Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

Triquetra
I write about vampires. A lot.

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries…

Tripp Fell’s Van of Free Candy and Homicide

Ivy: Okay, I might have been captured by a psychotic, murderous, torture-porn loving butthole, but at least I can use my super vampire powers to escape!

Tripp Fell: Welcome to Mystic Falls!

Ivy: Goddamit. Dies.

Mausoleum of Murder

Stefan Salvatore: Damon! My long five-espisode lost lover brother! How are you here?

Damon Salvatore: Well, the producers backed up a dumptruck full of cash, and it turns out I really like being rich!

Dorm Rooms of Doom

Caroline Forbes: Damon’s back!

Elena Gilbert: Oh my! Who could have foreseen his inevitable return, mere moments after I forced Alaric to remove my love for him!

Caroline Forbes: Literally everybody?

Mausoleum of Murder

Stefan Salvatore: Hey, what about your best friend Bonnie?

Damon Salvatore: Who? What? Can’t talk have to sex now but it was great catching up with you!

Stefan Salvatore: Yeah, about that …

Saltzman’s School of Witchcraft and Whatthefuckery

Elena Gilbert: No I don’t want you to restore my love for Damon! He’s a self-centered, murdering, psychotic douchecannon with a mullet and crazy eyes!

Alaric Saltzman: Elena, that’s … all true, actually. But you’ve forgotten the good parts!

Elena Gilbert: What good could possibly balance out the fact that he murdered my brother right in front of me?

Alaric Saltzman: Well, sometimes he self-centeredly murders our enemies because it also benefits him!

Elena Gilbert: … I have to go give a bunch of sick children my blood now.

Alaric Saltzman: Yeah, speaking of crazy trauma surgeons who can’t be compelled …

Castle Salvatore

Sarah: Hi Jeremy! I have a premium account on Ancestry.com and I was hoping you could explain why every single Salvaore descendent except me seems to be cloned from the same two guys!

Jeremy Gilbert: Sorry, I have to go beat the shit out of Damon for some reason. Vampire-hunter roid rage FTW!

Tripp Fell’s Pit of Despair

Enzo: Hi Matt! How about you help me escape?

Matt Donovan: Yeah, I’m thinking no. I mean, if Stefan turned you over to Tripp, you must be a bad guy!

Enzo: Really? You’re letting Stefan goddamn Salvatore dictate morality now? Stefan, who goes on a murder bender every couple of decades? Stefan, the world’s most accomplished serial killer? Stefan, who murdered his brother’s fake girlfriend and then spent the summer traveling the country with an abominable vampire/werewolf hybrid, causing chaos and despair at every dive bar and sorority house on the Eastern seaboard? Stefan, who slept with Elena without telling her the only reason he was interested was the fact that she was a magical clone of his first girlfriend? Stefan, who spent a token five minutes searching for his brother before running off, getting himself an Asian girlfriend, and settling down for some nice barroom masochism? That Stefan?

Matt Donovan: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, he’s got great hair and really broody eyebrows, so who am I to judge?

Enzo: Okay, if you don’t let me out of here I’m going to tell Tripp that Elena, Stefan, and Caroline are vampires, that Tyler is a not-werewolf, the Liv is a witch, that Alaric is an alcoholic, and that you’re best friends with every supernatural baddie that’s come across these borders.

Matt Donovan: So, do you want to leave now, or …

Saltzman’s School of Witchcraft and Whatthefuckery

Matt Donovan: Hi guys! So I kind of need your help breaking Enzo out of Tripp’s trap!

Alaric Saltzman: How did Tripp even capture Enzo? He’s a powerful, skilled vampire, a nightmare made flesh, a terror in a tight, stripped tee!

Stefan Salvatore: Yeah, that was me. Sorry.

Caroline Forbes: Stefan! I am very angry at you for being mean to my not-boyfriend who also killed your lover!

Stefan Salvatore: I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get past that.

Dorm Rooms of Doom

Damon Salvatore: Hi Elena! My penis and I would like to have a heartfelt conversation with you!

Elena Gilbert: Sorry, I have to go empty out some bedpans and make out with that guy that nobody likes! Later!

Whitmore College of Carnage

Elena Gilbert (on the phone): Stefan I’m worried that seeing Damon will make me remember when I was happy and that will make me not happy and being an adult is hard!

Stefan Salvatore (on the phone): Yeah, I know what you mean. I much prefer running away, assuming a new identity, and banging hot Asian chicks.

Hospital of Horrors

Elena Gilbert: Hi Dr. Jo! Do you like vervain in our coffee?

Dr. Jo: Subtlety is kinda lost on you, isn’t it?

Tripp Fell’s Overlord Office

Sarah: Hi Matt! What are you doing on Tripp Fell’s computer?

