I'm just going to be obvious and talk about the last scene first, because ... HELLO!!?! OMG! WE FINALLY GOT A REAL-HONEST-TO-GOODNESS RECIPRICAL DAMON/ELENA KISS!!! WHEEEEEEEEEE! Ahem. Okay, onto thinky thoughts.
One of the things that I love so very much about this show is how if you pay attention (okay, and obsessively rewatch the show over and over again), you are rewarded with callbacks galore. This final scene was a shining example of that. Before I go into detail, I want to bring up something that I wrote in response to dreamingahead's "Ordinary People" reaction post.
Actually, I think it's quite possible that they figured [Damon and Elena as endgame] out around episode 1.07 and how it played out onscreen, and that final scene with Damon choosing to compel Jeremy for Elena kinda revealed ALL OF THE STORY POSSIBILITY with these two.I mention this because a few weeks ago, Julie Plec talked about the moments that made her cry on the show and when talking about the final scene in "Ordinary People," she said that "as far as Damon and Elena in her bedroom, all of their important moments -- their worst moments together and their best moments together -- have happened either in her bedroom or on her front porch. Those are two important locations for us as far as telling the story of their evolving intimacy." When I read that, I immediately went "HAH! I was right!" because the only Damon/Elena moments on the porch were the "you've lost me forever" from "Bad Moon Rising," the Damon/Katherine, but he thinks it's Elena kiss in "Founder's Day" and ... ding, ding, ding! Damon agreeing to compel Jeremy in "Haunted."
This final scene in the episode further confirms my theory because not only were there the obvious parallels to the kiss from "Founder's Day," but there were also plenty with what happened in "Haunted." And it's those rewarding parallels that I was thinking of above. You have similar close-up camera angles during parts of the Damon/Elena kiss to the Damon/Katherine one. Damon doing a bit of honest admittance with Elena. Not just with the porch scenes, but with the bedroom scenes as well coming into play. Damon making it clear he's talking about his love for Elena, moving towards her as he said "Wanting what I want" (and, my goodness, how beautiful was Ian Somerhalder's delivery of that line? Shivers, I tell ya!) was reminiscent of his confession in "Rose." And like in that scene, Elena said his name to stop him. The difference is that in that scene when she said his name, she followed it with "don't go there," and her body tensed, she backed away, her entire presence screamed "don't do this!" In this episode, she said his name, but the tone was not "don't do this," it was "we can't do this," as she was looking at his lips, not backing away, not doing anything but keeping herself from going there. And when Damon walked away, the look on her face, in the line of her frame was one of regret.
Another parallel was to "The Return" when Damon forced a kiss on her. Then when he kissed her, his palms desperately cupping her cheeks, she reached up and just as desperately held onto his hands, trying to stop him. Tonight, when he held her face, her arm rose again to hold onto his hand, but she wasn't stopping him, she was leaning into him, holding onto him, her finger caressing the back of his hand. It was all just so ... aaahhh! All of these moments of intimacy with them, some painful, some remembered, some not, coming home to roost again in this moment and all of it was good. So good. Very similar to what I said about their evolving relationship in my "Homecoming" write-up.
It's as if all of the negatives in past relationships they've both had -- lack of passion with Matt, dishonesty, lack of true communication, agency and partnership with Stefan, compulsion with Andie -- we are beginning to see in a positive way between Damon and Elena. Passion, communication, honesty, true agency, full togetherness, being completely and utterly real with one another ... these two have all of these things in spades.It's the same here in that all of these negatives in their past are being given a positive do-over.
