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08 December 2013 @ 02:28 am
5.09 - 'The Cell' -- Take Two (The Vampire Diaries)  
So a few days have passed and I have a few more thoughts on "The Cell."

I feel better. I still have issue with a few of the out-of-character moments: Elena accepting Damon's apology for getting her into the mess that she got herself (and Damon into) without a word, Katherine stating Stefan as a hero and savior on high as fact, and Damon taunting a distraught, gun-toting kid who could possibly release Elena. However the biggie, Damon killing Aunt Sarah while summer-loving with Elena, I'm OK with. And I had a few more thoughts too, so, here they be .... (shamelessly copied from some comments in my last post :D)

- Yeah, Damon is still going to kill. It is who he is. Damon is a vampire, he's a predator. He's a killer. They all are, every single one of them, after all, vampires. That is Vampire Diaries mythology. When they feel it's justified (even Elena) they will kill. Elena just killed (another vampire, but still) in the last episode. They kill. Period. Damon feels that killing the Whitmores (for what they did to him) is justified, therefore, they need to be killed. End of story. It's justified. And it's justified for Damon because this is more than just a revenge scheme. It's about keeping a promise to himself. It's about keeping a promise to Enzo. It's about proving that no matter what the Whitmores did to him, they didn't win because he's still punishing them. It's still an ongoing experiment that he's trapped in mentally, but he's "winning" because he's taking them out one by one over and over again.

Below, someone commented that Damon doesn't kill impulsively any longer and therefore this was out of character. I agree that Damon doesn't do that. However, this wasn't an impulsive kill. It was a thought-out, planned kill. It one that went along with a plan that he had been following for 60 years because it kept him sane and "alive" during five years of intense, insane, unimaginable torture, because he promised himself he would do so. It was a measure of respect and devotion to his friend who he feels he betrayed and can never forgive himself for doing so, and because in doing so, as I said above, he is still punishing Dr. Whitmore for what he did to him by punishing the children of his children and so on and so forth. There is absolutely nothing impulsive about this. This is as calculated as it comes and speaks to the very heart of Damon's messed up, deep-rooted issues that scream of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and overall lack of self-love brought on by his father, Katherine and even Stefan to a degree. Dr. Whitmore treating him like vermin physically compounded that into his psyche for five years. This is Damon's tangible revenge keeping that inferiority complex at bay.

- We've been getting hints since the season started that Damon and Elena aren't handling their romantic relationship as well as they could be. Unlike how they were pre-relationship where they practically never lied to one another and kept secrets, they are doing it quite a bit now. And we keep finding out, yeah, they did it during the summer too. I mean, Damon kept the fact that he kept to his revenge scheme from Elena and, of course, he couldn't tell her because he didn't tell her about his five years as a lab rat. And Elena kept from Damon that she was having warm/cold and connected feelings about Stefan all summer long while she was boinking Damon senseless. No, not on the same level, but still emotionally pretty bad.

They've both been lying to each other, keeping things from each other all to "protect" the other. They've got issues. I think this may be the start of deconstructing those issues. First of all Elena keeps saying that she accepts Damon, warts and all. Well, here's her chance to prove it because, yeah, Damon is not a great guy. He does kill people. He does make bad choices. He did plan a revenge scheme and stick to it. He shoved it deep down and moved on. He took what happened to him and put it in a separate compartment from what was happening with Elena and their love. That makes perfect sense. And Elena knows how Damon operates. And she chose him knowing that about him. On the other hand, we have Damon. Damon needs to realize that he can't do that separation thingie. He needs to choose love over revenge. And he can't keep Elena and such revenge schemes in separate boxes. Again, that honesty they shared when they weren't together in a romantic relationship has to continue now that they are together.

- I'm hoping, re: Enzo, that Damon will be put in a situation where he can save Enzo or himself again and he chooses to save Enzo. I'm also hoping that we find out that Enzo realizes that Damon couldn't save him. It was literally either Damon could have saved himself or they both would have died. On the other hand, Enzo has been tortured for 70 years now, so..........

- Unlikely, but I'm holding onto hope that I can still get that group effort to save Damon. In the next episode they don't realize that Damon is missing too because only Elena would care about him being unable to be reached so as a group effort they save Elena. They don't realize that Damon is there in the cells too, so that we still get the group effort to save Damon after they're back and Elena is all like: "YOU DIDN'T SAVE MY BOO!?!?!?!" I will dream that dream until that dream shatters into dust, dangit!

And that's it. :)
 
 
 
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Mog [new]bogwitch on December 8th, 2013 10:02 am (UTC)
>>It's still an ongoing experiment that he's trapped in mentally, but he's "winning" because he's taking them out one by one over and over again.

That's a great way of putting it.

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about this, though I didn't draw all that many conclusions. I think all those people on Tumblr that think he didn't do this will be wrong, partly because I can't see how a reveal that he was just making it up to divert attention from Elena would work in another episode - TV just doesn't work like that - and partly because I believe Damon is more than capable of doing that. Something like this was bound to happen, it's up to Elena now to decide if she can accept that.
Arabian: Elena07arabian on December 8th, 2013 10:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, someone in the other thread thought I was saying that Damon could only have been killing the Whitmores for revenge and as I was responding, I was trying to explain why it would have been so much more than just revenge for Damon. It was psychologically so much deeper for Damon.

I think all those people on Tumblr that think he didn't do this will be wrong, partly because I can't see how a reveal that he was just making it up to divert attention from Elena would work in another episode - TV just doesn't work like that - and partly because I believe Damon is more than capable of doing that.

