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18 January 2013 @ 06:16 am
4.10 - 'After School Special' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Whee! The Vampire Diaries back. This equals happy me! :)

Let's just fire it up and start with the Damon/Elena scene. First of all, there is obvious parallelism going on that this show loves so. Elena and Damon on the phone, as they were in "The Departed" (which the writer of this episode, Brett Matthews, co-wrote. Uh huh). However, much like in the past where it's as if the show is "correcting a mistake," we got that here tonight. Booyah! I noted this in "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" and how that episode reminded me of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" putting a negative spin on earlier, happier Stefan/Elena moments to a degree. The difference was that in the season 03 episode, it was a Stefan/Elena contrast, in "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" Stefan/Elena scenes were contrasted with Damon/Elena ones and gave those moments "done over" to Damon and Elena. Here we now have the reverse of what they did in "Smells Like Teen Spirit." They've taken a depressing Damon/Elena scene from an earlier time (the phone conversation in "The Departed") and put a positive spin on it.

In that conversation, Elena told Damon that she never fell out of love with Stefan. She told him she would see him soon, believing that she'd never see him again. She was also driving *away* from him. In this conversation, Elena told Damon that she loved him. She ended the conversation by telling him she would be there soon because, this time, she would be driving *to* him. Ah, this show and their love of parallels that I love so much. :)

There was another interesting contrast. I went back and re-watched when Elena first told Stefan that she loved him, and it wasn't face to face (yes, they were together, but his back was to her) and her eyes were shining with suppressed emotion, and her voice was heavy with determination, but it wasn't a happy moment. The shine of her eyes wasn't one of happiness, but because she was trying not to cry because Stefan was walking away from her. On the flip side, Elena and Damon aren't face to face, but they are emotionally connected. Her eyes are shining with emotion, but it's not suppressed, and it's happy and her glistening eyes are glistening with tears of joy barely held back.

 

You can see the relief she feels in both moments, but the underlying mood in the Stefan one is of sadness, and when telling Damon, it is happiness. But maybe that's just the Damon/Elena fangirl in me. We see what we want to see, right? But I really think I see that. When she told Stefan she loved him for the first time, she was upset. When she told Damon she loved him for the first time, she was happy. Yeah. (Isn't' it lovely how along with real and right, happy is now becoming a go-to Damon/Elena word association?)

And Damon's face, oh boy, Damon's face. I just absolutely adored and was floored by how Ian Somerhalder played this scene. After she told him, my goodness, his face, his eyes! (HIS EYES!)... his reaction was perfection. When he told her that he was going to get the cure, would do things she didn't like, it was as if he was just getting through that part, because he had to be honest, it had to be said, but he so needed to get to the 'come to me' part. It was like he physically was incapable of NOT having her with him after she told him she loved him. You could feel the joyous desperation emanating from him to just have her with him. The way he said the words, the look on his face, in his eyes, it was as if he physically NEEDED her there with him as soon as possible. *sigh* And, of course, he'll still question it, but he loves her. He loves her so much and knows that sire bond or not, she does feel strongly for him, so he's allowing himself to believe in her belief that she loves him. And that's just beautiful.

That paired with Elena's bubbling joy as she told Damon she loved him that second time, and that song, the soaring music (whose lyrics are gloriously romantic about this incredible love and need to be together *), and how both took and received the "I love you" just screams endgame. And what screams endgame even more is the fact that there WILL be problems. Elena will NOT be down with what Damon acquiesced to Klaus doing. They will fight about it, but they will deal with it. Because that's who they are. That's what Damon and Elena do.
    * Snow Patrol's "New York"

    If you were here beside me instead of in New York
    If the curve of you was curved on me
    I'd tell you that I loved you before I ever knew you
    'Cause I loved the simple thought of you
    If our hearts are never broken and there's no joy in the mending
    There's so much this hurt can teach us both
    There's distance and there's silence, your words have never left me
    They're the prayer that I say every day

    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    The lone neon nights and the ache of the ocean
    And the fire that was starting to spark
    I miss it all, from the love to the lightning
    And the lack of it snaps me in two

    If you were here beside me instead of in New York
    In the arms you said you'd never leave
    I'd tell you that it's simple and it was only ever thus
    There is nowhere else that I belong

    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    Come on, come out, come here, come here
    The lone neon nights and the ache of the ocean
    And the fire that was starting to spark
    I miss it all from the love to the lightning
    And the lack of it snaps me in two

    Just give me a sign, there's an end and not beginning
    To the quiet chaos driving me mad
    The lone neon nights and the walls of the ocean
    And the fire that is starting to go out


    And one more squee about this song! Per Julie Plec's tweets tonight, "Snow Patrol's 'New York' (tonight's 'phone call' song) was originally chosen for the D/E kiss in episode #310, but we lost it to Grey's Anatomy which aired that same night. We've been waiting a year to use it."

    SQUEEE!!!!!!
Still, it's not hearts and flowers with these two, and the fact that even as we got those three words, we also got the reality that Damon IS a vampire and Damon may have his list of people that he'll protect/care for, but Damon does kill people, and he will cross ANY line to do what's best for Elena. That's where the certainty of endgame comes from for me because just because they are together and they love each other, there is still a journey here. They still have many an obstacle to overcome.

And one of those obstacles I don't think is a sire bond with regards to how she feels for him. Whether it's real or not, and I'm trusting the show with whichever direction they go, there is absolutely no way that it's effecting or creating Elena's feelings. And I like that the two of them aren't questioning that to the degree that others would want them to. Elena's preface to telling Damon how she felt was awesome. Basically when she told him that maybe it was the sire bond, her vocal and facial attitude was saying, OK, fine, I'll acknowledge the possibility, whatever, I don't buy it, moving on, I LOVE YOU, DAMON!.

Then she said it. She told him she loved him and that it was the most real thing she'd ever felt in her entire life… meaning that the show is beginning to set up that, yes, what she feels for Damon is more, is bigger than what she had with Stefan. Booyah! And she was on the porch, you guys. ON THE PORCH! After their kiss on the porch in "The New Deal," Plec said that "all of [Damon and Elena's] important moments -- their worst moments together and their best moments together -- have happened either in her bedroom or on her front porch. Those are two important locations for us as far as telling the story of their evolving intimacy." *sigh*

So, yeah, right now, I just can't get all fussed up about the sire bond (real or not) because based on what we've seen with these two, Damon is in his own way, just as sire bonded to Elena if it's real and how Elena has been acting with Damon is an indication of what that means. If it's real, sure, Elena can't say no to Damon... but has Damon EVER said no to Elena? He may not be technically bonded to her, but he might as well be because he's never said no. He always does what she wants. He always gives in. He always defers to her. Even if he fights her on it. Just as she fights him on stuff. And again, he was giving her specifically, absolutely what SHE wanted. That's why we heard her voice mails and why we heard her specifically say: "I wish you would let me come to you." And so he said to her "come to me." Those words. He was doing EXACTLY word for word what she wanted him to do. So once again, Damon was actually deferring to HER wish, HER command.

One more thing before I move on. I noted in "Ordinary People" write-up that one of the things I loved about their bed scene was how "they were just so dang comfortable with each other, sharing the details of their day…" That's something that's kinda becoming their thing, right? Because the first day after they got together, when Damon returned from New Orleans, they asked each other how their day was. And the phone conversation began with Damon asking her about her day. It's just such a quiet, real moment in the midst of the insanity that is their lives in Mystic Falls.

Damon and Elena are not some clichéd EPIC romance, made up of big moments only. They have the big moments, yes, but the foundation of what they have now is based on the in-betweens, the silence in the spaces, the comfort in the knowing and wanting to know completely who they other is. This is something that she never had with Stefan. Because Stefan wanted this perfect picture with the two of them acting out their roles just so.

And Elena's role in Stefan's vision was of the broken toy. I'd never quite realized how much until this episode. When they broke up, I wrote this about it:
    I know that on the surface their entire conversation was about human!Elena versus vampire!Elena thus her not being into Stefan anymore, but those were just words that Stefan was saying to make himself feel better. And also Elena agreed with because it makes her feel better to believe that she's letting go of her 'always' belief with Stefan and admitting she wants his brother not because she actually does- after all, what does that say about her with all of Damon's bad-bad brother mojo? - but rather because of that pesky vampirism. In other words, their most honest conversation was still full of lies and the inability to be honest with themselves or each other.
It was a little frustrating then, but completely in character. And the same thing happened here. Elena talked about "lately" Stefan looked at her like a project, a broken toy that needed to be fixed. And it was clear she was talking about post-vampirism. But like during their break-up conversation, things were like this with them before.

