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21 November 2014 @ 07:13 am
6.08 - 'Fade Into You' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Last episode before our first rerun of the season, oh joy! As always, thoughts behind the cut.

I've talked a lot in the past about Damon and his self-esteem issues. Well, I'm going there again briefly. One of the things I'm really enjoying about this season is how we're seeing that there has been some major dealing with those issues. The fact that Damon has found a true love and has received acceptance from people he cares about has made a true dent in how he views his own self-worth and we are seeing that effect how he handles things now. And it is awesome.

For instance, when he first came back to 2014 instead of immediately throwing himself and his second chance at happiness upon the sword, he did fight for Elena and their relationship. Admittedly, he only gave about three seconds worth of a fight in the grand scheme of things, but for Damon Salvatore, that's progress. He actually did think about himself and about what he deserved for more than a second. And, again, I say… that is awesome. He quickly resorted back to 'I'm not worthy' mode and that Elena was better off and would more likely be happier without him and did the selfless thing, but small steps.

And then in this episode, we saw more small steps. Although he did let her go at the end of the last episode, he has enough self-worth now to remind her that she did decide to erase their relationship so boo on her. And he also has enough self-worth to basically say 'hey, if ya wanna hit this and disregard my selfless act of love, go for it, babe, come and get it, I'm yours!' Instead of going all bad!Damon and doing something to make her hate him and justify her not being with him, he's playing it cool. Lesson learned from what happened last time because he knows that deep down buried under that layer of compulsion, the love is still there and he just needs to be the guy that he became over the last couple of years… the guy that she fell in love with.

And this is so much easier for him to do this time around because unlike last time when he didn't have anyone, he does. He has Stefan being such an awesome brother. He has his BFF, Alaric, back where he belongs. He has Enzo (not that we've seen much of him, again, show, why did you make him a regular?). He also has Liz, and they may do a crappy job of showing it as well as they should, but Jeremy and Matt do care, as does Tyler I suppose as he did call Damon a friend (sometimes). Caroline *did* invite him to Friendsgiving. Plus, of course, there's Bonnie! Of course, he's playing it cool. He has no reason not to it; he knows that he's worth it now. It has taken time, but the show has really built it up over the series run to get us to this point where he has the self-esteem to believe he deserves Elena's love, but just not quite enough that he'd still think that she could do better. Well-done. So very, very well-done.

And then on the other end, you've got Elena who has regressed, but in a way that makes absolutely perfect sense and in a way that I believe is being done for three reasons. One, yes, to keep Damon and Elena apart for plot driven 'we must keep the angst going' which would be annoying were it not for the other two reasons. The first goes back to Damon and his self-esteem issues. He's getting much better, but yes, he still has them and I'm still holding out hope that we're going to get some variation on discussion between Elena and *Damon* about that whole toxicity nonsense.

And secondly, as a treat *for* the Damon/Elena fanbase. We never got to see Damon and Elena fall in love without the question mark of when Elena fell, without Elena questioning it every single step of the way, fighting her feelings non-stop, clinging to Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. This is our opportunity to finally see that. I think it's pretty clear that we're going to get a Damon/Elena re-falling-in-love story now, at least from her end. Yes, the compulsion will be broken eventually and the memories will come back and it will beautiful and amazing and wonderful, but it will happen *after* Elena has already fallen or is just about right there on the edge of falling in love with Damon all over again. So we will get a new first kiss, first this, first that without the specter of Stefan hanging over them. How incredible is that?

This episode was the absolute set-up for that, I think. And part of that was closing the chapter on Liam and what he represented which was (much like Stefan had) her safe life, the fantasy of a life that she simply can no longer have. I thought the writing and direction of the Liam-related scenes were just so on point. (And, yes, I'm saying that knowing that Joshua Butler—yes, that Joshua Butler—directed the episode.)

The whole point of having Elena ask Stefan why he told her about his vampirism and his response ("because I was in love with you") was to show the opposite between Elena and Liam. When she was looking at Liam after talking to Stefan, her sadness was because she realized as great a guy as he is (and I think really is—I like Liam a LOT!), she's not in love with him. She could never entrust that kind of secret to him. This scene showed us emphatically that Elena has deeper, stronger feelings for Damon, a guy that she supposedly has "no feelings for" than Liam--this great guy that she likes.

And the later scene made her feelings even more clear. She only told him about being a vampire because she had to save Jo and then because, again, she's NOT in love with him, she compelled that information and everything personal having to do with her away. Then she sent this safe, uncomplicated fantasy of a life that he represented that she simply cannot have away too. And that is what her tears were for. She wasn't crying for Liam, but for the life she can't have... because she is a vampire and she hates being a vampire. Remember with her memories of her love for Damon being gone, the one redeeming thing about being a vampire went with it—an eternity with her soulmate, Damon.

As for the final scene between Damon and Elena, well, that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED! The key phrase for me was her "I don't know" (and, man, I loved Damon's response to that) when asked which choice she was making. And of course it reminded me of what I wrote after last week's episode. She's back to that mindset. She doesn't know what the hell she's feeling here. Think of what I wrote last week, pulling out quotes from my "Murder of One" and "Heart of Darkness" post where Elena was unsure of what love truly was plus being overwhelmed by the intensity of Damon and this complicated, dark world.

Now once Elena had accepted her love for Damon, that acceptance also helped her accept the gray, sometimes dark gray that her world had become, and the messy complications that came with it. However, before she had reached that 'face the music and dance' mentality with Damon, she was still in the 'bury your head in the sand and deny' mentality. It was Damon and his love and what he brought out in her that brought that stronger mentality out in her. With his love and those memories, that mentality has been weakened.

So awesomely what that final scene gave us in a nutshell was that even with her love for Damon behind these mental barriers, Elena is STILL choosing what is messy and real with him over what is safe and a fantasy with someone like Liam. It's just like what she did in "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" when she chose Damon over Stefan and then officially did the same in "Graduation" and then totally did it again in "Resident Evil" when she said just about those exact words regarding messy reality vs. the perfect fantasy. She's doing it again. She keeps choosing the messy, beautiful reality of Damon because that is now her messy, beautiful reality.

Elena said she's at a crossroads, but she's really not. She already chose where she wants to be. She broke up with Liam. She compelled him to forget any personal relationship with her. She described any possible future without Damon as "safe." She just doesn't realize that she's made her choice already because that absolute knowledge has been compelled away, but deep down, she feels the surety of it and that's why she is sitting next to Damon at the end of the day, smiling with him, and holding his hand.

That's right, she was holding his hand. Lordy. That was just—

 

OK, I'm still here. Just. *sigh* I just, oh Lordy.

And more than that, she's asking him to be the one to bring back her best friend. That means something. Special. Think about it. This is a guy that she only remembers the awful things that he did and Damon Salvatore did some truly awful, awful things (including to said best friend). Instead of going to Stefan or even Alaric (vampire or not), Elena goes to *Damon* to help her bring Bonnie back. Bonnie, as in one of the two most important people in the world to her right now (alongside Jeremy... I do think that honestly Caroline, and yeah, Alaric, would come after those two)—since Damon/compulsion-erasure, blah, blah, blah. That's pretty dang huge!

 

But Elena asked him. And she was looking at him and it was just… O.M.G. I am slayed. Seriously, I am OK with the compulsion not broken right now because I'm seeing stuff like this and I'm OK because he loves her so much and she still loves him so much, she just doesn't know it, but her heart knows it and her body knows it and her soul knows it and it won't take long before the rest of her just falls in love with him all over again and this time will be able to watch it without anyone else in the way.

AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!!! HALLELUJA! I HEAR THE ANGELS SINGING! AMEN!

Ahem, moving on… Wait! I'm not done. PEOPLES! Did you read the lyrics of the song that was playing over that Damon and Elena scene?! Did you check them out?!?! O.M.G x2x3x4xagazillion!! For reals! If you did not, let me enlighten you. (And, yes, I'm totes bolding a few certain lines, but the whole thing is PERFECT for Damon and Elena and this particular storyline, but still….)

