TV From The Crypts: Vampire Diaries Seasons 2 and 3
Welcome back to your favorite retired TV show column. I have accumulated quite the pile of old shows I want to revive so I can bring you the best reviews of which shows to spend your time re-living, but I got a little side-tracked this week. You see, I wrote a post about season 1 of Vampire Diaries after watching it specifically for this column, and Lilith’s current man slave was hooked, asking that we continue forward with the series. So we spent the last week watching seasons 2 and 3. Luckily that is where my collection ends, so I can move on to some older shows for you this week, but I won’t lie, I loved the ride.
You see, at the end of the last decade we really got bombarded with too many vampire shows and movies, it really was vampire mania as they sad in this article. And I think they predicted it right that zombies were next to fill the fantasy spotlight. Though I am still a fan of the novel series that inspired the show, the TV version of True Blood was just a little too far-fetched, and even I was a little tired of Edward’s constipated stares on the big screen. But I have to give Vampire Diaries credit: so far they really have a great story line. Spoiler alert: DO NOT CONTINUE FORWARD if you have not already relished in the wonders of VDs.
I brought you season 1 before, so let’s pick up with season 2. At the very end of season 1 we have the introduction of the elusive Katherine back in to the present time frame, whom Elena is a doppelganger of. Katherine might look like a sexy double of Elena, but the likenesses end there. Season 2 pretty much starts out with Katherine torturing our beloved townies so that she can get Stefan back, whom she claims is her true love.
What ensues is painful to watch at times. Katherine really doesn’t care about anyone but herself, but it soon comes to light that she also has an alternative motive: finding a moonstone inherited by the Lockwood family back in the 1860’s. Of course, before we figure out that she is also looking for this enchanted moonstone she successfully kills many innocent teenagers, and turns our obnoxious Caroline in to a vampire. And I confess, I think turning petty Caroline in to a vampire was the best thing that ever happened to her. Sure, she is still self-conscious and bitchy, but she becomes a much more developed character with a strong side after earning her fangs.
Back to the moonstone, we now reach the second half of the series, and discover this curse of the sun and moon. This is a supposed curse that the ancient Aztecs performed, making it so vampires couldn’t walk in the sun and werewolves were controlled by the full moon. The moonstone is the binder of the curse, and if it can be destroyed by one species or the other, they will be freed from their confinement. But the spell that involves breaking the curse also involves the death of Elena, the doppelganger.
As we learn more about the sun and moon curse we have a whole new set of characters enter the playing field, and they are my personal favorites: it’s the Originals. The original family of vampires, the first ever created by their witch mother centuries ago. Turns out one of them is a hybrid between a werewolf and vampire, but he can’t change in to a wolf because of a curse his mother placed on him. However, he fabricated the whole sun and moon curse so that people who found the doppelganger would talk about it and he would again be able to attempt breaking the chains his mother placed on him, freeing his werewolf side.
In my opinion season 2 ends with a bang. As we find out all this original stuff Klaus, the hybrid original, comes back in to town and plans to break the curse by killing Elena. Of course, pissed off that the Salvatores make it difficult for him, he murders Elena’s aunt and guardian Jenna in the spell. And with that at the end of season 2 Klaus is freed, reunited with his brother Elijah to go awake the rest of his family whom he has kept in coffins sleeping until the time was right.
Well moving on to season 3 our story really centers around Klaus. He kidnaps Stefan as his new partner in crime while he travels the States looking for werewolf clans to turn in to his hybrid minions. Stefan embraces his past self, the ripper, where he got his nickname from feeding so violently on people that he often accidentally ripped off their heads in the process. There are some macabre episodes and scenes that I was really surprised made it on to prime time TV. One particular favorite is when our favorite bromance, Damon and Alaric, are tracking Stefan and Klaus and they come across an abandoned house where werewolves used to live. Inside bloody handprints adorn the wall, and on the couch is a pair of women who appear to be sitting lifelessly on the furniture staring ahead of them. Damon announces to Ric this was clearly Stefan’s work as he walks over and taps the girls shoulder, causing their heads to fall off since he had only placed them back on top of their necks after feeding on them.
Eventually things head back to Mystic Falls, where Klaus realizes the reason his hybrids aren’t turning properly (and instead have been changed in to rabid creatures reminiscent of 28 Days Later) is that Elena is still alive, and her blood is the key to successfully having a hybrid transition. Klaus seems content, until the Salvatores are able to awaken Michael, the originals’ long lost father, hell-bent on killing them all.
Season 3 continues with all originals awakened, including Cole, Finn, Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. But since they are such an abomination both their parents make appearances trying to set the balance of nature straight by killing them. Luckily for me, who loves the original characters, they are not successful. And our big finale of the season leaves us with Alaric turned in to a vampire filling the shoes of Michael, followed by the deaths of Tyler, Alaric, likely Matt, and lastly Elena herself. Only to learn that she had vampire blood in her system, and will now become a vampire herself (finally).
While it might seem confusing as to why I really love this show, since you all know it’s not the corny teenage drama that seeps through from time to time, I must say it is quite a well thought out storyline with very unique and developed characters. I think True Blood has done a poor job with this, throwing in new creature or character every episode that just makes things more muddled and unclear. Vampire Diaries is the opposite: yes there are new characters every other episode, but they are richly developed, and add a great deal to the strength of the overall story. And while it may seem complex, the plot is actually quite easy to follow. It all makes sense. When something seemed a little off earlier in the show, later on we find out why it was that way as more pieces fit together in a storyline weaving between past and present.
Now seeing that I only watch and own retired TV shows, I am not up to speed on where the show is now (I think they are just starting to air season 5, so I am way behind). But I look forward to when the shows latest seasons make the retired status so that I can continue enjoying this great, action-packed, and mysterious story. And for those of you worried it is another tragic (and annoying) love story like Edward and Bella’s? You did notice my play by play didn’t mention any of that drama, right? Yes, there are teeny-bopper cheerleader moments, and the battle between Damon and Stefan for Elena’s love gets old, but the show is SO MUCH MORE than that. That’s why I didn’t have to write about any of it in my review.
And for those of you that can’t be swayed in to giving it a try, well rest assured, I think I too need a break from the vampire mania for a bit and I will be delving in to more science fiction related retired shows for your next TV From The Crypts.
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