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14 April 2016 @ 05:44 pm
7.17 - 'I Went To The Woods' (The Vampire Diaries)  
Hey, I made it for the episode aired in Canada too!



I tried to get this up earlier; I really did. But see lj-cut text. So, yeah, I'm not gonna be able to get out a wordy thinking-thought post for this one… and that really sucks because I LOVED this episode. Like love-love-LOOOOVED this episode. It was my favorite episode since the Damon episode. It was my favorite Stefan episode. Period. It was my favorite Paul Wesley episode. Period. His best performance. Hands down. Period. Absolutely. One of my favorite episodes of the series. It was my favorite Brothers Salvatore episodes. Period. I. Loved. It. Soooo. Much. And yet I'm pretty much giving you a short version write-up because stupid sickness has sapped all of my energy for four days now.

But here I go with what I have in me—

This was an AMAZING episode. Whatever you want to say about Julie Plec, this woman knows how to tell a damn good story. This just opened the show open to a whole slew of potential, awesome adversaries. But that is for the future. Let's talk about right now. I bow down to Paul Wesley. This was, bar none, HIS episode. He was absolutely outstanding. I loved every moment with him. As Stefan!Marty (i.e., Human!Stefan), as Unknown!Stefan (i.e., Evil!Vampire!Stefan), he was on point non-stop. In the first half, my favorite scene was when he was trying to start the truck and was complaining about human ills and then when he got it started and went "Suck it, Marty!" I laughed out loud, legit.

And then, dear lord, I can't even begin to say what part was my favorite at the end, just the whole damn phone conversation between Stefan and Damon broke my heart, made me smile, broke my heart and then uplifted it. I was in Salvatore Brothers heaven. After my realization about Damon, Stefan and their arc of this season, this episode was just sheer perfection. And, dear Lord! How people can't see how amazing this show is really is just beyond me.

OK, breaking down the awesome.

- Stefan thinking he was in hell in the beginning was pretty cool, because of course that's what Stefan would think. And I liked how we saw Stefan treating it with the same ‘been there/done that' annoyance that Damon did in his Groundhog's Day montage. And then when Stefan realized what was going on, his reactions to it—yeah, Paul Wesley played it so well.

- And more of Paul Wesley just kicking ass. The evil!vampire pretending to be Stefan. Pretending to still be Stefan, and doing so badly—I mean telling Damon he loved him. I've wanted to hear the boys tell each other those three little words for so long and I get it. Hah! Jokes on me because it's delivered in such a smarmy, fake way. So well done. And, of course, evil!fakeStefan!vampire has no clue what any of those writings about Damon actually mean, the history, the pain and the back and forth between Damon and Stefan so he's just blathering on… gah, poor Damon. I have to believe that Damon gets it. I have to.

- Hah! Stefan realizing that it sucks to be human. Not so the rosy, glorious picture you remembered, huh, Steffy-poo!?

- By far (and I mean, so, so, SOOOO by far) my favorite non-Salvatore Brother part of the episode was all of the Damon-as-Matt Donovan stuff. I was just… oh my Lord. Give me strength. (No, seriously, right now, give me strength. I feel miserable, so weak and awful.) At first when Damon took the uniform jacket, I just figured he would pretend to be a cop, no biggie. But then he introduced himself (via compulsion) as Matt Donovan, "the finest, bravest, least stupid cop you ever met and if anyone asks that's the lie you tell ‘em," and I lost it. Rewound it about five times.

Based on Damon logic? Oh, he ♥ Matty so! But wait! There's more! Later when Damon wanted to question the witness, the Captain turns to everyone all reassuredly, "Alright everyone, Matt Donovan's got this," as if no one else has to worry about anything else. I just was laughing so hard. So freaking awesome. Loved. It!

- OK, I'm team!Rayna now. I just loved how once she realized that Valerie and Alaric were no longer going to be doing her thang, she was all, yeah, I'm blowing this popstand, !SPROING! breaks the chair like that. It reminded me of Katherine in "Memory Lane" when she was just playing along with Stefan's belief that he had the upper hand. Rayna pwns them all and they don't even realize it.

- In Stefan's delirium towards the end, he saw Damon. MY HEART!!! People, MY HEART WAS BREAKING!!!

- Damon using Stefan's justifiable (I know, I know some disagree) anger with him to push him to get up, start walking so he can kick his ass was awesome. Stefan's stupid (because, dude, Damon has always been there to save you, boo!) belief—but considering the circumstances, I'll let this one slide—that Damon wouldn't be there in time broke my heart because Stefan right now, at this moment, is so broken. Oh, Stefan. Gah! And then he couldn't walk anymore. But, but, but… Damon was there to save him! YAY! So beautiful. I loved it so.

