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09 November 2012 @ 01:52 am
4.05 - 'The Killer' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Ugh! I had an icky migraine most of the night. Fortunately an hour nap before MY SHOW started made it go bye-bye. Phew!

Just a reminder: PLEASE NO SPOILERS. I'm not reading them. I'm not looking at episode stills. I'm not reading episode synopses. I'm not looking at extended previews or webclips either. I'm not doing spoilers at all.

First off, this episode was much better than last week and, in my opinion, the strongest so far this season. We also learned two things: 1.) The narrative that I believed that was building with regards to the triangle continued even stronger in this episode, and 2.) the direction truly did interpret intent so badly last week. Which was made blindingly clear in the first Damon/Elena scene. First off, you had Damon reference their "hot, sweaty dance party" and then even more tellingly, Elena refer to what she did with Damon as "dirty dancing."

I think we can all agree... what we saw last week was NOT dirty dancing sadly. Clearly, it was supposed to be much, much, much more than as directed by Joshua Butler -- and ALL ABOUT the heat, the tension and the desire between Damon and Elena not only because of those descriptions of the dancing, but also because of Elena's obvious denial that it wasn't her. And, of course there was the fact that Damon pointed out what Elena didn't tell Stefan after he left, on top of Stefan dodging Elena's call, proving that, yes, we were not supposed to take away AHHH!TWU!WUV from those final moments with Stefan and Elena, but rather that while they were saying the right words about love and support, holding onto each other, both were keeping things from one another and lying! Uh huh. Pfft, lame-ass direction.

Anyhoo, moving on to this episode. The biggest things for me in this episode was how much I love Elena, and how clearly the lines were drawn between what Elena is saying, and what she's actually feeling. Namely in regards to Stefan and Damon. Sure she's "Stefan's girl," but she doesn't trust him. Nope, nope, nope. Wanna recall how blindingly clear that was made? Let's start with a compare/contrast between both brothers asking Elena to trust them (Damon in "Homecoming," and Stefan here).

  

Notice how Elena answers "yes" IMMEDIATELY after Damon asks her? No hesitation, no searching in her eyes, no thinking about it. Just an automatic yes. However, when Stefan says she needs to trust him, there's a pause, he adds a plea and after a looong hesitation, searching in her eyes, clearly thinking about it, she finally offers up a reluctant, yuppers, reluctant nod.

Of course, that reluctance was obvious that she was just giving him what he wanted, but not the reality, because no, she doesn't trust him. We saw that earlier when she was looking out the window, watching him, clearly suspicious of who he was talking to on the phone, a suspicion she shared with Damon. And that whole 'trust me' bit from Stefan was about him wanting her to stay put and trust his plan of action. As soon as Damon woke up and he told her what he thought she should do (which, admittedly, was what she wanted to do), she did that. She trusted what Damon told her to do, his plan of action (just as she had in "Homecoming), but not Stefan.

Which was made perfectly clear at the end. Stefan told her to stay put. She did not. Damon told her to kill Connor. She did. Also, earlier on in the episode, when Stefan was talking about how not to get Connor and Damon disagreed, Elena quickly jumped in to say "Damon's right." In a crisis situation that involves the person she loves most (Jeremy), she sides with Damon. And Damon was in that same team-us (us=Damon/Elena) mode as well. After Stefan struck Damon down, and he woke up, he said to Elena "he's playing us." US -- in action mode, Damon was thinking of the two of them as a team, separate from Stefan, and Elena didn't disagree. Again, she then went and followed through with their plan of action.

Now, I'm sure one could take that she made the wrong move in listening to Damon and not Stefan because there goes the whole cure, but I disagree and I don't think that's what the show was telling us. Elena was in the situation she was in -- not working *with* Stefan -- because *he* didn't trust her. *HE* didn't tell her what was going on. That's why she listened to Damon because with of the information they both had at their disposal at the time, killing Connor was the right thing to do. Otherwise, he would have tried to kill all of them and clearly had no problem threatening, injuring innocents to do so. And, of course, there are more hunters out there and Jeremy is now one of them... so the cure is still within reach.

Another very important compare/contrast was the fact that Elena had essentially the EXACT SAME conversation with Damon and Stefan in this episode (involving her taking care of herself and the promise that Jeremy would be fine). What was so interesting, and a big positive for the Damon/Elena side is how Elena acted different. We saw a different, stronger, better Elena with Damon. When he told her she couldn't defend herself, she argued with him using facts and then she showed him with action -- and hello! HOT!, ooh, that look on his face, he was loving vamp!Elena in action!! On the other hand, when Elena told Stefan that she could defend herself, she was teary-eyed, playing the damsel-in-distress. She didn't use facts, didn't remind him of their training and didn't show him that she could fight back. Instead, she just fell back into the passive, girlfriend role. The Elena who didn't take action from before season 03.

Also, when Stefan told her that he would get Jeremy out, Elena shook her head and made a negative sound as if she doesn't quite believe it. Yet when Damon told her the same, she gave him a grave look, but one of acceptance. Damon, she believes. Stefan? Not so much. And then, of course, in the end, she flat-out tells Stefan that she doesn't trust him... something that was clear in so many ways throughout the episode. When Damon talks to her, she doesn't question him, she doesn't tell him she doesn't trust him, instead she tells him that she did what he said.

Everything we are seeing (minus the directional fail last week, *sigh*) is making it clear that Stefan and Elena are not what they were. They can not go back. She trusts Damon more than Stefan. She also wants Damon. It was a quick moment, but when he reached for her arm the second time, she paused and looked down at his hand touching her, momentarily affected. Uh huh. And, of course, after sitting astride him to prove her vampire skills, she didn't get up any time soon, did she? Not to mention the totally in-denial-mode denying of the hot dance times with Damon being about Damon. Aha, but it was not just from Elena's end that we are seeing the fail in their relationship. Oh, no, it's shining through loud and clear from Stefan's end as well.

First of all, these last few episodes have begun to highlight something that's always been there, but is *really* coming out in full force now. Stefan is selfish. Stefan is incredibly selfish. He truly is. He basically has two modes: real-Stefan, who when push comes to shove will do ANYTHING for Damon, and if Damon is not in danger, then it's all about what Stefan desires, and then there is image-projection-Stefan who expresses his one true desire to do all for Elena (even, when you know, again it's about what *he* wants). First off, he once again showed his underhanded fashion in making Elena think less of his brother. Asking her if she could count on Damon, allowing that he would help Jeremy for Elena, but not Matt and April. Never mind that Damon has already helped Matt. That Damon has helped Elena's friends before and not for Elena's sake. No, it was just Stefan trying to taint his brother in Elena's eyes... again.

And, of course, there's his selfishness when it comes to this cure business. All of this he's doing to get the cure has NOTHING TO DO WITH ELENA. Why? Because she doesn't know about it, so we don't know, Stefan doesn't know 100% what her choice would be. Maybe, knowing that Klaus is part of the package deal, she wouldn't want to subject her potential child, grandchild, great-great-great child who is the next doppelganger being controlled by Klaus. Maybe, *she* doesn't want to be controlled by Klaus. Is it most likely that yeah she would choose humanity with the hopes of getting around the Klaus thing? Sure. But Stefan doesn't know that.

All he knows is that HE wants Elena as a human, because let's face it, he doesn't love vampire-Elena. Clearly. He can tell Damon that he will always love Elena, but obviously, no, he won't because always implies a vampire Elena and he doesn't want her to be a vampire. He flat-out said that: "I don't want her to be." This isn't about Elena, it's all about Stefan and what Stefan wants. His love for Elena? Was proven tonight by his own words to be conditional. On the other hand, I believe that we had the line of the episode -- possibly the intent for this season, if not the series -- from Damon when he told Stefan that "I'm fine with her either way, brother." Because he is.

He likes Elena just as she is, human or vampire, but because he believes that Elena wants Stefan, and Stefan only wants a human Elena, Damon is agreeing to help Stefan on a quest to return Elena back to her human state. And I'm OK with him not telling Elena now because (a) it's not putting anyone else in danger, and (b) it looks like a wild-goose chase with little chance of leading to a cure. Trying to find some random Hunter among billions and billions of people as opposed to knowing the Hunter is right there is very different. Telling her this would get her hopes up with the possibility of no returns, and send her spiraling over the killing of Connor. Which was Stefan's fault. Because he should have told her. Period. But he didn't, because he's selfish.

