- I am sad to say that the flashbacks were kinda lame. *We really learned nothing about Stefan that we didn't already figure out. I just wasn't surprised or entertained by anything that happened in them. I dunno, maybe the Damon-fan in me is just anxious for some Damon-centric flashbacks, instead of Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. Whereas Stefan's "transformation" wasn't very surprising, I'm curious to see how Damon went from that guy to who we saw in the Pilot. That sounds like it would be something interesting and worth going through the effort for flashbacks. All of those scenes (except for the final one between Damon and Lexi) could have been shared in one scene from Stefan to Elena in a discussion without coming off as too expository.
* Reading my flist, I'm clearly in the minority here, LOL! I mean, yeah, the parallels of this is what Damon is going through now were clear, but they were already clear. We knew that we were seeing Damon go through what Stefan obviously had to have gone through at some point, but it's just gonna take longer and with more setbacks because Damon's been the big bad longer than Stefan was. So yeah, I still think the flashbacks were disappoint and a waste of perfectly good flashback-filming stuffs. :(
That Stefan was going after the founding families, especially the Gilberts, had promise, but other than that first scene, the execution was lacking. I don't know, maybe it's because of the fact that I'm possibly the only Vampire Diaries fan who was NOT in love with Lexi that I was kinda disappointed? And every time the reminder came up that Damon killed Lexi, I couldn't help but think, and saved Sheriff Forbes' life? Because I still wonder if that was part of Damon's plan, to blame it on Lexi, figuring she'd get away being a super-fast vampire and all that, but instead of escaping into the night, Lexi was about to rip Liz to shreds. It was Damon staking Lexi that saved her life. Funny how Stefan and *Elena* forget that part of the scene that played out. I'm not saying that Damon didn't expect the possibility (he had the stake handy), but the fact of the matter is that if that was the case, Lexi played right into his hands. Had she not turned to attack Liz, but instead tried to get the hell outta dodge once she got away from the deputies, Damon wouldn't have had to stake her. But, eh, what's Liz's life to Lexi's, right?
Yeah, yeah, I know, unapologetic Damon-stan here. *Sigh*
Anyhoo, back to current (erm, flashbacky?) events. When Elena said that that Stefan sounded like Damon, and Stefan said he was worse, I couldn't agree based on what we were seeing. He just seemed like a run-of-the-mill not-so-great vampire. And once again, the description of the "ripper" in vampire-world comes across as much less horrific as it did in the original sides describing it (Rose telling Elena in "Rose"). Oh, and once again, Elena barely bats an eye. And we even had dialogue that inferenced the fact that Stefan continues to tell Elena only bits and pieces despite promising to tell her everything. And it's completely glossed over as if it's not REALLY bad boyfriend behavior. Again.
This is why I didn't get my hopes up last week that we were beginning to see chinks in the armor with Stefan and Elena, something to show that the triangle is actually heading into that legitimate direction. Because we're just not seeing it. Sure, we see undercurrents and moments (that Elena has totally submerged) in scenes between Damon and Elena, but there is absolutely nothing there in the Elena/anyone else scenes, and this episode actually provided the perfect opportunity for one such moment. There was the very real possibility that Damon was dead or would be killed from Stefan and Elena's point of view twice, and Elena barely reacted at all. The worry, fear, deeper feeling was *all* on Stefan's part, which is fine if Elena isn't supposed to care about Damon, or have any under-the-surface feelings that she's denying, but I'm pretty sure she *is* supposed to care, and is supposed to have those feelings.
Or maybe she's not. Hmm, that brings me to a niggling pondering. I'm 90% sure that Damon is on the list of people that Elena has under her protection, but I'm not totally sure for two reasons. 1) We had Elijah very specifically mention that Alaric was on that list, and then 2) we had Elijah very specifically mention that the ONLY reason he was keeping Damon alive was because he believes that he'll do all he can to protect Elena, ie., no mention of him being on Elena's list. That possibility, coupled with her less than a passing interest in Damon's possible death, plus the fact that Damon called her on her similarity to Katherine way back in "Bad Moon Rising," paired with the (I'm wondering now) perhaps intentional manipulation in "Daddy Issues," makes me wonder if we'll find out that Elena hasn't forgiven him for what he did to Jeremy after all, but is instead using his feelings for her to help keep everyone she does love alive.
It wouldn't be out of character for Elena -- she did easily lie and betray him last season circa "Children of the Damned" and she has more reason now -- and it would certainly throw us all for a loop. I'm not saying I'd like it, but it'd be in character, make sense, and explain why we're seeing so little breakdown in Stefan/Elena, which needs to happen before anything with Damon and Elena can happen. And also, so little reaction from Elena about Damon in any way in scenes *other* than with Damon alone. So, in fact, we may be no where near Damon/Elena happening this season. However, if this *is* happening, I am okay with it, if it plays out fair and square and we start to see actual movement towards the end of the season -- maybe Elena saeeing Damon coming this close to dying making her truly begin to forgive him -- or next season. I don't know, just a thought.
