Shockingly enough, I liked this one. What? You're not shocked? Hee! I just broke this one down into section, although I delved into Damon and Elena a bit in a few sections (not shocking either, I know!). Enjoy. :)
Let's just get right to it, shall we? As a shipper, I was noooooooo, but on the other hand, both Damon and Elena were right. He should have seen through it. She did run into his arms. They'd been together for four months; he should have realized she wouldn't just end things. Instead, he bought it, and then just on a dime, killed someone in cold blood to prove a point, and not just anyone, but someone that Elena cared about. But, they were wrong when they said they are toxic, because they aren't toxic together, they make each other better. What is toxic is how Damon keeps fighting them being together and trying to prove that he's not good enough for her by constantly giving into his worst instincts. And Elena has too little life experience to recognize that and help him overcome those demons (because, yes, she does need to help him because they do need to be in this together), and Damon has too little self-esteem -- but that right there is why we're at this juncture in the story. Damon didn't realize it was Katherine and did buy her breaking his heart because he has too little self-esteem, and Elena doesn't have the life experience because she is only 18 and doesn't help fight those demons as thoroughly as she should because she isn't used to having to carry that kind of weight on her young shoulders. That takes time to learn how to do. Mistakes--freaking huge mistakes--are going to be made.
But the love is there and it's strong and it's real. It's not just lust driving them (despite the ultra-hot sexytiems ending the episode--woohoo!), you could tell that by the way their pauses in the midst of the passion where they were just lost in each other's eyes, the way she kept caressing his face with one finger during their kisses, the way his fingers caressed her palm as he slid his hand to entwine with hers (and talk about adding a unique, sensuous touch to a standard love scene trope!). That was not a sex scene; that was a love scene.
Now, you know these were coming!
*Sigh* And no Stefan and Caroline musings, interruptions, nothing! Just Damon and Elena and sexytiems!
And before that--screech! OK, wait... before that--erm! OK, wait... before that... There were a plethora of some awesome-sauce phone calls. Even the last one which didn't end all that awesome-sauce-ly, it still had Damon trying to calm her down, being the supportive, there-for-you boyfriend (even though they did break up, technically, like three months ago). And before that!! Ah, it was so wonderful. The 'hey you's', the 'distract me/what are you wearing?', the smiles, Elena playing with her hair, not wanting Damon to come over because she doesn't look pretty, the 'I'm gonna hunt you down and give you the most mind-blowing night of your life' (promise kept!). Elena not wanting him to come over because she looks gross, her twirling as she talks to him. It's just like OMG! I could watch those scenes over and over and over again (spoiler alert! I will).
But then things started to (quote Damon) go downhill. First the venom started to send her spiraling, she accused Damon of lying to her, broke her phone, found out he killed Aaron and then the big confrontation in the boarding house. In front of the fireplace. Of course. I mention below in my "Elena" section how Elena doesn't say anything to her friends about how upsetting it is that none of them realized it was Katherine and not her, but of course Elena DOES say something to Damon and I LOVE that, I absolutely, positively love that because see NOT toxic. Overall, Damon and Elena actually, totally DO NOT have a toxic relationship and this is a sign of that because like the best of their relationship before they got together and they started futzing things up by keeping stuff from each other, they were always honest with each other and glory be, I really hope this is the start of that again.
Really, this is a GOOD thing. Yes, it's painful right now because all the honest things they were sharing were REALLY painful, but it's good in the long run--and we have 07 episodes left this season and at least one more season to go and Damon and Elena are totally THE couple--because they NEED to be honest because they DO love each other, because they do make each other better and because they can't quit each other. They spoke about it negatively, but their love for each other, the "control" they have for each other is a good thing because it's not control. It's love, it's a selfless caring for the other that allows you to unconditionally forgive them and be able to trust in that love completely. That is a rare and precious gift and they have given it to each other.
It hurts now, it does (well, aside from the really hot sexytiems, woohoo!), but I don't see how this isn't a good thing in the long run, I just don't. And to end this section on an even happier note. FINALLY! An uninterrupted Damon/Elena love scene! Woohoo!! And did ya'll notice? Damon said: "This has to end. Elena: "It just did. It's over with. Over." They stared at each other and then fell into each other’s arms, boom! goes the music, the first lyric soars over them: "Nooooooo."
