Arabian (arabian) wrote,

6.18 - 'I Never Could Love Like That' (The Vampire Diaries)

FINALLY! After what feels like FOREVER!, The Vampire Diaries is finally back. Wheee! Thoughts behind the cut, including thoughts on that very, very upsetting departure announcement. *sigh* Spoiler Alert: I'm still kinda numb about it. Yeah. But Positive. But Numb. I don't think there's a word for that combination. If there is, I'm it.

Let's rip the band-aid off and deal with the big ole elephant right off the bat. Yeah, so some lame-ass crewmember decided to post a stupid hashtag about missing Nina Dobrev and let the cat out of the bag no doubt way earlier than anyone involved with the show intended. The cat being, of course, that Nina Dobrev will be leaving The Vampire Diaries after season 06. I am still (even over nearly two weeks later) a tad numb. Going into this episode, still numb, watching the episode and afterwards talking about it with friends, yup, still numb.

And I'm really, really upset with that crewmember for spilling the beans prematurely. Instead of focusing fully on the episode as I would have and just enjoying the awesome before me, I am frustrated because I want more Damon and Elena. I couldn't enjoy Damon and Elena cute and cuddly in their matching towels in *their* bathroom because I couldn't console myself with the idea that we'd probably get a bathtub or shower scene next season… because I know that even though we almost definitely will get Nina Dobrev in some episodes next season, she won't be a series regular. Therefore the likelihood of bathtub scenes or shower scenes or all of those nonessential, but wished-for Damon and Elena scenes that we all wanted just because are likely not going to happen now because there isn't time anymore.


So instead of focusing on the show and the plots and the good, cool character stuff, and the great Damon/Lily stuff—which there was tons of—and the good Elena character stuff which solidified what I've been saying about Elena lately—I couldn't help but think: I WANT DAMON AND ELENA SCENES! And it's all because of that stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid crewmember! Damnit!


As for Elena and what Nina Dobrev's series regular departure means… well, it all makes sense now, doesn't it? Why Elena hasn't felt so much like the lead character this season past the first eight episodes or so. And in retrospect, it's also obvious as to why the death of Liz {{sobs}} was written as *such* a huge story. It wasn't just because it touched upon so much character development and pushed so many plots forward—which it did. It also began transitioning Caroline towards the show's female lead because clearly she's going to be it. (Although, frankly, I'd like to see Bonnie get a bigger role as well, thank you very much, as much as I adore me some Caroline. Hopefully that will begin happening sooner rather than later.)

Also, I wonder if the whole deal with Elena's memories and their coming back is tied into Dobrev's signing or not. Murmurings appear to indicate that there was hope that she would change her mind up through December. If that's the case then perhaps Elena won't in fact get her memories back after all. *sad sigh* In that case, it would fall in line with what I wrote in the last episode about Elena and the cure.

We already know that an Elena with her memories would reject it. She chose an eternity with Damon over a human lifetime if he's not human as well in season 04. However, that's an Elena who loves Damon bone/soul/heart deep, who considers him her soulmate. And this Elena may love Damon, but he's still only a guy she's been dating for about three to four months and under the wall of the compulsion she may feel the pulse of that soulmate connection but she doesn't actually connect to it right now because the memories aren't there. So *this* Elena would likely take the cure. And this episode certainly seemed to confirm that.

With Nina Dobrev leaving the show (as a series regular—wait. Hold up a sec…I know that I keep stressing that, but it's because Julie Plec specifically stated that Nina Dobrev wouldn't be a series regular next season implying that she would return and honestly I figured as much myself. As I was saying… with Nina Dobrev leaving the show as a series regular, I could see Elena taking the cure (perhaps getting stuck in the 1903 prison world. We would see her only in a few episodes throughout the season, while in present day, the others are fighting the Heretics—no way that's *not* gonna be a problem and just going to be handled in four episodes!—and trying to get back to Elena. Come the end of season 07, they're able to get back to Elena, and ooh! lookee, she's gotten to the 1903 cure, Damon takes it and voila!, they're human together and they leave Mystic Falls. Or something like that.

