Review

Review

Television Tourniquet: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 1.12

The Vampire Diaries Episode 1.12
Unpleasantville
Written By: Barbie Kligman & Brian Young
Directed By: Liz Friedlander
Original Airdate: 28 January 2010

In This Episode...
The mystery vampire that caused Elena’s car accident - Noah - is officially stalking her.  He is following her, calling her, even attacking her in her own home.  Taking his cue from bad porn, Noah posed as the pizza delivery guy and got invited in to the Gilbert home.  No longer safe, Elena is used as bait to lure Noah out so the Salvatore brothers can get some answers out of him.  He fights with Elena, who defends herself admirably with a pencil and a broken mop handle, but it takes the Vampiric Duo to save her.  Torturing him with non-fatal stab wounds, Noah admits that he wanted Elena because of her resemblance to Catherine, but wouldn’t give up his partner.  Stefan kills him.

We do know who Noah’s partner is: Anne, the homeschooled girl whose hardcore flirting seems to have no effect on Jeremy.  She nearly loses her shit when she finds out that Jeremy loaned his ancestor’s journal to Aleric.  Anne is unconcerned with Noah’s death, for her true honey is Ben, the Mystic Grill bartender who has been flirting with Bonnie.  Ben is proud to tell Anne that “the witch” has fallen for him.

Jenna finally spills on Elena’s true birth.  Her mom wanted to tell her, but obviously she never got a chance.  A 16-year-old runaway showed up to Elena’s father’s medical office, about to give birth.  The Gilberts took her in, but the girl left a few days after giving birth.  The couple, who had been trying to conceive, kept the baby as their own.  They told as few people as possible so that Elena couldn’t be taken away.  They doctored her birth certificate to be her true parents.  The only other thing that Jenna knows about Elena’s birth mother is that her name is Isabel.  Which happens to be the name of Aleric’s dead wife.  I would say it was a coincidence but, well, obviously it isn’t.

Dig It or Bury It?
I think there are officially more vampire residents of Mystic Falls than human ones.  And really, what the hell is the deal with Catherine?  Why does every vampire who ever existed love her?  Everyone is trying to get her out of her tomb: Damon, Noah, Ken... is she the vampire queen of the planet?  Stefan even promised to help Damon free Catherine if they left town and never came back.

I really appreciate that, even though Elena ends up being saved, she does a pretty good job of defending herself.  When her vampire compass starts going haywire, her first instinct is to call Stefan.  When Noah attacks her, she grabs every wooden implement she can to defend herself.  She is always in harm’s way, but at least she isn’t running through the forest barefoot, checking behind her every few seconds to see if she is still being pursued.

Mystic Falls is starting to feel like Melrose Place with pointier teeth.  One big dysfunctional family.  I feel like we need a chart to keep all these people straight.

Dear Diary
Jonathan Gilbert’s journal is a hot commodity.  Apparently it contains Emily’s grimoire, which will explain how to free Catherine from her tomb.  At episode’s end, the journal seems to be in Aleric’s hands.  Anne and Ken want it.  Damon wants it.  Stefan doesn’t want any of them to have it. 

Myths Revamped
While at the dance, Stefan is keeping his eyes peeled for Noah.  He explains to Elena that vampires can’t just “sense” each other - it doesn’t work that way.  Stefan also gives Elena her father’s pocket watch, and explains that it acts as a compass when vampires are around.  The Gilberts were one of the founding families that doubled as vampire hunters.

Blood Lust
The only death was Noah’s.  While he was tortured with wooden stakes, his death was utterly unremarkable.  Stefan yanks the wood from his gut, moves it up a few inches and stabs it through his heart.  Noah drops, and takes on a vaguely desiccated look.

Prophecies?
It looks like next week we finally, finally, finally get some insight on who Catherine is.  The entire episode takes place in the 1800s.  Bonus: the Salvatore patriarch is played by Dexter’s dad, James Remar.

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