My favorite moment hands-down—oh heck, it was one of my favorite moments of the season, if not the series—was when Stefan stopped Damon from getting himself killed by Julian by telling him that if Julian killed Damon, Stefan would kill Julian and then all of Julian's minions would kill Stefan. It just, GAH!, it just damn near made me cry, I was so filled with all the feels of the universe over the beauty of the Salvatore Brothers love. In that moment, with those words, Stefan has never made it more clear so completely how absolutely he loves Damon, *and* how absolutely he knows that Damon loves him. He knows what he will sacrifice for Damon and he knows what Damon will *not* sacrifice for him. It was a devastatingly beautiful moment.
And, of course, that's why it was just that much more painful when Damon told Stefan what he believes that he's done to Elena. In so doing threw in all of the self-loathing commentary, expecting the opposite, about how Stefan for sure would still stick by him, still defend him, etc. absolutely sure that this is the one thing he's done that is just a step too far. Because in Damon's eyes, yes, it's a step too far. And, of course, it's not. Even if Damon had, God forbid, killed Elena, it still would not be a step too far because regardless of Stefan's initial reaction (more on that later), Stefan knows who is to blame: Julian. Julian is the one who stabbed Damon with the Phoenix Stone sword. Julian is the reason that Damon is in the state of mind that he is. It is Julian's fault, yet another thing to add to the long list of unforgivable crimes he has committed.
Still, in that moment when Damon told him, I understand why Stefan reacted as he did. Even though Stefan has moved on, and even though he does love Caroline and has accepted that Elena and he were not meant to be and that their love was about Elena finding her way to Damon, Stefan still loves Elena. And Elena was a very, very important part of Stefan's life and she brought him back to Mystic Falls, his home. So, yeah, I get his anger and his grief and why he pummeled Damon. I get it.
I also get why Damon did what he did. *sigh* Even if I don't like it. Yeah, erm, I'm talking about Damon and random chick. First let's review the entire episode. She was checking him out all night, but he didn't notice her in a flirty kind of way at all. And when she kissed him, he reacted very WTF? And that was about as un-Damon like as you can get in that kind of situation. Then he just stared at her, mulling it over and then when he kissed her back, it wasn't passionate or exuberant. He just wasn't into it, you know? There was no joy. It was as if by doing so, he was proving to himself once and for all that, yes, Elena was indeed gone and he was responsible. How I saw it was that It was as if by getting it on with this random woman he was punishing himself. So, no, I didn't like it, but Damon was torturing himself by doing it because it was the death blow, so to speak, as the final acceptance that Elena was gone. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, only Damon.)
So we got Damon attempting to deal with his pain by getting his ass kicked, ass-kicking, all but begging Julian to rip his heart out, all but begging his brother to turn against him, and then screwing a stranger—something he would never do if he believed that Elena was alive. And then we have Stefan's dealing with... when he was alone, allowed to stew, alone to wallow in his grief and rage, as I wrote above, yes, see he knew where the blame truly belonged: Julian.
When Stefan immediately when into vengeful, rogue mode going after Julian... I was good with it; it made sense. This is something that Stefan has been gung-ho for awhile now obviously but reasons have kept him from achieving his goal. Damon going over the deep end, nearly getting himself killed, Elena's "death" were just that push he needed. As for how it was achieved? That was pretty bad-ass... and one would question why they didn't do it sooner if they were so easily able to just walk in and take care of business?
Well, it worked for me. Timing and opportunity. Considering what had just happened with Damon, Stefan making the threat to kill Julian knowing that it would end in his life *if* Damon continued down his path, Julian being surrounded by all of his compadres who happened to be clearly drunk, having been drinking and getting all riled up all night (thanks to the earlier fights and Damon's theatrics). Yet, Julian had been sitting all alone in his little bubble with no one paying attention to him. So, yes, timing and opportunity. It totes worked for me.
As did the Caroline situation. Of course the twins would be siphoners. Of course. And naturally this would be something that wouldn't be noticeable right away but only gradually. (I honestly continually love how they have made use of Candice King's pregnancy and so brilliantly used the Gemini coven's history to create interesting story conflict that is true to the show's backstory. So good.) I also love how Valerie and Caroline continue to be friendly towards one another despite the relationships they had/have with Stefan. It is so refreshing and just wonderful to see.
At the same time, true to their characters, we still see that, no, they are *not* friends and that Stefan definitely still stands between them. The fact that Caroline while in distress immediately questioned Valerie was telling of that... the fact that Valerie so quickly acquiesced to Caroline's demands that she run to Stefan's side, leaving Caroline all alone was telling as well. It was just very well done, and I liked it.