This has to end. It just did. It's over with. Over. No!ELENA
Elena! My BB girl!! I'VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!! Of course it sucks that she's such a wreck, but still... ELENA!!! SMUSHES AND KISSES OF LOVE FOR ELENA'S FULL RETURN! YAY! YAY! YAY! I loved her little smiles and her happiness before the full weight of the venom in the serum began to hit her, her little flirting with Damon, her little twirls in the hallway as she was talking on the phone, her concern over things she missed, her "Katherine is *such* a bitch, her just, you know, Elena-ness. ELENA!
And, ugh, ugh, ugh, Katherine! When Elena opened her diary and saw that Katherine had written in it and Elena saw those entries, I just felt so bad for her and I completely understood why she started that bonfire. It was like I wrote in "No Exit," how I felt like Katherine was violating Elena's body. This Was Elena here feeling that feeling of how Katherine had violated her life. Her clothes, her diary, her toothbrush, her very soul. Katherine Pierce had touched every part of her life, her loves, her friends, her family and had tarnished it. Those hallucinations were awful because obviously they did have a bit of truth to them. To find out that she was replaceable for that long can't be anything but heartbreaking. (Because obviously the show is going with the weird 2-3 weeks thing even though it doesn't quite mesh timeline wise, but, hey, this is The Vampire Diaries, timeline are not your brain's friend.) And of course she's not going to call out any of her friends about it. Not Bonnie or Caroline. Not Matt or Jeremy or Stefan. Only Damon, only Damon will she be honest with. But I loved that we got that insight. I really do.
* Yes, technically Elena spat it out to Bonnie when she was trying to get Liv to drop the barrier, but that wasn't really Elena talking at that point, that was a blood-hungry, hallucination-driven, out-of-her mind Elena. The real Elena not in some venom-induced psychotic situation would never have said that to Bonnie.
And it's funny because I was watching that first scene, her dancing up there on the bar-top and she started to remove her top and I thought it was kinda out of character, but then thought, well, she did just come out of a crazy situation and she does have that weird serum/venom in her so I guess she'd act a little off... I guess. So, good on the show. Because I did think she was acting kinda un-Elena-like, but even I, as a viewer, who knows all of the crazy that goes on on this show, automatically began to make an excuse for her behavior. It really does kind of give weight to why her friends would make excuses for her off behavior when Katherine took over. And, of course, Katherine wasn't nearly as off as Elena was envisioning in her mind.
Such as the Not!Elena/Stefan make-out in the motel room. If that scenario had played out like that? Yeah, Stefan would have known it was not Elena right then and there. Katherine was a lot more subtle than that, LOL! I did get a kick out of how well Elena's brain plays out the brother's sibling-mental-regression with each other though once Damon showed up in that little hallucination. Ahem, but speaking of Stefan and that whole situation, I like that Elena brought that up and out in the open and how things were clarified. Stefan made it clear that it truly began to dawn on him that it wasn't Elena when she kissed him... unspoken because Elena wouldn't have kissed him. And I kept thinking of how Elena had said that to Stefan about Damon when she was him (when Katherine had kissed Damon pretending to be her), but yet Elena *had* kissed Damon. And then even though her and Stefan were apart, they hadn't technically broken up when she and Damon kissed in "The New Deal" and made out in "Heart of Darkness." So basically, yeah, Elena's feelings for Damon just grew to an irresistible level and what she felt for Stefan, well, just no match there. I liked how all of that was conveyed in just a few short sentences without any of it actually being said, but it was pretty clear. Good writing (cuz Caroline Dries is an awesome writer).
OK, folks, so I'm taking what I can get here which admittedly is not much. Look, the bottom line is that Jeremy and Matt may not have been all that nice to Damon in this one (nor was Damon particularly hearts and flowers back), but their less-than-sweet attitude was understandable, and I have to take into account that they *were* spending their time taking care of Damon instead of you know, living their lives. Yes, they were doing their part, but how easy would it have been to "forget" to check on Damon, "forget" a feeding or two? Very, but they didn't. They were there, they stuck around. And even after the threatening and the stupid shit that Damon pulled, they still feel safe enough with him to basically tease and insult him. So, yeah, I'm taking what I can get. Yes, yes, Tyler stuck around the first day, but that was when they didn't know the danger level and how strong Damon was and Tyler as a Hybrid was the strongest and it was for safety reasons and I don't care if I'm making up excuses, it works for me, so there!