Almost forgotten in the squee of the OMG!DAMONANDELENAJUSTKISSED!!AAAAH! was the utter and complete awesome prior to the kiss. And there was SO VERY MUCH AWESOME. Elena thanked Damon. Fully, completely, legitimately, absolutely. She thanked him for being there, for his presence, for all he's done, all he's doing, telling him that she wouldn't know what to do without him. I mean, OH. EM. GEE! I just -- gah, that alone would have made this scene so awesomely awesome. But it just kept getting better. The following is more Damon-related, but it segues back into Damon/Elena. First off, after Elena said that to him, all doe-eyes looking up at him, that intimacy between them dancing in the air, Damon totally did the right thing. He didn't want to, it was obvious he wanted to preserve this moment, this 'thereness' between them, but he clenched his jaw and told her a truth that he believed would throw up a wall between that intimacy. But he did it. He told her that Stefan screwed them over to save his life, thus letting her know that "their" Stefan is still in there.
The other Damon-bit in there is how he told her. He said that Stefan screwed them over for a good reason. Meaning that for the first time ever, Damon actually believes that his life being saved IS a good thing; he is finally (finally) starting to believe that he is worth saving. Another callback to the porch scene in "Founder's Day" where he didn't get it at all. And now back to Damon and Elena. Even though Elena now knew this, knew there was a reason, that Stefan might possibly not be lost to them forever, she still kissed him back, leaning into him. YES! Also YES!? That Damon flat-out said he was guilty about wanting Elena since she's "his brother's girl." Hah! Take that haterz who claim that Damon doesn't care at all about Stefan's feelings in this.
Oh, then there was Elena's reaction to the kiss. She looked like he'd taken her breath away, even letting out an exhalation of breath as she turned to watch him leave. And I loved how cool he was with his "good night" and saunter away. Oh, Damon. Oh, Elena. Oh, SQUEE!
Finally, the lyrics that played over that kiss ... veddy, veddy, veddy interesting! Ross Copperman's "Holding On and Letting Go" was the song and here are the lyrics that played over that kiss:
It's everything you wantedNow if that doesn't make ya think of the coming together of Damon and Elena and the dissolution of Stefan and Elena, I don't know what they were thinking picking that song with those lyrics playing over the kiss.
It's everything you don't
It's one door swinging open and one door swinging closed
ome prayers find an answer
Some prayers never know
We're holding on and letting go
Phew! Of course, that wasn't the only Damon/Elena scene in this episode. Alas one of them was a negative. Damon's lying to Elena (by working with Stefan to bring down Klaus without her knowledge or help). Here we have Elena being completely honest with him about the Rebekah situation, and you could see him biting his tongue, wanting to tell her, but he didn't, he stayed true to Stefan and his loyalty to him this time. I do expect this to blow up in Damon's face when it comes out. And I'd honestly love it if he calls her out on forgiving Stefan his numerous lies/keeping things from her with a wave of her hand with her countering that it matters so much with Damon, it hurts so much because DAMON doesn't lie to her, and since the summer of searching for Stefan, he doesn't keep things from her. I dunno, we'll see what happens.
Of course, there were tons of other Damon/Elena stuff, and pretty squee-worthy at that. Trying to calm her down in the kitchen (!), walking in the woods together, giving her his keys (aww). Heck there was even some Damon/Elena-ness in scenes the other wasn't in. Namely Jeremy's oh-so-subtle questioning that Elena of all people would have a say on who he hangs out with, which completely read to me that he was calling her out on her time spent with Damon. Uh huh. And, of course, the much more obvious comment from Klaus to Elena about the other people she loves aside from Jeremy, "Bonnie, Caroline," a pause with a sly smile as he looked up at Elena, "Damon." (Oh, Klaus, you rogue, you!) Bottom-line there was so much Damon/Elena in this episode, I don't know what to do with myself as a Damon/Elena fan ... and it culminated in a kiss! Did I mention that? Whee!
Ahem, but backing up. Speaking of that Elena/Klaus moment ... wasn't that whole scene supremely awesome? Elena was just so unbelievably bad-ass, I wanted to kiss her. (It's okay, Damon took care of that later. Hee!) I loved her lack of fear, her standing toe to toe with him, and laying the hammer down on him in (a) how he had turned Stefan into a monster (and Klaus' face there, it was so "No, I would never do that to my little buddy! Did I do that?), and (b) how Rebekah now knew that Klaus had killed their mother. Then Elena's all just 'you can show yourself out' and leaves the room with the last word. Damn, I love her so. She is AWESOME! Also awesome, if not as, was the Damon/Klaus scene in the boarding house. The drink-sharing (and, oh my, Damon casually drinking down that vervained-Scotch, good boy!), the terms of endearment, the way you can tell that even with all the problems he causes, Klaus is starting to grow a wee bit fond of Damon. Awesome.
