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11 May 2012 @ 09:01 am
TVD talk -- mostly about the finale, but general stuff too  
Just some thoughts on my overall reaction, with a spoilery mention of a season 04 relationship.

While I'm obviously upset on a Damon/Elena level because it feels like this whole season was utterly pointless with regards to the growth of their relationship, it's not what happened with them that has destroyed my stanning of this show. Nope, it's three very specific character-related things --

1. Elena. No growth. All regression. The Elena we saw tonight in her words and actions is the exact same Elena we saw all throughout season 02. All of the growth, all of it completely undermined and ignored. The fact that even Elena as a vampire is going to be with Stefan a while come season 04 shows that clearly. (Per Julie Plec's interview with Entertainment Weekly.)

2. Stefan. No consequences. The cruel way that he killed Andie will go completely unpunished. The fact that he chose an innocent woman -- who'd already been used/abused by his brother -- and in an extremely cruel manner chose to kill her just to teach his brother a lesson ... which he then COMPLETELY undermined an hour or so later is absolutely heinous. And he has suffered zero consequences for that. Zero consequences for using Elena and her horror over the night her parents died to get his revenge on Klaus. The fact that he selfishly chose to turn off his switch because it hurt, never mind that he was hurting others and acted like a cruel, uncaring asshole ... again, zero consequences. All of Stefan's stalking of Elena, lie upon lie upon lie, semi-abusive behavior, all of it pre-and-post season 03 ... all of it has zero consequences.

3. Damon. When Elena -- the girl he loved, the girl who knew that he loved her, the girl that he had spent the last six months protecting, saving, being there for, comforting, being used as an outlet for her sexual frustration to a degree towards the end there, the girl who used him as a replacement for his brother until said brother was ready to decide that he wanted to get back together with Elena -- KNEW that Damon was almost certainly going to die, and yet she chose at that moment to tell him that she loved his brother, and that it would always be his brother. After everything that Damon has been through, after how many times he's been rejected, how many times he'd been left in the dust, she chose to (a) let him die alone, (b) knowing that once again he wasn't loved, he wasn't chosen.

And THAT is why I'm pissed off and bitter. Sure, I still think that Damon/Elena are endgame. And sure, they layered all of these little things that show such. However, how they wrote Elena with no growth, Stefan with no consequences, and Damon, left all alone and unloved, it made a mockery of everything I stupidly believed they were writing. There was no deep writing, no awareness in what a manipulative douchebag Stefan has been, no layers, no awareness that there is zero growth for Elena and that she's as bad as Bella in her own way. Sure, Damon/Elena are endgame most likely, but they've done a damn good job in essentially wrecking two of the three main characters for me, and the third was -- once again -- left out to dry.

Yes, I'm upset from a couple-girl point of view that we had two full seasons of Stefan/Elena, a season of what I thought was building to Damon/Elena, but was in actuality just a way to twist the knife into Damon's gut yet again and show him that it will always be Stefan. Plus, it was set-up for more Damon is alone on the outside watching Stefan/Elena -- who now have eternity together -- be a couple once more in yet ANOTHER season. But, really, the main frustration comes from what they did and did not do with these characters, and how wrongly it played out in my opinion.

And that is why I'm done stanning. I kept defending the show when we didn't get fall-out, we didn't get reactions, so sure that they were coming and it was all going to be awesome. And we got NOTHING. No discussion/exploration of what happened on Damon's deathbed. No discussion/exploration of all of the awful things Stefan did. No fallout at all about what happened with Damon and Elena in Denver. Nothing. How great I thought the writing was, the characterization, the stanning and the defending, the surety and belief that it was all heading somewhere glorious was all revealed to be a joke.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch for Damon, for Damon/Elena scenes, other things I still like about the show, but thinking it's offering more than what we see on the screen? I'm done. Giving them the benefit of the doubt? Nope. The great, layered writing I've so lauded and defended? Doesn't exist. It's just another ridiculous teen drama on the CW that has the benefit of some fantastic actors, and pulpy, exciting writing that when examined doesn't hold up.
wickedrumwickedrum on May 11th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
I see you got there eventually. Its what many people were telling you along.

Elena doesnt deserve Damon and it breaks my heart that he's gonna chase her for another three seasons, many more facepalms included no doubt.

Favourite character (apart from Damon): Matt! He seems very understanding and impartial. A pure soul. How much more can this boy also take?
Arabian: Ian & Nina14arabian on May 11th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, everyone can say I told you so now. Thanks.
wickedrumwickedrum on May 11th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
sorry, didnt want to make you feel even worse.

