The Conner Chronicles.  Clever title huh?  No, it’s not really a cover up for the fact that I had two incomplete reviews for the last few weeks and didn’t think I should forget about them when trying to go through this week’s episode, “The Killer” (**shifts eyes**).  The fact remains that the last three weeks were tightly woven pieces of mythology that had more twists than a jumbled up slinky and perhaps would be well served in a set.  

So exactly who is (or was) this Connor dude, and why did an average guy suddenly have such a cruel and intense hatred for vampires, so much so that he was willing to put innocents in harms way to kill a few of these fangs?  A loner in a motor home, that’s not suspicious!  And who is this new professor who reminds me too much of Mohinder Suresh from Heroes pulling the strings?  Let’s bounce through the weeks and see what we’ve learned.  

“The Rager” (4.03) 

Sadly, this was a very clunky episode in getting this drama started.  This episode is my least favorite this season (perhaps the series), and not just because I’m not one who enjoys a lot of bratty high school character drama.  A lot of things that happened didn’t make sense. 

I’ve grown to like Rebekah, and sorry, but they’ve done her character far better justice than this.  Rebekah is flipping a thousand years old, it’s about time she acted her age!  She is better than showing up at Mystic Falls high and playing over-the-top mean girl to a raging Elena.  Not to mention, and I adore Nina for trying, but she doesn’t sell rage very well.  I do admit I was lost in the dynamics because in a classroom in front of everyone Rebekah admits killing Alaric and then stabbing Elena with a thrown pencil, yet no one notices or does anything?  I’m sure they were all going, “Just another day at the office.”  

I also don’t remember Damon giving Elena a white oak stake (but I do wish they hadn’t stopped at him unbuttoning his pants), so how did she have one at the house after Rebekah threw her daylight ring in the sunny kitchen down the garbage disposal?  She goes through all that trouble to get it just so Stefan can talk sense into her?  Okay, I’m sold (sarcasm).  So when your boyfriend talks some sense into you, there’s nothing quite like the “I’m over it” statement by going to your rival’s party.  Really? 

Just when I’m done scratching my head, the party then takes any believability I had left and blows it out of the water.  Jeremy knew Connor spiked the beer with werewolf venom and didn’t say anything?  Did he not consider the chance that Elena would be there?  Or Stefan?  Or Damon (wait, scratch that).  Or is it he knew that Klaus could heal them and figured it was alright.  That’s a risky assumption, given the fact that Klaus is since a jerk.   

And Matt, that’s mighty evil of you, giving up Rebekah as the vampire.  She likes you!  You’re better than that, even though she did try to kill you and Elena.  Which made me even more exasperated over her hallucination of ripping Matt’s heart out.  That scene existed only to bait viewers.  Boo hiss.  Then they decide to give Rebekah a friend in April.  That little twist would have probably worked for me any other episode, but the fact that I’m now hurling TV bricks across the room, not today.

Other issues I had is the freaking mayor’s son is guarded at the hospital after being shot in public and they give him Barney Fife?  The attack was the setup for the whole useless vampire venom thing, but it was also a setup so Klaus would come along and give Tyler protection since the hybrids are dwindling.  That drama made no sense.  Didn’t Tyler try to kill Klaus?  Also, hasn’t Klaus moved on from his hybrids since his doppelganger is gone?  Can someone give Klaus and Rebekah a story that means something?  Oh wait, that comes next week. 

Finally, the fact that only Jeremy can see Connor’s tattoo seems like an obvious setup that he’s destined to be a vampire hunter while his sister is a vampire.  It’s still cool mind you, and it makes sense given the Gilbert family’s history with vampire hunting, but very obvious.  

The Five” (8.04) 

Much better!  When I can focus on an actual plot and not plot inconsistencies, and I recognize the show as the one I’ve been watching for four seasons, all is well again.
We left off with Klaus giving Elena his blood (because she is of use now?) and holding Conner captive because he’s one of “The Five.”  So what’s that?  They wasted no time giving us flashbacks to explain it, and it goes back all the way to the 1100’s.  Any story that brings back Elijah works for me!  The mythology kicks it all off.  A witch in medieval times has five very hot and well sculpted shirtless guys in a circle with their swords, and after she does the whole witchy pyrotechnics show they have tattoos crawl all over them, much like the one Conner has.  Fire burns, and it’s in the form of the symbol that was on Connor’s deadly wooden bullet that got Klaus’ attention.  I’m assuming these are The Five judging by the title.

If I’ve learned anything from these flashbacks, it’s that Joseph Morgan looks completely hot in longer hair.  This short business he has now is not doing him much justice.  Back in the 1100’s, the family Michaelson (Mikaelson?) had begun their pillaging and building the vampire race and found themselves in southern Italy.  Seems hot dudes are publicly executing vampires.  They befriend one of the chisel chests, Alexander, and he and Rebekah especially get all star crossed.  I like her tastes.   

