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17 January 2014 @ 12:38 am
5.10 - 'Fifty Shades of Grayson' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Centuries later and just a week before a new episode of The Vampire Diaries return, at last I bring you my write-up for the last episode of TVD from LAST YEAR! I know!!

So I finally get to this (FINALLY!), and the good news is that next week we get a new episode so this will be a good refresher! Alrighty then, I'm just going to dive in and start with Damon and Elena. Did they break up? Damon ended things with her, but Elena obviously didn't agree. And some have suggested that her throwing her father's journal into the fire was indicative of her letting go of that past and choosing once again to move forward with Damon. I can see that, but on the other hand, it wasn't absolutely clear to me so I'm gonna need to see where we go from here to get a better read there. Based on what we did get it clearly all boils down to what we've been getting from day one. It's all about Damon and his issues.

Seriously, this is what comes of Damon almost never been told of the good he does, but only been told of the bad. He just honestly believes that he's only a crappy dude. Damon thinks of himself as horrible whereas everyone else in their group thinks of themselves as good. Enzo repeating that refrain ("That's just who you are, who you'll always be…a monster.") just once again beat that belief into Damon's brain. And yet it's so ridiculous and no one, except for Elena, at this point seems to realize just how ridiculous and false it is. They have all done bad things, and in fact, Stefan has done worst things than Damon. Every single one of them are "monsters" on sliding scales and yet in their little group, only Damon is tagged as one and only Damon owns that branding. And until the others, and more importantly, *Damon* realizes that he is no more a monster than the rest of them; he will never accept that he deserves to be with Elena. That he deserves to be happy. And until he fully accepts that realization his journey will never be complete.

And, you know, honestly, until this conversation, I don't think Elena ever fully got that. Speaking of, when I first watched this, I had a few issues with how Elena's end of it was written and directed, but there was one particular line—that Nina Dobrev delivered flawlessly (and to give credit where it's due, she was fantastic during the entire scene and elevated it above those slight flaws I had even the first time)—where she told him that she wasn't perfect and she said "I've done horrible things too" and that was so key to me. It was an acknowledgement that was no one else ever makes in their group really. Yes, they all do horrible things. But the others and Damon brush them under the rug as, you know, just things that happen, incidentals, but whenever Damon does something horrible it's proof that he's a monster. Only Elena doesn't see it that way, or at least, only Elena acknowledges that she doesn't see it that way.

And that's another key. I don't think that Jeremy or Matt or even Bonnie see Damon as a monster anymore. But none of them verbalize it. I'm sure that Jeremy hasn't told anyone else all the good that Damon has done. I'm sure he never told anyone that Damon tried to make Jeremy kill him while fighting the compulsion (which he did sooooooooo much better than Stefan did, thank you very much Klaus-y poo!). And I'm sure that Matt never told anyone that Damon's supposed big hissy-fit at the Original's ball involved him stopping Kol from killing Matt. And Bonnie's clearly never told Caroline that Damon saved her life, and Caroline obviously doesn't care that Damon has saved her life twice and Tyler's. And the little things don't matter much to enough of them to be spoken of to Jeremy and Matt because they're at the point where they consider Damon one of them; he's just Damon. Cool, in control, bad-ass, Damon who always gets shit done. They don't see the wounded soul, the broken man inside who feels worthless and rejected and believes that he's such a monster that he's willing to walk away from the greatest happiness he's ever known because he believes that everyone hates that Elena is with him… even if it's really only Stefan and Caroline. *sigh* Oh, Damon.

Going back to the beginning of my post, the good news is, well, did they break up? I mean, Elena didn't agree with him, so we'll see. Hmmm, we'll see. Maybe she'll basically be all 'forget that shit' and roll all over his objections because it's not like he can ever say no to her. With a rewatch and time passing, I will say that overall, I did think the quasi-break-up was well-written and really beautifully acted. As I spent a lot of words writing about above, we really got to the core of Damon's issues and how it obviously is affecting his attempt at happiness. Also Elena really getting hit with this creates not only some good couple angst, but also character growth for her as she navigates those internal issues. It's all so much more interesting than any outside forces and much more true to them. Yes, I had those initial concerns on Elena's end. I just felt like she didn't fight enough for him. However, thinking on it now I suppose that could have come from the fact that she was in shock because she wasn't expecting it. And I just may have wanted more based on my overall desire of, well, wanting more. Because I do still think they dropped the ball in showing us more Damon and Elena as the couple this season.

Knowing that they were going to pull this so early on, instead of just telling us about this great summer of love they had which we saw roughly thirty seconds of we really should have seen a lot more of Damon and Elena as this happy couple, this together couple throughout these episodes. But we didn't. Other than the first three, we barely saw them interacting. I mean we got some good stuff—see below—but that wasn't enough. Damon and Elena fans have waited for five years to get their couple and we barely saw them together as a couple before the show went and broke them up. Instead we were told about what a great, happy couple they were for four months… but we didn't get to see it. Not cool. Just not cool. *double sigh* I'm just saying we should have had more Damon and Elena time, some more stuff with them. A Damon/Elena dance at the costume ball. More scenes like the two snuggling on the couch at the beginning of "Handle with Care." Some random make-out scenes. Having dinner together. Him visiting her in her dorm. Just couple stuff. We didn't get that. And that sucked.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that we *did* get some lovely, lovely Damon and Elena moments. Some very, very lovely Damon and Elena moments, some sexy, some romantic, some sad, but still very couply squee-able stuffs and so before I present the maybe break-up (*sniff *sniff) a look back on the goodies we did get….

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And then Damon had to let her go. Damnit, Damon!

 
 
 

And before we move on to other aspects of this episode, some Damon and Elena randoms –

- OK, since she didn't exactly accept Damon's all breaking up with her thingie, Elena dang well better fight for Damon! So I really hope those that think Elena throwing her father's journal in the fire meant that's exactly that are right. :Nods emphatically:

- *sigh* So Damon and Elena did the quasi-break up thing where they got together! Parallels, got to love ‘em. :Snort: Stupid fireplace.

- Speaking of parallels, and here we go again with the letting go. With Damon and Elena it always comes back to that refrain with them. "Holding on and Letting Go." "Never Let Me Go." And now Damon is letting her go. Stupid, stupid boy.

- *sigh* (Good one this time!) I loved Damon's single-minded focus on saving Elena. Enzo, OMG! He's alive! Gotta save Elena. Enzo hates me, that sucks! Gotta save Elena. It's story time with Enzo. He's really pissed at me still, hmm. Oh well, gotta save Elena. Oopsie, Enzo. REALLY pissed, wants to fight, guess Stefan will have to do the duties, Stefan, go save Elena! He was just so single-minded in his focus to save Elena. It wasn't until he knew she was safe that he could focus on Enzo and telling him his side of the story, trying to make amends with him.

- And another good *sigh* from me. On the other side, even strapped to a gurney, potential torture and freaky, vampire medical procedures about to be performed on her, Elena was worried about Damon. Say it with me… awww!

- Finally, I loved that Damon noted that Elena found the one good thing in her father's journal because as much as it's in Elena's nature to find the good, it's in Damon's nature to love that about Elena.

And it's in my nature to love that Damon Salvatore is so freaking awesome. "Damon Salvatore is locked in an impenetrable, inescapable, fortified cell."

     

F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

Seriously when Damon had used his vampire strength to break the rock wall and used the bullet to MacGyver an explosive to open the cell door, I was all booyah! I freaking love Damon. So hard! ♥

And then I weep for him because he has such a freaking death wish. Sitting on the couch, after Aaron asked why Damon wasn't dead since he'd shot him, Damon calmly, happily explained to him the proper way to kill him was to shoot him in the heart, and then he nicely showed him where exactly to shoot him in order to properly, correctly, absolutely kill him. Dude, DAMON! Aaron is a totally screwed up kid who just found out that Damon has been killing his family for 60 years. Every single family member. For 60 years. Yeah, Aaron's a kid, but Damon just made himself vulnerable to this screwed-up kid who tried to kill him a few hours beforehand and one can sit there and say that Damon is being cocky and thinks he's invincible, but we know better. Damon knows he can die. Yeah, he can take out this kid in a heartbeat, but he also knows that things happen and that anything *can* happen so this kid *can* kill him.

