Friday, November 8, 2013

The Vampire Diaries 'Handle With Care' review: Breaking Kat

Let us all bask in the glory that was the best episode of The Vampire Diaries in a very long while! Am I delusional or was that just some very good stuff? I'm beyond the mythology, though sometimes with how wonky it is, it can be plain fun in its own right. It's not that I'm saying this episode was specifically compelling, but for some odd reason I just relished in it.

Come on, any episode that partners Katherine and Caroline together to go slightly Heisenberg and Jesse on someone, I'm game. My brain registers it as "Why would they even be working together?" but there's no time to think when Katherine and Caroline are exchanging sly grins.

That's mostly what this episode came down to: people being grouped together during scenes that you just didn't expect. Here, we had Caroline and Katherine; Qetsiyah (Tess), Stefan, and Elena; and Damon, Jeremy, and Silas (and Bonnie). Nothing really happened in this episode — as is becoming The Vampire Diaries' M.O. — so let's just recap it a bit, shall we?

Caroline and Katherine

Katherine is celebrating her supposed immortality, when she realizes she has a streak of grey hair. All doppelgängers must have a streak of differing hair color so that we may tell them apart; Elena has that red streak, and now Katherine's got a grey one. So, anyway, her celebrating is short lived when she realizes she's going grey. So what she does is Denial 101: She dyes it a different color in Elena's dorm because why not there? While there, Caroline sniffs out that she's Katherine, but Katherine asks that she doesn't throw her out and let's her use Elena's meal card in exchange for her help in dealing with Creepy Professor the Sequel (CPtS). What they find out is that there's a secret society at the college as there always is with every college on TV apparently and they're very, well, secretive. Who really knows why they're important? Whatever, the storyline ends with Katherine asking CPtS for his help in making sure she doesn't die, but I was really at this storyline to watch Katherine stuff a whole bunch of sandwiches in her mouth.

Silas, Damon, Jeremy, and Bonnie

Silas is ready to die. He wants to be with the love of his life, Amara, and this is the only way to do it. But to ensure that be with her, he needs to find the anchor that Qetsiyah used to create the spell. He should have checked the soap dish before driving all the way up to New Jersey. Meanwhile, everyone else is OK with him dying because he'll bring back Bonnie if he does so. Qetsiyah doesn't like those plans, so she threatens Elena's life, which is very non-suspensful. Long story short — and a weird visit by some travelers — Silas finds out that the anchor is actually Amara, who never died, but has been living for these 2,000 years. When Amara finds out Silas is now the cure, she drinks his blood, yearning to be killed.

Stefan, Qetsiyah, and Elena

Since Silas basically told Elena only men can do things, Elena is forced to not be included in anything — as per usual. Instead, she gets a call from Qetsiyah alluding to the possibility that she might have slept with Stefan. Elena goes over to the cabin, but is unwittingly trapped because Silas put a spell on it to keep all occupants inside until sundown. Qetsiyah threatens Elena's life in a non-suspenseful twist, and Stefan decides that he wants to save Elena so he stabs Qetsiyah and they flee. Later, Qetsiyah decides to return all of Stefan's memories.

I can't exactly explain why I liked this episode the most this season. I think it's just that it was quite fun and entertaining. The dialogue was something else, in that it was refreshing and not at all contrived. ("Mayor who?" "No one's there. The mayor isn't there because I killed him. That's the joke!") There was never a moment I was laughing at the show during this hour, and that's a solid feat for this season. Of course, I'm still missing that quality of TVD that used to make me be on the edge of my seat, my toes. But I fear that's long gone, and all we're really left with is frothy, supernatural, escapist camp, which I can get behind if the execution is as dependable as tonight's outing. Even the Katherine mystery that I found to be a trite twist at the end of last week's episode was handled, perhaps predictably, but also in a way where I wasn't rolling my eyes. I think it would have been worse if someone just came out and had all the answers, though I did suspect last week that I didn't want to try to figure it out along with Katherine. But truthfully, there's but one thing to fix this season: that Bonnie storyline. Either bring her back already or let us stop with the supposed-to-be-emotional scenes where she tells people she'd die over and over again if it meant them being alive. And we'd be good.

Also, if someone could GIF the moment where Katherine was eating everything with a flashing "#ME" for me, that would be great.

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