Right, I'm not doing tumblr anymore, so I was really surprised by the number of people in my thread who were saying/hoping/indicating that they hoped/if Damon didn't kill her and I was like, kinda confuzzled because, of course, he killed her. It honestly never crossed my mind that he didn't. That was the whole point of bringing up Sarah. That was the whole point of bringing up the closeness of Aaron and Elena and the comparison of her losing her parents, him losing his parents, her losing her aunt, now she finds out he lost his aunt, and then finding out that Damon planned a revenge but we didn't find out what the revenge was until the end. Of course he killed her. I'll be shocked if he didn't.

it's up to Elena now to decide if she can accept that.

And if she can't, then she's been lying to him and herself for the last year or so and the character of Elena as written is a lie because that means she's been lying to herself all along. Because she was willing to forgive horrendous awful Stefan things because of her love, and she's been willing to forgive awful things from her friends because of her love for them. If she can't do the same for Damon... then, well, she's not the Elena we've know for the last four and a half seasons.
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Mog [new]bogwitch on December 8th, 2013 11:47 am (UTC)
Even if it is just revenge, it's not really(!) because it's not just revenge for him, it's for Enzo. It's assuaging his guilt.

I hate Tumblr, but at least there's life there (even if it's all half my age). I'm not getting this argument though; I thought Damon had killed Aaron's parents the moment it was mentioned they were killed by vampires. Aunt is not so clear cut maybe, it could have been Enzo if he'd escaped or something, but I doubt it. Elena is clearly meant to be questioning if Caroline is right, but she's not going to go 'Phew! That was all just a misunderstanding', this is Damon and he has issues he needs to work though.

>And if she can't, then she's been lying to him and herself for the last year or so

Exactly.
Arabian: Damon & Elena33arabian on December 8th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
Even if it is just revenge, it's not really(!) because it's not just revenge for him, it's for Enzo. It's assuaging his guilt.

Right. I actually wound up adding a lot more above about the whole thing (because an anonymous commenter is still having issues with it) that brought up the Enzo angle as well.

It was a thought-out, planned kill. It one that went along with a plan that he had been following for 60 years because it kept him sane and "alive" during five years of intense, insane, unimaginable torture, because he promised himself he would do so. It was a measure of respect and devotion to his friend who he feels he betrayed and can never forgive himself for doing so, and because in doing so, as I said above, he is still punishing Dr. Whitmore for what he did to him by punishing the children of his children and so on and so forth. There is absolutely nothing impulsive about this. This is as calculated as it comes and speaks to the very heart of Damon's messed up, deep-rooted issues that scream of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and overall lack of self-love brought on by his father, Katherine and even Stefan to a degree. Dr. Whitmore treating him like vermin physically compounded that into his psyche for five years. This is Damon's tangible revenge keeping that inferiority complex at bay.

Aunt is not so clear cut maybe

I dunno, I just really don't question it at all. If I'm wrong that would be cool, but I really don't see how I am. Especially since it makes so much sense. Aaron is now of legal age, and Damon only lives one Whitmore alive so it makes sense that Damon would have killed Aunt Sarah once Aaron turned 18.

Elena is clearly meant to be questioning if Caroline is right, but she's not going to go 'Phew! That was all just a misunderstanding', this is Damon and he has issues he needs to work though.

Right, everything just points to that, yes, Damon did this. So, I don't really see how he didn't. :shrugs:

>And if she can't, then she's been lying to him and herself for the last year or so

Exactly.


And that is NOT how they are going to write the heroine of their show and THE most popular love story and one of THE most popular love stories on television. Nope. Not gonna happen. No one's that stupid.

Edited at 2013-12-08 11:54 am (UTC)
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Mog [new]bogwitch on December 8th, 2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I saw when I read down the thread and I nearly butted in as I loved this bit:

This is as calculated as it comes and speaks to the very heart of Damon's messed up, deep-rooted issues that scream of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and overall lack of self-love brought on by his father, Katherine and even Stefan to a degree. Dr. Whitmore treating him like vermin physically compounded that into his psyche for five years..

Add in Damon's single-mindedness with his plans...
Arabian: Damon03arabian on December 8th, 2013 12:39 pm (UTC)
Yup, Damon and his plans.

Those five years really were the physical embodiment of Giuseppi/Katherine's treatment of him.
(Anonymous) on December 8th, 2013 10:12 am (UTC)
I congratulate you that you made peace with Damon seemingly killing the aunt. Sadly I'm not there yet and might never be. Yes Damon sometimes does crazy, awfully bad things and he was on revenge mode for a very long time, BUT he changed a lot since then and it's nowhere implied in recent narrative that he still goes arround impulsivly killing people.

I might be able to stomach the story more easily if they had shown him struggling on the show. Maybe putting in some foreshadowing. And no, some random accusations one/two episodes before from Caroline (not the most reliable source) are just not cutting it! The writers have to do better than this - or at least they should.

They want to still keep the morally grey (or is it black) Damon, fine. Show it to me, build it up/build it in, don't hit us over the head with it at the last minute just to shock people. I get that Damon has issues, he is not at the end of the road yet. Evenso, at this point of Damon's journey the writers can't pull a JNSI or Jessica-Moment without laying some (any?) groundwork. And even back then they gave him reasons - not the best ones, but still.

This time around? It just doen't make sense and came out of the blue. Damon had his revenge plan for years. He might have killed countless Whitmores prior to the show, including Aaron's parents, so what made him suddenly wait 15?/12? years to go after the aunt? And why this summer? What was his supposed trigger? The writers should have hinted on that, but they didn't, therefore leaving me exceptionnally frustrated with this storyline.

