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29 December 2016 @ 11:24 pm
1.10 - 'The Turning Point' (The Vampire Diaries)  
I apologize to my readers in advance. Since I am doing this from the point of view of a first-time watch with no knowledge of what's to come, this episode is going to be fairly-heavy on a specific couple. Yeah, that one.

Yup, 'sweet' is the key word when it comes to Stefan and Elena. Yeah, OK, let's talk about those two crazy kids, shall we? But before I get to the actual couple, I want to focus on my favorite of the duo... Miss Elena Gilbert. She continues to be pretty awesome. She pushes for the forward momentum in the relationship. She stands her ground; she fights for what she wants and basically refuses to let Stefan take the easy way out. So even though I don't care at all about Stefan and Elena (their back and forth merry-go-round has gotten on my last nerve), I have to say 'Go, Elena!'

She pushed him all the way and got them off the damn merry-go-round. Those two would still be going back and forth were it not for her just going for it. Stefan was ready to walk away outside the boarding house, but Elena wouldn't let him. He was ready to walk away after the vampire face made its appearance, but Elena didn't shy away in fear. No, she was the one who led him upstairs (in his own dang house!).

Elena was the aggressor. Although, I suppose "aggressor" is too generous a term, because, boy, was that about as tame as a love scene could get. Wow. And by, wow, I mean, uhm, not. These two so do not have any kinda burning hot chemistry, do they? The answer to that question is no. Yes, they do have sweet chemistry, but there is no heat, no fire. They are completely PG. Outside of the love scene, think of the moment after Elena told him she loved him. Stefan zoomed to her and kissed her. That was it; there was no "furiously" kissed her, or "passionately" kissed her, or "feverishly" kissed her or any other like-minded adjective in play there. He just… kissed her. And the love scene itself? So very tame. So mundane, so... PG.

Also, remember when I said in "Family Ties" that:

I don't know, I suggested it in the last write-up that maybe, just maybe it's not supposed to be Stefan and Elena who are *the* couple. I'm going back there again, but, yeah, they shared their first kiss in only the second episode, yo! I'm just thinking here... if any couple is getting the slow burn, it is most definitely Damon and Elena. They certainly got a lot of lovely close-ups in that first scene, with all these melt-y eyes and just the barest hint of smiles.
Well, I'm wondering even more now if maybe, just maybe, I'm right because it is episode 10. EPISODE 10! And Elena told him that she loved him! And Stefan was all "I love her!" (OK, technically someone else—Lexi—said it and he agreed) in episode 08 (!) and now they're doing the ugly (boring) bumpies in episode 10. Talk about a complete and utter lack of build-up here for this couple. I mean, we are talking ten freaking episodes, people! That's like, nothing in terms of OTP couple build-up.

Then let's talk about what happened before and after their big love scene. Before, we heard the words "I love you" from at least one of them (Elena, natch!) for the first time. But this was not a joyful moment. Nope, instead it was angst-ridden, and Stefan wasn't even looking at her. He was turning away from her, so she was telling his back. Oh, and need I mention that the both of them were upset and miserable? Yeah, they were.

And *then* right after the (non)sexytiems, (a) they didn't even triumphantly end the show on this incredibly tame love scene, but (b) had Elena discover the photograph of Katherine in THIS episode so that the big take-away was the Katherine reveal, rather than the sex! And... and... and that wasn't even THE cliffhanger! In other words, The Powers That Be don't consider the Stefan and Elena angst a big enough draw for the upcoming (awful, way-too-long) hiatus. Nope! Instead, we got a crash-bang car wreck and a mysterious, new vampire showing up who's about to come after our heroine!

So really are Stefan and Elena *the* couple? Or just the *set-up* couple? Hmm... one wonders. Well, this one viewer certainly does. I just don't think that they have the chemistry or, on a less-subjective note, the storyline at this point it appears to be *the* couple. However, Damon and Elena could potentially, actually be *the* couple. Yes, it's subjective, but I do not appear to be alone in seeing that Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev definitely have more chemistry. And then there is the narrative: That push/pull, the slow burn, plus the hate-to-love storyline is a classic trope. There is just a much stronger possibility with those two over anything we've seen with Stefan and Elena in my opinion. Could be, could be....

