Episode 104, “Family Ties” Air Date 10/1/09
I like it when characters on a TV show are very self-aware and real world-savvy. They practically do all the snarking for me! I think that’s why I love Damon so much. Damon was full of great comments in last night’s episode.
But before he was quipping his quippies, Damon was making Stefan have a nightmare about Elena. In the ‘mare, Damon attacked Elena. But wouldn’t it be scarier to make Stefan dream that HE attacked Elena? Since Stefan is all about repressing his vampire urges? Whatever, Damon is great at jokes. (And sexy makeout nightmares.) He can’t be a master of all trades.
Damon reminds Stefan that drinking human blood would “even the playing field,” and then re: the football joke, asks, “Too soon?” Because Damon killed Coach Dick last week.
Stefan takes out his anger by… stabbing Damon with a dagger? Ouchies. (Tetanus-ies.) But Damon’s more annoyed about the hole in his shirt (which… is something I totally would have brought up, if Damon hadn’t done it for me). “This is John Varvatos, dude,” he says to Stefan. “Dick move.” And then he stabs Stefan with the dagger, which hurts worse for Stefan because of… lack of human blood.
Two thoughts: Why are you wearing a John Varvatos T-shirt, Damon? You could get that exact shirt at Target, Fancy Pants. Also, this scene is full of ab-revelations. Which, as we’ve already discussed, is a very important element of this show.
Stefan turns to his diary, where he muses, “How do I stop a monster without becoming one myself?” (PS Doesn’t Damon read Stefan’s diary? Be careful what you write, Stefan!)
Meanwhile, Damon framed a mountain lion, so the news reports that the beast has been captured. The weasel-esque TV reporter guy is named Logan, and he’s the reason why Elena’s Aunt Jenna left Mystic Falls, so many years ago. Yawn.
Stefan pays a morning makeout-call to Elena’s house. They kiss on her bed, until Stefan sees himself vamping out in the mirror. (Way to be narcissistic and look at yourself in the mirror while making out, Stefan.) (Also, vamping when angry or aroused? Same rule as “True Blood.” Makes sense, just sayin’.)
Elena invites Stefan to the Founders’ Party, which is a big thing in the town, and her mom was on the Heritage committee, blah blah old people stuff. Stefan says, “Salvatores don’t get invited anymore.” Oooh, why not? Intrigue. But he agrees to accompany Elena, as her date.
Damon is chillin’ on Caroline’s bed, flipping through a book as she gets dressed. (Do the girls of Mystic Falls have the most permissive/absentee parents and/or legal guardians ever, or what?) Caroline is trying on dresses for the Founders’ Party, and Damon tells her to wear the blue, because yellow is “jaundice.” Wow, Damon’s Mr. Fashion this week. He’s the Tim Gunn of vampires. Make it work! Add a scarf.
Caroline doesn’t want to invite Damon to the Founders’ Day party, because her mother is “a proud gun owner” (it will all make sense soon), but Damon uses his vampire-eyes to compel her to bring him.
Guess what’s Damon’s reading: “What’s so special about this Bella girl? Edward’s so whipped.” One of the Twilight books! Laugh out loud! But not the first one, because Caroline chastises him that he’s reading it out of order. “I miss Anne Rice,” Damon laments. “She was so on it.” (She pulled a Kirk Cameron, and is now too religious to write vampire books, or something.)
GASP. Caroline knows that Damon is a vampire! “How come you don’t sparkle?” Caroline asks him. (She WOULD ask that.)
Damon: Because I live in the real world, where vampires burn in the sun.
Ha! The real world. That’s a complicated statement, on a fictional TV show about vampires that is making fun of other fictional depictions of vampires. But… I’m all about making fun of Twilight. Carry on, Damon. (There’s something else I want to say about this, but Caroline’s about to do it for me.)
Caroline: Yeah, but you go in the sun.
Damon: I have a ring. It protects me. Long story.
Ugh, when is somebody going to tell the story? I want to know the deal with this ring!
Caroline asks if Damon’s bites are going to turn her into a vampire, as is the Twilight way. Damon tells her that to become a vampire, she’d have to feed on a vampire, die, and then feed on a human. “It’s a whole ordeal,” he tells her, rolling his eyes. “This book, by the way, has it all wrong.”