I really hope that I will overcome my issues with 5x09 like you did! I want to be in a happier place with this show again, the constant worrying is getting to me!
Arabian: Damon & Elena31arabian on December 8th, 2013 10:44 am (UTC)
Yes Damon sometimes does crazy, awfully bad things and he was on revenge mode for a very long time, BUT he changed a lot since then and it's nowhere implied in recent narrative that he still goes arround impulsivly killing people.

I agree with you completely, but this wasn't an impulsive kill. Clearly this was not an impulsive kill. It was a thought-out, planned kill. It one that went along with a plan that he had been following for 60 years because it kept him sane and "alive" during five years of intense, insane, unimaginable torture, because he promised himself he would do so. It was a measure of respect and devotion to his friend who he feels he betrayed and can never forgive himself for doing so, and because in doing so, as I said above, he is still punishing Dr. Whitmore for what he did to him by punishing the children of his children and so on and so forth. There is absolutely nothing impulsive about this. This is as calculated as it comes and speaks to the very heart of Damon's messed up, deep-rooted issues that scream of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and overall lack of self-love brought on by his father, Katherine and even Stefan to a degree. Dr. Whitmore treating him like vermin physically compounded that into his psyche for five years. This is Damon's tangible revenge keeping that inferiority complex at bay. (And I'm so adding this to my post.)

I might be able to stomach the story more easily if they had shown him struggling on the show.

We've seen Damon struggling with this since the third episode of season 01. This all goes back to Damon fighting the demons inside of him. He still hasn't conquered those demons. In "True Lies," he said to her, you didn't torture him, come on, you're talking to a reformed serial killer. Damon killed Katherine, the only woman he loved before Elena just to give Elena what she wanted. Damon snapped his brother's neck over and over again, and then was told by Silas that, yeah, he enjoyed doing that a bit much. Damon happily tortured Dr. Maxfield even before he knew about the Augustine experiments, he didn't know even remotely to what degree Maxfield was doing stuff. We've had signs, we've had foreshadowing. We just made excuses, didn't want to see it because we love Damon and like Elena, we accept him, warts and all. Damon is not a good guy, he does bad things. He kills people.

Show it to me, build it up/build it in, don't hit us over the head with it at the last minute just to shock people.

It's been there. It's been there. And I came up with all of that above just sitting here thinking back in about 30 seconds. Sitting back and rewatching the episodes there are probably a lot more things. If I were to sit longer and think more, I'd probably come up with more things.

This time around? It just doen't make sense and came out of the blue.

Nope, it does. Once I thought about it, it made sense. And honestly, had Damon NOT been taunting Aaron and it been done more organically, I would haven't have thought it out of character originally. I was just so infuriated with how stupid they made Damon by taunting Aaron when Elena probably could have talked him into letting them go. And I was already bugged by the Elena not refuting the apology earlier and Katherine calling Stefan the hero earlier so that just built up on my frustration.

so what made him suddenly wait 15?/12? years to go after the aunt? And why this summer?

Because Aaron was getting old enough to meet someone, get married and have a child of his own. That makes sense. The writers did explain that. He killed all the family members until there was one left who could carry on the legacy. Aaron is now, at college, a legal adult, of age.

I really hope that I will overcome my issues with 5x09 like you did! I want to be in a happier place with this show again, the constant worrying is getting to me!

I hope this helped a bit. :)

Edited at 2013-12-08 10:45 am (UTC)
(Anonymous) on December 8th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to answer back, I always appreciate your thoughts!

I do agree that it was premediated murder from Damon's POV. What gives me trouble is that it FEELS impulsive and out of the blue. The imprisonement/torture SL seems pretty major to me, it is unlikely that it wasn't planned from the beginning of this season. Therefore the writers had ample opportunities to throw in some crumbs for us to pick up on a second viewing. Which they didn't.

And regarding Damon's struggles - I ment in the eight episodes of season five only. He was portrait happy. Nothing - no teeny tiny bit - leading up to this revelation. I understand that a big part of TVD's story is dedicated to Damon's battle with his inner demons and that he hasn't won that particular war yet. I know they always loom in the background and that Damon still has the potential to do really crappy things. But they didn't bother to address any of it beforhand in this season.

You are probably right though and the writers just wanted it to be an eye opener for Elena, some "end of the honeymoon, back to reality" thing. We will see how that will work out!

Guess I'm just so exhausted - three years of waiting for Delena to get together, then the sire bond, doppelganger destiny galore, Damon relapsing, Elena being all disgusted, and all this for a couple who might not even end up together anyway. But talking to you did help, so again thank you very much!!
Arabian: Damon & Elena32arabian on December 8th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to answer back, I always appreciate your thoughts!

You're welcome. :)

What gives me trouble is that it FEELS impulsive and out of the blue.

But it was SUPPOSED to feel out of the blue.

The imprisonement/torture SL seems pretty major to me, it is unlikely that it wasn't planned from the beginning of this season.

It was planned since last season at least. Lexi asked him in 4.17 what made him turn his switch off and Damon mentioned that Leave It To Beaver bored him in the 50's. So they were planning something.

Therefore the writers had ample opportunities to throw in some crumbs for us to pick up on a second viewing. Which they didn't.

How could they? The only would to do that would be for DAMON to know that something was coming. For DAMON to know that the Augustine vampires were back in play. For DAMON to know that his past as a lab rat was coming to the fore again. But he didn't. It was supposed to be as much a shock to him as it was to us. But the clues were there. We knew that a vampire had likely killed Aaron's parents, and people suspected Damon we just didn't want to believe it was Damon. We knew that a vampire had likely killed other members of Aaron's family, we just didn't want to believe it was Damon.

