Breaking this down into characters and pairings this time. Ooh! Trying something new!
Bonnie and Jeremy
I really loved what they did with Bonnie in tonight's episode. For the first time in a while, she felt like a real character beyond the witch who comes out for plot points. And, honestly, it wasn't until this episode that I even realized that is what she had sorta become. But talking about her Grams, her dad and her mom leaving, it reminded us of Bonnie, the person, and not just Bonnie, the witch. However, I'm taking that -- as well as the nosebleeds/fainting -- that Bonnie's death is gonna happen. We're getting anvils here, peeps! Of course, this show is master at not doing the obvious, but they've yet to be obvious, have everyone discount the obvious because it's too obvious, and then hit the obvious thus shocking everyone who had discounted it. I'm thinking/wondering if Bonnie going bye-bye will be that first obvious, thus non-obvious, shocker. We'll see.
Of course, the biggest anvil is the fact that Jeremy likes her. And we know that when Jeremy likes a girl, death inevitably follows. Unfortunately, I don't think they're quite working. I thought that they were approaching adorable last week, however, this episode pushed the connection too much. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was heavy-handed, but the music, the silences, the just-this-side-of-about-to-kiss looks was too much, too soon. There was definitely potential last week, and they aren't beyond saving, but this pushed them into the WTF? where is this coming from? territory that I was worried about when I first heard about Bonnie and Jeremy. I think we needed at least one more episode bridging last week's interaction with this one before jumping into this -- what feels almost like -- insta-connection.
Caroline and Tyler
Hah, as if Caroline would be able to keep it from Tyler, Damon. That was just silly on Damon's part, especially knowing what Caroline already told him about the situation. Oh, Damon. Not much Caroline in this episode beyond "bonding" with Tyler. And I'm sorry, but I don't like it. I read many a person swooning, but I'm not seeing it. Prior to that moment of bonding where they both talked about how they're all alone, blah, blah, blah, Tyler was emotionally and physically abusive to her. Had she NOT been a vampire with that super-strength, girl would have bruises up and down her arm, if not worse. Tyler was -- what he always has been -- a bully with some serious anger management issues. I do NOT see this boding well for anyone when the wolf starts popping up. And, oy vey, when he finds out she lied to him and there are other vampires? I expect even worse treatment from him because she "betrayed" him. That would so be Tyler's M.O.
Stefan and Damon | Damon and Elena
I love Stefan, I genuinely do. However, he was such an unknowing selfish asshole in this episode, in my opinion. I say unknowing because I do believe that it was not intentional in the slightest at all. It's just that Stefan is the Golden Boy who everyone always loves and who gets what he wants, and who only doesn't get what he wants when he chooses to deny himself for what he thinks is the better. He is genuinely a good guy. And everything he said to Damon was not intended to poke or hurt at all, I'm sure. However ... (you knew that was coming), he knows that Elena does not love Damon, and he knows how Damon feels about her, and yet, he kept poking and prodding about the fact that Damon's in love with her. Damon wasn't going to pack up his vampire-hunting tools and go, he was there to save Elena and talking about Damon's feelings did nothing but remind Damon that he doesn't have the girl. Again. That he's left out in the cold. Again. That he's alone. Again.
And then in that final scene with Damon, I know that Stefan was not trying to be cruel or selfish. I know that absolutely, and I completely get that, but ... he was selfish and cruel. He didn't apologize to Damon for Damon, to make Damon feel better. Damon made it clear he doesn't want to deal with it, but *Stefan* wanted to deal with it; *Stefan* wanted to go there. It made *Stefan* feel better to apologize, to say the words. It was all about making Stefan feel better about the situation and making it up to Damon because, you know, he got the girl ... again. And so how does he do this? By pushing a sentiment on Damon that he's not in the mood to hear, by reminding Damon that he turned him so that he, Stefan, wouldn't be alone. Which just served to be a painful reminder to Damon that Stefan isn't alone. He could have had Katherine. He had Lexi, likely could have (did have) countless others but was only cut-off because he wanted to punish himself, and now he has Elena. And what/who does Damon have? No one. Just Stefan. The perfect brother. The Golden Boy. The one who everyone loves. The one who damned him to an eternity of being alone because all the girls he loves love his brother. So, yeah, I absolutely think that Stefan was being unthinkingly selfish.
But that was definitely part of why Damon went to see Elena. He knows Stefan, and he probably felt like absolute crap at the reminder (unspoken and unintentional, but there none-the-less) that he's alone, but he knows that Stefan was trying to mend fences and make it right between them. And contrary to his lack of profession or attitude most of the time, it's very clear that Damon loves his brother. So that did mean something to him, as did Elena completely ignoring the fact that Stefan pretty much did diddly-squat at the rescue party and that if it hadn't been for Damon, they'd all have been toast. Yet it was Stefan's arms that she joyfully ran into, while Damon was just an afterthought of gratitude. (Though to be fair, I adored that mouthed "thank you" and his "welcome back." Such an awesome little moment between them. LOVED. IT.) He realized that he wasn't ever going to get her, and that she would always choose Stefan, the good one, the golden boy and because that's who Stefan is, he deserves someone like Elena.
