This review contains spoilers.
4.7 My Brother’s Keeper
Now that Elena’s back in her right mind again (or so we think), we’ve returned to dwelling on her ever-cyclic love life. She and Stefan have split, she and Damon are skirting around each other, Caroline and Klaus are getting friendly, Tyler and Hayley are taking their undercover mission a little too seriously, and April is making googly eyes at both Jeremy and Matt – it doesn’t seem matter to matter which. It’s time for Miss Mystic Falls again, which means, most surprisingly of all, that only a year has passed since season one of the show.
That kind of makes Elena’s dithering a little less annoying, but the same can’t be said of the writers. I’ve always been in grudging support of the show’s central love triangle, but this week’s twist is a bit like a spitting in the face of half of your fan-base. Elena not being able to decide between her suitors is one thing, but to give Elena/Damon shippers what they’ve been waiting for, only to take it away in a really sneaky and contrived way, isn’t the way to court favour among your viewers. The Vampire Diaries is built for hardcore fans, and forum-botherers probably won’t take kindly to this new twist.
So what happens? Well, by the end of the hour, Delena are getting hot and steamy, with fans treated to their first proper love scene in almost its full glory. The problem is that Caroline has become suspicious of this new development across the episode, and has been encouraging an already fragile Stefan to question her judgement. Never mind how bad of a friend Caroline is being (to Elena, at least), but it seems she could be right. It’s suddenly not just hybrids who can form a sire bond, and they reckon this is what’s happened between Elena and Damon. Instantly, sexy Delena scenes are rendered sinister and a little bit rape-ey.
Can’t we just let the love triangle lie for one week? Could we not have had a few episodes of Damon getting what he’s always wanted? Of course, this could be salvaged by him having no idea of the hold he currently has over his new girlfriend, but the promo for next week suggests something different. It’s constantly been said this season that Elena’s feelings for Damon have been magnified, not imagined. She’s always had feelings for him, so it’s possible that this sudden appearance of a sire bond has nothing to do with her choosing him over Stefan. Whatever happens, it just seems like a bad move for a show that’s all about the love story.
Elsewhere, things are less infuriating and a heck of a lot more interesting. Jeremy’s on the warpath, as his hunter instincts are coming out of his subconscious. This obviously makes him a danger to ninety per cent of his friends, and a couple of near-fatal attacks on Elena mean she has to take refuge at the Salvatore mansion. Stefan doesn’t help matters, of course, so desperate is he to get Elena back to how she was. Shady Stefan is back, turning a convicted murderer just so Jeremy can add to his tattoo map. It’s a pretty brutal scene, as he forces Jeremy to kill someone, unaware that his mind is slowly slipping away. With Matt now keeping an eye out, it’ll be interested to see how this develops.
I’m still not clear on how breaking away each of Klaus’ hybrids is meant to tie in with anything, but we meet another this week. Caroline has been tasked with keeping Klaus busy while Tyler and Hayley get on with business, but she seems to have committed to it a little too fully. There’s plenty of online support for these two getting together, and I like how the show isn’t forcing things just to keep the viewers happy. Their connection has been allowed to develop naturally and therefore seems more genuine, but the same can’t be said for Tyler and Hayley. We find out this week that she has been working with Shane (like everyone else), anyway, so it looks like we can’t trust anyone in Mystic Falls.
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