Arabian (arabian) wrote,

5.02 - 'True Lies' (The Vampire Diaries)

Another Thursday, another new episode of The Vampire Diaries. You know what that means! A lot of words and a lot of pretty gifs! WHEE!!!

I loved this episode, but I could like totally, totally adored it. I mean, I even preferred it to last week's fantastic episode, I loved it that much. Which is a pretty big surprise to me since last week was written by Caroline Dries, and she's my favorite TVD writer. This episode was penned by Brian Young and he's my least favorite writer on the show. Still, there were these key points that kept me from totally, totally adoring it and that pretty much is all down to why I don't like Young. (Still, I did really, really, really love it!)

However since I did (really, really, really) love so much of the episode I'm going to get what I didn't like out of the way before focusing on everything I did. Unfortunately, what I didn't like was wrapped up in parts of the Damon and Elena story. {insert pouty face here} I didn't like how there was an implication in Elena's words that since they were now in a romantic relationship, Damon shouldn't be lying to Elena… as if Damon had lied to her regularly in the past. Pfft!

Come on now! One of the key components of the Damon/Elena relationship – and one of my favorite things about that relationship – is that Damon doesn't lie to Elena. It was so key that when it happened it was so rare that it always stood out and Damon always ‘fessed up almost immediately. Because Damon doesn't lie to Elena, so the implication that Damon had lied to Elena in the past didn't sit well with me. It was a small-ish thing I suppose and one I can get over, I just wasn't thrilled with it, but I know that upon rewatches it will just be a small thing that I'll always note and will slightly bug. It will keep the episode from full adoration and that gives me a slight sad.

As will the conversation of rage. Not for the expected reasons I suppose. Yes, the couple-girl in me is not thrilled that they are obviously setting up some "connection" of sorts between Stefan and Elena that may or may not have to do with the fact that they are both doppelgangers (whatever, *sigh*). I get that they feel they have to drag out the damn triangle somehow and appease the much smaller Stefan/Elena fanbase somehow and this may be a set-up for how they are choosing to do so. Again,whatever. I choose to look at this in a good way. It means that whatever "connection" Stefan and Elena share, however far it goes back, Damon and Elena's love was strong enough to overcome it, uh huh! So there.

And, hey, what endgame couple is a good endgame couple without drama, right? Right. So, I'm fine with the whole reasoning behind the rage conversation. It's the execution of it, or rather the dialogue, the execution (since while Joshua Butler isn't my favorite director if it's surface stuff, he's good and this was all surface stuff). Why didn't Damon tell Elena that he got Jeremy unexpelled? Why didn't she mention the supposed Damon/Jeremy fight, which he could then deny? Why didn't Damon have the opportunity to basically use the actual truth to help soften those edges of Elena's rage that Silas had sharpened? Instead the dialogue had Elena *only* focus on the one thing that Damon did do which was have Jeremy help Katherine.

Everything else, every other thing that Damon could have legitimately defended wasn't touched upon and that was just sloppy and – here we come to my biggest problem with Brian Young's writing – clunky. He can be such a dang clunky writer. He gets from point A to point H with such little finesse at times and it's frustrating because The Vampire Diaries is filled with a damn fine writing staff.

He's not bad, he's co-written some of my favorite episodes. It's just that on his own, even really great ones, like this one, he has moments, like this one, where it's important and he goes off the rails. And that happened here. This conversation required finesse. It required the right touch, weaving from Jeremy to Katherine, from the Damon/Elena dynamic to the Stefan/Elena dynamic without stirring up jealousy and touching upon the Damon/Stefan relationship as well as the Damon/Katherine and Elena/Katherine relationships all at the same time. Young wasn't able to deftly weave those parts together.

ETA: I wanted to add that some of my issue with what wasn't addressed in this discussion as well as things that Elena said to "Stefan" (aka Silas) very well can be handwaved away by the fact that Silas very likely messed with Elena's mind. He wanted to screw things up between Damon and Elena which is why Damon didn't even try and reason with Elena once he realized that Silas had gotten to her because he knew that trying to use him as a focal point was useless.

Thank goodness he at least had Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev who know these roles inside and out because they played the scene and brought nuance to that dialogue to give some subtlety and emotional heft to the scene. And emotional heft the scene did have, because less than excellent dialogue or not, connection of a Stefan/Elena connection or not, what we got in that scene for Damon and Elena is pretty damn awesome.

There was the straightforward fact that allegedly the most powerful creature in the world essentially tried to destroy them… and he failed. Damon and Elena survived the attempt. Sure, Damon spat vervain in her face, Elena staked her leg, and Damon urged her to use her connection to Stefan to overcome her rage at him to get through it… but they still got through it together. No outside help, just Damon's brains, his growing confidence in their love, her courage and willingness to do what it takes and they got through it. Because they are awesome. And, come on, Caroline's response upon walking in on them was hysterical. Hee!

      "I think we need to set some ground rules for when boyfriends come to visit."

