Again, this wasn't an OMG!Awesome-balls episode (like last week wasn't), but I really liked it and there was a lot about it I loved. First off, let's start with the Lexi stuff. Oh, how I loathe this character like a gajillionbillion times. However, if she's going to show up, having Damon make a fool out of her works for me! I really loved that. And it was so obvious that he was playing her. Like he's gonna stop caring about Katherine and just fall for Lexi in a few months. Bwah! Lexi fell for it, Damon is so good! So that was one of the things I appreciated about Lexi's presence. Another was the fact that we have more depth to their first meeting in "162 Candles." No wonder Lexi reacted the way she did when she first saw Damon... lying next to her in bed, no less! Oh, Damon, you naughty ass! I love you so. It was also nice finding out that there were periods during his and Stefan's separation where Stefan actually did try and reach out to Damon, that's something we really haven't seen so far.
Finally, we got a subtle nod to what is going on with Elena. After she tried to play Damon (double bwah! As if, honey!), she talked about his switch being off those six months with Lexi and how he hated her and was willing to do anything (ugh! even if that meant sleeping with her was so his reaction, hee!) to get rid of her and Elena pointed out that he still was feeling things. Ding, ding, ding! Elena can claim that she has no feelings, emotions, all she wants, but it's so not the case. After she first began feeding, she looked up and met Damon's eyes, and it was HAWT!, but my point is that she wanted to experience the moment with him, she wanted to revel in this "feeling" with him. And, of course when he walked away, Elena's look as she watched him was definitely one of disappointment.
Likewise there was her reaction to showing off her new haircut to him. (See below.) She wanted to please him, wanted him to think she looked good. Of course, she even said later on that she would have preferred if Damon wanting to just spend time with her, having fun and that potentially making her want to turn her switch on, but since he had a different agenda... oh well. She wasn't happy that Damon was playing her. Sure she shrugged it off, but she wasn't OK with it. The fact remains though that, yes, the feelings are still there. Repressed, not giving free reign or reaction to what's going on around her and depending on the situation and/or the person(s), but the feelings are there. Just as they were when Damon was trying to get rid of Lexi.
And, of course, Damon saw through what she was doing, of course he did. You could see how hard this was for him, though. Absolutely, there was a part of him that just wanted to give in and be with her, run away with her, leave it all behind... you could see that on his face, in his expression as he was looking at her before they kissed...
Oh, wait, we're not there yet. Oops!
But this wasn't about what he wanted--the fun, guilt-free Elena--because, as I wrote last week, that's not the whole package and he wants the whole package and he wants that whole package to want him, to love him. And here's where the selflessness came in... again. He wasn't judging her, wasn't trying to make her feel bad, and he didn't give her a hard time for trying to play him, he's doing what he knows is the right thing to do by her. Because the last time he spoke with Elena (on the island when she essentially proposed to him), she made it very clear that she wants the cure. Does anyone with a working brain cell think that Stefan told Damon about her acceptance of remaining a vampire speech? Of course not. So as far as Damon is aware, Elena has made it absolutely, abundantly clear that she wants the cure... so even though he doesn't want her to have it, he's going to give her what he 100% believes she wants--because it came from her--and that is the cure.
And in the meantime he's going to do everything he can to make sure that she does nothing that Elena will be unable to handle once she turns the switch back on (or gets the cure), because he loves her. Even though it would be way easier for him to go down this road that she wants to with him, he's not going to do it because he knows that if he does that, when she's back to the whole package that he loves, she will not be a happy camper and that will be yet another obstacle in between them. And this would be one that he created because he was selfish... and he can't be selfish with Elena. But before he pretty much said all that, they kissed. And Elena groped his ass a bit (in search of the clue, but still there was slight grope-age!). And it was hot!
Of course Damon enjoyed it, but if he wasn't sure before that she was aware of what he was doing, he knew absolutely then that she was aware and trying to dish it right back because, yeah, girl was hella obvious. I love Elena like whoah, but damn, she was so Katherine-lite in her seduction scheme that it was laughable. And I have to give Nina Dobrev kudos up the ying-yang because once again she's shown how seamlessly, amazingly she's able to differentiate these characters. Elena set the mood, acted the part just as Katherine would have, but like I said, it was Katherine-lite. She was a sweet young thing trying to play seductress and it was false, and Damon saw right through it. And I'm totally cool with that because I like Elena as she is, Elena with her heart full of love and forgiveness, the survivor who does so through selflessness for those she loves (as opposed to Katherine who's all about Katherine), the good girl. I like Elena, the good girl... and so does Damon and I think that was partly why we had that searching, conflicted look from him right before they kissed. It was because the good girl Elena was so there underneath the naughty come-on. Not to say that the good girl Elena doesn't have a naughty side, but this was a manipulative side and Elena doesn't roll that way. At least, the whole-package Elena doesn't. She has a pure heart.
You know who doesn't? Caroline Forbes. And I say this with love. She is a good person, yes, but she's not this vessel of purity, Klausy-pooh. She's petty and vindictive, and can be selfish and completely self-absorbed. Again, not horrible and she's had plenty of selfless moments, but girl ain't pure. Nuh uh. However, I still love her. Yes, I know that Caroline has taken a hit from plenty of peeps out there, but I'm not one of them. My only Caroline-related issue is how lame-ass her story is when connected to Tyler. And he's gone! (YAY!) Anyhoo, so, yeah, I still love Caroline and I totally felt for her in this episode... but I gotta say, I'm completely over any Klaus/Caroline feels. I don't know if it's because the more I see of them, the less I care, or because Caroline and Stefan filled me with all the SQUEE!feels in the universe last week. I dunno. Either way, Klaus and Caroline ain't cutting it for me. Maybe, just maybe it's because of exactly what Caroline said: there are some people who really are too terrible to not be terrible, and at this stage in the game, I don't see Klaus as anything other than terrible.
Don't get me wrong, I love the character and he was awesome this episode (snarky comments, vulnerable eyes--which directed at Caroline have so lost their luster what with the same vulnerable eyes directed towards Hayley before he boned her), but he's pretty damn terrible and pretty non-regretting any of his terrible actions. So when Caroline was a wreck after what she did and he was a snarky ass to her, I thought that he was being a snarky ass, but I still completely got why he did it. Because good writing, good acting can make even terrible people compelling and worth feeling for... and this show? Succeeds on that level mightily. But most of my feels were for Caroline. She is not in a good place right now. She lost Tyler, she lost Elena, and now here's Bonnie literally about to be killed right before her eyes... I totally get why she did what she did. It was awful, no-good, bad, terrible consequence-making-thingie that she did. But I get why. She didn't think; she saw her best friend about to be killed and she just reacted. I get it.
Especially because Bonnie so needed saving... and not just her life, but her very self. Damn, Silas has been playing a number on this poor girl. She hasn't been in full possession of herself since before Jeremy died, well, since before Silas was awakened. When I realized that Bonnie knew he was Silas, when she only mildly protested killing 12 witches (!), when she got all fire-bursting-breaking-windows, Bonnie-badger-don't-give-a-shit! ... I was all OH MY BONNIE! She wasn't possessed as Ric, Rebekah and Tyler were, but rather, she was mind-controlled. She was still Bonnie, she was still Bonnie doing these things, making these choices, setting up 12 of her kind to die, but it wasn't Bonnie.
I mean, DAYUM! She didn't remember any of it. And when I realized that she was going to have to hear about Jeremy dying ALL OVER AGAIN, I was all GUH! And, you know, there was a part of me that would have liked to see Stefan telling her, but, honestly, seeing her completely fall apart would have been too much at this point, I think, after all the grief we've had to watch as viewers. And reliving the Jeremy-death-pain AGAIN through another character who loved him. PLEASE NO! So, yeah, I'm glad we didn't get Stefan telling Bonnie. My poor Bonnie. :(
But my happy, happy Damon/Elena-loving heart!!! These two in this episode were so about the love. Yes, the kiss was hot and all that, but it was really about the looks to each other and on their faces revealing their true feelings. It was about the moments they shared, the hopes they clearly both had for this little road trip despite knowing that it really wasn't gonna happen. The love was just SO there in between the lines and looks between them. I LOVED IT SO!
OK, some randoms--
- I had two gasp-moments this episode. First at the reveal that it was witches who were the next batch of 12. I don't know why, but I completely had it in my mind that the next 12 would be vampires, so that really surprised me. And then when Caroline killed Bonnie and the witches died. I wasn't surprised that the witches died because I know that in just about any other show, the "heroes" would have saved the day, but on this show, shit was gonna go down! But that it was Caroline and how?!?! WHOAH! I was shocked.
- David Alpay is back! I ♥ him so. I still can't say 100% sure that Shane is dead, but it sure is looking more and more likely. Still, we at least get to enjoy him as Silas... and as long as I get to see him on screen, I be happy!
- I not be so happy without my Matty! :(
- I laughed SO HARD at Rebekah's response to Elena's "I'm not stupid." ... "Let's not say things we don't mean." LOL! Seriously, so hard. The line itself was funny, but really, it was all in the delivery. You guys, The Original can really, really suck (and I really, really, really don't see how it will what with the pedigree involved), but I will watch it to the end of time as long as Claire Holt's Rebekah is there. I LOVE HER SO MUCH! And then, and then, and then... at the end when that guy reached out to touch her face and she just shoved him down so nonchalantly. HI-LARIOUS!
- So I've wanted to see Elena and Rebekah as friends FOREVER! But, sigh, not like this. I want whole-package-Elena and Rebekah as best buds. Double sigh. Oh well, I'll take what I can get, I suppose especially when they're so awesome together!
- "You took my car!?" Oh, Damon.
- Prepare to be shocked. I think that Damon looked uber-hot. Wait, what? You're not shocked? That he looked hot or that I thought so? Hmm. OK, I suppose the lack of shock (on both counts) is not surprising at all. :D
- Thank goodness, Elena only had that horrible bump hairstyle for one scene, and her haircut looked great. And for a truly shocking comment coming from me, the TVD hairstylists actually styled her hair better than I've seen Dobrev herself wear it since she got it cut. And, squee!! Elena was so cute showing off her haircut to Damon. :)
- Another true shocker! First flashback of the Salvatores without Stefan! I know, right?!?!? OH MY GOD!
- Speaking of Stefan, so uhm, yeah, I love you, boo, but you were pretty pointless in this episode. But you looked pretty. And you were there for Bonnie. (But you so should have been there for Caroline. Grr, stupid Klaus/Caroline!)
- I seriously love that Damon was disgusted by Will being a hoarder/pat rack because Damon so would being the neat-freak that he be.
- So Nina Dobrev is 5'7" (since Damon informed Stefan that both Elena and Katherine are that height). Thanks for the random info. OK then, LOL!
- Hah, when Rebekah told Elena that she liked the old Elena better and then walked away, I actually pantomimed a shrug so knowing Elena would do that... and then she did. And it was adorbs!
- Bonnie's freaky eyes. Just, freaky. I was gonna do a gif... but yeah, freaky.
- "You were Lexi-d!?" Hah! Not at all, dear Elena, not at all.
- So the triangle is completed. Hmm, could we possibly get Jeremy and Ric back then? I mean, come on, give us something for all the mess this potentially could cause if the unveiling happens.
- Did I mention that Damon was hot? Because he so, so is. Even when he goes all veiny-eyed. SO HOT!
So, yeah, not an an amaze-balls episode, but I liked it a lot. And rewatching bits and pieces, damn, the Damon/Elena-ness was surprisingly strong in this one. Lots of subtle reveals of how strong Elena's feelings for Damon still are despite the switch being off, lots of conflict from Damon because he wants her, he doesn't want her like this, he wants to just enjoy this time with her, but he doesn't want it to go too far, it's a mess. And through it all, there really is just that awareness between the two, this pining love that is just out of reach right now because of the situation. It's quite beautiful, I think. A few shockers (to me anyway), Lexi getting so played (yes!), hot Damon, cute Elena, awesome Rebekah, Elena and Rebekah having some BFF moments, Stefan being sweet and cute, Klaus with some great one-liners, plus the return of Alpay! Yeah, I was pretty happy. :)