Tiffany Vogt

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Review of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ – Plan B

In * By Tiffany Vogt, Vampire Diaries on October 22, 2010 at 5:45 am

Never provoke an angry vampire by killing her favorite pet

All for the sake of one little moonstone. How was Mason (Taylor Kinney) to know that once he got what he wanted that it would lead to his death? Whether it was going to be at Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) hand or Katherine’s (Nina Dobrev) when she was done with him, Mason’s days were numbered the minute Tyler (Michael Trevino) handed him the moonstone.

During the quest to secure the moonstone, Stefan (Paul Wesley) jumped into a well filled with vervain water, Damon shed his reformed bad-boy facade, Bonnie (Katerina Graham) and Caroline (Candice Accola) got past their differences, Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan broke up for real, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) played Indiana Jones, Jenna (Sara Canning) stabbed herself, and Matt (Zach Roerig) became the latest unwilling helper for Katherine. Oh, and Mason lost his heart over a girl. But perhaps that can be blamed on Damon as he was the one who actually ripped Mason’s heart right out of his chest.

As they all learned the hard way, once again, this is a battle to death. Katherine may be playing a game, but she is playing for keeps. When she promised that she would kill everyone in Elena’s life if Elena and Stefan did not stay away from each other, Katherine meant it. Compelling Jenna to stab herself is just the beginning. Katherine already killed Caroline — it was just lucky that Caroline had Damon’s blood in her system so that she became a vampire and not just another corpse rotting in the graveyard.

Katherine also stabbed Uncle John (David Anders), but he managed to survive that stabbing as well. Katherine is actually having a pretty hard time killing anyone since all three of her attempts to kill someone close to Elena has failed so far. But maybe that is part of her infamous “Plan B.” She does not actually need to kill anyone, for the murderous attempts were sufficient enough to finally convince Stefan and Elena that they had to break up.
Yet as any one can tell you, when you force someone to behave against their will under coercion or duress, it is only effective for so long. Eventually people will chafe under the undue influence and rise up to fight back against their tormentor. Katherine may have had over a century to strategically make Plan A through Plan Z; but in all that time, she never actually took into consideration how multi-faceted people are. They behave irrationally, without regard for themselves, and they will do anything to protect those that they love.

Katherine has but barely scratched the surface in discovering who she is really up against. Does she really know Elena, Jeremy, Jenna, Rick (Matt Davis), Bonnie, Caroline, Matt, Tyler or Liz (Marguerite MacIntyre)? Katherine may know Stefan and Damon, but that other inhabitants of Mystic Falls are likely going to be wild cards in her master plan. Let the games begin.

What Worked

Trust, seduction and fake promises. No one knows what anyone is really up to these days with so many lies being told to protect, manipulate and obscure the truth. We instinctively knew the second Katherine told Mason, “We’ll live happily ever after – I promise,” that there was no way that she was going to let Mason live once he gave her the moonstone. People will promise you anything to get what they want. A promise is meaningless. Mason was only useful to Katherine so long as he could get her what she wanted.

It was also interesting how desperately Jeremy wanted to be a part of the cool kids’ club. Rather than shun the vampire that tried to kill him, Jeremy offered an olive branch and told Damon about the moonstone. Is Jeremy playing a deeper game in order to destroy those who killed Anna? Or is he just looking for some sense of purpose and belonging in his life. He does not want to be standing outside the window staring in anymore; he wants to join the supernatural club.

Bonnie was also brought back into the club once she saw the vision of Mason kissing Elena, which Stefan quickly realized was not Elena. “You didn’t see Elena. You saw Katherine.” And Mason’s dirty little secret was finally exposed. Rather than just forget about what she saw, Bonnie put aside her prejudices and joined forces with Stefan and Damon to capture Mason. As if that were not cool enough, she also reluctantly agreed to give Caroline another chance. It is nice to see Bonnie rising above her automatic hatred of vampires to work with them to banish a common foe.

Also having a nice mother-daughter bonding time were Caroline, the vampire, and her mom, the vampire-hunter. It was touching when Liz asked, “Are you really dead?” and Caroline softly responded, “Yes and no.” While Caroline explained what her life is now like being a vampire, Liz got to see how much more strong and confident her daughter is and she was genuinely proud of her. Thus, it was all that much more heart-breaking when Caroline had to compel her mom to forget everything — even the fact that they were just starting to be friends.

Also turning over a new leaf, it was great to see Damon being a productive human being again, instead of a bitter vampire mooning over his lost loves. Pro-active Damon is a bit ruthless, but as he ripped Mason’s heart out of his chest, one got the sense that Damon was doing it to save Mason from the pain of finding out that Katherine did not really love him. When Mason admitted, “I love her,” Damon quietly replied, “I know. I’ve been where you are… Katherine will only rip your heart out — let me do it for her.” Such a violent act would normally be off-putting and repulsive. But in this instance, one understood that Damon was being cruel to be kind.

