In this week’s The Vampire Diaries Stefan promises Elena to “take care of Damon” after she discovered the bite marks and bruises all over Caroline’s body. He traps Damon in his basement and locks him there, in a dungeon of vervain. It’s been days and Damon is quickly being drained of his strength; putting him in to the weakest state he has been experienced in ages. It’s been days since he has fed and before long he won’t even be able to move and soon will be starve to death. This is Stefan’s plan anyway. And he’s supposed to be the good brother? Stefan also stole his lapis lazuli ring so if he does manage to get out, the sun will turn him to dust.
Stefan has been so busy with all of this that he has simply left Elena in the dark. At first, he continues to be undependable, but Stefan finally begins to tell her about his past. He realizes if he doesn’t than he’s going to lose her. When an older man recognizes Stefan and is shocked that he hasn’t aged a day, Elena begins to think there is still more that she doesn’t know. She does a bit of searching and might have found the last bit of undeniable evidence.
In this episode, Bonnie explores her magic abilities further. Once she discovers what she can do she wants to do it more and more. However, when her tricks become instinctual emotions that instantly turn literally explosive, she begins to fear herself. By the end of the episode, she is terrified and confused. This storyline is becoming more interesting and it is adding a lot more depth to her character than was originally in the pilot episode. We leave her in a very desperate state, but one where she is just moments away from all of the answers she has been searching for.
This was probably the darkest episode of the Vampire Diaries yet and it seems like it is going to follow in this direction. We really see a different side of Stefan. He has been cold towards Damon, but even in the books he never took such drastic action. Stefan slowly watches his brother die and doesn’t even have the decency to leave him in peace. While he still seems to put up a stone wall before him, Paul Wesley is starting to add a little more versatility to the character. I found myself feeling sorry for Damon while regretting every time Stefan kept on annoyingly getting in the way. I guess even when the roles are reversed; Damon is still the more intriguing character.
I gained a bit of respect for Elena’s character in this episode. She goes from just being likeable to being strong, smart, and determined. In the beginning of the episode she argues that she won’t let a guy dictate her happiness, which is actually a world of difference from the books. It is actually an improvement from the original Elena or at least how she was at this stage in the books. Rather than chasing after Stefan, she demands answers; refusing to remain in the dark about nearly everything about him. She begins putting the pieces together and at last discovers Stefan’s true nature. Plus, she gets points for mocking Stefan’s ambiguous message. Elena’s impression of the slow talking, brooding, and vague Stefan was hilarious. The Vampire Diaries does know how to poke fun at itself.
Even when Damon was in his weakest state in this episode, he clung on to his power, or at least the confidence that his strength would overcome what he was up against. He is still able to get in to Caroline’s mind, only letting her remember what he wants her to. She may be his last hope after all and clings on to their blood connection to sway her in to saving him. Towards the end, we get a high paced chase. Even throughout this Damon is as cold as ever, completely instinctual and animalistic. He goes after Caroline, clearly seeing her as nothing but as a much needed meal. This unrelenting thirst makes Damon more daunting, dark, and dangerous than ever. Now he’s hunting out of a much higher need rather than the usual desire to prove his power and allure. From the looks of next week’s preview, this dark direction will be continued. It seems like The Vampire Diaries has gotten past the introductions and is getting to the grittier and more gripping material.