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01 November 2012 @ 10:07 pm
4.04 - 'The Five' (The Vampire Diaries)  
So, you know what day is? You know what time it is? TVD-POSTING TIME!!!

Shortest Vampire Diaries review ever... because this was the most boring episode of the show since "There Goes the Neighborhood." Back in season 01. I was talking to sarcasticcheese trying to figure out why it all felt so off. First of all, the main conclusion was that the way that Elena acted with Stefan and Damon was as if NOTHING in season 03 happened, and as if the first three episodes of this season didn't happen. There was nothing other than AHHHHHH!Stefan-and-Elena TWU!WUV!4EVA! vibes all over the place. And Damon was just, you know, this guy who Elena didn't really hate, sorta considered a friend, but she just wasn't that into him. Which is what most of season 02 felt like (once she got over the hating part). Furthermore, Stefan was played completely as the tortured hero with the halo firmly intact, no shades, no multi-dimension.

So I checked for the writer/director. And the writers were Brett Matthews (who last co-wrote "The Departed") and Rebecca Sonnenshine (last episode was "Break On Through"). Whether you liked those episodes or not, they wrote a Stefan who had flaws, who wasn't the perfect hero. They also featured an Elena who may have been antagonistic towards Damon, but was clearly affected by him (in 3.17), and who may have still loved Stefan, but clearly had really, really deep feelings for Damon (in 3.22). So while I, at first, blamed my issues with this episode on the writing, as I was working through it, I realized that with different direction, all of the S/E scenes, Stefan scenes, Damon/Elena scenes, even Bonnie/Damon scenes -- she was back to uber-bitch mode with him last seen in 3.20 -- could have easily played with the same vibe we've had this season. An Elena and Stefan who still love each other but are going through the motions of trying to recapture what they once had. A Stefan who had layers to his words and actions. An Elena who was genuinely heated and turned on by Damon, who had common ground with him, who was AFFECTED by him, who was very much torn by how much she felt for him despite how she feels for Stefan. A Bonnie who accepts the positive of Damon while still being aware of the negative.

The dialogue was there, it was the direction that didn't play it that way. No, the direction played an Elena who wasn't torn at all, who was all about Stefan and Damon was just, you know, this guy. Think of the porch scene at the end-- had the scenes been played earlier with Elena being affected by it all because of her proximity to Damon (as opposed to JUST the vampire-stuff), her saying that it was just the vampire-stuff and leaving the Damon-aspect out of it would have fit with how she's been keeping the whole truth, nothing but the truth from Stefan. However, because it didn't play as if Elena was affected by Damon at all really, what she said to Stefan was the truth.

And the Damon/Elena scenes could have (and so should have been) played with heat and passion and desire that Elena felt for Damon, that Damon felt for Elena that were amplified by the vampire-stuff. Instead, it played as if it was the vampire stuff that got Elena all high and hot (and not all that much bothered at all). And the Bonnie/Damon discussion could have been played with confusion, an understanding that this is the situation, it sucked, and a true questioning if this is what he really wanted. Instead, it was just, yeah, Bonnie in uber-bitch-with-Damon mode.

Sure, you can say I'm grasping at straws and if the next few episodes play more like this one -- Stefan/Elena against the world united in their twuest wuv that ever wuved!, while Damon's just kinda there in the background, an annoying distraction, a fly in the ointment that is the twuest wuv that ever wuved! -- then, I'll concede I've been completely wrong about how I thought things were going. And I'll spend every episode bitching and wondering why the hell Damon doesn't just LEAVE! However.... The last three episodes REALLY did play out with the same vibe. Elena loves Stefan, he loves her, but they are in new territory, are mostly pretending it's old, and both are ignoring the Damon-shaped-feelings Elena has... even when Elena is slap-dash in the middle of feeling those feelings.

Finally, you know who directed this episode? Joshua Butler. You know what the last episode he directed was? "Do Not Go Gentle." The episode that inexplicably played a Stefan/Elena as if none of the events in season 03 had really happened, as if nothing between her and Damon had happened in the previous episode in how they interacted (nor her connection with him that had grown throughout the season), the one that played Stefan as nothing but the tortured hero with a halo and no layers or dimensions. In other words, the Stefan/Elena of season 02, the Damon/Elena of season 02. So, unless the next batch of episodes play Stefan/Elena like this one, and Damon/Elena like this one... I'm choosing to call this episode here an anomaly based on the directorial decisions.

ETA: Thinking more on this, it really was the direction because Stefan did a LOT of shady shit in this episode. Went behind Rebekah's back, used her vulnerability, played with Klaus to take Rebekah out, used Jeremy as a tool, didn't even seem agonized in the slightest as he lied to Elena's face about why he was with Jeremy. (Remember, Damon had difficulty keeping Stefan's secret from Elena.) Yet, the direction played him as the stalwart hero. On the other hand, Damon *was* doing good stuffs! He was helping Elena, he wasn't killing anyone, he kept Elena from killing anyone, he was teaching her how to be good, to feel good. He didn't do anything bad, and yet the way everyone treated him (and the way Damon acted) it was as if *he* was the bad guy.

