The Vampire Diaries – Blood Brothers (S01E20) – Episode review

After some moments of high tension in the preceding weeks, The Vampire Diaries gives us a less action packed episode that finally reveals the night the Salvatore brothers became vampires.

Blood Brothers sees Stefan at his lowest ebb. Locked in a basement, forced to give up drinking blood, he decides that it’s time his long life ended. Elena, of course, has been sitting a constant vigil outside. Because she has nothing better to do.

Thankfully, the crux of this episode takes place in the days of yore, when the Salvatore brothers had pulses. In flashbacks from Stefan and Damon, we begin to piece together how the pair finally became vampires. This actually harks back to the books this series is based on: LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries had a peculiar plot device in that if a human ingests enough vampire blood, the transformation to vampire could trigger on its own.

This next bit gets a bit spoilery, because it turns out Katherine has been sharing her blood with Damon. And from what the extremely useful witch Emily says, Damon knew what he was doing. Notice how Emily turns up conveniently when important information needs to be divulged? Anyway, at the same time, Katherine was compelling Stefan to drink her blood and wiping his memory. So both Salvatores are at the same point, just about to begin the transformation. All they need is a little sip of blood to kick things off.

I loved the turn of events that led to Stefan’s transformation. He discovers that his father was a total anti-vampire nutball. Big Daddy Gilbert admits he was the gunman who shot Stefan and Damon as they rescued Katherine. Ultimately, he meets a sticky end with a blood-crazed Stefan drinking from his neck. And in a further shock reveal, we discover that it was Stefan who brought a virtuous young maiden to Damon and convinced him to have his first blood.

Sub-plots: Uncle John turns sniper, Anna gets orphaned

Uncle John is still sniffing around this week, doing his best to do vaguely evil things so we won’t work out what’s going on. He entices Pearl to meet with him for drinks, but manages to upset her and she reveals that Damon has the weird invention he’s been looking for. Of course, that makes Pearl thoroughly dispensable, so John pays her a visit later on with a really cool stake-shooting gun.

It’s about time too. The one thing that’s been bothering me about Pearl and her daughter Anna is how freaky that relationship must be. Really. Let’s assume they’ve been vampires for what, 140 years? Why is Anna still acting like a teenager for her mother? She’s beyond teenage. I’d say by the time you’re more than a century old, seeing your mother once in a decade is about acceptable.

Anyway, every stake has a silver lining, and with Pearl out of the way, Anna and Jeremy can advance their relationship.

In other Evil Uncle John news, he randomly mentions to Elena that he knows she’s dating a vampire. And it seems he’s running some sort of secret rehabilitation scheme for refugees from the vampire tomb. I’m sure we’ll hear more about all that in the next week or so.

Weak Vampire Diaries bits of the…er…week

It’s never advisable to be too specific about the range of supernatural powers. For instance, Anna reveals to Jeremy that she can hear Jenna opening a fridge downstairs. That’s pretty powerful hearing.

So, how come Pearl doesn’t hear mean ol’ Uncle John pulling up in his car, retrieving his weapon from the boot of his car and approaching the house to ring the doorbell? Ah, vampires, the eternal predator.

And my favourite quote of the week: A newly fanged Stefan raves about the psychological benefits of blood “And the guilt, the pain. Damon, I can turn it off like a switch.” Like a switch? Like a switch, you say? Maybe wait until the widespread adoption of electricity and the use of switches to pass into the popular lexicon before writing futuristic figures of speech in, eh?

That’s what I love about Vampire Diaries, the writers never sweat the details. It’s so frickin’ sloppy, but the actors are pretty, so we overlook it all!

Quotes from this episode:

  • Damon shows his usual level of consideration for Stefan: “I couldn’t have him running around chewing on people while the town was looking for vampires, could I?”
  • Damon: “You know what’ll happen if you don’t eat? You’ll get all rotting and crusty.”
  • Uncle John lets Elena know he knows about the vampires. “What would your mother say if she knew you were dating a vampire.” Elena: “Which mother?”
  • Jeremy and Anna get it on in his bedroom. Jeremy: “I don’t want Jenna to walk in on us.” Anna: “Jenna’s in the kitchen. She just opened the refrigerator.” Jeremy: “You can hear that? That is so cool.”
  • Daddy Salvatore: “My sons. They will be remembered as the innocent victims of the battle of Willow Creek. Not for their shame.”
  • Damon, after Alaric stakes a vampire: “Let’s not kill anyone tonight. Your words. Just pointing that out.”
  • Stefan: “My body is exploding with power, Damon. I can hear things from far away. I can see through the darkness. I can move like it’s magic. And the guilt, the pain. Damon, I can turn it off like a switch.”
  • Emily: “Even in death, your heart is pure Stefan. I sense that in you. That will be your curse.”
  • Damon: “You brood too much. Everything on this planet’s not your fault. My actions, what I do? I own them, they belong to me. You are not allowed to feel my guilt.”

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