And I don't see how one can watch these flow of episodes this season and now see how obviously this is being laid out. Stefan and Elena are not working. I mean, in this one, you had Damon assume at the start that Stefan was with Elena, and of course he wasn't. Damon also assumed that Elena would have told Stefan about what happened with the dirty dancing. She didn't. I thought this was a great way of showing, rather than telling, viewers that Stefan and Elena are not on the same page, and are going through the motions, that they are no longer this tight unit at all. To which I say: YAY!

Random thoughts --

- Short, sweet, but oh so hot. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Damon/Elena stake gun scene.

   

- The diary entries, oy vey! I rolled my eyes when they came out again, bemoaning that Stefan and Elena are *that* lame that they can't even talk to each other, and the only way to tell what's going on with them is through an inanimate object. After the episode, I spoke with sarcasticcheese and she mentioned that she read in a post-episode interview that Julie Plec essentially said that people in a functional relationship talk to each other. Stefan and Elena don't, thus the diaries. Ie., Stefan and Elena are NOT in a functional relationship. Uh huh.

- Another telling moment with regards to Stefan and Elena is how Stefan's actions had consequences in that she did not go to him for comfort while digging Connor's grave. She did not talk to him but to tell him to leave her alone later, and was home alone doing her freak-out there without him.

- And another telling moment with regards to Damon and Elena was when she referenced what happened last time with Jeremy: "Haven't WE already been here before with Jeremy? Isn't this why WE sent him to Denver?" WE = the two of them, Damon and Elena. (Remember, Ric was pretty much just a bystander in that decision.) And then that was furthered when Damon said that "Well, WE'll get him out of this and WE'll compel him down to the Bahamas." WE = D/E. Uh huh.

- Wow, Bonnie's scenes felt so useless and out of place in this episode. *sigh* And as much as I love Michael Narducci, he again pulled the stupid tease ploy that is so beneath this show. He did it in "The Last Dance" -- his first episode -- when he had Damon tell Jeremy "we need to talk" teasing that he was going to tell Jeremy Bonnie was dead, as opposed to where she was when it was sooo obvious. Here, the one lone stupid candle not being lit, but all the others were. That just makes you wonder why the one didn't light. Stupid. That one should have lit, given her a brief moment of happiness and then fall back with 'well, it was just one' then she looked around the room and saw the rest lit. Ah well.

- Speaking of Bonnie and the Professor. Erm, am I supposed to be getting romantic vibes here? I really, really hope not because it's creepy. He looks like he's fifteen or so years older than her and he's a PROFESSOR at a COLLEGE and she's a HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENT. CREEPY!

- ETA: I could have sworn I put this in here (I mentioned it elsewhere), but tams71 reminded me of something I thought of myself. What exactly happened during those seven hours she was under hypnosis? I mean, obviously, he most likely put latent hypnotic suggestions in her brain, but what suggestions? Hmm.....
- Still, I like this guy as a big bad way more than Todd Williams' Connor. I thought Connor was a cool idea, cool character, but the actor was so wooden and one-note, he brought nothing to the role. So, yay, I'm glad he's dead.

- And since he's dead, that's why Jeremy's tattoo is starting. And I'm guessing that Jeremy's hybrid-kill from last season is why the tattoo started? OK, then.

- Sure, he denied that he and Rebekah had a thing, but I liked that Matt now knows that she's missing and they are at least connected in someone's mind as a 'thing.' Also? Matt and Jeremy? Humans of the show? Were awesome. They were not passive bystanders. So proud of those two!


- As for Caroline -- ugh, ugh, ugh! Other than a few moments in the one scene with the group, her story was once again all about boy issues and she played practically no part in the bigger, more important story going on. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

- I was NOT a fan of Phoebe Tonkin on The Secret Circle, giving the credit for the character's success to the fact that hers was the only one with snappy dialogue. When I found out she was joining this show, I was not a happy camper because I thought little of her. I wasn't impressed in her first appearance. In this one? I want her gone yesterday. So not a strong actress. AT ALL.

- Heh, Damon wasn't gonna kill Stefan. Hah! Him threatening to rip out Stefan's heart was so the vampire version of older brother bullying.

- I have one other Narducci complaint! Damnit, man, you are the reliable source for my Damon/Jeremy crack! If Jeremy is in the episode, I've always been assured of getting some gooood Damon/Jeremy stuff if your name is in the credits. But this one? Pfft! Except for a few lines that hinted that way, there just wasn't much. *sigh* I'll have to take the Bahamas line and Damon's urging to get Bonnie out of retirement to save Jeremy as my only solace. :sniff sniff:

- I loved that April got the vervain bracelet. Yeah, baby! I like her. I don't love her, but I like her.

- One small Damon thing that I loved, and maybe I was the only one who thought this, but when Stefan told Damon there was a cure for vampirism and Damon repeated it back there was more than just surprise in his voice, I swear there was a teeny bit of hope. Hope that was there on his face as well, and I just couldn't help but flashback to him confessing to Jessica, his roadside victim in "The Descent," that his big secret is that he misses being human. And Stefan telling him that in that moment opened the floodgate, even if only briefly, of that desire that Damon has to be human again. Something that we know no one else not only knows, but has absolutely zero clue about and would never guess.

- Aha! I called it! Elena would the episode title's "killer." Pertinent line: Well, the next episode is called "The Killer." I keep wondering if the killer will turn out to be Elena. Aha!

- Finally, a moment to praise Nina Dobrev and Elena Fucking Gilbert. When it really hit Elena that she had killed someone, Dobrev did an outstanding job selling that moment. Just fabulous, she had me tearing up a bit.


Because I love Elena. Like lots. And this episode gave me lots of reason to love her. Namely that she was so pro-active. She was not going to sit back and be the passive damsel-in-distress. She had a plan, she didn't go rushing headlong into danger without thinking (despite that being her first instinct) but listened to Damon's advice. And then she went into action. Did she take a little turn in the Grill and lose her prey momentarily? Yes, but she still did it. I know, I know, she considered it losing control, and she did and she was devastated by it, but (a) she's not as weak as Stefan thinks because she didn't turn the switch off, boom! right away, and (b) she still took action and she was awesome!

So, overall, very good episode and one that proves that last week's less-than-stellar outing was less-than-stellar due entirely to the direction because the narrative was there and beautifully followed through tonight. Bring on next week! WOOHOO!

And once more for the road. I appreciate any comments so much, but if you are going to comment, please, please remember NO SPOILERS. I'm not reading them. I'm not looking at episode stills. I'm not reading episode synopses. I'm not looking at extended previews or webclips either. I'm not doing spoilers at all. Thank you. :)
 
 
 
x5vale: bloodsharingx5vale on November 9th, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
I felt so relieved after this episode. It was a very strong one for the two relationship I am more invested in: Damon/Stefan and Damon/Elena.

I really think Damon did no wrong in this episode and Stefan is realizing that he is losing Elena.
Arabian: Damon & Elena19arabian on November 9th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
I think it's not only that Stefan realizes he's losing her, but that he doesn't want to keep *this* Elena. But then I don't think this Elena is how she is because she's a vampire... but rather that this is the young woman she's growing into, and Stefan missed a lot of that growth when he was gone not only physically in season 03 but also emotionally.

I felt so relieved after this episode.

I can't really say I was relieved because I really was so absolutely sure it was the direction and not the narrative. I am quite pleased about that being the case for sure though.
hotarujazzhotarujazz on November 9th, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you said but I want to point out one thing I think you overlooked! I interpreted Elena's kill as perfectly in her character and it had nothing to do with losing control or being a vampire other than as a vampire she was strong enough to do it while as a human she wouldn't be.
Evidence for that:
1.) The kill wasn't about feeding or anger, it was about Jeremy's safety. It was quite obvious to her at that point that the hunter was gonna continue to target Jeremy in some way and the only way to stop it was to kill him. This is the only logical conclusion based on what she knew as you pointed out in your post.
2.) She didn't drain him of blood, she broke his neck. Ergo, she didn't lose control, she was perfectly in control.Not to mention that she actually had a conversation with him before she did the deed.
I firmly stand behind the claim that Elena would have done the same thing in that situation even as a human because no matter how much Elena appreciated human life, she would always chose Jeremy's safety over anyone else.
I frankly don't see how show can believably restore Stelena as an epic love of the show after Stefan's statements this episode. It clearly shows that Stefan doesn't love Elena, he loves his human image of Katherine from 1864 that he thought he got when he saved her from that car crash. I don't see how anyone can ship them after this episode,
Arabian: Stefan & Katherine01arabian on November 9th, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
I interpreted Elena's kill as perfectly in her character and it had nothing to do with losing control

Oh, *I* don't think she lost control, but ELENA believes she did and that way it is kind of out of control. Whatever her reason was for killing him or how she did it, she didn't intend to kill him intellectually despite what Damon told her. It was in the moment that the reality -- which you pointed out -- hit her and she basically did what had to be done. But because she didn't really think she could go there, to her that was losing control. Until Elena accepts that part of her she is doing something that she doesn't feel is in control. It's convoluted but Elena's kinda all kinds messed up right now.