"When You Fall In Love" by Andrew Ripp

It's been a long time coming, baby
And I know it's right
Even a heartbreak couldn't take love from you and I

Here I am
I'm ready
Just say when

[Chorus] When you fall in love
You lose control
You can't hang on and you can't let go
When you find the one
You hold on tight
You weather every storm
Till the sun shines
Even when it hurts, there's no regret
Every breath you give, is one you get
When you fall in love
When you fall in love

It even rains in the summertime, honey
But I'll keep you dry
Plenty of room under my umbrella
For your brown eyes
And all I see
is you and me, baby tonight

[Chorus]

Every breath you give, is another one you get
You'll drive all night
Cause you don't wanna miss even one little kiss
and you couldn't sleep anyway
When you fall in love
When you fall in love

[Chorus]

You wake up livin' in a dream
Strong enough to show you're weak
Flying high with broken wings
When you fall in love
When you fall in love
I mean, seriously? Are you deadz yet?!?!? I am so OMGing all over the place. Seriously.

OK, now moving onto my numero dos couple, Stefan and Caroline. So remember how I said that one of the reasons that Stefan and Elena don't work as a couple is because they have the worst things in common? Well, one of those worst traits is the tendency to be in utter denial about their feelings. Case in point: Mr. Stefan Salvatore and his feelings for Miss Caroline Forbes. Geez, Stefan, get a freaking clue. He so has it bad for her and yet he continues to insist that he does not have "those" kind of feelings for her. Oh, Stefan, Stefan, Stefan.

He is just… so clueless. Boo, Boo, Boo. What am I going to do with you? You've got an awesome girl here who saves you leftovers even when she's hella mad at you. You don't walk away from that! No, no, no, no! But, he is just fighting the inevitable, playing the head-in-the-sand game per Stefan Salvatore usual. He really has himself convinced he doesn't feel the feelings. That final scene when Caroline walked away and she was all flustered and beaming, the look on Stefan's face, I am afeared that he's afeared that he thinks that he haz sent her the mixed signals and now she thinks that he's caught the feelings! Oh, Boo, you already has the feelings. You just don't realize it. And now poor Caroline is likely to get re-crushed.

 

But on the bright side, I was right! Stefan, in a much less wordy fashion, basically told Caroline exactly what I said about why he held her at arm's length, so go me! But more importantly, go Stefan! I was quite pleased that he told Caroline. And proof yet again why they are such a much better potential couple than Stefan and Elena ever were—so little true honesty and sharing with those two, ugh. They make much better friends. I kinda love Stefan and Elena as friends. But back to Stefan and Caroline.

 

I did love that Stefan told her straight-up the truth of it. I loved that Caroline got it, she totally figured out what he was saying. Unfortunately, she actually figured it out better than Boo did because, yes, Stefan it *does* mean something that Caroline can make you feel in ways that no one else can. It *does* mean something that Caroline gets to you in ways that no one else can. It *does* mean something that Caroline can comfort you in ways that no one else can. And it *does* mean something that when Caroline is mad at you that's all you think about, that's all you commiserate about and when you go on a long trip, she's the first person you run to see even though, you know, she's mad at you and you get all shy like a little boy seeing his first crush. Stefan? That means something! Dumb-ass.

I love him so, but seriously, Stefan. You so deserved the ribbing you were getting from Damon and Alaric. You know what scene I'm talking about. Yeah, that one. Only like one of the best scenes EVAR!!! Damon pretending to be Miss Cuddles (hmm, I thought it was Mr. Cuddles, my bad). Alaric, who I thought would tell Damon to behave, instead joined in the teasing. And then Stefan who so could not take the joke because , yes, it *does* mean something Stefan!, high-kicked poor Miss Cuddles into the magic zone. Awesome!

 
 

And then when Elena was getting in on pushing him to basically get with Caroline too, I was loving it so hard. In the past, some complained that characters were pushing Stefan and Elena? Hah, that was nothing compared to this. Everyone is pushing Stefan and Caroline! And it is awesome.

Also continuing to be surprisingly awesome is stuff involving my favorite human-cockroach, Tyler Lockwood. He actually not only proved that he had a brain this go-round, but {gasp!} but that he knows how to use it. You go, Tyler! Yup, still loving me some Liv/Tyler (wonder what their ship name is, hmm, Liv/Tyler, they should be called Arwen, you know after the Lord of the Rings character that Liv Tyler played, that would be cool). Anyhoo, yeah, still little Arwen moments we're getting, but I'm getting a wee frustrated now with the fact that they continue to be just "little."

Still, I actually liked the littlest thing with them which was when she put her hand on his chest after she told him it wasn't him as she walked away, and you know, just him asking if he had done anything. He's being so sweet and she's beginning to allow herself to be vulnerable with him. Which o course was shown to greater reveal in their final scene, but that first bit there was my biggest Arwen squee moment.

 

Don't get me wrong, I did love the final scene with them and how Tyler used his brain by taking her into Mystic Falls so that her coven (i.e., her psycho dad) couldn't come after her. And then the cuddling *sigh* that came afterwards. Unfortunately, I did immediately flash back to Caroline and Tyler cuddling on that very couch after Tyler had attacked Caroline and Matt in "The Sun Also Rises" so the *sigh* was dinged a bit for me. But still, I loved the looks that Liv and Tyler shared, and again, Tyler was so sweet with her and Liv opening up to him is like watching a wounded animal beginning to trust. It's just lovely.

 
 
 

And we can certainly see why she's so scared, can't we? Many a viewer called the Luke/Liv connection to the Gemini coven, but I have to say that I was quite impressed with how the show brought it all together. They took information we already had, wove into the guesses they, no doubt, figured that we had already made and then threw in a bunch of new information that just tied it all up together beautifully. It was just wow! And that opening scene with Kai stalking Jo and the twins and the wee twins was so tense and just so well done.

Obviously we knew about Jo and Kai as well and many did suspect that Jo and Kai might be twins, but the age thing was potentially squirrelly, but they are twins. We also found out the coven is actually a family, Luke and Liv are Lucas and Olivia and siblings of Jo(sette). Then the spooky, awful stuff about the merging of the twins' power upon the age of 22 which leads to the death of one of them to anoint a leader and the fact that their dad is a number-one a-hole who puts coven above family, obviously had to merge, and thus let his twin die and was more than willing to kill his daughter! Dude! Oh, we also know now *why* Jo got rid of her magic… and that her father hasn't aged in twenty years.

That's a lot of information to give out in one episode, along with confirming a bunch of guesses and tying up older information that had been handing out over the course of the previous seven episodes. And to do without feeling too expository and still have some emotional heft as I felt that many of the scenes relaying this information did have. These were two first-time writers to the show and they did a fabulous job. Everyone was in character, the story and plotting was solid, good, good stuff.

As for what will happen next based on the events of this episode? Well, I have a theory. (Hah! As I was actually going to stop speculating. Double hah!) I do now think that Kai is going to get back to 2014. Our gang will get the ascendant from Jo and then go back to 1994. They'll get Bonnie (woohoo, who doesn't seem as injured as one would expect from a stomach stabbing, go figure) and then they'll go back to 2014 and fight Kai there.

Then I think it's going to be a fight over merging to see who will be the leader of the coven because both sets of twins are over 22 now. The coven and the Scooby gang will work together to set it up so that Kai is merged into Jo. This way, Liv and Luke don't have to merge, both live, Jo is the leader and Kai is dead/gone, everything is awesome. However, what will actually happen is while Kai and Jo will merge, it will Jo that dies (oh, noes, whatevs), and Kai will be the leader (for real, oh noes, cuz that is bad because he is the evul!) wrecking havoc.

And, of course, while this is going on you have the Damon/Elena love story playing out, whatever is going on with Stefan/Caroline/Enzo (probably), the Arwen love story and with Jo dying (in my scenario), Alaric will be pissed at Damon for compelling him in the first place, which causes issues because, damnit, yet another ladylove of Ric's is dead, while they are all trying to work to bring down Kai which will be the big brouhaha in the second half of the season. Anyhoo, that's my theory.

Phew! Randoms….

