I wasn't really sure what to write about this one honestly because it was my least favorite episode in a long while. It just wasn't the non-stop 'pooh-pooh on Damon' party that pervaded the episode. (*sigh*). It just wasn't the Stefan missing in action. I'm sorry but that actor (Ryan Dorsey) "playing" Stefan was so-so. And while Paul Wesley did a fantastic job playing Ambrose, it's STEFAN as played by Paul Wesley that I love and I didn't get my Steffy-boo this episode so I missed him until the end. It just wasn't that it came off of the heels of two FANTASTIC episodes that came off of the heels of a run of really great episodes. It was the fact that, well, this just wasn't the bestest episode, period.
However, I then talked to a friend who didn't like the episode all that much because (*RME*) she hates Stefan and believes that Stefan doesn't love Damon enough and is selfish and awful and never, ever, EVER does anything for Damon and Damon always does everything ever in the history of ever for Stefan and that Stefan is the worst brother in the history of ever and Damon is the best brother in the history of ever and I'm thinking do you actually *watch* this show? And also she hates Bonnie and Damon's friendship soooo much.
It's toxic; it's the worst. Bonnie treats Damon so horribly and terribly and Damon has done SO MUCH for Bonnie and Bonnie has NEVER done anything for Damon, and they are just the most shitty, awful friends in the history of ever, and blah, blah, blah. Basically, everyone on the show should bow down before Damon and exalt him to the highest and kick everyone else in the face because they are *such* meanies to the perfect, wonderful, kind, perfection that is Damon, I guess. Clearly, I don't see eye to eye with her on much (all) of this.
Sigh, I guess I just had to get that out. Anyhoo, the point is that I was talking to this person and—by the way, I've asked her repeatedly to not talk about The Vampire Diaries with me because we clearly do not agree about it but I'm glad we did this time BECAUSE—I totally got it! What the point of this episode was. Where I believe we are going now. Damon is hitting rock bottom of sorts. He's getting to that place with Alaric, with Stefan, with Bonnie (especially), possibly with my Matt (as part of the gang) that he got to with Elena... where he can show the real Damon Salvatore. Case in point. Well, two cases in point (or is it case in points?):
1. Think back to "Heart of Darkness," Elena found out that Damon had given Rose a peaceful death. She wondered why he hadn't told her and he explained that he didn't want people to know about the good in him because then they had expectations. It, of course, boiled down to that if people hated Damon it was because they were hating the dick-Damon persona he put out without the better angels of his nature side on display. So if they hated him, it wasn't the real Damon so it couldn't really hurt him.
2. And now think of what Bonnie said to Damon the last time she saw him before this episode in episode 14, "I Would For You." She asked if they were friends and Damon brushed it off with a joke.
Damon: Of course, Bonnie. We don't actively try and kill each other anymore.That was Bonnie basically asking for Damon to drop the act, to be real with her. And, of course, he tried, but it was too late. She was too hurt and angry that he'd just walked away without a word and was leaving her basically alone in the world again. (Caroline was already in Dallas at this point, and Matt was angry all the time and so anti-supernatural everything.)
Bonnie: No. I'm not doing that. No insults. No jokes.
So where does that leave us now? Damon fucked up with Stefan. He did. He told Stefan he was giving him a 'get out of jail free' card. He was taking the mark and Stefan was not going to have be on the run anymore, destined to die. And then within an hour was like 'Oopsie, changed my mind!' However, he already started making amends there. And Stefan loves Damon like whoa, so we'll be good there. With the others, I think it now will be the case of Damon doing with them what he did with Elena... opening himself up, showing who he really is. I think we're finally at that point.
Like I've already said about this season, it feel like it's a preparation for human!Damon, and opening up to his friends surely seems like an important step in the journey to truly recapture who he needs to be as a man, a good man, before he becomes human again. So as upsetting as it was to watch (especially the Alaric stuff—more on that in a bit), I do believe that the point is to get Damon to open up to Bonnie, to Stefan, maybe even Matt so that they can see the real Damon. Bonnie has seen pockets of that Damon—enough to become his best friend, just as Elena did enough to fall in love with him—but he kept up too many barriers. And like Elena pushed him away so many times, so has Bonnie now.
