Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

6.14 - 'Stay' (The Vampire Diaries)

Here we go, thoughts on the next episode of The Vampire Diaries. Whee!

So this one made me cry. I'm guessing that's not a huge surprise or anything. I cried when Liz and Damon were talking at her bedside. And I cried during the final scene. And I cried when I rewatched those scenes while grabbing gifs. Yeah, this one was a tear-jerker. Not surprisingly… because, well, Liz. I love Liz. I've loved Liz from the beginning. One of the reasons I was never as terribly fond of Lexi as was practically everyone else is because Lexi was vamping out to kill Sheriff Forbes instead of using her super-vamp speed to run, run, run away off into the night.

Now, back then, I didn't know her as Liz. I barely knew her as Caroline's mom and she was just a pawn to Damon at that point, but Lexi was going to kill her and Damon saved her. And I liked this Sheriff Forbes—who'd I'd already spent a few episodes with— over this new, brash chick who was mean to Damon, was stealing drinks, getting teenagers drunk and got that poor, unknowing bartender fired without caring about consequences.

(Yes, I will take just about any opportunity to throw in a 'Lexi sucks' rant, why do you ask?)

Anyhoo, the point beyond the besides-the-point of Lexi's suckage is that I like Liz and I always have and now she's gone and that also sucks. I don't know why The Vampire Diaries decided to kill Liz off. I've heard that the actress wanted to maybe concentrate more on writing (I know she's written some scripts for The Originals—and the one episode that she co-wrote that I saw was very good) so that could be why. They were being cool and accommodating Marguerite MacIntyre.

Or maybe they felt that for Caroline's arc it was necessary to cut the parental ties. Again, I don't know, I really don't. Perhaps someone who's read some interviews on the subject can enlighten me without sharing spoilers. Obviously, I'm not happy about it, but I can't deny that it has been written very well. Other than some poor direction in a certain episode that shall remain nameless, I can't find any fault in how this story has been told. It felt very, painfully real. The truth is that life can suck. As Damon so succinctly put it: "Sometimes really terrible things happen to really amazing people."

The Vampire Diaries is *not* a happy show. It's not about good things happening to good people. Let's go back to our oldest characters: Quetsiyah was betrayed by the love of her life and in turn she made him believe that she ripped the heart out of the woman he betrayed her with. The next batch: The youngest Original sibling was killed by a werewolf; Klaus was treated horribly by his "father" for his mother's adulterous sin. In turn, he killed his mother. And he's *still* throwing tantrums about it a millennium later.

Then we have Katherine, she committed the unpardonable sin (in her day and age) of bearing a child out of wedlock at seventeen years old. She then proceeded to flirt her way through England, set up those who were willing to help her to die to save her own skin and then continued to leave a wake of chaos and death through the next five hundred years. Ah, then we have our lovely Salvatore boys: Their father favored one son over the other, clearly something funky happened with Mama Salvatore (you know I'm talking more about that later), they were manipulated by Katherine, and then when they didn't follow Papa Salvatore's path, he shot them to death. And we all know how they have handled the next one hundred and fifty plus years.

Finally, we have our current crew. Elena and Jeremy have had so much death surrounding them it's ridiculous, I'm not going to even attempt an accounting. Tyler, Caroline, Bonnie… oh my Lord, not gonna even bother. Alaric? To date him is to die, and if you don't, you are damn lucky to get out alive and it means that you were near death enough and you got out just in the nick of time (paging Meredith… or rather don't, she's in Alaska!).

The point is that everyone we've met on this show is either a good person who has had bad, very, very bad, no good things happen to them and they've responded by turning worse in kind, or they were bad to begin with and they got just desserts eventually handed to them in the judgment department. Then there is door number three (a) and (b), good people who have bad things happen to them again and again, and reformed bad people who have bad things happen to them again and again, but still manage to find slivers of good among the sucktitude.

That, my friends, is the world of The Vampire Diaries. So, the lovely Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes dying? Not really a surprise. That Caroline managed to keep her wonderfully, fantastically, exceptionally ordinary mother around as long as she did is a blooming miracle. And now she is gone.