- Aww! Elena and Caroline smiling to each other over the fact that Bonnie is alive was just a beautiful moment. I loved it!

 

- I liked Stefan's "because I was in love with you" to Elena because it so casually past tense. Just yet another reminder that, yeah, Stefan and Elena are so beyond over

- I like Liam. I liked that he owned up and apologized when he thought he was in the wrong. I want him in the group. And I still think it's a good possibility. Honestly, I'll be surprised if that's it with him in this episode and that his only point was for Damon to see that Elena is "happy" because he could have easily seen that without her dating some random guy. I know that he was compelled to forget about the vampire stuff, but we all know about the Mystic Falls border de-compulsion, so I'm still holding onto my theory that he's going to be inducted into the Scooby gang because he's a 'putting it together' kinda guy.

- Speaking of Liam, I was amused by the whole supernatural discussion of everything going on and then 'oh wait, Liam who doesn't know anything is still here, oops!' LOL!

- Caroline being kinda inappropriate about the food getting cold and her upset that downer tragic family stuff was interfering with her 'event,' was so Caroline. And I did like that Liv called her on it because everyone else is just so used to it so they ignore it, or don't know her well enough and are too polite (see: Liam) to say anything.

- Nice Sheila mention (sobs, Grams!), and now, we know how Mystic Falls comes into all of this. Thank you, Caroline, for asking the very logical question as to how the Gemini coven peeps all wound up in this small, little town. Oh, you Bennett witches.

- BWAHAHAHAH! Damon was invited to Friends-giving by Caroline, but Stefan wasn't. Oh Stefan, you done did the wrong girl wrong!

- I just don't feel bad at all about Damon compelling Ric to get the ascendant from Jo for a few reasons. Firstly, Alaric compelled all of Elena-loving-Damon memories away from Elena. Secondly, Bonnie a gazillion, million, bagillion times over Jo. Uhm, those are enough reasons. End of.

- Garsh, I love Damon and Elena so much. Elena asks Damon what he and Bonnie talked about so much and Damon looks at her incredulously: "What do you think?" Damon asks Elena why she broke up with Liam. Elena looks at Damon like duh! "What do you think?" She just threw it right back at him.

- Heh, I got a kick out of Damon calling her "Robert Frost." * Heh.

*ETA - For those who don't get the reference and/or those who know Frost, but aren't familiar with why Damon called her that. Elena told Damon that she was at a crossroads and talked about the two different paths open to her. Robert Frost is one of the most famous American poets (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963), he received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and is basically an American institution. His most famous poem is easily "The Road Not Taken" and is about that very topic.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Oh, lord, the look on Damon's face when Elena said "I don't know" just cracked me up. It was so 'you've got be kidding me. Oh, God, not that again.' And, on a lighter note, heh, looks like Damon got a wee distracted for a moment by Elena's low-cut topic...

 

- I just, man, I just loved her taking his hand so much. Just, yeah. You read my reaction above. Still verklempt about it. Peoples, she was caressing his fingers. Man.

- Oh, Elena, are you sure you want Bonnie to help you decide whether to take a chance on Damon or not because Bonnie is totally team!Damon now. Uh huh.

- Hmm, I kinda thought Bon-Bon was moving pretty durn good for someone who was stabbed in the stomach there at the end. Yeah. I mean, I'm happy and all, but, yeah.

- So, if Jo was 22 in 1994, then that means she's 42 now, so, either Alaric is supposed to be in his late 30's, early 40's or he's supposed to be younger than her and we're not supposed to acknowledge that? I mean, she looks older and way less hotter than him. I'm sorry, but it's true. And she was a bitch for no reason to Damon in the last episode! Ugh!

And OK, fine, I was a bit affected by the whole reunion between Jo and "Olivia and Lucas." And I think it's pretty awful that she had to be separated from her younger brother and sister, AND that her father was trying to kill her. But it doesn't take away from what's the deal with the age difference and lack of acknowledgement with her and Alaric and the fact that she's kinda a bitch? Hmm, well, I mean, I guess you could say that's Alaric's type because Isobel was a bitch, but Jenna and Meredith were not.

Well, on second thought… Actually Jenna and Meredith did kinda have bitchy-ish qualities, didn't they? At least, really, really snarky, mean-girl-ish qualities now and then. Think of it, Jenna's best friend was Kelly. I mean, Kelly Donovan. That should tell you something, and really, we mostly just saw sweet Jenna with family. Hmm… OK, now that I'm thinking about it, yeah, Ric has a type, and Jo is it, and so was Jenna. OK, then. Adding fuel to this particular fire, Damon Salvatore is his best friend and we may all love him, but let's be real, Damon's an asshole. So he fits Ric's type too. Alrighty, then. Mystery solved.

- I have to say that Joshua Butler, my favorite directorial whipping boy, had no big doozies that had me groaning, well, OK, except for the final Bonnie scene. She just looked way too recovered from that stab wound, but considering everything else was so well done, I'll be like Elsa and let it go. I was actually pretty pleased with his work tonight so mostly kudos to you, Joshua Butler.

And that's all she wrote. Another great episode to add to a fantastic season so far. I'm really, really loving it. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) and I'll see you in December!
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
Actually i didnt get the Robert frost mention ..lol.
who's that could u enlighten me ...
Arabian: Damon09arabian on November 22nd, 2014 04:31 am (UTC)
Elena told Damon that she was at a crossroads and talked about the two different paths open to her. The most famous poem by the famous poet Robert Frost is "The Road Not Taken" and is about that very topic.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
Matt: Ghidorahghidorah15 on November 21st, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC)
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Like you said, Elena's already heading down the road less traveled. She just doesn't consciously realize it yet. Chances are that Bonnie's rescue will be one of the big pushes she needs for said realization.

And yes, you were completely right about why Stefan pushed Caroline away so much. Go you. :) Now that she knows the truth, I'm pretty sure she'll stop pretending to hate him. He has no idea what he's in for...heheheh.

As for the scene with Miss (I could've sworn it was Mister, but oh well) Cuddles and Damon and Alaric ribbing on Stefan...well, I'm lucky I saw that piece early on YouTube and doubled over with laughter then and there. I fear I would've deafened the house if I had more than a couple of good laughs when I saw it in the episode. Oh, Damon, please don't ever lose your sense of humor.

I can't believe this episode, written by a couple of writers whose names I don't recognize and directed by the none-too-spectacular Joshua Butler, was not only so wonderfully on-point, but actually made me care about Liv, Luke, and Tyler! I mean, what the hell happened?! Just when and how did he suddenly grow up and become a legitimate character instead of a useless pain in the ass?

Well, anyway, I welcome that change - I don't like hating characters unless they're villains. And now it's no wonder that the twins are so withdrawn, especially Liv. Hell, as I remarked to my best friend, it's little wonder that their family bred a bona fide psychopath. The very laws of witches' covens were obviously written by psychopaths, and they don't have vampirism as an excuse. I hope their father and Kai both suffer horrible deaths.

As for Jo...well, we'll see if you're right about her not being long for this world. At least Liam doesn't show any nasty qualities. I wouldn't mind him sticking around.

Sooo yeah, excellent episode. If this one-week hiatus were for any reason other than Thanksgiving, it would be difficult to bear. I want to see what happens next! :D
Arabian: Damon & Elena16arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC)
Like you said, Elena's already heading down the road less traveled. She just doesn't consciously realize it yet. Chances are that Bonnie's rescue will be one of the big pushes she needs for said realization.

Exactly. As I said to florencia7 on her lj, she may not consciously realize it, but deep down she knows it. Remember, Damon let Elena go, he told her to be happy, walk away, have your life without me. She's the one who came to him. And she walked back to him tonight, she's the one who took his hand. Damon just told her that Bonnie sacrificed to send hi back to Elena after listening him talk about Elena and him for FOUR MONTHS her response was 'hey, I want Bonnie to help me make my decision.' You don't think she already knows what Bonnie is going to say? Uh huh!

And yes, you were completely right about why Stefan pushed Caroline away so much. Go you. :) Now that she knows the truth, I'm pretty sure she'll stop pretending to hate him. He has no idea what he's in for...heheheh.