I frankly don't see how show can believably restore Stelena as an epic love of the show after Stefan's statements this episode. I

I don't think there is an intention to do so. I haven't thought it since the second episode. I had hoped we were going there after the premiere, but the second episode pretty much made that hope fly free. I think this season's purpose was to set up that Stefan/Elena are not it for each other, but Damon and Elena are. That's why I'm so OK with her not having chosen Damon. Had she chosen Damon, she would have gone into a relationship with him with things unresolved and left open and hopeful with Stefan. This closes the door.

It clearly shows that Stefan doesn't love Elena, he loves his human image of Katherine from 1864 that he thought he got when he saved her from that car crash.

For me, so much of what Stefan has with Elena is wrapped up in his Katherine-issues. I've always felt that Stefan loves Elena because (to paraphrase The Princess Bride) she's the "good parts version" of Katherine. Or at least she was in Stefan's mind.

I don't see how anyone can ship them after this episode,

People will; they still will. I don't see how people could ship them after countless other episodes, but they do. Just like people don't see how we can ship D/E after countless things that Damon has done. To each their own; we just have a way lot more own on our side. :)

Edited at 2012-11-09 12:50 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - hotarujazz on November 9th, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sarcasticcheese on November 9th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hotarujazz on November 9th, 2012 01:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sarcasticcheese on November 9th, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hotarujazz on November 9th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tams71 on November 9th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
archangel_blood: Elena mirrorarchangel_blood on November 9th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
Looks like we are in agreement again :) I was happy with the episode. First and foremost, it seemed that trust was a leitmotif of sorts, and they really tried to get across a certain point; namely, Elena trusts Damon; Elena does not trust Stefan. Full stop. Yes, this has been a recurring theme since the very start, slowly building and evolving, but last night it felt especially purposeful. We were told and shown this in so many different ways within the span of one episode that I’m now really curious where this is all going. Hopefully to the inevitable huge fallout between S/E. Her body language, her words, the way she looks at Stefan and Damon – it all screams that she does not trust her boyfriend. Yet she is immediately ready to do whatever Damon tells her they need to do, because of several reasons: D/E were in complete accord from the get-go (it probably has something to do with the fact that Damon and Elena are basically the same person, no? :D; they have an inherent understanding and a strong, bone deep, almost instinctive bond, built entirely on mutual trust; S/E’s whole relationship is essentially one big lie; it started with deceit and developed, as both of them kept feeding it with lies, pretense and dishonesty. Stefan and Elena refuse to acknowledge it, of course, but their actions speak louder than ever – they are both aware what a fragile sand castle their relationship is, and neither of them trusts the other at all.

And yes, this episode showed exactly why I love Elena so much. She is badass, man, she really is. I’d say that it’s Damon who brings out the best in her, but it’s more than just that. I do believe that the Elena we saw last night is who she really is. The girl she is when Stefan is around is simply not her; it’s who she thinks she should be, and tries to be for his sake, but she is just not this perfectly frail damsel in distress, helpless and tame. This is just accentuated by her lame statement that she wasn’t herself when she (supposedly “dirty”) danced with Damon; always desperately looking for excuses whenever her real self shines through – it’s not me, I was high on blood, etc. It makes me sad for her how she feels she needs to be someone she is not for Stefan.

Which leads us to the highlight of the night for me – Stefan and Damon’s conversation about Elena and the cure. I agree, this was possibly one the most important things we have been shown on screen since the whole triangle drama started. It was something we have always known, and TVD just made it canon: Stefan simply cannot love Elena as fully and unconditionally as Damon does. He loves a certain image of Elena he has created in his head and he needs her to fit this image; he is therefore ready to go to extreme lengths to revert her back to his perfect Elena, the one he is able to love. And all the while he will maintain that he is doing it for her own good, because he is Stefan.

Damon on the other hand, he loves every possible way, shape and form Elena comes in, human, vampire, wild child, even the stuck up version of her who Stefan wants so much, because Damon cannot not love her. Just as Elena can’t help but love him, whether she wants to or not. That’s the beauty of these two, IMO.

The end of S/E is near now; you can just see it in the way their relationship is being deconstructed at the moment. I just hope that you’re right and Damon’s decision to work with Stefan & keep it a secret from Elena doesn’t blow up in his face.

So, overall, very good episode and one that proves that last week's less-than-stellar outing was less-than-stellar due entirely to the direction because the narrative was there and beautifully followed through tonight.

Yes, and we were absolutely right. High five! :D
Arabian: Elena06arabian on November 11th, 2012 06:07 am (UTC)
PART 1 --

First and foremost, it seemed that trust was a leitmotif of sorts, and they really tried to get across a certain point; namely, Elena trusts Damon; Elena does not trust Stefan. Full stop.

Yup. The fact that they had conversations shared between Elena and the two brothers that were similar enough in some cases, and pretty much the *exact* same conversation was telling. Because we saw in startling clarity the trust level she has with both brothers.

Yes, this has been a recurring theme since the very start, slowly building and evolving, but last night it felt especially purposeful.

Yup, like it’s leading to something. I sure hope so!

Hopefully to the inevitable huge fallout between S/E.

Hope springs eternal! I don’t need Damon and Elena together right now. In fact, I’m totally fine with Elena being single for a while… but she and Stefan need to break up YESTERDAY!

D/E were in complete accord from the get-go (it probably has something to do with the fact that Damon and Elena are basically the same person, no? :D; they have an inherent understanding and a strong, bone deep, almost instinctive bond, built entirely on mutual trust; S/E’s whole relationship is essentially one big lie; it started with deceit and developed, as both of them kept feeding it with lies, pretense and dishonesty. Stefan and Elena refuse to acknowledge it, of course, but their actions speak louder than ever – they are both aware what a fragile sand castle their relationship is, and neither of them trusts the other at all.

Just this, this, this… ALL OF THIS! EVERY WORD!

And yes, this episode showed exactly why I love Elena so much. She is badass, man, she really is. I’d say that it’s Damon who brings out the best in her, but it’s more than just that. I do believe that the Elena we saw last night is who she really is.

I agree, but I come to it at a different conclusion that you do.

The girl she is when Stefan is around is simply not her; it’s who she thinks she should be, and tries to be for his sake, but she is just not this perfectly frail damsel in distress, helpless and tame.

Here’s where I do disagree. I think the Elena that we began to see with Stefan gone, and with Damon, and now as a vampire is a combination of the Elena before her parents’ death: One who had fun, was a bit naughty, broke some rules, but was essentially a good person. With Stefan, she was the broken girl who was dead inside, who didn’t want to have fun – because having fun led to her parents’ death in her mind, who felt she had to put everyone she loved ahead of her because, hey, she was supposed to die that night after all so their lives are more important than hers. The girl who has the weight of her parents’ death on her shoulders, the weight of all of the tragedy she’s endured since then weighing her down.

The Elena we are seeing now – the one that Stefan doesn’t really know (or clearly love) – is an Elena who is allowing herself to have fun, to be naughty, to not always do the right thing, but tempered by all that has happened to her. Who she was with Stefan IS a part of Elena, however, it’s just one part of her and with Stefan she was only allowing herself to be that part of herself. Much like Stefan only allows himself to be “good” Stefan.

God, how can anyone think about the actuality of these characters and their relationship and not see how horribly unhealthy they are and how very bad they are for one another? Ugh!

always desperately looking for excuses whenever her real self shines through – it’s not me, I was high on blood, etc. It makes me sad for her how she feels she needs to be someone she is not for Stefan.

Yup, I agree completely with this.