Another aspect of this episode that I really loved was the "atypical family" that the Gilberts have created with Alaric ... and Damon. That's what REALLY got to me. Other than the kitchen scene with Tyler, all of the other "family" scenes involved Damon. Damon casually strolling in when it was Elena and Jeremy, asking Jeremy about why he didn't have vervain on him. And then when Jeremy questioned his plan and said they should leave town, intentional or not, his words played as if he was included Damon in the "they" that should leave town, and I was all AWWWW! because I love Damon and Jeremy.
Speaking of, when I saw that Michael Narducci wrote this episode and then there were the early Jeremy/Tyler scenes, I was kinda bummed because I now expect Narducci to give me some good Damon/Jere sweetness. I shouldn't have doubted, because we definitely got it. Yay! It was also very interesting seeing Damon be there for Jeremy as he was when contrasted against Stefan flat-out not giving a damn about him to Elena leading to a much deserved slap.
Back to the atypical family unite, we also got a slice of it in the kitchen when Elena was asking Damon about Alaric, and Damon casually revealed that he took care of him ... which we already knew because of the Jeremy/Alaric conversation that hinted at Damon helping Ric. And it was just all, I don't know, like they are this little crazy family unit, like Ric is the dad, and Damon is the son/brother-in-law. And it was mostly evident in that beautiful final scene. Even though Elena lamented how Jeremy would react to her having Damon compel him, it was obvious that Jeremy knew exactly what was going to happen. Damon didn't hide it at all, and Jeremy let him. Jeremy didn't fight it, didn't put up any protest and when Damon sat down next to him on the bed, he didn't look away from him. He knew it was coming, probably no clue to what degree, but he knew that Damon was going to compel him ... and he accepted it. Which I get. He almost died because of compulsion that was brought on by betrayal of a friend, then he cross-bowed someone in the back, then meat-cleavered off his head. WHOAH!
This has all just been so much for him. As Elena said, he's only sixteen. And unlike Elena who did have Bonnie and Caroline, plus some stability with Stefan at least six months or so of that first year, Jeremy only had a few months with Bonnie before that was flushed away by ghostly visitors from his past, and no permanence in friendship. And so now he's going, for how long, we have no idea. It may be like when Tyler (and Michael Trevino) left for a huge chunk of episodes, or it may be sooner that we see him. We'll find out. All we do know is now Elena effectively has no long-term family with her. But at least this one, she's doing her damnest to keep safe.
Speaking of family, Damon and Stefan, Stefan and Damon. These two, they really do love each other so much, and Stefan really, really loves Damon. He seems to be the only one that gets to Saint Stefan, Ripper Stefan, on/off humanity Switch Stefan and everything in between. Oh, when Damon kept stabbing him to find out why he screwed their plan, and Stefan finally burst out that he did it to save Damon, I was all 'ohhh, my Salvatore boys!' And then Damon stabbed him again for saving his life.
What was so awesome though is that once the hissy-fit was out of the way, they talked it out, then they came to an agreement and now they are working (secretly!) together. And whee! Klaus just doesn't get what he messed with by trying to take out Damon. He probably still thinks that Elena is the trigger with Stefan, but she so is not. It's Damon. It's always been Damon. And you, Klaus, were nothing ever to Stefan but a replacement for the brother that rejected him.
But they are making their way back to each other, slowly, surely, they are. They are, they will. YAY!
Okay then, some random thoughts ...
- Speaking of that final atypical family scene, a small moment, but I loved Damon checking with Elena before adding Alaric's suggestion to the compulsion. When it comes to Jeremy, she gets final say-so.
