Arabian (arabian) wrote,

'The Vampire Diaries' Wrap-up Thoughts... 3/8 -- Missed Opportunities

Once more into the fray with my Final Vampire Diaries series. Here are my ten missed opportunities. Most of these truly are "missed opportunities" rather than "wishful thinking" or "fantasies" in most cases. These are stories or scenes that I genuinely feel could (and some *should*) have come out of the existing narrative, mythology and/or character arcs. (OK, fine, a few are pure wish fulfillment fantasies.) Each section is listed in order of the most glaring (in their yearning) in my opinion as a viewer. And because I am eternally this show's bitch, I also offered up a devil's advocate position on some (most) of these points—if possible (almost always so).

Here we go…

HAUNTED (i.e., Missed Opportunities)

I understand why Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy) asked to be let out of his contract in early season 06. I do. Jeremy was just not doing much of anything. His storyline could easily have been lifted out and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference in any plot—or character—movement at all. And that's really sad because there could have been so much more done with Jeremy. McQueen wasn't a showy actor, but he was a quiet, solid one and he was effective. He also had phenomenal chemistry with Ian Somerhalder. In fact, after Nina Dobrev (Elena, Katherine, Amara… yeah, Somerhalder had chemistry with her regardless of which character she was playing), I'd say he had the best chemistry with him. Yes, even more than with Paul Wesley (Stefan) and Matt Davis (Alaric). Yeah, I went there. We saw that time and time again going back as early as their first interaction in mid-season 01. Somerhalder and McQueen were gold together. We saw that again in their first interaction when Damon came back from the alternate universe when Damon told Jeremy—or rather did *not* tell him—about Bonnie. And that is where the first missed opportunity with Jeremy sprouted as far as I'm concerned.

I honestly think that if they had decided to build on Damon and Jeremy's relationship when Damon came back and had him confide to him about everything that had happened with Bonnie, and not have Damon think that she was dead, it would have paved the way for a great story for Jeremy and Damon. And instead of Jeremy's pessimism, we could have seen him work with Damon to find a way back to save Bonnie, with Elena joining them. That would have beefed up Steven R. McQueen's role and he may have stayed. Story wise, in that way, Jeremy would have fit in the show still and it would have created a connection between the vampires and the non-vampires/vampire hunters which was sorely lacking with Ric being off in Jo-land and Matt in vampire-haters-land. As well, it also would have helped strengthen and continue the growth of the Elena and Jeremy connection which just seemed to fall to the wayside that season.

Oh, speaking of Matt in vampire-haters land… having Jeremy working with Damon, that would have also, maybe, curtailed that and we could have seen the continuation of the relationship that was building with Damon and his two minions from seasons past… which was awesome! We saw that exploration begin in season 04 and then less so in season 05. It was all but dropped in season 06, with just a hint here and there in season 07 (with Matt at least since Jeremy was gone, duh). By doing so, I felt like some ripe possibilities for all three actors were closed, especially for McQueen and Roerig, who both would have benefited enormously from working with the lead Somerhalder, and the immensely entertaining character of Damon. Having that big brother/father figure that both never had/had lost was something that both Jeremy and Matt needed, and having a little brother type figure that looked up to him was something that Damon needed… even if he would never admit it. And Stefan so wasn't ready to take on that role again yet. Just so many possibilities not explored, and ones that might have kept McQueen around.

And that's just season 06. With the events of season 07 or even the end of that season leading into season 08, they could have easily re-introduced Jeremy to the canvas with the Rayna hunter storyline too. First, the obvious… Rayna was a vampire hunter, uhm, so was Jeremy… why was this never even remarked upon? *sigh* I do not know. Secondly, once Bonnie took over the role from Rayna, I immediately thought of when Jeremy was motivated to kill all vampires and how they learned to fight it. They used a focal point (Bonnie) and his pre-existing love/affection towards vampires already. This was never even mentioned as a solution despite being so obvious, even to be dismissed since Rayna was not one of the Five.

It could have even led to an appearance by McQueen which could have at least given us some closure with Jeremy and Bonnie—which we never got. When Jeremy left, Bonnie was just too messed up from the post-traumatic stress disorder of everything that happened in the alternate world for her to deal with Jeremy or any kind of "relationship" drama. And Jeremy had emotionally checked out of dealing with Bonnie-related death/not-death trauma by that point. They were just done with each other and psychologically too spent, but bringing him back to deal with Bonnie, the vampire hunter and after that was resolved could have been the time. But, nope, Jeremy Gilbert's name was never spoken.