Right, she'll stop pretending, but I like I said, I think Stefan we'll be like a little, frightened jackrabbit because now he's really in for it. It will either be hilarious or heartbreaking. Or both. Probably both.

Miss (I could've sworn it was Mister, but oh well) Cuddles

So, it wasn't just me! I'm so going to rewatch when Bonnie introduced that bear tO Damon!

Oh, Damon, please don't ever lose your sense of humor.

Fortunately, I don't think that's possible!

I can't believe this episode, written by a couple of writers whose names I don't recognize and directed by the none-too-spectacular Joshua Butler, was not only so wonderfully on-point, but actually made me care about Liv, Luke, and Tyler!

I already cared about them, but I know you were meh, so yay! Yeah, I'm so impressed with the newbies and rather proud of Butler. I mean, he did have a few oopsies here and there, but overall, much better than usual. (I still want him shipped over to The Originals and never to be seen on the Vampire Diaries set again, but ah well.)

Just when and how did he suddenly grow up and become a legitimate character instead of a useless pain in the ass?

This season!!

I don't like hating characters unless they're villains.

Agreed!

And now it's no wonder that the twins are so withdrawn, especially Liv. Hell, as I remarked to my best friend, it's little wonder that their family bred a bona fide psychopath. The very laws of witches' covens were obviously written by psychopaths, and they don't have vampirism as an excuse. I hope their father and Kai both suffer horrible deaths.

This, this, this. What a backstory, dang! And so beautifully given. I'm still thrilled by how well they gave up all that exposition so well.

As for Jo...well, we'll see if you're right about her not being long for this world.

I can dream! LOL!

At least Liam doesn't show any nasty qualities. I wouldn't mind him sticking around.

Me neither! :)
Alisha: Star Quality Pattikalishaka on November 21st, 2014 03:31 pm (UTC)
This episode seriously exceeded my expectations and entirely for reasons of plot with all sorts of additional bonuses of character moments.

I loved the transition between three different times all focused around that house. Kai was exceptionally creepy. His actor is amazing at wavering the character between unhinged and likable. It is impressive and everything Kai needs to be. The moment I saw those two blonde heads hiding behind the bed, everything clicked into place, and it was really wonderful.

I have always loved the connection between Liv and Luke, it was always readily apparent, almost easy. And while up to this episode I was not connected to Jo, by connecting her to them, suddenly I was incredibly invested in her. And I think, removed from Alaric and given a story that was completely her own, the character and actress were given a bit more room to shine and it paid off. I care about this family, a lot.

I like Liam. I really do. But as much as I enjoy him, I also wouldn't mind if this was the end of him. I say this mostly because the show already has a lot of male characters that they don't seem to know what to do with. (See Enzo...and Tyler every season but this one and occasionally Matt and Jeremy). I feel like his potential place in the group already exists.

Removing him though gave an excellent moment for Elena. Her phone call to Stefan to ask how he knew. His very open and honest answer. (God they are such amazing friends! I love it!) And Elena telling him and then erasing it, sending him away, because her life is an absolute mess, and he isn't the one she wants to be there, was a very telling moment. And it led to Damon confessing how much Bonnie meant to him, and the hand holding and squee!

My favorite moment this entire episode was definitely the Miss Cuddles scene. "Even the bear knows, Stefan!" It was absolutely perfect in every way. Much like Caroline. As they all made sure to let Stefan know. And with everything that was amazing about this scene, it led to Stefan actually confronting his issues. He approached Caroline, sought her out, explained, and when she tried to side step it, to miss the point, he reaffirmed it. He didn't just push people away, he intentionally avoided her, because she was the one person who could get to him, who could still make him feel.

I just loved this episode so much.

Edit: OH GOD! I FORGOT TO FLAIL ABOUT LIV AND TYLER! WHAT IS MY LIFE!

No, but seriously, I did not even know I could feel the feels that I feel about Tyler and how he treats Liv and how they interact. Because the show is working so hard to make this relationship about the emotional and the mental rather than the physical, with characters that seem more like they would prefer the latter. They are building this beautiful friendship and bond. And they are both willing to protect the other from their 'fate.' It is seriously wonderful.

Edited at 2014-11-21 03:35 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Damon & Elena47arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
1 of 2
This episode seriously exceeded my expectations and entirely for reasons of plot with all sorts of additional bonuses of character moments.

I KNOW, RIGHT!??! And Joshua-Freaking-Butler directed it?!?! I'm still stunned about that fact!

I loved the transition between three different times all focused around that house.

So good! I was really impressed with these new writers. They did such an awesome job.

Kai was exceptionally creepy. His actor is amazing at wavering the character between unhinged and likable. It is impressive and everything Kai needs to be.

I liked him from moment one, but he just keeps getting better and better. Continues their nearly flawless casting choices (forever blackened by the horror of Olga Fonda, alas.)

The moment I saw those two blonde heads hiding behind the bed, everything clicked into place, and it was really wonderful.

I just figured they were part of the coven confirmed, not that they were siblings because of the towheads and Jo and Kai having the dark hair. So good on you. I didn't get they were all family.

And while up to this episode I was not connected to Jo, by connecting her to them, suddenly I was incredibly invested in her.

Yup (even if I'm still peeved at her for being nastily, unnecessarily bitchy to Damon at the fundraiser), but yeah, when they realized who they all were, definitely a teary moment.

And I think, removed from Alaric and given a story that was completely her own, the character and actress were given a bit more room to shine and it paid off. I care about this family, a lot.

I wouldn't go that far because, yeah, I've always found Jodi Lyn O'Keefe a cold actress (and this is going back to when she played ingenues you were supposed to find warm and rootable on soap operas), but I felt for her which I wouldn't have thought possible before this episode. And I love Luke and Liv and the whole idea of the Parker family (at least the good-parts version).

I like Liam. I really do. But as much as I enjoy him, I also wouldn't mind if this was the end of him.

I wouldn't either. But...

I say this mostly because the show already has a lot of male characters that they don't seem to know what to do with. (See Enzo...and Tyler every season but this one and occasionally Matt and Jeremy). I feel like his potential place in the group already exists.

I think we'll see him slowly and gradually. And my reasoning for believing that he'll continue to be involved and eventually have a place is because I've heard that the CW wants the show to continue beyond season 07 without Damon, Elena and possibly Stefan. If that happens, they're going to have to reposition characters and when that happens, there could be a place for Liam then. I could even see Liam being turned at some point because we would lose two, possibly three of our vampires. So I'm just thinking long-term of the show's viability. I mean, Enzo, Tyler, Matt, Jeremy might not all stick around too... possibly not even Matt Davis. He may have just signed on for two more seasons. We don't know.

Removing him though gave an excellent moment for Elena. Her phone call to Stefan to ask how he knew. His very open and honest answer. (God they are such amazing friends! I love it!) And Elena telling him and then erasing it, sending him away, because her life is an absolute mess, and he isn't the one she wants to be there, was a very telling moment.

Right? It was so clear and obvious what was going on. I'm really bummed that some people didn't see it that way, and I'm honestly boggled that some didn't. :(

TBC
2 of 2 - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Florencia: DE (In Silence)florencia7 on November 21st, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
OMG I'm DYING to read this post, but it's so so late and I have to get up at 5am & go to work for 9 hours tomorrow :( So I'm going to read & respond tomorrow evening :[ I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!!!!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
Arabian: Damon04arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC)
OMG I'm DYING to read this post, but it's so so late and I have to get up at 5am & go to work for 9 hours tomorrow :( So I'm going to read & respond tomorrow evening :[ I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!!!!!!!! ? ? ?

