Arabian (arabian) wrote,

3.15 - 'All My Children' (The Vampire Diaries)

Woohoo!! New Vampire Diaries episode!!! (We'll just ignore the month-long wait for another new one. Wah!)

I will confess that I was still emotionally bruised from last week's episode. (Yes, logically, I found a way for it all to work, but it still hurt like hell!) Because I was still emotionally bruised, I fought giving into the awesome of this episode until about halfway through before I finally just admitted to myself that the episode was, indeed, awesome-sauce. This was partly helped by the fact that the idea that sumeria put forward that Elena was only thinking of Stefan as more of a friend, someone that she needed to help find themselves as opposed to wanting to *be* with him really did bear itself out here. Honestly, ya'll, Stefan was such an afterthought in relation to Elena (and for Elena) except from Damon's point of view. Initially, I thought that the opening song was about the Stefan/Elena pairing, and that Elena was all moody and what-not when she woke up because she was thinking about Stefan because the phone call (reluctantly made) was to him. However, what followed made it clear that the song, Elena's mood, even Elena's phone call to Stefan was all about Damon.

After all, she had called Damon several times, and the point was made that we knew how many times, whereas there was just the one call to Stefan -- and since he'd taken her home the night before, she knew that he was fine, so therefore, yes, she was calling him about Damon. Because she'd called him several times and hadn't heard from him. When Stefan didn't answer, she tried Damon once again and after his short reply and hang-up, she went over to see him. And, yes, her 'get over it' was kinda heartless, but *that* confirms the idea that was presented in my defense of Elena points that she really didn't realize how badly she hurt him. Plus, let's get real ... when it's Damon about Elena, he ALWAYS gets over it, like that! She's just going with what she knows. Girl needs her wake-up call. It's coming. It's so coming! And going back to some thoughts from last week, I just remind myself that Damon did a lot of growing in season 02 (as Elena has done this season), but he also regressed, two steps forward, a few steps back, etc. and so on because that's how growth (that eventually sticks) generally works. Same thing with Elena too.

She's going to have to grow up herself. Remember the season premiere was all about Elena turning eighteen, becoming an adult. It doesn't just happen overnight with a number change. She's learning. And she's going to screw up. And her lack of empathy about Damon in this instance when she's normally so empathetic to everyone? Well, Damon isn't just anybody. It's Damon. He arouses her passions, he confuses her, frustrates her, makes her feel things that she doesn't understand and so the eighteen-year old that she is lashes out and says mean things, unthinking things. It's all in character, and it's all part of the process.

Ahem, moving along ...

Again, it was pretty much all about him. Upon arrival, seeing him with Rebekah, her focus was on him. Hell, Elena barely even acknowledged Stefan's presence once she arrived (again, making it clear the message she left for him was about Damon). Then, of course, when we next see her, she's been going on and on about Damon to Bonnie (and Caroline). Finally, while Rebekah did keep saying "boyfriends" (plural -- which, honestly, will never not crack me up), all of her actual commentary was about Damon, getting digs in about him with nary a mention of Stefan (of whom Rebekah has carnal experience with as well). And when Elena called her on it, she flat-out stated that Rebekah sleeping with Damon was about hurting Elena meaning that she knew that Rebekah knew that it *would* hurt Elena. So, Elena may have never said that she was jealous, but it was perfectly clear that she was, and that it really had nothing to do with Rebekah almost killing her. That statement to Damon had about zero percent of heat behind it. She was just grabbing for an excuse to explain why she was upset. Of course, it was interesting that while it was clear (without flat-out being said other than by Damon, in full snarky form) to everyone else that she was jealous, there was one person for whom it wasn't: Stefan. After Damon commented on Elena's jealousy, Stefan immediately refuted it, going with Elena's cover-up explanation instead. And I do wonder if Stefan actually believed that or was just convincing himself. Hmm....

