Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

8.10 - 'Nostalgia's A Bitch' (The Vampire Diaries)

Here is the thinky-thoughts write-up for the latest Vampire Diaries episode. :)

While I know that this episode was mostly about Damon, I actually want to start off with discussion about one Bonnie Bennett. I was talking with a friend about the show and was struck by something, a possibility that there is reason behind what we've been seeing this season with her. Now, I'm just gonna say right off the bat that I could be completely and utterly wrong. I've pretty much lost faith that Enzo's ability to resist Sybil as compared to Damon will come up ever (meaning that the brief conversation about Enzo's torture that was repeated a few episodes ago was as pointless as it seemed). So, I likely am wrong here. I just… well, I'm going to hold onto this straw I've found possible because I want a great story for Bonnie in this last season. This could provide it. To make my point, I need to return to some thoughts on Bonnie and Enzo… yes, I went into long detail about why they don't work for me in the last write-up but I found something surprising while looking back at earlier episodes. In episode 02, I wrote this about their scenes:

That has really been one of the hallmarks of this show. Well-written love stories, the only flaws have been intended as in couples not meant to be, lack of chemistry between actors (beyond the fault of writers), and changes behind the scene… (sigh, my beloved Matt and Rebekah). I bring this up because of not only how well the Stefan/Caroline romance has been written (not to mention Damon and Elena… sigh), but also the Bonnie and Enzo scenes in this episode.

Yes, yes, I've made it clear I'm not exactly a big fan, but I've also made it clear I put that down to chemistry. I just don't personally think that Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey have sparkling chemistry to write home about. I wish they did; I really do because I loved, *loved* their scenes in this episode. And, as I mentioned in the write-up for the last episode, I enjoyed how Enzo was leaving clues for Bonnie and I did like their episode last season where they fell in love. (Although, I still think ‘falling in love' in that kind of atmosphere can be questionable… but it can work.)

My point is that writing-wise, I've been more than willing to be swept away by Bonnie and Enzo's story because firstly I want Bonnie to be happy. I LOVE Bonnie. She has been one of my favorite characters from the very beginning. And if the writers have decided that Enzo is *it* for her, then OK, Enzo is it for her. And I like Enzo; I think he deserves some happiness too. Plus, I do think that the characters mesh well together. Secondly, overall, I do like the writing of their love story. It does have a poetic beauty to it.
This is a far cry from my sentiments now, huh? But… wait, there's more! In episode 05, there was this bit after my issue with the utter cheesiness of the fire-kiss:

With the exception of the uber-cheese of the fiery kiss, I thought that the Bonnie and Enzo scenes were also really, really well-done. Especially how she succeeded. While I am not a big Bonnie/Enzo fan—gee, really?—I did find Bonnie flipping Enzo's switch (where Stefan had failed to turn Damon's) good stuff. Bonnie figuring out that the way to get Enzo back was to prove that unlike everyone else she would never leave him was really good. It touched not only upon Enzo's issues, but how Bonnie can so completely understand that because people leave her all the time too. Having Bonnie show such complete and utter devotion by literally risking death to bring Enzo back was powerful. And so in character for Bonnie. I ♥ her so. (I just wish that I ♥ ed her and Enzo. Fifteen episodes, show! You had fifteen episodes before the three-year time jump to develop the pair. *sigh*)
Clearly my issues were starting to really develop at this point, but still… I liked their scenes. But why did I like them? Well, read back over those two excerpts and it's obvious that it was all about Bonnie, Bonnie's pain, Bonnie being left behind again, Bonnie refusing to be the one who leaves someone behind, etc. All. About. Bonnie. And now we get to my theory—which is almost certainly totes wrong—Bonnie's Enzo-shaped tunnel-vision is going to come to a head. I've been wondering what the heck is Bonnie's plan for Enzo getting the cure because Elena's cure-filled blood belongs to Damon and I know I suggested the 1903 world, but I'm pretty sure that we got some dialogue referencing the fact that the alternate worlds are gone, dunzo, not to be retrieved. So… what the what?

