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15 May 2011 @ 08:37 pm
2.22 - 'As I Lay Dying' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Sorry for the delay, but I've been sick and icky pretty much since Thursday. I'm still not 100% today, but I felt well enough to rewatch the episode and jot down my thoughts while doing so.

Here we are at the finale of another fantastic season. Ah, I love this show so very much. Gonna do this review a bit differently, and just go down the line of what happened when and expounding on certain points. My overall finale thoughts wrap-up will be at the end. :)

- To begin with, I so loved that little moment of Elena checking in on Jeremy, and then looking in at Jenna's room. Because on this show family matters. On occasion, they miss the boat and kinda forget that (ie, Elena only spending time with Stefan in "The Last Day" as opposed to saving some time with friends and family), but that kind of thing actually happens very rarely. Generally, the familial relationships and friendships get as much significance as do the romantic aspects of the story, and I will never not appreciate the heck out of that.

I adored how Ian Somerhalder played the first scene with Elena. His voice was so soft and tender, holding back and not pushing at all. And, oh, how wonderful was his smiling acceptance of her needing time to forgive him. We really have seen Damon grow over the course of the season, actually accept his humanity which first really reared its head in last season's finale, and kicked him in the gut in the premiere. He's been grappling all season with trying to control himself and find the balance, and in the last couple of episodes, he's begun to do so. I had written in "The Descent" write-up:

The good thing (hah! "good" thing) is that it's getting harder and harder for him to do that. First, he went cold and bitter and snapped Jeremy's neck, the pain and regret came afterward. Now, he was drunk and broken, devastated by the choice he felt he *had* to make to not be in pain anymore. Yes, he committed the act, but the pain and regret was with him the entire time, before, during and after. Next time -- because you so know there is going to be a next time -- I think he'll make the right call at last. He won't commit the unforgivable (or close to it) act.
I'm not sure why I missed when this actually did happen (in "Klaus" when Damon chose to not kill Andie, but instead let her go), but I did. It wasn't until I read a quote from Julie Plec where she said that was the best thing Damon had done, not choosing to kill Andie. (Or something along those lines.) I went back and rewatched the scenes and the lead-up, and realized after the fact that he did do in that scene what I'd been expecting. I think that once he overcame that killing instinct and made the right choice, he felt a peace. Yes, he was still struggling, he still made mistakes, but he had gained a measure of control, and one that will only get stronger with each day that passes and he exercises that control.

Also, regarding this scene with Elena here, I do think that a small part of him took her words as an unknowing final gift to him. She didn't say that she wouldn't forgive him, just that she needed time ... which meant he could hold onto the belief that she would have forgiven him eventually. And we go back to "Founder's Day" where Damon was blown away at the prospect that Elena found him worthy of saving; now he knows that she also finds him worthy of forgiveness, something that he's never been fully granted from anyone else he deeply loved, even Stefan.

- Damon being so particular about choosing his alcohol, with that little smile, was a nice little touch. I loved how they played out him seeing the girl he loves one last time, choosing the right bottle, savoring the last sip, pulling the curtains open, enjoying the sun on his face and then holding onto the ring after pulling it off a moment longer before just letting it go and embracing his death. And immediately the smoke began rising from his hand, and even in the midst of his searing pain, he didn't cry out or even show that much pain because he had completely accepted that this was it. Sad, but still, it was a beautiful scene.

Ruined by Stefan, hah! I kid, I kid. I love how Stefan has put aside that whole respecting one's wishes nonsense out the window when it comes to his brother's life. Awesome. But I already waxed poetic about Stefan and his great love for Damon after last week's episode. Just know I still feel the same. For Stefan? It's Damon over everyone else. Booyah!

- "What's the plan, superman?" Heh. Oh, Damon, even dying, you still bring the funny.

- Okay, a bit more on the brotherly love on display. I loved how Stefan didn't even entertain a second of Damon's attitude, didn't respond to the jibes, even ignored the coughing up blood. He was focused and determined; a man (vamp) on a mission.

- What a beautiful transition from Damon lying on the cellar floor in the dark and dying, to Klaus rising in the sunny forest, fully alive in every way he's capable of being for the first time in a thousand years. Oh, and Elijah? You so got played and you don't even realize it yet. *sigh*

- Obviously the Liz/Carol scene is some sort of set-up for what's coming in season three because Liz has a daughter who's a vampire and her allegiance to DEATH!TO ALL VAMPIRES! stance may waver. A struggle for the control of Mystic Falls may be coming to a head amongst the human adults. Hmm....

- Oh, Alaric. Throwing it back at Stefan with such poetry: "I'm not allowed to help, just idly sit by while my girlfriend gets sacrificed on an altar of blood." A drunk Alaric is amusing. We need some drunken Damon/Alaric scenes next season. They'd be a hoot to watch. These two are such a great pair, they find macabre humor in the terrible situations. And obviously, that bromance is strong and real. Right away, the sarcasm and bitterness faded away when he learned that Damon was in trouble and he was needed. Awww.

- I love Caroline to bits, I do, but she didn't lose a family member. Jeremy and Elena did and I think the way Candice Accola handled that scene was TOO sunny, without enough subtext. For once, I was a tad disappointed in her acting choice. The sentiment was fantastic, but, again, the subtext that revealed the sorrow behind the push to take a break was missing for me.

- Okay, was it just me or did Elena's "Look who can't resist an epic romance?" come across as slightly sarcastic to anyone else? Especially in light of that whole "epic" line in the second episode.

- Practically slammed the door in his face? Really, Elena? Wow, she really is just a nice, nice person, if she imagines her reaction to Damon was akin to slamming the door in his face. I love Elena, really, I do. She has such a huge heart.

- Again, maybe it was just me, but it seemed to me like Stefan was searching her face a bit as he told Elena about Damon as if trying to see how it was effecting her. And her reaction seemed to, I don't know, appease him enough that he told her to go to him. And I can see why, because she didn't really seem as upset as I had originally hoped she would be upon hearing such news. But it did work, I think, because while she was upset, she seemed a bit more shellshocked at this point. With so much happening, I think she was still processing it and so the emotions hadn't quite fully hit her yet.

- *sigh* I love Stefan, I totally, absolutely do, but there are times where he just makes me want to smack him. His little speech to Elena was one of those times. Because, AGAIN!, he made it ALL. ABOUT. HIM. He was going to find a cure not because Damon was dying, not because he loved his brother and couldn't lose him because Damon matters to him, but no, he's being all noble and heroic and shit because he's making up for a choice he made years ago. For the love of God, Stefan, just own up to the fact that you're doing this because you love your brother and not because of some misguided sense of honor. *double sigh* I'm choosing to believe that he painted as he did because he still can't face how much he loves Damon and/or he doesn't get how much Elena does care about Damon and so he doesn't want her to think less of him for wanting to save Damon just because he loves him. Yeah, that works.

- Hmm, interesting how Elena popped up in Damon's memory of Katherine. She's become his compass of right and wrong choices completely. Obviously, it's been heading there, but that she's the voice pointing out the now-obvious in his delirium-induced memory really cinched it.

- So, uhm, Alaric invited Stefan in to his apartment at some point, and not Damon? False. This was just clearly a misstep on the writer's part in this episode, and compounded later when Elijah simply entered Alaric's apartment without an invite as well. I do find it odd how the show completely missed that when they made such a big deal out of Damon having to be invited in a few episodes ago. I think they do the bigger picture, the character stuff and the over-reaching arcs and themes so well that I hate to nitpick, but they let quite a few small bits like this through this season. Tighten it up, guys, please. I hate wanting to defend the show against its detractors whenever possible and being unable to because they do make little mistakes like this, and there is no defense.

- Do we have any idea how long the timeline was with Rose getting bitten? I don't remember, I just know that Damon seems to be handling it a LOT better than Rose. Hmm, I wonder if we're supposed to infer that vampires just do have that extra measure of who they were as humans as they do in vampire-land. Perhaps, Damon was very much in control as a human, in ways we haven't really been privvy to in the flashbacks -- and considering he's had so few compared to the more Stefan ones, I don't think that's outside the realm of possibility. One thing is clear, though, and that's that Damon -- when he accepts what is happening around him, and stops fighting it -- is very, very much in control. Perhaps that's why his reaction is so much lessened than Rose's. Or maybe it's just because Tyler wasn't in full werewolf mode while Jules was, thus Damon got a lesser dosage than did Rose. :shrugs:

- Ah, Klaus, you pretty much confirmed what I've been saying in past episode reviews. There has definitely been a point to Stefan being "just shy of useless" this season. No, it's not been as Klaus meant, but it's definitely been a huge part of Stefan's character. Because he's so afraid of not being "good," he resists doing almost anything that will paint him in a bad light. And it has so come to a head. He's spent so much time burying a part of who he is so deeply that he can't fight it at all when it comes forced rearing to the surface.

- Erm, why did Damon even bother putting his ring back on when Alaric brought it? I just didn't get the significance of that moment. I would have preferred they cut that moment and kept Damon's line about "dying sucks" -- which, I'm pretty sure he said when laying in Elena's arms.

