I gotta start with my absolutely favorite scene. Oh man, Stefan's face during the scene with Caroline literally had me hitting the pause button so I could laugh out loud without missing dialogue. The way he kept turning his head slightly to look at her and then look away, the 'WTF?" expression on his face, in his eyes was just absolutely hilarious. Top-notch there by Paul Wesley. LOVED IT! I also did really love his heartwarming scene with Lily because it's so, so, so, soooooooo completely Stefan in every way possible. And it's something I do love about Stefan so very much.
Also, it's a big part of how he is in the place he is now with Damon because he is able to forgive those who've hurt him, tried to hurt him, hurt those he loved, etc., etc., because as awesome as Damon is and as much as we all know he *does* love Stefan, still Damon has done some terrible things to Stefan deliberately to hurt him. (I make this distinction because, yes, Stefan has hurt Damon A LOT as well, but a good, good chunk of that has actually not been deliberate just Stefan's immaturity, head-in-the-sand mentality, inability to see the big picture, and big brother blinders issues.)
On the flip side, I also really did love Damon's heartbreaking scene with Lily because it was so, so, soooooo completely Damon in every way possible. He will be harsh, he will make snide, snarky comments even when someone is being vulnerable; he will be a complete dick to that person. I also was 100% there for Damon giving Lily not-so-nice parting words on her way to sleepy-time forever. I stand by what I said after the last episode, Lily abandoned her boys, and then when she had opportunity after opportunity (before 1912 and after 2013—I think that's the year they're on now, LOL!) to repair the damage. Instead she stayed away, or she repudiated them, she took away the love of Damon's life, she kidnapped and had Stefan's girlfriend tortured. She stole their home, pretty much destroyed their town—which they do both love—all for this family that she considers her real one as opposed to her sons.
My only problem was that with her deciding suddenly and so quickly to turn on Julian and join forces with her sons in the last episode and this one, with all of the sweet goodbyes to Lily, with Damon apologizing "Three Years From Now" to someone who he thought was "mom" that we're supposed to agree with Stefan and not Damon. And I'm not saying this in terms of Saint Stefan vs. Demon Damon as in Stefan's way is the "right" way and Damon's is the "wrong." Rather that we, the viewers, are supposed to see Lily as some sort of heroine that we're supposed to be feeling sympathy for here. That when Damon repudiates her literally the moments before her death, we're supposed to think that Damon will regret this and that Lily deserved his forgiveness... and the future final scene confirmed that. Here's where we get to my problem: Lily is not deserving of sympathy or forgiveness from either of her sons, *especially* Damon because of HER actions that were deliberately designed post-reintroduction into this world to hurt—REALLY HURT—her sons.
I don't know what I'm supposed to think honestly, though, because we were reminded of what Lily is doing to Damon (re: Elena being kept from him). Plus, while they've been building up to making Lily sympathetic, she was nowhere there... but, yeah, I don't know. Did the show expect us to find her sympathetic here? I really do think we were supposed to (because of the Lily/Stefan discussion and because of Damon's future apology), but Lily hasn't done NEARLY enough to deserve the audience to be on her side. And frankly Annie Wersching's worst acting tic came into play the last few episodes—the wide-eyed, overly anxious, damsel-in-distress look—that it made Lily more annoying rather than endearing, but hey, maybe that's just me and my already-stated dislike of the style of the actress.
On that note, thanks to an excellent point by tj2013 below in the comments, I completely understand Damon's future apology now and it breaks my heart. As much as I adore Damon and tend to see things from a Damon-point-of-view often enough, I think that my dislike of Wersching and the lack of sympathy-build-up for the character kept my focus so thoroughly on her actions and Damon's justification that I didn't think of the emotional consequences it would have on Damon's psyche.
Plus, I completely ignored the earlier comment in the scene between Stefan and Lily where he told her that Damon would eventually forgive her, but that he just needed time. Also, how Stefan easily brushed away the idea that Damon was incapable of forgiving her because of the look in his eyes. Using Stefan's history with Damon and us knowing Damon's volatile nature, and how, yes, time does and can heal his wounds—especially how that forgiving process would go much faster once Elena is back in the picture because of the effect that Elena has on Damon, and how she allows him to accept the better angel of his nature—was a beautifully subtle way of showing that Damon would indeed forgive her. He just needed time.
