I think tonight's episode was named after the Dylan Thomas poem and was a very appropriate name. That poem is the stuff sadness is made of and so was this episode. I have thoughts! Lots of them. (I also had tears. Lots of them.)
I like this show, but this season has been frustrating. I think some of the weaknesses in the writing I was able to overlook before have just been so front and center and irritating. Tonight was a mixed bag. I thought Alaric's death was so well done, it was poignant and affecting. TVD can really hit the right emotional notes when it needs to. On the other hand, the Tyler/Caroline/Klaus stuff felt rushed and stupid and confusing when there was so much potential for good story there.
This season has really revolved around the triangle and I guess after Elena gives into her passionate feelings for Damon on their road trip, she needed to remember why she'd loved Stefan. I think this episode was about Elena remembering the Stefan she'd fallen in love with to begin with and also served as an obvious reminder to the audience of the same thing. It's really been the first time with Elena that Stefan was back to being like the Stefan he was before everything happened. There was so much....I don't know bittersweetness to it that really appealed to me. I don't really have a side in the triangle, I seem to enjoy whatever couple the show is choosing to give me at the moment. Strangely though, I think I've enjoyed Stefan/Elena on the whole more this season when in the past I enjoyed Damon/Elena more. I did think that moment where Elena said she had no one was overkill, since she has tons of people! But whatever.
Iris and I have talked about this season's heavy emphasis on choice/free will and consequences and this episode fed into that so much that I don't even know where to start. You have Elena choosing between Stefan and Damon (lol), Bonnie saying there is always a choice when Damon delivers an ~apology that should have got him slapped, and of course Alaric choosing not to turn....and then both Bonnie and Alaric seemingly being stripped of their choice. (I'm a little confused on what's going on with Bonnie.) Since this is always one of the more interesting ideas on supernatural shows it works for me...but...I feel like the evidence mounting for Elena turning is so huge. I just hope I'm looking at this with my tunnel vision and that I'm wrong, because I don't know where the show goes after that. But there's also a part of me that feels like it would be a little bit of a relief because things like Damon and Stefan so easily turning Bonnie's mom wouldn't happen if Elena was a vampire. And maybe that's been part of their goal with all of this.
Esther fashioning Alaric into a weapon of mass destruction was interesting because it gave the show a chance to revisit why maybe we should consider that killing all the vampires is a good idea. The show will never endorse it, Elena was talking about killing the good and the bad (but who is really good? maybe Caroline) BUT it should be a consideration. And I guess maybe we'll get that through Bonnie a little bit, but I wish with all my heart they'd let Elena be tempted by the idea. Whatever happens and whatever choice they make impacts far more than their world in Mystic Falls. But it's like they don't even give any consideration to that. I like that Alaric felt guilty over his complicity with the vampires living, because I think that's a normal response. And for him to have two personalities emerge in order to deal with the cognitive dissonance of his hatred for vampires and his new found friendship with them could have been one of the better storylines on the show, but they kind of gave him an out with Esther brainwashing him I guess. (in rewatching the earlier episodes of the season, I noticed that Alaric goes to the Council and insists on joining as Team Human after Damon kills him. So the show did a nice job in setting this up) Also, with Esther saying she was talking to him on the other side...is that the explanation for why the ring was taking longer to work?
Alaric choosing to die and telling Elena that caring for her and Jeremy was the closest he came to the life he'd always wanted was SAD. Because all the things that are not said is that he never got the life he wanted. It was being cut too short, etc. And then Bonnie coming at the end to ensure his change was the twist but kind of cheapened how beautifully done his death was!
Also I loved Jeremy, just being a normal human person.
Tyler making fun of Klaus's drawings was funny, but also irrationally irritating to me that the show has been just so lazyyyy with Caroline's story line. The Klaus/Caroline story could have been really interesting, but instead they took the easiest, cheesiest possible route and then make fun of themselves for it. But I don't know, maybe it will come back in the future. Caroline telling Tyler she loved him was sweet, ngl my shipper heart loved it, but to be honest, the Tyler/Caroline in the episode mostly fell flat for me, their storyline is all...I don't know how to say it, all structure no depth? Like Caroline telling Tyler she loved him was an anticipated moment, something you knew they were building to, and while sweet was just kind of...there. Also Tyler offering to die makes me think he will most likely NOT die. (fingers crossed!)
