bad, Damon really needs someone and, regardless of what he thinks, Elena is not it. Come to think of it, he and Bella from Supernatural would rock.

Elijah – a gentleman with silly hair, who in spite of his old age still managed to get himself killed repeatedly. And we still didn’t get rid of him. Maybe he should run for Mayor like some folks on Twitter say.

Klaus – a psychotic thug, miles away from the person I was expecting him to be.

When I think there’s an entire family of Originals that we’re supposed to meet I’m so not looking forward to season 3. What I’m looking forward to is seeing Anna again and watch Jeremy handle the ghosts of his vampire girlfriends. And what I hope for is Damon being awesome and badass the entire season while fighting to save Stefan. Elena who?

No comments: