Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

8.09 - 'The Simple Intimacy Of The Near Touch' (The Vampire Diaries)

A few days later than normal, but I had to deal with my 'Miss Mystic Falls' expectations first. So...

I want to get the elephant out of the way… well, *my* elephant anyway. Heading into season 04, it was very easy for me to say that season 01's "Miss Mystic Falls" was my favorite episode. Yup, even three years later. It wasn't until the seventh episode of that season that I found one to rival that earlier, glorious outing. And that particular episode just happened to be The Vampire Diaries' second one featuring the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. Hmm, I should also point out—lest anyone forget—that both episodes were very momentous for Damon and Elena. *sigh* As soon as I saw the preview for this episode, I recognized the courtyard and the dancing and I knew that we were getting our third (and final) Miss Mystic Falls outing.

Needless to say, I couldn't help but be irrationally excited. Therefore I watched the entire episode on edge and on pins and needles with the ridiculous hope that I absolutely 100% knew would not pan out. It did not. We did not see Elena Gilbert wake up. I knew it would not happen. I told myself that several times between the airing of the two episodes… but, but, but, it was a Miss Mystic Falls episode and, well, hopes could not help but whisper in the back of my mind. Because of that I waited a few days, and rewatched the episode so that I could fully appreciate whatever it had to offer, good or not so good. Fortunately, there wasn't really any 'not so good,' just a few minor quibbles and my continued lack of love for a particular couple. I have actual reasons this time, though, beyond the fact that personally I don't think they are tops in the chemistry department—which is, after all, subjective. Since I thought that most of the episode was great, I'm going to discuss those issues to begin with and get them out of the way.

When I write minor, I very much mean minor. Both of those points have to do with the 'intimacy of the near touch' dance. Firstly, how did Bonnie… and Enzo… and Sybil know how to perform that dance? Sybil was locked away in the vault for centuries. When did she learn it? And Enzo… when did he? He showed up after season 04—the last time we saw a Miss Mystic Falls episode before this—and he wasn't born until the late 1800s so how would he have known the dance from his past? Sure, the event continued no doubt in the three years that we fast forwarded through, but there is no reason that he would have learned and/or attended the dance. Finally, when we saw Caroline (and Elena!) taught those moves in season 01, Bonnie was not there for the lessons. The next pageant episode didn't even feature her, and in those three years we missed, she was hiding away in a cabin or in a mental institution. So, when did she learn the dance?

Also, why was she even dancing with Enzo? Why were Sybil and Stefan, and Sybil and Damon dancing? I get why Caroline and Damon were… Caroline dragged him out onto the dance floor to remind him about Elena, but why were the others there? The dance is for the contestants and their escorts, not any guest who wants to join in. It's part of the pageant. See? Minor… but it still bugged me a little because, frankly, I expect perfection when it comes to the Miss Mystic Falls episodes. Alas, it makes sense that I did not get it. My beloved Caroline Dries is no longer with the show and she co-wrote both the previous outings. (In fact, "Miss Mystic Falls" was her very first episode.) Ah well.

Not so minor an issue for me is the romance of Bonnie and Enzo. Or at least the way it's being presented. I was trying to figure out why I am just not into this pairing and I think I have. It's not that they don't have chemistry. Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey do—granted, I don't think it's overwhelming or anything beyond, you know, there. They are certainly a beautiful looking couple, but underneath the shallow, and despite the chemistry they do have, they remind me of Stefan and Elena in season 01.

I know this is a controversial thing for a Damon and Elena fan to admit, but I actually do think that Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev have chemistry. Like Graham and Malarkey, it doesn't knock your socks off or anything, but it's there. Otherwise, Stefan and Katherine wouldn't have worked at all, but they did because, again, Wesley and Dobrev do have chemistry. The difference between Stefan and Katherine and Stefan and Elena was not only their characters (good/bad versus good/good), but also how their story was told. And this is where the comparison to Bonnie and Enzo comes from.

In the first season, we were told that Stefan and Elena had an epic conversation in the second episode. Stefan told Lexi that he loved Elena, and Elena told Stefan that she loved him before the show had even hit the midway point. Their love story was so great, said everyone. However, we never really saw that. The Vampire Diaries told us, via those two and the other characters—most of them teenagers, I might add—that Stefan and Elena had this great love story, but they didn't. In clear retrospect now (especially after my write-ups of all of season 01), that was the point. Stefan and Elena were never intended to actually be an example of an epic love story. So the fact that we were so rarely shown the actuality of that great love was fine, and intentional.