Anyhoo, back to this episode and its specifics… I mentioned Elena finding the photograph of Katherine above and I want to talk about why I liked that and why I didn't. I'm happy about Elena seeing that she looks just like Katherine for two reasons. Firstly, it continues the lack of dragging out the plot that this show has excelled in thus far. We can see things really begin to heat up now that Elena knows Stefan's biggest secret. Secondly, I appreciate that Elena knows period because I love her and it's not right that Stefan has been playing the tortured, perfect lover all the while keeping such a thing from her.

Alas, that is what brings us to my frustration with her finding the photograph. *sigh* I talked about this in the last episode, and I mentioned it above with joy that it was finally over thanks to Elena's awesome. When they made sweet, sweet, human/vampire love, I thought 'Oh, thank God, they're finally on the same page and the Stefan-and-Elena merry-go-round of teenage romance can be done.' As boring sweet as they are, this is a reason to celebrate. It had to mean that the two would just stay together for a while and not continue with the tedious 'we can't be together/yes, we can/no, we can't/yes, we can' nonsense of the last batch of episodes.

It has been going on since "Lost Girls"—episode 06 and we're on episode 10 now!—and gosh, it has been annoying! Alas, no, Elena found the photograph of Katherine and took off. *sigh* I'm guessing that we're going to have to sit through another bunch of episodes where Elena says they can't be together, Stefan says they can, then Elena decides, wait, they can, Stefan then decides they can, but she has decided they can't. He says tomato, she says tamato, tomato, tamato, let's call the whole thing off... or on! *double sigh*

Also, a tad frustrating aspect was Matt and his treatment of Caroline. Look, I like Matt a lot. He's sweet and such a good guy. Genuinely a good guy, not a "good guy," but the real deal... however, with Caroline, he's kinda heading into that territory. Grr… This doesn't make me happy not only because I don't want Matt to be that guy, but also because I ♥ Caroline and I want better for her. He is not better or even good for her.

Nope, I don't like Matt with Caroline, and I'm thinking the main reason this isn't working for me (and why Matt is edging into the not-so-likable zone) is because he's so not over Elena. He is using my precious Caroline. It doesn't matter that Matt knows he's not over Elena, and Caroline knows that he's not over Elena and Elena and Stefan also know he's not over Elena. It doesn't matter that Matt isn't promising Caroline anything more than just what they are... he is still, kinda, sorta with her, and being all moony-eyed over Elena is just not cool. The bottom-line is that Matt is simply not ready to move on and by kinda, sorta moving on with Elena's secondary best friend he's not being fair to said secondary best friend. And Matt, yeah, I like him, but this is not cool and it's putting him in the "nice guy" territory. Don't be *that* guy, Matt!

With that said, this got me thinking about my sextet theory from the first few episodes again. We had the reminder of Matt's feelings for Elena highlighted with him staring all puppy-eyed and forlorn at Elena at the Career Fair, watching her with Stefan. On top of that we had Stefan rescuing Caroline, carrying her all damsel-in-distress like (aww). So yeah, by pulling Matt and Caroline into the mix once more, well, it keeps them in the whole mix. Yes, yes, yes… things that make you (me) go hmm....

Speaking of the other members of that potential sextet, let's start with my favorite (!), Mr. Damon Salvatore. My favorite that I am not very pleased with. Harumph! He needs to stop compelling my Caroline. Treated so obviously as second-best by Matt, and still being used as a puppet by Damon?. Ugh! *sigh* I know, I know, baby steps. After all, it was just a few episodes ago ("Haunted") that we saw him actually do something decent, for another person (and that person was not Caroline Forbes!) Also, he is technically helping out by tracking down the other vampire in town, but does he have to be a jerk about it? As Caroline told him after she organized that party for him, "I'm so good to you and I'd do anything." And, no, I don't think it's just because Damon compelled her to be cool with his vampirism. That's fairly clear what with how she is with Matt.

Now, this all could be avoided if Elena or Bonnie were helping him since the both of them know about vampires therefore no compulsion would be necessary. But, good reason or not, Damon's attack on Bonnie so fresh in their minds means that neither is willing to help. Of course, Damon may not have even bothered to ask. Hey, why bother? He's got Caroline-on-a-string to manipulate. Ugh! Bad, Damon, bad!