I actually just watched the episode again. Now that it wasnt such a shock to the system, I could enjoy bits of it. I think I even understand JP's/Elena's reasoning, no matter how much I hate it. But Im one of the lucky ones, Ive always watched mainly for Damon/Ian so it doesnt matter as much to me how Elena behaves.

Now Im scared to read Julie's interview though. Dont want to be crushed to pieces again!
Vickie: Ian - Damon WTFsarcasticcheese on May 11th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Just here to say

Arabian: Damon&Alaric02arabian on May 11th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
I was actually getting to a better place after reading some other reviews, and your words about Elena as a vampire calling Stefan on his shit, but all of that was predicated on Elena, you know, calling Stefan on his shit. But nope, Julie's interview completely dispelled that. Yeah.
Diana: Vampire Diaries - What? (Stefan)butterfly on May 11th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)


Like you say, I do still suspect that the show will endgame Damon/Elena, but if the journey there is horrible - what's the point? They've shown that they have no awareness that Stefan is a manipulative asshole. That's no big deal, apparently.

There's still a lot of things about the show that I like but... eh. They've made some pretty huge missteps this season and it seems like they have no clue about any of them, which is the most disheartening part. They're the ones that wrote Stefan as a manipulative asshole, so how do they have no clue that that's what he is?
sumeria on May 11th, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)

Elena not hooking up with Damon officially I was prepared for; I didn't really think there was enough time left in the season at this point for them to get that far. But this degree of regression, I was not expecting, and I'm not pleased.

But the thing that really disapoints and distresses me is the way, as you say, it seems that the creators are watching a different show than I am. I have to conclude that they don't *see* Stefan's manipulations, Damon's generosity, etc, and I cannot understand it. I loved that everyone's actions in this show, first few seasons, seemed character driven. I loved that you could see people's shifting emotional landscapes, and how the writers didn't feel the need to articulate in words everything that people felt and thought for it to be true.

And now, as you say: another poorly written network show, where motivations follow plot rather than vice versa. I shall keep watching, but not really with any kind of faith any longer.
i'm not broke but you can see the cracks.___agentorange on May 11th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
THIS SO MUCH. For all the spoilers and all the interviews preaching that Elena's journey will end with growth, the only thing I saw last night is that she went back to Stefan, and not back for good reasons, or solid reasons, but for flimsy and ridiculous reasons. It was complete character regression. I know everyone keeps saying 'Damon met her first,' etc etc but I don't see how that's particularly relevant anymore either. After everything he did this season for her, she still turned her back on him. If human Elena doesn't choose Damon, why would vampire Elena? He'll be her safe anchor during the transition blah blah etc.
Jamiemadjm on May 11th, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
I don't know that I will be watching anymore. I'm tired of getting scraps of D/E here and there to string us along, when "it'll always be Stefan." And the show is making me hate Elena, anyway, and that kind of sucks.

I'll have to see how I feel when S4 starts, but right now I'm just over it.
emivemiv on May 11th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
The great, layered writing I've so lauded and defended? Doesn't exist. It's just another ridiculous teen drama on the CW that has the benefit of some fantastic actors, and pulpy, exciting writing that when examined doesn't hold up.

A sad reality but I totally agree with all of this. This season was a pure mess; it started out with promise but never actually went anywhere. Over the course of it, I lost interest in the plot (too much magic!deus ex machina-ing and pure convenience plot-points), in many of the characters (inconstant writing and characterizations were inconstant) and in the dynamics of the triangle (which clearly isn't a triangle so much as a 'girl loves one boy forever blindly but continues to mind!screw his brother for ratings.) I gave it plenty of chances; it is not worth my faith anymore.

You are right that it does help to remember what network it is on and the demographic it is primarily geared toward. If this was on HBO, Showtime or even AMC, we would not be having these problems. It is pretty clear that good storytelling isn't the CW's main objective.

So yes, I feel the same as you on this and have for a little while now. On one level, I was glad to read this but on another I was not; it was clear that the awesome and in-depth analysis and thought you put into your various TVD posts was something you really enjoyed (and I can understand this, being something of an over analyzer myself, if on different things!). I hate that this realization might deprive you of that outlet, but I hope, if after the dust settles and TVD remains just entertainment to you, you will find something else you enjoy to stan and analyse the heck out of! :)

sun_signsun_sign on May 11th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
being used as an outlet for her sexual frustration to a degree towards the end there

LOL best part. And it's true, of course. Katherine parallel: both Elena and Katherine love Stefan very much but it doesn't stop them from wanting to BANG DAMON REALLY HARD AGAINST ALL AVAILABLE SURFACES (...this sentence took an interesting turn).

