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25 October 2015 @ 09:10 am
7.03 - 'Age Of Innocence' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Alrighty, yeah, a tad late again, but it's not like too many people are reading these anyway, right? *sigh*

I loved this episode; on the other hand, I really, really, *really* didn't like this episode. That doesn't make sense, right? Let me explain. I blame Melinda Tsu Taylor. She always does this to me. She writes these episodes that are amazing but have scenes that just don't work or moments that are blindingly out of character and I'm just left scratching my head or outright infuriated. In this one, she and co-writer Holly Brix pulled a doozy. And, yeah, Caroline Dries and Julie Plec deserve some flack too because they oversee the show and they let this one through. *sigh*

I want to end this write-up on a good note as always, so I'm saving what I loved—and I really, really, REALLY loved what I loved—for after the bad. So let's get that out of the way first. Alas, the bad was the A-story and with the exception of Elizabeth Blackmore's performance as Valerie, it was pretty much all of it. Alright, let's let 'er rip.

The flashbacks took place in 1863, two years before Katherine, and the show decided (stupidly) to remind us that Stefan was 16. When Ian Somerhalder at 37 is more believable at 17 (admittedly, television's version of 17, but still) than Paul Wesley would be at 10 years younger than his actual age (33), don't remind your viewers that he's supposed to be playing 16. Paul Wesley looks his age. In the flashback? He looked his age. He did not look even 23 years old, let alone seven years younger than that age. It was distracting. When Stefan and Valerie were at Lily's grave, once he mentioned his age *snickers* (16), I spent the rest of the scene thinking about the fact that I was supposed to actually believe that Paul Wesley was 16 years old. I mean, really?!

Moving on, so, Valerie took great care to make sure that Caroline knew that she wasn't a vampire yet then and that she hadn't compelled Stefan, that she hadn't played the same mind games as Katherine. Nope, she was just a witch. And it was also clear from Valerie's telling of the tale that no witchy-woo of any kind was used since she was merely a siphoner, right? It was also clear that Valerie presented herself as a well-bred young lady. Soooo… let's go back to point #1. 1863.

Look, I understand that The Vampire Diaries is not a show that one watches for historical accuracy. I completely get this. However, there is willing suspension of disbelief… and there is no freaking way in hell. This, for me personally, falls into the latter category. A gently bred-young lady is (a) not going to go wandering off alone with a young gentleman, (b) is not going to kiss, let alone passionately kiss, a gentleman, especially one she's *just* met and (c) were he to try, she would be quite offended, and (d) she most certainly is NOT going to have sex with him!

At that point, I was all like 'HELL, NO! This is not right!' However, at this point, Valerie's flashback ended and Caroline looked like she was going to be sick, and I was like, 'Oh, OK, I got it, Valerie is lying.' I figured that Valerie was just juicing the story up to make Caroline feel insecure and drive an emotional wedge as well as a physical one between her and Stefan. And, of course, Caroline would fall for it. Of course. And that way, the show gets some sex and skin in as well. Makes sense. Smart.

Yeah, no. Because then Stefan continued the story post-sex to Mommie Dearest (erm, gross!) so it totes *did* happen. Let me go back to my position of no freaking way in hell. Come on, seriously! No, just no. I just… no, I just can't. Even if they want to play the card that Valerie would have gone down that road, Stefan as a well-bred Southern gentleman would not have. Even more so, Stefan as an innocent, 16-year-old (*snickers*) virgin of ye old Southern gentility would not have.

No, no, no, I say.

*sigh* Now, going back to Katherine and Tsu Taylor's habit of having those out of character moments. She did it badly with Damon in "The Cell," Elena so horrendously in "Woke Up With A Monster" so I'm not surprised that she did it here with Stefan in this episode. Not to such a bad degree as she did with Damon and Elena in those episodes, but to perhaps the same degree as she did with Stefan in "Woke Up With A Monster" too. Everything that we watched with him and Katherine (especially how Paul played Stefan's interactions with her in "Memory Lane"—think of their first kiss) spoke of a young man's first love. So frankly none of that jibes with Stefan having a first love, a first time now with Valerie TWO FREAKING YEARS before he thought he was in love with Katherine Pierce.

Then Valerie found out she was pregnant. I thought that at least we had our saving grace out of this ridiculously historically inaccurate (even for this show) and wholly out of character Stefan/Valerie 1863-sex-romp-at-first-sight. We'll have a Stefan Salvatore offspring through the centuries. Cool! But then I realized that Valerie was with Lily in Europe and Lily. And Mama Salvatore didn't realize that Valerie and Stefan were a thing so therefore she lost the baby… and, then, yeah, she lost the baby. So, in other words, the whole freaking thing was utterly pointless. Ugh!

