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08 April 2016 @ 01:50 pm
7.16 - 'Days of Future Past' (The Vampire Diaries)  
I know, I know, this is soooooooo late. Sorry! Busy, busy + migraines! But it's here before the official episode airing at least!

So I fell into a Damon-fangirl trap. Yes, I did. I love him so that I realized I’ve been watching him most of this season through my rose-colored, ‘Oh, I love him so!’ glasses and I missed what was right in front of me. Stefan was right. Hellstone!Stefan was right. Damon has reverted to being a total dick who is crapping all over his life. The Damon that Valerie knows is a selfish, asshole brother and so of course she thinks he’s the worst. Bonnie had every reason to write Damon off after what he did to her. But I couldn’t see that because I was all ‘Oh, Damon, I wuv you so much because you’ve been through so much and you’re suffering because you miss Elena and hot damn, Ian Somerhalder is so, so pretty!

And it’s not like we weren’t warned. Hello! We were told by everyone and their dog involved with the show that Damon would be like season 01 Damon. And it’s true in many ways. He’s been making rash decisions. He’s been making selfish decisions. And he did desert Stefan and Bonnie... and in Bonnie’s case, his plan was to not even tell her face to face. Going back to early on in the season you had Damon ripping Malcolm's heart, messing up Stefan's plan which did lead to Caroline (and Elena's coffin) getting kidnapped, playing his whole cold-hearted revenge against Lily that led to a lot more death and destruction, etc., etc., and I justified a lot of it because of my love for Damon, understanding his suffering, blah, blah, blah.

However, yeah, Damon was wrong. Damon did make a lot of mistakes. Damon was being selfish. If Elena were around, she would have been shaking her head going 'WTF? this is not the guy I fell in love with.' No, I take that back, Elena would not have been doing that because Damon wouldn't have been doing a lot of these things. Damon has basically been on a less extreme version of the downward spiral he went on for 150+ years after Katherine left him. So yeah.

But now we're at the turning point. Stefan is gone again into the hellstone and it's Damon's fault. Because, yes, it is Damon's fault. It is. Period. Damon was the one who couldn't just suck it up and tell Bonnie the truth about what he thought he did to Elena, so instead he gave into blackmail and used their friendship to give Rayna's sword to Enzo. That led to Rayna killing Beau. And chasing down the other vampires, including a giving-birth Caroline who needed Valerie, Nora and Mary Louise and their witchy spells to help her. Two of the three took off... which put Caroline and the twins in jeopardy. So, yay, Damon showed up to clean up his mess, but instead one of the three people who still unconditionally love him (Bonnie) begged one of the remaining two (Stefan) to go and help him. So he did. And he took the mark. Damon's fault. I had argued in earlier write-ups, 'oh, stuff it, Stefan, you made the choice!' But I take that back now because I'm not going to get on Stefan's case for making a truly selfless choice to save his freaking brother's life when Damon completely and utterly DID fuck up for a completely and utterly SELFISH reason.

And now... and NOW! Damon got Stefan's hopes up, he's gonna take the mark, he's gonna step up and let Stefan live again while they try and figure a way out of this. And then, OH DEAR LORD! the second Damon realizes that it's gonna suck for him, he bails. He literally bails and is all, erm, yeah, changed my mind. DUDE! Damon, DU-U-U-DE! I beyond feel for Stefan right now. Of course, Stefan is so upset right now. He's feeling so betrayed because Damon is going back on his word and clearly NOT choosing him after Stefan just had the realization smacked in his face that HE chose Damon first. (Oh, you know there is more on THAT later!) And then Damon did. Damon finally is choosing him FIRST. FINALLY! after Stefan ALWAYS choosing Damon first!

He chose Stefan... over the possible potential of never seeing Elena again (although, of course he'd bust his ass to figure a way around that!), he did, he chose Stefan too. But Stefan didn't know that. So he had *that* pain and that's a big part of why Stefan finally chose to "let Damon go" per the Phoenix Stone's wish. And, of course, the other has got to be that the mystical connection between Rayna and Stefan goes both ways. The connection is there between her and the sword/stone as well, so if she's feeling that connection to the sword/stone, and the connection to Stefan was reawakened once she was released and his scar re-opened, well... yeah, then you know that the whole "Let him go" refrain was pounding in the back of his head ever since then. He has been feeling it. Big-time. Yuppers.

And, obviously, he still doesn't get it. Duh! The 'Let him go,' is about letting human!Damon go. Hmm... You know I thought this season was about the brothers finding closure, finding their way to accept Damon as a human/Damon being a human and this all plays out that way. Buuuttt, with an 8th season WITH Ian Somerhalder, I'm not sure now. I mean, we don't know he'll still be on the show for sure. Ideally, I'd prefer he NOT unless somehow Nina Dobrev comes back and we get human!Elena/vampire!Damon for a bit before blooming into human!Elena and human!Damon. But, he might, probably will stick around, so... who knows what they are going to do to set Damon up for next season without Elena.

Regardless, this season still feels like it's a preparation for human!Damon. I mean, Rayna clearly only saw parts of Stefan's life, and sure he looked content in those moments, but there is a reason we saw Stefan looking at his phone, wanting to call Damon. He was missing his brother. That was the show showing us that, no, Rayna, Stefan wasn't happy with Damon not in his life. Oh, and Rayna, by the way, m'dear, it's not his brother who caused Stefan to start experiencing drama in his life once more. That would be you and your escape from the armory thus causing his scar to open. Geez! I mean, seriously, how clueless can you get? Duh, girl. Still, despite her chasing our brothers down and causing all sorts of mayhem, I like her.

Anyhoo, my point is that with Stefan we're getting to the heart of him for him. In order for Stefan to let go of Damon in a good way, he's got to admit the importance of Damon. And he was hit hard—damn hard!—with that realization. And then he was all but smacked in the face with 'Oh, but Damon doesn't care!' So, yeah, that's got to be dealt with... which brings us to Damon and the beginning of this entry. Damon has slipped back into the pre-Elena pattern of making selfish choices. However, as I mentioned all the way back in "Ghost World" (season 03, episode 07):

I liked A LOT that in an episode that talked about Damon, mentioned redemption, etc., and Damon making a positive choice to let someone in, be the better "man" (to Ric), it had NOTHING TO DO WITH ELENA. This helped to confirm my own personal belief that Damon is not changing or becoming better FOR Elena. I think it's BECAUSE of Elena's influence. It's like what Andie said ... love changes a person, makes them better. It's like, for me, Elena has ignited that desire that has always been in Damon to be better, but until he's ready, until he wants to, it's not going to happen. Because he's not doing it for her, he's doing it for him, he's allowing himself that belief that he can be better because he's acknowledging that the desire is there. And that desire has been brought to the forefront because of his love for Elena. But it's about *his* desire to change, and *his* choice to do so.
What happened though is that by the time Damon really did become that better person, his inner circle was pretty much *just* Elena. Sure, eventually it included Bonnie and Stefan, but now Elena is gone. Bonnie is so messed up psychologically right now (girl is suffering from severe PTSD, folks) and Stefan and Damon have their issues so we’ve got a Damon who is left without a moral compass that is strong enough to follow. And he needs that... or at least he believes he does.

Which brings us to what I wrote in the season 06 finale:

Speaking a bit more of Matt and Damon, that final scene [the flash forward of Damon watching above while Matt drove through the messed up town] and diving into the whole Damon/Bonnie supposed potential brought on by *that scene,* well, here be my take on it. The writers are not shippers; they don't write the show with shipper goggles (for the most part–that Damon/Elena dance–so done FOR the shippers, but considering Nina Dobrev was leaving, that was intentional). We see a guy carrying the "damsel-in-distress" for two reasons:

1. For the sweeping romantic moment.
2. To show that said guy is A hero.

The purpose of that scene was for scenario #2. We can't look at the moment in a vacuum, but rather at the whole narrative. There was a reason we had the earlier scene with Matt and Bonnie where he told her to leave town because Damon would choose Elena over everyone and would kill Bonnie. There we have the first two players setting up Damon in "A Hero scenario." Then we come to the scene with Damon and Bonnie where he carries her in his arm, saving the damsel-in-distress, featuring the next pair of players.

Then note how the scene is shot. Once Damon picked Bonnie up, he doesn't look down at her, there's no tenderness. Instead he is looking straight ahead, intensely focused, absolutely in HERO mode. Also, there is no full-shot of him carrying her so you don't get the whole swooning, romantic effect. The whole point of the scene is Damon saving the day and his focus of doing so, of making that tough choice. Finally, we have the final scene with Matt driving down the street keeping watching below over Mystic Falls, and Damon above keeping watch over Mystic Falls, the final two players in "A Hero scenario." Matt appears now to be working to protect the town in tandem with the guy in the beginning he thought would choose Elena over everyone else. That middle scene with Bonnie was not about "hero saves the girl;" it was about "despite appearances, this is A hero."

Scene 1 - Matt/Bonnie
Scene 2 - Bonnie/Damon
Scene 3 - Damon/Matt

It all ties together. And that, I believe, is setting us up for Damon and his journey–"despite appearances, this is A hero"–next season. There's a reason that was the final scene of the episode and WHY they included that bit of dialogue in there with Damon and Elena about her knowing that he would make the right choice.
Here we go. Substitute Stefan for Bonnie. Damon in the end (even though he was too late) DID choose Stefan over Elena (to a degree). And I think we are going to see Elena's words play out over the course of the rest of the season which is that Damon will make the right choice because he can be a hero. He is A hero. We've just been watching him fall away from that. Hell!stone Stefan was telling him that, so he knows that already. So maybe, just maybe this is the final part of the journey Damon needs to truly recapture who he needs to be as a man, a good man, before he becomes human again.

OK, just going into randoms here...

- I liked the contrast of Valerie calling Stefan "my friend" three years ago and then "love" today.

- Hah! Damon so did NOT realize that by taking the scar Rayna would be dying at the same time Elena would be waking up if Bonnie lived a normal life. Yeah, didn't think that through there, didja, Damon? The realization on his face... hi-larious. And heartbreaking. Oh, Damon.

- Ugh, so annoyed with Valerie talking shit about Damon (and no doubt poisoning Stefan's mind against Damon in subtle ways for the last three years) and doing so while barely acknowledging her underhanded way of getting Stefan to be her boyfriend. Ugh! Valerie don't make me dislike you. I may be acknowledging that Damon has fucked up, but I still love him the mostest.

- Since we saw Stefan and Valerie's get-together backstory in this episode, I'm thinking that we'll see the same for Alaric/Caroline and Bonnie/Enzo in subsequent episodes... which still leaves me to believe that none of these three are "endgame" couples. Otherwise we would have seen their actual getting together stories play out in real time. Which means, yes, I'm still on the 'I think something-something Matt/Bonnie' train.

- Oh, and on a shallow note, I don't like Matt's hairstyle. Not good.

- Speaking of Matt, so he hates Stefan now, like lots because Stefan is responsible for Penny's death. Can I just say... thank God, Damon's not responsible and Matt doesn't hate Damon. Phew!

- Oh, and what a shocker, Penny is dead? Don't say it's so?! Yeah, saw that coming a mile away. And since Nora didn't die until this episode (sniff, sniff), that probably means that Penny is the "friend" who died that Bonnie was referencing. Boo hoo.

- I suppose I should care about what's going on with Enzo and stuff, right? I don't really. Enzo is just such a non-character at this point. And they've completely disregarded his friendship with Damon so wah! and the promise of awesome with Alaric so double wah! OK, fine, the witch-killing-pills probably has something to do with Bonnie so I'll care more when I see more of that backstory, I'm sure. But, right now, nope. Don't care about Enzo, Alex and the Armory!

- I like that Damon sussed out right away that Valerie figured out how to cure Stefan and called her on it. Take that, bitca! Damon is smarter than you.