- Caroline is marrying Alaric for the twins. Of course, she is. I mean, hello. Yeah. And also? No, Alaric, you are not in love with Caroline. You are marrying her for the twins too. If you were truly in love with her you would not be down for:

1) Marrying a woman who you were truly in love with who didn't love you.
2) Marrying a woman who is in love with someone else (exhibit A – beautifully framed romantic photo of Caroline with her ex that she's still pissed at THREE YEARS later but yet she still keeps easily accessible beautifully framed romantic photo).

Alaric is in love with the idea of being in love with Caroline because it saves his heart from being brutally ripped out of his chest and horribly destroyed again like it was with Isobel, and Jenna, and Jo. Yeah. Not buying it, Ric.

- That final scene! Oy vey! So terrible and awesome and amazing! The music pulsing, the crowds of college kids. Evil!fakeStefan!vampire glorying in all of it (again, Paul Wesley did SO good!) with the voiceover from Alaric (studly professor!) telling of the unsolved mystery of college massacre. So creepy and awesome. Oooh!! That last shot was fantastic. (Julie Plec really is a great director!) I can't wait until next week!

- OK, before I talk about future thoughts, a brief touch upon Matty Donovan's little crossover on The Originals. A few of the Originals visited Mystic Falls. And they ran into Matt. There were a few things of note.

Matt calmly faced down Elijah and Finn* (and did remember that he had killed Finn). Elijah greeted Matt with, "Matthew Donovan. How adorably inconvenient." Matt told them that he'd gotten all of the vampires out of Mystic Falls making it very clearly that he was pretty durn anti-vampire, BUT (and this is key!) when things went South—as they're wont to do—and Elijah and Finn needed help for why they were there in Mystic Falls… Matt was basically on their side. Yuppers, when push came to shove, Matt helped the vampires he knew. Yes, he did! Uh huh!

*Yes, Finn is alive. As is Kol. It's a long, convoluted story. It involves witches. Lots of witches.

Oh, and the BEST PART!!!!

     

Yeah, baby! AWWW! Be still my heart! *sigh*

- As for what we have in store? Well, for those who may not have heard, Ian Somerhalder said over the weekend during a convention that season 08 will be the last season of The Vampire Diaries. He could have been talking about himself (which I think answers the question of whether he'll be around next season), but it sure sounded like he meant the show itself. There have also been rumors flying that Nina Dobrev may indeed be coming back. Key word: Rumors.

- Obviously Stefan and Caroline are going to be working their way back together which leaves Alaric and Valerie in the dust. Will Alaric still be around next season? Just one to go, I don't see Matt Davis not sticking around. And if Elizabeth Blackmore does stay, then… well, two lonely hearts might find comfort in each other. Who knows? Alaric and Valerie? :shrugs:

- Then there's my Matty Blue-Blue. I know I had speculated about this once upon a time, well, this episode made my brain go back there. Rayna. When she was in trouble… she called Matt. Without her Phoenix sword and the Hellstone, she's just a badass, awesome fighter chick with all these skills who just has one lifetime. And considering that she feels a connection with Stefan, and obviously Matt to some degree—whether he feels it back or not—and the gang knows about the many evil vampires somewhere out there freed from the Hellstone, well… do the math. It makes sense for Rayna to join up with our crew.

I could see Matt and Rayna butting heads and maybe bumping uglies. So where does that leave my Matt and Bonnie speculation? I'm still leaving that wide open because Bonnie and Enzo are still a question mark. Who the hell knows?

- Speaking of those villains out there… since Damon is the one who kinda sorta led to them all being led out of the Phoenix's box, that right there would explain him sticking around, with or without Elena. He wouldn't go back into coffin-desiccating mode because he has to help deal with the evil!Hellstone vampires. Turning over a new leaf!Damon.

And… if Elena does come back (please, please, please!), we would have an understandable reason as to why Damon wouldn't drink the cure right away because he needs to be vamped up to help the gang. Tada! It all makes perfect sense.

Speaking of my beautiful Damon and Elena… can I just point out, folks! 17 episodes into the season and there has been exactly one episode, just ONE!, that has not mentioned Elena or Damon and Elena's truest of the true loves. Yuppers! (Hah! Elena and Damon/Elena would be forgotten with Nina Dobrev gone. Double Hah!)

Phew!