I love this show with all of my heart, but I agree with you that the writing doesn't quite measure up. First season was the best season, in my opinion. I think the writers are passionate about it and it shows, but they have a tendency to bite off more than they can chew.
kilodaltonkilodalton on May 11th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm not sure I ship Delena anymore in the same way that I'm not quite a Ten/Rose shipper (TenToo/Rose absolutely tho, but I digress). Just like Ten was a jerk to Rose, pushing her away repeatedly because he was too scared to face his own emotions, Elena really fills that same role with Damon, pushing him away and hurting him.

In both cases, I kind of want the pushee (Damon, Rose) to refuse to take that crap anymore. Rose got an emotionally-more-in-touch TenToo, but Damon? Honestly, at this point I hope he pulls a Rhett Butler and is all "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" when Elena finally decides to get with him.

Now Damon/Rose? Maybe I'll ship that as a crossover XD
archangel_blood: Damonarchangel_blood on May 11th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, just... all of this.

As for D/E, I said that I will go down with this ship and I will. No change there, except I'm too disappointed in the show as a whole to ship them quite as hard as I did just yesterday. I do still believe that they're setting them up as the endgame couple, in an increasingly heavy-handed way. Rose's in-your-face speech, the ridiculous rewriting of the show's history (who met Elena first, as if that suddenly matters), the "love that consumes you" part; it's as obnoxiously obvious as the product placement on this show. I'm surprised they didn't make the actors wear huge signs saying "Damon is the one for her". Honestly, right now it seems that next season Stefan will be reduced to a roadblock in the way of D/E happening.

All in all, things don't look bad for our couple in the long run. So why am I complaining and so acutely unhappy?

Because the show I used to love wouldn't have handled things in such a messy, one-dimensional way. And worst of all, pretty much make a mockery out of one of my most beloved characters in order to try and make this all work. Yes, last night I saw Elena of S2 and boy how little I've missed her. By reverting back to Elena we knew from the previous seasons, they effectively said "Forget about her development throughout S3, it didn't mean a thing." If they don't care enough about their own show to strive for consistency, why should I?

I've always said that they don't realize what a selfish manipulator Stefan is and how unhealthy S/E's relationship is. I kept waiting to be proven wrong and I never was. They don't see it. Period.

On the bright side, my complete and utter adoration for Damon has not wavered in the least. 'Nuff said.

I admit that I love Elena too much so I suspect I will cave in and take her back as soon as I see a glimpse of her BAMF-self in S4. The show as a whole though? I don't think so. The honeymoon stage is obviously over for us. And although I will not be filing for divorce as I threatened last nigh in the episode discussion post over at the D/E comm, TVD and I will have to start sleeping in separate beds, so to speak. ...Weird metaphor is weird. Whatever, I'm still emotionally unstable.
Arabian: Alaric01arabian on May 11th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
This entire post is my brain talking. (Except I never planned on stop watching the show, just uber-critical-stanning, LOL!) But, yeah, I agree with EVERY SINGLE WORD here.
archangel_blood: D/E never let me goarchangel_blood on May 12th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
Heh, yes, our brains seem to do that a lot :D

I don't think I could really stop watching either, though sometimes they make it hard to stick with it.
sumeria on May 11th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
You have put your finger all over my beef with this season, right there.

What made me fall totally in love with D/E back when I mainlined season 1 over a weekend was the way in which I saw the D/E relationship developing naturally, as an extension of their personalities and interactions. It was unstated, and obvious, and beautiful, in such contrast to the S/E relationship that we were simply told, over and over, was epic and deep and epic. I actually thought the show was doing something quite interesting in subverting tropes to show that the epic high school romance, where you take one look at him and know you will Be Together For Evers was ultimately shallow and would fade in front of the relationship based on actually knowing someone and getting along with them and falling in love.

Seeming them applying the tell-don't-show treatment to D/E is the thing that most bothers/disillusions me about this whole thing. If they keep this up, by the time D/E hook up they'll have made me stop caring.
archangel_blood: Petrovaarchangel_blood on May 12th, 2012 12:37 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the good old days where one look, one touch said more than dozens of pages of script ever could. Sigh. It saddens me that though this was still present is S3, with the progression of the season it felt more and more like an exception than a rule.
sillyforwordssillyforwords on May 11th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
You know after 3X14, I would read your initial gut reaction to the episodes and agree with every word. Then you always came back with a more optimistic view of the character motivations and I would hope you were on to something. I really wanted to believe you. Turned out we were all delusional, after all.

