Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Vampire Diaries "I Alone" Review

Kai arrives in the Mystic Falls/Whitmore part of Virginia with murder in his heart. Ah, ‘tis always the season. The Vampire Diaries’ writers still move their necessary exposition and plodding plot quickly. Jo deduces that Damon compelled Alaric to steal the Ascendant. Elena quickly learns Damon compelled Alaric, which leads to her storming out of the Salvatore mansion before forgetting the matter and instead deciding to apologize for wiping her memories of him-‘they’re only half-mine.’ How un-solipsistic. Solipsism and loneliness, or alone-ness, have a direct relationship. The unendurable “I.” Aloneness is a thing in “I Alone.” Of course-it’s in the title. People are alone at the end, or about to be alone, or afraid to be alone. Kai’s driven because he was cursed to exist as “I.” His father kept nothing around him except reminders of his murders.

Bonnie’s the lone character alone by episode’s end. Damon and Elena used the Ascendant to travel to hell 1994 with the purpose of rescuing her. Damon and Elena fail because of Kai. Liv and Tyler bring the duo back after Kai’s attempted murder of Liv. Elena freaks. Damon wants to murder Kai. Neither does much in retaliation. Kai sets Elena on fire, which isn’t even a thing. Kai then sets about murdering some Mystic Falls people after Damon throws him across the border. The most Kai does afterwards is enlist Tyler in his services, which is a thing villains do with Tyler. Klaus made Tyler his evil lap dog; Klaus 2.0, of course, will follow suit. Earlier, Tyler swore to protect Liv.

Speaking of characters eating their words, Alaric swears to Jo that Damon wouldn’t compel him to betray her. Alaric believes in his friendship with Damon. Damon, though a monster, psycho-and-sociopathic, and selfish, wouldn’t dare mess with his friend’s mind and his new, exciting relationship. Alaric’s only scenes involve disbelief and then angry outburst about the stupidity of his disbelief. Yes, Alaric realizes, it makes sense Damon would betray his trust and their friendship because of his motivations. Damon’s right to tell him he didn’t let Kai out. Kai had already escaped and murdered a taxi driver near Whitmore’s campus. Alaric could’ve said, “That’s not the point.” Instead, he punched Damon several times.

“I Alone” didn’t have a specific focus. The story’s scattered among the characters. Damon and Elena want Bonnie home. Alaric and Jo think the worst about Damon. Tyler swears to protect Liv. Jeremy correctly disbelieves the news about Bonnie’s impending return to Mystic Falls. Matt and Enzo hang out while Stefan learns the new Salvatore girl isn’t a Salvatore girl. Caroline doesn’t appear. The strongest of the four stories is Stefan’s. The Monique reveal didn’t need over two months worth of build. I expected a catch after Stefan compelled her. Maybe she was a secret Bennett witch; however, she dies. Enzo kills her. Stefan compels her to forget the Salvatore name. Monique wanted a family, but Stefan wants no one to know of his remaining family member. Enzo wants to know, though. Enzo’s a difficult character. He’s essentially a less funny season four Spike, predictably unpredictable, and without the funny chip in his head. Enzo’s the wild card. Wild cards do anything. Writers may use wild cards for any pointlessly plotty purpose. Enzo wants to kill the other living Salvatore family member? Sure. He’s a specific threat to Stefan because Stefan wanted to kill him for killing Ivy, his tertiary girlfriend. There’s belabored action in the Stefan/Monique/Enzo/Matt story. Stefan orders milkshakes. The noise of the milkshake machine prevents Enzo from hearing Stefan’s plan to take her from the diner because he knows she’s lying. Matt and Enzo catch up to the two after Monique finishes her most disappointing story about why she lied. Enzo snaps her neck after Stefan won’t tell him the truth.

The neck-snapping incident snaps off a piece of tolerance in Matt. Matt, whose life has been ruined by vampires and other supernatural folk, stops forgiving the undead for their brazenly brutal murders of people. Tripp, his deceased mentor for a couple episodes, killed by Enzo, had crazy ideas, but Matt zeroes in on one he likes: vampires think human lives matter less. Matt doesn’t agree. He sees Stefan as a different shade of Enzo. They share a nature, an essence, and a loose code. Stefan’s more upstanding, thoughtful, but he let Monique die. Matt perceives a threat: Enzo. He asks Jeremy to help him kill him. Jeremy wanted to drink more after he learned Bonnie would not return from hell 1994. The beginning of the episode showed Jeremy, two weeks free from drink, beating his sister in an early day run. Jeremy seems down for the Enzo plans. People need purpose.

So, there are several things happening, a major threat, and a minor threat, along with the potential for romance and love between characters. “I Alone” sets up the final episodes of 2014.

Other Thoughts:

-Damon made more pancakes topped with blueberries; Elena added the whipped cream. Elena heard Damon tell of his daily stops at the Gilbert front porch, swinging in the swing with Bonnie, because he thought it as close to a picture of Elena he’d have. The Gin Blossoms played while they eat pancakes. Ian and Nina do work well together.

-Ian’s reaction to Kai’s magic in the forest was funny. There’s only so many ways to react to magic head pains. The reaction reminded me of my own poor acting.

-If only our lives were accompanied by contemporary emotional pop music. Bonnie races to the front porch for rescue. She doesn’t find them. She sits, sad, on the front step, as contemporary pop rock croons a lonely song about feeling lonely.

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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.