I don't know which onscreen pairing gave me the most feels. OK, I do, it was Damon/Elena, but still... SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM THAT WAS GLORIOUS!!! (We'll save the winner for last!)
- Stefan/Caroline - Their first small scene was cute, and had the sweet humor they share, but I didn't appreciate it completely until the episode was over because of the whole 'you helped me, you're helping her' since Stefan so is not helping Elena in the right way. But clearly that's obvious, so I'm down with Caroline's bias. And, of course, the last scene was AWESOME. Seriously, I SQUEED! They made me hand-wave with girly joy! Oh, how honest and open they are with each other. Her "Come to me," slayed me. AHHHHHHHHH! And his almost bashful, smiling compliment on what a great vampire she is and what surprised pleasure that brought her had me grinning. The looks and the music and the AAHHH!!!!!!! I love them so much! I've MISSED them so much!
- Damon/Jeremy - Even though we technically only got one scene, there was so much obviously that took place offscreen. Jeremy called Damon, told him about thte tattoo, told him Connor's address, told him about the whole conversation. Which we know from Damon showing up at the trailer, and his letting Elena know that Jeremy called him, and Damon mentioning the disappearing tattoo. Jeremy just spilled all to Damon, and in that brief scene they did share, he so came across like the kid wanting his big brother to think he's cool. "See, I told you I could be bad-ass!" "Bad-asses don't say that." Dude, I was dying. I rewound that part a gazillion times. I ♥ Damon/Jeremy stuff and this was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
- Damon/Matt - OK, this is stretching it, but any Damon/Matt interaction I'm gonna cling to at this point and Damon choosing to nicely compel Matt was great.
- Matt/Rebekah - I know that their stuff seemed mostly negative, but I actually found some positives. Once again, Matt is the only person that Rebekah is showing any remorse over. Second, yes, Matt told Connor her name... BUT, Rebekah is an original and Matt knows she can't be killed (except by that stake and it's not easy-getting to... unless you're Elena and Damon has the stake, but more on that later). Finally, most importantly... the werewolf venom-induced hallucination. And here's where I start delving into Damon and Elena as well.
We know from Damon's werewolf bite reaction and the hallucinations that follow that when someone who matters shows up and speaks the truth, that is basically the bitee telling a hard truth to themselves that they haven't dealt with. With Damon in "As I Lay Dying," we had hallucination!Elena show up during his 1864-Katherine flashback to spill some hard tea on him. That Katherine was toying with him, that he could have walked away, he could have said no. But he made the choice. And, of course, we saw the follow-through to that when Damon admitted that truth to Elena as he lay dying. It was his choice. He had no one to blame but himself.
Here we had hallucination!Matt telling Rebekah that she wants love so much, but she's thrown hundreds of years away not appreciating life, and so she doesn't deserve love. In other words, she needs to give in order to receive. And so we saw the follow-through with her being genuine with April. Which was a scene I really enjoyed. I kinda liked April last week, but I really was feeling her in that scene with Rebekah. The lonely girl with nobody pretending to smile so she doesn't cry, and how because she didn't know any better she was being nice to Rebekah. And Rebekah, taking hallucination!Matt's words to heart, genuinely being nice in return. Claire Holt and Grace Phipps have a lovely chemistry. I really hope (and think) we'll see more of these two.
Now back to the whole point behind the scene though, seeing Rebekah respond as she did in the manner she did, well, Matt was that catalyst. So yay! Of course, the same held true for Elena. It was hallucination!Damon that appeared to her when she having sexytiems with Stefan because she knows that it's Damon that she wants to be with (hello! cue to flashback of Elena's eyes literally trailing down Damon's naked chest and down, down, down, brought up only by his snark and button-snap). Then hallucination!Damon told her the truth she knows but hasn't accepted that she's not a Stefan-bunny-hunting-reserved vampire type. She's a lot more like Damon than she is Stefan (which was the case as well while human, but we'll take one path at a time). And, awesomely, we saw follow-through of that when she easily, without hesitation or fight, agreed when Damon said that he would teach her how to be a better vampire. So double yay! for werewolf-driven hallucinations!
That whole final scene with Matt, Elena and Damon worked so well for me on many levels. First of all, it was another instance of the show introducing something early in the episode (when feeding on Matt in the beginning she said that if she eats more, she won't be able to stop) and then naturally including it later. Secondly, how the scene ended helped assuage my renewed fear that Matt will be Elena's vamp-sex partner what with Matt mentioning his and Elena's make-out spot. But how the scene ended made me think I'm overthinking what has happened with Matt and Elena as I did the Bonnie/Matt scenes in early season 03. I hope so at least. And, of course, I loved the reverse of the first episode: In that one, Damon was the one threatening Matt's life -- although I'm still convinced he didn't intend to actually kill him -- and Elena intervened. Here, it's Elena doing the near-Matt-deathening, and Damon intervening.
Then we get to the meat of it all. Like last week, we've got Damon dealing with the reality of what Elena is going through, while Stefan's answer was last week to drink wine and ignore it, or light pretty Lanterns, this week it's to go to a party, or go on a motorcycle ride. Yes, good things, fun things, enjoy-life things, but they are surface and right now, Elena's problems need a lot more than surface solutions. And even those surface pleasures are offered under the guise of not dealing with reality. That motorcycle scene, oy vey! I'm sorry, but I can NOT get over the helmets. WHY WERE THEY WEARING HELMETS?!?!?! THEY ARE VAMPIRES! They don't need safety helmets! Why were they wearing them? Because they are pretending to be human. And, of course, Elena -- not Stefan -- actually did break from that human pretense by standing up, but still.
Actually this scene and the ridiculous keg-headstand reminded me of one of the main things that made me loathe Stefan and Elena in season 02. In my episode write-up of "Kill or Be Killed" (episode 05), I went on a mini-tear about them.
- I just am so bored and eyes-rolled by Stefan and Elena at this point. The rest of the show is smart and funny and works so well, and those two are basically the Twilight faction of the show. They are such teenagers together. With Elena, Stefan completely loses his cool. With Stefan, Elena pretty much loses the functioning of her brain cells. Ugh.
He stepped up to the plate, and he's putting aside his pride to help the girl he loves. Which brings us to Stefan who says he loves the girl, but he *can't* help her. He can't be happy with her, and he certainly can't do the blood angle with her. Nope, it's Damon. As much as last week made it clear how much better Damon is for Elena, this episode amplifed that by a thousand. Let's go back to that hallucination while making out with Stefan and how Damon popped up. That on its own would have been a lovely treat for Damon/Elena fans, but it had more resonance *because* of the earlier scene between Damon and Elena. In our first (Yay!) sighting of nearly-naked-Damon! (I can't believe we had to wait three episodes!), there's Elena. And it wasn't even subtle how obvious they made it that she was affected by his clothing removal.
There was how she tried to pretend the attention she was paying to his chest was about the blood/his injury and not Damon taking off his shirt. We saw her literally force her body to relax, breathe, put on an expression of nonchalance about the nudity. And once he removed his shirt, and started work on his pants, we actually saw her eyes trail down his naked chest and lower until Damon snarkily asked if she wanted to stick around for the show. Then the girl visibly jumped damn near out of her skin when he unsnapped the button. So we had that very, very obvious scene showing us that Elena is hot for Damon. Then while making out with Stefan... she starts thinking about Damon. Uh huh.
So not only were we told that Elena wants Damon (in place of Stefan), but that Damon is the one who can help her through this new phase of her life, Damon is who is capable of helping her; Damon is who Elena feels comfortable helping her. Elena realizes that Damon is who should be helping her. And this was paired with Stefan being all honest and open and real with... Caroline! (How could I not be happy right now?)