- Oh man, it was clearly hard for Alaric to watch Damon suffer. Because he loves him. :Nods:

- At first, I was wondering why Damon was blaming himself for Jenna's death when that one is so completely not on him, but then it became clear. He wanted Alaric to come at him. So when Alaric made it clear that he doesn't blame him, Damon jumped to the topic of Isobel to goad Ric. He really wanted to be done with this, and since Stefan had cut off his suicide route, he was going for the murder victim angle. Oh, Damon.

- Hmm, isn't it funny how it's perfectly noble and awesome for everyone to deny Damon's his choice in dying (and Bonnie's too for that matter), but when Damon throws a fit -- and yeah, admittedly goes over the line -- he's the devil incarnate. What up with that? With that said, I did love Ric denying him, though. "Screw you." Hah! Not the response Damon probably ever expected to get when he requested that someone kill him. On a more serious note, I loved how in the last finale, Damon acknowledged that he had come to love and accept the town as his home again, and had found people to care about. Now, this time around, the people in the town are returning the favor. Stefan, Elena, Alaric, Jeremy, heck, even Bonnie was trying to find the answer to save Damon. Not all of them love him or consider him their friend, but they see the good he has in him. They don't consider him a monster, and all of them now consider him someone worth saving ... not just Elena (and obviously, Stefan). What Bonnie did last season, wasn't for Damon, it was for Elena and Stefan, not Damon. This time, she risked angering her ancestors to help save Damon's life.

- I did love Damon's cry of "Elena" and Ric's assertion that she wasn't there, which was then followed by Elena driving up. So did Damon hear her, or was it supposed to imply some connection? I'm not sure. I don't know just how far a distance he'd be able to hear her. Or maybe he heard the car, and was just hopeful that it was Elena. Probably. Still, I liked that moment for what it implied in a 'they are connected' sense.

Lah dee dah, lovely shipper possible delusion out of the way, time for logic to step in. So Elena found out from Stefan earlier that Damon was dying, night fell from the drive in the square to the house that quickly? What is it with Damon and Elena that the other takes their sweet ole time responding to each other's werewolf-bite related emergencies? Damon left Elena alone with Rose and when hearing that Rose would turn rabid didn't rush back to make sure Elena was safe, and now Elena finds out that Damon is dying, knows how bad it is, and, what? Did her nails before heading over to the boarding house? I don't complain much about it, but I will ding the show hard here. They have THE worst time transitions of ANY television show ... possibly ever! I mean, what month is it? How long have the events of the past two seasons taken place? Have Stefan and Elena and their epic love story only been going on for about three-four months now, or are we supposed to believe it's been two years? But, no, it can't be because Elena's still 17 as far as we know. Seriously!? There is no sense to be made of the timeline on this show, not matching the characters interactions and emotions towards one another. Ugh. And then there are the transitions from night to day, so fucked up, and don't make any sense in light of times of urgency on way too often an occasion. *sigh* I love my show, I do. And in the bigger picture, I suppose this stuff doesn't matter, but it does bug, and I wish they'd get on the ball about it.

- Speaking of the ball and who is and is not on it: Special effects/stunt work were so off the ball when Damon threw Liz against the wall because I, for reals, thought he bashed her brains in there. He flung her -- with vampire speed it looked like -- against that STONE WALL so hard. I was shocked to see her fine and dandy later on. Happy because I had been dismayed at how easily they had Damon kill someone he claimed was a friend, but still, it really looked like he killed her in the cellar.

- So, I love Gone with the Wind. I REALLY do -- see default icon, see journal title -- but what was the point? There really was absolutely no significance to be found. And I looked. I looked at the scenes playing in the background to see if there was some parallel, something, and none of them did match. I don't know if in the uncut version there was a parallel that they just cut because of time constraints, if so, I hope we find out about that in the DVDs, but it still pulled me out moments here and there during the episode. Bummer.

- I liked Jeremy standing up for himself and calling out Bonnie on what she did. Now I get why she did it (and, for the record, why Damon did what he did to Elena), but the bottom-line is that every single one of the gang (except for Caroline) are constantly making the choices for the others, or ignoring, denying, fighting the choices the others have made. I suppose this is partly why it bugs me so much that much of fandom is so up in arms over Damon forcing his blood on Elena, and not respecting her choice. Yes, it was a terrible thing, BUT, the fact of the matter is that going back to "The Sacrifice," several characters have been doing this to several other characters:

- Damon to Elena and Alaric
- Alaric to Damon
- Stefan to Damon, Bonnie and Elena
- Elena to Jeremy, Bonnie and Jenna
- Jeremy to Bonnie and Elena
- Bonnie to Elena, Jeremy, Alaric and Damon

And I'm sure I'm forgetting occasions that would add more to the list. Furthermore, we've been shown time and time again that not only are they not always the right choices, more often than not, they are the wrong ones. Except, ironically, for Damon -- who's been right way more than the others. However, the point is that this choice-taking-away-ness has been going on for eleven episodes now with varying degrees of in-your-faceness from almost all of our main characters, and yet, for the most part, Damon is the *only one* who is getting lambasted across the lines -- in the show somewhat, and BIG-TIME online.

It's REALLY frustrating.

- Not frustrating, which was once upon a time? The whole "ripper" bit with Stefan. We were originally supposed to hear about Stefan as a ripper in "Rose." This is taken from the original sides for Rose (who was a total bad-ass as originally conceived, sigh).

     

In retrospect it doesn't read as bad as I remembered, but I do recall being shocked that they were going to go there with Stefan and I was VERY curious to find out Elena's reaction, and then that bit was cut. I was bummed. Especially when the ripper information did come up in "Crying Wolf" as told through Stefan -- Stefan who tends to make himself look better than he probably did at the time. Sure enough, for all of his 'oh, I was such a bad-ass' it really didn't play that way in the flashbacks, and Elena wasn't all that horrified. The idea of a ripper just came across worse in that original side I read. And then Klaus talked about a ripper who wiped out an entire migrant village, and it was definitely horrifying, even more so than in in the original Rose side. And then it all made sense.

The 1917 migrant village line showed that Stefan definitely had lapses -- much worse than Damon, it sounds like -- since Lexi found him in 1864, shortly after he turned. Again, I was upset originally about the ripper dialogue being cut because I was interested to see how Elena would react to knowing Stefan was like that. However, this works better, and is more in character. Instead we had a mention of Stefan going after the Gilbert family in Jonathan Gilbert's journal, which didn't really tell the full story and then Stefan told Elena his version -- which many felt didn't come across as nearly as bad as Damon at all -- oh, so, of course, lo and behold, Stefan only told Elena what he had to because of her reading the journals. His story to her ended on Lexi finding him during the war (thus, his ripper ways had only been going on less than a year) and Stefan seeing the light. He made no mention of relapses or the true horrific nature of being a ripper. So when Elena is confronted with Stefan's nature like this -- and I'm sure she will be -- it will DEFINITELY be an eye-opener.

- It was cool seeing Klaus' eye was a combination of a vampire and werewolf, the veins, plus the gold color.

- I've read nonstop complaints about what a horrible public servant of the law Sheriff Liz Forbes is, and I so do not agree. It sure seems as if the town is doing well (normal) crime-wise, it's just the supernatural element that's out of control. And that makes sense. This only all started when the Salvatore brothers came back to town, so Liz has only been actively dealing with this -- with limited, and downright incorrect, in some cases, information -- for four months to a year (whatever the damn timeline is). She is doing the absolute best she can with the knowledge she has, which frankly isn't much. She doesn't know about vampire speed (which Matt getting knocked out by Damon was shown clearly in "The Last Day" or she would have warned Matt), so she couldn't have possibly known that Damon could zoom away from a speeding bullet. She also doesn't know that vampires can be good, that they can repress their vampiric nature, that they have a humanity switch. She obviously didn't know that vampire blood can heal. She has so much limited information that to call her a terrible law enforcement officer is terribly unfair. So, yeah, I still love Liz and I totally get her point of view, and I hope that with that final scene with Caroline, we see a Liz coming to terms with what she does know and this new information, and opens herself up to learn all she can.

This is a good, honest cop. She didn't want them moving Jeremy not because she's a bad cop, but because she had no idea that Bonnie was a witch, and potentially could bring him back to life. As upset as she was, she wanted him kept there to preserve a crime scene -- even if it would have found her guilty and held accountable, because her defense would be, what? A vampire zoomed out of the way? Okay, off that soapbox.

- And onto another one. I find it hard to believe that people are complaining about the lack of Caroline and Tyler in this episode, and are complaining about that awesome Liz and Caroline stuff in its place. Even worse is that many of those complaining are the same ones who moan about the show being all about the romance (ie, the stupid triangle). We got a coda -- for this season -- to Caroline and Tyler in the last episode (and a damn good one, that this Stefan/Caroline fan was not particularly thrilled with because it boded quite well for Caroline/Tyler, but that's my issue, moving on). This story with Caroline and her mother has been building since the fifth episode of this season; it deserved a coda too. And so we got one -- a beautiful one at that -- because on this show family is hella important and I love that. And, no, I'm not being hypocritical because as a Damon/Elena fan I got a lovely bit with them. Number one, like with Caroline and Liz, this has been simmering all season, and like Caroline and Liz, it wasn't handled prior to this episode. Secondly, we got some great brotherly stuff in the last episode, and from Stefan's side, we got a lot in this episode as well. So, family is shown as important -- and in some cases, more -- than the romantic angle and it's one of the many reasons I so appreciate The Vampire Diaries.