Just as Vamp!Elena is not this drastically different person than human!Elena, how Stefan was treating her as a vampire was not that much different than how he treated her before he left in season 02. The difference is that she was displaying the growth she'd had experienced when he was gone now that he was no longer there holding her back and treating her like that broken toy. She's not broken anymore; she's not the helpless damsel in distress who Stefan doesn't want to fight back (as he said in "Unpleasantville"). She's healthier, she's stronger, she fights back. And that has nothing to do with her being a vampire, but the both of them keep addressing the change in their relationship that way.

I get why. I'm not sure that Elena even realizes that it's how things were with him. And the timing of her vampiric turn makes it easy for both of them to use that as an excuse for why they stopped working. And I know that the show is doing this deliberately. After all, human!Elena chose Stefan, vampire!Elena is with Damon. This keeps the dream alive for Stefan and Elena (and their fans), but truly, the problems they had upon restarting their relationship would have been there whether she was a vampire or not.

But no one's gonna say that right now, and Stefan certainly doesn't want to believe that. Was he an asshole this episode? Absolutely. But I didn't have a problem with him at all because already broken up or not, Elena *did* jump into bed with Damon within a day of breaking up with Stefan. She did, so he feels betrayed. I get that. It's understandable. It still didn't make him any less of an ass, LOL!

Because of the preview and his line about how many ways Elena could rip his heart out, once they ran off separately to get away from Ty-were, I expected more conversation that would lead to that devastated line from him. Of course, that didn't happen. Nope, Elena admitting that she wasn't in love with Stefan any longer and that he treated her as he KNEW he did and that Damon made her happy, that was enough to make Stefan throw his little drama-queen hissy fit. And so instead of sympathy (as I'd felt when Elena said those things in the library), all that comment elicited from me was yet another 'oh, Stefan' moment. Because, really, oh, Stefan.

I mean, he played it like he was the wounded party. The set-up was such that the people there wouldn't correct how Stefan painted it as if Elena (a trollop who likes bad boys, oh, Rebekah) cheated on him, thus they broke up. This was not the sequence of events, dude. The sleeping together happened AFTER they broke up. Yes, it was two seconds after, but come on, Stefan knew how insanely in love Damon was with Elena, and Stefan knew that Elena had these deep feelings for Damon... and then he LEFT THEM ALONE IN THAT EMPTY HOUSE! Had Stefan stayed, the sex wouldn't have happened, not then. It was an explosion of emotions that Stefan helped enable by walking away.

That was the sequence of events… and here's what is key. Obviously, the WRITERS know this. So, I believe this is all leading to Stefan's eventual rock-bottom-ness and then eventual recovery into a better, happier, healthier Stefan. He needs to let go of Elena, and his anger towards her and Damon before he can get there. Now, Elena has let him go. And I'm OK with that even if it means she didn't call him out (again) on the crappy things he did last season. I'm OK with that because as I said in the "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" write-up, I just needed to know that Elena knew that Stefan pulled shit, that he just sweet-talked his way out of things and she let him. That was her choice, to not call him on his shit.

And that's OK too because that's Elena. She didn't call Bonnie on not de-spelling the watch. She didn't call Tyler on nearly getting her killed and getting Stefan shot. (In fact, she comforted him afterwards.) There are so many things she didn't call Damon on, or discuss with him (namely, oh, I know, snapping her brother's neck! Seriously, ya'll, she was already beginning to forgive him by episode five and they never discussed it). And in this episode, she didn't call Caroline out for ratting her Damon-sexcapades to Stefan.

That's Elena. She's a forgiver who does not hold grudges, who does not need to rehash past sins. She lets it go. And when Stefan walked away and she just watched him go, she let go of more than just the crap he'd pulled, she let him go completely. Now, Stefan needs to find that place where he can let her go.

My only issue with Stefan being such a dick is that I don't feel that Paul Wesley played the layers. Instead of a bitter, angry and wounded Stefan, the Stefan in the opening scene and much more in his last scene played like switch-turned-off, Ripper!Stefan. And I don't think that was the intention. *Shrugs*

Anyhoo, moving on. My favorite thing about Rebekah's game of truth or dare was not only that we got the love vs. in love which is something I've been pushing for… forever!, but how Nina Dobrev played it. When Rebekah asked if she still loved Stefan, she looked at him and said with conviction "Yes" because Elena does love him, and she doesn't want to hurt him so she could give him that. And then Rebekah asked if she was still in love with him, and you could see the pain on her face because she knew she was telling the truth, unvarnished here, and that she would hurt him, but she didn't hesitate, didn't think about it. "No." Because, yeah, she so is not. But she does care, as she would, being Elena, with the story that's been told thus far.

Some have said that they have been frustrated how the Damon/Elena stuff of episodes 7-9 seemed to make it like Elena had suddenly stopped caring for Stefan. I didn't see it that way and this episode confirmed that perception. Yes, she was more about Damon in the past episode, but that makes sense as it was over the course of a few days and she had just finally allowed herself to feel for Damon. But here, in how she didn't want to hurt him, in her reaction to his being hustled into the library by Rebekah, in her feeling of betrayal when he wanted to erase everything, showed, that yes, Elena still cares for Stefan, as she should.

Speaking of– yeah, that was pretty low, Stefan. That he would rather forget everything about Elena if he can't have her love as opposed to at least cherishing the good times that they had is telling yet again that when it's real… well, you don't walk away. As Stefan did. And you don't want to forget. As Stefan did. Which Damon did not, never has done. He even told Elena on his deathbed that he would have gone through all the pain, even without her loving him, if it meant he had known her.

Yeah. So much for epic, huh? (And, yes, Rebekah commenting on their epic love was so making fun of it. Hee.) Nope, the epic love of Stefan's life at this point is his brother. Period. There has been a lot of speculation that Damon is going to die-die (of course, he'll come back somehow, because, duh, Ian Somerhalder), and how there have been a LOT of references to Damon dying this season. (florencia7 actually pointed this out in 4.06 and I pshaw'd it, but she totally may have been onto something).

In addition to this speculation, there's been a lot of commentary that it's just a new way to create angst between Damon and Elena and blah, blah, blah, lame, accomplishes nothing we don't already know and is just a cheap way to get audiences all angsting. I disagree. Not because I think it won't change or teach us anything new about Damon and Elena. I agree with that, it won't. They love each other, it's real, it's right, it's right now and they're happy. I disagree because I don't think it has anything to do with the Damon/Elena relationship. Remember, Elena is not the only person who loves Damon. Stefan loves him too. And he is the key, I believe.

If Damon does die, I don't think it's about proving Elena's love for him, or creating angst for them- these two done got plenty o' angst enough already. I think it's all about the relationship at the heart of the series: Damon and Stefan. While I expect Elena to break down, fall apart, cry and lose it over Damon dying, it's Stefan's reaction that is the point. I think it will be, yes, epic. And I think that is why we're having this whole 'my brother wants to kill me/I hate my brother' stuff going on right now and likely building. Because Stefan, I really think, needs to hit rock-bottom and believing he's truly lost Damon would make him hit rock-bottom. And, of course, once Damon is magically resurrected, we can get to the real reparation of their relationship. Uh huh.

Moving on to Damon's pseudo-baby brother: Jeremy! I admit I would have liked some more, I dunno, something from their scenes, a bit more warmth, a line or look here or there that would have showed that it was more than about Elena. Because I can't believe that it isn't the case. We've seen too much between these two to not believe that. But other than Jeremy essentially teasing Damon about Elena ("running out of voicemails to listen to?"), there really wasn't much Damon/Jeremy crack for me to enjoy tonight. (sobs)

On the other hand, I liked the very little bit with Damon and Matt. And I LOVE how Matt continues to so be on the same wavelength with Damon. Damon essentially says that Jeremy isn't ready. Jeremy persists. Matt essentially tells him he's not ready. See? Damon/Matt = mind twins! And, heh, to the "I don't have to listen to you/you do if you want to eat" bit. Especially because it was preceded by Matt looking after Jeremy like, silly boy, and then Damon ordered him to run too. Oh, Matt, you're getting there but you're not nearly as cool as Damon and nowhere near Ric-status yet.

Of course, by episode's end, things weren't exactly going swell for our Lake house trio thanks to Klaus! You know, I was peeved with Stefan for what he did to Jeremy in "My Brother's Keeper," so I'm not gonna turn around and be happy that Damon is enabling Klaus to do similar, but it isn't exactly the same. (And I swear this isn't my Damon fan-girl talking.) It was an idea Damon had, that he discarded, but was only put into play because of Klaus, and Klaus is the one who did it. Yes, Damon could have fought him on it, but we all know and they all know that if Klaus wanted to do that, no ONE was going to stop him.

