Arabian (arabian) wrote,

6.08 - 'Fade Into You' (The Vampire Diaries)

Last episode before our first rerun of the season, oh joy! As always, thoughts behind the cut.

I've talked a lot in the past about Damon and his self-esteem issues. Well, I'm going there again briefly. One of the things I'm really enjoying about this season is how we're seeing that there has been some major dealing with those issues. The fact that Damon has found a true love and has received acceptance from people he cares about has made a true dent in how he views his own self-worth and we are seeing that effect how he handles things now. And it is awesome.

For instance, when he first came back to 2014 instead of immediately throwing himself and his second chance at happiness upon the sword, he did fight for Elena and their relationship. Admittedly, he only gave about three seconds worth of a fight in the grand scheme of things, but for Damon Salvatore, that's progress. He actually did think about himself and about what he deserved for more than a second. And, again, I say… that is awesome. He quickly resorted back to 'I'm not worthy' mode and that Elena was better off and would more likely be happier without him and did the selfless thing, but small steps.

And then in this episode, we saw more small steps. Although he did let her go at the end of the last episode, he has enough self-worth now to remind her that she did decide to erase their relationship so boo on her. And he also has enough self-worth to basically say 'hey, if ya wanna hit this and disregard my selfless act of love, go for it, babe, come and get it, I'm yours!' Instead of going all bad!Damon and doing something to make her hate him and justify her not being with him, he's playing it cool. Lesson learned from what happened last time because he knows that deep down buried under that layer of compulsion, the love is still there and he just needs to be the guy that he became over the last couple of years… the guy that she fell in love with.

And this is so much easier for him to do this time around because unlike last time when he didn't have anyone, he does. He has Stefan being such an awesome brother. He has his BFF, Alaric, back where he belongs. He has Enzo (not that we've seen much of him, again, show, why did you make him a regular?). He also has Liz, and they may do a crappy job of showing it as well as they should, but Jeremy and Matt do care, as does Tyler I suppose as he did call Damon a friend (sometimes). Caroline *did* invite him to Friendsgiving. Plus, of course, there's Bonnie! Of course, he's playing it cool. He has no reason not to it; he knows that he's worth it now. It has taken time, but the show has really built it up over the series run to get us to this point where he has the self-esteem to believe he deserves Elena's love, but just not quite enough that he'd still think that she could do better. Well-done. So very, very well-done.

And then on the other end, you've got Elena who has regressed, but in a way that makes absolutely perfect sense and in a way that I believe is being done for three reasons. One, yes, to keep Damon and Elena apart for plot driven 'we must keep the angst going' which would be annoying were it not for the other two reasons. The first goes back to Damon and his self-esteem issues. He's getting much better, but yes, he still has them and I'm still holding out hope that we're going to get some variation on discussion between Elena and *Damon* about that whole toxicity nonsense.

And secondly, as a treat *for* the Damon/Elena fanbase. We never got to see Damon and Elena fall in love without the question mark of when Elena fell, without Elena questioning it every single step of the way, fighting her feelings non-stop, clinging to Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. This is our opportunity to finally see that. I think it's pretty clear that we're going to get a Damon/Elena re-falling-in-love story now, at least from her end. Yes, the compulsion will be broken eventually and the memories will come back and it will beautiful and amazing and wonderful, but it will happen *after* Elena has already fallen or is just about right there on the edge of falling in love with Damon all over again. So we will get a new first kiss, first this, first that without the specter of Stefan hanging over them. How incredible is that?

This episode was the absolute set-up for that, I think. And part of that was closing the chapter on Liam and what he represented which was (much like Stefan had) her safe life, the fantasy of a life that she simply can no longer have. I thought the writing and direction of the Liam-related scenes were just so on point. (And, yes, I'm saying that knowing that Joshua Butler—yes, that Joshua Butler—directed the episode.)

The whole point of having Elena ask Stefan why he told her about his vampirism and his response ("because I was in love with you") was to show the opposite between Elena and Liam. When she was looking at Liam after talking to Stefan, her sadness was because she realized as great a guy as he is (and I think really is—I like Liam a LOT!), she's not in love with him. She could never entrust that kind of secret to him. This scene showed us emphatically that Elena has deeper, stronger feelings for Damon, a guy that she supposedly has "no feelings for" than Liam--this great guy that she likes.

