Vampire Diaries: My Brother’s Keeper

VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.07 “My Brother’s Keeper”

Developments, developments! What an episode, right?

Let’s start with what everyone’s talking about. Elena could be sired? To Damon? Now, personally, I’m a huge Elena/Damon shipper, so I’m thrilled that she and Stefan are over, and I’ve been loving the lingering glances Elena has had toward Damon over the course of this episode. And hey, getting together in the end? Hell yes!

But I’m not so thrilled to hear why. That Elena could be sired to Damon, which is why she’s been feeling strongly toward him and why she’s been listening to everything he’s said. I fear they’re going to make this into an argument to hate Damon — like he knew it all along. And was using it to his advantage.

Now, somehow I don’t think Damon would have known about this. I just don’t think he’s that evil. And Elena…she did have some feelings for Damon before, so it wouldn’t surprise me that those feelings were magnified. But I suppose that Stefan and Caroline have a point about her suddenly agreeing with him on April’s dress or because she can’t drink anything that’s not from the vein. But then again, didn’t it take some good convincing a couple episodes ago for Elena not to kill herself? If she were really sired, a quick, “Stop that” would do the trick.

Personally, I don’t think Elena’s changed all that much to really warrant Caroline and Stefan’s huge freakout. A lot of this could be because of her morphing into a vampire. It’s not all that easy, you know. Personally, I’d like to have faith in Damon and just think that it’s the natural progression of Elena.

As for Stefan, I’m pretty ticked at him. His forcing Jeremy to kill…he deserved that stake in the gut. I mean, did he not think there may be repercussions when you’re dealing with a force so powerful that it creates hunters generation after generation. But I’m soooo interested in seeing where Jeremy goes from here. Somehow, I see dark things.

Namely: I don’t think one of our fan favorites will make it through this season. This is just a hunch, but one of our favorite vamps may not make it through. And while I’d love for it to be Stefan, I think Caroline or Tyler might be the ones on the chopping block.

Like I said, just a hunch. Jeremy’s a powerful beast, and though Matt’s involvement will keep him at bay (and by the way, I love that partnership). But still, no human can stop a hunter. That’s even harder than stopping a vampire.

Vampire Diaries: We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes

VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.06 “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes”

I had to take a little time before writing about Vampire Diaries thins week, which has both helped and hurt me. For one, I now don’t remember much about the episode. But on the other hand, a lot of my aggression has gone down.

Aggression? Where did that come from? One word. And it’s an iconic vampire word: Buffy.

I know I should leave all the comparisons at the door, but this episode just screamed Buffy‘s episode “Amends” to me (which is funny, since I’ve compared an episode of this series to “Amends” before).

But in “Amends,” Angel is haunted by ghosts of the people he’s killed, all in the hopes that he’ll kill himself. Being too weak to kill himself, he resigns himself to standing on a hill, waiting for the sun to come up. I won’t tell you the rest, but if you can’t watch it yourself, you can read my review of the episode from last Christmas.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the twist that having killed a Hunter, Elena is now cursed to be haunted by her first kill, I didn’t so much like the point of the end result. It all just felt too familiar and unoriginal, all because I’d seen it before. Sure, she didn’t end up on a hill — she ended up on a bridge. But there she was with no daylight ring waiting for the sun to come up.

I was also disappointed to see Katherine’s role in all of it. When the previews hyped Katherine’s return, I really thought we’d see the real Katherine, not the fake ghost Katherine. Somehow, seeing the real Katherine react to Elena’s vamp self would have been so much more interesting.

The only redeeming part of the episode was seeing Damon and Elena. Damon is working for the betterness of Elena, even to the point of being so honest with her about his brother’s intentions. But on the bright side, I did enjoy that Stefan and Elena finally called it quits. I’ve been waiting for that one for forever (of course, I’m a well-known Damon/Elena shipper), but she and Stefan are just so boring! Thank goodness!