So, yeah, it really was a shame that Jeremy the character, and Steven R. McQueen's talents weren't more properly utilized. There was so much more that could have been done with Jeremy. The history with his character, and his relationship with other characters was there to create wonderful story. It just wasn't used. Ah well.

The Reckoning: With season 06, well, I speculated in part 1's "Disturbing Behavior," that there was a Hunter-related storyline planned with Alaric, but it took long to get going for McQueen to wait around to do something. As for season 07 and 08, well, I can only assume that he wasn't asked to come back for anything other than finale or if he was, he didn't agree to anything but the finale, I don't know.

It's no secret that the greatest friendship that The Vampire Diaries ever produced was Damon Salvatore and Alaric Saltzman (even if that depiction faltered upon Ric's return from the Other Side). A good reason as to why that awesome existed is surely in part because of the writing of the character of Damon and also the charisma and indelible chemistry that Ian Somerhalder could manufacture with just about everyone with whom he shared the screen. I presume this because Damon and Bonnie's friendship was also pretty dang awesome. As was his with Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes… and the promise of friendship with Jeremy… and Matt… and Caroline. Oh, yes, and his other best friend, Lorenzo St. John a.k.a. Enzo, former Augustine cell buddy. Outside of Ric and Bonnie, Enzo was the closest thing we saw to Damon having a legitimate friend.

Well, at least we saw that in the flashback episode that introduced Enzo, and there were certainly batches of episodes here and there where Damon and Enzo seemed to be re-establishing their best buds status, but then those would be followed by a fresh batch where their relationship wasn't acknowledged… like at all. I mean, Damon made a point of having Stefan rescue Enzo before himself in early season 06 when they were both trapped over the Traveler-spelled Mystic Falls line. It was a beautiful gesture of friendship and selflessness on his part. And, also, him making amends for leaving Enzo to burn to kibbles and bits back in the 1950's. Alas, that was roughly the last time we saw the two interact until near the end of that season.

However, we did see Enzo interact with Damon's other best friend. No, not Bonnie… that would be the following season. (Alas.) Nope, we saw Enzo decide to drag Professor Ric into some action-packed shenanigans in season 06. And, guess what? It was pretty awesome. Enzo and Alaric had a nice meaty conversation or two in an episode where we got some lovely character insights into both before heading into that action… that was loaded with hints of humor.

So, not only did Michael Malarkey (Enzo) have great chemistry with Somerhalder (not surprising), but he had great chemistry with Matt Davis (Alaric) too. Oh, yeah, and of course, Davis and Somerhalder had fantastic chemistry. The question is why was any of this not expoited post-season 06? When we found out that Malarkey was going to be a series regular after season 05 and that Davis was coming back as a series regular, I thought that we would have Enzo and Alaric fighting over Damon once he returned from the alternate universe. Alas, that did not happen. And after seeing Enzo and Ric interact, I felt even more cheated that we didn't get that because Davis and Malarkey did have such great chemistry. It makes me mourn the fact that we never got the two of them and Ian Somerhalder together. We missed out on some real magic with that trio of actors and those three characters with their history and their relationships. Damon and Alaric had an epic bromance—when written right, and Enzo and Damon also had the potential to have a renewed great bromance. Finally, we saw that Enzo and Alaric had the potential to have just as fantastic a bromance as well. The three of them together? It would have been beyond amazing! I mean, seriously, imagine a road trip with Damon, Alaric and Enzo! Man, oh, man. The possibilities of awesome are endless.

The Reckoning: No data found.

I know I was in the minority in enjoying the Matt and Enzo storyline that involved Sarah Salvatore during season 06. Of course, I enjoyed that mostly because I thought the payoff was going to be amazing. I really thought the show was setting up a new Salvatore triangle, possibly a main one, with Nina Dobrev leaving at the end of season 06. The difference, though, this time would be that the Salvatore would be the center of the triangle as opposed to on either side. Sarah Salvatore would be the 'Elena,' the good, but three-dimensional, girl in the center torn between loving two men, the bad boy and the hero. Enzo would have played the "Damon" of the scenario, the bad boy with the truly tortured past—calling his Augustine days—who only needed the love of a good woman to be redeemed. Finally, Matt would play our hero, "Stefan." But unlike Stefan Salvatore, he really would be a true hero, a true-blue good guy. A good man who has never gotten the girl, has never won, who tries to do the right thing and would have the rooting value on his side that would balance out the 'bad boy' mystique that almost always prevails.

