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17 January 2015 @ 03:53 am
6.10 - 'Christmas Through Your Eyes' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Before I get this rodeo going, I want to say that I'm aware that there is some change coming in our cast, however I have absolutely zero clue what or who that change is about. I really, really want it to stay that way. So pretty, pretty please do NOT reference any casting spoilers in your comments. On that note, please don't mention upcoming writers or directors or any casting news in comments. I consider those spoilers as well. Thank you very much. Now onto the much-delayed write-up for an episode that aired, erm, over a month ago. Yeah, this always happens, doesn't it? We get these mid-season hiatuses and I wind up waiting until the week before the show comes back before finally putting getting around to writing my review. *sigh* I suck.

Obviously, I loved every single moment that we got with Damon and Elena. Every single moment. From her watching him sleep, his smile as he caught her watching him sleep, the cute drooling bit, the continued inability to not stare at him, him catching her staring, the little bit of teasing, her thanking him for helping with Bonnie, seeing this side of Damon as Elena so often had in the past which, of course, is a big part of why she'd fallen for him. Ah, it was all so, so lovely. We are getting exactly what I had hoped and what I had said we would get: An Elena falling for Damon at an accelerated rate without the specter of Stefan in, her heart and because behind that mental block every part of her already is in love with him. Honestly, I am fine with waiting for her memories to come back at this rate with us getting goodies like this. Of course, I'm still expecting them to come back pretty soon because… I'm thinking that what will bring them back will be the kiss of true love. *sigh* And you just know that a kiss is coming very, very soon and once it does… oh, I just bet those memories will come flooding back! *double sigh*

Speaking of a lack of kissage. Ahem. One of the things that I am absofreakinglutely adoring about this season is how it is blowing away every single argument that insists that the Damon and Elena love is less than.

It's as if at the beginning of season 06 Caroline Dries wrote down a checklist of all of the reasons that anti-Damon/Elena fans have come up with as to why this couple isn't the real deal and one by one has been knocking them down like bowling pins.

- It's just the sire bond – check, gone.

- She didn't fall in love with him when she was with Stefan because their love was too pure – check, gone.

- They are just all about sex. Hah, they haven't even kissed yet – check, gone.

I LOVE IT!

Then of course there was their final conversation where Elena told him she just wanted to see him because she had a terrible day. And Damon told her to come to him and they could tell each other about their crappy days. And, of course, we all thought back to "What Lies Beneath," when Damon kissed Elena and "Promised Land" when Elena kissed Damon because they just needed that connection to the other because they had crappy days.

Yeah. GROUP SQUEE FULL OF AWW!!! And here are bookend gifs of Damon and Elena adorable squee!

 

Not so squee-worthy? The very unpleasant news we received about my beloved Liz. So let's just get on with it. Oh, Liz, Liz, Liz. *sigh* OK, let's get technical first. So we've never been given indication that vampire blood doesn't *not* heal anything, but to be fair we've never been given an indication that it doesn't not *not.* Maybe it's that vampire blood can't fix stuff on the cellular level for the most part and only surface stuff? Yes, yes, Grayson Gilbert was able to heal Megan, but she had a blood-related illness so perhaps that (and medical help as well) is why vampire blood was able to help her. I'm trying here, people!

Still, they better come up with some way to save Liz, damnit! I mean, come on!! It's LIZ! Hell, they can just give feed her vampire blood and then kill her (a nice smothering or gentle, painless poison perhaps?). Then, voila!, she comes back as a vampire!Sheriff, problem solved. See, all better. Uh huh!

Gah! I rewatched the episode and those opening scenes with her and Caroline (and Stefan) just gutted me knowing what I knew. Her wanting to decorate and share Christmas with Caroline, forgoing her Sheriff duties because she knew it was her last Christmas. :sobs: And then trying to reunite Caroline and Stefan because she wants Caroline to be happy and make up with her friend (future loverboy) because she loves her soooo much. :sobs incoherently: Oh, Liz…. don't leave me………………. I can't. NOOOO!!!

