Arabian (arabian) wrote,
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arabian

3.08 - 'Ordinary People' (The Vampire Diaries)

Another Thursday and it's time for the one, the only The Vampire Diaries. And the crowd goes wild!!! So, yeah, I haz thoughts!

OH! MY! GOD! OH! MY! HEART! For reals, ya'll. FOR REALS! Phew. Okay, deep breath. Breaking this down into four sections, with Damon making an appearance in three of the four. What can I say? I do not hide my fangirl love for the delectable Mr. Salvatore. :) Alrighty, then, on we go ...

The Originals

Like "Klaus" was really Elijah's story, this episode was really Rebekah's. We got to see a lot more of who Rebekah is as not seen through the filter of Klaus (through the flashbacks) or in snippets here and there or in moments of anger. She's not one of the "bad" vampires. We've actually never seen her kill beyond her hunger out of control way back (in these older flashbacks and the 20's flashback after being daggered for 90 years), and while she's fed on humans, we haven't see her do so cruelly. She threatens, but she's not as bad as Damon in his bad phases, not nearly as bad as Isobel, and nowhere near Ripper!Stefan or Klaus-like. She's a young woman who wants to enjoy and experience life.

And in this episode, we really got to see that as well as more depth to her; we got to really know the girl. It is as Elena said: Rebekah is a girl who lost her mother too young and has been a bit lost ever since. I liked that Elena saw that, reached out as Elena always does and used compassion and understanding -- because, if any female of this group understands loss, and especially losing a mother too young, it's Elena -- to reach out and bring Rebekah into the fold. Others would use browbeating, threats, blackmail, promises of revenge, etc., not Elena. She uses her heart. (I love her!) Although, I was quite happy to see that even she has her limits.

As Rebekah fell down crying, I immediately thought, 'Oh, Rebekah! She needs a hug!' Then the camera went to Elena and I had a split-second of hoping she would hug her and then reality asserted itself and thought, 'Please, no, Elena! Keep your distance!' Empathy in place or not, Rebekah still is an Original vampire who has a temper, and Elena is not high on her list of favorite people ever. So, I'm glad that Elena did not go full-tilt into empathy mode and try and hug Rebekah, but I loved that we could see that empathy. I simply love how we continue to see that it's not just Damon that Elena (sometimes, okay, pretty durn often, stupidly) is empathetic towards, but she's that way with all of those around her, even those you think wouldn't deserve it. Anyone who doesn't see that, just isn't paying attention.

But back to Rebekah. Just as "Klaus" redeemed Elijah and, in a way, re-invented our impression of him to a much more favorable, less villainess light, this did so for Rebekah. And like "Klaus," it added a new level of tortured evil to Klaus. I was sad when Rebekah revealed that their father killed their mother; it was a moment that garnered an automatic reaction from me. And then I was shocked when Elena revealed to Rebekah that Klaus had lied. It was *he* who had killed their mother. Oh boy. (But kudos to Elena for figuring it out! You go, girl!) And all of that makes a lot of sense with regards to Rebekah's whole thought process about Mikael. Of course she would believe the absolute worst of him if he killed her mother, ripping her heart out. Klaus managed to bind her loyalty to him in a way that was designed to keep the truth from her by wanting her to keep away from the only one who could tell her the truth.

As for the flashbacks overall. Well, I admit ... I was a bit underwhelmed, but there were two moments I did really feel for: The burning of the tree was the first. Just having them stand there watching their only way of destruction being destroyed before them was powerful. Also, when Elijah joined Klaus and Rebekah at their mother's grave and the three took hands. And, of course, notably, Klaus was the last one to connect the circle, taking Elijah's hand at the last. Also, alongside those two moments, I actually found the reason and creation of vampirism pretty darn cool!

Thinking on it, I think that my lack of ooh!aah! overall re: the flashbacks was partially because I expected a different language to be spoken in these. I know that since they had Nina Dobrev and her ability to speak Bulgarian to play with in the Katherine flashbacks, but because of having a different language spoken in those older flashbacks, I expected that here as well. After all, I got the impression they came from Europe, one of the Scandinavian lands, and the writing in the caves was Viking-related, so, yeah. That was part of it. But again, overall, the whole scope of them did work because of the tree-burning and the siblings, and the vampire creation, as well as the reveals about Esther all-around (what she was, how she died).

A few other quick Originals-related thoughts --

- So, yet another comment from Rebekah that she is just waiting for Stefan to treat her better before things happen with them again. I like!

- Yeah, so everyone and their dog was right, Mikael was Papa Original. I didn't mind that not being that surprising; the show had to realize people would guess at that, but the reveal of what happened to Esther was a good shocker.