My point is that perhaps because I'm numb and the pain hasn't sunk in yet—although, yeah a wee bit began to seep through while talking to my friends tonight—I am still positive. Even with Elena taking the cure, even with Nina Dobrev leaving the show after this season, and I believe obviously coming back for an episode here and there, I still have complete faith in The Vampire Diaries, and I still have complete faith in Damon and Elena and that they are each other's absolute endgame. There is simply no way that their love story would have been written the way it was this season had the intention been any other. Period. Full stop. End of.

OK. No gifs tonight. Remember: Numb. But on with the show…

You know I want to say that Damon was out of character for not telling Elena about the cure, I really, really do (because my, oh, so favorite writers wrote this episode!). I mean, after all, the last time that Damon was handed the cure for Elena—and he had a way, way bigger reason to think that Elena would drop any chance of them and head straight to Stefan or anyone else then. Alas, I can't. It really was totally in character. I tend to crow a lot about how selfless Damon is when it comes to Elena because generally, almost always, nine out of ten times, he totally, totally is… except when he isn't.

Like when he force-fed her his blood because he didn't care if it wasn't his right to do so and it wasn't his choice to make, damnit, he wanted her in his life, so he was going to keep her there. It was what he wanted. Would it save her? Yes. But she had a plan… a fairly good one (because Elijah could in that instance be trusted). It was her choice; she didn't want to be a vampire, but Damon didn't care. He was being selfish and he didn't care because he wanted to be sure. Didn't care what anyone else wanted. So, yeah, he's had his moments. They're rare, but they've happened when it comes to her.

And this is a different situation than when he first was given the cure. Then, he and Elena had truly only been together for the one night before they found out about the sirebond. But now? She's been his girlfriend, and there's been intimacy and security in their love for quite a while (especially for him). To lose that would just be devastating for him… especially when he just came back from nearly losing her and them to death, and then an alternate reality, and then her lost memories… before finally getting her back. So, yeah, the idea that he could possibly lose her… again to being human is something he's just not ready to face. And then on top of it, the reminder of the two other most important women in his life that he's loved, oh, yeah, they left him! It's… well, it's definitely not out of character.

Do I think he'll keep it from her for much longer? No. Am I afraid that Lily might be a major beeyotch and spill? Possibly, if she finds out that Damon has no intention of sending her back to 1903 for her "family." So Damon better figure that out and tell Elena before Psycho!Mama Salvatore realizes that Damon lied to her.

Speaking of Psycho!Mama Salvatore… hmm, so they really just went the route of mama don't care, huh? I was not expecting that. I have to say I also was not expecting her talking-to to Stefan to bring his humanity back to work so well and so quickly too. However, I totally should have. It was a Damon-plan that had no interference from anyone, so *of course* it would work. Of course! And it did. Very nicely done.

Damon would know exactly the right things that needed to be said to get Stefan back, all the right phrases, all the key notes to hit to bring his baby brother back and Lily is a good enough actress that she was able to pull it off perfectly. That, unfortunately, is worrisome… and I hope that Damon picks up on that. Because she was very, very good at playing the convincingly loving mother who missed her son but we (and Damon) knows it's a lie. And if she's that good at pretending, just how much has she been pretending since Damon found her? Huh? Especially considering what we learned about the Heretics.

Ooh, the Heretics. I love this show. Three things:

1. This is one of the things that I love about The Vampire Diaries. They don't just pull new bad guys out of thin air. The issues, the big bads come from the mythology that's already built into the show. The Originals came from Klaus; Klaus came from Katherine's past. Katherine came from the history of the Salvatores and as the look-a-like of Elena that they once loved. The Travelers came from the history of the doppelgangers. The Other Side was built from the first season and strongly tied in with the Bennett witches and was tied into so much of all of the above and when the Gemini coven came along, it was tied into the Bennett witches thus tying it into the mythology and history of the show.

And now we have these Heretics who are tied into Gemini coven and witches and vampires and are now building onto our expanding mythology. And right away they touched upon the question everyone would be asking. How can a witch be a vampire and a reasonable loophole is provided. They can siphon magic like Kai—a witch we've already met so we understand that kind of power—therefore it's a constant source of siphoning of magic. Does it make sense when you really think about it? No. But do vampires make sense when you really think about it? No. Does anything supernatural make sense when you really think about it? No. The Vampire Diaries just has their own brand of mythology and creates their own rules and sticks to them, they just build upon them and create loopholes that make sense (as much sense as supernatural rules can make) within *their* mythology. I love it.

