Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

5.12 - 'The Devil Inside' (The Vampire Diaries)

Please do not reference spoilers, upcoming episode synopses and stills (including your reaction—good or bad—to them), interviews/tweets with cast, crew, writers, etc. Basically anything about the show that hasn't aired yet. Thank you.

Another week, another Vampire Diaries episode… whee!! You know the drill, behind the cut!

Well, as expected what happened with Katherine in Elena's body was entirely and absolutely predictable. However, the execution of it all was just amazing. I loved it. And that is all I ask for. I can deal with predictable… predictable doesn't bother me as long as the execution is flawless and as long as we get great character awesomeness out of the story. And I believe that we will, yes, I do because the set-up was so brilliantly done in this episode. Katherine put everything into motion—using poor Matty as her tool once again, this time to get all of her Elena information needs, giving Damon a believable reason for making the break-up stick, and declaring her Stefan-shaped intentions.

Speaking of Stefan—while I may have broken up with Paul Wesley and his 'don't give a damn' style of acting of late, I still love Stefan and boy, did he show why I love him in this episode all over the place. First off, now that he genuinely seems to be at peace with his feelings for Elena—in that he loves her, will always love her, but he's not in love with her anymore—he's openly showing his loyalty for his brother and how important he is to him. Elena makes Damon happy; Elena makes Damon a better man. Therefore, Stefan believes that Elena should be with Damon, end of story. Good boy, Stefan.

Secondly, one of the things that I believed that would always eventually come to play in the series is resolution for Stefan and Katherine. I even thought briefly between the tail-end of season 01 and some of season 02 that they might be endgame, but it was never even close to a given. Now, I'm pretty close to convinced there is no chance in hell that's gonna happen. The whole point of the doppelganger story, I believe, is that because of those two who started it (Silas and Amara) and their betrayal their look-a-likes are not fated to be, but rather they are destined to love and not find happiness because of that original sin. After all, where are Silas and Amara now? Separated for eternity. And this brings us to Katherine and Stefan.

For all I talk about Stefan not being Saint Stefan, he *is* a good guy, and aside from his ripper tendencies when his switch his is off and his somewhat selfish side, he is a better man than Damon (for all that I adore me some Damon). Stefan does try not to hurt people. He does try to be nice. He isn't needlessly cruel and spiteful and nasty to people. He's a good guy (for a vampire). Katherine? Is not one of the good guys. At all. She has her moments, but she is evil. She really is bad. She is given opportunity after opportunity to make the right choice, do the right thing and time after time after time she makes the worst, most selfish, awful choice imaginable. Because she's a survivor. Yay! Yeah, that's always her claim, but it's not really always the reason. She's also just mean. Did I laugh when she deliberately let Tyler overhear her and Caroline discuss the Klaus-sex? Yes. Was it still cruel and completely unnecessary? Yes. And she did this to one of the few people she said she sorta liked (Caroline). Killing Mia, the Traveler, was that necessary? No, but she did it anyway, just because it made it easier for Katherine. She's just not a nice person. In fact, she's awful. And she hasn't grown or changed or shown any redemptive qualities all that much. So, no, she will not be Stefan's endgame. Not going to happen. On the other hand…

Paging Miss Caroline Forbes. Yeah, I so did not miss that last bit there after Katherine claimed that Stefan was her one true love and Nadia said she'd hate to be the person standing in her way, cut to close-up of… Caroline. Uh huh. Now excuse me while I squee my way to my final reason for loving Stefan this episode. OH MY GOODNESS! Boy, oh boy, did I love my Stefan/Caroline feels this episode. SQUEE! Who'da thunk it would have been Stefan who finally got Caroline off of her 'down with Damon/Elena' mindset? Not me, but whee! And then, and then… DOUBLE WHEE! HE PUNCHED TYLER 'HE WHO SERVES NO PURPOSE TO EXIST' LOCKWOOD IN THE FACE! SEE!?

     

IT WAS GLORIOUS! SO GLORIOUS THAT I CAN'T UNCAP!!! G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S! (OK, uncapping.) Stefan Salvatore gets an A+ for the episode for that GLORIOUS moment alone! And he did it all in the name of protecting Caroline's, uhm, OK I don't know why he did it actually because Tyler was just telling Caroline to go. Yeah, OK, fine he did the angry werewolf face, but that had already faded by the time Stefan punched him. Tyler just said, you know, "exactly" after Caroline left. He did, sorta, kinda, totally have a reason to be upset. She slept with the guy who, you know, is EVIL and killed his mother and his pack and tortured the holy hell out of all of them, and you know, KILLED HIS MOTHER! But, he was making Caroline cry so that was enough to make Stefan punch him in the face and it was Tyler 'He Who Serves No Purpose To Exist' Lockwood. So it was glorious! A+ Stefan!