On the other hand… Bonnie and Enzo are obviously supposed to be that great, epic love story akin to Damon and Elena (and even Caroline and Stefan). The problem is that the vast majority of Bonnie and Enzo's love story has been a tell, not a show. When Bonnie told Enzo that he listens to her, it pointed to a relationship that is equal and filled with respect. The thing is that while she may have said that, the viewers don't actually know if it's true or not. We haven't seen them together enough as a couple to know. What we have seen of them has been an episode that told their THREE-YEAR-LONG love story in a handful of minutes. No matter how beautiful those minutes were, still... *a handful of minutes* to tell a three-year-long love story. That was followed by three episodes full of angst over Bonnie dying or not—with only a very small number of scenes actually featuring them. For goodness' sake when Bonnie was lost in her dream-state, it was Damon and *not* Enzo who knew her well enough to get her out of it. (And if I recall, no, in that instance, Enzo never once listened to her wishes. He fought her every step of the way. Obviously, it's good that he did because, yay, we still have Bonnie around, but the point remains, we didn't see him listening to her.)

And this season, once Bonnie was able to break through to Enzo, we've only seen their coupledom in fluff-filled situations. It hasn't been enough to justify the 'epic couple' label. And certainly, with that very little bit of them that we've seen, it's damn near impossible to believe that the Bonnie Bennett who has always had a bit of an issue—sometimes edging into a lot more—with vampirism would be happy to become one for Enzo. I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.

Whether you liked or shipped or whatever Bonnie with Jeremy, that was a love story that was built and nurtured, with ups and downs and everything in between. It showed deep love and deep respect. Because of it, we actually have a Bonnie love story to compare the Enzo one to and Bonnie and Enzo just seem like a fluffy, new couple in comparison. They read like one of those annoyingly schmoopy couples who are still in their honeymoon phase. The ones who talk about how much they love each other and that they will be together forever and ever, but haven't really put in the work or dealt with the day in and day out of a relationship. Nothing about them screams "FOREVER" at this point except for how often they keep telling each other that they are.

Look, I want to love Bonnie and Enzo. I love Bonnie; I like Enzo a lot. Bonnie has been one of my favorite characters from the beginning. I want her to get a happy ending, but I don't buy that her happy ending is Enzo St. John. I feel like with the show coming to an end, the producers wanted a happy ending for Bonnie (and Enzo) too, and so they pushed this *great romance* to fake it. It's just not working for me. I would have so much preferred had things fallen apart once they actually faced reality (which would have happened after she got him away from Sybil) and if Jeremy comes back, there is a look, a re-connection between them that gives hope to where Bonnie's happy ending lie. (Or, you know, had the show gone with my Bonnie and Matt idea… but that ship has sailed so far off into the distance, that it's already docked and removed all of its cargo.)

Or if they were so determined to do Bonnie and Enzo as this great love story… actually WRITE THAT LOVE STORY! They thought that season 07 was their last and planned the pairing then, so going back to that old complaint… why didn't they use the season to build up their love story? There were FIFTEEN episodes in which to create it, do the push-pull, the angst, the longing, the ups and downs, the discussions over Enzo's not so good past actions (murder, bribery, betrayal, etc.) before getting into the flash-forward that would show where their relationship was then. But prior to that three-year jump, we could have had the near kisses, deep, real conversations, the first kiss, a dance, moments, near-sex, etc. Instead, we got a shocking kiss from the future that came out of nowhere very early on, a few flirting scenes that didn't make sense from Bonnie's end, and Enzo spending most of the first half of the season in love with another woman.

And this season, it has all been tell, tell, tell. They love each other so much. They have been waiting forever for each other, blah, blah, blah. Why not have Enzo pulled out from Sybil's control sooner to have more time for Bonnie and Enzo? Why not have Enzo tell Bonnie about his years of torture in detail, with flashbacks—from his perspective and not Damon's, really show them connect over his sharing? And in turn, have the two of them discuss Bonnie's pain over the loss of her magic? Why not show Bonnie and Enzo interacting as a couple with conversations where we saw that Enzo listened to her? Why not show Enzo give Bonnie his bloody necklace and have the two of them discuss what it meant right then and there? Why have Bonnie have her first talk of possibly becoming a vampire with Caroline and not Enzo?