There is a part of me that is really mad that Caroline didn't get to be with Liz in those last hours she had, but on the other hand, I absolutely loved the Damon and Liz scenes. They felt so fully earned. I was so upset that we didn't get to see Damon find out that Liz was sick, and as awesome as the waking-up scene was when he flirted cutely with her in the follow-up episode, that was the only scene the two have shared since her illness was revealed. So seeing so many fabulous scenes really highlight and show an appreciation for their friendship was just wonderful.

This *is* a friendship that's been growing since early in season 01 and started to genuinely become real for Damon as early as the final episodes of that season so to allow viewers the opportunity to see it fully get its due was the right thing to do. Liz prodding at Damon to open up about his mother (yes, yes, later, I will get to it, you know I will), but backing off when he wanted her too. Damon agreeing to help her with her cold cases oh so hilariously. Seriously, I rewound that scene, I was laughing so hard. (“Me, me, me, me. Ooh, this was Stefan, no, it was me.”) and then telling her she's a terrible sheriff because she has booze and her shooting back right away that she's a terrible sheriff because one of her best friends (DAMON!) is the perp in half of her cold cases. HAH! The humor mixed in with the seriousness of Liz's condition and the rooting around into Miranda and Grayson's death kept such a perfect balance to their scenes, all of them including their final scene at Liz's bedside.

And my goodness, did that scene just gut me good. It was so beautifully written. Of course the whole episode was. About sixteen minutes into it, I stopped and rewound back to the beginning to see who the writer(s) was/were (thinking that it simply had to be Caroline Dries) and sure enough it was Dries and Brian Young. This episode, my goodness, the writing of every single character, every moment, every scene was just perfection. And that bedside scene with Damon and Liz was but one example. The dialogue:

Liz: If there had been a supernatural reason they died, it would have been easier. There would have been a reason. As it is, it was just an accident. Just a stupid accident.
Damon: No. You wanted someone to blame.
And it just put every scene earlier into perspective, and not just those, but her job and why she worked so hard, so many hours, even to the point where she wasn't with Caroline as much as she should have been. Because if it was supernatural, there was a reason…. There was a bigger reason, an extraordinary *thing* happening here that she had to fight to make this town, her home, her daughter's home safe and today she had this one unfinished fight. For all these years she kept that message from Miranda and if she could have been able to close one more extraordinary case, ordinary Elizabeth Forbes, there would have been a reason for missing out on one more day with Caroline.

And then there was this and Marguerite MacIntyre just broke my heart.

Liz: I did everything right, Damon. I lived a good life, took care of my family. It just…
Damon: I know, sometimes really terrible things happen to really amazing people.
Liz: I have to admit there is a certain amount of peace knowing I'll be one of the only people in Mystic Falls to die an ordinary death. I'm exceptionally ordinary. I'm OK with that. Caroline is anything but. She was meant to be extraordinary. She needs to know how proud I am of her.
Damon: She will. You tell her yourself.
The acting by MacIntyre, the changes in her voice from wistfulness to vehemence to regret to sweetness, but most of all when she spoke of Caroline, my goodness, there was so much love, her voice was just filled with such incredible amounts of love it was absolutely heartbreaking. I can't, I just can't watch this scene without tearing up yet. It's impossible.

And what she said, that she did everything right, it goes back to what I wrote above and how this is not a happy show because it's not because Liz did do it right mostly. She's such a good person. And there was Damon, the right person there to say the right thing because he is her friend and he does understand. And my heartstrings were so tugged, near to the breaking point, but then we had the beautiful touch of Dries and Young keeping that balance so that we didn't fall too deep into the maudlin well of tears, some light humor was brought back into the scene when Liz asked Damon to do her eulogy, but just don't make it dirty, she asked so sweetly and just as sweetly, he told her that he could make no promises. LOL!

The weird thing though, was that at this late (very late) stage in their relationship, it felt like a new twist in their relationship was being added—a maternal bond—because the request came about when Damon told Liz that he flaked out on giving his mother's eulogy. Yet, the really, really weird thing was that it *didn't* feel weird; it felt just right.