Going back to the talk with my friend, this is what I think Bonnie's plan is: Enzo drinks Elena's blood, and he and Bonnie are human together and live out the next sixty, seventy years together, la la la. And then… Bonnie dies, Elena wakes up and since Enzo, being much older as well not really wanting to live without Elena, Damon then drinks Enzo's blood hastening Enzo's end. This would allow Damon to then have his human life, growing old, etc. with Elena. Makes sense, right? Wrong. There are so, so, soooo many potential issues with that. Elena wakes up somehow before Bonnie dies in sixty, seventy years (which is so, so, soooo going to happen)… so who gets the cure then? Enzo isn't going to want to kick the bucket if Bonnie still has plenty of time left. Damon isn't going to wait X number of years while Elena grows older and older. What if the cure can't be transferred more than once? What if Enzo dies before Damon can get his blood? So many issues.

And that brings us back to Bonnie and her Enzo-shaped tunnel-vision. That girl is not thinking about anything or anyone but Enzo beyond a moment in the here and now (Damon's crisis in this episode; getting the tuning fork in the mid-season finale). And that has not only been proven to us time and again this season, but we actually got a direct line of dialogue that referenced that very thing in this episode. After Sybil peeked about a bit in Bonnie's mind, she told Caroline this little truth:

Caroline: I have 100% confidence in Bonnie.
Sybil:I'm not sure the feeling is mutual.
I shouldn't be telling you this 'cause I snatched it out of her head, but who am I kidding? It'll wound you deeply, so it'll be fun. If Bonnie was really your bestie, don't you think she would have told you that she's planning to give Enzo the cure?
Caroline: She wants to give the cure to Enzo? {Fakes an unconcerned laugh} She asked for my advice. We just got a little distracted.
Sybil: Always the case when it comes to the things she wants, isn't it?
Uh huh! And what Bonnie does want right now? All things having to do with Enzo St. John! So that led me to checking out thoughts about that exact thing in this season's write-ups. And I talked about that in three separate episodes: 02, 05 and 07. Oh, and now it's being directly referenced in episode 10.

Caroline was pissed because their plan failed on every level because Bonnie selfishly just thought of her own (undisclosed) plan to get her boyfriend back. What Caroline didn't take into account at any point was what Bonnie was going through and why Bonnie would go rogue.

And she didn't do that because once again Bonnie kept it all to herself. She's so miserable and has been for so long and, as usual, she'd kept it locked inside, playing the martyr role and wanting her friends to be happy. But she was upset because she was working with an in-love and happy Caroline and Stefan and Bonnie has to sit and watch this up close and personal day in and day out. So it's hard for her. And now she's facing Caroline with the knowledge that, on top of this, she just got to Enzo and then lost him AGAIN! And the big picture plan failed because HER rogue plan failed and Caroline is rightfully pissed at her and, of course, Bonnie is pissed at herself and she just wants to die. She means it, even if she hates herself for it.

8.02 - "Today Will Be Different"

Bonnie (at this point) is all about Enzo…

8.05 - "Coming Home Was A Mistake"

Of course, it's pretty clear that Bonnie isn't thinking straight right now. She's just enjoying her happy, sexytiems with Enzo to the point that the devastation her best friends are going through just isn't filtering through. 'Oh, joy, Paris!' That girl is all about Enzo to the exclusion of not caring about her friends' pain. Not just Damon, her actual best friend, but also Caroline, one of her long-time, since childhood, best friends. Caroline is losing Stefan for at least a year (and Bonnie didn't know that part, only that she was losing Stefan... forever possibly). On top of that, she's losing her daughters as well for however long.... I get that Bonnie is still somewhat in the honeymoon phase with Enzo, but still, this is not cool.

8.07 - "The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You"
So either I've been doing my way too deep analysis or this is definitely something that has been there and building throughout the season. And it may be culminating in Bonnie's "cure for Enzo" plan coming into the light. I just can't see Damon being OK with Enzo drinking Elena's cured blood with all of the possibilities that would lead to Damon losing his future with Elena. I also can't see Damon and Caroline being fine with Bonnie just single-handedly choosing to take away Elena's agency in such a way. Sure, Bonnie got the cure in 1994… but she gave it to Damon FOR ELENA! Once she handed that over, she no longer had say in who reaped its benefits. And when Elena took the cure, that was it… done, finito. Only Elena gets to decide who drinks that cure—if anyone. And she already decided: It would be Damon so that they could have a normal, human life together. Having Enzo or anyone else drink that cure—especially while Elena is still under the Sleeping Beauty curse—would amount to an attack on her person. So, no. However if that is Bonnie's plan then I'm thinking now that maybe we have been building to a wake-up call for Bonnie. We'll see. Again, I could be (and probably am) totally wrong.

As I was totally wrong about this episode when I first watched it. I've wanted acknowledgement from the others for so long about all that Damon has done, how many times he's saved all of them, helped them so much. Knowing what was coming in this episode simply based on the final scene of the previous one, I let those lovely expectations take hold. For some reason, I let myself believe that *everything* that Damon had done would be brought to the light and the group would essentially hold hands and sing "Kumbaya!" with him. In retrospect, this was never going to happen, but I allowed my inner Damon-fangirl who wants everyone to love him like I do to rule my head.

Fortunately, I had an awesome friend to talk about the episode with when it was over and she helped me step back and see that, yes, what we got was good. What we got was Damon finally getting that forgiveness, that understanding from most of the group. (Yup, I noticed Alaric and Enzo's absence.) Was it perfect? Was there an eye-opening moment from any of them where they reflected how often and how many of their group Damon has helped, saved, etc.? No, there was not. Alas, that was never going to happen. For most people, the bad outweighs the good, and Damon began his relationship with most of these people doing very, very bad things. Let's take Caroline for example.

I have long, long maintained that I completely understand why Elena Gilbert is so blind to the many faults of Stefan Salvatore. (I know, you're going: 'What? You said Caroline with Damon. What the...?' Have patience, grasshopper.) In fact, in my write-up for the last episode I pointed out where that belief comes from again. I said that Elena 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. This has always made sense to. Funny… I never once thought of looking at the other side of the spectrum when it came to Caroline and Damon. Yes, I've acknowledged that she always thinks of Damon as the jerky boyfriend who treated her so badly, but I've also brushed that aside because, well, his switch was off and they forgive everyone else stuff they do when their humanity is not in full swing. So, dangit, why is it different with Damon? Erm, well, it's not for most of them. Elena doesn't, Alaric—prior to his twins' kidnapping which is still being blamed unfairly on Damon!—didn't. And Bonnie in this episode told Damon flat-out that nothing he's done recently is his fault.

Bonnie: what you did while you were under Sybil's control wasn't your fault, Damon. You didn't have a choice.
Still, Caroline continues to think the worst of Damon. And it doesn't make sense, I would say. Well, it doesn't make sense that Elena—a smart, self-respecting woman—would be fine with all that Stefan did and pulled. However, she was and is. Why? Because of how their relationship began. Because he saved her life literally and, then four months later, figuratively. Because he was the last one to see her father alive. All of this overrides any sense of right or wrong, any easy jump to anger and blame. He did so much for her at what was the first, worst time of her life that she will always see him through rose-colored glasses. The same applies to Caroline when she looks at Damon. The difference is that her glasses are colored a very dark shade of gray. Because Damon used her. Damon abused her. Damon controlled her like a puppet. Damon considered her his walking blood bag. Damon messed with her mind. Damon treated her like a shallow, silly, stupid child. Damon helped to crater her already less-than-optimal sense of self-worth. Therefore, just as it makes perfect sense for Elena to expect the best from Stefan because that was how their relationship began, it makes just as perfect sense for Caroline to expect the worst from Damon… because of how their relationship began.

By using Liz {sobs} as a connection between that relationship to Liz's genuine one with Damon, it was a way to forge forgiveness from Caroline's end. In her first scene with her mother—and remember this is all taking place in Damon's mind with a mix of Caroline's thought process—when Caroline asked Liz about Damon, there just wasn't confusion because she didn't recognize the name. No, more tellingly, Liz also basically made a comment about Damon being one of Caroline's boys. However, and this is key, Caroline pretty much just brushed that aside and instead focused on her mother's relationship with Damon. She spent their next (torturous) scene trying to remind her mom about Damon in how Liz related to him, not Caroline herself.

In doing this, it provided a framework. In that narrative, we were shown what Caroline's most important connection to Damon is when push comes to shove. It is not what he did to her so many years ago and for a period that amounted to a small handful of weeks. No, the heart of their connection is who Damon Salvatore was to her mother, and she to him. And that provided a very understandable key to her forgiving Damon.

As did why Matt finally opened the door to forgiveness. I still maintain that in season 04, Matt and Damon were on the road to that path. However, as supernatural events kept taking more and more away from Matt, and as Damon continued being more or less a jerk to him, that path was blocked. Damon just made it so easy to represent the worst of the supernatural with his earlier actions, with his continued hard, not-so-sweet outer shell. *sigh* I just love Ian Somerhalder and Zach Roerig together so much, and I have loved most scenes with Damon and Matt that I grabbed onto every single solitary moment to build them up. But I don't think it was all in my head. I do think we were given those moments between the two because a day of reckoning would come. And because of those moments, it helped explain why Matt so quickly did accept Damon's apology. Initially I was frustrated when Matt said that Damon saving the whole town was a start because, uhm, Damon's already done that two or three times, thank you very much. But… Matt knew about that after the fact or second-hand and not in its fullest reality to the large part that Damon played. Oh, and alongside that was Damon's general air of dickishness. This time it was different. Matt would have been responsible for destroying Mystic Falls—whether by choice or not, still he literally rung that bell. Damon stopped that from happening. Damon saved his life. Damon saved his father's life. Damon saved the lives (and property) of every living creature in the town that Matt loves. And on top of that, Damon showed genuine remorse to Matt about what happened so long ago to his sister.

Damon: Hey, Matt! I'm sorry about Vicki. I know you'll never forgive me for what I did, but I should have told you this a long time ago.
Matt: Let me guess, your emotions are back on, huh?
Damon: Yup. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
Matt: Well, you did just save my father and pretty much the entire town, so that counts for something in my book.
Damon: Does that mean we're good?
Matt: Not by a long shot, but you keep earning it the way you did tonight, I'm not ruling anything out.
Damon: Fair enough. Need a lift?
Matt: Nah. Got to stop by the police department. I hear Mystic Falls needs a sheriff.
Damon: Always did like the sheriffs in this town.
*sigh* He called him Matt. Not "Donovan," not "Matty," not "Deputy dumbass" or any variation. He called him by his first name as a sign of respect. And in the end, they both gave each other a nod of that respect. And Matt smiled at him. Just like Caroline had when he first came out of his fugue state. And just like Bonnie did before she stood up to give him a hug. Basically, all three were smiling at Damon in the last close-up shot of their face in each of their final scenes with him in this episode. Aww!

 
 
 

Ah, my Bonnie and Damon finally seem back on track. Although, who knows what will happen if my guess about the cure is correct? However, right now, all is good in BFF-land. From the start when Bonnie told Damon none of what he'd done was his fault (Thank you! Finally!), to Damon telling Bonnie that he wouldn't leave again (shades of Damon's promise to Elena in "The Reckoning"), it was all so good, so right. And the weaving of Elena in and out of that scene, both through name and parallel, was the right decision. The reason that it worked so well and made so much sense is because in a way Elena and Bonnie are two halves of the same whole for Damon—wait, hear me out—and the three are connected in such a deep way unlike anyone else for their mutual love for each other.

Bonnie clearly connected with Damon partly because of his deep love for Elena that he obviously talked about a lot when they were stuck together in the alternate world. Elena and Bonnie have always been clearly the two closer halves of the trio of Elena, Bonnie and Caroline. Damon and Elena are soulmates with a true, real and truly epic love. Because of the situation that Kai put Damon and Bonnie in with the Sleeping Beauty curse placed on Elena, that has forged a deeper connection. Going back to the premiere of season 07, that connection that they shared and how intertwined it is with Elena was explicitly spelled out.

