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February 22, 2011

Vampire Diaries Meaning Through Music: "The Dinner Party"

TV: The Vampire Diaries

This episode had THE MOST APPROPRIATE song ever, but we'll get to that at the end . . .

Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"
While it's playing . . . Jeremy and Bonnie talk in the Grill, and Luka comes in.
What it says . . .

I've waited for a long time.
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger,
I reason with my cigarette,
And say your hair's on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah.

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

How it fits . . . This one is less directly related than a lot of the songs are, but Jeremy is waiting for Bonnie to make up her mind about their relationship, and the bit about fire of course sounds like a Bonnie reference. And Luka, of course, had better run, far away from Bonnie and her powers, if not bullets.

Pet Lions - "When I Grow Old"
While it's playing . . . Alaric, Damon, and Andie talk at the Grill.
What it says . . .

When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll still belong here
When I grow old I'll still belong
I'll be waiting for you here
Drank all night with a stranger
But I found all you left me back home
How it fits . . . Sure, there's lots of other stuff going on, but right now, Damon is hanging out at the local bar with his girlfriend and his best friend, and for Damon, that's saying a lot. He never really planned to make a life in Mystic Falls again, but it happens, and he has acknowledged that he belongs whether he likes it or not. And it's easy to overlook the fact that Alaric, too, never planned to make a life there, but they've both put down roots and it's their home now. They started out as two strangers at a bar, but they've gotten to the point at which Alaric can openly criticize Damon's treatment of Andie, and a) not end up dead as well as b) manage to stay friends. Ah, personal growth.

The xx - "Islands"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party itself happens! And Elijah, of course, talks about witches.
What it says . . .

I don't have to leave anymore
What I have is right here
Spend my nights and days before
Searching the world for what's right here

I am yours now
So now I don't ever have to leave

How it fits . . . Several ways! The "searching" theme of the song goes along with Elijah's quest (and Damon and Alaric's attempts to stop him, and John's . . . whatever John's doing), and the relationship stuff in the song could connect to Alaric and Jenna's issues as well. But we're basically back to Damon: both his feelings for Elena and the fact that he has a home again. As we saw this episode, last time, he was driven away by Katherine's actions and Stefan's behavior; now he has the chance to stay because he's found Elena, and Stefan is more or less back on his side. And again, like at the Grill, regardless of all the undercurrents and hidden agendas, Damon's doing something normal: The eldest Salvatore brother is hosting a dinner party for his friends at his mansion. Sniff. If he doesn't watch out, he's going to become a real boy.

The National - "Lemonworld"
While it's playing . . . The dinner party reaches its dessert course, and Andie starts asking Elijah questions.
What it says . . .

I gave my heart to the Army
The only sentimental thing I could think of
With cousins and colors and somewhere overseas
But it'll take a better war to kill a college man like me

You and your sister live in a Lemonworld
I want to sit in and die

How it fits . . . Er, I'll admit that this one has me slightly stumped. The army and war talk ties in to the flashback we saw with Stefan, and serves as a reminder that while Stefan saw the Civil War as a buffet, Damon actually fought in it, and became a conscientious objector. (Or just a deserter? Was that ever clarified?) And the talk of sisters with Jenna in the scene brings to mind Elena's mother Miranda - they're the only sisters we've heard of, right? It made me wonder how poor Jenna's doing, emotionally, with her sister's death. She seemed to enjoy some girl time with Andie at the party, at least.

Airborne Toxic Event - "Happiness Is Overrated"
While it's playing . . . Damon finds Katherine in his shower.
What it says . . .

And speaking of
Little Miss Catherine
I feel swell, oh well
Because losing you
Was something I always did so well

I guess I just can't tell anymore
And the feeling I get when I see your clothes
Spread out on my floor
Oh, I'm such a bore, I'm such a bore
I don't do anything anymore
I just count these ceiling tiles falling through my floor

Sorry, I really lost my head
I'm sorry, I really lost my head
But you know those words that you said
They get stuck here in my head
And this feeling I dread, it makes me wish I was dead
Or just alone instead, I'll be alone instead
I don't need anyone in my bed

How it fits . . . Is this not the most perfect song for a scene EVER? I'm actually wondering how long they kept it in reserve, waiting for the perfect Katherine scene; two other songs from this album were used in season one, so they certainly knew of it. The "And speaking of Little Miss Catherine" line plays as Katherine turns around, which makes for an amazing moment. The rest of the song describes Damon's conflicted feelings to a T, and anticipate an interesting dynamic to come now that Katherine is free and, presumably, around all the time. And really, losing Katherine and losing his head are two of Damon's talents.

Posted by Kat at February 22, 2011 09:58 PM
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