One of the things that I liked about this episode was how the Damon/Elena relationship was handled. Even though we didn't see them very much together, what we did see showed them—at this point—doing things right for the most part. Yes, Elena and Damon were both avoiding each other, but by episode's end they had both told each other exactly what the other had been up to. And when Damon caught her actively ignoring him, he didn't get upset with her or guilt her for ditching his calls, he pointed it out that it'd been happening and she responded in kind because he'd been doing the same thing to her. Plus, they were cute about it in the whole non-guilting department.
Of course, later on when Elena dodged his attempts to just take a breather and relax at the dance, Damon took a time out from the scheming to ask her what was wrong… and she told him. There was no 'I'm fine.' She told him the truth, and he didn't get upset, he understood where she was coming from and tried to face her issue head on and deal with ut. In other words, they didn't ignore things, they dealt with it, didn't bury their heads in the sand and pretend that everything was fine, and Damon didn't guilt her about anything. And again the whole stuff when she first showed up was really cute, the curtsy and the hair-brushing and the smiles, and then, yeah, of course, there was the issue-dealing. Yes, yes, a dance would have been nice, but the issue-dealing is very good.
Now did they handle things perfectly? No. Because the whole avoiding for three days since Bonnie died and Elena keeping things bottled up and turning to her diary—a product of how she handled things in the past—is not the answer, and Damon going solo in coming up with plans to save the day without including Elena is not the answer either. But at least they included each other sooner rather than later. They just need to get to that sooner much sooner rather than later. But the sooner this time was pretty durn soon at least.
Still, Damon is a much better boyfriend than Tyler Lockwood. *sigh* Yeah, so he basically came back to Mystic Falls to tell Caroline that he wants to go after Klaus even though she doesn't want him to, but he figured that he'd sex Caroline up for four days before telling her so. Lovely. And you're not gonna tell me that it was only the last day that Caroline was going on about the classes she signed him up for, and the room she got him and the wonderful college adventures they would have. So yeah, Tyler basically knew for four days that he was going to ditch her AGAIN, but figured, eh, I'll keep on getting the sex until she finally pushes me to admit that I'm not doing the whole college thing.
Tyler made me realize something this episode. There are many reasons why I love the character of Damon Salvatore. One of them is that he is the only main male character on the show who has never made me utter or even think the words 'what a douchebag!' while watching. Every other one—Stefan, Matt, Jeremy, Tyler, Klaus, even Alaric, have held that distinction… never Damon. Tyler once again snagged that honor tonight. After spending the last four days sexing Caroline up, and then walking away from her pleading, crying face to go and live out his alpha-male fantasies (OK, fine, whatever, avenge Carol—dude, whatever, he's living out his alpha-male fantasies!), I thought … 'what a douchebag!' Please, oh, please, please, pretty, pretty, pretty please… can he just for the love of all that is holy in the universe STAY THE EXPLETIVE DELETED AWAY this time?! Please! And then whatever is gonna happen with Caroline and Jesse (cuz, yeah, something is totally gonna happen there I'm thinking) will happen before horror and heartbreak follows arranged by the lovely and mysterious Dr. Maxfield. And THEN we'll get Stefan and Caroline.
Because we're TOTALLY gonna get Stefan and Caroline. We didn't get much with them this episode, but I did like the little bit we got with them. The little bits… Elena commenting that Caroline is the only one that Stefan had spent any time with. Caroline able to get Stefan to wear a "costume" to the Ball. The little bit of the dance we saw (sigh, yes, so would have liked to see more), the fact that the trend continues with Stefan having no problem asking Caroline to dance. It's just the little things right now, but they are slowly building. Whee!
Also filling me with whee! was my favorite scene of the episode which was the Damon/Jeremy/Bonnie scene. Man, that cracked me up. Damon, all acting like he doesn't care that Jeremy was brought back when we know he lurves Jeremy and of course the running theme in the episode of him using the excuse of doing this only for Elena when we all know Damon wants his witch back (silly Damon). The whole Damon's RIP bit, Jeremy's 'oh, yeah, she's here,' Bonnie's wave, and Damon's "whatever" followed by Bonnie's disgruntled look… HI-larious.