It just made me think longingly of "The End Of The Affair." The fantabulous introduction of my darling, long-departed, forever-missed Rebekah. Now that was a beautiful introduction of a past Stefan love story. And a large part of what made it work so well is that it wasn't Stefan and Rebekah meeting that first night at the speakeasy and then having a quickie twenty minutes later in a back closet. The flashbacks took place over the course of what felt like days, even weeks, possibly months. We don't know how long their courtship lasted. We just know that it took place over a period of time that made it feel real and not some hook-up. We believed that Stefan and Rebekah were in love. We mourned the loss of that love. But this? One conversation and then Valerie took his virginity? And then, oh, yeah they spent the summer together, but that's all after the fact. Trust us, it was great!

So disappointing. And it's a shame because I was looking forward to seeing what history Valerie and Stefan had. They really could have created something there. And, you know, she didn't even have to be someone that he had a relationship with, but someone who was in love with him, but he didn't know. (He is rather clueless sometimes.) Or I don't know, someone during his Ripper phase who he almost killed. He'd met in passing and then had watched him from a distance. Or better yet, if they had played the love story out over a few episodes. Something.

Like I said, the only good thing was Elizabeth Blackmore's performance. Her Valerie both in the flashbacks and present was lovely. There was sweetness and innocence, but still an edge and bite beginning to seep through in 1863 that I liked. And the scene on the bench when she was confessing all to Stefan without telling him anything at all since she made herself invisible and silent to him was beautifully done. I think she's giving a truly lovely performance all around.

But that's just the Stefan/Valerie part that wasn't well done in the A-story, there was also Stefan and Lily. Oy vey. I get that they are trying to make Lily not just a straight-up villain. This is a good idea, however, going from her threatening to take away the love of Damon's life last week to Stefan teaching her how to drive this week, uhm, too much. We kinda need to work on some better transitioning, show.

Yes, I get that Damon and Stefan came up with a plan to make Mama Salvatore think that Stefan was mad at Damon which Stefan in his brilliance decided he would follow by basically flat-out telling Mama Salvatore: "I'm mad at Damon." But explain to me how the brothers at odds translates to Stefan being A-OK with his mother who (a) stole his home and kicked him out of said home, (b) kidnapped his girlfriend, (c) allowed her to be tortured, (d) re-kidnapped his girlfriend, (e) threatened to take and do whatever to one of his best friends/former loves (i.e., Elena)? Yeah, because I'm kinda confused on that score.

Seriously, explain to me like I'm stupid why Stefan was acting all buddy-buddy with his mother? Just because he was "upset" with Damon didn't take away the fact that she was awful to Caroline and Elena-in-a-Coffin. At all. She's still terrible. She still punished him and Caroline for something that Damon did. And by him being nice to her after she was an evil beyotch for something that *Damon* did should by all rights make her suspicious!

That it didn't makes Lily stupid—which we haven't seen signs of. And it makes Stefan stupid—that he was nice to her—and while he's not the best-plan-maker or as smart as Damon, he's not stupid. So basically every single Stefan and Lily scene was bad. It was badly written. It was out of character for Stefan because Stefan Salvatore is not an idiot. And it was out of character for what we do know of Lily Salvatore because she is not an idiot.

So for the A-story, that's two for two: Stefan and Valerie, big fail. Stefan and Lily, big fail. That leaves… Stefan and Caroline. *sigh* Stefan and Caroline, Stefan and Caroline, Stefan and Caroline. My pretty, sunshine-y Stefan and Caroline. This was not a good episode for you two. No, it was not. It revealed your big couple flaw: Contrived obstacles.

Every television couple has to deal with them. Every single one. However, here's the thing with Stefan and Caroline, while I adore them dearly and I do think that Paul Wesley and Candice Acc—King have fabulous chemistry, to me their chemistry is of the smiley, sunshine and hearts, cute, fluffy type of chemistry. And that is wonderful and darling but that type of chemistry, in my opinion, generally isn't able to rise above the obviousness of angst contrivance.

I mean, the contrived angst is just so much more obvious (vervained skin, etc.) because they have that comfortable, fluffy chemistry as opposed to sweet chemistry on top of that molten, burning chemistry like oh, Damon and Elena. For example… think of that last scene. Had it been Elena (in her vampire-phase) and Damon had been unable to even lay a finger on her, we would have been able to feel the two of them vibrating with the desperate need to touch one another through the screen.

Viewers would have just felt that yearning just emanating with every look, practically leaping off of their bodies. That chemistry that Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev share would have overcome the obvious contrivance of, yeah, OK, here's another obstacle we've thrown in the path of getting these together right now. Instead, we had Stefan and Caroline just sitting there like, 'Yeah, OK, this sucks, so, wanna play checkers?' That is what it felt like. There was no urgency. There was no sense of 'God, I want to touch you NOW!' That would have been there with Damon and Elena.

So, yeah, Stefan and Caroline… we really need to just keep with the sunshine and fluffy cutes, with a bit of angst, Caroline neuroses, Stefan-based cluenessless and bff-ness-turned-to-soulmate-love. The OTT-angst and obvious contrivances? They don't work with them. Nope.