      </dd>

And then, and then, and then… TRIPLE WHEE! That final scene with them was so freaking awesome. They are so precious! I ♥ them so much. So, so, so, soooooooo cute. Look at their faces in that last gif! Don't you just want to smoosh them?! I want to smoosh them over and over and over again at their utter adorableness!

 

The way that Caroline feels horrible and guilty, but she knows that she can go to Stefan. The way that Stefan doesn't judge her at all (whereas he always, let's get real, judges everyone else—even Elena!). The way that Stefan was even able to use the example of him and Katherine recently to let Caroline know he wasn't just using platitudes, but he meant it. The way he said the words she thought she needed to hear, but of course didn't mean them, and instead of making her cry, he made her laugh. The way they made each other smile. The way they are so perfect and so right for each other. They make each other better, they bring out the best in each other which is what true love should do for people. Like, oh, Damon and Elena.

I loved that Damon got that Elena is too strong and that he wasn't giving her enough credit, even if he was also not giving himself enough credit for not being strong enough himself. (Which, I suppose he was right about. Ahem, more on that later.) I loved that he was so open with his heart, admitting his weakness, his darkness to her and that he needed her, her goodness, her light. It was a beautiful moment; it made me verklempt. And it showed, like with the Stefan and Caroline stuff, that couples work when they bring out the best in each other and had it actually been Elena he was speaking to, we all know that her response would have been to embrace his words. She would have embraced his openness. Elena would have welcomed his honesty, his complete vulnerability, his love for her and it likely would have begun a brighter phase in their relationship.

Instead… Katherine. Grrr. Once again stealing a beautiful moment that should have been Damon and Elena's where he pours his heart out to who he believes is Elena and instead it winds up sends him spiraling down a path that screws him over. Not to say that it isn't somewhat (OK, fine, mostly) on him. Remember at that top of the post where I talked about Katherine and the wrong choices that she continually makes. Damon, my beloved Damon, he has that problem too. Of course, it doesn't quite compare to Katherine. His wrong choices are generally born out of pain, desperation and/or the self-loathing need to prove that everyone is right about him and that he is the worst! On the other hand, hers generally come out of, yes, the need to survive, but also cruelty, selfishness and simply the desire to screw with people because, hey, why not?

Still, Damon Salvatore makes bad choices. Case in point: Roadside, dark night, Aaron Whitmore. Dead now, thanks to Damon Salvatore and his old/new BFF Enzo. Above I mentioned that Damon gave Elena the deserved credit that she's too strong to be ruined by him. I agree with that. But that he also downplayed his own strength by saying he couldn't possibly be strong enough to ruin her, which obviously is a good thing. But he's still downplaying himself. Meaning that he believes that he's weak. This action at episode's end proves that he's right.In many ways, Damon is very strong. He's smart, he loves unconditionally and loyally.

He's brave, but he is weak when it comes to being a better man. He has been told—going back to even before he was turned—that he's not good enough and he believes this so soul-deep that all it takes is one person he cares about telling him this so that he's teetering on the brink.Then he's got the thought of Elena reeling him back in, "she" supposedly rebuffs him and just like that, he's over the edge. That quickly, he falls over. He has that little faith in himself. I did a lot of analysis in season 02 and 03 about how I loved that it wasn't just Elena that Damon cared about, but that clearly Ric, Stefan and even Jeremy mattered to Damon as well because it showed that he wasn't just becoming "better" for Elena, but because that capability was within him. Elena simply allowed him to see that it was possible and because others cared as well and he cared for them, he was able to begin to fulfill that potential.

With Ric gone and because of Stefan's absence in his life, the Ripper situation, the switch off (during season 03), what happened with Damon and Elena throughout season 04, Stefan in the safe and the aftereffects (the summer hiatus and season 05 so far), Damon hasn't had that bigger core beyond Elena so much. Jeremy is there, and I love me some Matt and Damon, but they're not really his bros, they're more like little puppies he orders around now and then when he needs things done. So that potential has shrunk back to being just about Elena especially when with the two of them together now, Caroline's been so vocally against them and so vocally anti-Damon. And it's pretty much a given that no one has been vocally pro-Damon. So it makes sense that Damon has once more shrunk back into the belief that he's doing this 'better man' thing *only* for Elena. That he can't actually be better for any other reason, for anyone else because no one else expects it of him. No one else really cares. Stefan said that on the stairs the other day, but one sentence amidst a lifetime of 'you're less than' gets lost in the noise.