On the other hand, Stefan came up with his plan, followed through, and emotionally traumatized Jeremy in the process. He showed absolutely zero concern for Jeremy, which despite Jeremy's contention that Damon doesn't care about his life (not cool, Jere!), Damon does and has shown concern for Jeremy's well-being. This could change next week, but I don't expect it to. In fact, I'll be surprised if we don't see Damon still trying to work with Jeremy alongside this new Klaus-assist. We'll see.

Regardless of the little differences, it's still very wrong what both brothers did/are doing. But the reasoning behind it does make Damon's play less wrong in my eyes. Stefan's was entirely selfish, and all about getting human-passive-Stefan-worshiping Elena back. Damon's is about getting the cure so that Elena gets what she wants (not being a vampire), and her not being a vampire means that Jeremy won't be trying to kill her. Basically, what we've been told is that Stefan wants Elena as a human so that she'll love him again. Damon wants Elena to be a human so that she can have her life, the chance to be a normal girl again. Again, still wrong, but the motivations at least make Damon's reasoning selfless as opposed to Stefan's all about me.

Speaking of Elena and her desire for the cure… there has been much talk about how no one has asked Elena if she wants it, how everyone is running around desperate to get it for her, but no one has asked her if she wants it. Frankly, I find that silly. Sorry, but I do. Of course she wants the cure. I think the only reason we haven't seen that discussion is because OF COURSE she wants the cure. Elena doesn't want to be a vampire. We know that, we've been told that over and over. She doesn't hate it now, she doesn't feel she's broken any longer, but she does not want to be a vampire. This we emphatically know about this character. Why waste precious seconds and dialogue on stuff we emphatically know already?

Especially when instead we're getting seconds and dialogue spent on Elena telling Stefan (and Caroline) how she really feels! I know some were upset that Elena was compelled, but it didn't bother me at all because Stefan and Caroline wouldn't believe it any other way. Sure, Stefan will convince himself that it's the sire bond (and by episode's end, we know that he's still holding onto that), but I do think that deep down he knows, he absolutely knows the truth of it. And now Elena does absolutely as well. I loved that small moment after Elena said all sassy-like to Rebekah that she slept with Damon because she's in love with him. Right afterwards, she took that moment and you saw on her face, in her eyes that it was like after she said it, she finally got it. She truly realized it so completely in that moment. And she knew it was 100% the truth because she was compelled to tell the truth. That's not a sire bond (real or not), that's telling the truth.

Which brings us to the compeller… Rebekah, Rebekah, Rebekah. butterfly made an interesting point. She thinks that Matt was kept out of town during Rebekah's revenge spree (which really compared to what she could have done wasn't all that bad) to keep him from being tainted with it. I sure hope so, because, yes, I still love me some Matt and Rebekah.

And I still love me some Rebekah majorly. I just can't hate on her, even for what she did to Elena and Matt, because she didn't do anything these guys wouldn't do for their loved ones. To save the rest of her family, Rebekah killed Elena to kill the creature that was going to destroy the rest of her family. Less than a week later, the group (minus Tyler) essentially led to slaughtering an innocent (Chris) to protect their own. I'm not saying what Rebekah did wasn't awful, but our group did/does awful things too and I'm not going to hate on and judge her any differently than I would them.

So, yeah, I love Rebekah and Claire Holt makes it soooooo easy to do so. She is just fucking awesome. Every line, every quip, every tearjerker, all of it was just perfection. I especially loved the "Did it hurt?" after Stefan told her to go to hell because she said "Did" in a louder voice and then gave a long pause before falling to her knees before him and finished the "it hurt" part. I loved it so because before she finished the sentence, it sounded like she was saying that she had gone to hell. And that just gave this added layer of heartbreak to the moment. Poor Rebekah. She just wants to be loved, she just wants to not be alone. Seriously, you could see that in that final scene with Stefan. She does still want that companionship so badly. My poor Rebekah. Slightly spoilerish for episode descriptions (but fair warning, although I've read the synopses up to episode 13, I'm not reading them any longer!). And I wonder...

[Spoiler (click to open)]If stuff in this episode could be leading up to Rebekah getting some affection. Maybe? We had the reminder that Klaus made Stefan forget his love for Rebekah, and the two of them teaming up at the end. I wonder if the rumors about Stefan losing himself in a blonde, including Stefan making things up to Rebekah when Mayor Hopkins cancels the 80's dance are going to tie into the above. I think that maybe instead of actually just getting together, the two pretend to do so in order to hide their real agenda. But then spending time together causes those feelings to begin to re-emerge which leads to things like Stefan making Rebekah feel better by about missing out on another dance. I dunno. It's possible.

Sadly, I fear that with April finding out that Rebekah twisted things a bit in her telling of things that Rebekah will lose her little April-shaped minion. Which makes me sad, because they were a hoot together. Especially the whole note-taking bit. Hee! Speaking of April, I gotta say, I love what they're doing with this character. Her wanting people to start telling the truth makes sense and yet it makes just as much sense why the rest of our gang when finding out the truth didn't really spill. Because they were part of the gang, April is not. So she's just an understandable truth-seeking missile and it's awesome. And is likely making butterfly quite happy!

Ooh, one more April-related thing. So, there's totally more to her than meets the eye, yes/yes? Bonnie threw out the casual explanation that wasn't an explanation that the spell was linked to April somehow. Uh, yeah, things don't just "somehow" happen on this show. There is definitely more to this girl than we know now. Possibly more than anyone, including Shane, knows. Very interesting.

Phew! Random stuffies…

- Bonnie had two moments in this episode that Kat Graham just knocked out of the park. The first was her reaction to the introduction of Mayor Hopkins- who at the time we didn't know was her father (well, if we didn't read any pre-episode information). She didn't quite roll her eyes, but totally had this expression of 'yeah, whatever' that was so perfectly annoyed, teenaged-child-reaction to parent.

The second was in her final scene with Shane. After he fervently promised her his protection in a creepy scene where it almost felt like a kiss was coming and it felt so very wrong (which I think was intentional), her response was aces. She gave the barest glimmer of a smile, and it was a cross between gratification that someone wanted to protect her, but there was also clearly the feeling that something was NOT right. Of course, his whole 'you're the key to everything EVAR!' probably had her a bit spooked too, and Graham gave us that too. Beautifully played.


- One more Bonnie-related thing…. So yeah, her dad was a traveling pharmaceutical rep. That's as good as possible explanation for dad not being around, I think.

- Hahahah! Shane fan-boying over Rebekah and Kol Mikaelson was so wrong, and so hilarious. I know he's NOT a good guy, but I freaking love Shane.

- So, yeah, I'm thinking the whole sire bond, possibly the cure storyline is going to be over by the end of the next batch of episodes because clearly we be heading into something majorly major with Silas… who is gonna totes be the Big Bad, right?

- OK, maybe this is my die-hard Stefan/Caroline-ness on display here, but am I crazy in thinking that maybe, just maybe they are laying the foundation (slowwwwwly) for something with those two down the line? Their little conversation at the top had the healthiest bit of conversation I've ever heard between Stefan and Caroline and anyone they've been in a relationship with. Caroline essentially told him- I was there for you, be there for me now. Equal partners.

- Nice little bit that the pizza girl couldn't enter even after Matt - who doesn't own that place - couldn't invite her in.

- Six people turned the mayor job down, LOL!

- I was talking to sarcasticcheese and mentioned that this was a low-key episode. This isn't a bad thing, it's just that low-key and The Vampire Diaries generally don't go hand-in-hand. Then I checked the director and had to chuckle because it was directed by David Von Ancken, and when it was first announced he was directing this one - which I'd since forgotten - I was worried because of the last episode he directed. This is what I wrote up for "Crying Wolf" … "this episode was a lot more laidback. Low-key is the word that best describes it. […] So yeah, very good episode, if not one of their best. So I kinda hope they don't use this director guy again. The Vampire Diaries is many things. Low-key is not one of them.:

So, yeah, low-key. I did like it, and that low-key factor worked for this episode, but this is not a guy they should go to very often to direct. (He also did "Under Control," but I watched that in blur with most of season 01 and I wasn't doing episode write-ups then so I don't know if I had any thoughts similar with that one. Shrugs.)

- Is this a clue? Will it finally happen? Will Tyler Lockwood die this season for good?! I wonder because when Tyler entered the library, there was a book next to him and you could clearly see the title: The Final Days. Like uberly-clear, white background with big blue print. (It's a book about Nixon's final days and that is the cover, but we only see the title, not the Tricky Dick pic.)