He has a freaking death wish. Damon Salvatore has issues. Gah, he just needs to realize he's not a monster, well, I mean, that's not ALL he is. It's like he's so smart, but he's so freaking stupid. He listens to what people says, I mean, he *really* listens and he gets what they're saying, and what they're not saying so he catches things all the time… except when it comes to him. Then he's like the dumbest person on the planet. Whether it's Elena or Stefan or Jeremy or Enzo. He's such a moron. Enzo tells him he's a monster and *that* he takes to heart and runs off and breaks up with the girl who loves him and has made him happier than he's ever been. But when the guy basically tells him that he's the most important person in his life and that he spent the last 60 years missing him, that completely flies over his head.

When Enzo think he's dying in Damon's arms and Damon is desperate to find where Elena is, Enzo tells him "it might be good to miss someone for the next 60 years" he's telling Damon that he, Enzo, missed Damon for the last 60 years. So in his anger he can call him a monster all he wants, but it's coming from a place of hurt because he missed Damon, because he loves him. But, again, Damon is such an idiot when it comes to himself. He just is an idiot. He's no more a monster than anyone in their little gang of misfits (OK, Bonnie, Matt and Jeremy are not, but all but Matt have done some pretty shady shit). Damon has made horrible choices, but so have all of them. And of all of them, he hasn't made the worst… Stefan has. And let's get real, Katherine may be on the outskirts of it, but she's worked with them enough as has Klaus and Rebekah, that they've been in their little group too and those three make Stefan look like a choir boy. So Damon is nowhere near the worst of the bunch. Damon, Damon, Damon.

But hey! At least he had one happy moment in the episode! There's at least that. :) And it was one that I loved because it showed that down the road when reparation (finally) happens to a degree—which it must by series' end to give viewers a reason for the journey—what we will get with Damon and Stefan will be awesome. The brothers as they were, or at least a lot closer to it, in 1864, and that is something that I am definitely looking forward to. Damon is happiest with Elena, yes, but moments like this with Stefan is when we see him happy also. When Aaron kept trying to pipe up to basically tattle on Damon to Stefan (pfft!), and Stefan kept shutting him down to play along with Damon, tag-teaming to rile and talk over Aaron, Damon's ease and smile was a nice moment in an otherwise sad sea of angst. That sadly was not as angsty as I think it should have been… erm, yeah. That brings me to my one legitimate gripe with the episode.

I'm not really happy with Paul Wesley. Look, I get that he doesn't like hero!Stefan. Never mind that hero!Stefan only exists in the minds of delusional Stefan fans, Stefan-haters and Paul Wesley, ie, those who don't realize that Stefan as written is actually as complex a character as Damon with as many shades and nuances of good, bad and in-between. Ahem. The problem is that as of late, as an actor, he's been bringing this dissatisfaction to the screen and frankly phoning in his performances. That hasn't been as evident in a while as it was in this episode. Two specific scenes were quite glaring. This scene was one of them, not this part of it—this part of the scene was amusing and adorable and made me smile. It was the earlier, angsty part of the scene, although, as mentioned above, not as deliciously angsty as it should have been. Forgive me, but I love my brotherly angst.

So Stefan finds out that Damon was held as a torture test subject in the 50's and he's just finding out now. Instead of a look of pain, worry, upset, anything approaching that upon finding this out, the look on his face is a cross between confusion and annoyance. Let me repeat that: Confusion and annoyance. What. The. Fuck? I mean, seriously. What the fuck? How is that the response? Really? Yes, I would have liked more in the script, in the direction, a beat or two longer held on this face, but hey, maybe they didn't hold longer because he just looked more confused or more annoyed which would have made it even worse.

I mean look at the maybe break-up scene with Damon and Elena. I would have liked a bit more in the writing and direction from Elena's side, but Nina Dobrev sold the hell out of every single line, every single moment the camera was on her. You could feel every bit of emotion Elena was feeling and it all felt right. All of it. (And again, now, I'm OK with how the writing and direction of that scene played out.) Paul Wesley did not do that. Instead I was scratching my head trying to figure out why Stefan did not care that his brother, his beloved brother, was held against his will and tortured and he was never told, and his reaction was of annoyance, some confusion. Again, WTF? And then it got worse! Later when Aaron and Stefan were in his room there was some serious, clichéd-CW-level types of acting going on and I do NOT expect that from Paul Wesley—even on his phoning-it-in-days. EVER!

When Aaron was giving his little "Damon's a psychopath, killing all my family, blah, blah" not realizing he's talking to a guy who kills migrant villages and rips people's heads off, etc., etc. and then yells "DO IT!" before Stefan gives his patented long-suffering because my-brother's-such-a-tool look and says with a saintly air "not all of us are like my brother" (because some of us are worse, like me!). I was like, oh, dear Lord, because the acting was SO BAD! So very bad. So bad. And then I forced myself to pull away from the so bad acting and realized that Paul had just played that with zero nuance at all, none, zip, nada. He actually played that as if Stefan meant every fucking single word of that. He just found out that Aaron's family had kidnapped Damon, held him against his will, used him as a science project, tortured him for years and all he could feel for was the other guys? Nothing for his brother? Nada?! Really, Paul?! I mean, again… WHAT. THE. FUCK!?!??!

Damon is not the worstest monster. I do not believe for one second that we are supposed to believe that. There is no way the show wants us to believe that. We have Damon running all over desperate to save Elena. We have Damon being tortured and only committing heinous acts because of heinous acts committed against him. Is it awful? Yes. Is it retaliation? Yes. We have Damon shutting off his humanity in order to walk away from his friend. We have Damon walking away from the woman he loves so much because he believes it's the RIGHT thing to do. This is something that Stefan was too selfish to do no matter how many times he said it was the right thing to do. We have the undisputed heroine of the show choosing Damon. Telling him that no one is perfect and that she has done horrible things too. We have the betrayed guy telling him he's a monster on one hand in his anger, but on the other desperately making it clear how much he misses him.

Clearly, obviously, the show does not want viewers to perceive Damon as a monster. Why on earth is Paul Wesley playing Stefan as if Stefan believes Damon is when we have so much canon proof that STEFAN knows and DOES NOT believe that Damon is one? Stefan has only said that shit in the past because he's afraid he is and doesn't want to lose his brother and because he's petty when it comes to Elena and didn't want to lose her, but at the end of the day, he LOVES HIS BROTHER more than anyone or anything and he knows that it isn't true. Wesley *should* have played that with nuance, letting viewers know that Stefan was playing Aaron to get the information, but instead he not only played the line completely straight, he not only fucking phoned the performance in, he did some of the worst acting I've seen him ever do on this show. Ugh. As a Stefan fan, and as someone who generally praises Paul, I am disappoint.

Sadly, I am also disappointed with the "cliffhanger" because it didn't feel very cliffhanger-y to me. I'm sorry, but I don't actually think Katherine is going to die. I think she's going to be put in someone else's body via the whole Traveler thing-a-majig while Katherine's current body is put on life support or something and maybe eventually a spell will be found that can save her original body. Plus, I thought Katherine's last fake-out death from "Monster Ball" was much, much more awesomely done. To quote from that write-up:

"Boy, oh, boy… how she died! Almost mirroring perfectly, how Jeremy died (the last, *real* time). To get the cure, Bonnie watching Katherine holding Jeremy down while Silas feeds and then Silas' hand reaching up to keep him in place and then Jeremy falling down to his death. Here, it's Elena watching Damon holding Katherine down while Silas feeds and then Silas' hand reaching up to keep her in place and then Katherine falling down to her death. Masterful."

