I'm just going to jump right in, so here goes.
The Matt and Enzo story feels disconnected from the rest of the show right now. Those scenes could have easily been taken out and the episode would not have suffered at all; in fact it would have been improved. Unlike with “Woke Up With A Monster" this wasn't a case of poor direction where the director wasn't able to seamlessly bridge the scenes because that happened with all of the storylines going on not just the Sarah “Nelson" scenes. The Bonnie scenes, the Damon/Elena, the Gemini, the Stefan/Caroline, the Liv/Tyler all flowed in and out of together. It was just the Matt/Enzo/Sarah ones that stuck out a bit.
I mean, the scenes themselves were good. I enjoyed them. I love my Matty. I actually do think that Malarkey and Zach Roerig work well together. I think that Tristin Mays (Sarah) is a lovely actress and I really like her so far. While the scenes played, I was drawn into them and found myself intrigued by the story and where it was going. It was just that once their scene began—every single time!—I immediately was drawn out of the main action that was going on because there was zero connection to *anything* else.
And that is something that The Vampire Diaries doesn't normally miss out on establishing which is why I'm frustrated because I am intrigued by this, but I completely understand why everyone else that I've heard from is not. Plus, it *really* frustrates me because it so, so easily could have been fixed and it frustrates me because if I can see it, why can't they? The line of dialogue was actually there that shows the answer! HELLO!!
Enzo told Matt that “Damon thinks he killed Sarah and instead of absolving him, Stefan's been using his guilt to keep him in check. Not very brotherly now, is it?" Boom, right there you've got your connection… IF it had been set up. Last season the show set up a relationship between Damon and Matt and Damon and Enzo. Had they only continued both relationships this season when Damon came back, presto, you've got your connection.
Had we seen Matt interacting with Damon beyond one phone call when Damon returned from the dead (man, I love typing shit like that) where he expressed reluctant (because he's a vampire, damnit, and Matt's not supposed to admit he cares about Damon), but heartfelt (because he does care, damnit!) relief that Damon's not dead. And had we seen Damon show some ‘aw, shucks! I get to see my minions again!' happiness at seeing Jeremy *and* Matt upon his return, that would have been good. And we'd seen a few scenes here and there of them together, especially Damon and Matt, just two or three, that's all it would have taken to establish the Damon/Matt connection.
Then after seeing the awesome follow-through to Enzo fighting so hard to figure out a way to bring Damon back and go after Stefan for being a ‘bad brother,' by actually seeing Damon and Enzo reunite beyond a barely-there scene in a van as they're both about to die would have been great! And, you know, some scenes of them hanging out, re-establishing their friendship, being buddies. (It's not like Damon had Alaric or anything being a stellar BFF.)
What would have happened then would be when Enzo said that line to Matt: “Damon thinks he killed Sarah and instead of absolving him, Stefan's been using his guilt to keep him in check. Not very brotherly now, is it?" Because we, the viewers, have seen the relationship between Damon and Matt and Damon and Enzo recently and enough, we would have filled in the connection in our heads to the current scenes playing out and thus this storyline would be… connected to the rest of the episode!
Seeing Damon with a measure of happiness, Stefan finding peace of mind with Caroline, we're getting the brothers at such a good place with each other. Now here are Enzo and Matt (unwillingly) planning on screwing with them. However, because Enzo and Matt have been kept separate from Damon this whole time, there is no connection. The antagonism with Stefan alone doesn't sell it if the friendship with Damon is not being shown. Ah well.
Still, I am intrigued. I am curious to see how Malarkey and Mays play opposite each other. I want to know if Matt will break down and tell someone (Damon!) what Enzo has planned. I mean, sure he doesn't want to be Enzo's bitch, but that's because he's already Damon's (minion at least). And, hey, maybe Enzo will start to fall for Sarah just *as* Matt breaks down and tells someone and it will be a race to stop Enzo and Sarah has to fight to save Enzo and convince the others that she loves him and Enzo has to convince them (Damon) that his revenge plans have changed?
We will see.
We will also see what my girl Bonnie gets up to once she reaches Novia Scotia. Man, who ever thought we'd see that place again? I love when the show uses its own history so well. Awesome. And, hey, any Tessa (Quetsiyah) name-dropping works for me anytime, anyway, anyhow!