In the midst of my evil joy at the prospect of Tyler going, I will point out that I think Michael Trevino did a nice job in that final scene where he broke down about his mom. :(

- So, erm, how did Kol get the stake from Stefan? Obviously, Stefan didn't give it back to Damon after Elena gave it to him in "The Rager," or Kol wouldn't have found it that easily… so hmm?

Thanks sarcasticcheese. Caroline came into the school with it. And as dorothydash pointed out, Kol took it from Rebekah who'd gotten it from Caroline.

- LOLOLOL! Damon being offended at his whittling skills being dissed, hah!

- Did anyone else notice that the name of the bar was Zanadew? LOL!

- So clearly the cut scene from the preview (Jeremy all up in Damon's face about not wanting to do things Klaus' way) was the conversation that Jeremy referred to when he told Damon that he thought he'd convince Klaus otherwise. Which it hadn't been cut. :( But, hey, wow, Jeremy really is impressed by Damon if he thinks that he has that kind of sway over Klaus! I guess there was some Damon/Jeremy crack tonight after all!

- "This is for Carol Lockwood." LOVED IT. Of course, Damon had some other great, great lines. (Doesn't he always, though?) My two other favorites were:
    - "Take a seat at the bench, quarterback. The karate kid wants a shot at the title."
    - "If you're here for payback, go for it, but you'll be stuck babysitting the little Hunter that could."
So, it was a really good episode – if low-key – but that's not a bad thing, and I liked pretty much every moment we got and freaking loved a heckuva lot of other moments. YAY! To close, the best, best, bestest part ….

Damon Salvatore. He got the girl. And he's smiling. *sigh*

 
 
 
hotarujazz: hands and dance 4x07hotarujazz on January 18th, 2013 12:01 pm (UTC)
Okay. I really don't have much of a comment because I absolutely agree with everything you said.
I'm soo glad someone else noticed that Paul was somewhat off this episode. I think we should have seen more of his duality because, as much as I don't like Stefan, he really tries to be a good person but it's for all the wrong reasons and in all the wrong ways. It really felt like he just flipped the switch instead of losing it.
I also would have wanted a little more warmth between Jeremy and Damon and I think it would have been better for the show because it would make the ending scene more intense. Ah well, you can't always get what you want.
Arabian: Damon & Elena24arabian on January 18th, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Paul was off, and you're absolutely right that more warmth with Damon/Jeremy would have given the last scene a bigger kick. Ah well, like you said, you can't always get what you want, but hey we got Elena telling Damon she loved him so I won't complain! :D
Vickie: Ian - Damon Driving Smirksarcasticcheese on January 18th, 2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
So, erm, how did Kol get the stake from Stefan? Obviously, Stefan didn’t give it back to Damon after Elena gave it to him in “The Rager,” or Kol wouldn’t have found it that easily… so hmm?

Caroline came into the school with it. Kol took it from Caroline.
Arabian: Damon04arabian on January 18th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's right. For some reason my lame-brain was thinking it was a regular stake, which of course would not work on Rebekah. Duh. Thanks, I edited my post.
(no subject) - dorothydeath on January 18th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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bangel_4e: elenadressbangel_4e on January 18th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC)
When he told her that he was going to get the cure, would do things she didn't like, it was as if he was just getting through that part, because he had to be honest, it had to be said, but he so needed to get to the 'come to me' part.

That's one of the things that hit me most about the amazing phone call. How much honesty there's always been between these two.
I just loved how this was played out...and they put Snow Patrol which I adore. It couldn't get better. And I agree, Ian did one of his best performances here...

I also think, at this point, we will suffer and we will have obstacles but these two are the story here.
I didn't know about Damon "dying" spoilers...I don't know what to think...I just think it'd be nice for him and Elena to be human together but that's a looong shot , just a little fangirl dreaming.


Btw, I also don't like the brothers' decisions about Jeremy. I'm curious to know how Elena's gonna react next episode.
Arabian: Elena&Caroline02arabian on January 18th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
How much honesty there's always been between these two.

I do seriously, seriously love that so much.

I didn't know about Damon "dying" spoilers

Well, they aren't spoilers, they are total speculation, so there is that.

Btw, I also don't like the brothers' decisions about Jeremy.

It was brought up elsewhere and I do wonder if they're right... in "Homecoming," Damon had a plan (that almost worked really, really well) and asked Elena if she trusted him and it involved tricky maneuvering, but again, it almost worked. Here, Damon asked Elena if she trusted him, and said he thought Jeremy would get through it fine. So, I wonder if what happened in that bar is part of Damon's plan that we don't see all the pieces of yet, and it's not what we thought. Like, Klaus would have done what he did with or without Damon's say-so, so maybe Damon came up with some plan surrounding that to offset stuff. I dunno, it's possible.
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Frust-sheep: sheep: *aww*frust_sheep on January 18th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Aww, Elena told Damon she loved him. :D And I hope you are right with the thinking, that they are laying the foundation for Stefan and Caroline. :D
Ok and I'm evil I hope that Tyler (I think you know the rest) ;), even when I really like Michael Trevino, too. Aww damn it!
Wonderful gifs again...of course the last gif I love the most. *lol* ;D
Anyway thank you for your thoughts again.
Arabian: Stefan & Caroline02arabian on January 18th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
Aww, Elena told Damon she loved him.

Yes, she did. Yes, she did!

I hope you are right with the thinking, that they are laying the foundation for Stefan and Caroline.

Sigh, me too, me too!
(Anonymous) on January 18th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Very nice recap, especially your analysis on Stefan's projected down-spiralling. Sounds about right.
Just wanted to add two little references to previous eps (I love these writers, they do that all the time LOL)
Damon talking to Klaus about the whittling was a nice reference to 2x02 when Jeremy and Damon had their first talk after Damon had snapped his neck.
And Damon digging the grave for the pizza-girl was contrasted with Elena digging the grave for Connor. Same action, totally different atmosphere.
Arabian: Alaric03arabian on January 18th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
I sure hope this is what's gonna happen with Stefan.

I did think of those moments in 2.02 and 3.06, but I didn't think they were paralleled simply because they didn't really mirror the feelings/emotions of the earlier scene. They were doing similar things, but as you said, it was a totally different atmosphere.
eolivet on January 18th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
I know your LJ is a place of positivity, so I'll just say that I really had some issues with the storytelling device, and leave it at that.

There has been a lot of speculation that Damon is going to die-die (of course, he'll come back somehow, because, duh, Ian Somerhalder), and how there have been a LOT of references to Damon dying this season.

No. NO. NOOOOOO. :swerves car off side of the road: I CANNOT DO THIS AGAIN, even if he does come back. ARGH!!! :p

Isn't Shane fan-freaking-tastic? My personal favorite "WHOA, Shane!" moment was when he started talking about how AWESOME it was going to be to raise Silas. He has no alliance to anyone. He got the crazy eyes, and even Kol and Rebekah were like ."..." And just as easily slipping back into "charming professor" mode in the scene with Bonnie. Oh he's GOOD.

And to prove they can cast decent African-American men...I liked Bonnie's dad. The "sharp teeth and bad table manners" made me a fan. Anyone with a snarky line delivery can stay (for however long he can...)

Despite my personal feelings of discomfort about the implications of the last scene, Ian Somerhalder played it beautifully. That was some really nice acting there. :D Also loved the re-teaming of Damon and Klaus. Very curious to see how this new Pilot pans out for Joseph Morgan...

(Also, did you read the Hollywood Reporter article that said April I believe has another Pilot? Interesting...)
Arabian: Damon & Elena27arabian on January 18th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
I know your LJ is a place of positivity, so I'll just say that I really had some issues with the storytelling device, and leave it at that.

If you have issues with an episode, you can point them out. I was only bothered by it in that one thread because I ADORED that episode and two or three different subsets of the thread were being taken over with such an intensely negative connotation -- one that I didn't see and didn't believe for a second was intended, was leading to some writer-bashing and getting so much attention that in that case that it was really, really bothersome. Normally, though, I'm totally cool if you have issues with whatever in an episode. I know anyone who responds here are going to be people who do love the show and aren't looking just to bash it. Generally, when someone has an issue with it, I can see where they're coming from and maybe help them see it in a better light, or while we can agree to disagree, it strengthens my love for the show because I'm fighting for it, LOL!

No. NO. NOOOOOO. :swerves car off side of the road: I CANNOT DO THIS AGAIN, even if he does come back. ARGH!!! :p

Totally, totally, TOTALLY different situation. I don't even think he'd leave, LOL! It's about character angst, not viewer angst with regards to losing the character.

RE: Shane. Yes, yes, yes to all you say!

I did like Bonnie's dad too. I'm curious to see how things go with him.

