Breaking the rules of blogging with 2 entries! Kidding. There are no rules for blogging. Except spelling. Gud speeling iss importan. Anyway…
I was reading through Thomas Galvin’s recap (which ya’ll should do because they’re hysterical & also Neville the Corgipire is now featured and he may be the greatest addition ever. ) And he (Thomas, not Neville) made a mention of how the Gilbert’s and Bonnie’s mom knowing that Elena was the doppelganger all this time opens up a host of possibilities. So he basically ended by saying ” I was wondering how they were going to top this season. Well, I think I have my answer. Next season is the Season of the Humans … and no one knows who they can trust.”
Which sort of reminded me about this thing I mentioned on the I Heart TVD radio show last week (be sure to listen & discuss this week!). I’d been kind of appreciating this for awhile but it’s one of those random things that doesn’t really have an easy way to mention. I also don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way. Basically, we started S1 of TVD with Damon as the Big Bad. Then it was the Tomb vampires (sort of) though the underlying worry about Katherine was there. So in S2, we got Katherine. And she was the Big Bad. Until Elijah came along. And then Klaus.
And more than a fair number of recappers & bloggers started to wonder. How do you beat Klaus? Not in the sense of killing him but in writing a better villain. By the end of S2, TVD had ratcheted up the “Big Bad” quotient to bringing the world’s oldest vampire, who happens to be a hybrid, who can’t be killed and is ridiculously good at getting the fans to fall in love with him. So how do you beat that? How do you beat the worst possible villain? And so we started to ask where they’d go next. We’ve proven that except for lucky bites, werewolves aren’t a real threat. Witches kind of suck at life on this show* and ghosts only have the power they’re given.
*There’s a win/loss aspect to the witches sucking on TVD. On the one hand, it prevents the show from veering into Evil!Willow territory, something that BtVS suffered from. Willow was a damn good witch, but as time went on, it seemed almost pointless to have Buffy around when Willow’s spells could take down bad guys. But on the other, having Bonnie be successful occasionally would be nice. Or even to allow her small spells, like spelling rings or learning how to uninvite people from homes could be beneficial. End tangent.*
You start to think that maybe the show has tapped out. That we’ll get one more season of the MF Scoobies trying to beat Klaus and then we’ll be stuck with villains who don’t quite measure up. And we knew that there were these hints of Ripper Stefan but I (and most others) assumed Stefan would be “bad” for an episode or 2 and then be back on the emo wagon of redemption. Then a girl’s head rolled off because Stefan ripped her to pieces & then PUT HER BACK TOGETHER LIKE A DAMN PUZZLE.
And we went huh, okay so Stefan might be interesting. A few episodes later & we watched him (albeit in a flashback) get a little darker. And it kept going. Stefan got darker. And in the process, Klaus stayed evil but he stopped being the top priority. Because Klaus got a little predictable. Defy him, he’ll kill you. But you have to defy him first. Stefan doesn’t have that requirement. He’s doing exactly what he wants. (Yes, there’s a little concern that last week’s flicker of humanity over Elena kissing Damon will bring us back to emo-Stefan but I doubt it. If anything, I think it will make Stefan more dangerous). The guy who was practically the hero of the story, became the villain. He became the scarier villain too. Klaus killing people is scary but we expect that. He’s supposed to be the bad guy. Stefan’s supposed to be the one we count on. And when that guy is looking but not seeing anything & willing to kill to prove a point? That guy becomes creepy as fuck.
That’s slowly getting to my point. Bringing back in what Thomas said about the humans, he noted as well in his recap that the little tidbit about Elena’s adoptive parents knowing she was the doppelganger opens up a host of other questions. And the thing is, we don’t know what that makes the Gilberts. They could have been trying to protect Elena but they could also have been a lot more devious than we realized. (For that matter, who says they’re really dead?)
Instead of a bigger, badder villain, once again, TVD opens us up to the possibility that the real villains are the people you put your trust in every day. We all know about the things that go bump in the night. But what happens when that evil is the one who tucked you into bed at night, kissed away the pain and made your favorite cookies?
That’s the thing I love about the Vampire Diaries. They haven’t said let’s keep outdoing ourselves on bad guys so that by the time we get to S5, we’re stuck with having to create out own Adam. They’ve taken our preconceived notions about characters and flipped them completely. It is almost as if the show is saying that everyone has evil within them, we’re going to bring it out. It’s not about the bigger villain, it’s about the villain that’s the bigger priority.
This fascinates me. Not only because it makes me hope that someday Elena will snap (I want to see a darker side to Elena so bad) but because of so much more. When the bad guy comes from within, we get the chance for more history. Bringing Elena’s parents into this opens the possibility for so many more details and answers to questions. And it also weaves the story more tightly together. I’m a big fan of the small world concept and I’ve always appreciated fantasy stories that imply the same thing. There might be a wide variety of supernatural creatures but the ones who influence history, the ones who matter…that group is very small indeed. So to dig deeper, not wider with the story is awesome. It emphasizes that there was no accident or happenstance in the founding of Mystic Falls. This really makes me appreciate this show even more. Sure there are mistakes in the writing but as a whole, this show is damn good at weaving their stories together. Hell, take the moonstone & Mayan curse. That whole thing was terrible. TERRIBLE. And everyone knew it. So TVD flipped it. Said it was all a hoax and that the curse was something else entirely, something far worse. Now it could have been planned this way all along. But if you go back and watch S2, you can’t tell either way. Even if the new curse was a late in the game change to a better story, all of the previous episodes still support the new curse. There’s an awareness of the stories and characters that allows TVD to do things many shows wouldn’t attempt.
I went a little off topic for a minute there. What can I say? It happens when talking about The Vampire Diaries. The point is that I love the way TVD isn’t interested in outdoing themselves in a broad sense. They’re outdoing themselves on a deeper level. Fleshing out stories, interweaving characters, bringing to light seemingly innocuous details. It’s just one of the many reasons I love this show. And I can’t wait to see who the next priority villain will be. *
*I also can’t wait to hear that The Originals are getting their own spinoff show because obviously this needs to happen.*