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June 18, 2010

The Vampire Diaries 1.3: "Friday Night Bites"

TV: The Vampire Diaries

Again, you're getting more or less my stream of consciousness notes from my rewatching of this episode, made slightly more coherent after the fact. If I'm just doing these random thoughts, maybe I should start actually putting timestamps on it and making it more like a liveblog? Hmm. What do you think?

Okay. I know what Damon did to Caroline was wrong and all, but if you HAD to wake up all bloody, there are worse ways to do it than in such a pretty nightgown with Damon sleeping next to you. I like that these vampires actually sleep and stuff. Do Caroline's wounds hurt after the fact? She covers them up, but she never seems to say "ouch" or anything.

What is WITH this history teacher? Why is he always asking about random unconnected dates? Shouldn't they be studying a particular part of history? And he's a bad coach, too!

The football itself seems reasonably realistic in this episodes - much better than on Glee, say. Not that I'm any football expert, but my brother plays and I attended many of his high school games.

I had sort of forgotten about the whole Vicki thing, by the way. Do all of Jeremy's important scenes with girls happen at the grill? Well, not all, but a lot of them do. I suppose that makes some amount of sense.

The dinner party with Elena, Bonnie, and Stefan is so awkwardly cute, and Stefan is trying so hard. He's such a good boyfriend. And then, of course, Damon and Caroline show up, and Stefan can't manage to stop Elena from inviting Damon in. Caroline is hilarious as always, and even Damon can't believe how offensive she's being talking about Elena's "blah phase."

The scene with Elena and Damon in the kitchen was adorable, even if he thinks he's faking. A lot of his fake nice stuff in this episode ends up being true by the end of the season. Elena and Damon are somewhat inexplicably comfortable together from the beginning - watch them load the dishwasher. And Damon is the one who realizes that Elena was miserable at cheerleading practice, and tells her to quit. And she does.

When Damon tells Elena about Katherine, she's clearly uncomfortable with the whole thing, but she cuts right to the chase: "I'm sorry. About Katherine. You lost her, too." Stefan would never, ever say that sort of thing to Damon, and no one else really knows what happened, so far as we know, so is this the first time Damon has had his grief openly acknowledged like that?

How old is Damon trying to pass for, anyway? Early twenties? Do we ever find out exactly how old he was when he turned? Is he pretending to work or anything? What does he tell Caroline? I guess it doesn't matter, since he wipes her memory whenever he feels like it.

When Caroline tells Stefan that Matt and Elena were each others' first, is she meaning to imply that they slept together, or does it just sort of sound that way? Did they? The extent of their relationship, and Elena's sexual and romantic history in general, is kind of unclear. I guess the point is that nothing before Stefan really mattered that much, but I'm still curious, especially since Matt remains such a major character.

Even in Elena's dream, she says Damon isn't so bad, and Stefan says he is. Was the dream totally dictated by Damon or did Elena's subconscious play a role? Unrelated: Elena's bed always looks so comfortable with that big fluffy white comforter. I want it.

Stefan: "There must be a shred of humanity left inside my brother. Somewhere. I keep hoping. But how do I make him see it? And how do I protect her?" Interestingly, Damon ends up realizing his humanity BY protecting her, basically. So Stefan's looking at this all wrong. Sort of.

Football game: This is making me miss football season. The drinking here is way more obvious than at any of my high school's games, though. The Elena/Stefan scene with the necklace was adorable, and he frames the gift in a very chivalrous way - as a token for her to wear while he plays. Of course, this is a cover for it being for protection, but still.

The Damon/Elena scene at the game: What's Elena doing at her car, anyway? Or is it an SUV? Do we see this car again? Am I just forgetting things? Quite possible. Anyway! Damon and Elena's conversation about Caroline is interesting. It's slightly surprising to remember that in these early episodes, even Elena thought Damon was just . . . you know, a guy. So having these conversations about his dating life and whatever seem so strange to the audience but are completely reasonable, given what people know (or don't). And even this early, Elena's the one who has Damon's number and isn't afraid to stand up to him. Sure, it helps that she thinks he's human, but still. The slap scene is great, and Damon looks so confused.

Stefan thinks Damon keeps him alive to torture him because he loves Katherine, but I think deep down it's just that Damon loves Stefan. Yes, this ties in to my ongoing theory that the Stefan/Damon relationship is the core of the show. Damon's like a little kid here after Stefan says there's some human in him - "You say I'm human? I'll show you!" And then he chomps on the evil history teacher. It was nice to have him kill someone so unlikeable, for once, and to open up a spot for Alaaaaric.

I love Stefan's voiceover of "There's nothing human left in Damon" over the visual of Damon watching Elena sleep. After Damon's whole "I can do with Elena whatever I want" speech to Stefan, we see that what he actually wants to do is gaze at her, touch her hair and her face, gently, and leave. Oh, Damon. Swoon.

A few other random things:
Bonnie: Nice to see her abilities emerge slowly, but the number thing was a little far-fetched.
Tyler: Nice arms! Did they deliberately cast the guys on this show for their arms? It's quite a trend.
Katherine: As a Katherine myself, I appreciate how the Salvatore boys enunciate her name, with all three syllables.
Matt: He's so darn NICE. I love him.

Posted by Kat at June 18, 2010 11:00 AM

I've also been wondering:

1) how old Damon's supposed to be... or how old he was when he turned into a vampire, and. . .

2) exactly how intimate Matt and Elena's relationship was. I doubt it will matter much in the series, but you can't help but be interested-- especially when (as you say) Matt is such a likable guy.

Oh, and yes, that history teacher/coach is so obnoxious that barely flinched when Damon did him in. Besides, his exit makes room for Indiana Jones-- er, Alaric in the story. . .

Posted by: Michael at June 18, 2010 12:41 PM
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