- I had mentioned here and there being disappointed in how there seemed to be no fall-out from Stefan taking human blood this season, whereas last season he went on a bender. This episode completely cleared that up for me. We saw Stefan get little drips and drops -- which, to give myself credit, I had mentioned as a possibility for why it wasn't affecting him the same -- but never more than that. The most we ever saw was him taking a few sips out of the blood bag in "Rose" -- okay, and a bag in "The Last Day," but that was one bag only and he had been drinking bits here and there for some time. So it wasn't just moderation that was keeping Stefan's addiction at bay, it was moderation as practically non-existence. The difference between what we saw him ingest compared to the liters upon liters he did in this episode? Yeah. Boy's so going on another bender. And it makes sense as they've established thus far on the show.

- Klaus really is a cheerfully sadistic asshole, isn't he? I still think that Joseph Morgan isn't as strong charismatically as Ian Somerhalder and Daniel Gillies, but he's fairly evenly matched with Paul Wesley, and if we're going to be seeing more of those two together, that's a good sign. I think -- based on their scenes so far -- that they'll play off of each other well.

- I loved Alaric's comment to Bonnie about the witches: "Well, he's just a kid, tell them to shut up." Go Alaric. And thank you for surviving the season. SQUEE!

- I also loved the massive difference in how Bonnie acted when trying to help Damon as opposed to helping Jeremy. I had mentioned above about how she was actively trying to help save Damon this finale as opposed to the last, but seeing how much more emotional, desperate she was over Jeremy really showed a wonderful contrast in how you can consider one an ally, want to save them and still not be all about them.

- Oh, Jeremy. He died in the premiere and he died in the finale, and came back both times. Let's call him the Comeback Kid!

- I FLOVED the transitions during the Damon/Elena | Damon/Katherine scene. We had modern-day Damon asking "Where're we going?" of Elena, and then 1864-Katherine answering, 1864-Damon stumbling transitioning into modern-Day Damon stumbling. modern-day Damon vamp-speeding Elena into the wall and then 1864-Katherine telling him he's faster than she thought. I just loved the editing there so much. So wonderfully done.

- Damn, Katherine loves being chased (by Stefan (1.06), Elijah (2.19) and now Damon).

- Choices, choices, it's all been about choices and this episode is really driving that home. Making your own choice, taking away the choices of others, facing the consequences, right or wrong. Had this episode been called some variation on the word choice, I wouldn't have been surprised at all. And it would have been very fitting (if a tad heavy-handed, LOL).

- I did appreciate how it was made perfectly clear that Elena knew Damon was having a delusion, thinking it was Katherine so that his actions couldn't be held against him. Which she didn't, instead taking him into her arms right away (even as she held a hand to her bleeding neck).

- Well, that's NOT how I wanted Damon feeding on Elena the first time, lol. Still, uhm, he fed on her. Yay?

- "I don't understand" and that's why I don't hold Liz's supposed failings against her. Of course she doesn't. She has limited information to work with, and has been doing her best with what she knows.

- Oh, that Caroline/Liz hug. Love. The whole speech, the whole scene. LOVE.

- "You were dead; it would feel weird if you felt normal." Hah. Great line from Bonnie, and so very true, with a deeper meaning in that Jeremy is so used to crazy shit happening that he figures dying should be just another day. After all, it's not like he hasn't done it before.

- Words can not express how much I loved the Alaric/Jeremy banter. This is what they need, and Alaric (along with Damon and Caroline) gets that. They need that lightness to try and balance out some of the dark. And Matt Davis' comic timing was wonderful. However, I did find it odd that neither Alaric nor Jeremy seemed concerned about at all what was going on with Damon and Elena at this point.

- I think it's safe to say that Elena now trusts Damon as much as Stefan. Think back to "Miss Mystic Falls" when Stefan warned Elena away because he would hurt her, and she wouldn't go, convinced that he would never hurt her. Here she is with Damon -- knowing how bad it got with Rose -- but believing 100% that Damon would never hurt her either. Aww. And then her telling him that she would "be with you to the very end." Even just this first bedroom scene with thsee two, I can't understand how anyone could call her actions one of pity. Promising to stay with him until the end, risking her life by trusting that he wouldn't hurt her, the look on her face as he's speaking, she's in such pain that he's in pain. That's not friendship, and that's not pity. She may not love love him as she does Stefan (now) because there's none of that murky confusion, right/wrong morass with Stefan, but she does love Damon and more than as a friend. She may not want to; she certainly has never and would never have made the choice to ... but she does. In this case, she really didn't have a choice, sometimes feelings just ... happen. Her staying by his side, and how!, proves that.

- Elena's a terrible dabber. Damon's all sweaty and she dabs the washcloth once or twice at the top of his forehead, ignoring everywhere else the sweat is pooling. :Shakes head: Silly Elena. It's okay, I'm sure Damon didn't mind as long as she was holding him in her arms.

- Damon was thinking of Stefan so much in the end that my brothers Salvatore-loving-heart was aching. No more jibes or smart remarks, he just wanted to make it right with him, and since he wasn't there, he was willing to use Elena as a conduit to be at peace with his brother. *sigh* Damon doesn't apologize, but he wanted Elena to apologize to Stefan for him. Oh, Damon. Oh Stefan. I love these two!

- Stefan and those blood-bags, oh Stefan. That was just a horrific sight. Was it a tad over the top? Yeah, but I think that was the intention, to show just how far Klaus is happily willing to go, and just how far Stefan is desperate to go to save his brother. :sobs:

- And on the other end of the spectrum, man, the casual way that Klaus just stepped over his brother's body. Damn.

- And now we come to another choice, this time it's Stefan's: He can stay in Mystic Falls, with Elena, as a "normal" guy, or he can save his brother's life. And he chooses Damon. But more than that, he DOES choose the ripper persona as well. Eek! Klaus made saving Damon's life an afterthought as part of his choice, the main thrust was being what he was before. And, yes, obviously, Stefan was there for Damon, to save Damon, but at this point -- judging from the way he was staring so hungrily at that blood bag -- the need to return to that kind of vampiric life is a heavy part of the equation itself. He's spent so much time denying that part of himself that it just overtakes him so viciously when he's confronted with it.

Making his choice, Stefan didn't answer Klaus by saying that he would "save Damon," rather, he grabbed the blood bag and ripped it open, consuming more human blood. It's as if saving Damon is beginning to become an afterthought to him too now. But just the beginning because when the possibility of Damon getting that cure running away with Katherine's departure rears its head, he's all about Damon again. Paul Wesley really did a wonderful job, but then I always thought his blood-addiction arc in season one was his best overall work. (The final scene in "The Sun Also Rises" remains my single favorite scene by him.)

- At last, that final Damon/Elena scene. I knew something with them was definitely coming. The build-up all season, Elena claiming she'd never kiss Damon, Damon committing so many acts that required forgiveness, Elena unable to hold onto her anger towards him, yet all the while continuing to deny feeling anything other than friendship for him, it had to come to something. And it did. I know there are some claiming pity (as I mentioned above), but I do not buy it. There was too much emotion, too much pain, too much heart, too much 'make him feel better for the love of everything, give him peace!' in everything she did and said that screamed how much she cared ... and not just as a friend, and not just Elena being her usual empathetic self.

Various things I specifically liked about the scene -- beyond the obvious overall feel of it -- was the callback to the premiere when Elena said it would be always be Stefan. This time, Damon said it, and while Elena naturally didn't deny it, she didn't in any way acknowledge it either. Honestly, I think that until Damon was given the cure and Elena knew that he would live, she wasn't focused on Stefan at all. She didn't even question Katherine about Stefan until after she had given Damon Klaus' blood. Even when Damon was talking about wanting to tell his brother he was sorry, Elena was focused solely on Damon's need, Damon's pain.

Thinking back to "Blood Brothers," when Stefan was being all broody McBroodypants, and Damon revealed how Stefan had forced him to turn, Elena hadn't shown the slightest bit of concern for Damon in that moment, she was all about Stefan. Here we have the reverse. No, it's not the same situation, but it does show the difference. Before, even in the midst of Damon's pain, Elena was all about Stefan. Now, she's fully immersed in Damon. And it's not as she doesn't believe that Stefan could be in danger. She knows that he was going after Klaus, but right now, she's all about Damon. And when Damon mentions that it would always be Stefan, it plays almost like a blip to Elena. Just another thing that Damon is saying and she's letting him talk, anything to give him peace.

I loved that Damon told Elena he loved her, and I even liked that there was no callback, nothing about the "Rose" reveal, because that was Damon being selfess and Elena knowing about that does take away from the one heroic thing that Damon did do for her, taking that burden of knowledge from her. Although, as the sacrifice grew closer, he wasn't able to hide his feelings very well, but he still had that moment. And I loved her response to him saying it, the nodding of her head before finally able to form the words, she was trying so hard not to just break down. "I do." So simple and yet powerful. She knew he was going to confess something feelings-wise in "Rose," which is why she tried to ward him off. This time, she gracefully accepts his words, his feelings, his admission to her and holds it to her with her response, taking it in. And he got that, he totally got that judging from the way his lips curved into a smile when she said it.

