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03 February 2016 @ 04:36 pm
7.10 - 'Hell Is Other People' (The Vampire Diaries)  
As promised here is the write-up for the mid-season premiere of The Vampire Diaries. Real life travels kept it from being posted in a timely fashion, but it had nothing to do with the quality of the episode. I'm still not happy about the show being moved to Fridays, but for anyone who doesn't know, the move did not effect the ratings. (Yay!) Anyhoo, moving along... behind the cut, my thoughts.

Well. Well, well, well, that was quite a fabulous episode, now wasn’t it? Yeah. I think that was probably the best episode they’ve done since "Home." Now, this isn’t to say that there haven't been other fantastic episodes since then—because there so have been, but this was just, wowzers! So AMAZING! And, no, I’m not just saying that because the episode was 100% full of Damon Salvatore and there has never been an episode that was 100% about just one character like this before like EVAR! The closest was “500 Years of Solitude,” with Katherine. (Still a stupid idea to make your hundredth episode about a recurring character, but I digress…)

However, even that one has focus on the Damon/Elena break-up, and what happened with Elena and Katherine and the effect that Katherine had on the lives of our little group. Not to mention that she wasn’t in every scene (nor was Nina Dobrev, either as Katherine or Elena). In this one, though, Ian Somerhalder was in every scene, I’m pretty sure, folks. Even the one scene where the gang was talking about why Damon hadn’t come back as quickly and easily as Stefan had, there was Damon lying on the table, so yup, there was Ian Somerhalder in the scene.

So, in other words… lots and lots of pretty in this one. Uh huh! But seriously, I’m not going to talk about the shallow here because the episode was just too good for that. From the first pre-credits scene on… or should I say scenes. Nearly twelve minutes worth of scenes before we saw that ole familiar Vampire Diaries logo. And that was a doozy of a change for sure. Normally there is a quick and easy pre-credit scene and we're off, but this time we had the whole section with Damon and Henry going on the mission, the disastrous outcome, Damon coming upon Lily and finding out that he was in the Phoenix stone's hell before "waking up." That's a lot to take in pre-credits. And normally we have some levity, some snark to lighten the load, especially when Damon is the character that we're seeing the most of in that huge chunk of scenes. However this was a pre-vampire Damon, even a pre=Katherine Damon and instead we had in the majority of that 12 minutes a wholly earnest young man who was desperately trying to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. It was so emotionally dark and, well, human in a way that we don't often see with The Vampire Diaries. I loved it. But then I loved the whole episode. It really was a splendid effort all around.

Before I move onto to other specifics, I want first to touch upon a misconception that I've seen in quite a few places. It is that the central conceit of the episode was flawed because it boiled down to Damon having to forgive Lily. However that belief missed the point. It was not about Damon forgiving Lily because, as mentioned in these misguided reviews and posts, Lily is certainly not worthy of forgiveness nor Is Damon that one-dimensional of a character. Rather it was about Damon Salvatore allowing himself the capacity to forgive. And tying it to the first time that had ever shut down and buried a horrible thing he'd done *and* how he's been doing some horrible things again in the name of Elena was just brilliant. I want to bring up two things here. First the latter point. Let's go back more than a few episodes to the fifth of this season, "Live Through This." I wrote in my write-up for that one:

"...once he learned about Lily's part in Elena's sleeping beauty coma, he went straight into old-school Damon mode." And "I kinda disagree with Bonnie at the end there, no, Elena would not be OK-ing Damon's move there." (The 'let's let Lily be happy with Julian for a few months and then kill him horribly in front of her so she can experience some of my pain!' plan.)

That is what hell!Stefan was referring to and he was absolutely right (or rather, Damon's-inner mind was? Anyhoo...). Yes. Damon *has* been using his devastation over what happened with Elena, despite his whole I'm turning over a new leaf bit (from that very episode) based on his letter to her in the previous episode where he let her coffin go off in hiding to justify being a dick. He hasn't turned over a new leaf. Maybe had he not found out about Lily being the one to come up with the plan to do the Sleeping Beauty spell on Elena he would have stuck with it, but he did and so that plan went out the window. Therefore we've been dealing with the aftereffects of that realization since then. It's all been building, this rage, this inability to forgive, to let go of his anger. That was something that Elena had helped him ease. Remember what he told her? She was his light and without that light, he's been trapped in a world of darkness and he's just been slipping farther and farther away from that light.