And so we got that final scene between Damon and Elena that was just so beautiful. Damon saying what was in his heart without a joke or a jibe, without anything hidden, showing the good man that does reside within but has been so eroded by years of his vampiric ways. And Elena listened. That was what was so wonderful from her end, beyond her initial protest, she stood there and she listened to his every word, without compulsion, without fighting, she took in everything he said. Would it have changed things between them had Damon not compelled her to forget his words? I don't know. I think it might have, not that she would end things with Stefan and go running to Damon, but a new awareness that would have brought them to a better place with one another, one with potential. Of course, that won't happen. He made her forget, and he's likely to try and move on since he's let her go, even if she doesn't realize it.
What will come of that? Well, Rose did mention she liked bad boys. That's foreshadowing if I've ever heard it. Will Elena notice or react that Damon's no longer playing the pining for Elena game and opening the door to new possibilities? I think she would. Because despite her words in the premiere, there IS most definitely something between her and Damon. And I'm not just telling deeper feelings of affection. Her gaze pre-and post-forehead kiss proved that attraction's at play here too. She absolutely thought that Damon was going to kiss her lips when he leaned in to kiss her forehead ... and she did not pull away or protest. She also, at the very least, wanted that kiss. Her eyes were locked on *his* lips before and after he kissed her forehead. That's not the first time this has happened, but this is the most charged moment it's happened in. So, what will happen if/when Damon backs off and tries to move on? I don't know, but I think perhaps something. Not right away, but there will be something, I'm almost positive.
- No Alaric! Wah!! Show, you're killin' me here!
- Fantastic casting with Elijah. That actor absolutely nailed everything that one would expect from an Original.
- Speaking of, I cant believe they introduced the first vampires early on in the second season! Damn, this show!
- You know, it's funny because this episode seemed a tad "slow" after last week, but when you think about it, A LOT happened. We found out a lot more about the doppelganger thing, the reason of the moonstone, who Katherine was afraid of/why she faked her death. That's a lot of information. And there was all that plus the awesome vampires against vampires scene in the empty mansion, the ripping heads off (come on, Trent Ford may be pretty, but that was ooky-cool!). Plus, of course, that killer final scene with Damon and Elena, and Elijah coming back to life. (Insert evil laugh.)
- You know, I've read a lot of complaints about how Damon/Stefan didn't properly kill of Elijah, and I'm scratching my head at the complaint. We knew he was an Original; we knew his power, we knew how old and powerful he was, etc. The boys didn't. In their mind, Katherine is the worst thing there is, so obviously they can't (or haven't) conceived really of anything worse than her, so why would they think, oh, we should take extra care and precaution with this particular vampire. On the other hand, Rose is a bit of an idiot for not doing more because she DID know.
- I did like Rose, but her bad-ass, bitch-vampire-on-wheels, nasty nastiness from the original casting sides was much more interesting, in my opinion. Ah well. Nice accent. And I did like, okay, well "like" isn't the word, rather appreciated that Rose backhanded Elena. Not because I wanted to see Elena hurt, but because we so rarely see Elena get brought to heel for frankly being so idiotically brave and in-your-face to super-strong baddies who could kill her in the space of a finger snap.
- Nice Lexi mention; I love stuff like that. Hmm, just thinking now. That's two episodes in a row, I wonder if we'll be seeing her in flashback soon?
- Man! Elena never hears Damon's awesome, epic, selfless speeches, LOL! We got Katherine pretending to be Elena, and now Damon compelling the memory away. :Sniffsniff:
- Okay, I'm back to firmly and 100% believing that Damon and Elena are endgame, as much, if not more, than I was after "The Return." We continue to see the build, the selflessness, the time and care taken crafting this exquisite love story between them and ... erm, are Stefan and Elena just back together now? Is that what's going to happen next episode, or we'll we see Elena re-iterate her break-up speech from the end of "Masquerade?" If it's the former, then, yeah, Stefan and Elena are *not* the love story they are selling as THE one. If we do get them still broken up -- although, I fully expect Stefan to not realize that -- then they are still keeping enough of an equal footing of star-crossed loveness to the story to both sides of the triangle.
I just still believe that Damon and Elena's is much stronger. We had in last night's episode, a selfless Damon who is backing off to do what he feels is best for Elena. On the other side, we have a Stefan, at 162 years old!, who won't take that step (as he told Caroline). Instead, it's the 17-year old human girl who has the cojones to say, 'dude, to do what's best for everyone, we need to chill.' The former reads a lot more real and epic to me personally over the latter which plays like a teenage boy who always gets what he wants. Sorry, Stefan, I swear to God, I do love you soooo much, but I do see your flaws (yes, same with Damon too, dude's so far from perfect). :)
- One final thought: Normally, I'm cool with the episode titles, but Rose the character was so very much not strong enough to warrant an episode title (Elijah would have worked much better actually). I really wish they'd gone with some variation of alone because every single character felt and/or referenced that. Would have been cool. Ah well. Small, silly little thing, I know, LOL! Still love my show so!