Yeah, so this was the short version. Aren't you glad I'm not feeling well? So, erm, I adored this episode. Still loving the show, and I want to address a sentiment I'm getting from the (few) comments I get. No, I don't think the show is less in terms of quality with Nina Dobrev being gone. As a shipper, as a couple-girl, yes, I do think so because I ADORE Damon and Elena desperately. I don't get the OHMYGOD! Rise and shipper squee anymore. I don't have my couple actively on screen.

However, in terms of overall show quality, no, I don't think it's deteriorated. I think it's just as strong as ever and I think that the writers and showrunners have done an absolutely amazing job in keeping Elena's presence alive and felt by all of the characters throughout the season. She still matters, but the quality and the heart, the family, the friendships, the sibling-bond, the love, it's all still there. The writing, the acting, the direction is all still top-notch. This is still the show I fell in love with and I have no complaints.

Do I wish that Nina Dobrev was still on the show? Hell, yes. Do I desperately wish she would come back? Oh my God, yes! Do I think the show is not as good without her? No. When I began to type the sentence "Do I wish that Nina Dobrev…" I was originally going to write "Do I wish that Nina Dobrev/Elena…" but then I stopped because I honestly feel that Elena is *still* a part of the show. I don't think feel that she's gone. Her essence, her presence is imbued in every episode. New characters introduced know exactly who Elena is. They know how important she is to Damon, that his decisions revolve around her. Her name is brought up regularly. Her heart is still the beating heart of this show. And I applaud the showrunners most enthusiastically for that. That is respect for the character and for the fans who love that character.

I love this show; I still love this show.
 
 
 
Mattghidorah15 on April 14th, 2016 10:48 pm (UTC)
Eheh - not to contradict a point in your lovely write-up, but the vampire possessing Stefan's body is not Marty Hammond. The latter lived and died as a human. This is a completely separate monster. But yes, Paul did excellently with both roles - quite a change from early Season Five and Silas in his true form, huh? (That said, it was odd only seeing Marty's actual face on occasion, and only hearing his actual voice once or twice.)

I'm afraid I'm still one of those people who thinks Stefan's anger at Damon isn't entirely justified - he brought a lot of pain and misery on himself, and he still has a bad habit of blaming his big brother for it. The vicious cycle needs to stop. Hopefully, Damon proving him wrong not just at the end of the episode, but by getting him back into his old body, will be the first decisive blow to that cycle.

And yes, Damon remains hilarious, especially with his poking fun at Matt Donovan. Speaking of the latter, I caught that crossover episode, too - that mention of Rebekah both made my heart leap and made me shake my head at the writers for keeping them apart. Him and Rayna, though? Ehhhh...no. I hope not. Still no idea where Bonnie will end up, especially since we have yet to SEE her lately. *grumble*

But Alaric and Valerie? *shrug* Wouldn't be the worst couple I've seen. I did wonder about him saying he was in love with Caroline (and yes, she obviously isn't with him), and I think you're right. He's not in love with her - he just wants to be. I hope he's still around for the next/final season so he can get to a completely good place.

And it sure would be nice for Elena to wake up next season, though I don't hold any sort of grudge against Nina for leaving - how could I? But yes, the writers have done remarkably well with keeping her memory felt, even though I do feel the show is lacking right now - not bad by any means, just...having a hole where she should be.

And why on Earth would we be glad you're not feeling well? I'm pretty sure we still like your long write-ups. ;)
Arabian: Damon04arabian on April 14th, 2016 11:07 pm (UTC)
I knew that! It was a typo! I changed it to Unknown!Stefan.

I just can't blame Stefan right now after knowing everything he's gone through the last 3 years and since Elena left, Damon has been making a lot of really, really shitty choices. I see it. And I do believe that's what the writers intend for us to see. And Stefan's really been trying to be a good brother to Damon. Once he let go of Elena, he let go of the anger/jealousy against Damon and he's been a good brother. He's been there for him. The only "bad" there has been how he handled the "letting him go" to be human, but that's all wrapped up in his love for Damon and not being able to let him go, but not getting that yet.

Anyway, yeah, I'm missing Bonnie, but we don't know what's going on with her right now and I expect a big whammy of stuffs when she comes back, and there's gonna be a world of hurt coming Damon's way when she shows up.

The thing with Matt and Rebekah... sigh. If The Originals is still around after next season (which I imagine it may be), Zach Roerig may go over there, but the thing is that Claire Holt only pops up every now and then, so... that's the problem. It's not even the writers. It's Claire Holt doesn't want to stick around.

Ah, I know you don't want me to be sick, LOL!, but a short write-up was over 2,000 words! Geez!
tj2013tj2013 on April 15th, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)
First - I love your over-the-top-length reviews, so, no, of course I don't like you sick and miserable!!! Get well soon.

