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18 September 2011 @ 03:59 pm
3.01 - 'The Birthday' - Take Two (The Vampire Diaries)  
So rewatched the premiere and I haz thoughts! (If you missed my post based on my first-run through, you can find it here. FYI: There were some fabulous comments from my flist in the thread.)

First of all, I walked away from the rewatch thinking even more that it was a great episode, and I saw more oomph! in that final scene than I had initially. With the comparison to last year's premiere out of the way, it definitely was a whoah! what will happen now? moment. Carol officially knows. What will happen between her and Liz? What will Damon do (if he's dragged into it)? Does Carol suspect anyone else aside from Caroline? What will Tyler do? Is this his chance to make up for the HORRIBLE way he reacted to her kidnapping and torture last season? Which brings us to ...

Caroline and Tyler --

I know that Plec and Williamson have said that theirs is to be a Romeo & Juliet type love story, but that is not what I saw developing on screen. They had all summer, hanging out, but neither was moved to make it anything beyond friends even though they both supposedly wanted it? And then when they got together it was based (as it came across) purely on lust and sexual drive. To compound that, Caroline crept out of the room like she was ashamed. I mean, girl was totally doing the walk of shame before Carol caught her.

Furthermore, I go back to my initial impression of their chemistry. They have some, it's just nothing to write home about. The story (last season, definitely not in this episode) was driving the chemistry way more than the spark between the actors. For me, their sex scene confirmed it. It was just two pretty people scantily clad and getting it on. There was nothing special about it.

Alaric --

I love me some Alaric, anyone who reads my journal knows that. I LOVE ME SOME ALARIC. With that said, the more I think about that final scene with Elena I just want to smack his ever-loving, long-time-no-shaved face. Because Alaric? Was being a total selfish dick! Dude, he's a high school teacher. He KNOWS that just because someone is eighteen doesn't suddenly make them an adult. This girl -- yes, Alaric, GIRL! -- lost her parents, then her entire world was turned topsy-turvy, then she lost her birth mother, then her aunt, then her birth father, and then her boyfriend took off on a psychotic serial killing frenzy. But, she's eighteen now, no problem. She can handle running a household, taking care of her drugged-up once again younger brother, going to school, getting ready for her adult life, on top of all of the supernatural crazy that surrounds her life. She doesn't need an adult around at all. Especially one who KNOWS ALL THE SHIT THAT IS GOING ON! Especially one who loves her and her brother like they were his family. No, not at all.

Seriously, come on, Ric!

Yes, yes, I do get that he's going through a lot himself. And that he doesn't get just how much his presence is helping to keep them grounded, but oh, Ric. Wake up, sweetie, and realize it.

Klaus, and Klaus and Stefan --

I think I was having residual resentment issues against Joseph Morgan/Klaus for being made a regular cast member/still around while my beloved Daniel Gillies and bb Elijah are nowhere to be seen. Grrr. He still isn't as menacing and as thousand-year old hybrid-scary-ass he should be, but he is creepy and frankly, his lack of overwhelming charisma is a good thing. Why? Because, damnit, Paul Wesley deserves a chance to shine. He's not going to when he's going toe to toe with Ian Somerhalder most of the time. Whether you agree that Somehalder is more attractive, more charismatic, etc., you can not deny that the media and majority of fandom does, so it's not fair to Paul. He'll never "win" opposite Ian's character. He's shining like nobody's business in these scenes with Joseph Morgan. Paul is the scene-stealer, the one your eyes are riveted on, and he and Joseph have a wonderful chemistry.

Elena/Stefan --

I think that this episode was surface great for Stefan/Elena -- she was so caring/concerned for Stefan still, putting her life on hold, etc., Stefan is holding onto Elena's love as his conscience -- but looking deeper, it's not. First off, while everyone understands the need to find Stefan, no one wants to see Elena like this, letting her life pass her by. And when you have enough characters making that point, and Elena quite aware of, it's a pretty safe bet that the show is letting us know that they agree, and the viewers should as well.

Another thing that the premiere showed us is that Elena truly does not know Stefan. Not really. Why? Because he's never shown her his real self. If he wasn't lying to her (flat-out or by omission), he was white-washing who he is, his actions, his past, his misdeeds because he's ashamed of his dark past, that part of him. And so Elena has mostly only seen the version of Stefan that he wants to be, that he wants to present. The very few times that she saw a different side to him, that darker side, she denied the reality of it, insistent that it wasn't really Stefan. But it is. It's a part of him, as much as the caring, good guy is, this dark Stefan is Stefan too.

And here's another one. Elena is now eighteen. She is now OLDER than Stefan in terms of living life (as opposed to undead life). There was a big 'Elena is growing up' theme to the episode; she's becoming an adult. Stefan CAN'T grow up. He's eternally a 17-year old boy. I believe that the vampire mythology on the show is that their personality is based on their respective death age when turned and that that essence never changes. It certainly explains why Stefan is SUCH a stupid, emo, idealistic, teenage BOY! with regards to Elena. And, again, he won't change. Elena will. She will grow up. She has already been quite forced too. (Gee, thanks, Alaric.)