I agree, this was possibly one the most important things we have been shown on screen since the whole triangle drama started. It was something we have always known, and TVD just made it canon: Stefan simply cannot love Elena as fully and unconditionally as Damon does.

Yup, yup, yup! They didn’t even hint at it, they just FLAT-OUT laid it out there! BOOM!

TBC
(no subject) - archangel_blood on November 12th, 2012 11:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 12th, 2012 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - archangel_blood on November 12th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 13th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 06:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
tams71: pic#97498213tams71 on November 9th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
Part One:

Killer episode and yes, the pun was intended ;)

This episode was waaaaaaay better than last week’s and Chris Grismer’s direction was a key element. I love when he directs episodes because he GETS it. He knows the characters and he knows how to get them to the place they need to be. BRAVO!

I could not agree with you more about what you said about Elena implicitly trusting Damon in contrast to her not trusting Stefan at all. Smart girl/woman/vamp! Stefan, while he lets her “make” decisions, keeps secrets supposedly for her own good, lies to her, and basically feeds her a line of bull shit pretty much every time he opens his mouth. Damon on the other hand is honest with her, sometimes too honest, clues her in even when he clearly does not want to do so, and opens her eyes to things that she is trying not to see or that other people are keeping her in the dark about. Damon by far is the better one to place her trust in.

I LOVED that you highlighted the fact that both Damon and Elena were in TEAM US/WE mode. They truly are a team, even when they have those you are an asshole/idiot/childish/fill in the blank moments.

when Damon told her she couldn't defend herself, she argued with him using facts and then she showed him with action -- and hello! HOT!, ooh, that look on his face, he was loving vamp!Elena in action!!

Hella HOT scene! Damon loves Vamp!Elena and once she accepts that this is who she is now and does not let Stefan’s desire for her not to be this person or righteous indignation from Bonnie or whoever make her feel ashamed or nay less of a person then she’ll love Vamp!Elena too and enjoy the hell out of it!

Kick ass Vamp!Elena is awesome. Long may she reign! Passive Human!Elena was annoying. Latah!

Stefan is selfish. Stefan is incredibly selfish. He truly is. He basically has two modes: real-Stefan, who when push comes to shove will do ANYTHING for Damon, and if Damon is not in danger, then it's all about what Stefan desires, and then there is image-projection-Stefan who expresses his one true desire to do all for Elena (even, when you know, again it's about what *he* wants).

So true! Stefan is a selfish and self-righteous douche bag. Stefan does not want/love Vamp!Elena, he wants/loves the human version of Elena who is loving, caring, compassionate, and selfless. What he doesn’t get, that Damon clearly gets, is that Vamp!Elena and Human!Elena are one in the same and that the emotions and actions that Vamp!Elena is dealing with and working through were in Human!Elena all along. This is exactly why Damon and Elena are perfect for each other. Damon accepts and loves Elena for who she is, not what she represents.

The diary entries, oy vey! I rolled my eyes when they came out again.

Totally rolled my eyes too. Really do we have to go there again? I know they are meant to show the distance and deterioration of Stefan and Elena’s relationship, but I could do without them.

What are they doing to my Caroline? I am over it! Bring Klaus back so my girl can have some meat in her story. Being relegated to boyfriend prop was so season one Caroline. Come on show runners!

Hayley can go away now! Connor, it was nice knowing ya, but buh bye, and Professor Creepy, although I’m interested to see where his story leads, the creepy vibe I was getting from that scene was not to my liking. What happened in those lost seven hours? I want to know, but then again I don’t…


Arabian: Damon11arabian on November 11th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC)
Killer episode and yes, the pun was intended ;)

Heh.

This episode was waaaaaaay better than last week’s and Chris Grismer’s direction was a key element.

Yup. I’ve never seen a director make such a difference in making an episode fail and seeing how this one continued what we saw in 1-2-3, with narrative in 4, is very telling how very much fail Butler gave us in 4.

Stefan, while he lets her “make” decisions, keeps secrets supposedly for her own good, lies to her, and basically feeds her a line of bull shit pretty much every time he opens his mouth.

Yup. And the worst part is that he appears to be completely convinced that he is not doing anything wrong.

Damon on the other hand is honest with her, sometimes too honest, clues her in even when he clearly does not want to do so, and opens her eyes to things that she is trying not to see or that other people are keeping her in the dark about. Damon by far is the better one to place her trust in.

Agreed. I am worried though with regards to what’s going to happen with Damon not telling her about The Five now.

I LOVED that you highlighted the fact that both Damon and Elena were in TEAM US/WE mode.

It was so prevalent in this episode. I LOVED it.

Hella HOT scene!

Seriously, how was that so hot?! I don’t know, but it was.

Kick ass Vamp!Elena is awesome. Long may she reign! Passive Human!Elena was annoying. Latah!

Well, see I’m fine with Passive Human!Elena as being a part of Elena still because that does temper the Kickass Vamp!Elena, and I do think she needs tempering. As much as I do adore Damon, he goes too far. I don’t want Elena going too far.

What he doesn’t get, that Damon clearly gets, is that Vamp!Elena and Human!Elena are one in the same and that the emotions and actions that Vamp!Elena is dealing with and working through were in Human!Elena all along.

Yes. Which is what I was kinda getting at above in that I love both parts of Elena, kick-ass vamp and passive human.
This is exactly why Damon and Elena are perfect for each other. Damon accepts and loves Elena for who she is, not what she represents.

Yes. It’s true and real.

Totally rolled my eyes too. Really do we have to go there again? I know they are meant to show the distance and deterioration of Stefan and Elena’s relationship, but I could do without them.

I guess the problem is that who would they talk to? It *should* be Caroline or Bonnie, but Caroline (understandable to me) is so stuck in her rah!rah!rah! Stefan mode, she’s not team-Elena enough. She’s team-Elena-who-should-be-with-Stefan. And while I do think that Bonnie has made major strides, she’s still pretty iffy on the whole vampire thing because it’s embedded in her witchy soul to hate vampires. She can't talk to Matt because he feels so guilty for living which is why Elena is having her vamp problems. And with Stefan… well, other than Caroline – who he is mostly honest with – he has no one to talk to because he’s kept his real self hidden from everyone. And as honest as he is with Caroline, she is still one of Elena’s best friend and wouldn’t understand his issue. There’s Damon, who does know Stefan, but Damon is part of the problem because as much as he’d like to deny it, Elena DOES have those feelings for Damon.

So, the show kinda boxed itself in a corner by denying Elena (and Stefan) anyone to actually talk to about this stuff. So, out come the diaries. Still, yeah, eye-roll worthy, LOL!

What are they doing to my Caroline? I am over it! Bring Klaus back [...]

I like the chemistry, but honestly the idea of Caroline being ever anything with Klaus does kinda repulse me. And it WILL likely make me turn against the character because how can she be OK in any way, shape or form with Klaus and still treat Damon the way she does? But, yes, Tyler and that relationship is THE worst thing that ever happened to this character.

What happened in those lost seven hours? I want to know, but then again I don’t…

I could have sworn I mentioned that, but alas, I did not, so I’m glad you did. I assume he implanted some hypnosis suggestions… the question is what kind? Hmm…
tams71: pic#97498213tams71 on November 9th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Part II:

That whole Dean the Hybrid getting nailed (sorry, couldn’t help it) was all kinds of ewwwww. The instant he started to get up, all I could think about was Hellraiser. Have you seen the guy in that movie? Yeah, it was gross. I swear TVD is amping up the gross/disgusting factor with its special effects this year. Blood, guts, decapitated heads, oh my!

Matt and Jeremy killed it! They are badass humans! I am so intrigued to see how both their stories play out. Both actors are amazing and doing a stellar job!

Damon being the bully big brother was all kinds of fantastical! That almost heart ripping out was well-deserved though. That’s what you get for being a lying, deceptive douche lord Stefan!

I still miss Rebekah and references to her crush me :( I love that April is so worried. IT's nice to see someone truly care.

I’m still not sure how I feel about April, but I must admit, she’s starting to kinda grow on me. I’m glad that Jeremy gave her his vervain bracelet because compelled April is annoying.

Nina flucking Dobrev was all kinds of amazing! Watching her in that Damon/Elena scene, watching her kick Connor’s ass, and that scene where she broke down while burying Connor, OMG! Perfection! It’s so good to see her really have some great Elena material that lets her truly shine.