And then probably my favorite part, the "I like you now. Just the way you are." Oh, Elena. For all that he has done for her, for how much she does care about him in spite of his flaws, she wanted him to know before his end that despite all of that, someone out there does care and accept him as he is ... flaws and all. It was just ... ahh, so beautiful because here's a guy who's never been accepted for who he is. And the girl he loves just did that. Sure he was dying -- likely why there were no 'buts' attached -- but still, she accepts him and likes him for who he is, as imperfect as he may be.

Ahh, and then the kiss, that beautiful kiss. I liked that it wasn't this passionate coming together. I liked that there was nothing from Damon's end, this was all on Elena, from Elena, her feelings, her desire, her need to give him this moment, and to take that moment for herself because this was her last chance. I am sorry, but that was so not a pity kiss, With her looking at him, realizing how close he was to death and knowing that was her last chance to kiss him, she made the choice, yes, the choice, to steal that moment with him. *sigh*

- I do think that Damon thought it was a pity kiss, though judging from his "thank you," but he didn't see her face or how she looked at him. And the smiling way that she said "you're welcome" held almost a touch of a near-giggle in it as if she was taking the "thank you" as almost a form of flirting, as opposed to what he likely meant. See, even on a deathbed, they still manage to find some lightness.

- Interesting, the lyrics of the song ("I Should Go" by Levi Kreis) that played over this scene. The overall feel of it could really apply to both of them in a way.

- Shallow alert! Even made up to be all sweaty and pale and dying, Ian Somerhalder still looked beautiful.

- Fine, I'm beating a dead horse here, but I really did NOT read that kiss or anything in this scene as pity. So I say that anyone who thinks that Elena wasn't sincere did not pay attention when Elena was caught by Katherine, because that's exactly how Nina played it: As if Elena was just caught essentially cheating on Stefan. Which, essentially, she was. She played it as if Elena felt guilty. And she wouldn't have reacted that way if she was just "trying to make him feel better before he died."

- I complained about both Stefan and Elijah getting into Alaric's apartment without an invite, but I'm okay with Katherine entering the boarding house because Elena did after all die -- as they reminded us in their dialogue. So that one worked fine for me.

- Aww, so Katherine DID care about Damon, she just preferred Stefan. (I don't even ... I don't get it.) Anyhoo, and this is partly why I continue to believe that Damon and Elena are endgame. The show is not going to repeat the emotional outcome of the first triangle. Good storytelling just doesn't work that way.

- Ah, so they were able to fit the "It's okay to love them both" line back in that was cut from "The Descent." Awesome. And it worked so much better now and coming from Katherine, whereas it wouldn't have worked for me at that point in the show, and coming from Rose. There was this schmaltzy, eye-rolling factor with it coming from Rose that isn't there with Katherine because Rose barely knew Stefan and Elena, and the mixed-up emotions between the two and Damon, not to mention their history involving Katherine. So, it worked much, much better here. Plus, it had the sassy, snarky quality coming from Katherine that took the soap-opera edge off of it. (And I say this loving soap operas. :)

- Finally, to quote my fanfic, those final moments between Damon and Elena, the looks between the two, they totally read as "Where do we go from here?" -- completely different scenario, but hopefully the same end result down the line. ;)

- So, erm, why is the family of the Originals kept in some warehouse in Mystic Falls? Inquiring minds do want to know.

- I loved that Klaus knew she was on vervain. He does have his badass moments, definitely.

- So the whole Tyler-werewolf stuff last season was supposed to be introduced big-time in the latter half of season one, however, the show realized they had too much other stuff going on and couldn't fit it in, so it was shifted to season two. (Where, I think, it was quite successful.) I think the same thing has happened with Stefan and Katherine. They kept Katherine's feelings for him prominent throughout the season and I still can't believe that nothing is going to come of it. So, I think that, like in season one, so much stuff happened that the Stefan/Katherine arc was postponed for season three. And it looks like it will make a lot more sense, what with Stefan off the wagon, and he and Klaus off chasing Katherine together potentially next season.

- Hmm, I thought it was interesting that you had Klaus biting the girl for Stefan, just as Stefan had done for Damon all the years ago. Once again, allowing one to make their own choice, right or wrong, even if the deck was stacked against you.

- I mentioned above how neither Jeremy nor Alaric no longer seemed interested in the fates of Damon and Elena, and so I was a bit thrown again when Jeremy's just all in bed and Alaric's a asleep already. I'm just going to assume that before they both went to bed, Elena texted them also and not just Stefan. Yeah, that makes sense and I'm going with that. :)

- AWESOME FINAL SCENE! Seeing it was Vicki blew my mind, and then we saw Anna, and it was just HOLY SHIT! SO AWESOME.

Phew! Okay, then.

Despite my little nitpicking comments here and there, overall, I liked this finale more than last year's. I liked that I wasn't left rolling in shock (for the most part) as I was last season, but rather, I am curious. I'm very, very curious. Last season, other than wondering what kind of havoc Katherine would wreak, I wasn't terribly curious. I had a vague idea that all would survive (and technically, they did) and that bad things would come from that Damon/"Elena" kiss, and it did. This time, though? Damn!

- What will happen with Jeremy and his new sixth sense? Is it just dead exes? Dead vampires? How long, how often will they be around? Just how much competition will Bonnie have? Are they just visual, will he be able to touch them, hold them, etc? So many questions!

- What's going to happen with Jeremy and Elena, who are now guardian-less? Paging Alaric? Probably.

- And what about Caroline and her mom. She knows about the vampires now and Caroline will fight tooth and nail to the idea of her mother being compelled to forget again. So what happens with Damon and the council? Damon and Liz? Liz and having to learn/deal with the truth about the supernaturals of Mystic Falls?

- What's gonna happen with Damon and Elena? Will they ignore the deathbed confessions and cuddling? Will Damon blow it off as pity all-around on her part and that she didn't mean anything by it? Will she let that stand if he does? Will they confront it and deal with it? Will those feelings that Elena's been holding in check find themselves start to come flooding out inappropriately now that the gates have been opened? Again, so many questions!

And unlike some, I'm not remotely bothered that Stefan is out of the picture in order for Damon and Elena to grow closer. For two reasons. The first harkens back to some thoughts I had after "The Sacrifice" before "By the Light of the Moon" shattered those thoughts to dust. (And in retrospect it makes sense now that we had that bit there with Stefan separated from Damon and Elena; it was foreshadowing. Aha!) I wrote then:

You know, on one hand, I love it because, hello!? Damon and Elena spending time together with no Stefan in the way. On the other hand, it's like, ugh! So Stefan has to be sorta out of the picture for Elena to even give Damon a thought? But then on the other other hand, really, as the show and characters have been written, yes, Stefan DOES have to sorta be out of the picture for Elena to even give Damon a thought. So once again, brilliant move on their part. Get Stefan out of the picture without sacrificing the character or Paul Wesley's presence on the show.
That still holds, but now we have my second reason why I love it. So Stefan has to be sorta out of the picture for Elena to even give Damon a thought? Not so fast! Because of everything that happened after the events of "The Sacrifice," -- especially the last episode -- Elena is already giving Damon thoughts. She's already taken those steps, even with Stefan in the picture. Sure, she thought Damon was dying. He didn't, but that doesn't take away from what she said and did and accepted from him and gave to him in those moments.

So, yay!

Also, yay!? Alaric lived. Caroline "lived." (Naturally, Damon, Elena and Stefan are still around.) So I get to keep all my favorites. :) And, dagger in him or not, you know, my bb Elijah is coming back! Woohoo!

It's all so exciting and I can not wait for season three! WOOHOO!
 
 
 
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: TVD: DE OTPbadboy_fangirl on May 16th, 2011 04:47 am (UTC)
I wondered about all of the Originals being kept in MF, but thinking back to how long it took Klaus to arrive in MF in his actual body, and the way he traveled, with so many in his entourage, etc., that maybe it took him so long to get there because he had to move everyone from Europe Stateside, and that took some time, and doing, and he plans to ravage America for a while, so he wanted them close-by for some reason. Maybe he needs them to create his all-powerful race or something.

Thanks for mentioning that Elena's death is what made it okay for Katherine to get into the BH, because I was totally thinking of this morning and feeling like d'oh, that's bad, PTB. But I agree about Stefan and Elijah--Stefan I could even give a pass to, believing at some point Ric might have invited him in, but there's no way Elijah should have been able to get in, period.

And just for the record, IT WAS NO PITY KISS. But I'm sure Damon will assume that, and it will be safer for Elena to let him think so, at least for a while. Either way, they have to deal with the honesty that came between them in that moment, though I suppose a lot of it will be internal on Elena's part to begin with.

My sister came over to watch it with me the day after, so it was my second or third entire viewing, and at the end of it, she was like, "Yeah, but won't Elena be all worried about Stefan, [and therefore not interested in Damon]?" and I was like, "Forget about Elena, Damon's going to be OBSESSED with getting his brother back, because they have the weirdest, most co-dependent relationship on the show." With that to focus on, he'll try to ignore the elephant in the room with them and what will be fun is to see how long they can hold out. Something will have to give, and if it's their passion for one another, YAY!

