Arabian (arabian) wrote,

1.20 - 'Blood Brothers' (The Vampire Diaries)

No, I did not skip 1.19 - "Miss Mystic Falls." That was actually the only episode that I did a write-up for originally during season 01. So you can click on the link provided if you haven't read it or want a refresher. Anyhoo, moving on to the next one (and, fair warning, this one be long)...

"Blood Brothers" is another excellent episode. However, after I finished it, something about it bothered me. I look back at other episodes that are awesome and think of them as such. But I didn't have a positive reaction to this. I couldn't understand that because it is really, really good. So I rewatched it again and tried to analyze every scene. And I figured it out. During the final Damon and Elena scene, Elena's attitude and dismissal of Damon truly rankled. I found myself annoyed in the handful of scenes after that—jolted out of that irritation only by Pearl's final scene. Then I jumped straight to rage! But it was a good(ish) rage because I'm sure that the writers expected me to not be happy about Uncle Daddy John Sark, dickhead-extraordinaire, taking out the ever-so awesome Pearl.

So when the episode was finished I was able this time to pinpoint exactly what rubbed me wrong so much that it affected my overall enjoyment of it, despite its excellence in every other area. It was definitely Elena and her attitude toward Damon in that final scene that hurt this one for me. Yes, there is some cute and endearing stuff with them—that will come later—but overall, this episode was not one that I enjoyed as a Damon and Elena fan.

Now anyone with half a brain (and Elena is way smarter than just that) would realize that Stefan Salvatore is not exactly the purveyor of accurate history. Sure, give him the benefit of the doubt because she's blinded by young love, whatever. Even try and see his side of things and lean in that direction, well, that's also, understandable. However, when Stefan is in a "situation" and Elena and Damon both—as in Damon is a part of the attempted solution—are trying to help him, this maybe just isn't the time to throw judgment Damon's way.

He is letting her stay at his house, and, oh, right, he's been around quite a while and likely has a better idea of what is going on with Stefan as opposed to a girl who has known him for a small handful of months. However, none of that stopped Elena from blaming Damon for Stefan's state. Oh, of course, she said she wasn't blaming anyone—after and before she essentially blamed Damon. Thus his, "This is my fault?" She did this despite the fact that Elena doesn't have even remotely a clue about the full history of these two brothers because… wait for it, she has only heard Stefan's version of events. Stefan McLiarson Salvatore! And not even his take on the punchline.

I even went back and re-watched the scenes in question, going into it with an open mind. After all, Elena was concerned for her boyfriend and thus was not seeing the forest for the trees. She was laser-focused on him. Sure, it was petty to throw Damon's contentious relationship with Stefan in his face at this time—especially since he has been fairly solicitous to her for some time now—but, I told myself as I was queuing up the scene, she's young, she's in love, and Damon is not even dancing anywhere near being a saint.

My understanding fled as I let it all play out again. Nope, Elena was wrong. First she blamed him for Stefan's condition. Then when Damon asked if she'd heard the full story from his brother, she admitted that she knew there was more she wasn't privy to. And then… when Damon—who was clearly upset by this conversation already—tried to walk out of a room in his own damn house, she stopped him. She demanded that he tell her the rest of the story. She didn't ask. She didn't for a second take stock that she has just been a judgmental little miss and blamed him for what his brother was going through, nope, she just ordered him to tell her.

So he did, because Damon Salvatore is putty in Elena Gilbert's hands. He shared this deeply emotional, clearly painful moment of his history—something that he's likely never told anyone before. Her response? Despite what Damon had just revealed, she did not show a single, solitary whit of concern for him. Nothing. Nope, instead she made it ALL. ABOUT. STEFAN.

And then… when Damon said that Stefan was being stupid for choosing not to drink (adding a "so be it" for good measure), again, Elena completely ignored the read of the room. He was pouring himself a drink, grimacing, he looked utterly miserable and his tone of voice was one of someone clearly trying to convince themselves of something. What did Elena do? Was she empathetic? Did she offer even a glimpse of understanding for him? Nope. Instead she chastised him; she told him, "Don't do that. Okay? Don't pretend like you don't care." Now, admittedly the words themselves were not bad and if she had spoken them softly, reaching out to him, it would have been lovely. But… wait for it! Nope. Her voice was filled with disdain, and she looked at him with disgust.


