10 December 2010

The Vampire Diaries S2 E11 "By the Light of the Moon"

Spoilers Ahead

This episode of The Vampire Diaries lets everyone have a turn at bat: we get vampire, werewolf, and witchy action. Pretty exciting stuff seeing everyone in their element, even if things don't turn out quite as planned.

We start off with Ty gathering items together restlessly as Mason's video plays in the background. He stops to call Mason, leaving a message about the video and the full moon. And although Mason won't be getting it (as Damon so poetically puts it, Mason is decomposing in his truck) someone else does. A woman in Mason's apartment stops to listen as the machine kicks in. After Ty hangs up her eyes go all wolfy. Well, this can't be good.

Meanwhile, back at her place Elena is arguing with Bonnie about whether Bonnie should focus on getting Stefan out of the tomb (Elena's choice) or work on breaking the spell bound by the moonstone (everyone else's choice). Elena is still convinced that if they break the spell it'll annoy Klaus into killing everyone she loves. But, as Bonnie points out, that's only if he finds out about it. Elena can't seem to understand why she's not getting support for her plan to turn herself over to Klaus to be sacrificed. Elena's not the brightest. Illustrating my point, the moment she's alone she steals the moonstone from Bonnie's bag and makes a break for it. Of course, this move was already anticipated and Bonnie has taken the precautionary measure of sealing Elena into the house with a spell. That'll learn her.

No surprise that Damon's in on the plan to trap Elena (actually he takes credit for coming up with it. Unlike Elena, he is the brightest). He pays a visit to Stefan in the tomb, bringing him a care package and blood. Stefan refuses the blood, though, because he'll end up having to share it with Katherine. He really doesn't like Katherine. He reiterates to Damon to keep Elena safe. [As I was watching this scene I kept wondering what would happen to Damon if his arm crossed the magic line as he handed something to Stefan. Would his arm be trapped in the tomb? And how do they actually know where the line begins?]

Back to Ty. As he's preparing to leave to go set up for his first full moon, the doorbell rings. Surprise--it's the mystery were woman from Mason's apartment! Jules (Michaela McManus, One Tree Hill) claims she's in town trying to track Mason down since he never returned to Florida. Alarm bells start ringing for the Lockwoods, who believed he was in Florida. When Ty later meets Caroline at the Grill, he tells her about Jules and says his mom called the sheriff. Luckily Alaric is nearby and catches the unwelcome news.

Damon pays Elena a visit, updating her on Stefan and taking the opportunity to mock her (not undeservedly). He also calls Caroline Vampire Barbie, which amused me greatly, even if that one was a bit undeserved (hey, Caroline has come a long way this season). While he's there he gets a call from Alaric informing him that Mason has officially been listed as a missing person. Damon leaves to meet Rick at the Grill.

Jules is managing to keep busy. After leaving the Lockwood mansion she calls someone (we don't get to find out who) and confirms that whoever it is was right--Mason lied; there is another werewolf. Great--how many people is Damon going to have to kill (or compel, if weres can be compelled)? Afterward she heads to the Grill where she stops the first person she sees (Matt) and asking him if he knows Ty. Damon and Alaric notice her immediately and come up with a cunning plan to discover whether she's a were. Alaric approaches Jules in the guise of the local drunk, buying her a drink. Damon then shows up playing the gentleman. As he distracts Jules, Alaric slips some wolfsbane into the drink. Alaric then leaves while Damon settles in to chat Jules up and encourage her to drink. On a serious note: girls--this is why you shouldn't accept drinks from strange men; it's not wolfsbane they're slipping into your beverage.

Anyway, speaking of wolfsbane, Caroline and Ty are in the Lockwoods' old slave cellar preparing for what lies ahead. Caroline mixes some of the herb into water for Ty (supposedly it'll weaken him so he's less likely to be able to break out--if he can keep it down, that is). Ty also starts getting undressed (his clothes will get wrecked once he turns), prompting a moment of embarrassed shock from Caroline and general admiration from the viewers at home. How much time do actors have to spend at the gym these days, anyway? Remember when the people onscreen used to look like the rest of us (albeit somewhat more polished)? Suddenly I feel so old. But props to Ty for the Hulk reference.

