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11 February 2016 @ 05:02 pm
7.11 - 'Things We Lost In The Fire' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Back from vacation, had to settle in, go to work, deal with being sick (of course), but here it is! Yay!

Let's just deal with the obvious first. Elena is not dead. Obviously. Damon did not burn Elena into a crisp of nothingness. Obviously. It was another hallucination. Obviously. (Not to mention the fact that Kai's spell is supposed to preserve her body in perfect health until Bonnie dies. The only non-obvious thing from that scene is whether or not Tyler retains his cockroach status and is still alive. I'm leaning towards yes because (a) how else will we find out that it was a hallucination and that Elena is alive, and (b) duh, it's Tyler. However, *if* he's dead that would explain the gang thinking Elena is dead until later down the road. It's more likely, Tyler might be a in a coma or something. On the other hand, Tyler could be the "dead friend" that Bonnie was referring to in the "Three Years From Now..." that she blames herself for. Hmm.... Nah, it's Tyler. I don't think he's dead. He's my werewolf-cockroach hybrid. He could be in a coma though. I mean, Damon sure did smash his head hard a few times and that was pretty bloody. He is a werewolf with extra strength, but he's not a hybrid anymore.

As for my darling Elena, why am I so sure that she is not dead? Well there are several reasons aside from what I listed above. Let me count the ways, because, boy, there are so many.

Firstly, there is that whole "Three Years From Now..." where we saw Damon in his own coffin next to another one waiting for Elena to wake up. Why would he be doing that if Elena's dead? (Yes, yes, there's the pesky what if it's a possible future, but then that would make this "Elena death" a possible future too then, right?)

Secondly, the show is *not* going to kill off their main heroine (and, yes, Elena is still the main heroine of The Vampire Diaries regardless of Nina Dobrev's absence from the show) and certainly in not a mid-episode, mid-season scene. Thirdly, it's certainly not going to have *Damon* kill off Elena. Puhleeze!

Fourthly, when Damon told Tyler to take him to Elena (more on that later), Tyler had a whole checklist of 'you told me you'd say that, oh, and you said you say that, and that...' Does anyone honestly think that Tyler didn't have a decoy location with an empty coffin all set up to bring Damon easing him out of the 'must-see Elena' mood? Of course he did. And Tyler is loaded, he can afford to buy another look-alike coffin no problem.

Fifth, hello!, they had already set up the hallucination route... seemingly to set up the 'burn Elena!reveal' but in actuality it was to set up viewers to buy it. The whole point of it was so that we could have Damon believe that Elena was dead, viewers believe it so that when we find out, ooh!wait she's not dead, she can be brought back sooner than expected, there is an explosion of joy. In the meantime, we don't spend every episode waiting for Elena to come back. (Not that we won't anyway.)

So yeah, bottom-line, Elena is alive. Damon didn't burn her dead. They will still get their happy ending.

Speaking of their happy ending... oh, Stefan. Once again, babe, you don't get it. Yes, your Phoenix Stone experience succeeded because you let Damon go but I believe that he totes read it wrong. As usual, Stefan put on his martyred halo and assumed the title of "The Good Brother," automatically placing Damon in "The Bad Brother" role. And that was just not the right call. It wasn't about Damon making everything oh so terrible in Stefan's life, because, really when is the last time that Damon did that? Oh, a while. Seriously of the two, it's Stefan that has been making a mess of things with his life choices, not Damon. Stefan, Stefan, Stefan.

The "letting go" of Damon that the Phoenix Stone was pushing Stefan to do was not about saying adios to Damon because he's oh so teh evul!. Duh, Stefan, the point behind the Phoenix Stone is clearly to deal with *your* issues, *your* selfishness, the source of what is causing problems now. It has nothing to do with Damon's bad juju, it's on you! But of course, Stefan would redirect it and make it about Damon once back in the real world because, well, that's Stefan.