Phew! Now as to what else works… or rather what worked in this episode really, really, *really* well! The B-Story. Damon. Damon. Damon. And did I mention Damon? Oh. My. God. Damon. Freaking. Salvatore was like on fire in this episode. I loved every single thing about him beyond everything ever so much. I believe I may have literally rewound every scene he was in. (Seriously, not just the Damon-in-a-towel scene. All of them.) I just—Lordy, I just love him so much.) He is my everything in the universe.

His one-liners. His eyes. His body. His hair. His love for Elena. His love for his besties. His dedication. His loyalty. His nonchalance. His smarts. His—my goodness, his everything. Seriously, folks. Damon was freaking gold!

I loved Damon and Bonnie. And Damon and Alaric. And Alaric and Bonnie. And Damon and Alaric and Bonnie. And Damon in the middle of Bonnie and Alaric and *especially* Damon choosing to NOT be in the middle of Bonnie and Alaric. (Oh my goodness, flustered Damon caught between his fighting besties is HI-larious!) And then… and then… my favorite line: "Aww, my besties are buds again." All in the delivery, baby, and Ian Somerhalder is king!

Yes, you read that right what I wrote above! The words "love" and "Alaric" were in the same sentence. When is the last time that happened without a negative somewhere in the mix, huh? I know! Crazy, huh? Don't get me wrong, I still loathe Alaric and Jo, but Alaric felt more like my Alaric in this one. I think it was because he was truly interacting with Damon and Bonnie for real and he wasn't lying to them like he was while in Europe.

And by the end, the Phoenix Stone (aha! see, I knew they'd say it enough, LOL!) secret is out already and at least they're all on the same page. Yay! And, of course, Damon totes saw through Alaric's lies. He's not drunk anymore. Hee. It was so obvious that Damon did when Bonnie asked Ric that in their first scene by Damon's expression. Oh, oh, oh, speaking of that first scene… my second favorite line: "Please tell me I'm not interrupting something." Hahahaha! Love it. And Damon just smirks! Double love it.

And let me just take a minute to talk about the absolute 100% difference in body language in this naked Damon-scene with Bonnie versus the one with Elena in "The Birthday." Again, I'm sure that shippers are having a ball, and hey, more power to them, but I continue to take great delight in how obvious the show is making it completely clear that Damon and Bonnie are nothing but platonic best friends with a complete sibling vibe.

With Elena, Damon was all but posing and saying "Hey, baby, take a look, ya like what you see? You want some!? Huh? Huh!, Yeah, baby!" Meanwhile, Elena was blushing, flushing, faux-outraged, not-looking, clearly wanting to look, literally peeking even though she wasn't sure it was "safe" to look. On the other hand, in this situation, Damon threw his towel off at *Alaric* to annoy *Alaric* and walked out. He barely even focused on Bonnie. And Bonnie shut her eyes with a grimace, barely reacting herself. All that was missing from her response was a sighed "eww."

It was hilarious. There was nothing even remotely sexual about that moment *at all.* It was purely ha-ha-ha jokey. I laughed. Of course I laughed my ass off during most of their scenes. Except for the parts where I wasn't supposed to… because the B-story was awesome!

Like the fact that for the first time *ever* The Vampire Diaries actually referenced the fact that Damon was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War and that he's not exactly comfortable talking about that fact with his friends today. I was shocked, and happy. And, then really, really not happy when freaking Valerie killed Oscar because, damnit, I liked Oscar. A lot.

I mean, I liked Oscar in this one episode more than all of the other Heretics combined in the last two episodes. Oscar was awesome. And I don't think it's just because I know Tim Kang (Oscar) from his work on The Mentalist. The character is cool, and I liked that bit of a backstory with Damon… and I want to hear more about their conversation, and I want more conversations with them. And more of Oscar in general, and damnit, Valerie killed him. That pissed me off. Grrr!

But it pissed me off in a good way. I was upset because I liked this character and it made sense why Valerie killed him—OK, Julian's introduction in the A-story was decent (I'll give them that). See, just everything from start to finish in the B-story was just top-notch awesome. Including the continuing intrigue of what-the-hell about the Phoenix Stone. I mean, what the heck is up with this thing? Really. Inquiring minds want to know. Hmmm…. I mean, I'm sure there are spoilers out there, but this spoiler-phobe doesn't want to know that way.

OK, then, randoms—

- Aww! It's my favorite human-cockroach hybrid cockroach-human! Tyler! I wasn't expecting to see him again so soon. Uhm, didn't really give me much time to miss him. OK, then.

- Clearly "she" is not Caroline, per Stefan and HCH's conversation in the "3 years from now" flashforward, so OK then, I was totally wrong. Boo! Well, I mean, good. I wouldn't want Caroline going after Stefan, what am I thinking? This is good. Good.

