Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

4.02 - 'Memorial' (The Vampire Diaries)

Do you know what happened today?! I went to the dentist. Fun! I also voted. Whee! Oh, yeah, and this little show I watch came on. You might have heard of it... The Vampire Diaries! WOOHOO!!

Let's start with the incredibly unhealthy relationship of Stefan and Elena on shining display. Oh, and reason #1039 why one should never trust Julie Plec's interviews. After the premiere, she gave an interview in which she said that things won't be perfect for Stefan and Elena... because she's a vampire now. Seriously, she said that was the only reason they would have issues. Shyeah, right! What happened in this episode -- that she co-wrote! -- had nothing to do with Elena being a vampire. No, this episode featured all of their issues laid out in plain view: The living in their bubble of delusion (and like in 3.20, Elena tried to stick reality into it, but Stefan shot down that attempt), lying and omitting information, Elena's very real and there feelings for Damon, and Stefan's startling inability to face reality. And it was delicious from my perspective.

So many subtle, and obvious, and paralleled-callbacks, and symbolic signs that things just are not working here. Elena finally getting a dose of the upside of being a vampire (when she successfully compelled April's upset away), she received from Caroline... not Stefan. And, of course, correlation or not, the fact that they specifically chose to have Elena THROW UP in the middle of her make-out session with Stefan was interesting. Then, of course, came the key scene for me. Stefan being a passive-aggressive prick with her after the funeral because of what he found out from Damon. It took Elena flat-out asking him if he was mad before he actually told her that he was. And then he turned around and got on Elena's case about lying, keeping things from him, and yeah, she did, but still, really, Stefan? REALLY? When throughout so much of their relationship he has lied to her, kept things from her, whitewashed things for her on a never-ending basis, really?. And other than when finding out about Katherine, she has NEVER called him on it, never made him feel guilty for doing so. Yet, Stefan chooses now, this time, when she's a wreck trying to figure out how to be a better vampire, to be a passive-aggressive asshole and make her feel like shit. Really, Stefan. REALLY?!

But going a bit deeper, there were a few other things that caught my attention here. First of all, Elena explained that she thought Damon would understand -- implying that she didn't believe Stefan would. And then, of course, Stefan got upset about this contention. Again, really, Stefan? She tried to tell him that it wasn't working since she threw it all up, but nope, he just brushed that aside, made an excuse for it with a smile and a glass of alcohol to toast how great things were going. Why would she even think for a second that he would understand? She wouldn't. But she didn't apologize, which I loved, even after Stefan got upset about this. Elena did not apologize for going to Damon, nor did she rush to assure Stefan that it was only him, that Damon was just her friend. And that is definitely something that she would have done prior to the events of season 03.

Then came one final thing, I found it very interesting that as Stefan continued his little pissy-train, Elena distracted him by making it all about 'oh, I'm so upset, come comfort me' which reminded me of what had happened in "Bloodlines." Elena was upset about Katherine, and so Stefan changed the subject to something that would send Elena in need of comfort. The misdirection that Elena used here struck me as very, very similar. Guess who co-wrote "Bloodlines?" Yup, Julie Plec.

Then, of course, comes Stefan's grand scheme to make Elena love only him! Because really that's how it came across. First we have that ridiculous pronouncement from him: "We think we're numb to it, we push it away, we make a joke out of it, ignore how we feel, never just let ourselves grieve." And I'm sorry, but it's coming again... Really, Stefan? You? You, of all people, are saying this? Really?! Do you honestly think that Matt has not been grieving his sister since he had his real goodbye with her? That Bonnie hasn't spent the last year, and amplifed the last few days, grieving for her Grams? That Elena, Jeremy haven't been grieving their parents, their aunt? (Though, clearly not John. Ah, poor Uncle Daddy John Sark.) You, Stefan, YOU are the one who pushes things away, ignore how things really are and feel, don't just deal. You do that, and you've helped lead Elena down that path... a path that she was veering from the six months you were gone, growing stronger, facing reality, facing life as it comes with someone who encouraged that in her by her side. (Psst, that would be Damon.)