Elsewhere Bonnie goes to see Luka to return his dog tags and apologize for channelling his energy without permission, almost killing him in the process. Her first clue that he's a little too good to be true should be when he forgives her almost immediately and invites her in. But she's too infatuated at the moment to be suspicious. She asks him if he knows how to break the bind between a talisman and a spell. Seeing as Luka and his dad have an entire library of grimoires on hand, it shouldn't be too much of a problem, and he gladly offers to help.

In the tomb Stefan's got his hands full with Katherine--or should I say 'of' Katherine. After trying (and failing) to scare him into eating she decides to wear him down from a different angle. She undresses and starts teasing him about what Damon's getting up to with Elena, informing him that he's entitled to do the same in there with her and no one need ever know. A moment later they're kissing, clothes are coming off, Stefan's got her up against the wall...and then he wakes up. Katherine's been messing with his subconscious again. Smirking, she claims that maybe she can handle eternity in the tomb with him after all.

As for Katherine's equally trapped doppelganger, Elena is far from spending quality time with Damon. Instead she's helping Jenna dig boxes of files and records out of a cupboard. It turns out Jenna, on behalf of the historical society, has been roped into helping an author research the history of the town. As she closes the cupboard door she reveals the writer standing behind it. Surprise--it's Elijah (as my SO put it, is there anyone Jenna won't invite into the house?) Elijah plays friendly, "introducing" himself to Elena and being generally pleasant if slightly creepy. Elena's terrified (although she plays along for Jenna's sake) and as soon as the front door closes behind him she runs upstairs and starts pounding on Jeremy's door. Before Jeremy can answer Elijah is suddenly there and motioning for Elena to keep quiet. When Jeremy finally does open the door Elena tells him Jenna needs him downstairs. Once alone Elijah informs her they need to have a talk. Okayyy...

Damon is still playing nice, trying to get Jules to actually take a sip of her drink. He tells her that he knows Mason and that he's a really great guy. Of course, he's not exactly being subtle, although Jules seems to be buying it. Seems to be, but she isn't. After pretending she's about to finally have her drink, she suddenly stops and calls Damon a fool. She scoffs that she sniffed him--and his pathetic wolfsbane--out the moment she walked into the bar and that only his vampire arrogance would make him threaten her (he suggests she should leave town because she's not going to find Mason) on the night of the full moon. Then she tells him he's been marked--to which Damon looks supremely unimpressed--and walks out. Damon's pissed and all ready to go after her but Alaric talks sense into him, reminding him that one bite could kill him. Damon agrees and goes home.

Back to Elena and Elijah. I don't know what's up with him but he's clearly hiding his real motives. What he tells Elena, however, is that he doesn't want to break the curse, doesn't want her handed over to Klaus, and, in fact, is trying to find and destroy Klaus. He wants to make a deal with her: she'll go on living life normally and when the time comes they'll draw out Klaus together, at which point Elijah will kill him. Oh, and between Bonnie and his own witch friends, he can make sure everyone Elena cares about is protected. Um, okayyyy... But all that's not good enough for Elena--she asks him to do one more thing for her...

Bonnie and Luka, having apparently figured out how to break the spell, decide to make a date of it. They go up to the roof, under the full moon, surrounded by candles. They touch and the power flows between them. And suddenly the moonstone floats above them and bursts into fireworks. Subtle. But it appears Elena is off the sacrifice hook.

Things are picking up in intensity on the old Lockwood estate. Ty is starting to transform and it is incredibly painful (although may I just say that chains are a good look for him). Caroline refuses to leave him, staying close and comforting him as much as she can. But when he starts fully wolfing out and losing control, she runs in panic. The sequence of him changing is really nicely shot--the director clearly understands that less is more when it comes to horror. Ty the wolf is all blind rage, doing everything he can to get at Caroline. Finally she barricades the outer door and goes outside to wait, terrified and tearful.

When Damon gets home he immediately senses that something is up. I guess we're supposed to expect Jules (at least, I was) but it turns out Rose is back. She offers a sincere apology for what happened with Elena (last episode) and then admits she also has nowhere else to go. Damon tells her there's nothing there for her but before much more can happen, the sound of shattering glass reaches them. They find a broken window, at which point Damon grabs a sword. Rose sees the wolf a moment before Damon does and as it attacks, she pushes Damon out of the way. I guess the wolf decides one vampire is as good as the next and starts attacking Rose, biting her badly in the shoulder. Damon recovers himself and stabs the wolf with the sword, prompting the were to run out through the window. Rose is in a lot of pain and certain she's about to die. But then the wound heals. She bursts into tears as Damon comforts her (lucky girl).