Bonnie: Hang on... did you see that truck coming?
Damon: What?
Bonnie: Did you just hesitate to save my life?
Damon: Relax, it was three seconds.
Bonnie: Three seconds? I could have died!
Damon: You're right, Bon. Had I done nothing, Elena would be here, and it would all be grand.
Bonnie: Enough! I'm not gonna spend the rest of my life thinking that you resent me.
Damon: How else am I supposed to feel, Bonnie? Every time I look at you, all I see is not Elena.
Bonnie: I'm so sorry this happened, but I lost Elena too, Damon. And you're one of the few reminders I have to hold onto, so you can resent me or love me... but you're stuck with me.

[…]

Bonnie: So, I guess it's a good thing I didn't get hit by a truck...
Damon: Come on, Bonnie! It was three seconds.
Bonnie: Do you know how long three seconds are in a life-or-death situation?
Damon: The first second, I thought of how amazing it would feel to have Elena in my arms again. By second number two, I was kissing her... And by the third, I remember you're my best friend, and that if anything ever happened to you, I would lose my mind. So, yes, Bonnie, I do know how long three seconds are.
Bonnie: ...I was just checking.
Damon: And I will wait for her, and you're gonna help me. You're stuck with me, too.
They love each other because of each other, but in a way that love they feel is wrapped up in how they both feel about Elena as well. So Damon bringing up Elena in his letter to Bonnie and comparing the two, how they both would help make him "the best man he could be" and that he was afraid of failing them both made sense. Elena is the truest love he has ever known. Bonnie is the truest friend he has ever known. And they are the two that have shown the truest faith in him. Therefore the contents of the letter and, more importantly, Damon's promise to not leave again showed a Damon who has finally, fully accepted Bonnie to stand with through the good and the bad, just as it had with Elena so long ago. Aside from that, the letter itself was just beautiful and certainly worth the wait. I would be moved to tears too, Bonnie.

Dear Bonnie,

I am a coward. I should be saying this to your face, not writing this letter, but I know if I do, you'll talk me out of running away from all my problems. You're gonna make me face a future without Elena. Then you're gonna help make me the best man that I can possibly be. The same way she did. And I'm absolutely terrified of failing you both. So I'm leaving. Because I'd rather let you down once than let you down for the rest of your life. And I hope it's the happiest life. Because you, Bonnie Bennett, are an amazing woman, a mediocre crossword puzzle player, and my best friend.

With great love and respect,
Damon
Aww! My ♥ *sigh* And why Damon felt comfortable enough to share that letter with her was clear from Bonnie's foray into his mind. As she told Caroline, Damon saw himself as a human who died as such because it was the only way he could imagine keeping people safe. If Damon had never turned, he believes that Henry, Vicki, Grams and Tyler would still be alive, thus their appearances. Of course, Liz didn't fall under that distinction. Her death had nothing to do with him. Her presence was solely about Caroline. On the other hand, Tyler seemed to function as both one of those who would still be alive, but also as a tool for forgiveness with Bonnie. Remember, Bonnie had already forgiven Damon for any and everything he did prior to Tyler's death, so it was through his voice that Damon was able to speak to Bonnie about that action since its purpose was to destroy any chance of forgiveness with those who cared for him in Mystic Falls. Such a thing wouldn't have worked with anyone else. All of the others at the funeral—aside from Enzo and Alaric—had not forgiven Damon yet for past deeds and sins except for Bonnie.

But what of his former male besties? Why were they not present for any of the events in this episode? I'm hoping it's because what both have issue with him for were either not of his making (Alaric) or beyond his control (Enzo) and we'll find resolution with them another way. Still, at least we got forgiveness for Damon from Bonnie, Caroline and Matt. Three down, right? Ideally, yes, I would have loved full atonement, but regardless of all the viewers know that Damon has done, the bottom-line is that the others just haven't seen it—or allowed themselves to do so. However, finally, in this episode they did openly, honestly forgive him for the worst of his sins to each of them.

