Arabian (arabian) wrote,

'The Vampire Diaries' Wrap-up Thoughts... 5A/8 -- Seasons 01-04 Favorite Scenes and Moments

Continuing with my final Vampire Diaries series—and the good stuff—here are my favorite scenes or moments. (You may notice it now says /8 instead of /10. That's because I realized that I can get this done in eight and I'm glad because I like the symmetry of eight parts to go with eight seasons.) Some of these may surprise you and some scenes/moments *not* on here will likely be surprising as well. Firstly, I originally was only going to have only 25 scenes/moments but there were just way too many to cut down so I went up to 50 instead. And then I was ruthless; I took my couple-girl bias out of the equation and just tried to take the scene and/or moment on the basis of its own merit (with a bit of the overall narrative at play). (Spoiler alert: This means that certain dances and love scenes are not present!) Because I am wordy, I had to break this up into two different posts. Shocking, I know!

Here we go…

Seasons 01-04 Graphic

01.) 1.01 – PilotCaroline Forbes, she just tries so hard.

      101-Caroline: I try so hard.

The final scene between Caroline and Bonnie in the series premiere was just fabulous. The conversation between the two about it not being a competition was sublime, especially how Caroline tried to explain it to Bonnie. Trying to explain her frustration, how Elena was always the one, while she never was even though she tried so hard. Conveyed through the dialogue was not just her jealousy, but also her frustration because Elena *is* her friend and Caroline loves her and kinda gets it. It was in that moment that I fell in love with Caroline Forbes. I know that many Caroline-fans fell for the character when she turned in season 02, but I was rooting for her from the get-go… because of this scene. It was such a genuine moment and so beautifully acted by Candice (then Accola) King—an actress I was not familiar with at the time—that I was completely won over. I loved it so, not just because of how it made me love Caroline, but also because in retrospect it showed the importance of friendship and character on this show.

02.) 1.04 – "Family Ties"Yo, Stefan, trust has to be earned! Bonnie ain't practicing her magic here.

      104-Elena: Trust is earned.

During the first (of many) Founders' parties, Elena confronted Stefan about Damon's abuse of Caroline. Stefan was not surprised. In other words, he knew that this had been happening and that Elena just needed to trust him to handle it. Prior to this episode, while I had been mildly enjoying the show, I hadn't been terribly impressed (other than with the above scene) so in the pause before her response I mentally rolled my eyes, knowing that she would fall into his arms and assure him that, of course, she trusted him. Because, of course, that is what Elena was going to say to her pretty boyfriend with the pleading puppy dog eyes. Lo and behold, she did not! Instead, Elena straight-up told him that: "Trust is earned. I can't just magically hand it over." I literally sat up, eyes wide and shouted, "You go, Elena!" That was the moment when the supposedly generic heroine and The Vampire Diaries completely transcended the CW teenage-swill it so very easily could have become.

03.) 1.08 – "162 Candles"Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart?

      108-Bonnie: I'm a witch.

My goodness, I adore this scene. After the full eight seasons of the series' run, it might still be my favorite Elena and Bonnie scene. It is just such a light, happy and, yes, magical scene. It all started with Bonnie trying to lift Elena's spirits and then deciding to tell her best friend *her* supernatural truth. Bonnie's excitement to show off her gift, Elena's curiosity at the closing of the windows, the gleeful destruction of her pillow, and then delighted wonder at the floating of the feathers was a balm amidst the vampire-fallout. Bonnie opening up to Elena with such an incredible secret was a testament to the power of their friendship. Naturally, Elena believed her without question, confirming that strength. Of course, how could she not at that point knowing what she knew and seeing what Bonnie had just done? But still, it was the conviction in her voice when she said, "I believe you," and the smile on Bonnie's face in response that made it about their friendship and not the supernatural.

04.) 1.14 – "Fool Me Once"What is broken, can't be undone.

      114-Bonnie: I can fix this.

When Grams died, I cried. This was the first (but so not the last) time that The Vampire Diaries made me cry. Katerina Graham gave us the first of many more to come showcases of her fine, fine acting; she was damn good. As Bonnie frantically cried out for Elena, that's when I began to tear up. Grabbing for the spell book, desperately wanting to fix it, crying out such ("I can fix this, I can fix this"), and finally breaking down in Elena's arms as she realized that, no, she couldn't. Grams was gone. *sigh* It was heartbreaking. For such a short-lived character, Jasmine Guy's Grams made an indelible impression—and I will remain forever grateful that the show brought her back again and again in a recurring ghostly/spirited role. Everything leading up to her death was so well-laid out. When she died, it was a sucker-punch to the gut and every actress on screen, even Nina Dobrev in a quiet, supporting role, made the moment real and so very powerful.

