Thursday, March 28, 2013

'The Vampire Diaries' 418 Review -"American Gothic"

I’ve noted in my previous reviews the startling trend in The Vampire Diaries, one where the men of the story refuse to budge on their selfish desires, and that continued in full force this week.
 Seems it’s not just limited to the Salvatore brothers anymore and that Elijah has joined the party as well.  All three men want their little innocent girls they first fell in love with and will throw fits until they get them back.  For both Elena and Katherine, becoming a vampire freed them from the conventions of lady-like behavior. It’s a case of the old ‘if it was another man doing the same things these girls were then the judge-y trio wouldn’t care’ situation.  The brothers especially seem to be hellbent on the misogynistic notion of putting a woman back in her place.  Do the writers think that this never-ending quest to cure Elena (who has made it very clear that she doesn’t want it) is romantic?  

Elijah was also ready to just stroll away from Katherine when she didn’t give him what he wanted, which was less the cure and more the fact she was seemingly playing him as she usually does.  At the end of the episode however, Katherine makes an appeal to Elijah and gives him the cure without any want for reciprocation.  The difference between this and the dynamic with the Salvatores and Elena is only that Elijah realizes humanity isn’t a cure all for everything.  Elijah was might have been willing to walk away from Katherine but at least he acknowledged if she was going to be different than the peasant girl he knew than it was her choice--consequences and all.

We also have Elijah (and Katherine) explaining how humanity isn’t a real cure to all woes to his doe eyed sister, Rebekah.  The show had me fooled for a few seconds that she had actually taken the cure, but I stand by my theory that I think it’ll eventually fall into Silas’ hands.  Twice this episode she’s told that the romantic ideas she has with the cure aren’t reasonable.  But listening to her tell Elijah that it was her freedom away from her two brothers had me reconsider how I felt about her desire to be human.  It’s true that both are liberal with their use of daggers to put down siblings when they get in the way and if she were human and they wanted her dead it would have to be final.  Something that Damon wasn’t afraid to try seconds after she wakes up, because he is in fact the biggest dick on the planet. Personally I still can’t quite understand the fascination with wanting to be normal, but I guess being normal myself I can see why it can suck so hard.

The writers also had quite a bit of fun poking at Klaroline fans this episode.  There was a long moment of meaningful touching and gazing until the reveal that it was Silas and he was fucking with Klaus.  I don’t understand the shippers’ insistence that they get together right this moment, I think they were perhaps spoiled by the fact that the relationship came out of nowhere. (Likely a no-homo response to the large and loud fanbase shipping Klaus with Stefan).  Even though I’m often gagging at most of the Klaroline scenes, I still think they’re being fairly well handled since she’s not just going to toss her panties at Klaus anytime soon. It’s interesting to see Klaus needing to work for that relationship, but I’m sick of hearing about Tyler when it’s obvious that Klaus isn’t chasing him anywhere.

I think back to a time when this show had mythology first and romantic entanglements second.  This entire review was about romantic entanglements because their villain this season is such a weak card to play in order to try and keep people who don’t ship happy and pretend that some major non-romantic drama happened this season.  I want to hope that like Angel is to Buffy - The Originals will be very different from the mothership, but I’m starting to fear it’s just going to be more of the same.

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