02 December 2010

The Vampire Diaries S2 E10 "The Sacrifice"

Spoilers Ahead

What would Stefan, Elena, and Jeremy do without Damon around? Fall apart, apparently. Who would've thought the psychotic brother would end up being the (anti-)hero? A dark and menacing hero, mind you, capable of breaking the enemy's neck without pause or remorse. Definitely my kind of vampire.

"The Sacrifice" starts out on a creepy note with Luka's father, Jonas (introduced last episode), skulking around Elena's room while she sleeps. Suddenly the sound of a slamming door wakes her and she's up to investigate. In the hallway she's startled by Alaric, looking rumpled and, um, pretty much naked. (Just what you want to see in your house--your barely clothed history teacher.) Looks like things are going well for Alaric and Jenna. On the other hand, I have no idea how they don't notice Jonas through the large open doorway of Elena's room as he steals a bunch of personal items, including hair from her brush. As Spike would say, this is the crack team that foils the big bad's every move?

Later, Elena gets a visit from Stefan and Damon (and could she look less thrilled when she sees them at the door?) They've been to see Katherine and have hatched a cunning plan. Katherine is weakened from starvation and they're full up on human plasma, so they want Bonnie to release the tomb's seal long enough for them to get in, get the moonstone, and get out, leaving Katherine trapped and the stone free to break the spell and, thus, save Elena. It could work too, except that Elena doesn't want them to do it. She believes (probably rightly so) that doing anything to annoy Klaus will only end up getting the people she loves hurt and/or killed. She refuses to even consider the idea, leaving Stefan and Damon confused but not exactly swayed from the course.

Luckily for them Bonnie is bonding with Luka and learning new witchy tricks, like how to augment her power by channelling another witch through a personal item. Conveniently, after kicking up a little windstorm together, Luka forgets to get his personal item back from Bonnie. When Bonnie meets up with the Salvatores and Jeremy, she's confident that she can pull off the spell that killed her gran. Jeremy, on the other hand, isn't so sure. Not wanting to put her at risk, he offers to go into the tomb with his handy immortality ring and get the moonstone himself--no spell necessary. Damon's reaction to this suggestion is harsh and a little strange; how is it Bonnie--at 17--is old enough to perform dangerous tasks but 16-year-old Jeremy is "a child"? Or maybe it's just that Damon actually cares about Jeremy while Bonnie's of no particular concern? In any case Jeremy is pushed aside so the grownups can get to work.

While they're all occupied, Elena pays Rose a visit. Claiming she wants to learn more about breaking the spell, Elena asks Rose to take her to see Slater. Rose balks until Elena offers her a daywalker ring in exchange for her help. That was all she needed to hear.

A love triangle of sorts is being set up among Caroline, Ty, and Matt. Ty and Matt have an uneasy friendship. Matt and Caroline still have feelings for each other, although Caroline can't act on them because of the risk of accidentally hurting Matt (not to mention possibly revealing what she is). Meanwhile Ty and Caroline are getting increasingly closer as they spend time together commiserating about how alone they are in their different-ness (Ty still think Caroline is the only vampire in Mystic Falls). Ty really needs Caroline now as the full moon approaches, and especially after finding Mason's werewolf journal, including a video of the first time he turned (it's traumatic).

Two notes about the scenes with Ty and Caroline. Some of you might get a kick out of hearing Katerina Graham (Bonnie) singing Garbage's "Only Happy When it Rains" as Ty plays basketball. You might also want to avert your eyes when Ty puts the memory stick into the laptop--that way you can avoid the cheesy product placement. A certain computer company out there is trying way too hard.

Anyway, Elena and Rose discover Slater's staked corpse. They also discover his freaked girlfriend and annoying wannabe vampire, Alice, hiding in a closet. Elena bribes Alice with a promise to get Rose to turn her if Alice will help them get into Slater's locked computer files. Alice is suddenly a lot calmer and friendlier. When they find a contact (Cody) who can lead them to Klaus, Elena shocks Rose (and the rest of us too) by having Alice send the message that the Doppelganger is alive and ready to surrender. It turns out Elena's plan all along was to sacrifice herself to keep her loved ones safe. Before Rose can even start seriously talking Elena out of it they receive a reply that Cody is on his way.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bonnie is casting a lesser spell to create some mystical ashes that'll incapacitate Katherine long enough (hopefully) for the guys to get the moonstone before the tomb's seal closes. Under the guise of helping Bonnie by collecting the ashes to take to the tomb, Jeremy sneakily helps himself to some. This bodes well. The next thing we know Jeremy is at the tomb on his own. When asking Katherine for the moonstone doesn't work (not that he really expected it to), he stakes her in the stomach and paralyzes her with the ashes. The plan isn't a bad one, other than the fact that by the time he finds the moonstone, Katherine is up and on him. At least Jeremy has the presence of mind to throw the stone out of the tomb before Katherine latches on to his neck and brings herself back to full strength.

As the others approach the tomb, ready to perform the seal releasing spell/moonstone heist, Damon gets a call from Rose. You know when someone starts a conversation with "don't be mad at me" that you're not about to hear anything good. Rose tells Damon about the situation with Elena.