As for Damon, did he believe that Elena was jealous? He probably did think that there was a little jealousy there, but more likely that it was based on him turning his attention elsewhere, as opposed to her being jealous because of her feelings for him. After all, he's clearly convinced himself that he doesn't have a shot with Elena at all anymore and is thus backing off. As I said in my Take Two: "Dangerous Liaisons" post:

Elena needs to acknowledge that what's been happening with Damon is a two-way street, and whether she wants to admit it or not, she HAS been encouraging his love for her with her words, actions, reactions and responses to him. If it takes Damon walking away for a bit and letting them deal with issues/problems without him, and him staying mostly out of Elena's life and having her realize that he does matter to her for it to happen, okay then!
And I do believe that this is where we are heading. Without the 'Damon not going forth to keep her safe' part. Keep his emotional distance, yes, but still save the day. (Because, really, without him there to do that, they'll all be dead.) So yay!

Also a positive side, I felt, is the difference to how they are tackling this Elena-issue. Stefan is once again playing the martyr, and keeps trying to level that same act at Damon. However, that is not what Damon is doing. Damon is not pretending to not care (unlike Stefan), he's just acknowledging the belief that it doesn't matter that he loves Elena; she doesn't love him and he'll never win her ... fair and square or otherwise. So, he's going back to his modus operandi of before: I'll keep her safe, even if she hates me for it. He's accepting that he'll never have her, so instead he'll be her bad guy.

Another difference between Stefan and Damon was how the Bennett bloodline was severed to save Elena's life. Stefan just kept talking, talking, talking instead of doing what the coin toss had decided he would do. Damon just walked up behind Abby and did it. And did anyone really doubt that Damon would be the one to do the thing, regardless of the coin toss? Of course not, because Stefan can clearly only make the hard choice when revenge (or his brother's life) is on the line. The question is whether Damon did it because he didn't want to give Stefan more to feel guilty about (as he said later), or because he wasn't sure that Stefan would pull through and do what needed to be done at the end of the day. A little of both I think.

So, this looks like -- starting with the last episode -- that it won't be a happy stretch on the road to Damon/Elena, however, I do believe it's all leading toward a stronger, deeper and more real reciprocated relationship with all the cards laid on the table, with both accepting and believing in each other completely. And on a more shallow note, while I will admit that I wasn't thrilled about seeing Rebekah in Damon's bed, the fact that we didn't see the sex scene there, as we didn't see Andie or Rose with Damon sexually in the bed either, gives me continued hope that when the show came up with that bed, the plan was for Elena to be the one -- the only one -- sharing Damon sexytiems in it.

And they so should because they are the most awesome OTP ever! Once again, Damon came up with the plan that saved the day (booyah!). Not once (dagger one of the Originals to keep them all down until the spell could be cast), and when that didn't work -- through no fault of his own, he was ready with plan B, that wound up keeping Bonnie's mother in the picture at least. And once again, Elena was proven to be WRONG about the person she trusted. On the other hand, and also once again, despite her über-stupidity in "Dangerous Liaisons" (albeit, utterly in-character über-stupidity), Elena showed her smarts again landing in that no-vampires-allowed room, and then reading Rebekah so well to keep herself alive (even if only to be Rebekah's torture-project). In their own ways, together, Elena and Damon really do make an awesome team, even when coming at it from different ends.

Okay, then, here's a bunch of randoms (some deeper than others) ...

- I seriously loved both of the Bonnie/Elena/Caroline scenes. The first one showed them being friends, discussing things in a natural, friendshippy-teenage-venting way, mixed in with the supernatural info and mumbo-jumbo with some nice comic relief from Caroline (who looked OMG!GORGEOUS in this episode!). Then, of course, there was the final scene with Abby stretched out on the bed, and Bonnie sitting at her side (so similar to the arrangement of Bonnie and Grams when she died in "Fool Me Once." {sobs}) Caroline telling her how much Bonnie loved Elena and was glad she was alive, but unable to deal with Elena at that time because in order to keep Elena safe, get Elena what she wanted, Bonnie had to suffer. I alternately wanted to hug Bonnie for her loss, Elena for her guilt, and Caroline for being such an awesome friend to both of them. Damn, I love these three and their friendship so much!

