In the newest episode of The Vampire Diaries, Friday Night Bites, Stefan tries out for the football team when urged by Elena despite the opposition the entire team has to him joining. Even the coach isn’t too thrilled since Stefan showed him up in History class, proving to know more than his own teacher since Stefan lived it. The other players start trouble with him after he makes the team and starts in the big game. Tyler is the center of this trouble and meanwhile acts on his death threat to Elena’s brother, Jeremy, since he knows him and his girlfriend were fooling around behind his back. Stefan intervenes, but not quickly enough to prevent some bloodshed. After getting a warning from Bonnie that Stefan gave her a morbid feeling when they touched, Elena witnesses his unexplainable healing powers before her eyes.
Stefan seems to rekindle a small portion of faith in Damon. He suggests that Damon isn’t quite the monster that he pretends to be, because if so Stefan still wouldn’t be alive. Damon has been tormenting him for over a hundred years rather than just killing him so he must still have his humanity in tact. Damon doesn’t take this very well and viciously murders the next human he sees just to prove that he is the powerful, evil, and non-remorseful vampire that he has been trying to get Stefan to embrace in himself. After this Stefan loses all faith in him once again. It also doesn’t help that Damon pursues Elena stronger than before and even manages to get his invitation in to her house, making him able to come and go any time he pleases now. I particularly loved Ian Somerhalder’s expressions ranging from his usual mocking, self-righteousness, and enthralling looks to just looking completely bored while Stefan blabbers on about morality and right and wrong.
I appreciated how the writers hinted at the original nature of the Bonnie from the book’s heritage and magical abilities. Stefan guesses that her ancestors were the Celtic Druids that immigrated to the country as pioneers. The Bonnie of the TV show doesn’t hold this background and when she claims her heritage of the Salem witches Stefan is impressed believing this to hold individuality and non-conformity.
Vervain, the herb that enables humans to resist the compulsion and lure of vampires, comes in to play similarly to as it does in the books. It even enables Elena to be the only girl in a century that has been able to resist Damon. Speaking of compulsion, Damon uses it on Caroline quite a few times within the episode. He mixes business with pleasure and compels her to keep it all a secret. When this secret begins to get out, Damon has a little fun using Caroline as his puppet. As far as he is concerned that’s what she’s around for; to keep him amused.
A big part of the tension and excitement between Damon and Elena is that you aren’t sure of his full motives. Damon could want her just to make his brother mad, to prove his superiority and power, and to simply attain the only girl he actually has to work to get. There’s also the possibility that he has authentic feelings for him and there could be more to him than you see at first glance. Especially towards the beginning he really seems completely evil void of any humanity. I think they are taking most of the right steps to ensure that his character and the suggestive romances are being built upon. Until this episode Elena thought Damon was actually a good guy whereas now she realizes he has ulterior motives. Now that she also knows that there is something unnatural about Stefan, there is attraction as well as hesitancy towards both of them yet oddly even more drawn to both Stefan and Damon.