2. For all of those people who were complaining that it was so stupid that the Gemini Coven would go after one Ripper vampire and it made no sense… I go back to what I always say (and this is not to my commenters just to general nitpicky, annoying TVD haters!), this is not a one episode, one arc, one season show. You watch the whole thing and don't expect instant gratification… the answers are coming.

Here, we got the answer. They didn't create the 1903 prison world for Lily Salvatore; she just got caught up with her "family." It was created for her family: the Heretics.

3. Speaking of… so, yeah, that's cool. As I said during my whole "Nina Dobrev is leaving spiel" they (plus possibly Psycho!Mama Salvatore) are totes going to be some part of the season 07 big bads, aren't they, right? I mean, there's no way our gang is going to be able to handle this lot in four episodes, right? I figure by season's end, at least a few of them will make their way over to present day (and possibly Elena will get stuck there). We'll see.

What we did see that I really liked was Enzo (or rather "Lorenzo!") before he was turned. I thought that Michael Malarkey did a lovely job as pre-vampire Enzo. I really felt for him, especially in the first scene when he was trying to get onto the boat and that ticket-guy wouldn't let him and he was all "But, look, I bought a ticket!" and he was so desperate. Just really a lovely job. And when he was sick and dying and Lily was comforting him and taking care of him, I kept thinking of how Enzo told Sarah that Lily was the most dreadful person he'd ever met and yet she didn't seem dreadful at all. She took care of him, seems to have killed him neatly and then left him food to turn… but then once the story is over you realize that she scarred him just as Damon was scarred.

Enzo considers her so dreadful because she was so kind, because she took such good care of him. She promised him a family and then deserted him. Of course, we know that she and the Heretics were taken away to the 1903 prison world so she probably did intend to take Enzo into their family. So I have to wonder now what will happen when he finds out the full story… will he forgive her, will he be on her side against Damon? Or he will be team!Damon?

Either way, the fleshing out, rounding out of Enzo (finally!) was fantastic. The flashback scenes and the present-day scenes were all great. Malarkey and Tristin Mays (Sarah) have great chemistry. I loved that final moment when he rushed up close to her and said "Have nice life, Sarah Nelson," letting her make the choice to leave or stay. And I just like the relationship that is building between them. How he did try and get her out of the whole mess, compelling her to forget everything in the car and then being honest with her about his past. There's an openness between the two that really works. I like.

I also continue to like—no, I lie—I *love* Stefan and Caroline. Good or bad, they are so darn right. I mean, the whole bet over scaring a guy to death. So wrong, but their cute little banter over it, so very right! But, man, I wanted to see Stefan doing karaoke, LOL! Still, I loved that Stefan compelled all the patrons of the bar to listen attentively to Caroline singing. That's love, baby! Hahaha!

He also knew the final answer to Caroline trivia (sure, he was there when it happened so, yeah, cheating a bit, but hey, Caroline cheated in the ‘scare a guy a death' game). Oh, and, YES! Stefan called out Tyler for being a jerk when he was with Caroline. Yes! Yes! Yes! Go, Stefan! (Glad someone finally did! Although, Matt was pretty douchey too.)

Also, in the go, Stefan department? That he decided to forgo the browbeating and gnashing of teeth in the guilt-department in order to go after Caroline. See? Caroline makes him so the better person. During his Elena-days, he would be doing the whole guilt thing… he never put Elena first. He always put himself and his whole martyr act first. A-L-W-A-Y-S! But now? He puts Caroline first. Again, that's love, baby!

You know what else is love? Damon and Elena. Damon may be being selfish, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't love her. He really, really does. He just doesn't want to lose her because he does love her so much. That final scene with them… guh! Elena so sweetly telling him that she wants the family and the human life, but since she can't have it, it's OK because she also wants forever with him. Yet, it's so obvious that having the eternity part is second choice. She wants to be human. And Damon knows that. He knows that and he's fooling himself right now to believe otherwise because he desperately does not want to lose her and having Lily there as a walking reminder of yet another woman who deserted him is not helping matters. But he'll do the right thing in the end. He will.

Because he loves her.

Okay, four gifs.