ETA: I've read some issue with the idea that Bonnie has lost so much, compared to Elena, but even while I love Elena, I also love Bonnie and I can see where that comes from emotionally. She had Grams. She lost Grams. Who was clearly her only and all support. She had Jeremy, she lost Jeremy because of all of the vampire/witchy stuff. Not fair to blame it on supernatural forces when much of that was on Jeremy's own feelings, but it feels like it when emotions and pain come into play, you don't look at logic, you focus on the pain. And now Jeremy is gone because he was a target because of Elena, through Elena's choice, using those supernatural forces to send him away. She found her mother, and now she's lost her life (although, she's not gone), of course, so that cut short bonding they could have had WITHOUT this crazy vampire mix added to it. She basically has Caroline and Elena, and Elena is all wrapped up in vampires, and Caroline IS a vampire, and Bonnie as a witch, instinctively is against vampires so to take comfort from the only two people she has, she has to overcome nature's voice pounding in her head about something that is wrong.

Yes, Elena lost her parents -- before this all happened. Yes, Elena lost John -- but she didn't love him, hell, she barely liked him. Yes, she lost Jenna. No question there. Yes, she lost Jeremy -- but not really, she simply sent him away for his safety so she wouldn't lose him. On the other hand, she gained Stefan, Damon and Alaric, and everyone else is constantly bending over backward to keep Elena safe, make Elena happy.

Comparing the two, it's easy to see where Bonnie and Caroline are coming from. At the end of the day, Bonnie is now a witch with a vampire mother and two best friends (one a vampire, the other in love with vampires). That's it. At the end of the day, Elena has a stepfather (which is technically what Alaric is), a brother safely tucked away, two immortal guys who are willing to do any and everything for her who both love her and she loves them, two best friends who are willing to do any and everything for her, plus a few Original vampires here and there who will help to keep her alive for whatever reason. I get where Bonnie is coming from. It's not even about a list of who/what you've lost, it's about the emotional fallout she's suffering through AGAIN because of Elena, fair or not. So, yeah, I see Bonnie's point of view, but I love Bonnie, so ....

- I've yet to be negative in this post, but, sigh, here it comes: I'm gonna say it, and I really, really hate doing so because I want to think nothing but the best of this show and its writers, but they screwed up with Stefan and this arc. It has been all over the place and has made no sense. There is simply no rhyme or reason to how he's behaved and I honestly can not conceive of how it can be laid out in a way that would. He's not compelled, but human blood is making him a sadistic, sick puppy. No wait, he is compelled, and he's suddenly NOT a sadistic, sick puppy, yet he has a nasty, snarky attitude. No wait, now he isn't compelled, and he's a snarky ass who doesn't care about anyone except Damon, and he goes too far and does horrible things. And, wait for it, now he's gone too far, and so he's not drinking blood and he's back to being the martyred, suffering Stefan again. Whatever. And I don't think I'm the only one 'whatever'-ing this as it really felt like Paul Wesley has just checked out. I'm just not feeling anything from him anymore (in this, and last week's episode).

Worst of all, it appears as if there really will be no consequences for his behavior, for what he did to Andie. At all. This frustrates me because there is a story there, and I want to see Stefan get to a place where he can live on bunny-blood, and not hate himself. Where he can find that middle ground, just as Damon needs to find his. The difference is that Damon's arc is being (and has been) beautifully crafted and nurtured along the course of the show. The same can not be said for Stefan, and I don't know if the blame is the writing, the actor, the very essence of the type of character that Stefan is, or maybe it's a combination of all three. I don't know. The bottom-line is just that he's no longer working for me and that does make me sad because once upon a time, Stefan was one of my absolute favorite characters.

- So Esther, Finn, Kol and presumably, Elijah have taken/are taking off. I am down with that. Pruning the canvas for a few episodes is NOT a bad idea. And we at least get to keep Klaus and Rebekah. I would have included Elijah on this list (or would have wept about his lack of inclusion) before the last episode and this one, but I've been really annoyed with this whole inexplicable Elijah/Elena thing. I mean, her complete trust in him? Yeah, she trusted him (sorta) at the end of the season 02 but that was out of necessity and before he, you know, BETRAYED her! That sappy letter at the end? Really? I mean, really?! A thousand-year old vampire who was turned in his 30's is that affected by an 18-year old of the 21st century? Really?!?!? Yeah, I don't buy it, even as much as I adore Elena, I don't buy it, and it really felt like this whole connection between them came from nowhere. On the other hand, I *liked* that he did betray her (again) and that Elena got (hopefully) a wake-up call that will stick that she can't trust everyone who is nice to her for five seconds! (Oh, Elena!) I also liked that Elijah realized that he's not this amazingly noble creature. As much as I love him, and do believe that he has a morality about him for sure, he still has and does do awful, terrible things and to have convinced himself otherwise ... {shakes head}. Really, Damon is the ONLY honest vampire on this damn show, LOL!