Blinded by love, cursed by an Aztec curse — Mason Lockwood’s days were numbered from the day Katherine put him in her crosshairs. Damon was remorseful having to kill Mason; but he knew that it was kill or be killed and Mason had already tried twice. It was only a matter of time. Plus, Katherine had her hooks in Mason and he was not going to believe that she did not love him.

R.I.P Mason Lockwood. From the looks of it, both Tyler and Carol (Susan Walters) are really going to miss you. They have sustained too many losses, too soon.

It is also to Damon’s credit that he survived finding out that the love of his life did not love him back. Damon is moving on. He is evolving. Perhaps knowing Elena saved him from the same fate.

So as Katherine cries for her lost werewolf, Elena and Stefan cried for each other and the love they were being forced to give up. Damon may have ripped Mason’s heart out, but Katherine ripped out Stefan and Elena’s. Damon even tried to apologize to Elena for provoking Katherine, but Elena merely replied, “It doesn’t matter. She won. Katherine won.”

But winning is but a momentary illusion. They may not know all the rules and parameters of the game yet, but they all have more at stake than Katherine does. They all care for one another and will work together to take her down. Katherine is but one vampire frantically struggling to find an iron-clad bargaining chip to protect her against whatever is tracking her down.

What Didn’t Work

What in the world is Katherine up to when all these atrocities are going on? Once she knew that Mason had the moonstone, she would not have let him out of her sight. His well being was of paramount importance to her — at least until he handed over the moonstone. So what would keep her so occupied that she did not know that Mason had been snatched right from under nose? For an allegedly superior chess player, Katherine is looking like she is not paying attention to the game.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

‘Plan B’ was written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, directed by John Behring. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ stars Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola, Katerina Graham, Michael Trevino, Zach Roerig, Sara Canning, Matt Davis, Taylor Kinney.
The Vampire Diaries’ airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Related article:‘the-vampire-diaries’-–-plan-b.html

Review ‘The Vampire Diaries’ – Kill or Be Killed

In * By Tiffany Vogt, Vampire Diaries on October 8, 2010 at 5:41 am

As the battle lines are drawn, it is important to know whose side you are on

This was the werewolf episode. Not that any were seen, but the werewolf curse was in the forefront of everyone’s minds after Damon (Ian Somerhalder) stabbed Mason (Taylor Kinney) with a silver knife last week.

Werewolves appear to be frail, easy to manipulate humans when there is no full moon — and Mason and Tyler (Michael Trevino) got to see first hand how uncertain life is. Mason fearing for his own life set out to expose Damon and Stefan (Paul Wesley) as vampires to the Town Council; while Tyler came to grips with the knowledge that any death, intentional or not, at his own hand would trigger the werewolf curse.

Living in the shadow of such a horrendous curse is cause to be wary. Mason never intended to kill his drunken friend, but when provoked, Mason had to defend himself. Of course, it did not help that Katherine (Nina Dobrev) was manipulating everything to ensure that Mason became a werewolf. She must want that moonstone back in a bad way as she used just about every trick in the book to get Mason to be her willing puppet. Alas, Mason went from being the cool loner who just wanted peace, to being a sad werewolf who fell for a vampire.

Then Tyler nearly invoked the curse with a simple shove as Sarah (Maiara Walsh) fell down a flight of stairs. It is so easy to kill someone when you are not being careful; and Tyler’s anger is going to get him in trouble one day if he does not watch out.

So while Mason and Tyler struggled with their side of the supernatural spectrum, Damon and Stefan were exposed and nearly killed. Mason understanding that there was a bulls-eye painted on his back sought out Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) who moved swiftly to contain the vampire threat. She may have been horrified to find out that her good friend Damon was a vampire, but that was nothing to the shock of finding out her own daughter was one.

Adding to the chaos, the vervain spiked lemonade made Damon easy prey. The vervain also necessitated keeping Sheriff Forbes locked up in the dungeon until it wore out of her system so that Damon could compel her to forget what happened.

But all this turned out to be a ruse of nightmare proportion. Mason turned the spotlight on the Salvatores to save his own skin and to hide what he was really up to — searching for the moonstone. Tyler had every reason to be worried about turning that stone over to Mason –especially once it was revealed that Katherine was behind Mason’s little treasure hunt. What is that little scheming, diabolical vampire up to now?

What Worked

Tyler and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueeen) were bright spots in this murky episode of deceit. Tyler, after finally figuring out the family secret, was cautious about the curse — and he had every right to be. The knowledge that any death could trigger the curse is vital information. That is something he needs to know. Plus, his instinct to keep the moonstone from Mason until he knew what it was for was dead-on as well — for whatever Katherine has in mind for that stone is probably not going to be good for anyone.

