It may not ever be anyone’s favorite episode of The Vampire Diaries, but “The Sacrifice” was still a stunningly solid hour of great TV. Red Brunja and I reviewed The Vampire Diaries “The Sacrifice” as part of the Small Screen Scoop weekly TVD Dialogue Panel Project. Read on for our views on Bonnie and Luka’s blatant metaphor scene, the inclusion of Mason’s diary, and what Damon and Bonnie have in common.
The Vampire Diaries “The Sacrifice” Review Via a Candid Conversation:
Red Brunja (6:44:01 PM): To be honest, not my favorite episode. Actually, probably bottom five.
Jessica Rae (6:44:08 PM): Oooh. I want to hear why that is.
Red Brunja (6:48:27 PM): In two words: Bonnie and Damon. Both of them had a complete lack of respect for other people’s bodily autonomy. Damon spent SO much of this episode grabbing and restraining Elena, which reminded me a lot of how he treated Caroline when they were “dating.” And then Bonnie stole Luka’s power. So those two characters really disturbed me this episode, and then I found the episode as a whole paced more slowly than I expect from TVD.
Jessica Rae (6:50:18 PM): While I enjoyed the episode overall, I completely agree with you on both of those points. Bonnie basically power-raped Luka without his consent. I was expecting her to call him up to help, at least. Damon had to be tough with Elena to keep her safe, but remembering how he would treat Caroline ALWAYS bothers me because everyone really was casual about how Damon was using Caroline in season 1.
Red Brunja (6:50:56 PM): And then even Stefan was getting in on the whole ‘we can’t let Elena make decisions for herself or have a say in what we’re going to do!’ It’s like, hasn’t she already talked to you about how that’s not acceptable? Didn’t “Masques” illustrate that plans where you don’t tell Elena anything DON’T END WELL?
Jessica Rae (6:51:57 PM): Everything revolves around Elena, but by not taking her thoughts and feelings into consideration they’re basically losing any control they might have ever had to reason with her.
Red Brunja (6:53:07 PM): Exactly! Bonnie totally power-raped Luka (and didn’t even TRY to just ask for his help) and I would give Damon a lot more lassitude to “save Elena from herself” if he didn’t play out these exact same actions (holding her wrists, getting into her personal space) to try and get the reaction he wanted from her.
Red Brunja (6:54:22 PM): Right. Instead of respecting Elena and pooling their resources, Elena and the rest of her friends are working at cross-purposes.
Jessica Rae (6:55:28 PM): I’ve read some people say it was sexy. We have a major elephant in the room with this… because some girls (or guys) can find that sexy. But some don’t. And when it’s being read as violent… Honestly, I don’t even know how to go about talking about it. I liked the fierce tension, I didn’t think he was too rough with her mostly. But there WAS a moment where I paused and though Damon was crossing a line and it was more uncomfortable than “oh, he’s protecting her and it’s sexy!”
Jessica Rae (6:55:59 PM): Was he a savior, or a… sociopath? Well, not that. But I wanted another “s” word. Was he too violent?
Jessica Rae (6:56:44 PM): Damon did make things happen to get those reactions from her. That is true.
Jessica Rae (6:57:28 PM): The more we talk about it like that, it seems like a much more disturbing scene from Elena’s pov.
Jessica Rae (6:57:56 PM): And this is frustrating for me, as a Delana fan, who wants scenes where their bonds are tested. Agh.
Red Brunja (6:58:14 PM): The sexiness is a huge elephant is the room. For me personally, especially as a D/E shipper, he was too violent. Any sexiness was totally canceled out my my awareness that if Damon had, say, broken Elena’s arm or dragged her out of the cave or ripped off her necklace and compelled her, there is nothing she could have done about it.
Red Brunja (6:58:45 PM): I know! It’s hugely frustrating as a Delena shipper.
Red Brunja (6:59:07 PM): Are you familiar with Buffy, by any chance?
Jessica Rae (6:59:28 PM): The Politics of Vampire and Human Relationships: Is Using your Strength in Any Capacity Fair or just Abuse? By: Damon Salvatore
Jessica Rae (6:59:32 PM): Um. I live for Buffy.