I really hope you rewatch the episode with a fresh perspective. Maybe even read other comments in this thread? It really was a great episode. :)
aurora7948/Celestial Auroraaurora7948 on November 21st, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
Missing one important detail...
So, I actually didn't think of this until reading kalishaka's post but....why didn't Jeremy, the vampire hunter hottie (i.e. not entirely useless anymore) and, oh yeah, BONNIE'S BOYFRIEND!!!!!! go with Damon and Alric and Stefan to Portland to try to bring her back? Why have they not told him?
Alisha: Janellekalishaka on November 21st, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
RE: Missing one important detail...
More importantly...why weren't Jeremy and Matt at Thanksgiving, especially Jeremy?
Re: Missing one important detail... - aurora7948 on November 21st, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
RE: Missing one important detail... - emofordino on November 22nd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
RE: Re: Missing one important detail... - (Anonymous) on November 24th, 2014 04:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
RE: Re: Missing one important detail... - aurora7948 on November 24th, 2014 04:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
RE: Re: Missing one important detail... - aurora7948 on November 24th, 2014 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Re: Missing one important detail... - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Emily: icon credit: grotesque_xxxemofordino on November 22nd, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
I'm on my phone and don't have time to comment at length, but two answers to your questions/comments:

-From what I've seen in fandom, Liv/Tyler has been referred to as Parkwood, which I kind of like!

-I think in the TVD continuity, it's only 2012, but that still would make Jo forty which is kind of sketchy, especially in comparison to Alaric-- I don't think he would be forty yet, maybe like 35-36 at the oldest. So, who knows!

Great review, though! As usual, I'm in total agreement re: Delena, Steroline, Parkwood, Bonnie, and the Gemini stuff. :)
Arabian: Liv & Tyler01arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
I'm on my phone and don't have time to comment at length, but two answers to your questions/comments:

Aww, I hope you plan on responding more later....

From what I've seen in fandom, Liv/Tyler has been referred to as Parkwood, which I kind of like!

Yeah, I guess, but dangit, I like Arwen! {Pouts}

I think in the TVD continuity, it's only 2012, but that still would make Jo forty which is kind of sketchy, especially in comparison to Alaric-- I don't think he would be forty yet, maybe like 35-36 at the oldest. So, who knows!

Yeah, she'd be 450, but yeah, he'd only be like 35 or so and that's not that bad an age difference but as I said below, the problem for me is that she *looks* older than him in most scenes. Matt Davis *looks* like he's in mid-30s and well preserved. Jodi Lyn O'Keefe looks like a rough late 30's, early 40's. So he looks younger than her and then when he has to deliver lines about her being the sexiest woman he's ever seen, especially when this is a guy who's been with Mia Kirshner, and even the adorably sexy Sara Canning and Torrey Devitto, it's a bit whu? So to go from, yeah, an age-appropriate love interest in Kirshner, but a knockout (although, she admittedly looked rough in her last appearance), and then her early 20's Canning, and then mid-to-late-20's Devitto to suddenly 40's something and looking it, O'Keefe, it's just... jarring. And, yes, I know I sound totally shallow, but this is the freaking CW, and this is a show that is filled with really, really, REALLY pretty people. And Matt Davis is one of them. And they have zero chemistry so that isn't even there to compensate. Plus, she was a total bitch to Damon for no reason. *Pouts*

Great review, though! As usual, I'm in total agreement re: Delena, Steroline, Parkwood, Bonnie, and the Gemini stuff. :)

Thank you. :)
tj2013tj2013 on November 22nd, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
That was an awesome post for a wonderful episode. Gee, the whole season is so entertaining to watch, I can't really believe what we are getting here.
Agree to everything you said about Damon/Elena, Stefan/Caroline, Liv/Tyler ... these character dynamics are so amazing, and the new writers managed that with handing out A LOT of information.

The hand-taking was just sooooo wonderful, so in character, exactly like you described it. And the way Damon looked when he thought about what Bonnie had done for him, just for him, because he's her friend and she believes he's worth it - so so so good.

Uhm, did you get the stuff with the knife? It is present on all three planes (real 1994, Kai!prison 1994, today) - so how could the knife be in the prison AND in the real world? And then Kai took it - but Damon had it in the real worlkd .... eeh, my head's reeling.

I didn't know the Frost poem - thanks for helping us out :-)

I liked the episode title: it referred to the merging as well as the feelings of Elena.

Will write more later.
Thanks as always for your thoughts!!!!
Arabian: Damon01arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:27 pm (UTC)
That was an awesome post for a wonderful episode. Gee, the whole season is so entertaining to watch, I can't really believe what we are getting here.

I consider last season Caroline Dries' learning curve as an EP. The last half of the season was her getting the hang of it. Clearly, she's got it down good now. Woohoo! (Bwahahahhaa, and Stefan/Elena fans said she was an S/E shipper.... bwahahahhahaha. Really tells you that those fans just watched the S/E scenes.)

Agree to everything you said about Damon/Elena, Stefan/Caroline, Liv/Tyler ... these character dynamics are so amazing, and the new writers managed that with handing out A LOT of information.

And threw in so many wonderful character moments, great little touches and just all-around awesome-sauce. There was tension, some horror, tension, humor, romance, angst, it was just spot-on. Really, again, other than Bonnie seeming way too OK at the end there--which I blame on good 'ole Joshua Butler--this episode was perfection.

The hand-taking was just sooooo wonderful, so in character, exactly like you described it. And the way Damon looked when he thought about what Bonnie had done for him, just for him, because he's her friend and she believes he's worth it - so so so good.

I KNOW!! I said above that I can't wait until Elena does have her memories back and she sees that Damon and Bonnie are besties now. She will love that SO much!

Uhm, did you get the stuff with the knife? It is present on all three planes (real 1994, Kai!prison 1994, today) - so how could the knife be in the prison AND in the real world?

Because it's magic? No, wait, I got it. Bear with with me (hehehe, "bear") ... it makes sense if you pay attention to the timeline. I think.

IN NORMAL TIME:

1994 - Jo puts the knife in the stump.

NOW ON THE SAME DAY (THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!!) IN TWO ALTERNATE TIMELINES:

2012 - Damon (or wasn't it Stefan?) removes the knife FIRST
1994 - Kai takes the knife out SECOND

So that's how it was possible for the knife to be there in 2012 even though Kai took the knife in 1994. Because it was happening ON THE SAME DAY in two different timelines it was able to work like that simply because it was THE SAME DAY and Damon (or Stefan) had removed the knife in 2012 BEFORE Kai had removed it ON THE SAME day in 1994 in their alternate timelines. Had Kai removed it beforehand on that same day in 1994, the knife wouldn't have been there to remove in 2012.

Does that make sense? (And I think that fit the events of the episode; I only watched those parts once.)

ETA: kalishaka made a point that can ignore all of this, hah! The 1994 stuff with Kai and Bonnie doesn't affect the stuff in 2012 because it's in a pocket universe. I mean, there aren't even any people in there.

And again... Actually, she just sent me this pm: "We are both right about the magic holding knife. The pocket universe is how the knife could still be found in the tree in 2014. But, the magic in the knife only worked because they used it before Kai pulled the magic from it on the same day."

I didn't know the Frost poem - thanks for helping us out :-)

No problem.

I liked the episode title: it referred to the merging as well as the feelings of Elena.

Eh. I renamed it as do almost all the episodes (LOL!) to "I Could Not Travel Both" -- a line from the Frost poem.

Will write more later.

Look forward to it. Thanks. :)

Edited at 2014-11-24 01:08 am (UTC)
(no subject) - tj2013 on November 24th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
hotarujazz: hands and dance 4x07hotarujazz on November 22nd, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
Hi Jen! Remember me? :)

I took a break from internet communities and commenting for a while but I'm back now and I'm all caught up on TVD and your wonderful reviews!

I'm loving this season so far too and I'm pretty much in agreement with you about this whole episode. I think it's going to play out pretty close to what you predicted. To be honest, the only thing that I was really miffed about this season was Elena asking to basically erase Damon because it hurt too much. But the show exceeded my expectation in handling it so I'm full on board now.

Unlike you, I really like Jo and am totally ready to ignore age inconsistencies which are up to par with TVD's usual time wtfness(I'm all about new words today XD). Liam, on the other hand, I don't really have feelings for either way. I'm not so keen on keeping him around because TVD already feels crowded with male characters and I'm far more invested in Matty and Jer and even Tyler now(WOW). I just don't see real spot for him. I want him to stick around more this season because I think it would be fun if he started digging around as some kind of side arc but as far as becoming a part of scooby gang I think it's not necessary.