05.) 1.17 – "Let the Right One In"Her love lifts you up.

      117-Damon: His love lifts you up.

I've always loved this scene because of all of the undercurrents. Damon was trying to be snarky and act like he didn't give a damn, but his true emotions—his fear for what was happening to Stefan, for what could very easily happen to Elena—bled through his facade more than usual. At the time, Alaric hated Damon; he thought that he was pure evil. However, here he was seeing that Damon had genuine love for his brother, and that he obviously cared about Elena. More than that, it was obvious that Elena trusted Damon, and actually kinda liked the guy. On top of that, she clearly wasn't afraid of him. All of that wasn't present in their dialogue, but through the looks that passed between them, their expressions and body language. The acting (by Ian Somerhalder—the king of delivery, Nina Dobrev and Matt Davis) and direction (by Dennis Smith) were all on point. Of course, the dialogue itself (teleplay by Miss Julie Plec) can take a bow as well. Quickly moving tension to deflection to humor (Damon quoting cheesy love songs… oh my!) to sincerity and finally to intensity, this scene was my everything.
Elena: I'm going with you guys.
Damon: No. No. No. No. No way.
Elena: You need me. I'll get in. You could distract them, and then I'll get Stefan out.
Damon: You'll get yourself killed. You're not going in there.
Elena: I'm going.
Damon: {Looks to Ric, ignoring Elena.} So, when you get me in, get out as quickly as you can. I know how to sneak around where they can't hear me. You'll basically just be in the way.
Elena: Damon, now is not the time to be the Lone Ranger.
Damon: Fine, Elena, you can drive the getaway car. You're not going in the house.
Elena: You can't stop me. It's Stefan we're talking about here. You don't understand.
Damon: Oh, I understand. I understand. He's the reason you live. His love lifts you up where you belong. I get it.
Elena: Can you just not joke around for two seconds?
Damon: I can't protect you, Elena. I don't know how many vampires there are in there. {Snaps his fingers.} That's how long it takes you to get your head ripped off. I have to be able to get in and get out. I can't be distracted with your safety or this will end up a bloodbath that none of us walk away from. Including Stefan. I know. I get it. I understand.
The passion we got from him as he laid out the reality of the situation was just amazing. But what I loved most was that once Damon stopped the snarkiness and got real with Elena, the camera angle switched back and forth not just between them, but to one that revealed Alaric carefully watching Damon, and the interplay between Damon and Elena. We could so see the wheels turning in his mind that there was actually more to Damon than he believed possible. Just excellent all-around.

06.) 1.19 – "Miss Mystic Falls"
But, but, but… I'm the good brother! You keep telling yourself that, Steffie-poo.

      119-Stefan: I'm the good brother.

I love this scene. Stefan was so frustrated. He defined himself in many ways by his relation (or rather contrast) to his brother ("I don't hurt people. I'm the good brother.") and this went back to his pre-vampire days. Then there was the precise, almost sensual way he talked about wanting to kill Amber and feed on her, how he touched her neck, explained how to do it properly. It gave insight into vampires in general and how hard it was to constantly struggle with that desire to kill. Later in the series, Caroline had mentioned that to Elena (about how she always wants to kill). It's not just about needing the blood, it's that when one becomes a vampire, one becomes a killer... and wants to kill. And so, we can go back to see this scene and Stefan showed viewers (and so beautifully, chillingly acted by Paul Wesley) exactly what that struggle is like. Seeing it from Stefan's point of view was the best one because of his individual perspective because we know Stefan as the good brother who doesn't hurt people but he does he want to.

But even without all of that later retrospect in place, the scene still stands out so well on its own. Wesley's performance was brilliant, showcasing the zig-zagging back and forth between the tortured "good" Stefan and the desperate, tortured hungry vampire Stefan who just wants to feed, to kill, to satiate that desire. Also, so good was the actress, Spencer Locke, playing Amber Bradley. She hit just the right notes throughout the whole episode but especially in this scene. Compelled, she was zombie-like to Stefan's needs, but the different emotions that Stefan asked of her believably were portrayed. Overall, it's just such a chilling scene that early on removes the pretty veil away from vampirism.