Instead we had Bonnie and Enzo fooling around in bed and just lightly broaching the subject of what happened to him for sixty years. (By the way, explain how Bonnie wasn't already deeply and fully aware of his tortured past from the three years they spent together in their cabin of love?) Instead we had a line or two here and there about Bonnie's witchy powers being gone, ignoring how deeply embedded in Bonnie's history her magic is. Instead we had a squeeful discussion of Paris versus t-shirts while two of her three best friends were undergoing some of the most painful experiences of their lives. (Two people, by the way, with whom Enzo has a strong history with as well.) Instead we had Bonnie simpering and smiling about wearing a necklace filled with vampire blood. Instead we had Bonnie sadly giving him that necklace back after a few lines of dialogue during a dance (neither should know how to do, or even be dancing at all) that was cut back and forth between them and two other different conversations going on.

Just no, show. No. This Bonnie and Enzo romance is as shallow as a kiddie pool. I don't buy it. And that makes me sad because I want a happy-ever-after for my Bonnie that makes sense, one that is earned. *sigh* Ah well. It is what it is, so I suppose I'll get to what actually did happen with them in this episode. To start with… I am sorry (OK, really, I'm not) but wearing a necklace full of blood around your neck is just creepy and gross. It is not romantic; it is not sweet… it's just wrong. And so freaking not in character for Bonnie Bennett. *double sigh* No wonder the whole discussion about her becoming a vampire with Caroline at the start of the show was just a wee bit heavy-handed.

Ugh, I can't… not yet. Why, oh, why didn't she have that discussion from the get-go, in full, and characteristically of Bonnie with Enzo? Since the decision was to not go there with vampirism and instead the opposite direction, why not just have Bonnie tell Enzo that she does not want to become a vampire… ever. It wouldn't take away from their love story (as it is) if she were to give the reason being that it's because she is a witch, and that possibility is still out there and a very big part of her very soul. *argh!* I know, I know, back to what actually happened.

So, erm, what does Bonnie mean about Enzo getting the cure? (And, wow, what a way to steal from their own show—and most popular couple—in order to build up Bonnie and Enzo's "great" love story.) She can't be thinking of Enzo drinking from Elena because, thank you very much, that cure running through her blood belongs to Damon Salvatore. All I can think of is that they are going to figure out (or already know) how to get back to the 1913 alternate universe to get that version of the cure. Either way, I doubt it's going to work… or if it does, that cure will go to someone else (Stefan? Caroline?) because Bonnie is so going to be in some kind of situation where Enzo gives her his blood in order to keep her protected. She will die and wake up as a vampire most likely. And the reason he'll justify doing it is because (an out of character) Bonnie told him that were it not for "Elena-gistics," she would turn for him. However, any anger she may feel over that action because of the risk to Elena will be negated because, of course, Elena will wake up once Bonnie dies.

I could be wrong, of course; it could be my speculation about the twins and their siphoning powers that does it. Hmm, we'll see. Either way, Elena will wake up and once she does if Bonnie is not a vampire then, she'll turn for Enzo. (So, so, sooo out of character.) At least that is just where the writing appears to be going. Again, I could be totally wrong though. We will see. *sigh* Like I said, it is what it is, and hey, at least things are moving along swimmingly with my other couples… or are they? Dun dun dun.

Oh, Stefan. Wow, Stefan with his humanity flipped to the off switch with zero remorse is a real asshole! I mean, he makes Damon with his switch off seem like a swell guy in comparison. However, that is not where my concern over Stefan and Caroline comes from. Nope, after all, his switch is off and if I don't blame Damon for his actions when his is flipped, I'm not going to blame Stefan. What I didn't like was one specific line, partially because he said it to Sybil, and Sybil alone.