Damon's ability to be more human didn't used to be dependent on Elena, but that's changed. In season 03's episode "Ghost World," I wrote this:

I liked A LOT that in an episode that talked about Damon, mentioned redemption, etc., and Damon making a positive choice to let someone in, be the better "man" (to Ric), it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ELENA. This helped to confirm my own personal belief that Damon is not changing or becoming better FOR Elena. I think it's BECAUSE of Elena's influence. It's like what Andie said ... love changes a person, makes them better. It's like, for me, Elena has ignited that desire that has always been in Damon to be better, but until he's ready, until he wants to, it's not going to happen. Because he's not doing it for her, he's doing it for him, he's allowing himself that belief that he can be better because he's acknowledging that the desire is there. And that desire has been brought to the forefront because of his love for Elena. But it's about *his* desire to change, and *his* choice to do so.
However, Alaric died at the end of season 03, and then Damon and Elena had their merry-go-round get together in season 04 and Stefan pulled away from Damon, and kept Damon in this bubble with Elena. And we know that Damon felt that none of her friends could understand why Elena was with him, even after Stefan accepted them together. So instead of Damon and Ric, or Damon and Stefan, or Damon and Liz, it was Damon and Elena only. So from season 04 on... it was just Damon getting validation from Elena, and little potshots from everyone else. Sure, Ric came back last season, but come on, do they even remotely act like best friends? No. Damon and Enzo have had two, maybe three scenes together. And as much as I love Damon and Bonnie... well, you read what I quoted from "Live Through This," Bonnie has been screwed with enough by other people that she's enough for playing a little revenge herself when they screw back with those she loves.

So my point is that Damon only had Elena to help guide him to be that better person for a good chunk of time. And when he finally decided to do it on his own, he found out some really, really bad information and the only person who could conceivably steer him in the right direction (Bonnie), felt the same way as he. So, yeah, he needed the reminder that Elena would *not* be down for this shit that he's been doing. Again, to quote what I said in "Live Through This." Elena would not be OK-ing Damon's move there. No way, no how. And Damon needed to come to that realization himself. He became the man that knew that himself because that is the man that Elena fell in love with.

Sure, he may have wanted to do that, but ultimately he wouldn't have because it was just easier and better for *himself* to let it go, and yes, the other party (which Damon didn't care about), but it was better for him. And that is the man, the one who was now capable and accepting of these realizations, that Elena was in love with. You go back to "Heart of Darkness," and Elena telling Damon that every time there's a bump in the road, he lashes out, he sabotages things, and he asked her what if he didn't. That was the Damon who was figuring it out, but without her, he's begun to fall back into that old pattern. This time, he's just doing so in the name of Elena.

Now back to that first point and how the show made Damon's hell the first time that he buried something horrible that he'd done. Using Henry was a brilliant masterstroke. The character was introduced in "Blood Brothers," and is affectionately remembered as the match.com vampire. This is the first meeting between him and Damon in that episode:

Damon: Uh, Ric, we have company. {A man attacks Alaric. Alaric stabs him with wooden knuckles. Damon knocks him off of Alaric.} Boys, boys, that's enough. I know you.
Henry: Damon?
Damon: Your name is Henry. You were in the tomb.
Henry: Yes, sir. What are you doing here?
On one hand, you can say, oh this is so a retcon, but on the other looking at what happened, knowing that Damon and Henry committed this horrible act, murdering these women for protecting these men for doing something that they themselves wanted to do and then cleaned and covered it up and never spoke of it again as if it never happened. So it works that way.

What is even more awesome is that it was the episode "Blood Brothers" because it was in that episode that we got this quote from Damon that in many ways, for me at least, defines the character and it certainly sets up entirely this whole set-up here. The quote to Stefan is "Everything on this planet is not your fault. My actions, what I do, it's not your fault. I own them. They belong to me. You are not allowed to feel my guilt." When Stefan starts on his martyr act, upset about all of the people that have been hurt by Damon and it's all Stefan's fault because he's the one who made Damon turn, Damon's response is pure gold. It reveals so much about Damon as a character, who he is, what he is, and how aware he is of those very things. And in light of this episode and what we find out, it adds an even richer layer because including in that quote, which I had always seen was the realization that Damon does feel guilt, but he's chosen not to because he's just not ready to deal with that guilt and the ramifications. Now we know why, and finally, hopefully, he will be able to.

On the other hand, did anyone else get a kick out of Matt's line about how easy it was to pull Stefan out? I sure did. I also thought it was completely brilliant. As in character as it is that getting Damon out would be really, really hard, getting Stefan out would be super, super easy if it's about admitting your guilt, wallowing in your guilt, accepting your guilt and all you've done wrong. And voila! Pulling Stefan out? Like taking candy from a baby! So hilarious. So in character. Have I mentioned that I love this show?