And the whole thing just kept going with Damon calmly carrying on the conversation knowing Bonnie was there, waiting for Jeremy to speak for her and then casually reminding them that he couldn't hear her. I was laughing with delight. Such great comic timing, Ian Somerhalder so rocks in that department. Then, the best part with Jeremy just saying whatever he wanted because, hey, it's not like anyone else can hear what Bonnie actually said!
And I liked that Damon was completely upfront about the fact that he was doing this without letting Elena know until it worked. He didn't sugarcoat it at all… and Jeremy was fine with that. The two of them together are pretty much as bad as Damon and Elena together when it comes to "protecting" Jeremy. Damon is clearly just going to do whatever he thinks is best for Jeremy and/or Elena and side with whatever sibling he's working with at the time. Eventually, they are going to see this, and either love it or hate it, but both realize at heart they are so happy they have him in their corner for both siblings. The only one downside is that both Jeremy and Elena know that when it comes down to a choice, if it's between the two, Damon will always choose doing what makes Elena happy as long as Elena's life isn't on the line.
And her happiness was definitely the choice here between that or Katherine's life… and Damon chose Elena's happiness (and Bonnie's life). So, yeah, anyone who was still under the delusion that Damon was not over Katherine and still harbored tender feelings of love for her, yeah, this should finally have disabused them of that notion. Because, yeah, he done killed her. Or would have if Katherine was capable of dying. More on that later.
I was pretty happy that not only did Damon kill her, but that Elena was there to witness it like that. I've always said that whoever kills Katherine, I want it to be Damon, if not him, then Elena because I feel that those are the two that we know she's hurt the most. So to see Damon be the one who killed her was karmically-speaking satisfying. And to see Elena stand there and not make even the slightest gesture to stop Damon, knowing that she could have stopped Damon and she did not make even one, single sound, move, gesture to stop him, was just about as karmically-speaking satisfying. And then how she died.
Boy, oh, boy… how she died! Almost mirroring perfectly, how Jeremy died (the last, *real* time). To get the cure, Bonnie watching Katherine holding Jeremy down while Silas feeds and then Silas' hand reaching up to keep him in place and then Jeremy falling down to his death. Here, it's Elena watching Damon holding Katherine down while Silas feeds and then Silas' hand reaching up to keep her in place and then Katherine falling down to her death.
But of course, Katherine isn't dead. Nope, her heart is beating away. So, hmm, what happened? I'm thinking it's got to have something to do with that cure… and if that's the case doesn't it mean that Quetsiyah's whole cure thing had something a little hinky going on then, huh? Well, hopefully we'll find out next week. Whatever it is, color me intrigued and quite relieved that Miss Katherine is not dead.
I mean it would have sucked had she died right after reuniting with her daughter! First of all, little whining complaint out of the way. *sigh* Now I really, really wish they'd cast a different actress as Nadia knowing that she's Nadia Petrova. *double sigh* I mean, I did actually like her best in that reveal scene with Katherine, and when she smiled at Katherine in that last scene, but still in four episodes, she hasn't really impressed me at all… and she's a freaking Petrova! As soon as she began to describe her mother's real death I knew who she was and I was all *ooh!* because, you know, *ooh!* that was a cool, unexpected twist! And hopefully now that the character isn't just mysterious, sexy Traveler girl, I'll like her better? I hope so. Because SO COOL!
And, you go, Matt! Romancing your way through the "living" Petrova line. My inexplicable Matt/Katherine shipping might have some staying power now and another leaf to add to the family tree! Oh, speaking of, excuse me while I laugh at the silly Stefan/Elena fans who are all sighing and fan-girling over the line from Silas about a girl never forgetting her first love being some epic sign from the writers about the everlasting twu wuv of Stefan and Elena. Uhm, hello, Matt was Elena's first love. Duh! But wah! to no Matty this week. That gave me a sad. :(
What did not give me a sad is that I thought this was Paul Wesley's best portrayal of Silas so far. Silas felt more like a real character and less like a more boring version of Ripper!Stefan. So that was good. I liked how he was mind-fucking Quetsiyah because he was an ass, but he was also charming in a silky, creepy way that was only creepy because I knew he was mind-fucking her. He also came across as smarter than others, but not in a smug-stupid way where he thinks he's smarter, but really he's not, but where he is smarter and he doesn't act like a frat boy who has to act like he's smarter because he actually is. (If that makes sense.) He doesn't have to parade his smarts, because he knows he is, so he's confident in his cleverness. Paul just seemed much more confident and comfortable in his portrayal of Silas this episode, it was much less studied and actorly, I guess. So kudos to him this time around.