Matt Donovan: I am looking at porn and very certainly not researching vampires and plots to kill them!

Saltzman’s School of Witchcraft and Whatthefuckery

Alaric Saltzman: Hi Damon! How’s it going!

Damon Salvatore: Well let’s see. I got stuck in a grunge band video for six months, got so stir crazy that Bonnie started looking like a valid relationship option, got doused in vervain, set on fire, and shot with an arrow by a not-witch baby murderer, clawed my way back to reality, discovered that my mansion is now surrounded by a magic field of vampires can go fuck themselves, learned that my brother skipped town, and found out that you compelled the love of my life into hating me. On the other hand your taste in bourbon is fantastic.

Alaric Saltzman: In my defense, free will is stupid and I’m not going to give Elena her memories back until she uses her free will to tell me to do so.

Forest of Fear

Caroline Forbes: So let me get this straight: you didn’t want Enzo to rat us out to the vampire hunting psychopath that’s elected himself Mystic Fall’s Vigilante in Chief, so you hunted him down, shot him with a stake cannon, and then turned him over to the vampire hunting psychopath that’s elected himself Mystic Fall’s Vigilante in Chief?

Stefan Salvatore: When you put it like that, it makes me sound kind of dumb!

Caroline Forbes: Also, Tripp Fell murdered your girlfriend again.

Stefan Salvatore: Thank god!

Tripp Fell’s Pit of Despair

Stefan Salvatore: Hi Enzo, I’m here to … see that you’ve already escaped without me.

Hospital of Horrors

Dr. Jo: Hi Elena! Would you like to explain why all of these charts I had you work up say “RX: one mouthful of tasty tasty blood, drawn from my dainty wrist?”

Elena Gilbert: I’m a vampire!

Dr. Jo: Yeah, I figured that out. Also tell Alaric I’m down for a booty call.

Dorm Rooms of Doom

Jeremy Gilbert: Hi Damon! I’m going to kill the shit out of you, but before I do, why didn’t Bonnie come back?

Damon Salvatore: If I told you she found her peace and went to heaven and was definitely not being perpetually reincarnated along with a psychotic kid-killer who has nothing better to do but torment her for all of eternity, would that make you feel better?

Jeremy Gilbert: Not really!

Tripp Fell’s Overlord Office

Sarah: Wow, Tripp Fell sure does have an extensive collection of records concerning rabid puma attacks and hostile squirrel incursions!

Matt Donovan: And Ivy’s phone. Which lists Stefan as “That jerkhole who didn’t tell me he was a vampire” and Caroline as “That vampire hussy who has nice dresses that fit me.”

Caroline Forbes (on the phone): Hi Matt! Any interesting developments?

Dorm Rooms of Doom

Bonnie Bennett (on the phone): Hi Damon! I can’t come to the phone right now, because I made a terrible, terrible mistake that got me trapped in 1994! Leave me a message!

Damon Salvatore: Hi Bonnie! Miss you tons. Also probably gonna have to kill the Gilbert kid again. Anyway, I’m gonna go try to sex that girl who hates me. Later!

Tripp Fell: Hi Damon! I have a vervain dart gun!

Damon Salvatore: Hi Tripp! I have the supernatural speed and reflexes necessary to grab that dart right out of the air and throw it back in your face!

Thug One: If only you also had the supernatural hearing to notice us sneaking up behind you!

Thug Two: And shoot you in the back with our vervain dart guns!

Damon Salvatore: Fucking internal consistency.

Ten minutes later

Elena Gilbert: Of course! I finally agree to talk to Damon, and he stands me up. And did he leave me a note? Of course not! He just left his crushed cell phone, a pile of vervain needles, some broken furniture, and other signs of a struggle! How rude!

Alaric Saltzman: Um, Elena …?

Saltzman’s School of Witchcraft and Whatthefuckery

Dr. Jo: Hi Alaric! I want to have stern words with you about our mutually supernatural natures!

Alaric Saltzman: Yeah, I’d love to, but I have to rush off to save my vampire best friend, who just came back from purgatory but was captured by a group of vigilantes led by the last heir of the town founders, who are right now dragging him back to an anti-magic border that will undo the spell that made him immortal, thus killing him in a far more complicated manner than just jamming a piece of wood through his heart. Wow, that’s convoluted.

Dr. Jo: Show’s been on for six seasons, man. You try keeping a story interesting and straight for six years.

Alaric Saltzman: Yeah, that’s all from like the past month.

Dr. Jo: Goddamn.

Tripp Fell’s Van of Free Candy and Homicide

Enzo: Hi Damon! Stefan’s angry because I murdered his girlfriend! That’s why we’re gonna die!

Damon Salvatore: It is incredible how manny of my issues are caused by Stefan’s girlfriends.