I CAN'T WAIT. And I'm very intrigued by Jer's new "abilities."
Arabian: Ian & Nina06arabian on May 16th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
I wondered about all of the Originals being kept in MF, but thinking back to how long it took Klaus to arrive in MF in his actual body, and the way he traveled, with so many in his entourage, etc., that maybe it took him so long to get there because he had to move everyone from Europe Stateside, and that took some time, and doing, and he plans to ravage America for a while, so he wanted them close-by for some reason. Maybe he needs them to create his all-powerful race or something.

There was apparently a reference he made to all of his luggage last week too. So, yeah, he dragged them along. Kinda kinky, and so Klaus.

Thanks for mentioning that Elena's death is what made it okay for Katherine to get into the BH, because I was totally thinking of this morning and feeling like d'oh, that's bad, PTB. But I agree about Stefan and Elijah--Stefan I could even give a pass to, believing at some point Ric might have invited him in, but there's no way Elijah should have been able to get in, period.

See, even Stefan I just can't really give the pass too because they made such a big deal about Damon needing an invite from Alaric a few episodes ago. Considering how much closer Damon and Alaric are, I just can't buy that Ric would have invited Stefan in, but not Damon. Just fail on the writers' part there.

My sister came over to watch it with me the day after, so it was my second or third entire viewing, and at the end of it, she was like, "Yeah, but won't Elena be all worried about Stefan, [and therefore not interested in Damon]?" and I was like, "Forget about Elena, Damon's going to be OBSESSED with getting his brother back, because they have the weirdest, most co-dependent relationship on the show." With that to focus on, he'll try to ignore the elephant in the room with them and what will be fun is to see how long they can hold out. Something will have to give, and if it's their passion for one another, YAY!

So, so true. And that's what I'm expecting. :)

I CAN'T WAIT. And I'm very intrigued by Jer's new "abilities."

I know, right?!?!
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Brothersbutterfly on May 17th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
There was apparently a reference he made to all of his luggage last week too. So, yeah, he dragged them along. Kinda kinky, and so Klaus.

I kinda love that Klaus drags his almost-dead family around with him everywhere.
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Dancebutterfly on May 16th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
They did kinda go 'screw the invitation rule!' in this episode, didn't they?

Stefan being able to enter Alaric's place doesn't bother me, because Stefan could have asked for an invite on the phone or called Alaric again to get one before he got there. Alaric is on board with plan Save Damon, so he would have been cool with inviting him in. But the other two do bug me when I think about them.

I'm not sure why I missed when this actually did happen (in "Klaus" when Damon chose to not kill Andie, but instead let her go), but I did. It wasn't until I read a quote from Julie Plec where she said that was the best thing Damon had done, not choosing to kill Andie. (Or something along those lines.) I went back and rewatched the scenes and the lead-up, and realized after the fact that he did do in that scene what I'd been expecting. I think that once he overcame that killing instinct and made the right choice, he felt a peace. Yes, he was still struggling, he still made mistakes, but he had gained a measure of control, and one that will only get stronger with each day that passes and he exercises that control.

*nods*

And now that I'm seeing it play out, I do think that they needed to give Damon that stability before they took Stefan off the rails. And I think they're going to really take Stefan off the rails next season. It's going to be bloody. And awesome.

And onto another one. I find it hard to believe that people are complaining about the lack of Caroline and Tyler in this episode, and are complaining about that awesome Liz and Caroline stuff in its place. Even worse is that many of those complaining are the same ones who moan about the show being all about the romance (ie, the stupid triangle).

Hypocritical complaining bothers me so much. Meh.

Finally, to quote my fanfic, those final moments between Damon and Elena, the looks between the two, they totally read as "Where do we go from here?" -- completely different scenario, but hopefully the same end result down the line. ;)

I loved everything between Damon and Elena in this episode. It was beautiful.
Arabian: Damon & Elena02arabian on May 16th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
They did kinda go 'screw the invitation rule!' in this episode, didn't they?

Yup.

Stefan being able to enter Alaric's place doesn't bother me, because Stefan could have asked for an invite on the phone or called Alaric again to get one before he got there. Alaric is on board with plan Save Damon, so he would have been cool with inviting him in.

Yeah, I guess that would work.

But the other two do bug me when I think about them.

Oh, Katherine's doesn't bother me because Elena DID die so it would make sense that the power is gone. I don't know, maybe she'll have to resign the house papers or something, LOL!

And now that I'm seeing it play out, I do think that they needed to give Damon that stability before they took Stefan off the rails. And I think they're going to really take Stefan off the rails next season. It's going to be bloody. And awesome.

Oh, definitely, this!

I loved everything between Damon and Elena in this episode. It was beautiful.

Sigh. I know. Every single moment with them was just perfection.
eolivet on May 17th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Generally, the familial relationships and friendships get as much significance as do the romantic aspects of the story, and I will never not appreciate the heck out of that.

Hear, hear! One of my favorite parts about this show ever, and so original for a supposed "teen-focused" (well, CW) drama. :D Everyone belongs to someone else. Love it. :)

She didn't say that she wouldn't forgive him, just that she needed time ... which meant he could hold onto the belief that she would have forgiven him eventually.

Aww...totally never thought of it that way!!! That's really cool. :)

What Bonnie did last season, wasn't for Damon, it was for Elena and Stefan, not Damon. This time, she risked angering her ancestors to help save Damon's life.

What a great point...I wonder if we were meant to see the parallels -- Bonnie was instrumental last year in saving Damon's life, after all. Hmmm...

Joseph Morgan isn't as strong charismatically as Ian Somerhalder and Daniel Gillies, but he's fairly evenly matched with Paul Wesley

Excellent point! (yes, I am a broken record, but seriously...this is why I love reading your reviews -- you come up with things I did not think of. :) On a related note, if you had told me I'd be riveted to my chair watching...Stefan drink blood while Klaus watched, I'd have said to make that work, you'd have to be a good liar. But I. Was. Riveted. (that doesn't generally happen with Stefan scenes that don't involve Damon, LOL!)

Well, that's NOT how I wanted Damon feeding on Elena the first time

Hee, I thought of you when that happened! :D (and your fic...hee! :)

I thought it was interesting that you had Klaus biting the girl for Stefan, just as Stefan had done for Damon all the years ago. Once again, allowing one to make their own choice, right or wrong, even if the deck was stacked against you.

Ohhhh, this show and its parallels...its history that is doomed to repeat itself. Amazing. :D

I loved the tidbits about how "Stefan as ripper" was cut from an earlier script (and excellent point about how Stefan definitely had a relapse he definitely did NOT tell Elena about...that Stefan, International Vampire of Mystery. :p )

Oddly enough, I think my favorite line, delivery-wise, in the whole Damon/Elena scene was "I know you love Stefan, that it will always be Stefan...but I love you." GAH. Heart. breaking. Just the acknowledgment of that -- contrasted with "The Return" where he's focused on what's going on between him and Elena, and not really taking...reality into account. Here, he knows. He acknowledges it. But it doesn't change his reality. Love love LOVED that line, and that delivery...like he was letting a part of his soul go with that confession...something he's never been able to speak aloud and have her hear it. Sigh...

Wonderful review...wonderful wrap up, I cannot WAIT for S3 and more of your amazing thoughts on this fabulous show!!! Thank you again for being persistent and not taking no for an answer (hee, similar to Damon! ;p ) Sigh...soooooo good. :D


Arabian: Damon & Elena01arabian on May 17th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
Aww...totally never thought of it that way!!! That's really cool. :)

Yeah, I love that Damon knew she would forgive him and that was enough. :)

What a great point...I wonder if we were meant to see the parallels -- Bonnie was instrumental last year in saving Damon's life, after all. Hmmm...

The parallels on this show are AMAZING!

I loved the tidbits about how "Stefan as ripper" was cut from an earlier script (and excellent point about how Stefan definitely had a relapse he definitely did NOT tell Elena about...that Stefan, International Vampire of Mystery. :p )

Yup, in retrospect they made such a wise choice in cutting the ripper bit from 2.08, and the "love them both" from 2.12. They worked so much better in light of the whole season with how they played out.

Oddly enough, I think my favorite line, delivery-wise, in the whole Damon/Elena scene was "I know you love Stefan, that it will always be Stefan...but I love you." GAH. Heart. breaking. Just the acknowledgment of that -- contrasted with "The Return" where he's focused on what's going on between him and Elena, and not really taking...reality into account. Here, he knows. He acknowledges it. But it doesn't change his reality. Love love LOVED that line, and that delivery...like he was letting a part of his soul go with that confession...something he's never been able to speak aloud and have her hear it. Sigh...

Aww, what a beautiful way to put it. Ian really delivered beautifully every line. I loved his vocal intonations, how soft he played everything, with this underlying note of peace (for the most part) and acceptance.

Wonderful review...wonderful wrap up, I cannot WAIT for S3 and more of your amazing thoughts on this fabulous show!!! Thank you again for being persistent and not taking no for an answer (hee, similar to Damon! ;p ) Sigh...soooooo good. :D

I'm planning on doing a rewatch so I may have more before s3, LOL! Thank you so much for giving in and watching it. YAY! :)
Silvia Kundera: tvd-elenasilviakundera on May 17th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Also, regarding this scene with Elena here, I do think that a small part of him took her words as an unknowing final gift to him. She didn't say that she wouldn't forgive him, just that she needed time ... which meant he could hold onto the belief that she would have forgiven him eventually.
Nice catch! I think you're correct here.

