Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Vampire Diaries "Our Town" Review

Why the hell is this episode titled "Our Town"? There were pseudo-funerals, villain vs. villain nonsense, and a Founder's Fundraiser for Restoration of a bridge. I haven't made the connection between the title and the thematic elements of the episode. The episode was about transformation, rebirth, a metaphorical resurrection, and change. No character exhibited any town pride during the hour. I am perplexed, friends and well-wishers.

I'd describe the tone of "Our Town" as melancholic. Upon seeing Elena's "Happy Birthday, Caroline!!!" sign complete with decorative materials, I assumed there'd be a massive party full of people we've never seen before nor will see again (because they are EXTRAS). Instead of a party, a pseudo-funeral happened. Caroline didn't feel celebratory, because she technically died months ago. The aging process ended. Caroline lamented the fact that she'd be 17 for the rest of her life. The girl wanted to wallow, already broken-hearted about Tyler, and so her friends took her to a mausoleum. Elena orchestrated the pseudo-funeral to help Caroline embrace her current existence. Matt, Bonnie and Elena celebrated the old Caroline as well as the new, and then the drinking began.

Elena identified with the pseudo-funeral she orchestrated. Perhaps I was a little slow tonight, but the penultimate scene of "Our Town" surprised me. For some reason, I thought the heroine wouldn't lament her former life in the same way a supporting character lamented her life. Despite the reminders of the car-crash that started everything, I was taken unawares by the scene on the bridge, between Elena and Matt, wherein they bid farewell to the old Elena. Elena felt detached from the girl she used to be, which isn't anything new, because we met this detached Elena in the "Pilot." Matt told his friend that she's better than she thinks she is. The most significant scene of the episode happened between her and Stefan. Stefan, in his efforts to control Klaus, took Elena on a car ride. This car ride wasn't a joy ride. Stefan used the former love of his life to scare Klaus into ridding Mystic Falls of his hybrids. He threatened to drive the car off the infamous bridge, which would kill Elena, and with his blood in her, turn her into a vampire. Klaus needs Elena to make hybrids (her blood is the key), so he stopped Stefan moments before the car flew off of the bridge and into the river below.

Elena hadn't felt so betrayed in her life. She forgave Stefan for the shitty things he did whilst under the control of Klaus because he was under the control of Klaus. The car ride from hell was different. Stefan knew about the bridge, the car crash, her parent's death, her near death. Stefan actually saved her life that day. Elena wanted to know if he cared about what she thought of him now, but Stefan flatly told her that he didn't care at all. Stefan then drove off, leaving Elena alone where her parents died. Stefan's actions was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak, which is why she returned to bid farewell to her former life. Elena needed to bid farewell to Stefan.

Caroline's birthday took a turn for the worst when Tyler bit her in the neck; a werewolf bite is fatal to a vampire. Klaus swooped in to save the day. The master manipulative executed his greatest manipulation yet. The scene between Caroline and Klaus was the best part of the episode. Joseph Morgan and Candice Accola displayed terrific chemistry (those two don't have the chemistry that Dobrev and Somerhalder have though). Caroline dealt with an existential crisis of sorts. The series never dwelled on Caroline's vampiric nature; she simply turned and adapted, with help from Stefan in "Brave New World." Klaus not only saved her life, he also gave her valuable perspective and convinced her to live. I thought it was an excellently written and acted. I dare say there were moments of beauty in the dialogue, because of the tenderness between the vampires.

Some other thoughts:

-Damon was suave when he insisted to Elena that him and her as a couple was right, just not right now. Damon spoke those words after Elena told him that she couldn't kiss him again. The man didn't go all Dawson on her. He just delivered an excellent line.

-I forgot to mention Meredith Fell last week. She's the newest character in TVD, a relative of Logan Fell, and potential love interest of Alaric. The episode ended at the scene of a murder. Someone killed the man Meredith wanted to kill. In an earlier scene, the dude told Alaric that Meredith is psychotic. So it's fair to speculate Meredith killed the dead man in the woods.

-It now occurs to me that "Our Town" probably refers to vampires i.e. Stefan wanted the hybrids gone because Mystic Falls is the vampires' town.

-Rebecca Sonnenshine wrote "Our Town." Wendy Stanzler directed it.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our Town is a play where a dying girl says goodbye to the people in her town.

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