Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

5.13 - 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' (The Vampire Diaries)

The last Vampire Diaries for almost a full month! Ack! The pain! Sigh, what cruelty... sigh. Well, at least I got the write-up done quickly! :D

Other than Damon-shaped thoughts, I'm just gonna do a random thoughts one here because this episode really felt like it was just solidifying a lot of what I've been saying in recent posts (so, uhm, go me!?)

First... Damon. I'm sure there are some (many?) who are frustrated with the evil turn that Damon has taken, but I'm OK with it. Mainly because of how it's playing out. Let's look at what happened tonight. For possibly the first time in his life, Damon Salvatore was all talk, no action. Enzo was the one who killed the Whitmore security head, not Damon. Enzo was the one who laid his hands on Jeremy in that early scene with Bonnie, not Damon. Enzo was the one who held Jeremy captive, not Damon. Enzo was the one who was suffocating Jeremy, not Damon. Yes, Damon said the words, Damon threatened the action and Damon knew that Enzo would follow through, but Damon also knew that Bonnie and the others would follow through and get him the answer he wanted. I 100% believe that if Damon had been with Jeremy, he would not have been able to follow through on those threats. Because Damon does care about Jeremy.

It's just that right now he's just doing exactly what Stefan flat-out said: "The more pain he can cause the more reasons there are for people to hate him. He wants to confirm everyone's worst expectations of him."

The writers very specifically put those words in Stefan's mouth for a reason. They unequivocally wanted viewers to know this. They didn't beat around the bush, play games, hint about it, leave subtle clues, they just flat-out laid it out there. This is what Damon is doing. He is in pain and so he is lashing out and proving everyone's worst expectations of him. 'Elena thinks I'm not worth it. You all think I'm not worth it. Fine, I'll prove to you. You're all right, I'm not worth it.'

But you can still see how much pain he's in. He's putting on a show. It's all a façade. 'This is who I should be according to all of you, so this who I'm being.' The funny (haha) thing is that most of them don't think he's that terrible now, you can tell that by how they are acting and interacting with him. As upset as Bonnie, Caroline, etc. are with him, they aren't treating him like Damon is the enemy. Watch how they interact with him. They are pissed off at him. They're angry; they are furious with him, but they are pissed off like friends who want another friend to get the fuck over it and stop being such a jerk. They aren't treating him like the enemy, like the bad guy in the equation.

While, yes, Damon is being very bad. It's really only Stefan and Not!Elena who are treating Damon like this unforgivable monster right now. The rest are treating Damon like they did Stefan during his ripper!phase. Damon is acting horrible, he needs to get over it, we need to deal with it, moving on. They aren't hating on him, but rather his actions. When Bonnie tells Stefan and Caroline about what is going on, she says "Enzo has Jeremy." Nothing about Damon; she puts the onus on Enzo. Yes, it's obvious that Damon has something to do with it, but she's putting the heat on Enzo. Enzo's the villain, Damon's just someone she's really, really pissed off at. There is a difference. That was very specific there.

The only three involved who aren't treating Damon differently are (again) Stefan, Katherine and Jeremy. Jeremy is still acting like Damon only deals with him for Elena's sake as opposed to caring for Jeremy for Jeremy's sake which simply isn't true, but that makes sense because of Jeremy's age (one year does make a difference) and the type of relationship he has with Damon. Katherine is just a stone-cold bitch who doesn't care enough about Damon to, well, care. And Stefan still just does NOT understand his brother as well as he should after all this time. He gets that Damon is suffering and so lashes out; he gets that Damon is projecting his worst self to prove that everyone is right about him, and he gets that his approach is wrong. But he can't for the life of him figure out how to fix his approach.

And *that* is partly why Damon is in the predicament he is in right now. I talked last week about how he has only had Elena in caring for him recently:

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.
This episode *really* highlighted that because, yes, after Elena and Damon broke up, we had the dual scenes of Elena with Bonnie and Caroline, and Damon with Matt and Jeremy, but there was a huge difference. Bonnie and Caroline went to Elena with the intention of making her feel better. Matt and Jeremy came upon Damon, talked behind his back and then they all quickly went to the boarding house. Then Not!Elena broke his heart… again.