I'm fine. I'm fine. Here, I will distract myself from my grief by ranting about the idiocy of other people. So I was trolling my favorite tag on tumblr (the anti-stelena tag, it's mostly super-delish!) and a post showed up bitching about how another female death on this terrible, awful show was all about Stefan's manpain and how he learned to be a friend, Elena's selfishness. Yeah, I know. I was confuzzled too. So I must address this because, really?!?! (And I know said person will never see this post, but really, I just have to address this, because REALLY?!?!?!)

Honestly, if Liz's potential (and I stress the word potential damnit!) death (FEED HER YOUR BLOOD, DAMON SALVATORE and let her be one of your besties for all time!!) is about any one character, it is about her daughter, Caroline. Not Stefan, not Elena, but about Caroline, as it should be since Liz (as much as I love her) is a recurring character and Caroline is a lead on the show and has been since season 01, episode 01.

Yes, Stefan and Elena had a conversation {gasp!}, but that conversation was about Caroline. And, yes, Caroline discussed how things were with Damon with Elena, but Caroline brought it up because it reflected upon *her* situation with Stefan and how none of *her* boyfriends had ever really been there for her at all times when she needed someone. And now, she finally got it. She saw that. The purpose of this conversation was for Caroline to finally have a guy that she likes actually be there after she's noted Elena—someone she's always been jealous of—having a guy she likes always is there for her. So, again, about Caroline.

And, finally, yes, we saw Stefan feeling emo, being all emotional over his emotions. But that emoting was… wait for it: All. About. Caroline. So, yeah, he was being a better friend, but it was about Stefan being a better friend TO CAROLINE. To that tumblr poster (who, again, yeah, will likely never, ever see this post) duh, duh, DUH!

I'm sorry, but I had to get that off my chest. Phew! I feel better. Back to emoting Stefan, emoting over Caroline. Did you see, guys? He was actually all crying *because* Caroline was crying. *sigh* He loves her so much. Oh, Stefan, you're so stupid. But I still love you boo. And he was trying. Man, he was trying so hard. Showing up in the beginning to help decorate, trying to be cheerful and helpful. Leaving when she asked, there when she and her mom needed him, sticking around at the hospital, there when the bad news came in. And it was just, ah, so beautiful (if terribly depressing at the end there, damnit, Damon, Elena, Caroline, someone, give Liz your blood, make me a vampire!Sheriff!!) and it was so beautiful, again, because he was trying so damn hard.

And, folks, Stefan Salvatore is not a trier. Let's get real. He loved Elena, he totes did, but he never really tried with her. He always, always gave up with her—it was always Elena who was the one who kept pushing, who was the one who tried to keep things going.

Yuppers. But with Caroline, Stefan tries. Uh huh. *sigh*

You know who also tries, and it sure seems like he always tries? Our adorable little sociopath, Kai! "Wait, is that funny or sad? I get my emotions mixed up." Hahahaha! I'm sorry, but I love him. I mean, he's totally evil and awful and terrible, but he's awesome at it. So, so awesome. Some may consider this blasphemy, but here it is. For me, Kai is what I think that Klaus should have been. He is a blend of scary and evil, and yet charming at the same time, but under that charm, I never doubt that he would kill in a heartbeat. He's a psychotic scamp who I genuinely believe would do any horrible thing at the drop of a hat and not blink. There would be no trembling lip from him, no teary eye because he is a psychotic sociopath with the display of a cheery disposition. This is a great character creation with great execution in writing, direction and acting. Absolutely brilliant.

Also great, was Luke's reaction to how Liv and Tyler are treating Kai's return and grand plan.