As for Stefan and Elena, well, he did help her a bit, but it's the one area in which Stefan excels: Preaching about how one denies the reality of harsh feelings and instead ignores them, pushes them down, pretends they are not there. Did it work now for Elena in not going after Rebekah? Yeah. Will it work long-term? No way in hell. So we've got Stefan able to provide temporary, surface help to Elena, but relationship-wise, he's turning to and talking to Caroline. Elena is turning to and talking to Matt and Damon even moreso. Elena is having Stefan make-out-interruptions with Damon!Hallucinations. Elena is having really-yourself-truth-telling!Damon!hall
Yeah, OK, I'm with ya both all the way......................
OK, random thoughts --
- So another make-out session, this one broken up by a Damon!hallucination, and a new form of sickness. I think the universe is telling Stefan and Elena something. I think they should listen. Uh huh.
- It wasn't much, but I did like that we at least got a Stefan/Rebekah-couple-dom mention.
- As much as I love Elena, I was actually team!Rebekah in that classroom scene. I know Rebekah tried to kill her and all, but man, Elena was a bitch to her. The pencil show-down was funny, though. Hee.
- That final shot of vamp!Elena in the bathroom? Man, with all of that undeathly pale pallor Elena's got going on, she is seriously THE least attractive vampire on this show ever. Girl get yoself a better diet!
- I gotta admit, the handstand/drinking thing kinda annoyed me. It just came across as mean-girl show-off, and I don't know, cliched and stupid. It felt like something I'd see on a lesser teen-related show or movie. (But, hey, Brian Young co-wrote this episode-- my least favorite regular TVD writer. What can you do? Most of the episode was made of win, so I'm letting the small moments of fail slide.)
- Hee! Damon walks into his room made a mess and, of course, makes sure that Elena knows it needs to be cleaned up. (Which she so did not do, driven from the room by her lust for Damon, LOL!)
- And so... it's now tit for tat. Elena has rummaged through Damon's underwear drawer and held up a pair for inspection just as he did with her stuff in "The End of the Affair." Hee!
- Speaking of that scene, I think we needed more than that petulant "I'm gonna find that stake!" from Elena to fully explain Elena having that stake and her "Damon reluctantly gave it to me" line. Maybe a roll of Damon's eyes and a close-up of him looking after her or something with that 'I'm so whipped' look Ian Somerhalder does so well when Damon looks at Elena. Just something more. Ah well.
- Hah! I love how Rebekah is always soiling the purity of the Stefan/Elena jewelry line, LOL! First, we find out that damn necklace belonged to her first, and now she casually snags Elena's ring off and throws it in the garbage disposal. And turns it on. Saved or not by Elena, that thing's got scratches and marks on it now. And once again shows how the "symbols" of Stefan and Elena' twu wuv are so easily taken away. :)
- So Elena has drank Damon, Matt and Klaus' blood now. Stefan's gonna start to feel left out.
- That voiceover opener: "Mystic Falls is my home." "And mine." "And mine." IS SO LAME. The rest of it is fine but that part is so very lame.
- Also lame, how long Michael Trevino kept his eyes so wide open in surprise in the opener. I mean, when the shot returned to him, he was still laying there with eyes wide open. See?
I'm sorry, ya'll, I'm just not impressed with Trevino; he is so the show's weakest series regular. He did something in a later scene that had me near-groaning too, but I've blocked it from memory. Can Tyler PLEASE, PRETTY, PRETTY PLEASE die!? For reals!?
- Speaking of Tyler, ugh, pig. Caroline BE WITH STEFAN!!!! Seriously, was that the first nail in the Tyler/Caroline coffin? I think it might have been. I mean dude was banging another girl while still with Caroline, even if they were separated. Ugh. Still, I have to say that as much as I dislike the pairing of Tyler and Caroline, and as much as I do think that Candice Accola and Joseph Morgan have way better chemistry than do Trevino and Accola (which isn't saying much as I think Trevino and Accola have almost zero sexual chemistry, seriously, they rival Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev's lack, and I didn't think that was possible), I still find it rather manipulative that the show is painting Klaus as the good, romantic soul who is looking out for Caroline's heart while Tyler is the lying, cheating douchebag. I don't like Tyler. I do like Klaus more. But come on! Klaus is not a good guy. Tyler is, albeit with douchy moments. I dunno. That rubbed me a bit wrong.
