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07 November 2014 @ 06:46 am
6.06 - 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Yay, The Vampire Diaries! Whee!

First I must address my little frustrated vent of a few days ago. I must apologize. It was, ahem, that time of the month and my emotions got the better of me. I always say that one shouldn't let frustrations over stuff that has yet to air get you worked up and I did exactly that. Honestly even before the episode aired, I was feeling better for the most part and had calmed down. I think I just needed to get my 'wah! I miss my couple frustrations!' out. I do trust this show and their writers and the journey that they're taking especially with regards to Damon and Elena. Furthermore, I had told myself (and you guys) no more speculation—because it's just so useless and leads to, well, frustration, LOL) and then I went and did it again. Arggh! So no more! I will just let it play out, I swear! No more speculation! Well, at least until at least the hiatus…that's fair!

Moving onto the actual show. I did like it. It was good, but I do think it was the weakest of the episodes so far and I put that down to the first-time writers on the show, Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux. To me, they didn't quite grasp all of the characters or their dynamics with other characters. The plot of the episode was strong and the overreaching arc from the first batch of episodes carried over well, but overall the feel was off. And that I put down to some of the pairings not feeling right and some of the characters being, well, out of character. Now this wasn't the case for all. Damon and Elena (thank goodness) were spot-on, as were Stefan and Caroline, and Damon and Jeremy in their one scene. As for individual characters, Damon, Elena, Stefan, Alaric and Jeremy were all completely on-target. They worked for me. I could have seen Damon go another way (see my theory), but he worked this way too—which I'll discuss later on.

On the other hand, I was a bit disappointed in the Damon and Alaric reunion. I get that Damon was not super-happy with his buddy, but still… not even a hug? Ric had been dead for quite a bit of time before Damon "died." And we got, like, nothing? Really? And I get Ric wanting to respect Elena's wishes, but this is just stupid…Elena is not working with all the information here, Ric. Hello!?!? Once again, Damon is right and Ric is, well, being a dick. And the way he was acting with Damon and the way Damon was acting with him, well, there was just very little warmth in their scene.

If I didn't know the history I wouldn't buy (a) that they were best friends, (b) that they'd pretty much been separated by death for one to two years minus about twelve hours at one point. It was very underwhelming. And alas, they weren't the only pair who were underwhelming in this outing. The Caroline and Elena scenes felt off as well because they should have been some talk about Bonnie. Jeremy isn't the only one who should have been bringing her absence up. Why weren't her two best friends discussing it as well? And why on earth wasn't Caroline all up in Elena's business about Damon? Just a comment or two? Elena has to bring it up? Elena's driving like a madwoman, clearly affected by Damon—who she "hates"—being in danger and yet Caroline Forbes isn't grilling her about this while they wait? Seriously? So not in character.

Speaking of…yeah, you notice how Caroline wasn't on my list of characters who were in character? That would be because when she wasn't with Stefan, girl wasn't terribly Caroline-like because (a) she would have been asking about Bonnie, and (b) she would have been wanting to know what the heck happened with Damon, liking him or not, she would've wanted to know, and (c) again, *all* up in Elena's grill about it.

Finally, there was my beloved Matty. Ooh, boy. He was really off. I didn't actually like Matt much in this episode. At first, I just put it down to the fact that he didn't seem to care, you know, at all that Damon was back. But in reviewing his scenes, I realized that it was, no, I just didn't like Matt in the episode and it was because he wasn't acting like my Matty blue-blue.

Firstly, he didn't show any compassion for Enzo and that's not Matt whether he likes him or not. Spilling that blood right in front of him and then smiling about it? That was cruel. Matt Donovan doesn't do cruel. Even his scene with Sarah in Tripp's office wasn't Matt-like. He was cold, and just harder all-around than Matt is. Finding out that Zach Salvatore was her father, both her parents had been murdered, Matt would have stopped to show her a moment of compassion because that's what Matt does, regardless of the circumstance, unless it's literally life or death.

And he *does* care about Damon, he *would* have cared that Damon had returned and he would have wanted to find out what the situation was with Bonnie. I can only guess that these new writers aren't particularly huge Matt Donovan fans and therefore don't have his voice down because they haven't written for the show before. And, yes, the executive producers look over the finished script and what-not, but they can't comb over every single line and Matt has a relatively small part in this episode. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why Matt was just un-Matt-like for me.