And who was there for Damon? Who was there to support him? See how he was doing? Nobody. No one checked on him, no one said 'Hey, how you doing?' Not one person. The assumption, which Jeremy said aloud, is 'you'll just keep on doing what you're doing, protecting us, saving us, toeing the line because you love Elena and that's enough. Who cares if you're falling apart?' Because clearly no one did, no one does. The closest to anyone reaching out to Damon was Stefan's attempt after Damon was already spiraling out of control. And all that consisted of was Stefan talking down to him, reminding him how terrible he was and playing the do-gooder St. Stefan card. Where was Stefan the night before when Not!Elena broke his heart? Why did Stefan just let him walk away? Yes, it's not on Stefan to monitor Damon's actions, but shouldn't he care about his brother? Shouldn't someone besides Elena care about Damon? He has shown that he cares about all of them in small ways, and he sure as heck has done so for Stefan.

Elena, Stefan, Caroline, Bonnie, all of them are capable of doing terrible, awful things, and all of them have done terrible, awful things and they all have been pulled back from the brink or have been forgiven… because they have people who love them, who forgive them, who don't judge them, who reach out to them. Damon had Alaric. Damon had Elena. They are both gone. So Damon now has… no one.

Not to excuse his actions because I'm not. He killed Aaron. He shouldn't have. He threatened Jeremy, and enabled Enzo to do what he did to Jeremy. He so shouldn't have. But for over a century, the guy was denied a love he desperately wanted, then he found out it was false, finally discovered real, true love, held it for a blink of an eye comparatively, and then *that* was ripped away and he had no one there to cushion that blow, to help him through it. No one. Not one soul. (And, no, fucking Enzo doesn't count since he's leading Damon straight back to hell.)

You've got Stefan talking down to him, saying that he wants to help Damon, wants him to be there for him and then gives up on him within 24 hours. 24-freaking-hours! That flash of pain on Damon's face after Stefan told him to not bother coming back was just heartbreaking. That Stefan gave up on him that quickly! GAH! And the worst part is that you know it's exactly what Damon expected.

     

But, of course, Stefan's not, not completely if what's coming next is any indication. The serum! So Damon is the one injected with the vampire-killing-vampire serum and based on the preview for the next episode it does look like Stefan is once again out to help his brother. Not surprising because Stefan will never give up on Damon, but the problem is that—as of now—he just has no clue how to fight Damon when he's fighting his own worst demons as Stefan said himself. And then Stefan's frustrations get the better of him and he lashes out himself and we get Damon in pain and it's just messy and awful and so freaking painful. And I just cry, oh, Damon, oh, Stefan, oh Salvatore brothers, just get it together! They will, they will, eventually.

But what is gonna happen in the meantime? Well, I have no clue there. And I have no clue what's going to happen with the serum, but I do have an idea about something maybe! I think we may see something similar to what happened with season 02 in terms of parallels and Damon that I noted then that did play out. In "The Return," Damon killed Jeremy without compunction. Halfway through the season, he then went through an existential crisis over killing Jessica on the roadside, but of course did kill her. Finally towards the end of the season, he again was driven to kill, Andie this time, but he chose not to kill and instead sent her away.

I think we may see another parallel play out this season involving Damon and Jeremy. So in "I Know What You Did Last Summer," Damon let Katherine go to save Jeremy's life even though it was the key to rescuing Stefan. Here we are half-way through the season and Damon threatened to kill Jeremy, using Enzo as his weapon. I think that towards the end of the season, Damon will wind up having to kill someone (possibly Enzo) or majorly risk/sacrifice himself to save Jeremy. That would certainly tie into my belief that we're going to see this season come down to Damon and the others finally stop seeing him as a monster. We'll see.

So, randoms …

- OK, I realized about an hour before the episode there would be no Elena and I had a sad. And then the episode aired and there really was no Elena and I REALLY MISSED ELENA!!! THIS IS NOT GOOD! Die, Katherine, die! I WANT ELENA BACK!!!

- Speaking of Katherine, she really is so self-absorbed. I never realized that despite how smart she is, she's really dumb about people. I mean, Stefan is not in love with Elena any more, and Katherine doesn't even see that. People are not going to be fooled by her 'Elena' act for very long because she's not very good at it. She's only pulling this off right now because of the Damon break-up with people thinking she's putting on a 'brave face.'

