Arabian (arabian) wrote,

4.19 - 'Pictures Of You' (The Vampire Diaries)

The last hiatus of the season is over, and yay! The Vampire Diaries is back in my life. WHEE! As I mentioned yesterday, I was following the Boston Manhunt and so didn't put up my review. Well, the man has been caught, I've rewatched the episode and here is my review. It is long with LOTS of gifs.

And Caroline Dries proves once again why she is my favorite writer on The Vampire Diaries. There was literally NOTHING I didn't love about this episode. I thought it was great when I watched it Thursday night. When I rewatched it Friday, I realized that I had underestimated its awesome. It's actually pretty damn magnificent. For example… there was one scene that was a near-perfect microcosm of the entire dynamic of the triangle at this point in the game. One scene. Seriously, ya'll, if we'd gone from the Damon/Elena moment where he takes the flask from her into the Stefan/Elena dance, it would have been absolutely perfect.

That dance told us everything we need to know about where the parties stand right now. Elena is no longer in love with Stefan. That was clear. With her humanity off, she feels nothing for him. She is not moved in the slightest. You can see it (or rather you can't) on her face. The only time she appears to be falling for Stefan's tactile trip down memory lane is when she's looking at him, essentially waiting to drop the boom. We know this because when she's not looking at him, she looks practically bored.

On the other hand, Stefan (even before he told Caroline, thus verifying what we saw) is clearly still affected by Elena. So much for moving on, Stef. With every word, every touch, you could see him falling into the flashback of the way they were so that it was that much more powerful when Elena let him get so close only to cut him down with two words: "What heart?"

And then there is the third party in the triangle, Damon (who continues to wear his heart on his sleeve). Damon who is the one who still gets under Elena's skin (more on that later, I promise), and yet, he doesn't seem to get it because he no longer trusts his instincts, especially when it comes to Elena. And I think that getting Damon to fully deal with his insecurities is one of the main points (if not THE point) of the sire bond. Because now he has put himself on the outside all by his lonesome *because* of his insecurities and lack of faith in Elena's love for him. He still believes that it will always be Stefan for Elena.

And all of that was conveyed in that one single scene. Phew! Damn, I love this show.

Then another single dance scene gave us a hint of closure and opened the door a bit in the quadrangle that was essentially created in "My Brother's Keeper" where Caroline—because of her sire bond theory and Team!Stefan attitude—was inserted into the mix. In the scene where she and Stefan danced, for the first time, we heard her letting go. She calmly told Stefan that he and Elena "were in love"-- emphasis on were. With those words, she effectively put the Stefan/Elena relationship in the past for her. Caroline, the one who has been rah!rah!rah! for the couple going back the last couple of seasons, really hitting high gear the end of last season and this one big-time.

And further proof of that was the little moment that Damon and Caroline (yes, you read that right, *Damon* and Caroline!) had where they weren't fighting or bitter or snarking. Heck, they were even beyond civil, damn near commiserating. He gave her his flask, she said ‘thank you.' And to me it tied back to Caroline letting go of the idea that Stefan and Elena were still a viable thing. Once she let go of that, Damon was no longer the enemy. Although, I don't expect them to ever be bosom buddies, at least not in the next century, LOL. It just seems that in Caroline's mind, Damon is no longer standing in the way of a Stefan/Elena inevitability because that inevitability is gone. Then more than her putting Stefan and Elena in the past, there was that wee bit of a door opening I mentioned.

"I think someday you'll meet someone new and you'll fall madly in love and you'll have moved on without even realizing it." And then Caroline and Stefan looked at one another, lost in each other's eyes for just a teeny second before they both realized what had happened in that teeny second and each had another teeny second of whoah! reaction before looking away, just pretending it didn't happen. But you know what? That was an anvil, folks! Oh yeah, baby, it's GONNA happen! Uh huh!

 photo SCDance01.gif  photo SCDance02.gif  photo SCDance03.gif  photo SCDance04.gif

And, of course, taking all of the above into account you have the fact that even though Stefan admitted that he hadn't moved past Elena, it was clear that he wants to. He didn't argue or in any way seem bothered by Caroline's past-tense talk of his relationship with Elena. Plus, yeah, that *moment* they shared. (SQUEE!)

It also wasn't just from Stefan's end that we got acknowledgement that Stefan and Elena are no more and won't be again. When talking to Rebekah, I was struck by what Elena said to her when recounting the library events of "After School Special." Elena told her that Rebekah had "ruined my relationship with Stefan." Why it struck me is because at that point, Stefan and Elena were already broken up, so it wasn't that aspect of their relationship she was referring to. Rather, she was referencing the irreparable damage to their epic, inevitable love that many (including myself) believed happened in that episode. After what they both said, there is no going back. When Elena said that she was in love with Damon, but not in love with Stefan and that Stefan treated her like something that needed to be fixed that broke something inside of Stefan about the two of them. When Stefan told Rebekah that he wanted her to erase his memories of his time with Elena that in turn broke something inside of Elena about them. And Elena's simple line here just confirmed that for me.

However, that doesn't mean that Stefan realizes it completely or that Damon is aware at all (as he wasn't privy to what was said that day other than Elena's love for him). And this is where Damon's insecurities continue to cause problems. Because he doesn't have faith in he and Elena (bad Damon!), he's quick to believe that what Silas says to him as "Stefan" is the truth. And on top of that because Stefan and Damon have been so awful to each other for so long, with Stefan choosing to take digs that feed Damon's insecurities, it was entirely believable to Damon that every word out of his mouth was Stefan. And not only Damon. It was entirely believable to me as a viewer—one who even loves Stefan bunches—because Stefan does and has said shit like that to Damon before.

Here's where it gets interesting (OK, more interesting). Since we know that Silas just had come from Stefan (thus seeing into his mind), it's perfectly logical that what Silas said as "Stefan" was brought on not only by Damon's thoughts ("you have a dark and riveting mind, Damon"), but also by what he gleaned from Stefan's thoughts. Uh huh.

So then what did Silas say to Stefan? I thought at first that the show was just picking one brother to not spoil the surprise!Silas for both and Damon was chosen to keep his insecurities at the forefront. I still think that was key, but I wonder if there's more to it though because it was brought up again later. We know that Damon lied so presumably Stefan did too, which makes me go hmm… was there something that Silas got from Stefan's thoughts that may have some bearing on Stefan later down the line? Hmm………

Then we have a lovely parallel. The Vampire Diaries loves those, and boy, so do I. At the end of "Miss Mystic Falls" (coincidentally—or not!—the first episode co-written by Dries who, again, co-wrote this one), Damon and Elena conspired to vervain Stefan and lock him in the basement cell. The same thing happened here with Damon and Stefan doing similar to Elena. The difference is that when Elena remained behind in "Miss Mystic Falls" as Stefan did here and Damon asked if he was "Coming?" Elena stayed then, and Damon joined her. Here after Damon said "Coming?" Stefan said "Yeah" and then walked away from Elena. I found it interesting and yet another sign of just how things have changed between Stefan and Elena quite dramatically.

Speaking of Elena being locked in the basement cell… remember all those times when we've seen Damon do the hero-carry with Elena and what it rather signifies? Well, Stefan got to carry Elena this time… *but* we only saw him putting her down as opposed to the "hero" part of the hero-carry which is the lift and carry part. (And, yes, I'll remind ya'll here that we HAVE seen Stefan do the hero-carry with… Caroline—even if it was all the way back in season 01 episode 09). Oh, and "The Sun Also Rises," co-written by Caroline Dries (damn, I love her) featured not one, but TWO Damon hero-carry moments. Yeah. Uh huh.

The issue here though is that Damon can't accept that he is Elena's hero. Because of the sire bond, he's questioning his instincts, what do to, what choices to make. Instead, he's following Stefan's lead because he thinks that Stefan knows Elena better than him, can better take care of her. (Which is utter bullpucky by the way.) Remember in "Into the Wild" (ahem, written by Dries) where Damon told Elena that the life she wanted was with Stefan, not him. This is where his head is right now. He's not right for her, he's not what she really wants. It's not real, it's not right between them. What she really wants is Stefan and Stefan has the history, Stefan knows her better, blah, blah, blah. It's all nonsense, but Damon is so screwed by the implications of the sire bond that, again, yeah, he does not trust what he and Elena have. Instead he's putting it all in Stefan's hands which I believe is a mistake.

Think about it. If Damon had taken her to New York just to have fun without the judgment as he told her, it probably would have worked. She was having fun; she was open to him, open to the experience. It was only when she found out he was playing the cure-game, that she turned on him. And I think that in this episode, if he hadn't vervained her, but had taken her somewhere for just the two of them to relax, calm down, that might have started to work on her switch.

 photo DEArms.gif  photo DEPreVervain.gif

Elena cried for Damon when she was in pain, lay in his arms, held onto him, and even after it stopped turned to him. And the look on her face before Stefan vervained her… arggh! It was so frustrating because there was *something* there! He should have just whisked her away before Stefan made his move, but noooooooo… Instead, Damon is doing what Stefan suggests and Stefan sucks at doing what's best for Elena (or anyone else really… except for Caroline. Because they are PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER, OK!??!).

Damon gets under Elena's skin still, even with her switch off. He annoys her, and gets her revved up. She is constantly trying to keep herself in check when it comes to him. See?

 photo DEReact.gif  photo DE-NoSReact.gif

Note in the second gif the difference in Elena's expression. When she's looking at Damon, there is emotion on her face, when she turns and faces Stefan, she's blank once more. With everyone else Elena presents non-stop coolness, an aloof, I-don't-give-a-fuck-bitchery without batting an eyelash. (Oh, and it's hella hilarious, I don't care. I kept inappropriately laughing throughout most of Elena's scenes in this episode.) What she said to Damon was just par for the course with Elena in this episode, although it was the worst. She used what she knew to try and wreck everyone's night, or at least make them feel a little miserable and worthless.

With Bonnie, she smilingly pointed out that yes, it was all Bonnie's fault which is Bonnie's biggest guilt right now. She stole Caroline's prom dress (and I'm sorry, but I'm glad, it looked way better on her than it did on Caroline) because the perfect prom needs the perfect dress and that would ruin Caroline's night. She poked at Matt toiling at the Grill and brought up Vicki's death. For Stefan? She made him think just for a second that St. Stefan to the rescue and talk of their epic twu wuv would work before basically saying 'sucker!' and walking away

And Damon. She hit hardest with Damon, playing on his insecurities about her love for him and she was most cruel to him because she wants him to stay away. She continues to just be closer to the full-package Elena with him. When he took the flask from her, the flash of her eyes, the sputter when he called himself her boyfriend, her "I'm not doing this," rolling her eyes and trying to walk away before delivering that blow. All of her actions/reactions were so much more non-switched-Elena than we've seen since… oh, Elena with Damon in New York before she realized that he was still trying to get the cure.
 photo DEFlask01.gif  photo DEFlask02.gif

He gets under her skin. He is the only one around who is still capable of making her care. Not around, of course, but there is still Jeremy who gets to her too even though she's in full denial mode (switch off or not, this *is* Elena, queen of denial). Interacting with Damon, reeling from Bonnie's witchery and looking at the picture of Jeremy were the only times we saw Elena truly react. I think that when it comes down to it, her humanity switch will be flipped due to some combination of Damon and Jeremy. I have no idea how, but that's what seems to make the most sense to me considering how they are playing this.

I can't see how Jeremy (a memory, a hallucination, the veil drops and he returns, something) won't play a part, but I also don't see how Damon doesn't as well. Because again, right now, of those there, he is the only one who makes her feel which scares Elena because she doesn't want to flip that damn switch. So of course the cruelest thing she says is to him. He's her weakness.

But you know who doesn't really have a weakness right now? Freaking Bonnie Bloody Bennett! I mean, dayum! But first… tears! Oh my goodness! My single favorite shot of the episode was this first moment below:

 photo Bonnie-JBShot.gif  photo BseeJ.gif

And then Jeremy (!) showed up and she saw him and teared up and I was all ‘ohhh, awww!' Jeremy! My feels! Jeremy and Bonnie! So many feels! My sunshine and rainbows, puppies and kittens couple together again. Dancing in the moonlight, her in her beautiful dress, he in a tuxedo and he was beautiful and she was beautiful and they were beautiful and I loved it.

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And then it wasn't Jeremy. Of course not. But it wasn't even a Jeremy hallucination. Nope, it was fucking Silas. Damn you, Silas! But, oh, I love you Steven R. McQueen. Aside from the return of the pretteh to my screen (seriously, after Damon, Jeremy is so my favorite eye candy on this show), I thought that McQueen was excellent. Once "Jeremy" began speaking as Silas (when he said "do you want this to be real?" and from then on), McQueen's voice was different. There was the slightest hint of an accent, but more than that, there was a maturity, a wisdom in how he spoke that was awesomely done. He completely separated Jeremy from Silas. Really, really great job.

But back to Bonnie. Who is awesome. And like whoah! Powerful. Totally resisting Elena's attack with zero effort, pulling away from a neck-sucking, then breaking Elena's bones, giving her the witchy mind-whammy over and over again, dayum! And what is up with her blood, yo? Elena not only reacted negatively to it, she was vomiting it up. And there's Bonnie in the mix of it all, cool and confident and hella scary.

Oh, oh, oh and I continue to love her interaction with Damon. He was completely comfortable with her, calling out "Damnit, Bonnie!" not in anger or in a threatening way, but in a pleading, familiar way. And when she found out about Silas looking like Jeremy, she went straight to Damon with the information. Because Bonnie and Damon have that kind of relationship now which is cool.

Also cool is Bonnie as Prom Queen. And I get it. And Matty, the former quarterback, all-around good guy, yeah, totes makes sense there. I admit I was a little confused at first, but after thinking about it, of the characters, she makes the most sense. She *is* a cheerleader and isn't a control freak (like Caroline) and out of it most of the time or a total bitch now (like Elena and/or Rebekah), plus her dad is mayor now. She's pretty, has a sense of humor, and is a total sweetheart. Yeah, totally makes sense.

Which leaves me with one final Bonnie thought? So is the Prom Queen gonna bring down the veil and let loose mucho plenty supernatural creatures back among the living? I think she has a plan (or at least one in mind) that will dispose of Silas, but not lower the veil. However, it will somehow fail and the veil will fall which will lead to the return of some supernatural creatures (paging Jeremy and Alaric!), but our gang will figure out how to close it before that many of them make it through. We'll see.

Then there's Silas. First off, dude, they so need to come up with a code word among them so they're no more Silas!Shapeshifting!Shenanigans. As of this episode, though, I'm totally cool with the lot of them being fooled. I didn't think anyone was stupid about not thinking it might be Silas, even Elijah. Until it happens to you, you'd totally think that YOU couldn't be fooled. Plus, this is new information to all of them so it hasn't quite properly sunk in. So, yeah, I was fine with it. These characters, even the Originals, make many mistakes and aren't Machiavellian evil geniuses to be able to figure out every move before it happens.

And Silas has been around a while, he's got moves. He's also… a freak? As in the technical term: (An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity.) OK then. Gonna need to see, hear more for further thinky-thoughts on that. Hmm….

Another freak, albeit not in the technical sense, is Klaus. Dude. During my season 04 fic ("How To Make a Better Vampire – 24 chapters, it's complete, check it out!), I got some comments from people who insisted that Klaus deserves love, and I'm sorry, but nope, not yet he doesn't. He treats his siblings like CRAP! Denies them what they want most, puts his wants and desires above theirs every time, threatens to make their lives miserable… and that was all in this episode! That doesn't count the many times he's staked them, left them in boxes for long stretches of time. He's an ass and treats everyone else around him assily.

Unless you're not family of course. He's been way nicer to Stefan than any of his brothers, and of course, when it comes to Caroline, he's the nicest we've seen him capable of being. Take that scene with him and Tyler. Yes, of course, being me, I really wanted him to rip Tyler's heart out so I could be done with him, but I completely understand why he gave him five seconds. Klaus and Caroline are in a much better place in their "relationship" right now and after she actually came to him for help (even for a dress), I can understand him not wanting to immediately screw her over. After all, she isn't a family member, so her feelings count.

Klaus, Klaus, Klaus. Hollow life, indeed, my beloved Elijah. You nailed it, boo.

Speaking of… oh, be still my heart. Elijah about Katherine (or rather, his Katerina): "I would ask that you provide me with this opportunity to feel, to care... to love." OH MY HEART! One thousand years and Katherine really is IT for Elijah, isn't she? God, I love that. I just wish that things were, erm, better for them. Now Katherine didn't seem horribly pissed about his whole not giving Klaus the cure to free her in her letter, but she didn't seem uber-betrayed either. Yeah she'll be more on guard with him when next they see each other, but hopefully we will still see the love there! Which better be this season, PLEASE!

Obviously, Katherine has to have a bug or something in Klaus' house, right? How else could she know that Elijah refused Klaus the cure and Klaus refused Katherine her freedom? And if she does have a bug, hey, maybe she heard what Elijah said about her and that's why she's not uber-betrayed-sounding… so there's hope? Yes/yes?

What there is no hope for is for Katherine to ever pursue a career as a writer because, dang, was that a cheesy-ass letter. "Rattle you so deeply to your core? I've worn down too many good heels running from you? With love and hate?" Oy vey. Purple prose. Bad jokes. Just not good, Katherine. Well, I figure there had to be at least one thing she didn't have a talent for, lol!

Oh, Katherine. You were my ultimate vampire diva… until Rebekah. I love Katherine dearly and get a huge kick out of her every time she's on screen because, let's face it, Katherine is pure awesome, but I don't really like her and I think she's a heinous bitch who treats everyone less than, not to mention how badly she's hurt Damon and Elena (AND KILLED JEREMY FOR GOOD!) so often. Rebekah, on the other hand, oh how I adore her and everything she chooses to be. Every horrible thing that Rebekah has done has been out of misguided love or protecting her family and loved ones. And I just felt so much for her in this episode (although to be fair, I pretty much always feel so much for Rebekah). Her desperate desire to be human, to be good touched me and it made so much sense (and hopefully helped those who didn't get it before) as to why she's glommed so much onto Matt.

Matt Donovan represents the best of humanity to her. When she was telling Klaus that she was acting perfectly human by saving April, it revealed that her idea of human is Matt, that kind of person. And I love that about her and I love that she sees that in Matt, how "beautifully human" he is. Awww! I just loved it.

 photo MRDance01.gif  photo MRDance02.gif

And then their final scene had me squeeing almost as much as their scene of perfection in 3.19 ("Heart of Darkness"). The teasing, the smiling, the soft eyes and looks, the laughing… ah, I don't want Rebekah to leave Mystic Falls! I want Matt and Rebekah, pretty, pretty please!!!

 photo MRHarsh.gif  photo MRWaitress.gif

Phew! Yeah, I thought this would a long one. And we're not done yet… random stuffies-time!

- So that opening scene with Bonnie at Jeremy's grave had me all teared up to begin the episode with… and then Jeremy appeared! Oh my, break my heart, show, just break my heart to bits! And then make me go whoah! when Bonnie awoke and found her surroundings on fire. Oh, you in trouble, gurl!

- Aww, the boys throwing football. Brotherly bonding.

- Oh my goodness! Elena and Rebekah are roomies! I so ♥ that beyond measure! I hope that even after Elena gets her humanity back, whatever happens with The Originals, that we still see some of this friendship between Elena and Rebekah because as I had hoped for (going back to their interaction in "Homecoming") they make awesome besties!

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- Damn, Rebekah's courtyard with the pool is GORGEOUS! LIKE WOW!

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- Ian Somerhalder in a tuxedo. Thank you, show.

- Hah, Caroline considering not having the perfect prom dress the height of an emergency, so Caroline.

- "Caroline's been working on this for a while..." then Stefan provided details. Aww, he knows that about Caroline and cares enough to have been paying attention. Squee! Yes, fine, it could have been part of getting Elena's humanity back, BUT if she had been working on it for a while, it had to have come up before the plaaaan.

- Uhm, that shot of Caroline and Matt getting caught was from "The House Guest" when Elena walked in on them kissing in the girls' bathroom at the Grill. How is there a picture?!?! Hello, guys, you have some eagle-eyed fans, uh huh!

- I LOVED that bit of Caroline walking into the dance, looking around and just smiling with delighted pride. Love my girl.

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- Once again, Stefan makes it clear that he actually doesn't like to dance with Elena, but is all 'hey, Care, let's dance!'

- Steven R. McQueen in a tuxedo. Again, I thank you, show.

- Heh, I still love that Rebekah and April are friends.

- I still think that April Young is way importante, no clue how, but I think she is. (Or maybe they are just setting her up for next season?)

- Ugh, Tyler. (I don't think that was the reaction they wanted, LOL). *sigh* I'm hoping that this was just a nicer closure for him and Caroline and that he's gone for good. (PLEASE!)

- So Katherine has a seal with her initial on it? Or Klaus has one and Katherine chose to use it because it's the same initial? Either way, it's hella hi-larious!

 photo KSeal.gif

- Damon talking about Stefan's hair, hah!

- Episodes 19 of this show are special to me because each season has given me AWESOME couple stuff (or even made me ship a new couple), but this one? Whoah! It was was something *really* special.

- 1.19 ("Miss Mystic Falls") – the Damon/Elena dance

- 2.19 ("Klaus") – the Katherine/Elijah ship set sail for me

- 3.19 ("Heart of Darkness") – the Matt/Rebekah ship set sail and, duh, uber-awesome Damon/Elena make-out in the motel walkway

While this episode didn't have anything HUGE for any couple, it did feature something for all five of my couples on this show. Elena feeling for Damon when no one else gets to her, Stefan and Caroline's dance, Caroline's speech, their moment, Rebekah and Matt's dance, "beautifully human," their teasing and his apology. Even if it wasn't Jeremy, still the stuff with Bonnie was beautiful, and finally Elijah expressing his love for Katherine. Couple-wise, this was a pretty damn awesome episode. Of course, overall, this was a pretty damn awesome episode.

Yeah, baby!
Tags: bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, jeremy gilbert, jeremy/bonnie, matt donovan, rebekah mikaelson, rebekah/matt, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv

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