- Hah! Always knew it. Love that the show continues to prove it. For Stefan it's Damon >>>>>> Everyone else in the history of EVAR!!!!! But to be fair to Caroline, I think that if Stefan had BEEN with Caroline, he would have turned to her first, then Damon. He hasn't been with her for three years and as we all know, she's pretty pissed at him. (Hee, Rayna called Valerie, Stefan's "back-up girl." Ouch!)

- I wish I cared more about Mary Louise and Nora, but I don't. I wish I cared more about Mary Louise dying, but I don't. I do care about Nora dying. I liked her and Bonnie; I liked their burgeoning friendship. Alas... oh well.

- So the Phoenix sword is gone now, and Stefan is stuck in its hell (by the way, this would have been a MUCH better episode before the spring break). Very strong overall. Thank you, Mr. Somerhalder. At first, I was all confused because Stefan didn't just wake up, but then when I saw the preview, I was like 'Oh, yeah, right!' and remembered the stuff about Julian being stuck and that's why Lily wanted Enzo to find the Phoenix stone *for* the sword, and of course, Oscar (:sniff sniff:) dying, but then being taken over by not!Oscar. They were vampires who had been stuck in stasis in the Phoenix sword's hell. OK, so the point of the whole Oscar story early on was set-up for what is going on with Stefan now. Gotcha. (But why couldn't it have been Malcolm? Or Beau? Or someone we didn't care about? Oscar was awesome!) Yes, I still miss Oscar, damnit!

- Ooh, a wee bit of speculation here: So remember when Kai said that any kind of magical trickery they tried with Bonnie/Elena would kill Elena and/or Bonnie? Well, I was thinking. Hmm... There had to be a reason for that whole Bonnie bringing Matt back from death and the six minutes thing other than the ridiculous, over-the-top contrived 6 minutes drama. So I was wondering, what if Bonnie truly does get injured, she dies, literally dies and Matt is there, and through his lifeguard skills is able to bring her back. That way, Bonnie is dead—not through magic or trickery, but just, you know, shit happens. Elena would then come back, yes/yes? I wonder. Of course, this would depend on either (a) Ian Somerhalder indeed leaving at the end of this season, or (b) Nina Dobrev coming back next season.

- Finally, a word (or two) about Ian Somerhalder's direction. This was his second episode doing the directing thing and in my notes I first jotted down: "Didn't notice anything particularly stand-outish, but the two close-ups of Stefan's mouth were, uhm, weird." And then I added.. "Ooh, I did like the Stefan/Valerie kiss with the darkened background and then moving to the stars. And it was really well-paced, especially with all of the cuts between the different times and locations. There was no confusion, very good cohesion." And then later I added more, "Oh, and Lesley Ann Huff (Rayna) was much more animated, less stiff, in this episode than in others. Plus, there were some nice framing shots (the Stefan/Valerie kiss, Damon and Rayna both going unconscious, the final shot, to mention a few)."

So, uhm, yeah, I guess, it was really good direction then. Yeah, he did good. He's a good director. He really is. Especially since after rewatching the episode, I have something else to add: The final scene with Nora and Mary Louise destroying the hellstone, Rayna chasing them intercut with Damon's devastation over Stefan with that beautiful song playing over it, that was all edited together so well. Yes, you have the editing, but the editing and direction works together. The tight shots, the full shot, when to cut, the cuts themselves, the quick montage of destruction that Rayna felt, all of it was just fantastically done. It had a cinematic feel to it. I only wished that I cared about Nora and Mary Louise, if I did, I probably would have been crying. Overall, really, really well-done. Ian Somerhalder is a great director.

So we're heading down the homestretch, not sure what's gonna happen, but I'm still loving it. (Sorry this was so late. Busy week, migraines galore. Damn! Hopefully the next episode write-up will be up much sooner!)
 
 
 
Bogwitchbogwitch on April 8th, 2016 10:57 pm (UTC)
I don't have a lot to say. I have got a bit confused with what's going on - I really need to rewatch the season so I don't forget bits.

I can't say I am all that happy with Valerie expecting Damon to just sacrifice himself for Stefan, whether it was the right thing to do or not.

>>I wish I cared more about Mary Louise and Nora

Same here. Although I can't say I quite wished for them to be consumed in a ball of fire (that's reserved for Matt), I wasn't upset when they were. In all the Heretics didn't really turn out to be that terrifying, did they.

The last shot at the airport was beautiful.

Yeah, I know I am behind with comments. I will get to the ones I missed.
Arabian: Damon10arabian on April 9th, 2016 06:35 pm (UTC)
I don't have a lot to say. I have got a bit confused with what's going on - I really need to rewatch the season so I don't forget bits.

Yeah, I know I've forgotten key points. I've tried to go back and checked transcripts and stuff, but I've still forgotten some stuff.

I can't say I am all that happy with Valerie expecting Damon to just sacrifice himself for Stefan, whether it was the right thing to do or not.

Oh, agreed. Like Marty, Valerie can suck it! (Spoiler for 7.17--which I FREAKING adored! Paul was AMAZEBALLS!)

>>I wish I cared more about Mary Louise and Nora

Same here. Although I can't say I quite wished for them to be consumed in a ball of fire (that's reserved for Matt),


Grrr!

I wasn't upset when they were. In all the Heretics didn't really turn out to be that terrifying, did they.

No, not really. It's all about the casting, really.

I mean, Elijah was supposed to be a few episodes. We still miss Slater and he was in one episode. Date.com vampire aka Henry was fabulous. Oscar was in two episodes and I still miss him dearly. In one episode, Rebekah's introduction, she made me love her more than Nora and Mary Louise did in all of their appearances combined. Likewise, in Tessa's one episode she was more freaking awesome/crazy/psychotic than all the heretics combined, and in her three (count them THREE!) appearances, she created a more full-bodied, interesting character and was more charismatic than Nora/Mary Louise/Lily/Beau ever were.

The last shot at the airport was beautiful.

SO VERY!

Yeah, I know I am behind with comments. I will get to the ones I missed.

