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03 May 2014 @ 04:17 am
5.20 - 'What Lies Beneath' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Another Thursday night, another Vampire Diaries episode. Yay! As always, my thoughts behind the cut.

I did like it, but I didn't uber love it. This was an interesting episode because it had a lot of truly great things about it, but unfortunately there were some not-so-great aspects at play as well. Foremost was the fact that there were too many moments that didn't make sense because they were TV-based or plot as opposed to character- or reality-based.

For instance, why didn't Damon hear Elena cry out in that final scene? He had just walked away. When she was being drowned, he could hear her cry his name from downstairs, but couldn't hear her call out in agony from a dozen or so feet away? And speaking of the earlier bathroom scene… why did Damon grab a towel to cover Elena up first before helping her?

The former was so that Elena could get captured more easily. That's clearly and solely a plot-based machination. It pulled me out of the moment because instead of focusing on the fact that the Travelers were capturing Elena, I was wondering why the hell Damon wasn't running outside to help Elena. It didn't make sense. That's where a better script comes in. That's where you simply add that Damon ran out and got taken out by one of the Travelers with a spell so they could nab Elena. Easy-peasy and doesn't make the writers look like they made a big boo-boo by, oh, forgetting Damon and his super-vampire hearing. And as for the latter, TV constraints. You can't show a naked woman on network television, OK, fine. Well, that's directorial fail. If you watch that scene closely, you wouldn't have actually been able to see any of her naughty bits until *after* Damon had pulled her from the water and calmed her down. So, he could have pulled her from the water, and then grabbed the towel. Simple fix, but for some reason, not what was done. And again, as I was watching it, I found myself wondering why Damon was grabbing a towel *first* to protect her modesty instead of pulling her out from the water where she was freaking the ever-loving fuck out. He's seen her naked. A lot. And, yeah, things are a bit squirrely with them right now, but I think she'd be OK with him seeing her naked in this instance.

And those are just two examples. There were more throughout the episode, just littered here and there. This is a sign of not the strongest script or the strongest direction. Normally on this show when one isn't top-notch, the other balances it out. In this case, neither was able to do so. There were just too many clichéd moments that fell victim to standards & practices or plot whether it made much sense or not that kept pulling me out of the moment and I'm not used to that with The Vampire Diaries.

It's easier for me to hound on the direction because it's Joshua Butler and anyone who's read my write-ups of his past episodes already knows that I'm not particularly a fan. You won't find much praise of his work here with this episode again, although I did like a few things. My main issue remains his inability to find subtlety and nuance in the scripts. Therefore, once again, we have to rely on the actors to find those hints and figure out what narrative they are supposed to be selling.

So when Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Candice Accola acted out the scene at the car what were they relying on? To play Stefan and Elena as friends with an undercurrent of romantic feelings still there so that Caroline could misinterpret it? Or just as friends completely? And did Accola play it as someone who understood she was jealous or wanted to believe something was going on with them and was happy but didn't want to get her hopes up? Until the scene in the woods with Elena and Caroline, I wasn't sure that it was that she didn't know what it was she was feeling.

And it wasn't until I went back and rewatched the episode that was I able to pin down what we were supposed to get from that scene. That's directorial fail. And this is what always happens when Butler directs episodes. There is simply no clear direction if there is any kind of nuance in the scenes. Also, he doesn't linger; he doesn't let you get a feel for the sense of things. You don't get to taste the flavor, the essence. It's all so cut and dried that the intensity doesn't fill you.

Also (a big also), there should have been a mounting sexual tension in the brief moments that Damon and Elena shared. There wasn't. We should have seen heated looks between them during that parlor game. There weren't any. We should have seen tension ratcheted up between them. There was none built. Nothing. Other than the final scene where the camera held on their individual faces and then a long shot of the two looking at each other—which could have been held a beat or two longer—there was no tension created by the direction at all. Which is insane.

And forget sexual tension. What about tension period?! The four of them, plus Luke, are there in danger. The Travelers out to take Stefan and Elena and make them their blood puppets and kill them. And there was no tension! No build, no nothing. You've got a vengeful ghost walking around who can manipulate physical objects. A pack of crazy, more-powerful-than-witches Travelers trying to track you down. Star-crossed lovers who have been avoiding each other even though they are desperately, passionately in love because they think they're not good for each other. A second pair of friends who clearly have deeper feelings that are simmering under the surface. Two friends, past lovers, who are keeping a huge secret from someone they both dearly love. And your director is incapable of putting ANY freaking tension on display! Seriously?! Please, for the love of all things Vampire Diaries, send this guy over to The Originals and make the last season of my show all the better for it, I beg of you, please TVD gods!

*sigh* Speaking of direction… I wanted to amend what I said about the last episode. I no longer think that my issue was with director Michael Allowitz. As I added to that post, after watching “What Lies Beneath,” while I like Michael Malarkey and think he's a charismatic actor, I don't think that he's necessarily the strongest actor and “Man On Fire” was driven very much by him. I think the lack of verve that I felt from that episode I can now lay to rest at his feet as opposed to the direction because the previous episodes directed by Allowitz have all been particularly fine outings in the directorial department.

*Phew* OK, I got my directorial rant out. I'm good. The script, as written by Elisabeth Finch and Holly Brix was good, with stuffs that was very good, and moments of great. The lapses in logic just bothered me, but could have been overcome by stronger direction and the good stuff was really, really good. Like the Damon and Stefan stuff.

As I suspected, one of the main reasons that Stefan didn't want to tell Damon about Enzo was because he was afraid that it would hurt the relationship that they'd been rebuilding. I loved that. And I loved that Stefan wouldn't let it go. Even though he was the one who suggested they talk about it later and deal with the big issue going on, Stefan needed Damon to know. He just couldn't let it go.

And I just freaking love that they are communicating so damn much now. Stefan tells him that he didn't want Damon to know because he didn't want Damon to hate him. And Damon admits that he would have done the same thing. And that he's most upset that Stefan didn't tell him. But then, even more importantly, he admits that he's the most upset because Enzo is his friend and he blames himself because he should have known that Enzo was dead without anyone telling him. Damon actually told Stefan that, opened up that way to Stefan, like whoah! And then he made sure Stefan got out of there while he dealt with Enzo. Like a big brother should. And it just took one punch, which Stefan took like a man, and then they were cool.

     

I just love the Salvatore brothers so much and these last few episodes have really given me a lot of great stuff with them that I've adored.

What I also adore is how the Damon and Elena love story is playing out. Firstly, can I say how much I loved that Damon did not spend a single, solitary second worrying about Stefan and Elena at all? Even when Caroline brought it up, he didn't bat an eyelash. He immediately connected it to Elena's (very bad) lying earlier about Enzo. Even when Caroline said they spent 20 minutes collecting firewood together or questioned/heavily implied that Elena had kissed Stefan that day, Damon just didn't even remotely have a care that Stefan was part of their problem.