Suck on THAT, Twilight.
But we just touched on some mythology that’s different than “True Blood.” In that world (and it most mythologies, I think), the process starts with the vampire biting the human. But in “Vampire Diaries,” the human has to feed from the vampire first? I guess that means the vampire has to be complicit with the turning, or else… good luck biting a vampire, feeble humans.
Damon pulls Caroline onto the bed and kisses her. “You can be very sweet when you want to be,” Caroline says. True story. Caroline asks Damon if he’s going to kill her, and he says, “Mm hm.” From this angle and with that tone of voice, he reminds me of Michael Ian Black. Ha. But first, “…there’s something I need you to do for me.”
At the Mystic Grill (not to be confused with Mystic Pizza), we find out that jerk-jock Tyler’s dad is the mayor of Mystic Falls. And Tyler hasn’t told his parents that he’s dating Vicki-the-Supposed-Slut. Etc.
At a nearby table, Bonnie is upset that Caroline is taking Damon to the Founders’ Party. Now Bonnie is the odd-witch out. (Again.) Bonnie calls Damon, “Older Sexy Danger Guy.” Caroline snarks, “Is that an official witch Twitter tweet?” I love that phrase. “Twitter-tweet.” It’s going to be all the rage, now. (Probably not.)
Thanks to Damon’s prompting, Caroline tells Bonnie about Stefan… it’s some story about how Katherine chose Damon, and then Stefan was a crazy stalker about the whole thing. Based on all of Damon’s mind games, I have to assume that Caroline only knows that Damon’s a vampire when they’re alone together? The rest of the time, I think he’s wiping her mind. Because… she’s bad at secrets.
Back at Ye Olde Salvatore Boarding House (or something like that), Uncle-But-Actually-Not-Uncle Zach comes across Damon, going through Stefan’s homework. “This country sure has dumbed down in the past hundred years,” Damon notes. THANK YOU, Damon. I’m guessing that he would be at least as appalled as I was by Stefan’s history class’ lack of date-knowledge last week.
Also: Stefan went to Harvard in the ’70s? The 1970s? I don’t know, but I thought he was living in secret. I think that Stefan and I have different definitions of the word “secret.” Maybe he just meant, not-living-in-Mystic-Falls?
Blah blah, Damon threatens Zach, Stefan walks in and saves Zach. Stefan wants to figure out a way to beat Damon without drinking human blood (just drink some human blood, for cryin’ out loud!), and Zach reveals that he’s growing the Magical Anti-Vampire Herb in some dungeon in the basement. (Because… that’s normal.)
It totally looks like Zach is growing pot. Ha. There are heat lamps and everything! So “Weeds” right now. And non-vamp Salvatores have been growing weeds in the basement dungeon for generations? (Even before heat lamp technology existed?) “Blood only goes so deep when you’re related to vampires,” Zach explains. But he’s telling Stefan because… trust? Okay.
Also, the herb is called vervain, and it’s real. It’s used in Druid rituals? Remember when Stefan mentioned that some of the original settlers of Mystic Falls were Celtic Druids? Yeah, I bet that’s not a coincidence. But Damon hasn’t let vervain grow in Mystic Falls since the 1860s. Hence, the hot-house pot-house.
Bonnie tells Elena the whole “Stefan was a stalker ex-boyfriend” story that Caroline told her in the Grill. Apparently Katherine chose Damon, but Stefan manipulated Katherine until she turned against Damon. Elena doesn’t believe it, because… obviously Damon’s side is going to be skewed. But the seed of doubt has been planted. (In the hot-house pot-house of Elena’s mind.)
Damon and Stefan get dressed for the party. Together. In case you’re keeping shirtlessness score, Damon is shirtless, and Stefan is wearing a fairly transparent wife beater-style undershirt. Stefan has some strange symbol tattooed on his shoulder, which I’m guessing is a character thing, and not a Paul Wesley thing. Or it’s both.
Stefan is drinking alcohol? (Later, we find out that it’s Scotch.) Um, can vampires drink alcohol? It’s definitely a no-go on “True Blood. In the pilot Bill ordered red wine just to have a reason to sit in Merlotte’s. (Sad.) But he couldn’t drink it. (Sadder.) The vampires drank in “Moonlight,” but that show was like a reckless Wild West town, lacking in vampire laws.