I have been fairly uncritical of this show since its early run, but despite fantastic previous outings, the co-writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec (also the executive producers of The Vampire Diaries) seem to have lost a key trait of Elena Gilbert in this episode. She is, above all else, empathetic… she cares. Yes, I understand that she is focused on Stefan, but… ignoring the pain of the guy standing right in front of her? I thought maybe that I could lay the blame for the off-ness of this scene on director Liz Friedlander, but she directed "Unpleasantville," and that was top-notch. And, it wasn't just the delivery of Elena's above line, it was the two bookended scenes sandwiching Damon's flashback. It was the dialogue. It was Elena blaming Damon, Elena not acknowledging his pain after he shared with her, and then showing revulsion for his angry words.

I don't know, maybe it was a combination of the direction and the script because had Nina Dobrev—who generally portrays Elena as warm and lovely—played the blame bit as more understanding and less know-it-all teenager, that wouldn't have irked. And had that final line been delivered as an Elena who picked up on Damon's frustration, it would have worked. And both of those things would have been much more in character for Elena because she rarely acts the condescending teen. Sure, we get those moments—one of my favorites was in this episode—but it's not common for her. And we've definitely seen how perceptive she is, not only with Stefan, but her friends, her family, and Damon. So…. yeah, that was maybe a directorial flaw.

However, that wasn't the only issue. There was also the complete lack of acknowledgement of what Damon had just shared and how painful that memory must be for him. Yes, yes, she's concerned—and rightly so—for Stefan. He is her main focus and should be. However, completely ignoring Damon in the equation after what he had just told her was not in character. And it so easily could have been. She still could have been all about Stefan while still recognizing Damon. Replace this dialogue: "Oh, my God. He said he wanted to die. That's why he won't feed. Now I understand why, but..." with something like this: "Damon, I'm sorry, I had no idea, but if Stefan is thinking of that... I have to go." See? Still all about her boyfriend, but she would have at least taken the five seconds it would take to acknowledge what a terrible thing Damon had just shared. And much more in keeping with the Elena Gilbert we know.

*Sigh* Wow, that was a lot of analysis of just a few short scenes but those two short scenes left such a bitter taste in my mouth that it dinged the entire episode for me. And perhaps that's another reason why they bother me so much. The rest of the episode is so strong that it's frustrating that my takeback from it is less than a positive one. However, the rest of the episode *is* so strong, so let's leave this negativity behind and move onto the very, very good that remained.

Aside from the two scenes above, everything else with Elena was quite well done. Now, I'm not saying that she was perfect, because she was far from it. But her imperfections were (a) perfectly in character or (b) amusing as all get-out. I thought that it was awesome that Elena was brave and strong, and that she was smart enough to realize that Stefan wouldn't actually hurt her. And she was right because she does know him well enough to know that. Plus, she knows Damon well enough to know that *he* knows his brother well enough to know that he never would have left the house if he believed for a second that Stefan would ever hurt her.

So I think that was good for her for pushing him. However, I did NOT like how Stefan so quickly jumped to putting on his vicious vampire face to try and intimidate her to get her to listen to him. That is abusive behavior. You don't do that. It's just wrong and bad and WRONG. However, we have seen in the past that this is Stefan's go-to tactic to get what he wants… and it is not a good look. He did the same thing to Alaric. We could maybe excuse that because Alaric is a man (although human to Stefan's vampire) and he was a practically a stranger who could expose he and his brother. However, Elena is a young (human) woman and the girl he loves. Again, this was decidedly not a good look on Stefan.

Another not so good look was his refusal to deal with reality and Elena. She actually does want to face the fact that he is a vampire. She wants to talk about it, and deal with any issues that come from his vampirism, but Stefan just won't. That is a problem because this is an important aspect of who Stefan is—because it's *what* Stefan is—and it not only should, but it needs to be dealt with. That only one party in the relationship has any desire to do so is a very bad sign.