Phew, OK, so that was my big issue with the episode and why I think it was the weakest of the season so far. With that said, I still did really like it and the rest of what I have to say is positive. I just wanted to get negative out the way first.

I know I said I wasn't going to speculate anymore, but…I'm going to speculate, LOL! I don't think that the two of them seeing each other is going to open the floodgates and the heavens will rain light down and the angels will sing. However, I do think we're going to get our true Damon/Elena reunion before our November sweeps end because of what we got in this episode.

Elena, despite what her head is telling her, obviously still loves Damon. I mean, duh! And she has to know it deep down. She may not realize it when she first sees him, but she knows that it will only be a matter of time. His voice affected her. There was the trembling in her hand when she heard him speak and that hesitation wasn't from fear, it was because something in his voice touched something deep within her and she felt it. The words he said in that voice ("I can hear you breathing. You know how long I've wanted to hear you breathe?" His repeated entreaties for her to "open the door," simply the way he all but said her name as if it was the most beautiful sound of all.) And every word he spoke and in *that* voice, they arrested her movements and held her still.

 

The fear she did feel when she walked into her room and realized that something had happened to him. And it was made perfectly clear to the audience just how intense that fear was…Alaric telling her to calm down over the phone, Elena jerking to a hard stop in her car, Caroline telling her mother about Elena's crazy driving, Elena's obvious worry over the situation.

She can tell herself and everyone else how much she hates Damon, but her heart knows the truth. That hate is a lie…just like Damon told her. And just like Damon reminded her that what's real is what she feels for him, that's it's the most real thing she's ever felt. *sigh* Can I just say how much I adored that "real" was brought back into play? So, so, soooo much.

I confess that I also loved the hands on the opposite sides of the wall despite how utterly cheesy it was (and it so, so was—come on, you know it was!). Frankly, I just loved the fact that Damon and Elena continue to be portrayed as *the* couple. It's pretty awesome. SQUEE. Even ending the episode just on the two seeing each other was fabulous. With all of the jaw-dropping cliffhangers this show does, that they chose an emotional Damon and Elena 'what will happen with them?' cliffhanger for November sweeps is just fantastic. I love it, love it, love it!

 
 
 

And really, I'm OK with that cliffhanger from a couple-girl point of view, and again, honestly, I don't expect Elena to magically just remember everything because how could she? Compulsion is strong, but spending time with Damon, any time with Damon, I do think we'll see it break her down because of what he said to her. She knows the truth, the compulsion is a lie. And she already knows that because of what happened that night no matter what she may tell herself. And Elena can only lie to herself for so long.

And hahah! She couldn't even do it for a whole day! I was right about her. I kept saying that I simply couldn't buy that Elena would refuse to take her memories back. Something had to happen, something! I didn't buy that Alaric wouldn't be able to uncompel her because we've never seen compulsion not work so the show worked that out beautifully (more on that later), but we still have the borders of the town (more on *that* later). So I figured she would get them back through breaking the compulsion or the town borders.

Either way, I just couldn't buy that Elena would simply refuse to get them back; I just couldn't buy that Elena would do that because it was just so out of character to me. I could buy that she'd fight it at first, but I just couldn't buy that it would last very long because Elena needs to know the answers to questions, that's just how she rolls. She found out that Stefan was a vampire so soon into the series because girl could not let her questions go. No way she'd let the question go as to how she could fall in love with this guy she only remembers as a monster. That's just not Elena.

I responded to a few people saying as such:

I just don't see how it's in character for Elena at all to not want to have all the information at her disposal. [...] I just can't see Elena--in character--not wanting to know the full truth of her memories. [...] it makes no sense for Elena to not discover all of her options. [...] in order for Elena to even think of NOT getting her memories back [...] She'll want to be informed, so to be informed, she'll finally decide to get her memories back to get all the information.
So when she pretty much said that at the end of the episode, I was all 'YES! That's my girl! That is Elena Gilbert, thank you very much.' Using Jo's comment that if Ric wanted to avoid a complicated relationship, he didn't need to use compulsion to hide behind it to be the push that Elena worked fine by me because it was an outsider's perspective and sometimes that is exactly what you need. And it is certainly the conclusion that Elena would have come to on her own eventually. Especially because you just know that she would have had to admit to herself that no matter what her head was saying, she obviously did care. See: her physical reaction to his voice and her instinctive fear over him being in danger. Uh huh.