The two main permutations of the potential triangle sparked. Zach Roerig (Matt) and Tristan Mays (Sarah) had chemistry; there was sweetness and flirtiness building in the friendship (manufactured or not by Enzo) between them. And Michael Malarkey (Enzo) and Mays had chemistry as well. That was in evidence especially in one of the last episodes with the two when Enzo decided to do the right thing and set her free from his revenge plan. When he rushed up close to her and told her, 'Have a nice life, Sarah Nelson,' letting her make the choice to leave or stay, it felt like A Moment. It also felt like the set-up for the triangle I thought was coming… in the next season. Especially with the relationship already built between her and Matt, and then what was happening with Enzo. How he did try and get her out of it all, compelling her to forget what had happened with him and Matt, and then being honest about his past. There was a beautiful honesty between the two that we hadn't seen between Enzo and anyone else other than Damon. Alas, nope.

The Reckoning: Maybe when they lost Chris Wood to Containment, along with Kai's redemption arc (see below), went Bonnie's grand romance—which would have given Kat Graham a huge multi-season storyline (see below). With that no longer an option, they came up with Bonnie and Enzo as plan B—and let's get real, Bonnie and Enzo felt so much like a plan B—and so there went the Enzo/Sarah/Matt triangle. Yeah, that makes sense. *sigh* Kai's redemption including a grand Bonnie romance that included soul searching, lots of magic and overall powerful character enrichment, along with bringing Ric, Damon, Liv and Jo into it, plus a front-burner storyline with a human Salvatore in the middle with a sexy bad-boy vampire and a heroic human with Damon, Stefan and Caroline along for the ride would have been so, so, so much better. Damn you, Julie Plec, for casting Chris Wood in a show that only lasted 13 episodes anyway! Grrr. (If I'm even right… but, dang, it really does make sense. I think I just may be right.)

Mid-way through season 06, I thought there was a very real possibility that we were seeing the beginning of a redemption arc for Kai, thus making the character (and the very awesome Chris Wood who portrayed Kai to utter perfection) a long-term player. By having Kai merge with Luke—the best of the Parker clan we had met, the one who almost always made the choice to be good, to do the right thing, and for the right reason—it realistically opened the door as to just how Kai could change for the better. And just how the group could accept him into their group eventually.

The show all but laid out the scenario with his one line to Elena in "The Day I Tried To Live" when he told her, "look, Elena, you of all people, should be able to look past all the questionable things I've done to see there's good somewhere in me. You did it with Damon." By having Kai flat-out say that to Elena, especially the "you did it with Damon," it was almost a challenge to the audience: Hey, we did it with Damon, we can do it with Kai, too. And in that episode alone, we began to see just how the merge effected Kai. There was a scene where Kai was caught between missing the act of burning someone alive, but when given the opportunity to do it he found himself not wanting to. That right there showed what a remarkable story arc his redemption could have been and an epic struggle it could be within the character (internal conflict FTW!), as well as with other characters. This was a storyline that could have encompassed two to four seasons, and Chris Wood is such a great actor that he could have easily done it justice.

On top of that internal character struggle, already beautifully set up were four (possibly) six relationships for exploration. Kai with his siblings, Liv and Jo—if she wasn't killed off some other way. Liv would have been torn because Luke would have been alive still… in Kai. Her desire to kill him would have been warring with the desire to nurture the Luke within him. As for Jo, Kai was her twin and despite their past, that connection was still there between them—twisted as it might have been—and there would now have been a better side to him that she too would want to cultivate. And with Jo would come Alaric who would be fighting with Jo over any attempt she made to connect with Kai in anyway because of her pregnancy. And, of course, Damon and Bonnie. One of the things that never changed about Kai was his feelings for Bonnie. He had a crush on her from pretty much beginning to end, and before she found out what he had done and who he was, she was getting her flirt-on a bit with him too. So, Bonnie could have gotten *her* epic, bad boy redeemed romance, with Damon as the devilish angel on her shoulder protecting her, playing the role of big brother.

There was so much there to mine with a redemption arc for Kai involving a broad range of characters, and furthermore, this story would have brought Jo, Alaric, Liv, through Kai, back into the Bonnie and Damon fold of the story during the remaining seasons even with Elena off in Sleeping Beauty land (as she likely would have been via a Heretic had they gone this route with Kai).

