I don’t usually make it a habit to do a recap or review per say of “The Vampire Diaries” episodes.
(many amazing people do that already and I read them religiously)
But “Bad Moon Rising” has had me in such a tizzy of applauding and head-desking (and perhaps a li’l fangirling ) over the last few days, that I’ve decided to take the plunge and post my two-sense on some of the highlights. Also, the whole ’moon’ theme was pretty damn near impossible to resist So here goes:
Over all, I loved this episode, really loved it. We’ll start with that, the applause portion (which will more than likely also contain the fangirling portion. You’ve been warned.) Then we’ll get to the head-desking moments, the parts that brought my fangs out…or at least would have if I had any.
Right, so on to the good stuff. There was ALOT of good stuff.
The Applause Triggers…
Alaaaaric is Baaaack!
Though a briefer hello than I would’ve hoped for after being completely MIA for the first two episodes of Season 2, Van Helsing our favourite history teacher finally returned to Mystic Falls! And since he not only planted one but TWO waaaay overdue thank-you-Vampire-Diaries-its-about-freakin-time lingering liplocks on Aunt Jenna, I’m totally willing to forgive the hair.
Secret Cellar in the Old Lockwood Estate
Seeing as there’s a Secret Compartment in the Study hidden beneath the floorboards of the current Lockwood estate, OF COURSE there’s a Secret Cellar Sanctuary for the Lockwood Ancestors to Scream Out Their Full Moons In hidden beneath the original Lockwood estate. Love it, love it, love it!
Just as I ecstatically applauded the writers creating the vampire muzzle device, I stand up and applaud them again for coming up with the creepy ‘devices’ to restrain a werewolf, hanging from the ceilings of the cellar and for carving claw marks into its stone walls. *giddy happy fan dance*
Obviously the Lockwoods once used it ALOT and Mason knew about it and how to use everything in it, which naturally got me to a-wondering:
Did Mayor Lockwood know about it and use it or did that pretty Moonstone prevent his transformation? Mayor Lockwood inherited the Moonstone from his parents; why wasn’t one given to Mason? We know Mason left home at a young age (presumably to deal with his ‘condition’) so who taught him how to manage it and about the secrets of the cellar beneath the old Lockwood Estate?
The Curse of The Sun and The Moon
Thanks to an impromptu roadtrip to Duke University to pillage Isobel’s folklore cache (aka her office), Alaric, Damon, Elena and newcomer Vanessa revealed the lycanthrope legend we’ve all been waiting for!
According to a nifty li’l picture book of Isobel’s, 600 years ago vampires and werewolves terrorized the Aztecs; made farming, hunting and all-round daily survival a bitch. So a powerful Aztec shaman cooked up a magic spell dubbed The Curse of The Sun and Moon to manage the problem.
As the legends tells, he made vampires slaves to the sun (able to only hunt at night) and werewolves slaves to the moon (able only to change under a full moon). Somewhere along the way, werewolves decided they much preferred vamp mignon to human as entrée of choice and, oh yes, also developed a bite fatal to the undead bloodsuckers.
Huh. That’s handy.
Vampires, however, were far more keen on preying upon rather than being preyed upon and inevitably banded against their wolf stalkers, nearly extinguishing said wolves from the planet. Supposedly this is the reason almost no one has ever seen nor heard of a real werewolf today.
Kinda like unicorns and The Flood.
I love the essential idea of the Aztec legend, I do. Then I got to a-wondering again:
#1 Given that werewolf and vampire folklore dates back to ancient times, including their sun and moon issues, 600 years seems much too soon to me. I’m going to put my faith in the show’s writers to fill in a little more info here first though, before I call them on it.
#2 If that phenomenally-cosmic-powered Aztec shaman was able to create a spell of such magnitude as this curse, couldn’t he have - oh, I don’t know – whipped up a thousand magic rings à la Emily for a thousand warriors so they could hunt down the entire pesky lot of bloodsuckers and monster wolves instead?
#3 How does this legend relate to the Lockwoods, one of the Founding Families of Mystic Falls in Virgina? Do they have Mexican lineage? Or maybe their patriarch was bitten by an Aztec werewolf? If so, then a human can survive a bite and become infected, right? Hmmmmm….