I know that there is concern that this is erasing some (if not all) of the wonderful character development of Damon so far, but I think we've been building up to something like this all along if it heads to where I think it is. Again, this is a guy with major, major self-esteem issues and you need positive reinforcement to keep positive change. Damon gets barely any. And, thanks to Katherine (grr!), the sole positive reinforcement he was getting was just ripped away from him, so naturally he's gonna backslide. It makes sense. We're talking literally nearly 200 years of self-loathing at play here that has to be countered against. That's a lot. so, *sigh* I don't know how long Damon's spiral will last, but I think he needs to go through this one more time before he really realizes this is not who he is. Think about it, since we've met him once he became better (around episode 1.12) he's never really gone for any long stretch of being "bad" so this would be it. Maybe he needs that reminder, that realization that he's truly NOT that guy any more.

And again, I still think this very well could be heading to Damon realizing that he is better than, but it may take the rest of the season. And if it plays out as strongly as this episode, I'm all for it because this one was a keeper. I mean, man, just the perfection of the execution of the transfer. From Elena coming through the second time and quietly taking it all in, assessing the situation and making her move when the time was right, fighting her way out was nicely done. Meanwhile at the party, Damon showed up and couldn't come in so he called for Matt, who didn't hear him because, of course, he would have invited Damon in! So Damon goes wandering off and we knew that Elena and Damon were going to run into each other. It was predictable, it was textbook. Of course it was going to happen, of course! Wait, right? They're gonna do it, right?!

You watch, you wait with baited breath, waiting for it to happen… are they gonna do it? When is it coming? Please, let it happen! Elena pulls out her phone, and it's so freaking smart and so Katherine that she locked the phone with a password Elena would never guess. So perfect. And Mia and Nadia are waking up and the spell continues. And now Elena's stumbling through the woods and flashback after flashback of Katherine's life bursts through her mind. And then we see Damon and then Elena sees him and they're running to each other and they come into each other's arms and it's one of those AAAHHHH! epic (an actual *epic* moment) and it's wonderful and beautiful and squee-worthy and fabulous and then her eyes turn black and cut to that freaking creepy Mia and "it's done." Suddenly, you're screaming a different AAAAHHHH! Totally predictable, but perfectly predictable in the best way possible. Angst-ridden and painful, but so well done. I loved it. I mean, I hated it, but I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. Ooh, but I hated it.

 
 

And I was dying during Damon's speech to her. It was killing me because if it was Elena hearing him, she would have been shushing him and holding him and touching his face and stroking his hair and kissing him and telling him she loved him, and AAAAHHHHH! But it was Katherine. GGRRR! Gaaahhh! Katherine!! And that fucking evil smile on her face as she walked away after breaking his heart AGAIN! That perfectly perfect Elena speech she gave him that wasn't Elena, but was. If Elena wasn't in love with Damon. If Elena was ready to be done. Most likely the same damn variation of the speech she gave to Matt when she broke up with him (callback to the beginning when Katherine wanted to know how exactly Elena broke up with him). Damn you, Katherine. I love you, but I hate you. And I really, really hope that by the end of this season you are dead-dead. D-E-A-D! Dead.

And, you know, I really think she might be. I think this season is not only giving us Stefan/Katherine closure, I think it's also giving us Katherine Pierce closure. Clearly there is no redeeming her. She is not redeemable. But, I think we're going to see things happen with her. First of all, I mentioned above how Caroline is going to the one who is in her way of getting to Stefan, but Caroline is one of the few people that Katherine can actually stand in Mystic Falls. There was a reason the writers had the line about her wanting Matt to say Elena liked Caroline best (and so not true, boo, Elena so likes Bonnie better) and her flat-out telling Caroline she was the one of the best people in Mystic Falls. Katherine may find herself liking Caroline, finding her a true friend, to the point where she doesn't want to just get her out of her way, perhaps until it's too late.