- Even though Jeremy was a jerky-boy and totally deserved to be dumped by Bonnie, I did love that when Elena told her that Klaus tried to kill Jeremy, she immediately caved and asked what could she do. Oh, Bonnie.
- Hmm, will Rebekah remember that Elena stabbed her in the back, and not the front as Klaus did? Speaking of, oh, Klaus. Dude, you severely have issues. And I was already pretty dang sure that he did indeed kill MamaOriginal, but his reaction to Elena telling him that and then the re-staking of Rebekah confirmed that it was indeed the truth.
- Heh, when Damon and Stefan played darts in season 01, Damon was really crappy at it if his score compared to Stefan was any indication. Apparently, he's been practicing while in Mystic Falls and is doing much better.
- Not much with her, but I did like the little moment with Dr. Meredith Fell. (Oh, and hi there, Paul Wesley's wife!) Interesting that they went from "Mary" in the sides to "Meredith" when there's a Meredith in the books. Julie Plec talked about that in an interview ... that I will look at tomorrow. :)
- So I'm thinking (hoping) that, yes, Bonnie is okay with Damon because she actually asked Elena how he was doing and there seemed a teeny touch of concern there, yay! Also, I would still prefer a bit more 'yo, Stef! you suck' considering all the heat Damon has gotten for his misdeeds, but at least Bonnie was not very friendly with Stefan.
- Speaking of, I was at first peeved that the ghosts seemed all fine and dandy with Stefan, but not Damon. sarcasticcheese then pointed out that Stefan had already made the 'we hate Klaus more than you and your bro' deal with them because once Damon was a part of that deal, they stopped messing with his daylight ring. (Though, how Damon shot through the house to avoid the sun's rays was pretty durn cool!)
- Yup, so Damon remains the truth-teller/upcoming plot points king. He said in "Disturbing Behavior" that something might be wrong with Ric's ring. Did anyone pay attention? No, and now look what happened. Still, yay, Damon gave Ric blood to heal him. I called it! Go me!
- The Tyler/Jeremy scenes showed me once again that while I don't care for Tyler/Caroline much at all, he's really good with Jeremy. Trevino and Steven R. McQueen have great chemistry. I admit, I also liked the Tyler/Klaus scene, especially Klaus telling him kindly to get the fuck over his guilty conscience. Hee.
- Random shallow ... McQueen looked REALLY good in this episode. (Yes, yes, Ian did too, but he's always beautiful and I'm just peeved that they clearly did a refresher on the horrible dye job and not a cut. Sigh.)
- I don't know, I just don't know how they get back to Stefan and Elena from this. I really don't. I mean, is his switch on or off? If it's off, yeah, okay I guess that explains him being SUCH a dick to Elena. But if it's off, that means, that even off, he still holds on so completely to his love for Damon, but not Elena. And, yeah, I just don't see how we get back to Stefan/Elena ever fully from this point. (Not that I'd complain if we didn't.)
- No Caroline makes me sad. :(
- ETA: One more parallel with "Founder's Day" that I forgot to mention. Damon called Jeremy out on being a dick to his sister thinking he should treat her better. In this episode, he told Elena that Jeremy is lucky to have a sister like her. Awww. :)
- Finally, I love how when Damon's loved ones (ie, Elena and Alaric) are in danger from someone in a wary situation, he does the moving in front of them for protection thing. He wasn't all I AM MAN! I PROTECT WEAK WOMAN! with Elena, he let her stand toe to toe with Klaus and didn't interfere, only moving slightly before her (all three times) that Klaus started to move in closer. I love that move of Damon's. :)
So, YAY! My show is back. I am happy. And I can't even be remotely objective whether this episode was great or awesome because I'm just OMG! WE FINALLY GOT A REAL-HONEST-TO-GOODNESS RECIPRICAL DAMON/ELENA KISS!!! WHEEEEEEEEEE!
ETA: It's been 24 hours. I changed the icon. :)