Stefan: Take it from me, Elena Gilbert never really goes away.
That ship has clearly sailed and I'm not worried in terms of Damon and Elena, but rather what it says about Stefan and Caroline. Had Stefan made that comment to Damon or Caroline, I would have given it no mind beyond Stefan being an asshole. However, he only said that to Sybil, and he wasn't trying to rile her up. Sure, he was having fun at the expense of her frustration, but that additional comment referencing his own past with Elena was not necessary. And not cool. Then again this is not the first time we've gotten a sign that Stefan and Caroline are not nearly as strong as Damon and Elena. See: Caroline not only not asking Stefan to go with her to save the girls, but actively telling him that she did not want him there. Also, her returning the engagement ring to him during that time period because…. well, honestly, I still don't quite get that one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I think that Stefan and Caroline are going down a rocky road and won't recover in time for the end of the series. I actually don't even think the above issues were meant to be seen as issues, per se. The latter two were just about creating the dramaz! And the Elena comment was just another way to bring up her awesomeness to Sybil. Still… badly done, I think and it's just shown me that despite having only sixteen episodes without someone devoted 100% to The Vampire Diaries, little things like this are going to fall through the cracks. Julie Plec has The Originals as well to focus on and Kevin Williamson, while here for some episodes, doesn't appear to be fully on board as he was the first two seasons. *sigh* I really, really wish that Caroline Dries had decided to stick around for this last season. Ah well.

Though, again, it's not a major issue, just a little niggle. And overall, the Caroline and Stefan story has been strong this season and I loved how their scenes were done in this episode. Yes, even though, Stefan was awful… it was a good thing. Unlike Elena who could never not see Stefan without rose-colored glasses because he saved her life, because he was the last person to communicate with her father, because he brought her out of her depression, Caroline sees reality when she looks at, and loves, Stefan Salvatore. So where Elena would have concocted some excuse for Stefan and tip-toed back into her bubble filled with tulips had she seen him in this state, Caroline kicked ass. Oh, and she saw Stefan for what he really is when his switch is off without any reservation.

I think she needed to see just how bad he could get. It was one thing to be told by him; it was one thing to join the no-humanity parade alongside him. However, to see him at his worst is something that she had to do for herself and for her children. She needed to know just how bad it could get, and just how important it is and always will be to keep Stefan off of human blood. So for their future it was necessary that she see just how bad it could get. Furthermore, it was necessary for her to know that if/when it does get that bad she can and will walk away.

 
 

(Oh, and while he's under this deal with Cade, stake him through the heart dead… although, she so did not send that stake through his heart. Nope, it was definitely lower and so, yeah, Stefan should not have gone all marbly-dead. Bad job, FX guys!)

Anyhoo, back on point… Caroline showed not only her strength in dealing with Stefan, but also the wisdom that she has gained. I liked what she said to him about happiness, making the distinction between it and fun. Before she may not have known or understood that, but she does now. Caroline has grown so much from that girl who did have a good heart but was self-centered, selfish and shallow. Now, she is a mother, she is able to forgive, able to see what is right in front of her; she has suffered tremendous loss but also has experienced the happiest of joys. And all of that was on display.

Caroline was amazing from beginning to end in this episode. I may not have agreed with the decision to have Bonnie's first vampire discussion with Caroline instead of Enzo, but that doesn't take away from how great a friend Caroline was in that scene. She broached the subject carefully; she offered her reservation in a respectful way and simply opened the door for Bonnie to recognize the gravity of the gift. In her final scene with Violet, she was understanding and cautious. She listened to Violet's fears and responded accordingly using her own history as an example to help the frightened girl. She also didn't push the decision on her. She allowed that Violet did not have to transition… she let the girl make her own decision. She was a warm, comforting presence; she was honest and she gave Violet room to breathe, to cry, to express herself.

And it wasn't just with Violet—a young woman with whom Caroline could very much identify—that we saw the best side of Caroline Forbes. We actually also saw it in her scenes with her greatest frenemy… Damon Salvatore. There were two specific moments that really resonated for this Damon fan in their scenes. And can I just take this opportunity to say how much I appreciated that we got to see so much screentime with Ian Somerhalder and Candice King? These two have great chemistry, and such a fabulous rhythm. Also, their characters have such a contentious, tumultuous history that has never been truly explored. And, yes, I was actually excited when I realized that Damon and Caroline were going to dance. Don't ask me why, but I was like… ooh, please let Damon and Caroline dance, and they did. And I loved it.

I also loved someone *finally* getting a clue as to just how badly Damon has been screwed with these past months.

Caroline: What did that woman do to you?
That it was Caroline gave me hope that a long-cherished wish that some sort of realization on her end that Damon is not the most evil ever would finally happen. We'll see, but I am optimistic. Look at her expression, she looks not only troubled, but also taken aback at just how messed up Damon is.