Just very, very, very off in the direction. Big-time.

Quick thoughts --

- So did I call about Elena being humanized by season's end? I think I may have!

- Rebekah staked again. Damnit, Klaus!

- I did like the Five reveal backstory, and the Connor stuff, and the surprising Shane/Connor stuff, but man, that Todd Williams (Connor) is just a blank page. Nothing there.

- I did enjoy the Matt/Rebekah/April scene. "Hey! Hands off! I've got dibs."

- And Matt is keeping the truck, awesome.

- My favorite line was Stefan's "I'm thinking of the million other people I would prefer to be having dinner with."

- I did not realize until this very moment that there was no Tyler or Caroline. Damnit, Tyler has so dinged the character of Caroline for me.

- You want a character plot device? JEREMY was a character plot device.

- I love Ian Somerhalder. I think he's sexy as hale! That dancing tonight? So not sexy. He looked DORKY as hale. I don't know if they were dancing to no music while filming, or a different song than what played, but, yeah, no.

- I was really disappointed in the Damon/Elena moments. First reciprocated hug between them (she's hugged him before, but he's NEVER returned the hug) and you could barely tell and there was no significance given to it. All of the hyper Elena moments did not seem to be about Damon at all. Damon/Elena in this situation should have left viewers breathless. Nope. Didn't happen. What the hell? Again, very poor direction.

- What a waste of Daniel Gillies/Elijah. Geez.

- Ooh, another sign of poor direction... I wasn't sure if Rebekah had staked Alexander or he had staked her until Klaus told us coming out of the flashback.

- So, if you didn't know any better, would anyone *anyone* have had any clue at all that Stefan/Rebekah had a history? Yeah, didn't think so. Claire Holt and Paul Wesley still play off of each other beautifully, but this episode did not highlight their history at all in a very, very disappointing fashion.

Sadly, most underwhelming episode in like FOREVER. Very disappointed in the direction and NOT looking forward to any other episodes this guy directs unless, I suppose, Damon/Elena are clearly, clearly as written to be THERE FOR EACH OTHER, INTO EACH OTHER! He directed "Homecoming," which had some great Damon/Elena scenes, but as I said that was VERY CLEARLY WRITTEN FOR THEM, and I remember now I had issue with the 'were we supposed to think they were going to kiss?' moment that should have held longer. So yeah, don't want to see his direction again.

Sigh, and it was going so good. Again, I could be wrong, this could be the real direction, but I really, really, really don't think so and the next few episodes should give us an indication on the matter. We'll see.

ETA: Everyone read archangel_blood's post below. She REALLY nailed the specifics that make it absolutely clear it was ALL ABOUT THE DIRECTION. The writing wasn't the problem. Which is GREAT for Damon/Elena fans. The clear intention -- in the writing! -- was to keep the narrative going that's been building, but Butler's direction took a nose-dive... as it did in 3.20.
 
 
 
Cassandra Elise: bones not amusedcassandra_elise on November 2nd, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
no, no, no! You were supposed to reassure me that all of the DAMON IS EBIL and STEFAN IS AN ANGEL vibes were in my head. :( Anyways, I'll write a more comprehensive response tomorrow after I've stewed a while.
Arabian: Stefan02arabian on November 2nd, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
The direction was just so very heavy-handed. But think about it -- and I'm gonna edit my post -- Stefan did a LOT of crappy things and Damon did good things, it was just the direction was so OFF and played it like Stefan was all good and Damon was not.

It was just off.
kilodalton: 10rose - doctor rosekilodalton on November 2nd, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
... yes. This whole post. Thank you!
Arabian: David & Billie Dancingarabian on November 2nd, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, it was just weird, wasn't it? Totally has to be the director when you actually take the dialogue by itself, and apply how the last three episodes have been directed + how Butler directed "Do Not Go Gentle." This has to be an anomaly.
(no subject) - kilodalton on November 2nd, 2012 03:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 2nd, 2012 04:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Diana: Vampire Diaries - What? (Stefan)butterfly on November 2nd, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Ah, interesting thoughts about the direction. Stefan pulled a hell of a lot of shady shit this episode. I was side-eyeing him pretty much the entire time.
Arabian: Stefan03arabian on November 2nd, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
It was soooooo the direction.
(Anonymous) on November 2nd, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
Basically Stefan is teaming up with Klaus to make Elena human and be a blood bag for Klaus for the rest of her life. Stefan is bascially doing all of this stuff for HIM. Not for Elena! He wanted to spend eternity with Elena but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. HE wants to live with Elena and be buried next to her at any and all costs even if it means Elena has to deal with Klaus for the rest of her life. It's very selfish and I hope it gets addressed soon.