- It must be said. Klaus' wig was awful, just terrible. But, on the other hand, Elijah's was divine! Ooh, and I liked Rebekah's comment that his trait being amplified was his morality, because that truly does fit with everything we saw of Elijah. *Sigh* I just wish that we got to see more of him and his morality. Not only did we not get un-daggered Elijah (:sniffsniff: Maybe next week Rebekah will un-dagger him?! I can dream!), we just didn't get much of him at all in this first episode back with him. Oh, Elijah, I miss you so much! {{sobs}}

- So that's one mystery solved. Why didn't the Original witch just kill Klaus instead of doing the Hybrid spell, and also making the ingredient that keeps more Hybrids from being spawned being about killing the doppelganger and not Klaus in any way? Because the Original witch was Klaus' mother. Even if she had repudiated him, and suppressed the werewolf gene, she couldn't kill him; she couldn't kill her child.

The Brothers Salvatore

So could I possibly love Stefan and Damon anymore? Well, yeah, probably when they both stop denying their deep, great, true love for one another and hug it out like this beautiful moment!

     

It will come, it will totally, totally come and this episode was such an ode to that. I have long said that for Stefan it is Damon >>>>> Everyone Else in the History of Ever, and boy, oh, glorious boy did we get that tonight. Not only did we actually SEE Stefan figure out a loophole to Klaus' compulsion to save Damon's life, thus showing very clearly that as much as he loves Elena, his love for her was not strong enough to overcome the compulsion, but for Damon? He'll figure some way around it. And we had vocal evidence of this as well with Mikael asking Stefan which trick question would get him to betray Klaus? And it, of course, was saving Damon's life. And if it still wasn't clear enough, the writers actually put the words in Elena's mouth. THEY ACTUALLY HAD HER SAY THE WORDS! Stefan's love for Elena would not save him; it would be Stefan's love for Damon that would. My heart, which at that point had been in squee overload from the utter beauty and GAH-ness of the Damon/Elena-ness of the scene thus far, took a flying leap into OH!MY!HEART!-ness over the Salvatore Brothers.

Of course, neither is ready to actually acknowledge that reality. Because they are stupid, stupid boys! Stefan unable to admit that he did what he did to save Damon, instead throwing around his freedom as reason enough (because, you know, that was never an option or a reality before, right, Stefan?). And Damon throwing responsibility and guilt at Stefan's feet as his reason for trying to help Stefan (couldn't possibly have anything to do with the love you feel for your baby brother, right, Damon?) See? Stupid, stupid boys. But they'll get there. They will, and it will be glorious when it happens.

A few other quick Damon/Stefan-related thoughts --

- First off, badboy_fangirl, distant_autumn, and myself *clearly* are getting what the writers are selling because this is what we've all been expounding on in various ways for some time now, going back even to season 02 stuffs. Ladies, take a bow! I know I'm crowing right now -- so damn happy about this! MY BOYS!

- I LOVED that Damon's reasons for saving Stefan had NOTHING to do with Elena. Sure he didn't acknowledge the number one reason (his LOVE!), but still, not one word about doing this for Elena. Take that, Damon-haters, who continue to insist that Damon is only doing all of this for Stefan to get into ELena's pants. Whatever!

- I also loved that Damon was basically all 'forget this Lexi-shit ... I ain't down for torturing my baby bro!' Hee! LOVE!

- Man, Damon hates being reminded of his humanity. He really, really does. But I get it. Because while he's come far on his journey, it still scares the hell out of him. It really does because if he opens up and allows that humanity to not be a secret, he risks the vulnerability of having put himself out there and then be rejected. He just hasn't realized that he's already doing that, and at the end of the day, the two people he's done the most for (Elena and Alaric) are not rejecting him. Oh, Damon.

- You know what I found interesting? That Damon didn't drink the human blood at all, Stefan even gestured for him to do so at one point. But Damon just went for the liquor. Interesting.

Oh! My! Heart!

Oh, Damon and Elena! *sigh* Can I just say: SQUEE!!! and leave it at that? Oh my. I just -- wow. Just oh lordy! I loved their first scene, Damon training her, him not giving her any quarter, the little insults, the complete ease and comfort they have with one another. The fact that when Damon had her pulled against him, he fake-nipped at her neck. OMG! He fake-nipped at her neck, and she just basically rolled her eyes and pushed him away like it was no big. Just, I loved that. So much! That got quite a few rewinds. But not nearly as much as the last scene ... however, I'm not going there yet. First I want to talk about the whole Elena/Stefan thing and how, yeah, I really, really, REALLY am not getting an 'I'm so in love with Stefan' vibe from Elena at all. And I don't think it's my anti-Stefan/Elena stance because I keep expecting it; I keep looking for it, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it hasn't happened yet.