- One small Damon thing that I loved, and maybe I was the only one who thought this, but when Stefan told Damon there was a cure for vampirism and Damon repeated it back there was more than just surprise in his voice, I swear there was a teeny bit of hope. Hope that was there on his face as well, and I just couldn't help but flashback to him confessing to Jessica, his roadside victim in "The Descent," that his big secret is that he misses being human. And Stefan telling him that in that moment opened the floodgate, even if only briefly, of that desire that Damon has to be human again. Something that we know no one else not only knows, but has absolutely zero clue about and would never guess.

OMG yes! You were not the only one. My mind immediately went to that scene and now if this cure is found, I want Damon to be the one to turn. Imagine the ramifications and the amazing story telling that would be going on, OMG! Ian would knock that shit out of the park!
Arabian: Damon06arabian on November 11th, 2012 06:46 am (UTC)
That whole Dean the Hybrid getting nailed (sorry, couldn’t help it) was all kinds of ewwwww.

I think I have this weird threshold for not being grossed out, because that kinda stuff (like the head-chaining off last week) didn’t gross me out at all, LOL!

all I could think about was Hellraiser. Have you seen the guy in that movie? Yeah, it was gross.

I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen pictures. Until you said it, I didn’t think so, but I can see it now.
I swear TVD is amping up the gross/disgusting factor with its special effects this year. Blood, guts, decapitated heads, oh my!

I would not disagree with this observation.

Matt and Jeremy killed it! They are badass humans! I am so intrigued to see how both their stories play out. Both actors are amazing and doing a stellar job!

Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that either are amazing. I think McQueen is very good, and Roerig has strong moments, but overall he’s good. However, I do think that Matt and Jeremy are amazing and I wouldn’t want anyone else playing them. They were awesome in this episode (and I’m sad that no one commented on my slo-moing of their walk, LOL!)

Damon being the bully big brother was all kinds of fantastical! That almost heart ripping out was well-deserved though. That’s what you get for being a lying, deceptive douche lord Stefan!
Yup. I just didn’t have a problem with that at all because Damon so would not have done it, he was just basically giving Stefan a very painful vampire wedgie. Which Stefan deserved.

I still miss Rebekah and references to her crush me :( I love that April is so worried. IT's nice to see someone truly care.

Matt does! He’s just in denial, damnit!!! {sobs} Yes, I miss her too. I want her undaggered NOW!

I’m still not sure how I feel about April, but I must admit, she’s starting to kinda grow on me. I’m glad that Jeremy gave her his vervain bracelet because compelled April is annoying.

I didn’t find her annoying, but I agree I’m glad she was vervained. It will be interesting to see who tries to compel her first with no success. Hmm….

Nina fucking Dobrev was all kinds of amazing! Watching her in that Damon/Elena scene, watching her kick Connor’s ass, and that scene where she broke down while burying Connor, OMG! Perfection! It’s so good to see her really have some great Elena material that lets her truly shine.

This episode (especially that breaking down scene) made up for the awful laughter-to-tears from the premiere. She was ON FIYAH! Tonight.

OMG yes! You were not the only one.

I am so glad that I wasn’t the only one who was reminded of that 2.12 scene.

My mind immediately went to that scene and now if this cure is found, I want Damon to be the one to turn. Imagine the ramifications and the amazing story telling that would be going on, OMG! Ian would knock that shit out of the park!

That would be AMAZING. So, so, soooooooo amazing. And then he could decide to turn again to save Elena (or Jeremy) or something.
(Anonymous) on November 9th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
I love this whole post, I'm in complete agreement. Such a great episode! On the not trusting Stefan thing: Notice how at the grill when Jeremy told her someone might have compelled him to forget a day spent with Connor - Elena said she knew who that was? I got the sense her mind immeaditely went to: Stefan, the untrustworthy (sometimes compelled by Klaus) one.
Arabian: Elena07arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
I love this whole post

Thank you. And, yeah, it was a great episode, definitely.

Notice how at the grill when Jeremy told her someone might have compelled him to forget a day spent with Connor - Elena said she knew who that was? I got the sense her mind immeaditely went to: Stefan

I actually worried it was Damon at first, so I totally have to rewatch that part, but a lot of people were thinking she was thinking of Stefan. I definitely like that take better. :)
A lurking goblin marionettedanceinacircle on November 9th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
In the books, Alaric is the college professor, and yes, he totally gets together with Meredith, who sadly is not a character in the books (which sucks cause she's awesome.) So I'm happy they didn't use the book-Alaric, but sad that they brought The Creepy Professor into it.
Arabian: Booksarabian on November 11th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
I haven't read the books, and while they are obviously taking bits and pieces from the books, it's just as clear that they aren't using it for a template for plot or character.
Florencia: DEflorencia7 on November 10th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
I love how I don't even need to think after watching an episode, because I know that I will read all of my thoughts (AND all the thoughts I should be having) in your reaction posts! ♥

The trust scene. It almost looked like Elena felt she owed telling Stefan she trusted him. She *pretended* she trusted him for HIS sake, not because she actually did.

I loved the recurring DE = US! ♥ And did Elena bring up Denver just like that??? O____O Yay! ^^ I also loved how angry Elena got when she realized Stefan compelled Jeremy. Only Damon's allowed to do so (at her request). Doesn't Stefan know the Basic Gilbert Household Rules?? lol

I loved how Elena made her stand with both Damon and Stefan BUT in such tellingly different ways. Both scenes were so wonderfully filled with all the right details and hints.

SE = beautiful disaster. I can't help but marvel at how prettily they're falling apart. It's almost too good to be true lol (And to make things even better, isn't there a spoiler about a couple breaking up very soon? I thought it was Caroline/Tyler for sure, but now that she seemed to buy into his explanation + it seems that Tyler is telling the truth, I'm thinking maybe it won't be them, after all?)

”It was a quick moment, but when he reached for her arm the second time, she paused and looked down at his hand touching her, momentarily affected.” - I noticed that too!!! I may miss everything while watching an episode except all the tiniest DE-related quasi-existent details lol

Damon/Stefan final scene was fantastic for many reasons, but I especially loved how they made it blatantly clear that Damon loves Elena. Period. Not a particular kind of Elena. Just ELENA. Stefan, on the other hand... It may be my English grammar incompetence facilitating overinterpretation here, but when Stefan in response to Damon's question if he *can* love vamp!Elena said “I will always love her”, didn't it have that conditional future vibe, as in, “I may not quite love her right now but I WILL fix her, therefore I WILL continue to love/be back to loving her soon”? He could have said “I love her and I will always love her” but instead he just said the latter so it's got me thinking ;)

Side note: I think someone should tell Damon there are better books to read out there than Twilight, Jonathan Gilbert's journals and Stefan's diaries lol

Shallow note: At this point I don't see how SEx happening in 4x06 or 4x07 is even remotely plausible and would 4x08 still count as “early in the season”? #iwatchfortheplot

Edit: AH I forgot to add: there was DEFINITELY hope on Damon's face when the cure was mentioned. I loved loved loved that moment and I'm SO curious how this will all play out.

I always have such a blast reading your thoughts! :D Thank you for sharing them ♥

Edited at 2012-11-10 01:16 am (UTC)
Arabian: Damon & Elena05arabian on November 10th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
PLEASE NO SPOILERS. I'm not reading them, I'm not looking at ep stills, I'm not reading episode synposes. I'm not doing spoilers at all. You know I love you bunches, but I'm sitting here whining because I now know a spoiler that I won't be able to stop thinking about. Two actually because I had no clue that Elena/sex was supposed to happen early in the season. *sigh*

I also loved how angry Elena got when she realized Stefan compelled Jeremy.

I really have to watch that scene again because at the moment, I thought she was thinking of Damon, but realized later, she was thinking of Stefan.

I loved how Elena made her stand with both Damon and Stefan BUT in such tellingly different ways. Both scenes were so wonderfully filled with all the right details and hints.

That really, really got me in how it was the same information but so telling in her response. And, yes, it totally seemed as if Elena was telling Stefan she trusted him for HIS benefit, not because she did.

I see your take on the Stefan "I will always love her," I took it as more of him just answering the question without answering it really. Like a general, vague way. But I like your take too.

I forgot to add: there was DEFINITELY hope on Damon's face when the cure was mentioned. I loved loved loved that moment and I'm SO curious how this will all play out.

Glad to know that others saw that as well. Whee!