And, erm, hopefully Caroline will have a boyfriend come to visit soon… named Jesse! Guys, uhm, I think Stefan has some competition in my heart for Caroline. Dude, I totally love Jesse and Caroline. He's so adorable! And they are so cute. And so sweet. And I love their chemistry and I was absolutely swooning in their scenes. He didn't notice Elena like at all in that way in the Microbiology class, he was all about Caroline. And in the popsicle scene! Squee! I was just all SQUEE!!! I mean look at the looks!! And the chemistry! And his hand! And their eyes!! And the LOOKS!


And his eyes! And his FAAACE!!! And those puppy-dog eyes after she says she has a boyfriend and I was all…. Oh, Jesse!!! Oh, he's so sweet and cute and adorable and I want to smoosh him! No, I want Caroline to smoosh him!! Smoosh him, Caroline, smoosh him! So, yeah, Tyler, you stay away. Klaus, you stay away. Stefan's off in Ripper-land anyway and still hung up on Elena, so Caroline and Jesse…. whee!!! God, this show makes me such a shipper-whore!

Speaking of… I mentioned Tyler above, seriously, Caroline is *not* in love with Tyler and I still maintain that she never was. She loved him, but was not in love with him, but rather in love with the idea of it. She was in love with Matt, could have fallen in love with Klaus, could fall for Stefan and I could see it happen with Jesse because she clearly gets, got the tingles with all of them. That was never there with Tyler. And she's supposedly all hung up on Tyler and yet she "kinda liked" Jesse. Yeah, whatever Care, so not in love with Tyler. Ever..

Aww, and she told Jesse that Damon was her friend. Seriously, she and Damon just have this weird relationship now. They are mean to each other, constantly insult each other. I mean, all the Damon-fans I know like to harp on how awful Caroline is and how terrible she is to Damon, but really, he's just as awful to her. He rarely lets a moment go by around her when he's not insulting her, treats her like an absolute idiot, puts her down constantly. HOWEVER, he will save her life at the drop of a hat. And the reverse is true for her. She was on that phone non-stop on Graduation day calling Klaus and ya'll know that the only reason Damon is alive right now is because Caroline asked Klaus to save Damon for her. So they don't like each other, but they have each other's backs. It's like friendly antagonism now. It's weird, but whatever. And, hey, if we continue to get hilarious moments like this, I'm all for their relationship as is because it was hysterical!

      Caroline: Damon! Towel! Knock! / Damon: Caroline! No one cares. No!

I know the comeback would be that Damon insults everyone, but he really doesn't anymore, not like he insults her. He gives vague throwaway derisive comments now and then to Jeremy, Matt and Bonnie, but that's it. It's only Caroline who gets the out and out insults anymore. Oh, and Katherine. Yeah, more on her later. Hehehehe. First the Gilbert-Donovan braintrust. I was amused that Damon was surprised that the G/D braintrust figured out the whole Silas telling everyone to look out for someone who looked like Elena to get Katherine since Damon, of course, was right since they hadn't figured it out, hah! And I always like seeing Jeremy and Matt not only working together, but basically being Damon's good little helpers, LOL, and doing what they're told. They are so his minions, it cracks me up. They'd never admit it, but they totally hero-worship the hell out of him even though they totally shouldn't, but man, he's just so cool!

Not so cool as a human is Katherine, but she's still awesome to watch in action. Even if she's pretty pathetic right now. And hysterical. And I continue to be in awe of Nina Dobrev. It really does seem like I'm watching two different actresses playing Katherine and Elena, it truly, truly does. Katherine and Elena are just so very different, in action, mannerism, voice, inflection, walk, everything. It's really quite astounding. And now we have a human!Katherine and she's just as different as could be from human!Elena, and vampire!Katherine, but still quintessentially Katherine. Ah, but her humanity is beginning to shine through. Seeing little Gilbert get through to her and Katherine Pierce's badassery come through for someone other than herself was quite a sight to see.


But I honestly can't decide what my favorite Katherine moment tonight was (it wasn't the badass moment above, because I'm not really a gun-totin' kinda gal). It was either: "I'm the leverage. I'm that thing that everybody wants. {Pausing as realizing seeps in.} I'm the freaking moonstone." Or "My throat is really scratchy. And my head hurts, like, right here. And when I cough it's green." Hmm, moving pictures help …


Yeah, no, I can't decide. They were both freaking priceless. My goodness, I love Katherine.

OK, back to Damon and Elena before I head to random thoughts. One of the reasons I loved this episode so much was that second to last scene with them. I loved that they were not just kissing goodbye. I loved that they were kissing so thoroughly. They've been a couple for roughly three to four months now and yet they are obviously still completely into each other. They don't care where they are, they don't care about anyone else. The passion is still there. And they were all over each other and when that phone rang, Elena was all, really? I mean, look at the last gif, look at her face, girl wanted to keep kissing her man! I love that the show is allowing us to see that these two are still crazy hot for each other.


