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16 March 2012 @ 05:45 pm
3.16 - '1912' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Due to my emotional self being all emotional regarding certain attachments to this show, I've decided to hold off writing my reviews until Fridays for now, so as to let the episode simmer, and allow a rewatch. Knee-jerk reactions brought on by those emotional attachments generally lead me to writing up follow-up posts after I've calmed down, so ... that's the new plan. :) As for this one, here be my thinky thoughts ...

I really, really, really liked this episode last night. This morning, upon further thought, rewatching, and breaking this post down, I find that I more than really, really, really liked it. I loved it. Like a LOT! This was a FANTASTIC Damon episode, one of the best, I think. It's interesting though, in that this is the first awesome Damon-centric episode that didn't feature him being emotionally ripped to shreds. Not to say that there still wasn't pain for my beloved bad boy, however there was a running current of acceptance of who and what he is and for the first time it included both his good and bad qualities. Of course, he still tends to think less of himself, but it's coming from a place of honesty based on the reactions and actions of others around him. Telling of this was his one line that, aside from the aww-worthy inducement regarding the brothers Salvatore, distinctly expressed where Damon's state of mind is right now. Both Liz and Elena called Ric Damon's friend, and Stefan even referred to Ric as Damon's "best friend." Elena flat-out told Damon that he needed to stop pushing people away or he would have no one, implying that he still does at this point. Yet near episode's end, Damon told Stefan: "Right now, you're all I got."

Him saying this, after multiple references to Damon being Ric's friend, to Elena saying in so many words that he has people (ie, Elena) who care, told me that Damon truly does believe that once saint Stefan re-appeared, Elena was all about him, and that he really had never had a chance with her. He was just a replacement as he said in "Disturbing Behavior." And, on top of that, despite everyone saying that Damon is Ric's friend, he obviously doesn't feel the reverse is true, and that he has Ric on his side anymore. If he had, he would have fought more to help his friend, and he would have been there comforting Elena, trying to help her through this latest trial. Instead, he kept his distance because he believes now that he only has Stefan, no more Elena, no more Ric. That's a far cry from his attitude in "Ghost World" that implied that he had the both of them in his corner. Now, it does appear as if he doesn't believe that anymore ... he only has Stefan.

Which is really, really, really good for Stefan. Because, as we all know, the boy never learned moderation, and he needs to ... desperately. And Damon is probably the only person who can teach him because:

(a) he knows his brother better than anyone. He knows when he's lying to others, to himself; he knows when he's genuinely suffering, and when he's being manipulative, consciously or not. For instance, when Stefan tried to play the 'I don't care about Elena' card, Damon was all 'yeah, no, we're not playing that game.' And thank goodness for Damon pushing through Stefan's brooding, because the timing of Elena coming upon them at that moment was really, really bad. I am so thrilled that instead of choosing to use that moment as a setback for Stefan's road to recovery, it instead became a hump that the love between the brothers overcame.

(b) Being his brother (and loving him), he will have the patience to stand by through all the ups and downs. You forgive a sibling so much more than you would just about anyone else.

(c) Outside of Caroline -- whose A-type personality/control-freak nature as a human which was magnified as a vampire aided her in keeping those impulses in check -- and Elijah -- who is 1,000 years old and clearly had a Zen attitude as a human, Damon is the most in control than any other vampire we met. I know that sounds crazy to say about Damon, but it is true. It's not the thirst for blood, or the hunger for power that controls him ... it's his very human emotions. That is what sends him into a tailspin, but the good and the bad that comes with being a vampire he has complete control over. He can live off of blood bags with no problem, he can take a little sip after a long hiatus away from the fresh stuff, and casually comment that it tastes good, but it doesn't control him at all. So he can teach Stefan that kind of control because he can pull him away (as we've seen him do twice now) without being tempted himself at all.

(d) He's stronger, or at least as strong (when Stefan's drinking) as Stefan physically so he can pull him off without much effort and can keep him from going too far.

To recap: Damon knows Stefan inside and out, and loves him enough to put up with his mood swings. Damon is in control of his vampirism, and is strong enough physically to keep his baby brother from going too far. There's really no one better equipped to teach Stefan moderation. And I adored how they told, and showed all of this throughout the episode. And I loved that they had Damon say a variation on something I had been randomly thinking earlier about the fact that Stefan has to figure out what he's going to do because he can't do the cold turkey thing. He WILL fall off the wagon again and here comes a new string of dead bodies. He can't really do one extreme or the other; he needs to find that middle ground. Lexi, for all her good intentions, did not know Stefan inside and out, good and bad, to understand what he needs. Like everyone who meets Stefan, she bought into the image he projects of himself. The good, long-suffering soul who wishes that he wasn't a vampire because it's so very wrong. Damon knows, and we know, that such is not the case. He plays at not being a vampire because he can't control it. He has no problem casually using and taking advantage of the powers vampirism gives him. He simply can't fully access them because of his lack of control ... which leads to him committing heinous murder upon murder.

Lexi clearly didn't get that. She thought it was about controlling him, teaching him to deny himself human blood because that is the only way he could survive and not be a ripper. However, that wasn't Stefan controlling the blood lust, but rather letting the blood control him. Damon gets that; Damon clearly got a glimpse of that in 1912, but since Damon was still the stick-up-his-ass dude then that we met in 1864, he obviously was not ready to deal with it yet. Instead, he ran away like the pansy I'm kinda now thinking he was. (Defecting from the war for a girl? Running away after his brother chomped through someone's neck to the point that he beheaded her? This is not the badass Damon Salvatore that we know. And, no, these flashbacks didn't give us all that much insight into what changed a prig into a hedonist.)

Now, finally he is over his love for Katherine (and kudos to the casual mention, showing yet again that it's a thing of the past), and able to see that his brother needs him -- because the better angels of his nature have taken root and aren't letting go. He didn't say that he loved Stefan, but it was evident that such is the heart of his actions and determination to help Stefan. However, the words he spoke were chosen, I think, as I stated above because it gave us a clear glimpse into Damon's state of mind. He believes that he is all alone except for Stefan. No Ric. No Elena. No one who wants his help, no one who wants him ... except for his brother who, by right of blood, Damon can justify sticking by whereas he can't with either a friend who doesn't seem particularly fond of him anymore, or a girl who's made it clear that she's just not that into him.

Even though she totes is! Yes, she still has this mental block when it comes to both Damon and Stefan. She has them in these specific boxes: Damon is "bad," and so she automatically expects the worst, and thus responds in rote to such behavior. Stefan is "good," and so with him, she automatically expects the best (and is disappointed when it's not so). That was obvious in her first reaction to seeing Damon, and Stefan in this episode. Walking into the station, upon seeing Damon, she huffed and steeled herself to deal with him, which was a good call because just about right off the bat, Damon was a snarky asshole. Really, he was. But, we get why. He's hurting, he's trying to keep the distance, and if she hates him because he's the "bad guy," the earth is back on its axis and things are as they should be; they are playing the roles he figures they play best.

And with Stefan, upon seeing him, mouth dripping with blood, someone laying on the road, despite all he has done recently, she was still disappointed, expecting better. The thing is, it goes back to the HUUUUUGE problem in the Stefan/Elena relationship that does not exist in any potential Damon/Elena relationship. Honesty and knowing who your partner is. Stefan could only stare at Elena in horrified shame, while Damon calmly explained the situation because he knows what and who he is, and he damn well is not going to let Elena pretend that he is anything but. As opposed to Stefan, who has always only wanted Elena to see the best projected representation of himself. And so what we had was an Elena horrified and speechless by Stefan's actions, but able to ask Damon without much judgement in her tone what they were doing. Which brings us to her discussion with Matt about the brothers ... which I found fascinating.

When trying to explain to Matt what it is about the boys that has her feeling as she does, her commentary was so in sync with much of what I've been seeing. With Stefan nothing she said was about him, Stefan, the boy. Instead, it was all about what he represents to her. He represents safety (a far cry from the "passion" she didn't have with Matt, that the Pilot implied she would find with Stefan) and the fact that, unlike her parents, he couldn't just die on her. Again, nothing about him. Now, don't get me wrong. Obviously, there are things about Stefan that she loves, that she cares for, that made her stick by him for as long as she has. However, I just find it very interesting that when asked to explain the connection, for Stefan what she comes up with are things he represents. On the other hand ... there is Damon, and with him, it was all about him. He got under her skin, and no matter what he does she can't shake him. So, with Stefan, the explanation is what he represents, with Damon, it's ... Damon. Everything he is, no matter what he does, she can't let go of what she feels for him, the real Damon.