Despite my personal feelings of discomfort about the implications of the last scene, Ian Somerhalder played it beautifully.

At first, I thought you meant the final scene with the four guys, but you mean the ILU scene. Yeah, the whole sire bond thing pushing Damon telling her what to do. But I see the line. I get why it can be uncomfortable, but it's also crazy because either way -- if the sire bond is real -- he's dictating what she does or does not do. Elena WANTS to be there with him, we heard that in the voicemails, she wanted to come to him. She specifically said that -- if you would let me come to you. So by Damon NOT telling her to come to him, he was denying her what she wanted and using the so-called sire bond to keep her away. This time, he was using the so-called sire bond, but it was to give her what she expressly has said repeatedly that she wants. Until this is resolved, it really is lose-lose because they either deal with Damon having that power over her -- to use either to give her what she says she wants, or to deny her what everyone else says she doesn't really want -- or they completely are cut out of each others lives.

And based on what we've heard on the show, and what Julie has said in interviews-- the sirebond does NOT effect love or feelings. So this is what Elena wants. This is what Elena feels.

As for the whole Klaus/Jeremy/Damon thing at the end, if you were talking about that, it was brought up elsewhere and I do wonder if they're right... in "Homecoming," Damon had a plan (that almost worked really, really well) and asked Elena if she trusted him and it involved tricky maneuvering, but again, it almost worked. Here, Damon asked Elena if she trusted him, and said he thought Jeremy would get through it fine. So, I wonder if what happened in that bar is part of Damon's plan that we don't see all the pieces of yet, and it's not what we thought. Like, Klaus would have done what he did with or without Damon's say-so, so maybe Damon came up with some plan surrounding that to offset stuff. I dunno, it's possible.

Also loved the re-teaming of Damon and Klaus. Very curious to see how this new Pilot pans out for Joseph Morgan...

I like Damon and Klaus together too, and I think the backdoor pilot will work really well because it is being done by the same people.

Also, did you read the Hollywood Reporter article that said April I believe has another Pilot? Interesting...

I hadn't read that, but I don't think it necessarily means anything about plans already intended on the show because as a non-regular, of course, she's going to be looking for a regular gig. Hopefully, it dovetails with their plans, which, let's be real, probably involve April's death... because this *is* The Vampire Diaries.

Edited at 2013-01-18 06:27 pm (UTC)
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prettygirl5130: pic#119743568prettygirl5130 on January 18th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
Love your recap!

The only thing I wanted to comment on is the part about Elena wanting the cure. I personally think that Elena may NOT want the cure, especially after she sees what Jeremy will have to go through to get that map. Elena was very direct in 4.7 to Stefan about not wanting to go through any of this cure business if it's going to put Jeremy in the middle and possibly endanger his life. This is why I think once the realization hits when she sees Damon working with Klaus and essentially putting Jeremy in danger because he is now working with Klaus will give her pause and she may not want the cure at all.

To me, Damon doesn't want the cure because he is doing it for Elena so she doesn't have to suffer as a vampire (he loves her either way), in my opinion he's doing it because he wants to break the bond because as of right now he can't fully believe Elena loving him as much as she says she does (he never said I love you back to her even though she knows he does). For ELena, there is no question in her mind that she's in love with Damon and that when she's with him she feels free and happy. So, the conflict of Elena wanting to break the bond by turning human doesn't exist for her...it exists from Damon's side only. If Jeremy is going to be involved and possibly be at risk, Elena would probably be okay with staying a vampire, drinking from blood bags, and being happy with Damon. It's Damon that can't see that right now because he's doubting Elena. So i do disagree that we don't need to hear Elena actually say that yes she wants the cure, because once she sees Jeremy she may not want the cure.

If Damon listens to her and respects that decision (a theme that's been playing a lot for Damon and Elena since season 2) then it would be up to Damon to believe and trust Elena that her feelings are real. If Damon isn't able to do any of this and Elena wants to stay a vampire to protect the only living member of her family, then Damon and Elena will never happen or Damon would have to go against Elena's beliefs and make her take the cure somehow and put Jeremy in danger in the process all beacuse HE doesn't believe HER because of his insecurities.
Arabian: Doylearabian on January 18th, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I agree that Elena wouldn't want the cure if it meant harming Jeremy as she said... BUT that was before the implications of how bad being a hunter was for Jeremy. This course correction with Bonnie is a temporary fix. As long as Elena is a vampire, Jeremy will deep down have the burning desire to kill her. And that would mess Jeremy up way more than killing vampires who are bad guys (as, yeah, some vampires are).

As for Damon, I do think it's about the sire bond, but I think it's more about what we saw in 4.09. When he saw Elena with Jeremy and Bonnie just being normal, having fun, that was when he made the decision to stick around and help Jeremy because he wants that for Elena because he knows that that is what Elena wants.

Elena hasn't told anyone she wants the cure, but on the flip-side she hasn't told anyone that she DOESN'T want the cure AND she knows that the very reason that Damon is there with Jeremy is to help him get through this to get the Hunter's mark to lead to the cure. So, I think by that count, yeah, it's pretty clear... she wants the cure, and believes that Jeremy's overall mental health would be aided by him getting through this leading to the cure and thus not wanting to kill her.
alkja: pic#93120746alkja on January 18th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
There has been a lot of speculation that Damon is going to die-die ... Stefan, I really think, needs to hit rock-bottom and believing he's truly lost Damon would make him hit rock-bottom.

Frankly, Damon doesn't even need to die for that to happen. Some friends and I speculated that Damon is going to be the one who ends up cured (possibly by accident because Elena is about to be forcibly cured after she's changed her mind, possibly because Elena changes her mind and he still needs to break the sirebond, possibly because of whatever reason).

Now, if we take the idea of a Cure For Vampirism to a greater extent, i.e. it doesn't just reverse the vampirism, it prevents vampirism from ever happening again (like a vaccine), we will have a human Damon who is not going to be a vampire anymore (until they find a way, because c'mon).

Stefan would freak the fuck up. 100% guaranteed. Human, mortal, fragile, eventually-not-going-to-be-here-anymore Damon? No big brother for little brother? One ticket to Meltdown-ville, thanks.


Still related to The Cure: maybe it's my Stefan-biased heart and previous spculation, but when Rebekah spoke about ramming the Cure down Klaus's throat I had a sudden foreboding about Stefan attempting something similar with Elena...

Edited at 2013-01-18 05:49 pm (UTC)
Cassandra Elise: damon dancingcassandra_elise on January 18th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Frankly, Damon doesn't even need to die for that to happen. Some friends and I speculated that Damon is going to be the one who ends up cured (possibly by accident because Elena is about to be forcibly cured after she's changed her mind, possibly because Elena changes her mind and he still needs to break the sirebond, possibly because of whatever reason).
.....
Stefan would freak the fuck up. 100% guaranteed. Human, mortal, fragile, eventually-not-going-to-be-here-anymore Damon? No big brother for little brother? One ticket to Meltdown-ville, thanks.


I agree with your comments 100%. I still think the big "shocker" this season will be Damon turning human again. That also goes along with the books. Maybe he'll die as a result of his humanity, maybe he won't, but I think the big twist is who's gonna get the cure, not who's gonna die.
(no subject) - arabian on January 18th, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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lovingdelena88: pic#117897624lovingdelena88 on January 18th, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
Damn, wow, that was freaking AMAZING. It's like you went into my brain and picked it out. I wish I was this good at writing my thoughts down. So yeah I agree with everything that you said, and now I just started reading your other recaps and opinions, it seemed to me like you just get it, you get the characters, you get the story and you just get the writers. Are sure you're not JP is disguise or something cause you never know, lol.

I absolutely love this episode for the reasons you mentioned, I was not disappointed at all, especially with the "I love you phone call", first I was like mad cause the first time Elena says I love you to Damon, I didn't want it to be over the phone, you know. I wanted to be more personal, but it was personal. Plus it totally correcred the mistake that was made in 3.22. The writers did that on purpose. Elena made a mistake that night and she corrected last night. But I also believed that everything happens for a reason. I will never question JP and the writers again, they obviously know what they're doing. The Stefan/Elena scene did break my heart, mainly because of Nina and Paul's acting. But I feel like Stefan freaking deserved it, after everything he put Elena through, all the shit he's done and pain he has caused her, has yet to freaking apologized for it, (not the half ass apology we got). When she said, Stefan saw her a project, a broken toy, I was done. So even before she turned, Elena thought Stefan always saw her as a "toy", his perfect, human version of Katherine who can do no wrong. That broke my heart, that girl is by far the strongest character in the show period, no supernatural powers needed.