But, of course, even if Stefan was doing this all for the reasons he stated, as unself-aware as they were, I wouldn't think he was a raging asshole. As I did think of him throughout most of this episode. This was just the final scene illustrating that because Stefan wasn't doing this for the greater good. This was about making himself look good to Elena and remind her that Damon is bad news. Note how he looked at Damon and Elena very deliberately when he mentioned his Uncle Zach (who Damon killed) and his friend, Lexi (who Damon killed), but, funny, how there was no mention of his dad, or Andie and how that hurt Damon. No, Stefan only mentioned the two people that Damon killed (and Alaric -- which he SO HAD NO RIGHT TO DO!-- to score brownie points with Elena). But no mention of the significant peeople that HE had killed, including his father, who one imagines he would have grieved for. Yeah.

But, again, Stefan was a prick supreme this episode. He was a hypocritical dick to Elena earlier; he was a complete douchebag to Damon -- his brother had JUST been shot by multiple bullets after trying to take out the guy that was trying to take all of them out -- and he chose that moment when his brother is literally down to punch him in the face? Stefan, you are an asshole! With that said, I didn't mind at all that he was such an asshole because it was clearly deliberate and clearly, *clearly* based on the fact that as much as he'd like to cling to his bubble of delusion that since Elena chose him, Damon's no longer an issue, it ain't working out like that.

Elena turned to Damon... because she couldn't turn to Stefan. Elena believed that Damon would understand her... because she didn't believe that Stefan could. Elena shared blood with Damon... even though Damon flat-out told her to not tell Stefan because it was "personal." And Elena did NOT tell Stefan. Elena didn't tell Stefan that she wasn't holding any blood down... to the point that when she threw up all over herself, she didn't call Stefan, she didn't ask her boyfriend to go get her a change of clothes... no, she called her non-boyfriend to do it. She. turned. to. Damon. While keeping how she was really feeling from Stefan. And Stefan got a first-hand view of that outside the church. Looking at where Stefan wound up in relation to Elena walking by him (and not noticing he was there) and where Damon was, it was obvious that Stefan was actually walking up to them from an angle that would have had him seeing Elena's face as she stood in the circle of Damon's arms. Uh huh.

Yeah, she was standing in the circle of his arms and it was delicious. (Though that blood there didn't turn out so delicious, huh, Elena?)

 

I liked so much about this whole scene. In the gif above, he was staring deeply into her eyes, while brushing her hair as he insisted that she wasn't better off dead. As he said all the right things to her even as she and he both faced the truth of what was going on. He also tried to think of a reasonable explanation (the Doppelganger blood). He was dealing with the reality of what was going on and looking for a solution. Earlier and then, when one thing didn't work, he tried another, then another. He was dealing with it, and she was going along with him and letting him know the actual results. And again, she said she should have just died, being so honest with him, as she couldn't be with Stefan.

 

Then, of course, there was the callback to the first scene -- at least for me. Having Elena describe what it felt like with Stefan's hand on her, how it made her feel, that came to mind when Damon had his hands on her in this scene, on her bare arm, on her lips, cupping her face. That tension was so there with them, and while I don't think that Elena would have kissed him, I think it's certainly possible that had he kissed her, she would have responded. It took the bell ringing to bring them out of the moment, and her voice was lower and softer when she said she had to get inside as she pulled away from him. Ooh, lovely, lovely tension! :D

That was, one could say, a tad more pronounced in their earlier scene. UH HUH!

 >

But before we get specifically to that, I do want to say that I don't know why, but I got such a kick out of Damon grabbing her hand and pulling her into the bathroom the way he did. It just made me grin. :) Then of course, the feeding/blood-sharing, whatever you want to call it. The bottom-line is that the show didn't even remotely pretend that the feeding wasn't 100% sexual with her rubbing all up against him, him stroking her hair, practically on the verge of making an O face --> Cut to Tyler/Caroline having sex.

 

Really, the only way they could have made it more obvious was if it was written across the bottom of the screen in bright neon letters: THIS IS A VAMPIRIC SIMULATION OF SEX, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, A BLOWJOB. ENJOY. (And I did. I really, really did. :D)

What I also enjoyed (but not nearly as much) was my potential, vaguely-put together theory about what happened with the Pastor and the council last week based on Connor's invisible ink tattoo. What if... there is some deeper plan that is in conjunction with witches who can communicate with the other side? Jeremy can see people from the other side. Doesn't it make sense then that he can see other things from the other side? Like a tattoo with some plan or whatever in another language created on the other side? Which ties into the possibility that Connor knew about the Council, knew the Doomsday plan -- since he seemed to know to look for a letter -- and that this Doomsday plan of Pastor Young has to do with witchy-interference on the other side. ? Uh huh. Things that make you go hmmm.....