I'm not fully getting across what I'm trying to convey, but I think looking at the words themselves will help drive it home:

Elena: I know it doesn't make sense, but in the beginning, after my parents died, there was something about being with Stefan that just felt safe.
Matt: Safe? Elena, he's a vampire.
Elena: I know, just saying it out loud, it sounds crazy, but, it's like I knew that he would never stop loving me, he would never --
Matt: What?
Elena: Die. Like he would never die.
Matt: Like your parents did. And Damon?
Elena: Damon just sorta snuck up on me. He got under my skin and no matter what I do, I can't shake him.
Matt: Once you fall in love with someone, I don't know if you can ever shake 'em.
Everything that Elena said about Damon was about her feelings for him, while what she said about Stefan was about his feelings for her. Again, I'm not saying that she didn't love Stefan, doesn't love him, but she's speaking of Stefan in the past-tense (as she did with Matt when she spoke to Stefan about him). "There was something ... It's like I knew ..." Past-tense. With Damon, she says "no matter what I do, I can't shake him." Present-tense. And, of course, the 'falling in love with someone' from Matt was a direct reference to Elena's feelings for Damon. And earlier, Meredith told Elena that she dates vampire(s) plural. Neither time did Elena deny, or even react it to the statements as anything other than fact. She knows how she feels about Damon deep down; she just can't admit it fully yet. But she is clearly getting there.

She's also getting to a slightly darker shade of gray. Her scenes with Matt were fantastic in showing how the knowledge and interaction with vampires and all of the other supernatual forces are changing their black and white views of the world. Matt was breaking and entering, and, on one hand, they were like stupid teenagers misbehaving and seeing it as exciting, but on the other hand, they were playing with life-and-death stakes and we're fairly casual about it. Then there was the interaction with Liz that really got the ball rolling. Elena is so used to stepping outside of the lines now that it didn't even hit her that she and Matt were breaking the law, and by all rights, should have been in jail cells next to Ric. And Liz is so caught up in all of this, that instead of doing her job, she was protecting them and let them go with just an angry warning.

Finally, Elena and Matt coming upon Stefan and Damon partaking of an innocent civilian, and other than her horror at Stefan's actions, and understandable upset in the moment from Matt, by the time they got to Elena's house, a warm beverage was all they needed before they calmly discussed Elena and the Salvatores. There was no concern, no cry for help, not even an attempt to help the stranger lying in a dark alley between two monsters. Because, not only Elena, but everyone -- including Matt -- involved in this supernatural world now have had all of their axes shifted, and it's happened gradually over the course of two and a half seasons that it's evolved so naturally and believably. If I haven't made it clear recently, I REALLY love this show.

And one of the things that I love about it is how even after two and a half seasons, they can still bring me to appreciate new arenas. Such as one Mr. Matt Donovan. Yes, I have finally come to a place where I love me some Matty Donovan. I prefer him with Elena, as her friend, than with Caroline -- simply because he's never seemed to fully appreciate the queen that is Caroline -- but even then, I liked Matt and Caroline more than Caroline and Tyler. But, oh man, as Elena's truth-telling friend who connects her to who she was before the Salvatores without judging her for who she has become, he's simply awesome. There's such a gentle, solid strength about Matt in these scenes that is glorious. And what we got in that Matt/Elena scene is something that I've been waiting for.

Prior to the episode's airing, I had commented that, although, I didn't want a romance rekindled between them (both as a Damon/Elena fan, but also because I don't think it would make sense based on why they broke up and everything since then), I did like the idea of revisiting them because we never saw emotional closure. It was just kinda there in the background, and ignored until it "went away," but I don't think it fully ever did. With this scene, I got that sense of closure. It was clear that a part of Matt still loves her, she'll always be the one who got away. Elena knows that, and he knows that, but they also both know that she doesn't feel the same, and he accepts that. Lastly, they are both okay with this state of affairs, because both believe that it is more important to keep that pre-romance friendship alive. Yeah, I just loved everything about this scene from the writing, the subtle shift of where Elena's heart is pointing, and the acting of both Nina Dobrev and Zach Roerig. So, it took two and half seasons (literally, with episode 11's "Our Town" being the turning point), but Matt has officially become a character I love and don't want to lose.

And you know what? I don't want to lose Meredith now either. Well, I mean, in that I'd care now, whereas before this episode, I wouldn't have ... like at all. I get why the show was presenting her as this mysterious question mark of a character, but by doing so, it kept her at an emotional distance from the viewers. In this one, those final two scenes we finally got to see who Meredith is, and I really, REALLY liked her. She really got to me and I'm looking forward to seeing more with the character now. So, please, crazy-on-a-ring!Ric, don't kill her. Oh, Ric, oh Ric, oh Ric. A bit on that crazy-making ring later, but first ... Isobel put out two restraining orders on our Mr. Saltzman prior to their marriage? He was arrested four times for fighting? My, my, my, what is his backstory? Does the ring bring out the crazy homicidal tendencies in any one who overuses it, or just the crazy, and the violent tendencies in an individual are just exaggerated by the crazy? Sure, the ring made Johnathan Gilbert coocoo for cocoa puffs, but from all we've heard, he wasn't violent. And, obviously, we don't know anything about Samantha Gilbert other than the fact that she got off on the violent boxing bouts, but that it was pointed out that she did, paired with Alaric's violent past, it does make one go hmmm.........

Can I just say about the crazy-making-ring how AWESOME that twist is?! It makes such perfect sense. The witches and their balance of nature. A person is meant to die, but the supernaturals shouldn't be, so therefore the ring giveth (life when taken from a supernatural) and taketh (when used to much, meaning you spend so much time playing with fire, you'll get burned, you go crazy). And I loved how we had Damon and Stefan putting the pieces together on their own across town. I love, love, LOVE the little boom shockers just about as much as I love the jaw-dropping OMG! ones for different reasons. The latter are so shocking because they come out of nowhere, are hella-crazy and set things on a new path. The former build up on information we already have and correct the course. It's pretty awesome.

Also pretty awesome? Damon Fucking Salvatore. Dudes, how can they still come up with episodes that manage to make me re-evaluate my love for this character and bring it to a higher plateau? I don't know how, but they do it, because I found new heights of dizzying love for this guy after this episode. Most awesome brother ever? Check. Most snazzy, snarky, funny, loyal, strong source of awesome? Check. Most bad-ass? Check. Most willing to put others before himself? Better for Elena that she hates him, he steps back. Better for Stefan to deal with all of the crazy that goes along with his recovery, including Damon's belief that he'll inevitably be with Elena again. Better for Ric to keep his distance and not make waves. Check. Check. Check. Honestly, this evolution has been so very masterfully done.

Some mention they miss Damon from season 01, they want that Damon back. I don't, and I never have because that Damon was cruel and mean and hurt people a LOT. What we got in this episode (minus his assiness to Elena which, ironically, came from a desire to help her by keeping their distance) was a better Damon season 01 version. We got the similar hair, similar cockiness, similar attitude, we got the friggin' crow!, and yet, it wasn't a mean, cruel Damon. He was a cool, confident, in control Damon who was no longer ignoring those better angels. The preview that showed him with the woman in the alley worried me a tad because I did NOT want to go back to that Damon, but how it played out was perfect. It wasn't nice, what he did, but he didn't wantonly kill this woman, he was helping Stefan, and then healed and erased so that she was none the wiser, and in better health likely than she was before they spoke. Yes, yes, still terrible, but in vampire-speak, that's good comparatively. I mean, Rebekah would have killed her. Stefan would have chomped through her neck and dislodged her head. Comparatively, I'm just saying.

Okay, then ... some random thoughts --

- I have to say that Matt Davis, Ian Somerhalder and Marguerite McIntyre (Ric, Damon and Liz) offered up some marvelous acting in their first scene in the jail. Just the back-and-forth rhythms, the zing, the delivery, the looks, the body language, just all around ... it was bloody fantastic.

