Review

Review

'Bad Moon Rising' - 'Vampire Diaries' Episode 2.3

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Vampire Diaries Episode 2.3
“Bad Moon Rising”
Written By: Andrew Chambliss
Directed By: Patrick Norris
Original Airdate: 23 September 2010

In This Episode...

Elena and Damon recruit Alaric for a trip to the university Isabel worked at.  The plan is to search through Isabel’s research in the hopes of figuring out what other supernatural secrets Mystic Falls holds.  While the three of them are gone, Stefan stays behind to help Caroline with her transformation.

Things between Elena and Damon are frosty at best.  He thinks his aloofness and general asshattery is charming; she is fighting to remain civil.  Once at the anthropology department, they are greeted by Vanessa, a research assistant.   While the trio begin rifling through Isabel’s office, Vanessa sneaks up and shoots at Elena with a crossbow.  Damon takes the arrow for her, and Elena tends to him while Alaric pins Vanessa.  Don’t worry; the arrow was metal, not wood.  Vanessa recognized Elena from a photo of Katherine, and naturally jumped to conclusions.  The whole thing is explained, and Vanessa helps the trio with history and folklore - including an Aztec tale of how werewolves and vampires were created.  Their findings on Katherine were scant, but Damon does slip out an old bound volume with Petrova stamped on the cover - Katherine’s original Russian family name.  Once home, Elena asks Damon if he really knew that Jeremy wouldn’t die because of the ring.  He admits he didn’t know, and he truly seems remorseful.  Elena tells him that they have no chance at a friendship, and Damon is genuinely wounded by that.

Meanwhile, Stefan is trying to teach Caroline how to be a better vampire.  He convinces an untrusting Bonnie to create a daywalker ring, and teaches Caroline to hunt bunnies.  They then hit up a party that Tyler is throwing at the ol’ swimmin’ hole.  The swimming hole is located on the site of the old Lockwood mansion - now just a pile of ruins and an underground cellar.  Mason warns his nephew to clear everyone out by night, for the cellar is where he chains himself up, and tonight is the full moon.  Tyler doesn’t listen to Mason, and brings a girl down there.  Mason makes it out of there in time, but doesn’t get a chance to chain himself up.  Instead, he locks himself in his van, which offers little protection.  Caroline and Matt, meanwhile, are making out in the woods.  Matt cuts himself, Caroline loses control, and sinks her fangs into him.  Stefan zips in and pulls her off him, but then the werewolf breaks free.  Stefan and Caroline act as a diversion, luring the werewolf away from Matt.  The werewolf catches up with them, and is scared away by Tyler - who finally understands his family secret.  Matt is compelled into believing his neck wounds were caused by an animal attack, and Caroline picks a fight with him so that he will dump her - it’s her way of protecting him.

Dig It or Bury It?

Only three episodes in, and this season has a distinctly different feel.  It's a little more tempered; the pace is slower.  It's almost as though, during the first season, the producers weren’t sure how many episodes they had left, so they had to jam as much action and drama into every episode, just in case.  Now they have a full season ahead of them, and are likely to have several more in their future, so they're taking their time with each episode.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing; I just have the attention of a five-year-old hopped up on Pixi Stix.

This episode was a little heavy on the teen drama side.  I’m tired of Bonnie’s hatred for vampires - you are a witch, you are just as supernatural as they are. Caroline’s obnoxiousness is amplified now that she is a vampire.  There was not nearly enough violence or action.  I have noticed that Stefan has really lightened up this season.  He's not terribly mopey or anguished or pinch-faced - which makes him far more delightful to watch.

Myths Revamped

I enjoyed Vanessa’s tale of werewolves and vampires.  The Aztecs were plagued by vampires and werewolves, so a shaman cursed them: werewolves were slaves to the moon, and vampires, the sun.  Werewolf bites are said to be lethal to vampires, so vamps hunted them to the brink of extinction - which is why Damon has never come across one.

Blood Lust

Tonight’s episode was light on the violence.  I was really hoping for a nice werewolf mauling.  The best we got was Caroline snacking on Matt. Yawn.

Prophecies?

Looks like Elena and Katherine will go head-to-head next week.  I hope a vat of Jell-O is involved.

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