3×01 The Birthday

In fair Mystic Falls Tennessee where we lay our scene…some poor hapless blond will undoubtedly die in the next three to five minutes.

Klaus’ impression of a human is just plain ridiculous. He should probably stick to his wolf form. That way he won’t have to struggle so hard with things like…elocution.

In a way, I kind of pity Klaus; he tries so hard to be so evil and honestly, none of things he’s done have scared me half as much as Elijah did when he flicked Trevor’s head off with his wrist and when he shattered the whole front of that café with a handful of pennies.

Elena is mopey. This has bothered me from the minute I first heard spoilers and saw clips that implied Elena was taking Stefan’s disappearance harder than she took Jenna and John’s deaths. If you want me to believe that it’s the accumulation of everything getting to her, then you shouldn’t have let me see her kicking ass and taking numbers in the season finale, proving how strong she is and how willing she is to fight when the world is falling to pieces around her. If you wanted me to believe that Elena was just some weak and naïve little girl whose world grinds to a halt the minute her faux saint boyfriend inhales the first drop of blood, well…you probably should have called her Bella Swan and had done with it.

My Elena Gilbert wouldn’t be putting her life on hold. Minus 1000000 points to the writers for sacrificing Elena’s character again.

Elena’s wearing her hair up though. That’s supposed to be a good sign. I’m also amused that Ric can’t figure out how to work the coffee machine.

Damon and Andie amused me. I didn’t hate her half as much as I know a lot of other people did. The way she and Damon were together grew on me after a while. She served the same kind of purpose as Rose but in a way better because Andie allowed herself to genuinely care for Damon and she didn’t have the centuries of tortured history that Rose had.

Took Elena an awfully long time to turn away from naked Damon, didn’t it? Just saying.

I like that their still all up in each other’s personal space. And Elena’s adorable when she’s pouty and cranky over the fact that Damon isn’t letting her have her way.

BITE YOUR TONGUE JEREMY! You’re the only one who wants Bonnie back and we all know your judgment can’t be trusted. You see dead people!

I never liked Matt. And I don’t really care one way or the other if Caroline and Tyler are a thing. For a brief moment of sheer insanity I shipped the idea of Caroline and Stefan. Then I remembered that I love Caroline and therefore couldn’t wish for anything so horrible to happen to her.

Seriously? Stefan, who has been rubbish at compulsion ever since we first met him is suddenly capable of compelling a room full of people and making it stick? I’m coming to the realization that not only isn’t Klaus that evil, he’s also really effing lazy 😆

Also, Stefan pretending to be Damon is lame. Scotch is Damon’s drink and Damon used the wolfsbane on Mason first. Find an original idea, why don’t you, Steffie?

Stefan’s always been a messy eater. Nice to see Team Blood & Beer in tact.

There is truly no hope for Stefan’s character. If I started counting all the pieces of evidence that prove that the writers will never let him be truly evil, I’d probably be in the gazillions by now. Of course Stefan blacks out – heaven forbid he remember any screw up that he’s made. And of course he’s sorry when all is said and done. He’s not evil. He’s just sick. It’s the blood. He can’t help it. Someone find me a trash can. I think I’m ready to vomit now. Might have to fight Ric for it though, he’s looking pretty green around the gills.

Ah Vampire Barbie, I do adore you and your Caroline logic.

I do still love the way that Damon looks at Elena. And for me this scene back to back with the previous Stefan/Klaus scene says a lot about the two brothers. I think that deep down inside, Stefan is legitimately a cold hearted, incredibly Machiavellian character. He’s “soft” on the outside when it suits him; when he’s trying to blend in or be “good”. But it’s not his instinct or his nature; he fights those things to be who he thinks he should be. The only exception that exists to that rule is Damon. And their relationship is so complicated and convoluted that I think there’s a lot more than love that accounts for why he can’t let Damon go or be hurt. I’m not saying that he doesn’t love his brother or that it’s not real, just that I think there are a lot of darker emotions between the two of them that keep that bond going.

Damon on the other hand, is soft inside; he’s ruled by his emotions, craves loves and intimacy and everything else is a shell and a carefully crafted exterior, perfected over centuries to hide his innate tendency towards tenderness. And you see that come out when he’s around Elena. This necklace scene is a perfect example. Also by now, he’s given that necklace to her more times than Stefan has, hasn’t he?

Giggling at Elena grabbing Damon’s drink, getting all maternal over Jeremy, giving Ric instructions and then going off again. Too cute.

And as for this scene – Stefan is a sadist. Killing Andie wasn’t enough of a message for him. He had to mess with her mind first, scare her first, toy with her. That’s says so much about his character. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he drowned cats in the river when he was a child.

Watching the scene with Elena and Caroline, I think I’ve come to see what part of my problem is with Elena’s reaction to Stefan going missing. I understand worry and concern because (for reasons forever unknown to me) she does love him. But I also want there to be anger. I know she understands why Stefan went with Klaus – and I think it’s part of her conflict. She didn’t want him to go but she didn’t want him to let Damon die either. But at the same time, if I were her, I’d at least be a little angry about the way he left, the fact that he didn’t take a minute to tell her or explain. And he could have.

So basically, I’d be able to take all her worry and fear in stride if I didn’t feel like Elena’s fire had been smothered. I mean, look at how she was when they locked her in the Sheriff’s office. She broke windows and she did what she had to, to get to the person she wanted to see.

In this episode, it feels like Elena is weary and resigned and even though she says she’s not giving up on Stefan, it feels like she’s giving up on the rest of her life. And that’s what I hate.

D/E phone conversations are always so much fun!