Absolutely loved cross-bow wielding grad student Vanessa Monroe! Way to go Courtney Ford. She was fun to watch and I really think she could be a great addition to our motley crew if the writers let us keep her. Could she be our Meredith? Sure wasn’t intimidated (not really) by Damon, was she? Something is definitely up with that girl…
Damon Takes One for ‘The Team’
For the record, bloody bantering Salvatores will always make my applause list. And to make it even sweeter:
Cue total Damon hero moment taking Vanessa’s cross-bow arrow in the back to save a completely unsuspecting Elena from the fatal shot.
Ah, Damon. Arrow in the back. Story of your life.
Mason ‘Got Mud’ Lockwood
If ever I had a reason to bay at the moon, Mason Lockwood would be it. Wow and wow. What a performance!The chaining, the sweating, the screaming, the shoulders! Oh, and mud. Let us not forget the mud.
.*momentary pause for reflection*
…… Hmm? What?… Oh right, the rest of the post!
What was the mystery brew he was mixing in that jar? Still cannot stop thinking about this since I watched. Even started a convo on Twitter tagged “What was in the Mason jar”. As you can imagine, a very interesting theory-fest ensued. Was it a painkiller potion, a morning-after hangover shake, moonshine, maybe a sedative?
Wonder how many cc’s it would take just to bring down those shoulders?
*another momentary pause for reflection*
All ogling-for-obvious-reasons aside though, what truly really got to me to completely fangirl over the Lockwood Night to Howl, was the serious intensity of the physical and psychological rollercoaster-from-Hell, Mason went through. It was powerful on-screen. From his opening of the cellar gate to his busting out of the Bronco , I was utterly riveted.
Bravo, Taylor Kinney. You completely stole my heart. Please don’t eat it.
The Wolf-Look Reveal
I have to say I really liked the presentation of the werewolf. Being a sucker for folklore, the show choosing the real wolf form is where I wanted to see them go. I know many fans are growling over not having an anthropomorphic werewolf or a timber wolf on steroids but personally, the chosen drool-dripping, snarling, yellow-eyes-glowing lupine was pretty damn cool.
Tyler and Uncle Wolf Showdown
Just as Uncle Wolfed-Out Mason was about to devour nearly-doomed vamp duo Caroline and Stefan, Un-Wolfed-Out Nephew Tyler, shouts out for him to stop and he does. Whoa. What just happened there?
Does this mean Tyler is an Alpha wolf? Or do our werewolves ‘think’ even in their shifted state? What I mean is, are they able to retain control of their human mind after they’ve turned? Still Mason obviously thought he was a threat to people, which leaves me unsure.
Also, back Tyler for a moment: why didn’t he change? Do wolves have to be a certain age or something?
Hmmm. Head scratcher, that one.
Sweet Caroline, Good Times Never Seem So Good For You
The learning steps Caroline keeps going through are so spookily in sync with my guide, I have to say I am loving it!
There were many fun Caroline moments in this ep (The Bunny Hunt was stellar!) but what I loved the most in this one was the writers revealing real depth in her character through the not-so-fun moment of her intentionally breaking up with Matt to protect him after she very nearly killed the poor-completely-oblivious cutie.
It’s why I love her character so very much. For all of her neurotic head-cheerleader-i-ness, she has real depth and real heart.
As most vampire lore is seeded in the heart of Eastern Europe, I have to say I highly approve of having Katherine Pierce’s lineage trace back there. Dying to see what secrets that beautifully-bound book will reveal.
Also, *may* have slightly knee-buckled when I heard Damon pronounce it.
Elena, Damon and The Porch
After being a wee annoyed with her behaviour in Brave New World, I was very glad to see Elena finally snap back at Damon in this episode, especially in that final scene on The Porch.
**Sidenote: So much crazy-ass #!%@ has gone down on those particular plank-boards that I’m officially giving them character status in my posts from hereon in: ergo the porch is now The Porch. Carry on.**
As much as I love, love, love him, Damon really really, really deserved any dang thing Elena felt like throwing at him. Seriously Damon, the whole Jeremy Near-Kill - dick move, dude. Bad deliciously damaged vampire!
I KNEW Damon did not see Jeremy’s ring. Never ever bought the idea he did because Jeremy’s ‘killing’ was such a Damon thing to do. Despite his adamant protests to the contrary, Damon is very driven by his emotions. Add the vamp quotient and you get a very impulsive, emotionally charged ticking bomb on your hands. Damon telling Elena the truth, even at the risk: also very Damon. Up until now, he has always been forthright with Elena (unlike ‘he-who-I- shall-not-name-for-now -but -you- all- know- who -he -is’). Both actions were very true to Damon’s character.