Finished with their moonstone shenanigans, Luka goes back home where his dad is waiting. It turns out the whole thing was a show for Bonnie's benefit and she bought it without question. Luka hands the intact stone over to dad. Before he can leave, though, dad tells him that Elijah wants them to do one more thing before they lose the full moon.

In the tomb Katherine and Stefan are getting along like an old married couple. A miserable old married couple. Katherine's unapologetic for what she's done but says she really does love Stefan. He snaps that she should try doing something to prove to him that there's actually something worth trusting in her. She offers to help him find Klaus. He's snarky about what she'll expect in return. She retorts that he should start with Isobel--she found Katherine, she can find Klaus. Wow--Katherine did something selfless! Although she can't resist adding a sarcastic "you're welcome" at the end.

As the repartee flies, Elijah is suddenly there. He tells Stefan that he reached a "peaceful" deal with Elena and that the spell has been lifted. Stefan is free to go. Katherine, on the other hand, he compels into staying until he tells her she can leave. Klaus is going to want to know exactly where she is. Katherine begs Stefan not to leave her there but he just says goodbye and goes. That's gratitude for you. Suddenly Katherine's driving need to always put herself first seems a little more understandable.

Okay, Elijah wanted his witches to do one more thing for him that night. On the surface it seems obvious that the one thing was to release the spell on the tomb. I'm not so sure, though. Luka's dad specified that Elijah wanted them to work before they "lost" the full moon. Why is the moon important? Is it just a good time to be working magic or is there some other moon-dependent spell involved? Maybe something to do with werewolves? Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that Elijah is on the weres' side, or at least in cahoots? Guess we'll find out.

As the episode is winding down, things seem to have worked out for the best. Ty is back in human form and didn't get out of the cellar, which Caroline is thrilled about. Relieved, she tells him he's okay, but he doesn't agree. Ty is seriously traumatized from the experience, although I think it's bound to get better, otherwise all weres would kill themselves after a couple of full moons.

Stefan and Elena enjoy a happy reunion. I guess from their perspective everything is great. I have to say, I don't love that Stefan is already out of the tomb. They could have done so much more with that, exploring the Stefan-Katherine dynamic and seeing where things would lead with Elena and Damon. The one bad thing this show tends to do is resolve storylines too quickly. There's no need to rush, guys.

Damon and Rose are also getting along pretty well post were-attack. He admits he's glad the bite didn't kill her. She claims she's going to stay to help him with "all things Elena" and to be a friend--because she believes in friendship and he needs all the help he can get. Damon's not quite satisfied with "just" friend status and tries to change her mind (really lucky girl!) She claims she won't love a man who loves another woman, but she can be his special friend. Works for him. They start kissing and as he grasps her shoulder it suddenly hurts. Pulling aside her robe we see that the wolf's bite that supposedly healed has now turned into a nasty looking infection. They both look horrified and the show cuts to the credits.

My guess is that werewolves' saliva contains some sort of toxin and when the wound heals before it can be cleaned/sterilized the toxin gets trapped and starts spreading. Not good. I really hope they save Rose. I like her, I like her with Damon, and she classes the place up with her accent. Stupid werewolves; what good are they, anyway?

The show's on a break now, I'm assuming until sometime in the new year. This is going to be a tough wait...

Fang Files

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

Strengths: Super speed, strength. Heightened hearing. Ability to compel humans. The older the vampire the stronger they are. Elijah can compel other vampires and Katherine can get inside Stefan's head and project entire scenes.

Weaknesses: Vervain, sunlight, starvation, magic, werewolf bites.

Mythology: Klaus is the oldest of the original vampires, as well as the most hated and the most feared.

Sound Bites

Bonnie: You're lying.
Elena: No I'm not.
Bonnie: Really? Tell your face.

Damon: You should really lock your door.
Elena: [sulking, angry]
Damon: Oh, come on, pouty. At least give me two points for ingenuity.
Elena: Do you think this is funny?
Damon: Yes, Elena, I find hilarity in the lengths I have to go to to repeatedly save your life.

Elijah: Good evening, Katerina. Thank you for having the good sense to be frightened.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 2 Episode 11 "By the Light of the Moon." Written by Mike Daniels. Directed by Elizabeth Allen. From The CW.

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