Then there was the Damon and Jeremy specific interaction. I found it interesting how Jeremy didn't seem bothered that Damon had threatened to kill him or was threatening to do so again casually, he was just upset about the whole Enzo/strangling thing. And I can understand that. It's not like Damon doesn't threaten to kill Jeremy on a regular basis. Again, he did it during their conversation here. And I go back to what I said before, I think they all knew that Damon would never actually kill Jeremy himself, it was bringing Enzo into it that was the issue. The threat to Jeremy was just Damon being a big, stupid, asshole baby who couldn't get over his broken heart and was taking it out on Elena's brother, not a real thing. Plus, Damon has complete faith in Bonnie, he knew she'd do what had to be done, but Enzo hurt Jeremy and *that* pissed Jeremy off. So, yeah, Jeremy should be pissed. Now, I still believe (hope?) that something is going to happen with Damon and Jeremy towards the end of the season, but until then, I guess their relationship is back to normal-ish, leaning towards the antagonistic side. :shrug:
As for the Damon and Matt specifics, yeah, I'm gonna enjoy every little bit (OK, except when Damon is threatening to kill him, sigh), so I did get a kick out of the "too much sexting with Elena?" and smirk from Matt and Damon's irritated response of "How 'bout you never say that again?" Heh. I also appreciated that Damon didn't even try and play Matt for the fool like he did dumbass Tyler because Matt isn't even remotely as brain-dead as Tyler-Useless-As-Bread-in-Water-Lockwood.
*Sigh* And I know that Damon did totes threaten to kill Matt, removing the ring and all, but I actually didn't have the slightest problem with it and after the fact, I kinda think that Matt and Jeremy really didn't either once they realized what was at stake. I think they also realized what was at stake and that Damon never actually planned on killing Matt, he just needed to show them the seriousness of the situation. And doing what he did would do so. But, of course, you all know I've got me some Damon/Matt/Jeremy blinders, LOL!
So the Stefan and Caroline bonding continues which I'm finding much enjoyment with. And really that's just all. I just love their interaction. Paul Wesley and Caroline Accola just have wonderful chemistry, and play off of each other beautifully. It doesn't matter what kind of scene they have, the serious ones, the expository scenes, the light, jokey ones, all of them just work for me. I just like watching them on my screen. Obviously I want something romantic to happen with them eventually because they are my secondary OTP on this show, but honestly, I can live with that never happening as long as we continue to see them share lots and lots of scenes together being this close because they are just SO GOOD together. SQUEE! I ♥ them so. :)
However, that does not mean that I'm onboard for some potential Caroline and new accent-guy! Alright, I know that Enzo isn't new, but he's new to Caroline, and I don't think that I am down with this potential here. I mean, even in their few scenes tonight, I'm sorry, ya'll, but I just was not feeling *anything* like at all. So, I'm gonna say.... no. So if you're thinking of going there, show, I vote nay.
SPECIAL SECTION: TAKE 01 -- THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMM....
- So that was an unexpected twist there with Liv, the thinks-she's-too-cool-for-school-wannabe-w
- Oh, and shockingly enough, Bonnie and all of her friends (i.e., our beloved--minus the not-missed at all Tyler-2009 through 2014 Mr. Useless of the Universe Winner-Lockwood--Scooby Gang are in danger. Oh, noes! Do you all think this will come to a head through episodes 20-22?
- Another related "Hmmm..." Why did Luke call Bonnie "their" little anchor?
- So at long last the Travelers are definitely coming into play now and we're finally gonna get some answers. Booyah!
- I don't remember if I speculated about it in any of my write-ups, but I know I talked about it with friends, but I always figured there were other doppelgangers out there. It just made sense to me what with Stefan being technically dead and all and with there supposed to be a balance at all. So, cool. What I wonder is will Caroline be able to go through with it? Yes, yes, of course, Stefan is her One True Love (Shut up!) and it's him or Paramedic!Doppel who bites it, but can she really just kill an innocent human in cold blood? Especially one who looks like her One True Love (I said, SHADDUP!)? Again, things that make you go hmmm.......
SPECIAL SECTION: TAKE 02 -- PARALLELS and CALLBACKS...
- I liked the fact that Stefan's doppelganger was a paramedic considering that Stefan told Elena all the way back in season 01, episode 10 ("The Turning Point") that he'd wanted to be a doctor before the whole vampire-blood issue came up. It was a nice little call-back.