07.) 1.20 – "Blood Brothers"It's my guilt and I'll own it if I want to.

      120-Damon: You are not allowed to feel my guilt.

This is not only one of my favorite—overall and of my precious Damon—scenes of season 01, it is actually one of my favorite of the series and top five Damon scenes of the entire run. It's that awesome. When Stefan starts in on his martyr act, emo about all of the people that have been hurt by Damon and how it's all Stefan's fault because he's the one who made Damon turn, Damon's response is pure gold.
Damon: 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.
I marvel at the awesome of every biting word that contained in those lines of dialogue. It was so rare that Damon opened up to Stefan about his feelings about anything other than Elena prior to season 07. He just didn't feel comfortable doing so likely because Stefan always managed to use it against him, intentionally or not, and yet, this time, he did. And what he said just blew me away. It revealed so much about Damon as a character, who he was, what he was, and how aware he was of those very things. And included in that was the realization that Damon does feel guilt, but he's chosen not to because he's not ready to deal with it and the ramifications. It was fantastic writing, and the delivery by Ian Somerhalder—again, that bite, the bitterness, the hint of vulnerability—was just brilliant.

08.) 1.21 – "Isobel"Damon knows how to send a message.

       photo 121-Damon: It sends a message.

What a fabulous bit of awesome this was, now, wasn't it? Damon getting in her face, in her dance space, stalking Isobel around the room was an insanely bit of tense and sexy at the same time. Dayum! There were so many little touches that just made this scene sing. For instance, I loved how when Isobel handed him a glass, he just calmly set it right back down as he continued to stalk her. There she was trying to set the stage, control the situation, but Damon was not about to let her get the upper-hand in any way. He kept her off-balance from beginning to end. Damon had Isobel fully believing that he was just the same, old Damon. She submitted to his seduction before he flipped everything upside down and just went all medieval on her ass. The way he grabbed her throat, and delivered the most amazing line ever ("I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message.") followed by that emphatic head bang… ooh! It was just chill-inducing. And wrapped around that fantabulous line (seriously, I loved it so much… and Ian Somerhalder's delivery? Dear Lord, superb) was everything that Isobel (and viewers) needed to hear to realize that Elena now took a higher precedence for him than did Katherine.

Damon: You do not come into my town, threaten the people I care about. Going after Elena? Bad move. You leave her alone or I will rip you to bits because I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message. {Slams her head against the floor} Katherine wants something from me? You tell that little bitch to come get it herself.
This list isn't ranked, but if it were, this scene would easily be in my top 10, hands down. It is so freaking awesome. The writing (by my queen, Caroline Dries, and Brian Young), the direction (by J. Miller Tobin), and the uber-hot display of sexiness on hand that is Ian Somerhalder in tight jeans and an unbuttoned black shirt and a gorgeous Mia Kirshner sharing some sizzling hot chemistry added up to sheer perfection.

09.) 1.21 – "Isobel"Oh, Ric, she was set free and she didn't come back. She was never yours to begin with. So, she set you free.

      121-Isobel: I wanted this.

*sigh* I adore this scene. Isobel turned her humanity on just so that she could free Alaric from loving her; so she could tell him that she loved him, and that walking away from him to become a vampire was her biggest regret. This was the very first glimpse we got that Isobel actually did still have a heart, that she did feel guilt, and had regrets. We also saw the love that was there between them, love that both still felt, and love that Isobel released Alaric from. The way he expected the worse when she came upon him, how she removed the ring to be honest with him, to tell him her truth. Oh, my. The love, the heartbreak in her expression… the tears, the way she looked at him when she reached up to caress his face one last time gets me every time. The selflessness in compelling him to let her go, to move on paired with the selfishness in not staying with him, in not trying to be a 'good' vampire. Oh, this scene breaks my heart. Mia Kirshner was poignantly beautiful in it (and, I still think that she had the best chemistry with Matt Davis out of every actress he was paired with on the show, alas). She played the regret and the love pitch-perfect and she also played that one singular note that wasn't regretful enough because she wanted, she needed to be pursue the supernatural life. And Kirshner conveyed that too; she showed us that Isobel loved Alaric, she just didn't love him enough. That's why she was walking away.

10.) 1.22 – "Founder's Day"Damon doesn't do good? Well, that's something he has in common with Katherine.

      122-You've gotten into my bloodstream.

