Season 2, Episode 10 (“The Sacrifice”)
Is sacrificing yourself to save others a noble thing? Elena seems to think so. Everyone else seems to think so when they are the ones making the choice, but not when someone else is. Both Salvatores would gladly sacrifice themselves to save Elena. Just a few episodes ago Stefan said he couldn’t think of a better reason to die. But when the tables are turned, they don’t agree that she should do it for them. This is what makes Elena so different from Katherine, she won’t do what she has to to survive if it means other people dying. Even if Elena is not above using some Katherine level manipulation to achieve her end.
With the revelation that Klaus will likely come for Elena and sacrifice her in order to break the sun and the moon curse, everyone is trying to come up with a plan. They are in a tough position, anything they do to interfere with Klaus’s ability to break the curse could lead to him killing them all. However, it is also not really an option to allow him to just do the sacrifice (at least for anyone who isn’t Elena). The Salvatores, Bonnie, and Jeremy would rather protect Elena and risk their own lives. Elena doesn’t want any of them to die for her, so she would rather die to save all of them. Jeremy wants to protect Elena, but not at the risk of Bonnie’s life. The problem is that everyone is more concerned with other people’s safety than their own. This is may be noble, but it is not really getting them anywhere.
Let’s start with Elena vs. The Salvatores. Both sides are understandable, but neither are really thinking things through. Elena doesn’t want anyone to die for her, but they aren’t just going to let her sacrifice herself. They will do anything to protect her. They see their lives as much more expendable than hers. They have lived for over 160 years, she is only 17. Their plan is admittedly not a good one. Elena is probably right that Klaus would kill them all if they destroy the moonstone, but at least they are trying something. Elena has pretty quickly accepted her fate without concern as to how it will affect anyone else. Also has she forgotten that a vampire and a werewolf also have to be sacrificed to break the curse? And that Katherine turned Caroline and Tyler precisely for this purpose? So surrendering herself also puts them at risk. She calls out Damon and Stefan for always making decisions for her. And she is right that the should be allowed to make her own decisions, but she is constantly doing the same thing to Jeremy.
Jeremy and Bonnie are also clashing over a similar problem. In order to get the moonstone from Katherine, Bonnie has to take the spell from the tomb down. Jeremy is concerned that the magic required will be too much for her and so he takes matters into his own hands. This ultimately leads to Stefan getting stuck in the tomb with Katherine, leaving Damon to be the only vampire to protect Elena. Jeremy didn’t think things through and he only made matters worse. He was just trying to protect Bonnie, but how she uses her powers is not his decision to make. He should trust that she knows what she is doing. Though I can see where everyone is coming from, it gets frustrating watching everyone try to make decisions for other people.
In contrast, Caroline is being a great friend to Tyler helping him figure out how he will deal with his first werewolf transformation. They find a journal and video that Mason made of his first transition and it essentially confirms that it is a terrible ordeal. It is a long and painful process. After learning this, Tyler is even more terrified of having to go through it. But luckily for him Caroline is amazing and is willing to help him through it. Even though they have never really been friends before, and have for the most part disliked each other. She knows how hard it is to go through this alone (she was alone when she transitioned) and doesn’t want him to have to as well.
Despite all the disagreements, this is a pretty decent episode. Everyone’s concerns make sense for their characters and their relationships with each other. It is good to see Bonnie agreeing to help the Salvatores keep Elena safe, instead of trying to stay out of vampire drama. Of course nobody wants anyone to die for them, but Elena should have more agency when it comes to her life. It is important that she not let them make decisions for her, but she should recognize that sacrificing herself is not as noble a thing as she thinks it is. Caroline and Tyler’s friendship is great for both of their characters. Tyler needs someone to help him through this and he allows himself to be vulnerable with her. I don’t think he knows that he could be a danger to her when he transitions, but she does and she is helping anyway.
Episode Grade: B
- Elena is weirdly cool that her aunt is dating her history teacher. To be fair though, Alaric is pretty cool and it is very helpful that he knows so much about vampires.
- “Come on in there’s room for all of us” “I’d rather poke my eyes out”
- It’s very convenient (or inconvenient) that Matt is starting to regret breaking up with Caroline right around the time that she and Tyler are becoming friends. I’m sure this won’t be a problem.
- Damon to Jeremy: “Why are you even here?”
- Rose is kind of impressed by Elena’s manipulation of Slater’s girlfriend until she realizes that Elena manipulated her too.
- Jeremy uses the ash to knock Katherine out when he doesn’t even know where the moonstone is. He knew it would only last a few minutes!
- “I don’t need an escort to my room” “Oh I don’t know between here and upstairs, there’s still time for you to do something stupid” VERY TRUE.
- Body Count: 3, Elijah kills the guys who come to kidnap Elena