Vampire Diaries: The Curse of the Evil Doppelganger

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Is there a more simultaneously boring and entertaining show on television than The Vampire Diaries? The plotting on the show is nuts, with revelation upon flashback upon twist upon reversal, yet it always seems like nothing is ever happening. Part of this is because the characters are constantly pairing off for private conversations in dark wood-paneled rooms, but another problem is that they regularly go places and do things with almost no explanation or motivation. Half the time I'm watching the show wondering, "Why am I still entertained by this?" But I AM entertained by it, because this show is NUTS.

I'ma be honest, I jumped into The Vampire Diaries during the Season 1 finale, so I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert in this world of monsters in fitted tees. But everyone was saying how great the finale was, so I watched it and it WAS great. Evil twins, suicide attempts, finger-severing, high-pitched town-wide vampire detectors, immortality rings, witches, werewolves, vampire massacres. Holy moly, this show has it all. The problem is, there's so much going on, and there are so many characters and motives, that I think the show might be forcing itself to be boring just so that it doesn't explode from insanity.

But anyway, here's what happened last night. First of all, this was one of those flashback-heavy episodes where the mush-mouthed "teens" are stuffed into period costumes and filmed in lighting so soft I could barely make out what was happening:

You know, as opposed to the regular lighting where I can barely make out what's happening:

Seriously. Look at this next picture… There are three exposed fluorescent lights, and yet I still feel like Helen Keller.

Anyway, like all well-written TV, the episode started with a dream sequence—you know, because nothing raises the stakes like no stakes. But Stefan was having nightmares about Katherine again, and when he startled awake, he did a DOUBLE-STARTLE when he saw that she was SPOONING him in bed. Didn't he notice her curly hair earlier? Elena would never do something as evil as curl her hair.

So of course Stefan wanted ANSWERS and he sort of chained Katherine up in his basement using very weak, very rusty chains that would definitely keep her subdued. Just kidding, she broke out really easily. But not before they had some really, really long expository conversations about that time they were all dressed up in period costumes.

Meanwhile, because it's a federal crime to tell a vampire story and omit werewolves, we were forced to deal with some subplot involving a hunky werewolf uncle and his hunky nephew. Uncle wanted a moonstone, but the nephew definitely didn't know where it was. Except, whenever the uncle walked out of the room, the nephew would take it out and caress it. Quit it, nephew!

Meanwhile Elena attended the world's worst daytime living room party with Damon and Uncle Werewolf where they... did shots, played Win, Lose or Draw, and ate pie? Typical supernatural monster stuff.

Later, Damon attempted to murder the werewolf dude by stabbing him in the heart with a silver carving knife. Not so fast, Damon. In THIS world, werewolves aren't susceptible to silver, because… wait, why? One great thing about The Vampire Diaries is that it invents new rules for vampires and werewolves, but usually the rules just involve mystical jewelry. More than half of the characters wear magic rings, and it almost always solves some internal logistical problem to make the writers' jobs easier. I wonder if the werewolf moonstone will become jewelry soon too? Just kidding, I don't wonder.

But then, in what has to be a series highlight, Elena finally met Katherine face-to-face and it was like two girls being pissed at each other for wearing the same outfit.

I guess we were supposed to wonder why they look so much alike, but that didn't even occur to us because what The Vampire Diaries doesn't know is that soap operas have been using this device for about a century now. Same actor plays a doppelganger. Hijinks ensue. Move on.

After that, Elena had a couple more bafflingly uncompelling scenes. Like, her best friend (and new vampire) weirdly tried to abduct her, and then later she staged a fake fight with Stefan within earshot of some people who might tell Katherine about it. So yeah, Elena had a busy day of boring.

And overall, while certain elements of the episode were definitely of the whoa-let's-slow-things-down-and-save-it-for-the-next-finale variety, the show truly came through in at least one way: Ian Somerhalder's eye-acting.

To those of you who are regular Vampire Diaries watchers, I have SO MANY questions for you...

... Did y'all enjoy this episode?

... Is this shaping up to be a good season or what?

... Are you sort of jealous that I haven't seen most of Season 1?

... Is Nina Dobrev doing a great job playing Katherine?

... Did Jasmine Guy do a good job in Season 1?

... Are you sorta mad that nobody took their shirts off last night?

... Do you miss Jeremy? Are you worried that he might've been eaten by piranhas?


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