Comparatively, this was kinda… I dunno, blah. Her bag fell, she clutched her chest and tumbled down the stairs and it was, oh, Katherine died? Is dying? Again? Uhm, OK, then. :shrug: I just didn't find it all that compelling or ooh! Bite my nails, frantically waiting for the show to return. Now obviously I don't want Katherine to die because I love her so much. I mean, I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I do think she'll be transferred into someone's body. At first I thought it would be Elena, but really, that's way too obvious. And then I thought it would be cool to be transferred into Damon or Stefan (haha!), but what would be the point other than how awesome would it to be to see Ian Somerhalder or Paul Wesley pretend to be Nina Dobrev be Katherine Pierce? And then… inspiration struck!

I have speculation. Now, you all know I'm almost 99.9% spoiler free so this is almost complete spoiler free speculation. I do have a teeny bit of potential spoiler thrown in here based on (I think) Ausiello's thing where he throws out a "so and so" will happen on guess which show and he offers up a list of suspects. And characters from TVD were in the list of suspects. But that's as far as my spoilers go. Still, I will put that part of how it tied into my speculation under the spoiler bar. If anyone has any spoilers that prove or disprove my theory, please do not share those spoilers. If you know something that completely disproves my theory, by all means tell me: "I know per spoilers your theory is wrong." And just leave it at that. I'm good with that, I will appreciate it. I don't know need to know anything more. If I'm wrong, cool, I still think it's a really cool theory! :D

So, my speculation: I think that Katherine will wind up going into Caroline!! Why? Well, let's list the reasons…

1. A potential couple is supposed to kiss and Stefan and Caroline were on that list. Now as much as I love them and although they've gotten closer, they aren't quite at the ‘hey, let's kiss!' stage. However, if Katherine is in Caroline's body, that would make sense why "Caroline" is suddenly macking on Stefan! Plus, it would explain why Katherine noticed that little something between Caroline and Stefan and even asked Caroline if something had happened between her and Stefan. Of all of them, Katherine does know that there is *something* there between the two and she's the only one. And it would explain why that bit of dialogue was included.

2. Prior to this season, Katherine would have no idea how to act with Matt in a way that wouldn't give away that she wasn't Caroline. At all. However, because she and Matt have been spending time together, now she could fairly easily fool him into believing that she is Caroline since she has an easy, friendly vibe with him now with that slight bit of sexual tension that is still somewhat there with Matt and Caroline.

3. Caroline and Katherine were roomies, just the two of them for a period so Katherine knows Caroline's routines, bedtime, morning time, the whole jig. She could easily overtake her life because she saw it up close and personal.

The benefits of this would be that Katherine, for the first time in 500 years, would be treated like a decent person. She would have friends; she would have people caring about her, looking out for her without manipulation. It would deepen her relationship with Matt. (Yes, I'm still shipping Matt/human!Katherine… hello, did you see their scenes in this episode!?! They are so adorable! I ♥ them so much!)

 
 
 
 

Plus! On the other side, even though it isn't "Caroline," it would still be Caroline's form that Stefan would be interacting with and he would look at her, see her, interact with her in a non-platonic way so that when it *is* Caroline again… it would open a whole new side to their relationship.

So that's my speculation on what is going to happen with Katherine. I could be totally, completely wrong. Eh, I probably am, but it would be cool. Hey, maybe I'll write a fanfic about it next summer if I am wrong!

ETA: Looks like my speculation is wrong per comments. Oh well. I REALLY hope that it's not going to be the VERY predictable Katherine in Elena's body, Katherine as Elena gets back together with Stefan pronto, Damon goes off the deep end, turns off his humanity and starts vamping on people left and right. Because that would be really, really predictable. Like SUPER predictable.

Anyhoo, randoms…

- For reals, Ian Somerhalder totally knocked it out of the ballpark this episode. From top to bottom, he had to nail about a million different emotions and he got them all and he had me wrapped around his finger the whole way through. I don't think he's had an episode pull him into as many different emotional directions since "The Return."

- And on a completely shallow note… Ian Somerhalder is really, really beautiful.

- So, no Caroline, no Bonnie or Jeremy. :(

- And I still am not impressed at all with Olga Fonda as Nadia, but I do still think she does the softer stuff way better than the bitchy snark, so I hope they continue to give her more of that if we're stuck with her. Of course, I'd prefer if they'd give her the point stuff though… as in a stake. To the heart. Like in the first ten seconds of the first scene of the next episode.

- I still like Enzo. And I really liked him trying to tell his story and then his frustration when they wouldn't listen before he finally got sick and tired of their inattention so he pulled out the chair and threw it across the room. Good one, Enzo. I just loved his 'I don't care about your girlfriend angst, this is about my angst and I'm going to tell my story and you're going to LISTEN!'

     

- Typical! Stefan finally succeeds in rescuing Elena when he's no longer her boyfriend. I *am* glad that he didn't do the carrying her all damsel-in-distress like though, that's Damon's bag, thank you very much.

- I mentioned above (in length) how Paul Wesley phoned in his performance and pointed out two specific scenes. Sadly, it really was through the whole episode, though. Even with Katherine in their final scene, there was nothing. Again, we should have had some conflict there, some nuance about his feelings, the love mixed in with the hate, the lust, the regret, something, anything, and instead we just got hero!Stefan's sappy smile of regret. Really, Paul? *sigh*

- So we know who Megan was to Grayson. A patient he saved with vampire blood. Eh, kinda boring and nothing scandalous there. OK, then. Meh.

- Two questions: We learned this...

Wes: 4.1 pints drained. 83182 (Elena) still shows signs of consciousness. Note that 15 years ago subject 12144 faded into unconsciousness after losing 2.9 pints. Evolution or luck? Mystery for another day.
So what is the deal here? I'm assuming we're going to find out. Does it have to do with her being a doppelganger? Is it Damon's blood? Things that make you go hmmm….

And the second question… Phase II. Obviously, some vampire is going to get stuck with that Phase II vial and start hunting vampires, will it be one of ours? I can't imagine at this point because we've only got the trio and Caroline, OK, fine and Tyler (stupid, fucking Tyler who isn't even on TVD at this point, but they won't just kill his useless ass), so Enzo? But isn't that too obvious? So are they going to just introduce some new vampire to have him stalk our guys to just kill him at the end? Hmm…..

Phew! OK, so there we have it. The last episode of the first half of the season. I enjoyed it overall, the episode and the season. My only problem with this episode is that it didn't feel like a mid-season finale. It wasn't fast-paced and boom!boom!boom! exciting enough, but frankly, that's rather been the problem with this season as a whole. I love Caroline Dries. She's been my favorite Vampire Diaries writer since season season 02, but I don't think Julie Plec should have handed over the reins as completely as she has without riding shotgun alongside her for a bit longer. The pacing is too slow for this show.

I think we should have had the Augustine vampire arc revving up while the doppelganger arc was reaching its climax, and then the Augustine arc should have reached its climax around episode eight with a new storyline, this Katherine one revving up around episode eight and reaching its climax in this episode as a new story began to rev up going into the hiatus. Having one main story going with just a teeny sprinkling of another building is fine for other shows, but The Vampire Diaries has made juggling multiple crazy arcs into an art form and it's just not happening this season. It needs to be ramped up. And Damon and Elena need to be pumped up. You finally have the couple together, you've split them apart, OK fine, play with that, play with the tension, but we've got to see them TOGETHER. This keeping them apart nonsense has to stop. Period. And I don't mean just in a scene (which we've had.) I mean TOGETHER. Interacting like Damon and Elena. They have the chemistry. They have heat. They have passion and angst and sweetness and darkness and light. And just about everything in between. These two bring it like no one else on television. USE IT! WRITE FOR IT! KTHANXBAI!