It's like once he found out that the doppelganger prophecy was all a lie, any remaining fear he had that the two of them were meant to be just went away because he does know that Elena loves him. He does believe in that. Right now, their issues are all internal. Stefan has nothing to do with that, which goes back to what Damon told Andie all the way back in "Daddy Issues." Another guy was never the problem. It was always Damon himself.

Damon: I'm in love with a woman I can never have.
Andie: [...] So, why can't you have her? She's with another man, I assume?
Damon: Yeah. but that's not the point. The point is, I'm in love with her, and that drives me crazy. I'm not in control.
Andie: You don't trust yourself around her?
Damon: I don't trust myself around anyone, Andie. I'm bad, Andie. I do things. I kill people. [...]
Andie: Why do you kill people?
Damon: Because I like it. It's in my nature, it's who I am. But then, I have to stay together to protect her, and she wants me to be the better man, which means I can't be who I am. Do you see the problem I'm having, Andie?
Andie: Well, maybe this is who you are now. Love does that Damon, it changes us.
And isn't that still the crux of the issue now and what we're dealing with? Who Damon is, how he's changed, is changing? Isn't that what we've seen happening over the course of the last couple of seasons, hell, over the series? Damon said that in this scene in mid-season 02, and Elena brought it up in "Heart of Darkness" in late season 03. It came up in season 04 and it's come up throughout this season bunches with the two of them together as a couple, on and off. And now here's Damon saying he's not doing it, he's not spiraling because he saw what Elena's reaction was to him doing exactly that and it was bad. Very, very bad. She was willing to take him back despite all of the other stuff, but his spiraling was too much.

And he's realizing that he loves her more than he likes killing people. That he loves being with her, loves who he is with her more than he loves who he is when he's spiraling. Even though they aren't together right now, he's making the right choices, he's being the better man. Because it's not just that he's changing… it's that he has already changed, but it is even better than that because he is still changing. He's a work in progress. And he's getting there, I think he's beginning to realize that he's a better work in progress with Elena by his side than pushed away.

As much as The Vampire Diaries is a story about Elena's journey into adulthood, and about the brother's journey to reconciliation, and Stefan's journey to self-love, Damon's journey, one of romantic love, is tied up with Elena because she is his love (and I think Elena's is tied up with Damon's too if you look into it, oh heck, they are all connected). I just don't see how anyone could watch that final scene with them, how it was set up at this point in the series—with just two episodes left in this, the second to last season—with those kind of lyrics playing over them* and not see that, yes, they are it, these two are the couple.

And, yes, I gave Joshua Butler a lot of bunk earlier, but I really did love how he shot this scene. The close up on Damon's face, and then Elena's and then the long shot as the two stared at one another before Damon strode forward and kissed her and then the camera zooming in on the two as they kissed was beautifully done. Especially that zooming in on the kiss. I did really love that.

 
 

*"Chemical" by Kerli is the song that played over the scene with the second verse being where you can really hear the lyrics:

Every time the darkness falls around me
I can feel you move beneath my skin
Eh and something strange is happening inside me
Don't know where you end and I begin
I want you to know

This love is more than chemical
It feels unusual
And I can't get enough
You know-oh-oh
This love is more than chemical
And we're unbreakable
Oh be forevermore
More than chemical
I mean, really, playing a song with these kinds of lyrics? Yeah, *this* is your show's OTP, folks. Uh huh.

Adding to that belief is what is happening with Stefan and Caroline because if we thought they were planting the seeds before, boy, oh, boy are they planting them deep down. There were so many obvious things in this episode that pointed to more than friend-ly feelings. The fact that Caroline was upset when watching Elena and Stefan interacting at the car, and when she talked to Damon about it, she wasn't all too keen to tell him. In the past, one would imagine that she would have been nearly gleeful to point out to him that, of course, Stefan and Elena were slipping back into their old patterns.

So many small things, her making it clear to Stefan that he was delusional to think there was anything there between her and Enzo. Stefan finding an excuse to touch her face. Just, you know, little things. Then there was the obvious conversation in the woods with Elena and Caroline where Elena basically called Caroline out on the fact that Caroline was the one who made it awkward, pushing about some big secret Stefan/Elena "thing." And the less-obvious grumbling way she said "Team Stelena," and the way that Stefan not only felt the need to explain himself to Caroline, but more importantly *how* he explained himself. One of the things I've always said in regards to Stefan and how he is with Elena is that he always tried to present the best version of himself to her. And what did he say to Caroline? Now it's becoming important to him that Caroline doesn't think any less of him. Uh huh, uh huh.

Yuppers, it's all adding up to Stefan and Caroline. Eventually.

OK, time for randoms –

- Aww, when Damon came to her for the kiss, Elena's face automatically turned up to him for it.

- So, uhm, Tyler is gone, yes? YES?!?! I mean, the free-the-passenger-from-the-host-body knives are all gone, so Tyler Lockwood is officially gone now, right? Can I do a happy dance?!

- OK, ya'll know I love Jeremy and Bonnie, but didn't their scenes feel oddly out of place for some reason? Or was that just some more of Butler wonky direction at work?

- Hmm, Matty-boy there was showing some awful-Damon-like tendencies there. I do kinda wish Elena was around to see that. She really needs a refresher course that she's been viewing her relationship with Damon in a vacuum. The whole Scooby Gang does morally questionable things all the time to protect their own.

- Ooh, Damon you're so smart, figuring out Enzo's plan. OK, fine, Caroline helped a bit what with the reminder that it's not like Enzo could actually drown Elena. Uhm, speaking of... when Enzo said "smart girl, I can see why you like her." Which "you" was he referring to? (See what I mean by not so strong script and direction?) I mean, the other "you's" he'd been referring to were all Damon, but no one would refer to Damon liking Caroline at this stage in the game, so he must have been referring to Stefan, but there was no quick camera shot to Stefan to indicate that Enzo was referring to Stefan. So.... yeah, ugh, Butler.

- Grr, stupid Stefan, Damon doesn't lie to Elena on a regular basis. That would be your gig. Didn't really like that line at all, or how Elena just shrugged like, yeah, true dat. So not true dat. Stefan is the casual Salvatore who lies, not Damon. Get that right, non-regular writers.

- Oh, heads-up for those who didn't see my quick Originals-related post. For some reason, Julie Plec decided to impart some clear-cut information on what is going on with the Other Side on that show on Tuesday's episode instead of on, you know, The Vampire Diaries because, I don't know, she lives to continue to prove to the universe that she doesn't give a rat's ass about TVD anymore, I guess. Anyhoo, here's the deets: Klaus said that he spoke with a certain Bennett witch in Mystic Falls and she basically said that the Other Side is disintegrating and that once it's gone for good, all of the other supernatural creatures over there will go poof!, bye-bye forever. (Why Bonnie is talking to Klaus as if no big is beyond me, but OK, and why Bonnie suddenly knew that information all clear-cut when she didn't know it the last episode of TVD, who knows? But hey, see first line of this bullet point, re: Julie Plec.)