Oh, my poor Bonnie! She broke my heart and made me so proud here. Firstly, I loved that Elena and Jeremy (although, honestly, it doesn't really count as much with Elena because she doesn't have her memories… yet) got to see a little bit of Bonnie and Damon's friendship through that video she watching. It wasn't much, but I appreciated that. Secondly, again, my poor Bonnie. Her tears, her crying face! Wah! She cries so pretty, but her pretty tears break my heart.
When she was making her goodbye video and talking about the loneliness, how she began by saying she missed the act of greeting strangers and ordering food in restaurants before building up to the more important things like hanging out with her friends to just the simple joy of laughing before hitting the final, sad statement of how she just doesn't talk for weeks. And then how she was so lonely and she broke down.
But she's strong. Bonnie Bennett is so strong, so she carried on and she finished her message which included a goodbye to Jeremy where she told him to move on, live his life and stay strong. Stay strong just like her Grams said and just like Damon knew that Bonnie couldn't do it, Bonnie could not do it. She did what her Grams said, she stayed strong. She pulled it together, held on long enough for one of the physical manifestations of Kai's magic woo's to work. We had seen it happen with the atlas once, and when Jeremy had touched Bonnie's wrist once (why she hadn't felt it we'll put down to the beginning of carbon monoxide poisoning), so they had set it up that every now and then the physical could break through and take hold and Bonnie held on long enough for it break though once more and Jeremy was there when he needed to be.
When I was talking to kalishaka, I had said initially that I wish Jeremy hadn't been there because I wanted it to be all Bonnie and that it was a silly magical emotional plot point that Jeremy was there to ooh! push the button, but watching it again and letting it percolate more, I stand by what I wrote above now. He did have to be there. Not just because, plot-point wise, they *did* give us those cues deliberately to let us know that every now and then, yes, the corporeal could break through, but emotionally for *Jeremy's* state of mind at the end… which led to *Elena's* state of mind when she spoke to Damon. So it all tied into together. So basically Bonnie back in 1994 because she is THAT awesome put the finishing touch that put Damon and Elena firmly back together and put Jeremy's head back on straight.
But back to Bonnie back in 1994, heading to Novia Scotia because Damon is also THAT awesome and those two are like the best non-siblings-siblings EVAR and read each other's minds so well. That final scene of Bonnie was pretty much worth the pain of all the previous Bonnie scenes in the episode, she was so boss. In her glasses, in what is now officially her Camaro (at least in 1994), heading back to 2013 (finally they're getting closer to the actual present!).
I just have one question: When Bonnie comes home, how often will she steal Damon's car? Wait, kalishaka has a follow-up question: If she brings her own set of keys, will it count as stealing?
Anyhoo, moving on… Jeremy. Sullen as ever as the episode begins, as he has been most of this season, but we finally got to see the Jeremy that I love at the end there. So as mentioned above, all it took were some wise words from Bonnie to wake his ass up. I love Jeremy, I do, but how he's been handling this has been pretty terrible. Of course, how Elena handled Damon's loss was pretty terrible too (both ways frankly). The Gilbert kids have just suffered so much grief that they have given up on even trying to come up with a healthy way to handle it at this point. (And I tell ya, something is up with Ric or he would have done better with Jeremy.)
Losing himself to bitterness is not the right life choice for Jeremy. It just doesn't work for him. I think, honestly, it was a mistake on the show's part to go that route with him and I think that when Damon returned they had the opportunity to go a different direction with Jeremy. That door was even opened when Jeremy visited Damon and we saw the old Jeremy with him, the more vulnerable, sweet Jeremy, but then they closed it right up. Ah well.
I'm just a little frustrated because I feel like the show really has an opportunity to do cool relationships with Damon/Jeremy/Matt that were explored in season 04 and then less so in season 05 and they've been dropped completely now. I just feel like it could open story possibilities for all three actors in ways that haven't been touched upon yet, especially for Steven R. McQueen and Zach Roerig. Again, ah well. At least, Bonnie said what she did in her video and Jeremy took it to heart and Elena got to him when he was still feeling the emotional pull of Bonnie's words so they affected him too. Therefore, he got the double whammy!
