Arabian (arabian) wrote,

6.15 - 'Let Her Go' (The Vampire Diaries)

A little late, but here's the latest write-up of The Vampire Diaries.

For an episode that had so much happen when you think about it, this was a rather quiet, reflective episode as befitting its main storyline: the funeral for Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes. Firstly, I am very appreciative of the fact that show really went all out in honoring the character. After all, Liz was never a series regular, *only* a recurring. Out of 125 episodes, she only appeared in 44 (including this one) and in the vast majority of those in a small handful of scenes (sometimes only one or two). Yet, the show realized how important she was to our core characters, to the town of Mystic Falls, to the heart of the show and thus the viewers and so she was given a very worthy goodbye. The entire funeral, from the Last Call to Damon's eulogy to Caroline's song, it was all so very beautifully done. I won't lie, I teared up… again.

I will miss Liz dearly, and, again, I won't lie, a part of me is really *not* happy that they decided to kill off the character for story reasons because they wanted a "death that mattered." On the other hand, this is a story and story need propulsion and plot with strong emotion to move forward and love and death do that like nothing else. And honestly what they have been doing with Liz's cancer-storyline before, during and after has been so well-written from a character and plot point of view that I can't, from a writer's point of view, complain. It's just been so very good.

We've seen such growth of character in Stefan, Caroline, Elena, Jeremy, Damon, Alaric (more on that later), Matt and Tyler throughout the course of this story. We've also seen growth in the relationship between Damon and Elena, Stefan and Caroline, Damon and Caroline (which, obviously, isn't manifesting itself quite yet, but I do believe it will because of this episode mostly), Matt and Tyler (again, not quite yet, but it will because of this episode), and Alaric and Jo (more… later).

Then on top of that, Liz's story has also opened up storylines. Firstly, because of what has been going on with Liz, Stefan has been distracted, therefore Enzo has been able to set his plan in action for Sarah unheeded. Damon and Elena's and Stefan and Caroline's relationships have each taken big steps forward, and Jeremy took off for art school to be a big, bad vampire hunter really, Steven R. McQueen set off for greener pastures. And, of course, Mama Salvatore was introduced into the picture. (Way more on that later.) Finally, we got a new storyline opening up in this episode… Matt and Tyler possibly becoming deputies. Woohoo!

And all of this came from Liz dying. That's some damn good storytelling to create all of that for all of your characters from one death and still make it resonate so emotionally and be all about your characters and their journey. And that's exactly what Caroline Dries, Julie Plec and co. have done.

Ah, Julie Plec, yes, Julie Plec… didja all notice? Not only did Plec write this one solo but it's also her directorial debut, and a mighty, mighty fine job she did. I had no idea who wrote or directed this one all the way through. I thought I'd been told who directed it (Joshua Butler) and had seen the names Chad Fiveashe and James Stoteraux in the credits and I'm not big fans of either so I was surprised at how great I found the episode, but I was willing to give credit where it was due. And very happy because, hey, I love my show and if those I don't find as great as they could be hit their groove, then, fabulous! Then I checked the credits and saw Julie Plec and Julie Plec and I was like WHOAH! and, yeah, OK, it wasn't those dudes, figures, but ‘Go, Julie! Awesome job.' Because, really, awesome job.

One of the things I really liked that (as much as I ADORE Caroline Dries) is not as present in The Vampire Diaries anymore was the little moments that surprised me. Towards the end when Caroline said "I told you I'm fine, Elena," I absolutely expected it to be Stefan standing there. It was Elena. When Elena and Caroline were hugging, I expected Bonnie to come in at that moment and *that* would be what stopped Caroline from flipping the switch. (I knew there was no way that Stefan declaring his feelings would be it because this is *sooo* not that kind of show, like, evar!) And I just figured we'd see the Bonnie and Damon reunion in the next episode. Nope, instead, Caroline snapped Elena's neck. OK, then. I was not expecting that. So those were really nice, little, unexpected twists.

I also enjoyed how Plec wrote Caroline and Elena in this episode in that Elena knew how to deal with the death of a parent because she's been there, and also how Caroline acted. Her whole "I'm fine" routine was carbon-copy Elena from how we saw her in the Pilot. And so, of course, absolutely Elena would be the one to pick up on that whereas no one else would. Not one other person would have a clue just how much of an act Caroline was putting on. It was so perfect.

And the other thing I loved with Caroline and Elena was that final scene because of Caroline's raw honesty where she just lays it out. It reminded me in a way of one of my all-time favorite Caroline scenes which is actually from the Pilot. It's why Caroline was one of my favorite characters from day one. She was talking to Bonnie in her inebriated state at the Grill and she was telling Bonnie how Elena is always the one and Bonnie said it wasn't a competition and Caroline told her that it was. She was so not going to sit there and listen to platitude. She was looking at the hard fact of life and facing it head on, whether it was the good or the right or the "friend" thing to say. And she did that here again to Elena. When Elena told her that flipping her switch and erasing her memories of loving Damon were two of her biggest mistakes, Caroline shot back at her that while they may have been mistakes when she came back from them, the worst of her pain was gone and that is what Caroline wanted.