- I continue to adore any and all Damon and Caroline scenes. They remain such wonderfully delicious friendly antagonists who do care about each other.

- I loved that when they were torturing Tulian (?) Jyler (?) (Nope, that's the slash name for Jeremy/Tyler, we'll go with Tulian), Jeremy mentioning saving Elena and not Stefan. Not that I don't love my boo, but I love any proof that I'm right and that Jeremy really don't give two figs about Stefan, LOL!

- I wonder if the Other Side is actually going to disintegrate? Hmmm... And if so, does that mean (gulp!) that Bon-Bon is gonna permanently go bye-bye at end of the season? They only threaten to basically kill off Bonnie every season. Well, technically they did last season, but you know what I mean.

- I liked the coming full circle of the burning man with Enzo and Damon.

- OK, I do like Enzo, but if Damon is gonna figure out a way to bring someone back from the Other Side, I want Alaric, not Enzo! HELLO! And Tessa. I've randomly decided I want Alaric and Tessa to hook up on the other side and come back together to the mortal realm, ie. here, earth, with our gang. Yuppers. Uh huh.

- Going back to Damon and Caroline... Taking the pen and slipping it on his shirt. Hee! His face! Gah, his face, it just kills me!! And how snugly he slips it on. Haha!

 

- OK, Tyler turning into a wolf to escape at the beginning was mondo cool. It truly was cool. You may be gone, Tyler (pretty please) but you went out cool at least.

-Elena called out Damon's name when she was freaking out. You know I had to mention that. Of course.

- Poor Luke, stuck out on in the cold, sitting on the hard porch while the gang is inside, drinking Damon-made cocktails in front of the cozy fireplace, playing games! Speaking of...

- Another parallel I can honestly say that I never thought I would see between Damon and Elena, but there ya go. Damon and Elena playing parlor games! (ALARIC! JENNA! ALARIC!!)

 

- Aww, Caroline saying that it was good news they could get inside the cabin, and then her face dropping as it hit her it was sad news when you think about it, a reminder that her dad was dead. Again, this show... never forgets family.

- Always nice to see Grams.

- Yup, Stefan is over Elena. He was totally being a girl bestie, telling her about Damon taking her home the other night, teasing her about how Damon tucked her in, read her a bedtime story. He's so trying to get those crazy kids back together. Awww.

- I'm 99.9999999999% positive this is completely wrong, but wouldn't it be cool if the season ender involved the doppelgangers having to be separated and sent in different directions? Like Elena takes off with Damon and Luke one way, and Stefan with Caroline and Liv in another. And next season, we start out in three different locations with the Travelers weakened because they are split up trying to track them down. Again, I'm pretty dang sure it wouldn't happen, but it would be cool.

Anyhoo, it was a very good episode. Unfortunately, as some of you may have guessed by the lateness of the post, I wasn't feeling 100% so that affected my mood watching it so it might actually be better than even my rewatch allowed. I do think a better script and direction would have made for an even better episode, but even less-than episodes of this show are still great in my opinion. I really have no idea where they are going, but I look forward to the next two episodes. I've really loved this season overall.

A quick plea... if you're reading, let me know. I'd really appreciate the feedback.
 
 
 
jairem08: pic#122702267jairem08 on May 3rd, 2014 08:44 am (UTC)
Thank you for your review. Was waiting for it with anticipation. I will get back here a bit later as I need to leave now but will leave my bit here then.
I loved all DE scenes. They just made my day. If anything their OTP status was cemented for me.
Back soon
PS - by the way a little silly comment - travellers are apparently supposed to speak Czech - I'm Czech, what the travellers are speaking is pure gibberish. I have to actually laugh. I'm not talking about the chanting. Damon even mentioned the language this episode. It is not about pronunciation it is just not Czech whatsoever. Funny.
Arabian: Damon09arabian on May 4th, 2014 06:17 am (UTC)
I loved all DE scenes. They just made my day. If anything their OTP status was cemented for me.

Yeah, this episode really did cement their OTP status indeed.

PS - by the way a little silly comment - travellers are apparently supposed to speak Czech - I'm Czech, what the travellers are speaking is pure gibberish. I have to actually laugh. I'm not talking about the chanting. Damon even mentioned the language this episode. It is not about pronunciation it is just not Czech whatsoever. Funny.

Not silly at all. It reminds me about when Nina Dobrev was talking about Katherine speaking Bulgarian. She looked over the dialogue (since she knows it) and had her mother look over it, since her mother REALLY knows the language and it was really off, like it'd just been run through google translate, so her mom fixed it. I imagine the same thing happened here with the Czech "language" happened here. LOL!
Bogwitch: TVD - Damon Won't Tellbogwitch on May 3rd, 2014 02:46 pm (UTC)
Did you manage to convert anyone with your Joshua Butler rants on Tumblr?

Totally agree about those two things taking the viewer out of the moment, I was thinking the exact same thing. I often have similar thoughts about the recapping conversations we seem to get at the start of each episode. There are ways of getting that information to the viewer (including the previouslies) that don’t mean that characters have to have awkward conversations about stuff they are both well aware of.

Taking about the lack of tension or looks in the parlour game, I confess I’m a bit confused as to what Damon was meant to expressing during it. He was clearly uncomfortable, but was that because of Elena, the secret or the game itself?

Here I go on Enzo again… My personal take on Enzo failing in the last episode is, yeah Michael didn’t quite sell it well enough, but then the episode all hung on a periphery character we still don’t really know that well, certainly not enough to care that much about (and I feel like I should also be saying something about the power dynamics between Damon and Enzo in captivity and out, because who is dominant seems to depend on circumstance, but I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on this yet). It also didn’t help that I wasn’t that impressed by Maggie either.

I am yet to be convinced by Jeremy and Bonnie as a couple at all. It feels very much to me as if they are together to give each someone to interact with, I do not believe they are all that attracted to each other.

>>when Enzo said "smart girl, I can see why you like her." Which "you" was he referring to?

I was hoping you would tell me. :)
Arabian: Damon14arabian on May 4th, 2014 06:18 am (UTC)
Did you manage to convert anyone with your Joshua Butler rants on Tumblr?

Hah! No. I had a few people agree with me, though, but obviously they were people who already felt that way.

I often have similar thoughts about the recapping conversations we seem to get at the start of each episode.