Finally, the phone call. Dun dun dun. So, I'm still not pleased about it because it played so much as if it was going to flow into a Damon/Stefan moment. I actually figured out how it would have worked for me: If they had just had him pull out the phone, pull up Damon's number, look at it and then exit out of the number, start to put the phone away, hesitate and THEN cut to Elena, that would have worked completely. Ah well.

Still, with that said, modbelle had a brilliant theory about the phone call and its purpose that I'm loving and I TOTALLY think she's right. Instead of putting it my own words, I'm going to just quote her brilliance.

I found the whole phone call very foreboding and if I shipped S/E, I'd be worried; because what I got from the phone call was Elena and their failed relationship is going to be the reason Stefan turns full blown Ripper (ie Katherine tattles about the previous kiss, Stefan sees something and thinks Elena has moved on/been unfaithful). Bottom line is I now feel like their is a ticking clock on their relationship because it's not if S/E is going to break up but when; afterall, it was stressed Elena's love will be Stefan's tie to humanity and the show obviously wants all ties broken.
That makes so much sense. If Stefan is holding onto her unwavering love as his compass, what happens when he questions that? Yeah.

Also, this has been said elsewhere (and in my previous thread), Stefan calling Elena was just terrible because it really made Andie's death pointless. How the hell is Damon going to get Stefan's point of no return now? Of course Elena will tell Damon, and of course, Damon will believe once again that he can save Stefan. And more importantly, he knows that Elena won't stop, and therefore, he can't walk away because he can't not work to keep Elena safe. Oh, Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. Andie died so callously for nothing. Which brings us to ...

Damon and Andie --

Damnit, I really am officially over my Dawn Olivieri issues, because I really liked Andie again. Rewatching this made me really enjoy her few moments on screen. {Pouts} Her dry delivery in the first scene (especially the "I mean, you're dripping a little") was wonderfully done, and those last two scenes, man! Her relief when seeing it was Stefan, talking to him as if he's the Stefan she knows, and then her fear at the end there, knowing what Stefan was doing, it was all just so well-done, so heartbreaking. Man. I will say, I so did NOT cheer this time when she died. I was sad. :sniffsniff:

I wish they'd done more/better with her story. There was so much potential, and instead it just wound up being the waste of a very good actress, and making Damon look dreadfully horrible with no redeemable quality to this aspect of his character. Sadly, I think we're going to have to let this one go and realize that this is one of the few epic fails of the writers in not getting a screw-up. That just sucks!

Damon and Elena --

I talked of them positively a bit in my initial review, but it was mostly surrounded by wishing for more, no true acceptance or squee about what we did get. Let's just say reading and reacting to comments from my lovely flist, as well as rewatching sure brought on the acceptance and squee. :D

First of all, that Caroline/Elena conversation that took place over the summer. Why did Elena even talk to Caroline about it if it was just a "goodbye kiss?" Why even mention it if it didn't really matter, even more so, why talk about Damon's feelings for her? But clearly she did both, and they were significant enough that Caroline mentioned it to Tyler. I lamented not being able to hear that conversation, but now I'm glad we didn't. That little scene (aside from the Tyler/Caroline aspect) was laying groundwork from the writers. We now know Elena DID think about the kiss, did think about Damon's admission of love for her enough to bring herself to talk to Caroline -- Caroline! who had a very sketchy, skeevy relationship with Damon; Caroline! who gossips like there is no tomorrow! -- but she had to talk to someone. It was THAT much on her mind. Pretty, pretty telling.

Not that she's hearing the story being told. I believe right now that Elena is so very, very much in denial. She has completely convinced herself that she feels nothing beyond friendship for Damon. Nada. But she does, and so subconsciously she wants to be near him, she wants to touch him, she wants him to touch her, she ... wants him. Yet, she's completely convinced herself that such is not the case.

A review mentioned that Elena was leading Damon on now that she knew he loved her, whereas she wasn't last season because she didn't know, yet, she was asking him to put on her necklace, walking with him arm-in-arm through her party. But I disagree. That's not Elena, not at all. I honestly don't believe she's even aware of what she is doing. She's following her body, her heart's desire to be with him without thought; she's just doing because it feels right. She is completely blind to the fact that her body and her heart are not in agreement with her mind in this, therefore, she's not doing anything "wrong" because it's not really happening. Even though it is. Oh, Elena. I must say, it will be very interesting watching her very in-denial mind battle with her subconscious desire.