- Still call me crazy, but if that *was* the first nail in the Tyler/Caroline coffin, and we all know that Klaus/Caroline can NOT be endgame unless they make Caroline turn and keep off her humanity switch... was this first hammered nail coinciding with that AWESOME-SAUCE Stefan/Caroline scene a coincidence? Or could my cherished-dream of Stefan/Caroline endgame-ness actually have a fighting chance and this was the first legit sign?! I mean, scroll up again -- dude, they had the Stefan/Caroline and Damon/Elena scenes end EXACTLY the same in terms of togetherness and solidarity! RIGHT?!?!?
- OK, so was I the only one who was gave Klaus additional dialogue in his scene with Stefan? Stefan's all, you need to come and help me and Klaus is all I don't want anything from you, and I mentally completed the sentence for him: "You broke my heart."
- Speaking of Klaus and why Stefan broke his heart, dude, Tyler, no, what your team did to Klaus was WAY worse than what he did to you, I must concur with Klaus.
- Also, Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley) still doesn't impress me at all. However, I will say that there was a spark there in that brief scene with Joseph Morgan. Yes, there was.
- Yeah, so obviously my Jeremy/Connor theory was TOTALLY off. Ah well. But, I am intrigued by The Five and what the deal is with Connor. However, yeah, I do have to agree with eolivet, Todd Williams is just not doing it for me as Connor. He's not very charismatic, and doesn't come across as menacing and/or powerful enough for me.
- I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Meredith telling Damon HE is the good brother. Awwwwwwwwwwwww! Having her give Damon credit for doing the dirty work while Stefan plays vampire games was fantastic. And that, plus Jeremy working with him, gives me hope that my belief was right that we were seeing a change in how the others treat Damon towards the end of last season would carry over to this season. And, yup, that is what is happening. Yet, of course, Damon doesn't quite get that, basing his 'wanted-ness' on Stefan and Elena. (See, him saying he's gonna follow through on the deal and leave town. Hah! I'm with Meredith, no way was he gonna take off.) But he's getting there. He is getting there. And I do think Meredith helped by saying that to him in that first scene, but also in what she said in the second. I thought she was going to be mean to him at the end when she said she wasn't his new vampire partner-in-crime, but then she turned it around to being about Damon and how he needed to do what was best for him, I was all aww!
I also have to specifically point out the word/phrase choice in that first scene they shared when Meredith explained why she called Damon the good brother: "Stefan is playing vampire with the girl who broke your heart." She put it in terms of Stefan just playing a part, pretending, and Elena not as Stefan's girl, your brother's girl, but rather in relation to Damon. Which I thought made a lot of sense because she came into their lives seeing Elena more on the Damon-side of things, so from her perspective Elena is VERY much a part of the Damon/Elena equation, it's not one-sided at all. I thought that was an interesting way to word that angle that was positive (despite the whole 'broke your heart' bit) for Damon and Elena.
- What I found interesting about that bit was how even though both Damon and Stefan talked about and made it clear they know they are having problems, Stefan (despite his douchy punching last week) wants to hug it out, bro, obviously. On the other hand, when Damon gets the nudge from Meredith, he essentially ignored the Stefan aspect of the "make up with Stefan and Elena" and instead headed to Elena. (Which, yeah, was good for Matt, but still...)
- Ooh! Gross! The needle in the gums. Yucky! Give me vomiting blood any week over that nasty stuff!
- Damon, Damon, Damon! (A bomb is an adorable, exploding kitten. Only Damon.) Every line, every moment, everything, once again... PERFECTION! And once again, Ian Somerhalder proves himself the absolute, unparalleled king of delivery. LOVE HIM SO HARD.
LOVE WHAT THE SHOW IS DOING SO HARD! They are going beyond my WILDEST dreams in how they are showcasing Stefan and Elena, and Damon and Elena. Basically everything is Damon and Elena and it feels GOOD! SQUEEE!
See? For me? Totally not long.