Still, dude is not cool! Stabbing poor, innocent April just to use her as bait! Ugh, certainly not a nice vampire-hunter like... ALARIC!

OH MY! That final scene. Oh my, oh my, oh my! My heart! I LOVED that final scene. And it really meant a lot to me because the show *finally* gave me the happy closure feels for Alaric/Damon that I personally felt was missing last season. This? This was just perfection. And it tied into Damon's earlier "this seat is taken" and how he isn't ready to let go of Ric. Awww. Now, at first I thought that Elena or even Jeremy was going to walk up behind him, because when saying Alaric's name, Jeremy was looking at Damon, and he handed him a lantern, then watched with sadness as he walked away. Taking a break from my Alaric/Damon feels, I gotta say I loved that so much. It just seemed as if Jeremy really got Damon at that moment. (As did Bonnie, but a bit more on that below.) So I certainly thought it was reasonable that Jeremy would have figured where Damon had gone. And, of course, Elena, because as much as Damon understands her, she does generally understand him too.

However, to reveal that Alaric was there sitting by Damon, listening to his every word... aaaahhhh!! I just, ah, was so very moved. It was such a beautiful, awesome surprise to see Matt Davis so unexpectedly, but so gloriously. I admit it, I sniffed, I teared up. I loved!

{{SOBS}} "I miss you too, buddy." And I am verklempt again.

Okay then, random thoughts...

Damon always has so many good lines, but this night seemed to have a plethora. These were my favorite:

- "If I was gonna kill 12 people, I wouldn't blow 'em up, I'd have a dinner party."
- "Damon... Germaphobe."
- "Don't know why that always makes me smile." (Him saying that after signing himself with the holy water and that little smirk cracked me up SO hard!)
- "Japanese lanterns is a symbol of letting go of the past, well, here's a newsflash: We're not Japanese." (It's all in the delivery, baby!)

- As much unfun as the opening scene was for me, I did find it interesting how it was all framed. It wasn't just Stefan and Elena doing new-vampire stuff together, hunting, touchy-feely, making out, nope, it was intermixed with Damon, Stefan and Elena discussing that outting before what we saw happen making it all very triangle-y. And proving Damon right. Stefan is arguing that this is what's best for Elena, and Damon is telling him it won't work. And scene ends... on Elena throwing up Stefan's argument. Score one for Damon!

- While Stefan was an asshole, I can't deny that Damon had his crowning moment as well. "Accidentally" letting it slip that Elena had fed from him. Tsk, tsk, Damon. But, hey, turnabout's fair play. Stefan pulled the same move in his lovely, usual passive-aggressive way in "Rose" letting Damon know ever so casually that he was drinking Elena's blood.

- About the lantern plan, sweet and all that, but even as they were doing it, I was this close to rolling my eyes. It was cheesy, and kinda pointless. And then here comes my darling Damon saying so much of what I'm thinking. With that said, I was quite, quite happy to see that Damon was so obviously included *in the group.* It was his choice to walk away, but he was invited, included and not an eye was rolled or a derisive comment sent in his direction. And it truly appeared as if everyone understood where Damon was coming from to some degree when he walked away. Especially Jeremy and Bonnie.

- Which brings us to... I really thought for a moment Bonnie was going to get up and walk away too, and that paired with Damon's comments about them all being children made me think that distant_autumn and I were on to something about the lot of them being kids and needing to grow up, and that we were entering that phase. And Bonnie more than the others really started taking those steps last season, so I thought that was an interesting little moment.

- I was pleased to see Damon and Bonnie heading toward each other as they arrived and walked up to the lantern thing-a-majig because of how they spoke, acted with one another. As teeny as that scene was, it seemed to follow through with how I read their improved relationship in the last two episodes of season 03.

- One other thing about the lantern scene, I thought it was interesting that even though the final shot of any of the group was Stefan and Elena standing next to each other, there was still a bit of distance between them. Honestly, I almost would have expected the camera to drop and show Stefan or Elena reach out for the other's hand, showing that Stefan's plan had worked. But it didn't. True, she was smiling at him, but body language, folks! Body language. :)

- OK, OK wait, one more lantern thing. I liked how they were introduced earlier in the episode, but it didn't feel anvillicious when they came into play at the end.

- Tyler and Caroline? Uhm, they were onscreen? God, I so don't care about them. And fine, whatever, you can make Caroline say she's being insensitive, but they are just empty words. I was so thrilled we had that scene with her and Elena later because I needed to see Caroline outside of her freaking boyzone finally!