- Speaking of people being fooled, OK, either Stefan is going to get suspicious very soon, or dude, he really does not know Elena that well, but then neither does Caroline. I mean both thought that Elena would give up on Damon because he killed Aaron -- have they even MET Elena?!?!?!? And then in the last scene with Not!Elena, the real Elena would never have said that she isn't doing this for Damon because Elena wouldn't give up on Damon, just like she never gave up on Stefan. Dude! Come on. She didn't give up on Damon when he KILLED her brother, why would she do it when Jeremy didn't even die this time? Hello!? Damon just threatened him, geez!

- Oh, Stefan, as awful as you are at showing your brother you do love him, I know you do, boo! He gave up the dream of Elena to see Damon happy. Aww!

- I am so beyond loving the Stefan/Caroline anvils. Just, dude! LOVING! You know, like Caroline literally shredding the past of Tyler and Klaus thus making room for Stefan. Talk about clearing the way for Stefan. Hehehehe.

- I liked the new witch introduction. I could like her. I think I do, in fact. Eh, not so much the Sloan/traveller intro, though. That was a bit too clunky for me.

- Yes, I'm ready for Katherine to die, but I was amused by how she played the devastated by Jeremy's kidnapping to the crowd followed by her rolling her eyes as soon as her back was turned, followed by her listing the pros/cons with Nadia that had exactly zero cons, LOL!

- I want to give Matt and Tyler kudos for figuring out what Nadia was doing, but you know, they are both well aware that vampires have super-hearing what with being around vampires all the time, dating vampires, Tyler BEING half-vampire and having super-hearing himself that instead I just have to face-palm their stupidity. Boys, boys, boys. It's official. Damon makes Matt smarter. Tyler makes Matt dumber. Yup. And now Matt is stuck being not only Katherine's little puppet, but Nadia's too. Ugh.

- Speaking of... show, stop trying to make Nadia happen. You can't redeem her. You can't make her work for me. You know why? Because Olga Fonda is a sucky actress And she has zero chemistry with anyone on the show. And I swear if you try and pair her with my Matty-boo!!! UGH! NO! I can't believe I thought for a nanosecond they might maybe have chemistry in the premiere. UGH! UGH! UGH! NO! NO! NO! NO! And besides, she looks 20 years older than him.

- Shocker! Other than his above-mentioned stupidity, Tyler did not annoy me in tonight's episode. Alert the media! I did not want Tyler to die. Repeat, I did not want Tyler to die.

- Caroline's reaction to Aaron's death? 'Oh, no! Bummer! Moving on.' Just shows the complete lack of moral fortitude this group now has.

- Aww, Damon probably told Matt about Enzo during drunken post-break-up discussion.

- Erm, Damon just because you die, vampires made from you won't die. You ain't an Original, bb. Overinflating yourself there a bit, huh? (Or rather the writers got their lore a wee bit mixed up, I think. Mmmhmm.)

I take it back, I misheard Damon's line. He was joking about starting a baseball team with all of Elena's doppelgangers on the Other Side (him, Amara and Katherine), hahaha. Oh, Damon.

- Oh, I'm OK with the lack of Damon/Elena-ness in the start of the season now because I think I know why they did it so. With the pretty much dunzo-state of Stefan/Elena, they probably figured that throwing tons of Damon/Elena left and right on-screen would be bad business when it came on the heels of Stefan hearing Elena declaration of love, before the only thing keeping them apart really is Katherine taking over Elena and the only Stefan/Elena they'll get is a few scenes walking down memory lane and Stefan and Not!Elena while they set up Stefan and Caroline. So I can be patient now. I get it.

So, very good episode. It was co-penned by Rebecca Sonnenshine (and Holly Brix). I generally really like Sonnenshine episodes on first viewing and then love them on second and then love them more and more on subsequent viewings, so I rather expect that to happen with this one too. Right now, I don't think it was awesome-sauce like last week, but I LOVED last week, and damnit, it gets demerit points because NO ELENA! GIMME BACK MY ELENA! But, that may change as time passes. I don't think so with this one, see NO ELENA! {POUTY FACE} Still, very good ep and I shall miss my show until it comes back, sigh. February 27th. Double sigh. Still really enjoying this season even if it's not boom-boom-boom, it's still really good-good-good!
Tags: damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/jeremy, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, katherine pierce, matt donovan, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv
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