And can lead to dangerous situations. Like when Elena just blindly left the Boarding House dungeon (hah! the Salvatores have a dungeon) door open and left his ring there without knowing the whole story. I mentioned above that Elena was smart to push Stefan. Well, in this instance, not so much. I also mentioned that this episode highlighted some of her imperfections, and one of them is her blind trust in Stefan and his storytelling accuracy. Let's just call a spade a spade here; she was stupid. She didn't have all of the facts and yet she just blithely believed that he would do what was best for all without knowing all of the facts. While, no, Stefan wouldn't hurt *her* he made it clearly obvious that he cares little about himself now right now. And, more importantly, just as *clearly* Elena didn't know the whole story because (ding, ding, ding) Stefan wouldn't talk to her about it!

Until he finally did. (Thank goodness.) I have to say that I loved Paul Wesley's delivery of his whole "it hurts" speech. That was just a thing of beauty. I know that I give Stefan a hard time (about his stalking, his emotional manipulation, his lying lies that lie), but I hope that I have also made it clear that I genuinely do love the character. I can understand why Stefan does most (if not quite all) of the things he does. I get where he's coming from, even if I don't agree or always like what or why he does them. So to hear really and truly where the heart of those actions come from—because "it hurts" him every day, that reminder of what he is, what he's done, what his initial actions all those years ago have led to and how horribly and heavily it weighs on his mind, his heart, his conscience—I can feel for him. Beautifully done.

I also loved that Elena told Stefan about giving up that "if you do now, it won't change what happened." When she said that, I thought 'Duh!' because, hello, that is so true. But when someone is in such pain, they often can't see what makes the most sense. So Stefan's blindness was understandable. Then she offered up further wisdom when she essentially told him that it was only your actions afterwards that matter. I agree. Fortunately vampires have long lives and so they have plenty of time to make up for past actions. (Erm, on that note… obviously, Damon is just starting later than Stefan. Yup, Damon-fangirl/apologist here, I'm no longer even trying to deny it.)

From Stefan and Elena, let's move onto Stefan and his past love, Katherine. Because I'm not so sure that Katherine is his "past" love. Maybe she's more the one who got away. After finding out in "The Turning Point" that Stefan had stalked Elena for five months in order to ascertain that she wasn't like Katherine, it gave me a skeevy feeling. (Well, aside from just, you know, the stalking.) It almost seemed as if Stefan fell for Elena not because she is the awesome that she is, but rather because she wasn't Katherine.


This episode added more ammunition to that theory that Stefan does see Elena and Katherine as two sides of the same coin. Elena is the good, Katherine the bad. To put it another way: It seems that for Stefan, Elena is the good parts version of Katherine. At the top of the episode, when Stefan saw Elena at the bars of his cell, she blended into and out of the Katherine in his memories. I have to admit that when that happened, it gave me a bit of a start. It made me actually begin to, well, sort of like the idea of Stefan and Katherine… as in a shipping kind of way.

It wasn't only that moment in the opening sequence with the intermixing of Elena and Katherine that got me thinking of those two in such a light. Although, it helped because, come on, that was such intentional imagery, yes, it was! (It's like the show wants me to ship Stefan with Katherine instead of Elena.) There was also the fact that we saw her react to Stefan's death, unable to keep her eyes off of him, while there was none from her for Damon's at all… even though he was right there too! And even more, we saw her tell him that she loved him. All of this made me sit back and reflect on what we've seen and heard about these two throughout the season so far. The conclusion that I came to was that the whole contrast of saintliness and sin works just as well for Stefan and Katherine as it does for Damon and Elena.

Since I'm into the flashbacks now, I might as well go all in. Let's start with the rat-bastard that is Damon and Stefan's father. HE SHOT HIS OWN SONS! Their own father killed them! He killed his own children dead. And, boy, he really did not like Damon. He didn't even wait; he just pulled that trigger on his older son right away. At least with Stefan, he waited until his baby boy made the first move and picked up his own gun. No wonder Damon has such issues. We found out in this one definitively that his father preferred Stefan over him just as Katherine did.