 

That awareness led to more breakthroughs from Caroline. When Damon told her about Stefan's current state, she actually picked up on the fact that him telling her about it was because he loves his brother. And if he does love his brother despite everything then Damon is not this terrible, no-good, awful person. In the midst of these realizations, and the fact that despite what Sybil did to Damon, just a symbol of Elena was enough to wake up something within him, Caroline spoke in a way she's never come even close to before. Using words like "magical, powerful, deep" and "real" to describe Damon and Elena's love was a damn-near miracle.

Even if Damon was right, that she was hoping it was so because she wants a happy ending for her and Stefan too, she still said those words about Elena *and Damon!* And you know what? I don't think that Damon was right. At that point, Caroline was still under the impression that Stefan was sticking to his year-long deal and it was before he'd attempted to turn all of the Miss Mystic Falls contestants. Yes, Caroline was trying to reach Damon so that she could get the striker from him, but I really don't think that she was thinking of that specifically in the moment. I believe that she was genuinely trying to reach Damon because she realized that his love for Elena was truly that powerful. (About time, huh?)

And their love truly is that powerful. *sigh* Because of his love for her, a symbol of Elena (the locket), memories of Elena (their dance, seeing her in the dressing room) were strong enough to overcome a Siren's mind control. Oh, yeah.

Speaking of that particular Siren… you all know that I love Sybil, but she did annoy me briefly in this episode. So many lies she threw Damon's way to try and keep him under her leash. Tsk, tsk, Sybil, bad, bad girl. Damon did not kidnap the twins; that was all on your sissy! Damon, in fact, spent most of the that little criminal spree trying to derail Seline's plans through logic, and then by offering up a better deal. So there. Yeah, and along with the non-kidnapping, Damon only killed Tyler because Sybil was in his mind and urging him on. He also never turned Enzo against Bonnie. Pfft! Furthermore, Damon did not sell his brother's soul to Cade. Stefan had to agree to the deal—which he did. Double pfft! Finally, Damon Salvatore did not steal his brother's girl. Elena Gilbert is not an object to be stolen. She fell out of love with Stefan and in love with Damon. She made her own choice, thank you very much.

And Damon knows that. So Sybil and Stefan's attempt to rouse his guilt via his relationship with Elena was their one big fail. Stefan tried it with his revisionism of history, but only proved just how little he has ever known about Damon and Elena's love story.

Stefan: You think this is where your love story began, but the truth is, Damon, Elena never would have looked at you twice if I had been there that day.
We saw his lack of understanding many a time when he was still fighting for Elena, but even after he had moved on completely, it was clear that he still didn't have the slightest clue. In the sixth season's fourth episode, "Black Hole Sun," I referenced this when Stefan told Elena that Damon got Elena to accept the darkest parts of herself. However, it was just so very false—and there was so much awesome in that episode—that I didn't feel it was even worth it to go into detail.

Just like I was unmoved by Stefan's contention that Elena only chose Damon because Stefan wasn't at the bottom of those stairs, so was Damon. He calmly told his brother that it was all in the past, and this showed that he is clearly aware that Stefan doesn't know jack-squat about Damon and Elena and their love. Oh, and The Vampire Diaries-sanctioned hashtag or not (#WhenDamonKnew… please!), Stefan was also wrong about Damon and Elena's "vomit-inducing love story" (LOL! Asshole!Stefan is so much fun) beginning at the pageant. That would most definitely be a negative. Their love story began on the Gilbert porch when Damon offered to compel Jeremy for Elena. It was strengthened when they went road-tripping together to Atlanta, and when Elena was the one who was able to get Damon out of the tomb. By the time the Miss Mystic Falls pageant rolled around and Damon stood at the bottom of those stairs… that "something" between them had already begun.

And forever shall it be. I love that Damon was able to fight Sybil's control despite the fact that she has messed with his head so thoroughly. He doesn't even remember loving Elena, but the strength of that love is so a part of him that even a symbol or a memory of her is enough to overcome Sybil's attacks. By the way, speaking of Damon, Sybil and Elena's memories… it's about time they finally explained what she did with his memories of Elena. I've been wondering. At first I thought she had just erased Elena from his mind, but then Damon (and Sybil) was still mentioning her. At last we have our explanation. Sybil didn't take Elena away; she just manipulated his brain enough so that his feelings appeared to be gone. However, of course they are not gone because Damon and Elena have the best love story EVAR!

And, no (Stefan!), it didn't begin at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, but what happened between them there was certainly momentous. *sigh* I absolutely loved the many flashbacks to the two of them seeing one another at various points and the dancing—the beautiful, romantic, spellbinding dancing—interspersed throughout Damon's dance with Sybil.

