Television Tourniquet: 'The Vampire Diaries' 1.17


The Vampire Diaries Episode 1.17
Let the Right One In
Teleplay By: Julie Plec
Story By: Brian Young
Directed By: Dennis Smith
Original Airdate: 8 April 2010


In This Episode....
It is a dark and stormy night.  No, seriously.  Stefan, weakened from the fight he and Damon just had with Frederick, heads out to hunt squirrels.  He is kidnapped by Frederick and his band of merry vamps, who take him back to the vampire halfway house for torture before being offed.  He insists that Stefan must experience the pain that he experienced locked in the tomb.

It doesn’t take Damon long to figure out his brother is missing, and since he wasn’t with Elena, he had to be with Frederick.  Upon arriving at the vamp nest, the human house owner, under Frederick’s influence, refuses Damon access to the home.  Elena insists she help, and they enlist Aleric’s help.  In return, Damon promises Aleric he will help him find his wife.

The plan is that Aleric will enter the house, use vervane tranquilizers as necessary, and bring homeowner Miss Gibbons to Damon.  Elena begrudgingly takes the getaway driver role.  After making sure Miss Gibbons has no other family, he snaps her neck.  Stefan starts killing as many vamps as he can, battling his way to his brother.  Elena has abandoned her post and finds Stefan, tied with vervane-soaked ropes, in the basement.  Damon meets up with them and provides cover while Elena and Stefan get away.

Frederick, Damon’s #1 target, escapes and attacks Elena and Stefan.  Before he can land the killing blow through Stefan’s heart, Elena attacks with a vervane tranquilizer.  Stefan is near death, so Elena insists he feed on her.  When Frederick wakes up and attacks, Stefan - now stronger than ever - mercilessly kills him.

Elsewhere, Caroline faces car problems in the middle of the woods.  Wandering around to get a cell signal, she slips in the mud and discovers Vicki’s corpse.  Jeremy is heartbroken, and it is with this revelation that Anna discovers the real reason Jeremy wants to be a vampire.  He thought that Vicki had turned, and he wanted to be with her.  Anna is hurt that he wanted to be with another girl.

Damon returns home from a nightcap at the Grill, and discovers his brother crouched in a corner, bloody and feral, Damon’s human blood supply long gone.

Dig It or Bury It?
Stefan’s newfound bloodlust just reeks of Buffy and Angel.  For those who are not familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy gives up her virginity to tortured vampire boyfriend Angel,  it is his one true moment of happiness.  Sex causes him to lose his soul, revert back to an evil, blood-crazed vampire, and had millions of mothers turn to their daughters and say, “see, that’s what happens when you give a boy your ‘special gift.’”  Anyway, even though Elena and Stefan have been screwing like crazy, some would say that bloodletting is far more intimate.  While Stefan was feeding, Elena did make some suspiciously orgasmic facial expression.

Damon and Elena had some really nice, non-sappy bonding in this episode.  They had been sniping at each other the entire episode - even when trying to put together a rescue plan for Stefan.  Elena was furious that Damon wouldn’t let her help, and he finally admitted that it was because he couldn’t rescue Stefan and worry about Elena’s safety at the same time.  He didn’t know how many vampires were in the nest, and didn’t know if he could protect Elena.  No matter how much they bicker, Damon knows they are practically in-laws.

Random thought: I am glad Bonnie is gone.  She was annoying.  Caroline is annoying too, but she is much more manageable without Bonnie there.

Myths Revamped
Jeremy is still under the impression that vampires don’t like running water, and Anna is quick to correct him: that’s only Dracula, and apparently he had awful hygiene as a result.  “Don’t believe anything you read,” she says.  “I’m not going to turn someone who learned everything they know about vampires from Netflix.”

Blood Lust
We have both blood and lust in one tight little six-pack.  Is it wrong that I found Stefan being tortured kind of hot? Tied with vervane-soaked ropes, vervane dripped in his eyeballs, strung up from the ceiling, poked with sticks and sliced with daggers... it was kind of hot.  Or maybe it was  just his abs you could grate cheese on.

Other than that, there were lots of unimpressive vampire kills - quick, bloodless, and done in the shadows, and Miss Gibbons’s quick and painless death.  Pretty much every character was injured in one way or another, and Stefan’s denouement bloodlust is disturbing.  And hot. 

Spooky Humor
After a tough day smacking around vampires, Damon hits up The Grill for a nightcap or twelve.  Aleric - who is there drowning his sorrows after he figured out that Damon was lying about helping him find Isabelle - punches him in the face and walks out.  Off the shocked looks of the fellow patrons, Damon just shrugs.  “It happens.”

Stefan is going to disappear down a rabbit hole of blood lust and insanity... or just blood lust.  I am going to hold on to the hope that the producers will not turn this into an After School Special for the Twilight set.  They have not let me down so far.