I just love Caroline so much. I know that she isn't all that much liked by most fans (why, I don't even know!), but to me… she is awesome. Even though, yes, she can be so selfish and self-absorbed and as shallow as a kiddie pool, I still love her. Those things are just a part of what makes her character so very real to me. I just feel for her. Candice Accola does *such* a great job making her so real. Like when Caroline was so excited to show her mom the broadcast journalism booth at the Career Fair, I was smiling for her. Alas, that didn't end too well. Sheriff Forbes' first reaction was to essentially tear her daughter down instead of encouraging her. "You don't even read the paper." Really? Oh, Sheriff Forbes! And this is coming from someone who likes the Sheriff as a recurring minor character. No wonder Caroline has a not-so-great relationship with her.

Speaking of not-so-great relationships… yes, I'm going in on Stefan and Elena again, because of Stefan and his caginess! He tells Elena that he just loved everything he did in his different jobs, really? What a swell guy! :roll my eyes: Look, I like Stefan, I do, but it's as if he tries so hard to present this image of himself as this perfect, noble, just all-around, golly-gee, great guy and I don't know, but I just don't see *that* guy.

For instance, he lies to Elena. Like a lot. See, I'm not just talking about the vampire stuff. I'm talking about saying that he'll tell her everything, but he doesn't tell her that she looks like Katherine. That is a pretty huge detail to omit. And so when she finds out about this bit of information, it's after she has told him that she loves him. It's after she has slept with him. Even worse, she found this picture of Katherine—who looks just like her!—in the place where he'd told her earlier that it was where he kept the memories and mementos of his long, long life that mattered most to him. What a major gut-punch to Elena that must have been to find that picture.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the writing of the character, nor does it make me not like Stefan. It's actually the opposite—these less than perfect attributes make Stefan more interesting; it makes him feel more like a real boy. He's not some perfect, white knight. He's… yeah, real.

Another character that I like a lot is not a member of the sextet, potential or otherwise (at least I certainly hope not!). I am speaking of our new history teacher, Alaric Saltzman. Yes, I'm probably going to use his full name quite frequently, why do you ask? Like with Caroline in the Pilot when she told Bonnie that she tried so hard, but everyone picks Elena (Matt!) and she won me over like that, something similar happened with Alaric (Saltzman). His confrontation with Mayor Lockwood (dude, what a douche! Tyler, I understand you so much better now) made me a fan. Boom! Right then and there.

When he walked out on the Mayor trying to force Jeremy and Tyler to fight (ugh), it was so freaking A-W-E-S-O-M-E how he pretty much put Lockwood in his place. Alaric (Saltzman) was as cool as a cucumber, a tad snarky, offered up a great smile or two, and was just generally all-around confidently a bad-ass. It took two episodes (but really this scene) and I officially already love this character. (That is a level of affection that only Damon, Elena and Caroline have garnered from me so far.)

OK, then, let's hit some randoms—

- Thank God Jenna didn't invite Logan into the house!! If Jenna had become another vampire or (even worse) another victim, I would not have been a happy camper. I like Jenna. Poor, clueless Jenna. You know, it might be a good idea for Elena, or the council maybe, to let her in on what is going on with vampires in Mystic Falls. Geez!

- Speaking of the council… hah! Damon and the Sheriff talking council business cracked me up. Talk about clueless, oh Sheriff Forbes, you're being all chummy and conspiratorial with a vampire about stopping vampires. I mean, no, I don't blame her after what Damon has said and done since he found out about it, but still, it's hilarious.

- Also hilarious? Her line that "[…] kids are too young to be brought into this." Oh, Sheriff Forbes… like Jenna, so without a clue. But I like her.

- OK, so Damon was going to leave town (as was Stefan—I am still clueless on the why), but vampires abounding has changed that. You've got Logan, our newbie vampire, as well as the mystery of who made him. In other words, *another* vampire is in town. Damon doesn't want his (or Stefan's) status as a vampire to be outed. It makes sense that he would stick around to figure what is going on to protect their supernatural secret.