So yes, I loved, loved, absolutely loved the Damon and Liz scenes so very much and I was so very thankful for them, for the honoring of the friendship that has been built up over the seasons between these two characters. But, but, but, I wanted Caroline and Liz scenes. But on the other, other hand, I ADORED the Stefan and Caroline scenes. How on earth could I possibly not? Anyone who has been reading my journal for the long haul knows how long I have been shipping Stefan and Caroline. If you have not been reading it for as long as I've been shipping them, a heads-up: From Season 02, Episode 02: "A Brave New World", I haz the proof!

Aside from the Damon/Jeremy final scene, the other charged scene—and knock me over with a feather about this one!—was the Stefan/Caroline one. If a brand new ship did not set sail with a strong wind at its back tonight, I'll be shocked! Matt and Caroline are sweet, but damn, Stefan and Caroline were like whoah! I honestly think that Paul Wesley and Candice Accola's chemistry in that scene is the closest to the Nina/Ian chemistry I've seen on this show. I wonder if there will be any fan reaction and then fallout from it, or if I'm just seeing something that many others won't. I was all for shipping Stefan and Katherine, but I was seriously blown away by that Caroline/Stefan scene. And that final scene with Matt and Caroline just confirmed it because when in Matt's arms and she breathed out to control her veins, I immediately flashed back to her scene with Stefan and there was just no comparison.
Now, I know that some actually started shipping them in season 01 and kudos to those way early-timers, but I did start in episode two of season 02, so I have been waiting a long time for Stefan and Caroline. I thought during most of season 02 and definitely during 03 that it was a crack-ship and it had no hope of setting sail, but in season 04, my hopes began to rise. And then season 05 happened. And now…

 
 
 

There were other awesome Stefan and Caroline moments in the episode that I will discuss, but first can we discuss this? I mean… firstly, what happened to Paul Wesley and his inability to kiss onscreen? Seriously, I am not kidding. I was a mite worried about Stefan and Caroline's first kiss because I have not been, shall we say, erm, entirely impressed with Paul's on-screen kissing talents thus far. I don't know maybe it's because he really does see Nina Dobrev as a sister and therefore when he kisses her he thinks 'Ooh! Cooties!' and it's Claire Holt (because, let's get real, the worst Damon make-out on the show by far was Damon/Rebekah, and as much as I love Matt and Rebekah their kissy-faces weren't the bestest). So it wasn't Paul who was the problem with the kissy-kiss?

Because this kiss? This Stefan/Caroline kiss? Was P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N. I have like zero, nada, zilch, no complaints. It was perfection. Just so beautiful. The music, the lighting (more on that later, uh huh), the face framing, the hair touching, the lip-touching, the kiss, the kiss, the kiss, the pretty, pretty, pretty, BEE-YEW-TEE-FUL KISS!!! Really just perfection. (I confess, as a first kiss, I actually liked how it was done better than any of Damon and Elena's first kisses… although, I love that Damon and Elena have like five "first" kisses, LOL!, and I lurve all of them bunches.) I just remain in a state of awed shock and blown-away-ness at how beyond utterly splendiferessnessly they are writing Stefan and Caroline's romance. (Yes, that is a word I totes just made up.) It is just so, so damn good. I am in a pile of a goo at how much full of squee I am. When they kissed, I clapped like a seal and squeed and grinned and was so happy. It was… I just. I am a'flail.

I also loved how they built up to it in this episode with Caroline's awareness of Stefan's hunka-hunka-ness. And that while we didn't get Stefan's end, it was so clear once we got to THE moment of the kiss that Stefan was right there with her *because* Stefan was RIGHT THERE with her. It was such an absolutely gorgeous show that didn't need the earlier show because it was all in the moment and in Paul's acting. I just adored it. And, of course, we got the sexay hilarity of Caroline reaching into Stefan's pocket to grab his phone and obviously grabbing *something* else first. Hehehehe.

 

And Caroline stepping out onto the porch and seeing handyman Stefan at work in his jeans and muscles bulging and Caroline catching her breath and losing her train of thought and Stefan all ‘yeah, baby, I know whatcha thinking, hehehehe.' Did I mention it was awesome? If I did not, let me tell you now, it was awesome.