So raw, so honest and just laying it out there. That's my Caroline and I just love her for it, because it was absolutely true what she said to Elena. But Elena was right that the choices she made were the wrong ones, but Caroline was right in that Elena had no right in making the choice were Caroline.

Choice. On this show, don't we always come back to that, choice? Ugh, I love this show so damn much, it hurts sometimes.

You know what also hurt? My cheeks from how much I was smiling during the Damon and Bonnie scene! Seriously, I think I may have watched their reunion scene about fifty times at this point. I just, OMG, I am just utterly verklempt at how much I love their relationship. They are the perfect non-sibling siblings ever. (And, yes, I actually caught an interview with Caroline Dries where she all but confirmed that. She said that she knows that their fans want them to get together, but they are writing a platonic—that's right PLATONIC!—relationship, and that they are basically family. Hahah! Said so.) With that said, oh my garsh, loved it so much. She went to Damon's house, she made him pancakes! He held his arms out, he gave a genuine smile, she ran, leaping into his arms, his deep chuckle, the happiness, my happiness!


And then in their very next scene, they're already sniping at each other, LMAO! I love it so very hard. Oh my goodness, I love them so, so, so, so much and I simply cannot wait (March 12th, you are so, so, so far away… come to me NOW!) to see how the others react to the two of them together. ‘Twill be the awesome.

Also awesome? Zach Roerig! I loved his performance so much in this one. Honestly, I think he gave the best one tonight. I know that seems kinda crazy to say what with Candice Accola being awesomely awesome, but Roerig just basically grabbed my heart and tugged like crazy in every single moment he was onscreen, which admittedly wasn't much. But still, he kicked ass. And Matt was fabulous, so very Matty-Blue-Blue. It was like Liz's death reawakened the true hero's humanity in him that Rebekah loved that had recently been tamped down by Tripp's teachings and Enzo's actions. Seeing him confront Tyler with such stalwart grace on the church steps was a fantastic moment; I was so proud of him. And his reaction to every moment during the funeral actually gutted me the most; it felt very real. So when he told Tyler that he wanted to be a part of something like the officers honoring Liz, I believed him because Roerig had sold that earlier.

This is a direction I am really interested to see Matt and, surprisingly, Tyler go. I continue to be amazed by my turn-around in interest when it comes to my favorite human-cockroach hybrid, LOL! I really do still find myself interested in his storyline and I actually think that a deputy storyline is a really good fit for Tyler. He needs something to channel his energy, his focus and pent-up werewolf issues into and this could be it and something that he could be damn good at. Remember, this is a guy who organized the whole hybrid rebellion and was the leader of that group. And he would have successfully pulled it off had it not been for a traitor and mastermind pulling the strings behind his back. So, I'm interested.

Also, I'm interested (obviously, like, duh!) in the Mama Salvatore story. I do have reservations, well, *a* reservation and I will get that out of the way first. I am familiar with the actress playing Mama Salvatore from one role. She played a character on 24 for two seasons. I knew nothing of the actress before being introduced to her on this show. These are my thoughts on her character throughout that run. (I will not name her character because of spoilers—despite how old the show is in case someone decides to watch it.)
    - I do not like [this character]. I wanted to, but she kinda bugs. I was initially hoping she would die by hour four, but considering her placement in the credits, I think not.

    - Also, bad? [this character]. I want to like her, but she's so boring and bland. Yes, I get what they're doing with her and in relation to Jack, but ugh, the actress is so by the numbers.

    - Why can't he be the one rumored to return next year, instead of the freakishly-perpetually agonized looking [this character]—she who drives me up a flippin' wall. Ugh, do not want.

    - [this character] is FREAKING ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not want to watch the [this character] hour!

    - So irked knowing that [this character] is coming soon and will no doubt be shoved down my throat all over again. I know that everyone else seems to love her, {Editor's note: I found out I was wrong. Many others did not like her either.} but I do not like her. She was one of the two main reasons I wound up not liking last season. Double sigh.

    - Is anyone else bored by 24 this season? Like really bored. Or is it just me because I can NOT stand [this character] and wish she would disappear forever? You know, I realized last week that if Katee Sackhoff had been cast in the role of [this character], I'd probably love her with the passion of a gazillion fiery suns (and totally root for her and Jack). But as played by Annie Wersching? Meh to HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE.