Highway to Hell

Caroline Forbes: Okay! So we’ve blocked off all three of the roads that lead into Mystic Falls, and now all we have to do is wait for Tripp Fell to drive up and inevitably foil our plans, because we are terrible at everything!

Elena Gilbert: I think I want to love Damon again!

Caroline Forbes: Like I said, terrible at everything!

Causway of Chaos

Alaric Saltzman: You know what? I’ve suddenly decided that being the most powerful character on this show is super lame!

Stefan Salvatore: Let’s see if we can make some terrible choices and fix that for you!

Tripp Fell: Hi guys! Looks like you’re having car troubles! Why don’t I come to a complete stop, so you can hear the screaming of the guys I have chained up in the back!

Alaric Saltzman: And why don’t I forget that I have super speed and super strength and let you overpower me and drag me across the border to Mystic Falls!

Damon Salvatore: Nope, that’s a bad plan.

Enzo: Supremely shitty, actually.

Stefan Salvatore: At least we’re all gonna die now!

Dr. Jo: No you’re not! You three can just walk across the border and become vampires again! But I’ll keep Alaric here for some reason! But it’s cool, he’s not gonna die, because I’m going to apply a band-aid to this fist sized hole where his heart used to be!

Alaric Saltzman: That’s great! But now that I’m not going to die from this wound, I won’t be a vampire anymore!

Elena Gilbert: That’s awesome! Except now who can make me remember my love for Damon?

Sarah: Actually, there are several solutions to this problem, including taking a brief trip across the border, like I did when you compelled me!

Elena Gilbert:

Stefan Salvatore:

Dr. Jo:

Alaric Saltzman:

Damon Salvatore: ….

Enzo:

Caroline Forbes: …Why don’t you shut your whore mouth, Sarah?

Matt Donovan: Also, your only living relatives are vampires, and kinda douchbags.

Jeremy Gilbert: God damn it! I’m trying to cancel Bonnie’s phone, but it’s set up to auto-bill my credit card!

Hospital of Horrors

Alaric Saltzman: Wow, not being able to vampire-heal sucks! But morphine is ~~~awesome!~~~

Dr. Jo: Who wants a sponge bath?

Bar Room of Bromance

Damon Salvatore: Hi Stefan! You sure did fuck up today, didn’t you?

Stefan Salvatore: Whatever. I have to go remind Caroline she has no chance with me.

Caroline Forbes: Too late! Swipe left!

Dorm Rooms of Doom

Damon Salvatore: Hi Elena! Ready to relive season four?

The Plot: Thickens.

Post Mortem

There are a bunch of rules you have to follow when writing a teleplay. Most networks dictate a five- or six- act structure, to leave room for commercial breaks. Every story needs an inciting incident, a lock-in, a midpoint, a culmination, and an end. Even the format of the script is set in stone, because the conventions used mean a page of a script is roughly equal to a minute of screentime.

But there’s one big, unspoken rule that nobody should ever forget: you have to watch the show you’re writing for.

More than that, you have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the characters you’re writing for, and the universe they inhabit. Because your fans definitely do. If you show that Staci has a peanut allergy in Season One, and have her chowing down on Snickers bars in Season Five, people are going to get angry.

That’s even more true within a single season, or within a single episode, and that’s why there was so much backlash against The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get. The problems introduced at the end of the episode just don’t work within the mythology that’s been established.

The issue with Alaric and the Mystic Falls border is annoying partly because it never should have gotten to that point. Alaric is was one of the most powerful characters on the show, orders of magnitude faster and stronger than the Salvatore brothers, who are orders of magnitude more formidable than any human. He’s also a trained fighter and vampire hunter. Someone with those capabilities should have disabled Tripp Fell in an instant, not latched onto his Van of Free Candy and Murder and gotten dragged a hundred feet.

His turning human was likewise frustrating. Are you really telling me Dr. Jo couldn’t drag him back across the border in time to save his unlife? Are you really telling me that she fixed a gaping chest wound by applying a couple of bandages and direct pressure?

The fact that he is human now, and can’t uncompell Elena, is also very easily solved:

  1. It’s been established that compulsion ends when a vampire is killed. Elena should have gotten her memories back the instant Alaric became human again.
  2. Let’s say for some reason that doesn’t work. It’s also been established that compulsion is broken by crossing the Mystic Falls border. All she has to do is hop over the town line and jump right back, and she’ll be back in homicidal lust with the man of her dreams. They know this, because one of the major plot points of the season is that Elena’s compulsion of Sarah was broken in this exact way. And Sarah is currently shacking up with Elena’s brother. It’s not like this is a secret.
  3. But maybe the compulsion turns back on once you leave Mystic Falls. We haven’t seen that, but it’s possible. The Originals showed us that a witch can uncompell a person. Liv is powerful enough to rend the veil between this world and the next; I’m pretty sure she can manage to do a little mind-dewhammying.
  4. For argument’s sake, let’s pretend Liv’s magic wand is broken. Elijah seems to feel pretty indebted to Elena for all of the havoc he unleashed in her life. He can probably take a few minutes out of his busy schedule of slaughtering werewolves that pose absolutely no threat to him to give her her memories back.