So those were my reactions. I guess there’s more to be said about Jeremy (I really wonder what his first kill will mean for him), and I still don’t trust the professor, but that’s all I’ve got right now. What did you think?

Vampire Diaries: Kill or Be Killed

VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.05 “The Killer”

Oh, Elena, don’t you know that when you kill someone, you don’t bury the body? You set it up so it looks like an accident so no one knows they were ever killed. Sheesh.

I’m kidding, of course. It actually was a great episode, seeing Elena make her first kill. Now, I’ve never killed anyone, and I can’t imagine what it would feel like, and yes, Elena was in a state of rage. But wasn’t part of this an attitude of “kill or be killed”? She was protecting Jeremy, not including Stefan, Damon, Caroline, herself.

But she did take a life, and we all knew that with her compassion, that would change her. I wonder what we’ll see of her next because I can’t imagine that this is the end of the aftermath.

Meanwhile, Jeremy is the newest one of the Five. Now, this was an incredibly predictable turn of events, but I’m finding it really interesting, too. Would he really turn against vampires? But at the same time, now there’s an opportunity to yet again find the cure.

Oh, the cure. The cure the cure the cure. Remember that episode of Angel, when Spike and Angel were on pursuit of the one thing that would bring their redemption (one could argue it was a cure of sorts), and it ended up being a cup of Mellow Yellow? Yeah, somehow I see this “cure” as a cup of Mellow Yellow. A) It seems too easy. And B) it makes no logical sense.

If the Five are vampire hunters, whose sole purpose is to kill vampires, why would their map lead them to a cure for vampirism? And why would they consider it the greatest weapon? My guess? It’s actually a weapon, something that will KILL all the vampires. I mean, that would “cure” the world of vampires, wouldn’t it? More people can’t become vampires if there are no vampires to turn them.

It just feels incredibly gullible for Stefan, Klaus, and Damon to really think there is a cure.

Those are just my reactions. What about you? Are you as skeptical as I am?

Vampire Diaries: Memorial

VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.02 “Memorial”

I wanted to write about tonight’s episode of Vampire Diaries while I’m still reacting. And by “still reacting,” I mean that I very well could burst into tears just thinking about the end of the episode again. It was hard enough for me to stop in the first place.

What a fantastic episode. I mean, really fantastic. And it wasn’t one I was looking forward to. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen so many people transition, whether on this show or other vampire series (including things like, ugggggh, Twilight), but I just thought that seeing Elena’s struggle would be boring. It doesn’t help matters that she’d be going through this with Mr. Boring himself, Stefan Salvatore.

But it was actually the opposite. While I’d never really recommend adding vomit to spice up a series, Elena’s struggle to keep down blood that wasn’t from the vein was a great move on the writers’ part to keep our attention. Clearly, it’s not going to be so easy for Elena (I doubt she’s 100% ready for vampire-dom after this episode, no matter what strides she took), and I was really enjoying watching it. Of course, seeing her rely on Damon — myself being a Damon/Elena shipper — certainly didn’t hurt.

Meanwhile, we had a new vampire hunter in town. Though many people were wondering (much like a certain commenter on this site) whether Damon had a hand in the reverend’s death, we did ultimately find out that it was part of a master plan. The vampire hunter, Connor, though… What’s his story? Other than violently (and openly) wanting all vampires dead, no matter what he needs to do to assure it (including murder in a crowded room), we don’t really know where he came from or how he found out about Mystic Falls. All we know is that he’s rather ruthless and lethal. We’re just lucky that Tyler can’t be killed in traditional ways.

Plus, it’s clear that there’s more to him that meets the eye — literally. Jeremy was able to see hidden ink on Connor, something no one else can. What is he a part of?

But all that action and mystery isn’t what we were left with at the end of the episode. It was the grief. The grief that we’ve held onto for years at this point that, as Elena pointed out, we never got to release. As they named name after name after name, it was shocking to really think of all those characters that TVD lost (or killed off) in recent years.