I was always Bonnie fan and this season my dream came true. Bamon friendship(like real close friendship) is all I ever wanted. I love her interactions with Kai and I really like the actor that's playing him. The whole Gemini coven backstory and direction is great and I like how witchcraft is treated this season in contrast to before. It's not a plot device and it's not a side story(sometime it even felt to me as an excuse to have Bonnie the minority character around). I really hope the Gemini dad becomes real opponent because I see him much more culpable then Kai. I love how this storyline is continuing the fucked-up family theme of TVD.

I think this season may become my favorite TVD season if it continues with this trend!
Arabian: Damon & Elena23arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
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Hi Jen! Remember me? :)

Of course. :)

I took a break from internet communities and commenting for a while but I'm back now and I'm all caught up on TVD and your wonderful reviews!

Cool. I can understand taking a break. I pretty much only read the wonderful commenters here; I think it's pretty safe that this may be the only happy-TVD-place on the internet, LOL!

I'm loving this season so far too and I'm pretty much in agreement with you about this whole episode. I think it's going to play out pretty close to what you predicted.

That would be cool, and yes, this season has been FANTASTIC so far! :D

To be honest, the only thing that I was really miffed about this season was Elena asking to basically erase Damon because it hurt too much. But the show exceeded my expectation in handling it so I'm full on board now.

Me too. Except, well, as you know, I wasn't miffed. I totally, totally get why they did it. I'm just at the point with them now where I trust where they are going with stuff and I'm not going to pre-judge. I'm been way too happy with just about everything. I trust the writers and Caroline Dries, plus Julie Plec is off playing with her Originals characters and retconning them left and right that she's mostly leaving our lovely folk alone and when she does come over here, Dries keeps her in check much as Kevin Williamson clearly did the first two seasons. The few big inconsistencies we did get in seasons 03 and 04? We know now where they came from? Plec, who ran the show herself those two seasons. Uh huh. Funny how there were none of those in season 01, 02 and 05.

Unlike you, I really like Jo

I was warming up to her, but then it really did hit me when rewatching the fundraiser scene how she was totally a bitch to Damon for NO reason and it was, frankly, cruel. The guy, through no fault of his own, has potentially lost his literal eternal love because she thought he was dead and her response is to throw in his face how awesome and amazing this new guy that Elena is dating is. Who does that? What kind of callous bitch does that? It was just mean. Mean, mean, mean. Mean!

and am totally ready to ignore age inconsistencies which are up to par with TVD's usual time wtfness

I will give the show that, their time WTFness is amazing in it's WTFness and always has been. I personally find it one of its charms because a lot of shows have little things like that now and then that they choose to try and smooth and pave over and stick with, and then just hand wave away with when they do really screw up, but TVD? They're like, fuck it, we're just gonna embrace it. Our timeline makes no sense, we know it, you'll go insane trying to make sense of it, don't even try it, just embrace it. Uh huh!

TBC
2 of 2 - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ThroughAnAmberFocus: Vampire Diaries--Caroline pensiveamberfocus on November 22nd, 2014 11:10 pm (UTC)
Isn't Alaric around 40, though? I mean, he was married to Elena's bio mother right? And Elena's 21 or so now. And even though bio mom was young when she had Elena, around 17 or so, that would put her at about 38 or 39 now if she'd lived. Since men are generally as old as or a little older than the women they marry, he'd be about 40. So I don't think Jo being 40 is off the mark for him as a love interest. She said she had taken the video of Liv and Luke 18 years ago. They are around the same age. Works for me.

Loved the handholding with Elena and Damon. Best sweet little moment in a very heavy episode.

And Caroline and Stefan...yeah, he's such an idiot when it comes to knowing how he feels about her.

The smile between Caroline and Elena when C found out Bonnie was alive, second best little moment in the episode.
Arabian: Caroline04arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:32 pm (UTC)
Isn't Alaric around 40, though?

Hmm, when you put it that way with her mom and all, I guess it makes sense, I just always figured he was in his early 30's when he came on the show and it's only been about 2 years which would put him at about 35 at the latest.

They are around the same age. Works for me.

The problem for me is that she *looks* older than him in most scenes. Matt Davis looks like he's in mid-30s and well preserved. Jodi Lyn O'Keefe looks like a rough late 30's, early 40's. So he looks younger than her and then when he has to deliver lines about her being the sexiest woman he's ever seen, especially when this is a guy who's been with Mia Kirshner, and even the adorably sexy Sara Canning and Torrey Devitto, it's a bit whu? So to go from, yeah, an age-appropriate love interest in Kirshner, but a knockout (although, she admittedly looked rough in her last appearance), and then her early 20's Canning, and then mid-to-late-20's Devitto to suddenly 40's something and looking it, O'Keefe, it's just... jarring. And, yes, I know I sound totally shallow, but this is the freaking CW, and this is a show that is filled with really, really, REALLY pretty people. And Matt Davis is one of them. And they have zero chemistry so that isn't even there to compensate. Plus, she was a total bitch to Damon for no reason. *Pouts*

Loved the handholding with Elena and Damon. Best sweet little moment in a very heavy episode.

*sigh*

And Caroline and Stefan...yeah, he's such an idiot when it comes to knowing how he feels about her.

Oh, Stefan. My boo.

The smile between Caroline and Elena when C found out Bonnie was alive, second best little moment in the episode.

I grinned nearly as big as those two did!
Florencia: DE (Do You See a Future with Me)florencia7 on November 23rd, 2014 12:27 am (UTC)
part I
”One of the things I'm really enjoying about this season is how we're seeing that there has been some major dealing with those issues.” - Yes, I think so too! And it is great that it's happening.

”He quickly resorted back to 'I'm not worthy' mode” - I'd say it's not even exactly that, because even while letting her go, he did say that she “could be happy if they gave it another chance”. But she is also happy now and so the rest is her choice. I don't think this time around the letting go was driven by the “I'm not worthy” conviction and that's good.

”he's playing it cool” - More resigned than cool for now, but hopefully this will change VERY soon.

”And secondly, as a treat *for* the Damon/Elena fanbase. We never got to see Damon and Elena fall in love without the question mark” - That was what I was thinking at the beginning of this season, that we'd watch DE falling in love all over again, but... I didn't expect it to happen in such a, how to put it, ~begrudging way. I know, I know. Elena's attitude has already changed for the better, but she's still mostly in her “how is it even possible???” mindset & I was hoping we'd be watching DE fall in love EXACTLY WITHOUT that ingredient LOL And I think the difference is or seems to be at the moment really, really insignificant. Yes, Elena is probably not going to fight her feelings like she did in the past, but... it's still technically her having feelings she's confused about/overwhelmed by. If Elena, for example, would've forgotten Damon altogether, I think THAT would've been a bigger treat, because only then we could've been watching them fall in love in a natural, happy, carefree way they'd NEVER had a chance to before.

”So we will get a new first kiss, first this, first that without the specter of Stefan hanging over them. How incredible is that?” - Alright, I shall stop being grumpy (it's just been this kind of week, not entirely TVD's fault ;) from now on and start trying to look at this development the way you do. You're right that it may all turn out to be a pretty amazing journey yet.

”I thought the writing and direction of the Liam-related scenes were just so on point.” - Um, OK. I just made a vow to stop being grumpy, so... no comment lol

BUT I want to REALLY change my mind, so there we go:

”whole point of having Elena ask Stefan why he told her about his vampirism and his response ("because I was in love with you")” - About that! escada_mako just pointed out to me something that I didn't think about during that exchange, but it actually is a very good point, I think. Did Stefan really tell Elena about his vampirism because he was in love with her and therefore trusted her so much? Because from what I remember he was kind of more driven by some external circumstances & at some point just had no choice but to tell her ;)

But that's a digression anyway. Back to Liam.