That, in a nutshell, is why Twitter went berserk Thursday night. See also Magic A is Magic A.

All that being said, there were a few moments I really liked.

I’ve been thinking about Stefan’s characterization, and it’s really starting to grow on me. It seems out of character for him to light all of his relationships on fire and skip town, but I’ve realized that this is probably the norm for him, not the exception.

The man has lived his life alone for a hundred and sixty some-odd years, and realistically, he’s going to have to leave town every decade or so, lest people become suspicious about his strangely youthful features. His only immortal friend was Lexi, and they never spent any long-term time together. Damon drifted in and out of his life at random. And worst of all, every once in a while Stefan would flip his switch and murder everyone around him.

The man has no experience building a real life. We’ve seen him trying in the show’s five-and-change seasons, but we’re only a little more than halfway through one of his decade-long cycles. At the start of this season, Damon and Lexi were both dead, and Elena had broken his heart. He had nothing left in Mystic Falls, and to a man that starts a new life every few years, getting away and starting over again would not only seem normal, it would probably be pretty attractive, too.

Stefan doesn’t know how to deal with grief. He doesn’t know how to have a family. All he knows is how to move on, so that’s what he did.

Caroline doesn’t have the same experience as Stefan, so she’s shocked and angry. But Stefan has probably left behind friends just as close as Caroline more than a dozen times now. Caroline is still besties with the girl she went to elementary school with. Stefan is an immortal, and the only constant in his life is death, the fact that people go away. See also Mayfly-December Romance and Mayfly-December Friendship.

I am, however, glad Caroline is standing up for herself. She’s as evil as everyone else, but at least she’s not a doormat.

Damon calling Bonnie was honestly adorable, and I would still much rather see those two together than retread Elena’s Magic Vajayjay. I’m still pretty certain that this will happen at some point, but not until Damon utterly destroys the laughable competition of that guy whose name I can’t remember.

Damon’s love for Elena is also perfectly selfish. He tells Alaric “I don’t want her to be happy, I want her to be happy with me,” and later, that becomes “I want her to be miserable, just like me.” Perfectly in character, and also another piece of evidence that everyone on this show is evil, through and through.

“He’s probably jealous of my accent” was a great line. I also love how casually Damon accepted that Enzo murdered Stefan’s girlfriend. She didn’t even have a last name, so who cares?

On to the next episode!

28 responses to “The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get”

  1. Cetacea says:

    Thank you for your great recap!!!!

    I loved that you pointed out that the fandom bothers more about plot holes than the writers! It was ridiculous.

    You think Damon is in character? Well, I got the feeling the writers turn him in stand-up comedian *rollseyes*. They also made him pull a Stefan with his lie about Bonnie.

    Stalker *some free advertising for KWs show*. Ok. Damon kind of proved his stalker abilities but it’s funny this was mentioned when it comes to Damon right away but has never been addressed to a certain other character. 😉

    “Damon’s love for Elena is also perfectly selfish….also another piece of evidence that everyone on this show is evil, through and through.”
    But those lines were perfect ’cause it made the characters kind of human 😉

    • thomas says:

      The show plays fast and lose with continuity sometimes, especially when it comes to vampire powers, but this was especially egregious. I’m really surprised that this made it out of the first read-through.

      Everyone still thinks of Stefan as the “good” brother, despite his occasional attrocities. First impressions are like that.

  2. Fiona says:

    Thank you so much for this recap! I’ve had read only the last 3 recaps of yours but all of them were hilarious. To me you are the brained trumped of a fandome the writers obviously confuse with brain damaged little girls who are only watching this show for incredible blue eyes, muscle-bound bodies and a chick flick-like love story. And maybe some do but most of them know the myth and remember all seasons.
    It’s an indictment for a several-seasons show like TVD to not only forget about character developments but about their own mythology.
    And hurray, there is another cure for vampirism! What is wrong with this writer team? I was forced to watch an entire season where Elena and her entourage were trying to find a cure, teamed up with not only a powerful Bennett full with expression skills but two 1000 years old original vampires. But even the originals couldn’t find this simple solution? Then, in the beginning of season 5 there were Silas and Tessa, both over 2000 years old and both without a clue?! It can’t be this hard and difficult for a Bennett with expression magic to take the magic from a little room in the house- they don’t need a whole town without magic to do the trick, the Salvatore coffin would’ve be just fine! I’m angry and I feel betrayed with this poorly storytelling.

    Nevertheless you brought the fun back to me! So thank you again and please keep writing this weekly recap for us.

    • thomas says:

      Hi Fiona,

      Glad you liked the recaps.

      Honestly, this season has been *much* better than last season. One of my favorites, actually. This episode did have its issues, though.

      I’m okay with the fact that nobody figured out this cure for vampirism before, since it was a Big-Bad level effort to create the spell that allowed for it to happen. I don’t think the Traveler’s anti-magic spell has ever been used before, particularly because it required the blood of the dopplegangers. So they’re good on the front.

      But come on … Alaric was like ten feet from instant healing. That was lazy.

  3. Miss_vanilla says:

    Congrats for a truly hilarious read again Thomas, and a pretty good post mortem to boot. What is annoying, is that these producers/show runners are fully aware that this show has a huge, passionate online fanbase. They all use social media to promote and stir up interest and get fans talking and debating, so why would they even think this BS would be remotely acceptable to them? I don’t use twitter, but I can imagine the explosion.
    Minor plot holes and inconsistences I can accept, but the writing for the rescue scene had holes large enough to be seen from the milky way.

    I am beyond angry at this loophole they have suddenly found to A) make Alaric human, and B) have their cake and eat it so to speak, and have the compulsion still stand.

    I will predict that Elena and probably Stefan will turn human again before the end of the season using this process. Smh!

    It is such a shame, because I was enjoying this season way more than I expected to. I also have enjoyed seeing the writers show that they are aware of Stefan’s problematic character traits and that they shining a light on exactly what fans have been saying for seasons, he is not the “good” brother, there is no “good” character on this show. It might make him more likeable going forwards for me, because flawed characters with flexible morality are almost always more fascinating.

    Best line goes to Enzo- “Since when has Stefan’s moral compass become true North”
    See, they can write good stuff. Enzo seems to be the first character to truly see through the Stefan BS, closely followed by Caroline.

    Oh Damon, what have they done to this once mysterious, magnificent badass vamp, with his perfectly skewed morality and impeccable comedic timing? He is unrecognisable so far this season. Damon is now 10 yrs old with a penchant for drawing vampire faces on pancakes and photos, flying paper aeroplanes and waving sticks around like pretend swords.

    • thomas says:

      Stefan and Elena turning human is a definite possibility. It’s a huge risk, since it kind of counts on a Mystic Falls doctor to cure Stefan’s gunshot wound really fast, and they only have experience with animal attacks, but Elena should be all right.

      I think this season is actually really good. They’re going a *bit* too far with the Magic Reset Buttons, but for the most part, this is vastly better than last season. And yeah, I love that everyone acknowledges Stefan’s faults.

      I thought the fang-faced smiley was hilarious. Even when Damon isn’t being evil, he’s still a dick, and I love that.

      • Cetacea says:

        A lot of people think this season is a good season. But it is not really difficult to write a better season than the last one. In hindsight season 5 feels a like a filler season imo.

        I for one think this season shows that the writers ran out ideas. The whole reset is boring and a cheap way to re-write TVD history with a different ending. Everything is very, very predictable. It also makes me feel a little like I’ve wasted my time with watching 5 seasons of TVD because almost every character development that has been told became null and void.
        Bonnie just gains her magic power
        Tyler is fighting with his werewolf gene
        Jeremy is whining and drinking
        Matt – again – hates SPN
        Caroline is jeaulos because Stefan favors Elena
        Tripp represents the Fell Familiy and Connor
        Alaric dates a doctor
        Elena hates Damon

        Same stories with most probably different endings than before. The moral pointing finger is about to arrive.

      • Miss_vanilla says:

        OK, I give on the fang face thing, that was quite funny.

    • Cetacea says:

      Elena and probably Stefan turning human.
      Actually I predicted that since season 1. Even before Elena was a vampire. But now it’s becoming more and more obvious. While watching the „visions“ it was pretty clear how the finale to series will look like. The only question is: „Will Damon be dead or become their guard dog or both“. This season is season 3 in reverse regarding the brothers incl. the transition as the very suprising cliffhanger. The only difference is that nobody tried to save Damon.

      I don’t think the writers are aware of Stefan’s character traits. I think they believe they showed us a completely different Stefan. And we’d supposed to be shocked. LOL

      I am glad that I am not the only one who is shocked about Damon’s “change“. The pancakes were kind of funny but the remainder… especially the „vrum vrum“ and drawing stick-figures on Elena’s picture (who has a framed picture of themself, all alone?). Either some of his brain cells found peace or it’s just another way for the writers to degrade this character. And I think it will go on, that’s why they threw Enzo in.