    - YAY!!! WOOHOO!! HURRAH!!! And any other exclamation of joy. [this character] is dead! I could NOT stand the actress—as an actress, I'm sure she's a lovely person—and so she made me unable to stand [this character].
So, are you picking up on what my one reservation is with the Mama Salvatore storyline? Yeah. Out of every freaking single actress on the planet, they went with one of the very few that I can barely stand to watch onscreen as Damon and Stefan's mother. I get why. Ian Somerhalder has these big, beautiful ice-blue eyes. Annie Wersching has big, beautiful ice-blue eyes. So they thought, ooh! Cool! *sigh*

I am really, really hoping it was simply a case of the character and actor did not mesh and that I really, really just loathed her character with Jack on 24 because I actually didn't despise her when she interacted with this one other guy I liked, so maybe? And Ian Somerhalder/Damon tends to make almost everything better, right? I mean, other than Luka, just about everyone sparks onscreen with Damon, right? Even he can make Annie Wersching work, right? Please tell me this will happen because ya'll, I've been dreaming of a Mama Salvatore story since freaking season 01! I never believed that she was dead. Now, of course, I thought that she was a vampire hiding away in a Tibetan convent somewhere, not some Gemini coven-created prison world, but, I think my lack of imagination there can be excused. So, on one hand, I'm VERY excited about this storyline, like BEYOND, BEYOND words… but on the other hand… really?! I mean, REALLY!?!? Annie Freaking Wersching?!?! Really! Come on! really?

OK, moving on, now that the, ahem, reservation is out of the way, I am really excited about the story. So, Kai said that "crappy" people are put in the prison world, are they just any crappy people or are they members of the Gemini coven? Does that mean that Damon and Stefan are descendents of the coven and therefore related to the Parkers? Liv, Jo, Kai? (Sure would explain Kai and Damon's quip-like qualities.)

Or *is* Mama Salvatore a vampire and that's why Giuseppe made a deal with the Gemini Coven because he loved her too much to kill her and so he sent her away for that reason? And regardless, how does she have a daguerreotype of Stefan and Damon from the Civil War era (clearly when they were still human) if she was sent back in 1903? Was Papa Salvatore sending her updates via the coven on her boys? So does she know they're vampires? If the updates were from Giuseppe, one would assume that he just told her they died if he told her anything since that's all he would have time to do. So if Giuseppe was the one who arranged her imprisonment, she'd have no way of knowing about her sons. Obviously, the boys are going to want to bring their mama home now, so another trip back to another prison world, uh huh! (Please, please let me like Wersching this time around, pretty, pretty, pretty please!)

Also, pretty, pretty, pretty please, let me right about Alaric. I've *got* to be right about Alaric, right? I mean, sure, let's just skip out on Sheriff Forbes' funeral, no biggie! I mean, really?! Sure, because I haven't figured out that you will die yet, we'll just let Bonnie fade off into oblivion because I don't want to deal with these martyred fools. Really?! Sure, I picked out a ring and plan to propose to a woman I've known for about six months without even talking to my best friend or a young woman who's practically a daughter to me. Really?! People, something is going on with Alaric. I can't not believe that something is going on.

And I think he's going to die and become a vampire by season's end. And that's how Elena gets her memories back because that's how an Original vampire's compulsions get erased, that Original vampire dies. We learned that when Alaric staked Elijah. So, I'm thinking that eventually Damon and co. are going to realize that something is up with Ric, once again Damon is going to be in danger, Ric is going to save Damon and he is going to die in the process. But he'll have vampire in his system for some reason. When he dies, Elena gets her memories back and Ric has to choose this time to come back as a vampire and that is what breaks the hold (perhaps) that Esther had on him permanently. I don't know, but maybe? I dunno.

One thing I do know is that Damon finally proved that there is one area in which he does not know his brother very well. He's never seen the inner workings of his brother's love life so he just assumed that Stefan in love is like he is in love, and that how Katherine and Elena were about Stefan is how he was about them. Wrong, boy-o! That I found quite interesting. Damon was always the one fighting for Katherine's love, for Elena's love. And Katherine, and Elena were the ones always fighting to keep/get (in Katherine's case) and preserve (in Elena's case) their relationships with Stefan.

Stefan, himself, never actually fought for either one. Like ever. He always walked away. Every time. That's something Damon doesn't know. We know as viewers, Katherine obviously knows, Elena knows. But Damon doesn't, so his advice to him about Caroline was based on his personal experience of knowing 100%, of fighting for the girl and of knowing that Katherine and Elena and Caroline always fought for Stefan. Damon just assumed that Stefan fought for Katherine and Elena because he's seeing now (since he isn't fighting for Caroline himself) how Stefan's fighting to keep Caroline in his life. He doesn't realize that this is new. Stefan's never done this before; Stefan Salvatore has never worked this hard to keep a girl in his life, in his good graces, wanting him.