For Damon… it was his inability to own up to his guilt and thus forgive, and that's why he's where he's at now. He feels guilty about what happened to Elena… had he forgiven his mother and not been (understandably) such a dick to her, she wouldn't have gone after Elena and now, he believes he's killed Elena. So, yeah, he's still processing. Same with Stefan.

So where did Stefan go wrong? It's not Stefan's inability to let go of Damon no matter what. It's Stefan's inability to let go of Damon for Damon's sake. He *selfishly* won't let go of Damon. He wouldn't do it in 1865. He wouldn't let Damon go at various points during the Elena saga when he could have, pushing/pulling to keep him around, but blaming it on various actions, only admitting it in moments of severe distress—before walking it back. And now… aha, here's where we *really* get to it. He is the main one who was fighting Damon about taking the cure with Elena because he would lose his brother for forever. That is the letting go he needs to do. And that he doesn't want to do for entirely selfish reasons. Even though it's what Damon wants and what would make Damon happy, Stefan doesn't want to let Damon go and live a human life with Elena because that would mean that Stefan would no longer have his vampire brother with him.

Could I be wrong? Sure, but that's exactly where my mind went when Stefan said that his struggle was about letting go of Damon. Then when he went off about Damon being "bad" and that was where so much misery came from and, dude, that is so not true anymore, I just shook my head and said aloud, "Oh, Stefan," because, yeah, Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. So clueless, and so desperate to deny reality. Still head stuck in the sand Stefan.

Still, yeah, I could be wrong. We'll see.

We'll also see what happens with Matt and Officer Ares, although, come on, it's fairly obvious. To be honest, this was the only disappointing part of the episode for me. Disappointing in the sense that it was so clunky in how it was done. Matt is randomly driving, swerves while looking at his phone, happens to have had a few drinks, and oh!, random cop we've never seen before—who just *happens* to be an attractive, young female, whaddya know?!—pulls him over and doesn't let him, a fellow cop, go with a warning. Riiight!

It was so contrived and lame. And not even bothering to hide how incredibly contrived they knew it was, we had the flashforward at the end revealing her fate and Stefan's part in it. Color me not interested. I know, I know, I'm judging very quickly… ugh, it was just so, so, sooo clunky. I will, of course, see how it plays out. So clunky and contrived though. Not a fan of the clunky. But, hey, Melinda Hsu Taylor, she's always got to have at least one major boner an episode, right?

As for the direction of Matt's character. *sigh* I hate it. {Pouts} Well, not really. {Sighs} Because it makes perfect sense. I wish it didn't. I really want Matt to be team!Damon, I really, really, really do… but the way Damon is right now without Elena there, not reaching out to Matt, still being all dick-ish (cuz, he is) and with Matt feeling more and more on the outside of the (supernatural) group, it really does make perfect sense that this is where he wound up.

I have always said that if the writing makes it make sense for me, even if I don't personally love it or want it for the character, I will accept it and be happy from a writing/character point of view. So yeah, this makes perfect sense from a writing/character point of view, *sigh* so, I accept it and I'm happy from that point of view. Also, from a Matty fan-girl point of view, I'm hoping this means I start to get some meaty, good stuff for him. :squee: (Plus, he looked hot all in black in the final scene!)

OK, since (once again) this is so late, I'm just going to jump into randoms –

- Paul Wesley's direction… this was *much* better than Season 06, Episode 11's "Woke Up With A Monster." And it's easy to understand why. I wrote in that one:

I think the reason that Paul Wesley's direction worked well in "Resident Evil" is because that episode was about understated moments and closure. […] the best moments in this episode were the smaller, understated moments. Those were all so beautifully done. However this was not an understated, smaller moment episode. Like every episode, it had those moments (and it's why I love the show so much), but it was one of the more suspense-type episodes. Part of the problem was in the editing of essentially four separate arcs together, but the seamlessness of those arcs could have been eased with better direction, that's part of a director's job. They have to give the editors stuff to work with, and based on what we saw, I don't know that Paul Wesley did. There should have been tension, a sense of urgency throughout most of the episode.
This episode fit more into the "Resident Evil" type of episode. There was an A and a B storyline, a regular amount of TVD-sized tension and the beautifully understated moments, the connection between the characters. So there wasn't anything noticeably off about the direction this time, nor was there anything noticeably "wow!" either. It was good.

