I actually have a few quibbles (not so much with this episode specifically, but in general) and I figured I'd get those out of the way before getting into the usual awesome of OHMYGOD!THEVAMPIREDIARIES!! There was quibblage about these things in the second episode, but because it was only the second episode and was more set-up than anything else, I had no problem letting it slide. One of those issues can still be dealt with, but the other, nope, no can do.
- The biggie is that I'm still finding the werewolf story not very interesting. It's not Taylor Kinney as Mason, the little bit we've seen of him, I do like him, but I'm finding through the course of this story that as likable as he comes across in real life, Michael Trevino (in my eyes) is just not terribly charismatic, and this story seriously needs some major charisma. It ain't happening yet. I do have hope that it will build and improve because, honestly, the vampire aspect took a bit of time to really grow into its own brand of awesome mythology.
- The other thing, sadly, has to do with Damon and Elena. I justified Elena's nicer than I expected behavior towards Damon last week with the possibility that Elena was reining in all of her anger and trying to project a frosty, 'I just don't care' exterior to Damon that would eventually explode in a cathartic release. Instead we got Elena acting all nasty and downright cruel at times, deliberately trying to hurt Damon's feelings. Not that I blame her; he absolutely deserves it. However, it was behavior I expected last week and to see her so much more openly antagonistic this time around just didn't gel. Yes, they barely interacted last week, but still, there was enough where I personally thought there should have been more, well, of what we got this week.
- The whole Jenna thing. She saw Damon and "Elena" kiss on the porch. We've seen her look his way in the few related scenes that seemed to be leading to something, but nothing has come up yet. And Alaric or not, Elena was still going away with Damon as well. There was not one look, one word of warning, anything? Now, this could still be addressed, but having the road trip happen before that is just off.
- Speaking of Jenna, yeah, Jenna and Alaric? They just don't work. It's like Stefan and Elena are mostly boring (for me), but they are still sweet, and have some definite moments of adorableness. Matt and Caroline, also mostly boring (for me), but still sweet with awww! moments. Jenna and Alaric? Pretty much just boring. Sorry, show, but they just do not work for this viewer. And I say this loving Alaric, even outside of the Damon/Alaric bromance, and Ernesto's 'please, lord, get a haircut!' hair.
- Speaking of the Damon/Alaric bromance ... I admit it; I was disappointed. We got no one-on-one interaction between the two and that just sucked. I need more awesome moments of Team Badass being Team Badass, and on each other's side. They'd clearly reached a new level in their relationship in episode 20 of last season, this played like they were practically strangers. That made me sad. :(
- I totally get why Matt walked away from Caroline. Totally. With all of the drama from his mother, his sister, and then drama-filled ending of his relationship with Elena, I totally get it. It still doesn't take away from the fact that I thought Matt was a bit of a dick to Caroline. She almost died, dude. (Well, taking into account simply what he believes happened.) SHE. ALMOST. DIED! Near-death can definitely cause changes in a person and that Matt is not being understanding of that so soon after the incident is pretty darn crappy, if ya ask me. However ... (and, yays! we're getting to the good stuff now) that means I feel less guilty for being happy as a clam that they broke up because, OHMYGOD! how frickin' adorable are Caroline and Stefan??! I mean ... FOR REALS?!
Last week, there was that uber-intense scene in the bathroom that was AWESOME-SAUCE extraordinaire and launched a new ship spectactularly (check out stefan_caroline -- at 200 members and counting!), but I was not expecting the uber-cuteness of this week. From the sing-songy "Caroline" in the scene with Bonnie to just about every moment of their interaction in the episode, I was tickled pink at how utterly awesome they were. And frankly they're getting no competition in the Stefan/Elena department, if you ask me. I mean, the most passionate kiss that Elena and Stefan have shared in like, oh, since he was hopped up on the human blood, was courtesy of one person and one alone and it wasn't Stefan. It was Damon. The kiss that Elena pulled Stefan into outside the car had absolutely nothing to do with Stefan at all ... it was all about Damon. Sure, it was done to piss him off, but it was still all about Damon. She wanted to hurt him, get under his skin.