The most shining example of this was the gifting scene. It wasn't about the words spoken, it was how they were spoken, and everything that wasn't said; it was about heated looks and secret smiles. It was about the dichotomy of comfort and discomfort. There was an ease, a natural intimacy between them that just flowed through every second of interaction, but right alongside that was this nearly-unbearable tension: The way they looked at each other a second too long, the way they held themselves, the softly spoken words (Elena's "I am happy" and "thank you" -- delivered as near-whispers, as if savoring the intimacy between them). There was an exquisite desire that ebbed beneath the surface, as if they were both holding themselves back (Damon, fully aware, Elena, still in complete denial) from leaping forward and just giving into that want. And I do think that it was significant that this was the last scene before a break. It was as if the writers wanted it to stick, to burn into viewer's memories a bit, percolate in their brain without moving onto the next scene.

As for Damon? I think he absolutely gets it, and that is why he's not pushing her. At least not in the right way, the way that would give her that push that would tear down her wall of denial. I think that was the point of his nude greeting. And I have no doubt that he has played with her in similar ways because he knows that it will irritate her, and help keep that distance between them. She's his brother's girl, and he's not going to swoop in and make his case when Stefan is doing what he is for him. So we have the assy games, we have him pulling back from moments (her turn to him after he put the necklace on her). He could have pushed in just the right way in that moment, in others like it, no doubt, but he's not.

And I think he was doing his best to keep the Andie situation from being a part of Elena's concern. Yes, she was invited to her party, but Damon knew how big it was, and knew that they would have little time for any type of deep interaction. I think this because of their phone call. Elena found out about his closet, called him, but he didn't know she was upset, he didn't know why she was calling yet. She starts out by asking where he is. He didn't tell her he was picking Andie up. Which was odd. Why not? He's just picking up his "girlfriend." Instead, he lies and says he's still at the party, as if he doesn't want her to know he's picking up his "girlfriend." Yeah. Interesting. And one wonders how well Damon is going to do now without his distraction around.

So, yes, there was a LOT of strong Damon/Elena subtext in this episode ... and all of it was promising, as opposed to the foreboding that accompanied the Stefan/Elena subtext. Yeah!

Okay, random thoughts, and then I'm done --

- It was a throw-away line that I caught while watching, but everything else happening distracted me from mentioning it before. Yes! Liz Forbes is helping. YES! Now, give me my Damon/Liz scenes, pretty please. :) I am dying to see their dynamic now that she knows. Oh, yeah.

- Heh. "Dead Man Walking" were the lyrics being sung as Ray walked into the bar. Oh, show.

- I loved this exchange, mostly for the delivery of the last two lines, and the teasing, then familiarity of the first two. Just perfection.

Damon: Hello, birthday girl.
Elena: Drink. {Takes Damon's glass; drinks, turns to Alaric.} Jeremy's smoking again.
Damon Is it a good stash?
Elena: You're an ass.
HAHAHAHA! And, of course, smack-dab in the middle was Alaric's look of 'hey, what now?' as they exchanged Damon's glass. It's an interesting reminder that as of now, Alaric is the only one who has gotten a glimpse of their true relationship.

- Aww, Damon had no problem sharing the good stuff with Alaric.

And there we have it, my rewatch thinky thoughts. I like this; I'm gonna definitely try and do this with every episode. :)

I lied. It's still pretty damn long. Of course. (Stop laughing, sarcasticcheese!)
 
 
 
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Not Leaving (D/E)butterfly on September 18th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
Finally, the phone call. Dun dun dun. So, I'm still not pleased about it because it played so much as if it was going to flow into a Damon/Stefan moment. I actually figured out how it would have worked for me: If they had just had him pull out the phone, pull up Damon's number, look at it and then exit out of the number, start to put the phone away, hesitate and THEN cut to Elena, that would have worked completely. Ah well.

I think that would have made me feel a lot better about the flow of the episode.

...not better about Andie dying for nothing though.

Damon and Elena show such a deep willingness to share personal space. And I agree with you that I don't think Elena realizes what she's doing. I think if Stefan had seen how intimate D/E were being, he would have gone all jealousy-face on Elena and required her to reassure him a dozen or so times of her love for him.
Arabian: Damon & Elena12arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I think that would have made me feel a lot better about the flow of the episode.

Yeah, I just think that would have worked so much better. We would have had that moment with Damon and Stefan which it so appeared to be leading up to, and then him not dialing, before turning to Elena would have made perfect sense without being whiplash-y. Totally in character for Stefan to be in pain over something and selfishly turn to someone he shouldn't to make him feel better. Oh, Stefan.

...not better about Andie dying for nothing though.

Agreed; I really am hoping that does come up, even if it's just a snarky comment from Damon. ("Way to make a point you're so grandly making not stick.")

Damon and Elena show such a deep willingness to share personal space. And I agree with you that I don't think Elena realizes what she's doing. I think if Stefan had seen how intimate D/E were being, he would have gone all jealousy-face on Elena and required her to reassure him a dozen or so times of her love for him.