- When we saw Stefan pouring gasoline over his car, I was all: "Stefan's gonna burn his car?!" And then he did! And I was like: "OMG! Stefan burned his car!!" And, yeah, the Stefan/Elena anti-fan in me had a petty laugh about the fact that I remember a few significant scenes with those two in that car, and now, oops! It's ashes.

- And then when I saw his diary, I was like "OMG! Stefan's gonna burn his diary!??!?" And, then he pulled it out. Oh, Steffy, you softie, you!

- Hah, the present-day scene after Stefan burnt his car was him being all uber-protective of said car, warning Lily not to hurt it. Oh, Stefan, my poor boo, what you don't know.

- Damon. Naked, but for a towel. So hot. Bless you, show. Bless you.

- Aww, Damon mentioned Matt! And he insulted him! He loves him!! Hey, it's Damon logic. (According to Elena. Remember from "Down The Rabbit Hole.")

Elena: We lost Bonnie on the island. Damon stayed back to try and find her.
Matt: That's funny. Doesn't he hate her?
Elena: He doesn't hate her. I think he actually kind of loves her. You're mean to the people that you care about.
Matt: That's some messed-up logic.
Elena: Damon logic.
And look where Damon and Bonnie are now? See, there's hope for Damon and Matt yet. Uh huh!

- Damon and Alaric are roomies! I need to see more of this action, please. This will help mightily in erasing Pod!Alaric, thank you muchly.

- Riding the shallow train again, Damon's arm also looked particularly nice when he was standing in the middle of Bonnie and Alaric before he decided he was no longer going to be in the middle of his besties. So nice that I literally rewound the scene *just* to stare at his arm. Yes, I am that shallow.

- So, yeah, I'm wondering if Julian is going to be the big bad for at least the first half of the season now. Hmmm….

- Hah, Damon called Lily "Mommy." I don't know why I found that so funny, but I did. Pure gold, this episode, I tell ya, he was pure gold.

- I keep saying it, third episode in a row and I'm sure that it will slow down, but until it does, I will keep pointing it out. I LOVE, LOVE the continued Elena and Damon/Elena presence throughout the show. Damon's constant references to his girlfriend, Bonnie and/or Caroline writing the diary entries to Elena, and the refrain that Elena Gilbert is the love of Damon Salvatore's life. I just love it so hard. You can't watch this show (even without Nina Dobrev physically on the show right now) and not be aware that Elena is IT for Damon.

So, yeah, this was not my favorite episode and probably, in my opinion, the worst of the series because the A-story was just not good. Oh, but the B-story was so awesome and Damon was such perfection that it's hard not to say I didn't finish it with a huge smile on my face. Because, yeah, Damon Salvatore, man, I love him so much.
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on October 25th, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC)
Hi,
Just so you know, I'm sure many people still read your recaps, because they are awesome.
I have read them all, but never commented because i'm a bit cyber shy, and I don't have an account.
I've come out of lurker land to show my appreciation for your hardwork,, and to encourage you to continue.
BTW, you are spot on with your assessment of this weeks TVD.
Arabian: Damon04arabian on October 26th, 2015 08:08 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you for coming out of lurkdom to let me know. Just a few words to let me know what you thought of the episode, or even my thoughts on the episode would be appreciated, you know. :)
jairem08jairem08 on October 25th, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC)
I will watch and comment. We don't have broadcast here yet of the new season and Netflix doesn't work here either so I need to get the episodes ..... another way. I'm definitely following and reading your post and am happy you are enjoying it. I will see when and how fast I can catch up. Please don't give up on us. I'm just so happy to read that it is going well so far. And as always I do not have a clue about anything just following as it goes.
Arabian: Elena08arabian on October 26th, 2015 08:08 am (UTC)
Hopefully you're able to get caught up eventually! Hey, look at it this way... at least you'll have a bunch of them to watch when you do finally get to watch! WHEE!!!! :D
Mattghidorah15 on October 25th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
I actually missed who wrote this episode when I first watched it. Now that I know, I have to admit the Valerie plot is rather jarring, though it could be worse. As for her losing the baby because of Julian's cruelty, all I have to say is:

JESUS CHRIST, SHOW! You didn't have to go that far to make me sympathize with her!

At least Damon, Bonnie, and Alaric were on-point, and are now on the same page. Oscar was funny and I wish he hadn't gotten killed so early, though I do get why Valerie was desperate enough to do it. And yes, it really couldn't be clearer that Damon is all about getting Elena back. Sorry, Damon/Bonnie shippers, but I don't see you ever getting your way.

As for Stefan and Caroline, yeah, any obstacles between them are going to feel contrived. They've already survived the worst natural obstacles, after all.

And can someone squash Tyler the Wolfroach, pretty please? Even just one scene of him is enough to irritate me at this point.
Arabian: Bonnie03arabian on October 26th, 2015 08:11 am (UTC)
I have to admit the Valerie plot is rather jarring, though it could be worse.

I don't know; I don't see how it could have been worse. This was really bad.