That doesn't bother me because it's not so much about getting information to the viewer, but also about bringing the characters into play and getting their take on things which is a good way of seeing how different characters think and react to things.

that don’t mean that characters have to have awkward conversations about stuff they are both well aware of

Like last week *and* this week Elena telling Stefan that Damon doesn't want to see her. Both times it was clear that Stefan already knew, but it wasn't about letting viewers know, it was about letting viewers know how much this was bothering Elena. I don't know, this isn't something that I've ever found bothers me on TVD, I think they do a good job of organically, naturally bringing up information. :shrugs:

Taking about the lack of tension or looks in the parlour game, I confess I’m a bit confused as to what Damon was meant to expressing during it. He was clearly uncomfortable, but was that because of Elena, the secret or the game itself?

The secret is what I thought it was, but the fact that anyone was confused as to what it was goes to directorial fail. That scene should have been hilarious and awesome. What a wasted opportunity. *sigh*

Here I go on Enzo again… My personal take on Enzo failing in the last episode is, yeah Michael didn’t quite sell it well enough, but then the episode all hung on a periphery character we still don’t really know that well

I just can't agree with this. "Into the Wild" was another episode directed by the same guy and it hung mostly on Atticus Shane, a periphery character who we finally learned more about with flashbacks and all in that episode. One who we knew about the same amount of time as we did Enzo (Shane was introduced in 4.04 and ITW was 4.13, Enzo was introduced 4.09 and MOF was episode 4.19, with both not appearing in a few episodes in between). The difference is that David Alpay is simply a much stronger actor than Malarkey, as likeable as Malarkey is.

It also didn’t help that I wasn’t that impressed by Maggie either.

I do agree with this; I wasn't impressed with the actress at all. She wasn't winning in any way.

I am yet to be convinced by Jeremy and Bonnie as a couple at all. It feels very much to me as if they are together to give each someone to interact with, I do not believe they are all that attracted to each other.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I think they're adorable. I don't think they have this great love for the ages and I don't think they'd last forever, but I think they love each other and have the hots for each other.

>>when Enzo said "smart girl, I can see why you like her." Which "you" was he referring to?

I was hoping you would tell me. :)


Joshua Butler, directorial fail is your talent. Ugh.
safetywords: dandelionsafetywords on May 4th, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
I've been in a huge TVD funk this season. I've watched up to the mid-season finale; I've also caught a few episodes post mid-season finale. I've only watched a couple of scenes from this episode, so I can't really add much to your post. The Damon/Elena kiss was really beautiful, and I agree that the filming and angles of that scene were A+.

Here's a question: How much have you enjoyed this season so far on a whole? I know that we generally share similar feelings on the show and characters, so I find your input important. Mostly, I'm just looking for that *push* that brings me back to the show. I don't know why I ever stopped watching week to week, but after reading your post here, I'm starting to miss it.
Arabian: Damon & Elena29arabian on May 4th, 2014 06:18 am (UTC)
Under Caroline Dries, there very many OMG!Awesome episodes upon first viewing, but the overall flow and narrative of this season is really strong and I love it. Plus, I think she's pretty much put the triangle to bed completely. I love what she's done with all of the characters. The family, the friendships and the love stories remain as strong and beautifully presented as ever. Damon and Elena are just so THE couple that it melts my heart. The characters introduced have been great. Well, Nadia would have been great had the actress been playing her not been so atrocious. The threads of the different plots all winding and interweaving and interconnecting so beautifully is just gorgeous. It's just fabulous. This is just a marvelous season. If I were ranking the seasons, this would probably be my favorite unless something crazy happens in the next two episodes that sends it all to hell in a handbasket (which I can't imagine happening). Everything is all just working so well. And as the season progresses and I look back over the season, and the episodes, it all is just fitting together so well, so seamlessly.
safetywordssafetywords on May 4th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! This was just the response I was hoping to here as I've, generally speaking, really enjoyed episodes that Caroline Dries wrote before she took the helm. I've heard a mixed bag of reactions about season 5 with Caroline in charge, but what you're saying really makes me want to catch up on what I've missed ASAP.
Arabian: Damon & Elena31arabian on May 4th, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
Ack, that first sentence was actually supposed to read "there WEREN'T many OMG!Awesome episodes" oops. But the overall paragraph is the same. :)

Caroline Dries has been my favorite TVD writer since season 02 and that hasn't ever changed. I think the complaints have honestly come from people who simply aren't looking at the overall narrative and the show is a bit less showy and shock-value-age as it was under Plec/Williamson and Plec. There's a subtlety and it was a bit slower moving at the start of the season as she was getting her grounding, but things really did begin to pick up around the halfway point (hah, when you stopped watching regularly). Not to say I still didn't really enjoy the first half, but there was a hint of tentativeness, I suppose, that you could sense. But with the second half and knowing what we know now, it's all coming together.
tj2013tj2013 on May 5th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for your recap, great read - as always. Your posts are the first I come looking to after watching the episodes.

I liked the episode a lot, but a couple of things nagged at me and then I read your post and I was like " A -ha, THAT was it." It was exactly what you mentioned about the direction. I wasn't sure what I was to get out of the parlor game scene, because I didn't really understand what Damon was feeling besides being uncomfortable, I wasn't sure whether I was to believe that Stefan and Elena were actually flirting and so on. Yeah... seems this is on Joshua Butler. Hmph. I'm not so keen on him either since that oh-so-not-sexy-college-ball at the beginning of Season 4.

I loved the Stefan - Damon scenes, though. The brothers really have come to a deeper understanding during the last episodes, and even Stefan is coming out of his usual La la land and admitting to both Damon and Caroline that it is important to him what they think of him, that he does gloss over the truth to avoid being hated.
The scene in the cabin, where Damon tells Stefan to save Luke kind of reminded me of Elena telling Stefan to save Matt. They (Damon and Elena) sometimes are so much alike when they want to protect the people they love. OTP indeed!

I think this season (as the seasons before) will be best when watched on DVD in a row. The hiatuses and reruns kind of throw viewers out of the loop, but as you said in another comment, it is weaving beautifully together and I can't imagine they are going to screw this up in the last two episodes.

I suppose Tyler will be a goner. Not a great loss... Please can they bring back Alaric before the other side finally goes poof?
Arabian: Alaric02arabian on May 5th, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
I liked the episode a lot, but a couple of things nagged at me and then I read your post and I was like " A -ha, THAT was it."

Yeah, once I figured it out (of course, I knew going into it that it was likely Butler would have issues), I was like 'yeah, that's it.' I wasn't even able to put my finger on it until I'd watched it the second time.

I didn't really understand what Damon was feeling besides being uncomfortable, I wasn't sure whether I was to believe that Stefan and Elena were actually flirting and so on.

Exactly. And, you know, I was just looking at screencaps and Elena was actually taunting Damon after her and Stefan got another point and Damon was sorta smiling slightly at her, but we didn't get but a second or two that of that, and it should, *should,* have been highlighted.

Yeah... seems this is on Joshua Butler. Hmph. I'm not so keen on him either since that oh-so-not-sexy-college-ball at the beginning of Season 4.