Onto next week. :D
(no subject) - florencia7 on November 10th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - laudanumdream on November 11th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
eolivet on November 10th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
(Wait, can I just say: WTF was TVD doing using Fitz and Olivia's S1 theme music in that Damon/Stefan scene?! I mean...WHAT?! That gave that scene an undertone I did NOT need, especially with them soulfully looking into each other's eyes. When shows collide!!! Anyway... ;)

A few weeks ago, I ventured into Television Without Pity (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) but they talked about something called "protagonist-centered morality" -- a TV trope where basically we see the show from the protagonist's POV and not an "objective" POV. That if the protagonist does something that is "objectively" wrong, if it was "right" by the code of the protagonist's morality (which is thus, the show's morality), the show will present it as such.

That was incredibly evident in this episode, with Stefan -- and it continues to make me nervous. Because from an objective POV, he IS being selfish, he IS acting on Elena's behalf without asking her first -- but yet, I don't see the show condemning him (not yet anyway). The show is painting it as if he is acting in Elena's best interest. I mean, just the fact that Stefan wouldn't give up this secret UNTIL DAMON RIPPED HIS HEART OUT-ISH (which puts Stefan in a more sympathetic light)...IDK.

One thing that became very clear this ep is (if it wasn't evident before) Elena is MUCH more like Damon than she is like Stefan (just from the mere fact that she killed the vampire hunter that Damon wanted to. She became angry and impulsive, just as we've seen Damon do. She's a hot-blooded, not a cold-blooded killer like Stefan). But I still worry the show is presenting this in a more negative light. Heck, after she embraced her Damon-ness, she did exactly what Stefan predicted: freaked out and the guilt almost overwhelmed her (which WAS excellent acting, you're totally right). Just like last week, she embraced her Damon-ness and wound up crying about it, too. It's just something I'm side-eyeing, because I just don't trust J-Plec (and I'm nothing if not a paranoid shipper! :p )

Re: Bonnie and Professor Shane -- I found it interesting they styled her much older than I think we've seen her styled before. Her hair was done, she had makeup on and a pretty sleeveless (?) dress. I actually kept thinking if I didn't know she was 18 -- based on the ages of the actress and the actor who plays Shane, I would buy them as a legit couple. It's the whole "she's a high school student" thing that makes it icky. But I did think they had chemistry. Just...not sure what to make of it. :/

I know you're not Tyler's biggest fan, but it was kind of awesome when he let Klaus think he cheated on Caroline vs. finding out about helping other hybrids. Pulling one over on Klaus is kind of awesome, Tyler. Now go die heroically, kthx
Arabian: Damon & Elena03arabian on November 10th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Nah, it's been proven time and time again that DAMON is this show's truthteller and if he isn't down with Stefan's antics and is subtly calling him out for being a selfish douche, then yeah,Stefan is making it all about himself. That's what we're getting. I mean, come on, Stefan is working WITH Klaus. Period. Stefan is not in the right, nor is he being portrayed as such. Stefan is the ONLY one who is seeing himself as selfless and noble and worthy of trust. This is NOT Stefan's story. It's Elena's and then Damon's -- and they're both not down for this shit. BOTH of them called him on it to various degrees in this episode.

she did exactly what Stefan predicted

Actually, no, she did exactly as DAMON predicted. Damon predicted she WOULD kill someone eventually, she would freak out, so let's get it done and over with and deal with it now so that we can get along to the dealing with process. Stefan predicted that (a) she wouldn't kill someone, and (b) oh, if she did, that she's too weak, guilt would overwhelm her and she would flip her humanity switch right away. THAT was Stefan's prediction. He was wrong. Damon was right. That's how little Stefan thinks of Elena's strength. Now, could it happen? Could she still flip her switch? Absolutely. And I kinda expect that to happen at some point, but it's not going down at all in the way Stefan predicted.

In fact, if Elena wasn't with Stefan right now, heck, if Stefan hadn't been with Damon when she was found burying Connor, Damon would have comforted; Damon would have said/done the right thing. He didn't... because it's not his place. That's Stefan's job. Which he failed at!

I just don't trust J-Plec

I don't trust her interviews, or basically anything she says to "promote" the show because she lives in this weird mindset where she has to say whatever she has to say to get the fanbases to watch whether it matches the reality of what is on screen or not. I trust her to tell this story because just looking at the evolution of the Stefan/Elena story, the Damon/Elena story, Elena's character, Stefan's, Damon's, etc. all of it makes sense, follows through and clearly points to where they are leading. (Yes, even the maligned second half of season 03 when one takes into account the actual story they were telling as opposed to the one D/E feverish fans -- myself included -- wanted to happen.) Spoiler alert! It ain't Stefan/Elena.

Re: Bonnie/Shane. But I want Bonnie/Jeremy, and eww! He's a college professor, she's a high-school student. EWW!

t was kind of awesome when he let Klaus think he cheated on Caroline vs. finding out about helping other hybrids

No, I do agree. But you know what I agree with more?

Now go die heroically, kthx

THIS! :D


Edited at 2012-11-10 04:26 am (UTC)
jamdourado: pic#111516876jamdourado on November 10th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC)
This episode was so good. I just love seeing Elena being badass!!!
Like you said, this episode showed SE being distant and hiding things from each other and no trust and it's the opposite of DE. Te scene she straddles Damon OMG!! I just loved, and for his little smile he loved it too.
I think next episode things will look worse for SE, I hope we have her confronting Stefan about the compulsion he did to Jeremy.
Arabian: Damon & Elena09arabian on November 11th, 2012 05:49 am (UTC)
Badass!Elena! is awesome! :D

Yup, S/E distant, not connecting, not talking was so portrayed as the opposite of D/E. LOVES! :D

The scene she straddles Damon OMG!! I just loved, and for his little smile he loved it too.

Seriously, how was that moment SO HOT!?

I think next episode things will look worse for SE

I'm trying very hard to not having any expectations. I'd like to see things get worse, but I'm still thinking of the fact that she always forgives Stefan super-fast. (Well, she forgives everyone fast, but yeah, with Stefan, it's super-fast). So I'm prepared if they go that route. And staying spoiler-free so I have no clue.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on November 11th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 11th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
vanimy: Damonvanimy on November 12th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
PART ONE

This episode was... weird. I liked it much more than last week's but I can't say it was my favorite of the season. After reading your review I realized there were a lot of things that were great in this episode but there's something I can't put my finger on that stopped me from being all like 'Such a great episode!' IDK.

Anyway....

Better than last week's definitely. I think you were right about the whole direction thing from last week's episode because this one felt perfectly in character and the earlier narrative flow.

Weirdly enough I wasn't that annoyed with Stefan this week even though he was really all kinds of shady all episode long. Perhaps the lack of Stefan/Elena eyerolling material or the Damon/Stefan ending scene. IDK. *shrugs*

Let's start with a compare/contrast between both brothers asking Elena to trust them (Damon in "Homecoming," and Stefan here).

Ooh, nice catch. I didn't think of comparing the two but I did catch her hesitation before responding to Stefan but wow this is OBVIOUS.

In a crisis situation that involves the person she loves most (Jeremy), she sides with Damon. And Damon was in that same team-us (us=Damon/Elena) mode as well. After Stefan struck Damon down, and he woke up, he said to Elena "he's playing us." US -- in action mode, Damon was thinking of the two of them as a team, separate from Stefan, and Elena didn't disagree.

Yeah, I caught that too, the whole WE thing and US thing and I LOVED it. It was like they were back to how they were functioning in early season 3 and I love it because they make such a great team. Also had Stefan not stolen Damon's ring I'm sure a lot of things could have been avoided. Like Elena killing Connor. *shakes head at Stefan's stupidity*

And then, of course, in the end, she flat-out tells Stefan that she doesn't trust him... something that was clear in so many ways throughout the episode.

Can't even begin to tell how much I loved that line. FINALLY.

Everything we are seeing (minus the directional fail last week, *sigh*) is making it clear that Stefan and Elena are not what they were. They can not go back. She trusts Damon more than Stefan. She also wants Damon. It was a quick moment, but when he reached for her arm the second time, she paused and looked down at his hand touching her, momentarily affected.

Oooh, didn't catch that one. I have to rewatch.

Uh huh. And, of course, after sitting astride him to prove her vampire skills, she didn't get up any time soon, did she?

LOL, good point.