OK, I'm just going to throw out some randoms now --

- Oh, Bonnie... I love it! She was so salty and pissed at Stefan, rightly realizing that Damon was in the situation he was in *because* of Stefan's actions. Ooh, Bonnie. Standing up for her BFF! You go, Bonnie. More than I can say for Alaric or Enzo. *sigh*

- That is my only complaint... that Enzo and Alaric should have been there waiting for Damon to wake up too. I really don't like how the Damon friendships with those two (especially Enzo) have been sidelined. Ah well.

- My strike-outs above are because I totes forgot that Enzo had been kidnapped by Matt and taken somewhere so he has a legit reason for not being there for Damon. OK, then. Sorry, show, my bad.

- One of the interesting things we saw from Damon's hell point of view is that he does realize that he can and oftentimes is a crappy friend.

- On that note, though, did you notice that in Damon's hell, he imagined that NO ONE was waiting around for him to wake up, but in reality, they ALL were waiting around (except, ugh, stupidly Alaric and Enzo!)... awww!

- When Lily asked Damon why he hated her, I actually jumped past the whole what she did to Elena since it was obviously earlier than that to the "because you left me," and so when Damon said that, I just nodded and *that* was when I started to tear up. Oh my Damon! And I was just gone when he was finally forgiving her, when he was crying, but then it was too late because she was gone. Ahh, I felt so bad for him. Then when he woke up and he was attacking every one. He wanted to go back so badly, he didn't realize what he was doing; he thought that he could just go back. He didn't realize it. I legitimately was shocked. I gasped and had my hand over my mouth like OHMYGOD! Gah! So damn good, you guys!

- Oh noes! (Except for bogwitch) Matt wasn't wearing the ring, but (and this is important!) we didn't see Damon actually kill Matt (yes, I know we saw him in the preview too, but that could be a flashback with Stefan's hell-story, so it could mean nothing). I'm holding onto hope that Damon just knocked him out. I really, really am. PRETTY PLEASE!!!

- OHMYGOD! BONNIE!, but, I'm not all that worried about her... or Alaric's babies. Because, you know, "Three Years From Now..." *sigh* It is kinda annoying and all. Because of that we know that Bonnie is fine, and the babies are fine. It takes away so much tension. Ugh, I don't like! Yes, there is the possibility that it's supposed to be some maybe future, but right now it's falling into the annoying category. Harrumph!

- Ian Somerhalder was just outstanding in this episode. Just overall, but also we got to see so many different kinds of Damon, it was fabulous. First the earnest, sweet, innocent Damon pre-hell-realization, then the halfway earnest/beginning to snark Damon, then 3/4s Damon we all know and love with a bit of the earnest, human Damon still in there, to full on snarky Damon, and then back to that sweet, earnest Damon grieving in the end. What I also found fascinating is that the Damon in the beginning of the episode did look a lot younger than the Damon at the end of the episode.

- We went one whole episode without Damon/Elena and Elena mentions. One whole episode... and then we came back and it was an onslaught of nonstop Damon and Elena feels ALL OVER THE PLACE!!! Oh, yeah, baby! LOVES! It had my heart all aflutter!

- You know, at first I was like how could Damon know about Stefan being stabbed too in his hell, but then was like, wait, the stone is magic and creates the hell, so it would know, duh, it's magic.

- I may not be an Annie Wersching fan, but she did work for me in this episode. It's probably just because I'm used to her as Lily now, but either way, it worked and for that I'm happy because I needed her to work to make this episode's gloriousness be glorious. She did, so it did. Yay!

- It's gotta be said: This episode shoulda been the mid-season finale. Totes.

- The complete and utter Damon-ness of this episode made me beyond squeeful. I honestly don't think they've ever had an episode be completely about one character like this before. It was AWESOME! Beyond.

Ahhh, no words, folks for the awesome of this episode! (OK, that's a lie as I just wrote lots of words, but you get my drift.) I really loved this one. It was so, so very good. Nay, it was great. Nay, it was awesome-sauce. I love my show so very hard.
 