We saw him open the art school application, so we'll see. And, hey, failing grades or not, it's not like he doesn't know a few people who can compel him some passing grades, LOL! Getting out now would probably be the absolute best thing for him. And it was obvious that what Elena said to Jeremy made her realize that it was time for her to stop looking back.
I'm going to admit; I really, really don't like the last line of the Damon/Elena scenes when Elena tells Damon that “if the past is a place without you and me in it together, then stop living in it." I know it sounds crazy to think that I don't like that line, but bear with me. The reason I don't like it is because it really confused me and threw off the entire scene for me to the point that I missed the point (upon watching and rewatching the rest of the speech quite a few times) of the rest of what she was saying.
Elena telling Damon to stop living in the past made me go ‘whu huh?' because Damon hasn't been living in the past with regards to Elena in like, oh, I don't know for like ever?! It's been a long, long time since Damon has been caught up in that. Yeah, Kai mentioned it because Damon surely recounted that in his hours and hours and hours of talking about Elena and rehashing the whole saga to Bonnie (poor thing). And sure when Elena asked him if she thought they'd be together if she were human, he said no, but that has nothing to do with now because she's not human.
However we know because we've gotten Damon's point of view from pretty much episode three, season 01 on his feelings about Elena that he does not consider Stefan or Elena's feelings for Stefan even remotely an issue at all anymore. He's good; he's completely fine on that score. So I was completely thrown off by that last line. It just felt like it was coming out of the blue. Damon's not having any Elena-Stefan-past-shaped issues here. The only issues are ‘Elena compelled her memories of her love for him away.' That's it.
So to suddenly make it seem like the obstacle to the two of them getting back on track was a Damon issue made absolutely zero sense to me. This one was allllllllllll on Elena.
I'm going to blame this on the writers, Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux. These are the same guys who wrote “The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get," an episode that I enjoyed, but one that had some serious out-of-character moments (namely between Alaric and Damon, and from Matt Donovan) and that was the first episode these guys had written. Now the difference is in that episode, they had written Damon and Elena, and Stefan and Caroline pitch-perfect. That last line, from Elena to Damon just did not make a lick of sense considering where they are right now in their relationship.
The rest, well, that made sense after I watched and rewatched and rewatched their previous scenes, and the Jeremy scene with Elena beforehand. The whole transition from her speech to Jeremy and how it applied to her and her and Damon. That is sooooooooo Elena. Elena does that. I love the girl to bits, but that is the one selfish aspect of her. Although, hmm, I don't know if that's selfish, so much as smart. She takes stock of situations around her and susses out the wisdom of what applies to her own life. Anyhoo, so, I get that part. She told Jeremy that you have to live your life, be happy and applied that to her own life. Good on her.
Then I had to go back (again) and rewatch the other scenes to pick up on what Elena was trying to say because I kept going back to that last line WHICH MADE NO FREAKING SENSE! Because I do this thing you see. I overthink. That's how these posts come about. I think and I overthink and I think some more and then I over-over-think. And then think some more. Most of you probably got it the first time around because IT WAS RIGHT THERE what the hell Elena was saying. But me… because I was so dang stuck on that horribly written last line that made no freaking sense? Took forever to get that Elena was saying what I've been dreaming and hoping and waiting for her to say since then end of season freaking 03!
It doesn't matter whether she is a human or a vampire, it's Damon, stupid! Yeah, it's Damon for Elena. Uh huh. And then we got the shortest love scene in the history of the show. Wait, no, that would be Liv and Tyler who didn't even get a love scene. What the hell, show?! What is it with you and love scenes this season? Are you allergic or something? But at least we got some hot kisses …
And some thrusting and grinding and leg-curling …
But I'm not gonna lie. I am disappoint. I can't believe we've waited half-a season for Damon and Elena to *finally* do the sexy chicka-chicka-bow-wow again, and it's about, wait for it, 15 seconds long. FIFTEEN SECONDS, people! Yeah! I'm just really, really, really hoping that we are going to get more over the course of February sweeps or something really worthwhile when Elena gets her memories back. Otherwise? Very, very disappoint.