- So, yeah, Bonnie and Matt matched up perfectly on an online dating app. Not sure what that meant. But can I keep my Bonnie/Matt dream alive, then? (And, yes, that was kind of weird and clunky too. Yeah.)

- Speaking of Bonnie… I'm glad that Bonnie continued her awesome ways and gave Nora another chance. I really do think that she and Bonnie have a nice chemistry and I like how she can be an asset to their team. The two actresses play off well together.

- Julian continues to be a great villain/antagonist. While, honestly, Beau and Mary Louise just aren't missed at all. (I still miss Oscar.) I do wonder where Valerie is, though.

- Why is Alaric even remotely surprised that Caroline is attached to the babies? I mean, really? And why is Caroline even remotely surprised that Alaric would want to get his babies as far as possible from Mystic Falls as he possibly could?

- Alaric… sigh. Why are they keeping him so far away from Damon? I mean… what is the problem? Yes, we missed Alaric, but the main reason we missed him and wanted him back was because we missed the Damon/Alaric friendship. HELLO!?!?!? (And that little tease of Alaric and Enzo was great… and then nada!)

- And where is Enzo?!?!? What the hell?! Was Jeremy one of Matt's helpers?

- Yay!! Matt's still alive three years from now. Yay! On that note, and erm, he is working with the Huntress chick then, OK.

- Aww, Damon saved "Donovan" first. Aww, my Damon/Matt-loving heart squeed (and rewound a few times) at that. Hey, I'll take what I can get!

- You know, Ian Somerhalder gets a lot of attention for his ridiculous good looks, but he's a *really* good actor. I just think he's knocking it out of the park this season, especially in this arc.

- Finally, oh my heart! The Elena mentions from Damon just slayed my heart dead. When he said, "You can take me to see my girl. No muss, no fuss. Just... just a little visit, OK?" even as he was threatening Tyler, you could just hear/see his desperation in the words. Oh, I just melted. Oh, Damon. He loves and misses her so much. Pshaw, and people thought that they were going to drop Damon and Elena, or forget about Elena. Pfft!

Not a great, *great* episode… especially after last week which was so outstanding, but a solid one. I'm still enjoying this season a lot. Half-way through. It will be interesting to see what sends the Huntress on the trail of our guys, Stefan specifically. Gimme more!!!
 
 
 
Bogwitch: TVD - Elenabogwitch on February 11th, 2016 11:54 pm (UTC)
Nah, Elena's not dead. Of course she isn't. If only because it would destroy Damon as a character permanently.

>>Does anyone honestly think that Tyler didn't have a decoy location with an empty coffin all set up to bring Damon easing him out of the 'must-see Elena' mood?

I agree Tyler did something, but this plan is a bit elaborate and rather relies on assuming Damon is going to hallucinate at that precise moment, does it not? Otherwise he still gets beaten up for not producing Elena when required. Also that fight was particularly violent for TVD. Ouch.

>>Bonnie and Matt matched up perfectly on an online dating app. Not sure what that meant.

Nothing more than you should try out this wonderful dating app boys and girls, I suspect.

All this Stefan missing the point stuff, does it mean that he is finally going to get it????

Arabian: Damon&Stefan05arabian on February 12th, 2016 02:02 am (UTC)
No, when I say that Tyler would have a decoy coffin, I didn't mean that he had it for this specific situation, but that he figured that at some point, Damon would force him to take him to Elena's coffin and so he had a decoy, empty coffin ready in a different location from where Elena was. The plan was that by the time they got there, Damon would realize that Tyler was *not* going to bring him to Elena because this is what Damon WANTED him to do in order to protect Elena, and the drive there would be enough time to calm Damon down.