Oh Ian's acting, oh my lord. I'll leave it to that. Just powerful, when he looked up the sky and smiled. I was on the floor, bawling. I can't wait the rest episodes, I can't wait to see Stefan spiraling out of control, but I'm starting to think you are right about Stefan having to lose Damon for real to truly open his eyes. If you think, even though they hated each other, Damon is the one constant thing in Stefan's life, and vice versa. I do believe DEFAN is the true love story of the show. This episode was flawless, period.
Arabian: Damon & Elena25arabian on January 20th, 2013 08:45 am (UTC)
first I was like mad cause the first time Elena says I love you to Damon, I didn't want it to be over the phone, you know. I wanted to be more personal, but it was personal. Plus it totally correcred the mistake that was made in 3.22. The writers did that on purpose. Elena made a mistake that night and she corrected last night.

My disappointment was for an entirely different reason (I was convinced that Elena would tell him in her bedroom since he told her first in her bedroom), but once I realized they were doing the parallel to the 3.22 phone call and that Elena was on THE PORCH, I was quite, quite happy.

I will never question JP and the writers again, they obviously know what they're doing.

Yup, after episode 02, I realized that all of my fears about season 03 were unnecessary because all that happened, happened for a reason and every single one has been handled, dealt with to a degree that totally makes character sense, and in the case of the phone call, "fixes" things.

The Stefan/Elena scene did break my heart, mainly because of Nina and Paul's acting.

Paul didn't impress me with his lack of differentiating Ripper!Stefan from pissed-off, broken-hearted Stefan in the first and (especially) last scene, but he was great in the other scenes. And Nina was just aces.

that girl is by far the strongest character in the show period, no supernatural powers needed.

Yes, she is, dangit!!

Oh Ian's acting, oh my lord. I'll leave it to that. Just powerful, when he looked up the sky and smiled.

He was so PHENOMENAL in the tail-end of that scene. Just fantastic!

I'm starting to think you are right about Stefan having to lose Damon for real to truly open his eyes.

Yup, I can't see anything else hitting him enough to do it.

This episode was flawless, period.

It was pretty great. :)

Edited at 2013-01-20 10:11 am (UTC)
wiccabuffy: TVD - Girl Next Door (Nina)wiccabuffy on January 19th, 2013 05:13 am (UTC)
I freaked out at Elena's admission under compulsion, therefore proving she REALLY loves Damon and is IN love with him, but not Stefan. I was going to be happy with just that. But then to have her say it to Damon TWICE over the phone on the porch? My heart. Oh my heart as Damon's eyes went from disbelief to such vulnerability. Just some amazing acting done by Ian in that scene with just his reaction to her words. Then how choked up he was, the "come to me" (GUH), and the look up to the heavens or sky or Ric (*sob*) with that last little smile of happiness. Because he was finally chosen and finally loved.

So yeah, pretty much the best night to be a Delena fan.
Arabian: NinaDobrev08arabian on January 20th, 2013 08:46 am (UTC)
I freaked out at Elena's admission under compulsion, therefore proving she REALLY loves Damon and is IN love with him, but not Stefan.

I feel so vindicated because I mentioned this in my write-up of the premiere episode:
    ... not much passion there [in the cells]. Yes, yes, she was weak, she was dying, but still, I just didn't feel like they were in love. That they love each other? Absolutely. Like they have this strong history? Yuppers. But in love? No, it just wasn't there. But, again, I'm not a Stefan/Elena fan, LOL!
So apparently it was not just because I'm not a Stefan/Elena fan, yay!!!

I just knew the way they were playing this, they were not in love. I think their end really was in 2.20 when Stefan let go of her hand, letting her walk to her death at the sacrifice without even putting up a fight.

I I was going to be happy with just that. But then to have her say it to Damon TWICE over the phone on the porch? My heart. Oh my heart as Damon's eyes went from disbelief to such vulnerability. Just some amazing acting done by Ian in that scene with just his reaction to her words. Then how choked up he was, the "come to me" (GUH), and the look up to the heavens or sky or Ric (*sob*) with that last little smile of happiness. Because he was finally chosen and finally loved.

Yes, yes, yes! THIS! THIS! THIS!! SO MUCH THIS'ES IN ALL THE UNIVERSES!!!

So yeah, pretty much the best night to be a Delena fan.

*sigh*
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Not Leaving (D/E)butterfly on January 19th, 2013 07:48 am (UTC)
They've taken a depressing Damon/Elena scene from an earlier time (the phone conversation in "The Departed") and put a positive spin on it.

Thanks for reminding me about that, btw. I was all, "Ooooh, that makes sense," after we talked. It really had to be over the phone, because of what happened in 3x22.

There was another interesting contrast. I went back and re-watched when Elena first told Stefan that she loved him, and it wasn't face to face (yes, they were together, but his back was to her) and her eyes were shining with suppressed emotion, and her voice was heavy with determination, but it wasn't a happy moment. The shine of her eyes wasn't one of happiness, but because she was trying not to cry because Stefan was walking away from her. On the flip side, Elena and Damon aren't face to face, but they are emotionally connected. Her eyes are shining with emotion, but it's not suppressed, and it's happy and her glistening eyes are glistening with tears of joy barely held back.

Yes. Especially the contrast of the song played right after the ILY moment: for Stefan/Elena, it's a self-harm song. For Damon/Elena, it's that beautiful "I want you here" song. Which tracks with the relief, too, because (and this may trigger people on the subject of self-harm), as someone who is a recovering cutter, there is relief in cutting (as the song itself says).

I'm going to put the lyrics here, just so that we can see the contrast:

I'm not a stranger
No I am yours
With crippled anger
And tears that still drip sore

A fragile flame aged
With misery
And when our hearts meet
I know you see

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut

I may seem crazy
Or painfully shy
And these scars wouldn't be so hidden
If you would just look me in the eye
I feel alone here and cold here
Though I don't want to die
But the only anesthetic that makes me feel anything kills inside

I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut
Pain
I am not alone
I am not alone

I'm not a stranger
No I am yours
With crippled anger
And tears that still drip sore

But I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I found it when
I was cut


Elena was using Stefan like a cutter uses a knife -- she was using him to stave off her suicidal and depressed feelings. But the problem with self-harm -- and with Stefan -- is that it is a fleeting relief. My good therapist, the one that really helped me, called it an 'inefficient coping mechanism'. And, again, I think that is a good summary of S/E.

Frankly, this song is perfect for how unsustainable Stefan/Elena is (and, actually, in retrospect, makes me 100% certain that 1.10 is the very latest they decided to make Damon/Elena endgame as opposed to S/E; when they picked this song for S/E's first love scene, they knew that S/E was not going to be the final couple). This is not a relationship that will help Elena over the long-term. It's a short-term solution for her problem of survivor's guilt and grief over her parents' death.

Okay, end of self-harm talk.
Arabian: Damon & Elena12arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:05 am (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me about that, btw. I was all, "Ooooh, that makes sense," after we talked.

No problem, it's my never-ending quest apparently to make you OK with 3.22, LOL!

It really had to be over the phone, because of what happened in 3x22.

Yeah. I was disappointed a bit at first because I was so sure her first ILU would be in her bedroom since that's when he first told her, but once I realized, duh, phone AND, AND, AND... she's on the PORCH!, I was happy.

the contrast of the song played right after the ILY moment: for Stefan/Elena, it's a self-harm song. For Damon/Elena, it's that beautiful "I want you here" song. Which tracks with the relief, too, because (and this may trigger people on the subject of self-harm), as someone who is a recovering cutter, there is relief in cutting (as the song itself says).

I hadn't thought of the relief aspect of both. BUt yeah, I completely agree with you that by the latest, episode 10 was when they knew S/E was not endgame... I mean, yeah, it's a song about self-harm. Period.

Elena was using Stefan like a cutter uses a knife -- she was using him to stave off her suicidal and depressed feelings. But the problem with self-harm -- and with Stefan -- is that it is a fleeting relief. My good therapist, the one that really helped me, called it an 'inefficient coping mechanism'. And, again, I think that is a good summary of S/E.

Yup, I will always maintain that Stefan was necessary for Elena to be with first. Damon would have been so wrong for her at that point, she was too broken, but as she grew stronger (thanks, in part to Damon, and of course, Stefan's love and her own resilient strength), she grew beyond the need for that kind of coping mechanism.

Frankly, this song is perfect for how unsustainable Stefan/Elena is (and, actually, in retrospect, makes me 100% certain that 1.10 is the very latest they decided to make Damon/Elena endgame as opposed to S/E; when they picked this song for S/E's first love scene, they knew that S/E was not going to be the final couple). This is not a relationship that will help Elena over the long-term. It's a short-term solution for her problem of survivor's guilt and grief over her parents' death.