The Reckoning: *sigh* I honestly believe this was the plan. I just can't see any other reason for the whole 'merging of the twins and taking each other's personality traits' leading to Kai becoming better, and flat-out saying that line to Elena as transcribed above at the mid-way point of the season. So, what happened? Well, Julie Plec is fiercely loyal to her actors, and she had a new show greenlit on the CW originally titled Cordon—then changed to Containment—that starred (guess who?) Chris Wood in a lead role. Yup. The show was picked up and while it only lasted the one 13-episode-long mid-season, it still was enough to likely sign Kai's death warrant. I get it. What actor wouldn't choose a lead role on another show over a recurring one in an ensemble. Never mind that the lead was more of a generic type of role, and the recurring was awesomely written, and just about a perfect-fit in every way, tailor-made for your talents allowing you to shine beautifully.

*sigh* What will never be. *double sigh* Not only did we lose out on what would have been a truly rich and amazing story, giving us an amazing performance. We also lost out on the Parker clan being deepened as characters and finally fully brought into the Scooby gang fold and (oh, yes, please) bringing Alaric Freaking Saltzman back with them… with team!Badass being on the same side. Also? Chris Wood (Kai) and Kat Graham (Bonnie) had some excellent chemistry and just played off each other really well. So, not only would Wood have had an excellent story to work with, but my precious Bonnie (and Graham) would have had a front-burner, kick-ass epic seasons-long story arc and a truly grand romance to close the series out. *triple sigh* What could have been.

One of the things that I loved most about The Vampire Diaries was its use of parallels and how they layered them throughout a season. A major character or plot beat (oftentimes both) would happen early on, hit a variance at the mid-way point only to come full circle in resolution or to a culmination towards the conclusion of the season. In season 03, it felt very much like we were going to get that very thing when Caroline's father, Bill Forbes, let us in on the secret that one could resist compulsion. The mind needed to be trained or the desire and/or desperation had to be strong enough but it could be done. We found that out in the second episode of the season, and then Stefan tried mightily to resist Klaus' compulsion in the fifth episode but he was unable to even though Elena believed that if he loved her enough he would have been able to do it.

A few episodes later, interestingly enough, we saw Stefan find a loophole in Klaus' compulsion when Mikael threatened Damon's life. And then later in that very episode, Elena told Damon that it was Stefan's love for him that was going to save him, rather than Stefan's love for her. And, of course, the very next episode had Stefan upending Damon's meticulous plan—that accounted for everything except for the love that others felt for Damon—all to save his brother.

All of the above leads me to believe that the original plan was that come the end of the season, Klaus was to compel Stefan to kill Damon. After all, Klaus wanted Stefan as the little brother he'd had back in the 1930's as we saw in "The End Of The Affair." Stefan had been the brother that he'd lost in Elijah and he had never really had that type of relationship with Kol or Finn. We also saw Klaus threaten Damon more than once throughout the season, and, of course, Damon's death was his insurance in the mid-season finale.

Bringing all of the above full circle towards season's end, Stefan would have had no loophole to play with. He would have had no choice but to actually resist the compulsion this time or, yes, his brother would die. I thought throughout most of season 03 that Klaus was going to be a goner by season's end… but he wasn't, so nothing ever happened with Stefan, or Damon for that matter, resisting compulsion. Alas, it would have been an awesome story… all of the pieces were in place.

The Reckoning: Except Julie Plec and co. decided that Joseph Morgan was too awesome and that Klaus was too great a character to kill off so they revised their original (hah!) plan and kept him alive. Instead of the compulsion follow-through they likely switched gear for the final batch of episodes and went with the whole sired bloodline connection. That was interesting, sure, but I do think this one would have been better. And while I like Klaus more on The Originals, I still think that he should have been dispatched as originally planned at the end of season 03. Ah well.

I loved Katherine Pierce as a villainess but until she was re-introduced back into the canvas in the last three episodes as the final Big Bad, I realized that I had never thought of her as a villain. Maybe part of the reason is because we always saw, well, from early season 02 on—when Katherine became a regular recurring character—full glimpses of her humanity. And, of course, Nina Dobrev did such a fantastic job playing so many of her facets. It was because of those glimpses, and especially how many more of them that we saw when she actually became human in season 05, that I wished for something that in retrospect I understand really never could have been because, well, Katherine. Ah, but it would have been awesome.