I ment in the eight episodes of season five only. He was portrait happy. Nothing - no teeny tiny bit - leading up to this revelation.

Again, why wouldn't Damon be happy? He was with Elena, the girl he loved. He had NO CLUE that the Augustine vampire/worst five years of his life was coming back full force. How could there be ANY hint that such a thing was coming WITHOUT being bad writing? There's no way that Damon could have known ... until he knew. The other signs that Damon was messed up and still had issues have always been there. And I pointed out the other small signs that, yeah, Damon was still Damon and he would still kill.

But they didn't bother to address any of it beforhand in this season.

As I pointed out in my previous post, yes, they did. In just 30 seconds of thinking about it, I pulled up about 5 different references. The most obvious being the fact that Damon KILLED KATHERINE without even thinking that hard about it. He killed Katherine. That was pretty fucking huge! He happily, gleefully tortured Maxfield. No problemo. He joked that Elena should torture Maxfield (and he wasn't joking). And just thinking of another one--he attacked Jesse in episode two: no provocation, just damn near wrecked the guy without thought. Damon did stuff, bad stuff. He did.

three years of waiting for Delena to get together

I hate to say it, but TV show producers/writers are stupid. They don't get it, they don't get that we need more happy to compensate for the bad. I thought the TVD folks did when we got such good stuff in the first three episodes, but that kinda fell to the way side pretty quickly. I dunno, we'll see what happens in the next batch of episodes, but I'm not holding my breath. Unfortunately, most showrunners don't get that the OTP deserves to BE together not just the rough journey to GET together. Ugh!

this for a couple who might not even end up together anyway

I just do NOT see how they won't. This couple has so beyond been written as endgame. BEYOND BEYOND!

But talking to you did help, so again thank you very much!!

Good, I'm glad. :D

Edited at 2013-12-08 12:38 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on December 8th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I see where you are coming from. Adding all the small bits together does put more perspective and context to the whole thing. I think I am okay with it now. :D

Regarding Delena endgame - I am personally 99,99% sure that everything leads up to them being THE couple. But as mentioned above, I was so certain Damon was over the whole crazy killing thing and I was proven wrong! It makes me wonder, if I might interpret the whole show incorrectly? You know, with Carolines harping against Delena, the doppelganger destiny SL, everybody praising Stefan, maybe I am missing another essential point.

And it is not helping that the writers have placed a huge, loaded canon pointing towards my ship. They definitely will not pass up this opportunity to cause a lot of damage with it, shipwrecking it even. I totally agree with you, we didn't get nearly enough "happy Delena" to be ready for this major relationship drama. I don't think we had one single episode yet with Damon and Elena uninterruptedly happy. It is sad really!

Anyway - I'm sorry to keep coming back. But it was a great conversation! Thanks.
Arabian: Damon & Elena33arabian on December 8th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
Adding all the small bits together does put more perspective and context to the whole thing. I think I am okay with it now. :D

Phew! Good. I love when I can help others who are upset about the show feel better about it! :)

It makes me wonder, if I might interpret the whole show incorrectly?

Eh, that's small picture (the Damon killing stuff), not big picture. Ya gotta think big picture, and you knew that angst was still in play, you just got the specifics wrong.

They definitely will not pass up this opportunity to cause a lot of damage with it, shipwrecking it even.

I don't agree. I'm still not sure that they will just break up Damon and Elena like others think. Stefan and Elena were together for pretty much the first three seasons. I don't think Damon and Elena will break up after 10 episodes.

I don't think we had one single episode yet with Damon and Elena uninterruptedly happy.

WelI, we got blissful Damon/Elena in the first episode. :D And at least eps 02 and 03 had some fabulous stuff. And 06 had some really lovely stuff as well.

I'm sorry to keep coming back. But it was a great conversation! Thanks.

Oh, don't apologize, I'm glad I could make you feel better about the episode. You should do a rewatch of the season during the hiatus (and maybe we'll get some interesting/good stuff in ep 10) that might make it all ring better true for you.
Astre: love parisastre2 on December 8th, 2013 02:18 pm (UTC)
arabian

First of all, let me say that I respect your opinion very much and usually take it as gospel, which means I agree completely, but this time, I just can't. Because the aunt just doesn't add up. And not because Damon cound not kill her. He could. Ok, for Enzo and for the reasons you named he could.

But the aunt came out of the blue. When Damon said he was a "reformed serial killer" he meant it. But if he had killed the aunt, it meant he was lying and it was not in the acting.

Then, if Damon was still carrying out his revenge, it means he was closely following the Whitmores, which means there is no way he could NOT have known that the Augustines were still very operational. But when Damon was questioning Dr. Wes there was no hint that he knew that. On the contrary, they showed that he didn't know. Just not possible.

Why the aunt anyway? She was not even a Whitmore. Because if\when Damon killed the previous generation only ONE Whitmore was left and no siblings, which means no Whitmore aunts. She could only be a sister of Aaron's mother or a more distant non-Whitmore relative. Damon has a sense of justice after all. Killing Whitmores - he had a reson for that, killing sone distant relative, who is not even a Whitmore - that's OOC for Damon.

Why killing her exectly during the summer with Elena? Why not the previous summer? Why not wait for a year? If damon killed Aaron's parents that was around 1998 - an annuversory of sorts of 1958, but the aunt in 2011? Again, why not wait for a year? Or two?