Liv: Everyone, chill! Jo thinks she can beat Kai.
Luke: You and I both know that's crap. Kai's a million times stronger. She'll die, and the first thing Kai's gonna do is kill everyone in our coven as punishment for putting him away, and then he'll turn on innocent people because he's crazy and bored and homicidal.
Liv: Fine. Then I'm selfish, Luke, but I'd rather be alive and selfish than this dead martyr who served her purpose to her coven.
Luke: People are gonna die, and it's gonna be our fault. Remember that.
Does it make me wrong that I'm Team!Luke here? Seriously? Does it make me wrong? I get where Liv is coming from, I do, but Kai is seriously a homicidal psychotic sociopath. He will kill their whole coven and then bunches and bunches of people just because that's what Kai do. And Liv is all, yeah, that's cool as long as I can boink Tyler and you're still alive too, I'm fine with that. No problem. I mean, she's not even trying to formulate a plan beyond, yeah, sure, my weak-ass older sister who I barely know can take on my crazy-ass older brother who just sucked the magic out of an entire freaking town!

Speaking of which… holy crap! Was that freaking BRILLIANT or what?!?!? What a way to take away the anti-magic spell on the town. I was just blown away by that. So, so, so freaking cool. Have I mentioned that I love this show? If not, I love this show. Like plenty lots.

Oh, and as for the contention that Jo is going to take on Kai and win the day, I sure hope she's not planning on relying on her smarts because I ain't too impressed. I mean, seriously, lady. Remember, your twin is a psychopath. You know this. Of course he's going to threaten to kill someone when you flat-out tell him how ones goes about putting the magic back in the knife. Duhhhh!

So, yeah, Kai's got all the Traveler magic flowing through him and he's going against a not-too bright, rusty witch. I'm team!Luke, and I'm pretty sure that Elena and Damon and the rest of her gang (minus Dic—I mean, Ric) would agree.

Oh, yes, let's talk about Ric, shall we? Oh, Ric. Ric, Ric, Ric. Alaric Saltzman, he of the recently back from the dead, but less recently back from the dead than Damon Salvatore, Ric, Ric, Ric. Why you such an ass lately, boo? Inquiring minds want to know.

While I am team!Luke, I am so NOT team!Ric. Telling Damon that he's only doing all of this because Damon is feeling bad for himself? Ric, you are being a BAD FRIEND! I'm mad at you. You don't deserve Damon. You don't deserve the awesomeness that is Damon in your life right now. And, Damon you need to give Ric a freaking time-out. A long one. Double and… I so hope that Ric grovels when he realizes that Elena has been kidnapped and is in jeopardy because he didn't listen to Damon (who is ALWAYS right) and didn't kill Kai when he had the chance because Ric is just obsessed with this Jo chick!

Seriously, Ric really needs to shut up and get a wake-up call with regards to how he is treating Damon. I hope that when Bonnie comes back she's the one who gives it to him. Why is Damon apologizing? Why is Ric not apologizing? Ric is the one being a dick. Not Damon. Hello?! Pfft! When Ric wouldn't take Damon's hand, honestly, Damon should have just walked away, for reals. Double, pfft. I do wonder if the Parker girls have some weird spell they cast on men because both Tyler and Ric are definitely thinking with their little heads and not their big ones, thank you very much. They are completely putting aside their friends and the potential lives of lots of people on the line for their new girlfriends. I mean, come on, boys! Tsk, tsk. (I still love you, Ric, but, seriously. Damon died and you're being such a jerk to him! Bad Ric, bad!)

Also bad, Matty-blue-blue! But, my, my, would Damon have been so proud of his little minions had he seen how they took down Enzo (of course, had it not been Enzo). But still, they were quite impressive, really, they were. And I loved that I sorta got a Matt and Damon and then a tangential Matt, Damon and Jeremy scene and Matt and Jeremy were kinda/sorta minion-ish in that they didn't say that they *wouldn't* be on the look-out for a psychopath in Mystic Falls. Hey, I take what I can get, OK? Ahem. Besides, right now, Matt is too busy being a bad boy on his own to look up in hero worship at the bad boy that is Damon.