Like that, the parlor game, which should have been a highlight reel of awesome was completely wasted. *sigh*

I loved the Stefan - Damon scenes, though. The brothers really have come to a deeper understanding during the last episodes

Yup, the development of the brothers' relationship has just been moving along swimmingly and I adore it so.

and even Stefan is coming out of his usual La la land and admitting to both Damon and Caroline that it is important to him what they think of him, that he does gloss over the truth to avoid being hated.

Too true.

The scene in the cabin, where Damon tells Stefan to save Luke kind of reminded me of Elena telling Stefan to save Matt. They (Damon and Elena) sometimes are so much alike when they want to protect the people they love. OTP indeed!

*sigh* Heart fluttering. *sigh*

I think this season (as the seasons before) will be best when watched on DVD in a row. The hiatuses and reruns kind of throw viewers out of the loop, but as you said in another comment, it is weaving beautifully together and I can't imagine they are going to screw this up in the last two episodes.

Yup, yup, yup. I may try and do a full series watch, I dunno. With only one season to go, I might just hold off. But I do still want to rewatch season 03, which I never finished. And I never finished my full season 04 rewatch either, LOL! And I want to rewatch this too. Maybe I'll just rewatch season 03-05. I rewatched season 01 4 times and season 02 about three times.

I suppose Tyler will be a goner. Not a great loss...

WHEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please can they bring back Alaric before the other side finally goes poof?

That is the question, though. Will the other side go poof? Because if it does, so does Bonnie! And if Alaric comes over (which I want), I want Tessa do because as I said, I randomly want Alaric and Tessa back and paired up, LOL!
tj2013tj2013 on May 6th, 2014 06:47 am (UTC)
Yup, yup, yup. I may try and do a full series watch, I dunno. With only one season to go, I might just hold off. But I do still want to rewatch season 03, which I never finished. And I never finished my full season 04 rewatch either, LOL! And I want to rewatch this too. Maybe I'll just rewatch season 03-05. I rewatched season 01 4 times and season 02 about three times.

I never managed a full rewatch either. I rewatched Season 3 and 4 after I got the DVDs, and I had a blast. While watching live it was hard to endure for example the island and switch-off Elena, I was constantly nagging at my nails, so to speak. With the DVD I could enjoy the episodes way more and look for the little things in between, which really make this show THE show for me right now.
But a full rewatch? I might also wait for the end of Season 6.

I want Tessa do because as I said, I randomly want Alaric and Tessa back and paired up, LOL!

Hahaha! Now that would be awesome. Tessa was crazy, but I liked her. Speaking of, did I understand correctly that Silas and Amara (and Tessa) all got fooled by Markos with his doppelganger spell? Because he invented it a long time before them?

I am trying to avoid all spoilers before the last two episodes, so I have no clue where they are heading with the other side and the travellers.
Arabian: Caroline01arabian on May 6th, 2014 08:41 am (UTC)
While watching live it was hard to endure for example the island and switch-off Elena

That's interesting because I had no problem with either. I actually enjoyed the switch-off Elena simply because I knew it wouldn't last long and I couldn't help it, I found switch-off Elena horribly hysterical. Hahahaha!

Tessa was crazy, but I liked her.

I ADORED Tessa. I loved that actress. Janina Gavankar is awesome.

I understand correctly that Silas and Amara (and Tessa) all got fooled by Markos with his doppelganger spell? Because he invented it a long time before them?

As I understood it, SHE invented the doppelganger spell and the witches created the counter-spell to stop the travellers from settling and the doppelgangers' just are tools, and Markos used--hold on, let me look at the dialogue, LOL! OK, just checked it. I was right. Sorta. She and Silas created the immortality spell 2,000 years ago. This made doppelgangers necessary because you need balance (blah, blah, blah). It created a schism in the travellers community and that separated them into witches and travellers per Markos. He told Damon: "The witches put a curse on us that kept us from settling down as a tribe. Whenever we've tried to gather disaster struck. Plagues, earthquakes, fire, something inevitably wiped us out." The doppels' blood can cure that, so 1,500 years ago, Markos created a spell (500 years after Quetsiya and Silas did the immortality spell, which gave rise to the doppelgangers) to bring the doppels together so that their blood could cancel out the witches' spell that screwed up the travellers' living arrangements.

Phew! See it all makes sense!

I am trying to avoid all spoilers before the last two episodes, so I have no clue where they are heading with the other side and the travellers.

Going spoiler-free is the BEST thing I did with this show. I am totally spoiler-free and it's awesome. The only disappointments I have had this season have come from when I've been accidentally spoiled and it's led to me expecting stuff that hasn't happened or has happened a totally different way.
tj2013tj2013 on May 6th, 2014 11:07 am (UTC)
That's interesting because I had no problem with either
Oh, I loved all those episodes and I agree, switch off Elena was hilarious. I meant it's different to watch it on DVD, because you know you can watch the next episode asap. No hiatus, no breaks.... just the next episode when you need it. LOL.

Phew! See it all makes sense!
And thanks for clarifying the traveller/doppelganger stuff. It is a little knotted, but the way you explain it it does make sense.


Going spoiler-free is the BEST thing I did with this show. I am totally spoiler-free and it's awesome.

Agreed!!!!!
Arabian: Damon11arabian on May 11th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
I meant it's different to watch it on DVD, because you know you can watch the next episode asap. No hiatus, no breaks.... just the next episode when you need it. LOL.

Ah, gotcha! :)

thanks for clarifying the traveller/doppelganger stuff. It is a little knotted, but the way you explain it it does make sense.

No problem, and thanks for asking because it gave me the chance to break it down and make it make more sense to myself too!
jairem08: pic#122702267jairem08 on May 5th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
At last a bit of time to comment.

I have to admit I was so pleasantly surprised by the unexpected DE scenes that I enjoyed the episode. But as always you are objective I enjoy your reviews for that.

I agree with your points that bothered you. For instance the end scene when Damon walked away and he didn't hear Elena. That also made me think. I will choose to believe that either as you said he was also taken or something or somehow the travellers created vacuum around him or themselves and he couldn't hear. Or something of that sort. Because there ain't no way he wouldn't not hear.

Again I have to say that in this episode DE were pretty much engraved into the wall. Really, I cannot see any other outcome. Unless something major happens. SE are no more. They are friends. If anything Steroline were hinted even more in this episode.

In the part where they played games in the cottage I think Damon's expressions were just showing that this is not his kind of fun and he was just enduring it for the reason of getting info. Elena did try to sneak looks towards him that seemed to be calling for his attention. And yes the first and only person she calls for when in danger is Damon.

Caroline - jealous much? So cute

When Enzo commented about liking Caroline he was sitting next to a standing Damon and looking in Stefan's/Caroline direction. At least that is how I saw it. I don't think it was directed at Damon.