OK, ahem, back to non-shallow thoughts and gazing at pretty, pretty people kissing each other prettily. I also loved that Elena told Damon she loved him again (and that she would still love him even after saving Stefan). And that we've had that two episodes in a row with Elena initiating the "I love you" all four times telling him that because Damon needs that assurance. Which leads to that I bought it when he told her that he is secure in their relationship that he's OK with her having some psychic connection with her ex so obviously the "I love you's" and the public displays of affection and the rolling around and the playing house all summer, etc. has been working. This is good. :D

OK, randoms now …

- So when Damon thanked Liz for assigning some deputies to dredge up the quarry that hands bowed thing was soooo an Ian-thing and not a Damon-thing at all! AT ALL. Kinda jarred me out of the moment there.

- Anyone else find it hilarious that Elena used sex to weaken Damon? Hahahahaha!

- I loved that conversation between Damon and Elena on the phone early on. Damon a wee frustrated that she didn't use compulsion or the threat of violence, not even torture? And Elena's response was just to giggle! LOL!

- So head-canon! Damon had a shirt to wear despite the Elena-near-sex-destruction of his earlier one because Elena had one of his shirts packed away with her to wear to sleep in to remind her of him. Aww.

- I hope (assume) we'll find out how Stefan got out of the safe next week (and why it took him all summer to figure it out).

- At first I was confuzzled (and disappointed that the show would go for the cheap shock value) of the dead, bloody body in the safe) but realized that if Stefan is in Ripper mode, which, duh, he is, well, the Ripper!Stefan is capable of cruelty so he would do something like that so works for me.

- I am surprised that Ripper!Stefan is back. The show did set it up last week with Hallucination!Damon as the devil on Stefan's shoulder but I didn't think they'd go there. Good one.

- Man, the Matt/Bonnie hug almost made me cry. That poor girl. She's been without another's touch for so long now and it took one of her best friends dying to get that and guh. Her admitting that she just isn't ready to be dead. Oh, Bonnie.


- I'm still kinda stuck on the idea of shipping Matt and Human!Katherine, but I can understand why some people are shipping Jeremy and Human!Katherine now, but it's just too weird for me, because, yeah, Elena and Jeremy.

- Great Jeremy line. "I'm a hunter and I work out." Yeah, you do, Jeremy and we thank you for that, boo!

- Sorry, but Silas is boring. I blame Paul. There's just no pizzazz in his portrayal. Meh.

- Man, Stefan and Elena's sex life must have been so boring, even Stefan's Elena fantasies are PG, meanwhile in real life, Elena is pushing Damon down, straddling him on a chair, dry humping him, ripping his shirt off and literally popping his buttons off, devouring him with kisses. Me likey!


- Speaking of hot… whoo, boy! One Mr. Ian Somerhalder is looking hella fine this season. I do think we are hitting the jackpot in the smoking hot in the hair and make-up department this season! Oh yeah!

- So gypsies/travelers are searching for Silas' whereabouts and can put on a spell to block Silas' powers which he can overcome by killing the person. Thank goodness Matt had that ring!! So there's one question there, the other, of course, is what does Nadia want? And how did she know that Matt had anything to do with Silas to even follow him? Was he and/or Rebekah that stupid to be talking about it or did she recognize the Gilbert ring? I'm thinking the latter. And in that case, just how well-known and/or well-traveled is that dang ring?

- So Liz is growing out her hair.

- Ah, so that's what happens when they die while wearing the Gilbert ring and how they wake back up in their bodies. That was cool seeing how Matt came to.


- I think it is TOTALLY awesome that Elena is following Damon's lead and is planning on infiltrating Whitmore College's inner circle somehow to figure things out the way Damon did in Mystic Falls. AWESOME. Following Damon's lead.

- And so Whitmore College has a secret conspiracy group too. OK then.

- Am I the only one who thinks that the professor guy is gay?

- Another question… What exactly was Elena's dad up to? Hmm….

- Damn, Elena's a pyro!

- Partly why I liked this episode better than last week (despite how great last week was) is because last week did feel like a Pilot in a way and Pilots are set-ups, and that does keep their full greatness at bay in a way because you spend time doing that set-up. We didn't have to do that in this episode.

Alright, I may have complained above about that clunky dialogue in the one scene,plus the Damon/lying and how that bothered me, but I DID love this episode A LOT, and most of the dialogue really worked. This was a VERY strong episode. Really funny, really strong, and it just flew along. Other than the boring-villain that is Silas and I'm inclined to blame Paul at this point on that, this one was mostly pretty damn fabulous. Damon and Elena are wonderful – and other than my issues mentioned above – I am loving how they are writing them as a couple. Jesse and Caroline are squee-worthy. Human!Katherine is fabulous! Matt and Jeremy as Damon's minions will never not be awesome to me. All the mysteries are muy intriguing and Ripper!Stefan is on the way! Woohoo!!! Can't wait for next week! Yeah, baby!!
Tags: bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, jeremy gilbert, matt donovan, matt/katherine, nina dobrev, the vampire diaries, tv

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