”her sadness was because she realized as great a guy as he is (...) she's not in love with him” - I think I need to re-watch that scene, because it didn't look to me like that AT ALL. In fact, I'm pretty sure that after the conversation with Stefan Elena was going to tell Liam that she was a vampire. The expression on her face, the way she fell silent. She wasn't planning a break-up. She was going to tell him the truth and it was only when everything else started happening that she FOUND HERSELF UNABLE to tell him and that might have made her realize that she wasn't in love with him and only THEN she decided to break-up with him.
Arabian: Damon & Elena47arabian on November 23rd, 2014 01:40 am (UTC)
1 of 3
”He quickly resorted back to 'I'm not worthy' mode” - I'd say it's not even exactly that, because even while letting her go, he did say that she “could be happy if they gave it another chance”.

"Could be..." If he thought he was worthy of her, he would still be fighting and he certainly wouldn't have given up after like three hours (ugh, seriously, Damon!). He wouldn't have let her go because he would realize that she WOULD be happiest with him. And he loves her so much and he wants her to be the happiest she can be. And if he truly believed that he was worthy, he would realize (as she does with her memories intact) that she's happiest with him.

”he's playing it cool” - More resigned than cool for now, but hopefully this will change VERY soon.

Nah, I disagree. He's playing it pretty cool. He walked away. And when she came to him tonight, he dinged her for taking her memories again, that wasn't resigned, that was playing it cool. He's not playing the whipping boy--which goes to him having more self-esteem than he has in the past. He's not resigned, he knows that the feelings are there, he's playing it cool, letting her make the choice. It's a fine line. I guess we just differ on which side he falls. Fair enough. ;)

I didn't expect it to happen in such a, how to put it, ~begrudging way.

I disagree so strongly. (This is weird this season. The last episode written by new writers you liked better than I, this one I like better than you.) Firstly, I didn't see it begrudging at all. Damon walked away from Elena. In the last episode, Elena was all but ignoring Damon's attempts to brush her off while she's trying to get him to help her remember them. And then DAMON walked away. And then today, Damon COULD have spent the day with Elena, but DAMON left the state. DAMON was sitting at the bar by himself, ELENA came to him. ELENA used going after Bonnie as an excuse to be with Damon, to see Damon, to spend time with Damon. ELENA took Damon's hand. ELENA broke up with Liam when she didn't have to, she had compelled the information away. She could have just gone back to dating him, no worries. But she broke up with him. Damon just told her that he spent FOUR MONTHS talking about basically how much he missed and loved Elena and Bonnie listened to him and BECAUSE OF THAT sacrificed to send him BACK TO ELENA and her response to that was, 'hey, let me ask Bonnie if she thinks I should take a chance on you and me!' Obviously, Bonnie will think that Elena should take a chance on her and Damon. Everything was so clearly stated in between the lines that Elena wants to be with Damon. She's just not saying it because, oh wait, hmm, I'm not supposed to, right, oops! Eh, whatevs! Takes his hand and fondles his fingers while pushing her cleavage together and smiling prettily

she's still mostly in her “how is it even possible???” mindset

Because she only remembers him using Caroline as a playtoy, making Stefan miserable, and oh, I know, killing her brother! All of the worst things about him, plus, yeah, the OK-ish things in-between that allowed him to be a part of the group, but none of the GOOD stuff.

I was hoping we'd be watching DE fall in love EXACTLY WITHOUT that ingredient

Not possible and see below why.

Edited at 2014-11-23 02:20 am (UTC)
Re: 1 of 3 - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 1 of 3 - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
2 of 3 - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 2 of 3 - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 2 of 3 - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 2 of 3 - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
3 of 3 - arabian on November 23rd, 2014 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 3 of 3 - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 12:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: 3 of 3 - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Florencia: Elenaflorencia7 on November 23rd, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
part II
”She compelled him to forget any personal relationship with her.” - That's another matter. First of all, the break-up itself. There was no indication in Elena's break-up speech that there were any confusing feelings involved. She only said that her “LIFE was too complicated” and it seemed like she was letting go of him for HIS own safety (vampires, witches and all that), not because of HER feelings.

Again, I have to stop & repeat that I think you're TOTALLY right about everything and that I do understand Elena's actions EXACTLY the way in which you describe them. I'm SURE that were the INTENTIONS behind all the scenes. All I'm arguing is that these intentions weren't conveyed & executed well.

”Think about it. This is a guy that she only remembers the awful things that he did and Damon Salvatore did some truly awful, awful things (including to said best friend). Instead of going to Stefan or even Alaric (vampire or not), Elena goes to *Damon* to help her bring Bonnie back. - Not to rain on your parade, but that's not necessarily an emotional choice. That's the logical choice! Damon's just the best bet under the circumstances - AND in general, the fact that Elena probably didn't forget ;)

”But Elena asked him. And she was looking at him and it was just… O.M.G. I am slayed.” - Your wonderful gifs bring out the best from this scene! ♥ Seriously :]

”It even rains in the summertime, honey” - This line should also be bolded! ;D

”I am afeared that he's afeared that he thinks that he haz sent her the mixed signals and now she thinks that he's caught the feelings!” - lol Well-said! And that's how it looked to me too ^^

”You know what scene I'm talking about. Yeah, that one. Only like one of the best scenes EVAR!!!” - haha Yes, that scene was HILARIOUS! ^^

”Yup, still loving me some Liv/Tyler” - I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying their scenes! I wonder where the writers are going to take their story.

”They took information we already had, wove into the guesses they, no doubt, figured that we had already made and then threw in a bunch of new information that just tied it all up together beautifully.” - Yes, the flashback & all the reveals were wonderfully done.

”However, what will actually happen is while Kai and Jo will merge” - Ohhhhh Interesting theory! But would they really do that to Alaric? lol

”Elena and Caroline smiling to each other over the fact that Bonnie is alive was just a beautiful moment. I loved it!” YES, that was BEAUTIFUL! :]

”I got a kick out of Damon calling her "Robert Frost." Heh. (Please tell me everyone got that reference!)” - haha I love Robert Frost, so I totally got it ^^

”the look on Damon's face when Elena said "I don't know" just cracked me up” - Glad you can find humor in it, because I was decidedly less amused by that response! I was expecting it, but for a second there I hope we'd hear something else. Oh well. Soon! ;)

”Oh, Elena, are you sure you want Bonnie to help you decide whether to take a chance on Damon or not because Bonnie is totally team!Damon now.” - Aw I see you're sticking to the optimistic belief that Bonnie won't come back being possessed by Kai or something LOL

Two weeks! That's so cruel! Lol

Reading your thoughts DEFINITELY made me feel better about the episode, so THANK YOU!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
Arabian: Liv & Tyler01arabian on November 23rd, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
RE: part II
”She compelled him to forget any personal relationship with her.” - That's another matter. First of all, the break-up itself. There was no indication in Elena's break-up speech that there were any confusing feelings involved. She only said that her “LIFE was too complicated” and it seemed like she was letting go of him for HIS own safety (vampires, witches and all that), not because of HER feelings.

Because HER feelings aren't strong enough. She doesn't care enough. Two of three times he kissed her, she looked bemused like 'why did he do that?' The other time was 'eh.' The one time she was on a date with him, she basically forgot he was there and was all up in the arms of another guy, shared drinks with that other guy, left with that other guy, oh, and that other guy was her "ex" who she claimed to "hate." Seriously. He's just a cute guy she thinks is a great guy. She doesn't have strong feelings. Her concern is for HIS safety because her feelings are in absolutely zero danger at all. They don't really come into the picture.

I'm SURE that were the INTENTIONS behind all the scenes. All I'm arguing is that these intentions weren't conveyed & executed well.

I just have to say that I disagree with you. Your post said it all. You began it complaining about Joshua Butler's tweets and what he had laid you to expect. You went into the episode with expectations. You had expectations and they were not met. I don't like Butler as a director at all, you know that. I went into the episode knowing he directed it, expecting to not have the best episode in that regard, but I had no expectations for what was going to be in the episode so I just watched how it played out and I saw exactly what other non-spoiled people (as you see in the comments in this thread) saw as well.

