Oh, well, I tried.
Okay, so Damon obviously sleeps with someone at the end of the next episode 3.14 ("Dangerous Liasons") and considering those present right now, I'm guessing Rebekah. Not really the point of my discussion (although I'm not particularly happy about Damon and Stefan sharing ANOTHER female, geez). My frustration comes from the fact that the write-ups I've seen all about this (including discussion from actors/writers, etc.) is that Damon is doing something "wrong" by turning to someone else. Can I ask in all honesty ... why? He is not Elena's boyfriend. They kissed without extenuating circumstances exactly once and she made it perfectly clear to him (and others) after the fact that it wouldn't happen again. He doesn't owe her fidelity in way, shape or form so why should there be any "consequences" for sleeping with someone? He's single and the girl he does love has made it clear it's not happening, so why shouldn't he form other romantic/sexual attachments? What? He's supposed to just chastely pine for her while *she* pines over her abusive boyfriend? That is what would make him a "good guy?" I don't think so.
Which brings me to a big concern I'm having with the show right now. This one was brought upon by two things specifically (but has been building in my mind since episode 3.04): 1) Alaric's douchy attitude towards Damon and the fact that the events of "Disturbing Behavior" continue to be spoken of as if DAMON was the only one in the wrong. 2) An interview with Ian Somerhalder where he basically said that really Elena shouldn't be with Damon because he's a "dick." My concern is that, well, really, he's not. Not anymore. Sure, he's snarky, and sarcastic, but so is Ric, Jeremy and Tyler. All of the characters have such moments, in fact. Damon helps EVERYBODY. Damon protects EVERYBODY. Damon is a shoulder to lean on for Elena and for Ric. Damon goes out of his way to help, protect, keep safe, etc. these people. How is he still considered the bad guy ... and treated as such while everyone is acting like no big with Stefan?
Is Damon allowed to get absolutely no credit for the positive changes he's made, the positive choices in his life? The fact that he's managed to turn his wicked ways around, hasn't killed anyone in ages, doesn't feed on humans (other than Bill -- when he was pushed to the limit) anymore ... all on his own. He didn't have a torturing best buddy to teach him the gentler way of being a vampire. Yet, he's still the dick that everyone treats like crap, and based on actor/writer commentary this certainly seems to be the case, and I don't get it. I don't like it, and I don't get it. And, on the other side of the coin, is Stefan to suffer no consequences -- other than of his own making, screwing things up with Elena and Damon -- for all of his horrible, negative choices? Or does he just continue to get the free pass from EVERYONE with a submissive, accepting Elena waiting at the end of the season to take him back into her arms?
I'm legitimately getting worried that what I love about this show is going to start to fall apart. Because --
1.) I don't see Damon as a jerk, yet apparently I'm supposed to think he is one.
2.) I think that Ric is being an asshole to him, but I guess I'm supposed to see him as being awesome to so tolerantly put up with having to deal with Damon in his life.
3.) I think that Stefan is being a douchy ass and based on his post-compulsion/post-under-Klaus'-spell behavior (WICKERY BRIDGE!) is the one who should never be with Elena (again), and yet, I'm beginning to be afraid that that is exactly where they are going with them, and that I'm supposed to be feeling for Stefan's "tragedy."
4.) I wonder now if the dysfunctional Stefan/Elena moments in episodes 3 and 6 (and Nina Dobrev's quote about the abusive angle) are being completely ignored because it sure isn't coming up in any way at all on the show from the characters. Elena was back in submissive, teary-eyed mode with Stefan in the last episode, and I think that we were supposed to take Stefan's "I love her" as some romantic declaration. I didn't, but maybe that was the intention.
5.) I am worried that episodes 5-11 (minus episode 7) of this season was basically all that Damon/Elena fans were given as a treat, because according to Kevin Williamson, they knew they were going to make the Stefan/Elena fans angry this season. And the context of that statement was that they were so sorry for that. Where's the apology for the entire season of making Damon/Elena fans angry? Are Stefan/Elena fans really getting two full seasons of the twuest wuv that ever wuved, while Damon/Elena fans only kinda sorta, 'eh, you got one kiss!' get six episodes before they begin to fall right back into Stefan/Elena's twuest wuv that ever wuved? Really? How is that in any way, shape or form fair and shows even remotely an equilateral triangle?
6.) I didn't think they'd really go there with Matt and Elena, but hey, look, Dobrev and Zach Roerig are giving interviews together and talking about how Matt is her only human connection, and they *do* have a romantic history.
If all of the above is how things are going to play out then, yeah, this isn't the amazing, character-driven, smart, layered, awesome show I've believed it to be. For me, going spoiler-free and then jumping back in because every single tidbit of a spoiler that was casually leaked was negative has basically reinforced all of my fears.
I want to be wrong. I want to believe that this is groundwork that they are laying for Damon/Elena for a long-term endgame and that I'm just letting past experiences torture me so. I really want to trust the show, but frankly, they're not giving me anything to hold my hat onto at this point. I've just been burned so many times by other shows and hearing the actors essentially diss the relationship (which is what both Somerhalder and Dobrev have been doing -- although Dobrev included Stefan in her 'Elena should step back from the Salvatore brothers') and no positive commentary from anyone involved in the show is very frustrating.
Especially when Somerhalder, Dobrev, et al. talk about Elena stepping away, etc. from both brothers, putting Stefan and Damon on an equal playing field. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN EQUAL PLAYING FIELD. Elena has NOTHING to step back from when it comes to Damon because aside from a few kisses (one when he was dying), and some heated moments that led to exactly NOWHERE, there is NO Damon/Elena.
So, yeah, I'm frustrated. Anyone feel free to talk me down? Somehow, I don't really think anyone who's reading the spoilers can at this point. Because it doesn't look like there is any good on the horizon.
ETA: I wanted to say that sumeria did a great job in cheering me up by reminding me of things I've said myself in the past. See? This is why going spoiler-free doesn't work for me. I just get so darn negative!