- Not exactly a fun parallel, but definitely intentional I think since Caroline Dries was the sole writer of both episodes at play. In "Dangerous Liaisons," Damon told Elena he loved her (in the midst of him running around stopping her from making bunches of
As depressing as both moments were, I do think it's OK because while there is a kernel of truth here, the problem isn't them. And this "problem" word that they are throwing about only comes up in these moments of crises when they have not properly been communicating! That is the key here. Note that the issue in 3.14 came about after a few weeks of the two not seeing eye to eye/communicating because Stefan had come back into the picture, Damon had felt pushed out and had basically relegated himself to the outskirts of any kind of close relationship with Elena. So their communication at that point was pretty much kaput. And now... DUN DUN DUN! I talked a lot in the first couple of episodes (and it came up in other episodes--not so big, but bigger later) about how Damon and Elena were not being honest with each other, they weren't telling each other things and how that wasn't like what they were pre-romantic relationship... well, now it's biting them in the ass! Because they weren't properly communicating and this is what's resulting. Damon wasn't open with her, she didn't push him--even though she knew that he needed it. And she wasn't open with him. She didn't tell him about the weird Stefan feelings, which opened up that wedge of insecurity that was then widened by the doppelganger mess. And on and on, a bunch of little things they just didn't tell each other about, they stopped communicating.
And here we are... suddenly: Problem. But it makes sense and it certainly, completely, definitively fits the history of these characters and their relationship and I prefer that they get it out now and deal with it. And I'm grateful that their love (and lust) is so there and strong for each other that it's keeping them tied to each other so they can work out the communication issues to deal with that pesky "problem." Because they are not the problem. Their love is not the problem. The two of them not trusting in their love is the problem. Damon wouldn't go flying off half-cocked and do the things he shouldn't do if he would just trust in her, communicate with her, share with her. And Elena wouldn't have to keep readjusting her moral compass if she would be open and honest with Damon, share the pain and worries about everything instead of keeping it wrapped up tight inside simply because she's so used to doing just that, to be the strong one, with everyone else in her life.
- Finally! A fun parallel, I guess, it's a parallel, or just a Damon/Elena thing. Or rather, a Nina/Ian-character-related thing because the first gif? Yeah, that ain't Elena.
So, yeah, any time a Nina Dobrev-flavored character makes out with an Ian Somerhalder-flavored character (notably, yes, Elena and Damon), she rips off his shirt. It's a thing. Uh huh.
- A+ episode from Nina Dobrev. She just rocked it out of the park. I missed the heck out of Elena and Dobrev returned her in fine (if sad, pathetic, my heart was breaking in a million pieces for her, but she was still totally bad-ass and smart and kick-ass and awesome and I love her to bits!) form.
One of my favorite moments was that little head-tilt after Damon told her he'd killed Aaron as she tried to process it and then the look on her face as he waited for her to say something. Oh, Elena. Seriously, she broke my heart tonight.
- Speaking of awesome... the actor who is playing Luke, Chris Brochu, is really, really good. I mean, that guy just fit in smooth, like buttah! I swear, I was wracking my brain for a second or two trying to remember if I'd seen him at the Bitter Ball, he was so natural and effortless with Elena. I completely bought that he was a regular character who'd been around. And then the flip to the not-so-good guy at the end there? Nicely done. Really fantastic job.
- And speaking of fantastic... looks like Enzo is sticking around a bit and slowly working his way into the group. Nice. Hmm.... maybe he will turn out to be a better friend to Damon then I originally imagined. We will see. I sure hope so, cuz, boy could sure use it. As long as he stops encouraging Damon's worst habits and is a true, good friend to Damon, I'm for it. I do like the guy lots. And, hee, I gotta say I ADORED his little wave goodbye to Stefan. Haha! I mean, I may love Enzo, but Stefan sure don't, LOL!
- Gotta love Vampire Diaries using the Georgia locale whenever they can. Atlanta paramedic for the win!
- Ooh, Smart!Elena, using Bonnie's words to placate her before she grabbed that thing-a-ma-jig to gut Liv to force her to lower the seal. That's my girl! And, ooh, both her and Damon using their smarts to break out of their serum-forced prisons. My bbs are so perfect for each other. Pfft, toxic, indeed! Hah!
- Man, I felt so bad for Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev doing that 'I killed Aaron!/No, I killed Aaron!' confession scene outside. It was clearly sooooooo cold. Their puffs of breath were so clear it was distracting in the scene, poor things.
- So, yeah, Damon and Elena broke up again without actually getting back together. OK then, that's Damon and Elena, doing things their own special way. Uh huh.
- Sigh, Elena told Damon that she wanted to fight for him, double sigh... if only. Grrr, stupid, Katherine. That would have just done wonders for Damon and his feelings of less-than. Stupid, stupid, stupid Katherine. May you rot in hell (or wherever that mystical place of darkness you were sent, just stay there and rot).
Well, another episode and I'm feeling good! Three-quarters of the way through the season and I'm still happy as a clam and loving my show to bits, kibbles and bits!!! Woohoo!! One more episode before we have to deal with one more stupid hiatus. Grr!