Will this all pan out in the next few episodes? I dunno, but I think so. I do think we'll get our November sweeps reunion because, dangit, I do trust this show. {Nods emphatically} OK, and if we don't, well I still trust this show and I'm sure there's a good reason because as much as I love the happy times, I also do appreciate well-earned angst.

And you know who's getting some dang well-earned angst right now? Stefan and Caroline! Oh, yeah, indeed. I am loving, loving, loving me my Stefan and Caroline so hard right now. Don't get me wrong. I'm well aware that things are not pretty with them right now and likely won't be for some time. In fact, I expect things to look up in the Caroline/Enzo direction if anything because Stefan, oh Stefan is not handling things well. But much like Damon and Elena had a hard road to travel, so to Stefan and Caroline, but the road markers are so there.

Stefan just needs to take note of them first. It's like now that Damon is back Stefan is all, 'oh, good Damon is back so I can return to my regularly scheduled programming of The Good Brother.' He's all deflecting and, as Caroline said, doing his Stefan Salvatore apology tour, getting all his ducks in a row and making sure that everyone knows how sorry he is that he did a bad while Damon was gone, but, hey, now that Damon's back, bygones! All he has to do is say the right words, do a little dance, do a good deed or two like a good little boy and all will be well. I mean he actually told Caroline to just tell him what she want him to do to make everything like it was before as if it was that simple. Oh, Stefan.

I know I said that Caroline (and the others) screwed up too in their treatment of Stefan in my write-up for the last episode and I stand by that. However, I also said that Stefan screwed up as well. Stefan hurt Caroline also. And he's being way too cavalier about this. Sure, he can play that song and dance with Damon because, well, he didn't hurt Damon. And Elena will forgive him because (a) he didn't hurt Elena, (b) Elena will pretty much always forgive Stefan because he represents bringing her back to life after her parents died, and (c) she just doesn't care as much about him at this point to be hurt as deeply by him. Alaric, again, doesn't care as much so a simple apology, I done bad, works.

With Caroline, on the other hand, that isn't going to fly. Stefan actually has to make an effort and he has to actually figure out why he did what he did, why he hurt Caroline the most of all and continued to hurt her the most of all even though *she* tried to help him the most of them all. Deflection, a simple apology, they ain't gonna work, boo.

And this? Is why Stefan and Caroline are perfect for one another. They wouldn't have been before. Before she was with Tyler, and he put her on a pedestal and then Matt decided he wanted her back, and then Klaus decided she was worthy of an Original hybrid's major crush, Caroline would have just accepted it because 'ooh! Cute boy I like!' But now, Caroline does have self-worth. She does get that she deserves more and deserves to be treated better no matter how cute the boy is. So she's going to make him work for her respect, her friendship…and maybe more. Elena would have just accepted his apology and felt for his pain because that's how Elena and Stefan were. Not Caroline. She's gonna school that boy, but the right way. (Take notes, Lexi, wherever ya are!)

And aside from that, I was just loving all of their scenes, even if Caroline was basically tearing into him during all of them. (Hey, he deserved it!) Them walking in the woods, sigh, it reminded me of the first time when they were in the woods in "Bad Moon Rising" and there was danger and Stefan whooshed her away to safety, and he did it again here too. And they were close for a moment and Caroline had to look away because there was *tension.* I loved it.

 

And then in the final scene, how Stefan just hopped up when he saw her and went chasing after her. It's like he doesn't even realize he's into her, but he is. But he doesn't even realize it. He's so stupid. I love you, Stefan. But boo, you gotta wake up and smell the blonde! But good on you, Caroline, you teach him to treat you better.

 
 

Stefan will get there. After all, Damon is. I am so proud of him. I said at the top of the post that Damon was in character, but I could have seen him react in another way—which was the whole basis of my theory—that Damon was going to push Ric to not uncompel Elena because she was happy and he wanted her to be happy. Instead, we saw this. Damon wanting to Elena to be happy, but be happy with Damon.

