Episode Commentary: “162 Candles”
It’s Stefan’s birthday and as the citizens of Mystic Falls attempt to put the events of Halloween behind them, an old friend of Stefan’s appears to shake things up. Lexi (Arielle Kebble “Gilmore Girls”) has some sound advice as she’s the only one with perspective. After meeting Elena she lays out the situation by informing longtime friend Stefan that he has “some serious emotional damage.” In the meantime Damon enthralls Caroline so that she can throw a birthday party for Stefan and retrieve his crystal at the same time.
Then there’s Stefan and Elena’s doomed romance. This was done much better on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as the slayer (Sarah Michelle Geller, Buffy) and the charismatic-brooding vampire (David Boreanaz, Angel) had real chemistry. As we return to Damon we see when he doesn’t get what he wants chaos and much blood-letting ensues. In typical Vampire Diaries fashion Damon’s propensity for violence causes possible interesting plot developments that eventually lead nowhere. The one shining factor in this episode is Lexi. One wishes that she would stick around, since she’s the only one who rises above the material and heavy-handed direction.
As usual the show only becomes exciting in the final moments of the episode. This tactic has become a staple that is as tiresome as Caroline’s low self-esteem, Stefan’s brooding and Elena’s whining.
Instead of falling back on the tropes that makes a show about vampires and witches worth watching, what we have here is a show that is as Caroline describes herself “as deep as a kiddy pool.”