At the end of the last episode, she basically said 'your move' and she walked away. I think she's actually managed to detach herself emotionally now. It's like she was holding on to that hope so strongly that she could save him, his love for her would be enough, he could/would fight and succeed when push came to shove (or, in his case, when torture came to pass). But after last week, she gave up on that, and without that belief to hold onto, it's as if though she still wants to save him, it's not about her, or them. It's just wholly about saving him. After all, there was not one mention of Stefan that caused even a flicker, not with Rebekah, not with Damon. Even her "you don't know the real Stefan" comment to Rebekah seemed almost spoken as if by rote. Like it was just a line that she had repeated so often that the reality (or lack thereof) had lost all meaning for her. Then, of course, we had Rebekah laying it flat out for her in response: No, that's not the real Stefan, you don't know the real Stefan -- he's a vampire, a predatory creature. And Elena didn't defend the "real" Stefan, didn't argue the point with her.

Neither did she show even a hint of jealousy when Rebekah talked about her and Stefan at the cheerleading practice. And that was something that didn't even hit me as I was watching, but only later when I was jotting down my thoughts for this whole section on Stefan and Elena, but it's true. It's not like she doesn't have anything to be jealous of in this situation. Stefan, in the state he is, totally would go for another girl, including Rebekah. And the "real" Stefan or not, knowing that he was with another girl would, *should* hurt, should make her jealous. But it didn't ... at all. Again, there wasn't even a flicker. Just like there was no reaction when Damon mentioned him while lying in her bed. After, there had already been a few moments where she found her eyes drawn to Damon's lips, as she's laying in bed (of her complete own choice and volition) next to Damon, and yet when he brought up Stefan, not a flicker, nothing. In fact, she grinned at Damon's joking comment ... even though it was about Stefan's lack of humanity.

And it's not just her. I kept waiting for Damon to play the Elena card with Stefan, something, some hint, some nudge that would be an attempt to elicit some response, some sign of humanity out of him. But he didn't throughout their night out, nor did he (as mentioned above) when explaining why he was trying to save Stefan. In fact, the only time that the Elena card was played between the brothers was Stefan playing it on Damon. So, it's like there is an underlying message of emotional detachment from the Stefan/Elena epic love story that is just growing and growing with each episode. Now, I don't discount that they will find a way, but I have to say, I personally don't see how we could ever get back to the Stefan/Elena in their twu wuv state again after what has happened with Stefan, after the emotional distance that has developed between them, after the emotional bond that has much more fully developed and continues to grow with such honesty and openness between Damon and Elena (something that was always lacking with Stefan and Elena). I don't know; I don't see it, but I'm so not a fan. Okay, moving on ...

Now let's get back to that bit above. Elena voluntarily went to sleep with Damon in her bed, turned towards him as he's turned toward her. She closed her eyes to go to sleep. In bed. Next to Damon. Facing Damon. OH MY GOD! Complete trust there, folks, complete and utter trust. OH MY GOD! And just, gah!, the whole scene. How they were just so dang comfortable with each other, sharing the details of their day, the different plans they embarked upon while lying in bed next to one another, facing one another. OH MY HEART! They were like an old married couple, but an old married couple who have a strong, vibrant, happy, comfortable happy relationship still. They talked about issues -- Damon inviting her to be upset with him because he knew that he went behind her back, her choosing to let it go because of the bigger picture. Them prodding, pushing each other just enough. Them making each other smile, roll their eyes, be serious, be honest, face each other physically, emotionally, honestly. I just, I don't think it's even possible to put into words how utterly perfect EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY THING about this scene was.

Then there was the bit where she was talking about Rebekah as a girl who lost her mother too soon, who loved blindly, recklessly even if it consumed her. This was followed by the very pointed silence, then turning to look at Damon, his silent look back at her before she turned away, thinking, thinking. And it was clear to me that she was thinking about *Damon* in that moment, comparing Rebekah's situation with hers, and her blind, reckless, all-consuming love was for Damon. Yes, obviously, it's about Stefan to a degree -- after all, she's blindly, recklessly been consumed with saving Stefan this summer -- but that's been saving him, not *about* Stefan himself specifically. Yes, I'm not a Stefan/Elena fan, but I've never seen an Elena *that* into Stefan as she described. And it felt rather to me that in that moment it seemed that by turning to Damon, looking at him, holding his gaze, Elena was subconsciously transferring the actuality of that love about a person, and not a cause, to Damon. After all, that kind of love while not the healthiest as described, for a young woman (as Elena is), it does fit the idea of the passionate sort of love that she wanted with Matt, that she thought she had found with Stefan, but it never was in either case. Instead, it's there, just waiting to explode with Damon.