Yup, yup. Indeed.
(no subject) - butterfly on January 20th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2013 05:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Bonnie is satisfiedbutterfly on January 19th, 2013 07:48 am (UTC)
pt 2


Damon, in direct contrast to Stefan, challenges Elena and encourages her to grow. He tells her to cut away the things in her life that aren't making her happy anymore (cheerleading) and to find out what will make her happy now. Stefan was a short-term gap-stop for her pain; Damon helped her on a long-term solution of finding peace and happiness in being alive.

Still, it's not hearts and flowers with these two, and the fact that even as we got those three words, we also got the reality that Damon IS a vampire and Damon may have his list of people that he'll protect/care for, but Damon does kill people, and he will cross ANY line to do what's best for Elena. That’s where the certainty of endgame comes from for me because just because they are together and they love each other, there is still a journey here. They still have many an obstacle to overcome.

I'm hoping that Elena will argue with Damon next episode, heatedly, and that the very act of arguing with him will make her question how the sire bond can really be a thing that's real. But I loved her "ugh, screw it, whatever" face when she mentioned the sire bond.

Damon and Elena are not some clichéd EPIC romance, made up of big moments only. They have the big moments, yes, but the foundation of what they have now is based on the in-betweens, the silence in the spaces, the comfort in the knowing and wanting to know completely who they other is. This is something that she never had with Stefan. Because Stefan wanted this perfect picture with the two of them acting out their roles just so.

Yep. And this, too, was set up as early as the third episode, when they put away the dishes together. Little domestic moments.

It was a little frustrating then, but completely in character. And the same thing happened here. Elena talked about “lately” Stefan looked at her like a project, a broken toy that needed to be fixed. And it was clear she was talking about post-vampirism. But like during their break-up conversation, things were like this with them before.

Yep, yep.
Arabian: Bonnie03arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:05 am (UTC)
Damon, in direct contrast to Stefan, challenges Elena and encourages her to grow. He tells her to cut away the things in her life that aren't making her happy anymore (cheerleading) and to find out what will make her happy now. Stefan was a short-term gap-stop for her pain; Damon helped her on a long-term solution of finding peace and happiness in being alive.

Yup, and part of that problem is because STEFAN himself is so determined to suffer and that worked when Elena needed that guilt to carry on another day. But without that commonality, they're connection is gone essentially. Basically, Stefan kept Elena down, Damon raises her up.

I'm hoping that Elena will argue with Damon next episode, heatedly, and that the very act of arguing with him will make her question how the sire bond can really be a thing that's real.

Unless, Damon has a plan. That's something that struck me later. But, she could still argue with him and then if there is a plan, the details emerge and we get some sire bond questioning.

But I loved her "ugh, screw it, whatever" face when she mentioned the sire bond.

So much love for how Nina played that line. It was perfection.
(no subject) - butterfly on January 20th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2013 05:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
archangel_blood: D/E like you wanna be lovedarchangel_blood on January 19th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
Part 1

I liked the episode. Yes, low-key is a good way to put it, but unlike some who I’ve seen complaining about it, I didn’t find it boring at all.

I adore the “I love you” scene, like absolutely, no reservations adore it. I sensed the parallel coming from like a mile away, which is why I had no problem with it being said over the phone.

And Damon's face, oh boy, Damon's face.

I know, my God, his face. Breaking my heart in all the right ways, is what he does to me.

there really wasn’t much Damon/Jeremy crack for me to enjoy tonight. (sobs)

Aw, I loved Damon/Jeremy this episode. Jeremy’s resigned look when he was told to go run around the lake (twice), the hopeful way he asked ”Did you see that?” when he took down Matt, it made me happy. Jeremy still seeks Damon’s approval like a lost puppy. Even when he accused Damon that he doesn’t care about him at all, and is doing this only for Elena, it looked as if he was hoping for Damon to deny this. Which he wouldn’t, of course, because he’s Damon. We all know he does care about the boy though. He promised him and Matt ice cream, after all. Lol

Also, he lowered his guard a bit to ask Jeremy about Elena. Yeah, at that point he just couldn’t not ask, but for Damon this meant showing a weakness. The fact that he was ready to let Jeremy see that says something about their relationship, I think. And he took the subsequent teasing quite well :D

I know he’s NOT a good guy, but I freaking love Shane.

I find myself loving the guy more and more too. He manages to be smart, shady, creepy and absolutely hilarious at the same time. Oh, and I agree with Bonnie and Elena on this one, he’s kinda hot.

Now, for the parts I felt ambivalent about, i.e. the whole compelling the truth out of people. I wouldn’t say I was upset, because to me it makes sense, considering. We find ourselves at a point where the writers have painted themselves into a corner, as far as I’m concerned. After that much denial and struggle to bury the truth so deep, where no one would ever find it, nothing short of compelling can get Elena and Stefan to tell the truth about their feelings anymore. They had to resort to this, but I still wish, for Elena’s sake, they hadn’t. I’m kinda fed up with her having to expose herself, her feelings and her decisions to the world, to be doubted and looked down upon, and to have to defend herself over and over again. This is precisely the reason I’m more than ready for the sire bond SL to be over now.

I’m thinking the whole sire bond, possibly the cure storyline is going to be over by the end of the next batch of episodes

Yes, please. Get it over with, and give poor Elena a break. I have this mental picture of Elena losing her shit, and smashing the face of the next person who asks her “Are you sure about that?” lol TBH, I’m kinda hoping it happens.
Arabian: Damon & Elena26arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:34 am (UTC)
I liked the episode. Yes, low-key is a good way to put it, but unlike some who I’ve seen complaining about it, I didn’t find it boring at all.

Yeah, low-key and boring are not the same thing. Honestly, the only time TVD has bored me was a bit during the Stefan/Elena, Matt/Caroline scenes in 1.16 "There Goes the Neighborhood," and random Tyler/Caroline scenes here and there. Boring is just not a word I associate with this show. And this episode was definitely not so.

I adore the “I love you” scene, like absolutely, no reservations adore it. I sensed the parallel coming from like a mile away, which is why I had no problem with it being said over the phone.

I didn't even think of that parallel because I was just convinced that the first ILU would be in her bedroom since that's when he first told her, but once I realized, duh, phone AND, AND, AND... she's on the PORCH!, I was happy.

I know, my God, his face. Breaking my heart in all the right ways, is what he does to me.

I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aw, I loved Damon/Jeremy this episode.

I enjoyed them, I think I just got my hopes up a bit that there would be more. And all the things you pointed out were things I noticed as well, I guess I just wanted one small moment of non-(if even feigned)-attitude from Jeremy to him. Even a sliver of real appreciation for what Damon is doing. For Elena or not, he's still doing it.

I find myself loving the guy more and more too. He manages to be smart, shady, creepy and absolutely hilarious at the same time. Oh, and I agree with Bonnie and Elena on this one, he’s kinda hot.

Agreed. Especially with that wet hair look!

We find ourselves at a point where the writers have painted themselves into a corner, as far as I’m concerned. After that much denial and struggle to bury the truth so deep, where no one would ever find it, nothing short of compelling can get Elena and Stefan to tell the truth about their feelings anymore.

I went into detail about this to eolivet above, so I'll link you to those comments. I agree, but I don't think it was so much as painted in the corner, as a natural resolution to character roadblocks that had been deliberately set up because that is simply who these characters are... and the things that lead to that stubborness have resulted in awesome outcomes as well.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ... Yeah, I'm wordy. ;)

I still wish, for Elena’s sake, they hadn’t. I’m kinda fed up with her having to expose herself, her feelings and her decisions to the world, to be doubted and looked down upon, and to have to defend herself over and over again.

Well, I guess I'm OK with it because it's only been since episode 07 of this season with a few random occurrences throughout the other seasons, and before that, it's mostly everyone falling in line and letting Elena make the decisions.

This is precisely the reason I’m more than ready for the sire bond SL to be over now.

I'm OK with the length... if it's over in this next batch of episodes. I don't want it to drag on beyond this into the next hiatus and beyond.

Get it over with, and give poor Elena a break.

I actually think Damon and Stefan are suffering more over it than Elena simply because (as she showed in this episode), she pretty much feels: "Sire bond? Pfft! Whatever." She made that clear in her sassy comment to Rebekah, and in how she just blew it off when telling Damon she loved him.