On the other-other hand, in fifteen seconds, Ian and Nina did NOT disappoint, that was a WHOLE LOTTA hot they packed in there. Refer to gifs above… and enjoy. And we also got some post-coital cuddling where Elena clearly wore Damon out, hehehehe! …
And some pre-sexy-tiems! cupcake kissing! Seriously, how adorable was that scene? I mean on a scale of 1 to super-uber-adorbs how utterly adorable was that? Yeah, indescribably adorable, huh? Elena all sparkly happy, clearly just wanting to get the talk over so she could get to the kissing. And we had Damon amusement paired with his desire at her oh-so-obviousness lust for him. I mean, look at the girl's face (and pretty, pretty hair!).
And then, and then, and then!!! the way that Damon was all like explaining to her that kissing was the reason for not talking, but she had to talk anyway and she's all radiantly smiling as she's telling him how good she feels about the kissing. So he's all this is the talk, and she's like yeah, and he's all definitively making sure the talk is done because he's respecting her and once that's clear, he goes in for the kiss and she's all down for that. And again, adorbs! And hawt!
Then there was just their whole totally in-synch-ness again when dealing with Kai like we had last week. They just work so well together. Damon steps back and lets Elena take the lead when she get the most out of the situation, and vice versa. Their little teasing each other back and forth, their utter one-ness, ah, I love them so.
So, aside from that one line that made NO FREAKING SENSE! and took out my enjoyment of that Damon/Elena scene, once again, writers Fiveash and Stoteraux did an excellent job with the couple. On the other hand, when it came to Stefan and Caroline… well, as in their first outing, they wrote the pair absolutely aces. These two were as perfect as perfect could be. I was just loving every second. I mean, has watching someone try and enrage the other person ever been so adorable? Like ever? So, so, so cute!
Seriously, Stefan loves Caroline so much. It's like, oh my gosh, watching Stefan in love with Caroline is the most wonderful thing ever. Because it's like he knows he's in love with her, but he won't admit to himself that he knows he's in love with her and so there's always this underlying hilarity to every single one of their scenes. It's awesome.
I genuinely loved every solitary moment of them in this episode so if I were to highlight stuff it would really be everything, I kid you not. And I don't have much to say thinky-thoughts wise because it would really be just a continuation of what I've been saying about them over the last few episodes because the beauty of their arc is continuing on swimmingly. So I'm just going to point out a few specific things to give an idea of my uber-love.
There was that moment when Ms. Cuddles head fell off (LOL!) when Caroline began to laugh but it was a pained laugh and the camera angle switched to one that was a set-up for ‘this burgeoning couple is about to kiss.' And I really, really wanted them to kiss. Like A LOT! And then it became obvious that they were not going to kiss and I was disappointed. And then Caroline began to cry and she fell against Stefan's shoulder and began to cry and he wrapped his arms around her, comforted her and realized that I was so very glad that they had not kissed because it would have so been the wrong moment for their first kiss. And I was very happy that they had not kissed. It was such a perfect moment that I didn't realize was perfect until it was over.
The other thing was Stefan not only unable to say that they were searching for a teddy bear in a shallow grave buried by a 9-year old with a straight face, but him actually telling her that he couldn't say it with a straight face. It was just so adorable that Stefan wasn't even trying to hide that he was trying to rile her up, and he was so adorable doing it. (“Oh, it's a leaf.") And Caroline knew what he was doing, and she was getting mad, but she was also charmed and loved him for doing it because she knew why he was doing it. It was just… garsh, it was just love.
My goodness, I love Stefan and Caroline SO VERY HARD!
I also still really do like Liv and Tyler a lot. Their scenes pre-magical-takedown were really well-done. Tyler was fighting just for her to live. He's basically spent the last several episodes doing that, fighting for her life, which when you think about it, make sense. Liv literally *killed* for him and by doing so she gave him a lifetime free of agony and the chains of being a werewolf holding him back. But Liv is not thinking rationally at all right now. Luke was literally her other half and she lost him to the man who tried to kill the both of when they small children, the boogie man to them. Of course, we could see that final moment coming with the kiss and the magic-takedown, but it was still beautiful.