Also, I totally think Ian and Nina were dancing to no music...they usually don't play music or even have any of the extras actually talking while the stars are talking. It ruins the sound on their mics. So, yeah they were dancing to nothing on set. It's gotta be awkard to dance to nothingness LOL!
Arabian: Alaric02arabian on November 2nd, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
Yup, word to all of this. The dialogue, the story really did present us the same Stefan, Stefan/Elena, Damon/Elena as we've been getting, but the direction just so threw it off.

RE: No music, yeah, I figured it had to be something like that because, yeah, so did not work.
bluesuzanne: FFFFFFFS;DLKGJ;LSKSTERNUM???bluesuzanne on November 2nd, 2012 07:19 am (UTC)
Interesting insight re: the direction. I was so ready to point the finger at the writing but now you have me reconsidering. Definitely a problematic episode as far as the triangle was concerned. It was just.......... off.

Also word on the complete lack of Stefan/Rebekah. I've long given up hope of him being allowed to feel anything for her, but I still feel that in an episode where he's manipulating her emotionally and they're discussing all this heavy shit about love, it feels really, really forced for their romantic history not to come up in conversation.
Arabian: Damon & Elena15arabian on November 2nd, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
I think I wouldn't have hit on the direction had it not been Rebecca Sonnenshine. She's always impressed with her subtlety and character layers, so I had to check the director and as soon as I saw that Butler had directed "Do Not Go Gentle" -- which had the EXACT same issue SO blatantly re: the triangle and Stefan -- I started thinking of the scenes in terms of dialogue/plot and realized that it all did fit with the flow from the last few episodes. It was really HOW that dialogue/plot was presented (via the direction) that was the issue.

I don't even know RE: Stefan/Rebekah. I just don't know.

ETA: Just gotta say, read archangel_blood's post below. She REALLY nailed the specifics that make it absolutely clear it was ALL ABOUT THE DIRECTION. The writing wasn't the problem.

ETA again: AHA! I just realized something! That final OTT porch scene with Stefan and Elena where they stood wrapped in each other's arms, their love displayed as so stalwart and true? Yeah, that scene. BOTH Stefan and Elena were LYING to each other. BIG-TIME. Stefan had just lied about Jeremy and was lying by omission hugely about the whole cure thing. Elena lied about not enjoying the vampire stuff and was lying by omission about the Damon-aspect of the night's events. Uh huh.

This is SO going our way. :)

Edited at 2012-11-04 12:22 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - bluesuzanne on November 4th, 2012 12:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 12:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jude: tvd; elijahdanceonstardust on November 2nd, 2012 07:22 am (UTC)
I have nothing to say other than this episode is boring. I agree. I actually didn't even download it at all because I'm like "meh." With Elijah, Daniel had only a few lines and off he went. Of course I was pouting. :/
Arabian: Elijah01arabian on November 2nd, 2012 07:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, definitely weak direction. Ah well.
Bogwitch: Meg and Mog - Zzzbogwitch on November 2nd, 2012 08:22 am (UTC)
Ian dances like a dad who thinks he's got the moves.

I agree. This one wasn't terribly exciting, mainly just a load of exposition we already knew about and Stefan being... Stefan. Disappointing.
Arabian: Damon & Elena02arabian on November 2nd, 2012 09:18 am (UTC)
He did in this episode, but he normally looks hot and sexy as all get out. Not this time. That's why I noticed it.

I don't agree that it was a load of exposition about stuff we knew, all The Five stuff I thought was interesting, but I don't think they were flashback-worthy Klaus and/or Rebekah just telling it would have been fine. And the Damon/Elena/Bonnie scenes SHOULD have been awesome. Again, poor direction.

Edited at 2012-11-04 09:51 am (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on November 30th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
archangel_blood: D/E I knowarchangel_blood on November 2nd, 2012 09:25 am (UTC)
I thought this was just a generally poor episode. Additionally, there was so much hype surrounding it, that most people had very high expectations. The fact that it failed to live up to these only added to the overall disappointment and made the episode look even worse.

All the characters were like cardboard figures, who looked like the people from MF, talked like them, but somehow felt like shadows of themselves. Just odd. And yes, I’d blame the direction, because they were all saying the right things, but it felt hollow somehow. I think this is also the reason why the D/E scenes lacked the intensity they usually have, but same holds true for everyone else.

There was nothing other than AHHHHHH!Stefan-and-Elena TWU!WUV!4EVA! vibes all over the place. And Damon was just, you know, this guy who Elena didn't really hate, sorta considered a friend, but she just wasn't that into him.