- No Caroline, Bonnie, or Klaus, but I find I didn't miss them in this episode. Naturally, I knew my bb, Jeremy, wasn't going to be around, and yeah, Tyler? Don't care.

- Shallow time! Other than the weird overdone make-up on Damon in the first two scenes -- you could SEE the make-up! -- Ian Somerhalder looked REALLY GO-OOOOD! Yum-meh!

- Hah! Damon and Rebekah tagteaming to mock Stefan's journals was HI-larious.

- Oh, and speaking of Damon and Rebekah, methinks she does like him. Not in an 'ooh, I think I love him!' way, but in a 'he'd make a great, fun boyfriend, I like!' kinda way. Unfortunately for her, Damon doesn't really give a shit. She's so just, you know, there. He's amused by her, liked the sex, will use her if needed, but he can do with or without her clearly. Whereas, poor Rebekah, is still just looking for someone to bond with. Saint Stefan's a bust, Tyler is off breaking his bond to sire-Klaus, Elena stabbed her in the back, she's likely still miffed at Klaus, Kol took off, so Rebekah is giving Damon a try now. Good luck with that, sweetie. You'll need it. With that said, I continue to give props to Claire Holt because despite all of that, I still like her, and I don't pity her or find her pathetic at all. I just feel for her.

And I wish that Stefan would too. {Pouts} Yes, I still want my Stefan and Rebekah to get another shot. I'm hoping that all of the 20's references to the two of them is leading up to something ... perchance, something in episode 20? One can dream. They sure seemed to be reminding people of her past with Stefan, I thought.

- Still on Rebekah, girl, you and that tree! You are not very subtle. Sure, Damon thought you were angling for something else, but still, you keep up the baldly-stated questions, someone is going to put two and two together.

- So Giuseppi knocked up one of the "maids." How Old South Southern gentleman of him.

- I thought that Cassidy Freeman was fantastic as Sage, and I am quite curious to see her in modern days, and find out what is the deal with her and Finn (the other Original sibling -- or as Damon called him, the "creepy, suicidal one" -- that I REALLY liked). And, yes, I still can't figure out how the casting department that brought us Malese Jow, Kelly Hu, Mia Kirshner, Claire Holt and now Cassidy Freeman as awesome kick-ass female vampires also cast ... Lauren Cohan. I just ... yeah, I just don't get it. Such a potentially beyond fantastic Damon arc that was lessened to merely really good by her presence in it. Ah well.

- Finally, two more Damon bits: Hmm, without Elena to distract him, Damon does MUCH better at darts. And, of course, the pièce de résistance ... repeating myself here but I am unable to not do so:

     

*SIGH* DAMON PLAYS THE PIANO!

In short, fantastic episode. Other than episodes 4, 12 and 13, I think every episode this season has been great to awesome, with this one leaning towards the scale of awesome. Very awesome.
 
 
 
La vida de lloronalaudanumdream on March 17th, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
I think Parent Teacher Conferences ruined my ability to like this episode because I was so tired (and tipsy from after-conference teacher drinking) to actually spot specific details about the episode. I have it saved, so I'll go back and watch it again soon. Now that I reflect on your post, though, there were some redeemable moments.

I wasn't really feeling Sage, so maybe they'll do something more with her character.
Arabian: DE & Stefan01arabian on March 17th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
I hope you do get a better view on it after a rewatch, because I thought it was way more than "some redeemable moments." This might be one of my favorite episodes of the season. Seriously, my only issues were preconceived things that I thought would happen and wanted but didn't, which isn't fair to the episode. Based on all that was in the episode, I pretty much loved every moment from beginning to end.
(no subject) - laudanumdream on March 17th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on March 17th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
sumeriasumeria on March 17th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Well, I entirely endorse the idea of switching-to-reactions-on-Fridays; most of the reason I never actually get round to doing one has to do with the fact that I almost never see the episodes until lateish Friday evening (why yes, I did just finish watching it) and it would make me feel less lonely in my lateness. =P

I'm not sure I liked the episode as much as you did; I mean, with one exception, I did like pretty much every *scene* in the episode quite a bit, but it did feel a little... scattered?... to me. I think it maybe needed about an additional twenty minutes to let them tie the different strings together. As it is, it was quite a lot of things that needed to happen, but they didn't feel well tied-together. Still, minor quibble, really.

Agree 100% with everything you said in re: Damon, Damon/Elena, and where this positions them moving forward; this is putting them pretty much exactly where we predicted/hoped they'd go to move towards our desired ending, so I'm quite hopeful about all of that. So much in agreement, though, that I basically have nothing to add, so, I shall move on to other bits. ^_^

And you know what? I don't want to lose Meredith now either. Well, I mean, in that I'd care now, whereas before this episode, I wouldn't have ... like at all. I get why the show was presenting her as this mysterious question mark of a character, but by doing so, it kept her at an emotional distance from the viewers. In this one, those final two scenes we finally got to see who Meredith is, and I really, REALLY liked her. She really got to me and I'm looking forward to seeing more with the character now.

Agreed; it was impossible to engage with her when she was being played mostly as a cipher, but that said, I am not at all certain that we have yet seen the "real" Meredith. I can explain some of her actions/behavior only through either duplicity or bad writing, and I lean towards the former. Consider, if you will, the order of events here, if she's being entirely upfront now: She investigates the killings. She collects information/murder weapons/the Gilbert journal (how?). She suspects that the ring might be driving Alaric crazy and/or possessing him. She invites him over to her place to spend the night (possibly to keep an eye on him? to find out if her theory is correct?), but keeps one eye open, which is good, because he has another episode and tries to kill her. She shoots him in self defense, heals him, and calls the Sheriff to arrest him, turning over all her implicating evidence. She reveals dubious bits of his past to Elena in a really quite contemptuous fashion, clearly trying to cast doubts on his character. She then goes to the sheriff and falsifies evidence to orchestrate Alaric's release, because it's not really his fault, he's being controlled by the ring?

I have a couple of issues with all of this. The first is that the journal indicates that the killings are blackout incidents, for Samantha. Now, Ric has no knowledge or memory of the first three incidents, so that works, but we *saw* the scene with Meredith, and he remembers it clearly. That was not a blackout. The second is that she clearly knows *before* she hands him over to Liz that it's the ring to blame, but she does it anyway, and then suddenly recants for no reason as though she's suddenly discovered new evidence. But she didn't; the only thing that changed is that *other people* discovered evidence. Her whole conversation with Elena about his violent past makes sense if she thinks he's a dangerous psychotic, but none whatsoever if she thinks he's being controlled or compromised by a magic ring. And she's certainly entirely over that by the end of the episode.

I dunno; it's all just very odd, and I am not at all convinced that our lady Fell is playing even remotely straight with our heroes.
Arabian: Katherine04arabian on March 19th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I liked the episode as much as you did; I mean, with one exception, I did like pretty much every *scene* in the episode quite a bit, but it did feel a little... scattered?

Hmm, I don't know. It just really worked for me. I thought everything flowed in and out and was synched nicely. Hmm.

Agree 100% with everything you said in re: Damon, Damon/Elena, and where this positions them moving forward; this is putting them pretty much exactly where we predicted/hoped they'd go to move towards our desired ending, so I'm quite hopeful about all of that.

I just feel that as believers about the direction of Damon and D/E, we should pat ourselves on the back. Booyah!

I can explain some of her actions/behavior only through either duplicity or bad writing

I don't know, it made sense to me.

She investigates the killings. She collects information/murder weapons/the Gilbert journal (how?).

Knowing all she did about the rings and Samantha Gilbert, being a part of the council, being in the know, it seemed to me that much like vampires were Isobel's hobby, the council serial killings was Meredith's hobby/mystery to solve. She could have gotten the journal sometime over the years from John or Grayson or Miranda. I don't think that's inconceivable.

She suspects that the ring might be driving Alaric crazy and/or possessing him. She invites him over to her place to spend the night (possibly to keep an eye on him? to find out if her theory is correct?)

Both make sense to me.

but keeps one eye open, which is good, because he has another episode and tries to kill her. She shoots him in self defense, heals him, and calls the Sheriff to arrest him, turning over all her implicating evidence.