I'm sorry it took so long to get this up (and it only took me five hours to do it!); I doubt it was worth the wait, LOL! But you know, real life. And hey, refresher before next week's new episode! I did love the episode. I have loved the season so far. And I have loved what we've gotten of Damon and Elena actually. And I have faith that by the end of the season, my complaints now we'll be moot. I'm more frustrated with what we haven't gotten, but go back up and look at those gifs of what we did get… it's been really, really nice. We want more, yeah, but what we've gotten has been really, really nice. And I have really, really enjoyed the overall stories and arcs. A lot. And I look very much forward to the rest of the season. See you next week!
 
 
 
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Mog [new]bogwitch on January 17th, 2014 12:46 pm (UTC)
I am not convinced all those gifs prove your point!

I will be back, because I apparently have lots of thoughts and have practically written my own eassy in response!
Arabian: Doylearabian on January 17th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
My point is that we didn't get enough, but we still got some lovely stuff. I don't see how my gifs do anything but prove that. We got lovely stuff, those gifs prove that. However, we didn't get enough. Sadly, those gifs also prove that.

I apparently have lots of thoughts

There was a lot to think about with this episode.
bangel_4e: delena2bangel_4e on January 17th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC)
And here I am, basically agreeing with everything you wrote ;)

Let's start with Damon and Elena then...I loved them in this episode. I love what happened, what Damon said and what he did, how Elena reacted...Of course I'm not thrilled about the quasi break-up but for me, it was amazing. Because it all comes together: what Damon thinks of himself & how he doesn't wanna change her and lets her go. It felt so natural and as I was watching, I was happy. Elena stood by Damon once again because she truly loves him and I just liked how their dynamic was represented in this scene. They weren't some overdramatic version of Damon and Elena fighting and breaking up. They were Damon and Elena, just them. And I was incredibly happy when Elena mentioned she does terrible things too. I've been waiting for someone on the show to say this to Damon, be vocal about it, even if they already thought that. So I am satisfied. I agree I would have loved to see more about the summer of their dreams, but they probably didn't wanna lose too much Stelena audience and played it lightly :)
I think we'll see great things from now on, no matter what happens.

And brilliant acting from Ian and Nina. Seriously, Ian did his best performance. The way he shouted: "Stop defending me"...it gave me chills. And Nina also conveyed Elena's emotions, her sadness, disbelief & shock perfectly.
But Paul...oh, Paul. I refuse to believe he was acting like that on purpose...I mean, purposely acting as if Stefan didn't care. The scene with Aaron, the "not everyone is like my brother" scene...that bothered me so much and left me pretty shocked. And he was all la-la-la about his brother being tortured for so many years. But yeah, let's brush that off.. O.o
when only an episode before, we had a worried Damon that didn't tell Stefan that cause he didn't want him to feel more guilty.
And people still think Stefan to be the selfless one. Stefan is selfless with Elena because he acts based on a general principle...I think he does what he thinks he's supposed to do to not feel guilty and think of himself as a horrible person (cause I know he doesn't think he's a hero).

Well, anyway...I'm not worried about Katherine either. I LOVE HER to the death and I'll be damned if something happens to her. My favorite character. And I LOVE your theory, I truly do. So far, I don't know anything that could disprove it..so I'm looking forward to this :) I heard of something that could disprove some of your theory. I won't say more though.


Two questions: Wes said about Elena: "4.1 pints drained. 83182 (Elena) still shows signs of consciousness. Note that 15 years ago subject 12144 faded into unconsciousness after losing 2.9 pints. Evolution or luck? Mystery for another day." So what is the deal here? I'm assuming we're going to find out. Does it have to do with her being a doppelganger? Is it Damon's blood? Things that make you go hmmm
Ahah, I didn't even notice and thought about this,..it is indeed very interesting. Uhm.

I *am* glad that he didn't do the carrying her all damsel-in-distress like though, that's Damon's bag, thank you very much.
Basically every Damon/Elena fan was ready to kill the writers if that happened...ah. But I appreciated that scene because there were no weird vibes...just a friend saving another.

I also look forward to the rest of the season, I'm very optimistic and I can't wait to see what's gonna happen.


Edited at 2014-01-17 02:54 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Damon & Elena24arabian on January 19th, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
And here I am, basically agreeing with everything you wrote ;)

Oh, that's good, it's been a while since that's totally happened! :)

I agree about Damon and Elena. I know we discussed a break-up before this episode and I'm really happy with how it played out because it wasn't about Elena giving up on him or them at all and that was my fear and that is what I simply could NOT buy at all. If they had gone that route, I just could not have been able to fathom it at all with all we had from her last season regardless of what Damon had done. So I was so happy to see that they not only did NOT go that way with Elena, remaining so true to her character, but that they also delved deep into the heart of Damon's character as well. Nicely done.

I agree I would have loved to see more about the summer of their dreams, but they probably didn't wanna lose too much Stelena audience and played it lightly :)

Screw that. The S/E audience is SO VERY SMALL comparatively at this point, it's ridiculous. They need to stop pandering to this practically non-existent triangle and piddly fanbase and give to their huge fanbase for the Damon/Elena pairing that have been denied for far, far too long and have waited for five years.

I think we'll see great things from now on, no matter what happens.

I sure hope so.

But Paul...oh, Paul. I refuse to believe he was acting like that on purpose...I mean, purposely acting as if Stefan didn't care.

Yup, that wasn't Stefan not caring, that was Paul not caring and just picking up his damn paycheck and frankly I'm getting tired of it, just because I don't care about Stefan and Elena, doesn't mean that I don't care about Stefan, and Stefan and everyone else. Grrr.

I heard of something that could disprove some of your theory. I won't say more though.

Well, I think that alone pretty much disproves the main thing I want about my theory, but that's OK, there's always fanfic. :D

I also look forward to the rest of the season, I'm very optimistic and I can't wait to see what's gonna happen.

So nice to read you saying you're optimistic. :D :D
(no subject) - bangel_4e on January 19th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Cassandra Elise: pissed!doctorcassandra_elise on January 17th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
I've been waiting for this review! I really needed to hear your opinion, especially after reading all the whining going on Tumblr about Delena's breakup and Damon's piss-poor treatment on the show. I guess it's not going to get any better any time soon, so my only hope is that the "Damon's evil" trope is going to end up like the Moonstone in season two and be the exact opposite of what everyone thought it was. My theory (based on no spoilers, just my own conjecture) is that everyone but Elena will become alienated from Damon, thinking he's the "bad guy," and then in the season finale Damon will finally prove his mettle to these disbelievers by laying down his life for them (and then Bonnie will have to find a way to resurrect him from the other side). Anyways, just my theory, no concrete evidence in any of the spoilers.

Why on earth is Paul Wesley playing Stefan as if Stefan believes Damon is when we have so much canon proof that STEFAN knows and DOES NOT believe that Damon is one? Stefan has only said that shit in the past because he's afraid he is and doesn't want to lose his brother and because he's petty when it comes to Elena and didn't want to lose her, but at the end of the day, he LOVES HIS BROTHER more than anyone or anything and he knows that it isn't true. Wesley *should* have played that with nuance, letting viewers know that Stefan was playing Aaron to get the information, but instead he not only played the line completely straight, he not only fucking phoned the performance in, he did some of the worst acting I've seen him ever do on this show. Ugh. As a Stefan fan, and as someone who generally praises Paul, I am disappoint.