I noticed; I figured you were busy. Life happens. I'm patient. :)
tj2013tj2013 on April 9th, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
I was quite confused after watching the episode. All the back and forth and cutting between the different teams.
But I think I just have to watch the next ep and then watch both in a row again.

I simply don't care about Mary Louise. Sorry. But stil, I didn't want Nora to end this way. Beautfully shot, anyway.

And please, show, can you make me care about Enzo again?

And you are right, Damon is behaving very dick-ish. My problem is - again, I guess - that Damon's development should not entirely rely on Elena or Stefan being present. And I think it really isn't, but that Damon perceives it that way. Without either of them he reverts to the behavior he feels secure with. Does that make sense?

Thanks for your write-up, it really cleared up things for me I was not happy about - and I hope you are feeling better by now. Migraines are not fun to deal with. Take care!

Edited at 2016-04-09 06:54 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Damon03arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:28 pm (UTC)
I was quite confused after watching the episode. All the back and forth and cutting between the different teams. But I think I just have to watch the next ep and then watch both in a row again.

Really? I don't know, maybe you just weren't used to that with TVD? Because I thought Ian did a really good job making it clear. I mean the way the episode was set up with all of the different players in all of the different locations that could have been a huge mess, but it was really clearly delineated, not just with the names of where they are--which is easy enough--but with the locales, the lights, the shots showing where they were. It was really well done.

I simply don't care about Mary Louise. Sorry. But stil, I didn't want Nora to end this way. Beautfully shot, anyway.

Yeah, Mary Louise was just never developed well as a character. But, sigh, Nora. :(

And please, show, can you make me care about Enzo again?

Putting him in scenes with Damon and/or Alaric--the real Alaric--might help.

And you are right, Damon is behaving very dick-ish. My problem is - again, I guess - that Damon's development should not entirely rely on Elena or Stefan being present. And I think it really isn't, but that Damon perceives it that way. Without either of them he reverts to the behavior he feels secure with. Does that make sense?

Totally and that is, I completely believe, the very point of why Damon is behaving this way and what we're moving towards him correcting. So this is good in the long run.

Thanks for your write-up, it really cleared up things for me I was not happy about

Me too.!

and I hope you are feeling better by now. Migraines are not fun to deal with. Take care!

I am, thank you.
jairem08jairem08 on April 9th, 2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the migraines. I have the same problem. They suck.
Again thank you for the post.
I don't really know if I'm happy about season 8 as that pushes to happy for DE more away unless it will happen still this season which I wouldn't be able to guess.
I do worry though reading about Damon reverting back to dickish himself
I also worry that season 8 and with Damon around may offer other opportunities for him to "stray" which I'm not sure I would take well.
I do hope DE are resolved end of season 7 but I doubt it now.
What it that will not happen at all?
Arabian: Damon & Elena52arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the migraines. I have the same problem. They suck.

So much. Blech to migraines! Sorry to you too.

Again thank you for the post.

Thank you for reason.

I don't really know if I'm happy about season 8 as that pushes to happy for DE more away unless it will happen still this season which I wouldn't be able to guess.

I still think you're making a mistake in not watching this season. I haven't felt that this season wasn't DE. In fact I felt it was way more DE than were season 1 and 2, and in some way, season 3. Yes, Elena wasn't here in person, but her presense and the depth of Damon's love for her has permeated the entire season so strongly.

I do worry though reading about Damon reverting back to dickish himself

As I said, I think the point is that he's done so like he did when he lost Katherine (but to a less degree) and it's about Damon finding the better man, finding the man that Elena fell in love with, being the man that Elena knew he was without Elena prodding him to be. (See, it's about continuing to be the man that Elena loves.)

I also worry that season 8 and with Damon around may offer other opportunities for him to "stray" which I'm not sure I would take well.

There are rumors that Nina might be coming back, but even if she doesn't, the show has made it blindingly clear that Damon is all about Elena. If you WATCHED it you would know that.

I do hope DE are resolved end of season 7 but I doubt it now.

Damon and Elena were resolved in season 5. I have no clue what you are talking about. They are resolved. And Damon and Elena are mentioned constantly. Damon's great and everlasting love for Elena is talked about constantly. Elena is mentioned a lot. Characters who were just introduced this season know who Elena is and that she is the great, true love of Damon's life.

What it that will not happen at all?

Already happened. Two seasons ago. Nothing has changed. Damon loves Elena. Elena loves Damon.
jairem08jairem08 on May 4th, 2016 11:18 am (UTC)
Hi
by resolve DE I meant get it on screen. Know that they reunite and will get their HEA. What worries me is that we might not get it. That it may end with open end that we should believe that eventually they will meet again. Or I worry that something might happen with her or him and we won't get the Happy end for DE by end of series. Yes they do love each other but I would love to see the reunion etc. Maybe something will happen to Elena/Nina won't come back - will Damon live on alone? Will he won't to die? will he live for someone else? I hope it makes sense.
Arabian: Damon & Elena43arabian on May 5th, 2016 10:43 am (UTC)
I know what you meant and I still think that it's crazy to even think that. The producers have made it clear that Nina is coming back for that HEA. And, again, if you watched the show you would know that there is no way that Elena is NOT Damon's love interest. This has NEVER been done before on a show. EVER. Damon and Elena are STILL the central love story on TVD in many ways. Elena is still talked about; Damon and Elena's love story is still very much a fabric of the show. Elena is obviously the great love of Damon's life and he's just waiting for her. She's not gone, she's not forgotten. She's STILL THERE in every way but physically. It's beyond obvious that the show is just waiting for Nina Dobrev to come back as if they fully expect, intend her to come back. They are writing Damon and Elena (yes AND ELENA) as a unit, as a pair.

You REALLY, REALLY should be watching the show. Damon is not in any way, shape or form presented as a single guy or as just Damon. He's ALWAYS presented as Damon and Elena. Damon as part of a couple, a pair. He refers to his girl. Elena is still there, just not physically.
Mattghidorah15 on April 9th, 2016 07:52 pm (UTC)
Dick he may be (is right now, really), but I'm still more inclined to be sympathetic to Damon than I am to Stefan. Not sure what that says about me. *shrug* Sorry.