Jeremy was also fun to watch as the loose canon teenager that he is. With just a little bit of knowledge and he goes running off to test it. Provoking Tyler with his wolf drawing was definitely not the best way to ask a friend if he has any family issues he would like to discuss. But it did make both Jeremy and Tyler relevant to the story and it felt like they were having fun bonding over the shared illicit knowledge of werewolves. Wait until Tyler finds out there are vampires and witches too!

Caroline (Candice Accola) got in a fun kick-ass moment when Mason tried to stop her by threatening to kill Elena (Nina Dobrev), and Caroline told him, “I can take you,” and proceeded to beat him senseless. She also saved the day by taking out the two deputies and outing herself to her mother to protect Stefan and Damon. Her type-A personality does prove useful in a pinch. She won’t back down and she will do whatever it takes.

It was also great to see Elena and Stefan called on their pretend fights. It was naive from the start to think it was going to keep Katherine from following through on her threats. Katherine is not that stupid, and, if she did buy into it, then she will only be more pissed off when she finds out. Stefan and Elena should know better to play games they cannot win — especially since Damon saw through it so easily. Damon called it when he said, “So what’s up with this faux-drama in your relationship?” He knew that all that fighting was not true to form — and if Katherine has been paying attention, so does she.

Clearly, Katherine does not care one bit about Stefan or she would have kept a better eye on him and would not have let him nearly get killed by Sheriff Forbes. Doesn’t she want to keep her beloved safe from harm? No, while Stefan was dying in the ruins, she was keeping her distance and worrying about whether Mason would bring her back the precious moonstone. That is where her priorities lie.

Another strategy that is probably not going to work out so well is Stefan sipping on blood to build up a tolerance, as well as help regain his strength. He may get physically stronger so that he can fight Katherine, but his soul is still so susceptible. That is the real battleground: it is a battle for Stefan’s soul. So when Elena finally capitulated and allowed Stefan to drink her blood, she softly said, “It’s you and me, Stefan — always” and kissed him. It was a promise sealed with a kiss. But Stefan drinking human blood — and Elena’s blood at that — is a slippery slope. He will begin to crave it — and how will Elena stop him then?

It was also interesting that Katherine used the same manipulative technique on Mason; for right after Mason gave her the moonstone; Katherine sealed their deal with a kiss too. Fascinating that both doppelgangers would employ the same maneuver. Sealed with a kiss. What does that mean? Are they still mimicking each other or are they indeed splintered fractions of each other?

While everyone else was reacting in this episode, Damon used a bit of forethought and showed unusual compassion. When he let Sheriff Forbes live, it once again revealed that Damon still has a soul. He spared her not because Caroline or Elena asked him to, it was because she is his friend — Damon doesn’t have that many friends. So when Elena said, “What you did for Caroline’s mom — that’s the Damon who is my friend,” there was a glimmer of hope that Damon is not as friendless as he seems. Being a vampire is lonely and Damon needs all the friends he can get — especially with Stefan foolishly going to the dark side by drinking human blood again.

Katherine’s vicious plan does seem to be working. But then she has had over a hundred years to plan it all out. She is just carefully placing her chess pieces on the board. What Mystic Falls needs now is a chess master who can outwit her.

What Didn’t Work

While cool delving deeper into the werewolf storylines, it was a shame that Bonnie (Katerina Graham), Zach (Matt Roerig), Alaric (Matt Davis) and Jenna (Sara Canning) were sidelined for this particular episode. It would have been fun to have Bonnie make some kind of witchy remark and for Zach to be caught in the cross-fire, with Alaric hovering protectively in the background.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

‘Kill or Be Killed’ was written by Michael Daniels, directed by Jeff Woolnough. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ stars Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola, Katerina Graham, Michael Trevino, Zach Roerig, Sara Canning, Matt Davis, Taylor Kinney.

‘The Vampire Diaries’ airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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Review ‘The Vampire Diaries’ – Memory Lane

In * By Tiffany Vogt, Vampire Diaries on October 1, 2010 at 5:18 am

No good can come from a vampire traipsing down memory lane

Poor little vampire who nobody loves, what nasty secret are you hiding? With Katherine’s (Nina Dobrev) return, she brought a few new tricks to unleash upon Elena (Nina Dobrev), Stefan (Paul Wesley), and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). After all, forewarned is forearmed; and the last time Katherine came across the Salvatore Brothers, she under estimated the power Elena had over them. This time, Katherine did not ignore that critical factor and worked hard to create a crack in Stefan and Elena’s relationship. She needed to find a way to loosen Elena’s grip over Stefan’s heart.

However, Katherine is foolishly disregarding Damon. Katherine may still view him as a simple boy that she can play with and cast aside, but Damon has had over a century to learn a few tricks of his own. He may have been naive enough to believe that Katherine was waiting for him to rescue her, but now that he knows that she never once loved him and still does not want him, Damon will seize the first chance he gets to take her down. For now, he is content to let her tip he hand so he can see what she is up to and to see if she will push Elena in his direction. Damon can afford to wait. After all, he has learned that he is a patient man when it comes to love.