OMG, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I was soooo pissed off at Stefan's dismissal of Damon's suffering, especially when Damon defended his brother when he was all ripper in season 3. I really hope it was just Paul's crappy delivery, and not the writers leaving their senses and retconning to season one's theme of "Stefan is the good brother and Damon is the bad brother." We've had so much growth on this show, and I feel like in the last two episodes they reset a bunch of it all for the sake of DRAMA and ANGST, which IMHO is never a good reason to make your characters regress. I just hope the writers know what they're doing, because I am first and foremost a Damon-stan.
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on January 19th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
I really needed to hear your opinion, especially after reading all the whining going on Tumblr about Delena's breakup and Damon's piss-poor treatment on the show.

Thank you for re-affirming why I stopped going on tumblr. Geez, that place exists merely for gifs (good) but mostly to just be a cesspool of negativity (very, very bad). Drives me freaking insane.

my only hope is that the "Damon's evil" trope

But there is no "Damon's evil" trope going on. Caroline has her own Damon-shaped issues, but she's one character out of many. I am positive that Paul was supposed to show some freaking nuance in that scene, but was too lazy to do so. And again the same guy who called Damon a monster also basically told him in the previous scene that he had missed him for SIXTY YEARS! This show is ALL ABOUT show, not tell. You have to read the nuance, the layers, watch and pay attention to what is going on, not just what is being said. It's like what I wrote above about all of the things that show that Damon is NOT an evil guy. That he is someone the show does want you to root for, to feel for, to want to find his happy ending. No evil trope going on here.

My theory (based on no spoilers, just my own conjecture) is that everyone but Elena will become alienated from Damon, thinking he's the "bad guy," and then in the season finale Damon will finally prove his mettle to these disbelievers by laying down his life for them (and then Bonnie will have to find a way to resurrect him from the other side). Anyways, just my theory, no concrete evidence in any of the spoilers.

Possible, but I don't think Stefan or Jeremy (or Matt possibly) will turn against Damon completely. I really don't. Caroline is the only one I could see 100% turning on him and absolutely believing the worst of him. Stefan won't. And I really, really don't think Jeremy will. Damon, Elena, and Jeremy have become a family.

I really hope it was just Paul's crappy delivery, and not the writers leaving their senses and retconning to season one's theme of "Stefan is the good brother and Damon is the bad brother."

I'm actually a little disappointed that you would even think it was the writers' at fault here. Especially since Paul's been phoning it in off and on since season two and really doing it hard since season 04 and almost non-stop this season. Plus, I pointed it out three specific scenes he did it in this episode. Why would you even think to blame the writers? Especially when I pointed out how obviously the writers are SHOWING that Damon is NOT supposed to be seen as the bad guy? The heroine of the show flat-out said "I can't judge you when you were tortured for years."

We've had so much growth on this show, and I feel like in the last two episodes they reset a bunch of it all for the sake of DRAMA and ANGST, which IMHO is never a good reason to make your characters regress.

They reset nothing. They brought it all full-circle, they are bringing all of Damon's demons and issues about his insecurities and his belief in his lack of self-value to light. He'd pushed it so far down and had allowed himself to believe that he could forget it because he found happiness with Elena, but the reminder of what happened with Enzo brought it all back to the surface. This HUGE self-esteem issue that Damon has HAD GOT TO BE DEALT with if he ever wants any kind of happiness with Elena to last. This called fantastic character writing. There is no reset going on here at all. No character regression... nope, this is the best, most brilliantly crafted way to move your characters forward and help them grow.
(no subject) - cassandra_elise on January 20th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2014 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
jairem08jairem08 on January 17th, 2014 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your review. I'm happy that you are happy with the outcome of the episode. I'm actually not upset about their break up anymore. I'm pretty sure they aren't over. This is just a start of the story. Drama and angst coming up. I do not do spoilers or Tumlr to not get any negative vibe as it can get crazy ridiculous. I just decided to go with the flow and trust the writers. Re Katherine taking over someone's body - I think that it might actually be Elena because we all think it is too obvious. This would throw another curveball for Damon and his insecurities and could create more drama as Katherine/Elena would definitely go "back" to Stefan. It can just send him off the cliff. Unless he would figure it out because he is that smart. But still think he would take it badly. Don't know perhaps I'm wrong. Writers like to torture. I of course do not want Damon to suffer anymore. But it is a possibility. Your review as always made me feel better about the episode because yeah Damon suffered again and is sucks. And there is never enough Delena. Your gifs are beautiful reminder of what they had Just such a wonderful concentration of love and chemistry.
Arabian: Damon & Elena35arabian on January 19th, 2014 08:08 am (UTC)
I'm happy that you are happy with the outcome of the episode.

I was. :)

I'm actually not upset about their break up anymore. I'm pretty sure they aren't over.

Well, we don't know what's gonna happen, but yeah, I'm sure they aren't over or at least Elena doesn't intend for them to be over.

This is just a start of the story.

Definitely agreed!

I just decided to go with the flow and trust the writers.

Yuppers, that was what I decided during the fourth season and I haven't regretted since.

Re Katherine taking over someone's body - I think that it might actually be Elena because we all think it is too obvious.

Lordy, it will be soooooo predictable, obvious or not. *sigh*

This would throw another curveball for Damon and his insecurities and could create more drama as Katherine/Elena would definitely go "back" to Stefan.

I don't mind her going back to Stefan as Katherine at all because it won't be Elena, so who cares, I just would be bothered by the complete and utter predictability of it.

Unless he would figure it out because he is that smart.

The only way he wouldn't figure it out would be if he didn't spend any time with her becaue he would be devastated, but yeah, if "Elena" went back to Stefan right after Damon broke up with her, that would cause Damon to turn his switch off and go off the deep end, totally. But again, totally and completely predictable. Heck, I was predicting that between the first and second season... that's how predictable it is.

I'm glad you enjoyed the write-up and thank you for your patience. :)
Frust-sheep: sheep: frust-sheep main-snow-anifrust_sheep on January 17th, 2014 11:45 pm (UTC)
Oh I really love your theory and would love if this would happen. :D I cross my fingers. *lol* Because I think the writers really have to try hard to make something still better then your theory. *lol*
Anyway thank you again for this very detailed write-up and again thank you too for the awesome gifs. :)
Arabian: Damon02arabian on January 19th, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
Alas, a few comments from other comments lead me to believe that my theory is not even remotely correct. Ah well.

Glad you liked the write-up and gifs. :)
(no subject) - frust_sheep on January 19th, 2014 05:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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faith5by5_1013: The Vampire Diaries: Damon/Elena: Kissfaith5by5_1013 on January 18th, 2014 03:50 am (UTC)
It's been a while, so I needed this refresher.

Seriously, this is what comes of Damon almost never been told of the good he does, but only been told of the bad. He just honestly believes that he's only a crappy dude. Damon thinks of himself as horrible whereas everyone else in their group thinks of themselves as good. Enzo repeating that refrain ("That's just who you are, who you'll always be…a monster.") just once again beat that belief into Damon's brain. And yet it's so ridiculous and no one, except for Elena, at this point seems to realize just how ridiculous and false it is. They have all done bad things, and in fact, Stefan has done worst things than Damon. Every single one of them are "monsters" on sliding scales and yet in their little group, only Damon is tagged as one and only Damon owns that branding. And until the others, and more importantly, *Damon* realizes that he is no more a monster than the rest of them; he will never accept that he deserves to be with Elena. That he deserves to be happy. And until he fully accepts that realization his journey will never be complete.

And, you know, honestly, Until this conversation, I don't think Elena ever fully got that. Speaking of, when I first watched this, I had a few issues with how Elena's end of it was written and directed, but there was one particular line—that Nina Dobrev delivered flawlessly (and to give credit where it's due, she was fantastic during the entire scene and elevated it above those slight flaws I had even the first time)—where she told him that she wasn't perfect and she said "I've done horrible things too" and that was so key to me. It was an acknowledgement that was no one else ever makes in their group really. Yes, they all do horrible things. But the others and Damon brush them under the rug as, you know, just things that happen, incidentals, but whenever Damon does something horrible it's proof that he's a monster. Only Elena doesn't see it that way, or at least, only Elena acknowledges that she doesn't see it that way.


