Episode: The Vampire Diaries 1.08 – “162 Candles”
Original Air Date: November 5, 2009
Screencaps by toxic_caps.
It’s not easy being 17. Or 162. Or 350. Life keeps going; issues will always come to the surface, and sometimes the bigger you get, the bigger the problem. The same is true for the afterlife — there are secret vampire hunting councils to contend with, vervain-dealing businesses to keep up, evil (or good) brothers to monitor and manipulate, recent killings to cover up, and even the undead don’t get a break on their birthdays.
The beautiful thing about Vampire Diaries, especially an episode like this one, is that it serves to remind the viewer of the very special demographic it occupies. Not only is this a vampire show, but it’s also a teenage melodrama, and honey, this ain’t no Twilight. While this episode didn’t throw down the gauntlet in the way last week’s did, the show is definitely starting to lead us down a darker, more morally ambiguous path.
This week, we find Stefan trying not to celebrate his 162 birthday — although we never quite know if it’s his birth-birthday or his death-birthday. Not that Stefan has much to celebrate right now; his girlfriend just broke up with him, he just killed Vicki Donovan, and his sociopathic brother Damon turned out to be the one who saved the day by constructing an excellent glamour to cover everything up. That’s a lot for any vampire to handle, let alone a perpetually 17-year-old one.
Enter Lexi, an old (very old) friend of Stefan’s who is making her yearly birthday visit to her favorite Salvatore. Lexi is gorgeous, outgoing, curvy, blond, wise — everything that Elena isn’t. It’s a good thing that Lexi and Stefan are Just Friends, although their chemistry has a little too much bite to be purely platonic, dontcha think? Regardless, Lexi issues a stern warning about being good to Damon, who doesn’t like stern warnings. That can’t bode well.
Lexi has some big plans to help Stefan celebrate the big 1-6-2, much to his chagrin. This vampire is a little busy for house guests, but Lexi quickly makes herself at home. Damon is also pleased to see her; as much as Damon can be pleased with anybody but himself.
Meanwhile, in human land, many people are abuzz with the sudden, mysterious “disappearance” of Vicki. (Did you notice she didn’t go poof? Interesting mythology choice.) Matt misses his sister but isn’t surprised she is gone; Jeremy is sad but resigned, and actually does some homework (shocker!), Damon’s little vamp head game is doing its job. Elena, like always, is starting to crack a little around the edges, she still doesn’t know how much she can handle. Understandable, but makes for a very naïve lead character. She still wants Stefan to stay away (yeah, right), but she needs to wise up and take a page out of the Liz Parker/Buffy Summers book. She’s still got it bad for her brooding (bad, but not so bad) boy.
Bonnie, our favorite good witch since Glinda, is learning all about her super duper witchy powers from Grams. Even though her shiny new jewel is an heirloom, Bonnie tries to give it up. Grandma won’t let her — the talisman chose her.
Damon, who is never up to any good, has taken over Zach’s vervain-dealing business, and is quite good at appearing innocuous while pumping the Sheriff for information. The council is old, as old as the town, and now Damon knows exactly where they are in their hunt for the new vampires.
Bonnie, in a sudden turn, comes out as a witch to Elena, who takes it all in stride. I guess it is a lot easier to show your magic when you can float a feather rather than setting someone on fire?
Meanwhile, Damon runs into a very mad Caroline. He promptly puts the whammy on her, convincing her to throw a party and get his jewel back from Bonnie. Lest we forget, there is a new vampire in town who isn’t 100% fond of Damon Salvatore.
Lexi, bless her undead heart, does everything from hit a blood bag like a Capri Sun to totally freaking out Elena by answering the door in nothing but a towel. Now, of course, Elena is naturally pissed (per usual), but Lexi knows all about Katherine, and is even more upset that Stefan can’t let it go. Simple fact, Stefan is in love with Elena, and knows as much. Lexi gets our star-crossed lovers talking again, but Stefan still can’t convince her to join them at the party.
Now, so far, Mystic Falls and parties do not go well together. This party is no exception — Caroline tries ripping the necklace off of Bonnie, it shocks her, she gets mad at Damon, and promptly gets wasted (and gets a new relationship possibility, mayhaps?). Damon’s on the hunt, looking for a way to get off the Council’s radar, Bonnie is a little taken aback by her frenemy, and Lexi is trying to make Stefan feel better about Elena, who eventually shows up at the party.
Lexi is a vamp who understands Girl Code. After having a little chitchat with Elena (Stefan couldn’t help but overhear), she sets her straight, and back on a path to Stefan.
Now, no good deed goes unpunished in horror, and there is still a vampire Council looking to find somebody to blame for the murders. Damon wreaks his bloody havoc, and sets up Lexi to take the fall. He poisons her (she is an evil vampire after all), and Sheriff Forbes tries taking her down. Damon ends up staking her, saving himself and his brother from the Council.
Naturally Stefan is upset, and attacks his brother, unprovoked. He jabs Damon in the gut, sparing his life as Damon as saved his. Elena witness the horror show, and any progress that she might have made with Stefan is now moot. Yet this act does raise an interesting Cain and Abel proposition — which one is the good brother?
As if we weren’t shocked enough, Bonnie has a terribly vivid dream, and Emily warns her, “It is coming.” She wakes up in the cemetery, which does not bode well for next week.