Not that his favoritism helped him in the end. In fact, it actually hurt, or rather killed him. Damon clearly had no interest in saying goodbye to his father. (Shocker!) But Stefan… yeah, he just wanted to bid Giuseppe one final adieu. But dear old dad went off on him, unable to see his son in the vampire he had become and Stefan didn't know how to handle his new-found strength. Once daddy was bleeding—his own fault for being such a jerk—Stefan just couldn't control his desire for the blood.


This show… of course, Stefan's first feeding, the blood that transitioned him into being a vampire, would be his father. Killing and drinking from him is something that understandably brought him a boatload of guilt and likely will for eternity. Beyond just the feeding of his father that struck me was when Stefan pushed Giuseppe's hand away once he had his first taste of blood. It played as if Stefan was no longer even aware of his father not only as his father, but even as a person. Giuseppe had just become a source of food for Stefan. That was so... chillingly done.

Also chilling and with an almost haunting air was Damon's first taste. It was so heartbreaking for a couple of reasons. To begin with is the fact that Stefan would do such a thing to his brother against his will. Damon had already made it clear that he had no intention of transitioning. However, Stefan had just discovered the powerful lure of the blood and knew that Damon wouldn't be able to resist. Secondly was that Stefan did it because he couldn't imagine eternity without his brother, and yet we find out later that Damon had planned on leaving Stefan behind once he kicked it as a human.


We know from Stefan's point-of-view flashbacks that he always knew it was going to be him, Katherine *and* Damon. So clearly for him, Damon was always a part of the bargain. But for Damon, it was only supposed to be him and Katherine. Oh, poor Damon. He really just wanted Katherine. Without her, he had no interest in turning. It really was all about becoming a vampire just to be with Katherine. Hating Stefan… as he told Elena all the way back in "Family Ties," well, "Doesn't it always come down to love of a woman?"

Also, Emily was aware that Katherine's love wasn't exactly as pure as either one of theirs. And I do think that she tried to stop both brothers from turning, in the scene we saw with her and Stefan, and by the fact that she didn't tell Damon that Katherine had been saved. She'd seen the vampire temptress with both brothers and clearly knew the score.

Still, I was a tad annoyed with Emily. She treated Stefan like he was this special snowflake (as opposed to Damon) with his "pure heart" and all that, warning him that he would come to see vampirism turn as a curse. I just wish there had been at least one reference to his brother as well in her speech. No, she didn't want either to turn, but how it was presented was just more of Stefan the Saint. Of course, this was from Stefan's point of view… we don't know exactly what she said to Damon beyond not letting him know that Katherine was still alive.

It's interesting. At first I was a wee bit disappointed that we didn't get more in the flashback when Damon told Stefan he was going to give him an eternity of misery. I wanted more from Damon explaining why... but then we got to that final scene between the brothers in the present day and we got our answer. Damon didn't tell him back then either because he figured that Stefan knew or he wanted him to wonder. We, the audience, were in that same position until we got the reveal. In "Lost Girls," Stefan told Elena about Katherine's plans:

Katherine: {In 1864} You have no idea of the future I have planned for us, Stefan...You, me, and Damon. No rules.
Stefan: {Present-day} She could control my mind, and Damon's. She compelled each of us to keep the secret from the other. She wanted all of us to be together. Forever.
But that is not what Damon thought. As he told Stefan (and us):

Damon: Emily waited till after I turned to tell me she'd been successful in protecting Katherine with her spell. She didn't want me to know about the tomb. She thought it would impact my decision.
Stefan: She didn't want either one of us to turn. She said it was a curse.
Damon: Witches...Judgy little thing.
Stefan: Why didn't you tell me?
Damon: ‘Cause I didn't want you to know. 'Cause I hated you and I still do.
Stefan: I know.
Damon: But not because you forced me to turn.
Stefan: Then why?
Damon: Because she turned you. It was just supposed to be me, Stefan... just me.
Oh, Damon… for the past and for lying to his brother and himself. He doesn't hate Stefan. He loves him! He spent the whole episode trying to act like he didn't actually care about what was happening with him. Oh, no, his concern was about keeping a low profile around town. Uh huh, sure, Damon. Obviously Elena saw through it—except when she randomly decided not to and called him out in a not-very-nice way—but I have to wonder if Stefan doesn't realize the truth. Judging by his reaction in words and expression after Damon lied told about his feelings. It certainly makes sense that Stefan would truly believe that Damon hated him. He hates and does blame himself for all that has happened to Damon and subsequently all that Damon has done. It's all his fault.