My theory was based on the fact that we never had that damn toxic-nonsense conversation between Damon and Elena (which now I am totally bitter about, harrumph!) and so therefore Damon would believe that she couldn't be truly happy with him. This, I still think, could have been a perfectly viable way to go. However, clearly they are going the route that Damon is secure enough since they got over their relationship issues because they were both so freaking miserable without each other that he's on the 'nope, we should be happy together' train. And that works for me too. Damon has been through a lot of character development. He could always use more (what television character couldn't?), but he has had tons and more would just be angsty and painful, and honestly, I'm just used to Damon getting a crapload of pain and angst thrown his way because, well, he's Damon. But using this angle totally works too.

And I love, love, love what they did with him this episode and his lovely character development. Damon was pissed off (understandably) at a lot of people, but he just let it roll off his back. Stefan screwed over Enzo and he did that because Enzo was a total dick to Stefan. Elena had her love of him erased from her memory. Alaric did the erasing. And Damon's not happy about any of that at all. So he basically bitched a bit about it and then just went 'Eh, OK,' and then let it go because in the scheme of things he doesn't care because he's back with the people he loves and he's not dead. It's like those months spent with Bonnie and she helped him realize that you don't give up. You still have hope and sometimes that hope pays off. It did for him. So he's got hope; it's not over with Elena. He's back, their love is strong enough. It's not over. That's what Bonnie would say.

Oh, Bonnie. Poor, poor Bonnie. You know, it didn't really even cross my mind that Damon wouldn't think of rescuing Bonnie, but watching the episode I realized that, duh, he has no clue about the Gemini coven being a viable option twenty years later and so he would truly believe that she is lost to them now. However, I'm sure that it will come up from Enzo, Stefan or Caroline and once it does, *then* Damon will be all—uhm, remember when I said that Bonnie wasn't with me, well, about that.... Also, I was talking to butterfly and she wondered if perhaps Jo is a member of the Gemini coven and that might be another way it comes up. Hmm….

I *did* appreciate that Damon tried to give Jeremy some peace by telling him that Bonnie was in a better place. And that he called her phone when he found out that Jeremy had been paying her phone bill. And then in typical Damon fashion complained about her voicemail, LOL! Oh, Damon. Looking at her picture, leaving the sweet message. I really love the relationship the show created between them. Gah, I can't wait until she comes back and everyone sees the bond they have now. Yes! Because she *will* come back.

And when she does I hope all those bastards feel guilty for not looking for her too, damnit! You know, I tried not to gloss over her when talking about the others looking for her disappearance in my write-ups, but yeah, Stefan and Alaric really were thinking pretty much only about Damon. That conversation that he and Stefan had pretty much did confirm that. It was about finding Damon, searching for Damon, the guilt that they had both given up on Damon. Poor Bonnie. You know she was gone too, guys. Pfft!

But, I still love you my Alaric, even if I wasn't happy with your reunion with Damon. (Remember, I'm blaming that on the new guys, not you.) And, yay, you're human! Got to give a shout-out to jairem08 and florencia7 (especially the former.) They came up with and played with a variation of a theory on what the show did. Ric did cross the border thus making his compulsion un-do-able, and he is human now. The mechanics of his turning were kinda messed up in that theory origin, but the show figured their way around it by having Jo there to actually use mad medical skillz to save Ric's life the good old-fashioned way. Pretty, pretty cool.

Still, yeah, I don't like Jo. Cool that she's a witch, and it's awesome that she saved Ric's life (although, damnit, of course this all happened before he could uncompel Elena, of course!), but I don't like her. It's the actress. She's just cold and unlikable, and it sucks because, I like the character concept a lot. I just don't like the actress and she and Matt Davis are so lacking in chemistry it's sad. But, yay, Ric is human again. Yay! Ric is better as a human. Yay!

And what about that other human? Sarah… Salvatore? Will she take that last name? I wonder. It has a nice ring, Sarah Salvatore. So she knows that her two relatives are around and that they are vampires and Matt (being very mean and un-Matty-like and totally uncaring that his Master has returned!) has warned her away. Will she go? (Of course not!) And they're totes gonna eventually do something with her and Matt, aren't they? I don't have a read on those two yet though, I might have better in this episode, but Matt was just so not Matt. The closest was in that final scene with Jeremy, but that final scene was all about poor Jeremy.

