4.16- "Bring It On"
Oh, yeah! An evil cheerleader episode. You knew that was coming sooner or later, right? The title serves it usual double-entendre duty, however, because Elena doesn’t just feel like rocking some vamp gymnastics in her short-short skirt. She wants to party, and is itching to fight anyone who gets in her way. Also, because the town water supply is now laced with vampire-repellent vervain, she’s HUNGRY.
It’s another middling episode, however, because for all the revelations and development we get, it’s the same few steps forward and several steps sideways for the agency of our Baby Vamp. She throws some spectacular fits that should have everyone running for cover. She tries to kill her best friend on a whim. She keeps telling them all how tired she is of hypocritical lectures, but do they listen? No, they do not.
Take Stefan, for example, the poster-boy of angsty regret, the younger brother who talked Damon into surviving transition after he (Stefan) “accidentally” drank their father dry. Sure, we can really blame the fates of the Brothers Salvatore on Katherine and Emily, who had been dosing them with vamp blood and compelling them for weeks, but both boys have piled up mistakes since then in their un-lives all by their own, while Katherine was supposedly either dead or in a crypt for 150 years (of course, turns out she was neither).
So, after Elena drinks from a rival cheerleader, steals her pretty blue hair bow (which doesn’t match Mystic Falls colors, complains Caroline!), and let’s Caroline (who maybe deserves it for that crack) fall to the ground in a difficult maneuver, then takes off, mission accomplished (she just wanted some fresh blood, it was all a gambit on her easily manipulated friends), Stefan seems to realize, for a second, that Baby Vamp needs to blow off some steam (and taste some fresh necks). He enticingly offers to take her to a sleazy bar on the outskirts of town (all soap operas have at least one) where no one will really mind, which would finally be something Stefan could do to interest Baby Vamp as much as Damon does. He even has the extra helmet and the motorcycle to make such an offer appealing, and then … he spoils it all by dosing her and taking her back to mansion. Stefan is an asshole. What’s he going to do next, take her cell phone? I wouldn’t advise it, Stefan, if you want to see another day. Later on he advises everyone to just snap her neck as soon as they see her, so, wow, no hard feelings then, Mr. Ex-boyfriend?
Meanwhile, there’s lots of maneuvering in New Orleans and elsewhere, as Klaus, Damon and Rebekah all want to find the cure, probably in the possession of that sneaky Katherine, who has plenty of minions to do her bidding, like trying to off Hayley. One thing Klaus cannot resist is a damsel in (even seeming) distress, and he rides in to whisk Hayley back to his luxury mansion, which at least results in her fun perusal of his artistic output (most of which she disses with proud ignorance). The one painting she likes is a very Romantic image of a dark silhouette facing the sunset from the midst of shadowy trees, which with the “Loneliest Snowflake” painting reveals Klaus as the most brooding and poetic of existential Jackson Pollocks. Or, as he puts it, someone capable of exercising complete control, in charge of all the choices that result in the finished masterpiece.
Except he’s wrong about that. The point of painting isn’t control; that’s the tool you use to reach the real point, which is personal expression. He doesn’t want to show off his mastery in these works; he wants someone to see the sensitive guy hiding under all the bitter levels of betrayal and paranoia. And so far both Hayley and Caroline have managed to do so, which maybe reveals his twisted heroic fantasy as his greatest character flaw of all.
Ugh, why am I worrying so much about Klaus? Let’s get back to Elena, who is understandably pissed at Stefan’s manipulations, so she throws a kegger in his house (that fallback of all teenaged rebellion), picks a fight with Sherriff Forbes and then with Caroline, and ultimately has to be prevented from staking Caroline when they have an unrestrained tussle in the woods. That is, permanently killing her for no reason, which Damon thankfully prevents. She’ll thank him someday.
He’s the dude with all the answers this week, showing up unannounced at Klaus’ to suggest one of their many shifting alliances, keeping Rebekah at bay in New Orleans as he takes care of an old secret, trying to get close to Hayley again (not a chance once she and Klaus hit the sheets), and solving everyone’s Elena problem in one fell move: road trip to NYC!
That’s even better than a sleazy bar in Virginia for acting out your more feral tendencies! After all, what could go wrong for a Baby Vamp in “the city that never sleeps?” with Damon on her arm?
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net.