I liked the fact that Elena really struggled to lie to Damon. And Stefan's biggest worry was that Damon would hate him. So emotional.

Somehow I thought that Tyler will get away from the travellers and manage to get the info across. I don't think that they will manage to recover his spirit into his body so I think his body will die with Julian.

Wonder if Damon will manage to bring Enzo back? And yes, why not Ric? (Ric???? - hello?)

Loved the DE scene at the end. And the song played over? Seriously? I caught onto that immediately. So amazing and so endgame. And proving to all those claiming that DE are just about sex that it ain't so. Suck it up haters.

And the Damon smile in the bedroom scene when Elena is unpacking - Magical. He can melt my heart anytime.

Bonnie and Jeremy - I have to agree with one of the posts here. They do not seem to have the chemistry for me. Not sure if it is just lately for me. I might not have paid too much attention to them I have to admit. My OTP is stealing the focus.

2 episodes to go and then I expect a cliff hanger that will leave me anxious till the next season.

Arabian: Damon & Elena39arabian on May 6th, 2014 06:25 am (UTC)
I have to admit I was so pleasantly surprised by the unexpected DE scenes that I enjoyed the episode. But as always you are objective I enjoy your reviews for that.

I think this just comes from loving the whole show so much beyond just my love for D/E.

I agree with your points that bothered you. For instance the end scene when Damon walked away and he didn't hear Elena. That also made me think. I will choose to believe that either as you said he was also taken or something or somehow the travellers created vacuum around him or themselves and he couldn't hear. Or something of that sort. Because there ain't no way he wouldn't not hear.

Exactly. The fact that we, the viewers, have to fanwank some explanation as to why Damon didn't hear shows very bad writing and direction on the part of the show, and again, that's just simply not something I'm not used to when it comes to TVD. And it's why as many things as I did enjoy about this episode, why I was a wee disappointed because it happened enough times that I noticed it!

Again I have to say that in this episode DE were pretty much engraved into the wall.

Yup, yup, yup!

Really, I cannot see any other outcome. Unless something major happens. SE are no more. They are friends.

Stefan is another Matt to her now.

If anything Steroline were hinted even more in this episode.

BIG-TIME! And in a way they honestly never have been before. SQUEE!

In the part where they played games in the cottage I think Damon's expressions were just showing that this is not his kind of fun and he was just enduring it for the reason of getting info.

But why... Damon would normally--even in the middle of what was going on with Elena--have been enjoying seeing Elena smiling. There was just so much potential in those scenes and once again Butler COMPLETELY wasted them.

Elena did try to sneak looks towards him that seemed to be calling for his attention.

Yeah, but I only caught that when going through screencaps which is pretty sad. That should have been really obvious and pronounced throughout the scene. Again, complete lack of tension-building. UGH!

Caroline - jealous much? So cute

Totally!

When Enzo commented about liking Caroline he was sitting next to a standing Damon and looking in Stefan's/Caroline direction. At least that is how I saw it. I don't think it was directed at Damon.

Oh, I'm positive that it was directed towards Stefan. That wasn't my point. My point was that it was ONCE AGAIN bad directing on Joshua Butler's part. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A CLEAR CUT to Stefan. Instead all we had was a vague wide shot of Enzo looking in that direction, which was also where CAROLINE (who he was talking about) was standing. SUCH BAD DIRECTION.

I don't think that they will manage to recover his spirit into his body so I think his body will die with Julian.

I KNOW!!! :D :D :D

Wonder if Damon will manage to bring Enzo back? And yes, why not Ric? (Ric???? - hello?)

I KNOW!!!! DANGIT!

Loved the DE scene at the end. And the song played over? Seriously? I caught onto that immediately. So amazing and so endgame. And proving to all those claiming that DE are just about sex that it ain't so. Suck it up haters.

Yup, yup, yup!

2 episodes to go and then I expect a cliff hanger that will leave me anxious till the next season.

I'm weird; I just don't get all OMG! about cliffhangers beyond a few days after the finale and then a week or two before the next season. I'm pretty chill through most of the hiatus. Of course it may have to do with having so much more free time on Thursdays! LOL!
MaelJ0714: facemaelj0714 on May 8th, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
Well, you know that I'm reading!! I absolutely adore your writeups.

Usually, I'll rewatch the episode before commenting but never took the time for this one....so here goes.

And forget sexual tension. What about tension period?! The four of them, plus Luke, are there in danger. The Travellers out to take Stefan and Elena and make them their blood puppets and kill them. And there was no tension! No build, no nothing. You've got a vengeful ghost walking around who can manipulate physical objects. A pack of crazy, more-powerful-than-witches Travellers trying to track you down. Star-crossed lovers who have been avoiding each other even though they are desperately, passionately in love because they think they're not good for each other. A second pair of friends who clearly have deeper feelings that are simmering under the surface. Two friends, past lovers, who are keeping a huge secret from someone they both dearly love. And your director is incapable of putting ANY freaking tension on display! scene.

LOL!! I loved this. Thankfully, I didn't notice most of things that took you out the episode, although I can see why they did. But I had a big question mark during the parlor game scene. Damon and Caroline were obviously uncomfortable, but the way Stefan and Elena acted during that scene just seemed too casual and relaxed. For all the reasons you listed above. I did, however, like the quick shot of Elena taunting Damon. Goes back to your post from last week that she very much wants him to notice and acknowledge her. Yep.

I just freaking love that they [Stefan and Damon] are communicating so damn much now. So good. I love how this show allows these characters to grow and learn.

Can I say how much I loved that Damon did not spend a single, solitary second worrying about Stefan and Elena at all?

Same here about Damon. He's been there, done that and he knows better now. And I liked that Caroline acknowledged that she accessed the situation poorly. Due to her tryst with Klaus or whatever, all the things that bothered me about Caroline earlier in the season (that self-righteous, judgmental attitude) are just...gone. This Caroline -- jealous, unsure of herself and what she's feeling, admitting she's wrong...I just love her.

And he's realizing that he loves her more than he likes killing people. That he loves being with her, loves who he is with her more than he loves who he is when he's spiraling. Even though they aren't together right now, he's making the right choices, he's being the better man.

For all Damon's talk about how bad he and Elena are for one another, he showed her here that she is very good for him, too. She is the one that gives him strength to keep it together; her simple kiss gets him through the crappy days. And Nina Dobrev's reaction when Elena finally realizes this was my favorite thing about the entire episode. Damon has told her before that she is good for him, as early as 01.22 and then again in 05.12. Unfortunately, both times were Katherine. But I think this is the first time he's really said it to Elena. And giving credit to one of your commenters, Damon can say the most romantic things in the most unromantic way. :-) But while Damon knows she is good for him; I'm not sure he yet realizes he is good for her. (??)