I agree with all of this.

It's all so much more interesting than any outside forces and much more true to them.

I agree so much with this. I find it so frustrating how often external forces keep my ships apart when there are actual valid issues that characters have as individuals that could keep them apart. And I love the seemingly rare occasions when it's their own personal issues preventing them from being happy and together and when that's actually acknowledged. I mean, I love when my ships are together and happy, but, if they aren't going to be together, at least give me a valid reason that doesn't basically amount to "we're giving each character a series of other love interests in order to waste time"...

I thought Katherine's last fake-out death from "Monster Ball" was much, much more awesomely done.

Agreed.

I know the spoiler that you're talking about and, from what I've heard, it's probably a different couple from a show I don't watch. But I'm not certain because, as I said, I don't watch that show. I know they were eliminating couples every once in a while, but I stopped checking when they removed my TWD OTP from the list (and I'm happy about that because it was a three-part spoiler and, while parts 1 and 2 would fit them perfectly, part 3 would have been seriously OOC).

Anyway, I don't know how well your theory fits in with all the parts of said spoiler, but Stefan and Caroline were still on the list the last time I saw it.
Arabian: Damon & Elena20arabian on January 19th, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
It's been a while, so I needed this refresher.

Figured this might help someone, LOL! Good timing. ;)

I agree so much with this. I find it so frustrating how often external forces keep my ships apart when there are actual valid issues that characters have as individuals that could keep them apart.

Lordy, me too! And this really has been building since this beginning for Damon.

Anyway, I don't know how well your theory fits in with all the parts of said spoiler, but Stefan and Caroline were still on the list the last time I saw it.

Based on what you've said and someone else above, I'm pretty sure I'm totes totally wrong, LOL!
Florencia: DE (Our Life)florencia7 on January 18th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! I was SO waiting for this post! ♥

“Plus! On the other side, even though it isn't "Caroline," it would still be Caroline's form that Stefan would be interacting with and he would look at her, see her, interact with her in a non-platonic way so that when it *is* Caroline again… it would open a whole new side to their relationship.”

I absolutely love your theory! And as far as my knowledge of spoilers (only in the form of eps' synopses/promo pics but still) is concerned, I don't think there is anything out there that either confirms or proves your theory wrong. It's all very vague, really. And I'd love for you to be right! This idea is so much better than Katherine-in-Elena's-body *sigh* Other than SE-ish shenanigans, I don't see much purpose for that.

“Parallels, got to love ‘em. :Snort: Stupid fireplace.” - As much as I love the fireplace it seems like this season everything, everyone's kisses, arguments, meetings, deaths are happening there. Aren't there other rooms in the boarding house? ^^

“"not all of us are like my brother"” - I literally groaned at this, because up to this point I was really enjoying Stefan in this episode lol And I actually wonder if the nuance-free acting in this scene could have been Paul's conscious choice? Because while yes, Stefan loves Damon and he did have those moments when it seemed he sort of understood wheRE he was coming from. But at the same time Stefan's still this guy who as recently as at the beginning of this season ~imagined Damon being the one urging him to turn off his emotions and “give up”. He had a hard time acknowledging that Damon *really* loves Elena and in 4x08 he had no problems saying with complete conviction that Damon was wrong for Elena, which clearly implies that his perception of Damon (and of himself) is still distorted.

Btw I think that this season has Damon's hero arc, so to speak, in the making. We had Katherine refer to Stefan's “heroism”, Caroline badmouthing Damon and bits and pieces of conversations in which the idea of being a hero is being brought up (like in the DE scene at the end of 5x02) + the entire Whitmore storyline that seemingly tossed us back to 2x12. The only way to, um, “fix all this” (not the best quote to use lol) is to have Damon do something that turns around everyone's (including his own, most importantly of all) opinion of him.

I agree that we got lots of lovely scenes this season but nowhere near enough. And I hope that we won't have the replay of S4 in which the second half of the season had DE this way or another apart and only in the finale they truly got back together.

As always, you made me feel happier about the entire episode :) I loved reading your thoughts! ♥
Arabian: Damon & Elena33arabian on January 19th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
I absolutely love your theory! And as far as my knowledge of spoilers (only in the form of eps' synopses/promo pics but still) is concerned, I don't think there is anything out there that either confirms or proves your theory wrong.

Peeps above have already pretty move disproven it so, ah well. :shrugs:

This idea is so much better than Katherine-in-Elena's-body *sigh* Other than SE-ish shenanigans, I don't see much purpose for that.

I don't have a problem AT ALL with SE-ish shenanigans. AT ALL! In fact that would please me greatly. Give SE-ers that, pretty please! Because it's not SE at all. Plus it makes it obvious that Stefan doesn't know really Elena, and it's NOT Elena, it's Katherine! So who cares? My issue would be the complete and utter predictability of it.

As much as I love the fireplace it seems like this season everything, everyone's kisses, arguments, meetings, deaths are happening there. Aren't there other rooms in the boarding house? ^^

I don't really agree, that room has always been big for stuff happening. Other than the Bonnie/Jeremy kiss, the only BIG fireplace moment really was the break-up and to be fair that didn't actually happen in front of the fireplace, it was just in the room. I just thought the fact that the coming together and coming apart happening in the same place was meant to be significant. Bonnie and Jeremy have had significant moments in tons of different places. That was a significant--the coming together and apart--with Damon and Elena there.

And I actually wonder if the nuance-free acting in this scene could have been Paul's conscious choice?

I'd like to believe it, but as I said the entire episode (and frankly, most of this season) he's been pretty phoning it in.

Stefan's still this guy who as recently as at the beginning of this season ~imagined Damon being the one urging him to turn off his emotions and “give up”.

That was different though, he had spent the last four months drowning over and over and over again and he was in a messed up place.

He had a hard time acknowledging that Damon *really* loves Elena and in 4x08 he had no problems saying with complete conviction that Damon was wrong for Elena, which clearly implies that his perception of Damon (and of himself) is still distorted.

Having a problem with Damon and Elena romantically is a far cry from his only reaction to his brother being tortured for years being confusion, annoyance at not being told, sympathy to the other guy and pretty much calling his brother a monster. So, no, I'm not cutting Paul any slack. Just, no.

I think that this season has Damon's hero arc, so to speak, in the making.

I agree. I really do think that's what we're getting which is why I went to such length talking about it. This is a story arc that's been building from the show's beginning and it's really getting a push this season, reaching it's crescendo, so to speak.

And I hope that we won't have the replay of S4 in which the second half of the season had DE this way or another apart and only in the finale they truly got back together.

*sigh* Me too.
Matt: Ghidorahghidorah15 on January 19th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're in a good place with this episode, because honestly, I never saw it badly. I agree - Damon's arc this season will be about vanquishing his self-loathing and proving all the negative opinions of him wrong. (Yes, Caroline, I'm looking at you.) And I don't buy for a moment that Elena will give up so easily - that's not in her nature.

Stefan...I don't know what's going on with him anymore, but that's probably because of Paul Wesley phoning it in, as you said. I don't share your love for his character, I'm afraid - I don't hate him, but I could do without him. The most interesting thing about him right now is his bond with Caroline - it really says something that even though neither character is my favorite right now, their interactions and chemistry are still first-rate.

As for Katherine, my hypothesis is that she'll possess Nadia. I don't have much if any proof, just a gut feeling, so I won't bet anything on it. I do like your idea better, but we'll see.
Arabian: Damon&Alaric02arabian on January 20th, 2014 07:35 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're in a good place with this episode, because honestly, I never saw it badly.

Oh, I never saw it badly to begin with either. I was just in a bad place myself. I still don't think it was a terribly strong mid-season finale, but I think it was a great episode.

Stefan...I don't know what's going on with him anymore, but that's probably because of Paul Wesley phoning it in, as you said.