First of all, these last few episodes have begun to highlight something that's always been there, but is *really* coming out in full force now. Stefan is selfish. Stefan is incredibly selfish. He truly is. He basically has two modes: real-Stefan, who when push comes to shove will do ANYTHING for Damon,

Hehe because we all know Damon is the real love of Stefan's life (well, him and Klaus of course :P).

and if Damon is not in danger, then it's all about what Stefan desires, and then there is image-projection-Stefan who expresses his one true desire to do all for Elena (even, when you know, again it's about what *he* wants). First off, he once again showed his underhanded fashion in making Elena think less of his brother. Asking her if she could count on Damon, allowing that he would help Jeremy for Elena, but not Matt and April.

Yeah, I disliked that bit. Like Damon would barge in there, save Jeremy and leave Matt and April to die? *rolls eyes*

Arabian: Damon07arabian on November 12th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC)
This episode was... weird. I liked it much more than last week's but I can't say it was my favorite of the season.

For me it was because I had some issues with all the other episodes. The first episode was the right direction, but it wasn’t very thrilling. The second episode while having a lot of good things, a second watch showed A LOT of major plotholes that made me go WHA!??! The third episode had the idiocy of Stefan/Elena, especially the keg-stand and motorcycle ride. The fourth, duh, direction, which still actually pisses me off because on paper that *should* have been one of the series’ best episodes, the script was that strong. So compared to the first four, this episode didn’t have any issues like that. It wouldn’t place anywhere near the better episodes from the other season, but of this season, definitely the one I think is the best.

there's something I can't put my finger on that stopped me from being all like 'Such a great episode!' IDK.

I don’t disagree with this though. I thought it was the strongest episode of the season, and do think it was very good, but yeah, not great.

I think you were right about the whole direction thing from last week's episode because this one felt perfectly in character and the earlier narrative flow.

Can I ask why you only think it? What is giving you doubts? Because it does all fit narratively-speaking, and that first scene with Damon/Elena essentially laid it out what we were supposed to get in the dance scene as well as the porch scene… that the poor direction denied us.

Weirdly enough I wasn't that annoyed with Stefan this week even though he was really all kinds of shady all episode long. Perhaps the lack of Stefan/Elena eyerolling material or the Damon/Stefan ending scene. IDK. *shrugs*

Direction. Like in 3.20, Butler framed all of Stefan’s shady actions as pure and noble. He all put a halo above his head in that one and in 4.04. On the other hand, this episode had the angles, the longer looks from other characters, etc.small moments like that long pause from Elena to the ‘trust me’ moment, etc. that showed what a shady do-er Stefan is being. So as viewers who generally love Stefan, we’re fine when he does shady things as long as it’s (a) in character, and (b) not presented as the GREATEST THING EVER!

Ooh, nice catch. I didn't think of comparing the two but I did catch her hesitation before responding to Stefan but wow this is OBVIOUS.

When I was talking to a friend, I thought of that moment and asked if she remembered Elena pausing when Stefan asked her. She wasn’t sure, but I thought Elena had. So I checked it, and yeah, whoah, it was even more glaring than I thought.

Yeah, I caught that too, the whole WE thing and US thing and I LOVED it. It was like they were back to how they were functioning in early season 3 and I love it because they make such a great team. Also had Stefan not stolen Damon's ring I'm sure a lot of things could have been avoided. Like Elena killing Connor. *shakes head at Stefan's stupidity*

Yup, yup, yup.

[It was a quick moment, but when he reached for her arm the second time, she paused and looked down at his hand touching her, momentarily affected.] -- Oooh, didn't catch that one. I have to rewatch.

I can gif that real quick when I get home and I’ll put it here for you. ETA: Here it is. :)



Yeah, I disliked that bit. Like Damon would barge in there, save Jeremy and leave Matt and April to die? *rolls eyes*

Because Stefan hasn’t really seen Damon with the others to know. But Elena has, she knows.

TBC

Edited at 2012-11-12 12:59 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - vanimy on November 13th, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 14th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
vanimy: Elenavanimy on November 12th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
PART TWO

Won't quote what you wrote about Stefan and his conditional love for Elena because I basically agree with every word. I think Damon's line was really spot on. I really like this direction.

There is one thing I slightly disagreed with you on though :

Damon is agreeing to help Stefan on a quest to return Elena back to her human state. And I'm OK with him not telling Elena now because (a) it's not putting anyone else in danger, and (b) it looks like a wild-goose chase with little chance of leading to a cure.

I was upset with the brothers both keeping Elena from this. I get where Damon is coming from but I'm still bothered by the whole 'not telling Elena' thing. She deserves to know what they're doing, period. She's the one who's involved here, she should know. Knowing TVD though there's a high possibility she will know soon enough and I hope it'll be the case here again (kinda like the whole coffins thing in 3x10).

-Re : the diaries thing. I legit LOLed when they both started their voiceovers. Hehe, long time no see, sole reason why the show is called 'The Vampire Diaries'... :P But apart from the well-deserved laugh I liked how what Stefan and Elena wrote in their respective diaries were total opposites.

- Another telling moment with regards to Stefan and Elena is how Stefan's actions had consequences in that she did not go to him for comfort while digging Connor's grave. She did not talk to him but to tell him to leave her alone later, and was home alone doing her freak-out there without him.

*nods* I'm actually glad that for once Elena didn't push her issues aside to make Stefan feel better and that she was legitimately pissed at him. That's my girl.

But... I thought it was kinda cold how Damon and Stefan just looked at her when she broke down. Like no hug or anything. I felt for the poor girl. Yet it's completely understandable. Stefan thought she was too pissed at him to let him comfort her and Damon probably felt like he just couldn't because you know it's kind of Stefan's role since he's the boyfriend.

Speaking of Elena, I wasn't totally sold by Nina Dobrev's last scene but I really felt for Elena all episode long. It hasn't happened in quite some time so I'm really happy about that. She just looked so depressed and LONELY. It was heartbreaking to watch. Also her Lady Macbeth moment at the end was great. I'm intrigued with the hallucination thing she seems to suffer from. Was it the werewolf venom Connor used or is it something else? *ponders*

- Wow, Bonnie's scenes felt so useless and out of place in this episode. *sigh*

*nods* Everytime they cut to Bonnie I was like 'please, go back to the main action, thanks.'

- Speaking of Bonnie and the Professor. Erm, am I supposed to be getting romantic vibes here? I really, really hope not because it's creepy.

Lol I didn't get any romantic vibes. Probably because I know he's playing her so I have a hard time thinking of any romantic thing going on between the two of them. Also Bonnie sure trusts easily. I wouldn't let a guy I barely know hypnotize me. Like no way in hell.

- Still, I like this guy as a big bad way more than Todd Williams' Connor. I thought Connor was a cool idea, cool character, but the actor was so wooden and one-note, he brought nothing to the role. So, yay, I'm glad he's dead.

LOL, thought of you when Connor finally died. Can't say I'll miss him but he served his purpose. I always love how TVD gets rid of secondary characters quickly.

Arabian: Elena08arabian on November 12th, 2012 05:52 am (UTC)
There is one thing I slightly disagreed with you on though […] I was upset with the brothers both keeping Elena from this. I get where Damon is coming from but I'm still bothered by the whole 'not telling Elena' thing.

I do agree with this, but I also think this is one of those cases where it’s OK they don’t tell her. Before Stefan keeping that information that had she known could have made her (and Damon) assess the situation differently. But now, Stefan and Damon keeping the info works for me ONLY because as far as they (or should I say Damon, because obviously Stefan don’t give a flying…) know, there is pretty much close to zero shot of them finding another Hunter, thus the map, thus the cure. So in Damon’s mind, if they tell her, it will cause her HUGE amounts of pain with pretty much zero reward.

1.) Hey, Elena, there’s a cure for vampirism. Wanna give it a try? Oh, wait, we don’t know if it’s actually real. And we don’t know where it is. There is a map to its location, and yay we have the key. But we don't have the map, thus not knowing where it is. The only way to find that map is to locate one of five people on a planet out of seven or so billion. But, hey, we DID have one of those five in this very town, but erm…

2.) You killed him. Thus making the map go bye-bye. Thus our pretty much sole shot of finding the location and the cure. Sorry.