 

And it was amusing and cute seeing Caroline push around her little pink, way too small for her bike then not knowing the tears it would lead to at the end. (Damn you, show.) Which brings me back to… I loved, loved, loved so very, incredibly hard the Stefan and Caroline scenes (and my goodness, Candice Accola looked so, so pretty and her hair! So sunshiny and bright), but I really, really wanted Caroline *and* Liz to have those final hours... alas life doesn't always work like that. It really, really doesn't. And as much as I love this show, so often that's what we see, how painful life can be and that more often than not it's about wresting what joy and happiness you can in between the pain.

And that's what Stefan showed Caroline at the end. She was not with Liz in her final hours (but as we saw in between the moments of levity with Damon, Liz was a wreck, she was in pain, and she was concentrating on work--again, as she had so much during Caroline's life, instead of going to meet Caroline as she was supposed to hours before). However, Caroline was with Liz in her final moments on this earth, and more than that, Stefan reminded Caroline that she
would always have her memories of her mother. And it was those memories that gave both Caroline and Liz peace in the end. (And now I'm crying again.)

What I'm not crying about, surprisingly, is Jeremy's departure even though I know it's for good. Yeah, Steven R. McQueen is the one who's leaving, well, left. I was spoiled on that. I understand that he wants to broaden his horizons and do more than (if he's lucky) five minutes or so an episode, but I will miss Jeremy and what could have been done with the character. I feel like there was potential that wasn't tapped, but hopefully we can see Jeremy return now and then. That would be lovely. I have some speculation based on his departure and how it went down and it ties into my ongoing Alaric speculation, but first I want go into what we got with Jeremy in our final scenes with him.

Firstly, I am disappointed that they weren't able to arrange it somehow, someway for Bonnie and Jeremy to share something together before McQueen's departure but I suppose that's what last week was about, still a tangible scene between the two would have meant so, so much more. Ah well. Secondly, I am also sad that Michael Trevino (Tyler) wasn't in McQueen's last episode and there was no interaction between Jeremy and Tyler in the previous episode. Tyler and Jeremy have a lot of history and while I understand that Matt and Jeremy have become much closer of late, still, yeah, Tyler and Jeremy… lots of history.

So, those are my two complaints. On with the rest. I thought I would be bummed that Elena wasn't more emotional, all teary-eyed, but I get it. I really do, and I preferred this actually. She has expended so very much emotion on Jeremy over the last two years, so very much emotional grief and pain. To get him safe, to get him out of town, to keep him alive. It's been a non-stop battle for her and the one time she was actually able *to* get him out of town, she literally had to have a vampire compel him. So that he's leaving of his own free will, he looks happier, at peace than he has in months and she believes that he will be save and out of harm's way, I get it.

For the first time since her parents' death, she is seeing a Jeremy who appears completely unfettered and actually, actively looking forward to his future while she's got a boyfriend she's totally into, friends, a home she loves, and her future that she's good with… why would she possibly be anything but happy for him? And so it makes sense. She loves him, she wants him to be happy, and she's all cried out. This is what is best for him. She knows it, he knows it; so she's letting this little bird fly free.

Now, how cute were they all buzzed? I do not condone the use of illegal substances, ahem, but still, they were so cute and adorable just being all smiley and happy together and I'm so very happy that Elena and Jeremy got that one last memory together before he took off for "art school." Oh, yeah, that.

So I've been saying for a while now that I think that something just may be up with Alaric, well, this episode kinda helped solidified that belief. florencia7 has had issues with Ric throughout much of the season while I was defending him throughout most of the early half, understanding his point of view or blaming new writers (ahem). At one point early on, she commented that maybe his actions were driven by what Esther had done to him. I countered that whatever she had done had been wiped clean by his death, after all whenever we saw him with Damon from The Other Side, Alaric acted perfectly, wonderfully Alaric.