And the later scene made her feelings even more clear. She only told him about being a vampire because she had to save Jo and then because, again, she's NOT in love with him, she compelled that information and everything personal having to do with her away. Then she sent this safe, uncomplicated fantasy of a life that he represented that she simply cannot have away too. And that is what her tears were for. She wasn't crying for Liam, but for the life she can't have... because she is a vampire and she hates being a vampire. Remember with her memories of her love for Damon being gone, the one redeeming thing about being a vampire went with it—an eternity with her soulmate, Damon.

As for the final scene between Damon and Elena, well, that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED! The key phrase for me was her "I don't know" (and, man, I loved Damon's response to that) when asked which choice she was making. And of course it reminded me of what I wrote after last week's episode. She's back to that mindset. She doesn't know what the hell she's feeling here. Think of what I wrote last week, pulling out quotes from my "Murder of One" and "Heart of Darkness" post where Elena was unsure of what love truly was plus being overwhelmed by the intensity of Damon and this complicated, dark world.

Now once Elena had accepted her love for Damon, that acceptance also helped her accept the gray, sometimes dark gray that her world had become, and the messy complications that came with it. However, before she had reached that 'face the music and dance' mentality with Damon, she was still in the 'bury your head in the sand and deny' mentality. It was Damon and his love and what he brought out in her that brought that stronger mentality out in her. With his love and those memories, that mentality has been weakened.

So awesomely what that final scene gave us in a nutshell was that even with her love for Damon behind these mental barriers, Elena is STILL choosing what is messy and real with him over what is safe and a fantasy with someone like Liam. It's just like what she did in "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" when she chose Damon over Stefan and then officially did the same in "Graduation" and then totally did it again in "Resident Evil" when she said just about those exact words regarding messy reality vs. the perfect fantasy. She's doing it again. She keeps choosing the messy, beautiful reality of Damon because that is now her messy, beautiful reality.

Elena said she's at a crossroads, but she's really not. She already chose where she wants to be. She broke up with Liam. She compelled him to forget any personal relationship with her. She described any possible future without Damon as "safe." She just doesn't realize that she's made her choice already because that absolute knowledge has been compelled away, but deep down, she feels the surety of it and that's why she is sitting next to Damon at the end of the day, smiling with him, and holding his hand.

That's right, she was holding his hand. Lordy. That was just—


OK, I'm still here. Just. *sigh* I just, oh Lordy.

And more than that, she's asking him to be the one to bring back her best friend. That means something. Special. Think about it. This is a guy that she only remembers the awful things that he did and Damon Salvatore did some truly awful, awful things (including to said best friend). Instead of going to Stefan or even Alaric (vampire or not), Elena goes to *Damon* to help her bring Bonnie back. Bonnie, as in one of the two most important people in the world to her right now (alongside Jeremy... I do think that honestly Caroline, and yeah, Alaric, would come after those two)—since Damon/compulsion-erasure, blah, blah, blah. That's pretty dang huge!


But Elena asked him. And she was looking at him and it was just… O.M.G. I am slayed. Seriously, I am OK with the compulsion not broken right now because I'm seeing stuff like this and I'm OK because he loves her so much and she still loves him so much, she just doesn't know it, but her heart knows it and her body knows it and her soul knows it and it won't take long before the rest of her just falls in love with him all over again and this time will be able to watch it without anyone else in the way.


Ahem, moving on… Wait! I'm not done. PEOPLES! Did you read the lyrics of the song that was playing over that Damon and Elena scene?! Did you check them out?!?! O.M.G x2x3x4xagazillion!! For reals! If you did not, let me enlighten you. (And, yes, I'm totes bolding a few certain lines, but the whole thing is PERFECT for Damon and Elena and this particular storyline, but still….)

"When You Fall In Love" by Andrew Ripp

It's been a long time coming, baby
And I know it's right
Even a heartbreak couldn't take love from you and I

Here I am
I'm ready
Just say when

[Chorus] When you fall in love
You lose control
You can't hang on and you can't let go
When you find the one
You hold on tight
You weather every storm
Till the sun shines
Even when it hurts, there's no regret
Every breath you give, is one you get
When you fall in love
When you fall in love

It even rains in the summertime, honey
But I'll keep you dry
Plenty of room under my umbrella
For your brown eyes
And all I see
is you and me, baby tonight


Every breath you give, is another one you get
You'll drive all night
Cause you don't wanna miss even one little kiss
and you couldn't sleep anyway
When you fall in love
When you fall in love


You wake up livin' in a dream
Strong enough to show you're weak
Flying high with broken wings
When you fall in love
When you fall in love
I mean, seriously? Are you deadz yet?!?!? I am so OMGing all over the place. Seriously.