Thinking back to "Blood Brothers," when Stefan was being all broody McBroodypants, and Damon revealed how Stefan had forced him to turn, Elena hadn't shown the slightest bit of concern for Damon in that moment, she was all about Stefan. Here we have the reverse.
This was also a neat observation that I missed. Oh, I do love the mirrors & parallels in this show. Everything displaying a new angle or reversing.


I've assumed as well that Elena called or texted Alaric & Jeremey to let them know the Damon situation was resolved. There's a time gap there. (this show with its tiiiiime)
Arabian: Elena04arabian on May 17th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, these were both things I caught on the rewatch, and I really loved the bit of both of them. Especially the parallels. The parallels are so important on this show, and if you pay attention you can get an idea of future stories. I love it. I love this show!

I've assumed as well that Elena called or texted Alaric & Jeremey to let them know the Damon situation was resolved. There's a time gap there. (this show with its tiiiiime)

Yeah, that is just what I'm going with. And yes -- tiiiiiiiiiiiiime and this show. :rolls eyes: With love, I roll them with love!
distant_autumn: Dangerous by imaginary_livesdistant_autumn on May 18th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Part 1
familial relationships and friendships get as much significance as do the romantic aspects of the story

Definitely! I really appreciated those couple of moments acknowledging Elena's family, especially Jenna. The compressed timeframe didn't really give them time to deal with it as they would've done if it had happened mid season, but they still made sure to give multiple nods to what had happened.

Damon grow over the course of the season, actually accept his humanity which first really reared its head in last season's finale, and kicked him in the gut in the premiere. He's been grappling all season with trying to control himself and find the balance, and in the last couple of episodes, he's begun to do so.

Yes yes yes! I can't wait to see him continue on with that in S3. (And not having been around when The Descent aired, I'm really pleased you reposted your comments from that episode, because I thought that was a great analysis of how Damon is progressing. Love it!)

regarding this scene with Elena here, I do think that a small part of him took her words as an unknowing final gift to him.

Yeah, I agree. Like that was as close as he could get, and it was enough to go face the sun with, you know? Also, I think your thoughts on his intended last moments are really beautiful. (And yes, I love how Stefan is all about respecting people's choices until it's Damon's life on the line as well. Because that is a TOTALLY different thing! Obviously! Oh Stefan, hee.)

A struggle for the control of Mystic Falls may be coming to a head amongst the human adults.

And it'll be between two powerful women, because this show is awesome.

the sarcasm and bitterness faded away when he learned that Damon was in trouble and he was needed. Awww.

Wasn't he awesome, both here and throughout the episode? I also loved how often over the course of the episode, people just stopped whatever they were doing and attempted to help Damon.

I love Caroline to bits, I do, but she didn't lose a family member. Jeremy and Elena did and I think the way Candice Accola handled that scene was TOO sunny

Ha, yeah. I adore her for trying and I think she had the right general idea, but at the same time it's like, Jenna (and John) died two days ago. She kind of needed to take it down a notch.

seemed to me like Stefan was searching her face a bit as he told Elena about Damon as if trying to see how it was effecting her. And her reaction seemed to, I don't know, appease him enough that he told her to go to him.

This probably sounds harsher than I mean it to, because I think it was both understandable and also an interesting character moment, but I found Stefan kind of manipulative in that scene. It was like he simultaneously wanted Elena to use Damon's feelings for her to keep him alive and hoping, but at the same time, Stefan didn't want to address quite how much Elena herself might care about Damon, so instead he framed it almost like he was asking her to do it for him (Stefan).

Stefan, just own up to the fact that you're doing this because you love your brother and not because of some misguided sense of honor. *double sigh* I'm choosing to believe that he painted as he did because he still can't face how much he loves Damon and/or he doesn't get how much Elena does care about Damon and so he doesn't want her to think less of him for wanting to save Damon just because he loves him.

Totally. As long as I assume that's what they're aiming for, it becomes a really interesting insight into Stefan's character and his determination to play the part of good guy perfectly and need to justify any apparent deviation from that role. Because yeah, nothing about his behaviour for the rest of the episode seems like he's acting out of responsibility or guilt.

Completely agree on the invite wackiness going on with Alaric's apartment as well. I mean, is there anyone in the world who finds it easier to believe Damon had never been invited than that Alaric had asked Stefan and Elijah over for coffee?

Also agreed on there being a noticable difference between how Rose and Damon reacted to the bites. I wonder if that was just story convenience or if it'll come back up? Hmm.
distant_autumn: Damon - shadowed by imaginary_livesdistant_autumn on May 18th, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
Part 2
Because he's so afraid of not being "good," he resists doing almost anything that will paint him in a bad light.

I think there is a lot of Stefan deliberately playing the part of A Good Guy. And I don't think it comes from a bad place, I think it comes from a place of genuinely desperately wanting to be that guy and believing if he tries hard enough, he CAN be that guy. But all he has done is bury the problem rather than deal with it, and so here we are.

last finale, Damon acknowledged that he had come to love and accept the town as his home again, and had found people to care about. Now, this time around, the people in the town are returning the favor...

I loved everything you said about that, from the way they all helped him and found him worth saving to the parallel you drew with how Damon felt by the S1 finale. Love!

However, the point is that this choice-taking-away-ness has been going on for eleven episodes now with varying degrees of in-your-faceness from almost all of our main characters, and yet, for the most part, Damon is the *only one* who is getting lambasted across the lines -- in the show somewhat, and BIG-TIME online.

Don't even get me started, because I completely agree and it makes me ranty.

So, I love Gone with the Wind. I REALLY do -- see default icon, see journal title -- but what was the point?

Yeah, what was up with that? Clearly they were trying to say something, especially given the appearance of the book in 'The Descent' but I seriously feel like I've missed whatever point they were trying to make.

We were originally supposed to hear about Stefan as a ripper in "Rose." This is taken from the original sides for Rose (who was a total bad-ass as originally conceived

Wow, that IS interesting about the ripper bit nearly appearing so early on in the season Although don't get me started on Rose. She sounded SO awesome in the original casting description and I adored Lauren on SPN, so I was really excited for her to be on the show and was hoping that against all the odds she'd get to stick around. And then she actually appeared on screen and I was so, so disappointed by how the character turned out and found Lauren miscast at best. Oh well. Sigh. (Also, speaking of Rose, did you see in Kevin's latest interview that they originally wanted Sarah Michelle Gellar to play her? Hee!)

Sure enough, for all of his 'oh, I was such a bad-ass' it really didn't play that way in the flashbacks

How wonderfully Stefan is it, that it turns out he told the truth ("I was worse than Damon") while presenting it in such a way that it didn't really sound like it and that was restricted to that one, long ago period that Elena already knew about. He is such a fascinating little mess, bless him. I also can't help but wonder how much Lexi, Damon and even Katherine know about Stefan's repeated lapses.

I've read nonstop complaints about what a horrible public servant of the law, Sheriff Liz Forbes is, and I so do not agree.

I'm with you on this one. She's operating under limited information and just trying to do the best she can in really crappy circumstances. I do hope we get more backstory on Liz next season and how she ended up hating and hunting vampires so passionately. I think she's a really interesting character. I also totally agree on the importance of focusing on the Liz and Caroline relationship this episode rather than bringing Tyler (or even Matt) into things.

but he's fairly evenly matched with Paul Wesley, and if we're going to be seeing more of those two together, that's a good sign.

Yeah, he's not perfect but I thought he was a lot, lot better this episode and as they develop Klaus some more, hopefully that improvement will continue. I just know I went into this episode kind of dreading his presence in S3, but by the time Klaus did his little "eh, what can ya do?" shrug about the possibility of Katherine not delivering the cure, I'd decided he could stick around after all.
distant_autumn: Elena - What? by imaginary_livesdistant_autumn on May 18th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Um, Part 3. Apparently I have a lot to say?
Katherine loves being chased

And in turning Damon what did she do but guarantee she'd have someone following her forever (well, until Elena happened, ha)? For all her snark about his obsession with her being inconvenient it can't have been that unexpected. Her motives re: Damon remain really interesting to me.

knowing how bad it got with Rose -- but believing 100% that Damon would never hurt her

Even after him already having lost it enough to bite her she still believes in him. Totally agree with you that her staying is not about pity, but about how much she cares about him.

Damon was thinking of Stefan so much in the end

I was so distracted by the other stuff happening in that scene that I didn't give much thought to that aspect, so I'm REALLY glad you talked about that.

Elena claiming she'd never kiss Damon, Damon committing so many acts that required forgiveness, Elena unable to hold onto her anger towards him...

So many of the things that have passed between them this season came full circle in this episode, as they needed to. So fitting and well done.

Before, even in the midst of Damon's pain, Elena was all about Stefan. Now, she's fully immersed in Damon

I really appreciate you pulling all of these contrasts out ♥!

loved her response to him saying it, the nodding of her head before finally able to form the words...

Yeah after all that holding back and not saying what they all knew, him finally feeling free to just say it and her just accepting that it's true.

guy who's never been accepted for who he is. And the girl he loves just did that

It was such a beautiful, fitting, neccesary thing for them to have her say.

this was all on Elena, from Elena, her feelings, her desire, her need to give him this moment, and to take that moment for herself

♥!