Right, so that she could "clear" him later with doctored evidence while she reveals the information to him, so that they can figure out how to stop it without the police considering him a suspect any longer.

She reveals dubious bits of his past to Elena in a really quite contemptuous fashion, clearly trying to cast doubts on his character.

I saw that as her trying to keep Elena from Alaric until they figure stuff out because Elena could have been in danger from him, but since she didn't have all of her facts in a row, she couldn't tell Elena what she suspected, but she could potentially keep her away from Alaric should he lose it again.

She then goes to the sheriff and falsifies evidence to orchestrate Alaric's release, because it's not really his fault, he's being controlled by the ring?

As she said to Ric, by "setting him up" as a suspect and then "proving his innocence," he's no longer a suspect for the police, and they can work on figuring this out without the police getting in the way.

but we *saw* the scene with Meredith, and he remembers it clearly. That was not a blackout.

No, it wasn't a blackout, but Meredith didn't know that at the time. She just saw him with the knife, knew that he was probably the serial killer, and was protecting herself before he could stab her.

The second is that she clearly knows *before* she hands him over to Liz that it's the ring to blame, but she does it anyway, and then suddenly recants for no reason as though she's suddenly discovered new evidence.

Again, he would have continued to be a suspect otherwise, and if something else DID happen, the risk remained that the police would catch him.

Her whole conversation with Elena about his violent past makes sense if she thinks he's a dangerous psychotic, but none whatsoever if she thinks he's being controlled or compromised by a magic ring.

Mentioned above, it was for Elena's safety; she can't know to what levels of danger Elena is regularly in, LOL!

And she's certainly entirely over that by the end of the episode.

Because she's figured it all out now, put the pieces together and knows it's him, but the ring's at blame.

I dunno; it's all just very odd, and I am not at all convinced that our lady Fell is playing even remotely straight with our heroes.

It really all did make sense to me. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't have ulterior motives too. This show, you never know.

Edited at 2012-03-19 08:15 pm (UTC)
sumeriasumeria on March 17th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
(continued, because comment ran too long, =P)

I think my absolute favorite thing about this episode, though, is something I've not seen much commented on. Finally, finally, I feel like I understand Stefan's interactions with Damon. Always, from the get-go, he's (in the present) treated Damon as vile, as evil, as a corrupting influence that exists only to torment him and ruin him. In the first few episodes, that made sense, sure, because Damon self-presented as such, but the more we found out about their past, the less and less that made sense, and the more and more judgmental and hypocritical that started to seem to me. But this makes it all so heartbreakingly clear.

He was a monster, and then he got control of himself, but by the time he did, he'd lost his beloved brother, who now (justly, I suspect he thought) hated him. (did you see the way he just *lit up* when he caught sight of Damon at that funeral?) But he's able to persuade Damon to talk to him, to spend time with him, and he starts to think that maybe, just maybe, he hasn't lost him completely, maybe he can have his brother back. And because he wants that so desperately, (and because he's an addict, not trying to minimize his own issues there, because they are absolutely present, but...) he lets Damon talk him into giving in to his worst urges. And then he can't stop, and he slaughters hundreds, and his brother, the person he *did this for*, the person who talked him into it, whose approval he wanted... looks at him like he's a monster. And where does he get off judging, and in a way, it's really his fault, he didn't want to drink the blood, Damon made him drink the blood, because he hated him, because he wanted to see him destroyed, he never would have done it if it weren't for Damon...

I mean, at the root, he feels enormously guilty, for turning Damon into a vampire, and for murdering a shit-ton of people, and he desperately wants to find some way that he doesn't have to, that someone else is to blame. I knew he had twisted things around in his head to find a way that it was All Damon's Fault, but I never knew *how* until this, and it was just beautifully done. And I am so beyond thrilled at the steps the show looks to be taking to try to let them find a way to repair their relationship.
Arabian: Katherine02arabian on March 19th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
(continued, because comment ran too long, =P)

Hah, I edited words out here and there in my first response because I was close to not being over, dangit!

I think my absolute favorite thing about this episode, though, is something I've not seen much commented on. Finally, finally, I feel like I understand Stefan's interactions with Damon. Always, from the get-go, he's (in the present) treated Damon as vile, as evil, as a corrupting influence that exists only to torment him and ruin him. In the first few episodes, that made sense, sure, because Damon self-presented as such, but the more we found out about their past, the less and less that made sense, and the more and more judgmental and hypocritical that started to seem to me. But this makes it all so heartbreakingly clear.

I actually didn't even think of that, but you're so right. It DOES make perfect sense. (I really ♥ this show!)

I am so beyond thrilled at the steps the show looks to be taking to try to let them find a way to repair their relationship.

Me too. SO VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT!
sassy, classy, and a bit smart-assy: TVD: DE heartbadboy_fangirl on March 17th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
To add to your whole theory about Damon feeling alone, and wanting to secure that bond with Stefan again on account of it...because I like it, and I see what you're saying...is the idea that he doesn't want to be alone anymore. He wants to have an authentic relationship with someone--he wants to care and be cared about, and it doesn't necessarily have to be romantic. And that's huge progress for Damon. Then there's just the whole brother thing all on its own...and, gah. I am done. Just when I think I can't love Damon more, I do.

As for Damon and Elena, you know I agree 1000% there. It's interesting to see Elena measure by measure accept just what she feels for Damon. Acceptance is the first step. And she's going to come to the place where she has to act, where she can't not do something, whether because Damon is endangered and she starts to fear she'll miss her chance, or whatever is going to happen. But it's just a matter of time. I really loved what Ray said about this thing--Elena's line about him pushing "people" away is just him pushing her away, so now people = Elena. :D

And yay for the Matt love. He really was excellent in this episode. So much goodness.

I really wish I felt something for Meredith, maybe next week will help with that. As for Alaric's backstory, I really wonder about that too. Maybe we'll find out he was abused as kid or something? It just seems so incongruous with the flashbacks we saw of him and Isobel that he ever scared her to the point of TWO restraining orders? I mean he never even yelled at her about her vampire obsession.

I think Rebekah's appreciation of Damon (and yet she's smart enough not to feed his ego too obviously) is that he ROCKED HER WORLD. Who wouldn't want to get with that again, especially Beks who ain't getting any anywhere else? Just a thought ;-)

I really liked Cassidy Freeman, too, but I have to say this about Rose in hindsight: first of all, Lauren is on my other favorite show right now (The Walking Dead) and I love her on that; secondly, when I rewatch her S2 eps now, I like her more. It's like she grew on me over time, and I really love that scene in 2x09 right before they start making out. I can't explain it, but I like Rose now. It's weird.

Damon playing the piano is gorgeous of course, but then again all good things to the prettiest man ever. ♥
Arabian: Damon & Elena15arabian on March 19th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
It's interesting to see Elena measure by measure accept just what she feels for Damon. Acceptance is the first step. And she's going to come to the place where she has to act, where she can't not do something, whether because Damon is endangered and she starts to fear she'll miss her chance, or whatever is going to happen. But it's just a matter of time.

Exactly. And that's why I don't understand people still being upset with Elena in 3.14/3.15 even in retrospect, when it's so blatantly clear where they are heading, and those things needed to happen to get Elena to where she is now, and Damon pulling away from her, is necessary also. They both need to realize what she feels for him, and it's happening. Yay!

I really loved what Ray said about this thing--Elena's line about him pushing "people" away is just him pushing her away, so now people = Elena. :D

I actually don't agree with that though. I think it was about Alaric too because Damon was (in Elena's mind) choosing to not help Ric either, thus pushing him away too. Obviously, she has no clue how Ric has been treating Damon (as someone he kinda sorta tolerates), so she can't know that Damon no longer feels like his help is wanted when it comes to Ric. And to take this all a step forward in terms of Damon being alone, I had joked to myself that Damon should have had a line to Liz where he tells her "you called me first!" when she tells him to stay out of it. But seriously thinking about it, there's another person who is willing to help, who is making it clear that his help is not necessary. You first had Ric not grateful at all for Damon trying to help in figuring out what was going on with Meredith, then you had Elena telling him that his love for her was the problem, then you had Liz (who had previously gone to him for help), telling him to stay out of it. Yeah, that totally got off the point, but yeah, I do think Elena meant more than herself, even if she only was including Ric as well.