Also that fight was particularly violent for TVD. Ouch.

Eh, I didn't think so. I mean, we have heart-rippage outages, and head-swacked-offages and eye-gouges and think of the whole torture-Damon episode "The Cell." :shrug: Or maybe I just am not easily effected by that kind of stuff, LOL!

RE: The dating app. ah, I didn't realize that was an actual dating app. Gotcha.

All this Stefan missing the point stuff, does it mean that he is finally going to get it????

Well, if it's either Paul or the show's last season, I would imagine so. Eh, scratch that, I'm 99.999999999999999999% sure it's Ian's last season so, yeah, with regards to Damon, I'm positive he's finally going to get it. :D
tj2013tj2013 on February 12th, 2016 07:36 am (UTC)
Great recap - thanks! Sorry to hear you've been sick. Hope you're feeling better by now.

No, Elena is not dead-dead. No way. I also think Damon/Tyler had a backup plan in case Damon would try to force his way to the coffin.

I am still not 100% sure the brothers have left the stone at all. After the last episode I expected Damon to have crossed over into Stefan's hell or something like that. I know, the theory doesn't fit the parts with the "real" story going on (Matt, the officer, Caroline and Ric) - but, well... we'll see.

As soon as she handed Matt the bag with the weapons I thought aha! I bet Officer Penny is the huntress.
And is she related to the hunters, meaning Jeremy and the others?

I miss the friendships, too- Ric and Dsmon. And Enzo and Damon.
Arabian: Damon&Alaric04arabian on February 28th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
Great recap - thanks! Sorry to hear you've been sick. Hope you're feeling better by now.

I am, finally!

No, Elena is not dead-dead. No way. I also think Damon/Tyler had a backup plan in case Damon would try to force his way to the coffin.

Not Damon, just Tyler, LOL!

I miss the friendships, too- Ric and Dsmon. And Enzo and Damon.

I do too, but since Ric came back, it's become fairly obvious that his friendship with Damon didn't withstand his death. And I forgot that Enzo was kidnapped. Oops!
Mattghidorah15 on February 12th, 2016 09:20 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you've been sick lately. It's always a bummer.

And yeah, I didn't buy Elena being dead for a nanosecond. I'd like to say it's because I'm wise to this show's tricks by now thanks to your lessons ( ;) ), but really, it's because it's such an obvious fake-out. There's no way they'll kill her off like that. I bet Nina's laughing about it.

As for Stefan once again going to the myth of himself as the Good Brother and Damon as the Bad Brother, while that is perfectly in-character for him, I don't think the Phoenix Stone wants him to come to the right conclusion. I think it wants him and Damon to come to the wrong conclusions and to suffer because of them. If the hallucination of Henry shows up again, gloating or some such about Elena being dead, only to have a shocked reaction when it turns out she isn't, we'll know I'm right. :P Heh.

And no, Tyler's not dead, as much as I wish he was. He showed up in one of the flash-forwards, remember? But I do think he was smart enough to set up a decoy because, as you pointed out, he and Damon planned for this scenario. For once, he did something right.

Alaric... *sighs and shakes his head* Yeah, I don't know why he's not seeing that Caroline already loves the babies, and I really wish he'd repair things with Damon. Maybe once we've moved three years ahead for good, they'll start to get his character back on track.

As for Enzo, I think he's still being held captive by whatever group Matt Donovan contacted. I wouldn't be surprised if they're affiliated with the Huntress. Lord knows the erstwhile quarterback is heading down the wrong path. Still, at least he's not the dead friend Bonnie meant, so there's a hope of saving him.

As there is of getting Nora to follow Valerie's lead and join the team fully. I definitely don't miss Mary Louise - she's just been bringing Nora down. Beau needs to get interesting soon - the lack of a voice doesn't help his case. At least Julian remains a solid Big Bad.

Hmm...I think that's it for now. Did I miss anything?
Arabian: Matt04arabian on February 28th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you've been sick lately. It's always a bummer.