Damon: My goodness, I’ve driven you to drink.
Stefan: I can’t seem to rid myself of you. What else am I supposed to do, besides go about living my life?
Damon: “Go about living my life.” Therein lies your eternal struggle. You’re dead, dude. Get over it.
There’s another vampire rule. It might even be Rule #1. You’re dead. Get over it.
Something that Twilight, “True Blood” and “Vampire Diaries” all have is common is that the main love-interest vampire is really not a fan of being a vampire. I wish I was a human, wah wah wah. And the human girl is always lonely and isolated, and somehow different from the other girls of the town. (And, to quote last night’s “Parks & Recreation,” the girl is usually “classically hot.”)
So Elena donated a big box of family heirlooms to the Founders’ Party peeps, and Tyler’s mom calls up, all stressed out because a pocket watch is missing. Elena figures out that her little brother, druggie-head Jeremy, stole the watch. She slaps Jeremy in the face, which is really setting up a face-slapping precedent. (Last week she face-slapped Damon.)
Elena thinks that Jeremy wants to sell the watch on Ebay for drug money (didn’t that happen on some other show?), but it turns out that Jeremy was supposed to inherit it. It’s a first-born son thing. So Elena gives the watch to Jeremy, and later tells Tyler’s mom (who turns out to be a cold bitch) that she couldn’t find it.
Back to Damon and Stefan, who apparently take a girlishly long amount of time to get ready. Damon (now wearing a shirt) is admiring himself in the mirror.
Damon: It’s cool not growing old. I like being the eternal stud.
Stefan: Yes, being a 150-year-old teenager has been the height of my happiness.
The brothers talk about a long-ago Founders’ Day party, where Stefan danced with Katherine and dropped her off at home… where Damon was waiting to bang her. Damon hopes that history repeats itself this year. He toasts Stefan with a glass of the vervain-laced Scotch, then pours the contents of his glass onto the floor. That’s gonna warp the hardwood! (I know from experience.) (With water, not Scotch.)
In case you’re wondering how Stefan didn’t poison himself (“Inconceivable!”), Stefan poured himself a drink before he spiked the bottle.
Damon: I’m not some drunk sorority chick. You can’t roofie me.
Roofalin! (Actually, Rohypnol.) Now I just want to make THE HANGOVER jokes. You’re out of the wolfpack, Stefan!
I guess Damon doesn’t know where the vervain came from, or else Zach would be… dead.
Long pan across the mailbox of the Founders’ Day house. The address is 2129. What does it mean?! (Probably nothing.) Also, I think Tyler and his mayor-dad and bitch-mom live at the giant history house? Because Stefan and Damon need to be invited in, and later Tyler makes some sort of reference to living in a museum. Odd times.
Stefan, Damon, and Zach also live in a giant-home museum-esque setup, but I guess it’s in the family and they own it outright, because Zach doesn’t seem to work (other than herb-harvesting… try to say that out loud, I bet you drop the second “h”), and nobody boards in Ye Olde Boarding House. Maybe because… vampires.
Stefan tells Zach that he didn’t expect Damon to fall for the vervain. But Damon probably won’t expect Stefan to try again in the same night, which is Stefan’s plan. Lower Damon’s guard. Expect the unexpected, etc. Zach gives Stefan a double-potent vial of liquid vervain. Is Zach a scientist, or what? And who’s the Wizard of the Magic Rings?
Vicki wears yellow to the party, which… come on, jaundice! Also, Tyler’s mom wears yellow. Damon’s gonna be so pissed. Damon and Stefan are wearing the darkest colors there, because… vampires. A lot of people are wearing white after Labor Day. I thought that was way uncool, on the East Coast.
Caroline’s mom is at the party, and she’s a proud gun owner because she’s a cop. I think she’s the Sheriff, even. She comments that Damon is a little old for Caroline, which is haha because… TV teens are always old. But I think Damon’s supposed to look like he’s in his 20s, so… whatever, still funny.
Caroline’s Mom: Where’s your dad?
Caroline: Memphis. With Stephen.
