The Vampire Diaries -- Mystic Falls' Little Shop Of Horrors

Another vamp rejects Stefan's animal blood regime

First off, I have to say this is the first episode in a long time that I've actually enjoyed. Maybe it was because it was Original-free and we got back to the real Vampire Diaries, where all the original main characters were interacting with each other. The episode had a season 1 feel to it, which was Vampire Diaries' best season. It was a breath of fresh air. I'm also in the minority in liking Connor, the new vampire hunter in town. Finally, a real villain with some teeth and not some mewing wannabe villain like Klaus.

That said, the whole scene between Matt and Elena reminded me of the musical, Little Shop Of Horrors, the first time Seymour discovered Audrey II needed blood to flourish.

Elena: Feed me.

Matt: Does it have to be human?

Elena: Feed me.

Matt: Does have to be mine?

Elena: Feed me, Matty, feed me all night long. And if you feed me, Matty, I can grow up big and strong.

In regards to Stefan trying to get Elena to embrace his animal blood regime, he reminds me of an alcoholic who thinks because he can't handle drinking alcohol, no one should drink alcohol. He tried to get Damon to embrace it and every newbie vamp he's come into contact with he's tried to get to embrace his animal blood regime, and they've all rejected it. Even his good buddy Lexi didn't embrace the animal blood thing; she just introduced him to it because he doesn't have enough self-control to control himself when he's drinking blood and to not decapitate someone in the process.

I think the reason he keeps pushing his animal blood regime as the greatest thing since sliced bread is because if he can get more people to embrace it, it'll make him feel less like a freak and an outsider within the vampire race. That very feeling of inadequacy he must feel may explain why he seems to have an obsessive need to put down Damon as not being as good as he is and how much better he is than Damon. Stefan knows there's something wrong with him so he goes out of his way to make Damon feel there's something wrong with him; like he did in 3.14 suggesting there was something wrong with Damon because he feels too much, and that's after being on Damon for years for not feeling enough.

Unfortunately, for Stefan, Elena seems to have some kind of intolerance for anything but human blood. So his dreams of them spending an eternity wiping the woodland creatures off the map just isn't to be. Since Julie Plec has tried to make Stefan and Elena a male/female counterpart of each other, I wondered if she'd make Elena have a blood problem where she'd become a Ripperette. I was partially right. She has a blood problem but hers is different from Stefan's. Of course, an added bonus for Plec with Elena's blood problem, is it actually builds more of a bond between Elena and Damon and just furthers the triangle she loves so much..

This episode wasn't for the weak of stomach as we had to watch Elena spew copious amounts of animal and vampire blood. The interesting thing was when Elena was having problems she didn't call her beloved mentor, Stefan. She called Damon to help her. It kind of speaks volumes. I think deep down she knew Stefan wouldn't be able to give her the help she needed, while Damon would. Earlier, she'd told Stefan the animal blood made her sick, and he basically told her to give it a month to get used to. Not to mention Damon has been right in regards to her transition and Stefan has been wrong. Another reason she turned to Damon instead of Stefan was she may have been afraid if she told Stefan she couldn't embrace his animal blood regime he would feel she was rejecting his way of life and embracing Damon's way of life, which is pretty much what is happening.

I know Damon and Elena fans were going wild about her feeding on Damon, but I didn't think it was that hot. Probably, because that was a scene I've been wanting to see between Damon and Katherine. Bottom line, Elena isn't in love with Damon and whatever charge he might have gotten off of it, she didn't feel the same. In short, he was just food to her.

The interesting thing was it was ultimately Matt who was the answer to Elena's blood problems. She projectile vomited Stefan's animal blood and Damon's vampire blood, but had no problem keeping Matt's blood down. Which could be interpreted that neither Stefan or Damon are really right for Elena, while her first love Matt is. Stefan wasn't bothered by Elena feeding on Matt, but he did have a problem with Damon and even punched him because of it. Supposedly it's because there's some emotional bond between a vampire feeding on another vampire, but wouldn't the same exist for a human willingly letting a vampire feed on him?

We also had two new arrivals in town, that ultimately collided during the memorial service for all the council members who met their maker during last episodes mass-murder/suicide by Pastor Young. His daughter, April, was in town to attend it, and it seemed to attract the attention of a very dangerous vampire hunter named Connor.

He apparently wears a glove soaked in vervain, so if he shakes the hand of a vampire, he knows it. Tyler made the mistake of shaking Connor's hand and outted himself as a vampire. Connor filled him full of wooden bullets. The bullets he uses even sting a vampire when they touch them and they have a strange insignia craved in them. He tried to get Damon to shake hands with him, and Damon wisely claimed he was a germ phob and didn't do the hand shake thing.

Connor staked out the memorial service looking for vampires. To get them to expose themselves he stabbed Pastor Young's daughter, April, and kept her up in the balcony bleeding all over the place so the vampires would smell blood. Tyler decided to play sacrificial lamb for his vampire friends and let himself be target practice for Connor, once again. When Connor ran for the nearest exit, Damon came after him. Unfortunately, Connor easily over-powered Damon and shot him with his strange bullets and got away.

Later, Connor was at the Mystic Bar noticing the bandage Matt had on his neck, suspecting it was signs of being fed on by a vampire. When Jeremy looked at him, she saw strange tattoos on Connor's arm that only he could see, as Matt told him Connor had no tattoos. Neither of them suspected Connor was the sniper from the church.

I liked Connor. I know we're all supposed to be rooting for the vampires, but they're animals that feed on humans. So I get why humans want to kill them. They're parasites. I'm sorry, but it's true. So I can get why Connor is dedicated to ridding the world of them. I can even understand why he's so ruthless he used an innocent girl as vampire bait to expose all the vampires in the church.

Meanwhile, when Elena told Stefan about all this grief she was feeling, he decided he knew just the cure by sending up paper lanterns with the gang to say goodbye to everyone the lost. Strangely enough, John Gilbert's name wasn't mentioned, even though he gave his life so Elena wouldn't become a vampire. Talk about a wasted sacrifice.

Damon wanted no part of Stefan's little paper lantern idea and went to Alaric's grave with a bottle of booze. He couldn't see Alaric there, telling Damon he missed him, too.

The episode had both good and bad; it was by no means perfect. A lot of the episode had a very season 1 feel, which was refreshing and welcome. All the original core characters got something to do, instead of one character dominating the entire show. It was also nice to see all the characters interacting with each other. The episode had a balance to it that it's been lacking for quite some time.

The bad part was that the show was written like season three never happened. Saint Stefan was back up on his pedestal and his halo was brighter and shinier than ever. This after everything he did in season three as the Ripper and him not really doing anything to redeem himself. It was one of the reasons I never wanted the Ripper story to happen. I knew he'd get free-passed for everything he did. What I didn't suspect was he'd be written like season three never happened as everyone looked up to him as their hero, again.

And the Damon and Alaric final scene was also written like season three never happened. Season three killed any liking I had for the Damon/Alaric friendship. Alaric stopped being Damon's friend. It was nice Damon got a goodbye scene with Alaric, and it might have even moved me if season three hadn't happened, but it did.

I had to suffer through season three and I just can't forget it, just because the show is acting like it never happened.

Still, overall it was a good episode. The new characters meshed well with the core characters, without pushing them aside like the Originals did, last year. Can the show keep it up? Can it get back to the good show it once was and make season three seem like a bad dream? Only time will tell.


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