In her human state, I absolutely adored her like I never had before and I would have loved had the show gone a completely different route and had redeemed human!Katherine. We could have seen Katherine find her way back to enough of that sweet girl that Elijah fell in love with all those centuries ago.
Elijah: I know what it feels like to lose a brother. And I'm sorry for your pain. I...I only hope that you can find your way back to yourself someday.
Elena: Just like you hope Katherine will find her way back? You still think that innocent girl you saved from Klaus ages ago is in there somewhere?
Elijah: I'd like to think so, yes.
Elena: She's not. She's a monster now, Elijah. The sweet peasant girl you fell in love with way back when is dead. And she's not coming back.
Elijah: I'm not a fool, Elena. Of course this has occurred to me, but what kind of man would I be if I didn't try to find my Katerina beneath this...Katherine façade?
She wouldn't be that same innocent, but at least this Katherine could maybe find her soul again, find friendship, find love, and humanity in her new human self. And still be so beautifully, delightfully in character as the Katherine we know so well—without the evil. We saw that when she was human (at least before her final moments before she reverted to form). She was still the survivor, someone who figured out how to use her weakness, her vulnerability to get what she needed. She admitted that she needed help, she used her human frailty, using every weapon at her disposal to survive.

We saw of what could have been a fantastic friendship between her and Caroline. Yes, yes, there was their history, but come on, there was so much screwed up history among future lovers and friends on this show, that what happened with Caroline and Katherine, pfft! Plus, her doing Caroline in knowing she would become a vampire turned into the best thing for Caroline who is actually much better *as* a vampire. Seeing the two work together, the two made more sense as besties than Caroline and Elena personality-wise ever did. They just meshed together so well. I never would have thought of it before seeing them in action, but they played off each other so perfectly. And, they even dealt with the whole 'yeah, I murdered you, yeah, we hate each other,' but it was obvious that they had bonded. Ah, they would have been so good together.

Also, so good? Human!Katherine and Matt Donovan. Other than Rebekah, no one ever appreciated Matty the way that Katherine did, and as much as Rebekah was into Matt, I will admit that a part of her desire for him was based on the ideal of him, rather than just Matt himself. For Katherine, it was *all about Matt.* As she told him herself in their final goodbye:
Katherine: The one girl here who actually appreciates how beautiful you are. You wouldn't stab me in the heart, would you, Matty Blue? No, I don't think so. You will definitely go down as the best night I never had. Oh, well…
Matt: Oh, well…
Her constant flirting with him, the "Matty-Blue (Blue)"s, the afore-mentioned appreciation, I really loved Matt and Katherine. Heck, I even loved their vampire!Katherine/Matt interaction, after all from the very first time she met him in "The Return," she was affected, nearly moaning to Stefan (yes, Stefan!) "His eyes are *so* blue!"). Ah, what could have been with Kitty-Kat and Matty-Blue.

The Reckoning: Alas, I get it. I really do. As Elena told Elijah, "[Katherine is] a monster now. The sweet peasant girl … way back when is dead. And she's not coming back." We saw that true enough when even as a human—as adorable as she could be, and my goodness was human!Katherine a-freaking-dorable—the evil always won out. In the end, she always made the wrong choice; she always made the selfish decision. Katerina Petrova was long gone and died all those years ago, literally hung by her own rope. Katherine Pierce always chose to hurt someone else rather than walk away with her head held high. And in the end, she died once and for all in the hottest fires of hell contained against her will in the arms of the one man she claimed to love most of all. To redeem her, while enjoyable to watch, wouldn't have ultimately been true to everything we knew to the character of Katherine and what the writers did with her exit in season 05 and then in the brilliance of her return in the series finale was perfection. Katherine Pierce truly was the ultimate villain.

So, this wasn't so much a missed opportunity as wishful thinking on my part. Because… ugh, Katherine and Matt! So awesome. Katherine and Caroline! Awesome doubled! Ah well.

Note: There is no reference to human!Katherine and Elijah as a potential romance explored because of the destruction (or rather complete ignoring) of the Katherine/Elijah love story on The Originals so any chance of that happening went away with the spin-off.

When Damon and Elena finally had teh sex in early season 04, and it was super-super hot, but it was also intercut with scenes of Caroline deciding that Elena was sired to Damon and telling Stefan all about it. I was one of the viewers who was not upset by that intercutting at all. And when the following episode gave us an even hotter sexytiems between Damon and Elena that was *again* intercut with scenes of Caroline and Stefan still talking about the siring, I was still not bothered in the slightest. In fact, I thought it was awesome and hilarious and just utterly brilliant of the show. Do you know why? Because not only were Damon and Elena fans getting a double dose of ridiculously hot sexytiems with our couple, but by doing it this way, we were left wanting more. So brilliant.