Tis true, I'm finally feeling better though.

And yeah, I didn't buy Elena being dead for a nanosecond.

Anyone who did... *sigh*

I'd like to say it's because I'm wise to this show's tricks by now thanks to your lessons ( ;) ), but really, it's because it's such an obvious fake-out.

Exactly!

There's no way they'll kill her off like that. I bet Nina's laughing about it.

Probably, hee!

As for Stefan once again going to the myth of himself as the Good Brother and Damon as the Bad Brother, while that is perfectly in-character for him, I don't think the Phoenix Stone wants him to come to the right conclusion. I think it wants him and Damon to come to the wrong conclusions and to suffer because of them.

Totes agreed! The Phoenix Stone is not a nice stone.

If the hallucination of Henry shows up again, gloating or some such about Elena being dead, only to have a shocked reaction when it turns out she isn't, we'll know I'm right. :P Heh.

Hahahaha!

And no, Tyler's not dead, as much as I wish he was. He showed up in one of the flash-forwards, remember? But I do think he was smart enough to set up a decoy because, as you pointed out, he and Damon planned for this scenario. For once, he did something right.

Yup, yup. I forgot about the flash-forwards. Still banking on coma, because, boy, Damon whack him hard. (Psst! I was right about the coma!)

Alaric... *sighs and shakes his head* Yeah, I don't know why he's not seeing that Caroline already loves the babies, and I really wish he'd repair things with Damon. Maybe once we've moved three years ahead for good, they'll start to get his character back on track.

Yes, re: Caroline, and yeah, re: Damon and Alaric, but I'm at the point where he doesn't deserve Damon as a friend, honestly.

As for Enzo, I think he's still being held captive by whatever group Matt Donovan contacted. I wouldn't be surprised if they're affiliated with the Huntress.

well, we know now you were right on one hand, wrong on the other. Pretty good call on your part!

Lord knows the erstwhile quarterback is heading down the wrong path. Still, at least he's not the dead friend Bonnie meant, so there's a hope of saving him.

YES! And I still have hope for Bonnie/Matt, dangit!
Creature Of Hobbit: matt donovantellshannon815 on February 13th, 2016 12:46 am (UTC)
I was convinced at one point that Matt was dead because he wasn't in any flash forwards. I'm happy to see that he isn't.
Arabian: Matt03arabian on February 28th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC)
God, me too! Seeing him in the flashforward made me SO happy!!!
Susan Atherton: Life After High Schoolsuzloua on February 16th, 2016 01:09 pm (UTC)
Not relevant, I apologise :)
I have recently been rewatching all the NuWho episodes from the beginning. I'm sure it was you that wrote some amazing and indepth reviews of each one, but it says access denied to the page I'm trying to access (the master link page). How come? :) sorry if it's something you took down or whatnot.
Arabian: Rose_smilearabian on February 16th, 2016 10:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Not relevant, I apologise :)
You must have clicked on the wrong link - it's on my sidebar still. Doctor Who Rewatch-Reviews. Alas, I still have not even remotely finished them. Oops! Someday, I promise!

You SHOULD watch The Vampire Diaries though! I plan on eventually doing write-ups for the first season (which I hadn't done because I binge-watched it), and then you can read my detailed TVD write-ups. :D The first 3 eps are OK-ish, but it gets better and better and quickly becomes awesome-town! :D
Mattghidorah15 on February 16th, 2016 11:58 pm (UTC)
Which just so happen to be the three episodes featuring Mr. Tanner. Coincidence? :P
Arabian: Damon04arabian on February 28th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC)
LOL! Gawd, he was SUCH a dick!
jairem08jairem08 on February 28th, 2016 10:35 am (UTC)
Sorry have been traveling and busy with life.
Still not watching but do follow story line. I think from what I read on this episode everyone freak out except from you so I'm glad I read your posts. Even if with a delay.
Thanks again for the write up
Arabian: Elena09arabian on February 28th, 2016 03:51 pm (UTC)
Sorry have been traveling and busy with life.

