Entertainment Magazine

Review #3108: The Vampire Diaries 3.8: “Ordinary People”

Posted on the 04 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Having brought up the mystery of the cave drawings in the previous episode, the usual velocity of “The Vampire Diaries” dictates that they must be addressed as soon as possible. And sure enough, they are, delivering some of the juiciest nuggets of new series mythology in quite some time.

Review #3108: The Vampire Diaries 3.8: “Ordinary People”

As someone who has often mentioned that “secret histories” are just plain fun, this touched on all the things I loved about those early Anne Rice vampire novels. Rebekah is pressed into telling Elena the back story of the Originals, and it goes a long way towards tying together just about everything that has been revealed about the origins of the vampires, werewolves, and their long tortured conflict.

As it turns out, there were some really pretty white Vikings who came to the Mystic Falls area, and they lived alongside the already-there werewolves. It was, as one would expect, an uneasy neighborhood; certain times of the month, the pretty little humans had to hide from the werewolves or risk being eaten. Rebekah and Klaus had a younger brother who wasn’t so fortunate, and in response, their father (Mikael) asked a witch to change them into something strong enough to survive, allowing them greater protection.

The local witch (who looked like a forebear of Bonnie’s bloodline, as one would suspect) refused, leaving it to Mikael’s wife to do the honors. And thus, the vampires were born. And, since their mother/maker was a witch, she also created the first rings that would allow them to walk in the sunlight. But as it turns out, that was also the origin of the hybrid, because Klaus was actually the son of one of the local werewolves, and it was only his mother’s magic that suppressed his hybrid nature.

This also leads to the simple explanation for why Mikael wants to take out Klaus: Klaus killed his mother. And that has propagated the cycle over time: Klaus runs about, trying to find a way to break the suppression spell and create his own little hybrid army, while Mikael does his level best to eliminate the creatures that he unwittingly spawned. Hence the eventual creation of Katherine and the whole doppelganger situation, as explored in the second season.

All this Original Family dysfunction is nicely balanced by Damon spending some quality time with Stefan at a local bar, partaking in the various drinks (alcoholic and living) available. The bonding is disrupted by Mikael, who is looking a lot more healthy, which doesn’t bode well for Katherine at the moment. (I still hope she survives, because Nina Dobrev is never hotter than when she’s Katherine.)

The nice thing about all this background is that it takes all the little pieces of the mythology from the first two seasons and puts a consistent layer on top of it all, while leaving two big chunks (the werewolves and the witches) for another time. (I’d love to see future witch exploration overlap with the backstory for “The Secret Circle”, of course!) At the same time, I am a little curious where the story will go from here, since in the end, this is a show about vampires, and now their origins and general history have been explored. It was the natural progression for the narrative to take, so it’s going to be interesting to see the inevitable curve balls arrive.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 3/4

Final Rating: 9/10

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