Featuring their love scenes (two of them already in the span of two episodes) in such a way left their fans not completely satisfied because now we would be waiting for a full-on, full-scale love scene that was not interrupted. Once the sire bond issue was resolved, I presumed that we would get that love scene then. Alas, instead we only got an admittedly beautiful kiss. OK, fine, next season. The next season came and we found out that the first three months of their relationship had happened over the course of the show's hiatus so we didn't get to see it. Then we would get flashbacks of their summer of love? Nope. Ten seconds of them rolling around on a bed. Lovely, but not a love scene. I was patient. Damon broke up with Elena 10 episodes into the season, well, they'd have to make up before season's end, right? After all, Stefan and Elena broke up and made up every two seconds.

Once they made up, then, well, *then* we would get that full-scale, delicious love scene with nary a cut to someone, anyone else. Nope, did not happen. Sure, they had a love scene after they re-broke up (even though they were already broken up, silly Damon and Elena), but it was not like the love scenes that we'd had before. Stefan and Elena's only love scene was roughly a minute long. When edited to just the love scene parts and without the Stefan and Caroline intercutting, Damon and Elena's two love scenes in season 04 were roughly a minute long each. So, yeah, about a minute is what I expected for a full-scale love scene. We didn't get that. We got half of that. Only 30 seconds.


It was only season 05, right? We still had time, especially after what happened in the finale. Once Damon and Elena were reunited, there was no way we wouldn't get that long-awaited love scene that would knock our socks off without any interruptions. Did not happen. We didn't get that love scene. Even after Elena fell in love with Damon all over again without her memories intact. Sure we got a "love scene," if you could call it that. But this one was half of the last one, only 15 seconds long and featured only some hot kisses, a fall onto the bed and then fade to black. There was no big emotional song playing, no quick cuts implying sexytiems that can't be shown on network television. Nope, nope, nope. Of course, because it was Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev, we did get those hot kisses, some thrusting and grinding along with some leg-curling. Those two know how to bring the heat. Still… 15 seconds? Really? Really.

And that's all she wrote. Yeah, we got the uber-hot make-out fantasy. And the post-coitus hayloft smooching, but… dangit, we never got that full-blown love scene without intercuts. I really thought that would we get that. Alas.

The Reckoning: Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, director Jesse Warn and executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries let things go too far in the second Damon and Elena love scene. That's honestly the only reason I can think of why we never got another full-scale, uninterrupted Damon and Elena love scene. The reason I feel this way is because no couple on this show got anything close to resembling a real, full-scale love scene ever again after that scene. You know, *that scene* …


Hawt, hawt, HAWT as hell… but WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! It's quick, but you can see her nipple when he runs his hand literally over her breast. Not around it, above it, but *over* her breast as in literally his hand was on it, running over it so firmly that he pulled down her bra and her nipple appeared on network television. For a flash second, but it was still visible. Oh, and then the thrusting. The very obvious, beyond-not-subtle thrusting at all where we see visuals of both of them orgasming. On. Network. Television. In an 8:00 pm timeslot. And this was the FIRST SCENE OF THE EPISODE. Meaning, not just in the 8:00 pm timeslot, but literally at 8:00 pm.

Why, how, the CW network Standards & Practices (the department which is responsible for the moral, ethical, and legal implications of the program that network airs) didn't flag this is beyond me, ask for some trims, something. Especially considering other sexually-related scenes they've flagged on other shows. I don't understand. I do think that because of this scene that Julie Plec was given a very short leash because love scenes on The Vampire Diaries (and The Originals as well, if truth be told) became practically nonexistent.

I am forever saddened at the lack of a full-blown Damon and Elena love scene without interruption, but at least Damon and Elena did get more than any other couple even after this. We did get the 30 and 15-second scenes. As well as the bed rolling-around and couch make-out in the season 05 premiere, the fantasy in "Rescue Me," the kitchen make-out and hayloft aftermath in late season 06. That's more by far than any other couple post-"We'll Always Have Bourbon Street."

Stefan and Caroline's first sex scene was 25 seconds, and they had the follow-up kissing in her dorm, as well as one morning sexytiems that was some kissing and rolling in bed for about 10 seconds. Jeremy and Bonnie's love scene was about 10 seconds of kissing, some clothes removal and then dead!Jesse appeared, Bonnie spilled the beans to Jeremy about her anchor woes and then about we got about five seconds of kissing on the bed… fade to black. Liv and Tyler, Bonnie and Enzo, you name it… no love scenes, anything close to it was just a few kisses, but nothing like what happened with Stefan and Elena in season 01 and the two Damon and Elena love scenes in the back-to-back episodes in season 04. Before that second love scene broke Vampire Diaries love scenes forever. *sigh*

Still, it was really, really, REALLY hot.