And while those lanterns were lovely, it wasn’t what made the tears start flowing. Damon’s speech at Alaric’s grave really hit home. His one close friend and confidante — the one that he was unable to kill when he needed to last year — is gone, and Damon’s left to pick up the pieces. To make matters worse, we had Alaric sitting there, listening to every word, knowing that Damon wasn’t really angry. He was just hurt. And he missed his friend.

It was a touching moment and a wonderful one for Vampire Diaries. I’ll tell you what: I’ve complained about some things about TVD in the past, but the big, poignant moments, they know how to do right.

Vampire Diaries: You Feed or You Die

VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.02 “Growing Pains”

Kudos to Vampire Diaries. Based on last year’s season finale, I was sure that Elena would be transitioning in this episode, and the big debate would be who and how she would feed. In the end, someone like Matt or Jeremy would step up to let her feed on him, to sacrifice a part of themselves (they wouldn’t die, mind you) and save her.

But this episode actually made you wonder whether there’d be a loophole. Bonnie’s attempt to save her (though still, I don’t know how dragging her from the jail cell she was in would help) put a new possibility into the whole story. What if she really could save Elena?

On top of this, while feeding was the backup plan, we had the reverend, rounding up the vampire population one by one, making even the final opportunity for feeding near impossible. It was quickly becoming you wait and you die, not you feed or you live.

So good job, TVD. In the end, Elena still became a vamp, but we certainly had a ride on the way there. And with the Council quickly taking over the town, you really wonder what’s going to happen next. There are definitely dark times ahead.

But let’s forget all that and focus on two main people: Damon and Bonnie. Let’s start with Damon. Clearly, Damon’s not handling the whole realization that not only is Elena a vampire and Stefan let her die, but she chose Stefan in the end, not him. Even after she remembered the heartbreaking confession that he loved her a few seasons ago (I’m so glad she finally remembered that!), she still chose Stefan in this episode, stating later that she would be with him forever. Of course, I’m a huge Damon shipper, and I look forward to seeing how he’ll react to her new role on the show (plus, Stefan’s boring as all get-out), but I just wish he’d get a happy ending already.

And I wouldn’t mind his giving Matt a break, too. It wasn’t his choice, after all.

As for Bonnie, well, I’m not really sure what happened. I mean, I saw it, and I understand that the dark magic basically took out her Grams, but what does that mean for Bonnie in the long run? Is there more dark power headed her way? Bonnie’s always been one for vengeance, so will she take out what happened on her peers, knowing Klaus was the one who made her do it (and Caroline begged her to do it, too, since she wanted Tyler to live). I certainly don’t think that was the end of Bonnie’s dark magic consequences, but I don’t know what’s next.

What’d you think of the premiere?

A Belated Open Thread: How’s Finale Season Been to You?

Was yesterday Thursday? Oops. I guess I missed that. Not entirely, mind you. I watched my three episodes of Community and even made sure to find out who died on Grey’s Anatomy (it’s not a spoiler when the promo tells you someone will). I guess I’m just way too wrapped up in all the finale madness. Speaking of…

How have you  been liking the finales of you favorite shows so far?

Ok, ok, not every show has ended yet. Revenge finishes up next week, for example (I’m so excited). But many of our favorite shows have, and I want to know your thoughts.

Personally, I’ve been rather pleased. Sure, I might not agree with writer KT on Once Upon a Time, and I didn’t watch the Castle finale that everyone seems to be talking about. And yeah, I might have seen How I Met Your Mother‘s ending coming a mile away.

But ultimately, I’ve really been enjoying them. Last night’s Community fest was great, even if the season finale felt more like a series finale. Smash was just a ton of fun with original music to boot (and it gave me goosebumps). Oh, and don’t get me started on Vampire Diaries. That episode was pure fantastic, making me gasp, cry, and squint at the TV in disbelief (and/or suspicion) all at the same time. Completely worth it!

Really, I’ve been treated pretty well this finale season. What about you?