Yes, and again, Elena did say all the right things, only they didn’t match her behaviour at all. She pretty much told Stefan point blank that he can’t help her right now; she rejected his rather weak suggestion that she could ask for Caroline’s help, and in essence stated that she just needs her Damon. Plain and simple. The way they chose to go about the lines delivery however, made it seem like Elena would rather eat iron nails than do this with Damon. And call me crazy, but I do not think this is what the writes had in mind for this scene at all.

She told Stefan that she doesn’t want to feel the things she is feeling. People may argue that she just meant the feeding, but it would be a stupid argument. Outside that party, when she kept repeating “I should be doing this with Stefan”, it certainly didn’t look like she was troubled by the act itself, but rather who she was doing it with.

Elena also admitted to Damon that she feels he was right about her, about them, and it terrifies her. Instead of denying the facts like usual, she actually recognized their existence, simply saying she wishes it wasn’t all true. This is progress for Elena, as far as I’m concerned. And yet, the way they acted around each other on that porch, it was as if Damon was just a mildly annoying guy whose presence she kinda tolerates. Completely crazy.

The whole episode resembled that awkward dancing scene, where they tried to guess the right moves without knowing what the song was. It’s as if the dialogue was also edited in later on, and the actors had to interact, not knowing what they are supposed to be saying to each other.

I do believe that the writing was consistent, and somehow the direction managed to ignore it. It was just a badly executed episode and that’s all there is to it IMO. I would agree that it was an anomaly of some sort and if the writing is anything to go by, I’d expect next episode to be back on the right track.
Arabian: Elena&Caroline03arabian on November 2nd, 2012 10:44 am (UTC)
Man, you so completely put it down to specifics that completely prove my belief that it was absolutely the direction. It was just so very, very off.

I just, gah, I just rewatched the dance scene and it felt completely pointless, like it was supposed to be building to something... but it didn't. So she was smiling, dancing, there was NOTHING about how she was dancing with Damon that would explain (a) Bonnie's look -- it was too dark and Elena covered too my by Damon for it to be about Bonnie seeing all the blood, (b) Elena's reaction. That should have been heated, sensual, burning, lava-hot building to this sexually tense breaking point and then BOOM! Bonnie sees that, BOOM! Elena sees Bonnie see her and BOOM! all the walls come back up. But we got NOTHING like that.

And as you said, the dialogue, the words, everything it was ALL there, it just didn't play well at all.
(no subject) - archangel_blood on November 3rd, 2012 12:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cassandra_elise on November 2nd, 2012 01:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Florencia: Damon (Love)florencia7 on November 2nd, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
Can Damon leave town, please? I'll help him pack *sigh* I feel so sad saying that, because up till now I NEVER wanted him to leave town. But right now I just can't take it anymore. I would rather have no DE scenes than DE scenes devoid of emotions.

I knew I shouldn't get my hopes up too high the moment I knew the title. An important or even good episode, especially an important and/or good DE episode couldn't possibly have such an unassuming, lame title. OK. I need to calm down, because if I have “lame” in the first sentence already I can only get nastier lol I love this show. I want to love this show. But what they did in this episode was BEYOND UNACCEPTABLE for hundreds of reasons.

”And Damon was just, you know, this guy who Elena didn't really hate, sorta considered a friend, but she just wasn't that into him.” - Yes, YES! That's exactly how it felt! But why WHY WHY did it feel that way??? Why did they do that??? It makes NO SENSE character-wise. It added/changed/explained nothing in terms of character development, plot. AH I can't think clearly right now :[

We just took a dozen steps back to S2 or even earlier than that. I don't even know. The Damon/Elena scenes felt so... insignificant. The ONLY significant moment was when Elena hugged Damon and he closed his eyes for a second. That was the ONLY truly emotional, truly DE moment, and yet it was almost, kind of one-sided (!!! again, which season is this???), because like you said in your post, Elena seemed turned on by blood and nothing else.

Stefan manipulating Rebekah in such an awful way. I'm just speechless, and I will remain speechless until the show makes it clear that no, it doesn't make Stefan a hero (o__________________O) who would do anything for Elena, but rather someone who mercilessly takes advantage of someone vulnerable to try turning Elena back into a human blood-bag, so her personality is easier for him to handle. I'm sure they will have lots of fun riding their motorbikes in between Elena's blood donations. I'm sure Klaus won't bother them more than necessary.

Having said all that... and even considering that I really hoped something meaningful would happen in this episode DE-wise... I have to admit that I'm kind of glad that they didn't even kiss. If they did, it would have been really JUST because Elena was being hyper and THAT would've been just as bad as... well, as this entire episode was anyway LOL Still, I guess I'm just trying to see through my disappointment. Maybe this episode won't be as bad in retrospective? However, for the first time in forever I'm not excited for the next episode :[ And if SEx happens then I think I may call it quits with the show and wait until the season is over to watch it on DVD. I just can't get over the bitter taste this episode left me with and if there is more of SE to come... I don't know. And it's not just DE. This episode was surprisingly, stunningly boring. And watching Rebekah being emotionally crashed and tortured and manipulated over and over again was just the nail in the coffin.