I very much liked the episode, way more than the ep before, where I still think the pacing was off.

Damon using Matt's name? Priceless.

The phonecall was wonderful and I love those Salatore brothers so much, as long as they are talking to each other like that they can stay on my screen as long as they want.

Yes, I miss Nina, too. But overall they did a very good job with this season. Besides maybe the MaryLou-Nora lovestory (yawn), the Bonnie-Enzo-stuff (what? when? why???) and the Matt-hates-Stefan-because-of-Penny thingie, which they haven't explained properly yet.

You think Rayna will become part ot the team? Sounds like an interesting idea.

I miss Bonnie, hopefully she will be back next episode.

Loved your gif."Regards to Rebekah", indeed.

Paul Wesley was awesome. You can literally see how he enjoys playing those different Stefans.

Take care!
Arabian: Matt & Rebekah02arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:36 pm (UTC)
First - I love your over-the-top-length reviews, so, no, of course I don't like you sick and miserable!!! Get well soon.

Why thank you! (Takes a bow!)

I very much liked the episode, way more than the ep before, where I still think the pacing was off.

No! There were so many moving parts to that episode and they were all gelled together so well. I really think you need to watch that one again! (I'm gonna keep defending it because I was so impressed with how well he handled all of the different locations, flashbacks, characters, etc. That was really, really hard to do.)

Damon using Matt's name? Priceless.

AWESOME!

The phonecall was wonderful and I love those Salatore brothers so much, as long as they are talking to each other like that they can stay on my screen as long as they want.

Right, but they aren't the heart of the show, my friend says! Hah! (I still can't get over that every time I talk to her. She didn't like this episode at all. Geez)

Yes, I miss Nina, too. But overall they did a very good job with this season.

I've never seen a show so well keep the leading lady's presence alive with the other characters and her love interest. It's wonderful and amazing. I love it!

Besides maybe the MaryLou-Nora lovestory (yawn)

Yes! Just no chemistry there.

the Bonnie-Enzo-stuff (what? when? why???)

I'm sure it's coming. We had the Valerie/Stefan flashback stuff, I'm sure we'll get their flashback story.

and the Matt-hates-Stefan-because-of-Penny thingie, which they haven't explained properly yet.

Same thing, we got the Valerie/Stefan flashback story, we'll get this one too.

You think Rayna will become part ot the team? Sounds like an interesting idea.

Well, she seems to have some sort of connection to Matt, and Stefan, so... it's possible.

I miss Bonnie, hopefully she will be back next episode.

One can hope, damnit!

Loved your gif."Regards to Rebekah", indeed.

Looks like I'm not the only one who still loves Matt and Rebekah!

Paul Wesley was awesome.

SO FREAKING AWESOME!
tj2013tj2013 on May 6th, 2016 11:30 am (UTC)
No! There were so many moving parts to that episode and they were all gelled together so well. I really think you need to watch that one again!

OK, I promise :-)
Arabian: Damon04arabian on May 6th, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC)
Cool! :D
jairem08jairem08 on April 18th, 2016 02:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the post as always. I stalk your page whenever I can.
I will hope for the best with next season and for DE reunion. I really do hope it will happen and soon. I have not much to comment on since I do not watch just gratefully read your positive reviews.
Arabian: Damon18arabian on April 30th, 2016 03:38 pm (UTC)
I will hope for the best with next season and for DE reunion.

I can not stress enough how much I think you SHOULD WATCH THE SHOW!!!! Just because Elena is not onscreen does not mean that Damon and Elena are not a couple. Damon and Elena's love story is clearly, resolutely on display. You are missing out on a great season, and great character stuff for Damon (and the other characters) that, I believe, is leading to stuff for him and Elena when she returns.
(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2017 11:05 am (UTC)
RE: 7.17
Disclaimer: I've been writing these comments whenever I had time during the week, including before I started living in the perfect world of the last episodes of S8 ;) Yesterday I watched 8x12 and I absolutely love how everything is coming together. I'm also over most if not all the things that might have bothered me in S7... Or ever! LOL! So... I'm no longer even mad at Stefan therefore I may cut my Stefan rants short from now on lol And reconsider what I was saying earlier. Anyway. This is quite chaotic, but I'm actually planning on going through ALL of your entries once again one day and possibly add whatever I came to reconsider in the light of the latest developments.

"Like love-love-LOOOOVED this episode." - Me too!

"One of my favorite episodes of the series." - In my top 5 too, definitely.