 
 
 

Oh, Sybil, so clueless about what real love is… and the depth of the love that Damon Salvatore has for Elena Gilbert. She has no idea that Elena already helped Damon fight the battle for his heart and soul… and they won. Sybil is like a feather against the brick wall of what those two have fought for and together.

Damon: […] even though I can't feel a damn thing for Elena, the more you try and push her out, the more I understand she's never going away. And there's not enough room in my head for both of you.
You tell her, Damon. You tell her. Exactly what I said above. Sybil just can't compete with Elena Gilbert. And Damon making that crystal clear was so, so awesome. Nah, I'm thinking it was beyond awesome. Oh, yeah. Do you know what else was so awesome? Damon telling Sybil that she missed out on a very important aspect of Elena when she was mucking about Damon's subconscious: her capacity for forgiveness. And that, my friends, is key I think to how Damon will recover from Sybil's latest assault on Damon's soul. Damon's humanity flooding in at full blast as opposed to in stops and starts and when he was ready is not a good thing. However, he will be fine for two reasons.

The first is that his biggest fear regarding all that he has done since Sybil began her game of mind control has been that Elena will not forgive him. However, Sybil's constant niggling about that had the opposite effect. It reminded him that Elena does indeed have a limitless, damn-near insane capacity for forgiveness. Whatever he has done—especially because of the circumstances—Elena will forgive him. And partly why she will do so is because of the good that is a part of Damon. That brings me back to one of the things that Caroline said to Damon which made it clear that she really does not know Damon Salvatore at all.

Caroline: The fact that you're telling me this proves you care. Somewhere deep down in that part of you where Elena is still buried. Find that place, Damon. Fight for her. Or spend the rest of eternity trying to figure out what happened to the best part of you.
The implication of her plea to Damon was that Elena is the best part of Damon. That is simply not true. Elena is not the best part of Damon Salvatore. Elena merely awakened the best part of him because she believed in him. She believed in him when no one else had… ever. That belief allowed Damon to expose the heart of himself—the best part of himself—that he had hidden for a century and a half. And, oh gee, maybe he hid that part of himself so well because the person closest to him prior to Elena made him feel less than regularly. Whether in his hero or villain state, Stefan never failed to take the opportunity to play the emotional manipulation game on Damon. It's always Damon who ruins his life, ruins his plans, ruins his fun. Oh, Stefan. I guess some things will never change.

Another thing that won't change is Stefan Salvatore's gift for history revisionism. He said that Damon would never have been with Elena had Stefan been at the bottom of the stairs at that first Miss Mystic Falls pageant. Wrong! And right before that he took a hit at Damon's brotherly love by saying that Damon could have helped him in his "time of need." Uhm, maybe I'm misremembering—but I'm so not since I've watched that episode at least five times—Damon *did* help him in his time of need. Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. Ragging on Damon and then ditching him. Such. An. Asshole. (but, damn is Paul Wesley killing it… because asshole or not, Stefan is freaking hilarious right now. Look at his chipper little walk-away, LOL!)

     

Still, he is being a very bad brother. Of course he is. He is Stefan without his humanity off. The guy is selfish and thinks of his needs and wants first with his humanity in full swing and putting his best self forward. Naturally in full-monster mode that self-centeredness is going to be at peak levels. It really shouldn't surprise Damon that Stefan turned on him. It's their history. Still, he was surprised and he was hurt by Stefan dropping him like a hot potato. Oh, Damon. Yeah, we all know what he was thinking of in that final scene with Sybil. He knows what it feels like to be forgotten and abandoned, feared and hated with no one to love you. And he *definitely* knows what it's like when one of the no ones who doesn't love you is your sibling.

Damon: I know you spent your life forgotten and abandoned. Feared and hated. Hell, anyone who loved you had to be Siren-ed to do so. I mean, except your sister. But now even your sibling doesn't want anything to do with you. Take it from me. I know how that one stings.
Oh, my Damon. *sigh* And on that note… at last we reach random thoughts –

- Until I rewatched the episode, I didn't realize that after Stefan set the body of the speedster on fire, he wasn't the only one. When the camera pulled back you could see multiple bodies behind the bar. Well, that explains why the place was empty. Yikes, Stefan is so off the rails.

- I thought that Kat Graham (Bonnie) looked really, really, REALLY pretty in this episode. Her make-up was spot-on and just highlighted her lovely features.