 
 
Bogwitch: TVD - Damon 1977 Bloodbogwitch on February 3rd, 2016 10:22 pm (UTC)
Friday suits me perfectly. No more feeling like a zombie at work the next day, plus now I have decided to give up streaming, I can watch on Saturday morning at my leisure!
>>I’m not just saying that because the episode was 100% full of Damon Salvatore
I am. I am that shallow – and no boring Heretics (Julian aside)! Yes, this one was really good!
Poor, poor Damon.
Poor, poor Damon’s friends.
I have my fingers crossed for Matt. ;D
Arabian: Damon16arabian on February 28th, 2016 04:42 pm (UTC)
Friday suits me perfectly. No more feeling like a zombie at work the next day, plus now I have decided to give up streaming, I can watch on Saturday morning at my leisure!

Well, yay! I figured out that I can download it Thursday night from Canada! WOOHOO!! I feel so TVD-normal!

>>I’m not just saying that because the episode was 100% full of Damon Salvatore
I am. I am that shallow


LOL!

– and no boring Heretics (Julian aside)! Yes, this one was really good!

I like Nora and Valerie!

I have my fingers crossed for Matt. ;D

*sigh*
jairem08jairem08 on February 4th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
So excited to watch this episode when I do.
Just wonder what is with the hair in the icon? So fluffy? : )
tj2013tj2013 on February 4th, 2016 07:15 pm (UTC)
Were you able to catch up during the hiatus?

Edited at 2016-02-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
jairem08jairem08 on February 4th, 2016 07:40 pm (UTC)
I haven't caught up yet. I have been doing some travelling, have my family visiting and going on another business trip so it is more like I sort of didn't focus on catching up. I'm at the stage when I thinking to just wait and watch the whole season. I think subconsciously I'm waiting for some hint that Elena will be back soon or something to start watching.
Arabian: Damon & Elena37arabian on March 3rd, 2016 02:00 pm (UTC)
Elena will probably not be back until the finale, alas.

Honestly, just because she is not on screen, you should still watch. There is SO MUCH essence of Elena. And the Damon/Elena love is soooooooo strong. I'm loving the season.
Arabian: Damon15arabian on February 28th, 2016 03:48 pm (UTC)
So excited to watch this episode when I do.

FANTASTIC EPISODE!

Just wonder what is with the hair in the icon? So fluffy? : )

It's from human!Damon hair. He's laying down, so it's spread out a bit.
tj2013tj2013 on February 4th, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC)
That was an absolute fantastic episode. And you nailed it, as usual, with your great write-up.

I don’t have much to add, maybe one thought I discussed with a friend, who was also upset because Damon had to forgive Lily (and she hates Lily. As do I, btw).

For me the stone is not hell as such, it’s hell because it forces you to accept who you really are, in your heart, in your mind. Which, especially for vampires and considering what they often have done, might be a real challenge. In there you need to relive your darkest moments, and for Damon the massacre was the moment where he had blood on his hands the first time, when he closed his heart off. And of course, in a situation like this, he would have needed his mother, regardless whether she had left him or not. He needed her. And now both things are tied emotionally together. To be able to leave the stone he needed to embrace them, to remember them, to let them in. Does that make sense? Or maybe I just got carried away...

I have a theory what happened when Damon came back into the real world (no spoiler, just based on the promo for the next episode), but I don’t know whether I should say something. Wanna hear it?

Thanks again for posting!


Edited at 2016-02-04 07:15 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Damon02arabian on February 28th, 2016 04:46 pm (UTC)
That was an absolute fantastic episode. And you nailed it, as usual, with your great write-up.

YES! And, thank you.

I don’t have much to add, maybe one thought I discussed with a friend, who was also upset because Damon had to forgive Lily (and she hates Lily. As do I, btw).

How can you not hate Lily?

For me the stone is not hell as such, it’s hell because it forces you to accept who you really are, in your heart, in your mind.

Yeah, I can see that.

Which, especially for vampires and considering what they often have done, might be a real challenge. In there you need to relive your darkest moments, and for Damon the massacre was the moment where he had blood on his hands the first time, when he closed his heart off.

Yup, yup.

And of course, in a situation like this, he would have needed his mother, regardless whether she had left him or not. He needed her. And now both things are tied emotionally together. To be able to leave the stone he needed to embrace them, to remember them, to let them in. Does that make sense? Or maybe I just got carried away...

Totally, totally makes sense. That's actually what I was trying to convey in my jumbled thoughts that were just SO overwhelmed by the awesome of this episode.