However, looking at the "As I Lay Dying" finale comparison (as tj2013 did), this time there was no time to give. One has to think that had Elena been around—ironically for Lily's hopes and dreams of forgiveness, she's not because of Lily—Elena could have reminded him of that. Had Elena been there with Damon at Lily's end, even now so close to her repudiation time and time again of her boys, Elena would have been able to get through to him in a way that not only could no one else, but also because no one else would really think to try. So instead because Lily took Elena away from Damon—that being the main reason that Damon can't forgive her now—he has no one there who will or can push him to see why he should have forgiven Lily not for Lily, but for himself. Oh, Damon.
But, hey, maybe that future apology to not!Mom will help ease his conscience a bit. Speaking of... I will say it was a good fake-out on her death. I was hoping half-way through the episode that she would die, but then was all like 'Damn, we saw her three years from now, she's still around.' So that was good. (Although, I did have a stray thought where "Mom" from the future was somehow not really her, so good on me!) Also good? At least she's now gone. And I fully believe that Damon's future apology comes more from his love for Stefan and their bond than anything about Lily—who, I'm sorry (not sorry)—doesn't deserve it.
I do have sympathy for poor Enzo, though. Man, for such a good-looking, finely-accented, charming (albeit-killing-like with all the vampireness and what-not) guy, he sure has tough luck with the ladies (and gent). OK, so I have to say it, I just loved how Matt told Enzo "Damon didn't want you. Lily didn't want you..." because it equated Damon and Lily as people who didn't want Enzo, but whom he wanted. And, yeah, I always kinda thought that maybe there was some kind of pansexual love there going from Enzo to Damon. I'll just take that line as confirmation. As for the rest of their conversation, I admired how Matt kept his cool, and because of that, and the look he was giving Enzo, I figured that he had something up his sleeve.
I do love what they've done with Matt in terms of his character and where he is/who he is... I just want to see more of him. (And I want him to get some happiness, some love... damnit! I miss my Matt and Rebekah beautiful, blond promise!) Maybe this will be the beginning of that more: Matt and his mysterious helpers.
By the way, completely unspoiled here (you all know that, of course), but I think his two helpers are Jeremy and Tyler. If they're not, OK, new characters. If they are... yay! BB!JEREMY!! Jeremy/Damon scenes pretty please!! GIVE TO ME! Oh, and some closure with Jeremy and Bonnie would be nice too. And, yeah, Tyler's reaction to Caroline being pregnant would be pretty HI-larious. Of course, I'm totes jumping ahead of myself here, but yeah, I hope it's them! (It's probably not. Don't spoil me either way if you know!)
I say Tyler's reaction would be "HI-larious," but that so wouldn't be the case if they were still together. Ugh, I shudder to think of how badly that would go down. Fortunately, he and Caroline are totally dunzo, so we just had Stefan's reaction. Which was TOTES HI-larious, and then super-duper sweet.* And it had me thinking that I don't want to see Caroline give up Stefan for the unborn babies magically stored in her womb because that's what's gonna happen... thanks, Lily for making that clear with your little pep talk! *sigh* Noooooo! Why can't Stefan and Caroline just be shiny, happy people? Why can't I have one couple onscreen together that I love and want to watch together.
* I was originally going to add something in here about their first mutual "I love you's" being over the phone like Damon/Elena and how it was a parallel, and one that actually bothered me a little bit because that did sorta become Damon and Elena's thing. However, recalling earlier Stefan and Caroline scenes, I'm OK with it, because Stefan and Caroline have both made it crystal clear to the other that they love each other (with their lists of reasons why loving you has made me better—which is so them). So, this was more of them finally just saying the words to each other at the same time. It was different with Damon and Elena. Still close enough though that I would have preferred a face-to-face with them to differentiate it more not just as a Damon/Elena fan (again, their thing), but also as a Stefan/Caroline fan because they have their thing too. And I love them.
Unlike—ugh—Nora and Mary Louise. So boring. *sigh* (And that ring was ugly, just saying.) But I still stand by my earlier thought—Mary Louise is more interesting and has more potential than Nora. Nora pretends to be the rebel, but really she just follows the lead of what she's supposed to do. Mary Louise is the one who actually goes against the grain... and I figure it has probably gotten her into trouble, caused major issues in the past which is why she tries to keep things so buttoned-down. She was SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING in her scenes with Julian—the earlier ones in retrospect—than she ever has been with Nora. I honestly expect nothing to happen with Nora, but Mary Louise, she's a wild card.
I have to admit that Julian hadn’t done much for me at all prior to his final scene in this episode. When we realized that he'd unlinked him and Lily not to stave off some new wicked plan, or because he wanted to be so many steps ahead of the Salvatore boys. Nope, he did it because he knew that they were after them and that they really possibly might not care if Lily lived or died so he unlinked them to keep her safe. After all that, it turned out the guy actually did love Lily and valued her life above his own. Still doesn't mean he wasn't a sadistic asswipe. But now there's more depth to the character and I really am curious to see what's going to happen with him and the rest of the Heretics.