And their final scene was painful. And Tyler, oh Tyler, my beautiful human-cockroach hybrid. His dickish response was perfect and right and totally in character. That is EXACTLY how Tyler Lockwood would respond. Anything else from him would be totally out of character. Where they go from here, I don't know, but I want to see it… and by it, I mean an actual love scene when they reunite.
Speaking of reunions… Kai and Liv's did not quite go as she expected, now did it? But then, methinks her non-rational self forgot the whole part about Luke being a part of Kai now. And boy is he ever. So, yeah, I'm guessing this is how they are looking at potentially, possibly, probably planning on making Kai (Chris Wood) a long-term player? At this stage, it works for me.
I've made no secret of the fact that I think Wood is fabulous and I love, love, love Kai. I thought he was good in his very first appearance and I've just been more and more impressed with each additional appearance. I feel like they pretty much laid out the plan with his one line to Elena: “Let's face it, guys, right… Look, Elena, you of all people, should be able to look past all the questionable things I've done to see there's good somewhere in me. You did it with Damon." So, a challenge to the audience: We did it with Damon, we can do it with Kai.
And the scene where Kai was caught between missing burning someone alive and then when given the opportunity to do so finding himself actually not wanting to do so showed that there is a great opportunity for an epic struggle within the character. A struggle that could play out over 2-4 seasons, and Chris Wood is a good enough actor, that he can do it justice. I trust this show, I trust Caroline Dries and I trust the writers… so I'm down for the battle between the good Luke infesting the sociopathic Kai. Yeah.
Phew! OK, randoms –
- Damon is a genius. Bonnie says it, but we also got proof: His sob-storying about Bonnie to Kai (and I loved Elena's background reaction to it, LOL!), then kicking a hole in his fireplace upon realizing that Liv was below them and then throwing the bourbon bottle through the hole into the fireplace into the room she was in.
- The fight scenes between Kai and Liv were fantastic.
- Hah! The whole Kai is supposed to be in PORTLAND!, but he needs Damon and Elena to give a letter of apology to Jo because he has alien fluid in his eyes. Double hah! I loved it.
- Sarah is pretty and nice and all that, but you know she's gotta be thinking Matt is not all that smart or she's not all that smart, because, uhm, why didn't she ask Matt why he didn't just ask oh ANYONE or you know HER if he could just use their phone to call someone? And you know maybe wait inside a warm building while waiting for person he would have called? Yeah, Sarah? Not too bright. Clearly, Damon got allll the brains in the Salvatore family tree. I mean, we got Giuseppe, Zach, Stefan and now Sarah. Yup, Damon got all the brains.
- So in the pre-Kai fight scenes with Tyler, Liv barely had any eyeliner on. When she woke up from her near-death adventures in her dorm, she had lovely eyelinered eyes, so I'm guessing that while waiting, Tyler got bored and was practicing his cosmetology skills?
- So I thought that Kai was just feeling weak and that's why Damon gave him his blood, so I had no problem with him helping Jeremy, but I know that others read the scene as Kai was actually dying and therefore the Luke-parts of him was taking it too far. And that could be problematic and pushing it too far in "fixing" Kai. Thoughts?
- It's official this episode, Ms. Cuddles is been the MVP scene stealer of the season. There is not one episode that she's been where in her scenes, she does not fill the episode with joy and awesomeness.
- Damon calling Bonnie “Bon-Bon" will never not be awesome. (Especially because his voice is so filled with love now when he says it. Aww.)
- Kai would have been OK with Luke's hair? Really?
- Kai DID take a cupcake! Hah! You can see him licking frosting off of his finger at the beginning of the next scene after he walks in. LOL!
- Aww, Caroline was sewing Ms. Cuddles' head back on when Stefan gave her the drinks at the end. Double aww.
So a very good episode. My only issues was the disconnect between the Sarah storyline and the rest of the episode, but that's on the lack of Damon/Enzo, Damon/Matt scenes in past episodes, and that one line that made NO FREAKING SENSE in the Damon/Elena scene (and the uber-brevity of their love scene *). Other than that, really good one. This continues to be a great season. Woohoo!
* Still enjoyable.