- Bonnie was not in this episode much. Really, she was just there as a sounding board for Elena's woes about Stefan (yawn) and to discuss the EVUL that is Damon. Oh! She also found out about Caroline and Matt.

- Ewww, piling up dead bodies! Gross, Logan!

- Hmm, so Logan did love Jenna. Well, there's that. So, he wasn't Logan "Scum"fell after all. Again, poor Jenna.

- Oh, and Logan? STOP shooting my Damon!

- I talked about how much I love Caroline and Candice Accola's portrayal of her above. Well, there was another little bit in this episode that I loved with her. When Logan offered Caroline a ride (bad, Logan, bad!), her "OMG! Logan Fell, Chanel 5 News! Is that you?!" mock excitement was hilarious. There are two sides of Caroline, the vulnerable, low-self-esteem one and the confident, snarky side and Accola captures both so perfectly and makes them seamlessly believable in this character.

- Aww, Jeremy is trying to bond with the guy that the girl he was hung up on was so hung up on for the longest time because that girl is now gone. Poor Jeremy, that boy just wants some love! (And not from his family... which makes perfect sense, you know, teenage boy.)

- Hmm, that shot of the full moon right after Tyler was trying to understand why he was such a dick to Jeremy after they SHOULD have bonded was... interesting. Dare I suspect? Of course I dare. Werewolf? Why not? They've got vampires and witches. If he is a werewolf, does that mean that zombies are next?

- Aww, Elena wanted to be a writer… and it's tied to her mother. I continue to love so much how the loss of Elena and Jeremy's parents is still mentioned even ten episodes in. It shouldn't be forgotten or glossed over so soon after it happened, and it is not.

- So what is with that ring that Alaric Saltzman is wearing if it's *not* a vampire daylight ring? Hmmm.

- OK, back to the mystery mentioned above: Who freaking turned Logan? I would have thought it was Alaric (Saltzman), but clearly, nope. He's not a vampire, but rather, a vampire-hunter. At least I think so what with the whole killing of Logan, a vampire! And without even a hint of surprise at Logan's vampirism. Uh huh.

- And here's our cliffhanger (again, not the first sexytiems of Stefan and Elena, or even her finding Katherine's picture). That mysterious other vampire is on our screens (if in the dark of night, shadowed), and he's going after Elena. Nooooooooooooo!

So this was a good episode, but the Stefan and Elena couple stuff pushed it a few notches down. I just find that as more episodes pass, I care less and less about them. Everything else was really, really good though. This show continues rocking on swimmingly. Yay!
 
 
 
Bogwitch: Scattypawsbogwitch on February 26th, 2017 11:13 pm (UTC)
This episode feels to me like the last of the slightly less good early episodes. I'm not saying any of the episode that went before were bad, they are all pretty good, it's just this really is a turning point. The episodes after this really start being excellent.

>> These two so do not have any kinda burning hot chemistry, do they?

They so don't. Zzzzz.

>>Alas, that didn't end too well. Sheriff Forbes' first reaction was to essentially tear her daughter down instead of encouraging her.

I know that feeling.
Arabian: Damon07arabian on March 1st, 2017 08:37 pm (UTC)
This episode feels to me like the last of the slightly less good early episodes. I'm not saying any of the episode that went before were bad, they are all pretty good, it's just this really is a turning point. The episodes after this really start being excellent.

Ah, see, for me episode 7 was excellent, and it was from that point on that we got excellent eps and then from ep 13, we turned the corner to just flat-out awesome episodes.

>> These two so do not have any kinda burning hot chemistry, do they?

They so don't. Zzzzz.


So true.
Florencia: DE (The Wreck of Our Hearts)florencia7 on May 3rd, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
RE: 1.10
"She pushed him all the way and got them off the damn merry-go-round." - That's a good point that Elena was the one driving the action here.

"He just… kissed her. And the love scene itself? So very tame. So mundane, so... PG." - Yep. And the less said about it all, the better lol

"He was turning away from her, so she was telling his back." - I think this is probably one of the key elements that made this scene more symbolic than romantic, more about acceptance, support, not being alone (as per the song used), than about love.

"so that the big take-away was the Katherine reveal, rather than the sex" - Ha, yes, that was quite significant.