However, I mentioned to her in last week's comments that maybe she was right about that and something had transferred. I've been thinking on that more. We did get the comment from Ric in the first episode about how much he hated being a vampire. Also, whenever Ric was with Damon on The Other Side, well, he was *The Other Side.* That could explain why he was acting completely like the Ric we knew and loved. Perhaps upon his return or even when he became human again something that Esther did that had lain dormant was revived.

Or… something that Jo's witchiness revived. Esther was a witch. Jo is a witch. The Gemini coven is full of all kinds of weird witchy woo. I have no clue what nonsense is going on over on The Originals, but I know that Esther is up and about in some other witch's form, whether any of that could/would translate to The Vampire Diaries, I have no clue. I just know that Esther's big thing was that Alaric do his due diligence and keep on keeping on with his vampire-hunting. Oh, and what little venture did Alaric send Jeremy out on? Vampire-hunting.

Now think back… what is the one thing that always remained true in the Elena/Jeremy/Alaric(/Damon) family? Alaric always acceded to Elena's wishes when it came to Jeremy. Elena had the first and final say-so. Always. But yet this time, he goes behind her back, makes the plan, sends Jeremy off and clearly intends to keep it going without Elena any the wiser. Really? Does that sound even remotely like the Ric we know? The Ric who has the type of relationship he has always had with Elena? No, no, no.

Furthermore, we know that Steven R. McQueen is no longer a regular, and as far as I know Bonnie is sure as hell coming back eventually (and it better damn well be soon). Jeremy told Alaric that if Bonnie comes back to let him know with the clear implication that if Bonnie returns, so will Jeremy. Well, we pretty much know that Bonnie's coming back (she better!) and Jeremy is not, right? So that leads me to believe that Alaric does NOT tell Jeremy that Bonnie is coming back. And the email conversation made it seem like Jeremy would send emails, but not really be able to receive them.

I dunno. We'll see. Just think about the Alaric from before Esther got her claws in him. I know I'm repeating myself here, but really think about it: Alaric GOING BEHIND Elena's back is NOT who Alaric is. Alaric being shady is NOT who Alaric is. Alaric basically conniving to make Jeremy a vampire hunter is EXACTLY what Alaric UNDER ESTHER'S CONTROL was planning on doing... remember that letter that Elena and Stefan found in his apartment? That creepy, creepy letter? And remember when we (especially me?) were all annoyed with Alaric in season 03 because of how he was treating Damon and then it turned out that he was being controlled by Esther? I may not watch The Originals, but I know that she's been resurrected over on that show through the whole Other Side falling apart somehow and I know that she *was* over on The Other Side *with* Alaric while he was there.

So something has *got* to be going on. Plus, bringing Jo and her witchy, freaky Gemini coven ways back into it, there is a reason that Damon had that line to Alaric where he asked him: "Can I ask why we continuously compromise logic for some girl you just met?" Remember that Damon equals truth teller on this show. There is something going on here. After all, this is the season of the do-over, right? Damon and Elena re-doing their love story, Tyler re-doing his werewolf story without turning. Maybe we're seeing the attempt to turn Ric to the dark side, but this time it won't end in his death. Instead, we'll see the gang handle it and it will lead to Damon and Ric actually dealing with the real issues they do have. It makes sense, much more than what we're seeing with Ric right now. There just has to be method to this madness. There has to be. Just wait, we will see.

What will we also see? If Mama Salvatore is a vampire?!?! I'm telling you, my long-awaited dream is coming true. She's totally going to turn out to be a vampire who has been living in a monastery this whole time and it burns to the ground or something so she has to come out into the real world and she finds out… dun, dun, dun that her boys are vampires too and still around so she comes to Mystic Falls! Yes! The mention last week from Stefan, and then all of the talk this week from Damon? Oh, yeah, baby, she's a'comin'!

But will her fellow-consumption sufferer be around to meet her or will he be gone and/or dead by then? I'm seriously wondering, folks. I mean, dude, they just ain't even trying. Enzo is just coming across as a plain ole bad guy now, no middle-ground. Threatening Jeremy, nearly killing Matt (I know bogwitch, they tease you so!) and we all know that he's setting up poor Sarah for terribly wicked things! I don't know. I just don't get why they aren't showing another side to him, like, oh, I don't know, him and Damon, or him comforting Caroline. Not that I'd want to see that, but for the character's sake, please. I do like Enzo, but it's like they're writing him into a corner here.

