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The Vampire Diaries: The Fury, Part 9: Detectives, and bad ones at that

July 8, 2010

Sigh.  The more I read my backlog of Harlequins from my childhood, the more I want to start dissecting them.  And the more I want to start dissecting them, the guiltier I feel about not being done these recaps yet.  SO OFF TO THE RECAPS.  I’m going to pretend they’re a paper I have due by the end of the month, OR ELSE I FAIL AT LIFE.  I don’t know; nothing else has worked to motivate me so far.  Maybe this will.

When last we left Our Heroine, we were worried she was going to die an early death.  Well, not me.  I’m done worrying about ~*Elena*~, even Much Nicer Than Usual ~*Elena*~, who of course really doesn’t seem that much nicer anyway, just more inclined to move the plot along.  Bonnie begins the chapter by declaring that she’s not going to be a psychic conduit anymore, which is to laugh.  Oh, Bonnie!  Don’t you know that you too are just a plot puppet?

She also tells ~*Elena*~ that Alaric wants to hypnotize her and Caroline and Vickie.  Oh, okay.  That will end well.  She also insists that he’s not the Other Power, and ~*Elena*~’s inclined to agree, because as we all know, early-seasons Wesley was a pansy.  But she also could still second-guess herself, for the sake of the readers.  Mystery!

Speaking of mysteries, Mrs. Flowers is a no-show, which makes two people down and Robert to go.  ~*Elena*~ decides to field that one herself, on her own, as vampires are stealthier than your average personality-free lackeys.  When she gets there, ~*Elena*~ sees him driving but is pulled toward the house by magical reasons she can’t explain.  Well, you know, lots of changes when you’re a vampire.   For some reason, we’re not shown any indications of whether Judith and Robert have made amends–sad Judith? happy Judith?  stalker Robert?  I mean, he’s in the driveway when ~*Elena*~ gets there, so it’s not like they couldn’t have noticed him, right?  Aunt Judith is just watching TV.  I guess it’s meant to be ambiguous.

~*Elena*~ climbs trees to look into windows and ends up staring in at her four-year-old sister, the later-in-life baby that isn’t explained at all, the perfect cardboard cut-out of a small child.  Even ~*Elena*~ can’t ignore the backdrop of perfection around poor Margaret, the most ignored child in all of young adult literature.

So anyway, Margaret’s kitten starts pinging ~*Elena*~’s vamp-dar as it begins to act like the dogs that went crazy.  In what seems like ridiculously-slow motion, the kitten goes to attack, giving ~*Elena*~ enough time to rattle the windows to get Margaret to wake up.  ~*Elena*~ finds that her vampire abilities include being able to stick to window sills without any obvious holds on them.  That should, uh, come in handy someday?  Maybe?  Well, NOW, but…it’s certainly no “shapeshifting and superspeed.”

~*Elena*~ then fucks with her sister’s head in the way that only a narcissistic teenage vampire can.  See, Margaret is FOUR, y’all, so ~*Elena*~ can always reveal herself and then pretend it never happened, thus setting Margaret (God, the kid is FOUR; doesn’t she have a nickname yet?) up for years of therapy.  ~*Elena*~ gets an invitation to the house from a sleepy sister–oh God, Margaret doesn’t even get to make her own choices, but she’s, you know, FOUR, WHATEVER–and comes in while kitten runs out, and then has to hide when Aunt Judith hears the noise.  Fucking Margaret up further, she tells her sister to keep the secret of her being there and to only say the kitty was let out.  Because that’s not going to confuse her even more in the morning.

It’s okay, ~*Elena*~.  She’s four.  She’s practically not a person, especially if you take the writing into account.  Children at four are NEVER traumatized by seeing a dead person, indeedy no.  When she’s explaining to Margaret why she can’t have Snowball or any other pet for a while, in half-assed terms, she thinks that it’s “better […] to give the little girl nightmares than to have a nightmare play out in this bedroom.”

Um.

I want to have more sympathy for the conversation that ~*Elena*~ and Margaret have because it’s meant to pull our heartstrings, but it’s a stupid conversation.  ~*Elena*~ gives Margaret no answers she can hold onto.  Maybe it IS better to flat-out lie.  Yes, ~*Elena*~, say you’re an angel, and say that you will look out for her.  Tell her there’s an afterlife, where you can be with your parents and blah blah blah.  Don’t confuse the poor kid with vague responses any more than she’s already confused.  And you’re an asshole for only NOW realizing how much you love her, and SAYING IT TO HER FACE.  God, it’s like you don’t even believe there’s another person in the room.

Fortunately, Margaret falls back asleep in all this bullshit (GLAMOR HER, ASSHOLE), and ~*Elena*~ bemoans both her lack of detective skills (she didn’t ask about Robert) and her stuff.  She realizes that she has nothing, which I think is more about us de-glamorizing vampirism than anything else, so that ~*Elena*~’s true nature will be seen as human.  But that will play out, if it’s true, much, much later.

Stefan catches up with her and they are oddly uncouple-like while they sit and talk on the high school roof.  ~*Elena*~ tells Stefan he’s become “American” and he says that vampires have to adapt quickly.  So…where was he before Fell’s Church again?  Oh right, no place other than Fell’s Church exists, but Italy.

Then of course, because she’s great at conversations, she brings up Katherine’s comment about a Salvatore love nest, and Stefan is reasonably twitched out.  ~*Elena*~ quickly points out that they need Damon’s help and she doesn’t want him in THAT way.  But then the book goes on to say, “At that moment it was completely true.”

Uh…

What happens next is that they stay snuggly even though there’s a little bit of affection, and the text insinuates that sexual desire is gone from the equation and replaced by spiritual and emotional fulfillment.  Wow, that sucks.  All those teenage hormones, gone?  Don’t get me wrong: they lead you astray, but they’re sure fun while they last.  Neutering Stefan does WHAT for the relationship, exactly?  Of course, remember that this is the couple whose intense makeout sessions would end in contentment.  CONTENTMENT.

Ugh.

Anyway, Stefan agrees to work with Damon, although he doesn’t trust him.  Good thing that was spelled out for us.  We certainly wouldn’t have figured it out from the other 500 times he’s mentioned it.  They decide to set Damon on Robert–er, in a tracking sense.  And Stefan, at least, has solved the mystery of Mrs. Flowers–she’s down in the basement doing homebody stuff like laundry and preserving.

Finally, they have a conservation about Meredith’s disappearance and avoidance and lying, and ~*Elena*~ is a bit freaked, but wants to believe in her friend.  Then she remembers that Caroline too used to be her friend, and that Caroline’s diary mentioned something about Meredith’s family that ~*Elena*~ somehow never heard of in her life even though they’ve been friends for a decade.

And on that ~*mysterious*~ note, the chapter ends.

Next up: Dear Diary, Alaric’s party will be a great place for revelations!  Hope to see you there!

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