Then, if Damon was killing Whitmores and if he killed the aunt, he was sure to know who Aaron was and Aaron's apperance and yet when\whenever Damon saw Aaron there was no indication whatsoever that he knew who Aaron was or that Aaron was actually his would be victim.

So... Aaron's parents, yes, Damon probably killed them. The aunt... doesn't add up on so many levels.
Arabian: Damon17arabian on December 8th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
First of all, let me say that I respect your opinion very much and usually take it as gospel, which means I agree completely, but this time, I just can't.

Well, thank you very much, and I'm sorry that you don't agree, but I'm gonna explain why I do disagree with you. First of all, yes, I could be wrong, he very well may not have killed Aunt Sarah, but I think it's more likely that he did because I do believe that it makes sense.

Because the aunt just doesn't add up.

It does add up in every way, I believe.

When Damon said he was a "reformed serial killer" he meant it.

As I pointed out in my post one of things that has been becoming clear throughout this season is that despite their pre-romantic relationship, in a romantic relationship Damon and Elena lie to each other. So, yeah, Damon was lying to Elena about being a "reformed" serial killer clearly. He's still serial killing.

Then, if Damon was still carrying out his revenge, it means he was closely following the Whitmores, which means there is no way he could NOT have known that the Augustines were still very operational.

Nope, it would just mean that he was paying attention to the birth and wedding announcements of the Whitmores. That has nothing to do with what is going on the basement of the Whitmore college science department. Anyone can find out about wedding and birth announcements. Finding out one is a matter of public record, doing horrible mad science experiments on vampires would not be of public record... thus a LOT harder to find out about. It would take very little effort for Damon to keep track of the birth of Whitmores.

On the contrary, they showed that he didn't know. Just not possible.

Extremely possible.

Why the aunt anyway? She was not even a Whitmore.

How do you know that? Females follow genealogical lines too. She was probably Sarah Whitmore, the daughter of the last living male Whitmore who had a child.

Because if\when Damon killed the previous generation only ONE Whitmore was left and no siblings, which means no Whitmore aunts.

No, Damon wanted one living Whitmore left who could carry on the Whitmore lineage. Sarah Whitmore could carry on the lineage, but Aaron I'm thinking just came of age (turning 18, starting college) so he's now old enough to carry on the Whitmore lineage, therefore Sarah is no longer needed. Aaron can carry on the Whitmore lineage/name now. So it's time for Sarah to go bye-bye according to Damon's revenge scheme.

Why killing her exectly during the summer with Elena? Why not the previous summer? Why not wait for a year?

Because Aaron wasn't of age yet. Damon's plan required one Whitmore who was of age to be able to carry on the lineage. Once Aaron became of age, he was now the one Whitmore who could carry on the family name. THAT is why we found out that Aaron's last name is WHITMORE in this episode to tie it all together when Damon explained that he wanted to leave one Whitmore family member alive to make sure they carry on the family name so he could kill all the rest as long as Damon was around.

Then, if Damon was killing Whitmores and if he killed the aunt, he was sure to know who Aaron was and Aaron's apperance and yet when\whenever Damon saw Aaron there was no indication whatsoever that he knew who Aaron was or that Aaron was actually his would be victim.

He saw Aaron for a few seconds in "Monster's Ball" while he was concerned over Elena's distress, while he was distracted waiting to snap his brother's neck, while in the middle of making a deal with an all-powerful witch who could burn the world down around them. He'd probably only seen a picture of Aaron once or twice and not in the flesh. I doubt he was paying that much attention. It wasn't time to kill Aaron Whitmore yet, so it didn't matter what he looked like at this point in time. Damon had WAY more important things to worry about and so it really makes sense that he didn't make the connection.

The aunt... doesn't add up on so many levels.

It all adds up. All of it.
Astre: love parisastre2 on December 8th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying you're wrong about the aunt. I just hope that Damon didn't kill her, because for me it would be shitty writing. And a retcon.

I mean yes, " Damon wanted one living Whitmore left who could carry on the Whitmore lineage." but it was Aaron's father who was actually carrying out the lineage, and wneh the father was killed it is now Aaron. I mean, let's imagine Aaron's father had siblings. So, when Damon killed Aaron's grandfather, he left only one member of the family, right? And it was Aaron's father. Even if there was a sibling, he\she did not survive, because only Aaron's father did. So, Auhnt Sarah could not be a Whitmore. She could only be a sister of Aaron's mother.

"but Aaron I'm thinking just came of age (turning 18, starting college)" - Perhaps, but Dr. Wes said something about not telling Aaron the truth before his birthday, which meanas that... well, either Aaron is not 18 yet or it's, for example, his 21st birthday. Either way, this summer is not the summer of Aaron coming off age.

And anyway, isn't Aaron enough as the on who will be carrying the lineage, why leaving an aunt as a plan B of sorts?

"So, yeah, Damon was lying to Elena about being a "reformed" serial killer clearly. He's still serial killing." - I don't say that Damon could not lie to Elena. I say that when the line was delivered it was not delivered as a lie. It was delivered as a joke.

And I might be mistaken but doesn't Damon call Aaron "mini Wes" when the latter arrives where the cells are? If that's the case then why doesn't Damon call him "Whitmore", which would be more appropriate under the circumstances.

Bisedies, at the party, yes, Damon had other things to do, but it was just in front of him, his future victim and Elena was talking to that future victim and it was in Whitmore college... and don't see how Damon did not had a moment there. There sould have been some foreshadowing.