I *should* probably confess here that I may be secretly hoping this turn of events will result in a resurrection of my beloved scheming, seductive, smartass, semi-sympathetic vampire Damon. Yes, the bad deliciously damaged one – emphasis on bad, just for a little while .
I miss him.
And now for the Fang Triggers…
Though I cheered for Jenna when Alaric finally planted TWO good kisses on her, I am still at a total loss as to why we have not seen Jenna and Elena discuss The Porch.
Elena’s the teenager, Jenna’s the parental figure. Cue parental figure to watch said teenager head out on a roadtrip with that-guy-who-is-not-her-boyfriend-who-parental figure-believes-she-saw–said teenager-kissing on The Porch.
Ace parenting there, Aunt Jenna. If Mr. Tanner could only see you now.
Elena and Lycanthrope
Elena knows what lycanthrope means? Really, Vampire Diaries?! No offense to our lovely heroine, but Elena definitely does not strike me as someone already having ‘lycanthrope’ in her vocab.
And while we’re on that scene, why was Elena the one to go to Alaric? Why not Damon or Stefan? And what in the hey-of-heys was she even brought into the whole research road trip for in the first place ? I love you to death, Vampire Diaries, but I can’t swallow the whole ’urgent-need-to-know-her-lineage’ or more to the point, her willingness to spend an extended period of time trapped in the same space with her li’l brother’s would’ve-been-killer so soon.
Good Ol’ Stefan is back. Oh well. *sigh*
I had such high hopes after “The Return”, Stefan, but you have now solidified my I’m-over-your–fluke-of-wowness-in-The Return-and-back-to-ugh-broody-baby-brother-vamp-alert attitude.
Where I confess to having been thoroughly entertained by the Bunny Hunt with Caroline, I was not thrilled ( nor shocked, mind you) by your admitting your selfishness in being with Elena over your better judgment, Mister-I’m-such-a-goodie-good-good-person/vampire/whatever.
And while we’re on the subject, as to this whole *in complete mocking Stefan voice* “as-a-vampire-I’m-just-a-magnified-version-of-my- purehearted-perfect-soulful-heartbleeds-for-humanity-broody-pretty-boy self”:
Ugh. Blech. Ugh.
Did I mention blech?
It annoyed me last season and I totally facepalmed when Emily echoed it in “Blood Brothers” (frankly ruined that ep for me). So I’ve made my decision between you and your brother…
It’s Damon. It’s always going to be Damon. He may occasionally go bat-shit crazy and have a nasty hair-trigger temper, but he’s far more real and waaay more fun. Tootles.
Bonnie B. Bennett
Based on her behaviour lately, I’m sure I don’t have to spell out what the middle “B” stands for. I want to like this character, to understand and sympathize with her struggle, I really do; but frankly Miss Bennett is getting on my last nerve.
In this episode, I hated the way she treated Caroline and totally DO NOT get her ‘trust’ in Stefan. Honestly, where does Bonnie get off with the righteous attitude, Miss-hello-your-not-exactly-NOT-supernatural-nor-’innocent’-yourself Superwitch?
Something’s gotta give here people or I’m going to start helping to gather fire wood.
The Daylight Ring Spell
While we’re on the Bonnie rant, let’s talk about the Daylight Ring Spell scene shall we? I agree with Caroline- very un-witchy moment.
Total lack-lustre, man.
After the pillow feathers, the séance and the destroying of Emily’s crystal scenes, I expected more.
Damon ‘Threatens’ Vanessa
I love snarky, playful Damon as much as the rest of you but the entire Duke thing with Vanessa seriously called for some badass, vamped-out Damon and then a save from Elena or Alaric. Vanessa didn’t even seem slightly intimidated about Damon threatening to kill her in her sleep. The Damon Salvatore I’ve come to know and love over last season would not have left her so nonchalant in his wake.
Good Morning, Caroline!
How the bleepity-bleep-bleep did Katherine get into Caroline’s house?! Here we go again.
*head-desk, head-desk, fang snap*
True, we did not see Caroline get invited in either but I’m willing to be swayed to assume her mother did invite her somehow, but Katherine? * snap, head-desk* Apparently the writers don’t play by the rules either. *sigh*
Well, there you have it: my ravey, ranty - somewhat screencap-crazy- review of “Bad Moon Rising”. Don’t know about you, but I had fun. Maybe we can do it again sometime. TTFN
**Photos courtesy of vampirediariesweb.com