Jessica Rae (6:59:35 PM): 😀
Jessica Rae (6:59:48 PM): I liked Spuffy. I know where you are going with that.
Jessica Rae (7:00:34 PM): Or rather, I liked Spuffy. But only to a point. Spike was more than just flawed. When he attempted rape, there is no excuse.
Red Brunja (7:01:05 PM): Well, what I wanted to say is that this is one of the times I really wish Elena had slayer strength. Because a lot of Buffy/Spike scenes played as sexy instead of scary to me because Buffy and Spike were physically equals.
Red Brunja (7:01:50 PM): And don’t get me started on the attempted rape. I think it was both grossly out of character for Spike and morally questionable on the part of the writers.
Jessica Rae (7:01:54 PM): If Elena could hold her own, the balance would be much more fair. When Damon tried to kill Jeremy? Totally a moment where Slayer strength would have been helpful.
Jessica Rae (7:02:18 PM): I agree! It seemed out of character for Spike, which is why I still enjoyed the Spuffy dynamic in season 7.
Red Brunja (7:02:55 PM): Yes. (And honestly, I found Damon’s actions in last night’s episode MORE disturbing than the scene in Elena’s bedroom when he killed Jeremy).
Jessica Rae (7:03:49 PM): Because it speaks to where Damon’s future actions could go, directly not just to hurt Elena through others, but at her? And now she doesn’t have Stefan to save her?
Jessica Rae (7:04:53 PM): My one issue with Delena is that Damon sometimes goes to that place where, if he can’t have what he wants, he becomes completely disgusting and loses all of the points in his favor. He’s too selfish. Then he says he’ll stop and be okay with it. But you KNOW he’s not okay with it.
Red Brunja (7:07:54 PM): Yeah, the fact that Damon’s an immature sociopath really puts a crimp in the Damon/Elena sexiness, imho. And whenever I think he’s starting to change for the better, there’s an episode like this. I really wonder how he’s going to act in next week’s episode.
Jessica Rae (7:10:28 PM): Earlier I’d said he wasn’t a sociopath, but … most vampires are probably sociopaths by nature. I think that’s what Stefan and now Caroline try to repress. I’m eager to see how Damon might try to bond/impress Elena, but it seems like he won’t be helping his brother and that might play out as really annoying.
Jessica Rae (7:11:14 PM): And I would really hate if the writers turn Elena from Stefan to Damon in this way that doesn’t seem pure, because then fans will always argue that Elena was just manipulated and confused.
Red Brunja (7:12:47 PM): Honestly, if Damon lives down to Katherine’s implication (and up to thousand bad D/E fanfics) and uses the time while his brother is trapped to trying and get into Elena’s pants, I am going to be SO disappointed. That said, other things did happen this week. Alaric in his boxers and Aunt Jenna in just a shirt: thumbs up or down?
Jessica Rae (7:13:56 PM): An Alaric sighting – he is like a rare panther. As is Aunt Jenna. I’m surprised the pair are still tip-toeing about, like Elena and Jer don’t know what’s going on. SEX. SEX IS GOING ON.
Red Brunja (7:14:32 PM): I mean, if it’s not big deal for Jeremy and Elena to bring home their lovers…
Jessica Rae (7:14:37 PM): But Alaric is a liar. He said something like, “Well, I’m naked.” But he wasn’t naked at all. We demand they give us the full monty 😛 Kidding, I’m not going to objectify him THAT much.
Jessica Rae (7:14:53 PM): The only weird thing: They’re doing it in Mr. and Mrs. Gilberts bed.
Red Brunja (7:15:37 PM): When we saw the edge of his boxers, I almost thought that was a filming oops, and that we weren’t supposed to see that. And why do you find it weird that they’re having sex in the Gilbert’s bed?
Jessica Rae (7:17:11 PM): Not so much “weird” as “a little gross” from the pov of Elena/Jer. That’s how I’d feel about my own parents bed with someone else in it.
Jessica Rae (7:17:20 PM): Maybe I have weird issues, haha.
Red Brunja (7:17:23 PM): Ah, I see what you mean.
Jessica Rae (7:17:45 PM): Can we talk about Luka and Bonnie a bit more?
Jessica Rae (7:17:56 PM): What did you think of their scene in the parking lot?
