Hmm... minimal 90210-esque lame drama: check. Reasonable amount of vampirism: check. A storyline that actually held my interest (for the most part)... I think we have an okay episode here! Of course, there were definitely some not-so-great moments in "Lost Girls," but more on those in a bit.
The episode opens nicely, repeating the ending of "You're Undead to Me" but, instead of finding Elena there when Stefan throws open the door, we flash back to 1864. We finally get to see Katherine in full living-colour. Kind of wishing we hadn't, though. She's so obnoxious I can't see how either Stefan or Damon would be interested in her, let alone willing to fight over her. She has that same smug, smirking quality as the actress who plays Anne Boleyn on The Tudors. Ick.
Vicki, on the other hand, has grown on me. So I guess it's good that Damon is completely incompetent at killing her (that or the writers are unaware that excessive blood loss--such as having one's jugular ripped open and left to seep blood for hours--is actually fatal). After draining her friends and setting their bodies on fire (no more feigned animal attacks), Damon notices that Vicki is still alive. Since he's stuck indoors all day until Stefan returns his ring, he decides he could use the company and brings Vicki home with him. The next thing we know he's healing her wounds by giving her his own blood to drink (why didn't he ever do that with Caroline? It might have been a wise idea not to leave bite marks/evidence all over her). Once Vicki recovers she asks for "another hit" of blood (she's slightly under the influence of Damon at that point) and he indulges her as long as he gets some too. Blood is exchanged, music is played (a cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence"), frolicking occurs (Damon's open-shirted dancing makes me laugh, but pretty sure it's not supposed to be funny), baggage is unloaded (more laughter from me--I'm so insensitive). And then Damon kills Vicki. This was unexpected and well done, although you quickly realize she'll be back in a second because of all the earlier blood swapping. Before long she is indeed up and running again, remembering nothing of what happened. Damon tries to tell her she needs to drink human blood in order to complete the process, but she's too anxious to get out of there. He settles for suggesting she stop by to see Jeremy on the way home.
Elena spends the episode reacting to the realization that Stefan is a vampire. She starts off in disbelief, moves on to fear and anger, then settles on reluctant acceptance. (Am I the only one suddenly reminded of the stages people supposedly go through when confronting their own mortality?) Stefan tries to explain what he is, how it happened, that Damon's the evil one, etc...etc... He also begs her not to tell anybody. Her reaction, as usual, is annoying. She'd clearly already figured out that Stefan is a vampire, so why freak out when he confirms it? And when she tells him she knows he'd never do anything to hurt her but she just can't be with him...what the hell is that about? He's the same guy she was sucking face with the day before--what really has changed? Then again she's the one who acted like he was obligated to describe his entire life history in detail in order to be with her; she probably would have dumped him if she'd found out he was a smoker or that he has hairy toes. If this is going to be an endless cycle of break-up/make-up, please just shoot me now.
As Elayna and Stefan discuss the finer points of being undead, my attention was caught--and not in a good way. One of the exchanges Stefan and Elayna have is right out of True Blood "Burning House of Love" (see my review under Fang Files). Almost word for word, in fact. Let's see... Bill and Stefan both claim that a lack of reflection is a myth. Crucifixes are geometry for Bill, but "decorative" for Stefan. Holy water is just water for both of them (Stefan describes it as "drinkable"). And while garlic is a little irritating to Bill, Stefan claims he actually likes it. Are we missing anything? Oh, and did I mention both "Burning House of Love" and "Lost Girls" were directed by the same person (Marcos Siega)? The similarities could be pure coincidence, but the chances of that are looking pretty slim right now. I'm not saying The Vampire Diaries would stoop as low as plagiarism, but if the producers want to prevent people's minds from going there, they might want to be a little more careful in future. It's bad enough they already have Angel and Spike Jr. (Stefan and Damon), not to mention Willow-in-training (Bonnie). They might also consider not using directors from other vampire series (even if it did improve the quality of the episode).
Back to 1864 for a minute and we find out that not only did Katherine play the brothers against each other, but she also happened to be the vampire who sired both of them (glamouring them first so neither knew what she was up to with the other). That revelation was fairly predictable once we actually got to see her in action. My next prediction is that the "Union sympathizers" (including Katherine) who were burned alive in the church by "Confederate soldiers" were actually the vampires who apparently used to populate Mystic Falls in greater numbers, and the "soldiers" that torched them were actually the original town founders/vampire hunters cabal.