Yeah, I blame Paul. I just see the writing so strong so clearly for all of the other characters and I can see it there for Stefan, but I have to really look for it and so I just can't cut him slack any longer. When the other actors are bringing it, it just gets to the point where I refuse to blame the writers at all. It's on him.

Ugh, Olga Fonda attempting to recreate Nina Fucking Dobrev's awesome Katherine Pierce?!? The horror!!!!! My eyes! My eyes!!!!
(no subject) - ghidorah15 on January 20th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 21st, 2014 05:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
tj2013: pic#120865641tj2013 on January 21st, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
- *sigh* (Good one this time!) I loved Damon's single-minded focus on saving Elena. Enzo, OMG! He's alive! Gotta save Elena. Enzo hates me, that sucks! Gotta save Elena. It's story time with Enzo. He's really pissed at me still, hmm. Oh well, gotta save Elena. Oopsie, Enzo. REALLY pissed, wants to fight, guess Stefan will have to do the duties, Stefan, go save Elena! He was just so single-minded in his focus to save Elena. It wasn't until he knew she was safe that he could focus on Enzo and telling him his side of the story, trying to make amends with him.

THIS- and pretty much THIS about everything you wrote.

I was really looking forward to your analysis and it definitely was worth the wait,that's for sure,. Loved it.

It might not happen, but I adore the Kat-ín-Care-Theory. Now that would be funny. But as you said - there ist still fanfiction in the case this particular storyline goes down the drain.

I watched the ep twice and I am very hopeful and optimistic for the rest of the season.

Paul - not so much. I love me some Stefan, but Stefan has to be played right. He's a multidimensional character and he deserves a litte more respect. It's his journey, too. On another level than Damon's, but journey nonetheless. We'll see how Paul will do...
Arabian: Damon05arabian on January 22nd, 2014 05:26 am (UTC)
Well, I'm glad it was worth the wait because it was quite a wait.

Yeah, totally not thinking the Kat-in-Care theory (I like that name, LOL) will happen, ah well, but yeah, there's always fanfic.

I love me some Stefan, but Stefan has to be played right. He's a multidimensional character and he deserves a litte more respect. It's his journey, too. On another level than Damon's, but journey nonetheless. We'll see how Paul will do...

Yes, yes, yes, YES! Frankly, I've sadly lost all hope that Paul gets this at all. I don't know maybe if they pursue Stefan and Caroline and he likes that story, he'll put some actual push into his acting, but I'm not holding my breath. We'll see.
Bogwitch: TVD - Damon Won't Tellbogwitch on January 27th, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
My thoughts, finally! I cut a bit about Damon and Elena out which I am going to rework and save for 5.11, but although the last ep changed things, most of what I wrote was still valid. I know as a shipper you wanted to see more of Damon and Elena together (and I can’t disagree with that desire) and the writers should have revealed more specifics about this blissful summer, I am happy with what has been shown - I think there has been a lot on focus on their relationship - much more than I was expecting actually, even if they aren’t always in the same room. I haven’t read any of the other comments yet, so I get a bit rambly and I’m probably talking out of my ridiculous bobble hat…

I don’t care what people on Tumblr think, I really loved this ep (and The Cell) and Ian was excellent throughout. I really enjoyed the break up – because I love that angst more than the happiness and we all know that their story together is far from over. The more messy and complicated their relationship gets, the better for me! I’m loving Enzo too, though it’s driving me mad thinking about why he’s called Enzo, where he’s meant to be from and where that would fit in a historical context.

The only issue I have with him though is his description of Damon as a monster which didn’t really work. It’s as if the writer’s wanted to go with that theme to trigger Damon’s arc, but I think putting those particular words into Enzo’smouth is an ill fit. It’s not that Enzo doesn’t have a grievance, but the ‘monster’ conclusion seems a bit strange to me as what he did wasn’t really monstrous, however Damon him himself view it. Surely the ‘monster’ behaviour came later and what does Enzo know of Damon since his escape? The same push into Damon’s arc could so easily have been produced in more logical language and Damon’s response doesn’t have to be any different as Damon did betray Enzo’s trust. I think that could have been handled better than shoehorning in a theme that doesn’t quite track.

It's like he's so smart, but he's so freaking stupid. He listens to what people says, I mean, he *really* listens and he gets what they're saying, and what they're not saying so he catches things all the time… except when it comes to him. Then he's like the dumbest person on the planet.
I don’t think Damon ever switches off. A lot of the time that is very useful because he’s always listening, analysing and planning and that backs up his reliable intuition and enables him to assess and think on the fly. The opposite side of that trait though is a tendency to overthink in areas where he can’t be objective, such as in relation to himself, and because he is cynical and emotional, he’s take those negative conclusions to heart where, without contradictory input from others, they stay and they fester.
Arabian: Damon09arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
the writers should have revealed more specifics about this blissful summer

No, it's not that, it's that we were teased with this blissful summer and then not given anything even remotely comparable *during* the show to compensate for not seeing this blissful summer.

, I am happy with what has been shown - I think there has been a lot on focus on their relationship

There's been plenty of focus, yes, to that I agree, but there hasn't been plenty (or practically any at all) blissful Damon and Elena and THAT is why you have the build-up. That's why you have the angst. Build-up and angst is great, but you NEED the pay-off. Without the comparable pay-off, you end up with disgruntled viewers and that's what TVD had in D/E fans by the time they broke them up... disgruntled D/E viewers because after 5 seasons of build-up and angst there wasn't even remotely enough pay-off to make up for all that build-up and angst. THAT is the problem.

I don’t care what people on Tumblr think

Lord, neither do I. They're awful. I avoid that place like the plague. That place is a cesspool of negativity, I mostly loved "The Cell" and quite enjoyed this episode and I think Ian did wonderful as well. And as I made quite, quite clear in my write-up, I thought the break-up was very well done. I even went into great detail as to why. It was beautifully in character, so I agree with you there.

On the other hand...

I love that angst more than the happiness

Angst means nothing to me without the happiness. And we haven't had nearly enough happiness to compensate for all the angst.

I’m loving Enzo too, though it’s driving me mad thinking about why he’s called Enzo, where he’s meant to be from and where that would fit in a historical context.

It's short for Lorenzo, he's Italian.

The only issue I have with him though is his description of Damon as a monster which didn’t really work.

I agree with this; it was shoehorned in to get to the fight line. Yeah.
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 11:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bogwitch: TVD - Damon Won't Tellbogwitch on January 27th, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
I'm not really happy with Paul Wesley. Look, I get that he doesn't like hero!Stefan. Never mind that hero!Stefan only exists in the minds of delusional Stefan fans…
I would suggest that the books are to blame for a lot of how Show!Stefan is perceived by some fans. Book!Stefan really has all the qualities that we constantly being told that Show!Stefan possesses, but Show!Stefan is a more flawed, faceted and interesting character than Book!Stefan will ever be, as he is monumentally passive and dull. However, because of that it really is legitimate to believe that he is a better choice for Book!Elena, especially as Book!Damon desires to take her to a much darker place. Therefore while we are shown that Show!Stefan Stefan is this ripper and we are told that he is this Hero, because this is how Book!Stefan actually is, some people will be more inclined to believe this of all Stefans, which is, as you say, rather deluded as they are patently not the same.

So Stefan finds out that Damon was held as a torture test subject in the 50's and he's just finding out now. Instead of a look of pain, worry, upset, anything approaching that upon finding this out, the look on his face is a cross between confusion and annoyance.
I am not going to defend Paul Wesley, but I am going to defend Stefan here. Although it was a shock for him to discover that Damon was one of the test subjects, I really don’t think he understood what that really entailed. The way Damon is so flippant about it, probably makes Stefan think that it wasn’t that big of a deal, certainly not something that was a defining period of Damon’s life.