As for her losing the baby because of Julian's cruelty, all I have to say is: JESUS CHRIST, SHOW! You didn't have to go that far to make me sympathize with her!

I know, right?!?!?

At least Damon, Bonnie, and Alaric were on-point

SO FREAKING ON POINT! It's like, how could the A-story be so not good while the B-story was so right in every way?!

Oscar was funny and I wish he hadn't gotten killed so early

I am not happy about this. Harumph!

though I do get why Valerie was desperate enough to do it.

*sigh* Yeah.

And yes, it really couldn't be clearer that Damon is all about getting Elena back. Sorry, Damon/Bonnie shippers, but I don't see you ever getting your way.

Uh huh. {VERY BIG GRIN}

And can someone squash Tyler the Wolfroach, pretty please? Even just one scene of him is enough to irritate me at this point.

I wasn't irritated, but you know I got over my Tyler issues in season 06.
tj2013tj2013 on October 27th, 2015 08:07 am (UTC)
Your analysis of the Stefan-Valerie-scenes scene was very good, and I agree about Melinda Taylor. It's interesting to see her work over the seasons and where she went off, character-wise.

I loved Oscar, he was sympathetic, emotional, badass - maybe they can use the phoenix stone on him instead of, ugh, Jo?

OMG, Stefan burned his car!!! Geez, when you think about that we first saw it in season 1...

Bonnie and Damon in a romance? Not gonna happen. When Damon talked to Lily about having a new family, the camera showed Bonnie and Alaric. I would call that a sign.

Loved reading your thoughts, as always.



Arabian: Damon07arabian on November 10th, 2015 04:21 pm (UTC)
Your analysis of the Stefan-Valerie-scenes scene was very good, and I agree about Melinda Taylor. It's interesting to see her work over the seasons and where she went off, character-wise.

I really wouldn't mind if this one headed over to The Originals and we got Narducci back in return. *sigh*

I loved Oscar, he was sympathetic, emotional, badass - maybe they can use the phoenix stone on him instead of, ugh, Jo?

Right?!?!?

OMG, Stefan burned his car!!! Geez, when you think about that we first saw it in season 1...

Right! I was shocked!

Bonnie and Damon in a romance? Not gonna happen. When Damon talked to Lily about having a new family, the camera showed Bonnie and Alaric. I would call that a sign.

Anyone who thinks that a romance is happening is watching this show in an alternate universe for reals!

Loved reading your thoughts, as always.

And as always, thank you!

Edited at 2016-03-07 07:34 pm (UTC)
ThroughAnAmberFocus: Vampire Diaries Caroline Quizzicalamberfocus on October 27th, 2015 03:11 pm (UTC)
My favorite moment was the one between Valerie and Caroline, when Valerie asked Caroline if she knew what it was like to be someone's first and how that is never forgotten or something like that and the look on Caroline's face...I don't think she ever was anyone's first. Tyler was a manwhore before Caroline. Damon was, too. Did she and Matt even sleep together? Well, she wasn't his first either. And of course not with Stefan. So...I don't think she has been. And I think that's why it hurt her so much. She doesn't have that special place in someone's heart.

I also think they really rushed the Stefan and Valerie back story. They really did need to have it play out for a while. I don't like it when they rush things in a way that is anti the time period it exists in. People did not jump into sex during that time period at all. And while I do think there were sixteen year old boys having sex back then, they were probably married or seeking out prostitutes, not "I met a girl and now I'm going to have sex with her on my mother's grave," or wherever it was. I was tired while watching it. They might have been by the barn, but whatever. Point still stands.

I don't think Bonnie's closing her eyes when Damon threw the towel was an eww moment for her. I don't think it could be an eww moment for any woman. I think it was more of an "He's trying to embarrass me so I ain't gonna look because all that belongs to Elena, moment. "It was highly funny, though.

Edited at 2015-10-27 03:19 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Caroline08arabian on November 10th, 2015 04:10 pm (UTC)
My favorite moment was the one between Valerie and Caroline, when Valerie asked Caroline if she knew what it was like to be someone's first and how that is never forgotten or something like that and the look on Caroline's face...I don't think she ever was anyone's first.

Not true. Caroline was Tyler and Klaus' first.

Tyler was a manwhore before Caroline.

Even if he was a whore, that doesn't make him NOT Caroline's first. That makes him even *more* Caroline's first. She was the one who made him truly fall for the first time. And Klaus had been around for a thousand years and Caroline was the first who he fell for. That's a pretty big deal.

Now that doesn't take away from the feeling that Caroline had from those words though because no one that Caroline truly loved (Bonnie--not romantic, but it still counts, Matt, Stefan--in Caroline's mind for the longest time) put Caroline first. So yes, she would understand.

I think that's why it hurt her so much. She doesn't have that special place in someone's heart.

Not for someone that she has truly loved, no, she doesn't.

I also think they really rushed the Stefan and Valerie back story. They really did need to have it play out for a while.

Totally, it was so not well done at all.