- Okay, yeah, Klaus and Caroline are really adorable, even when Caroline is playing him. Which he knew, thus the destruction of his MANY drawings of her. I loved him saying "let me acquit myself." (That along with Kol calling Rebekah a strumpet were little touches that I continue to like about the Originals, their speech patterns in small ways prove just how long they've been around, when they were staked, etc.) That was awesome, as were his attempts to get to know her. Oh, Klaus. When courting, he's just so ... well, adorably a dork about it. And when he watched her walk away in the Grill, I actually said aloud: "He's so smitten." Because, really, that is the key word to describe how he feels at this point, I think. Smitten. Klaus-y boy is one smitten kitten!

- On the other end of the romantic spectrum, it sadly appears that the Stefan/Rebekah awesomeness from "The End of the Affair" was pointless, unless Stefan's line about who Damon slept with was slightly about his jealousy over Rebekah. Nah, didn't really play that way at all. *Sigh* Such good chemistry, and SUCH a great story. I want to be wrong, but there has literally been NOTHING pointing to anything with them, heck even a reference to them other than Rebekah's line that she's done with Stefan until he treats her better back in "Ordinary People," and before that her jealousy and anger in "The Reckoning" (episode 05). So, yeah, not holding my breath. :(

- Erm, speaking of that one-night stand ... Rebekah's dress. Really, guys? You made it very clear that one Damon Salvatore ripped that dress right down the back, and yet, here's Rebekah the next morning, her dress just as lovely and finely-seamed as the night before. Okay, fine, here's my theory. We all know what a happy homemaker Damon is, so I've decided that he has a little sewing kit and with his vampire speed, stitched that baby right back up to its former pristine glory. :)

- The White Oak Tree is thriving again. Now the Scooby gang just needs a botanist on their team (hey, new Vampire girl from the next episode's promo goes by the name "Sage") and they're good to go! :D

- Hmm, wow, the first time I felt something in the Ric/Meredith scenes and it ends with her -- a human -- shooting him. This could be the end of Ric. Sadly, I'm not even as remotely as sad as I would have been before episode 08 of this season. He has been SUCH an asshole to Damon (and their phone conversation made it clear to me that we weren't supposed to be seeing it as such), that I just don't care as much. I don't want him dead, of course not, but him dying won't break my heart as it would have before.

- Now we know for sure that a witch can be turned, but once she is, she's no longer a witch.

- Speaking of, so when Stefan thought that he was going to be the one who had to sever the Bennett bloodline, he went after ... Bonnie? And not Abby? Really, Stefan?! You choose to keep around a woman you all barely know over Bonnie?!?!? Again, thank God for Damon! Who severed the bloodline, saved Elena's life, and did so in a way that at least kept Bonnie's new-found mother in her life.

- Didn't miss Tyler, didn't miss Matt either, but I didn't miss him less than I didn't miss Tyler. So, erm, can Tyler stay away forever? Please? Still miss Jeremy, though. :Pouts:

- So Damon and/or Stefan is going to be turned into human by that Esther spell by the end of the season? Y/y? (Most likely Damon, unless Elena DOES choose to be with Damon, and then Stefan gets turned all human-y. Eh, still leaning towards Damon.) And if so, and if Elena does choose Damon that would be a VERY interesting "obstacle" for them, Damon has Elena, he's human, but he realizes he doesn't want to be a human anymore, he likes being a vampire.

Phew! Another episode, and this one a fabulous one, bringing us back to the glory of episodes 3-11 (minus 4). (And to be fair, episode 14 was great, it was just hard as a Damon, Damon/Elena fan -- and will probably play out much better once we've hit the finale). Hopefully, this starts a new streak of awesome to finish out the season with. I can so live with episode 4, 12, 13 and 14 being the only weak to not-totally-awesome episodes. :)

ETA: WOW! 100+ comments for this one, that's the most ever! Phew!
Tags: alaric saltzman, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, stefan salvatore, the vampire diaries, tv

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