Vampire Diaries: Birthdays and Good-Byes


Wow. First, I guess it’s impressive that I actually started this post with wow. I haven’t been quiet about the fact that this season hasn’t impressed me. Stefan’s still one of my least favorite characters, and I wasn’t thrilled to see that we still had to deal with Klaus. And last episode — the first after the winter break — didn’t impress me month, because despite the fantastic breakdown provided by The TV Addict about what happened in the episodes I missed, everything was still pretty much at square one, except that everybody who wasn’t already broke up was in the outs now. Yes, I’m looking at you, Bonnie, Tyler, Jeremy, and Caroline (and not in that particular order).

So I wasn’t hoping for much in this episode. And to be fair, not much happened. But there was one scene that has turned me around on the show. And that was the incredibly interesting scene between Caroline and Klaus.

After Tyler bit Caroline, her only hope for survival was Klaus. His blood is the only cure to a werewolf bite (we’ll ignore the little fact that, technically, Tyler is a hybrid now — I guess they have the same effect). It was her birthday, so this didn’t exactly come at the same time. Caroline was already down on the fact that, frankly, she was dead, so to celebrate a birthday was rather moot.

The scene where Klaus comes in to save her is one of the few that actually has shown that Klaus has any depth of character. His discussion of time and birthdays was just so interesting. Even Caroline didn’t know how to respond. It was an incredibly well-done scene, one that gives me hope for the rest of the series, especially since I still don’t know why Klaus told Tyler to bite Caroline in the first place. Despite his suspicious kindness, there must be a plan.

Beyond that, we had the same ol’ series. Of course, as a massive shipper of Elena and Damon, I’ve somehow memorized the phrase, “It’s right. It’s just not the right time.” I love how their relationship is slowly developing and the kind patience he seems to have for her. Elena’s own scene was Stefan was just the opposite. Perhaps it’s because I missed a few episodes before the break, but I didn’t quite understand why he said he told him good-bye when he first left town. This invisible wall between the two of them (while nice since I’m a Damon/Elena shipper) is kind-of annoying, since Elena seems to be denying it’s there.

We also had Elena’s former self’s funeral. Sorry, but that one went over my head a bit, too. I doubt that Elena is in any way close to the person she was when her parents were alive (by the way, I did love that Stefan was going to kill her in the same way her parents died), so to say she’s afraid to let that go was weird. Anyway…

In other news, we had Alaric, who has his own new gal pal (strangely enough, the actress who plays her happens to be married to Stefan’s Paul Wesley), who is clearly a psycho. Don’t worry, she’s used to playing such things. I don’t know what they’re going to do with this, but it does make me chuckle if they ever hook up, to think of Wesley watching on, creepo-husband-style.

Finally, Jeremy. I should have said this last week, but since he’s saying good-bye now, I suppose it’s fair to mention it now: I don’t want to see him go, and I certainly hope that it’s not permanent. I know that’s rare for me to say. I’m usually a fan of seeing characters come full circle and then end their time on a show. He’s one of the few that’s really done a huge job developing his character (just think of how annoying he was in the first season), but he’s clearly developed a dark side, decapitating one of Klaus’ minions on the front steps of his house. Given all he’s gone through, he just is an incredibly complex and interesting character. This show needs more of them (right, Stefan?), and I do hope he’s back.

So that’s what I’ve got for birthdays and good-byes. Your thoughts on the episode?

The 2011 Awards: Part 1

It’s that time of year. I asked for some nominees from you, the readers, and now it’s time to announcing the winners of the 2011 Awards here on Raked. We’ve got a good mix of shows presented (and I hope you’ll agree), and just like last year, if you see a suggestion marked with an asterisk (*), that means that one of our readers suggested it for the list.

So enjoy Part 1 below. I’ll be following up tomorrow with more award winners!

The 2011 Awards!