But no, that is not how Damon sees it. I mentioned above how fabulous Stefan's speech about his pain was, and what a great job Wesley did in delivering it. Alas, that was not to be my favorite speech of the night. Nope. After Stefan had returned to the Boarding House and Elena had left the two alone, Damon's speech to his brother about his actions, his guilt was beyond amazing. Honestly, this was not only one of my favorite scenes of the season thus far (and we only have two episodes left out of 22), but it is actually my favorite Damon scene period.


Damon's clear annoyance with Stefan's guilt-ridden martyr act had reached its peak and his words to him were just fantastic.

Damon: You brood too much. Everything on this planet is not your fault. My actions, what I do, it's not your fault. I own them. They belong to me. You are not allowed to feel my guilt.
Stefan: Do you feel guilt?
Damon: If I wanted to... it's there.
How incredibly awesome was that? So awesome and on so many levels. It is so rare that Damon is truly open and real with Stefan about his feelings about anything. Obviously, he doesn't feel comfortable opening up to his brother anymore, and yet, he did here. And the actual words spoken just blew me away. It revealed so much about Damon as a character… who he is, what he is, and how aware he is of those very things. We also learned that Damon does feel guilt; he has just chosen not to because he's not ready to deal with that culpability and its ramifications. What fantastic writing, and the delivery by Ian Somerhalder—the bite, the bitterness, the hint of vulnerability—was just magnificent.

This wasn't the only moment where we saw Damon get real with someone, though. Of course, I am talking about Alaric. Seriously, I cannot get over how well Somerhalder and Matt Davis play off of each other. These two are simply gold; their chemistry is unbelievably good. I don't know if the original plan was for Stefan and Alaric to become buds or something since they had a lot more interaction when Ric first showed up in town. However, they've got to stick with this wary partnership between Damon and Alaric, because seriously... solid, solid gold with these two. The teamwork we already saw on splendid display in "Let the Right One In," just continued on swimmingly in this. We got humor in bits and pieces here and there, as well as some nice toasty tension. However, the scene where they discussed letting go of the women who essentially broke their hearts and left them behind was just a-maz-ing!

Alaric: Oh, man. I... I gotta stop this. I can't... I can't keep searching for her.
Damon: Really? After only two years? That's actually moderately healthy.
Alaric: What are you going on? 146?
Damon: Well, I figure the 200 mark is probably a good stopping point.
Alaric: Ahh. I mean, no answer is enough. I keep thinking I wanna know why, when, you know, the precise moment. When my wife decided life with me wasn't enough.
Damon: She charmed me, your wife Isobel. She talked a good game, man. She was smart. She had this excitement in her eyes. I probably should have known there was something different about her, some tie to Katherine. There had to be some reason I didn't kill her.
Alaric: That's enough, Damon. I don't wanna hear anymore. I just don't want to waste any more of my life. Searching for answers that I really don't want. I'm through with Isobel. I... I'm done with all of this.

The capper was at the end with that look on Davis' face when Damon was talking about Isobel and then it became too much, and he finally told Damon that... you could see it all in his expression before he even said anything. And *then* the look on Somerhalder's face *after* Alaric spoke… ooh! For the first time we saw that something that someone other than Stefan or Elena said actually affected him and he stopped. He listened because it mattered to him to not hurt this person. It was sensational. Seriously, these two are just pure gold together.

And it wasn't just that scene that rocked my soul. I mentioned the pieces and bits of humor here and there, well, a couple of those bits stood out. (And the first actually brings us to one of the good Damon and Elena moments. Yay!) This show doesn't really do laugh-out humor much beyond Damon's zingers (although the parade of Miss Mystic Falls contestants before the board in that episode was an exception), but the phone call between Damon and Alaric, and then Damon and Elena literally made me laugh out loud.