I’m getting the vibe that Caroline lives with her dad. Which totally explains the unsupervised sex-romps she’s been having with Damon. Also… is Caroline’s dad gay? She’s totally the Blair Waldorf of this show!
There’s a room in the Founders’ house where a bunch of artifacts are just sitting on display? That seems kind of unsafe. I mean, Elena’s family heirloom wedding rings are just sitting there, ready to be stolen. And Caroline’s cop-mom is nowhere to be seen. Too trusting, Mystic Falls!
Blah blah, Aunt Jenna agrees to go on a date with weasel-esque Reporter Logan after several scenes of back-and-forth blah blah it’s-been-a-long-time-and-people-change banter.
There’s a sort of Declaration of Mystic Falls on the wall, with a registry of the original guests at the original Founders’ Day celebration. Guess who’s on the list? Stefan and Damon. (Duh.) Maybe they should have changed their names, because… welcome to obvious-ville, population everybody-except-Elena.
Then again, all of the names on that list are the same. The original mayor was Lockwood… and the current mayor is Lockwood?! What is this town, a monarchy??
Anyway, Stefan is saved-by-the-Damon, who says that the names on the list are “the original Salvatore brothers.” Original, and extra crispy. And extra-coincidence-y. (Also, who would name their sons after two ancestral brothers who feuded terribly? That’s like naming one kid Hatfield and the other McCoy.)
Per Damon’s instructions, Caroline asks Stefan to dance with her. Stefan tries to demur that he doesn’t dance, but Damon says, “Waltz, jitterbug, moonwalk– he does it all.” Wow, live through several historic dance crazes much? (VERY much.)
(That’s a reference to an episode that I didn’t recap, where Caroline says, “Cocky much?” and Damon replies, “VERY much.”) (And then they do it.) (That was Episode 102, “Night of the Comet.”)
So Stefan has to go dance-off pants-off, and Elena is left behind with Damon, in the Room of Artifacts. Damon apologizes to Elena for being a “world-class jerk” the other night when he tried to kiss her. “My therapist says I’m acting out, trying to punish Stefan.” First of all, laugh out loud that Damon pretends that he’s going to therapy. Even more laughs if he is!
The whole therapist thing is a good tactic, because A) Would a vampire go to therapy? Nice way to humanize yourself, Damon! B) There’s something kind of hot about a guy who’s trying to work on his shit and be a better person. (Maybe that’s just me, and maybe I have issues.) (I mean, let’s be real: I do. But so do you!)
“Let’s just say that the men in the Salvatore family have been cursed with sibling rivalry,” Damon says. “It all started with the original Salvatore brothers.” (AKA the current Salvatore brothers.) I’d like for you to speak more about that, says my inner therapist. Also: Is there really a curse? What’s up with the RINGS?!
Meanwizzle, Stefan and Caroline dance. He offers her some champagne, and (IMPORTANT PLOT POINT ALERT) she drinks it.
Stefan just looks at his champagne and smiles. Okay, so NOW he can’t drink alcohol? Or did he (spoiler alert) spike all of the champagne with vervain?
Damon gives Elena a little history lesson. (HIS STORY, get it?)
Damon: The Salvatore name was practically royalty in this town. ‘Til the war. There was a battle here.
Elena: Battle of Willow Creek.
Why not “Battle of Mystic Falls?” Anyway, Damon looks surprised.
Elena: I know, we talked about it in class. Confederate soldiers fired on a church with civilians inside.
Actually, and this was in the pilot, Stefan corrected the teacher (Mr. Tanner, aka Mr. Dick) and made him aware of the civilian casualties. So… she learned about it in school, via Stefan.
Damon: What the history books left out was that the people who were killed… they weren’t there by accident. They were believed to be Union sympathizers, so some of the Founders on the Confederacy side back then wanted them rounded up and burned alive. Stefan and Damon had someone they loved very much in that church. And when they went to rescue them they were shot, murdered in cold blood.
Elena: Who was in the church that they wanted to save?
Damon: A woman, I guess. Doesn’t it always come down to the love of a woman?
Okay, this should raise a lot of questions for all of us. First of all, if you have to drink a vampire’s blood and then die to become a vampire… whose blood did Stefan and Damon drink? (Wikipedia of the books tells me that it’s Katherine’s. Let’s see if that pans out in the series.) (It could be different, since the books started in Renaissance Italy, and obviously on the TV show Stefan and Damon have Civil War origins.) (Another commonality with “True Blood.”)