And yay for the Matt love. He really was excellent in this episode. So much goodness.

I've read other positive Matt comments here and there too, so yay!

I think Rebekah's appreciation of Damon (and yet she's smart enough not to feed his ego too obviously) is that he ROCKED HER WORLD. Who wouldn't want to get with that again, especially Beks who ain't getting any anywhere else? Just a thought ;-)

I dunno, I think it makes more sense that it's about establishing that connection. That is what she wants, and yet she keeps being denied it. Of course, I'm sure the great sex helped, LOL!

RE: Rose. Yeah, sorry, rewatches actually make her worse for me because knowing where the storyline was headed, there was so much potential for more, and Cohan just brought down the whole arc from the absolute perfection that it could (and should) have been. :(

Damon playing the piano is gorgeous of course, but then again all good things to the prettiest man ever. ♥

*sigh*
gidget_84gidget_84 on March 17th, 2012 08:52 am (UTC)
I'm all for reviews on fridays, I only got to post right afterwards because I didn't have to get up too early this morning, otherwise I probably would've waited too.

And I think I have the same curse you do, re watching TVD and being sick, except I tend to start getting really sleepy around 8 and sometimes am all just like "i'll just watch it online later" *is too lazy* but then I REALLY want to watch so sometimes I make myself stay up, which turns out bad for work the next day.

Excellent review as always. You really put a lot of thought into this and I think that's really amazing. I'm down to just being all OMG and asking millions of questions in my journal, so well done :)

I don't have much to say though, which is the crux of reading this review. You've already explained everything I could even want to talk about lol
So I'll just go with what I loved: Stefan/Damon bonding of course like everyone else! This is the Stefan that I like. The one that is not constantly around Elena and trying to be good for her. He can be good for his brother instead. And I love that they are leaning on each other, and hope this continues. Now I'm thinking of the song "Lean on me" lol

Rebekah/Damon/Stefan at the grille was delightful, just as it should be, even though you could tell they were like..Rebekah please leave NOW, thank you!

And I loved all of the flashbacks with Sage, though I don't think there were nearly enough to explain how she's supposed to be his version of Lexi. And the part where Stefan makes that girls head fall off just makes me inappropriately LOL..oh Stefan, you're sucha ripper, even before you really were one.

Matt/Elena was lovely, seriously, they were almost my favorite part of the episode. I can see what she saw in Matt now and he's just so so GOOD. It's so terrible to think about how he doesn't have his sister anymore and his mother is just gone. He doesn't really have anyone..maybe Tyler when he's around? So I would really like to see this friendship continue. She admitted to Damon getting under her skin, she can't shake him off, D/E shippers rejoice! :)

I want to know more about crazy Samantha Gilbert and the ring of course. Will Jeremy turn out the same way? But uncle John was never crazy, at least it didn't seem like it, and he had the ring for however long. That twist with Alaric was really awesome! I'm still suspicious of Meredith, but I do actually like her. Why can't Alaric just have a normal girlfriend and be happy for once? lol

Misses Jeremy..never thought I'd say that, but I really do.

And I fangirl Finn, so the Sage/Finn reveal was !!!!! for me. She knew him 900 years ago? Gah..now I really want to see them have scenes together when he comes back. And I really don't want him to die :(

I don't want season 1 Damon back either. I think he's perfectly fine and badass just the way he is now. I don't really get the comparisons to season 1 Damon to how he is now. He's really a different person. Encompass character growth people! lol

And lastly..Damon and the piano FTW FOREVER, which I said before, but it bears repeating all the time.

Edited at 2012-03-17 08:54 am (UTC)
Arabian: Caroline05arabian on March 19th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
This is the Stefan that I like. The one that is not constantly around Elena and trying to be good for her. He can be good for his brother instead. And I love that they are leaning on each other, and hope this continues.

I agree, and I really hope that this is a turning point for Damon and Stefan and their relationship; I really, really do.

even though you could tell they were like..Rebekah please leave NOW, thank you!

YES! Which is why I didn't get people talking about Damon and Rebekah flirting. He was not flirting with her, not really. She was with him, but he was all, throw out a line or two, but really he wanted her gone so he could concentrate on Stefan.

And I loved all of the flashbacks with Sage, though I don't think there were nearly enough to explain how she's supposed to be his version of Lexi

That was a case where I just decided to ignore what we were supposedly supposed to get, and instead just focus on what we did, and I loved what we did get.

Matt/Elena was lovely, seriously, they were almost my favorite part of the episode.

Damon was my favorite part, and then the Matt/Elena scene about Damon and Stefan.

I want to know more about crazy Samantha Gilbert and the ring of course.

Yeah, I thought Samantha was kinda awesome!

Will Jeremy turn out the same way? But uncle John was never crazy, at least it didn't seem like it, and he had the ring for however long.

I wonder if it brings out violent tendencies already there, or, if it depends on how many times you "die." Ric has "died" a LOT!

That twist with Alaric was really awesome!

So agreed.

Why can't Alaric just have a normal girlfriend and be happy for once? lol

I don't think Alaric is attracted to normal, LOL!

And I fangirl Finn, so the Sage/Finn reveal was !!!!! for me.

Yay! nice to know I'm not the only one who likes Finn, cuz I really do.

I don't want season 1 Damon back either. I think he's perfectly fine and badass just the way he is now. I don't really get the comparisons to season 1 Damon to how he is now. He's really a different person. Encompass character growth people! lol

YES!! THIS!! SO MUCH THIS!!!!

Edited at 2012-03-19 10:25 pm (UTC)
Bogwitch: TVD - Stefan Ragebogwitch on March 17th, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
I had something to say last night when I was too tired to type it up and now I've forgotten all of it. Let's just pretend I said something amazing and insightful and leave it at that.

Okay, I remember now. Shame really because it's not really insightful at all!

I thought Matt was very understanding for Elena considering Damon murdered his sister, unrealistically so. I know Elena needed an understanding and sympathic ear, but I just can't see how that could possibly be Matt in the circumstances.

Edited at 2012-03-17 09:51 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Stefan04arabian on March 17th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
I honestly think that things have gone SO crazy and topsy-turvy for these kids that they really do not know right from wrong anymore. They live in such a morally gray landscape right now, that, yeah, there's just ... yeah. And it goes back to the whole everyone is so accepting of the things that Stefan did when his humanity switch was turned off, and what Damon did to Vicki and with Caroline was during his no-humanity switch off. Regardless of all of that, though, I didn't get the impression that Matt was cool with Damon. He's just not judging Elena; she is clearly his weak spot, always has been. He didn't give his opinion on it, just asked her where her head was. I dunno, I just didn't have a problem with it, and that partly could be because STEFAN has done some HORRIBLE things and no one judges him for it, that the few times that Damon doesn't get raked over the coals, I'm gonna go with it. But I'm a Damon-stan, forever and always.
archangel_bloodarchangel_blood on March 17th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you loved the episode and great review, as always.

My feelings for 3x16 are a bit conflicted. That's not to say I didn't like it, I did. I enjoyed every second of the Salvatore brothers' interaction, my love for Damon keeps getting more and more intense, although I have no idea how that's even possible; I liked the brothers' scenes with Rebekah and I also liked Sage, the little we saw of her. Yet, somehow, it left me wishing there had been more to this episode. It's entirely possible that my own expectations got in the way of me absolutely loving it. After the month long wait I thought we would get a fast paced and action packed kind of return. What we did get was quite different but still entertaining in its own right. Like I said, it was more my expectations' fault, not the show's, so I'm not holding it against "1912".

The ring part in the murders reveal was a nice touch, didn't see that coming at all. Well played, show.

What I absolutely adored was the Matt/Elena conversation about the Salvatore brothers. If I was unsure of my opinion on the episode prior to this scene, it tipped the scales for me. I loved the stark contrast between the way her feelings for Stefan and her feelings for Damon were described, between her wanting safety and her wanting a specific person. The one who in a twisted way seemed like the logical choice at the time and the one who left her no choice at all. We've always known that Stefan was her safety blanket and her feelings for Damon came uninvited, unwanted and irreversible. But to actually hear her say all that out loud... I felt like cheering. Finally, finally she seems ready to start looking inside herself and facing what lies there.

