2×17 – Know Thy Enemy

Thoughts, Questions & Comments on 2×17 – Know Thy Enemy

We literally start right where THG ended, with Jenna staring at Isobel slack jawed and Elena looking less than pleased to see Mommy Dearest back in Mystic Falls. I know a lot of people think Jenna is boring or useless but I actually really really like her. Yeah, she’s kinda clueless sometimes but she’s really feisty in her own way. It’s not easy doing what she’s done by becoming Elena and Jeremy’s legal guardian. And her relationship with Ric is such a realistic one. One of the very few things I liked about THG was when Caroline suggested that Ric was lying to protect her and Jenna said that wasn’t a good enough excuse. I think I was knocking on Elena’s head on my TV screen going, “Did you hear that, Elena? It’s NOT an excuse!”

And plus I really loved that moment between Elena and Jenna in Miss Mystic when Jenna was doing her hair and they were talking about Miranda. All this to say that Jenna’s legit heartache here really touched me. Poor her.

I’m not sure what’s up with this show that you have three such cool characters in Jenna, Caroline and Damon who all have enormous amounts of love to give, who deserve to be loved and treated well and yet they are all miserable and in the case of Caroline, in love with someone who isn’t close to good enough for her or to her. *sigh*

I should also say here that I wasn’t excited for Isobel’s return and it lived down to my expectations. It was a plot device to start setting stuff up with Klaus and it felt like it. I’m not surprised she died because from the minute John told Damon in Daddy Issues that, “If Isobel’s plan works, Klaus will never set foot in town” and since I already knew that Klaus would be setting both feet and fangs into Mystic Falls, I knew that it wasn’t going to end well for Isobel.

So then we get the scene from the webclip. I’m kind of gobsmacked by Stefan and not really in a good way. He doesn’t know what Isobel is doing there? Really? Dude, you went to LOOK for her. Remember that? While your girlfriend and your brother were dealing with a sick and rabid Rose, you were out tracking her down. WHY are you surprised that she’s turned up? And how can you possibly be credible in your distrust of her when you were planning to ask her for help in the first place?

Ay. No wonder Damon’s an alcoholic. If I had to deal with Stefan’s contradictions for five minutes let alone a century and a half, I’d be an alcoholic too.

I’m quite tired of Kat’s games. They’re not new or interesting anymore.

Also not interesting? Stefan trying to deliver snarky one – liners. Dude, leave it to the experts and stick to brooding. You’re actually good at that. 😆

Ric punching John? Made of so much awesome I don’t even have words.

I love Elena’s expression when she turns around to face John after Ric leaves. It’s like. “you just got so pwned and I love it!”

I’m actually not surprised by the direction that they’ve gone in with John. It was hinted at in the season one finale when he was trying to explain himself to “Elena”. I have a strong feeling based on the end of this episode that John is Elena’s new and surprising “ally”. He owes her and he does genuinely want to protect her and I think he meant it when he said he’d do whatever she asked him to.

I like Caroline and her friendship/relationship with Stefan. They’re actually good for each other. Same can’t be said for Caroline/Matt or Stefan/Elena.

But speaking of Elena, I really liked her in this episode. She’s got her claws out and her back up. I love her when she’s fierce.

Can’t help but love that Elena has been putting Damon and Stefan on “equal terms” lately. Whenever it comes to them being in danger in some way, she never leaves Damon out. In this instance she was reminding John that he nearly killed the both of them.

Meanwhile Team Milk & Cookies and Bonnie the Judgy Witch are on a mission. Someone pointed out in a different recap – either Thomas Galvin or the lady who does the TRA ones – that it’s kind of ironic that Bonnie tells Damon not to disrespect them (Jonas/Luka) right before she rummages around through all their stuff and then takes off to channel the magic of dead witches who I’m sure have better things to do with their afterlife.

And what exactly is so disrespectful about cremation? Some people prefer it and unless I’m mistaken it’s tradition in a number of religions. So yeah. I don’t get that.

Why is Bonnie surprised to know that Damon knows where the witches were burned? Puta, por favor. He was there. 😆 😆 (Note, as much as I don’t like Bonnie, I’m not calling her a bitch or a whore, I just happen to find that expression really amusing. :lol:)

Oh so there was a point to Bonnie pulling books off of shelves with her brain last season in “Isobel”. Points for continuity. 😆

It never ceases to amaze me how Katherine and Elena genuinely look like two different people to me even though I know they are played by the same person 😆 😆

Having said that, I was bored by this stretch of the episode. Can Isobel be trusted? Yes, no? Is she betraying Elena or is she betraying Katherine?