Best Cliffhanger: Peter’s Disappearance, Fringe. This is one storyline that kept me going all summer long. And then the teasers, where you didn’t see him, and his voice just kept cutting in and out — that gave me goosebumps of anticipation! Come on, it even had it’s own tagline. That reminds me…

Best TV-Related Tagline: Where is Peter Bishop?, Fringe. Hell yes. Seriously. I think I still want this printed on a T-shirt or sweatshirt that I can wear in public.

Most Inventive New Show: American Horror Story. Sure, it had its flaws (Dylan McDermott for one; the antichrist for another), but when you can’t name another show like it and it gets consistent ratings, it’s certainly one to check out. This one has to be one of the most inventive new shows of the year, making me wonder most: What will next season be like?

*Creepiest Family Relationship: James and Angela Darmody, Boardwalk Empire. We had two gross examples of incest this year, both on the same network! Jaime and Cersei Lannister of Game of Thrones, and James and Angela Darmody of Boardwalk Empire. I think the award has to go to the Darmody’s though, because even if it only happens once, having sex with your mom is way more disgusting than having sex with your sibling.

#1 Character I Still Don’t Care About: Stefan, The Vampire Diaries. The idea of Stefan becoming a baddie seemed like an interesting idea. But the implementation was sloppy, and he’s certainly no Angelus. In the end, I never really cared about him anyway, so bad or good, I just don’t care.

Best Hair: Bridget, Ringer. Considering that she went from drug addict stripper forced to come clean after witnessing a murder and going into police detection, she sure knows how to make a neat chignon. Kudos.

Worst Hair: Bridget, Ringer. That ponytail with hair extensions in one of the early episodes was an awful mistake.

Most Annoying Teenage Character: Josh, Terra Nova, and Haddie, Parenthood. It’s a tie! I couldn’t just pick one. Falling in the footsteps of Tyler from V, we have two fantastic characters that bring down a show with something as small as a roll of their eyes. Whining, pitching fits, running away — you name it. These kids make us wince when they come on the screen — and make us change the channel when an episode is dependent on their plotline.

Best Standout Episodes: How I Met Your Mother. From Marshall’s dad’s death to Barney’s discovering his father to Robin’s discovery that she can’t have kids, How I Met Your Mother has brought us some fantastic standout episodes in 2011. Sure, there may have been weak ones in between, but these are the ones that make us keep watching.

*Best Newcomer Actress: Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones. She was given the most difficult role of any of the kids. Sansa could play the lady at court, which isn’t easy, but it’s not particularly hard; Bran could play the broken kid; but she had to play the line of the willful tomboy girl without making it seem out of context given the setting. Also, the work she did in Ned’s final episode was just awesome. Plus, it’s a rather physical role, given the left-handed fencing (and I don’t think she’s left-handed either).

*Best Newcomer Actor: Joel Kinnaman, The Killing. He did a great job showing the audience a conflicted, unexpectedly deep character. Despite how they screwed him up at the end that somehow he was a traitor, his acting performance was still well-done.

Best Musical Episode: “Regional Holiday Music,” Community. Oh, sure, many of you are probably upset that Community won over Glee. I agree. I do have a big soft spot in my heart for Community, and to be fair, everyone expects Glee to have song and dance numbers. People never know what to expect with the gang at Community, which is why I give the award to the Greendale crew for their festive, musical Christmas episode.

Best Musical Performance: Michael’s Song, The Office. Again, Glee could have had a shot here, but it’s missing the sentimentality that The Office had as they gave Michael a final musical number before he moved to Colorado, which even became a Moment of the Week here at Raked.

Cutest Reaction to Pregnancy News: Booth, Bones. That smile that filled his entire face at the end of last season? I think it’s what any single girl telling the father of her accidental unborn child hopes for.

Best Episode of the Year: The Pilot, The Killing. The show flunked in its finale, but the first episode was probably one of the most well-done episodes I’ve ever seen. Michelle Forbes alone was incredible. This was the one show I recommended to anyone I saw after the first episode. (If only I knew how the season would end; perhaps I would have altered that recommendation.)