I don't even want to think about TVD until next week.
tams71: pic#97498213tams71 on November 2nd, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
Stefan manipulating Rebekah in such an awful way. I'm just speechless, and I will remain speechless until the show makes it clear that no, it doesn't make Stefan a hero (o__________________O) who would do anything for Elena, but rather someone who mercilessly takes advantage of someone vulnerable to try turning Elena back into a human blood-bag, so her personality is easier for him to handle. I'm sure they will have lots of fun riding their motorbikes in between Elena's blood donations. I'm sure Klaus won't bother them more than necessary.

Amen! I love how when Damon does not so nice things, even though for the most part they are for the greater good (saving someone's life or getting the bad guy) he gets straight up attitude, but when Stefan manipulates, lies, or deceives it's okay and the freaking angels sing on high. I'm sure once Elena finds out the truth she'll fall at Stefan's feet and worship at his altar, yet again. Ugh!
(no subject) - florencia7 on November 2nd, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - florencia7 on November 4th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - florencia7 on November 4th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 5th, 2012 07:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on November 2nd, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for doing all the "comparing director/writer" homework here. The consensus from all the comments on reviews I've read is that this last episode did not sit well with most fans. Elena's reactions were downright rude to Damon in spite of his efforts to help her. I was a serious Delena fan until this episode. Now I am hoping he maintains some dignity and takes off. She deserves the cardboard devil in angel's clothing if she's going to be so cruel.
Arabian: Alaric01arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
No, don't give up. One REALLY badly directed episode should not deter you. The dialogue/narrative VERY MUCH continued the great D/E stuff that's been set up, including the downward S/E spiral.
tams71: pic#97498213tams71 on November 2nd, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
Part I:

It's the morning after and I still feel underwhelmed, unimpressed, and quite frankly over last night's episode. From the beginning the episode was off and I agree with you that while the writing was there for great stuff to happen, Joshua Butler's direction was the biggest contributor to the lameness of the episode, particularly with the Damon/Elena and Damon/Bonnie/Elena scenes. Along with the direction I get the feeling that Ian and Nina weren't feeling it which also contributed to the lack of spark or any real connection between Damon and Elena. Ian brings it to every scene he's in regardless of his feelings about the trajectory of Damon's story, but in this episode I didn't get that "I'm going to kick this scene's ass" vibe from him. As for Nina, I wonder sometimes if she ever gets sick and tired of Elena's "Stefan is the wind beneath my wings-my all-encompassing true love-there can never be another for me lameness. If I were her I would be so over it by now.

Now that I think about it, I think this episode must have underwhelmed Ian, Nina, Paul, Kat, Steven, Joseph, and Claire as well. Usually they're all "TVD is on tonight and it's kick ass" on Twitter, but I don't think we really got any of them promoting like that this week. I could be wrong, but I don't remember seeing a lot of that like we have in other weeks. Someone can fact check me on that ;)

Quick thoughts:

- Stefan was all kinds of shady in this episode and even when his lies, deception, and alliance with Klaus come to light, it will be okay and the only one who will call him out on it is Damon. Elena will be all "Why did you keep this secret from me" and then she'll profess her love and once again fall at his saintly feet, even after she realizes that he knew going in that Klaus' plan was to use a human Elena as a walking talking blood bag so he could rebuild his hybrid army. Man, where can I get a boyfriend like that?

- So I know a lot of people think that Elena is a shoo in for being turned human now that we know there is a cure for vampirism, but me not so much. Elena becoming a vampire was HUGE and with all the emphasis on her attempts to come to terms with being a vampire and working through her "growing pains" turning her human again would be pointless and quite frankly, human Elena for me kinda blows, well right now vampire Elena kinda blows too, but there are so many different things they could do to make vampire Elena awesome. For me, it would be better if after all is said and done if Stefan is the one to turn human. Out of all the vamps besides Elena, but she's a newbie still, Stefan is the one who you know hates being a vampire. He denies his true self, wants to fix Elena so she doesn't have to "live" like that, and can't control himself. If anyone would benefit from being a human again it's Stefan.





Arabian: Damon13arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
It's the morning after and I still feel underwhelmed [...] From the beginning the episode was off [...] Joshua Butler's direction was the biggest contributor to the lameness of the episode

Right, and knowing that, it should put your mind at ease overall and don't go borrowing head-desking before it's deserved. If we get continued stuff feel like this next week, then we know, yeah, we were wrong. But I really 100% believe it was ALL direction.

