Seasons of television are usually broken into three-acts.
Tonight, the first act of the second season of The Vampire Diaries concluded. While the episode offered some resolution to the first ten episodes of the season, the episode mainly focused on setting the arcs for the second act of the season which begins in the new year. For the most part, "By the Light of the Moon" as a bookend to the first act of the season and a harbinger for things to come; however, the episode struggled as an individual episode.
The reason why the episode struggled is because the writers wanted to address a plethora of storylines and that led to a lack of cohesion. Elena dealt with Elijah, who revealed his true motives while Bonnie tried to destroy the moonstone with Luca who intentionally deceived Bonnie with the spell and then stole the moonstone for his father who works for Elijah. Damon and Alaric teamed up to trail the new girl in town who befriended Mason Lockwood some time ago. Stefan and Katherine dealt with sexual tension in the tomb. Caroline helped Tyler through his first werewolf transformation.
The scenes were good. Some of them dragged or felt pointless like the Katherine/Stefan scenes until the two talked about Klaus and Isobel but, of course, the story ended once it became interesting. Some scenes had that trademark Vampire Diaries intensity like the entirety of the Tyler/werewolf transformation as well as the Elena/Elijah scenes. Others were entertaining like the Mystic Grille with Damon, Alaric and Jules the Werewolf. Anytime Damon stupidly picks a fight with someone who's dangerous and will harm him never fails to entertain. Unfortunately, nothing united the scenes besides the fact that each story had been building since the premiere. Oh well.
The central arc of the season (with Elijah, Klaus and the originals) has certainly become more interesting since I railed against it a few weeks ago. The new characters have been good additions to the series. The more depth Elijah gets, the more interesting he becomes. Elijah revealed to Elena that the originals devoted to Klaus fear the vampire more than respect him. The fear causes forced devotion. Elijah has no interest killing Elena's friends and forcing her to Klaus because Elijah wants to use her as bait to draw Klaus into his web and defeat him. Of course, it's a power play by Elijah. Once Klaus is killed, won't Elijah want to spill the blood of the Petrova doppelganger so that he can walk in the sunshine? The thing about deals with evil vampires is, the deal always has a catch that will be revealed during a sweeps month that shocks the audience. Elijah's certainly more interesting and certainly untrustworthy. Elena's a smart girl so I doubt she immediately trusts Elijah completely. I look forward to how the arc plays out.
Meanwhile, a full moon finally happened in Mys
tic Falls. First and foremost, werewolves are lame. The only cool werewolf in history is Buffy's Oz, and Joss was smart enough to barely turn the man into a wolf. The werewolf transformation on TVD has more suffering and pain than the usual werewolf story but werewolves are lame--no way around that part. Tyler's transformation's only purpose, seemingly, is to bring he and Caroline closer. But soon the guy will learn about how his uncle died and how many friends of his were involved in his death. Caroline will eventually need to avoid him when the full moon happens and he KNOWS. Also, the character development was sorely needed for Tyler. Besides the fact that werewolves are lame, Tyler's arc has been worthwhile.
The episode reminded me of the third season of Dawson's Creek for the second consecutive week. Rose and Damon continued their hook-up. Rose said that she will be Damon's special friend. Jen and Pacey came to a similar agreement despite Pacey's evolving infatuation with the Potter girl. One can only hope Rose, Damon, Stefan and Elena take dance classes together where a falling out will happen. Also, the fight that Damon picked with Jules led to Rose getting bit. Any time a character gets injured, heals and thinks it is nothing then the injury will become much worse. Rose starts to have a bad time after the bite. But, like many of the happenings in the episode, it ends as soon as it becomes interesting. Oh, winter hiatus you rascal.
After the show spent so much time on werewolves and Katherine, it felt rewarding to gain further insight into the process of transformation as well as the secrets of Katherine. She's becoming less of a big bad and more of an open book, more of a softie. But hopefully the badass Katherine returns in the near future.
All in all, the episode really wanted to build momentum for act II and it did. Mike Daniels wrote the episode. Elizabeth Allen directed it.
The Vampire Diaries doesn't return until the 27th of January.
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