Episodes: The Vampire Diaries 1.12 – “Unpleasantville”
Original Air Date: January 28, 2010
Screencaps by toxic_caps.
Mystic Falls’s secrets are getting deeper. This week’s episode uses a convenient 1950s decade dance (I wish my high school had those) to explore the secrets of the town and its founders. Meanwhile, someone (or something) bad is out for Elena.
Life and high school both go on for Elena and Jeremy; the former armed with an array of vampire fighting swag like a nifty compass straight out of Diagon Alley and vervain necklaces for all her friends, the latter now possessing a newfound love for primary source documents, a big fat “A” in history, and a new stalker (I can’t remember her name, and I don’t care. We will refer to her as Not Ellen Page).
Despite Elena having a homicidal vampire on her tail, especially when same homicidal vampire has been accidentally invited into her house, she soldiers on as a good sister and dutiful friend. Of course, it helps when you have a set of hot brother vampire body guards. Having a best friend who is a witch is also a huge help, but only when she actually does something. Poor Caroline is still mad at Damon, and who knows what she has going on with Matt. Her Facebook status is “it’s complicated.” Bonnie at least is flirting with the new guy/old jock at the diner, who seems to only work the night shift.
Jeremy is still oblivious to the vampire threat, especially when his new best friend is all about the vampire conspiracy — and Jonathan Gilbert’s journal. The journal is safe with Mr. Saltzman, who really should get a part-time job in the town’s archives. We all know that Alaric has his own ulterior motives, and the poor man is still haunted by the memory of his wife, who was murdered (and eaten) by Damon.
Elena finally confronts Jenna about her parentage. A pregnant woman named Isobel showed up at the late Dr. Gilbert’s office, gave birth, and bolted. The adoption was kept secret, and eventually everyone accepted baby Elena, and the story was forgotten.
Unfortunately, Elena can’t sit around and mope. After all, there is a dance to go to. Everyone looks lovely all dolled up and greased out. Even Jenna gets in on the action as Alaric’s co-chaperone, and Jeremy gets double extra credit for acting as punch boy. Of course, everyone’s going to this dance, including creepy vampire stalkers and homeschooled girls. Not Ellen Page is obsessed with Jonathan Gilbert’s journal, and she knows it is a firsthand account of the founding fathers of Mystic Falls and their battle with the vampires.
That’s because Not Ellen Page is a vampire — the vampire sister to Noah, the homicidal maniac after Elena, the creepshow who is just waiting to get her away from the Salvatores. He does, but only after threatening to kill Jeremy, and she Buffys the crap out of him until the boys can come rescue her. They stake him, torture him, and eventually kill him. He knows about Katherine, the tomb, and he and Not Ellen Page want to play with Elena.
Meanwhile, Alaric and Jenna are having great time together at the dance, even after he runs into Damon and gives him the third degree. Lucky for him, Alaric has a Spidey-sense about vampires, and comes a-running to the fray, or at least to the journal. In fact, their date goes so well (despite the dead wife talk) that they agree to a proper date. Jenna got Alaric to open up about the wife so much, that we even got to learn her name… Isobel.
This mysterious journal tells the secret location of Emily’s lost grimoire, which can open Katherine’s tomb. That’s what’s so special about this book. If only all historic records had such awesome secret uses. Stefan lets Damon think he can open the tomb, take Katherine, and leave Mystic Falls. Not so much, as we learn that Stefan is just as much of a liar as Damon is, if not even more self-righteous.
This episode closes with Not Ellen Page. She has a plan. She has a boyfriend: Bonnie’s crush.
Again, this show just gets better and better. The Vampire Diaries continues to go above and beyond the normal expectations for a teen show, especially considering the post-Twilight backlash against teenage vampires and vampire stories. This show is no longer a guilty pleasure. There’s nothing to feel guilty about.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars