Arabian (arabian) wrote,

5.01 - 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (The Vampire Diaries)

Whee!! The Vampire Diaries is back in my life and the world is a happier place! YES! Thoughts and plenty o' words behind the cut.

Let's start with the obvious… Damon and Elena. Elena and Damon. WHEE! It really was just lovely seeing the two of them together because they are so gosh-darn happy! They are just happy. And while I expected to see Damon happy, and was thrilled to absolute bits to finally (finally!) see Damon Salvatore HAPPY!--a mantle of contentment practically cloaking him--I was surprised to see the difference in Elena.

For four years we have seen an Elena weighted down with guilt, with heaviness that comes from the belief that all of the chaos, all of the death and destruction's blame is at her feet. We have seen her hampered and anchored by Stefan's guilt and conviction that one must carry that guilt to be a "good" person. Right or wrong, that is how Stefan has chosen to be a vampire. That is a penance that he feels he owes to all those he has killed, and it is something that he has intentionally or not shown Elena is the way.

When he was off on his Ripper sojourn with Klaus, and then during her sire bonded ways with Damon last season, we saw Elena begin to move away from that mindset. First on her own, and then, well, on her own but everyone (except for Elena) believed it was thanks to Damon's bonded influence to a less guilt-ridden way of living. With the sire bond a thing of the past and with Stefan no longer her guide as either a significant other or vampire (thank goodness), Elena is allowed to be herself.

And I very deliberately chose that phrase: "allowed to be" because with Stefan it was always what he would let her do, what choice he would let her have, it was always about Stefan, never Elena, never her choices, despite his so-called awesomeness in letting her make her choices. He ever only did so when he had a damn good idea what her choice would be and when that choice was one that would either (a) suit him, or (b) make him look good. And again it was all about what he, Stefan, would *let* her do.

Damon doesn't let Elena do anything. Elena does or does not do. Sure he runs roughshod over her choices at times. And it's shitty and he shouldn't do it. But he only does it when her life is absolutely in danger and it's live or die. Just as Elena does for him. Just as Stefan does for him. Just as Elena does for Jeremy. Do or die. That is when both Elena and Damon make the choice for those they desperately love. But other than that, no, Damon doesn't tell her what to do, and he doesn't let her do anything. Elena does what Elena does and Damon sits back and either falls into a million pieces because she breaks him apart all over again or he marvels at everything that is absolutely amazing and brilliant about Elena Gilbert… sometimes at the same time.

And now, it's all about Elena doing what Elena does and doing so happily because damn, this girl is happy and seeing it is strange and glorious and awesome. And freaking adorable.


She's just so cute. And it's weird, because she's almost like a different character, but not. I kept being reminded of off-switch Elena, but the part of her that I loved, the one we saw mostly in "Because the Night" when she was in New York and was mostly having fun before she realized that Damon was playing her. Because that was an Elena who wasn't feeling the guilt and the grief, that was an Elena who was having fun.

And that's what we have here, and Elena who is having fun, who is happy. And it's awesome. And it's pretty damn telling that in two years (in the show's timeline) when she was mostly with Stefan, she was never really happy. Like Bonnie said to Jeremy, now with Damon, Elena is "genuinely happy" and this is clearly a genuinely happy Elena for the first time since her parents died. Stefan could never do this for her. Being with Damon has.

And they are clearly so, so, so happy! It's awesome! Like I said above, Damon is practically humming with this peaceful contentment. He's joking about not being in love with Elena, he's that confident in their love. They are kissing goodbye and exchanging "I love you's" in front of Jeremy without a qualm. Elena isn't even slightly bothered by Caroline's bitching about Damon versus Stefan (more on that later), I mean, it doesn't faze her in the least. She just keeps on grinning. And, hey, nice to know that after four months of shacking up, they're obviously still hot and heavy for each other.

- Exhibit A - Rolling around and grinning in ecstasy in bed.


- Exhibit B - Post-bubble bath bliss (please to be seeing the actual bubble bath sometime this season, pls, kthanxbai!) with Eskimo kisses and Elena calling Damon her boyfriend, all-night sexing talk and kissing.


- Exhibit C - Deep kissing and damn-near dry humping on the couch followed by awkward family time, including one of my two favorite exchanges of the episode.

Elena: {Pulling herself off of Damon's lips} Hey, Sor-I thought you left?
Jeremy: I did… five hours ago.

- Exhibit D - Long, deep kisses goodbye, heartfelt "I love you's" (OK, that has nothing to do with hot and heavy, but it adds poignancy to the hot and heavy!) and then Elena coming back for just one more.


In addition to the hot and heavy, of course, it wasn't just all sex, there was the happy. And there was the fact that Elena clearly absolutely trusts Damon with her brother, to keep him safe and to take care of him and that is huge. And we had the sweet phone calls between them, even if the sweet phone calls consisted of not such sweet nothings.

Yes, I'm not happy about Damon keeping stuff from her, and well, Elena keeping from Damon her misgivings about Stefan's whereabouts and that she's been worried about him, but… I understand where both are coming from. Stefan is obviously going to be a sore subject and Elena isn't going to push that subject with Damon. And Damon sees how happy Elena is right now so he's, of course, going to try and take care of all of these pesky little problems without Elena having to worry about them.

He's not trying to keep them from her to protect her or because he thinks she can't handle it but because he doesn't want to bother her with it. Should he be doing this? Nope. Should be telling her? Yup! Will he tell her pretty damn soon? Considering the fact that every single time Damon has kept something from her, he's told her by halfway through the next episode, I'm about 100% sure he'll tell by the end of the next episode or at least the following. They are in a new relationship, so there will be growing pains. Live and learn. :shrug:

Who still needs to live and learn? Damon. When it comes to Elena and Stefan and the fact that he did NOT steal her. She is not an object that can be stolen. Grr! She broke up with Stefan and chose to be with Damon. He really needs to get over that whole mindset that Silas (dick!) clearly stole out of his head. Silas is just going to keep getting into Damon's head and messing with his very fragile self-esteem, isn't he? *sigh* Not good. Not good at all. And I do fear that when Stefan returns, as of course he will, his issues will add to the mix because Stefan, yeah, Stefan is having some transference issues of his own right now.

Oh, Stefan. I want to feel sorry for you because I love you, boo, you know I do, but damn, son! Why you gotta make Damon the bad guy? He's having these imaginary conversations with Damon and instead of imagining the ACTUAL bad guy, you know, Silas! telling him to turn the switch off, he's imagining Damon as the devil on his shoulder being the bad guy. See, transference issues! Stefan, Stefan, Stefan! *sigh* And then he turns around and brings Elena as this angel on a pedestal -- the girl she is NOT -- to keep him on the straight and narrow. Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. Boo, you are so screwed up. And you are going to be even more screwed up when they get you out of that safe, aren't you? Oh yeah. And you're gonna try and bring your brother down with ya, aren't you? Oh, Stefan.

Not good. Especially when Damon is at such a good place. Not just with Elena (obligatory whee!!!), but with Jeremy also!

OMG! ALL THE DAMON/JEREMY FEELS IN THE UNIVERSE!!! Heck, all the Damon/Elena/Jeremy feels in the universe! I loved all the little family unit moments with them. Elena smiling as Damon promises to look after Jeremy, oh my, the look on Jere's face as Damon stands over him. Squee! The lack of disgust even though he looks away on Jeremy's face when Elena kisses Damon goodbye!


And, of course, we go back to the Damon/Jeremy stuff on its own. I was laughing so hard at the conversation in the Grill. Damon all upset because Jeremy got expelled after one day, grateful that Jeremy didn't at least put any of the kids in ICU. And when Jeremy mentioned that Damon had killed him, his response was that at least he'd done it in the privacy of Jeremy's home. Dude, I just lost it. I mean, really! Sure, Damon had killed Jeremy, but he hadn't done it in public so that made it perfectly acceptable. Oh, sweet Lord. I love this show so hard! (FYI, that was my other favorite exchange of the episode.)

And then, and then, and then… I was all OMG! THE FEELS… THE FEELS OF THE DAMON/JEREMY KIND!!!!!!


He vamp-zoomed to him! He was all worried! He threatened to kill him if he didn't survive just like he did to Elena back in "The Sun Also Rises" when she almost died! And then when Jeremy told him that Katherine was gone, Damon didn't care!! OH MY GOD! The key to rescuing Stefan and Damon didn't care! I know, I know, it wasn't about Jeremy completely. I get that, and it hammered the nail in the coffin of proof to me that while it's Damon over everything ever for Stefan, it's Elena (and what matters to her, aka Jeremy) over everything ever for Damon (including Stefan), that look of panic when he saw Jeremy and that relief on his face when Jerrmy opened his eyes and the way he pulled Jeremy's head to his chest and patted him… that was love from Damon for Jeremy. Oh yeah! So once more for the road: OMG! ALL THE DAMON/JEREMY FEELS IN THE UNIVERSE!!!

*sigh* I really hope this means we are going to see a strong exploration of that relationship because they just can't kill Jeremy off ever after what happened last season, so can we pretty please stop even hinting at it? I swear when we went to commercial break and Jeremy was lying on the road bleeding I literally cried out "noooo" because really?!? Thank goodness Damon was there to save him! And I really took that as a cue that they are indeed continuing that set-up from last season of Damon and Jeremy having this uber-strong bond. I hope so because that would just be well, uber-awesome. And Jeremy is awesome. And I think it's awesome that we're seeing remnants still of his Hunter-ness, including his mad Hunter fighting-skillz! That was unexpected, although it really shouldn't have been, but it was for me so seeing him kick ass like that was, well, key-word for the day and Jeremy? Awesome!

Not so awesome? What's going on with Bonnie and Jeremy. Don't get me wrong, I still love them so. But she is dead and there is obviously angst-lapalooza coming. I mean they went from these adorable smiles at the start of the show to Jeremy bleeding on the highway and a ghostly Bonnie helpless to do anything at the end.


Still they are my rainbow and sunshine, puppies and cupcakes couple and I hope somehow the show gives them a happy ending. Somehow. Because I love them, and damnit, Bonnie Bennett deserves a happy ending because that poor girl… Geez! Oh, Bonnie. Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie! I mean… BONNIE! I just feel so much for her. Everything she's lost and now her dad… and to see him go like that. And man, that was so chillingly done. Everyone around her unmoving and then Silas cuts her father's throat and there's Bonnie watching, screaming, crying, nearly falling apart, running among the unmoving bodies and no one can hear her or see her. God, Bonnie! That poor girl. Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie. :(

Caroline's plight just doesn't measure up, but I did feel bad for her. Even if she was annoying at the start with her anti-Damon/pro-Stefan rant, but I think that was intentional. I mean, here she is going on about this mistake Elena made shacking up with Damon and breaking Stefan's heart while Elena is beaming, looking happier than we've ever seen her and as I said above, nothing that Caroline is saying is fazing her at all. Because Caroline is wrong. And then Elena even gets her digs in later about Tyler. She points out in a non-catty way (unlike Caroline) that Tyler hasn't called back, maybe Tyler isn't interested, maybe Caroline should move on.

And at the end of the episode what has happened? Tyler blew Caroline off, while Elena is on the phone with her boyfriend, smiling, happiness radiating from her, even in the midst of some shocking new drama in her life. She's telling him she loves him, and meanwhile sure he's keeping stuff from her but it's so she can be happy and enjoy life. And she is, enjoying life. She's out in the world, going with the flow, just letting life happen. Meanwhile, Caroline is crying, her boyfriend has deserted her, she's alone, and she is freaking out. She's paranoid, jumping at shadows, completely unsure of herself.

And it makes perfect sense. In Mystic Falls, Caroline is in complete control. She knows everyone, has everything in order, it's a small town and she has her finger in every pie. Here it's a whole new arena with a whole new stage of players and she's not the queen bee. Of course she's off-kilter. It's a completely different dynamic and she's out of control and an out-of-control Caroline is not where she is comfortable. Seeing these two in this environment is fascinating because they are so different, but it's so wholly and completely in character. I love it!

Also beautifully in character even though she is in a completely different place is Miss Katherine. Even human, she is still a survivor. I loved seeing Katherine actually use her weakness, her vulnerability to get what she needed. She admitted that she needed help, she used her human frailty and all of her enemies coming after her to get Damon to take her in. That's Katherine Pierce, using every weapon at her disposal to survive. Even the obvious one against a two-thousand year old immortal.

I also thought it was a brilliant how the show is keeping Katherine human. Because no one has taken the cure, of course, Katherine, the ultimate survivor, would be wary of risking not coming back as a vampire if she attempted to turn. Nice one. And interesting to see what will happen now that Silas has the entire town searching for Katherine (who looks just like Elena). Is she still in Mystic Falls? Will she go back to Damon? Where will she hide out? Will she go to Matt maybe? (And why I am randomly wondering if I will begin shipping Matt and human!Katherine now?!)

Speaking of… as a Matt/Rebekah shipper, I was *not* happy with the how their story played out because there was no love aspect there at all. It was all sex and fun. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If I didn't OTP ship them, I'd be all YAY! And as someone who just likes looking at the two pretty blonde people, I did love that aspect of it, and as someone who appreciates that one of the two actors is moving to another show, I get that you very well can't set up a true love connection between these two characters. So logically, I get it. And they never really went down that road with them so I wasn't as emotionally connected with them as I could have been and I began disconnecting myself once I knew that Claire Holt was indeed joining The Originals, so I'm OK with not getting the love in the Matt/Rebekah ship. So I'm OK, I guess. *sigh*

And in the sexy, fun department, I give them a resounding A+. I quite, quite enjoyed it. Matt's smile during the threesome (OK then, CW at the top of the 8 o'clock hour!), and the absolutely adorable kissing, 'don't miss me' teasing, breathtaking smiles, uber-blonde prettiness in the park made me squee!


And then there was Nadia. Of course I'm glad the Gilbert ring is back on Matt's finger where it belongs! But what the what?!?! Who was that freaky dude?! And what was he doing to Matt's eyes? And why were they all black?! And, OK, yeah, chick who plays Nadia (Olga Fonda) has chemistry with Zach Roerig, always a good thing -- the finger fondling thing was kinda hot. So, we'll see where this goes. But then there's my sudden, perhaps random Matt, human!Katherine shipping!

Speaking of hot, yeah, Jesse/Flyer Guy was kinda hot too. But is he the vampire? Cuz obviously there's a vampire at Whitmore College? And that vampire is killing people, and compelling cops. And then there's Megan, the roomie with vervain protein water! Who is dead! And who had a daddy/daughter-like picture with Elena's dad! Hello!?!? Yeah, plenty o' mysteries this season to start with and color me intrigued!

What am I not intrigued with? Or rather not impressed? Sorry, Paul. Yeah, Paul Wesley's Silas. He's so cold. And when an actor is playing a cold character, said actor needs enormous amounts of charisma to make that cold character compelling. Paul Wesley works when he's selling the warmth of his character. Without that warmth, he's just kinda there. There is no warmth in Silas, so he's just... there. So I'm not feeling Silas at all. At least with Ripper!Stefan there were flashes of heat, but Silas is just a block of cold non-emotion and Paul is not pulling it off for me. Hopefully it gets better. As of now, I am not impressed. I barely remember any of his scenes.

Phew! Okay, time for random thoughts!

- Damn, Ian Somerhalder looks good. Great haircut, great color. Great body. Great face. Yummy. My goodness, that man is delicious.

- So, non-vampire Silas does not have vampire speed. Interesting.

- I loved the little moment with Liz at the beginning when she was talking to Caroline and Elena and her voice suddenly choked up, really nicely done by Marguerite McIntrye. I also loved when she brought up Elena's dad. At first I just loved it because it was yet another reminder of family and how beautifully this show never forgets that family is key. Of course, towards the end, it became a reminder of an upcoming mystery about roomie Megan and Elena's dad.

- Do they not know what to do with Tyler? Are they afraid to kill Tyler off because he's the only werewolf left? I mean, really, they ship him off-screen for batches of episodes at a time and it looks like here comes another batch. I'm not complaining about the lack of Tyler since I'm the captain of the H.M.S. KillTyler, but really, do they not know what to do with him?

So another season, another premiere. I really, really liked this one. It had some really jaw-dropping moments. Some laugh-out loud moments, great character stuff, wonderful friendship moments, family stuff, ship moments, HAWT stuff, my D/E heart was soaring with joy, I just really can't complain at all! I still think that "The Return" is the strongest premiere, but this is easily the second best premiere the show has delivered. And what was really awesome is that it really did feel like a new beginning without taking away from *my* show. It still felt very much like The Vampire Diaries. In the Pilot we entered into this world, and crazy, chaotic stuff just kept piling on and on. This episode, it felt like a rebirth, it really was almost like a second pilot in that so much of that crazy chaos has been dealt with. It's still the same show, but it's lighter. It feels like a fresh start without all this baggage. And I am very, very excited to go on this brand new leg of the journey! WHEE!!!!

P.S. Bonus Damon-gif-fage for anyone wanting to make the haters go away.

Tags: bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/jeremy, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, jeremy gilbert, jeremy/bonnie, katherine pierce, matt donovan, matt/katherine, matt/rebekah, stefan salvatore, the vampire diaries, tv

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