People did not jump into sex during that time period at all. And while I do think there were sixteen year old boys having sex back then, they were probably married or seeking out prostitutes, not "I met a girl and now I'm going to have sex with her on my mother's grave," or wherever it was.

Exactly. Everything about it was just SO badly done.

I don't think Bonnie's closing her eyes when Damon threw the towel was an eww moment for her. I don't think it could be an eww moment for any woman.

For someone who has sibling-type of feelings for him? Yeah, it would be. She doesn't think of him romantically/sexually. Bonnie doesn't think of Damon like that, she thinks of him like a brother so she doesn't want to see him naked.

It was highly funny, though.

Agreed.
(Anonymous) on November 6th, 2015 04:57 am (UTC)
Ok, this is preemptive but I had to comment before I got any further - all I've read so far is the opening comment about no one reading these anymore - just wanted to let you know, even though I'm a perpetual lurker who never comments, your posts are read and appreciated. (I've followed your blog for a while now) I've been thoroughly enjoying the new season of the Vampire Diaries - loved how they handled Nina's exit last season and how they continue to keep Elena's presence very much a part of the show. I was terrified they would end the season with some awful "it's for the best, erase her memory and send her away" nonsense. In any case, thanks for continuing to post - as long as you're posting, I'll be reading. :)
Arabian: Damon & Elena52arabian on November 10th, 2015 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for letting me know. :)

And I'm glad to know that others are enjoying the show as well too. Nice to know it's not just me.
Bogwitchbogwitch on November 10th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
I wasn’t that bothered by Paul’s appearance in the flashback. While all these ages are all over the place, I like to think that the flashbacks are the character’s memory of events and they tend to think of themselves as they are in the now rather than the then, so yeah they would insert their older selves. This theory works for me anyway. My main issue is with the whole plot, which feels like a bit of a retread and, as you point out rather contrary to the Katherine story.

It’s a good point about the conduct of a lady in 1863; I never really considered that (probably due to the expectation of the aforementioned lack of historical accuracy). I suppose different things really stick out to different people. But then people then still had hormones… and ladies did shame their families from time to time.

>> We don't know how long their courtship lasted. We just know that it took place over a period of time that made it feel real and not some hook-up. We believed that Stefan and Rebekah were in love. We mourned the loss of that love. But this? One conversation and then Valerie took his virginity? And then, oh, yeah they spent the summer together, but that's all after the fact. Trust us, it was great!

You are so right, but they do this kind of sketchiness where they forget the detail to push the plot along so often that it’s almost the show’s trait. It’s such a shame because they can do it so well and that detail is the stuff the fans really want to know.

>>Had it been Elena (in her vampire-phase) and Damon had been unable to even lay a finger on her, we would have been able to feel the two of them vibrating with the desperate need to touch one another through the screen.

Oh those were the days… I got rather bored with this ep towards the end and I went to brush my teeth during the Stefan/Caroline stuff, therefore I missed the end scene pretty much. Hence I had to rewatch and I decided to watch from the beginning of the season, thus my own lateness.

>>So, yeah, Stefan and Caroline… we really need to just keep with the sunshine and fluffy cutes, with a bit of angst, Caroline neuroses, Stefan-based cluenessless and bff-ness-turned-to-soulmate-love. The OTT-angst and obvious contrivances? They don't work with them. Nope.

And there is the fundamentally problem with Nina leaving. The primary couple never gets to be fluffy (for long) and has to deal with these hurdles and Stefan/Caroline just weren’t constructed to be that primary couple.

>>His one-liners. His eyes. His body. His hair. His love for Elena. His love for his besties. His dedication. His loyalty. His nonchalance. His smarts. His—my goodness, his everything. Seriously, folks. Damon was freaking gold!

Yeah.

>>I liked Oscar in this one episode more than all of the other Heretics combined in the last two episodes. Oscar was awesome. And I don't think it's just because I know Tim Kang (Oscar) from his work on The Mentalist.

I liked him immediately too and I have never seen The Mentalist.

>> I liked that bit of a backstory with Damon… and I want to hear more about their conversation, and I want more conversations with them.

I always thought Damon primarily came back for Katherine and I still think that makes more sense as a motivation, but it can still fit I suppose if Oscar just gave him another push.

>>Aww! It's my favorite human-cockroach hybrid cockroach-human! Tyler! I wasn't expecting to see him again so soon

I didn’t even notice him the first time round in his first scene…
Arabian: Katherine02arabian on November 11th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
I like to think that the flashbacks are the character’s memory of events and they tend to think of themselves as they are in the now rather than the then, so yeah they would insert their older selves. This theory works for me anyway.

Better than buying that he's 16, LOL! No, seriously, that's a good theory.

My main issue is with the whole plot, which feels like a bit of a retread and, as you point out rather contrary to the Katherine story.

Those too were problems.

It’s a good point about the conduct of a lady in 1863; I never really considered that (probably due to the expectation of the aforementioned lack of historical accuracy).

