The Vampire Diaries showed that flashback aid to propel the story in season 1 so season 2 is also no exception to the rule. Aptly named "Memory Lane" the scenes belt out issues of mythology as well as revealing motivations and events that play out differently to how we have been told previously.
This was highlighted in the opening sequence when the flashback we are seeing is not a memory but a dream of Stefan’s implanted by Katherine to place doubt regarding his relationship with Elena and to further show his insecurities about Damon’s intentions towards Elena. So begins the dance of “Memory Lane” both literally (in the dream) and metaphorically between Stefan and Katherine. They are not the only characters playing games with each other as Damon and Mason are effectively dancing around their supernatural status for much of the episode now thats a very dangerous combination.
Manipulation and deception have been key weapons in the arsenal for many of these characters in this episode and it is hard to keep up sometimes with who is being genuine. It has been set up in such a way that the mistrust that we have is with characters such as Damon and Katherine, yet in this particular episode it is Stefan and Elena that act in a devious manner. In their fake argument/break up that incidentally felt real (a fact that was highlighted to show that this is a legitimate reason why they could break up in the future), I suspected that it was all for show and I’m glad to see that even though this is a reason why their relationship could end they are smart enough to know that Katherine is playing the eavesdropping Caroline. What it means that Damon also believes this rift to be real I’m not sure as we know he hates to be played (a fact seen later in the episode) but also at this point Elena still very much dislikes him so I’m not sure how he could use it to his advantage.
The reveal that it is Stefan that Katherine truly loves in the final flashback still has me suspicious of her motives, if she did love him then why has she left it so long to come back for him if he has always been ‘the one’? A thousand question with a big 'Q' there. Katherine’s power is also much greater than any vampire that we have seen and she is no longer affected by vervain except to her skin it would seem (how does that fit in anyway?), I wonder if the Petrova book that Elena got last week will shed any light on Katherine’s age and origin? After all back in 1864 she appeared to be running away from something or someone to cover her tracks by faking her own death.
The flashbacks also provide further information regarding the Lockwood’s, showing that George Lockwood also suffered from the same family curse as Mason and after some persistent questions from Tyler, Mason finally shares the trigger for the curse; killing a human. Who is it that Mason has killed? With his ancestor George it was obviously during the Civil War that turned him in to a werewolf but with Mason it is all the more mysterious indeed. The fact that Tyler knows this information now will be a huge burden, one that will be fun to see what the writers do with; will we see Tyler endure the curse before the season is out?
Damon’s baiting of Mason about his condition was well played out by Damon, or so I thought and it turned out that Damon despite his best innuendos was the one being played by Mason. This was a pleasure to watch as it’s always enjoyable to see Damon trying to figure people out. Mason’s call for an end to the vampire/werewolf feud seemed genuine but the silver knife to the chest will surely end any hope of friendship/civility between these two, though seeing that Alaric and Damon are almost besties now shows that anything is possible. Like vampires, werewolves have spread myths about their weaknesses, this time being silver, but surely if silver doesn’t work something else will, or perhaps it only works when he is in a wolf state?
Another crucial point in this episode was the much talked about crucial face-to-face meeting of Katherine and Elena, no punches thrown or necks broken just intrigue and fear. Why they look alike is not the question that Elena should be asking according to Katherine (though I know it is a question that I would like answered) but what is the right question? What is established in this scene, as well as throughout the episode is that Nina Dobrev is doing a fantastic job with these two characters this season and making it totally believable that these are completely different people. I’m looking forward to when Elena and Katherine go head to head and the anticipation is building up by not having a throw down with them here and now.
I’m impressed with how this show continues to reveal parts of the big picture as well as propelling the story forward by leaving certain questions and motivations unanswered. So far it is hard to find fault with this season and I’m hoping that this momentum will keep building.
But as usual like the preceding episodes more question arise than the one already left to be answered. Does Katherine truly love Stefan? What of the moon stone? Has Damon screwed himself over with stabbing Mason? Can a vampire and human relationship ever work?
Next up on 7th Oct Episode 5 : Kill or be Killed
Next up on 7th Oct Episode 5 : Kill or be Killed