Katherine DID care about Damon, she just preferred Stefan [...] this is partly why I continue to believe that Damon and Elena are endgame. The show is not going to repeat the emotional outcome of the first triangle.

I agree and hope that is how it plays out, but I also wouldn't be entirely surprised if the balance of Katherine's feelings for the brothers swaps at some point? Hmm. Re: S/K I'm very interested to see where that goes next season; they obviously set it up for him and Klaus to chase after her so it seems kind of inevitable they'll deal with it. Her whole "no rules, remember?" comment is even more interesting now. How much did she know about his ripper times? OTOH I thought she looked worried for him during one of the blood drinking scenes, so Katherine remains tricky as ever for me to get a grip on. It'd be kind of darkly hilarious if Katherine ends up trying to help save him.

Klaus biting the girl for Stefan, just as Stefan had done for Damon all the years ago. Once again, allowing one to make their own choice

Yeah, the emphasis on choice (including Damon fully owning his own choices this episode) really hammered home that yes, Stefan is sacrificing himself for Damon and yes, Klaus is trying to get him to do it. But it's still Stefan's choice and he could still walk away right to the very end.

Jeremy and his new sixth sense

SO excited about that twist and what it might mean for everyone. (Didn't I read that Kelly Hu's character died on H-50? Does she have a new show or might we get Pearl back too, I wonder?) Also agree about wanting to know what happens with Liz next season! And obviously Damon and Elena. Gah! There are just so damn many things I am excited about!

makes sense now that we had that bit there with Stefan separated from Damon and Elena; it was foreshadowing

That's SUCH a great catch! That's exactly what happened! And Katherine told Stefan it'd be the biggest mistake he ever made, which seemed kind of a silly line when he was straight out of the tomb the very next episode. But now? WHOLE different story. Wow.

I'm okay with feelings starting to emerge during Stefan's absence too. There's little doubt that her feelings (whatever she currently thinks they are) already run deep; removing Stefan for a while and allowing them to spend time alone together makes sense to me as a way to develop that further.
Myramidnightblack07 on May 19th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
First off, I loved reading your thoughts on this episode, very detailed and they made me take note of a few things I hadn;t myself so yay!! =D

I actually had NO IDEA they initially planned to drop the whole "Stefan is a ripper" bomb in 2x08 through a conversation between Rose and Elena =| I agree though that it may have been rather awkward and it probably wouldn't have packed the punch that it did when Klaus described the way he wiped out an entire migrant village. I'm definately excited to see that side of Stefan (apparently PW shares the sentiment lol), I think it'll certainly add to the complexity of his character and it'll also lend a greater appreciation for just how much of a stuggle it is for him to maintain more humane lifestyle he desires.

ITA with you in that almost every character on this show has robbed another character of their agency at some point for the sake of what they believed to be the best way to perserve the other character;s life, and yet Damon seems to be the only one who gets a bad rap for it. I mean, I don't condone his feeding Elena his blood in 2x21, but I understand that he was coming from a very desperate place when he did what he did and I in no way shape or form believe that he did it simply to "exert his power over her" or whatever other villianizing interpretation I've seen would suggest. Heck, even Damon himself immediately realized that he crossed a line he had no right to cross with her and set to right his wrongs and that's a HUGE display of character growth for him.

In all fairness, I have seen people hold Bonnie's decision to trap Jeremy and Alaric in the house against her, but I understood where she was coming from just as much as I did Damon and tbh it only adds to my bitterness because (from my experience) I think Damon and Bonnie are the two characters that cop the most crap from certain segments of fandom anyway so yea lol =/

I didn't feel as if this finale had the same sense of urgency as last years, but I do think that they've set up for season 3 rather brilliantly in that there are SO MANY POSSIBILITIES for like EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER.

Ohh and I also disagree with the complaints that there were no "shippy" moments for Caroline this episode =S I'm actually rather relieved and this is coming from someone who actually ships Caroline/Tyler because I feel that lately they've been sacraficing Caroline's general involvement for the sake of her romantic ties--in fact it got to the point where I kinda stopped having shippy feelings for her because I felt as if the romance was exiling her from central plot =(
vanimy: D/Evanimy on May 19th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Argh stupid LJ swallowing my replies.... Loved your detailed review as usual! I'm impressed with the length BTW. ;)

To begin with, I so loved that little moment of Elena checking in on Jeremy, and then looking in at Jenna's room.

Yes, I thought that was a touching moment too. And they really captured this feeling right. When you enter the room of someone who died and it's the little things that hurt, like seeing those familiar things still staying in place and knowing the person will never be back.

I adored how Ian Somerhalder played the first scene with Elena. His voice was so soft and tender, holding back and not pushing at all. And, oh, how wonderful was his smiling acceptance of her needing time to forgive him.

That scene and the following one about killed me. The emotion IS put in there was so well-done, I so felt for Damon. I thought he sounded really vulnerable in this scene. And I think that apart from Alaric Damon only shows vulnerability to Elena.

Also, regarding this scene with Elena here, I do think that a small part of him took her words as an unknowing final gift to him. She didn't say that she wouldn't forgive him, just that she needed time ... which meant he could hold onto the belief that she would have forgiven him eventually.

I hadn't thought about this. Nice observation. It also ties in with his statement in the previous episode, 'I can't stand the idea of you hating me forever.' Even though he knows he won't be around for her to hate him forever...

-That Damon suicide scene was really well-done, I agree. Beautiful in a heartwrenching way.

I love how Stefan has put aside that whole respecting one's wishes nonsense out the window when it comes to his brother's life. Awesome. But I already waxed poetic about Stefan and his great love for Damon after last week's episode. Just know I still feel the same. For Stefan? It's Damon over everyone else.

It's kinda funny how desperate Stefan is about Damon dying here while he barely batted an eyelash at the same thought when it was about Elena earlier. Are the writers trying to tell us something? ;)

- Obviously the Liz/Carol scene is some sort of set-up for what's coming in season three because Liz has a daughter who's a vampire and her allegiance to DEATH!TO ALL VAMPIRES! stance may waver.

All those episode viewings and I didn't even catch this. LMAO. Now the Council stories look a lot more interesting...

- Oh, Alaric. Throwing it back at Stefan with such poetry: "I'm not allowed to help, just idly sit by while my girlfriend gets sacrificed on an altar of blood." A drunk Alaric is amusing. We need some drunken Damon/Alaric scenes next season. They'd be a hoot to watch. These two are such a great pair, they find macabre humor in the terrible situations. And obviously, that bromance is strong and real. Right away, the sarcasm and bitterness faded away when he learned that Damon was in trouble and he was needed. Awww.

Nuff said. So loved everything about this scene. The funny, the pain, the caring for Damon. I LURVE Alaric.

- I love Caroline to bits, I do, but she didn't lose a family member.

I agree she was kind of too cheerful but sometimes it's what you need when you just lost someone close. Someone who treats you normal and not like a fragile doll or like you're contagious or something. I could see what she was doing and I got it.

- Okay, was it just me or did Elena's "Look who can't resist an epic romance?" come across as slightly sarcastic to anyone else? Especially in light of that whole "epic" line in the second episode.

Lol, yeah, I got the same sarcastic feeling as well.

And I can see why, because she didn't really seem as upset as I had originally hoped she would be upon hearing such news. But it did work, I think, because while she was upset, she seemed a bit more shellshocked at this point. With so much happening, I think she was still processing it and so the emotions hadn't quite fully hit her yet.

I had the same thought about this scene. I thought Elena would react more when she heard about Damon's impending death and at first it kinda bothered me but it makes sense, she had trouble picturing Damon -always the strong vampire she's always known- dying.

vanimy: TVDvanimy on May 19th, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
- So, uhm, Alaric invited Stefan in to his apartment at some point, and not Damon? False. This was just clearly a misstep on the writer's part in this episode, and compounded later when Elijah simply entered Alaric's apartment without an invite as well.

LOL I'm the perfect audience for these writers. I didn't even blink when everyone just stepped into the apartment like it was deserted or something. And I agree it's really weird seeing how much they insisted on the invite thing a few episodes ago (Damon having to come with Andie then Alaric). Oh well, I tell myself Alaric invited Stefan in at some point, that Elena was dead so that's why Katherine strolled in the boardhouse and Elijah... well, he's awesome? :P They were lazy, I think. There were too many things to tell and they didn't want to lose time with this. *shrugs*

-About Damon being in control in spite of his bite I think it was because a) he was desperate to go to Elena so his whole focus was on this and b) it was just a nip (they even went as far as Damon spelling it out at the end of 'the sun also rises' ).

- Ah, Klaus, you pretty much confirmed what I've been saying in past episode reviews. There has definitely been a point to Stefan being "just shy of useless" this season.

LOL I snorted at that, I even think the writers did a throwback to the fans, how many times did I read about Stefan being useless this season on forums and all?

- I did love Damon's cry of "Elena" and Ric's assertion that she wasn't there, which was then followed by Elena driving up. So did Damon hear her, or was it supposed to imply some connection?

Connected!! lol That's my take on this. Because then Elena looks like she felt him too later on at the GWTW screening.