Hmm… I can't see Enzo or Malarkey sticking around beyond this season at this point. I keep going back to my idea of he and Sarah actually falling for one another and Enzo changes his plans. Or maybe they're going to set up a genuine triangle between those two and Matt, which again, involves Enzo changing his plans. We'll see, we'll see. It's not like this show doesn't know how to throw doozies of a curve ball. And again, I do like Enzo, I just don't get what they are doing with him. I am befuddled, they have me in a state of befuddlement here. Hmm….

ETA: I just had an idea... I wonder if the plan is to set up a new main triangle here with a Salvatore in the middle now instead of on either side. Sarah is the "Elena," Matt is the "Stefan" and Enzo is the "Damon." I'm thinking it's quite possible. If all three have chemistry, and I think it could be, they might work on riding that out over the next few seasons. All three fit the look for sure.

Alright then, randoms …

- I admit I would have preferred a wee bit more with Damon and Jeremy, but hey, at least I did get something and for that I am grateful. (As well, I was pleased with one more bit of the Damon/Elena/Jeremy "family.") Damon got him a going-away present (aww!). There were smiles, there was teasing, there were heartfelt moments disguised in sarcasm. And, of course, Damon reminded him of that one time he killed him. And he threatened to kill him again. It wouldn't be Damon and Jeremy bonding time if there wasn't a death threat involved. The only thing that made the scene feel incomplete is that Jeremy didn't call Damon a dick. Ah well, so close. So close.

 
 
 

Honestly, if Damon and Jeremy (especially) were a bit more open in their affection towards one another than we normally see, I'm putting it down to the fact that they were being parted. I mean, knowing that he wasn't going to be seeing Damon on a regular basis, Jeremy just couldn't keep his minion-based love hidden. I mean look at the adoration on his face in that last shot. That boy loves his master. Totes.

- I am telling you and I'm not EVEN joking any more, Caroline Dries has a list. Another thing checked off: Damon had something to do with Elena's parents' accident? Nope, didn't happen.

- Six seasons in and Miranda and Grayson's death STILL matters. God, I love this show.

- *sigh* I loved the little kiss that Elena gave Damon as she left Liz's office (no more) Wah!


- Sarah remains very pretty and I continue to like her. She is just very likable, and very pretty.

- Stefan entwining his fingers with Caroline's was so swoon-worthy. It was just... I just... I am melting....

 

- Aww, I loved Liz looking all 80's with that jacket and the station wagon in the background in the flashback. Gah! That flashback. It was so, so beautiful. And little Caroline, "Don't let go, mommy," but Liz had already let go and little Caroline didn't even realize it. She was ready and Liz knew. Liz knew and she was smiling and, good Lord, I'm getting all weepy again.

 

- The beep of the machine fading to silence and then staying silent as it faded to The Vampire Diaries end title card was awful and perfect and terrible. I hate this show. I love this show. I hate this show. They killed Liz. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Damnit, I'm crying again.

- They're all orphans now. (Well, OK, except for Kelly Donovan, but come on. And technically Abby, but she is undead. And If I'm right about Mama Salvatore, but again, she is undead.)

- You know what is really, really sad is that this was *technically* the Valentine's episode. So, yeah, go Stefan and Caroline!

- *sigh* Both Damon and Elena's and Stefan and Caroline's first (well "first" in Damon and Elena's case) kisses this season had this cool lens flare-effect. It's like it's the endgame couple signal. Hee!

 

(Psst! But Damon and Elena had a bigger flare!)

So, yeah, a tearjerker, but man, oh, man this episode was excellent. So, so, so very good. I loved this one. It broke my heart, I hate them, I hate them, I hate them and I'll never forgive them. First they took my Pearl and now Liz, but man, this one was so good. I love this season like lots. I love this show forever so hard.
Tags: alaric saltzman, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/jeremy, damon/liz, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, jeremy gilbert, matt donovan, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries
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