In the present again, Vicki's taken Damon's advice and shows up at Jeremy and Elena's house acting like she has the world's worst hangover (or is having a really, really bad trip). She's amorous, then ravenous, then in hideous pain, then flipping out. Jeremy calls Matt to come help with her, but I'm not sure why other than to remind us that Matt exists and that he's Vicki's brother (he's otherwise useless). Stefan, on the other hand, realizes what's happening to her, and after she takes off he volunteers to track her. When he finds her he explains what's going on and what her choices are. You have to feel sorry for Vicki when she asks him if it'll be better--if she'll be better--as a vampire, especially when the look on his face gives her the answer she didn't want. He's about to take her home (to die, at her request) when Stefan is shot, and collapses unable to move. It seems the pocket watch the cabal was after makes a nifty casing for a compass/vampire detector (and why exactly did it have to be that particular watch?) The sheriff, Logan, and a few others are clumsily searching out Mystic Falls's menacing vampire when Logan (with the watch) comes across Stefan and decides to shoot first and ask questions later. I guess he figures wooden bullets won't kill or hurt a human. They don't kill vampires, either, but they incapacitate them long enough to finish the job with a stake. Just before Logan can dispatch Stefan, Damon shows up and saves his brother (hopefully actually killing Logan, but you never know...) and telling Stefan "If anyone's going to kill you, it's going to be me." Ah, brotherly love. Of course, while those two are distracted Vicki helps herself to what's left of Logan's blood. Yay--newbie vamp in Mystic Falls! Now which brother will find (and influence) her first? Will she be a vicious bloodsucker like Damon or a "care bear with fangs" like Angel--I mean Stefan? And how are Stefan and Elayna going to explain this to Jeremy and Matt? At this point, Elena might as well put out a "welcome vampires" mat at home.
Speaking of which, Damon pays Elayna a visit before he takes off to find (and save) Stefan. He assures her he won't kill her yet, which somehow prompts her to tell him off for turning Vicki into a vampire. For someone who was running away like a little girl when she found out her harmless boyfriend is actually a harmless vampire, she doesn't seem too intimidated by his homicidal brother. In any case, Damon's not overly concerned about Vicki, saying she'll thank him later. Elayna's comeback: "Did you thank Katherine?" was a good one, getting a subdued response from Damon and showing he does have a heart in there somewhere. He leaves with a warning that she should be careful who she invites in from now on.
By the way, where is aunt Jenna through all this? It's not like she's Elayna and Jeremy's guardian or anything, responsible for their upbringing and well-being. Gotta love those absentee adult characters who always seem to populate teen shows. A reasonable, believable explanation might be nice, though.
The episode leaves off with Elayna telling Stefan she can't be with him, breaking his heart as well as her own. Don't worry--I'm sure it won't take.
As I was watching the upcoming scenes from next week's show, I realized the real reason why "Lost Girls" was better than usual: no Caroline! That character is so very irritating and unlikeable--a second of her in the previews was like an hour of nails on a chalkboard. Actually, I think I'd prefer the nails. Getting a break from her this week only emphasizes how awful she truly is. Writers/producers: any chance of her being killed off soon? Like immediately? Just wondering...
And on a side note, what happened to Green Day? They had a song featured in "Lost Girls," which not only did I not recognize during the show, but afterward when I heard it during a promo I couldn't believe it was the same band that brought us "American Idiot." How depressing. I knew the new album was nothing great, but wow. What's next: touring with Nickelback?
Not quite looking forward to the next episode of The Vampire Diaries...but not dreading it, either...
Strengths: Super speed. Ability to hypnotize ("mind control"). Power of sudden and silent appearances and departures.
Weaknesses: Vervain, sunlight (unless in possession of a protective ring), wooden bullets, stakes.
Mythology: To be turned, a human must drink a vampire's blood before dying. After they resurrect (or "transition") they have a few hours to either drink human blood and complete the process, or die permanently. Stefan tells Elayna that he loves garlic, isn't affected by crucifixes ("decorative") or holy water ("drinkable"), and that vampires not having reflections is a myth.
Elayna: What are you?
Stefan: You know.
Elayna: No, I don't.
Stefan: Yes you do or you wouldn't be here.
Elayna: It's not possible. It can't be.
[It keeps going...]
Stefan: You can hate me, but I need you to trust me.
Stefan: (after Damon demands the return of his ring) I need time.
Damon: What did you do--FedEx it to Rome?
Damon: (after Vicki cries on his shoulder) You are so damaged... I think I know what can help you.
Damon: Death. [snaps her neck]
The Vampire Diaries, Season 1 Episode 6 "Lost Girls." Written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. Directed by Marcos Siega. From The CW.