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The Vampire Diaries: Dark Reunion Part 9: Ah-OOOOOOOO

October 16, 2011

I like this chapter, because things happen.  Smith’s always at her best when things are moving quickly–which is weird, cuz when I was young I would’ve said this was a fast-paced book.  And, in some ways, it’s very tight, but I cannot help but feel the drag when I’m reading one chapter every few months.  The repetitive nature of certain elements, especially the immature animosity between the brothers, is unbearable at this rate.

This is also the chapter that reveals the only plot point that makes this book feel like it was plotted with the other three.  In every other way, this feels like an unnecessary sequel, with only the creepiness of Bonnie’s dreams to pull it along–so far; I can’t remember the end.  If I remember correctly, the end renders the events of the preceding three books moot, a reset to the beginning that is the number-two reason that I haven’t read the new books.  But of course, the number one reason is because I’m not done these recaps yet, so let’s get to it.

Chapter nine begins with the upbeat graduation ceremony of the class of ’92.  (How do they deal with this time discrepancy in the new books?  I hear they have cell phones and everything.)  A much more mellow, thoughtful Bonnie reflects on the crowd’s mood–they are definitely a group happy to be alive because they have been through so much.

The ever-missing parents (which I am starting to understand now as the mother of a teen) are there, including ~*Elena*~’s Aunt Judith and now-Uncle Robert.  She’s there to hand out flowers to her dead niece’s bffs, which I think is pretty awesome of her, but it’s pretty uncomfortable for Bonnie, who’s already hidden so much from this woman.  Margaret’s there, too, of course, but no one but Bonnie or Judith says anything.

Hey, look, there’s Ray!  Anyone remember Ray?  Me either.  There’s Dick, being a Dick (as you do when you have that name, since everyone knows you could go by Rich instead).  Tyler’s preening for his dad’s camera.  Matt’s being recruited but he doesn’t care because the author can’t imagine these characters ever going to college.  Meredith has red roses–wait, Bonnie, the redhead, got the pink ones?  Huh.  Vickie and Caroline are elsewhere, rightfully terrified.

So what happens next is that Bonnie and Meredith stage an AWESOME fight, with slapping, because stage-Bonnie wants to celebrate ~*Elena*~’s life by having one of her own, and stage-Meredith wants to put her tassel on ~*Elena*~’s grave and wallow.  Meredith even accuses Bonnie of wanting Stefan, which I guess is true, because in this book he’s sooo hot that everyone wants him or something, despite his whiny-ness.  Plus, Bonnie’s always been Team Guy, whoever that guy is.

Bonnie flees to Matt—OH, Meredith meant Matt, not Stefan, duh.  It’s hard to remember that Matt was ~*Elena*~’s boyfriend too, especially because she DUMPS HIM ON LIKE THE FIRST DAMN PAGE OF THE FIRST DAMN BOOK SO LET’S ALL GET OVER IT, OKAY?  I just assumed Stefan because, you know, it’s STEFAN.  We’re supposed to want him.  No one’s supposed to want Matt because he’s got a receding hairline and empty pockets.  Also, who would care if Bonnie and Matt are finding solace in one another?  Certainly not the young woman who dumped him as soon as she got back from ~*exotic places*~.

Matt’s all, “Hey, remember Tanner?”  (Me either.  Just kidding.  I remember everyone, I just don’t care.)  Matt wants to know if Damon is really a decent guy underneath.  Simple answer: WHO CARES, because his words have always been godawful, and his actions haven’t been that great either.

Then they snuggle–for, uh, show–and we change the scene to Meredith, later, at the cemetery.  We do a quick recap of all the cemetery scenes in the past, lest the reader only be reading the fourth and final book of a series, and Meredith wishes for Alaric.  Where is he again?  I forget.  Apparently, he has muscles, which I am pronouncing in my head like “mus-kulls” and I hope you will too.  Apparently, he is “savvy” too, which means I really need to stop thinking of him as Early Wesley.  But this is the same series that tried to convince us that ~*Elena*~ was clever.

Tyler shows up and they have this ridiculous un-Meredith conversation where they say cheesy things like “[The darkness] almost beat [~*Elena*~], but she won in the end” and “It’s a funny thing about darkness.  There’s always more of it waiting in the wings.”

What kind of craptastic metaphor was that?  But I can’t imagine Tyler did well in English class.

He offers to show her the Smallwood family plot, and Smith refers to their conversation as “verbal fencing,” which I guess teenagers would believe, and Meredith clasps her vervain and turns him down.  Tyler gets pissed and tries to get her into position for his reveal, but Meredith doesn’t want any of it, which pisses him off more.  Apparently, the marble ball on top of the headstone turns when a Smallwood is about to meet the end.  Meredith makes a snotty comment about his dead grandfather, and Tyler gives himself away as having been at Caroline’s that night.  He also says he knows about the vervain–OH, it’s verbena.  Don’t you put that in tea?  (Actually, I found the Wikipedia article very interesting.)  He says he has “a friend who’s into these things.”  He says the word “vampires” like it’s a big joke–and we all know that thus far it has been.

Meredith tries to keep her cool, but Tyler is actually creepy, and predatory, and the red ball looks like a bloody moon, and Tyler reveals something that was probably surprising to kid-me, but the werewolf/vampire thing has been too interconnected for too long.  Where you have one, you need to have the other.  At least this series doesn’t have any good ones.  Tyler is, as always, hideous and awful and, okay, eeeevil.  I do love that Smith says that in his werewolf state, he has a “slurping voice.”  We’re told that werewolves like blood, especially the blood of aloof girls who never went out with them.  Meredith is paralyzed by fear and grossness.

He mentions Sue, but doesn’t say explicitly that he killed her, and Meredith almost passes out before Matt can come save the day.  Matt punches the problem, of course, in the FACE because Tyler deserves it.  I’m not THAT much of a vegan.  Beat the dog down, Matt!  Except Matt’s just a measly human, so Stefan has to come and tag in.

Stefan does some hero-mouthing-off, and Meredith’s inner voice–you’d think it would be Bonnie’s–is all over how DIGNIFIED and PURE Stefan’s “darkness” is.  And how Tyler is just an animal.  Only the really sexy guys can fall somewhere in the middle of the good/evil scale, I suppose.

Stefan, like the wuss he’s always been, says that he just wants to TALK (sigh), but Tyler’s feeling a bit caged in, so he attacks, and I guess there’s a bit of a tussle (with Matt), and the chapter ends with a tied-up werewolf and a threat from Stefan to talk.

I wonder what he’ll say.

Yeah, I’ll admit it.  I’m interested to see what happens next.  We’re heading deep into my I-only-remember-who-the-baddie-is-and-that-the-end-disappointed-me territory from here on, people.

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