Season 02's "Daddy Issues" introduced Damon Salvatore's shower. It was a beautiful thing. That very same shower was seen again a few episodes later in "The Dinner Party" when Damon walked into his scrumptious bathroom and saw Katherine enjoying that luxurious shower of his. What was especially interesting about that scene is that when Damon first came upon the wet and naked Miss Pierce, he understandably but unbelievably thought it was Elena. Remember that at the time Katherine was supposedly locked in the tomb thus the "understandably." That Elena—Elena Gilbert!—would be naked and wet and naked! in his shower is where the "unbelievably" came from. Alas, it was not the winsome Miss Elena, but rather the wicked Miss Katherine in his shower, much to Damon's dismay.

Not much shower-usage for a good while until Sage shared some information with Damon via wet, sexy kisses in that shower of his. That was over a season later in "Break On Through." I wasn't particularly pleased, but I told myself to be patient. After all, we wouldn't have that glorious shower and naked!Damon in said shower, and the tease of Elena in his shower when it was in fact Katherine were we not going to get Damon *and* Elena in that shower someday, right? Right. Then came even more of a promise! Skip ahead to early season 04. Remember what happened at the end of "The Killer?" Well, we saw Elena in her shower. Sure, it wasn't the awesome of Damon's, but still it was Elena in a shower. And then she broke up with Stefan at the end of the next episode, followed by super-hot sexytiems with Damon in the next two episodes. Surely, *surely* this was a precursor to Damon and Elena in that to-die-for shower of his. Of course, it was.

It was not. We never saw Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert (Salvatore) have sexytiems in his glorious shower. The closest we came was seeing Elena in his bathtub after he'd already left it in the season five premiere. Oh, and the cruel, cruel tease of the two post-bathinglate in season 06 wearing only towels, skins glistening from the moisture of their wet, wet activities. THAT WE DID NOT SEE! ( (Although, we can pretty much be certain they were in the bathtub and not the shower due to Elena's upswept not-so-wet do, and of course, her ecstactic declaration of love for Damon's tub in "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street" made it clear her preference.)

Damnit. At least, we could have seen sexy-bath-tiems!

The Reckoning: No data found.

It seems such a small thing, I know this. But when it became official that Nina Dobrev was indeed going to be in the final episode among the many hopes that I had was that we would have a moment between Elena and Lizzie and Josie. I didn't expect, or even want, much. Just Elena seeing the girls while Caroline introduced their "Aunt Elena," creating a lovely parallel to when she referred to Bonnie as the twins' "Aunt Bonnie" in the first episode of this season.
Josie: What movie is that, Mommy?
Caroline: This is a work movie that Mommy's been waiting for. The sound was broken, so Pete had to fix it. All right, that is Aunt Bonnie's friend Enzo. This is a movie about him trying to learn about.
A moment like this wouldn't have taken more than a minute, surely some of the Stefan and Elena, or Hellfire pyrotechnics, Donovan family drama, Katherine snark—all enjoyable and/or heartfelt and well-done, but still—could have been trimmed or in the case of a scene or two of Katherine been completely cut to make room for this? I just don't understand why this family moment—because, yes, Caroline and Elena *are* family, not to mention Alaric and Elena… even if Alaric spent most of his post-Other Side return forgetting it—wasn't shown, or even thought of as far as I know.

The Reckoning: No data found.

There was a particular aspect of Season 03's episodes 08-09, and then again in season 04's episodes 13, and 17-19 that were heartbreaking to me in their potential. I loved Elena Gilbert so much… she's easily one of my all-time favorite television heroines. By the end of Rebekah Mikaelson's first episode, I was head over heels for her as well. From their first interaction, their portrayers, Nina Dobrev and Claire Holt, proved to have a wonderful chemistry. Because of the above three points, naturally, from their first very scene together I wanted to somehow, someway see Elena and Rebekah become besties. As much as I loved the friendship between Elena and Bonnie, and Elena and Caroline, I did think that Dobrev and Holt had better chemistry than did Dobrev with either Kat Graham (Bonnie) or Candice King (Caroline) so the idea of seeing Dobrev and Holt doing the BFF-thing on any kind of regular basis just would have tickled me pink.

So, yeah, "Ordinary People" and "Homecoming" of season 03 showed just how the two girls could have become friends had Stefan and Klaus not created an understandable enmity between them. Rebekah so easily and quickly saw, and even understood, the real Elena, something that Stefan never really did. And Elena—as she told Damon later—saw to the heart of Rebekah. She saw that she was a girl who lost her mother too young and had been a bit lost ever since. And, of course she would have reached out to Rebekah. Firstly, Elena being so empathetic would do so because that was just who she was. Secondly, if any female of that group understood loss to such a degree (well, at that time especially), and losing a mother too young, it would have been Elena.