And that needs to happen because it's about time things start kicking it into high gear with the Heretics. Will Beau join forces with Valerie and our team? Or will he stick with Julian and Mary Louise? On that note will Mary Louise stick with Julian after his whole shenanigans inadvertently caused Lily's death? And what will Nora do? I hope things start to get hopping because frankly, Lordy, I was not feeling the Lily/Julian scenes (well, those are done with), the Mary Louise/Nora stuff (please, be done with... just bring in new people for them—these actresses have ZERO chemistry and I don't buy that they love each other at ALL) and thus the majority of the first half of the episode. We won't even touch Enzo and Lily (thankfully done, done, done!)
But at least he's finally spending time with peeps who want him! LOL!
Not that Bonnie was one of them tonight! I ♥ her, but I didn't miss Miss Bennett in this episode. I don't really see where she would have fit in without being just kinda shoe-horned in. I understood why she got the night off. However, Alaric did feel like he was missed. He could have been used perhaps helping Matt—maybe Caroline could have said to Matt during their conversation that she mentioned the IV'd bodies situation to Ric and he needs to keep his mind off of the crazy pregnancy and Not!Jo/Florence Nightingale's re-death, so could Matt use his help? Then we could have had Matt and Alaric with Enzo which would have had the bonus of bringing up the Caroline pregnancy naturally (because it would SOOOO come up) and Enzo would find out that way. Say Matt said: "Damon didn't want you, Caroline didn't, neither does Lily."
Plus, we would have seen some of the Enzo/Alaric interplay which would have been great since we found out last season that Matt Davis and Michael Malarkey have great chemistry. Boom! You've now tied in the IV'd bodies, Caroline's pregnancy, Enzo's lovelorn-emotions for Lily/Salvatore Boys plot all together and Alaric is now neatly involved in the two other big stories going along. He's no longer confined to his sad little universe of Alaric—Jo's boyfriend/fiancé/almost-husband/father-of-her-twins—and that's all he shall be forevermore. So, yeah, I really think that Alaric should have been in this episode, but, oh well. Perhaps, possibly, probably, they have other plans. I will have faith.
OK just a few randoms —
- AHA! So now we know what the point of the IV'd peeps was... minions and/or snacks for Nora and Mary Louise' anniversary. Julian goes all, doesn’t he? (Eh, gotta admit, it's a week underwhelming.)
- Boy, oh, boy, will Enzo NOT be happy when he gets away from Matt's helpers to find out that Lily is dead. Oh wells.
- I think I said aloud about five times while watching this one: "He's so good looking." I'll let you guess who. (A hint: He was leaning so very beautifully for almost an entire scene. Uh huh.)
- Damon had a few fantastic one-liners (as always). My favorite was the one to Lily about why he wasn't going with the 'stake mom' plan: "Because Stefan's a momma's boy and I don't want to get the silent treatment for the next century." LMAO!
- Speaking of the 'stake mom' plan, Damon's constant iterations that it was easiest, simple plan and how he kept bringing it up as an option was hilarious.
- Blah, blah, blah, 'Three Years From Now...' who is this mysterious hunter? Who knows? I don't, and these snippets are frustrating, not in a good cliffhanger way, but in an annoying 'God, get on with it!' way.
- OK, I will say something positive about Mary Louise and Nora: Their white/black outfits were gorgeous at their party. Oh, and if they had an ounce of chemistry, the proposal scene with the poetry and all of that would have been really lovely. Alas, I felt nothing. But, damn, I never stopped going 'ooh! pretty!' about their outfits.
- So Beau was a singer. OK.
- I love Matt Donovan. Just saying.
- Speaking of Matt... the fact that he knew that Damon didn't want Enzo, I'm using as proof that Matt and Damon have had discussions off-screen where Enzo has come up. That's my head canon, damnit, and I'm sticking to it!
- Elena mention from Caroline via another diary entry! Elena as Damon's soulmate (even if her name wasn't said)! I love it... eight episodes in and we're still getting Elena and Damon/Elena=THE TRUEST LOVE EVA! Woohoo, baby!
Not the bestest episode simply because I didn't care at all about Julian/Lily, Lily living/dying/getting forgiveness/whatever, Mary Louise/Nora, but the mess that's left behind looks like it can be delicious, delicious fun. And, as always, Damon, Stefan, Caroline and Matt were awesome-sauce. So one more episode to go (I believe) of the year and in this time slot. OK, then!