Unpopular opinion but I like Klaus best when he's yelling at his mother. He sounds like a spoiled brat and it gives me these spoiled prince vibes. Klaus should lose his temper more often and do big vicious things because he can. Then he would be scary.
Also loved Damon telling Klaus that Stefan already has a brother. :)
Alright, I know I've posed this theory of Elena turning at season's end before to disbelief here, but I do think it's a possibility. I'm going to give you reasoning now.
1) Last year, Elena would have turned to save her own life. She didn't want to become a vampire, so she didn't. This year, I think she would turn in order to HAVE a life (not be Klaus's blood bag) and to protect the people she loves.
2) The season has been SO HEAVY on the theme of choice. Three characters with significance have faced the choice to turn or not and each time it was given narrative weight.
3) Elena's humanity is a liability. This season it was shown with what Stefan and Damon did to save Bonnie's mother, but Caroline brought it up tonight to Matt as well. That means we are supposed to be thinking about this, imo.
4) There's been a lot of emphasis on Elena, the normal human girl vs. Elena the girls who loves vampires. Which Elena will she choose, etc.
5) There is also this promotional poster.
6) Alaric's death means her last parental figure has died....losing innocence, growing up, etc.
Of course the other option is that Elena will tell both Salvatore brothers to get out of dodge and she will try to reclaim her human life. Whatever happens, I feel like the show is building to a finale where Elena and Bonnie both will make huge choices and this past episode did nothing to erase that feeling.
Please tell me what you thought about the episode! What do you think the show is building towards? Did you enjoy Stefan/Elena? Did you cry?
Nikita and Gossip Girl and Men Telling Women Stuff About Themselves
I loved last week's Nikita a lot, because it delved into Nikita: the not so pretty side. And also her issues of self-perception. And Nikita is a really fascinating character to me in a lot of ways, I think there's really interesting stuff on the show about her and how she relates to the ideas of more traditional roles, i.e. being a mother. She's so maternal, and yet abhors the thought of motherhood, Michael's son calling her "the gun lady" was one of the more heartbreaking moments on the show for me. (and also one of the most brilliant because it said SO MUCH)
Anyway, there was a scene at the end of the episode where Nikita had just been tortured and was thinking about how she was an evil person who had enjoyed hurting someone once. And she says some stuff to Michael that wasn't very nice and when she goes to apologize to him for it, he says that he knows she didn't say those things because she doesn't love him, but because she doesn't love herself, but he was willing to teach her. I actually loved the moment and thought it was really sweet and earned.
Then I was watching Gossip Girl this week (yeah yeah I know) and the end scene with Dan and Blair felt really similar. On Gossip Girl it was a bit different, though, because I feel like they've been telling this story about Blair for seasons now, and that they were telling a very specific story with Dan and Blair (that has sort of proved true, it's both more explicit on the show than I thought it would be and not executed as well as I'd hoped). Anyway Blair sort of ruins a big moment for Dan out of her own insecurity about her place in life and later tells Dan she feels like she's lost herself and so he tells her how wonderful she is and how no one can take that away from her, etc. So this scene was also expected. But it made me think of the scene on Nikita and how both shows had these really affirming moments for their female leads come from the men in their lives and I saw some fan reaction that was less than thrilled by this. But..I don't know, it doesn't bother me? I think if their sense of self-worth was completely wrapped up in how their boyfriends saw them it would bother me more, but instead I feel like these are supposed to be healing moments. And that's kind of how life works, as the saying for addicts goes it's in relationships we are broken, so it's in relationships we must heal. Having someone love you and believe you is not really a bad thing. And being loved by someone you love is fantastic! Anyway, please tell me if I'm wrong or what you think about this, because I'm curious and wanting to discuss.