Alas, Matt is just going way too far in his whole ‘vampire=bad, vampire killer=good' in the words of good, ole Tripp. Oh, Matt, hopefully Jeremy's words of wisdom* stuck in there a bit and Enzo's ‘knock Stefan's halo askew' plan will remind Matt yet again that it's not all black and white. Cuz boy sure needs reminding.

* Well, mostly wise. Jeremy saying Stefan's name first as to "would you kill..." sticks in my craw even after a rewatch. Stefan? Really? (Clearly my favorite word in this review.) Elena SOOO should have been the first name out of his mouth. But other than that, I truly did love that speech he gave to Matt.

And I think (*think*) I called it re: Enzo and Matt as working together. And I am loving where this story is (I think) going. The idea of bringing "hero" Stefan who does have failings that have never been dealt with out into the light—which WILL bring Damon into the story because Damon will protect his brother, and the Damon/Enzo relationship will come into play as well, is just going to be fucking awesome when this arc reaches its climax. All of Stefan's wrongdoings (which so many aren't aware of), the "good brother," St. Stefan will be brought down to earth, but the thing is that he IS good, he's just not a saint. And, aaah, the potential of all of this and how it all comes together (especially the brothers and their bond) will be amazing.

Phew! Now it's time for randoms –

- Man, the back and forth cutaways to the scenes towards the beginning between Ric/Damon/Elena, and Tyler/Liv/Luke and Jeremy/Matt were so flawlessly executed that there was zero confusion and it was just so, so well-done. I was so impressed.

- Great job from wardrobe and make-up to make Nina Dobrev and Kat Graham look so much younger for the flashbacks. Alas with Candice Accola, it didn't quite work. There was too much make-up on her and her face has just aged too much, but it really did work well for Dobrev and Graham.

- I also liked how they used the banners and such to show the different Christmas years.

- Where did Bonnie get the Christmas tree (and a clean Santa hat) from if it's May 22nd where she is? Hmmm.

- Since we ended on a cliffhanger, I really want them to use that opportunity to let us see Damon find out about Liz. I want to see that scene, damnit.

- Ah, The Vampire Diaries and their cheery holiday episodes. Although at least we had the awesome scene with Stefan giving Damon the Camaro and the hug that followed that was perfect. So, so, soooooooo perfect.

- Shallow alert! Damon looked really cute in this episode.

- *Sigh* Gah! Every Bonnie fixing her lonely tree scene broke my heart, and then her burning it made me tear up. Oh, my Bonnie. *Double sigh* And then, and then, yes, it was cheesy, but I liked how they did the dual shot at the end of Bonnie and Jeremy both standing in front of the tree in different universes. *Triple sigh*

- I originally thought that the final scene wasn't very OMG!cliffhanger for a midseason finale, but then I recalled their first mid-season finale and hey, it was Elena in a car-crash and being stalked by a vampire who might kill her… So, yeah, it works.

There we go, half a season and I really, really have been loving this season bunches and bunches. I know that doesn't mean much coming from me since I pretty much LOVE THIS SHOW FOREVER AND EVER LOTS AND LOTS, but yeah, it's been so excellent. I loved the first half of last season, but there were issues that I did mention which I put down mostly to Caroline Dries' growing pains as an executive producer which I believed she'd outgrown during the second half. The first half of this season, I believe, has completely proven that. As for this episode, I thought it was a really compelling, tightly-plotted and tautly-directed episode. The only flaw is that I just don't like Jo, but that's the actress and not on the episode itself. And, yes, Ric is annoying me, but I'm holding out to see how that plays out in upcoming episodes because (a) there may be a reason or (b) it may be resolved to my satisfaction. Bottom-line, though, yeah, excellent episode, just so, so good.

Again, one more reminder: PLEASE don't spoil me on casting spoilers, writers/directors, general spoilers at all. THANK YOU! :)
 
 
 
Arabian: Damon&Liz02arabian on January 19th, 2015 04:52 am (UTC)
Me too, oh so fervently me too!!!