And on the other side of that coin was the one that Damon needed to forgive… his little brother. Honestly when I first watched the scene with Damon forgiving Stefan for turning him, I was really not happy. Upon first watch, it felt like a complete reversal of one of my all-time favorite Damon scenes. In season 01's episode 20, "Blood Brothers," Stefan took all of Damon's sins upon himself since he had forced Damon to turn. And Damon's response was amazing:

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.
I thought this conversation between the two was fantastic, especially for what it said about Damon. It revealed so much about him as a character… who he was, what he was, and how aware he was of those very things. We also learned that Damon felt guilt; he had just chosen not to because he wasn't not ready to deal with that culpability and its ramifications. So to have him need to forgive Stefan for turning him felt wrong and almost a repudiation of everything that was so wonderful about that speech. But I was the one who was wrong. It all makes perfect sense when one realizes that Damon wasn't forgiving Stefan for turning him and thus leading to all of those guilt-worthy acts. Damon was *just* forgiving him for turning him all those years ago. And it was something that Damon himself just realized he needed to since he still blamed Stefan.

It doesn't take away from Damon's own guilt regarding his heinous actions, it just allowed him to let go of a resentment that lie at the bottom of everything that has gone wrong between the two brothers. Stefan took away his choice and Damon has since then made choices—some deliberately on the opposite spectrum of what Stefan would do—to take his own agency back. Damon, now wallowing in the deepest ocean of guilt possible, has realized that he could never forgive himself or even find himself worthy of forgiveness… until he forgave the one who turned him. And when faced with that reality, it was an easy thing to do because Stefan is his brother and he loves him.

And vice versa. Through centuries, through fighting over the love of a girl (or two), through betrayal, disappointment, threats and one considering the other the ruination of his life, it always comes down to the love that these two brothers share. Even in the depth of his heartless, happy-kill times, Stefan still *had* to go back to the Salvatore boarding house to try and save his brother before Mystic Falls went boom! And that reminded me so much of "The Night Of The Comet," only the second episode of the series, when Damon's switch was flipped to that off position. Even when he was enjoying his no-humanity fun times, he still *had* to try and reach out to his brother to get him to join him, to be with him. Because the love… they have it for deep and reals for one another.

*sigh* And it is beautiful. As was the overall theme of the whole episode which was one of forgiveness. It wasn't just about Damon seeking forgiveness from some of those he had hurt (Caroline, Bonnie and Matt), we also saw Damon offer forgiveness to his brother. Matt not only forgave Damon, he also forgave his father. Finally, Caroline was determined to forgive Stefan and bring him back.

Moving onto miscellaneous thoughts—

- Well, I have my answer about Violet Fell, don't I? Bye, girl! Man, even if they were going to kill her off I thought she would have lasted longer than the opening credits of the next episode!

- OK, I am sorry but I couldn't be the only who caught that slightest glimmer of an 'Ooh, yeah!' radiating from Ian Somerhalder the first time that Caroline and Bonnie grabbed either hand with Sybil standing behind him, her hands in his hair. Damon every other moment in that chair was expressionless, but for that one moment there was just this little air of 'I'm surrounded by beautiful women touching me! I love my job!'

     

- So, I thought that Damon was a war deserter, so why was Bonnie all thinking that he was some kind of war hero? Damon… did you pad your resume when recounting that time of your life to Bon-Bon?

- OK, so Seline had nothing else to tell Matt... just information we already knew. Why exactly was that presented as kinda cliffhanger-y in the last episode? Hmmm.

- Speaking of Seline… wow, so much for her path to forgiveness! Setting up the destruction of an entire town and all of its residents? That is not the way to stay out of Hell, my dear.

-"Sweet Gargoyle, Bro." The line and the delivery by Paul Wesley was teh awesome! (And, sigh, Ian Somerhalder leaning on something. Always beautiful. Even if it's a sweet gargoyle.)