Bonnie and Stefan have gone ahead into the tomb and start setting up when they notice the moonstone on the ground outside the tomb's entrance. Right away they realize what's happened, at which point Katherine shows up, Jeremy in tow. She knows she can kill him repeatedly and he'll keep coming back so she's decided to keep him as her toy until they release her from the tomb. Crap.

At this point Jonas re-enters the picture to complicate things even further. Using the items he stole from Elena, he performs a spell that allows Elijah to see where Elena is. So now two of Klaus's minions are heading for Elena, one of whom at least is incredibly powerful and, oh yeah, immune to stakes.

Back at the tomb, Bonnie begins the spell as Stefan stands by with the ashes, preparing to get Jeremy out. Bonnie channels Luka's power as she casts the spell, and he feels it. Even Jonas notices something is up with his son, although at first Luka denies it.

And here's where we get what we've been anxiously awaiting: Damon takes charge. He shows up at Slater's, pissed off and ready to take Elena home (even threatening to sling her over his shoulder and carry her out). Elena gets just as angry, claiming it's her right to decide for herself what to do. They argue, Elena makes the mistake of trying to hit Damon. He stops her easily and leans in close, quietly intoning to never do that again. Not every actor can pull off "simmering rage beneath a calm exterior," but Ian does it and does it well, somehow managing to imbue the scene with sexual tension while he's at it. Damn I envy Nina Dobrev.

In Mystic Falls, Bonnie's nose has started bleeding and so has Luka's. He finally admits to his dad that Bonnie is channelling his power, claiming that Jonas told him to get close to her (it seems like the only guy who likes Bonnie for Bonnie is Jeremy, and she keeps pushing him away). Luka then starts convulsing and Bonnie passes out. As Stefan tries to help Bonnie, she eventually gets up, anguished that the spell didn't work (maybe she'll start being a little less smug about her powers now). Katherine takes this moment to attack Jeremy, so what else can Stefan do but jump in and push Jeremy outside. As he realizes that he's now also trapped in the tomb, Katherine smirks.

Things aren't going much better at Slater's. Damon's compelled Alice and is ready to go when Cody shows up with a couple of friends, wanting to meet the Doppelganger. Before they get any closer Elijah shows up. He kills Cody's buddies while Damon is confused ("I killed you.") Cody tells Elijah they were going to bring the Doppelganger to him, for Klaus. Then Cody is stupid enough to admit that no one else knows about Elena or that he's there (why do characters ever admit that?) and Elijah kills him too. Damon steps forward, prepared to fight, when all of a sudden Elijah takes off. Well, that was unexpected.

In the next scene Elijah is meeting with Jonas again. I don't know why Elijah is telling Jonas anything but he says he spared Damon because Elijah saw he'd die before letting anything happen to Elena. With Damon she's safe--and that's where they need her to be. For what exactly? Guess we'll find out later.

As Damon walks Elena to her door (he had to take her home because her ride--Rose--disappeared as soon as Elijah showed up) he's still angry with her. Elena can't understand why he and Stefan (and everyone else) try so hard to save her and yet they can't understand when she wants to do what she can to save them. Before they can get into it too much, though, Jeremy opens the door.

The next scene we see Elena running into the tomb, calling out to Stefan. Before she can run inside Damon grabs her and holds on to her. Elena verges on hysterical as she tries to shake him off but he doesn't let go until she calms down (Stefan is keeping out of sight during all this). Defeated, Elena finally leaves. It's amusing (to me anyway) that Elena blames Damon for Stefan being stuck in the tomb even though Damon wasn't even there. Poor guy not only has to go around cleaning up after everyone else's screw-ups, but he gets blamed for them, as well. This is what comes of hanging around teenage girls: drama, drama, drama.

Anyway, after chewing Stefan out a bit Damon promises to free him from the tomb. Stefan claims he'll be fine, that the priority is to break the spell with the moonstone and protect Elena. Damon promises he will before following after Elena. And Katherine tells Stefan that was the worst mistake he could have made.

Just when I thought the Elena-Damon dynamic had hit a dead end, this episode comes along. Those two have amazing chemistry (hard to believe she prefers Stefan--or so she says...) I can't wait to see where the show takes us next and, more importantly, where it takes them.

Fang Files

Appearance: Human, until the vampire emerges--then dark eyes and facial veins, prominent fangs. Vampire bites are vicious; they use all their teeth, not just their fangs.

Strengths: Super strength, speed. Ability to compel humans. The older the vampire the stronger they are.

Weaknesses: Stakes, sunlight (unless wearing a daywalker ring), starvation. Magic.

Mythology: Elijah is unlike other vampires that we've seen--he's immune to stakes and can compel vampires as well as humans.

Sound Bites

Elena: Wow, it sounds like you guys have it all planned out.
Damon: Yup--we're awesome.

Cody: We want to meet the Doppelganger.
Elena: Thank you for coming. [Tries to step forward]
Damon: [stopping her] I will break your arm.

Stefan: Promise me, whatever happens, you'll protect her.
Damon: Promise.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 2 Episode 10 "The Sacrifice." Written by Andrew Chambliss. Directed by J. Miller Tobin. From The CW.

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