OK, now moving onto my numero dos couple, Stefan and Caroline. So remember how I said that one of the reasons that Stefan and Elena don't work as a couple is because they have the worst things in common? Well, one of those worst traits is the tendency to be in utter denial about their feelings. Case in point: Mr. Stefan Salvatore and his feelings for Miss Caroline Forbes. Geez, Stefan, get a freaking clue. He so has it bad for her and yet he continues to insist that he does not have "those" kind of feelings for her. Oh, Stefan, Stefan, Stefan.

He is just… so clueless. Boo, Boo, Boo. What am I going to do with you? You've got an awesome girl here who saves you leftovers even when she's hella mad at you. You don't walk away from that! No, no, no, no! But, he is just fighting the inevitable, playing the head-in-the-sand game per Stefan Salvatore usual. He really has himself convinced he doesn't feel the feelings. That final scene when Caroline walked away and she was all flustered and beaming, the look on Stefan's face, I am afeared that he's afeared that he thinks that he haz sent her the mixed signals and now she thinks that he's caught the feelings! Oh, Boo, you already has the feelings. You just don't realize it. And now poor Caroline is likely to get re-crushed.


But on the bright side, I was right! Stefan, in a much less wordy fashion, basically told Caroline exactly what I said about why he held her at arm's length, so go me! But more importantly, go Stefan! I was quite pleased that he told Caroline. And proof yet again why they are such a much better potential couple than Stefan and Elena ever were—so little true honesty and sharing with those two, ugh. They make much better friends. I kinda love Stefan and Elena as friends. But back to Stefan and Caroline.


I did love that Stefan told her straight-up the truth of it. I loved that Caroline got it, she totally figured out what he was saying. Unfortunately, she actually figured it out better than Boo did because, yes, Stefan it *does* mean something that Caroline can make you feel in ways that no one else can. It *does* mean something that Caroline gets to you in ways that no one else can. It *does* mean something that Caroline can comfort you in ways that no one else can. And it *does* mean something that when Caroline is mad at you that's all you think about, that's all you commiserate about and when you go on a long trip, she's the first person you run to see even though, you know, she's mad at you and you get all shy like a little boy seeing his first crush. Stefan? That means something! Dumb-ass.

I love him so, but seriously, Stefan. You so deserved the ribbing you were getting from Damon and Alaric. You know what scene I'm talking about. Yeah, that one. Only like one of the best scenes EVAR!!! Damon pretending to be Miss Cuddles (hmm, I thought it was Mr. Cuddles, my bad). Alaric, who I thought would tell Damon to behave, instead joined in the teasing. And then Stefan who so could not take the joke because , yes, it *does* mean something Stefan!, high-kicked poor Miss Cuddles into the magic zone. Awesome!


And then when Elena was getting in on pushing him to basically get with Caroline too, I was loving it so hard. In the past, some complained that characters were pushing Stefan and Elena? Hah, that was nothing compared to this. Everyone is pushing Stefan and Caroline! And it is awesome.

Also continuing to be surprisingly awesome is stuff involving my favorite human-cockroach, Tyler Lockwood. He actually not only proved that he had a brain this go-round, but {gasp!} but that he knows how to use it. You go, Tyler! Yup, still loving me some Liv/Tyler (wonder what their ship name is, hmm, Liv/Tyler, they should be called Arwen, you know after the Lord of the Rings character that Liv Tyler played, that would be cool). Anyhoo, yeah, still little Arwen moments we're getting, but I'm getting a wee frustrated now with the fact that they continue to be just "little."

Still, I actually liked the littlest thing with them which was when she put her hand on his chest after she told him it wasn't him as she walked away, and you know, just him asking if he had done anything. He's being so sweet and she's beginning to allow herself to be vulnerable with him. Which o course was shown to greater reveal in their final scene, but that first bit there was my biggest Arwen squee moment.