      • thomas says:

        This show does seem to operate (mostly) on the “vampirism is a curse” line of thinking, so Elena and Stefan ending up together as humans seems highly likely.

  4. Barachiel says:

    I love your post-mortem, but I disagree on one point.

    Not all the characters are Pure Evil.

    Most are, sure, but not all. I’ve never been fond of Black & White Morality, and prefer shades of grey, especially when people with nastier nature TRY to do good, and sometimes fail, versus paragons of lightness and goodness who’ve never thought a single impure thought in their lives. But I digress.

    To keep this simple, and this mini-dissertaion reasonable, I’m just going to borrow a nod from D&D and go wtih THREE main grades: Good, Neutral, and Evil.

    Neutral in this case translates as “I won’t actively seek to hurt people to further my own ends, but if I HAVE to do something bad for a good reason, I’ll do it… and feel kinda bad about it afterwards.” The majority of people on this planet are Neutral. True Altruistic Good and Pure Self-Interested Evil are extreme outliers.

    To establish a baseline for this theory, most people tend to LEAN towards one extreme or the other, but they can act towards the other end in exceptional circumstances.

    Now onto the Main Cast:

    Elena: she was Neutral leaning towards Good. What bad things she does, is ultimately to save her friends, not to further evil schemes or selfish agendas like acquiring more power or complicated back-stabbing.

    Stefan: He’s an interesting case. Ripper-Stefan is Pure Evil. No arguments. Reformed Stefan tries so VERY VERY hard to be Altruistic Good, and for a whlie, with Elena, he managed it. Without her, he’s backslid to Neutrality, and with every crushing loss, his pendulum swings a little closer to the Evil extreme. But he’s still trying.

    Damon: Damon started Evil, and let’s be honest,even though he’s trying, he’s managed to swing closer to Neutral… but he’s not actually there. But he’s TRYING, and since all his friends WANT him to be a better man, they choose to forgive the Evil he does in the hopes that if they can help push that pendulum a little closer back to the light, one day he’ll see the light. Not bloody likely. But again, he’s TRYING, and he honestly does care about those he lets into his heart, and that’s what makes him so compelling a character.

    Caroline: She’s Neutral with a leaning towards good. Like Elena, she’d done bad things, either in the throws of Early Vampire Syndrome, or out of a pressing concern to help her friends over all else.

    Matt: This poor dumb bastard is one of the few Good people left on the cast, with his chief failing being that he lets his friends get away with murder. Sometimes literally.

    Tyler: Strictly Neutral. Slid towards the darkside over Klaus, but has slid back to his default state.

    Jeremy: Jeremy is the opposite of Damon, in my mind. Where Damon wavers precariously on the Evil/Neutral line on his good days, Jerr is a Neutral person who tries to be Good more often than not, but can’t quite reach the goal.

    Or to put it another way: despite being set in the Modern Age, this show does not follow Modern Accepted Morality. Instead, it functions a lot closer to Fantasy Adventure Morality, like in D&D and Star Wars, where killing in self-defense is not only permitted, it’s admirable. Pragmatic heroism is still heroism, and killing to protect your Nakama is a-okay, because they’re your real friends and family. Saving others is good, but when the choice is the Adventuring Party or the Common Rabble, the Party wins every time.

    • Barachiel says:

      Oh, and an addendum, purely for any Old Skool D&Ders who may read this, my take on the cast using the Classic Alignment system.

      Elena: Neutral Good (Human); True Neutral (Vampire)

      Stefan: Neutral Good (Seasons 1 & 2), Neutral Evil (Season 3); True Neutral (4+)

      Damon: Chaotic Evil (Season 1), Chaotic Neutral (Season 2+)

      Caroline: Chaotic Good

      Jeremy: Chaotic Good (Chaotic Neutral when dealing with grief & loss)

      Tyler: True Neutral

      Matt: Lawful Good

      Enzo: Neutral Evil

      And just because I like doing this sort of thing, the Originals.

      Klaus: Chaotic Evil, but recently seems to be shifting towards Chaotic Neutral with his character growth

      Elijah: Lawful Evil

      Rebekah: Chaotic Neutral

      Kol: Chaotic Evil

      Finn: Originally, True Neutral; seems Lawful Evil since his resurrection.

      Michael: Neutral Evil

      Esther: Chaotic Neutral

      Marcel: Lawful Neutral

    • thomas says:

      I do love a good D&D breakdown sheet. I have to disagree on a few points, though.

      For example, Enzo’s murder of Ivy. The only reason anybody is even slightly bothered by it is because it hurt Stefan, or because it inconvenienced them. Hell, Enzo practically ate a waitress in front of Caroline and she’s still ready to light her panties on fire for him.

      I have to lump Matt into true neutral. He helps the innocent when it’s convenient, and helps his friends cover up murder when it’s necessary.