They have THE worst time transitions of ANY television show ... possibly ever! I mean, what month is it? How long have the events of the past two seasons taken place? Have Stefan and Elena and their epic love story only been going on for about three-four months now, or are we supposed to believe it's been two years? But, no, it can't be because Elena's still 17 as far as we know. Seriously!?

LMAO You're right.... I don't mind the day to night bad transitions that much but we have no idea about how long it's been since the pilot and Elena still being 17 rubs me the wrong way. Is it this hard to say she turned 18 over the course of the last episodes? Or have any mention of college or senior year or anything to show time passes. Because it's possible the epic Stelena romance only lasted three months or something. WTH?

- So, I love Gone with the Wind. I REALLY do -- see default icon, see journal title -- but what was the point?

And here I thought I was the only one thinking that way... On first viewing I was disappointed too. they just took some of the best remembered scenes and put them out there but there was no connection with the story. Then I realized it was just a little throwaway reference just like Damon reading the book... *shrugs*

The 1917 migrant village line showed that Stefan definintely had lapses -- much worse than Damon, it sounds like -- since Lexi found him in 1864, shortly after he turned. </i>

I hope they finally have Elena acknowledging Stefan hides a LOT of things. Actually he never tells her anything of his past until she discovers it and then he makes it sound like he was a victim or something and takes advantage of Elena's forgiving nature. I love Stefan and I don't think he does this in a manipulative way, just that he has a hard time taking responsibilities for his actions, probably because he's afraid of losing Elena. But that revelation about his ripper days continuing after being guided by Lexi better not be some kind of retcon but a sign of how deceitful Stefan has been about this.
vanimy: D/Kvanimy on May 19th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
- And onto another one. I find it hard to believe that people are complaining about the lack of Caroline and Tyler in this episode, and are complaining about that awesome Liz and Caroline stuff in its place.

I find myself really liking Caroline and Tyler together but I think Tyler would've been completely useless in this episode. They kind of moved the triangle forward the previous episode there was no need to rehash that whereas Liz and Caroline's relationship needed to be resolved in the finale. The only way Tyler would've been useful in this episode is if he had helped Damon out of guilt and to show what it did to him to cause someone's death and not even remembering it. Other than that, no need for Tyler.

- I loved Alaric's comment to Bonnie about the witches: "Well, he's just a kid, tell them to shut up." Go Alaric. And thank you for surviving the season. SQUEE!

Boy I LOVED that line. Those witches are so annoying sometimes. They get to decide who lives and who doesn't. Ugh.

- I did appreciate how it was made perfectly clear that Elena knew Damon was having a delusion, thinking it was Katherine so that his actions couldn't be held against him. Which she didn't, instead taking him into her arms right away (even as she held a hand to her bleeding neck).
- Well, that's NOT how I wanted Damon feeding on Elena the first time, lol. Still, uhm, he fed on her. Yay?


Yes, Elena didn't hold it against him just like she didn't really blame Rose when she went on a rampage. That scene wasn't supposed to be that way but I found it kind of hot and heartwrenching with that music and Damon repeating the words he told Katherine. Well-directed.

- Oh, that Caroline/Liz hug. Love. The whole speech, the whole scene. LOVE.

I loved it too. I was afraid for a second Liz was going to stake Caroline or something because this was the finale and I was expecting a shocking death so I'm so glad it ended that way. :)

Word on Alaric/Jeremy. Love it from beginning to end.

- Damon was thinking of Stefan so much in the end that my brothers Salvatore-loving-heart was aching. No more jibes or smart remarks, he just wanted to make it right with him, and since he wasn't there, he was willing to use Elena as a conduit to be at peace with his brother. *sigh* Damon doesn't apologize, but he wanted Elena to apologize to Stefan for him. Oh, Damon. Oh Stefan. I love these two!

*sigh* THIS. I wish Stefan could have heard that... :( Stupid Klaus!

- And on the other end of the spectrum, man, the casual way that Klaus just stepped over his brother's body. Damn.

I only noticed this on second viewing and snorted and grumbled at the same time. Elijah!! :(

- And now we come to another choice, this time it's Stefan's: He can stay in Mystic Falls, with Elena, as a "normal" guy, or he can save his brother's life. And he chooses Damon. But more than that, he DOES choose the ripper persona as well.

Thank you for pointing that out. Yes he sacrificed himself for Damon but he also gave into temptation at the end of the episode he seemed to embrace it...
vanimy: D/Evanimy on May 19th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
WORD on everything about Damon/Elena.

I agree it wasn't a pity kiss, Damon was out of it and the way she looked at him showed she did it because she couldn't help it, she wanted to kiss Damon, to show some affection to him. And you're right, the way Elena acted when Katherine was there totally showed a lot of guilt on Elena's part. Very telling.

I hope Stefan/Katherine gets explored because it looked like they completely dropped it in the second half of the season. Same with Katherine/Elijah. Those flashbacks showed something going on between them and the rare interactions we had between them was very distant. What was the point of these flashbacks? *puzzled*

You know, on one hand, I love it because, hello!? Damon and Elena spending time together with no Stefan in the way. On the other hand, it's like, ugh! So Stefan has to be sorta out of the picture for Elena to even give Damon a thought? But then on the other other hand, really, as the show and characters have been written, yes, Stefan DOES have to sorta be out of the picture for Elena to even give Damon a thought.

What i would like to see is them getting closer but not hooking up while Stefan is away, then have Stefan come back and Stelena falling out and only then have Damon/Elena together. I would like that very much.


PHEW. Long post is long!!
x5valex5vale on May 23rd, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
Best revie ever.

I do agree on everything especially on this:
- Damon was thinking of Stefan so much in the end that my brothers Salvatore-loving-heart was aching. No more jibes or smart remarks, he just wanted to make it right with him, and since he wasn't there, he was willing to use Elena as a conduit to be at peace with his brother. *sigh* Damon doesn't apologize, but he wanted Elena to apologize to Stefan for him. Oh, Damon. Oh Stefan. I love these two!

and on your insight about Stefan and his saving Damon becoming an fterthought. I do believe that stefan did it to save his brother because he deeply loves him, but I also think Stefan decided to give up his previous like pushed by his inner and deepest desire to live the life he used to life immediately after he turned. Some kind of natural force you can't fight for all your life...

As for Damon, I think my love for him has never been so strong as it was in this episode.

Again great review. I think I could discuss it line by line :)
Erisl_eris_l on June 4th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
I love reading your episode reviews. :-) I agree with 90% of what you've said, and the other 10% is stuff I haven't thought of until you said it, and then I agree with that too. lol

I was also a bit disappointed that the GWTW references/parallels didn't really pan out. In my head, it's because of poor editing. I mean, they took the time in The Descent to pan to the book to show it at Damon's bedside, and then they took the time to erect this giant screen showing the movie. They could have chosen any other movie in the world, and they also didn't have to have the Damon/Elena bite scene happen with the screen in the background, it could have happened anywhere. So I think they were trying to show something, but kinda failed at it.

In the episode stills and the preview, Damon embracing Elena happens at the same time that Rhett embraces Scarlett in the background, they did that deliberately. But they cut that frame from the ep, we didn't actually see that angle. I think they wanted to show some parallels, and maybe make a funny (by making us think D/E were going to kiss there, but he bites her instead). But they cut so many of those scenes, it just fell flat for me. Kinda sad really, it had such potential. Hopefully the DVDs show more.
(Anonymous) on June 7th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
Gone with the wind
This is just a reply to your question below. The first time Elena ever saw Damon's room was when she was taking care of Rose and was surprised at how it looked. He had a huge stack of books next to his bed and the first one she picked up was GONE WITH THE WIND. :)


- So, I love Gone with the Wind. I REALLY do -- see default icon, see journal title -- but what was the point? There really was absolutely no significance to be found. And I looked. I looked at the scenes playing in the background to see if there was some parallel, something, and none of them did match. I don't know if in the uncut version there was a parallel that they just cut because of time constraints, if so, I hope we find out about that in the DVDs, but it still pulled me out moments here and there during the episode. Bummer.
Arabianarabian on June 7th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Gone with the wind
I know that; that's partly why I was excited that we were getting a GWTW theme because I thought they'd tie into that, but they didn't tie into it at all. Nothing on the show tied into it. I do think they cut stuff. There are stills of Damon/Elena, where you see Damon holding onto Elena and you see Rhett and Scarlett in the background in the same position. Also, an extra claimed that Damon kissed Elena (like Rhett did Scarlett while Atlanta was burning) and that the scenes synched up. But again, that was cut.
Sajen FreybergSajen Freyberg on May 13th, 2017 01:31 pm (UTC)
I adore the season 2 finale, and here I always thought I was the only one that didn't think that whole thing with Damon and Elena at the end was about pity.

I agree Liz is not a horrid public officer, but her deputies are. There is no way in hell no one heard that huge window break, and then it's not like she would have just jumped out the window she would have had to carefully climb out the window and slowly climb down. How did they not stop her, HOW?
Arabian: Damon & Elena12arabian on May 14th, 2017 04:56 pm (UTC)
Hah, so not pity. So many Stefan/Elena fans were deluding themselves it was pity. SO. NOT. PITY! Hah!

Thank you for sticking up for Liz as well. As for her deputies, very fair point.