30 September 2010

The Vampire Diaries S2 E4 "Memory Lane"

Damon couldn't help but marvel at Katherine's uncanny impersonation of a five-dollar hooker...

Spoilers Ahead

My SO is like Mikey (for those of you who can remember that far back)--he hates everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but he has destroyed many a person's illusions about treasured books/movies/shows (go on--ask him what he thought of 12 Monkeys...) So when he said The Vampire Diaries is one of the better shows I watch, it was high praise indeed. And for good reason.

For one thing, there's an actual mystery involved--one that's keeping me (and him and probably most other people) guessing and wondering and *gasp* interested. What the hell is up with Katherine and Elena? I'm back to thinking they're the same person--maybe there's some kind of Fight Club Tyler Durden/Jack situation going on. Maybe Katherine manifested Elena as a way of getting Stefan back. Or maybe it's something else entirely. But as the aforementioned SO pointed out, nobody else ever sees Elena and Katherine together, and Katherine is fast enough to change clothes in the blink of an eye. Things that make you go "hmm..." Did I mention that Katherine is immune to vervain (which could explain why she doesn't react to it if she is also Elena)? More on that in a bit.

"Memory Lane" starts off showcasing another of Katherine's unusual skills: the ability to get inside Stefan's head. He's dreaming of dancing with her at the Founders' Ball in 1864 as Damon watches jealously from the sidelines. Suddenly Damon walks off with Elena and as Stefan follows, he watches stricken as they kiss and generally act couple-like. Then Katherine is at his side again, commenting that now Stefan knows how she feels and that he should come back to her. Stefan wakes up agitated and then relaxes again as he realizes it was a dream and that Elena is sleeping next to him. Suddenly he bolts out of bed as he clues in that "Elena" is actually Katherine.

Katherine and Stefan proceed to spend the episode in a weird sort of dance. She wants him back; he says he hates her. She says there's a thin line between love and hate; he can't figure out what it is about her that makes him still care. She tells him she's always loved him; he shoots her up with vervain. She insists he loved her too, that she never compelled him; he refuses to believe she's back in Mystic Falls only for him.

As she's chained to a chair and being questioned by Stefan, she recounts the first Founders' Ball in 1864. In flashbacks we see the party. Stefan is her date and Damon (not seeming overly concerned) toasts his good friend, George Lockwood. Of course Katherine recognizes George as a werewolf, and he's aware she's a vampire. Strangely, she decides to make a deal with him. She sells out all the other vampires (the ones that were entombed in the church) as a way of faking her own death (remember--they were supposedly burned to death in the church). George agrees to help help her, as well as give her a ride out of town. But before all this happens, Stefan takes a moment to declare his love for her. Apparently she's an angel in his eyes and his entire body ignites when he touches her skin. Men back then sure had a way with words. She's pleasantly surprised (or so she says) but needs some time to think it over.

Back in the present, and on the other side of town, Elena is occupied with a BBQ Jenna is hosting to welcome Mason (who turns out to be one of her friends from high school) back to town. Of course the BBQ was really Damon's idea, which he put into Jenna's head via Alaric. Damon's also inviting himself (much to Jenna and Elena's chagrin), bringing a peach cobbler and plans to prove Mason is a were by getting silver into him. Between the baked goods and the mayhem I would definitely invite Damon to any gathering I'm planning (also, he's got mad Pictionary skills, even if Mason was the only one who figured out "Dances with Wolves"). To his credit Damon mostly steers clear of Elena, neither trying to connect with her nor getting his vengeance on after her betrayal. (Although I found it interesting that Elena, who supposedly hates Damon, was trying to defend him to Jenna at one point.) Mostly he just keeps busy trying to figure out the Lockwood curse.

And he's not the only one. Ty keeps badgering Mason about what the curse is and how it's triggered, all the while hinting that he knows where the sought-after moonstone is. Mason does his best to assure Ty that he's better off not knowing but Ty won't let up. Finally, nerves frayed, Mason tells him that the curse is triggered by human blood--before a Lockwood can howl at the full moon, they have to kill someone. Ty does look like he wishes he'd never asked, but now I want to know the circumstances under which Mason was cursed. The human blood thing also explains why Ty's eyes went all wolfy after he crashed the car and nearly killed Caroline.