Red Brunja (7:18:33 PM): Despite thinking that if I was a witch, living in Virginia, I’d want to be a little more subtle, I found it really cool.
Jessica Rae (7:18:54 PM): It was OBVIOUS for sure. But I have another O word in mind.
Jessica Rae (7:19:16 PM): It’s probably just me, but I dubbed this the orgasm scene.
Red Brunja (7:19:22 PM): OH MY GOD IT WAS TOTALLY AN ORGASM METAPHOR. Oh, Jer, your perspective gf is cheating on you in front of the whole school.
Jessica Rae (7:19:51 PM): Yea! Like, the metaphor of them joining and having a part of each other, and then Bonnie’s vocal effects… man. I kind of laughed.
Red Brunja (7:20:01 PM): Same here.
Jessica Rae (7:20:45 PM): We saw that Rose has lost yet ANOTHER person. She doesn’t seem to be handling it badly.
Jessica Rae (7:21:27 PM): I’m not suspicious of her, I just think she’s a character who is having a lot of loss thrust upon her.
Red Brunja (7:21:30 PM): I wouldn’t say she’s handling it that great either. Honestly, she seems like a rather weak person. That girl doesn’t have a lot of spine, imho.
Jessica Rae (7:22:31 PM): Oh – see, I think she actually is handling it okay. I mean, she doesn’t seem all that affected. Well… I suppose you could say she’s weak that she’s come to the Salvatore’s and has no real plans of what’s next for herself. But I think it was nice she came to “help.”
Red Brunja (7:23:20 PM): It was. And I enjoyed her helping Elena. On the subject of Elena, what did you think of her plan to sacrifice herself?
Jessica Rae (7:23:47 PM): Is she weak for not trying to take charge of Elena when she figured out the plan? Because we don’t like Damon forcing her around, but Rose could have forcibly removed Elena as well and I think I would have approved. But there are different motivations behind Rose and Damon, of course.
Jessica Rae (7:25:01 PM): Elena is TIRED of the bullshit, haha. But it was not a very well thought-out plan. She didn’t even like, say a special goodbye to anyone. It was selfish, but meant to be unselfish on her end. Yet, it would have still been selfish since everyone would be devastated. … It’s like a circle of crap.
Red Brunja (7:25:38 PM): I meant weak in the sense that she doesn’t seem to stand up to people very well. She spent 500 years running, she opens her phone call to Damon with “don’t be mad,” she bolts as soon as she sees Elijah… I mean, given that she wants to survive, some of that is very understandable, but it’s not a character trait that makes me connect with her.
Jessica Rae (7:26:10 PM): If they changed her hair, I could get on board. ;p
Red Brunja (7:26:19 PM): It kind of is like a circle of crap. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T WORK TOGETHER, TEAM ELENA! EVERYONE IS SELFISH AND INEFFECTIVE!
Jessica Rae (7:26:36 PM): Meanwhile, Caroline = totally NOT selfish.
Red Brunja (7:27:09 PM): Oh, god, Rose’s hair is a crime. Did you ever seen her on Supernatural? She was ridiculously attractive on that show. Better hair, and she spent most of her episodes snarking with Jensen Ackles.
Jessica Rae (7:27:32 PM): Mason had a diary. I love whenever there is a DIARY on The Vampire DIARIES. btw. Although I doubt I’d keep my super secret diary hidden in a place where someone could spot it pretty fast, like Caroline did.
Jessica Rae (7:27:47 PM): On Supernatural she was like a totally glam beauty queen! But here, she’s just…her hair is so annoying.
Red Brunja (7:28:00 PM): Caroline= win. And I cracked up when we got to Mason’s diary.
Jessica Rae (7:29:47 PM): Caroline could have saved herself from the Tyler/Matt moment by quickly saying, “Hey, Tyler’s here.” So it didn’t seem like she was hiding him. Of course, that doesn’t work for good TV.
Red Brunja (7:31:02 PM): No, and I have a feeling the writers want to play out Matt versus Tyler in regards to Caroline’s affections. Matt won points this episode by NOT calling Caroline neurotic or insecure.