- I also thought that Nathalie Kelley (Sybil) looked really pretty too. I love her hair like that, softly curled at the ends.

- Speaking of the lovely ladies… that green was a gorgeous color on Graham, but I didn't actually like the look of the dress. I also liked that vibrant blue of Kelley's dress, but the bottom half was not really to my taste. Alas, I didn't like anything about Candice King's dress; the color was too pale on her and it looked oddly a bit too oversized for her frame, plus the shorter train in front didn't work for me.

     

- Hah! Damon smashing Sybil's head into the mirror when she tried to take over Elena in the Miss Mystic Falls flashback was awesome.

 

- I mentioned this above but I wanted to repeat it again because of one specific word. Caroline said about Damon and Elena's love that it was "so deep and real." That's right… the word that has been associated with Damon and Elena's love story since season one: Real.

- Sybil's smile after she told Stefan that Violet's neck offering was from "Your friendly neighborhood siren" was adorable. I love her! (I know, evil, must die, she will.)

     

- Matt was freaking badass, taking down both the officer and sheriff with ease. He may have issues with the supernatural in his life, but he knows how to deal with it. Because of that he really shouldn't try and get away from it all since with his know-how and training, he can help the regular folk out there.

- "I know, I know. I get it. I killed your friend." Hah, that was some great delivery on that line by Kristen Gutoskie.

- Aww, poor Matt! Everyone thinks that he's dumb. :(

- Ooh, so Matty-Blue-Blue has to be the one to ring the bell or it won't work. Interesting. Oh, and I can I just say that I love that Matt is now a part of the 'Only he can do it' club because of his family history.

- Yes! I knew that Seline wanted to kill Sybil because she was the reason that Sybil was made a Devil's minion. She believes this could help pave that road to forgiveness so she can stay out of hell.

- And once more…

Sybil: Your soul is damned anyway, so just give up, give in, and give me what I want. Stick with me, Damon. The path of least resistance, I promise. It will hurt way less than reality.
Big mistake, Sybil. She shouldn't have used the 'r' word. Yup, that word again: Real(ity). Reality is Damon and Elena; nothing could hurt more than not having that.

- Hah, Enzo's "Elena-gistics" about why Bonnie won't become a vampire for him. Puhleeze! Still… the word was funny.

- I loved that Caroline told Violet that the judge did pick her after Violet asked if she won the pageant. Haha! Yup, Stefan 'Honorary Judge' Salvatore sure picked her alright.

- Speaking of... is Violet Fell—remember she was also Sybil's student who held the burning torch in the last episode—going to be a new recurring character for the rest of the series? I mean, I wouldn't mind. She's a good character so far, and I like the actress (Sammi Hanratty). I already knew her from her recurring stint as Dollie on Salem.

- Hmm… what else could Seline have to say about the bell that Matt would need to hear other than him being one who needs to ring it? Inquiring minds want to know.

- Ah! Torture!Damon is back. We haven't seen that in a while.

- Another good line aided by great delivery. Sybil's "I got that… upside the head." LOL!

- Oh my God! When Damon told Sybil he knew how to get to her:

Damon: But I know why, after 2,000 years, you have nothing. Because you are nothing. Nothing but a spiteful, insecure, unlovable little girl. Don't forget. I've seen you. The real you. Pool-of-blood you.
That was cruel—earned, true, but cruel. And then, ooh!, when a tear ran down her cheek, of course I felt for Sybil because I love her even if she is evil. Hah, but then Damon said, "Aww, I made a siren cry," then wiped the tear away viciously, I was, like, damn! Good bit there.

 

There we have it, our third and final Miss Mystic Falls episode. No, it did not compare to the first two, but those were both pretty much perfection. Still, this was a great episode, not as awesome as the last one, but that was the best of the season so far and just overall truly excellent. I know I spent quite a bit of space at the top of this write-up in a less than positive fashion, but most of that was not about *this* episode specifically. It was the writing of that particular couple overall. Yes, some of my issue was with how Bonnie was presented in this, but if you buy their love story, the scenes featuring them mostly did work. And everything else (except for my little what-the-what? with the dance itself) was uniformly great. Onto the next… and I am excited.
Tags: #whendamonknew, bonnie bennett, bonnie/caroline, bonnie/matt, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/bonnie, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, jeremy/bonnie, matt donovan, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv
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