My second thought is… way to spill the beans, Damon. I mean, come on, how similar do the “original” Salvatore brothers have to get to the current Salvatore brothers before Elena figures out that they’re the same? She already knows that Katherine died in a fire, and that Stefan and Damon both loved her.
Based on this story, Elena tells Damon that she can’t get in the middle of whatever’s going on between Stefan and Damon. She ought to be thisclose to figuring everything out, right? I mean, I guess I can’t be objective, since I already know what she doesn’t know.
Elena: I hope you two can work it out.
Damon: I hope so, too.
Lies. He just wants to win.
Oh, and can we talk about the way that Stefan is pronounced on this show? They all say “Steffin,” and my inclination would be to say, “Stefaahn,” as in, Stefan Urquelle. That’s all.
And Bonnie makes some witch-progress, walking around the party and making candles ignite. Spooky, scary. (When’s the Halloween episode? Which character is going to dress like a vampire? I hope it’s one of the vampires!)
Damon and Elena join Stefan and Caroline on the dance floor, and Stefan and Elena dance to Matt Nathanson’s “All We Are.” (I own it on iTunes now. Don’t judge me!) (Whatever, I am just asking to be judged, blogging and all.)
Caroline: They look so cute together.
Damon: Don’t talk, please.
So, history is repeating itself, but not the part that Damon wanted to repeat (the having-sex-with-Stefan’s-girlfriend part).
While Stefan and Elena dance, she asks him to tell her his side of the whole Katherine story. Elena rubs Stefan’s shoulder in a very I’m-there-for-you way. “I burden you with all of my drama,” she says. “I want you to do the same.” (A very similar conversation happened on “True Blood.” I’m not faulting this show for it, just sayin’. In both shows, it was a good scene.)
Elena is frustrated that Stefan won’t “open up” to her. She doesn’t know that much about him!
Stefan blames this all on whatever Damon must have said to Elena.
Elena: This isn’t about Damon, it’s about me trying to get to know you. Look, you’re the Mystery Guy. And I like that. But with mystery comes secrets, and this thing with Katherine.
Stefan: Let it go. I don’t want to talk about it.
Elena: Well then say something about yourself. Anything. Otherwise I’m left with nothing but what other people tell me.
Stefan toes the Damon’s-turning-you-against-me line, and Elena says, “I guess it’s working” and exits the dance floor. Come on, Stefan! Elena has a good point. You need to throw her some sort of bone (HA) that makes her feel like she’s getting to know you. Or else… it’s not really a relationship.
The creepy thing is… does Stefan care about getting to know Elena? Or is he just content to know that she looks like Katherine, and that’s that?
Elena debriefs with Bonnie in the Founders’ House. “This is my fault,” Bonnie says. “I planted doubt. I’m a doubt-planter.” Elena feels terrible because she said she wouldn’t get in the middle of the Stefan-Damon feud, and then… she did. “I got all snotty,” she sighs. (Actually… I think you were right on the money, Elena.)
Now that the museum part of the house seems to be closed, Damon has Caroline guard the door as he steals a big amber crystal out of an old box. It’s a “very important crystal,” and Damon put it in the box “a long time ago.” Caroline seems clueless enough in this scene that I think Damon wiped her brain clear of the knowledge that he’s a vampire. (For now, at least.)
“Tonight I’m taking it back, thanks to you,” Damon says. Uh oh, I think that was Caroline’s purpose. Time to (maybe) die.
Caroline and Elena retouch their makeup in the bathroom, and Elena finally looks under Caroline’s scarf and sees the bite marks. Not only on her neck, but on her back. (And probably a few other places that Elena doesn’t see.) Of course, Caroline gets agitated and leaves the bathroom with a “leave me alone!” Leave Caroline Alone!
Elena finds Damon outside, and gives him a shove. “There is something seriously wrong with you,” she tells him. “You stay away from Caroline or I will go straight to her mother. The Sheriff.” Leave Caroline Alone! Ooh, coming from anyone other than Elena, Damon would NOT tolerate this treatment. He’d just bite her… or worse.