Jessica Rae (7:33:03 PM): Tyler has an advantage that he’s able to really KNOW Caroline, as well as having a chance to see her at her best. Caroline wasn’t as secure in season 1, when she was with Matt. Matt isn’t getting the chance to appreciate this new version of her.
Red Brunja (7:33:19 PM): This is true.
Jessica Rae (7:35:16 PM): My favorite quote of the episode was when Elena said, “Sounds like you guys already have it all planned out.” (Very sarcastically, of course.) And Damon said, “Yup, we’re awesome.” Ian’s delivery was great.
Jessica Rae (7:35:24 PM): Any favorite lines or moments to mention that we haven’t covered?
Red Brunja (7:38:50 PM): I do have a couple. Katherine nonchalantly elbowing Jeremy in the face is one and Katherine and Stefan listening to Elena and Damon argue was both horrible and excellent at once.
Jessica Rae (7:40:18 PM): Yes. That was such an interesting little moment where Stefan just watched and didn’t come out!
Jessica Rae (7:40:28 PM): Why do you think Stefan didn’t appear to assuage Elena’s grief at first?
Red Brunja (7:42:03 PM): I think he wanted Damon to get Elena out of the tomb and knew that him being there would only make it harder. Plus, I think he knows that interacting with Elena would just give Katherine material to work with.
Jessica Rae (7:43:01 PM): How can Stefan be so good and naive sometimes? I thought he was spying to see what the pair would do. But I like your pov on that moment more. Because he would have then been playing very dumb with Katherine’s comments about his bad decision to ask Damon to watch Elena.
Red Brunja (7:43:51 PM): That could have been an factor in Stefan’s decision making.
Jessica Rae (7:44:45 PM): Maybe, but he trusts Elena a lot.
Jessica Rae (7:44:56 PM): Katherine got a really lucky break though. A snack and a partner.
Red Brunja (7:45:12 PM): Katherine has a tendency to win at life, it must be said.
Jessica Rae (7:45:13 PM): Or, I guess, a lover. Those scenes for next week..what do you think of those?
Jessica Rae (7:45:43 PM): Vampires can be compelled by Katherine, right?
Jessica Rae (7:45:54 PM): Sometimes I can’t keep track!
Red Brunja (7:46:47 PM): Honestly? We’ve seen that Katherine can toy with Stefan’s dreams. I find that more likely Stefan being seduced in the space of an hour. And as far as we know, Katherine can’t compel other vampires. Elijah can, and I’m not ruling out Katherine developing that skill, but as of yet we haven’t seen it.
Jessica Rae (7:47:43 PM): Ooh, Elijah, right. Seems like Katherine has a chance to learn then. I can’t see Stefan being seduced by Katherine, though. Unless it’s from a dreamlike state. I don’t think he’d cheat on Elena, even when not with her.
Jessica Rae (7:48:04 PM): No matter what, this is a TV show I get excited about every week. And I really appreciate that.
Red Brunja (7:48:31 PM): Me too! TVD just makes me so happy! Even a subpar episode is often better than everything else I’m watching.
Jessica Rae (7:49:24 PM): Exactly what I meant! You stated that perfectly. High fiiiives.
Jessica Rae (7:49:30 PM): Any other notes?
Red Brunja (7:49:32 PM): *high five*
Red Brunja (7:50:53 PM): Nope, I think that’s it. There were several subplots we didn’t mention but they’re either things I (obviously) am not that interested in or stuff I’m content to wait and find out about (Klaus and Elijah).
Jessica Rae (7:51:31 PM): Yea. Elijah… I almost thought maybe he was on the “good” side. But now I think he may be keeping Elena safe for Klaus.
Red Brunja (7:52:34 PM): You know, I don’t think so. I think he’s on a completely different side than both Elena and Klaus. Otherwise why kill those vamps who came to grab Elena for Klaus?
Jessica Rae (7:53:25 PM): Just to get rid of them? Eh, that’s a weak theory on my part. I just can’t wait to find out 😀
Red Brunja (7:53:55 PM): I have to say, I’m really liking the idea of multiple players working against each other. Yay for story possibilities!
Jessica Rae (7:54:30 PM): Thanks so much for talking about the episode with me!
Red Brunja (7:54:37 PM): My pleasure!