Ironically, it was Damon saying what Stefan damn well already knows about Caroline—that she's beautiful, strong, generous and a bright light in a sea of darkness—that opened Stefan's eyes to the realization that he has to continue fighting for Caroline. And he doesn't get it yet, but he's getting there. It's not that Caroline isn't true love, it's that Katherine and Elena weren't *real* love, they were an idealized version of love. Caroline, she is real love, and that is true love, because Damon doesn't know his brother truly in love he doesn't know that Stefan has never experienced true love before. (With Rebekah, he was the Ripper, he wasn't his full self, so he couldn't truly love her then.)

In a way, it shows you just how much Damon does respect what Elena had with Stefan that he never tries to make their love less than what it was (even though, really, it totally was). It was just this idealized fantasy, while what he and Elena have is real, even now when for Elena, Damon isn't even her soulmate right now, but more just the hot guy she's been dating for a month or so who's great in bed. The guy who she knows there's that something *more* behind that mental barrier, but she doesn't know exactly what it is. Yet, she still likes him just as he is even if he's only "nice-ish."


OK, then time for randoms—

- Damn, that first scene was painful, wasn't it? But it made perfect sense from both of their points of view. Caroline and Damon are the two people in that house who loved Liz the most and so they are the two are feeling the most pain right now. Caroline was hurting, but she didn't want to bond with Damon, even in her pain. Damon was hurting, but he did want to bond with Caroline in solidarity over their love for Liz. So in her pain, not seeking to specifically hurt him, but he was there, she doesn't like him, again, he's there, her mom's not, so she struck him with a painful truth. In turn, he was in pain, she hurt him so he hurt her back because Damon's not nice, so he told her a painful truth, it's only going to get worse. They were both hurting, and instead of helping to heal each other, they chose to hurt each other. Ouch! Bigger no-no to Damon, though. Way, way bigger no-no to Damon. It was her mom, dude. Not cool, put your man-pain box away for the moment.

- I realized that this new Damon and Elena haven't said "I love you" yet, Hmmm, will we get that or her memories first?

- I know that Ian Somerhalder is 37, but damn if he didn't look kinda late teens, early 20's in those flashbacks. So, yeah, I'm thinking that Damon is supposed to be seven years older than Stefan. So Damon was supposed to be, I'm guessing, 17 in the flashback, and considering most actors playing 17-year olds are generally in their early 20's and Ian looked in his early 20's, it worked for me. (Of course, I'm biased, LOL!)

- Oh, and wee Stefan was so cute, and a good actor too.

- Oh Kai, I've missed you! (Even if it was only one episode.) "Hey, I'm even a little nice now, in case you were wondering." Hah!

- OK, so, yeah, Alaric and Jo… The romantic stuff with them, the whole "92%" thing was cute, and the "pity proposal" reaction/"no, it's not," pulls out the ring, was adorable/romantic is actually written really well and sweet, but it's so rushed, and I just don't care about them, like AT ALL. And they have like no chemistry. I don't care about her, I don't care about him with her. I want to be happy for Ric, but I don't care about her and him and them together. I don't care, show. Why are you wasting so much great romantic stuff on this rushed, blah couple!? WHY?! Am I supposed to care? I feel like something is happening here that we aren't being told yet and it will all make sense later and we'll be ‘ooohhh! Ohhhh!' I hope so. Because right now? I don't get. And I don't care. I really, really don't.

- Hmm, how will Bonnie react to this new Kai? I can't wait to find out. Man, I really can't wait to see them see each other. I hope we get a sense if they are going anywhere with those two by their first couple of scenes.

- So, wow, Caroline turned off her humanity switch. I did not see that coming. I guess I should have, but I honestly never thought that would happen unless they were going there with Caroline and Klaus for real and since Klaus is off in Originals-land, well, I guess I just crossed it off of a mind for some reason, but it does make sense, and how it played out, it soooo made sense. I could write more about this turn of events, but I really want to see where they go with it first.

I don't expect a long run of this honestly. I'm thinking a couple of episodes tops, because Caroline is right, she's not like Elena, she is a better vampire and I don't think she'll lose it the same way. We'll see. It will be interesting. I look forward to it. And look forward to seeing how Stefan deals with a Caroline without her switch, uh huh.

- Hah! Stefan spent like two seconds checking on Elena lying all dead on the floor, and then was all "Caroline?! Caroline?!" as if Elena no longer existed. Yeah, uh huh, Caroline is totes second-place for him, uh huh! NOT!

So another excellent episode, woohoo! I may be thrilled that Caroline Dries has taken over executive producer duties, but I never mind with Julie Plec comes back and writes an episode (and based on this one, directs too). She's a wonderful writer and I thought this was absolutely stellar. Lovely. Love this show so very hard.
Tags: 24, alaric saltzman, bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/bonnie, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, matt donovan, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv

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