But before Mason and Ty have their confrontation, Mason has to have one with Damon. After having to put up with all of Damon's dog references Mason finally approaches him. He tells Damon that they're not enemies--he has nothing against vampires. He even apologizes for going after Stefan, claiming he doesnn't know what he's doing when in wolf form. Really, he just wants to be above the pointless ancient rivalry. All seems well when Damon shakes Mason's hand but this is Damon after all. As soon as Mason leaves the room, Damon grabs a silver knife. And wouldn't you know it--they're both leaving Jenna's at the same time. I don't know why Mason doesn't see it coming, but you can figure out what happens next. Problem is it turns out silver doesn't hurt werewolves (even being stabbed doesn't seem to have much effect). And now Damon's made an enemy. I have the feeling Damon prefers it that way.

Throughout the entire day, Elena's been trying to get in touch with Stefan. After hours of not hearing from him she asks Caroline to drive her over to his place. Caroline was already acting shady, being negative about human-vampire relationships (specifically Elena and Stefan's relationship) and trying to distract Elena from going to Stefan's. She finally agrees to give Elena a lift, but not before making sure the car suffers a flat on the way. Unable to wait any longer, Elena decides to walk the rest of the way to Stefan's.

Meanwhile, Katherine tells Stefan that she wants him to stop seeing Elena. If he doesn't Katherine will kill everyone Elena loves and make her watch, and then she'll kill Elena while she makes Stefan watch. This gets Stefan riled, but despite two attempts he can't bring himself to stake Katherine. But as he's telling her not to think that he won't do it, Katherine breaks loose and pushes him across the room. Katherine then informs him she's been drinking vervain every day for the last 140 years--it doesn't hurt her anymore. But before they can get into it, Elena arrives at the house and starts calling out to Stefan. Katherine then stakes Stefan's leg so he can't move while she goes up to say hello to Elena. It's interesting that Katherine never takes the opportunity to kill Elena, even though Elena is the one thing standing between Katherine and the person she loves. Also interesting is how Elena isn't really afraid of Katherine. Instead of worrying about her boyfriend's homicidal ex, Elena asks yet again how they can look so alike. Katherine's response is to tell Elena she's asking the wrong question. Stefan finally makes it upstairs and the next instant Katherine has disappeared.

Later we see Katherine berating Caroline for not keeping Elena occupied. She informs Caroline that she killed her once and she can do it again. Later still Elena shows up at The Grill and finds Caroline there. Caroline apologizes for being so difficult earlier, but Elena's not angry--she tells Caroline she was just being a good friend. Then Elena sits with Stefan and they then get into an argument over Katherine. The next thing we know they've broken up. Both Caroline and Damon are listening to the argument, and as Elena walks out, Damon smiles just a little.

Back at her place, Elena turns to find Stefan there. A moment later we're let in on the fact that the "fight" was strictly for Caroline's benefit. Elena suspected that Katherine got to her and now--when Caroline goes back to Katherine with the news--Katherine won't know what's really going on. Unfortunately, neither will Damon since they decide the more people who believe it, the more convincing it'll be. You know this isn't going to end well. But Stefan is convinced that Katherine isn't there for him, that she has some ulterior motive. He claims she doesn't care about anyone else--never has--and she's incapable of love.

In one last flashback scene we watch as George Lockwood arrives to help Katherine get out of Mystic Falls, as per their deal. In exchange she gives him the moonstone that Mason's been so desperate to get his paws on. In the background, Stefan and Damon lay dead on the ground. Katherine walks over and kisses Stefan, then tells him she loves him and that they'll be together again. It's worth noting that she doesn't even give Damon a second look. Then she leaves. If that's not love, it's as close as you can get. What does this mean for Stefan and Elena now? Could Katherine really be in town just for Stefan? And where does it leave Damon? Stay tuned...

Fang Files

Appearance: Human until the vampire emerges, then dark eyes and facial veins and sharp, prominent fangs.

Strengths: Increase with age. Super strength and speed. Ability to influence dreams (could be just between parent vamp and the vampire(s) they made). Ability to compel humans.

Weaknesses: Stakes, vervain, werewolf bites.

Mythology: Apparently vampires can build a tolerance to vervain over time.

Sound Bites

Stefan: [jumping out of bed as he realizes he mistook Katherine for Elena] Katherine.
Katherine: You must admit--I'm getting better at this.

Damon: [introducing himself] Damon Salvatore.
Mason: I know. I've heard great things about you.
Damon: Really? That's weird, 'cause I'm a dick.

Damon: I always pegged you for a lone wolf.
Mason: I'm sure I wasn't half the lady killer you were.

Katherine: Bad day?
Damon: Bad century.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 2 Episode 4 "Memory Lane." Written by Caroline Dries. Directed by Rob Hardy. From The CW.

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