I. Could. Care. Less.

And just in case there was any doubt, deeding over the house to Elena must have been Damon’s idea because earlier on in the episode Stefan is saying (after he heard Isobel’s safe house idea btw) how her house is so much safer cos not any and every vampire can get into it.

Best line of the episode? “Don’t mistake the fact that we haven’t set you on fire in your sleep, for trust.” See, Stefan. That’s how you deliver snarky one liners.

Carol/Liz/Caroline/Stefan/Elena scene. Zzzzzzzz

Team Milk & Cookies <3<3 I love Damon’s expression when Jer steps on that creaky board and freaks himself out. Damon looks back at him and he has this smirk on his face. Like a big brother tormenting a younger sibling with scary stories. Too cute.

Can I say something? I really don’t like the witches. And this is about so much more than just Bonnie. They’re all so judgy and I do NOT understand why they have it in for Damon when HE kept to his part of the deal that was struck with Emily. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t like them. So there.

I suppose there is some logic in the “hide things in plain sight” ruse but I can’t t help but think Damon could have thought of some place else to keep it. To be honest, I thought he would have kept it on him.

Isobel/Ric. Eh. Whatever.

“Screw you too, Emily.” ❤ Love this man, seriously.

I heart mini Gilbert. He’s presh.

Scholarship fund acceptance/Isobel biting John/ Stefan taking his eye off Elena/Elena getting kidnapped/Stefan getting vervained by Katherine: I was very bored with all of this. Stefan is silly for worrying about John and not sticking closer to Elena. The only interesting thing here is that he’s still not immune to vervain. I also wonder how many times they had to film that bit with Paul getting thrown into the bush; must have sucked for him. Unless he used a body double.

Someone made a hilarious comment. If anyone else had seen Stefan push “Elena” like that, they might have reported him for abuse. 😆

More witch mumbo jumbo. Wake me when it’s over.

Love Damon’s snark in this scene where he’s dealing with John’s body.  Speaking of which, I really don’t get how Isobel was able to drain him. Shouldn’t he have been drinking vervain? I suppose that Isobel might have built up a tolerance to it but she was compelled by Klaus. Now maybe his compulsion is special and can trump vervain but it still feels a little clumsy.

But speaking of substances that can be ingested, I’m real curious what would happen if the vampires started to ingest wolfsbane. Would it help at all to protect them from werewolf bites?

I’ve never liked Matt. Now, I’m starting to actively hate Matt.

I love that Damon just dropped John’s body on the floor.

And yes, I will take a moment out of this recap to shamelessly and shallowly ogle Damon shirtless.

….

Do you mind? I’m still ogling. O_O

Superreluctant voice powers activate.

What’s prettier than half naked Damon? Angry half naked Damon.

Isobel, Elena, cemetery, death by sunburn; really not that interesting to me. I just didn’t care. Neither did I especially care or feel bad for Klaus getting his hands on Katherine. Though it is a (kind refreshing to be honest) change of pace to see Katherine genuinely scared.

Matt is a douche. I felt so bad for Caroline in these scenes. She genuinely loves him – God knows why.

Bonnie making things fly around and make noise with her brain. I’m still bored.

I have to crack up at Stefan’s “I swear to god if she’s not here” dot dot dot. Yes, Stefan, you have my attention. If she’s not here what are you going to do? *waits expectantly*

Obviously lessons in snarky one liners aren’t the only thing Stefan needs. He’d do well to take a seminar on the importance of not making empty and or toothless threats.

Also, why the hell are they literally walking around that house? If ever there’s a time to use vampire super speed, wouldn’t this be it?

Okay so Isobel says Elena can’t be compelled. I assume this means that Elena is drinking vervain and so compulsion as the “excuse” for Delena having fun together next episode is off the table. *breaths easier but eyes the writers warily wondering how else they might try to trick me*

Also with all these “gray” characters and vampires who still have their humanity. It’s beginning to get a little hollow. Isobel’s confession felt like something I’ve heard way to many times now and it’s starting to bore me. I hope Klaus is not going to be another to that list. He needs to be evil. Period.

Matt/ Caroline. And here I thought Tyler couldn’t be topped after the way he acted to her in Daddy Issues. Matt proved me wrong. I especially hated that line where he said “I don’t want to look at you and see what I’m seeing right now.”

Well eff you, Matt, eff you.

I thought Elena’s reaction to Isobel’s death was realistic. And I like that it parallels the webclip from the next episode where Stefan and Damon actually act like brothers and discuss the possibility that Katherine is dead.