Way after the fact, but what's your theory?
Mattghidorah15 on February 4th, 2016 07:15 pm (UTC)
...eheh, I feel bad for not really having anything to add. I will say that it was fun to see the contrast between earnest human Damon and snarky vampire Damon, or perhaps I should say the transition; that Bonnie basically telling Stefan to STFU made me grin, and serves as a nice reminder that Elena isn't the only one in Damon's corner anymore; that even if Stone-Stefan was making Damon own up to his anger or some such, he was still a complete asshole and I wanted to punch his face into a bloody pulp; that I didn't remember we'd actually met Henry back in Season One's present day, so good catch on your part; and that with any luck, this will be the last time we ever have to see Lily.

Okay, so that was a little something to add. Whatever. :P
Arabian: Damon&Bonnie01arabian on February 28th, 2016 04:50 pm (UTC)
...eheh, I feel bad for not really having anything to add.

Well, I did go on a bit in this one, to be fair.

I will say that it was fun to see the contrast between earnest human Damon and snarky vampire Damon, or perhaps I should say the transition

Ian was SPECTACULAR!

that Bonnie basically telling Stefan to STFU made me grin, and serves as a nice reminder that Elena isn't the only one in Damon's corner anymore

YES!

that even if Stone-Stefan was making Damon own up to his anger or some such, he was still a complete asshole and I wanted to punch his face into a bloody pulp

I, erm, cannot disagree with this.

that I didn't remember we'd actually met Henry back in Season One's present day, so good catch on your part

I have mentioned how often I have rewatched this show, right? LOL!

that with any luck, this will be the last time we ever have to see Lily.

Pretty, pretty please?!

Okay, so that was a little something to add. Whatever. :P

All welcome thoughts as always! :)
ThroughAnAmberFocus: Vampire Diaries--Damon/Elenaamberfocus on February 5th, 2016 07:09 am (UTC)
I hate time loop episodes on any show, but this one wasn't pull my hair out time loopy. Lots of variations, thank goodness. I still am feeling the loss of Nina, though. I just can't seem to have the same level of joy in watching that I used to. It feels like holding pattern, really. I almost wish they'd spirit jump her into another body, since the body is what is cursed. It would have to be extremely good casting though like they did with Rebekah on The Originals. But at least Damon was pretty. I love it when they let Damon's hair go all untamed and curly.
Arabian: Damon15arabian on February 28th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)
I hate time loop episodes on any show, but this one wasn't pull my hair out time loopy. Lots of variations, thank goodness.

I'm a fan of them, so I can't relate, but I'm glad that the show managed to make it work for you. :)

I still am feeling the loss of Nina, though. I just can't seem to have the same level of joy in watching that I used to.

I'm sorry. I do still miss her (and it's probably why at this point I'm not rewatching any older episodes right now), but the constant mentions of her and how they are keeping her spirit so alive is really working for me.

I almost wish they'd spirit jump her into another body, since the body is what is cursed. It would have to be extremely good casting though like they did with Rebekah on The Originals.

Since I'm doing this in reverse, I mentioned this in a later thread, but repeating myself, yeah, they would NEVER recast Elena--and that wouldn't help at all with you missing Nina--and also the spirit jump would not work because it had nothing to do with a cursed body, that worked because the Originals were witches as humans (they just didn't know it). Elena is not a witch.

But at least Damon was pretty.

Very pretty.

I love it when they let Damon's hair go all untamed and curly.

Human!Damon is Fluffy!Damon (in more ways than one).

Edited at 2016-02-28 04:55 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2017 12:42 pm (UTC)
♥
”So AMAZING! And, no, I’m not just saying that because the episode was 100% full of Damon Salvatore” - Yes! This episode was amazing for more than this (as important as it was) reason! ♥

” The closest was “500 Years of Solitude,” with Katherine. (Still a stupid idea to make your hundredth episode about a recurring character, but I digress…)” - Maybe their logic was that she was the one who set the whole story in motion, so to speak?

””

”Rather it was about Damon Salvatore allowing himself the capacity to forgive.” - Well-said. I so agree.

”So from season 04 on... it was just Damon getting validation from Elena, and little potshots from everyone else.” - That's a good point.

”Using Henry was a brilliant masterstroke. The character was introduced in "Blood Brothers,"” - AH!!! I totally forgot/didn't realize that!!!

”On the other hand, did anyone else get a kick out of Matt's line about how easy it was to pull Stefan out?” - lol Yes, that was a nice little detail for sure!

”Ian Somerhalder was just outstanding in this episode. Just overall, but also we got to see so many different kinds of Damon, it was fabulous.” - Yes, it was beyond amazing!

