The Vampire Diaries 4.17 “Because the Night” Review

The Vampire DiariesDamon (Ian Somerhalder) was rather confident that he could distract Elena (Nina Dobrev) in New York and continue his search for the cure; it turns out that Elena has been taking notes and this episode of The Vampire Diaries shows what a master manipulator Elena has become. Back in Mystic Falls all is not going well for the other Salvatore brother as Stefan (Paul Wesley) attempts to stop massacre number three.

We saw last week that no humanity Elena has a few tricks up her sleeve and Stefan warned Damon that Elena without emotions is ruthless. Damon figures that he has this all under control and has a tale to tell that will hopefully distract Elena from what he is really looking for in New York. Damon doesn’t factor that Rebekah (Claire Holt) would follow him on this quest, but he is still confident that he can get everything he needs. Damon is too confident and this is where he slips up, he thinks because he managed to fool Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) in the 70s that he won’t be on the receiving end of a similar plan. Sex is used both in the past and present as a manipulation method; Damon doesn’t quite fall for Elena’s rooftop jaunt but he forgets about Rebekah and this is his downfall.

Rebekah has teamed up with both Stefan and Damon this season in this search for the cure and it’s now time for a Thelma and Louise moment as she drives off with Elena in Damon’s convertible. I don’t see any cliffs in their future, but I think that having these two former enemies working together is brilliant, especially as they are looking for Katherine. The women of this show are getting things done (some for better, some for worse) and the guys are being left behind. Elena thinks that Rebekah is a fool for wanting to be human again, but I’m glad that Damon’s “being ordinary sucks” speech hasn’t swayed Rebekah from her goal. Rebekah has a romantic notion of becoming human and she is probably set up for disappointment, but Rebekah hasn’t lost her ruthless streak and she demonstrates this by snapping Damon’s neck.

The Vampire DiariesThe flashbacks give us a chance to see Lexi once again and instead of being Stefan’s sober coach she has been sent by Stefan to help Damon. Damon performs a long con on Lexi and while this back story wasn’t something they probably had in place when Damon killed Lexi in season one, it doesn’t feel out of place as part of the history of these characters.

In this version Damon kills Lexi for two reasons; firstly to give the town the vampire they have been looking for and secondly because Lexi made Damon feel bad for all the terrible things he did. A retcon yes, but one that doesn’t make me throw up my hands and say “What?!” It also makes me want to go back and watch “162 Candles” and see how the episode plays with this new information.

Damon isn’t the only one getting fooled this week and Bonnie (Kat Graham) continues to be an issue as this character is constantly being used this season. On this occasion it is Silas (who is still using the body of Shane) who is getting Bonnie to complete his grand plan. Bonnie is supposed to be an incredibly powerful witch, but instead she has become a tool for other people to get what they want. This coupled with amnesia that has Bonnie’s last memory being on the island and in the cave makes this aspect of the episode feel like a huge cop out. Amnesia is a hard storytelling tactic to sell without seeming convenient and it feels like a big eye roll moment in an otherwise strong episode.

The Vampire DiariesIt isn’t Bonnie that completes the triangle, even if she is the one who facilitates the moment. Instead it is Caroline (Candice Accola) who saves her best friend but in the process kills twelve witches. In her mind and in the moment this is the only option, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) points out that one is less than twelve and this devastates Caroline as she realises the enormity of her actions. Klaus is doing this to prove a point, that Caroline sees the “allure of darkness” and that she isn’t as morally good as she thinks/hopes that she is. This is an interesting discussion, even if Klaus is being cruel as the characters on this show often do bad things to save the people they care about and the larger consequences are usually ignored. All twelve of these witches probably have friends and family who will mourn them and it should be acknowledged.

There are bigger problems ahead for Klaus, who generally doesn’t have much to fear when it comes to his mortality. Silas has acquired a white oak stake and this changes everything; Silas wants the cure as this is the last ingredient needed for his plan to work and this is his way of getting it. Knowing that the Originals spinoff is happening means that we know there is no real danger to Klaus and so the stakes are immediately reduced. While this might create less tension, it will still be intriguing to see how Klaus responds to this threat.

Other thoughts

–  The “allure of darkness” sounds like it could be the title for a ‘how to date a vampire’ self help book. This could join the Stefan/Caroline authored newbie vampire training book in my secret vampire bookshop.

– Rebekah thinks that Lexi “sounds awful” though this isn’t the first time that Rebekah has heard about Lexi. Stefan told Rebekah all about her at their private 80s dance in “A View to a Kill” and this is why she knows all about Bon Jovi. Once again I will mention how much I want to see a 1980s flashback, please make this happen TVD writers.

– White contact lenses are always creepy and so this makes the scene with Bonnie in the woods as she is tied down even more disturbing.

– “Getting Lexi’d” is something that has been added to The Vampire Diaries lexicon.

– When Stefan asked where Elena is and Damon replies with “Maybe she’s eating a hotdog… vendor.” Hee.

– Any time Talking Heads are used I am happy and so the introduction to 1970s Damon with “Psycho Killer” as the soundtrack choice is wonderful.

Both Stefan and Damon have failed with their respective plans and the hunt for the cure becomes even more important. Rebekah and Elena are headed for Katherine and Klaus is now at the mercy of Silas; how things have changed. No humanity Elena continues to be fun to watch and she is taking control of the situation.

Watch a promo for next week’s episode “American Gothic” here.

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