I knew things were going off the rails when Elena didn't care she hurt Damon's feelings after the ball, no apology waas forthcoming, instead they gave the final scene to her cajoling Stefan to feeeel. Or when Damon was being tortured Elena put up a token protest for not saving him immediately, and then spent the rest of the episode not caring, and once again the final scene of the episode was a Stefan Elena bonding scene. Or when Alaric died, instead of mourning their friend together, Elena cried in Stefan's arms. All those scenes by logical progression should've been Damon/Elena scenes. Not to mention in the last episode she asked Tyler to get Stefan to rescue her. Stefan... after the rock that Damon was to her through the entire first half of the season. The writing for Elena was so OOC it wasn't even funny. There was no real explanation as to why she was back to leaning on Stefan and casting Damon aside. How ironic that she was more compassionate to Damon when he was terrorizing her family and friends in season 1.

And JP and co to come out in the media and insist Elena loves Damon and she's genuinely torn between the brothers...So much eyeroll.

At the end, human Elena never even admitted out loud that she loved Damon. Ugh. Just breaks my heart to think of what could've been such a great story.
Arabian: Damon13arabian on May 11th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
The funny thing is that it really isn't OOC. Elena is just still denial-girl. She can't handle Damon, she's not ready to handle Damon. I suppose that's what 3.19 was about -- but we needed to know that specifically. THAT should have been a show AND tell, the conversation with Caroline that we didn't see should have shown her telling Caroline that it freaked her out, being too much, all of that would have made what happened in 3.22 make sense. We should have heard Elena talk about being consumed, her reaction to him, what she feels terrifying her, and that would have made sense as to why she chose the route of safety, the road she's comfortable with considering everything. But we didn't see that. So, sure Elena is growing, but she's not there yet, and we were delusional to think that it would happen by the end of the season. But we were delusional because the SHOW didn't give us enough information to realize that she wasn't there yet. Not really. Because how she acted with Damon was so counteracted by how she acted with Stefan that it didn't make sense.

I can actually see the character-stuff there, but I shouldn't have to go searching. However, aside from even that, my main issue is the Stefan white-washing, and the fact that Damon shouldn't have even been considered AS a legitimate choice at this point if Elena wasn't even remotely there. THAT is where they screwed the pooch. (And us.) Those are the reasons, especially the Stefan-bit, that I can no longer critically-stan for the show. They screwed up.

Edited at 2012-05-11 08:04 pm (UTC)
sillyforwordssillyforwords on May 12th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
I gave up on Stefan a while ago. I've accepted that his halo is superglued to his head and nothing will dislodge it ever. They will have him do the most suspect things to give him an "edge", but he'll never have to face any consequences. I've accepted that and I just ignore him now.

As for Elena, I would still have been okay with the denial and the choosing Stefan part, if they hadn't gypped us and turned her. I wanted human Elena to accept and embrace her feelings for Damon. *sniff* Now that I'm reading JP's interviews, that was a pipe dream anyway. Apparently the plan was always for human Elena to choose Stefan. I guess Damon only deserves the less pure vampElena and that too after Stefan rejects her...whatever.
Florencia: Damon (Love)florencia7 on May 11th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
I just feel SO sad & SO bitter right now that there is little I can say. I agree with all of your thoughts completely. At this point I feel like Damon should just pack up & leave town because EVERYONE has been treating him in such a way, telling him such things... I just... can't. He should just have a fresh start somewhere & find people who would appreciate him for more than a fraction of a second. But of course that's not what we're in for. Instead, he's just going to be pushed around & dragged through the emotional mud some more for MANY episodes to come. It looks like the entire show is going to be all about SE & then, *maybe* 8x22 will be DE as endgame. & For some reason the prospect doesn't make me happy.
Thoughts= stars I can't fathom into constellationsthesicko1012 on May 12th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, I am pretty much where you are. Your reasons numbers 1 and 3 I especially agree with (I would say number two as well, but honestly I expected it. I didn't get my hopes up that there would be some consequences at all). Elena's regression is what really got me. I thought that this season was about her being strong, moving on, and just overall evolving as a character. And it would have all come together beautifully if she hadn't chosen Stefan. She didn't even need to choose Damon in this episode. She just need to keep going forward and showing that she doesn't need Stefan to pretend her troubles away anymore.