And even in the following episode, "Homecoming," we saw the signs of how beautifully those two could have been such good friends. That Elena had reached her was evident in how Rebekah opened up to Elena, how she allowed herself to be vulnerable and show her happiness in attending Homecoming. And Elena genuinely was regretful for the action of betrayal—literally stabbing her in the back—that she had to perform to protect them all. Between those two episodes we saw enough in their interaction to believe—at least, I think—that Elena and Rebekah could have become friends. All Rebekah clearly wanted was a home, a family, friends, the ability to live a young girl's life. She wanted a connection, any connection, and Elena as that someone she could connect with, someone with who she could share that desire with fit. Elena lost her mother and understood the love of family, so it made sense that Rebekah would seek that connection with Elena as someone who got it. As for Elena, of course Elena would have been willing to accept Rebekah into her life and as her friend. She was extraordinarily empathetic once she allowed someone into her life, and in "Ordinary People," she had done so with Rebekah.

So why did I write at the top of this that these two episodes were heartbreaking for me? Well, because of the key word also written: Potential. We saw the potential for bff-dom between Elena and Rebekah only to have it cruelly dashed to smithereens by the (literal) stake to the heart. *sigh*

Ah, but then my hopes were raised once more in season 04's "Into The Wild." At that point, Rebekah and Stefan were re-exploring their relationship although both expected that Elena would hop right back into twu-wuvs-ville with Stefan when she got the cure. In this episode, when it became clear that Elena was going to be stuck with Stefan and Rebekah, I expected to see a focus on Stefan and Elena, however, the relationship emphasis was solely on Elena and Rebekah. I was so happy to see that because any chance to see Elena and Rebekah interacting was a big win for me. And their scenes were wonderful. Rebekah was given the opportunity to point out that she was protecting her family when she tried to kill Elena in "The Departed," and also that Elena had actually played a part in killing not one, but two of her brothers. I thought it was very encouraging that Rebekah was able to defend herself—and with points that Elena (and Stefan) couldn't defend against—and furthermore, that Elena, being so very Elena, forgave her for running her off the road. Once Rebekah showed Elena that she really wasn't evil, she was all 'bygones' because Elena was that freaking awesome. And, thus, this meant that we were on the road to them being besties, right?

Well, maybe not… because we didn't really see much of anything with them until "Because The Night" four episodes later when Rebekah joined up with Damon and a humanity-flipped Elena in New York. Towards the end of that episode, the two girls decided to team up and leave Damon behind. We followed up that one with Elena and Rebekah bff-ing it up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Finally, in the next episode they had progressed to roomies with Elena shacking up in Rebekah's gorgeous mansion (not that we saw any scenes of the two cohabitating, alas). Still, there were a couple of scenes with the two and they were delightful.

So, again, why "heartbreaking" per the first paragraph of this section? Well, I had wanted to see Elena and Rebekah as friends ever since I had first seen the two interact. However, not like that. I wanted the whole-package-version-of Elena and Rebekah as best buds, not the humanity-flipped version who lacked her heart and empathy (no matter how amusing that version and Rebekah still were). *sigh*

The Reckoning: Looking at the timeline and how we had their gorgeous scenes in "Into The Wild" (episode 13) at just a bit beyond the midway point of season 04, it makes sense that it was roughly just past that time that discussion of The Originals spin-off began. If so, it would explain that before that the plan was, indeed, to set up Rebekah more firmly within the group. She was, no doubt, *heavy, heavy sigh* intended as Matt's love interest in a major way as opposed to the more light-hearted, casual way it was done. So, resolving things between her and Elena, smoothing over and defending what she had done to Elena was necessary. And, of course, crafting a friendship with Elena could be an integral key in developing her position among the group as an insider, rather than an interloper.

Alas, like with the sire bond, Claudia Black as Lily Salvatore, the Elena and Rebekah friendship (and a deeper, more real Matt and Rebekah romance) went the wayside with The Originals spin-off. Grrr.


- Major Unresolved Issues
Minor Unresolved Issues
Tags: alaric saltzman, bonnie bennett, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/bonnie, damon/elena, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, jeremy gilbert, jeremy/bonnie, kai parker, katherine pierce, klaus mikaelson, matt donovan, matt/katherine, rebekah mikaelson, rebekah/matt, stefan salvatore, the vampire diaries, tv

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