Along with the direction I get the feeling that Ian and Nina weren't feeling it

No, no, no. I can not state this emphatically enough. NO. It is NOT their fault. Proof of this? If the fault lays at all to blame at Ian and Nina's feet, then it also lays at Kat Graham's, and Paul Wesley's, and Steven R. McQueen's. Do you REALLY think that THAT many actors of the main cast would be THAT off and THAT not feeling it ALL on the same episode? No, of course not. It is direction. Period. As someone who has taken directing classes, trust me, you can't blame the actors with something like this. They have to trust the director to lead them to how a scene is supposed to be played and considering that Nina, Ian, Kat, Paul and Steven ALL played the scenes off to one degree or another... you know it's DIRECTION, not the writing and not the acting.

I could be wrong, but I don't remember seeing a lot of that like we have in other weeks. Someone can fact check me on that

To be fair, with the Election coming up AND Sandy -- they (actors=New York=knowing people) could have just been way too heavily on their mind.

Stefan was all kinds of shady in this episode [...]Elena will be all "Why did you keep this secret from me" and then she'll profess her love and once again fall at his saintly feet

As I said above earlier in your response to florencia7, I'm not sure. I really do think there will be fall-out this time. That was just TOO big what he did. WAY too big. Don't be head-desking until it actually happens. Despite the HORRIBLE direction, the narrative completely continued the flow of the last few episodes which has been in our favor.

So I know a lot of people think that Elena is a shoo in for being turned human [...] with all the emphasis on her attempts to come to terms with being a vampire and working through her "growing pains" turning her human again would be pointless

I disagree simply because I could see them using this opportunity to show the full effect/follow-through with Elena being a vampire NOW. Then when she goes human again, but decides to turn for DAMON when the series reaches its end, they can save that decision for the last few episodes because we've already seen (a) Elena turn and how she's affected originally, and (b) it means that when she turns for Damon, she'll know how to control herself. Win/win. Sorry, but I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want Elena to choose to turn FOR Damon. If not, what was the point of the discussion in 1.08 with Elena/Lexi (which then I do think was intended to be about Stefan/Elena, but when they followed that narrative through in 1.11 and 1.14 with Damon/Elena proved to me that narrative is about Damon and Elena) and the Stefan/Elena discussion in 2.20 where Elena basically admitted she NEVER intended to/wanted to turn for Stefan.

For me, it would be better if after all is said and done if Stefan is the one to turn human. Out of all the vamps besides Elena, but she's a newbie still, Stefan is the one who you know hates being a vampire. He denies his true self, wants to fix Elena so she doesn't have to "live" like that, and can't control himself. If anyone would benefit from being a human again it's Stefan.

I've actually thought it would be awesome if Stefan and Caroline wound up turning human, possibly Rebekah -- since she said she wanted it, leaving us with Damon and Elena only. (Tyler would be dead, of course. Hey, it's my dream theory. Oh, yeah, and Klaus too, but eh.)

Edited at 2012-11-04 03:48 am (UTC)
tams71: pic#97498213tams71 on November 2nd, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)
Part II:

(Damn LJ limits!)

- Poor Rebekah, staked by her lover, betrayed by her brother and Stefan, and then staked by her brother. Can this chick catch a break? I hope they bring Claire back soon. I miss her already :(

- Um hello TVDPTB, Daniel Gillies is a freakin' rock star; can we get some more substantial scenes please?

- Love the April/Rebekah friendship. That line from Rebekah about her having dibs on Matt was amaze-balls :)

- Professor Shane is weird and another character I could do without. Ditto for Connor.

- Bonnie's rant pissed me off last night, but I agree with you Jenn, if the scene had been directed better, what Bonnie said would not have come off as bitchy and self-righteous as it did.

- Have to admit that the frat house dancing stuff with Damon and Elena was all kinds of bad. When I first saw the stills I thought the scene would be fraught with sexual tension, heat, sparks, chemistry...not so much. To me it looked like Damon and Elena were not high on the blood or high on each other, but high on the roofie that douche dude was lacing drinks with. Did not like!

- I do love that Elena messed with douche dude. That was cool!

- Elena totally loved feeding and stalking her prey. Liar, liar, pants on fire! You were loving it until you caught a glimpse of Bonnie and she either reminded you of your human self or you saw the disapproval in her eyes.

Sadly, next week I will not be rushing home from work or killing myself to get an hour or two of work done on my thesis so I can sit down and watch the show live. It might just be a watch TVD in the morning on my DVR before work kind of week.

Edited at 2012-11-02 02:16 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Damon14arabian on November 4th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
- Poor Rebekah, staked by her lover, betrayed by her brother and Stefan, and then staked by her brother. Can this chick catch a break? I hope they bring Claire back soon. I miss her already :(

ME TOO! WAH!

- Um hello TVDPTB, Daniel Gillies is a freakin' rock star; can we get some more substantial scenes please?

Duh! (Just as long as they don't continue that utterly icky Elena/Elijah vibe. YUCK!)