"This was an AMAZING episode. Whatever you want to say about Julie Plec, this woman knows how to tell a damn good story." - Yes, that's true. And I can't believe she hasn't directed any TVD episodes before!? I really wish she did. This episode felt like a movie and it was just so beautifully done from start to finish.

"I bow down to Paul Wesley. This was, bar none, HIS episode. He was absolutely outstanding. I loved every moment with him. As Stefan!Marty (i.e., Human!Stefan), as Unknown!Stefan (i.e., Evil!Vampire!Stefan), he was on point non-stop." - Yes, it was a blast to watch. He was flawless in every scene.

"How people can't see how amazing this show is really is just beyond me." - I'll never understand that either.

"Alright everyone, Matt Donovan's got this," as if no one else has to worry about anything else." - This might have been my favorite line of the entire episode! Lol! The delivery was great. And the line itself and this entire idea of Damon impersonating Matt. So awesome.

"In Stefan's delirium towards the end, he saw Damon." - I really loved that moment. "If you're really here it means that I'm saved". There was something beautifully symbolic about that.

"I'll let this one slide—that Damon wouldn't be there in time broke my heart because Stefan right now, at this moment, is so broken." - I'd let it slide too if it wasn't for the fact that it wasn't just an alienated sentiment. The most head-desk moment of the entire episode (or quite possibly even of the entire series so that's saying something) was Stefan suspecting the approximately 10-year-old Damon of wishing for his younger brother to get caught by Giuseppe so he'd get punished. I mean... SERIOUSLY?!!!! But maybe Stefan's brain was already frozen when he said it or something, because there's really no other excuse for this kind of thing to even cross his mind.

"Alaric is in love with the idea of being in love with Caroline" - Exactly. And all things considered, it seems really selfish and kind of cruel to be pressuring Caroline into marrying him. Someone should tell him to take a beat.

"Yes, Finn is alive." - Well, that didn't last for long. Which made me sad, because I know I may be the only person on the planet, but I liked Finn.

"Yeah, so this was the short version. Aren't you glad I'm not feeling well?" - No, not AT ALL!

"However, in terms of overall show quality, no, I don't think it's deteriorated. I think it's just as strong as ever and I think that the writers and showrunners have done an absolutely amazing job in keeping Elena's presence alive and felt by all of the characters throughout the season." - This is absolutely true. I feel so silly for ever doubting it would be like that.
Arabian: Stefan03arabian on April 30th, 2017 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: 7.17
I can't believe she hasn't directed any TVD episodes before!? I really wish she did.

Actually this is the 2nd episode she's directed. She also directed "Let Her Go" in season 06, that was Liz's funeral. Another AMAZING episode.

This episode felt like a movie and it was just so beautifully done from start to finish.

It truly was.

"Alright everyone, Matt Donovan's got this," as if no one else has to worry about anything else." - This might have been my favorite line of the entire episode! Lol! The delivery was great. And the line itself and this entire idea of Damon impersonating Matt. So awesome.

For the most part, the casting on the show is so good, even smaller roles like this. I just, man, I just loved this so much.

... Stefan suspecting the approximately 10-year-old Damon of wishing for his younger brother to get caught by Giuseppe so he'd get punished. I mean... SERIOUSLY?!!!! But maybe Stefan's brain was already frozen when he said it or something, because there's really no other excuse for this kind of thing to even cross his mind.

Yeah, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that Stefan was dang delirious.

"Alaric is in love with the idea of being in love with Caroline" - Exactly. And all things considered, it seems really selfish and kind of cruel to be pressuring Caroline into marrying him. Someone should tell him to take a beat.

A really fast, rat-a-tat one.

"Yes, Finn is alive." - Well, that didn't last for long. Which made me sad, because I know I may be the only person on the planet, but I liked Finn.

Erm, go back and read my posts with the episodes that he was in. I liked Finn, thank you very much!

"Yeah, so this was the short version. Aren't you glad I'm not feeling well?" - No, not AT ALL!

"However, in terms of overall show quality, no, I don't think it's deteriorated. I think it's just as strong as ever and I think that the writers and showrunners have done an absolutely amazing job in keeping Elena's presence alive and felt by all of the characters throughout the season." - This is absolutely true. I feel so silly for ever doubting it would be like that.

I was really just so shocked by how you felt about the show the last batch of episodes once it came out that Nina was leaving, and then when you just stopped, I couldn't believe it. You just can't know how happy I was when you told me that you were back! SO HAPPY! (And I really do hope you can re-read/respond to the season 06 posts. Cuz I'm sure it will be a while before I get to writing the new s06 posts.)

Edited at 2017-04-30 03:01 am (UTC)