So yeah, it was a good episode. I can't help but feel like there was something missing, but all in all, I'm quite satisfied with it, especially upon a re-watch.
Arabian: Damon & Elena19arabian on March 19th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC)
my love for Damon keeps getting more and more intense, although I have no idea how that's even possible

I know, right?!?! How does it keep happening?!?! How does he continue to excell at the awesome?!

It's entirely possible that my own expectations got in the way of me absolutely loving it. After the month long wait I thought we would get a fast paced and action packed kind of return. What we did get was quite different but still entertaining in its own right. Like I said, it was more my expectations' fault, not the show's, so I'm not holding it against "1912".

Yeah, I originally had a section where I was going to complain about not getting what I expected, but I decided then and there that I wasn't going to do that any longer. Instead of criticizing the show because it's not creating some expectation, I'm just going to judge it on the episode, and I loved all that we got in the episode.

The ring part in the murders reveal was a nice touch, didn't see that coming at all. Well played, show.

Agreed; very well played.

What I absolutely adored was the Matt/Elena conversation about the Salvatore brothers. If I was unsure of my opinion on the episode prior to this scene, it tipped the scales for me. I loved the stark contrast between the way her feelings for Stefan and her feelings for Damon were described, between her wanting safety and her wanting a specific person.

This, this, this ....... so much this. I agree with every word (other than the unsure part, LOL!)

We've always known that Stefan was her safety blanket and her feelings for Damon came uninvited, unwanted and irreversible. But to actually hear her say all that out loud... I felt like cheering. Finally, finally she seems ready to start looking inside herself and facing what lies there.

Yes! I knew it was coming, but to see/hear it actually happened ... as much as you believe, there's still the worry that you're crazy and it's not going to happen. But it did ... it is happening. YAY!

So yeah, it was a good episode. I can't help but feel like there was something missing, but all in all, I'm quite satisfied with it, especially upon a re-watch.

Hopefully a rewatch will make it all better. :)

Edited at 2012-03-19 11:10 pm (UTC)
Florenciaflorencia7 on March 17th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
I actually didn't expect much of this episode but O.M.G. was I wrong. It was amazing & I'm so happy to read your thoughts & know that you also loved it so much! As always, you wrote about everything that I could possibly think of (if I could put my thoughts & feelings into words so eloquently which I can't haha)

I was STUNNED by the amount of Damon & that this episode was indeed centered around him & just painted a complete picture of him, clashed all the extremities within & let him come across as the master of his own story. I loved all the Damon and Stefan scenes, the bond & their respective, emotional chaoses they are both trapped in.

Cassidy Freeman entered the scene seamlessly. She didn't even feel like a new character (I mean that in a good way ^^) & I'm SO looking forward to the Sage/Finn backstory! It gives me hope they won't kill Finn off that easily... maybe?... lol I wish we got a bit more insight into Sage, though, because it was not all that clear why exactly she influenced Damon so much. She seemed sort of, I don't know, more simply blunt than actually fascinating? But I'm sure it will be explored later.

As for Elena/Matt conversation I can't even believe in what happened there. Am I daydreaming or did Matt said Elena was in love with Damon & she looked like she already knew that??? Now that it's actually happening I'm not sure anymore if I'm ready for the awesome Delena-ness that is most certainly heading our way this very season LOL

I loved reading your thoughts! :)

PS. I hope the flu is gone & that you're feeling better ♥
wickedrumwickedrum on March 17th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
so after Jack it has to be Damon, right? ;) I absolutely hundred percent agree! any of your amazing hurt/comforts from the VDfandom yet? you know, a vampire needs just as much pampering and care as a pirate does! lol
(no subject) - florencia7 on March 19th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on March 19th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Heather-Ann: Salvatore Brotherslinsell_farm on March 17th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
We really are similar in our fangirl ways, Jennifer. I like the idea of letting the episode simmer and posting after my re-watch (and avoiding my knee-jerk reaction).

I love how much progress Damon has made and totally agree with everything you said. He doesn't feel that he has Elena or Ric in his corner anymore and genuinely wants to help his baby brother. At long last, they can help each other with acceptance instead of that tension/conflict that's been there since the beginning of the series. Stefan definitely needs help and Damon is the best suited to give it to him.

Word to everything you said about the Matt/Elena scene. I, too, found a new appreciation for Matty and the quiet, solid strength that he brings to their friendship. I did idly wonder if he was thinking of Caroline as well when he mentioned never being able to shake someone once you fall in love. It was all kinds of wonderful to get a view of Elena's thoughts and have her saying the words out loud.

Ian and Matt and Marguerite were all on their A-game in their scene!! So great to see them together.

That would be so cool for Stefan and Rebekah to have another go-around!! Here's hoping.

DAMON PLAYS THE PIANO!!! Please, show, I need MORE of that, please, please ... I <3 that gif.

A fantastic episode all around. I LOVE MY SHOW!
Arabian: Damon&Stefan01arabian on March 19th, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
He doesn't feel that he has Elena or Ric in his corner anymore and genuinely wants to help his baby brother.

I'm cautiously getting optimistic that we were supposed to pick up on how crappily Ric has been treating Damon, and that it's coming to a head.

At long last, they can help each other with acceptance instead of that tension/conflict that's been there since the beginning of the series. Stefan definitely needs help and Damon is the best suited to give it to him.

I know. *sigh* I love me my Salvatore brothers. ♥

I, too, found a new appreciation for Matty and the quiet, solid strength that he brings to their friendship.

He was really wonderful (as he was in "Our Town" on the bridge with her).

I did idly wonder if he was thinking of Caroline as well when he mentioned never being able to shake someone once you fall in love.

I think there may have been a little about Caroline in there too. We'll probably know for sure the next time we see Matt and Caroline interact.

It was all kinds of wonderful to get a view of Elena's thoughts and have her saying the words out loud.

Oh my, oh my, it was! :D

Ian and Matt and Marguerite were all on their A-game in their scene!! So great to see them together.

The acting in that scene was a tour-de-force, I'm telling you!

That would be so cool for Stefan and Rebekah to have another go-around!! Here's hoping.

I'm really hoping there was a reason for the three or so reminders she kept giving out about them.

A fantastic episode all around. I LOVE MY SHOW!

I concur. :)
wickedrumwickedrum on March 17th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
yay poster and commenters! Its a breath of fresh air coming here where people loved the episode and this newold Damon the same way as I did!

Its barely half a conversation I fast forwarded through, and normally, I skip half the episode at least cause its so boring. Not this time though! (and its majorly thanks to those not missed characters)

Maybe two things I disagree with: Not as enthusiastic about Cassidy as you are, but giving her a chance. Quite sure Im not gonna ship her at any case. And the casual comment about Katherine-might be a thing of the past but was given the appropriate weight as well, especially doubled with the flashback mention. He's not forgetting, nor disregarding how important she was to her. Not trivializing it, and certainly not hating her anymore. The fact that he could mention her casually and not mockingly shows that.
Arabian: Ian & Nina14arabian on March 19th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
yay poster and commenters! Its a breath of fresh air coming here where people loved the episode and this newold Damon the same way as I did!

It's really frustrating and hard to find positive TVD discussion, which is why I mainly stick to my journal and my flist about the show now.

Its barely half a conversation I fast forwarded through, and normally, I skip half the episode at least cause its so boring.

Well, you know I disagree with that completely, LOL! I think this show is pretty much non-stop awesome. The only time I've ever found myself bored was in some of the Tyler/Caroline scenes. I think this is the best show on television right now, and I adore almost all of the characters (Tyler is pretty much the only one I don't at this point).

(and its majorly thanks to those not missed characters)

I didn't miss them in this plot, but I still missed Caroline, Bonnie and Jeremy lots. Caroline/Klaus have some cute interaction lately too, so yeah, I can't say that I didn't miss them, just that I get why they weren't in this episode.

Not as enthusiastic about Cassidy as you are, but giving her a chance.

I just felt like she slid right into place. She didn't feel out of place, which is what I appreciated, you know?

Quite sure Im not gonna ship her at any case.