Arabian: Damon & Elena39arabian on May 11th, 2014 03:42 am (UTC)
Well, you know that I'm reading!! I absolutely adore your writeups.

Thank you. :)

I had a big question mark during the parlor game scene. Damon and Caroline were obviously uncomfortable, but the way Stefan and Elena acted during that scene just seemed too casual and relaxed. For all the reasons you listed above.

Blame direction. Actors can do their best, but they can't see their performance. I'm sure there were takes where Paul and Nina overdid moments where they overdid their antics and they probably had to tone it down and vice versa. The director was unable to find the right balance. And likewise with Ian, instead of seeing longing for Elena, tension between Damon and Elena, mixed in with the suspicion wasn't conveyed. And frankly, Damon and Caroline shouldn't have been uncomfortable. That was the wrong mood to come across. Blame direction. Joshua Butler is just not a very good direction. Compare the glaring lack of tension in this episode with 5.21's tension and you'll see what I mean.

I did, however, like the quick shot of Elena taunting Damon. Goes back to your post from last week that she very much wants him to notice and acknowledge her. Yep.

Yup, yup, yup!

[Can I say how much I loved that Damon did not spend a single, solitary second worrying about Stefan and Elena at all?]

Same here about Damon. He's been there, done that and he knows better now.


Yup. Once he found out that the prophecy was pish-posh, he was done with that nonsense, LOL!

And I liked that Caroline acknowledged that she accessed the situation poorly.

Me too.

Due to her tryst with Klaus or whatever, all the things that bothered me about Caroline earlier in the season (that self-righteous, judgmental attitude) are just...gone. This Caroline -- jealous, unsure of herself and what she's feeling, admitting she's wrong...I just love her.

You know, I'm glad that you wrote this. I thought of that as just fanservice, but you're right. It was more than that, it also did kinda open her eyes too. *sigh* Even when Caroline bugged a bit, I always loved her.

For all Damon's talk about how bad he and Elena are for one another, he showed her here that she is very good for him, too.

Yup, I wish they would shut up for once after they speak and actually LISTEN to the words they are saying, LOL!

She is the one that gives him strength to keep it together; her simple kiss gets him through the crappy days.

Awww...........

And Nina Dobrev's reaction when Elena finally realizes this was my favorite thing about the entire episode. Damon has told her before that she is good for him, as early as 01.22 and then again in 05.12. Unfortunately, both times were Katherine. But I think this is the first time he's really said it to Elena.

*sigh* Yeah.

And giving credit to one of your commenters, Damon can say the most romantic things in the most unromantic way. :-) But while Damon knows she is good for him; I'm not sure he yet realizes he is good for her.

I agree; he doesn't get it. Which goes back to what I said above: I wish they would just LISTEN to what they're actually saying for once and take it in and realize what it actually means. THEY ARE GOOD FOR EACH OTHER, DAMNIT!
MaelJ0714: facemaelj0714 on May 8th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
Part 2.

I continue to adore any and all Damon and Caroline scenes. So do I. :)

Going back to Damon and Caroline... Taking the pen and slipping it on his shirt. Hee! His face! Gah, his face, it just kills me!! And how snugly he slips it on. Haha!

That face at the beginning of the second .gif? Now THIS is the Damon I absolutely LOVE. That quiet, smug arrogance as he looks down his nose at Caroline? GAHHH!!
You mentioned in last week's post what a dick Damon can be and I completely agree. Particularly this season. Damon has always been insulting, but in a way you couldn't help snickering at no matter how hard you tried. But this season, he just comes off as mean. I adore Ian Somerhalder but I do wish he would tone Damon down a bit. The constant sneering, uber-sarcasm, squinty eyes and pursed lips when he's contemplating something -- just too much! Damon's a character, not a caricature. I miss subtle looks and exchanges like this one, the deeper voice and quiet menace of earlier seasons. You think you could get him to fix that for me, Arabian?? ;-P

(And after all that ranting, Damon is still absolutely one of my favorite characters EVER...)

Hmm, Matty-boy there was showing some awful-Damon-like tendencies there.

Freely admitting this comment is even more shallow than the last one, but what is going on with Matty-boy?? Stabbing himself to prove he isn't inhabited by a Traveller, torturing Jyler(lol) to get information, he's becoming a regular badass!! And his hair, his look, his attitude?? HAWT!! THIS Matt I like!!!

Love your scenario for next season....
Arabian: Matt02arabian on May 11th, 2014 03:52 am (UTC)
But this season, he just comes off as mean. I adore Ian Somerhalder but I do wish he would tone Damon down a bit. The constant sneering, uber-sarcasm, squinty eyes and pursed lips when he's contemplating something -- just too much! Damon's a character, not a caricature. I miss subtle looks and exchanges like this one, the deeper voice and quiet menace of earlier seasons. You think you could get him to fix that for me, Arabian?? ;-P

Don't you think that's deliberate? You write: "Damon's a character, not a caricature." Think back to what I wrote about in "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
    ...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.'
This is what Damon is doing most of this season. He lost Alaric. Stefan took off at the end of the last season, and sure he had Elena throughout the summer, but we didn't see that. We saw Elena and Damon separated throughout most of the first half of the season because she was a college and Damon judged by most of those he was surrounded by, so he was all on defense. And then he and Elena broke up, his heart was broken by "Elena" and the above happened and he's been putting on the biggest "I don't really give a crap" show ever since. It's been deliberate this season. But it's been really badly obviously deliberate because unlike in previous seasons, his cracks are showing because they all know he DOES care and they all do care about him (even if they kinda suck at showing it mostly). That's why it's so over-the-top. That's why he sneers, and throws out the uber-sarcasm, squinty eyes and pursed lips. Because he's not really feeling the actual menace that he did. Think of him at moments with Wes; he was pretty menacing, I thought.

Freely admitting this comment is even more shallow than the last one, but what is going on with Matty-boy?? Stabbing himself to prove he isn't inhabited by a Traveller, torturing Jyler(lol) to get information, he's becoming a regular badass!! And his hair, his look, his attitude?? HAWT!! THIS Matt I like!!!

He's been learning from the best, mmhmmm!

Love your scenario for next season....

And it's already been completely destroyed by episode 21, LOL!

Edited at 2014-05-11 03:54 am (UTC)
Florencia: TVD (Stefan & Caroline)florencia7 on May 12th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
“why did Damon grab a towel to cover Elena up first before helping her?” - In his defense, I think he started helping her, then grabbed a towel, then finished helping her ^^

I agree that Damon not hearing Elena cry out in the final scene was improbable. By the same token, why didn't Caroline hear what Stefan and Elena were talking about by the car? Again, the reason was that we had to have Caroline misinterpret the scene which she couldn't have done had she heard that Stefan was joking about Damon tucking Elena in. We needed Caroline to only *see* them being playful with each other, so the writers turned her vampire hearing off.