Hahah! Oh, man, he so, so would have. Seriously, though, that's one thing I find quite interesting, going back to the start of the show, other than Alaric in a few instances, he and Jenna wondering about them dancing together, and Katherine catching them at the end of AILD, NO ONE else has ever witnessed how they are with each other. The way she stands near him, the soft voice, the limpid eyes, the way he softens around her, the personal space, the unspoken words, etc. I do wonder if we'll see others start to finally catch them, and then call Elena on it.
Olga: Bones | B/B | S5F Handsdreamingahead on September 18th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I think Damon will definitely be brought into the Caroline kidnapping because besides her needing to be saved, a vampire disappearing = someone is in the know, so some damage control has to be administered.

hat will Tyler do? Is this his chance to make up for the HORRIBLE way he reacted to her kidnapping and torture last season?

Goodness, I hope so. This season seems to be a "second chances" season, isn't it, with Damon being given the opportunity not to walk out on Stefan's ripper tear this time around, and now Tyler getting another shot to stand up for Caroline.

But, she's eighteen now, no problem. She can handle running a household, taking care of her drugged-up once again younger brother, going to school, getting ready for her adult life, on top of all of the supernatural crazy that surrounds her life. She doesn't need an adult around at all. Especially one who KNOWS ALL THE SHIT THAT IS GOING ON! Especially one who loves her and her brother like they were his family. No, not at all.

Ugh, I have so many problems with the way he walked out and this particular line, and I also talked about it in my review. It's like something that would come out of a child's mouth who has no idea what being 18 means. Something it doesn't mean is you suddenly being able to figure everything for yourself, that's for sure. They need to stick together because that's just it, there's not many people who know to talk to. I feel that he's being a way worse role model for walking out on them rather than drinking and angsting all the time, and I hope he realises that too.

He's shining like nobody's business in these scenes with Joseph Morgan.

I completely agree! Whenever a Klaus scene comes up, I find myself wondering, "Where does Stefan come in?" It's somewhat the same when it comes to scenes back home when my eyes are glued to Damon. This is definitely a good opportunity for Paul!

And so Elena has mostly only seen the version of Stefan that he wants to be, that he wants to present. The very few times that she saw a different side to Stefan, that darker side, she denied the reality of it, insistent that it wasn't really Stefan. But it is.

THIS. I'm always a bit annoyed by the good brother/bad brother generalisation that both the fandom and the media have adopted over the years. While it might seem this way on the surface, the good brother image is something that Stefan has created for himself and patched over his darker side. It's like he feels the need to take the moral highroad whenever possible to keep this image up and not letting anyone know his true self - instead of coming to terms with his being. I consider his personality more dangerous than that of Damon's who can be violent and impulsive, and yet what you see is what you get.

If Stefan is holding onto her unwavering love as his compass, what happens when he questions that? Yeah.

Ooh. I bet Klaus will use that intel to push Stefan over the edge the second he finds out about D/E, the twisted bastard he is. That's going to be some powerful telly!

She starts out by asking where he is. He didn't tell her he was picking Andie up. Which was odd. Why not? He's just picking up his "girlfriend." Instead, he lies and says he's still at the party, as if he doesn't want her to know he's picking up his "girlfriend." Yeah. Interesting.

Good point! I didn't give his reply much of a thought since I was preoccupied with what is happening to Andie in the meantime, but you're right, he totally lies about going to pick her up.

Also, what you said about Elena's brain not catching up with her body? Spot on. I love that Damon goes along with her whenever that manifests just enough not to push her. Besides not wanting to do that in Stefan's absence, he also knows that pushing won't work from that one time he tried to kiss her in her room 'to prove there is something between them'. He's learning!
Arabian: Damon & Elena13arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
I think Damon will definitely be brought into the Caroline kidnapping because besides her needing to be saved, a vampire disappearing = someone is in the know, so some damage control has to be administered.

Damn, I love Damon in damage control-mode. Can't wait. And I love when we get glimpses that Damon has grown to care for Caroline. Awww. (Yes, like the show, I'm just choosing to pretty much ignore the early start of their relationship. She threw his ass across a hallway and told him he sucked, uhm, okay then, bygones.)

This season seems to be a "second chances" season, isn't it, with Damon being given the opportunity not to walk out on Stefan's ripper tear this time around, and now Tyler getting another shot to stand up for Caroline.

I do hope he does, even if I doubt anything can turn me onto shipping these two at this point, but it certainly is something that should be addressed and made up for.

Ugh, I have so many problems with the way he walked out and this particular line, and I also talked about it in my review. It's like something that would come out of a child's mouth who has no idea what being 18 means.

YES!!!

I feel that he's being a way worse role model for walking out on them rather than drinking and angsting all the time, and I hope he realizes that too.

I agree completely, and I do hope he realizes it. Part of the problem, I totally do get, is that he is just about as messed up as these kids at this point, but, damnit, Alaric, they are KIDS! (Even if your BFF totally wants to bone the hell out of one those said kids. The 18-mark works here, though, it's all about legality, baby.)