Anyhoo, back to the flashback ... the one scene that was interesting was the final one with Lexi and Damon. While we didn't really get anything beyond what was totally expected with Stefan, that information was something new. Even back then when Damon had avowed his hatred of Stefan, he was already showing that he wanted the best for Stefan under the circumstances, and I do think we were supposed to have the unspoken thought that Stefan had Lexi to turn things around for him, so Damon needs someone too, someone he's never had. And, hey, maybe that someone will actually be Alaric. Pairing the first time Ric has flat-out said that he's Damon's friend with that bit with Lexi makes me think that's possible. 'Twould be cool.
Speaking of, I did absolutely love that Alaric told Damon he was his friend soooooooooo much, but the following line made no sense. "Damon, I'm your friend, and you don't have any friends." Huh? If Alaric is his friend, how does he have no friends? LOL! Maybe it was supposed to be "you don't have any other friends?" I dunno. But, that line (even as off as it was, and just accepting that Alaric is saying that at least Damon has ONE friend) also gives credence to the whole Elena hasn't forgiven Damon, he's not on her list, blah, blah, blah. Hmmm..... Still, regardless, I loved the Damon/Alaric stuff. Especially one of the BEST SCENES EVER THIS SEASON! That non-verbal scene after Elijah and Andie left when Damon smacked Alaric, Ric pointed emphatically at the dagger, Damon gestured What?! silently and just as emphatically, Ric wrote the reason down and Damon threw the paper aside in disgust was AWESOME!! I loved it so much. Rewound it a couple of times, and cracked up each time. Garsh, I love these two together sooooo much!
Also, I'm assuming that everyone else thought Damon's non-verbal response to Alaric in the basement after Ric told him not to lie to him was his keeping-his-cool way of agreeing to not lie anymore, right? Cuz Ric's his BFF, yes? And Damon loves him and wants to make him happy, right? Yup, thought so. Ooh, and speaking of their love, while I was all "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" when Alaric gave Uncle/Daddy John his ring, I did like his "you're gonna need it after what you did to my boyfriend, nyeah, nyeah, nyeah!" attitude. Hee!
Okay, randoms ...
- Elena remains awesomely bad-ass. I love her, even when I have to deal with her and Stefan (blech!) She stabbed herself, and then stabbed Elijah. Oh, Elena, you are THE awesome!
- But, waaah! Elijah was stabbed twice! Double waaah!!! Elijah is out of commission. Thus dies my dreams of Elijah and Jenna. (But at least he can come back from it!) *Sigh* Oh, and, uhm, if the dagger has to stay in Elijah to keep him down for the count, how they gonna kill Klaus? Hmmm?
- Ooh, speaking of Elijah and romance, was I the only one who thought that Daniel Gillies and Dawn Olivieri had a surprising amount of spark in their brief scenes together? A shame nothing will ever come of that. That little twirl between them was all sparkly and chemical!
- I actually was thinking at the beginning of the final Jeremy/Bonnie scene that their story felt a bit shoe-horned into the episode, but then Jonas came into the room and it all tied together nicely. Good job, show. Oh, and, they're still cute ... as long as they aren't kissing, LOL!
- Totally shallow, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much eyeliner on Matt Davis in a bunch of scenes in this episode, especially the first one.
- It must be said: No Caroline! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! First episode this season and I am disappoint! :(
- Wow, so Andie isn't even a distraction to Damon, she's more like an ornament he's using. Yikes. But I continue to like the character; I do think it's an interesting twist on how we're seeing the compulsion work. There was an interview with the actress where she said that other than her first scene and the beginning part of the bathtub scene Andie's pretty much under perpetual compulsion. Creepy!
- Alaric doesn't have his ring anymore (sobs!), and Bonnie has lost her witchy powers. Can we add two more higher-ranking possibilities to the major death this season? DON'T KILL ALARIC, SHOW! DO NOT KILL, ALARIC! Ahem.
- So, yeah, Damon (and Elena) were totally right to not trust John. Yuppers.
Wait, that was "Daddy Issues," not "Crying Wolf," but still way too much dessication in that time-frame compared with the last time we've seen her not doing well. We saw her in "Katerina" and then quite a bit later in "Daddy Issues," and there wasn't that much decay, and a much shorter time-frame has passed between DI and this episode. So, yeah, still too much dessication, but not nearly as bad as I originally thought.
- Still, I did love seeing crafty, quick-thinking Katherine again. She totally played Damon so perfectly. And speaking of played perfectly, I loved, loved how Ian Somerhalder played that final scene with Katherine. You could totally see it written all over Damon's face when Katherine first showed her face: OHMYGOD! ELENA IS NAKED IN MY SHOWER!!! WHOAH! And then the realization set in: Oh, darn, it's Katherine. Cracked me up. And I can't wait to see how things play out with Katherine and Elena and the boys next week. Hee!
So, very good episode that I would have enjoyed more had (a) I not been feeling like crap and (b) had the flashbacks been more interesting. I do hope I'm completely wrong in my Elena-hasn't-forgiven-Damon supposition, but if I'm not, it would still be cool character and story-wise. Overall, another strong episode. Whee! I love my show!