Not to rain on your parade, but that's not necessarily an emotional choice. That's the logical choice!

Not anymore. Elena wouldn't remember all of the times that Damon would be the logical choice because all of the times that Damon saved all of their asses would fall under the memories that would have been erased.

Damon's just the best bet under the circumstances - AND in general, the fact that Elena probably didn't forget ;)

She totally would have forgotten. All she would have remembered would have been the number of times that Damon screwed over Stefan, not all the times he saved her, saved Stefan, Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy, Matt, the town, etc. because all of those things went into her falling in love with him.

Your wonderful gifs bring out the best from this scene! ♥ Seriously :]

The whole scene was wonderful.

”I am afeared that he's afeared that he thinks that he haz sent her the mixed signals and now she thinks that he's caught the feelings!” - lol Well-said! And that's how it looked to me too ^^

Ah, so I wasn't the only one who saw that then. OK.

I wonder where the writers are going to take their story.

Me too, but really, man, what is gonna happen with my Arwen, fine, Parkwood. Whatever.

But would they really do that to Alaric? lol

Have you watched this show?!?!

Aw I see you're sticking to the optimistic belief that Bonnie won't come back being possessed by Kai or something LOL

Why would Bonnie be possessed by Kai?

Reading your thoughts DEFINITELY made me feel better about the episode, so THANK YOU!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

I really think you should rewatch when you're feeling better because it was so much better than you're giving it credit for, I really think so. :)
Re: part II - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: part II - arabian on November 24th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: part II - florencia7 on November 24th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
comeundone_82comeundone_82 on November 23rd, 2014 12:35 pm (UTC)
OMG thanks for the Robert Frost poem. Knew he was a famous American author but not that exact poem although the lines about taking the road less traveled sounds familiar. Duh, these writers, what happened to them, doing only good and intelligent things this season LOL

Great insight in your review and I loved the bar scene as well, lol the gif about Damon´s little distraction LOL didn´t catch that one I admitt ;)
Arabian: Damon & Elena37arabian on November 23rd, 2014 12:42 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I'm a writing-buff, and that's one of my favorite poems so I got a little squee when Damon said that.

Duh, these writers, what happened to them, doing only good and intelligent things this season

Well, I actually tend to think these writers have been doing pretty good and intelligent things from day one. There have been a very few weak points here and there, but overall, I think this series has been pretty dang brilliant.

Great insight in your review and I loved the bar scene as well

Thank you, and yeah, it was awesome!

Can't take credit for catching that Damon moment, someone else did, I just gif'ed it when it was pointed out elsewhere, but man, it was great!! :D

Edited at 2014-11-23 12:43 pm (UTC)
jairem08: pic#122702267jairem08 on November 25th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for you review. As always great write-up and amazing gifs.
I agree with all and am having a blast watching this season. I'm sticking with No spoilers No expectation policy and it couldn't be better.
Loved me some Damon/Stefan/Alaric bromance. Enjoyed progress and Steroline interaction and Damon's and Alarics jabbing of Stefan about Caroline. The bear scene was hilarious and cute and Damon should be happy and smile all the time. So beautiful.
DE scene was amazing and I cannot stop re watching it.
Time line - I'm pretty sure it is 2012 in TVD land now. Bonnie is stuck in 1994 where Jo had to be 22 in order to do the twin magic thing with Kai. so in 2012 she should would be 40. Birth date on Alaric's grave stone was 1976 (which we don't know was correct as Damon made comment about it in s04e02 while in the cemetery) but I would suspect it could be correct? So he would be 36 in TVD land now. No problem with girl being older but you are right they just don't mesh. No chemistry and she is in my bad books now for being a biatch to Damon.
I enjoy how the storylines are starting to make sense.
Now that Liam is out of the love interest contest (which I think is the case) I'm ready for Elena to fall in love with Damon and regain her memories. We might be in for some amazing development. I do expect drama and angst but I hope it will all be worthwhile.
When is the show back?
thanks

Arabian: Alaric01arabian on December 6th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
I meant to edit the year, yeah, someone else pointed out that it would be 2012, not 2014. Stupid messed up timeline on this show, LOL!

I'm ready for Elena to fall in love with Damon and regain her memories. We might be in for some amazing development. I do expect drama and angst but I hope it will all be worthwhile.

That's exactly where I'm at.

When is the show back?

Well, obviously since I took forever to respond to this you know that the show came back last night. Sorry. :(

Bogwitchbogwitch on December 29th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think I have the right comment to the the right post (I didn't label my notes very well).

So Damon and Bonnie did talk – as they should have done; I just wish we had seen some of that; though by the sound of it, it was only him droning on endlessly about Elena. Poor Bonnie! Still, I think it would have been of benefit to the story to see that unfold.

I don’t believe that’s the last of Liam (at least I thought that at the time the episode aired, now I am not so sure).

>>sends her new life away
Yes, that life is only an illusion anyway, it’s not real anymore. She still has the attitude of a new vampire, someone still on their first human lifetime; she’s never had to make the breaks with all the new lives she will have to establish. She talks about having a career and being successful, but that life is impossible now. She will always have to move on and therefore could she ever be anything more than a Junior Doctor if she always looks 18? The crossroads she talks of is closed to her.

I know you'll disagree, but I actually found the hand-holding horribly manipulative in the circumstances and is one of those few moments I’ve actually been a little annoyed at Elena.

I thought it was Mr Cuddles too. Aren’t all teddies meant to be boys though? Is that why we all assumed?

I didn’t notice the music; it was just more of the bland mushy stuff TVD uses so often. I generally ignore it.
Arabian: Damon & Elena46arabian on December 30th, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
So Damon and Bonnie did talk – as they should have done; I just wish we had seen some of that; though by the sound of it, it was only him droning on endlessly about Elena. Poor Bonnie! Still, I think it would have been of benefit to the story to see that unfold.

We heard a little bit, but yes, I agree, I would have liked to get some more flashbacks of Damon and Bonnie talking about Elena. {sigh}

I don’t believe that’s the last of Liam (at least I thought that at the time the episode aired, now I am not so sure).

Me too. We'll see.

Yes, that life is only an illusion anyway, it’s not real anymore. She still has the attitude of a new vampire, someone still on their first human lifetime; she’s never had to make the breaks with all the new lives she will have to establish. She talks about having a career and being successful, but that life is impossible now. She will always have to move on and therefore could she ever be anything more than a Junior Doctor if she always looks 18? The crossroads she talks of is closed to her.

EXACTLY!

I know you'll disagree, but I actually found the hand-holding horribly manipulative in the circumstances and is one of those few moments I’ve actually been a little annoyed at Elena.

I do disagree because it would have only been manipulative if she did it to manipulate him and I just don't believe that Elena has that streak in her. We saw her try and be manipulative in "Because the Night" when her switch was off and she was REALLY bad at it. Elena just can't do it, she doesn't know how; it's just not in her nature. Elena wasn't trying to manipulate Damon into helping her, Elena just saw Damon's hand resting there, wanted to reach out to him, wanted to touch him and because she could without guilt since, hey, she'd broken up with Liam, she did.

ETA: And now I REALLY disagree because Joshua Butler, the episode's director recently revealed that Elena taking Damon's hand was not only unscripted, it wasn't even directed (at least I took that by his hashtag #directorpride). That was just something that NINA did in the moment because, well, she was all lost in lurve looking into Ian's pretty eyes and just wanted to touch him. So, yeah, completely not manipulative at all on Elena's part. There was no intention in any way.

I thought it was Mr Cuddles too. Aren’t all teddies meant to be boys though? Is that why we all assumed?

Probably. When I rewatch the episodes, I'm so re-listening to her introducing that damn bear to Damon!

I didn’t notice the music; it was just more of the bland mushy stuff TVD uses so often. I generally ignore it.

TVD does not use bland mushy stuff! The songs are important. The lyrics/beats usually matter. The music director pics the songs deliberately to match the scenes, the direction and you can get an idea of where the writers are going, the direction planned by paying attention to the songs used. It is very intentional.

Edited at 2015-01-04 09:41 am (UTC)