And one last thing: I don't think Damon was taunting Aaron. He was attracting Aaron's attention to himself away from Elena. He would say anything.

Arabian: Damon14arabian on December 8th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't agree. I don't see how it's a retcon. And I don't think it's shitty writing at all. I think it speaks to the horror that those five years inflicted upon Damon's soul and how it's still wreaking havoc on him now and he's never dealt with it. It's messing with him even now and no one, not even Elena, even realizes it. The show has been setting up the saving of Damon Salvatore's soul from the beginning.

Damon was attracting Aaron's attention away when he told him about killing his parents. When the talked about Sarah, he was taunting him. It was a completely different vibe. (And really stupid considering the circumstances.)

I would be happier if Damon hadn't killed Sarah. You could be right about Sarah not being a Whitmore and maybe he didn't kill her and it was all about keeping the attention away, but it all seemed so unnecessary then because why would Damon risk Aaron doing what he did to Elena? That was the OOC part to me. I guess we'll find out for sure eventually. But, no, the point was that Aunt Sarah was killed when Aaron came of age. Maybe Aaron's were killed when Aunt Sarah came of age. Maybe SHE wasn't 18 prior to Aaron's parents death. That would explain why both she and Aaron's father was alive. I dunno, I do think that Damon killed Aunt Sarah. I just doesn't make sense introducing that for no reason.

We wanted to believe that Damon's "reformed serial killer" line was a joke, but again, Damon has been lying to Elena, we found that out, just as Elena has been lying to Damon all summer. We found that out too. It's certainly believable that Damon wasn't joking. He was just lying again then, just because it was said in a joking manner, doesn't mean it wasn't a lie.

The birthday that Wes was referring to could be Aaron's 21st birthday.

There sould have been some foreshadowing.

Well, there was in retrospect. Damon was curious about Aaron and did give him a second look. We put it down to jealousy.

Edited at 2013-12-08 03:56 pm (UTC)
Astre: love parisastre2 on December 8th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC)
I agree with you in almost everything and, yes, "The show has been setting up the saving of Damon Salvatore's soul from the beginning." and the horrors of those 5 years could induce anything.

And if they mentioned the aunt it was for a reason. But I just can't shake off the idea that the Aunt was killed by (or by the orders of) Dr. Wes because of the trust fund.

"why would Damon risk Aaron doing what he did to Elena? That was the OOC part to me. " - I rewatched the scene and my impression still is that Damon was afraid that Aaron would shoot Elena and that's why he said that he had killed the parents. For Aaron it was, probably, enough to leave Elena alone but Elena started asking "when was the last Whitmore kill" and if Damon failed to answer that it would prove that he was (partly) not responsible for the kills. So he said "a couple of months ago", though wouldn't it be more logical for him to mention the exact date?

How he knew the name and the town? Yes, that's a tricky one. But if we believe that during the summer he went off to kill the Aunt, could we also belive that during the summer he never went anywhere from Elens, but instead read, say, in a paper that "after the sudden death of Ms. Sarah X. the Whitmore trust fund is now under the supervision of Dr. W.Maxfield" or something?

I mean we had 4 seasons and these 4 seasons nothing implied that Damon had a secret revenge plan, because he actually didn't. the authors invented it just now. And it's ok for us to cope with the fact that Damon was carrying out his plan pre-canon (say, Aaron's parents), but I find it very hard to believe that Damon had a secret agenda during these 4 seasons. Because he didn't. That's a retcon.

But I guess, we'll see. I'm even sure that they will us live with the fact that Damon killed the aunt.
Arabian: Damon16arabian on December 8th, 2013 11:38 pm (UTC)
It's not a retcon. The writers obviously came up with the specifics of this story now, this season. So, no, there wasn't going to be references to it in past seasons. You can't blame a TV show, ANY TV show, for something like that. That's not a retcon, that's just something that is going to happen in episodic television writing because you need to continually create story. That's the only way you're going to keep viewers entertained. We didn't see Damon every single second. And there was literally ONLY one time in the last four years when Damon went off and killed someone... last summer which was off-screen. And we just found out when it happened. That's not a retcon. Damon had no reason to think of killing a Whitmore before this because it wasn't time. And we did have reference to this stuff last season in 4.17.

I get that you don't want Damon to have killed Aunt Sarah, but I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment here because you're grabbing at small little details that strain to prove he didn't do it. Again, I would love for you to be right. I would love for us to find out that he didn't do it and for there to be a twist, but nothing you're offering up as evidence is making much sense to me, I'm sorry. :(
Astre: love parisastre2 on December 9th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, well, I'll be hoping that Damon didn't kill aunt Sarah or next time they'll tell us Damon's not really a vampire, but rather a werewolf in disguise who managed to cover that successfully for the past 4 seasons or something.
Arabian: Damon09arabian on December 11th, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
OK, now you're just being silly. You know how TV shows work. Story has to come from somewhere and they did set this up when Aaron was introduced, people have been speculating about Damon all season with regards to this. I know you don't like it, but when a lot of viewers, even die-hard Damon fans don't think it's out of character, then that means it's subjective and very much to each its own.
(Anonymous) on December 9th, 2013 06:00 am (UTC)
Pt. 1

Hey I love your recaps. Sorry you didn't enjoy the episode as much as I did. I didn't have a problem with anything that was presented in the last episode though. I thought it was a great exploration of Damon's character and the dark themes that usually come with it.