Whenever a Klaus scene comes up, I find myself wondering, "Where does Stefan come in?" It's somewhat the same when it comes to scenes back home when my eyes are glued to Damon. This is definitely a good opportunity for Paul!

I agree; I really do. I can't see any Paul fan not being thrilled about this turn.

I'm always a bit annoyed by the good brother/bad brother generalization that both the fandom and the media have adopted over the years.

I think it doesn't bother me because the producers/actors have always been very, very clear (especially Ian, Kevin and Julie) that there is no "bad brother," no "good brother," so I just roll my eyes at the comments from "fans," media, who clearly are not paying attention (most importantly) to (a) THE SHOW's portrayal, and (b) the producers/actors.

While it might seem this way on the surface, the good brother image is something that Stefan has created for himself and patched over his darker side. It's like he feels the need to take the moral highroad whenever possible to keep this image up and not letting anyone know his true self - instead of coming to terms with his being. I consider his personality more dangerous than that of Damon's who can be violent and impulsive, and yet what you see is what you get.

Yes, again, I totally agree. (Man, we so should have been friends before. I don't know if you have, but I have LONG, WINDY thoughts about every season two episode, and quite a lot of posts in general talking about TVD.)

Good point! I didn't give his reply much of a thought since I was preoccupied with what is happening to Andie in the meantime, but you're right, he totally lies about going to pick her up.

Yeah, I didn't think about it until the rewatch, but I did find it interesting in retrospect.
Olga: House | Cameron | Rightdreamingahead on September 25th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Damn, I love Damon in damage control-mode. Can't wait. And I love when we get glimpses that Damon has grown to care for Caroline. Awww.

Yeah, it does seem like Tyler's confession to his mother won't be enough to save Caroline, so whom do people turn to in times of crisis? Damon. I hope this time won't be any different!

She threw his ass across a hallway and told him he sucked, uhm, okay then, bygones.

According to Jeremy, the memories of the compelled go away, but feelings don't, so she probably stayed really upset at him all the time and couldn't point out WHY EXACTLY. For all intents & purposes, Caroline's turning into a vampire, remembering everything and calling Damon out on his behaviour did wonders for their relationship!


I agree completely, and I do hope he realizes it. Part of the problem, I totally do get, is that he is just about as messed up as these kids at this point, but, damnit, Alaric, they are KIDS!


HEE. Elena fulfilled John's wish after all and got herself a surrogate kid to offer the ring to (and parent in times of personal crises). ;)

(Even if your BFF totally wants to bone the hell out of one those said kids. The 18-mark works here, though, it's all about legality, baby.)

Just in time for this season, too! Well done getting that out of the way right in the premier, writers.


I think it doesn't bother me because the producers/actors have always been very, very clear (especially Ian, Kevin and Julie) that there is no "bad brother," no "good brother," so I just roll my eyes at the comments from "fans," media, who clearly are not paying attention (most importantly) to (a) THE SHOW's portrayal, and (b) the producers/actors.


Yeah, I guess seeing the world in black & white is always easier, but way less engaging when it comes to such a multi-layered TV show.

Yes, again, I totally agree. (Man, we so should have been friends before. I don't know if you have, but I have LONG, WINDY thoughts about every season two episode, and quite a lot of posts in general talking about TVD.)


Sadly, I don't have any entries b/c I had only one or two friends who watched at the time. What I did was hang out in those friends' journals from time to time and discuss there with friends of friends. I believe I once had a long and elaborate conversation about this very subject (Damon=/=bad/Stefan=/=good) in a journal of someone who wasn't even watching TVD. I'm sure she was thrilled about that, lol.
Vickie: Josh West Wingsarcasticcheese on September 18th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
My head hurts. ;)
Arabian: Damon05arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Then just look at the pretty icon of Naked!Damon. :)
(Deleted comment)
Arabian: Katherine01arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
On a very random but slightly related side note, when Stefan called Elena his name didn't appear in her caller display meaning that he either got a new phone or she deleted him from her contact list.

I don't think for a second that Elena deleted his number; a new phone for sure, or new number. Otherwise, everyone in MF would be calling him.
(Deleted comment)
Arabian: Elena04arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
[QUOTE]"there was a LOT of strong Damon/Elena subtext in this episode ... and all of it was promising, as opposed to the foreboding that accompanied the Stefan/Elena subtext. Yeah![/ENDQUOTE]"

My thoughts exactly(!)


Nice to know that I wasn't the only one who saw that. :)

I agree with [info]modbelle's take on the SE phone call - which is why I'm kinda baffled as to why a lot of the SE shippers are looking at it as romantic??