I'll see what happens with her and Finn, because I'm one of the few who REALLY liked that actor.
eolivet on March 17th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting, because I LOVE your insights and analysis, as always. But my problem with this episode was it seemed to be a series of character moments without a real cohesive plot. I agree that the character moments were great, but I thought all the 1912 stuff was just clunky (didn't help I thought the Damon/Sage dialogue was PAINFUL). I get that this was all to set up Sage and set up Samantha Gilbert and "the serial killer in Mystic Falls" plot, but I just didn't buy that Damon and Stefan (and Rebekah) would be sitting around all day going, "So...yeah, 1912" over drinks at the bar. I thought weaving Stefan's ripper tendencies being ignited with the serial killer plotline was haphazardly done. Those seemed to be two separate plotlines (other than the fact that Samantha Gilbert went to boxing matches).

As a plot, Elena/Matt/Alaric/Meredith was slightly more tolerable -- because it had ties to something current that was going on. I get they were trying to have the flashbacks illuminate the current plot, but it just didn't work for me.

IF they'd taken out all the serial killer stuff, and just had it as 1912 was the year Stefan became a ripper, and tied that into the present day with Damon trying to teach him moderation, that probably would've worked better for me. But they had this Sage/Samantha Gilbert exposition they had to set up, and it wound up feeling very unfocused, IMO. IDK, dawg...it was just ai'ight for me.

But Damon can definitely sing-- er...act! :p
Arabian: Damon&Stefan03arabian on March 17th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
Part 1 of 2 --

my problem with this episode was it seemed to be a series of character moments without a real cohesive plot.

I agree there were a lot of character moments, but they were character moments that used the plot to be brought to light. And there was a cohesive plot. Sure, they knew murders were going down, but with Ric being "safe" after the last stabbing and the other Originals coming back, Bonnie's mom being turned, they weren't really paying much attention to it because it wasn't affecting them. With Ric's arrest, it became about proving Ric innocent, and that's why they were so focused on trying to solve the murder. That was the plot. Solve the murder to get Ric off the hook. Plus, Damon NEEDED an excuse to get Stefan working with him. Stefan has been pushing him away, playing jerky and/or emo boy since he came back, so Damon needed to give him an excuse to work with him. It was a DELIBERATE, clearly executed excuse that Stefan saw right through, but because he's in 'do-good' mode, he felt that he had to go along and help. It was supposed to be Damon killing two birds with one stone. Stefan would have pushed him away, not allowing Damon to get to the 'help you with moderation, bro' part, unless Damon had him cornered. He used the 'let's solve a murder!' to corner him.

(didn't help I thought the Damon/Sage dialogue was PAINFUL).

I just let any historical inaccuracies on this show roll off my back because as the costume designer said, if you're looking for historical accuracies on a show about vampires, you're looking in the wrong place, lol.

I get that this was all to set up Sage and set up Samantha Gilbert and "the serial killer in Mystic Falls" plot, but I just didn't buy that Damon and Stefan (and Rebekah) would be sitting around all day going, "So...yeah, 1912" over drinks at the bar.

See, it WASN'T just a set-up for that. If it was, I agree it would have been clunky. They were essentially using that set-up (which, yes, will bring Sage into the picture, and yes, did set up the Samantha-reveal) TO get to the moderation. Damon was pushing Stefan to help him because Stefan's in his 'do-gooder' mode, so Damon used that to get Stefan working with him so Damon could get the moderation plan in gear. He had to get Stefan to a point where he could push him to that point. Thus the teaming up. Rebekah didn't care about any of that, she was (a) trying to get info on the tree, and (b) trying to see if she could get Damon back in bed. Talking about 1912 was just a way for both Damon and Rebekah to get to their ulterior motives.

I thought weaving Stefan's ripper tendencies being ignited with the serial killer plotline was haphazardly done. Those seemed to be two separate plotlines (other than the fact that Samantha Gilbert went to boxing matches).

I didn't see that at all. We got Stefan on the mend after Lexi, and Damon meeting Sage is what led to Damon pushing Stefan to enjoy himself, but it set Stefan off on his new ripper-phase, which led to the ripper of Monterey five years later, which led to Klaus and Rebekah meeting Stefan not much later, which led to Klaus's crush on Stefan.

Edited at 2012-03-17 09:47 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - arabian on March 17th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on March 17th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
I hope this isn't weird, but I don't have a account here yet. I'm still considering it.

I didn't find the Sage/Samantha stuff expository. The Sage pushing Damon which led to pushing Stefan which led him back onto the road of ripperdom explains SO MUCH about the Stefan/Damon relationship

I just wanted to say that this also expands on why Lexi wasn't exactly fond of Damon. He basically destroyed all the "progress" she had made with Stefan, and probably felt she was picking up after Damon when she found Stefan in the 20's. Before now, I had just thought it was Stefan's negativity towards Damon (for abandoning him) that had colored Lexi's opinion.
Arabian: Damon04arabian on March 19th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
I hope this isn't weird, but I don't have a account here yet. I'm still considering it.

No problem, have fun if you do get an account. :)

I didn't find the Sage/Samantha stuff expository. The Sage pushing Damon which led to pushing Stefan which led him back onto the road of ripperdom explains SO MUCH about the Stefan/Damon relationship

EXACTLY! I still don't get where people found it so, but some did. I dunno.

I just wanted to say that this also expands on why Lexi wasn't exactly fond of Damon. He basically destroyed all the "progress" she had made with Stefan, and probably felt she was picking up after Damon when she found Stefan in the 20's. Before now, I had just thought it was Stefan's negativity towards Damon (for abandoning him) that had colored Lexi's opinion.

That's a really, really good point (and one I wouldn't have thought of as one of the very few non-Lexi-lovers out there, LOL!). Thanks for commenting. :)

vanimyvanimy on March 18th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
*sigh* I love your reviews so damn much!

I'm really glad I'm not the only one loving this episode! I saw a lot of comments elsewhere with people feeling underwhelmed with this episode or downright saying it sucked. :o

I'm so glad we finally focused on the characters we know and love. What I was starting to get tired of in the past few episodes - ie too much focus on the Originals and on some of them we don't even know- was gone this week. We were back to focusing completely on Damon, Stefan, Elena, Alaric and co. The main core of characters. The Originals storyline was an afterthought with Rebekah and that's how I like it.

I liked the reveal about the ring. Granted it wasn't an 'OMG' reveal but you're right, it's been hinted at there was something wrong with it for a long time and it's consistent with the show's depiction of magic and its consequences. I was annoyed when I read comments about how the ring twist was a lame plot device. Say what?

It also caught me off guard so I liked the twist.

-I totally wholeheartedly agree with you about Damon. Really I love him so so much. And I loved him in the big brother role. I really hope we continue to explore Damon and Stefan's relationship because I love their relationship the most (with Damon/Elena being the exception but since we haven't been granted much lately...). I really liked the tone of voice IS used during his scene with Stefan. How he used that vulnerable tone we've only seen him use with Elena. LOVE this detail.

Oh and Stefan looked like the little brother he still is somehow, I loved that too.

-LOL about Damon and his atrocious makeup at the beginning of the episode! I noticed it too and thought to myself : 'is it me or does his face actually look orange??' But he was definitely yummy all episode long after that and looked a lot like Season 1!Damon so me likes!

-I was a little bit annoyed at Elena at the beginning of the episode with her attitude with Damon but the whole conversation with Matt made up for it. I was really stunned to see her say out loud what a lot of Delena fans have been saying for ages : Stefan has always been a safety blanket and Damon's something else, something she can't shake. She didn't say this about Stefan. She didn't say both of them had gotten under her skin, no, only Damon did get under her skin. very interesting. Now if only Elena's actions reflected that more! But we're getting there! :)

-I'm not as fond as you are of Sage. Don't like her, don't hate her. Since she was barely fleshed out, I don't care much at this point. We'll see later.

-Totally with you on Rebekah. I continue to love her. Loved the eyesex between her and Damon. Love her definitely not subtle way of trying to get information out of the Salvatore boys. loved the banter with both of them. And yes, I LOLed so hard at the whole diary mocking of Stefan. This was so much fun.

-I loved Matt too in this episode. I really like him in the normal friend role.

-I love Alaric and Elena together so much, not in a shippy way (no matter what people say about the age difference not being so great, he's still her teacher and behaving like her guardian, it's obvious their relationship is just not like that).