How does that do anything but send an already wildly careening Elena into a emotional free-fall? If there was even a shot that this could happen, I think Damon would tell her. But telling her this fairytale with practically no chance of it coming to fruition partially because if it actually was NOT a fairytale Elena killed their best chance at getting that fruit would just be cruel.

That’s why I’m OK with it. Still, I could see Elena being pissed when she finds out and I’d would feel she’s justified. It’s just that the different circumstances of Stefan knowing before Connor’s death and Damon knowing now after Connor’s death (at Elena’s hands) is why I’m OK with Damon choosing to not tell her now.

Knowing TVD though there's a high possibility she will know soon enough and I hope it'll be the case here again

Agreed; I’d hate for Elena and Damon to get to a better place and then she find this out and lash out at him. That would give me a sad. And just may happen. :(

… apart from the well-deserved laugh I liked how what Stefan and Elena wrote in their respective diaries were total opposites.

Yup and they REALLY nailed that home with Stefan’s “there is hope,” cut to Elena’s “I feel hopeless.” Way to drop those anvils, guys. :)

*nods* I'm actually glad that for once Elena didn't push her issues aside to make Stefan feel better and that she was legitimately pissed at him.

It was especially notable because earlier in the episode, Elena once again put Stefan’s well-being over her own. Her concern wasn’t her dealing with her vampirism, but that Stefan has to deal with it. Ugh. This should NOT be about Stefan’s issues, but about Elena right now. STEFAN!

But... I thought it was kinda cold how Damon and Stefan just looked at her when she broke down. [...]Yet it's completely understandable. Stefan thought she was too pissed at him to let him comfort her and Damon probably felt like he just couldn't because you know it's kind of Stefan's role since he's the boyfriend.

Exactly. You know that Damon wanted to go to her, but he couldn’t do that in front of Stefan. Because Damon is respecting her stupid-ass choice. And, of course, Elena had just repudiated Stefan. So there she stood all alone.

Speaking of Elena, I wasn't totally sold by Nina Dobrev's last scene

You mean in the bathroom, right? Not the breakdown over the kill though, right? Because that just broke my heart. I thought she was as good as I’ve ever seen her there.

I'm intrigued with the hallucination thing she seems to suffer from. Was it the werewolf venom Connor used or is it something else? *ponders*

I thought that too, but the preview for the next episode had Klaus saying that killing a Hunter causes hallucinations and Klaus would know since he killed Alexander.

Edited at 2012-11-13 04:59 am (UTC)
(no subject) - bogwitch on November 13th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 13th, 2012 09:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanimy on November 13th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on November 13th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 14th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on November 14th, 2012 08:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 14th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
vanimy: Damon/Stefanvanimy on November 12th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
PART THREE (yeah I'm on roll...)

- And since he's dead, that's why Jeremy's tattoo is starting. And I'm guessing that Jeremy's hybrid-kill from last season is why the tattoo started? OK, then.

The only bad thing about it was how predictable it all was. Hope Bb Jeremy will be left alone and will hide it from like everyone. I shudder to think what Klaus and Stefan would be capable of doing to him to get the cure.

- Sure, he denied that he and Rebekah had a thing, but I liked that Matt now knows that she's missing and they are at least connected in someone's mind as a 'thing.'

I really wanted Matt to wonder about Rebekah's whereabouts. Someone find her and undagger her please!

Also? Matt and Jeremy? Humans of the show? Were awesome. They were not passive bystanders. So proud of those two!

YEAH.

- As for Caroline -- ugh, ugh, ugh! Other than a few moments in the one scene with the group, her story was once again all about boy issues and she played practically no part in the bigger, more important story going on. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

WORD. Also this Hayley plot is even more boring than when I thought it to be a cheating storyline. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE HYBRIDS FOR REALS, SHOW. ahem.

- One small Damon thing that I loved, and maybe I was the only one who thought this, but when Stefan told Damon there was a cure for vampirism and Damon repeated it back there was more than just surprise in his voice, I swear there was a teeny bit of hope. Hope that was there on his face as well, and I just couldn't help but flashback to him confessing to Jessica, his roadside victim in "The Descent," that his big secret is that he misses being human. And Stefan telling him that in that moment opened the floodgate, even if only briefly, of that desire that Damon has to be human again. Something that we know no one else not only knows, but has absolutely zero clue about and would never guess.

Yeah, I saw that too in his eyes for a split second. Mmmh... Are the writers actually going to pull the Damon being turned back to human card at the end of the season? I would be intrigued by a human Damon and a vampire Elena to be honest. Oh the possibilities anyway...
Arabian: Damon&Stefan01arabian on November 12th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
The only bad thing about it was how predictable it all was.

Hmm, I didn’t think it was predictable because it didn’t cross my mind that Jeremy’s hybrid kill would retroactively work for the tattoo appearance.

Hope Bb Jeremy will be left alone and will hide it from like everyone. I shudder to think what Klaus and Stefan would be capable of doing to him to get the cure.

Agree on those two, but I kinda want him to confide in Damon, LOL! Actually, Bonnie and/or Damon are the only ones I could see him telling. Sadly, I think Damon might break down and tell Stefan if Jeremy does.

I really wanted Matt to wonder about Rebekah's whereabouts. Someone find her and undagger her please!

I will hold onto the dream.

WORD. Also this Hayley plot is even more boring than when I thought it to be a cheating storyline.

Maybe we’ll find out there’s cheating too?? Eh, still wouldn’t care.

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE HYBRIDS FOR REALS, SHOW. ahem.

I’m fine with them if they’d just get woven better into the story, I just don’t give a flying fuck about Tyler AT ALL and he's are main character dealing with hybrids (since Klaus just orders them around now and then... and honestly, those moments are kinda funny and fun).

Yeah, I saw that too in his eyes for a split second.

That was totally intentional then because quite a few people saw it as well.

Mmmh... Are the writers actually going to pull the Damon being turned back to human card at the end of the season?

I think it’s a possibility and would be AWESOME! Say they find it, but because they don’t know the situation, Damon susses it out first to protect both Elena and Stefan… and Damon winds up getting that cure just by virtue of being there.

I would be intrigued by a human Damon and a vampire Elena to be honest. Oh the possibilities anyway...

No woulds about it for me… that would be FASCINATING! And IF they get Damon/Elena together before the end of the season, it would then give them a great way to keep their relationship fresh, the two of them together, while still keeping the carrot dangling because we want vamp!Damon and Elena.

Edited at 2012-11-12 09:13 am (UTC)
(no subject) - vanimy on November 13th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 14th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Mog [new]bogwitch on November 13th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
I wrote this comment on Friday, but didn’t type it up. Half of it seems rather redundant now…

So sick of Stefan, I have no desire to talk about him and everything else I have to say about the triangle is spoliery, so I shall focus on other things.

I like April, but I think that’s because the actress is cute as a button, rather than the character herself. I’m still wondering what her purpose to the storyline is, especially as Connor said she has something to do with her father’s plan. I see there are things coming up that make her useful to have around, but I had thought - going by the last ep - that maybe Stefan hadn’t compelled her properly as she was pointedly shown listening to his conversation with Rebekah, yet she appears genuinely clueless now. Did the Pastor imbue her with something like the lifeforce of the Council members? She also enrolled in school awfully quickly. I suppose we might be supposed to take that at face value, but we know nothing about her really and I am a suspicious sort.

Maybe it’s my own distrust of hypnosis talking, but Bonnie was just so naïve allowing someone she’s just met to control her like that. Has she learned nothing at all? At least, she should have taken a second person along. Silly, silly girl. Plus seven hours! Wouldn’t she even question what he was doing in that time? Didn’t she need to go to the toilet? (I always think of the toilet arrangements of such situations, did Klaus get someone to escort Connor if he needed a tinkle?)

At least now Jeremy’s got the mark, no more compulsion for him. No island girls for Jer.
Arabian: Jeremy01arabian on November 13th, 2012 09:40 am (UTC)
RE: April. I actually had a crazy thought that she could potentially be for Stefan down the road... Just because she's SO like the Elena we (and Stefan) first met.

Bonnie's trusting of Shane was just stupid all around. STUPID!

At least now Jeremy’s got the mark, no more compulsion for him. No island girls for Jer.

Heh, forgot that. Whatever will Elena do if she can't compel her brother's choices away? LOL! I say this with love....
(no subject) - bogwitch on November 13th, 2012 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 14th, 2012 05:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on November 14th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 15th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hotarujazz on November 15th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 20th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC) (Expand)