And, of course, the way she treated him the whole episode was clearly designed to hurt him ... over and over again. And it makes sense, of course. He "killed" her brother. Of course she wants to hurt him; she wants to upset him very much. Which brings us to an interesting reflection. Elena clearly does not realize that his breaking point wasn't because of Katherine; it was because of her, her words to him. That is what sent him over the edge. She doesn't get that she already hurt him to a devastating degree and his attack on Jeremy was his way of lashing out at her. Of course, why would she even remotely not think that's the case when Damon himself blamed his actions on Katherine. It's interesting, the only reason that I even entertained the idea that Damon had indeed seen the ring is because Damon told Elena that he had, and one of the keys of their relationship is that he does not lie to her. He never has. And yet, he lied to her in the car, and then he lied to her again, by nature of likely lying to himself, on the porch, by placing the blame solely on Katherine.
A few other thoughts about their scenes. Is this the first time that we've ever heard Damon truly apologize? I think so, if true that's pretty awesome. Also, I get why Damon lied to her this time, for the first time. When she hated him before, he wasn't in love with her, her being a significant part of his life was not important so doing anything to get her to like him, including lying, didn't matter. Now, however, he's floundering. He messed up. Big-time. And even 'big-time' is a major understatement. He simply doesn't know what to do to fix this and he desperately wants to fix it.
As for Elena, I think there are two interesting points at play -- the first is that (as my bud, sarcasticcheese said) Elena is practically the walking definition of 'the lady doth protest too much.' Damon gets to her; there IS something between them and she's oh so desperately denying it in her strong show of hatred. She wants to hate him, she knows that she absolutely should, and yet you know that she doesn't. The other factor is that she's also being mean to him. Yeah, she's been snarky in the past, and vented, shown her anger, etc., but we've never seen an Elena deliberately choose to be cruel, wound someone. She did that a few times tonight; she also held back on showing pretty much any kind of sympathy, empathy, compassion, concern, etc. Even when the guy took an arrow in the back to save her life, she didn't soften her regard for him. Although that still doesn't take away from how unbelievably cool it was when Damon zoomed in front of her to take that arrow. It was simultaneously awww! and ohmygod! and hot!
What's to come? Who knows, but as a Damon/Elena fan -- even as we're getting all of this angst and not so happy-happy, fun time! -- I am heartened by the fact that this season it clearly is *their* story they are telling. Stefan and Elena are just kind of there, you know, that couple. Meanwhile, we're getting all of these great moments, and this bonding between Damon and Elena, and Stefan and Caroline. To which I say: AWESOME!
Quick randoms ...
- Damn, I wish that Katerina Graham was more likable because Bonnie had some ace moments, but the actress is unlikable and so when Bonnie should be coming across as wicked cool, she just comes across as a bitca and that is sad.
- Ian Somerhalder is hot.
- Again, in that final scene where Nina Dobrev was playing Katherine, it totally played like it was a different actress. She truly is doing a sensational job.
- No Jeremy. I miss Jeremy. Wah!
- Courtney Ford as Vanessa was okay, but I wasn't horribly overwhelmed.
- Cool that Katherine's actual name is Katerina Petrova. I will laugh so hard if they make her of Bulgarian descent.
- Speaking of that ... did anyone else find it cool (and kinda hot) when Damon said "Petrova," and then "Katarina Petrova" he used a bit of an accent? Ooh, baby.
- Also, his delivery on "That bitch is dead" was hilarious. Ian just rocks it with the one-liners. His delivery and comic timing has this delicious zing.
- Anyone else amused by the fact now that Caroline is a vampire, she's breaking out the heavy eye-makeup all the time? Speaking of Caroline, I know I didn't mention her much above (outside of her relationship statuses), but it must be said that she continues to be utterly awesome and I adore her so much. And Candice Accola is kicking major bootay.
I've probably forgotten stuff, but I'm tired, it's late and I wanted to get this out there. Boy, oh boy was my Thursday Vampire Diaries viewing ritual thrown off with this weekend treat, but it shouldn't happen too often, thank goodness! About the show itself, it was pretty dang awesome (and better than last week), and, once more CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT THURSDAY.