In present times, we are given a huge teaser of why they should have been out of Mystic Falls high school two years ago.  College!  Why oh why aren’t these guys in college yet?  I was really sick of the high school setting by the end of season one, and after Damon, Elena, and Bonnie’s trip to the local college, I’m so behind this new setting now.  It’s perfect!  Bonnie meets Suresh, I mean Professor Shane, who took over her Gram’s classes on the occult, and Damon and Elena go a vampire feasting.  I get the rationale why Stefan wasn’t included, he doesn’t take blood too well, but it’s clearly an excuse to show more Delena tension.  You know I love it.  These two have so much more of a spark, and it’s just plain dirty.  Between them and medieval bare chested pecs, I’m a hormonal mess by the end of this episode.   

It’s not a shocker that new vampire Elena let her inhibitions completely go.  I just didn’t think I would love seeing it so much.  Somewhere between all that hotness of Elena feeding on dopes at a Halloween party (a way for all that blood to be easily explained)  and her “dirty dancing” with Damon afterward, a character lesson emerges.  Elena stopped herself after seeing Bonnie’s shocked and appalled gaze, realizing while it was fun she doesn’t want to be that person.  Damon’s lesson though is that’s all part of being a vampire.  She has to embrace that side.  To be honest, Damon is right on that one.  No, she shouldn’t be a wild child like this all the time, but it wouldn’t hurt to let her hair down figuratively once in a while, right?  Fine, I’m saying that only for my entertainment value. 

As for Stefan, he got to stay behind and enjoy story time with Klaus and Rebekah.  He most definitely got the raw end of the deal.  Back in 1100, it turns out these hot vampire slayers weren’t stupid (Well built with brains? I’m in love!).  Alexander uses his supposed love for Rebekah to hunt down her family and dagger them all.  Except he  didn’t realize that Klaus was different (a problem Conner has just realized with Tyler).  He didn’t succumb to the dagger and viciously killed Alexander (I believe I heard a tongue ripping).  He angrily demanded to know what Alexander promised Rebekah if she went with him.  She blurted a truth.  A cure.  For vampirism.  Okay… 

The tattoos are a map to where they could find the cure, but the problem is the original five hunters died and their tattoos disappeared.  Klaus hasn’t seen one since then.  He drags in Jeremy to sketch the tattoo on Conner, but it’s only on his arm.  Here’s the fun catch 22, he has to kill more vampires for the rest of the tattoo to be revealed.  Plus he escapes (really Klaus, trusting one of your stupid hybrids to guard this guy?) in the no brainer plot twist of the week. 

All this explains why Klaus has a new interest in Elena.  If there is a cure, he can cure Elena and make more hybrids.  Really Klaus?  You’re still on that train?  Ugh, what a one track mind.  Then Klaus proves he’s still an ass too, ruining a touching moment between Rebekah and Stefan.  Rebekah wanted the cure all those years ago for Finn, who was miserable.  She wondered if Stefan would take it too along with Elena.  Yes, he likes the idea of growing old and having kids with her.  Despite the setup of Klaus listening nearby, I do believe Stefan was being completely sincere.  Rebekah bought it and told him her secret.  The sword too is a key to the map, and she knows where one is.  She was really in love with Alexander and believed him, so she buried him under the church where they were to be married.  Along with the sword.  Klaus hears this and daggers Rebekah for her troubles.  What a dick.  And you played a role too Stefan?  For shame.  Klaus leaves to go find the sword. 

It all ends with Conner going to visit his partner in crime.  Suresh, I mean Professor Shane at the University.  The plot thickens.  Heck, this is The Vampire Diaries.  The plot always has the consistency of wet cement!

“The Killer” (4.05)

These vampires crack me up.  I mean, Klaus is at least a thousand years old, Damon and Stefan have been around for 160 odd years, haven’t they learned by now that more times than not schemes tend to backfire?  Plus, will the real Stefan please stand up?  

That’s being harsh though, since I was surprised by the outcome of “The Killer.”  I guess Connor wasn’t the real killer after all!  I didn’t think Connor would be killed off so soon, and by a fuming Elena?  Whoa.  Sure, Elena was going to kill someone someday, and the fact it was out of revenge against a vampire hunting bastard is actually rational, but still, the first kill can’t be easy for anyone.  Her little meltdown in front of Stefan and Damon, with both brothers looking somberly on, was so tragic.  Who couldn’t shed a tear for the poor girl?  She never wanted this, but then again, did any of these vampires?  