And there’s Part 1!
Check back tomorrow for more 2011 Award Winners!

Thursday Open Thread: Lame TV Villains

It’s been hard keeping up with The Vampire Diaries. Fortunately, now, I seem to be caught up. I know, I know, it took me a while. But while the season has gotten better, now that Stefan has gone all big baddie, the real “Big Bad” is just another lame-o. (Maybe that’s why I wasn’t watching.)

I’ve said it before. I wasn’t impressed with Klaus last season, and I’m not feeling any better about him this season. In fact, I would say that he’s definitely one of the lamest TV villains ever. I just don’t get a scared vibe from him. He’s thin, scrawny, small, and ultimately annoying. He rarely ever puts on his fang face or even his werewolf one, and he’s just rather dull. You know, there are a lot of villains that make other people do their dirty work, but somehow, Klaus isn’t threatening when he orders people around.

I mean, if he would at least ruthlessly kill, that would be great. But even when he’s down with the bloodletting, he wants Stefan to do it. If he’s not going to kill anyone, why should we really be scared? Ok, so he killed Elena’s aunt, but that was really long and drawn-out and a one-time thing. What I’m really saying here is that it’s not enough. I just don’t see it. He’s lame.

All that’s to say…

Who do you think is the lamest TV villain?

Klaus is no Angelus. Let’s just say that. Who else could be a better baddie?

image from Yahoo! TV

Really, I think the 1990s-esque beaded necklaces make him look especially threatening. Don’t you?

Catching Up on ‘Vampire Diaries’

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: 3.02 “The Hybrid”
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: 3.03 “The End of the Affair”
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: 3.04 “Disturbing Behavior”

I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t written about Vampire Diaries lately. I’ve actually been doing a pretty good job of watching the show on Thursday, but writing about it has become a bit of a time-management struggle. I’ll try to fix that in the uture.

But anyway, on to the show. The season isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but I can’t say I’m all that enthralled. I still think it’s an incredibly bad mistake to lean the entire season on Stefan. I find him to be completely boring, which has been what I’ve been saying for the past two seasons. I don’t care if Stefan’s evil. I don’t care if he’s good. I really just don’t care about Stefan. And I’m a little disappointed. After Stefan remembered his past, including his old feelings for Rebecca, I did hope that we would really see a different side of Stefan, but no. Thursday’s episode proved to be more of the same. He’s still boring.

And the plot is just as complicated as before. As soon as Rebecca was introduced, I sighed. Another Original? We’re not over the Original storyline? Funnily enough, I like Rebecca. She’s much more threatening than Klaus (I still get no fearful rumblings from seeing Klaus, which might be why this story is still boring), and she’s just entertaining. But I want to get out of this obsession with the Original. It was too long and too boring last season; I don’t want more of the same.

Which it looks like we’re getting. I like the fact that they’re back in Mystic Falls, but Klaus’ pursuit of the doppelganger all over again makes me roll my eyes. We need something non-Klaus this season.

Now, Caroline is a different story. So is Jeremy. Both of them have great storylines, and I look forward to finding out more. Anna, for some reason, is much more tolerable ghostly than alive, and I want to know why she and Nikki are there. And there’s the question of who to trust. Last episode makes me think we should trust Anna, but I don’t know. Why shouldn’t we be trusting Nikki?

As for Caroline, I don’t think we’re seeing the last of her dad. At least, I hope not. That was probably the best storyline we had going for a while — not the fact that he’s her dad, but that he thinks he can actually cleanse people from being vampires. Could he really leave that easily? I hope not.

And what about Alaric? His alcoholism is getting a little old, but I think he took a new turn in this last episode. Suddenly wanting to join the Council. And his ring. If it really did take him longer to come to life, do you think that could be wearing off? Perhaps Damon wasn’t being serious when he asked, but it did get me thinking…

Anyway, I just really hoped this season would be different. Is that too much to ask for? Yet, I can’t stop watching. Well, we’ll see, I guess.