- Love the April/Rebekah friendship. That line from Rebekah about her having dibs on Matt was amaze-balls :)

Rewound that scene. Loved it.

- Professor Shane is weird and another character I could do without. Ditto for Connor.

I'm over the actor, but I think that Connor is a great addition. Sadly, he comes WITH the actor. And I'm intrigued by Shane.

- Bonnie's rant pissed me off last night, but I agree with you Jenn, if the scene had been directed better, what Bonnie said would not have come off as bitchy and self-righteous as it did.

Yup, made me think of her rant in 3.20 (also BADLY directed by Butler) and how that one could have been directed to reflect what I came to when I re-thought the scene through. Same thing here.

- Have to admit that the frat house dancing stuff with Damon and Elena was all kinds of bad. When I first saw the stills I thought the scene would be fraught with sexual tension, heat, sparks, chemistry...not so much. To me it looked like Damon and Elena were not high on the blood or high on each other, but high on the roofie that douche dude was lacing drinks with. Did not like!

Yup. Man, Butler is SO on my shit-list.

- Elena totally loved feeding and stalking her prey. Liar, liar, pants on fire! You were loving it until you caught a glimpse of Bonnie and she either reminded you of your human self or you saw the disapproval in her eyes.

Right. And she loved doing it with Damon. (Hehehehe, 'doing it with Damon' -- I'm 12.) Meaning that she LIED TO STEFAN on the porch, but it was directed as if Elena was being totally REAL with Stefan. Whatevs, Butler.

Sadly, next week I will not be rushing home from work or killing myself to get an hour or two of work done on my thesis so I can sit down and watch the show live. It might just be a watch TVD in the morning on my DVR before work kind of week.

I will text you when I'm done watching you to give you a heads-up. :)

ETA: AHA! I just realized something! That final OTT porch scene with Stefan and Elena where they stood wrapped in each other's arms, their love displayed as so stalwart and true? Yeah, that scene. BOTH Stefan and Elena were LYING to each other. BIG-TIME. Stefan had just lied about Jeremy and was lying by omission hugely about the whole cure thing. Elena lied about not enjoying the vampire stuff and was lying by omission about the Damon-aspect of the night's events. Uh huh.

This is SO going our way. :)

Edited at 2012-11-04 12:23 pm (UTC)
hotarujazzhotarujazz on November 2nd, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
I wanted to add my few cents on how directing was bad in this episode!

I think it showed especially in Stefans part of episode. I felt like show was trying to make me sympathize and root for him in the way the scenes were filmed but his actions and lines made me hate him instead. It felt like the director totally missed the point writers were trying to make.

That continues to show in the way Delena scenes were filmed. I felt again like the show was trying to make me think Damon was a frat boy douche but Ians acting and actual lines and actions of character made me feel sympathetic to him instead. Again totally missing the point writers were trying to make.

The scene on the porch was to me saved by brilliant acting by Ian and Nina(the way their eyes and body language were adding thousand layers to conversation) that even the weird editing and camera movement couldn't destroy.

In conclusion, I think Elena made some strides in this episode but I absolutely hated that it made me feel like she is being judged and punished every time she has some fun! I think DE is endgame still and what was truly weird is that I kinda felt Bonnie saw Damons point when he explained himself and I'm still holding hope that she will eventually come to his side when it comes to Elena.
Arabian: Elena04arabian on November 4th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
I think it showed especially in Stefans part of episode. I felt like show was trying to make me sympathize and root for him in the way the scenes were filmed but his actions and lines made me hate him instead. It felt like the director totally missed the point writers were trying to make.

RIGHT!! Exactly like in 3.20 when there were things Stefan said and did that were terribly selfish, yet the direction painted him with a holy halo! UGH!

That continues to show in the way Delena scenes were filmed. I felt again like the show was trying to make me think Damon was a frat boy douche but Ians acting and actual lines and actions of character made me feel sympathetic to him instead. Again totally missing the point writers were trying to make.

Yes, yes, yes!

The scene on the porch was to me saved by brilliant acting by Ian and Nina(the way their eyes and body language were adding thousand layers to conversation) that even the weird editing and camera movement couldn't destroy.

Yeah, I FELT stuff in their scene, but then Stefan came out and suddenly it was all AAAAHHHH!Stefan/Elena!TWUWUV4-EVA! vibes all over the place. Ugh.

In conclusion, I think Elena made some strides in this episode but I absolutely hated that it made me feel like she is being judged and punished every time she has some fun! I think DE is endgame still and what was truly weird is that I kinda felt Bonnie saw Damons point when he explained himself and I'm still holding hope that she will eventually come to his side when it comes to Elena.