Elena did have good reason though.  That jerk tried to kill her brother, and then drove a stake through her!  I smiled at her “You missed” before she broke his neck.  A little bonus did come from that whole Mystic Grill hostage ordeal.  Matt and Jeremy were back to looking out for each other, and it was so nice to see Jeremy working April into the fold by giving her that vervain bracelet.  No more compelling for her.  Good, that was getting old and the poor girl’s brain has got to be swiss cheese by now.  But Jeremy, yikes, what has Elena done?  By killing Connor, now the tattoo is on Jeremy.  The first reaction from my hubby was, “Doesn’t he have to kill a vampire?” and I remember the incident back in season three when he did just that on his front porch.  The one that Damon made him forget and then sent him off to Denver.  I say off more of those useless hybrids of Klaus’.  I mean they’re dropping like flies.  How many were actually out there?  Some army.  

If there’s anything I didn’t like, I haven’t enjoyed seeing again the “Stefan is a pussy” aspect of his character.  While his motives for helping Klaus were truly honorable, he had to know that the whole thing would go south, especially when the order was to keep Damon in the dark.  He should know that Damon would figure it out and/or go against the plan and Stefan’s wishes.  Damon does what Damon wants.  Yeah, starting to rip his brother’s heart out of his chest was an effective way to finally get the truth out of Stefan, but did it really need to come to that?  Okay, I kind of enjoyed that.  Plus it served Stefan right.  Of course it ended up proving to be a distraction for Elena to start twisting some necks.  

Klaus too had to know that Stefan couldn’t pull off such elaborate planning on his own, but then again, he wouldn’t be such an ass otherwise.  But mostly, Klaus wants the cure for Elena so he can make more hybrids.  Wouldn’t Stefan just throw that back in his face?  He knows Klaus by now.  Where’s the backbone?  Plus I’m still mad over what he did to poor Rebecca.  Maybe he’s finally learned his lesson.  

While I’m on the “WTF?” train, I also don’t like the Caroline’s emotional roller coaster every week.  I know that she’s capable of being openly jealous, but I’m with Hayley, “I don’t do high school.”  Caroline has been so awesome in kicking ass since she’s become a vampire, yet we’re reverting to her season one whiny school girl days?  Shouldn’t she be secure enough with Tyler by now to know that he loves her?  Hasn’t he proved himself enough by now?  Perhaps I’m noticing this more just because I’m dying to see girlfriend get a plot.  That has been a sorely missing item this season. 

Then there’s Suresh, I mean Professor Shane, who’s working with Bonnie to get her mojo back.  I don’t know whether to be excited for Bonnie or worried.  What does this guy need with a vampire killer and a Bennett witch?  Perhaps he has a sword already and all he needs is the map?  He’s got to be some sort of witch too.  Who else would be able to bring back the legend of The Five?  Maybe he’s a descendant of the original witch?  We really don’t know enough about his motives yet to speculate too much, but do you think he’s aware of the cure?  I say yes, otherwise why would he be going to such trouble?  

I did like how we got to see Stefan and Damon licking their wounds when all this was done, realizing there will be Hell to pay once Klaus gets back.  They’re back to being on the same page, so at least they can face him together.  I’m hoping all this talk from Damon about leaving is gone now.  They think the cure is out of reach.  Jeremy would be very smart to keep the truth to himself, but we know secrets don’t stay secret long in Mystic Falls.  

Oh, and Elena is hallucinating.  Last I looked, that doesn’t happen when vampires kill, right?  I remember when Caroline turned and she didn’t seem to be chasing white rabbits.  So, I assume this all has something to do with what’s happening with Connor and Jeremy.  Maybe.  It’s not good for her, whatever it is! 

Other Thinky Thoughts:  

I like Meredith very much, and how she bonds with Damon, but I don’t want Meredith to be the new Alaric.  I want Alaric to be the new Alaric!  Also, I don’t want Caroline to be the new Lexi.  I want the old Lexi…you get the point.  

I’m very puzzled where they are going with poor Rebekah’s character.  You really don’t know what Rebekah is going to show up every week.  She obviously craves love and admires other people’s loyalty, but yet she still sticks with Klaus.  I know he’s family and he’s all she’s got, but geez, how many times can this guy screw her over? 

Just how many vampires does Jeremy have to kill now to see the whole map?  I hope he’s good at sketching his own chest.  Speaking of which, will that map even fit on his chest?  It filled up every inch of Alexander’s spectacularly large pecs.  Here’s a stray thought, you think that it was Jeremy’s connection to vampire hunter Alaric and the ring that has put him in this spot?  Hey anything is possible on this show.  

(No, this isn’t gratitious at all!  Just using visuals to prove my point).

So what have we learned in three episodes?  Once again, our Salvatores are in a big mess.  Everything seems so different, yet nothing has changed!  That’s likely why we’re glued to our sets every Thursday.  Up next week, more secrets, lies, scheming, and plot twists.  I love this show.  

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