Which is good because Janina Gavankar continues to kick ass in the acting department as Quetsiyah. Man, she is just awesome. That scene where she desiccated Silas, right afterwards, the look on her face, the stillness of her body… it was like her entire form radiated this centuries old relief filled with a mix of love and ache, it was arresting to behold. She is so, so good.
Not quite as good, but still interesting and intriguing is this whole Whitmore thing. I mean, really, what is going on? Dr. Maxfield and his freaky experimenting on poor Jesse. Torturing him by not letting him transition, warning Elena and her friends to leave and letting her know that she and her friends are being watched. And then there's this Aaron kid. We know he's some kind of ward of sorts to Dr. Maxfield, but what is his relationship to Megan? And we still don't know her relationship to Elena's dad? Did Grayson have some sort of second family? Was Aaron part of it? Is he like Jeremy's biological brother, thus Elena's adopted brother? Or is he a cousin? Obviously there's some kind of connection with Elena what with the obvious parallel of his losing everyone in his life just like Elena. And he also has money, whether that's important or not, I don't know, but they made it a point of mentioning that he has a trust fund, so… I dunno.
It's all very intriguing, and on a character level, I do love how they *are* making this about character. I love that Elena is pursuing this not randomly because she wants to be all Nancy Drew-detective girl but because she can't let go of what happened to Bonnie, but Bonnie told her to let go, to go back to college and move on. So Elena went back to college, but she can't just move on… so she's not going to let another girl's death get ignored like she feels she ignored Bonnie's death.
This is a far cry from how the Elena from two years ago reacted to bad things happening. That Elena buried her head in the sand and tried to act normal, aided and pushed to do so by Stefan who had the same philosophy. This Elena is pro-active and attempts to do something—the same attitude that Damon has and one that fits Elena better. I like.
Phew… OK, just a few randoms
- So hmm, what's the mystical anchor, I wonder.
- Erm, I suppose I was supposed to be upset and boo-hoo sad about the Caroline/Tyler break-up? I wasn't. Like at all. Didn't feel a little bit of angst at all, even as Caroline was crying. I just thought, 'oh, thank God.' Hopefully when she said they were done if he took another step, she meant it, so when he took another step, they are done for good! Pretty, pretty please.
- Uhm, the costume ball was kinda pointless wasn't it?
- Nice to know that Damon is annoyed with Stefan enough that he takes pleasure from breaking his neck every now and then. Not surprising. Also not surprising is that Stefan—even in an amnesiac state—assumes that Damon is only doing what he is to prove he's a worthy boyfriend. Oh, Stefan, boo, that's not how Damon's mind works. That's your deal. You care about perception. Damon cares that Elena is happy, and getting her best friend back will make Elena happy. That is why Damon is doing this. (And, psst!, he wants his witch back, but he won't admit that.)
- Aww, it was a sweet, or rather bittersweet since they were fighting, moment between Bonnie and Jeremy when he basically said, uhm, I lied to Damon because I want you alive. I want to touch you, Bonnie!
- What's a Traveler, damnit?
- OK, sure one of them actually did dance, but since we saw about as much of that as the couple that didn't dance, just putting the gifs side by side. :)
- I have got to hand it to Nina Dobrev again. About halfway through the episode I remember thinking, 'wow, Nina isn't in this episode much,' because we just hadn't seen Elena as much as we normally do and then we had a Katherine/Nadia scene and it was about half-way through that I was like 'duh! Nina plays Katherine too!' I'm just so used to thinking of Nina as Elena and she so perfectly separates the characters that, yeah, I just once again forgot the same actress plays both characters.
Which brings us to that final scene once more which really was awesome. Katherine, Elena (both played brilliantly by Nina) and Damon (played with regret, because he did love Katherine, and determination, because he loves Elena more, brilliantly by Ian Somerhalder) were so on target from beginning to end. There were the comparisons to the Jeremy/Silas death that I talked about earlier, but also how Elena was so annoyed—for lack of a better word—that Katherine survived and that overhead shot of Katherine falling to the floor was gorgeous. Finally the blurry shot of Damon and Elena side by side as Katherine came to followed by her “Am I in hell?” Just perfect.
Fantastic final scene to another great episode.