As for Stefan, after awakening to find Katherine posing as Elena in his bed and discovering that she had been manipulating his dreams, he wanted to get a measure of control over Katherine. Yet, Stefan too is still naive about just what Katherine is capable of. She let herself be chained in the dungeon and faked being tortured by vervain just to toy with him. Yet, with each round, Stefan learns a bit more about his opponent. It is like chess. Each move reveals something about the player. Katherine may not realize that each time she comes back, she gives away another clue to the puzzle. Let’s just hope that Damon and Stefan are better at strategic board games than they are in affairs of the heart.

This is especially true now that there is an errant knight on the board. Damon provoked Mason Lockwood (Taylor Kinney) when he stabbed him with the silver knife and the battle lines are being drawn. Mason may have thought they could all live in peace and not pick up where their ancestors left off, but Damon does not want to live with a potentially lethal neighbor nearby. Between the Town Council and Katherine, he has enough enemies at his door. Plus, as Mason admitted, he cannot control himself during a full moon. He may not mean to attack, but he will.

Then there is the little lost pawn — Caroline (Candice Accola). Coerced by Katherine to do her bidding, Caroline has not yet learned that as a vampire, she does not need to be afraid. Katherine is the one who should be watching her back — after all, everyone wants Katherine dead. It is about time Katherine started making friends and not more enemies.

What Worked

The discovery that Katherine can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate them is intriguing. She can not only command their conscious mind, but she can also control a person’s subconscious mind as well — and vampires are vulnerable too subconscious manipulation as well. Why would a vampire be able to withstand conscious manipulation, yet not when they are asleep? Imagine the fun that could be had if someone did that to Katherine when she was asleep. Payback can be a bitch.

Analyzing the dream, it would appear that Stefan’s ultimate nightmare is Katherine. As she whispered, “We’ll be together again. I promise,” you could just about feel Stefan’s skin crawling. Add that to the vision of Damon leaving with Elena, while Stefan was left behind — stuck with Katherine — Stefan was terrified. Is that Stefan’s greatest fear — that he will be the one stuck with the dead vampire, while Damon gets the real girl? When you think about it, Katherine was never real. She was always only an illusion. She can’t be real. She was never real or even human when Stefan knew her. She has always been just a creature of the night that cannot truly love and be loved. Katherine had given up her humanity long ago. Whereas, Stefan clung to his humanity and Damon has a glimmer of it left. How much of the dream was Stefan’s and how much was Katherine messing with his mind is not clear, but it gave great insight into both their fears.

Then, while Elena may still not be asking all the right questions, Katherine certainly had a few. When she asked Stefan, “Why did you keep this picture?” It was the question that everyone should have been asking all along. She then quietly noted, “You want to know why I came back? I have a better one: why did you? . . . You came back to fall in love with me all over again, didn’t you?”

Katherine is a master manipulator, but after seeing her road trip down memory lane, one wonders if she is manipulating herself as well. Her stubborn insistence, “I never compelled your love. It was real, and so was mine,” smacks of someone desperate to believe something was real. But what kind of love vanishes for 165 years? Love is patient, but it is doubtful that it is that patient.

It was a great reveal when Stefan got Katherine to begrudgingly confess that she faked her own death in the church fire because someone or something was after her. Aren’t we all just dying to know what terrifies Katherine so much that she faked her death, killed 26 of her closest friends, and abandoned the man she loves for over 165 years?

One of the better light moments of the episode was when Damon playfully said, “I always pegged you for a lone wolf” and Mason pointedly replied, “Well, I’m sure I was not half the lady killer you were.”

With lines like, “Let’s not spark some age old feud that doesn’t apply to us. . . Let’s be above this,” Mason is fast becoming the true hero of Mystic Falls.

Another great zinger was when Katherine warned Damon, “Don’t try to be the hero, Damon. You’ll end up dead.” To which Damon merely quipped, “Been there. Done that. At least this time, it will be worth it.” Ouch. Yep, Damon is definitely moving on and he will be a formidable foe once he figures out exactly how to destroy Katherine.

What Didn’t Work

A barbeque at the Gilbert residence and neither Bonnie (Katerina Graham) nor Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) made an appearance? Their absence was not even noted, let alone explained. The complete absence was a gapping hole in the plausibility of the entire event. Was it even real? Imagine if that too were a dream manipulation.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

‘Memory Lane’ was written by Caroline Dries and directed by Rob Hardie. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ stars Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola, Katerina Graham, Michael Trevino, Zach Roerig, Sara Canning, Matt Davis. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.

Related article:‘the-vampire-diaries’-–-memory-lane.html

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