As far as Elena allowing Damon to take the blame, I didn't think much of that scene. It didn't seem to me like she was agreeing that it was his fault, but more like there were more pressing matters to focus on rather than trying to assuage his guilt about their predicament. I think the entire episode Elena's main concern was trying to figure out how they were gonna get out of that place, not to mention she was also reeling from the revelations about her father's involvement with the Augustine society so with all that going on, I can understand why assuring Damon that it wasn't his fault was not among her first priorities. That's one of the things I love about Damon and Elena and how they differ from Stefan/Elena. Had it been Stefan Elena would've bent over backwards to try and assuage his guilt (whether he was at fault or not), at the expense of herself and her own feelings because Stefan is so controlled by guilt and she would have felt like it was her responsibility to protect him from that. Damon isn't like that, even if he does feel responsible or feels guilty, he doesn't wallow in it, he doesn't let it control him, he'll move on and look for ways to solve whatever problem they have. So he doesn't need the extra coddling or even to be told that it isn't his fault, it won't make any difference at all. Elena telling him that it wasn't his fault wouldn't change a thing, so to me that would've been extra dialogue.

But I don't think it's Elena's fault either. It's no one's fault, none of them knew what was going on. Elena was looking for answers about her father and enlisted Damon's help. There's no way she could have known what Wes was really doing or what Augustine was really about. It's all just a case of everyone being uninformed/ ill-prepared

As far as Damon/Elena goes, they've always been best with angst imo. So I'm glad that this element of their relationship is back. I'm not even bothered that the summer they spent together was 'tainted.' Tho I don't really see it as tainted to be honest. Whatever they felt during that time was still very real. I don't think Elena is so much shocked that Damon murdered, but it's hitting her harder because his murder is hitting close to home for her. The parallels drawn between her and Aaron are on purpose, he's in the same position she's been in for the last few years having lost every person he loved. It's hard to imagine that the person she loves (Damon) is responsible for causing someone else the kind of pain that she knows firsthand. That's where her conflict lies, I don't think it's about whether or not Damon murdered someone or accepting him as a murder, it's about coping with the fact that he's responsible for putting someone in the same position as her. I think that's why she'll struggle with it, she sees so much of herself in Aaron and they've sort of bonded over the fact that they've lost everyone. But I do think Elena is capable of also taking the fact that Damon was tortured for 5 years into account that sort of drove him to that, so I don't think she's gonna lose sight of that or that the fact that her father was involved in these atrocities. Which is what will make her conflict that much more fascinating imo. I feel like Elena is being put in a difficult emotional place right now being pulled in all directions, and I can't wait to see how it unravels. Everything she's feeling right now is completely warranted, her anger at what Damon did, her disappointment about her father, and anger/disgust about what happened to Damon and how that's broken him in ways she never even understood.

Arabian: Elena07arabian on December 11th, 2013 04:26 am (UTC)
So he doesn't need the extra coddling or even to be told that it isn't his fault, it won't make any difference at all. Elena telling him that it wasn't his fault wouldn't change a thing, so to me that would've been extra dialogue.

The key words here are "extra coddling." I don't expect that at all. However, I DO think he should have been told that it wasn't his fault. And more importantly I think he should have been told that they would figure out how to get out of there TOGETHER. It wasn't about what he did or what she did, but how they would get out of this together. By letting him take the onus on him, it continued the cycle of guilt that Damon has perpetually lived under laid upon him by the important people in his life and regardless of the circumstances, Elena needs to help break that cycle when she can. This was a moment where she could and should have.

It's no one's fault, none of them knew what was going on.

It is her fault because she didn't tell Caroline, Bonnie, Stefan, Jeremy, Matt, ANYONE where she was, what she was doing or that Damon was missing. She knew that something dangerous was going on with Maxfield, and that he had done something awful to Jesse already and yet she walked into a highly suspicious, unknown situation without letting anyone else know. So, yeah, it was her fault.

There's no way she could have known what Wes was really doing

Except... Jesse. They knew that Wes had done to Jesse. They knew that Wes had done something AWFUL to Jesse. So, they did have a VERY good idea that freaky-deaky stuff was going on. The last thing Damon said to her was that he was going to talk to Wes. Damon was missing and she told no one where she was going. Bad call on Elena's part. And Elena's not an idiot, so yeah, bad writing on the newbie writer's part and bad call on the exec's who let it through. It was OOC. :shrugs:

So I'm glad that this element of their relationship is back. I'm not even bothered that the summer they spent together was 'tainted.' Tho I don't really see it as tainted to be honest.

I feel like you're responding to my last post, and not this one. I don't think it's tainted any longer. I wrote that in my first post about the episode, not this follow-up post.

Edited at 2013-12-11 11:54 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on December 9th, 2013 06:02 am (UTC)
Pt. 2

As far as Damon goes, I have to disagree about him being justified in killing innocent descendants of the people who tortured him. Of course I understand the psychology behind why he'd do that, it's a really effed up thought process which is fascinating to me as a Damon fan. But justified? I don't think that's the word I'd use, but then again when is murder ever really justified? We have to keep in mind that those were innocent people, people who most likely had no connection or knowledge of what happened to him, he can't possibly be justified in murdering people who have done nothing to him even if their ancestors were responsible for their deplorable treatment of him. These people didn't choose what families they were born into, they were just unfortunate in that respect. But then again, justification is not something I really care about much when it comes to analyzing discussing character actions/motives/etc. I'm more about dissecting the why's and how's of their thought process. I understand his reasoning and the anger, trauma he's trying to cope with. It's revenge plain and simple. In his mind he's taking back the control, he's taking back the power, and he's the victimizer rather than the victim. He never wants to be the victim again, and the only way to ensure that is to assert his power over someone else. To make someone else the victim. Classic cycle of abuse/violence. This is what happens when you shatter people, they can never quite put all the pieces back together the same way. It never looks the same, the cracks are always there, maybe not always visible. But there none the less. That person may never fully be whole again. This describes Damon right now because even though he's in a much better place right now in his life, finally having had his love reciprocated, happier than he's ever been, but deep down he's still a broken person. No love is strong enough to fix that. Love doesn't cure all. I think this is an important theme on this show. We saw it with Stelena, no amount of love Elena devoted to Stefan could fix him. Healing will only come when the person faces whatever trauma/conflict head on. Ugh. So many feelings about this story-line, you have no idea. Not to mention I think Damon probably thought that was his way of keeping a promise to Enzo, his friend that he left behind, who was the one reason he was able to survive all those years in that cell in those depersonalizing conditions.