It's OK; thanks for letting me know though. :)

Still not watching but do follow story line. I think from what I read on this episode everyone freak out except from you so I'm glad I read your posts. Even if with a delay.

I actually thought of you when I wrote this. I wanted to make it very, very clear how I felt so that you would know.

Thanks again for the write up.

No problem. :)
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2017 11:11 am (UTC)
former LJ user aka F7 ;)
Just wanted to say hi! ;)

And BTW you should DEFINITELY watch S7 & S8! I'm at 8x12 now and I'm beyond happy and amazed. I have no clue how it all will end next Friday, but at this point in time I'm absolutely happy and I think it's all been coming together brilliantly :)
Arabian: Damon & Elena58arabian on July 1st, 2017 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: former LJ user aka F7 ;)
She's going to, she was just waiting to make sure that Damon and Elena had their happy ending.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2017 01:56 pm (UTC)
It's soooooo great to be reading your write-ups again:)
”Let's just deal with the obvious first. Elena is not dead. Obviously.” - Obviously not, and I don't think we as the audience were meant to believe it at all. It was only done for Damon's sake and I was on board with the twist overall, but one thing I had a problem with... shouldn't Damon try a little harder in terms of trying to save Elena once he realized what (he thought) was happening? It just felt a little weird that it looked as if he gave up immediately, like he didn't want to burn his hands or something lol It just felt like a detail the writer/director overlooked just because it wasn't *really* happening. Except that for Damon in that scene it WAS really happening, so it should look like he was really trying to save her at all cost and it just didn't look that way.

”Duh, Stefan, the point behind the Phoenix Stone is clearly to deal with *your* issues, *your* selfishness, the source of what is causing problems now. It has nothing to do with Damon's bad juju, it's on you! But of course, Stefan would redirect it and make it about Damon once back in the real world because, well, that's Stefan.” - That's really too bad. It would've been nice if there was an upside to the Phoenix Stone, as in instead of just making one suffer it was meant to teach a person a lesson with lasting effects regardless of that person's capability to learn. Oh well.

”So where did Stefan go wrong? It's not Stefan's inability to let go of Damon no matter what. It's Stefan's inability to let go of Damon for Damon's sake. He *selfishly* won't let go of Damon.” - Well said. Great point.

”Could I be wrong?” - I'd say you're 1000% right and later episodes proved that further.
Arabian: Damon & Elena04arabian on February 24th, 2017 05:20 pm (UTC)
RE: It's soooooo great to be reading your write-ups again:)
one thing I had a problem with... shouldn't Damon try a little harder in terms of trying to save Elena once he realized what (he thought) was happening? It just felt a little weird that it looked as if he gave up immediately, like he didn't want to burn his hands or something lol It just felt like a detail the writer/director overlooked just because it wasn't *really* happening. Except that for Damon in that scene it WAS really happening, so it should look like he was really trying to save her at all cost and it just didn't look that way.

Well, you have to think of Damon's state of mind. He's still suffering from the LONG exposure after effects of the Hellstone. He just severely injured one of their friends (and knows that will not go down well), he believes he just set the eternal love of his life on fire. Damon was beyond shell-shocked. He was basically in PTSD mode and not acting at all as he normally would. He was swimming through a fog at that point, I think.

It would've been nice if there was an upside to the Phoenix Stone, as in instead of just making one suffer it was meant to teach a person a lesson with lasting effects regardless of that person's capability to learn. Oh well.

Well, it IS a hellstone! ;)
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2017 11:07 am (UTC)
RE: It's soooooo great to be reading your write-ups again:)
"Damon was beyond shell-shocked. He was basically in PTSD mode and not acting at all as he normally would. He was swimming through a fog at that point, I think." - That is a good point. You're right.
Arabian: Damon13arabian on July 1st, 2017 05:14 pm (UTC)
Re: It's soooooo great to be reading your write-ups again:)
When watching the show without delving into it a bit, it's easy to miss stuff like that.