Having said that, if he knew his brother at all, he should have known that Damon’s very casual air was a red flag in itself and it just shows how badly Stefan reads his brother a lot of the time. It actually disappoints me greatly that no one except Lexi actually ever asked Damon why he turned his emotions off in the first. Elena, I can forgive, as she probably assumed from what she has been told that it was anger from Stefan forcing him to turn, and Alaric because he never thought he had turned it off, but Stefan was well aware Damon wasn’t turned off in the 1940s, so why did he never ask? Say Lexi came back from New York in 1977 and said ‘your brother is a dick, he’s turned off his emotions and is a lost cause’, I get why Stefan as he has been written, would buy that and let Damon get on with it, but later back in Mystic Falls when he was hoping he was getting through to Damon early on, why did he never think to try? Maybe he thinks Damon wouldn’t tell him and he’d probably be right, but still this is something so huge in his brother’s life, why did he never even attempt to get to the bottom of such an important issue?
Arabian: Stefan03arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:26 am (UTC)
Re: Saint Stefan. Ah, I've never read the books, so I didn't realize they were that bad in their black and white portrayal of Stefan. Thanks for that insight. That makes sense.

And I do agree with you that Stefan could not realize just how bad it could have been for Damon being the test subject, and further agree that he should have asked. However, I completely get why he didn't. It's totally in character for Stefan. He's the whole bury his head in the sand kinda guy. He doesn't want to know that something happened to Damon that would give him more reason to feel guilty and if he doesn't ask then he doesn't know therefore that's something less he has to feel guilty about. Totally Stefan.
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bogwitch: TVD - Damon Won't Tellbogwitch on January 27th, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
Sadly, I am also disappointed with the "cliffhanger" because it didn't feel very cliffhanger-y to me.
I agree. I think Katherine’s cliffhanger lost impact due to the high drama of the break up scene. In any other ep, it would have been fine, but the audience’s minds are already reeling by that point and the possibly it of Katherine’s demise is therefore lost.

I didn’t have any idea when I wrote this originally whose body Katherine would possess (or if she even would).I certainly didn’t hear of anyone speculating that Caroline might get body-napped by Katherine. I’m rather disappointed she didn’t now! It would have been so much more shocking. I thought it was going to be Nadia, else why introduce the character? She doesn’t seem to have much of a storyline outside her mother now and she’s not that developed (her boyfriend is dead now) so why should we care? The only outstanding thing is the Travellers and would easily lead to more storyline if Katherine is forced out of Elena into Nadia somehow. That way we get to keep Katherine without wearing out Nina (I do agree that I have no desire to see Olga play Katherine though. I’m not saying I want this to happen).

So we know who Megan was to Grayson. A patient he saved with vampire blood. Eh, kinda boring and nothing scandalous there.
I was disappointed about the Megan/Grayson mystery too. For ep called ’50 Shades of Grayson’ it didn’t get very in depth with him. I am still hoping there might yet be more to it and that Elena’s burning of his journal will prove significant. The ‘truth’ of Megan’s death made no sense whatsoever in light of what we know; we shall speak of it no more.

Obviously, some vampire is going to get stuck with that Phase II vial and start hunting vampires, will it be one of ours?
I really don’t know who to place my chips on. It may depend on if there is an antidote or not. The potential for one certainly exists now. So let’s speculate! What are our options?

Enzo – unlikely as its made from him, though he would be disposable enough if the story needs it.
Stefan – he’s already a ripper, but something like this could trigger a change in his life if craving vampire blood forced him to actually deal with his issues. Somehow though, this scenario seems unlikely. Why would he even be stabbed with it? Having said that, is this why he had to meet Aaron?
Damon – I think he has too much else going on. I thought that if he did get it, then he might be forced back to Elena to control the cravings and feed but that’s moot now. I think it’s too early to say with him, because what he would do and what he would become are too dependent on what happens with Katherine and Elena. It all depends on when the syringe comes into play.
Elena – She might prove to be immune due to her doppelganger blood or have lessened rippery symptoms, thus making the syringe a red herring.
Katherine – again this is dependent on when the syringe is in play. It might be the thing that finally finisher her off or if she’s still in Elena, she might be forced to relinquish charge.
Nadia – This might be the point of her being around, though why she would get it, I don’t know.
Caroline – this would be a shock, but she does need some plot…
Tyler – is he going to be around long enough? He’s another that it might have different effects on.
Someone else????????? Someone to do with the Travellers? – No idea.

I think my conclusion is that I have no clue what is going to happen, but in thinking it through, I think the syringe will be played later in the season, perhaps in the finale.
Arabian: Elena07arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:33 am (UTC)
The ‘truth’ of Megan’s death made no sense whatsoever in light of what we know; we shall speak of it no more.

It was so such a plot-point to jump-start the Augustine mystery. *sigh* Not very exciting, to say the least. Sorry, I spoke more.

If there is an antidote, I think it will be Damon who gets stuck with it. If no antidote and it works, I think Enzo or Nadia. If no antidote and Elena's doppelganger thingie makes her special (ala Wes' comments about her awesome ability to not pass out), I think Elena will get it, but NOT react to it.

Bottom-line, though, I am intrigued. And that's a good thing! :)
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 27th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 27th, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 28th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bogwitch on January 28th, 2014 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on January 28th, 2014 02:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
Alisha: SoM Dancekalishaka on October 14th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
I rather liked this episode. It was a bit weak for a mid-season finale though.

The Damon and Elena 'break up' just did not even phase me. It felt like a very real relationship issue and moment. Honestly most of Damon's issues now are very much his. He is insecure with himself. He feels guilty about his own actions. Whereas earlier Damon needed Elena's 'I always see the good in people' to begin trusting in himself, to make him better, he also overly relied on it to a point where he began to resent her for it because he never managed to make himself see himself as she sees him. And while I hated Caroline's comments because I think they were horrifically handled, I think in a lot of ways the reason Caroline and Damon are so hard on each other is because in the end they are incredibly hard on themselves. They are very similar people.

And while a very small touch overall, Damon pointing out how Elena found the only good thing in a journal of horror, absolutely hits home that point and also just speaks exactly to who Elena is and why people are drawn to her. And Elena's side in this 'break up' had the perfect line. When she mentions having done horrible things as well. Damon has spent his entire life as the evil to Stefan's good. It was how he was a human as well. He never feels good enough. Vampire emotions would have amped that feeling. And with Elena, and Enzo's return, and his failing of Stefan....Damon is vulnerable, and he is lashing out, but this time...honestly, with his words. He isn't flicking a switch, he isn't breaking a neck, he is talking, and albeit stupidly trying to walk away and let go and do ridiculously noble stupid things but it is still such a growth for him.

Stefan and Katherine continue to break my heart even as I kind of am annoyed by them both. Truly they are destined. I'm a little bummed that they are making Katherine feel a bit more superficial than I normally view her. Yes yes, she's always been a bit stupid and in love with Stefan, but it just feels off. I don't know how to explain it. And then leaving her cheaply dying on the ground. I just did not like it.

Stefan and Damon together to get Elena though. It felt very early season brother bonding and I enjoyed it. I can see your complaints about Paul, but I don't think this is by any means his worst episode of this season so far...however it does bum me out how much he just seems to be checking out sometimes in comparison to actors who really do seem to be giving it everything they have and then some more.

My love of Enzo is true and forever. The throwing of the chair was great. He's wonderful. I look forward to more.

For the most part, I have been trying not to overly speculate with my comments, mostly because I can very quickly see what comes next. But I just, I don't know, I'm incredibly worried that they are just going to put Katherine in Elena's body. And it just seems like such a stupid plan. Also, why don't they have a better actress playing Nadia? Like she really didn't bother me in the beginning when her role was in really small doses but she is just so bland. Like I don't know if she is really bad but she just comes up so boring against Nina.