Overall I loved the episode, sorry for the long over-analyzing response.
Arabian: Damon17arabian on December 11th, 2013 04:28 am (UTC)
As far as Damon goes, I have to disagree about him being justified in killing innocent descendants of the people who tortured him.

I didn't say that *I* think Damon is justified. I said that to *Damon* it's justified. Big difference. I actually agree with all of the reasons you list as to why he's actually doing it.
faith5by5_1013: The Vampire Diaries: Damon/Elena: Smilefaith5by5_1013 on December 10th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Damon is still going to kill. It is who he is. Damon is a vampire, he's a predator. He's a killer. They all are, every single one of them, after all, vampires. That is Vampire Diaries mythology. When they feel it's justified (even Elena) they will kill. Elena just killed (another vampire, but still) in the last episode. They kill. Period. Damon feels that killing the Whitmores (for what they did to him) is justified, therefore, they need to be killed. End of story. It's justified. And it's justified for Damon because this is more than just a revenge scheme. It's about keeping a promise to himself. It's about keeping a promise to Enzo. It's about proving that no matter what the Whitmores did to him, they didn't win because he's still punishing them. It's still an ongoing experiment that he's trapped in mentally, but he's "winning" because he's taking them out one by one over and over again.

Agreed. I'm honestly more worried about certain other characters using this against him. I don't have any problems with him having killed people or with him still killing people (other than the whole keeping it from Elena thing).

First of all Elena keeps saying that she accepts Damon, warts and all. Well, here's her chance to prove it because, yeah, Damon is not a great guy. He does kill people. He does make bad choices. He did plan a revenge scheme and stick to it. He shoved it deep down and moved on. He took what happened to him and put it in a separate compartment from what was happening with Elena and their love. That makes perfect sense. And Elena knows how Damon operates. And she chose him knowing that about him. On the other hand, we have Damon. Damon needs to realize that he can't do that separation thingie. He needs to choose love over revenge. And he can't keep Elena and such revenge schemes in separate boxes. Again, that honesty they shared when they weren't together in a romantic relationship has to continue now that they are together.

Yep. I'm looking forward to her proving it. She knew all of this about him when she chose him and I hope she shows that!
Arabian: Damon & Elena30arabian on December 11th, 2013 04:30 am (UTC)
I'm honestly more worried about certain other characters using this against him.

I don't think other characters will use it against him honestly. Too many of these characters have sinned at this point honestly.

other than the whole keeping it from Elena thing

I get that though, because he couldn't have told her that unless he told her about the whole torture thing and I couldn't see any reason why he would tell her about that, you know?

She knew all of this about him when she chose him and I hope she shows that!

YUPPERS!
faith5by5_1013: Other: Brain Canonfaith5by5_1013 on December 11th, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
Too many of these characters have sinned at this point honestly.

I agree completely about that. I just wouldn't be surprised if some characters are hypocritical about it, you know?

I definitely understand why Damon kept it from Elena. I just don't necessarily think that was the best choice.
Arabian: Damon & Elena27arabian on December 11th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
I just wouldn't be surprised if some characters are hypocritical about it, you know?

Well, other than Caroline and Stefan, I don't think the others will be. And Stefan won't with Damon, I think. And I hope this story is about making Caroline NOT with Damon.

I just don't necessarily think that was the best choice.

I don't disagree, LOL!
faith5by5_1013: Other: Brain Canonfaith5by5_1013 on December 11th, 2013 12:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I could see either Stefan or Caroline being hypocritical about it (the rest should be fine). Stefan probably won't be, but I'm worried Caroline will be. If I'm right, I'm hoping it will be extremely temporarily. Because I love Caroline and I don't like being irritated with her.
tj2013tj2013 on December 11th, 2013 12:57 pm (UTC)
I am late this time (watched the episode on monday night) and I guess eveything I wanted to know or talk about re this episode has been covered by you and the commenters. It was a great read, thank you for your analysis.
I so hope Enzo will be able to forgive Damon. Enzo realized (I am sure) that Damon shut off his emotions only after he saw he couldn't save them both. But who knows what 60 more years of torture can do to you...
Alisha: SoM Dancekalishaka on October 14th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
I didn't read the comments on the last post or this one because I wanted to rush onto the next episode, but I couldn't resist the need to like a year later throw my two cents in...even though I don't know what is to follow. I really feel like if Damon's situation here is meant to parallel Stefan's struggle as well. They introduced the concept of PTSD from extensive torture and trauma through Stefan's issues with Silas and what followed and I feel like with Damon they are showing a different take on the same issue. It doesn't always follow in a logical form. I don't know. Just how I am taking it in. Running on to the next episode now, seriously. I promise. Maybe.