I too am still gonna watch the show. They still managed to hold some of my interest to continue. I just hate that this season went from great to worthless in one episode while the series went from discussion worthy to mindless entertainment. I might change my mind, I have honestly been going back and forth between it for a while, but I guess I can't really know for sure until the show is actually over.
gidget_84: katherine-red eyesgidget_84 on May 12th, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
Yep, I'm done with them. I'll still root for them next season, but it won't ever be the same again.
I CAN'T with the fact that Stefan has NEVER been called out for his actions..it's just unbelievable to me. And it makes me hate him as a character. I keep going back and forth about actually making an I HATE STEFAN post and just venting like crazy, because I really don't want to offend people, ya know?

UGH, I just..sat at work today ruminating on this, and how crazy it is. How do you forgive someone mass-murdering a whole bunch of people? How do you get over the fact that he was going to drive you off of wickery bridge for petty revenge? Just how do you forgive any of the things he's done, but yet, can't seem to forgive Damon? Or moreso, how does she just tend to ignore what he has done? I know she's denial girl, but it's taken way too far.
Seriously, I just can't get over this yet. I'm so damn bitter and full of hate right now..blah
Arabian: Katherine02arabian on May 12th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
Don't read any Julie Plec interviews then. She's basically driving stakes into the hearts of EVERY single D/Er, fan with an issue with the writing/treatment of Elena, Stefan and S/E. For example ... Elena will apparently be so thrilled that Stefan chose to save Matt over her and exclaim that, yes, that is one of the reasons that she chose him!! She's pretty much fangirling all over Stefan and how awesome he is, and how obviously Elena loves him so much, and she told Damon that if she'd met him first, well, you know, that was just to soften the blow. Not to mention the quote I just made a whole brand new post about because it's so mind-boggling to me.
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Playful Katbutterfly on May 12th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
How do you forgive someone mass-murdering a whole bunch of people? How do you get over the fact that he was going to drive you off of wickery bridge for petty revenge? Just how do you forgive any of the things he's done, but yet, can't seem to forgive Damon? Or moreso, how does she just tend to ignore what he has done? I know she's denial girl, but it's taken way too far.

Yeah, Elena saying that she "never unfell" for Stefan was just... really. When he almost DROVE YOU OFF A BRIDGE this did nothing to make your feelings for him even tremble a little? Seriously? WHAT.
vanimy: Elena/Carolinevanimy on May 12th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
I think you could use a virtual hug. *hugs*

If you - the one who always made me want to believe when I was starting to lose hope- no longer believe in the show anymore, I feel even lower than I did after watching the episode. :(

This episode was really crappy. I could forgive them for whitewashing Stefan's actions (he's a hero in the writer's eyes and I have given up on seeing any repercussions about his actions a long time ago) IF Elena's character hadn't been destroyed in the process. What's the point in all the training sessions in early!Season 3 and her wanting to fight back? What's the point in Stefan thinking she had changed during his absence?

There's NO POINT.

And don't get me started on the whole phone conversation. It was unbelievably cruel and selfish to tell Damon that after all nothing has changed since Early!Season 2 and he was just a fool for believing for one second someone could actually love him. :( I almost wish Elena had never called him rather than telling him that.

i'm starting to think Elena's no better than Katherine when it comes to Damon.

I really want Damon to leave Mystic Falls forever, that's how I feel right now.

Oh and I hate these writers, I feel like I did when JK Rowling called the Harry/Hermione shippers delusional. Disappointed and angry.
Arabian: Elena&Caroline01arabian on May 12th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
If you - the one who always made me want to believe when I was starting to lose hope- no longer believe in the show anymore, I feel even lower than I did after watching the episode. :(

It's okay. I'm getting there. I really am. It's taking longer, but I'm getting there. I'm going back to the problem I initially had with "1912" and "The Murder of One" which is that I had all these expectations. So I'm trying to take everything in without expectations. And I'm getting there.

Aww, I didn't know you were a Harry/Hermione fan too! (Or I did and I forgot. And yes, JKR pissed me off so much. Ugh.)

Edited at 2012-05-12 11:16 pm (UTC)
vanimyvanimy on May 12th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
No problem. ^^ but yeah, I believed in Harry/Hermione so much and then we were called delusional and JKR had Harry say he loved Hermione like a sister. I'm surprised the writers didn't go that route for TVD BTW, lol. Why not dig the knife even deeper and have Elena say she loved Damon like her brother? :P

I look forward to reading your optimistic posts anyway.

I know I'm not there at all myself but it's been hours since the finale for me. As I wrote in your other entry, it's not even the fact she chose Stefan that pissed me off, it's the execution. I can't get over it, I just can't get over that phonecall scene in particular. If they have Damon/Elena endgame but everybody's gone or no longer cares, what's the point?

*has to calm down* lol