However, with Damon is it about so much more than passion. After this moment, her mentally comparing aspects of Rebekah with herself, Damon made that joking comment about Stefan, and her response wasn't to chide, wasn't to catch her breath, take pause at the mention of Stefan's name, but her reaction was to genuinely smile. And then she sought to reassure Damon that Stefan's love for him would save his brother. It wasn't about making her feel better, it wasn't about saving Stefan. It was about Damon, and that Stefan loved him, and that Stefan's love for his brother would save him. It was as if not only had she subconsciously transferred the passion of her feelings to Damon, but she'd also relinquished her hold as the one to save Stefan. Both belong to Damon now.

ETA: What I find interesting about this line of Elena's is that I've been reading TONS of different interpretations. I saw a bit of Elena's love for Stefan, but mostly how she's falling into that passionate type of love with Damon. Others saw that it was just about her feelings for Damon. Some said it was all about Stefan. Then others said it was about Elena recognizing that she was describing Damon himself. Others just saw the main comparison to Rebekah, and Rebekah/Klaus. Very interesting how open to interpretation that line was.

Yes, yes, I know that it's way more complicated and there is very little actual realization of this on Elena's end, and there is more Stefan/Elena stuff to go through, but I think this is where we very well could be headed. I think that this scene was a possible road map of where we are going. And if this scene is any indication, oh, boy! What we're going to get with Damon and Elena to come is going to be just GLORIOUS! Seriously, my heart! Watching this scene, I was about to explode. Just so beautiful. So right. So very, very right.

A few other quick Damon/Elena-related thoughts --

- Hee! Damon, not moving at all, just continuing his musing while Elena ineffectually pulled at the comforter. I especially loved when she pulled completely, her whole body behind it and nothing. Hah!

- Aww, teddy was laying next to Damon.

- I didn't realize this the first time I watched it, but when Elena walks in the room, you can see Damon in her mirror. I just liked that.

- I wanted an icon from this episode, but couldn't really get a screen capture I loved to make the best icon, so this will have to do before I'm able to go through the full batch of screencaps out there. Then I'll replace this, but for now, yeah, I had to have something!

- Can I mention again the pure awesome that was Elena VOLUNTARILY going to sleep with Damon in her bed whilst facing him as she did so?!?!?!?

     

AAAHHHH!!!! And you know what was REALLY interesting about this? Julie Plec and Caroline Dries wrote "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -- the episode that took a bunch of early Stefan/Elena sweet moments and deconstructed them, twisting them into something negative. I couldn't help but think of the moment in "Friday Night Bites" when Damon watched Elena sleep, that, despite the sign of humanity still there, was creepy. Well, this is like the opposite of what was done with the Stefan/Elena moments. Here, a negative moment became something sweet and full of trust. *sigh*

Random Stuffies

- I don't know why, but I got such a kick out of the fast-paced song playing over Alaric taking the pictures of the wall. I kinda wanted it to go on longer.

- So, yeah, they're still leaving us hanging re: Katherine, huh?

- Wow, I just realized while jotting down my notes that there was no Caroline. And towards the end of actually writing this, no Jeremy, Tyler or Matt either. You know it's a good episode, when you forget lack of Caroline!

- That was such a lovely character moment between Alaric and Bonnie. Him acknowledging that it was crappy what Jeremy did, but reminding Bonnie that he's a stupid kid who can and will learn, and Ric speaks from experience. And Bonnie just having that older adult figure tell her the right thing was just awesome.

- So, Ric can read Norse writing? Okay, then.

- Finally, THE most important aspect of The Vampire Diaries: I do officially think that Damon's hair has finally been cut properly. (The dye job remains as craptastically fake as ever, but I'll take it.)

Phew! So I may be forgetting stuff. I just know that this was once again a winner. I so adored the Damon/Stefan stuff. Claire Holt is magnificent as Rebekah and I love her so. I got my bb, Elijah, back even if I didn't get him back enough or in the present. (Wah!) And I got such utter perfection with Damon and Elena that I'm still a bit verklempt.

Oh, Julie Plec! Oh, Caroline Dries! Oh, my heart!
Tags: damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, elijah mikaelson, ep discussion-tvd, nina dobrev, rebekah mikaelson, stefan salvatore, the vampire diaries, tv
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