”We should have seen heated looks between them during that parlor game. There weren't any.” - That's kind of what happened in 4x04, isn't it. A missed opportunity at getting a little bit more out of DE scenes.

”And I just freaking love that they are communicating so damn much now.” - That's absolutely fantastic indeed! I love that to. They've come so far and it's finally showing and I'm getting all the brotherly vibes like never before.

”Damon just didn't even remotely have a care that Stefan was part of their problem” - That was a wonderful touch. Not even a single look from Damon suggesting he was falling for Caroline's interpretation.

I loved the song that was used for the kiss scene and how very, very clearly audible were the words “we're unbreakable”.

”Now it's becoming important to him that Caroline doesn't think any less of him.” - Besides loving this scene for all the Steroline reasons, I also loved that Stefan actually acknowledged that trait of his out loud.

”So, uhm, Tyler is gone, yes? YES?!?! ” - Well, Tyler's face & body are featured in the finale promo, but let's hope this is going to be the last we see of him ;)

”OK, ya'll know I love Jeremy and Bonnie, but didn't their scenes feel oddly out of place for some reason? ” - They felt to me EXACTLY like that too!! But I have no idea why. It might have been the direction. Or maybe that slight lightheartedness in their behavior was just not working given the circumstances, IDK.

”when Enzo said "smart girl, I can see why you like her." Which "you" was he referring to? ” - I didn't even hear he said “you”! Lol I thought he said “I can see why I like her”. Either way, the “you” could be referring to either Damon or Stefan, so perhaps not making that clear was actually intentional?

”Damon doesn't lie to Elena on a regular basis.” - THIS! That line was probably the only thing that I didn't like about this episode. Yes, it happened a couple of times, but Stefan made it sound (and Elena kind of agreed!) that Damon was habitually lying to Elena, and he doesn't.

OH I second that! Let's bring back Alaric and Tessa! That works for me ;D

”wouldn't it be cool if the season ender involved the doppelgangers having to be separated and sent in different directions? ” - That would be cool! I like this idea.
Arabian: Damon & Elena39arabian on May 14th, 2014 09:00 am (UTC)
In his defense, I think he started helping her, then grabbed a towel, then finished helping her ^^

Nah, he just touched her arm for like a split-second and then grabbed the towel.

By the same token, why didn't Caroline hear what Stefan and Elena were talking about by the car? Again, the reason was that we had to have Caroline misinterpret the scene which she couldn't have done had she heard that Stefan was joking about Damon tucking Elena in. We needed Caroline to only *see* them being playful with each other, so the writers turned her vampire hearing off.

Yup, there were a bunch of things throughout the episodes. And like I said, we normally have the directors covering up for writer screw-ups or writers covering up for director screw-ups. This time, there was no balance. And frankly because of how importance the mood and tension was in an episode like this, I do blame Butler more.

That's kind of what happened in 4x04, isn't it. A missed opportunity at getting a little bit more out of DE scenes.

Yup, for someone who goes on and on about Nina and Ian on his twitter timeline (to get the Nian and D/E fans all fangirling over him), he sure is crappy at actually getting the most out of their scenes.

That's absolutely fantastic indeed! I love that to. They've come so far and it's finally showing and I'm getting all the brotherly vibes like never before.

The Brothers Salvatore are killing me dead lately.

I loved the song that was used for the kiss scene and how very, very clearly audible were the words “we're unbreakable”.

And the whole "we're more than chemistry" -- it felt like a deliberate TAKE THAT! to the whole "Damon and Elena are just sex" to the haters, LOL!

I also loved that Stefan actually acknowledged that trait of his out loud.

Yup, yup, yup!

Well, Tyler's face & body are featured in the finale promo, but let's hope this is going to be the last we see of him ;)

No, I meant the character of Tyler, I know Trevino is still around. But, yeah, hopefully, even Trevino is finally gone after this season.

They felt to me EXACTLY like that too!! But I have no idea why. It might have been the direction. Or maybe that slight lightheartedness in their behavior was just not working given the circumstances, IDK.

DIRECTION! Because the lightheartedness should have had a vibe of tension to it since Bonnie's was put upon and Jeremy knew she was hiding something, but again LOUSY-ASS DIRECTION! Remember, Butler did a horrible job with Bonnie in 4.04 and 3.20 too. (I don't remember so much with Bonnie in 5.02, her stuff was pretty straightforward.)

Either way, the “you” could be referring to either Damon or Stefan, so perhaps not making that clear was actually intentional?

No, because at NO point had Damon in any way, shape or form AT ALL, EVER indicated to Enzo that he liked Caroline so it made no sense whereas we'd had those little moments, looks from Enzo about Stefan and Caroline. It was obviously supposed to be Stefan, but we only knew that BECAUSE of past episodes. Direction SHOULD HAVE made it clear in THIS scene too.

That would be cool! I like this idea.

My finale idea. OBVIOUSLY so far off! LOL! Now, I think that Damon (and Elena based on the extended preview) are basically going to commit suicide -- driving the kaboom! car -- to go to the Other Side and bring Stefan back. With obviously some spell or something from Bon-Bon.
Alisha: Janellekalishaka on November 16th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
This was another meh-ish episode for me. There were a lot of GREAT little moments, but as a whole it lacked cohesion. Normally direction and pacing is what keeps it all together so I can see where that might be the source of some of my problems. I am slightly anxious to get onto the last episodes so I will just kind of bullet point things that pleased me....

- Tyler! Really it's .... I don't know how to live in a world where Tyler is actually interesting and not everything I hate. I mean....I still hate him...but I am really hoping he's not dead. Which I kind of know he's not because I was promised Tyler/Liv being a sort of thing, but I definitely had an actual moment of "Oh that sucks" when the body switch happened and then I was confused by my own life choices. But I loved that they remembered he was a werewolf. He has power. I love that his aversion to having people control him is coming back and making him willing to go to extremes. I just love that the show suddenly remembered Tyler was an actual character and they found something interesting to do with him.

- Stefan and Caroline! He went to find her. Touching her cheek. The open discussion about why he didn't tell her. Caroline being jealous and not even realizing it.

- Caroline! Confronting her friends for not telling her things!

- Damon! Not even for a moment being worried about Stefan and Elena. Not even questioning it. Loved it!

- Salvatore bond! I absolutely adore that they just talk. It seriously pleases my soul that something happens and it resolves by the next episode or so. They actually talk. They actually listen. It's beautiful.

- Delena! He runs to her. Her first thought is to call to him. That kiss was wonderful. His speech about how he was holding it together was beautiful. I love that the show is letting them work through their issues, while not actually taking them apart in a heavy handed manner. It feels so fucking real. And with the triangle out of the way they really are being allowed to let the relationship mature. Let two people step back and evaluate themselves before coming back together. Good show. Good.