Well, like I said with my post, there's historical inaccuracy and then there is freaking historical inaccuracy and THIS fell under the latter.

But then people then still had hormones… and ladies did shame their families from time to time.

It wasn't even about that though, it was about how STEFAN acted and we know Stefan. We know his character and it was out of character for Stefan. His character--as we already know him--would NOT have behaved that way. There really is no explanation for this one. It was just badly written.

>> We don't know how long their courtship lasted.

You are so right, but they do this kind of sketchiness where they forget the detail to push the plot along so often that it’s almost the show’s trait.


I disagree with this. This is not something that I've really ever had a problem with before. Actually I'm not even sure what you're talking about here.

there is the fundamentally problem with Nina leaving. The primary couple never gets to be fluffy (for long) and has to deal with these hurdles and Stefan/Caroline just weren’t constructed to be that primary couple.

Yeah, this.

>> I liked that bit of a backstory with Damon… and I want to hear more about their conversation, and I want more conversations with them.

I always thought Damon primarily came back for Katherine and I still think that makes more sense as a motivation, but it can still fit I suppose if Oscar just gave him another push.


Oh, I wasn't saying that him being against the ideals of the South was why he came back. I still believe (and I don't think this was saying otherwise) that Katherine was primarily his reason for coming back. It just gave non-vague proof that he *did* have those issues. Prior to this episode, we'd only had the rather vague-ish hints at it.

I didn’t even notice him the first time round in his first scene…

Just the pop-up on the phone with Stefan. :)
(Anonymous) on January 29th, 2017 11:41 am (UTC)
I need better ties, er, subject lines / part 1
First off, I love the icon on this post! ^^

”but it's not like too many people are reading these anyway, right?” - Even if that's the case, which I don't think it is, keep in mind that it's Julie's fault, not yours ;) People just unhappy with the show. Maybe they will get over it, eventually ;)

”I loved this episode; on the other hand, I really, really, *really* didn't like this episode.” - Ha, that's intriguing! Can't wait to read why :)

”I spent the rest of the scene thinking about the fact that I was supposed to actually believe that Paul Wesley was 16 years old. I mean, really?!” In their defense, they didn't have much of a choice, did they? Casting another actor wouldn't make sense.

”At that point, I was all like 'HELL, NO! This is not right!'” - Yes, THAT bothered me too. It totally had that annoying deus ex machina vibe to it, because there is NO WAY it would've happened that way at that time period. They just needed it to happen that way for new storyline purposes and that's not a good enough justification.

” Even if they want to play the card that Valerie would have gone down that road, Stefan as a well-bred Southern gentleman would not have.” - Well, I kind of wish it was purposefully done to show yet another inconsistency in Stefan's personality, or rather the perception of it, but I doubt it. I could live with it if that was the point, though.

”Everything that we watched with him and Katherine (especially how Paul played Stefan's interactions with her in "Memory Lane"—think of their first kiss) spoke of a young man's first love.” - That's what happens when you have a show run for so many seasons ;) You've got to incorporate new old stories from the past somehow. Not that this is a valid excuse, of course. Although I guess the show was not implying Valerie was Stefan's first *love*. He just... I don't know, got wrapped in a moment? That's why they didn't try to build an elaborate love story with several flashbacks instead.

”He is rather clueless sometimes.” - One of most convenient personality traits ever.

”And the scene on the bench when she was confessing all to Stefan without telling him anything at all since she made herself invisible and silent to him was beautifully done.” - I loved that scene too.

”This is a good idea, however, going from her threatening to take away the love of Damon's life last week to Stefan teaching her how to drive this week, uhm, too much.” - Remember how in S6 Stefan went from jumping in to help and co-threaten Wes' location out of Aaron to “we're not all like my brother” within minutes? Even after JUST finding out about Damon having been tortured for 5 years. So yeah, I'd say Stefan's ability to quickly forgive/side with people who aren't Damon is quite amazing.

”And by him being nice to her after she was an evil beyotch for something that *Damon* did should by all rights make her suspicious!” - It should. And I was trying to understand this too. The closest I got to making it *seem* logical was assuming that Stefan knew Lily better than anyone else. Awww! (BTW *laughing forever at that time when Elena told Stefan that he knew her better than anyone*) But then I remembered. Stefan was 10 when Lily died. He couldn't possibly know her better than anyone else. Come on.

”And it makes Stefan stupid—that he was nice to her—and while he's not the best-plan-maker or as smart as Damon, he's not stupid.” - OK, I'll take your word for it lol

Disclaimer: I may feel the unyielding need to be mean to Stefan throughout this season. This too shall pass ;)
Arabian: Stefan04arabian on February 8th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)
RE: I need better ties, er, subject lines / part 1
First off, I love the icon on this post! ^^

Of course you! :D

”I spent the rest of the scene thinking about the fact that I was supposed to actually believe that Paul Wesley was 16 years old!” In their defense, they didn't have much of a choice, did they?