      “Pure” evil was an overstatement; all of the characters have redeeming qualities. But they are also either murderers, or perfectly fine making googly eyes at murderers. Not a single one of them can be labeled “good.”

      • Barachiel says:

        I agree with most of your points. My disagreement comes from perspective. From a Modern point of view where killing is bad, even to the point where Self-Defense isn’t always considered a good enough reason, yes, they’re all various shades of Evil.

        But because most of them are supernatural creatures who either have to kill to survive, kill to feed, or can slip and thus, killing is an “everyday occurence” to them. It’s not so much as they don’t care, as they’re all the Ultimate Example of Desensitization. Combine that with a general ideology of “my friends come first, screw the rest of the world” and when looking at it as an outsider, they can seem rather callous.

        Yes, what happened to Ivy was horrible, and I honestly felt bad for her, and am angry, mainly at Stefan first, Enzo second, and Caroline third, but to be fair to Barbipire, she did express annoyance with Enzo for what he did… but because it didn’t happen in front of her, and she knew this person from a 1-2 hour uncomfortable dinner, and combined with the fact that this revelation was IMMEDIATELY followed by her outrage that Stefan fed him to a vampire hunter (basicaly breaking the Friend Circle they have), along with his other transgressions, and Enzo’s actions were the least of the things on her “things i should punch people for” list.

        I personally love the show’s warped sense of morality and ethics, and I honestly hope we day we get a dissection in-show of what the group has become with immediately condemning them all as “OMG we’re the Bad Guys!”

        Compared to the things they stand up against, they’re positively shining paragons of virture. Not so much intellect or cunning, but compared to Early!Klaus, Ripper!Stefan, and Crazy!Tessa, they’re the freakin’ Justice League.

        I weep for the world.

        • thomas says:

          You’re right regarding the context for their morality; basically, “us vs. the world”. I understand that, I just don’t accept it. Lots of terrible things have been done using that justification.

          On the other hand, I love how crazy this show is and how the characters behave. Like I used to say about Damon, he’s a totally blast to watch, but if I knew him in real life he’d be at the top of my “to kill” list.

          Basically, I have separate in-show and real-world moralities. They’re contradictory, but they don’t interfere with one another.

          • Barachiel says:

            If I were living in a normal day-to-day world, oh yeah, 2/3rds of the cast need to be put down or locked away in a controlled environment (I just can’t stay mad at Caroline for any length of time).

            If I were living in THEIR world? I’d pretty much be backing Post-Season-1 Damon’s general pragmatic attitude and “kill them before they kill you” mindset. Because once I have enemies that want me did, morality and ethics take a back seat to my survival.

            …Y’know this probably explains my thing for Katherine….

      • Barachiel says:

        Oh, and more specifically, I disagree about Matt, because of the old saying “a true friend helps you bury the body.”

        He’s a stand-up guy, who’s only real sin is being loyal to his friends.

  5. Eve says:

    Stefan Salvatore: Hey, what about your best friend Bonnie?

    Damon Salvatore: Who? What? Can’t talk have to sex
    now but it was great catching up with you!

    Stefan Salvatore: Yeah, about that …

    __________________________________________

    Yeah, Damon’s decision to hide the truth about Bonnie really sucks but I’m sure it won’t come back to bite him in the ass. And Stefan’s helping him, and that’ll be okay too. No one will mind when the truth inevitably comes out and/or when Bonnie gets back.

    Thanks for the recap, Thomas!

    I hope there is a loophole to prevent the “cure” from curing the other vampires. It shouldn’t be that simple.

    • Barachiel says:

      To be fair, it’s not “that simple.” you have to have died of something modern medicine can save you from and pretty quickly at that. Basically, Ric won the lottery. Elena MIGHT be able to be saved (drowning can be undone if gotten to in time) but everyone who died of a necksnap or massively gushing wound that tore out an artery is pretty much screwed unless they have a full medical team and trauma unit just standing by right at the Mystic Fall border.

      As far as Damon lying, I’m under the impression that he believes Bonnie died of her wounds, as we have no reason to think that only Psycho-Boy is granted effective immortality as part of his punishment. But I could be wrong.

    • thomas says:

      Barachiel is right, Damon thinks Bonnie is dead-for-real, because he’s never seen the show he stars in.

  6. Trinijax says:

    Annoyed, annoyed, ANNOYED. We established in Season 2 that when an Original dies, compulsion goes away – ergo Katherine’s release from the tomb when Elijah is daggered. Did the writers seriously think we’d forgotten? Aargh! All this to have yet ANOTHER season focused on Elena’s magic vag. Did I mention I am annoyed? Hmph.

    We seem to be heading towards the revelation of Jo as a Gemini witch and Kai’s sister, along with Sarah turning out to be a Bennett witch. Mixed feelings about this, but Bonnie has to be rescued somehow.