- Stefan, YOU MADE THE CHOICE TO SELL YOUR SOUL TO CADE TO SAVE CAROLINE'S CHILDREN! Damon did NOT force you! Arrrrgghhhh!!!

- So since the deal with the Devil was made Damon has been killed once, while Stefan has now been taken out and sent to visit Cade for the third time. Damn, Stefan! You have used up five of your nine lives already, boo! (Scorecard: Human death, Julian*-inflicted death, these three.)

* Julian, the Traveler in Tyler's body, not Lily's boyfriend, Julian. Why they used the same name, I don't know.

- Hah! I love it. After the last episode I had this to say about my Matty-Blue-Blue:

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.
At the end of this one, he decided to re-instate himself as the sheriff of Mystic Falls. And, you know, that job comes with a bonus: Damon Salvatore becomes your bud.

- Shallow Alert #1: Speaking of notice of that perk… in that final scene between Matt and Damon, Ian Somerhalder looked ridiculously beautiful.

- I have said this over and over again. For Stefan it is Damon >>>>> everyone else in the universe evar! Nice to have the show acknowledge that explicitly. I think it's safe to say that Stefan loves Caroline more than anyone else he has ever loved. She is truly the love of his life. Still, Caroline got it right when she told Stefan that she was fully aware that Damon meant more to him than she did. It's not that Stefan doesn't love Caroline deeply and for reals, it's just that, well, for Stefan it's Damon >>>>> everyone else in the universe evar!

- Shallow Alert #2: In the final scene between Damon and Bonnie, Kat Graham looked ridiculously beautiful.

- Uhm, OK, then… Seline and Sybil have burst into flames and since it was Cade who did it I'm thinking they won't be coming back! What the what?!? Damn! So, I'm guessing Cade is officially the Big Bad now. He will no longer be in the background, nope, he's gonna be up front and center, pulling the strings. OK, then times two.

- SYBIL!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I loved her so! I knew that she would have to die (and horribly), but there are SIX FULL EPISODES LEFT! Why, show, why?!

     

Ah well. {sniff, sniff}

- So did you notice how all of those who offered and accepted forgiveness in this episode came out in a better place, but Sybil and Seline who chose not to (Sybil even said, "screw forgiveness") met their fiery ends? Uh huh. I love this show.

- I really love this show. Pretty much the entire thing was about Damon Salvatore finally dealing with his guilt, right? Well, above I referenced a little speech of his that I loved so. Well, that speech included this bit:

Stefan: Do you feel guilt?
Damon: If I wanted to... it's there.
Uh huh… and this episode was *all about* Damon feeling and dealing with that guilt. Now that was from "Blood Brothers." What is so awesome is that there were a few other callbacks to it here. Along with Damon's speech about guilt, there was the appearance of Henry, once upon a time known more affectionately as the match.com vampire. He was introduced in "Blood Brothers." Finally, as soon as we got the shot of Caroline looking at Stefan through the bars of the cell, I immediately thought of the scene at the top of that earlier episode where Elena blended into Katherine looking at Stefan through bars.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Stefan's love for Caroline is tangled up in his feelings for Katherine and/or Elena, but rather that I thought it was cool that the show used a similar visual considering the other callbacks to that particular episode.

- It must be said... Liz! YAY!!!! Grams! YAY!!! The werewolf-no-longer-cockroach-hyphenate! Oh, and, uh yeah, vicki.

Well, it seems like we're truly beginning to hit the homestretch. This episode felt like a resolution to a large degree in Damon's story. Obviously there is more to come, but this was a strong start. I have little doubt that the next handful of episodes (probably 11-15) are going to continue that trend not only with Damon, but the other main characters leaving us with the series overall resolution in the finale. As for this episode… I think it was better than I originally saw it, but I want to watch it one more time to reach a more final opinion. (So not a hardship). Eek! Only six episodes left!
Tags: bonnie bennett, bonnie/caroline, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/bonnie, damon/elena, damon/liz, damon/matt, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, matt donovan, paul wesley, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv
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