His stalking and constant lying,and her brushing it aside, their head-in-the-sand attitude with one another, are romantic and no problem to them, so yeah, this doesn't surprise me at all. On the other hand, they've had odes to S/E handed to them from the writers from day one, so if only looking at the surface and things play out as we suspect, they very well may experience whiplash.
distant_autumn: Elena - Look by ebsolutelydistant_autumn on September 20th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the end scene worked better for you this time!

Is this his chance to make up for the HORRIBLE way he reacted to her kidnapping and torture last season?

I'm assuming so. It's his opportunity to step up, and I think/hope that he will. He better. I mean, I really like Tyler and am on board with C/T (you know, until the inevitable transition to C/S in a couple of season's time ;) But if he lets her down AGAIN...

They had all summer, hanging out, but neither was moved to make it anything beyond friends even though they both supposedly wanted it? And then when they got together it was based (as it came across) purely on lust and sexual drive. To compound that, Caroline crept out of the room like she was ashamed. I mean, girl was totally doing the walk of shame before Carol caught her.

IDK, I think he's still in that place from last year of having fallen from her, only she said no back then and now there are all these conflicting signals coming from her. But she really is his friend, his best one at this point, so it makes it all so much more awkward. Caroline... I'm not sure she knows what she feels. She's attracted, he's her friend, she feels jealous when he's with somebody else, but I don't think she quite knows how to deal with all of that and what it might mean. I agree that was a total walk of shame moment, and in a world where Carol hadn't taken the opportunity to shoot her, I feel like Caroline might well have tried to either play it off as a one night stand or parlay it into friends with benefits. Whether Carol attacking her is going to push any feelings more rapidly to the surface or not, IDK.

With that said, the more I think about that final scene with Elena I just want to smack his ever-loving, long-time-no-shaved face. Because Alaric? Was being a total selfish dick!

Hee, yes basically, to all that you said. I love him, I feel sorry for him and where his head is at, because I think he has totally talked himself into truly believing what he said about how bad he is at all that stuff, and because I think there is something in there about not being able to bear getting too attached to them and building a life there, because his last two attempts (albeit that they have been romantic relationships rather than paternal ones) have ended so tragically. But it was still SUCH a cop out on his part, because he was scared of accepting the responsibility and being an actual grown-up and maybe having to make some actual changes in his life. I think he had the same reaction Jenna did - "Isn't there someone else?" - only instead of stepping up as she did, he instead decided that there was indeed someone else: Elena herself. Which, NO. No, Ric, that is not the correct answer. And to do it on her birthday! Poor Elena, her little face...

OTOH, I'm assuming dealing with all of this stuff is going to be part of his arc this year, so I'm excited for that!

He still isn't as menacing and as thousand-year old hybrid-scary-ass he should be, but he is creepy and frankly, his lack of overwhelming charisma is a good thing.

As you know, I'm enjoying Klaus and liking Joseph a lot in the role, but I still think you have a point with this. This is SUCH a big arc for Stefan (and Paul) and if you bring in somebody who completely outshines him, then it simply isn't going to work as well as it should. Agreed that they have good scene chemistry, too.

First off, while everyone understands the need to find Stefan, no one wants to see Elena like this, letting her life pass her by.

Yeah, it's interesting that a relationship that started out as a positive thing, helping her to live her life again, is now being shown as something that is doing the opposite: holding her back and stopping her living that life. That is not healthy. I think/hope that they're going to show the need for her to learn how to live for herself.

And Stefan too, really. Because her love isn't going to be enough to keep him holding on, and the thing is... it shouldn't. She can't be his reason. She's not always going to be there, and it's too much to place on one person and one relationship. He has to want to get (and stay) back on the wagon for himself.

distant_autumn: Damon by ebsolutelydistant_autumn on September 20th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Part 2
Elena truly does not know Stefan. Not really. Why? Because he's never shown her his real self. If he wasn't lying to her (flat-out or by omission), he was white-washing who he is, his actions, his past, his misdeeds because he's ashamed of his dark past, that part of him. And so Elena has mostly only seen the version of Stefan that he wants to be, that he wants to present. The very few times that she saw a different side to him, that darker side, she denied the reality of it, insistent that it wasn't really Stefan. But it is. It's a part of him, as much as the caring, good guy is, this dark Stefan is Stefan too.

Quoted for truth. Seriously, every damn word of this is so, SO spot on. And it's both of their faults; him for withholding so damn much and not trusting in her or the strength of their relationship enough to tell her the whole truth, and Elena for being willing to (wanting to) believe the lie.

Elena is now eighteen. She is now OLDER than Stefan in terms of living life (as opposed to undead life). There was a big 'Elena is growing up' theme to the episode; she's becoming an adult. Stefan CAN'T grow up. [...] Elena will. She will grow up.

Yep, you know I am totally with you on this one. She is gonna outgrow him and their relationship, as she just has just outgrown him in the literal sense by turning 18.

modbelle: "it was stressed Elena's love will be Stefan's tie to humanity and the show obviously wants all ties broken."