Damon started it off wondering how Alaric got his number and his response ("It's a mystery,) cracked me up. And it just got better. Damon not wanting to go anywhere with Ric because he tried to kill him, the too-cool-for-school history teacher had an answer for that too: "Yeah, well, you did kill me.")


I was loving it… and then it got *even* better when Damon received a call during their conversation. I had to laugh at how Damon pulled the phone away to check the caller ID and then told Alaric to hold on without bothering to put it back to his ear, followed by his flat, mock-annoyed "What?" Of course he already knew that it was Elena since he checked who was calling, so that opening greeting amused the heck out of me. Hee! Next we got a typical Damon description of his brother ("Extra broody") before discussion turned to Stefan's favorite type of blood ("Puppy blood. Little golden retriever puppies with cute, floppy ears.") At that point, I was laughing so hard that I had to rewind the scene to catch everything.


Yes, I do expect some cute stuff like that with Damon and Elena, but on top of the Damon and Alaric stuff, it was double the pleasure. And while Damon and Elena give us cute (and heat), he and Alaric give us hilarity. Those two are a LOT of fun to watch together. Like a LOT lot!

Alas, it could not last. Of course, once Ric finally decided to give up on looking for Isobel.... she showed up. (Excuse me while I squee my little heart out!) Oh, Isobel, looking so gorgeous and... just, damn, Mia Kirshner and Matt Davis have really good chemistry even in just that one small scene. Sorry, but they have way, way better chemistry than does Davis with Sara Canning's Jenna. I just speak my truth!


The one other couple highlighted in this episode is one that I do not ship, but I have to admit maybe that Jeremy and Anna are growing on me a teeny bit. I found the scene in Jeremy's bedroom kinda adorable, and her wanting to go to school just to spend time with him was too sweet. I also liked her referring back to her "pathetic, stalker" days, and, yes, I loved when she called him her "weakness." *sigh* And her one-sided "goodbye" to him was heartbreaking. Still, there was one small concerning bit. I mean, it was cute and all how Jeremy thought that the super-hearing was so cool, but, uhm, yeah, kinda worrisome too? After all, it wasn't too long ago that our boy Jere wanted to be turned, right? Hmm....

I'm going to put that thought out of my head and move along. To the horror that awaited her when she returned to the vampire house of doom (so accurately nicknamed by me). To be honest, I was already kinda hating on John (he gets no affectionate nickname from me right now!) before he—nope, can't go there yet… I was already not feeling John so much because of how *rude* he was to my beloved Pearl earlier. He is *such* a dick! Why does he have to be so awful to her? There was no reason to do her wrong like that. First, he had to go and tell her the lie that Jonathan Gilbert had never stopped loving her and then he laughed at her hard-to-disguise hope that it was the truth. Such a jerk! No wonder everyone hates him. Speaking of… dude, you do not have the council eating out of your hands. They all hate you.

If only Pearl had been able to convince her little Annabelle that it was time to get to the going sooner. I understand why Anna wanted to stay—she wants more cuddle-sexytiems with Jerebear—but, Pearl was totes right in this case. John... well, John is a dick, and he seems a lot like his ancestor/namesake dick-head Jonathan Gilbert. (Idiot man did not appreciate the wonder of Pearl.)

Oh, show, you are the WORST! John earlier told Pearl that his namesake's only regret was that he hadn't staked her in the heart himself. So what does dick-head John go and do? He takes care of his ancestor's regret. Damnit! Pearl!! NO!! Not my Pearl! Not the magnificent HBIC that is Pearl. Nope. I refuse to accept that Pearl is gone. I just can. not. deal. Pearl is too transcendent. She is wise and beautiful, glowing and serene, and then she gouges your eyes or stabs a wooden kitchen utensil into your stomach because you don't follow the rules. Such awesome should not be taken from me us. Even in her vampire state, she was so human through her love for her daughter, and sadly, for a man centuries dead who had betrayed her. Waaah!! Oh, Pearl. You deserved a better ending, damnit! I loved you so. WAH!