I agree. We really did see strides made, but the direction really screwed over that growth. :(
Florencia: DE (6 AM)florencia7 on November 2nd, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
ETA: For some reason I can't edit my previous comment, so I have to spam you with a new one lol & I have to spam you with a new one because I just had a moment of illumination ;)

In 4x03 when Elena asked hallucination!Damon why she was thinking about him, he said (= she told herself) that it was because she was more like him than like Stefan. And now, in 4x04, that conclusion was *kind of* proved wrong. What I'm trying to say, is that maybe what we should get out of this (still terrible, I'm not changing my opinion about it just yet lol) episode is that the reason why Elena keeps thinking about Damon is not because they are similar in their vampire ways, but because she has feelings for him.

Another thing that came to my mind: while talking to Rebekah Stefan said something about Elena being driven by love and compassion, so if she ever turned off her humanity, there would be no way to get her back (and I actually don't really understand why Stefan is drawing this conclusion, but let's ignore that part lol). It just made me think, or rather *feel*, that if we will ever see Elena going off the rails, it will be Damon who will make her turn her humanity back on, since Stefan gave up on that possibility already.

And yes, I'm totally grasping at straws here haha
Arabian: Damon & Elena06arabian on November 4th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
ETA: For some reason I can't edit my previous comment, so I have to spam you with a new one lol & I have to spam you with a new one because I just had a moment of illumination ;)

S'okay. I'm all for 'moments of illumination!' Hee. :)

In 4x03 when Elena asked hallucination!Damon why she was thinking about him, he said (= she told herself) that it was because she was more like him than like Stefan. And now, in 4x04, that conclusion was *kind of* proved wrong. What I'm trying to say, is that maybe what we should get out of this (still terrible, I'm not changing my opinion about it just yet lol) episode is that the reason why Elena keeps thinking about Damon is not because they are similar in their vampire ways, but because she has feelings for him.

Hmm, I think it's both. She is like him in many ways, but she's all hot to trot for him, LOL! (And I don't think the episode is terrible, looking at what was said -- not HOW it was said -- it is good for us. The direction just sunk it SO HARD!

Another thing that came to my mind: while talking to Rebekah Stefan said something about Elena being driven by love and compassion, so if she ever turned off her humanity, there would be no way to get her back (and I actually don't really understand why Stefan is drawing this conclusion, but let's ignore that part lol). It just made me think, or rather *feel*, that if we will ever see Elena going off the rails, it will be Damon who will make her turn her humanity back on, since Stefan gave up on that possibility already.

Ooh!! I totally agree. And I'd actually kinda like to see that happen now!

And yes, I'm totally grasping at straws here haha

No, I see where you're coming from, and again, the narrative of the episode continues to be good for us, the direction just sunk the battleship this time. But we will win the WAR! Hahaha!
bitcheesquared: pic#65968164bitcheesquared on November 2nd, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
God! I hope you are right and it's the direction... My daughter said it all... she and her friend (they are 13) took one look at the scene with Stefan and Elena right at the beginning and went... Oh gross let's all puke rainbow puppies. LOL
If Damon pulled the shit that Stefan pulled in this episode, he's get caned. It will be interesting to see what Elena's reaction will be if she ever learns of tonight's adventures.
After this craptastic episode I'm voting for Damon to undagger Becks and run off to Tahiti with her. it was so full of Stefan love, that If Paul wasn't already married, I'd suspect he was dating the director. ROTFLMAO
Arabian: Damon & Elena14arabian on November 4th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
God! I hope you are right and it's the direction...

It's the direction. Read archangel_blood's post above. She detailed it more than I did. It's ABSOLUTELY the direction.

If Damon pulled the shit that Stefan pulled in this episode, he's get caned. It will be interesting to see what Elena's reaction will be if she ever learns of tonight's adventures.

I do think we actually will get a not-very-good reaction from Elena. This was pretty lousy what Stefan did -- he the arbiter of Elena's choice, not even letting her know there is a choice to be made.

After this craptastic episode I'm voting for Damon to undagger Becks and run off to Tahiti with her.

Damon hates Rebekah and Rebekah doesn't give two shits about him. SHE TORTURED HIM HORRIBLY. Then killed the girl he's madly in love with RIGHT AFTER HE SAVED HER LIFE! How in any way is she better to be with Damon over someone who does love him (even if she can't admit it), who does support him when he's falling apart, who does defend him, who has thanked him for his actions, who has stood by him despite his horrible, horrible actions of the past? It's not. She's not. Elena still treats Damon better than ANYONE else, and frankly, after he KILLED HER BROTHER, better than he deserves to be treated. But she still's there, still his friend, still by his side. Is she pulling away? Is she scared shitless about her feelings for him that don't fit her narrow world-view? Yes. But it doesn't make what she feels for him and what she's done for him any less powerful.

it was so full of Stefan love, that If Paul wasn't already married, I'd suspect he was dating the director. ROTFLMAO

But it wasn't in the writing, just the crappy direction. And that is key.