”nonstop Damon and Elena feels” - I also loved Damon's changing responses to Henry's question if he had a sweetheart. At first it was a quick no, because, yeah, he was fully his past-self. Then it was yes followed by no, because he remembered what was going on, but wasn't sure if confiding in Henry made any sense, but then he arrived at a yes ♥

OK, one thing that I was thinking about at the time of watching the episode. At some point Stefan said that pulling Damon out of there would be hard, because Damon was going to do everything in his power in order not to succumb to the pain. And that comment in a rather erroneous/incomplete way attempted to define the interpretation of Damon trying over and over and over again to “fix” that tragic situation from the past. I think what got missed and overlooked was that Damon wasn't just trying to escape, find a way, or an easier way out, if you please. He was genuinely trying to make it right. He wasn't trying to avoid the pain. He was trying to fix what happened, because he thought that THAT was the problem. He thought that the outcome was the problem, and that's why he was trying to do something about it. He thought that once he solved the puzzle, figured out how that day could've ended differently, only then he would be able to find his way out. He wasn't deliberately trying to find a short-cut, as Stefan's words seemed to imply. It just took him a while to realize that the key was not to change what happened. The key was to forgive himself that it happened, because forgiving himself was the path that led to being able to forgive others.
Arabian: Damon06arabian on February 24th, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)
RE: ♥
The closest was “500 Years of Solitude,” with Katherine. (Still a stupid idea to make your hundredth episode about a recurring character, but I digress…)” - Maybe their logic was that she was the one who set the whole story in motion, so to speak?

Nope, sorry, no explanation will ever work for me. It was stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Furthermore, Damon was the least featured of the main three and there was NO significant Damon/Elena in the episode. What kind of fan-service (as the episode proudly proclaimed itself to be) was that? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

”Using Henry was a brilliant masterstroke. The character was introduced in "Blood Brothers,"” - AH!!! I totally forgot/didn't realize that!!!

I love my Henry so (match.com vampire FTW!).

”nonstop Damon and Elena feels” - I also loved Damon's changing responses to Henry's question if he had a sweetheart. At first it was a quick no, because, yeah, he was fully his past-self. Then it was yes followed by no, because he remembered what was going on, but wasn't sure if confiding in Henry made any sense, but then he arrived at a yes ♥

DUDE! I missed that aspect. Well, at least in my write-up. I may have noticed it while watching it, but didn't remember to jot it down in my notes. So, so true.

At some point Stefan said that pulling Damon out of there would be hard, because Damon was going to do everything in his power in order not to succumb to the pain. And that comment in a rather erroneous/incomplete way attempted to define the interpretation of Damon trying over and over and over again to “fix” that tragic situation from the past. I think what got missed and overlooked was that Damon wasn't just trying to escape, find a way, or an easier way out, if you please. He was genuinely trying to make it right.

Yes, but that's not what the Hellstone was for--which is why it wasn't mentioned. Damon was trying to FIX it. Redo the past. Basically take away his reason for having the guilt, thus he would have no guilt which would... negate the whole point. He CAN'T undo what happened. He has to FACE it. Stefan was right--Damon had to succumb to the pain, the guilt. He had to let it in. Trying to "fix" it was just another way to avoid dealing with it. That was the point.

He wasn't trying to avoid the pain. He was trying to fix what happened

So that he wouldn't have to deal with the consequences. Damon was thinking it through logically because he was REFUSING to allow himself to feel.

He wasn't deliberately trying to find a short-cut, as Stefan's words seemed to imply.

No, Damon wasn't, I agree there, but I don't think Stefan was implying that. I think Stefan was saying exactly the right of it. Damon was going to do everything to avoid feeling the pain, which is what Damon was doing. It was a cause and effect for him. (A) If I fix the situation, ergo (B) I won't have to deal with/face/succumb to the pain.

It just took him a while to realize that the key was not to change what happened. The key was to forgive himself that it happened, because forgiving himself was the path that led to being able to forgive others.

And he only was able to forgive himself when he stopped thinking, stopped trying to undo what happened, and accepted the consequences of what happened and, yup, succumbed to the pain.
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2017 11:00 am (UTC)
RE: ♥
So... I bookmarked this entry to add some comments, but I forgot what I wanted to say *headdesk* Never mind. I'm sure out discussions will continue well after the show ends :) On that note, I don't think I'll be all caught up with your write-ups by March 10th :[ But of course I'll catch up on them later :) Once I recover from the finale haha Because no matter how it all ends, I'm sure I'll need a few days to recover and just process the idea that it's over ^^