"And... and... and that wasn't even THE cliffhanger!" - And that was even more significant, because the cliffhanger was in fact (although we didn't know that until the next episode) about Damon & Elena.

"Also, a tad frustrating aspect was Matt and his treatment of Caroline." - You know, for the longest time I was very skeptical about Matt (to be honest, if it wasn't for your write-ups I don't think I'd ever start liking him that much lol), and only now I'm beginning to realize (also thanks to your write-ups) that the reason for this were probably my S1 first impressions of him. Namely, his treatment of Caroline, whom I loved from the start (and back then she wasn't getting on my nerves with her pro-SE attitude yet). So yeah, first impressions definitely apply and that's a great point that you made in one of your S8 posts that I read recently.

"I know that she isn't all that much liked by most fans" - Really?! I didn't know that it was like that in early fandom days.

"It took two episodes (but really this scene) and I officially already love this character." - *sigh* It's really sad that with most characters I feel that upon re-watching I'm going to enjoy them even more. But with Alaric... I'm afraid his scenes I may be actually enjoying less due to knowing how things will go with his character, his friendships.

"When Logan offered Caroline a ride (bad, Logan, bad!), her "OMG! Logan Fell, Chanel 5 News! Is that you?!" mock excitement was hilarious." - lol Yes, that was great. I loved that line too. Candice's comedic streak is so wonderfully effortless.

"So what is with that ring that Alaric Saltzman is wearing if it's *not* a vampire daylight ring?" - OK, so I'm going to go right ahead and shamefully confess that I lost track of what happened with that ring lol Although knowing how it turned out that wearing it could be more dangerous than not, I guess there's no chance for it to go to the new generation of relentless baby Gilberts anyway. Well, Gilbert-Salvatores ;)
Arabian: Damon&Liz01arabian on May 4th, 2017 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: 1.10
"She pushed him all the way and got them off the damn merry-go-round." - That's a good point that Elena was the one driving the action here.

Yup, Elena was the only reason honestly that Stefan and Elena lasted as long as they did. She's a fighter.

"Also, a tad frustrating aspect was Matt and his treatment of Caroline." - You know, for the longest time I was very skeptical about Matt (to be honest, if it wasn't for your write-ups I don't think I'd ever start liking him that much lol), and only now I'm beginning to realize (also thanks to your write-ups) that the reason for this were probably my S1 first impressions of him. Namely, his treatment of Caroline, whom I loved from the start (and back then she wasn't getting on my nerves with her pro-SE attitude yet). So yeah, first impressions definitely apply and that's a great point that you made in one of your S8 posts that I read recently.

Yup, yup, yup. For me, it was the half-way point of s3 (literally s3e11 - "Our Town") that made me like Matt, but doing the s1 write-ups really helped me realize why it took me so long and it was because of how he was with Caroline, and I think the reason I was able to deal with it was because by doing the write-ups, analyzing as I do, I was able to understand--if still not like--where it was coming from. (It also helped that he got better, LOL!)

"I know that she isn't all that much liked by most fans" - Really?! I didn't know that it was like that in early fandom days.

Yup, until she became a vampire, Caroline was NOT very liked by fandom.

"It took two episodes (but really this scene) and I officially already love this character." - *sigh* It's really sad that with most characters I feel that upon re-watching I'm going to enjoy them even more. But with Alaric... I'm afraid his scenes I may be actually enjoying less due to knowing how things will go with his character, his friendships.

For me, I won't ever stop loving who Alaric was, and I'm hoping that due to what happened in the finale, I'll be able to appreciate Ric/Jo and even Ric more in season 06 and 07-08. We'll see.
Florencia: DE (The Wreck of Our Hearts)florencia7 on May 12th, 2017 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: 1.10
"Yup, until she became a vampire, Caroline was NOT very liked by fandom." - I'm honestly surprised by that. She was such a *real* person from the start.

"I'm hoping that due to what happened in the finale, I'll be able to appreciate Ric/Jo and even Ric more in season 06 and 07-08." - I hope so too.
Arabian: Caroline10arabian on May 14th, 2017 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: 1.10
Oh, I so agree about Caroline, but yeah, people complained about her all the time.