Don't get me wrong, I did love the final scene with them and how Tyler used his brain by taking her into Mystic Falls so that her coven (i.e., her psycho dad) couldn't come after her. And then the cuddling *sigh* that came afterwards. Unfortunately, I did immediately flash back to Caroline and Tyler cuddling on that very couch after Tyler had attacked Caroline and Matt in "The Sun Also Rises" so the *sigh* was dinged a bit for me. But still, I loved the looks that Liv and Tyler shared, and again, Tyler was so sweet with her and Liv opening up to him is like watching a wounded animal beginning to trust. It's just lovely.


And we can certainly see why she's so scared, can't we? Many a viewer called the Luke/Liv connection to the Gemini coven, but I have to say that I was quite impressed with how the show brought it all together. They took information we already had, wove into the guesses they, no doubt, figured that we had already made and then threw in a bunch of new information that just tied it all up together beautifully. It was just wow! And that opening scene with Kai stalking Jo and the twins and the wee twins was so tense and just so well done.

Obviously we knew about Jo and Kai as well and many did suspect that Jo and Kai might be twins, but the age thing was potentially squirrelly, but they are twins. We also found out the coven is actually a family, Luke and Liv are Lucas and Olivia and siblings of Jo(sette). Then the spooky, awful stuff about the merging of the twins' power upon the age of 22 which leads to the death of one of them to anoint a leader and the fact that their dad is a number-one a-hole who puts coven above family, obviously had to merge, and thus let his twin die and was more than willing to kill his daughter! Dude! Oh, we also know now *why* Jo got rid of her magic… and that her father hasn't aged in twenty years.

That's a lot of information to give out in one episode, along with confirming a bunch of guesses and tying up older information that had been handing out over the course of the previous seven episodes. And to do without feeling too expository and still have some emotional heft as I felt that many of the scenes relaying this information did have. These were two first-time writers to the show and they did a fabulous job. Everyone was in character, the story and plotting was solid, good, good stuff.

As for what will happen next based on the events of this episode? Well, I have a theory. (Hah! As I was actually going to stop speculating. Double hah!) I do now think that Kai is going to get back to 2014. Our gang will get the ascendant from Jo and then go back to 1994. They'll get Bonnie (woohoo, who doesn't seem as injured as one would expect from a stomach stabbing, go figure) and then they'll go back to 2014 and fight Kai there.

Then I think it's going to be a fight over merging to see who will be the leader of the coven because both sets of twins are over 22 now. The coven and the Scooby gang will work together to set it up so that Kai is merged into Jo. This way, Liv and Luke don't have to merge, both live, Jo is the leader and Kai is dead/gone, everything is awesome. However, what will actually happen is while Kai and Jo will merge, it will Jo that dies (oh, noes, whatevs), and Kai will be the leader (for real, oh noes, cuz that is bad because he is the evul!) wrecking havoc.

And, of course, while this is going on you have the Damon/Elena love story playing out, whatever is going on with Stefan/Caroline/Enzo (probably), the Arwen love story and with Jo dying (in my scenario), Alaric will be pissed at Damon for compelling him in the first place, which causes issues because, damnit, yet another ladylove of Ric's is dead, while they are all trying to work to bring down Kai which will be the big brouhaha in the second half of the season. Anyhoo, that's my theory.

Phew! Randoms….

- Aww! Elena and Caroline smiling to each other over the fact that Bonnie is alive was just a beautiful moment. I loved it!


- I liked Stefan's "because I was in love with you" to Elena because it so casually past tense. Just yet another reminder that, yeah, Stefan and Elena are so beyond over

- I like Liam. I liked that he owned up and apologized when he thought he was in the wrong. I want him in the group. And I still think it's a good possibility. Honestly, I'll be surprised if that's it with him in this episode and that his only point was for Damon to see that Elena is "happy" because he could have easily seen that without her dating some random guy. I know that he was compelled to forget about the vampire stuff, but we all know about the Mystic Falls border de-compulsion, so I'm still holding onto my theory that he's going to be inducted into the Scooby gang because he's a 'putting it together' kinda guy.

- Speaking of Liam, I was amused by the whole supernatural discussion of everything going on and then 'oh wait, Liam who doesn't know anything is still here, oops!' LOL!