Oh, Jeremy. Yeah. Jeremy. Poor baby.

OK, randoms…

- Keeping it on little Gilbert. I do feel bad for Jeremy. Once Damon came back, he gave up all hope of Bonnie coming back. And he just lost it. Oh, Jeremy. I do wish we'd had more with Damon and Jeremy, and I wish Damon had told him the truth, but I do think that would have just about completely destroyed Jeremy so I get why Damon didn't. But still I can't not still appreciate the moment with them because, you know, it's Damon and Jeremy. I ♥ them so.

 

- Ah, Ivy, I knew she wasn't long for this world, but I'd hoped she'd last longer than one minute into the episode. I know, I know, I'm like one of three people who will mourn her.

- Oh, my Lord! Damon drawing a (really bad) picture of himself next to Elena in her graduation picture cracked me up. As did him straightening up her room (neatfreak Damon) and then prettying himself up in the mirror when she said she'd meet up with him. Hahahahah! Also him saying "Yeah, I'll meet you here—there," about her room. I loved his little nervousness about seeing Elena again. So, so cute.

 
 

- Damon's damn-near full body sigh of relief when he finally (finally!) laid eyes on Elena slayed me. Even knowing the situation and the whole mess of things, just seeing her you could just about literally see some of the stress rise off of him when he looked at her for the first time in four months. Just a beautiful moment of acting by Ian Somerhalder.


- I was disappointed that Elena didn't just cross over the Mystic Falls border real quick. She was right there. It would have taken like two seconds to break the compulsion. Seriously! Ugh!

- Aww, Stefan risked dying to save Damon. And then Damon risked dying so that Stefan could save Enzo first (which Stefan did—just like when Elena made Stefan save Matt over her, aww!, but stupid just like then, at least Stefan is consistent, although admittedly he did have time to save them both this time).

- So Enzo died of consumption just like Damon and Stefan's mother did, hmm.

- So did Tripp die? Did I miss that? Do I care? Damn you, Tripp!

- I still think I'm right about Liam's place in the big picture. There's no way he's any competition for Damon. Even convinced she hates him, Elena is already feeling things for Damon. Liam is dead man walking in the "love interest" department, but yet, they've introduced him into secrets. Of course, I could be totes wrong too.

- The episode titles are just ridiculous, I am sorry, but they are. They are just ridiculous.

- OK, call me crazy, but one last thing, considering what happened with Alaric, couldn't Elena, Damon and Stefan be human again? Especially Elena? She drowned and it took her long enough to die that with Jo there she could pump the water out of her lungs, do CPR, whatever and Elena would live. Voila! Elena is human again.

As for Stefan and Damon, judging from the spread of blood on their shirts, they were shot in the abdomen, not in the heart, and based on how they didn't die right away when the spirit magic fled from Mystic Falls, they, well, didn't die right away. So, again, if Jo was there, as long as she could keep them alive long enough past the spirit magic fading away and they lived to get them over the Mystic Falls border so that Caroline (or Enzo) could then heal them with vampire blood, Damon and/or Stefan could then be human as well.

Right? Hmm....

Alrighty then, the first episode of November sweeps, not the bestest (unless the October 30th episode counted—which would be awesome if it did because that was much better, but the ratings were so-so, hmm). Anyhoo, again, I liked it, but I didn't love it and it's the first episode this season I didn't love, but I blame that on the new writers. I think it's one that will improve on repeated viewings amidst the run of the whole season though, *and* the Damon/Elena and Stefan/Caroline stuff was great at least. Onto next week…………. Whee!!! I love my show!
 
 
 
Arabian: Damon & Elena22arabian on November 11th, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Part II
Of course, and I noticed it too and pointed it out and that difference is that she's like the Elena she was before Damon. She doesn't view the world in shades of gray, she's not truly happy. But she still sees Caroline (and Bonnie) and Jeremy the same way. Those people (who have always been there) are the same. That's not different. It's just that the part of her that sees the darkness and well, possibility of the world is missing now because that went away with her memories of Damon because he gave her that.