Definitely. Thinking about it more, I've come to the conclusion that there are a few ways it could go. Either that love is simply not enough to keep him holding on, the end. Or, as modbelle says, he has cause to doubt it (via something with D/E) and in the state of questionable judgement he's now operating under, that's enough to get him to give up. Or he deliberately fully sacrifices the last of his humanity because for whatever reason, he believes it's the only way to protect Damon and Elena from Klaus. Or he does it deliberately to set Elena free, in the hope that she can start living her life again, without him keeping that last thread dangling. (I would REALLY rather it wasn't the last option, not least because I want Elena to take the decision to live again for herself rather than have Stefan essentially try and force it on her.) Or maybe there's some other option I'm missing. But however it happens, I absolutely agree that that tie is inevitably going to need to get broken to let him get his ripper fully on.

If Stefan is holding onto her unwavering love as his compass, what happens when he questions that? Yeah.

And of course, what happens to Elena, when she has to face that her love was not enough to keep him holding on?

Her relief when seeing it was Stefan, talking to him as if he's the Stefan she knows, and then her fear at the end there, knowing what Stefan was doing, it was all just so well-done, so heartbreaking.

:( I know. Poor Andie. And agreed that Dawn has done a great job of playing her. (And from my own cranky rant, you know I am with you re: the Andie issue with Stefan phoning Elena.)

Why did Elena even talk to Caroline about it if it was just a "goodbye kiss?" Why even mention it if it didn't really matter, even more so, why talk about Damon's feelings for her? [...] but she had to talk to someone.

Absolutely. So very, very telling.

distant_autumndistant_autumn on September 20th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
*Facepalm* Part 3.
subconsciously she wants to be near him, she wants to touch him, she wants him to touch her, she ... wants him. Yet, she's completely convinced herself that such is not the case.

I honestly don't believe she's even aware of what she is doing. She's following her body, her heart's desire to be with him without thought; she's just doing because it feels right. She is completely blind to the fact that her body and her heart are not in agreement with her mind in this, therefore, she's not doing anything "wrong" because it's not really happening. Even though it is.


This, 100% (and so, so fantastically put ♥!) I honestly don't understand people thinking she's doing it deliberately. She's just NOT. She's in deep denial about it and what she can't bring herself to acknowledge is nevertheless spilling out all over the place in her actions. Also adored everything you said about the necklace scene! ♥ ♥ ♥

I think he was doing his best to keep the Andie situation from being a part of Elena's concern. [...] He didn't tell her he was picking Andie up. Which was odd. Why not? He's just picking up his "girlfriend." Instead, he lies

Yeah, I thought that was very interesting too. I mean, I've never really been clear how much Elena knows about his relationship with Andie, but (despite the party invite) he surely seemed eager to avoid the topic of Andie with Elena this episode. Even the going out and greeting her naked had the side effect of stopping her crossing paths with Andie. Things that make you go "hmm". He didn't even tell her about Andie's death.

And one wonders how well Damon is going to do now without his distraction around.

Mmm, because even before Andie, he had Rose. He went from making that conscious decision re: Elena at the end of 2.08, to hooking up with Rose in 2.09, then the episode after her death he got involved with Andie and that has lasted up until now. So, yes. This is going to be the first time since way back then that he hasn't had anyone distracting him.

Yes! Liz Forbes is helping. YES! Now, give me my Damon/Liz scenes, pretty please.

I was so delighted by that little reference! And agreed on wanting scenes between those two.

Aww, Damon had no problem sharing the good stuff with Alaric.

Aww, I didn't even think of that, but it's so true! Ric and Elena are both allowed his decent booze! Of course they are ♥!
Arabian: Katherine04arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: *Facepalm* Part 3.
This, 100% (and so, so fantastically put ♥!)

Thank you; I was pleased with how that came out. I was trying to get across the tension of it with my words.

I honestly don't understand people thinking she's doing it deliberately. She's just NOT. She's in deep denial about it and what she can't bring herself to acknowledge is nevertheless spilling out all over the place in her actions. Also adored everything you said about the necklace scene! ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you, and yes, this, this, this, this, 1000% this!

Mmm, because even before Andie, he had Rose. He went from making that conscious decision re: Elena at the end of 2.08, to hooking up with Rose in 2.09, then the episode after her death he got involved with Andie and that has lasted up until now. So, yes. This is going to be the first time since way back then that he hasn't had anyone distracting him.

I'm hoping it means we get some really, really gooooooooooood tension. Of course, there's always the rumor that Katherine will come back into play. And you know me, if Damon's going to be having sexytimes with anyone other than Elena, Katherine will do. (Gee, I wonder why I'm okay with that?)

RE: Liz helping -- I was so delighted by that little reference! And agreed on wanting scenes between those two.

