Review

Review

Television Tourniquet: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 1.15

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The Vampire Diaries Episode 5.15
"A Few Good Men"
Written By: Brian Young
Directed By: Josh Butler
Original Airdate: 25 March 2010

In This Episode...

Jenna helps Elena dig up some more info on her birth mother.  Some old patient records and a quick Google (er, sorry, Bing) search turned up everything needed to put the pieces in place.  The girl was Isabelle Peterson - not her real name.  She borrowed her surname from BFF Trudy.  Elena pays Trudy a visit.  She is nervous when Elena starts asking about Isabelle, but invites her in, makes her tea, and shows her old high school photos.  When Elena asks about who her father is, Trudy says she doesn't know - but that seems untrue.

While fixing the tea, Trudy sneaks a text message off - "she's here."  Elena discovers her tea is spiked with vervane - Trudy knows about the vampires, and thinks Elena is one.  When Elena confronts her on this, Trudy forces her to leave.  Outside, Elena discovers a mystery man watching her.  But the man doesn't go after Elena - he instead visits Trudy.  Mystery Man is the one who Trudy texted earlier.  She swears that she didn't tell Elena anything, but it doesn't matter: Mystery Man kills her.

Later on, Mystery Man shows up at the Mystic Grill, where the town is having a charity bachelor auction.  "Stop looking," he tells Elena.  "She doesn't want to know you.  I'm done now." And he throws himself in front of a truck.  Later, at home, Elena dials the last number on Mystery Man's cell phone - and the voice that answers sure as hell sounds like it belongs to Isabelle.

The pieces of the puzzle are tortured out in drips and drabs.  Elena's birth mother is Isabelle Flemming - Aleric's wife.  She never told her husband about the baby, and he was less than pleased when Jenna showed him proof.  Damon, who has spent most of the episode drunk and engaging in blood orgies with sorority girls, has no recollection of Isabelle, even though Aleric saw Damon attack his wife.  Memories start to return when Stefan shows his brother Isabelle's photo, and things come to a head when a drunken Damon rubs it into Aleric's face during the bachelor auction.  Elena finally figures out that Damon killed her birth mother, and confronts him.  Damon actually looks remorseful when he finds out that Isabelle was Elena's mother.

Pushed too far, Aleric attacks Damon in his home.  Damon - still drunk - insists that he did not kill Isabelle.  He turned her, and only because she begged for it.  The guys scuffle, and it ends with Aleric getting stabbed with the stake meant for Damon.  Stefan comes in, and Damon insists Aleric was killed in self defense.  He is also rambling on, almost incoherently, that Isabelle had to have been a relative of Catherine's, and that Catherine sent her to him.  It's a sign.  Damon leaves his brother to clean up his mess - but Aleric isn't dead.  A few minutes later his finger twitches, and he sits up, alive and well.  He insists that he was protected by a ring that Isabelle gave him, one that would protect him from all the "things that go bump in the night."

Elsewhere, one of the vampires from Catherine's crypt has escaped.  His name is Harper, he is afraid of cell phones, and he goes to stay with Pearl and Annabelle (who appear to be living with a human host).  Matt's crazy, alcoholic mom comes back to town after months of being absent, and immediately takes a dislike to Caroline.

Dig It or Bury It?

There was just so much jammed into this episode.  Lots of secrets revealed, lots of questions raised, lots of people killed.  Damon is a fun drunk.  I suspect Pearl and Harper will raise a wonderful havoc in coming episodes.  And I don't buy for a second that Aleric's ring was his sole salvation.  Stefan and Aleric both agree that that is impossible.  Isabelle must have cursed/blessed the ring.

The Bing commercial in the middle of the episode was obnoxious, gratuitous, and a little sad.  Jenna tells Elena that she "Binged" her birth mother's name.  It was not natural in any way, and it's kind of sad that Microsoft is trying to make Bing a verb like Google.  Once again Microsoft has proved it is lightyears behind the competition.

Blood Lust

The episode opens with Harper stumbling weakly through the forest, and ripping into the first living thing he sees - a hiker.  It is fast and furious work, but Harper does apologize before ripping the hiker's throat out.  Later, Mystery Man kills Trudy, but it is Mystery Man who has the most spectacular death.  No matter how many times you see it happen, and no matter how far ahead you see it coming, coming face-to-grill with a semi is a sight that takes your breath away.

867-5309

During tonight's episode, Elena throws out a real phone number - not a screen-safe fake number.  I suspect that this will be a regular or semi-regular stunt, as it is supposed to offer veiled teasers for upcoming episodes.  This week, Ian "Damon" Somerhalder read this message: "For those of you who are on Team Stefan, you should know he isn't as perfect as you think. Just ask him what happened after he turned into a vampire in 1864. And for those of you who are Team Damon, ask him what he's done since that time. He never looks back at the people he's killed, the lives he's ruined. But eventually the storm hits, and it all catches up to him."

Frankly, I am annoyed that the producers are pulling that Twilight "team" nonsense.  The number also allows you to leave a message - maybe for you to ask the aforementioned questions?  What do you think?  Did you call and leave a message?

Prophecies?

Elena and Stefan double date with Caroline and Matt.  As if that wasn't awkward enough (after all, Elena and Matt dated for years), it appears that Damon and Annabelle intend to crash the party - literally.

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