- I thought the Elena/Caroline/April scene was lovely. Really well done and as I said above, I loved that her first positive vampire experience came courtesy of Caroline. (Well, second, it may have ended not so fun later, but at the time, you know girl was enjoying sucking on Damon's hand, all up in his grill in the Grille.) sarcasticcheese complained that Elena compelled April to think the funeral was lovely, which was silly because everyone knew how it ended! But I didn't have a problem with that because to me it was obvious that Elena wasn't done. She was still kneeling in front of April and had even turned from Caroline to look back at April before the scene shifted. So, the rest of the compulsion would have involved how after the nice things were said about her dad, things went crazy, oh and to clean the blood off her face and get rid of that dress, forgetting the whole stabbing/vampire-healing aspect happened.

- Speaking of the crazy funeral, I LOVED Carol saying 'duh, I have to call the ambulance! Everyone saw him shot.' (Stupid kids!)

- I sorta got two things right from last week! I said that "I really thought she wouldn't be able to reach the blood of the council dude and that Matt would come in and she'd drink from him." An episode and a few show days later, yup, she fed on Matt. :) And I hate to say it because I LOVE their relationship/friendship as it is now, but I'm not counting out the possibility that Elena winds up having sex as a vampire for the first time with Matt. Obviously, I want it to be Damon, and the logical choice is Stefan (ugh!), but I'm not counting some crazy thing happening that leads to it with Matt. (Great, give Rebekah *another* reason to want Elena dead!)

- Also, I said this: "I thought it was Damon who was turning on the gas, and then even better, Matt or Meredith, which would have been really cool. Because we would have had Stefan's line about Damon planning revenge, followed by Matt or Meredith actually doing the deed. That would have been shocking and would have set up Stefan, Elena, Bonnie, etc. blaming Damon before the reveal. So I got that partly right, Liz and Elena blamed Damon! And, yet, they very quickly believed him when he denied it. :)

- As always I love any time that Damon and Liz have scenes, and I LOVE how open and honest with Liz that Damon is being. And how he shut her down when she was all self-righteous about knowing those council members her whole life. Yeah, well, those council members tried to kill your daughter. And score another one for Damon!

- Aha! Of course, once again Damon figured it out. Everyone smelt the blood but it was Damon who told them not to react and turn around because it was a trap. I love my Damon. He's so smart!

- OK, so Stefan said those bullets would kill a normal vampire, but Damon took a bunch in the chest and didn't die. Ergo, Damon isn't a normal vampire (wink, wink) or Stefan is being his usual Stefan-y self and is not all that bright. Or..... continuity error.

- I liked the small Damon/Matt moment when he was watching Matt let Elena feed on him. It was like he was surprised, and he approved and was maybe a little proud. OK, this could be my desperate desire to have Damon/Matt bonding moments coming into play here, I will confess. (Man, I want Damon to take Jeremy and Matt on some road trip. I WOULD DIE WITH THE LOVING OF IT if they did it right!!)

- I'm glad that Jamie was mentioned. We didn't need much more than that one line, so I'm glad we got it.

- A couple of name-thingies. Heh! I have ATT U-verse and the synopsis for this episode said "Nina has difficulty adjusting to vampirism..." Yeah, you read that right: "Nina" instead of "Elena." Hehehehehe. And show-related, Claire Holt's name was in the credits as a guest star even if we didn't see her.

So, I was very happy with this episode, mostly because I really feel like the Stefan/Elena, Damon/Elena aspects are playing out exactly as I had hoped they would. And I'm still enjoying most of the characters -- even when Stefan is in asshole mode, as long as I get why, and I SOOOO get why here, I enjoy him! Definitely better than the first episode (even though I did like it), and Damon remains the most awesome character EVA!
Tags: alaric saltzman, bonnie bennett, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, damon/jeremy, damon/matt, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, jeremy gilbert, matt donovan, stefan salvatore, the vampire diaries, tv
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  • I COULD BE RIDING HORSES RIGHT NOW!

    So, I randomly ran across this january of last year and thought it was absolutely hilarious, and that Ian Somerhalder was a riot. Now, I know some…

  • I COULD BE RIDING HORSES RIGHT NOW!

    OMG! This was hilarious. I have no idea what The Jace Hall Show is, but Ian Somerhalder did a small segment with them (seems like it's an…

  • Hee! Funny!!!

    I feel like utter crapola, but this vid of Josh Groban singing Kanye West tweets still made me giggle like mad!