Also, I think there was a point of Katherine noting all the calls of concerns Elena was getting (beyond the wondering of where Elena was), as well as her telling Nadia that half the town would slit their wrists for Elena. Katherine is not only not going to be on the run for the first time, she's going to have people caring for her, a lot of people, for the first time in centuries. I think we will see possible effects of this on Katherine before she actually does face her end. I could be wrong, but I think the whole Matt getting stabbed to release him from Gregor's possession by Katherine was to show how it's done for when it's done to Katherine. And talk about a parallel! Uh huh. As always, we'll see.

How long will it last though? The thing is that Katherine doesn't really know Elena. She thinks she does, but she really has no clue as I've mentioned in the past. In "Handle With Care," I wrote this about Katherine pretending to be Elena:

...it's like she thinks Elena is a stereotypical dumb blonde or something.
Katherine thinks that Elena is weak and pathetic, not terribly bright and Katherine finds her pretty much worthless. So she'll give herself away sooner rather than later, I think. I just don't imagine she'll be able to pull this off very long. Sure she loves Stefan, crushes on Matt, likes Caroline (for now), but she doesn't like Bonnie or Jeremy and has a very strong hate/lust/sorta love relationship with Damon. Elena deeply loves all of them, and is in love with Damon. Katherine won't be able to fake that for very long, and we already know that she plans on doing a switcharoo on Stefan and Damon. That's just not where Elena's heart is anymore and everyone but Katherine truly does know that.

And if Katherine does survive Elena only for so long, then we'll have the arc of Elena and the others dealing with not only the fall-out of *that* but also of Damon's actions... because obviously there *will* be fall-out. And that is where I think and hope that some of Damon's demons will finally be laid to rest permanently so that we won't get this major type of backsliding anymore.

OK, time for some randoms …

- Again, must re-iterate, it's implied by the fact that instead of having Matt hear Damon and refuse him entrance, they instead had Matt *not* hear Damon… because of course Matt would have let Damon in. Awww!

- *sigh* Yes, obviously, My Matt/Katherine dream has died. :sniffsniff: Goodbye, Matt/Katherine! You were loved! (By me at least!)

 

- I know I probably shouldn't enjoy Damon/Caroline scenes as much as I do, but I can't help it, Ian and Candice are so enjoyable to watch together. They banter-hate so well!

- Oh, Katherine. When she was talking to Stefan as "Elena" trying to get him to admit he was heartbroken over Katherine's death, I was thinking, 'honey, someone needs to get you a copy of He's Just Not That Into You. Cuz, he's really, really not.

- I did not expect Aaron to die. Until I saw the roadway at the end. Then I realized, of course. But before then, I actually didn't expect Damon to go off the deep end until the next episode. Poor Aaron. Actually tried to do the right thing.

- Oh Enzo. You know, I do like the actor, but I'm rethinking my liking the character now, which I think I'm supposed to so, OK then. He's not a good friend to Damon. He's leading him down baaaaad paths. Damon does not need this kind of influence in his life right now. He's in a dark place. Had Enzo not been there and Katherine pulled her stupid stunt, Damon would have just gone home or gone to the Grill and gotten drunk. So, bad Enzo, bad!

- Lest an episode with Tyler go by without me expressing my displeasure at his existence, I would like to offer up a solution for his problem as expressed to Matt. He's upset because he has to live forever. If Jeremy is back next week, well, he has experience in this area, so, he can just chop off Tyler's head. That's how you kill hybrids. No more living forever. There you go, Tyler. You're welcome.

- And if Jeremy is available afterwards, Nadia has a head that I wouldn't mind being seeing removed as well since it will mean an end to her. My goodness, Olga Fonda sucks so hard in the department of the acting. SO HARD!

- To end the randoms on a happy note: My goodness, Ian Somerhalder was looking all kinds of so very beautiful in the heartfelt speech to Elena Katherine that I literally had to shake my head and make myself pay attention because, gosh darn't, he's just so, so, so pretty! Dayum! So good-looking.

Alrighty then, as you can tell, I really liked this episode. It was awesome-sauce! Total awesome! No complaints from me! WHEE!!! Onward to next week and I don't care whatever Katherine as Elena pulls with Stefan because it ain't Elena. Nyeahnyeahnyeahnyeah! :D

And, once more for the road, please do not reference spoilers, upcoming episode synopses and stills (including your reaction—good or bad—to them), interviews/tweets with cast, crew, writers, etc. Basically anything about the show that hasn't aired yet. Thank you.
Tags: caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/matt, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, katherine pierce, matt donovan, matt/katherine, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, stefan/katherine, the vampire diaries, tv
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