Die, John, die!! Die a thousand, awful, terrible, painful deaths! I hope that Damon rips his ring off and then kills him! I hope he kills him painfully and cruelly!! Pretty please!! Pearl!

*sigh* Moving on… here are random thoughts—

- I loved this exchange between Damon and Elena when discussing her avoidance of (ugh) John:

Damon: So, you'll be here again tonight?
Elena: Is that a problem?
Damon: Yes. You're a complete nuisance.
Elena: I'll see you later.

Damon is so smitten; it's adorable.

- Man, I wish they hadn't killed Henry (Alaric!), I kinda liked him! I mean, sure he was only in a few scenes, and it wasn't even remotely as devastating as Pearl's death {sobs}, but dangit, he was really likeable! And cute… with his love of dating online and all. :( Aww, vampire (that is what fandom is calling him) even with such a short appearance, you will be missed, (Alaric)! "Let's not kill anyone tonight," Ric warned Damon… and then he was the one who killed Henry. Oh, man, so much fun.


- "Which Mother?" Man, Elena was awesome here with that blunt question to Dick John. There he was trying to be all bad-ass and lay a guilt trip on Elena by asking what her mother would think of her dating a vampire. But Elena just cut him cold with that snide comeback. With two words, she shut him down and also threw in his face that she knew not only about the vampires, but also all about Isobel. *And* she knew that John knew and has kept it from her. Just such an awesome, snotty teenage Elena moment. I loved it so much.


- Heh, Damon telling Elena that he thinks he witnessed "the teacher having an existential crisis." Funny and also further proof that Damon was affected by what Ric said… he was still thinking about it after the fact. Uh huh. Oh, and on a purely cute Damon and Elena note: Damon putting Elena's legs on his lap was adorbs, his hands all resting on them... and didja notice how she most definitely did NOT remove them right away? I did!


- Elena knew that Damon didn't want anything to happen to her and that's how she knew that he trusted Stefan too. Aww.... See?

Damon: You should, um, you should stay up here. You shouldn't be down there by yourself.
Elena: I'll be fine.
Damon: You know...You're very trusting of him, given the circumstances.
Elena: So are you. Otherwise, you wouldn't be leaving.
- I do think that I would have felt more for Stefan and Elena's big kiss if (a) I actually cared about Stefan and Elena as a couple anymore (but I don't) and (b) Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev could manage to not keep their bodies two to three inches apart at all times to avoid catching one another's cooties when they embrace—especially their lower halves, looking like an upside down ^ there. It kinda detracted from the moment, you know?

- OK, so I've noticed that the color has been getting progressively darker on Ian Somerhalder's hair. It's not only darker than his natural shade, but it's now a not-so-natural shade of inky black. Also, what is up with this cut? Seriously, the man is beautiful. What are they doing to him? Trying to make him less so? Why would anyone try to do that? Why?! Besides, I don't think it's possible, so stop trying!

- I haven't mentioned this in a while, but we saw it so much in this episode that I just have too once more... Man, oh man, I think Paul Wesley's huge rose tattoo is hideous. Phew! I just had to get that off my chest.

And we have finally reached the end. So, it must seem odd that I spent nearly 1,200 words venting about two small scenes when I clearly thought the rest of the episode was fantastic. I think I quoted more dialogue from this than any other before. The script, for the most part, was outstanding. The direction was top-notch. I loved just about everything with every character.

Of course, I hated that Pearl was taken from me, but I understand the narrative. It's just that those two small scenes with Damon and Elena that bothered me, well, they bothered me so much. I think it's because Elena—a character that I genuinely love—was so not herself. I was talking to a friend and I told her that if that was the way that Elena always acted, I would not ship Damon and Elena because I wouldn't like her character. Hopefully, we never see that misstep again… and maybe someday I will be able to enjoy the episode without that one bit leaving such a bitter aftertaste.
Tags: alaric saltzman, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, isobel/alaric, stefan salvatore, stefan/katherine, the vampire diaries, tv

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