Episode 3.04 TVD – “Disturbing Behavior” (10/10/2011)

I am going to do something I rarely do – speculate.  The reason I rarely do it is because I have proven to be terrible at it.  No matter how closely I pay attention, how detailed my notes are, and how much I analyze the plot, the writers of TVD are so incredibly clever, they almost always dish up a total surprise.  I may catch a clue here and there, but where the story is ultimately going never fails to have me saying “WTF?” at my television set.

But before I speculate, I have a few comments on “Disturbing Behavior” and Season 3 in general.

My major disappointment so far this season is that Damon appears to be reverting to Season 1 Damon – the selfish, impulsive vampire, which we’ve already seen.  What made Damon so great in Season 2 was that we saw his struggle.  In Season 3, perhaps we will see Stefan’s struggle, but it’s not nearly as interesting to me as Damon’s.

However, now that Katherine has shown up, and Damon is about to go off with her to who knows where and what, I will likely change my mind.  I think now that Damon’s made up his mind about Katherine, having the two take on an adventure could be a kick.

The least interesting part of Season 3 for me is the whole Jeremy and the ghosts of Anna and Vicki thing.  I love the actresses who play them, but not this story line – yet.  But I do think the “environmental” aspects of Anna’s new universe are interesting – she’s alone – I wonder if all vampires who “die” are alone.  I also like the fact that Jeremy seems to have caught on quickly to his part in controlling how much of them he sees.  We shall see.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Caroline – no matter what happens to this girl, she is unerringly cheerful and smiling and enthusiastic.  Nothing keeps her down.  When she shows up at Elena’s door with her bowl, she is fairly bursting with happiness and enthusiasm!  Who can resist her?

But I think Caroline’s remark to Elena- about changing Damon – is misplaced. Elena is not trying to change Damon – she is trying to come to terms with him, and her relationship to him.

I think this comment, and the fight later (which I loved) are all about Caroline’s history with Damon.  Who can blame Caroline for wanting to give Damon a good ass-whooping at the least provocation?  I love how she stands up to him – and a part of him lets her!  I think Damon has a soft spot for our Vampire Barbie, just like everyone else.  He even stands up for her with Bill – in his own way, of course.

And honestly, I don’t believe that mad trumps age in a show of strength between vampires.  Yes, Damon has a soft spot for our dear Caroline, just like everyone else.

I also loved that when she offered her Dad her own blood in order to heal him, and he refused, she tells him to “Grow up” with a touch of exasperation.  There is no better illustration of the deep ties of family than this scene – Caroline defending her father.  The same bigoted SOB who can’t accept who is daughter is now is saved by her.  She is his loving child regardless of the fact that he tortured her.

Caroline is the most emotionally honest and resilient character on this show.  She’s just been tortured by her own father, but she is keeping her friends honest, building a new relationship with a new love, and just being there for the people she cares about the most.

Strength + Courage + Loyalty = Caroline!

(Note:  Bill has vampire blood in his system – I think it would be poetic justice if he were killed and came back as a vampire – becoming the thing he hates most. But I’m not holding my breath.)

RIP Gloria.  I believe Gloria was a Bennett witch, not too far removed from Emily’s generation.  And I believe the Original Witch was also a Bennett, and that is why retrieving the necklace was important to Gloria.  It may have superior juju, but it’s also a family heirloom!

As Julie Plec promised, this is truly the season of family.  It is all over the opening scene with Rebekah, Klaus and Stefan – and I especially love the dialogue between the siblings.  It’s so very real.  You can just hear the family history between brother and sister.  Even the lines exchanged between Stefan and Klaus seem “brotherly”.

We can also see it in the final scene between Stefan and Rebekah.  She tells Stefan that her brother is a vindictive little bastard, but Stefan responds that Rebekah cares about him nonetheless.  There is an echo here in the relationship between Stefan and Damon – no matter what Damon does, Stefan loves him.  Blood ties are strong.

Rebekah also reveals that Klaus has told her the only reason Stefan is with him is because of the bargain between them – that if Stefan joined him, Klaus would give him the cure for Damon’s werewolf bite and let him live.  Rebekah says she thinks Klaus secretly admires that quality of loyalty in Stefan – that Stefan would sacrifice anything for family.

But Rebekah is so jealous of Stefan’s love for Elena that she betrays Stefan to Klaus.  Clearly Rebekah’s own loyalty is to her brother – not the man she once loved.  Blood is – once again – thicker than water.

In other news, after snapping his neck and killing him (again), Damon arouses Alaric with his own “breakfast of champions”.  Ric is not in a forgiving mood – and he runs off to demand a role on the town council.  He wants to protect the “actual people” in the town.  It sounds like the “vampire hunter” lineage in the Saltzman family is starting to show up again.

Which brings me to the central question of the episode – who is this Vampire Hunter – Michael – and why is Klaus, an Original Vampire who cannot be killed – afraid of him?

One aspect of this “Vampire Hunter” storyline line is that this guy – Michael – has been chasing Klaus and Rebekah (and who knows which other family members) across the centuries.  So, either he is also a vampire, OR he has had a spell cast on him – possibly by the original witch – in order not to age.

Some are speculating that Michael the Vampire Hunter is actually Vampire Papa.  I think this is a good possibility.  But I have a theory of my own.

I think Michael – the Vampire Hunter – is Vampire Papa, and that he has a last name – and it’s Saltzman!

Yes folks, he’s an ancestor of Alaric’s.  Remember, the writers have already told us that the Saltzman’s showed up in the US in 1755.  The writer’s don’t drop hints for no reason.  I think this hint is about to become important.

It’s very possible that the Saltzman’s started out as world class Vampire Hunters – until one of them (after marrying and siring 6 children) was bitten and turned by one of the vampires he was hunting.  I mean think about it – this is a dangerous occupation and getting bitten is always a possibility.  One day, it finally happened.

But old habits die hard, and once Klaus’s true lineage was discovered (and the possibility that he could be truly immortal and reproducible) that old skill came right back to Daddy and he’s been hunting Klaus and his loyalists ever since.

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that Alaric is starting to separate himself from his supernatural friends.  Again, the writers do not divulge information for no reason.  We know that Alaric was married to Isobel – and we know that Isobel was studying the supernatural, vampires in particular.  If the Saltzman family was originally in New England, how did Alaric wind up in Virginia – with a woman studying vampires – who’d had a baby with the most vampire-hating family in the state – the Gilberts?

Surely this is not all coincidence.

As I said, I’m really bad at speculation, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it until the writers spring the next fantastic, unexpected, epic plot twist on us all – you know, the one absolutely none of us sees coming!

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