Oh, then maybe they could have come up with a different backstory than when Stefan was freaking 16 years old. Why not have a different storyline with their past, they could have come up with something else. It was just... ugh, not good.

”At that point, I was all like 'HELL, NO! This is not right!'” - Yes, THAT bothered me too.[...] They just needed it to happen that way for new storyline purposes and that's not a good enough justification.

Exactly.

Well, I kind of wish it was purposefully done to show yet another inconsistency in Stefan's personality, or rather the perception of it, but I doubt it. I could live with it if that was the point, though.

I'm gonna have to disagree. I don't think that Stefan's personality is inconsistent and even if it was, a young Southern gentleman wouldn't do that, period.

That's what happens when you have a show run for so many seasons ;) You've got to incorporate new old stories from the past somehow.

They had about forty years to play with (from when Lily left to when they were locked in the alternate world). And this show has done an AMAZING job in incorporating new backstories that don't contradict previous stories. It was just sloppily done.

Although I guess the show was not implying Valerie was Stefan's first *love*. He just... I don't know, got wrapped in a moment? That's why they didn't try to build an elaborate love story with several flashbacks instead.

I appreciate you trying to make it make sense... but it really just doesn't.

”He is rather clueless sometimes.” - One of most convenient personality traits ever.

You know my Stefan-loving heart is going to disagree with this too, LOL!

Remember how in S6 Stefan went from jumping in to help and co-threaten Wes' location out of Aaron to “we're not all like my brother” within minutes? Even after JUST finding out about Damon having been tortured for 5 years. So yeah, I'd say Stefan's ability to quickly forgive/side with people who aren't Damon is quite amazing.

I'm REALLY going to disagree with this for toe reasons. 1) I genuinely believe that Stefan was basically playing Aaron to get what he wanted, but in that episode Paul did a HORRIBLE job. Reread my write-up for that episode, I had a lot of issues with Paul's performance. He went beyond phoning it in, to maybe just texting it in. So bad. 2) It wasn't about Stefan forgiving Lily too quickly, it was that Stefan had JUST been upset for a HUGE reason with Lily and Lily is not an idiot so her buying that he would be so buddy-buddy and forgiving that quickly wasn't believable. We know that he actually was NOT that forgiving, he was playing the game that he and Damon had set up. I don't question that Stefan would have overplayed it, but that Lily bought it without quextion was the issue.

I was trying to understand this too. The closest I got to making it *seem* logical was assuming that Stefan knew Lily better than anyone else. Awww! (BTW *laughing forever at that time when Elena told Stefan that he knew her better than anyone*) But then I remembered. Stefan was 10 when Lily died. He couldn't possibly know her better than anyone else. Come on.

Yup. As for the Elena/Stefan thing... sorry, I actually totally agree with and understand that sentiment. Stefan and Elena are SO ALIKE it's not even funny. He would understand her better than anyone (including Damon) because he would do, say, etc. things that Elena would because they are so alike. Unfortunately, they were alike in their weakest qualities as well which is why they sucked so royally as a couple, but were so good as friends. Damon and Elena are alike in some ways, but in others they are different, and those differences is where they push each other to be better.

Disclaimer: I may feel the unyielding need to be mean to Stefan throughout this season. This too shall pass ;)

Yeah, you're gonna be pretty surprised by some thoughts re: Stefan and Damon throughout the sesaon. ;)
(Anonymous) on January 29th, 2017 11:41 am (UTC)
part 2
”Had it been Elena (in her vampire-phase) and Damon had been unable to even lay a finger on her, we would have been able to feel the two of them vibrating with the desperate need to touch one another through the screen.” - So true.

”'Yeah, OK, this sucks, so, wanna play checkers?' That is what it felt like. There was no urgency.” - Yes, you're right. Your analysis why this whole obstacle thing didn't work was spot on.

” And Damon in the middle of Bonnie and Alaric and *especially* Damon choosing to NOT be in the middle of Bonnie and Alaric.” - Yes, all of that REALLY worked in that episode.

”There was nothing even remotely sexual about that moment *at all.*” - Yes, and I'm not just happy but impressed how the show 100% avoided any ambiguous vibes between them. Well done.

Yes, I also wasn't happy that they killed Oscar off so soon. We could use a character like that for a bit longer.

”Because, yeah, Damon Salvatore, man, I love him so much.” - ♥

Can't wait to read more! :)
Arabian: Damon&Bonnie01arabian on February 8th, 2017 01:38 am (UTC)
RE: part 2
”There was nothing even remotely sexual about that moment *at all.*” - Yes, and I'm not just happy but impressed how the show 100% avoided any ambiguous vibes between them. Well done.

Anyone who is still holding onto Bonnie/Damon and/or saying that the show manipulated their fans is completely and utterly delusional.

Yes, I also wasn't happy that they killed Oscar off so soon. We could use a character like that for a bit longer.

I'm STILL pissed about that. I LOVED Oscar! {sob}