I feel better. I still have issue with a few of the out-of-character moments: Elena accepting Damon's apology for getting her into the mess that she got herself (and Damon into) without a word, Katherine stating Stefan as a hero and savior on high as fact, and Damon taunting a distraught, gun-toting kid who could possibly release Elena. However the biggie, Damon killing Aunt Sarah while summer-loving with Elena, I'm OK with. And I had a few more thoughts too, so, here they be .... (shamelessly copied from some comments in my last post :D)
- Yeah, Damon is still going to kill. It is who he is. Damon is a vampire, he's a predator. He's a killer. They all are, every single one of them, after all, vampires. That is Vampire Diaries mythology. When they feel it's justified (even Elena) they will kill. Elena just killed (another vampire, but still) in the last episode. They kill. Period. Damon feels that killing the Whitmores (for what they did to him) is justified, therefore, they need to be killed. End of story. It's justified. And it's justified for Damon because this is more than just a revenge scheme. It's about keeping a promise to himself. It's about keeping a promise to Enzo. It's about proving that no matter what the Whitmores did to him, they didn't win because he's still punishing them. It's still an ongoing experiment that he's trapped in mentally, but he's "winning" because he's taking them out one by one over and over again.
Below, someone commented that Damon doesn't kill impulsively any longer and therefore this was out of character. I agree that Damon doesn't do that. However, this wasn't an impulsive kill. It was a thought-out, planned kill. It one that went along with a plan that he had been following for 60 years because it kept him sane and "alive" during five years of intense, insane, unimaginable torture, because he promised himself he would do so. It was a measure of respect and devotion to his friend who he feels he betrayed and can never forgive himself for doing so, and because in doing so, as I said above, he is still punishing Dr. Whitmore for what he did to him by punishing the children of his children and so on and so forth. There is absolutely nothing impulsive about this. This is as calculated as it comes and speaks to the very heart of Damon's messed up, deep-rooted issues that scream of insecurity, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and overall lack of self-love brought on by his father, Katherine and even Stefan to a degree. Dr. Whitmore treating him like vermin physically compounded that into his psyche for five years. This is Damon's tangible revenge keeping that inferiority complex at bay.
- We've been getting hints since the season started that Damon and Elena aren't handling their romantic relationship as well as they could be. Unlike how they were pre-relationship where they practically never lied to one another and kept secrets, they are doing it quite a bit now. And we keep finding out, yeah, they did it during the summer too. I mean, Damon kept the fact that he kept to his revenge scheme from Elena and, of course, he couldn't tell her because he didn't tell her about his five years as a lab rat. And Elena kept from Damon that she was having warm/cold and connected feelings about Stefan all summer long while she was boinking Damon senseless. No, not on the same level, but still emotionally pretty bad.
They've both been lying to each other, keeping things from each other all to "protect" the other. They've got issues. I think this may be the start of deconstructing those issues. First of all Elena keeps saying that she accepts Damon, warts and all. Well, here's her chance to prove it because, yeah, Damon is not a great guy. He does kill people. He does make bad choices. He did plan a revenge scheme and stick to it. He shoved it deep down and moved on. He took what happened to him and put it in a separate compartment from what was happening with Elena and their love. That makes perfect sense. And Elena knows how Damon operates. And she chose him knowing that about him. On the other hand, we have Damon. Damon needs to realize that he can't do that separation thingie. He needs to choose love over revenge. And he can't keep Elena and such revenge schemes in separate boxes. Again, that honesty they shared when they weren't together in a romantic relationship has to continue now that they are together.
- I'm hoping, re: Enzo, that Damon will be put in a situation where he can save Enzo or himself again and he chooses to save Enzo. I'm also hoping that we find out that Enzo realizes that Damon couldn't save him. It was literally either Damon could have saved himself or they both would have died. On the other hand, Enzo has been tortured for 70 years now, so..........
- Unlikely, but I'm holding onto hope that I can still get that group effort to save Damon. In the next episode they don't realize that Damon is missing too because only Elena would care about him being unable to be reached so as a group effort they save Elena. They don't realize that Damon is there in the cells too, so that we still get the group effort to save Damon after they're back and Elena is all like: "YOU DIDN'T SAVE MY BOO!?!?!?!" I will dream that dream until that dream shatters into dust, dangit!
And that's it. :)