The difference is that with Damon and Elena it was a love story, Elena has infinite, incredible, insane amounts of patience and a forgiving heart that frankly is cray-cray, and she has plenty of people who love and support her. Bonnie is suffering from PTSD, has lost pretty much everyone and Bonnie is just done putting up with shit. So she slammed the door on Damon in a way that Elena never really did. But, like Stefan, Bonnie loves Damon... so she'll forgive him because he will open up to her and they'll be besties again. Yay!
As for Alaric. Grr. I just— Where to start? This goes back to season 6. Alaric was just *not* a good friend to Damon, and he's been missing in action in that department pretty much as well most of this season as well. So to see him continue to be a shit to Damon, whining about wanting to get back to Dallas—where Caroline and the girls aren't even at, blaming ALL OF THIS on Damon is frustrating. Yes, yes, some of it is Damon's fault, but not all of it for goodness' sake, and it would be nice if Ric at least stopped acting like it. I get the narrative (see above), I just continue to be frustrated with the entire fail of how they've written Ric and Matt Davis' return. The less said about it, the better at this point. :grumble grumble:
Finally, the couples... Bonnie and Enzo, and Stefan and Valerie. Let's start with the latter. Really? Just because Stefan is free now to go after his ex-girlfriend who, oh, by the way is ENGAGED to someone else and Valerie feels that Stefan wasn't scared properly in the "right" way when he thought she was going to die (what even?!) she breaks up with him after two years. Like really?!? That was really stupid, show. Like STUPID. Come on. Just have Stefan cry out Caroline's name or something. He's not perfect; we know he's not perfect. It's OK if he breaks Valerie's heart and gives her a legitimate reason to break her heart and break up with him. Because that nonsense was just stupid-ass bullshit.
Bonnie and Enzo, sorry, I don't think they have a lick of chemistry. Ah well. And, dear lord, they can NOT be a couple we're supposed to root for when we didn't see them fall in love and we come back three years later and Enzo's all broken up over what he did to her, and Bonnie's more upset over Damon pissing her off than anything else. So, yeah, I'm still sticking with Bonnie and Matt. Maybe a triangle with Enzo? Or quadrangle with Bonnie, Matt, Enzo and Rayna? I'm open to that.
- I don't have a problem with the specialness of Bennett witches for one reason: They are descended from Quetsiya (TESSA!) herself, and when Esther made her children into vampires, the witch Ayana who helped her was also a Bennett witch so clearly that line has some powerful mojo and serious history.
- A Lucy mention! I loved her, does this mean we'll see her again? I'd love it.
- Other than the lack of chemistry and investment with Bonnie and Enzo, I did think the mental facility scenes were good. Bonnie making "friends" with Virginia St. John and finding out (to some degree) why the armory was so desperate to track her down. And now comes the mystery... DUN DUN DUN. What is in the dungeon?!
- OK, Mary Louise was taking the pills for 3 years, I get why they killed her and it's worrisome, but it sounds like Bonnie was only taking them for a handful of weeks so it seems, uhm, do-able to fix her, right? Of course.
- I'm still surprised at how much I didn't love this episode since Rebecca Sonnenshine wrote it, BUT she only wrote the teleplay. The story was written by a newcomer to The Vampire Diaries, Penny Cox. So, yeah that's why I think it wasn't as good as Sonnenshine episodes normally are. (Note: It's not like I didn't like it, I did. I just ADORED the last episode and LOVED the episode before and really enjoyed the batch of episodes before that.)
- I continue to like Rayna. I hope we can continue to bring her more into the Scooby Gang's actions... in a non-kill them kind of way.
- So I'm guessing Valerie is gone now. Hmm. Well, that was rather anti-climactic if so. OK, then.
So good episode, but just not comparative to the recent ones, still I believe that what is happening with the down with Damon narrative is setting it up for Damon to finally opening up to some of the others as he finally did with Elena. So YAY if that is the case.