So I really feel like I got my TVD back this week, I don't know if it's me being so happy TVD's back after the hiatus or me considerably lowering my expectations, or no longer fretting about Damon/Elena, but I loved this episode, everyone was so fantastically in character. Can't wait for what's next.



Edited at 2012-03-18 01:09 am (UTC)
Arabian: Elena03arabian on March 20th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
*sigh* I love your reviews so damn much!

Awww... thank you so much!

I'm really glad I'm not the only one loving this episode! I saw a lot of comments elsewhere with people feeling underwhelmed with this episode or downright saying it sucked. :o

I just don't get it. Yeah, I got that vibe too elsewhere and it made me sad.

Well, you know, I'm fine with focus on the originals as long as it ties into the other characters which I thought that the other episodes did.

I liked the reveal about the ring. Granted it wasn't an 'OMG' reveal but you're right, it's been hinted at there was something wrong with it for a long time and it's consistent with the show's depiction of magic and its consequences. I was annoyed when I read comments about how the ring twist was a lame plot device. Say what?

I really hope we continue to explore Damon and Stefan's relationship because I love their relationship the most

I really don't see how we won't with this lead-up.

(with Damon/Elena being the exception but since we haven't been granted much lately...).

And you know that I'm fine with that, because it's clear that all that has happened since episode 13 has been leading to some really awesome stuff comig up.

I really liked the tone of voice IS used during his scene with Stefan. How he used that vulnerable tone we've only seen him use with Elena. LOVE this detail.

Yeah, I noticed and loved that too!!!

-I was a little bit annoyed at Elena at the beginning of the episode with her attitude with Damon

I was the first time I watched it, but when I went back to watch it, I didn't think she was bad at all. Yes, she was upset when she saw him, but (a) he'd been ignoring her, (b) he slept with Rebekah and fair or not for her to be upset about it, she was, and (c) he did kill Abby and clearly hasn't made any effort to make anyone feel better about it. And then when she did talk to him, he was a complete jerk to her. So, yeah, her attitude to him was totally justified.

I was really stunned to see her say out loud what a lot of Delena fans have been saying for ages : Stefan has always been a safety blanket and Damon's something else, something she can't shake.

I told you it was coming! They've been building up to this all season, and I think really building up to it since episode 11 of season 01.

Now if only Elena's actions reflected that more! But we're getting there! :)

Right, denial-girl. It's going to take time, and I'd rather they stay true to her character and show us a believable growth then just rush into it.

I'm not as fond as you are of Sage.

I just felt like she slid right into place, and that was what I appreciated so much.

Loved the eyesex between her and Damon.

Erm, I didn't love that. I accept why this stuff is happening with the other women, but I don't like it. I don't like having to watch it. I don't think it's hot, I don't get amusement from it. I'm just tolerating it because I know it's leading to D/E. I've been patient with putting up with Damon/other women. I'm REALLY hoping, there's just one more episode for a very, very long while (if ever) where I have to deal with Damon/other woman aside from Elena (outside of flashbacks). I'm just so over seeing Damon making out with females who aren't Elena Gilbert.

I love Alaric and Elena together so much, not in a shippy way (no matter what people say about the age difference not being so great, he's still her teacher and behaving like her guardian, it's obvious their relationship is just not like that).

Agreed; and technically, he's her stepfather too since he and Isobel never divorced. I find it really squicky that anyone ships them, honestly.
(no subject) - vanimy on March 20th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on March 21st, 2012 01:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
bluesuzannebluesuzanne on March 18th, 2012 07:15 am (UTC)
But, oh man, as Elena's truth-telling friend who connects her to who she was before the Salvatores without judging her for who she has become, he's simply awesome. There's such a gentle, solid strength about Matt in these scenes that is glorious.

YES YES YES. I'm so happy Matt is finally being what people need him to be in order to love him!

I also love everything you said about the strange-yet-normalness of Matt and Elena's reaction to the girl being munched on in the alleyway.

And the past tense thing with Stefan.

Omfg.

And I wish that Stefan would too. {Pouts} Yes, I still want my Stefan and Rebekah to get another shot. I'm hoping that all of the 20's references to the two of them is leading up to something ... perchance, something in episode 20? One can dream. They sure seemed to be reminding people of her past with Stefan, I thought.

I will be so disappointed if the 20s dance doesn't bring up anything for Rebekah/Stefan. Because... COME ON.
Arabian: Damon & Elena18arabian on March 20th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
YES YES YES. I'm so happy Matt is finally being what people need him to be in order to love him!

He's really worked wonders on me since OT. :)

I also love everything you said about the strange-yet-normalness of Matt and Elena's reaction to the girl being munched on in the alleyway.

That's why I'm confused with people saying that this episode was all about exposition and "telling" people. There was so much that was shown in small, awesome ways that were evident if you paid attention.

And the past tense thing with Stefan.

Omfg.


I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will be so disappointed if the 20s dance doesn't bring up anything for Rebekah/Stefan. Because... COME ON.

THIS! SO MUCH THIS!
safetywords: d & e make an entrancesafetywords on March 18th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
I am so glad that someone else feels about this episode just as I do. *squees and dances around*

For the first time ever, I chose not to live watch this episode. Not because of the promos or spoilers or anything like that, but I was just in an awful mood where I didn't even think Damon Salvatore could salvage the night for me. And boy was I wrong. Remind me to never ever underestimate the powers of the eldest Salvatore brother. I watched this a few hours after it aired, and I was blown away by how much I freaking loved this episode. I don't know how this show does it, but like you said, they find new ways to make my love run deeper and longer for Damon. And that bit with Damon PLAYING THE PIANO? This show is killing me. Clearly, Damon is one of many talents. It makes me wonder what else he can do.

The ring twist was ingenious. As you said about the witches and wanting balance, I totally should have put two and two together sooner, but it never occurred to me before. And gosh, now with Ric going cray-cray from the ring, I do hope there is a way to stop him from completely going over the edge. My guess is that removing the ring alone will probably not be enough, especially given how many supernatural deaths he suffered. (Damon needs his BFF alive, well, and not a psychopathic serial killer...) And Jeremy? What are they going to do about that? Holy smokes. How FANTASTIC is this ring twist? I honestly have no idea what the game plan could be, or even if there's any going back after you've worn the ring long enough and have died at least one supernatural death. I hope there is a way to reverse it. Then, they need to have a massive bonfire and chuck those rings in.

Matt has been upgraded to Officially Awesome in my books now. Thank you, show!

I have liked and enjoyed Lauren Cohan's other roles, but even when I go back and rewatch her parts at Rose, they still don't do it for me. You're right. She wasn't a terrible choice for Rose, but I do believe another actress could have knocked that story arc out of the park. But... sigh. Nothing we could do about that, now.

I have so many other thoughts but I'll save them for my journal post or else I'll really be spamming you lol. I just want to say how I loved the feel and atmosphere of this episode. A+ across the board.

Arabian: Damon & Elena13arabian on March 20th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
I am so glad that someone else feels about this episode just as I do. *squees and dances around*

So sad the number of people who don't. :( Glad I've found a few on my flist who feel as I do. YAYERS!

emind me to never ever underestimate the powers of the eldest Salvatore brother.

TELL ME ABOUT IT! HE WAS SO AWESOME!!!

I watched this a few hours after it aired, and I was blown away by how much I freaking loved this episode. I don't know how this show does it, but like you said, they find new ways to make my love run deeper and longer for Damon.

I just don't get it, but they do, they so, so, sooooooooooo do.

And that bit with Damon PLAYING THE PIANO?

I KNOW!!!

As you said about the witches and wanting balance, I totally should have put two and two together sooner, but it never occurred to me before.

I love that it's one of those things that we so should have seen because it makes perfect sense, but it didn't, so that when it happened, it's all OHMYGOD!AWESOME!

My guess is that removing the ring alone will probably not be enough, especially given how many supernatural deaths he suffered.

Agreed.

Matt has been upgraded to Officially Awesome in my books now. Thank you, show!

How has this happened?! I never would have imagined it, but it has. Oh, show!

She wasn't a terrible choice for Rose, but I do believe another actress could have knocked that story arc out of the park. But... sigh. Nothing we could do about that, now.

Right, she wasn't bad, she just wasn't what the role COULD have been. *sigh*

A+ across the board.

Indeed! :D