Television Tourniquet: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 1.20


The Vampire Diaries Episode 1.20
Blood Brothers
Written By: Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec
Directed By: Liz Friedlander
Original Airdate: 29 April 2010

In This Episode...
Stefan has detoxed, but he is still huddled in the cellar.  He refuses to eat, refuses to leave, and refuses to talk to Elena or Damon.  Between the solitude and the hunger, Stefan flashes back/hallucinates to the time that he and Damon became vampires...

The founders were rounding up vampires, and the Salvatore boys watched from the shadows.  They created a distraction, then ran to the paddy wagon and released Catherine.  But the Salvatore brothers were shot dead.  They awoke days later, healed, ringed, and under Emily’s care.  Both boys had Catherine’s blood in their bodies - Damon by choice; Stefan by compulsion.    If the boys did not drink human blood, they would die and it would be over.  This was the plan; however, when Stefan went home to say a proper farewell to his father, things go awry.  Daddy Dearest was the one who shot both boys for being vampire sympathizers.  Upon seeing his freshly undead son, Papa Salvatore arms himself with a stake.  Stefan defends himself, but not knowing his own strength he impales his father on the stake meant for him.  The scent of the blood is too much and Stefan gives in to the overwhelming hunger.  Empowered, Stefan compels a young woman to follow him back to where Damon is wasting away.  When Damon refuses to drink, Stefan rips the girl’s throat open, and instinct wins out.  Damon vows to make Stefan’s life miserable.

In the present, Stefan is desperately trying to get Elena to hate him, but she won’t give up on him.  He vamps out and tries to scare her, but she stands her ground.  Stefan gives up and admits that he is consumed by guilt and can’t handle it anymore.  Elena returns his ring as a symbol that she feels he is ready, and tells him to join her upstairs when he feels the same.  Leaving the ring behind, Stefan heads out to the lake - the place where he turned his brother all those years ago - and waits for sunrise.  Vampire suicide (incidentally, a great band name.  Just give me credit).  Elena finds him and tells him that killing himself won’t change anything; Stefan counters by saying that he is tired of constantly fighting his hunger.  She gives him the ring and a kiss, and tells him that it is his choice: give up or keep fighting.  She walks, and Stefan chooses life (and poontang).  Damon, though glad to see his little brother is doing better, tells Stefan that his anger stems not from Stefan forcing him to drink, but the mere fact that Catherine turned him as well. 

Elsewhere, Damon and Aleric team up to follow a lead on Isobel which proves fruitless.  Anna has sex with Jeremy.  Uncle John tells Elena he knows she is dating a vampire.  Pearl meets John for drinks, but once she tells him that she gave Jonathan’s invention to Damon, she is of no use to him.  Pearl decides it is time to leave town, upsetting Anna.  She goes to say goodbye to Jeremy, but when she returns, she finds her mother dead - by John’s stake.

Dig It or Bury It?
This felt like “A Very Special Episode” episode.  As in, “Depression and suicide hit close to home on a very special episode of The Vampire Diaries.”  While it was nice to finally get some clarity on the whole who-turned-who situation, I could have lived without the brooding Stefan.

I know in the past I have compared Stefan to Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This episode nearly made the comparison identical.  After Stefan and Damon have both turned completely, Emily approaches Stefan and tells him that “even in death, your heart remains pure.  That will be your curse.” 

I am starting to think Uncle John is really Jonathan Gilbert.  I thought that initially, but dismissed it because the Salvatores would have recognized him.  But in this episode, Jonathan Gilbert was shown in flashback, and I could swear he was the same person as Uncle John, beneath facial hair that would make ZZ Top proud.

Dear Diary
Though we don’t get a glimpse into what she is writing, Elena has hit the books again, journalling while baby-sitting Stefan.  Over drinks, John tells Pearl that Jonathan wrote that she was his one true love.  Pearl obviously felt the same way, but John dashed her hopes by revealing that he was lying - he hated her deeply, and his dying regret was not staking her when he had the chance.

Myths Revamped
Aleric questions Damon on the whole “entering a house when invited” thing.  Damon says that he has to be invited in by the owner or stakeholder of a home (assuming that person is human).  Damon admits that hotels are “kind of a grey area,” and that you kind of “play it by ear” once you get there.  He doesn’t really elaborate on that, but it seems to depend on how long a punter has rented a room for.

In the very last shot of the episode, Isobel surprises Aleric at the bar, looking particularly hot (and remember, this is Mia Kirshner - she is always looking some kind of hot).  So next week’s episode will be Isobel-centric.  Apparently she seduces Aleric, sleeps with Damon, and introduces herself to Elena.  All while wearing a sultry, smoky eye and the occasional piece of naughty lingerie.