I was yelling at Nora to not throw her life away for Mary Louise's sacrifice. What a waste of the one Heretic besides Valerie who had any personality. Mind you, Valerie's not coming off well of late. At least Rayna has been defanged more than a little - suck it, you self-righteous nut.

Oh, and Penny is dead after all. Whew, that's a relief. Now stop moping over her, Donovan, and get your head back in the damn game! (You think that's how Damon would say it? Feels like it is.) As for Enzo...I don't know what his deal is.

*sigh* This show is definitely not better for Elena's absence. Granted, we already knew that, but it's really showing.
Arabian: Damon12arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
Dick he may be (is right now, really), but I'm still more inclined to be sympathetic to Damon than I am to Stefan. Not sure what that says about me. *shrug* Sorry.

So am I. Just because I see both points of view, and love Stefan dearly doesn't mean that I'm not team!Damon, LOL!

I was yelling at Nora to not throw her life away for Mary Louise's sacrifice.

Alas, the stupid sword marked her! She would have been chased down, her life on the run so I got why she did it.

What a waste of the one Heretic besides Valerie who had any personality.

I know. I liked Nora, darn't!

Mind you, Valerie's not coming off well of late.

No, Valerie totally has been crossed off of my Christmas list.

At least Rayna has been defanged more than a little - suck it, you self-righteous nut.

LOL!

Oh, and Penny is dead after all. Whew, that's a relief. Now stop moping over her, Donovan, and get your head back in the damn game! (You think that's how Damon would say it? Feels like it is.)

Yup! There's a hot, blond vampire, uhm, somewhere! Lord if I remember where the hell Rebekah is at this point. That stupid shit is so fucking convoluted over on The Originals. But Matt, yeah, Rebekah sends her regards!

As for Enzo...I don't know what his deal is.

He has abandonment issues. Let's just leave it at that.

*sigh* This show is definitely not better for Elena's absence.

As you know, I don't agree with this. I think that overall this has been a really strong season. I think it has a different kind of strength in that we don't have that central leading lady/love story, but remember that much of last season, Elena was no longer positioned as the central leading lady. They had moved past that already. The real issue is the lack of a strong central love story.

That is where they dropped the ball.
Diana: Vampire Diaries - Comfort (E/C)butterfly on April 11th, 2016 03:20 pm (UTC)
Hey hon, sorry I've missed your calls.

I've been surprisingly overwhelmed by Nora and Mary Louise's deaths (which is probably less about them, since I only really liked Nora tbh, and more about how they're adding to the list of all the other queer ladies that have died this tv season) and had to process for a while before I could talk about the show or watch the next episode (which I think I will finally be able to be emotionally ready to watch tonight). I did enjoy the episode quite a bit, even including the deaths tbh, since they got to go out in such a badass and yet romantic way. But, yes, I was feeling a bit emotionally fragile over it all. :-/
Arabian: Elena&Caroline02arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
I've been surprisingly overwhelmed by Nora and Mary Louise's deaths (which is probably less about them, since I only really liked Nora tbh, and more about how they're adding to the list of all the other queer ladies that have died this tv season) and had to process for a while

I get that now. I didn't even think of that I guess because (a) I'm so used to TVD killing characters all the time and (b) to TVD's credit, I didn't even think of Nora and Mary Louise as lesbians. I really didn't. It's a shame that it has happened so much recently and in ways that almost did seem to targeting LGBT characters. It wasn't that way on TVD, we all know that, these characters unfortunately just were a matter of really bad timing in their particular deaths.

I did enjoy the episode quite a bit, even including the deaths tbh, since they got to go out in such a badass and yet romantic way. But, yes, I was feeling a bit emotionally fragile over it all. :-/

Yeah, I get it. And I'm glad that the show did let them go out in a glorious way. Ian did a great job.
(Anonymous) on February 26th, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
RE: 7.16 / part I (of course this one will be long ;)
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!

Lol

That's a short intro from *after* I read the write-up ;) I actually read it twice, because upon the first read my brain was steaming too much for me to get to writing coherent comments right away. And somehow the re-reading made quite a difference, because I had the time to process. The interesting thing is that after the first read I was ready to agree with everything and admit I was wrong, but then I read your thoughts again and realize that while you make some awesome and valid points, on the most part, I'm going to stand by my original opinions and I hope you'll hear me out. Anyway. Let's start from the beginning!

"So I fell into a Damon-fangirl trap." - Tell me about it lol

"Stefan was right." - This doesn't sound promising, but I'm going to be brave and listen ;)

"But I couldn’t see that because I was all ‘Oh, Damon, I wuv you so much" - Well, I'd say we're justified in doing so if only because now with Elena gone, no one even tries to have that kind approach. And it's hard to live without having someone in your life who has that kind of approach. Granted we as the audience can't do much for Damon as a character but still ;)

"So he did. And he took the mark. Damon's fault. I had argued in earlier write-ups, 'oh, stuff it, Stefan, you made the choice!' But I take that back now because I'm not going to get on Stefan's case for making a truly selfless choice to save his freaking brother's life when Damon completely and utterly DID fuck up for a completely and utterly SELFISH reason." - But it still wasn't intentional. When Stefan unintentionally causes something bad to happen everyone is always on his side. But when Damon is involved, somehow it doesn't matter whether he meant it or not. All that matters is that something was his fault. I'd also argue that there was more to the aforementioned selfish reasons in the sense that the reason behind Damon trying to avoid telling Bonnie what happened was that he knew he'd lose the last person who cared about him. And yeah, that's selfish but not the cold-hearted unforgivable kind of selfish. Oh and should we completely ignore the fact that Enzo was blackmailing him knowing full well Elena was fine? Enzo was the blackmailer here. Damon was the victim of that particular blackmailing. Yet we're supposed to blame the victim here and consider Enzo having nothing to do with Stefan getting the mark later. Why am I not surprised.
Arabian: Stefan02arabian on March 1st, 2017 02:11 am (UTC)
And my response is longer ... 1/2
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Lol That's a short intro from *after* I read the write-up ;)

Yeah, I figured a reaction like that, LOL! I see a lot of your points, but can still counter them.