Alrighty then, randoms…

- As I said above, I liked getting Enzo's backstory finally, but I do wish that we'd gotten it sooner if only because it did make Enzo feel more like a real boy and it would have been nice to get that, well, sooner. However, bringing Lily into it was very interesting and I liked that touch. Erm, but I think they changed the backstory a tad, didn't they? Wasn't he turned by a doctor during a war? I could have sworn that was the story, but I can't remember which episode that information was in for the life of me to verify.

- When it comes to Damon and Matt, you know that I will grasp at any straw… Damon let Tyler drive his car to take Matt to the hospital to save him! And instinctively he knew that Matt would not want vampire blood. Uh huh! Hey! It's something!

- Oh, Matty. I get where he's coming from and I do think that this is an interesting tack they are taking with him and it does make the most sense looking at his character arc. However, man, it's painful seeing him being so hard and drawing this hard line with the people who love him because the bottom line is that is what he's doing. These are not just "vampires," these are people who love him and/or care about him at least. And for the most part these are people who are there and have been there for him.

Yes, he has died lots or almost died lots… but ALL of them and they have suffered as much or more than him. Something is going to have to give because he's still not walking the walk/talking the talk. It's not about saying "I hate vampires" and then accepting their help, i.e., taking their blood. You can't say you hate vampires and then use their car to go the hospital. You can't say you hate vampires and then take their hand and call one /all of them your friend. You either hate vampires or you don't. There are good people and there are bad people. There are good vampires and there are bad vampires. Same difference.

Matt needs to figure that out. I'm telling ya, something is going to happen that is going to remind him of that reality because he has forgotten that very real fact. Still love you, Matty Blue-Blue, but, yeah, reality checks are gonna come and hit you upside the head soon, my sweetie.

- I mentioned above in my whining about I WANT LOTS AND LOTS OF DAMON AND ELENA ALL THE TIME EVERY SECOND DURING THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, SHOW, FROM NOW ON UNTIL THE END OF SEASON 06, AHEM! that I did think the Damon and Lily scenes were good, and I did think they were. I touched upon this briefly while writing about Damon and Elena (ALL THE TIME, EVERY SECOND, SHOW!), but I wanted to spend a bit more time upon them. I had mentioned in the last episode, her first appearance, that Damon was so mean to her and so cold, but now one has to once again give the guy his due because his instincts were spot-on. She was pretending and just putting on a show.

Lordy, imagine if Damon had actually done what Elena suggested and allowed himself to hope and had opened up to her, allowed himself to believe that the mother he loved was still in there. But the cynical, smart Damon couldn't let go of the fact that she never came to see them even after knowing that they were vampires for all those years. Sadly, though, we found out that he did buy her story that she had changed and he thought that she was at least coming to them. And we saw that pain, that hurt that he had shoved deep down while the cynicism had ridden high since he'd seen her finally come to the fore... but then he put the one who mattered first: Stefan.

And I loved the flashback to Damon telling her what to say as she was saying those words to Stefan. I wrote above that Damon knew exactly what to say to get Stefan to turn his humanity on because Lily may have hurt Damon because deep down he wanted the mother he loved to still be there, but it was past-tense. Right now, today, this was about the brother he loves, present-tense. And that was beautiful to behold and you could see Damon's true heart reflected in those quick flashbacks.

- No Bonnie is NOT cool. Not at all.

- Blech! Jo! I'm sorry, show, but you can't make her happen. It's not going to happen, like ever! Can't she just die? Pretty please?!

- Per my LJ-cut (and it's so true)... Ian Somerhalder looked REALLY good in this episode. Really, he did. (Admittedly, this happens often. Ian Somerhalder looking REALLY good in an episode.)

So, I mentioned early on that these were my favorite writers sarcastically (the writers are Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux who have written my least favorite episodes this season, are new to the show and tend to write some wildly out of characters actions for some of the characters). However, I didn't feel that any of the characters were out of step at all in this episode. I thought it was a really strong one in fact, but it was just one that I couldn't fully enjoy because, yeah, I was numb and I want all the Damon and Elena I can get now (grr, stupid, stupid, stupid crewmember!). But, really it was a great episode and I love, love, love the new mythology added of the Heretics. I think that is so cool! On with next week when hopefully the numbness will have faded.
Tags: caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, matt donovan, nina dobrev, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv

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