    • thomas says:

      > Did the writers seriously think we’d forgotten?

      The writer’s weren’t on staff when that happened. There’s actually a really good chance they don’t know.

      > Sarah turning out to be a Bennett witch.

      I like to think that maybe this show will feature a black lady that’s not a witch, but that might be a tad optimistic.

      • Fiona says:

        “The writer’s weren’t on staff when that happened. There’s actually a really good chance they don’t know.”
        Maybe it would’ve been a good idea to watch former seasons before starting to write for the newest season? It’s called ‘preparing for the job’ I think. 😉
        And isn’t JP the one who gets the last say about the story lines? She at least was there the hole time.

        That’s exactly the reason why I’m so annoyed and angry. As you say in your reply to my first post, Thomas, I also would’ve be okay with the cure-search and all the other story lines of former seasons without this lame and lazy plot twist in this episode. Now to me it’s just that – lazy and unmotivated storytelling.

        “…Black lady that’s not a witch…”
        The school headmistress wasn’t a witch, was she? 😉

  7. Jawly says:

    Last episode Damon and Bonnie were just as close as ever (being sardonic here) and now that Damon’s back, his only priority is Elena’s vagina again? Seriously? She’s finally her own person again and all he cares about is himself? I thought we were past the whole selfish thing. That already happened for the last two seasons people. Find something else for drama.

    Like what is Kai going to do after he gets out? What’s Jo’s storyline? What about Sarah? Is she there just to be a placeholder for the Salvatore’s living relatives or does she want something else? When is Damon going to kill Liam (Yeah, pretty much the standard here sadly)? You know no one can ever tell him no and live to tell about it, or at least not live very long. But he can tell everyone else no just because. Same old same old. Damon sucks and he doesn’t care.

    I just want something new and different from this show.

    I get the whole Stefan moving on bit. The moment Ivy turned he didn’t care about her because that’s just more vampire drama for him. And whiny Caroline just has to have her man who can’t see her feelings for him. If she likes him so much then she should tell him her feelings rather than siding with Damon and how Stefan needs to find him for Elena’s sake. Shows just how far she’s fallen by taking Damon’s side. I swear, he can do no wrong. He’s worse than Mikael, Klaus, Kol and Kai combined yet everyone loves him. I just don’t get this crap. I know domestic abusers and guess what? THEY SUCK ASS.

    Also, Damon barging in Elena’s dorm? Never had to deal with stalkers and don’t know anyone who has but just in case:

    STALKING IS A CRIME

    Seriously Damon is just being creepy now and I’m glad Jeremy called him out on it. By the looks of things he’s even more obnoxious in the promo for the next episode. UGH. No means no bitch.

    On a happy note, these days I wait for TVD to play on tv first, then after it’s done playing on tv, I watch it online so I can laugh at this trashpile of a show and so it’ll have lower ratings. LOL! XD

    • Yzma says:

      I agree with you about Damon. I enjoy watching these fucked up characters happily going on horrifying murder spree, but Damon’s crap with Elena bothers me, mainly for the way since the moment she became a vampire and started feeling something for Damon the writers turned a strong, smart woman into a irrational, unfunny girl whose life is centered on her boyfriend. I was enjoying Damon-free Elena so much this season, but now I think I’ll have to go back to Caroline as my favourite (RIP Katherine, you and Rebekah were the best: I’m not sure about Bekah, but if Katherine saw Damon stalking her in her dormroom she would have royally kicked him to the curb). That said, Damon is still wildly fun when he’s miles away from Elena.

  8. Fani says:

    the problem with the mythology on this show is not that they forget their own rules,sometimes,but that it is so complicated that they may be following one rule and breaking another at the same time.

  9. Sean says:

    Your TV tropes post was an excellent one Thomas. But my other main issue with this episode also stems from the fact that if you pull at the creative seams, the invasive hands of the author(s) can be seen pulling all the strings. Everything that happens in storytelling happens because the plot (to some degree) demands that it happens. But most shows generally work to make this puppeteering invisible or SUBTLE at the least. One could explain in terms of Julie Plec and Caroline Dries’s (who should be fired since she was the one who took over last year’s godawful writing staff) psychology why everything that happened in this episode did. Their fingerprints are all over this. And they’re visible and grating. And it snaps me out of my suspension of disbelief and reminds me that I’m no longer watching one of the best shows on television. That instead, I’m watching two grown women’s televisual fan fiction of their own personal wish fulfillment.

  10. Tweeky says:

    I’m really starting to despise Tripp Fell and I hope that he meets painful end for what he’s been doing especially killing (Again) Stefan’s hot asian chick girlfriend (Ivy certainly was a hottie).