"But I couldn’t see that because I was all ‘Oh, Damon, I wuv you so much" - Well, I'd say we're justified in doing so if only because now with Elena gone, no one even tries to have that kind approach.

Except that's not true. Bonnie (and Stefan even has as well! He eventually got tired of it, but it was CLEAR that Stefan put up with and was understanding of Damon's reaction/attitude to Lily dying despite his own pain) has been there for Damon, understanding and forgiving.

And it's hard to live without having someone in your life who has that kind of approach.

Again, he has Bonnie for sure, and Stefan doing as well every now and then.

But it still wasn't intentional.

I don't recall completely if we heard Damon told about the mark, but I can't believe AT ALL that he wasn't told by Stefan or Bonnie about its existence and what it meant. So he KNEW that the sword being in Rayna's hands opened the possibility that a vampire would get that mark. He also KNEW that just willy-nilly given up that kind of weapon was NOT a good idea. However, because he didn't want his secret to come out, he selfishly decided that keeping things on an even keel with Bonnie was worth any potential danger the weapon would cause. His action was INTENTIONAL. He INTENTIONALLY chose to give the blade up just to keep his own secret. Just because he didn't know what would specifically happen doesn't negate that he did it full well knowing it would not end well.

When Stefan unintentionally causes something bad to happen everyone is always on his side.

Not true. Remember s6? After Damon "died," and Stefan was freaking suffering like MAD but no one, not Elena, not Alaric, not Caroline, none of them were there for Stefan, and instead he was ragged on by Caroline and Alaric. And he was blamed by Caroline and Alaric for things that he had done, even though some of it wasn't intentional. Jeremy and Matt were NOT on Stefan's side when he saved Matt in lieu of Elena in the season 04 finale. Bonnie was not happy with Stefan for getting Damon sent into the Hellstone. So yeah, Stefan has gotten shat on as well. No, not as much as Damon... BUT, Damon has caused a SHIT TON more trouble--and more often than not, it IS intentional. Also, Stefan shows genuine regret for actions he takes that cause problems. Damon may feel that regret, but he doesn't show anyone (or only Elena). It's hard to be on someone's side when they are an asshole about everything. We love Damon dearly, but Damon called it correctly when he introduced himself to Mason: He's a dick.

But when Damon is involved, somehow it doesn't matter whether he meant it or not. All that matters is that something was his fault.

Again, see above... because even when he means it or doesn't (and that doesn't apply in this scenario), he has made it clear he doesn't want any sympathy and when you project that attitude it's easier for people to just think that if really regretted it or didn't mean it, he would show signs of it. I've said it before, what we see of Damon Salvatore is NOT what every single character (even Elena) see. They don't see his vulnerable moments, they don't see the looks on his face, in his eyes when he turns away. They see someone who doesn't give a fuck, brushes off what anyone else thinks, makes jokes and insults over and about every situation. THAT is what they see just about 99.9% of the time. And that attitude of his leads to how they do and do not treat him.

I'd also argue that there was more to the aforementioned selfish reasons in the sense that the reason behind Damon trying to avoid telling Bonnie what happened was that he knew he'd lose the last person who cared about him.

But that's not the case. He had Stefan still. And he knew that he wouldn't lose Stefan... which is WHY Damon presented what happened with Elena (or thought had happened) in the WORST way possible so that he would make Stefan angry at him, punish him. And besides... it doesn't matter that Damon's reason for doing what he did was justified in his mind. It wasn't.

TBC

Edited at 2017-03-01 02:28 am (UTC)
Arabian: Damon&Stefan05arabian on March 1st, 2017 02:25 am (UTC)
See? 2/2
Damon literally put a dangerous weapon out there that he already knew had caused lots of issues. And he did that just to stop some emotional fall-out with a friend because he didn't want to deal with it. I get his point of view. I GET why he did it. I DON'T blame him. I understand every emotional, self-hating, justifiable reason behind why he did it. One hundred percent. However, none of that takes away that he gave away a powerful weapon--that they had in their possession and thus could help keep more bad things from happening--so that he wouldn't have a sad and be forced to face what he did (or thought he did).

And yeah, that's selfish but not the cold-hearted unforgivable kind of selfish.

I never said it was. And I never got the impression that anyone thought that was the case. Bonnie was upset because Damon basically ditched her. Because Damon didn't trust her. Because Damon was NOT being the best friend to her that she had been to him. Stefan was NOT upset with him UNTIL Damon left him behind to suffer with the aftereffects of the mark. Now, they may have not been upset with him had he been honest with them for why he left (to protect him), but he wasn't and so all they knew was that Damon was leaving them to deal with the aftermath of a mess he created.

Oh and should we completely ignore the fact that Enzo was blackmailing him knowing full well Elena was fine?

In this instance? Yes. Because Enzo's blackmail material was only blackmail material because Damon was being selfish and didn't want to deal with what he had done (or thought he had).

Enzo was the blackmailer here. Damon was the victim of that particular blackmailing.

Yes, I don't deny that. But while Damon was the victim of the blackmailing, again, that should not have been something that Damon could have been blackmailed over. That was partly why Bonnie and Stefan were upset with him. Had he just told them the truth, they would have been upset but would have understood that Damon was under the thrall of the phoenix stone still, and was suffering so much. They also would have known quickly enough that Elena was fine and would have told him so. Had Damon done that, so much would not have happened. Beau wouldn't have been killed, Nora, Mary Louise, Valerie and Stefan would not have had to go in hiding. Damon, Stefan and Bonnie would have worked together to take Julian out, while still in possession of the blade. But Damon didn't trust them, and Bonnie specifically had given him NO reason not to. As for Stefan, considering what Stefan had just done for him (in the ring with Julian), he had just given him a big sign of how much he loved his brother.