Edited at 2013-01-20 09:36 am (UTC)
(no subject) - archangel_blood on January 20th, 2013 11:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2013 05:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - archangel_blood on January 21st, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 22nd, 2013 07:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
archangel_blood: D/E your safetyarchangel_blood on January 19th, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
Part 2

The Truth or Dare game also showcased how Stefan manages to twist reality until it makes sense to him. The fact that he was sprouting absolute bullshit, while under compulsion, just made it canon that he actually believes his own lies. I maintain that he’s the biggest, most dangerous sociopath of them all. Being able to maim and mutilate the truth, then put it together like one of his victims, until he likes the way it looks, and actually believing 100% this grotesque he’s created, just, man! This is as fascinatingly repulsive and perverse as it gets.

And then he wanted Elena and their relationship erased from his memories. No words really. I guess it was too much for him to try and retcon. Better remove it altogether.

Which Damon did not, never has done. He even told Elena on his deathbed that he would have gone through all the pain, even without her loving him, if it meant he had known her.

THIS. This is the first thing I thought of when Stefan accepted Rebekah’s offer. I have no idea how people still manage to miss all the contrasting and parallelism on this show. Seriously, can they make it anymore clear: this, kids, is what real love looks like, as opposed to loving the idea of real love.

She’s not broken anymore; she’s not the helpless damsel in distress who Stefan doesn’t want to fight back (as he said in “Unpleasantville”). She’s healthier, she’s stronger, she fights back.

Yes, yes, yes. We’ve talked about this before, and it is still one of my main issues with the S/E debacle of a relationship. Please show, please never ever go back to S/E, I don’t think I can handle it anymore.

I did like what she had to say to Stefan though, even if it was only part of the truth. Go, Elena!

Decent episode, all in all.

In conclusion:

Damon Salvatore. He got the girl. And he’s smiling. *sigh*

*Sigh* Congratulations on your face, sir. Congratulations.
Arabian: Damon & Elena23arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)
The Truth or Dare game also showcased how Stefan manages to twist reality until it makes sense to him. The fact that he was sprouting absolute bullshit, while under compulsion, just made it canon that he actually believes his own lies.

Which is what I (and some others) have been saying for quite some time. SEE?! This show KNOWS it's characters. It's a six-year arc, we just need to be patient and let it play out. If they've maintained these ratings (great for the CW) for nearly four years, they're gonna make it to all six seasons!

I maintain that he’s the biggest, most dangerous sociopath of them all. Being able to maim and mutilate the truth, then put it together like one of his victims, until he likes the way it looks, and actually believing 100% this grotesque he’s created, just, man! This is as fascinatingly repulsive and perverse as it gets.

I don't see it that way. It boils down to the fact that Stefan has ALWAYS been chosen. Always. He's ALWAYS the one, and for the first time in his 163 years, Stefan Salvatore is NOT the chosen one. This is insanely messing with his psyche. On top of that, he's still detoxing, de-stressing from his recent Ripper foray, and it's been non-stop chaos careening from one major hurdle to another. He is going through a lot, and is in a situation that (a) he doesn't understand (the whole not chosen thing probably hasn't penetrated yet), (b) can't really discuss with anyone because anyone he does admit that to would want to smack him upside the head, and (c) the girl that he's pinned all of his hopes and dreams on essentially broke up with him because she's in love with his brother, and she hopped into bed with said brother two seconds after they broke up. That is a LOT to take.

He's not a sociopath, he's just so filled with self-loathing that he doesn't know how to cope. He never learned how because he had that bleeping bitca known as Lexi "teaching" him the absolute worst way to cope. So he's learned to create this fantasy for himself to keep from falling apart. And now that fantasy is falling apart. Dude's messed up, but not in an evil way, just in a totally beyond-emo way. My poor, bb, Stefan. (Yes, I still love him.)

And then he wanted Elena and their relationship erased from his memories. No words really. I guess it was too much for him to try and retcon. Better remove it altogether.

Yup. Fantasy falling apart. If he can't tiptoe through the tulips of delusion with her, he needs to erase that failed fantasy and create a new one. Or he's just going to completely fall apart. (Which is where I think and really, really hope we're heading. Boy needs to get onto that road of self-love and recovery and I truly don't think it will ever happen until he hits hard-rock-bottom.)

THIS. This is the first thing I thought of when Stefan accepted Rebekah’s offer. I have no idea how people still manage to miss all the contrasting and parallelism on this show. Seriously, can they make it anymore clear: this, kids, is what real love looks like, as opposed to loving the idea of real love.

Yup. Yup, yup, yup. But it's not even just S/E fans, D/E fans are still bitching about the writing and how the writers are so unfair to Damon and Elena. And I'm thinking WHAAATTT?!?!? Damon and Elena get EVERY major moment. And I keep going back to 3.22 -- DAMON is who we saw found out she was dead. Not Stefan. DAMON is who we saw find out that she was going to be a vampire. Not Stefan. That? Was fucking huge. Damon/Elena are THE couple. Not Stefan/Elena, and only somewhat who is ignoring the broad, neon-blinding signs or seriously delusional can miss it.

Yes, yes, yes. We’ve talked about this before, and it is still one of my main issues with the S/E debacle of a relationship. Please show, please never ever go back to S/E, I don’t think I can handle it anymore.

I'm kinda not sure how they ever can at this point.

[Damon Salvatore. He got the girl. And he’s smiling. *sigh*] *Sigh* Congratulations on your face, sir. Congratulations.

This. So much this!

Edited at 2013-01-20 10:16 am (UTC)
(no subject) - archangel_blood on January 20th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2013 05:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - arabian on January 22nd, 2013 07:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
La vida de lloronalaudanumdream on January 19th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
I agree with your post, but I always do, so that isn't anything new.

There were a couple of things that I had to add. For some reason, I did like the direction in this show. It felt like there were smooth transitions taking place. Maybe it was just the one scene that stood out in my mind: Caroline is on the phone with Stefan and he walks out of Mystic Grill and the camera just moves with him until it stops on Sheriff Forbes. I just thought that was a great scene, very smooth.

I had all the Damon feelings you had. I didn't go all *squee* when Elena said she loved him, maybe I'm broken. My heart did flutter when he said, "I'll find the cure for you." It was like he was a little boy making this promise to this girl he really wants to make happy, and it was so genuine. I remember his interaction with Katherine in the flash backs (primarily because I watch season 2 while I'm working at school after hours) and even when he was trying to please her then, it didn't seem as genuine as when he was on the phone with Elena this time.

I also loved how he said he was going to do things she didn't want/like him to do. It showed that he actually does take into account her feelings, but alas he is Damon and he always tries to put priority on the important things. It constantly takes me back to when he told Stefan after the whole Bonnie-fake death-debacle that while Stefan is worrying about feelings, Damon is going to worry about keeping Elena alive, etc. At least this time he is full-out recognizing to her that she's not going to like what he is going to have to do. I felt like that put him yet another step ahead of Stefan anyway. Stefan will either do whatever he fits his own agenda, or not do the right thing because he's worried about offending someone. I don't recall him ever consulting with Elena to say, "Listen, I know this isn't the right thing to do, but we have to do it anyway."

As I'm going back through season 2 and kind of seeing the error of my ways in terms of my feelings toward Bonnie, I did appreciate her performance. She's a powerful powerful witch and she's thrown into these situations she DOESN'T want to be in, but she's forced to be involved. Sucks.

And finally, maybe my misplaced "Bonnie is annoying" feelings are now being projected onto April. I don't know why, but I feel like I appreciate it when she's not in a scene!

Oh, one more thing: I didn't get through the books. When Elena was all, "I love you Stefan, I always will!" after only knowing him for several days I couldn't get past the writing. Therefore, could someone please spoil me with book knowledge? I'm reading here that Damon supposedly dies in the books. How different are the books in comparison to the series so far? I know a few things are different (i.e. the Meredith stuff... Jeremy is actually a little sister... Caroline wasn't as awesome, Elena was blonde and super popular, etc.) but I'm talking about the crux of the story - the whole Damon/Elena dynamic... Alaric... Klaus and the originals. Know what I mean?
hotarujazz: hands and dance 4x07hotarujazz on January 20th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
To answer your book questions: It's very different plot and the characters are also as different as they can be. I would say that for me late season 1 early season 2 is the closest show!Damon to book!Damon and that is the closest any character from the show is to the characters from the books.
The books were written by L.J.Smith until Midnight(I think, I read the book a while go and they didn't really impress me at all so I forgot a lot of stuff) and then she refused to make Stefan/Elena the central couple and end game. She wanted Damon/Elena so the publisher fired her(the publisher had the rights to the books) and hired a ghost writer. In the books Damon dies 2 times actually but don't put much credence into the book plots because it's different universe even!
(no subject) - arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 20th, 2013 09:57 am (UTC) (Expand)