Of course, Elena’s lecture is the nail in Caroline’s coffin (maybe). Damon heads off, looking for her.
Elena finds Stefan contemplating some big pond/fountain thing. She tells him that she takes it all back about Damon–he’s messed up. Elena tells Stefan about Caroline’s bite marks, bruises, and general confusion.
Elena: You don’t look surprised.
Stefan: Um… I’m handling it.
Elena: Handling it? Stefan, you should be having him arrested.
COME ON, ELENA. You live in a world where Twilight exists. Put two and two together, here.
Stefan says that there are things that he wants to tell Elena, but he can’t. Can’t or won’t, Stefan? CAN’T OR WON’T?? He says he may never be able to tell her what’s going on. WHAT? That better not be true. There’s only so long that the secret-identity can be secret before it’s just redonk.
Stefan asks Elena to trust him. “Trust is earned,” she says. “I can’t just magically hand it over.” You go, girl! Stefan sees Damon leading Caroline away from the party, and rushes to stop whatever’s about to happen over there. It’s all very “Super-Man.” Sorry Lois, gotta fly!
Oh yeah, Vicki felt judged at the party, so she walked away in her jaundice-yellow dress, all the way to Elena’s house, where she makes out with Jeremy. Apparently Jeremy was the only person in the whole town who didn’t attend the Founders’ Party. Good thing, too, or he wouldn’t have been on makeout stand-by.
Damon is none too happy with Caroline. Maybe he didn’t clear her mind, after all. “I swear, I didn’t tell her,” Caroline says. “I just told her that you didn’t mean to hurt me.” Damon calms down, and walks behind Caroline, so she can’t see him. He hugs her, and smells her.
“You drive me crazy, you know that,” Damon says, kissing her neck and shoulders. “It’s okay. I forgive you.” It’s all very wonderfully creepy, and the music sets exactly the right headbanging-ish, eerie tone. (It’s “Believer” by Viva Voice, from an album very appropriately titled, “Get Yr Blood Sucked Out.”)
Damon puts his hand over Caroline’s heart, briefly. I like it when vampires take note of heartbeats. That’s something they don’t have!
“Unfortunately…” Damon says, still kissing Caroline’s neck. “I am so over you now.” And he bites her! Rawr! As he drinks her blood, he lowers her to the ground. And then… Damon falls back. CHOKE!
Yeah, because Caroline drank a glass full of vervain-champagne. Stefan steps out of the shadows and spirits Damon away. Caroline sees Damon’s amber crystal on the ground, and picks it up.
Somehow Damon managed to drink Caroline’s blood without spilling any of it, because his face isn’t messy. AND a few seconds later when Elena finds Caroline, Caroline’s white frock-thing is blood-free. Now, I can suspend my disbelief to a certain extent, but this is crazy-pants. Blood is messy stuff!
But whatever, that whole sequence was awesome. I could watch it over and over. (And I have, in the name of blogging.)
Elena asks Caroline what happened, and she says, “I’m fine,” over and over. But it’s not very convincing, because Caroline is hyperventilating. Elena gives her a comforting hug, which is what Stefan did for Elena at the end of last week’s episode. Pay it forward!
Stefan and Zach lock Damon up in the dungeon-basement vervain hot-house pot-house.
But wait, here comes the TWIST:
Mayor Lockwood, his bitch-wife, Caroline’s Sheriff-Mama and Reporter Logan all sit in the Founders’ House. They need Elena’s dad’s pocket watch because… Caroline’s mom knows that the “five bodies all drained of blood” were vampire victims. “They’ve come back,” Reporter-Logan intones. He’s also going to retrieve the watch, because… bow chicka wow wow with Aunt Jenna.
But wait… if they know about vampires, wouldn’t they also know that Stefan and Damon are… the original Salvatore brothers?
Those guys are REALLY going to wish that they’d thought of aliases.
Okay, that was it. Good times. Much to ponder. Namely… WHEN is Stefan going to drink some human blood? And WHEN is Elena going to find out that the Salvatore brothers are vampires? Sooner rather than later, I hope. On both fronts. Because I feel like we’re still waiting for something to HAPPEN here. But I’m enjoying the ride, so I can’t complain.
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