I’m not even going to bother with discussing Stefan and how he killed Andie. And I think that most people know by now, I am not a fan of Stefan and Damon’s relationship, at least not the way it’s been in the past. Perhaps that will change as Damon changes and grows out of needing Stefan’s validation all the time. In the meanwhile, my favorite Salvatore finds himself in a very sticky situation.

Even if you leave out the fact that he loves Stefan, there’s Elena to consider. She is the single most precious person in the world to him. For better or worse, he and Stefan have gone through long spells apart. If Damon had only himself to consider, he’d probably leave Klaus and Stefan to it. But he has Elena to consider and he’s willing to put her feelings far above his own. He’s going after Stefan mostly because it’s what Elena wants and he knows if he doesn’t do it, she’ll get herself killed trying to do it on her own.

And it’s costing him. It’s costing him because he can’t be with Elena the way he wants, because he has to watch her basically mourn Stefan and now because he’s lost someone that he genuinely cared about. He didn’t love Andie but he liked her. I think in his way, he respected her and he most definitely didn’t want harm to come to her because of him.

Drunk Vamp Caroline is amazing 😆 😆

I did truly love this Damon and Elena scene because it says so much about both of them as individuals and about their relationship. Damon went off on her, yes, but it wasn’t the emotional lashing out that we’ve seen him resort to in the past. All the things he said to her were hard and painful for her to hear but he wasn’t saying them to wound her. He was saying them to spare her; she had to face up to the reality so that she wouldn’t keep holding out hope for something that wouldn’t happen and end up even more disappointed down the line.

And on Elena’s part, it shows how blinded she’s been by Stefan, how she’s always refused to hear anything bad said against him. In the past, when Damon’s tried to point these things out, she’s ignored it. There wasn’t enough trust between them for her not to think there was an ulterior motive. But things are different now. She knows Damon wouldn’t say these things to her, under these circumstances, unless he really believes them to be true. And I think that’s part of why he finally manages to get through to her.

I won’t lie. I was a tiny bit disappointed in Ric when he decided to leave. I mean, I get it but it would have been nice if he stayed.

I loved the scene of Damon trashing Stefan’s room. It’s so packed with emotion. All the conflict, all the pain, all those dark and twisty emotions that bind the two of them together when in all honesty, they’re generally better versions of themselves when they’re not together – Klaus’ influence notwithstanding.

Damon’s grieving for more than Stefan being “gone” but he’s not letting himself fall back into old patterns. He’s learned to channel his emotions in ways that he didn’t used to be capable of. My heart breaks for him here and at the same time, I’m very proud of him.

This scene with Stefan in the parking lot is where the show lost me. I can clearly see the writer’s intent here. I’m supposed to feel all sad and weepy because poor Saint Stefan is making SUCH a sacrifice. He’s giving up his humanity and his girlfriend all so that he could save his evil, diabolical brother. And shouldn’t we all just rain praise down upon him for his selflessness.

My answer to that? No. Hell no even.

One grand gesture – and I admit, this one is pretty extreme – doesn’t make up for all the damage that he spent centuries doing to Damon. And further more, as I’ve advanced before, I’m not entirely convinced that he was acting in a purely selfless way. This is what I meant before about there being more than just love that binds these brothers. Stefan likes being the hero and I think his actions were in part driven by how he would feel if he hadn’t done anything to save Damon.

And god knows, there was pure selfishness in him calling Elena. He up and leaves her, with no plans to come back but he can’t even let her attempt a clean break? He can soullessly send Andie to her death but ask him to be selfless for the woman he supposedly loves and he can’t hack it? Stefan has always been selfish with Elena; it’s always been about how he can’t walk away from her, how he needs her.

Elena comes third with Stefan, after himself and after Damon.

With Damon, Elena comes first. That may not have always been the case – it’s taken them a while to get here –but it most definitely is the case now.

And if Stefan’s cry face in the parking lot hadn’t done it for me. Elena ignoring everything she’d learned about Stefan not even hours ago in favor of resorting to “I love you Stefan, hold onto that,” did it for me.

It’s one step forward and two back every single time and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Also, screw Carol Lockwood for messing with Caroline. Not cool.



  1. Ciara! OMG, I completely agree with everything you wrote here! About Stefan, I just can’t understand how some people can’t see what seems to be so obvious to me. He is so unbelievably selfish. His decision to save Damon in the finale had so much less to do with Damon that it had to do with him. Stefan needs his brother around so that he can still play the role of the ‘good’ brother. He validates himself through his brother, and if he lost Damon, he would lose the ability to feel superior to someone, which is what he desperately needs.
    And yeah, I was annoyed at what they did to Elena in this episode too. Where was the girl who said she would not act like the world had ended just because of some guy? That girl got lost in the SE relationship, and I truly hope that this was done purposely by the writers, to show the difference between a Bella/Edward vampire/human relationship, and a passionate, truly unique vampire/human relationship that is DE.
    Hey, I can hope, right? Awesome job, honey!

  2. Yaaayyyyy I’m so glad you’re back! Your reviews are going to be the best thing about this season for me!! I love reading your insights – they are just amazing! 😀 Thank you sooooooo much 🙂

  3. Aside from the fact that your sense of humor shines in this, and your Stefan bashing provides no end of amusement, you hit the nail on the head for me here several times.

    Elena was never angry enough about Stefan’s abrupt departure from her life, in my opinion. It also bugged me that Stefan’s departure seemed to affect her more than Jenna and John’s deaths.

    Great recap.

  4. Finally got to read this. Love it. Your comments on that SE phone scene is exactly how I felt when I watch it.

  5. Hi ciara! I’m so happy to find that yo’re back with your reviews.
    I totally agree with you, it’s one step forward and two steps back in this show.
    And the worst part is that i can’t stop seeing the episodes, always hoping that Elena is going to open her eyes…
    I guess i just need to keep positive …
    Thanks for the review.

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