Yet we're supposed to blame the victim here and consider Enzo having nothing to do with Stefan getting the mark later. Why am I not surprised.

As I said, Enzo was part of what happened. And after Damon, I do think he holds the most blame... but well, look at it this way. When something bad happens, you don't blame every single person who had a hand in that that bad happening. You look at the main person who screwed up, and in this case, that was Damon. Yes, Matt took Enzo and gave him to the Armory. Yes, Enzo then blackmailed Damon to get the blade. Yes, Bonnie begged Stefan to help Damon and yes, Stefan chose to take that mark ahead of Damon. However.... no one knew about Matt's part in it, other than Enzo, and like he's going to admit that Matt Donovan took him down. Matt didn't know that his part in getting Enzo to the Armory led to Enzo blackmailing Damon. Bonnie didn't know that, Stefan didn't know that. No one else knew that. No one knew ALL OF THE WORKING CHOICES that led to Stefan getting the mark. All they mostly knew what that Damon was the reason that Rayna had the blade. We can look back and break everything down because we're watching a TV show, but think about even real life. When bad things happen, you don't look at all the pieces. You look at (a) the main person behind the problem, and (b) when that particular person is CLAIMING that he was the one responsible, well, that's where the blame is going to go.
(Anonymous) on February 26th, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
RE: 7.16 / part II
See, what I'm getting at, even aside from this particular situation, but in general, is that whenever Damon is involved in something, he is always the one to be blamed for it. It doesn't matter if 10 other people are involved as well. It doesn't matter if he is not directly or originally responsible. If he's not directly responsible, everyone is quickly going back in time until they get to that point in time when it WAS his fault, when he contributed to the situation. And once they find that moment when the situation can be traced back to Damon, they search no longer. It doesn't matter what anyone else did after or prior to Damon's involvement. Once he is part if the equation, it's his fault.

And the saddest part is that he got so used to that that he can't even tell and doesn'really care anymore whether it's true or not. He reconciled with the assumption that everything is always his fault. And to some extent, yeah, it is. But that's only one part, one side, one aspect of the story. And you would think that after everything that happened, after everything that EVERYONE has done, they wouldn't feel the need to assign blame to each other. But they do. They seem to need to be doing that to feel better about themselves. And Damon is the "best" person to assign the blame to, because he usually doesn't apologize for his wrong choices. He doesn't tell people he feels bad about them. He owns his choices. And that is a beautiful paradox in light of that 1x20 quote. Because contrary to what Damon thinks, it's not Stefan who feels everyone's guilt. It's him. He firmly believes that Stefan, Bonnie, Caroline, Enzo, Alaric, Matt, that they are all better than him. That's why he wanted to take himself out of the picture. Because he really believed that he was the one ruining it for everyone and endangering them. And that's what Bonnie and Stefan didn't get. They focused on feeling abandoned, because they obviously know it's not Damon who is the main threat to anyone. And they mistakingly assume Damon also knows that. That's why they felt that his choice to dessicate was an easy way out. They never realized that Damon really believed that HE was THE problem.

"Damon got Stefan's hopes up, he's gonna take the mark, he's gonna step up and let Stefan live again while they try and figure a way out of this." - I get that. But there is also the fact that Stefan has low tolerance for disappointments (because he has so little experience in the area) and it really showed throughout this storyline.

"And then, OH DEAR LORD! the second Damon realizes that it's gonna suck for him, he bails." - That's a harsh way to put it. I think he was entitled to a few MINUTES of hesitation before pretty much giving up his future with Elena. He didn't bail. He was sudenly hit by the realization that he was basically making a choice between Stefan and Elena and I think Stefan should appreciate the fact that we even made it to the point when Damon was actually having a hard time choosing lol

"He's feeling so betrayed because Damon is going back on his word and clearly NOT choosing him after Stefan just had the realization smacked in his face that HE chose Damon first." - I'm sorry, but that's not how love works. I love you so much and I'd do anything for you, so now you OWE me to feel the same way and have to sacrifice everything for me. That's actually a textbook example of selfish kind of love.

"Oh, and Rayna, by the way, m'dear, it's not his brother who caused Stefan to start experiencing drama in his life once more. That would be you" - Exactly, but it's just another example of what I mentioned earlier. If Damon's involved, it's his fault. End of story.

"So maybe, just maybe this is the final part of the journey Damon needs to truly recapture who he needs to be as a man, a good man, before he becomes human again." - I think you're very right about that.

"Can I just say... thank God, Damon's not responsible and Matt doesn't hate Damon. Phew!" - Just give it a little time. I'm sure Matt will eventually realize it was somehow all Damon's fault anyway. *insert sarcasm here*

"That way, Bonnie is dead—not through magic or trickery, but just, you know, shit happens. Elena would then come back, yes/yes?" - That'd be a really good idea to use!
Arabian: Damon&Bonnie01arabian on March 1st, 2017 02:57 am (UTC)
1/2
... whenever Damon is involved in something, he is always the one to be blamed for it.

No, he's not. A bunch of stuff that happened with the Originals in s3, and the cure in the latter part of s4 wasn't blamed on Damon.

It doesn't matter if 10 other people are involved as well. [...] If he's not directly responsible, everyone is quickly going back in time until they get to that point in time when it WAS his fault, when he contributed to the situation.

Again, that's just not the case. What happens is that Damon takes the blame and acts like he doesn't care or he tries to make it better. Think of 3.14: Kol was going to kill Matt, he had just broken his hand. Damon stopped him and threw Kol over the balcony. Matt naturally took off because he was injured. Elena, Stefan believed that Damon had snapped because of what they had done to him. Damon did and said NOTHING to dispel them of that notion. Then he turned around and slept with Rebekah like no big. Of COURSE they thought the worse and blamed him... why would Matt think for a second that the others were mad at Damon for saving him? He wouldn't, so it wouldn't be brought up. And the others were all so caught up in what they were doing that they didn't ask him how his hand got broken. And Damon, OF COURSE DAMON!, didn't tell Elena or Stefan what actually happened.