- Caroline being kinda inappropriate about the food getting cold and her upset that downer tragic family stuff was interfering with her 'event,' was so Caroline. And I did like that Liv called her on it because everyone else is just so used to it so they ignore it, or don't know her well enough and are too polite (see: Liam) to say anything.

- Nice Sheila mention (sobs, Grams!), and now, we know how Mystic Falls comes into all of this. Thank you, Caroline, for asking the very logical question as to how the Gemini coven peeps all wound up in this small, little town. Oh, you Bennett witches.

- BWAHAHAHAH! Damon was invited to Friends-giving by Caroline, but Stefan wasn't. Oh Stefan, you done did the wrong girl wrong!

- I just don't feel bad at all about Damon compelling Ric to get the ascendant from Jo for a few reasons. Firstly, Alaric compelled all of Elena-loving-Damon memories away from Elena. Secondly, Bonnie a gazillion, million, bagillion times over Jo. Uhm, those are enough reasons. End of.

- Garsh, I love Damon and Elena so much. Elena asks Damon what he and Bonnie talked about so much and Damon looks at her incredulously: "What do you think?" Damon asks Elena why she broke up with Liam. Elena looks at Damon like duh! "What do you think?" She just threw it right back at him.

- Heh, I got a kick out of Damon calling her "Robert Frost." * Heh.

*ETA - For those who don't get the reference and/or those who know Frost, but aren't familiar with why Damon called her that. Elena told Damon that she was at a crossroads and talked about the two different paths open to her. Robert Frost is one of the most famous American poets (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963), he received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and is basically an American institution. His most famous poem is easily "The Road Not Taken" and is about that very topic.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Oh, lord, the look on Damon's face when Elena said "I don't know" just cracked me up. It was so 'you've got be kidding me. Oh, God, not that again.' And, on a lighter note, heh, looks like Damon got a wee distracted for a moment by Elena's low-cut topic...


- I just, man, I just loved her taking his hand so much. Just, yeah. You read my reaction above. Still verklempt about it. Peoples, she was caressing his fingers. Man.

- Oh, Elena, are you sure you want Bonnie to help you decide whether to take a chance on Damon or not because Bonnie is totally team!Damon now. Uh huh.

- Hmm, I kinda thought Bon-Bon was moving pretty durn good for someone who was stabbed in the stomach there at the end. Yeah. I mean, I'm happy and all, but, yeah.

- So, if Jo was 22 in 1994, then that means she's 42 now, so, either Alaric is supposed to be in his late 30's, early 40's or he's supposed to be younger than her and we're not supposed to acknowledge that? I mean, she looks older and way less hotter than him. I'm sorry, but it's true. And she was a bitch for no reason to Damon in the last episode! Ugh!

And OK, fine, I was a bit affected by the whole reunion between Jo and "Olivia and Lucas." And I think it's pretty awful that she had to be separated from her younger brother and sister, AND that her father was trying to kill her. But it doesn't take away from what's the deal with the age difference and lack of acknowledgement with her and Alaric and the fact that she's kinda a bitch? Hmm, well, I mean, I guess you could say that's Alaric's type because Isobel was a bitch, but Jenna and Meredith were not.

Well, on second thought… Actually Jenna and Meredith did kinda have bitchy-ish qualities, didn't they? At least, really, really snarky, mean-girl-ish qualities now and then. Think of it, Jenna's best friend was Kelly. I mean, Kelly Donovan. That should tell you something, and really, we mostly just saw sweet Jenna with family. Hmm… OK, now that I'm thinking about it, yeah, Ric has a type, and Jo is it, and so was Jenna. OK, then. Adding fuel to this particular fire, Damon Salvatore is his best friend and we may all love him, but let's be real, Damon's an asshole. So he fits Ric's type too. Alrighty, then. Mystery solved.

- I have to say that Joshua Butler, my favorite directorial whipping boy, had no big doozies that had me groaning, well, OK, except for the final Bonnie scene. She just looked way too recovered from that stab wound, but considering everything else was so well done, I'll be like Elsa and let it go. I was actually pretty pleased with his work tonight so mostly kudos to you, Joshua Butler.

And that's all she wrote. Another great episode to add to a fantastic season so far. I'm really, really loving it. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) and I'll see you in December!
Tags: bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, liv/tyler, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv

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