I can't wait until I see Marguerite McIntrye's name in the credits next. :)

Also, what you said about Elena's brain not catching up with her body? Spot on. I love that Damon goes along with her whenever that manifests just enough not to push her. Besides not wanting to do that in Stefan's absence, he also knows that pushing won't work from that one time he tried to kiss her in her room 'to prove there is something between them'. He's learning!

Yup, very true. Elena's gonna have to be the one to make the move. Uh huh.
Arabian: Damon12arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
it's both of their faults; him for withholding so damn much and not trusting in her or the strength of their relationship enough to tell her the whole truth, and Elena for being willing to (wanting to) believe the lie.

Absolutely. This has become such an unhealthy relationship in many respects.

Yep, you know I am totally with you on this one. She is gonna outgrow him and their relationship, as she just has just outgrown him in the literal sense by turning 18.

I think it was quite significant that they made Elena's birthday SUCH a big deal. Even the only other b-day we've seen celebrated (Stefan's in "162 Candles"), his birthday was just a blip really in the larger plots going on. This episode really drove it home, Elena is 18 now.

Thinking about it more, I've come to the conclusion that there are a few ways it could go. Either that love is simply not enough to keep him holding on, the end. Or, as [info]modbelle says, he has cause to doubt it (via something with D/E) and in the state of questionable judgement he's now operating under, that's enough to get him to give up. Or he deliberately fully sacrifices the last of his humanity because for whatever reason, he believes it's the only way to protect Damon and Elena from Klaus. Or he does it deliberately to set Elena free, in the hope that she can start living her life again, without him keeping that last thread dangling. (I would REALLY rather it wasn't the last option, not least because I want Elena to take the decision to live again for herself rather than have Stefan essentially try and force it on her.) Or maybe there's some other option I'm missing. But however it happens, I absolutely agree that that tie is inevitably going to need to get broken to let him get his ripper fully on.

I really hope it's not the latter two. I don't think I could handle seeing Stefan being portrayed as a saintly martyr even as a way to explain why he's gone full ripper mode. Let him do it because he basically gets pissy about something. That way, it makes him no better -- actually worse when you think of how he kills as opposes to Damon -- than Damon with regards to the why of bad acts.

And of course, what happens to Elena, when she has to face that her love was not enough to keep him holding on?

She makes herself feel better by engaging in hot sex with Damon?
Arabian: Elena01arabian on September 22nd, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the end scene worked better for you this time!

To be fair, it only worked because of modbelle's interpretation.

I'm assuming so. It's his opportunity to step up, and I think/hope that he will. He better. I mean, I really like Tyler and am on board with C/T (you know, until the inevitable transition to C/S in a couple of season's time ;) But if he lets her down AGAIN...

Even if she forgives him, if he lets her down again, then Caroline's endgame is *definitely* Matt (or STEFAN!!!).

I agree with all of your comments re: Ric, and this:

think he had the same reaction Jenna did - "Isn't there someone else?" - only instead of stepping up as she did, he instead decided that there was indeed someone else: Elena herself. Which, NO. No, Ric, that is not the correct answer. And to do it on her birthday! Poor Elena, her little face...

Yup, he had the wrong answer; I agree, you are totally right. And I do get where he's coming from, but sometimes when life sucks, you have to step up to the plate. He didn't. Hmm, maybe the fight with Alaric/Damon will be about Alaric walking away and Damon egging him on to get the better reaction out of him towards the kids. (That would be an unexpected and delightful reason for the fight, you know, as opposed to Damon being the one who did something "wrong" and being attacked for it.)

ETA: Eh, take it back. Just read the latest interview with Ian. It's about Alaric worried about Damon/Elena no doubt, but he also confirms that despite this, they're still bros!

OTOH, I'm assuming dealing with all of this stuff is going to be part of his arc this year, so I'm excited for that!

You are possibly right and that is so awesome. I hope so too and am excited as well.

Yeah, it's interesting that a relationship that started out as a positive thing, helping her to live her life again, is now being shown as something that is doing the opposite: holding her back and stopping her living that life. That is not healthy. I think/hope that they're going to show the need for her to learn how to live for herself.

I have a feeling that Julie and Kevin are following the natural organic flow of the storyline, and are aware that these are how things are falling out, intended or not. (And surely -- based on lack of screen tests between them, NO ONE had any clue that Ian and Nina were going to turn out to have such jaw-dropping chemistry.) If so, then, I think it's even more obvious that Stefan and Elena are most decidedly not endgame. Let's just hope they are going the organic route, and aren't stuck tight to any potential endgame they already had planned (which they've said they didn't, so ....).

And Stefan too, really. Because her love isn't going to be enough to keep him holding on, and the thing is... it shouldn't. She can't be his reason. She's not always going to be there, and it's too much to place on one person and one relationship. He has to want to get (and stay) back on the wagon for himself.

THIS! Absolutely, 100%, a gazillion times over ... THIS!

Edited at 2011-09-22 09:40 pm (UTC)