Damon CLAIMS the blame himself. Because he thinks that everyone will blame him and hate him, he takes it upon himself before anyone else can. Never mind that (except for Caroline--but not as badly) they don't think that way about him anymore. Damon expects it though. It goes back to what he told Elena in 3.19. If people expect the worst of me, I won't let them down by not being the worst.

And the saddest part is that he got so used to that that he can't even tell and doesn'really care anymore whether it's true or not.

But that is on him NOW! He has Bonnie, his relationship with Stefan is so much better now. It doesn't have to be that way, but his mindset is still there.

they wouldn't feel the need to assign blame to each other. But they do.

They don't assign blame to each other. And they didn't in this case. Damon did that all on his own. He took complete ownership.

And Damon is the "best" person to assign the blame to, because he usually doesn't apologize for his wrong choices. He doesn't tell people he feels bad about them.

BINGO! And on top of that, he acts like it's all no big, so the natural assumption is going to be that, well, if he's owning it and doesn't give a shit, well, OK, it's on him. He isn't the only one who takes the blame. Caroline, Elena, Stefan and Bonnie have... the difference is that while doing so, they show regret and how sorry they are. They don't keep it locked up inside expecting everyone to think the worst of them. Damon does. THAT is the difference.

And that is a beautiful paradox in light of that 1x20 quote.

It was beautiful then, but it's sad now because back then, Bonnie wasn't his best friend. Elena wasn't the reciprocal love of his life. Stefan wasn't the brother that he openly loved and vice versa. Damon hadn't had the relationship that he'd had with Liz and Jeremy. He's had enough interaction with these people to know that he can show his real feelings and they'll be there for him. But he won't.

He firmly believes that Stefan, Bonnie, Caroline, Enzo, Alaric, Matt, that they are all better than him.

Yes, and that's sad and beautiful... but again, he's wrong. Had he TOLD Bonnie and Stefan and Alaric the FULL truth (not just what he said about life without Elena in the letter to Ric, but what he said to Bonnie's hospital bedside), at least Stefan and Bonnie would have made him clear that such was NOT the case. But he didn't give them that opportunity.

And that's what Bonnie and Stefan didn't get. They focused on feeling abandoned, they obviously know it's not Damon who is the main threat to anyone. And they mistakingly assume Damon also knows that.

How could they get it? He DID NOT tell them. All he said was, yeah, I need to be with my bae! Because based on all of the information they were given, Damon DID abandon them. Had Damon told them his real feelings, they would have assured him of how THEY felt.

TBC

Edited at 2017-03-01 03:11 am (UTC)
Arabian: Damon&Matt02arabian on March 1st, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
2/2
They never realized that Damon really believed that HE was THE problem.

BINGO!

there is also the fact that Stefan has low tolerance for disappointments (because he has so little experience in the area) and it really showed throughout this storyline.

That I do NOT disagree with at all. But I do think it was mostly tied to Stefan's disappointment with Damon specifically because Damon was doing something so beautifully unselfish for him, showing him that he loves him as much as Stefan loves him.

"And then, OH DEAR LORD! the second Damon realizes that it's gonna suck for him, he bails." - That's a harsh way to put it.

But it's true.

I think he was entitled to a few MINUTES of hesitation before pretty much giving up his future with Elena.

He is, but he took a lot longer than a few minutes. He knocked Valerie out. He drove for several minutes and the whole time was telling her and Stefan that he would come up with another way to save Stefan.

He didn't bail.

He did. He decided NOT to take the mark. The ONLY reason he changed his mind was that he was smacked in the face with the knowledge that he was going to lose Stefan then and there. That is why he told Valerie to do the spell, but he was too late. Had he waited only a few minutes, Valerie would have had time to do the spell with spare.

He was sudenly hit by the realization that he was basically making a choice between Stefan and Elena and I think Stefan should appreciate the fact that we even made it to the point when Damon was actually having a hard time choosing lol

That wasn't how it played out. Once Damon realized that he wouldn't get to spend a life with Elena, he chose her. It was only when Stefan was being stalked by Rayna at that very moment was going to die did Damon change his mind.

"He's feeling so betrayed because Damon is going back on his word and clearly NOT choosing him after Stefan just had the realization smacked in his face that HE chose Damon first." - I'm sorry, but that's not how love works. I love you so much and I'd do anything for you, so now you OWE me to feel the same way and have to sacrifice everything for me. That's actually a textbook example of selfish kind of love.

I'm not saying that. And I'm not saying that Stefan was feeling that way. It wasn't about Stefan expecting Damon to do something for him just because he had done something for him. I meant simply that the fact that when it comes down to it, Stefan chooses Damon first and he's never allowed himself to admit that. However, Rayna forced him to face that reality. So knowing that despite their rocky history, despite Katherine, Elena, etc., at the end of the day, Damon is his number one. That was an eye-opening self-revelation for him... and then RIGHT AFTER he realized that, he found out that the awesome gesture showing his love that Damon was going to make... well, he changed his mind. Yes, Damon--in the last moment--changed it back, but Stefan didn't know that. He only knew that while he will do ANYTHING for Damon, Damon doesn't feel the same for him. And that hurt.

"Oh, and Rayna, by the way, m'dear, it's not his brother who caused Stefan to start experiencing drama in his life once more. That would be you" - Exactly, but it's just another example of what I mentioned earlier. If Damon's involved, it's his fault. End of story.

And I provided examples and reasons as to why that isn't the case. Anyway, here it was all about Rayna trying to push and pressure Stefan even more.

"Can I just say... thank God, Damon's not responsible and Matt doesn't hate Damon. Phew!" - Just give it a little time. I'm sure Matt will eventually realize it was somehow all Damon's fault anyway. *insert sarcasm here*

Nope, Matt LOVES Damon!

"That way, Bonnie is dead—not through magic or trickery, but just, you know, shit happens. Elena would then come back, yes/yes?" - That'd be a really good idea to use!

I doubt that will happen, but I still think it would be awesome.