On the other hand, what I didn't like... *sigh* This Penny chick. I'm sorry, but I don't find the actress very likeable or Matt-worthy. It's not just that I'm comparing every female they put next to Matt to Rebekah, but come on... Nadia and now this one? Really?! They don't stand a chance. And it really sucks because I like what Penny was saying to Matt; I liked their scenes, especially the one in the woods when they were sitting on the hood of the car and just talking. The vibe and dialogue there was great. I just don't like her. Ugh. Matty (and Zach Roerig) deserves so much better. Hey, maybe something will happen between now and the three years from now between him and the Hunter, Rayna.
You know, not the old lady version, but the risen from the Phoenix young lady version. (So, erm, is this the Season of the Phoenix or what?) That was... interesting, huh? Bonnie, Nora and Mary Louise on a road trip, which (side note) was soooo not as fun as road trips normally are on The Vampire Diaries. Why could that be? Oh, right, because no Damon. He really makes all the difference. (End side note.) Still, what I found really interesting was that Bonnie was totally aware that Nora was using her to make Mary Louise jealous and she was sorta OK with it. I'm of two minds with this whole Bonnie/Nora situation here (if situation is the right word).
Kat Graham and Scarlet Bryne have pretty good chemistry and I'm really enjoying their scenes. Frankly, I'd much rather see Nora in a relationship with Bonnie at this point than anywhere near Mary Louise, but let's get real, if the show goes anywhere near the heterosexual witch randomly goes lesbian, everyone will cry ripping off Buffy The Vampire Slayer/shades of Willow and Tara. On the other hand, I don't see why they couldn't play it as Bonnie experimenting. It's not like the girl doesn't have a lousy love life and a lot of people *do* experiment in college... and, dangit, Graham and Bryne have really good chemistry! :shrugs: I dunno.
Plus, the show is clearly not getting anywhere towards Bonnie and Enzo any time soon. Yes, they had interaction and there was some concern from Enzo, and a few looks, but right now it's all filled with double-crosses and suspicions. So, there's a long road ahead. And I'm OK with that because I want them to take their time (and I think that we are probably going to get another season—just without Ian Somerhalder at least; yeah, I still am convinced he's done after 7). Whatever group Matt left Enzo with—which I still think involves Jeremy—clearly wanted him to release Rayna so they could do their whole renewal process.
I admit that I am intrigued about her now and three years from now. Very intrigued. I thought they wanted just Stefan, which, yeah, obviously they do want what with Matt faking Stefan out and then vervain-shooting him up, but then Rayna is still sticking around with Damon. I thought that Damon was just supposed to be bait for Stefan. So... hmm. Yes, quite intrigued.
(Oh, and in just a few seconds, this actress does look way, way, way more like Nina Dobrev than Olga Fonda *ever* did. For those who didn't see it, another character referenced how much she looked like Elena and Katherine. While, I think Rayna may be a very cool character, I'm just saying, looks-wise, clearly this actress would have been better than Fonda as Katherine's daughter. And I imagine she probably would have been better acting-wise because, you know, Olga Fonda.)
OK – random thoughts…
- Damon all fighting and stuff… yeah, yeah, gratuitous violence, blah, blah, blah. Come on, it wasn't that bad and Ian Somerhalder looked really hot.
- Damon making his entrance with the “head shot,” pretty cool. Heh!
- Yeah, I'm done with Mary Louise. All of my belief in her promise? So gone and down the drain. Someone can kill her anytime. (Bonus! Bonnie can comfort Nora!)
- I continue to find that Stefan is just skirting the line in his interactions with Valerie. It's obvious that he still has unresolved feelings for her, but per usual SOP with Stefan, his head is buried deep in the sand and he's just pretending that these are not the droids you are looking for and that there's nothing to see here. Oh, Stefan.
- Enzo is a charming rogue, and I do like Michael Malarkey, but, why again is a he a regular? (Or Matt Davis, for that matter?)
- Yeah, I totes forgot that Tyler was in one of the ‘Three Years From Now…” flashforwards so even if Damon hadn't mentioned that he just left him unconscious, we know he's not dead. See? Tyler, the werewolf/cockroach hybrid!
- Matt looked really, really pretty in that outdoor scene with the annoying Penny.
- Yeah, I don't like Penny. Damnit, casting! Why couldn't you cast better for my beloved Matty?!
- On the other hand… Did I mention that I'm really intrigued by this Rayna, the Huntress character?
- So, I wonder if they are going to have to put Caroline in some special stasis or something and that's how they'll keep Candice King off-screen for the time needed for her maternity leave and stuffs, thus the cliffhanger with the twins at the end? Hmm…
Anyhoo, so it was a good episode, and there were things I really liked, but I couldn't fully enjoy it as much as I normally do because in character or not and making sense or not, I still couldn't, you know, be happy about the whole Damon/random chick thing. I guess the show decided they just couldn't *not* have Ian Somerhalder this long without at least one sorta-ish make-out. There are just limits to TV-land laws. At least, they are continuing to keep the Damon/Elena love completely sacrosanct and I have zero doubt that the truth about Elena will be revealed soon enough. Still, I continue to very much enjoy the season and I *really* look forward to what's going to happen with Rayna, the Huntress.