Loved the D/E interaction here when he brings her the deed to the house to sign. There was a discussion on VD-net about how to define a D/E scene. And for me it’s just scenes where they have a “moment”, when – even if it’s just a few seconds – they are only focused on each other.

We got that here with the look she gave him and the little smile he gave back. There was definitely eye sex involved. Made me happy as I have really missed seeing this kind of vibe between them.

And I ROTFL at John’s reaction when he wakes up and a second later Damon has him by the throat. He immediately starts babbling and apologizing because he knows that if he doesn’t talk fast Damon will end him for putting Elena at risk.

And I loved that Elena let Damon keep John hanging for a just a little bit before she told him to let him go.  You can argue that Damon is more reckless or impulsive or violent than Stefan but the fact is that he’s active where a lot of the time Stefan is passive. In this scene, if you’d never watched TVD before, you’d swear that Damon was the one Elena was in a relationship with. He took it personally that someone put her at risk and he was ready to rain hellfire and brimstone on them because of it. Elena, and only Elena, held him back.

He’s so fiercely protective of her but it’s not in an “I need to keep you safe from life and the whole world” way like Stefan is.  Damon knows she can handle herself but there are some situations he doesn’t want her to have to handle. Like when he told her she didn’t have to meet with Isobel back in season one. He doesn’t want to protect her from life or the whole world; just the things he knows can really, legitimately hurt her. Most of the time, if she asks him to, he’ll back down. Trying to sacrifice herself is just about the only exception. He’s definitely not backing down on that come hell or high water or @mrholymonster.

So, I said before that I’m not a big fan of Bonnie. However, she gets no condemnation from me for what she wants to do here and it’s not because I want her to die. It’s because what she’s doing is no different to what Elena’s tried to do by turning herself over to Klaus. And what we’re seeing here is what you get when people love each other enough to die for each other. Bonnie would trade her life for Elena’s. Elena would do the same. It’s a total stalemate but it makes sense so I’m not saying a word against Bonnie for it.

And angry mini Gilbert is kinda adorable.

Matt & Liz. This is so not going to end well. For them.

I’m really flummoxed too by the fact that they can be so silly. Liz has been living with Vamp!Caroline how long now? She didn’t realize anything was different. That should clue her into the fact that Caroline hasn’t actually changed except for to get even more amazing.  Ditto for Matt.

Seriously, I can’t stand the stupid.

I actually really liked this UJ/Elena scene.  And it shows why Elena is so amazing. Her capacity for forgiveness is awesome. Shame that some people *cough* Stefan *cough* take advantage of that.

So yeah, the brothers probably don’t know that it could kill Bonnie but they’re both willing to use her to save Elena. The knowledge that it could kill Bonnie will most definitely not change Damon’s mind about it, I don’t think (though who knows, Damon’s not exactly Mr. Predictable) but it might change Stefan’s.

On the other hand, as much as the Bennett witches hate Damon, they seem to have something going on with Stefan. I’ve always felt like there was something about their dynamic, about the fact that Bonnie can never say no when he asks her for witch help. Lucy mentioned having to pay a debt to Kat. Maybe the Bonnie has something similar with Stefan because he saved her life.

Klaus possessing Alaric? Now there was something that I was not expecting. It has me really worried about the fate of team badass, I can tell you that.

The episode was definitely better the second and third time of watching. I just really hope that next week is as good as it looks.  I feel like a skittish horse; this show has burned me too many times. Hopefully, everything that we’ve seen in the previews is real and has no strings or traps attached.

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4 Comments

  1. I felt the same way about this episode, I love that Damon is not passive when it comes to protecting Elena and also that he is so unpredictable b/c he is always surprising us with what he is willing to do for Elena. I love your recaps!

  2. My recap safe haven! Thank goodness. Excellent recap as always.

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I am deeply afraid for Team Badass. If Alaric dies, Kevin and Julie will be getting a VERY nastygram from me! I am dying to see Damon’s reaction to Alaric getting possessed by the Big Bad. Alaric’s one of the very few friends he has, so I’d hope he’d have some strong feelings about it. Although if Klausric poses a serious threat to Elena, Damon wouldn’t hesitate to take him out. I REALLY hope it doesn’t come to that!

    Above all, LET THE DANCE BE A GENUINE DELENA MOMENT.

  3. Finally, you do the recap again.

    Lvoe Elena in this episode – as you said, she is putting the two brothers as ‘equal” term now – besides the example you used. I really like the way she said one of the brothers need to go with her to the Lockwood, Stefan is NOT automatically get that place!

  4. This is soooo good, can’t wait for the recap of the Last Dance.


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