Friday, October 29, 2010

The Vampire Diaries "Masquerade" Review

It has come to my attention that I should attach spoiler warnings to any review. While one would think the word "review" implies discussing important plot points and developments, one would be wrong. So, if you like the show then watch the episode before reading this.

The Vampire Diaries is one of the few shows on television that would actually kill off their big bad in the 7th episode of the season. The first half of the episode sold the idea that Katherine was going to die. And the writers of TVD earned it after a first season in which fans learned that anything and everything could happen. No character is safe on this show besides Elena, Stefan and Damon. This kind of risky storytelling is refreshing. The intensity begins the first second of the teaser and doesn't end until the last frame of the episode. The narrative moves at a blistering pace. "Plan B" cleary showed what Katherine was capable of and the threat she is to the characters. The characters acknowledge how dangerous Kat is and decide to kill her. TVD doesn't devote one or two episodes to developing a plan to kill the big bad. TVD spends a teaser and the first act to the plan followed by the execution of the plan in the second act. Friends and well-wishers, the pacing of the storytelling is completely awesome.

"Masquerade," the title of the latest episode, was co-written by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec--the showrunners of The Vampire Diaries. "Masquerade" is the best kind of transitional episode. It moved the story into the second act of the season while resolving (or, actuallly, stashing) some arcs from the first seven episodes of the season.

The A story belonged to the plot to kill Katherine. Stefan, Damon, Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy and Alaric worked as a unit to ensure the successful execution of their plan. Elena was left out of the loop but she soon forced her way into the loop (and good thing she did). Katherine, as she warned last week, as many plans in her pocket. Considering she has trust issues with the Salvatore brothers, she got a witch to put a nasty spell on Elena. Whatever Katherine feels, Elena would feel. Once Caroline successfully led Kat into the room, and the staking and stabbings began, the pain began for Elena. Jeremy rushed upstairs and stopped Damon right before a stake to the heart, explaining that Elena experiences each wound that Katherine has. Unable to hurt the big bad, Stefan and Damon talked to her. Stefan soon found out the importance of the moon stone to her. He surmised that Katherine ran from someone or something in 1864. Katherine neither confirmed or denied, only mouthing "I love you" to Stefan after telling him that she would check in on him through the years. Damon tried to kill her again before Stefan reminded him of the spell. And, so, the three sat in a room they couldn't get out of.

Meanwhile, Lucy (the witch Kat had) used a spell to get the moon stone from Bonnie. The two witches (actually cousins) had an understanding (because of the powers) that something good would happen. Lucy delivered the moonstone to Katherine but not without a full serving of intense witch mojo, rendering Katherine unconscious. Lucy explained to the Salvatore brothers that the spell was broken and the two were free to kill Katherine. As Lucy walked to her car, Bonnie begged for some answers about her power, worried that she's caught in the middle. Lucy promises that Bonnie belongs in the middle and that the two will see each other again.

Stefan meets up with Elena for possible reconciliation and he fails. Shortly after, as she walks to her car, a masked person kidnaps her.

In the B story, Tyler finally transformed into a werewolf. Katherine didn't explain why she need a werewolf by her side or why she wants to break the curse, only saying that Mason wasn't the lone werewolf in Mystic Falls. Matt tried his best to get killed by his best friend but Caroline completely owned Matt and took him down. Kat had a backup plan. The girl who fell down the stairs stabbed Tyler. Tyler pushed her hard enough that her neck snapped as she hit a desk. And the transformation commenced.

I've had a few issues with the season but The Vampire Diaries is an entertaining show and usually delivers some truly awesome episodes. The last three episodes have been fantastic.

Some other thoughts:

-Nina Dobrev is awesome. If TV shows had a Most Valuable Actress & Actor award, Nina Dobrev is the current favorite to win the award. Katherine's my second favorite badass female vampire since Julie Benz's Darla.

-Katherine told Damon that she couldn't kill Elena because she needs to protect her doppleganger. That is a wait and see plot point. I don't have much to write about it.

-The Bonnie/Jeremy coupling began. It has potential.

-Charles Beeson directed the episode.

SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY

Sleepy Hollow--Written By Andrew Kevin Walker and Tom Stoppard (based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving)-- http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/sleepy-hollow_shooting.html

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.