My goodness, this scene is magnificent. The Damon's speech to "Elena" and their kiss was so completely awesome in pretty much every way under the sun. Let us start with Nina Dobrev's phenomenal acting choices. I was thrown a teeny bit by Elena's expression when Damon kissed her on the cheek. There was confusion, rather than amusing exasperation or annoyance. It was true bewilderment. And I couldn't understand why Dobrev made that acting choice when I first watched the scene. Upon rewatch, that expression made perfect sense knowing that it was Katherine because Katherine wouldn't expect the Damon she had heard he'd become to be courtly, kissing Elena on the cheek. She had been keeping tabs and knew what a bad, bad boy he was now. FANTASTIC acting by Nina Dobrev in subtly giving that information away in retrospect once viewers knew it was Katherine.

The lead-up to the kiss, Damon's wonderful speech that Elena would have so loved, the tell-tale sign in retrospect that it wasn't Elena because Elena would have spoken more to Damon, would have encouraged him, encouraged his growth, instead Katherine was mostly silent, not wanting to give herself away. The kiss on the cheek, Elena would have accepted, but with a blush, a thank you and it would have ended there… oh, but not Katherine. She stood there, she invited more with her eyes, with her overall lack of movement, with subtle body language which gave us the heartbreaking—again, in retrospect—hope, the wonder on Damon's face, and the tentativeness of the kiss, the softness of it before growing into this intense passion. Finally has there ever been a more perfect song accompanying a kiss than "Bloodstream?" It wasn't just the beat, the melody, but also how it built and wrapped itself around their words and the moment, ratcheting up the tension between them. And those lyrics and how they so perfectly encapsulated not just what Elena does to Damon, but also what Katherine did/does to him. Like I said, magnificent.

11.) 2.02 – "Brave New World"Come here, come here. * eyes*

      202-Stefan:  I promise you I will not let anything happen to you.

A spanking, brand new ship totally set sail with a strong wind at its back with this scene, and I was on board from moment one! Stefan and Caroline just slammed me like whoah! The chemistry between Paul Wesley and Candice Accola's chemistry was firing on all cylinders, but even beyond that chemistry, everything just felt so right. Their characters together felt right. The way Stefan comforted her, the gentle way he held her, keeping her from falling apart, saying all of the right things at the right time. He was awesome and nearly had me swooning. It was the first time when Stefan came across as the guy he sold himself as: The perfect, wholesome, fantastic, place-a-halo-on-his perfectly-coiffed head and call it a day, guy. That guy was there on my screen with Caroline, my beloved Caroline, all heart, all concern, and when he told her that he wouldn't let anything happen to her, I believed him. He cradled her bloody, mascara-streaked, tear-soaked face in his hands, and then he took her in his arms and cradled her body ("Come here, come here" he said) and I was just a puddle of goo. *sigh*

12.) 2.12 – "The Descent"Sorry, Jessica. You were Damon Salvatore's existential crisis.

      212-Damon: You are my existential crisis.

Oh my God. Just. WOW! This scene. I can't definitively list it as my favorite Damon scene, but I can't definitively say that it's not either. I can, however, call it the best acting I've ever seen from Ian Somerhalder. It was just amazing. And the writing was so fantastic, so many killer lines ("Adopt a puppy, you are my existential crisis, a man can take only so much pain"), Ahna O'Reilly, the actress playing Jessica, did a fantastic job as well with such a small role. But, man, oh, man, Somerhalder was just phenomenal. Damon just kept breaking my heart with nearly every line uttered and then he revealed that his big secret was that he missed being a human, and I was wrecked all over again. Recalling what he had confessed to this stranger how being good, being better wouldn't change anything, it added so much more weight to that secret and here we go again with Somerhalder and his mastery of delivery. SO DAMN GOOD! Just amazing, amazing, amazing.

Then there was one line in the midst of it all about not being able to be what *she* wants him to be and we didn't even need to hear her name without knowing that he was talking about Elena. That one line, that one emphasized word made it crystal clear exactly what had brought this all on, everything that built to this. Not so much Rose dying (or rather Damon staking her), but that everyone knew that he was upset about it, kept pushing him, it was all about that humanity rearing its head. It was about the gamut of emotions coming forth which was symbolized by Elena, by her continued faith and belief in him. This scene was so well done, and so heartbreaking because in the end, of course, he killed her. Of course, he did. Had he not, it would have played false with the character because Damon was not ready. Ah, but the fact that it was so hard for him, and was so very much about proving his lack of humanity to himself was a huge sign of growth. Truly, this was one magnificent scene. The acting by both Somerhalder and O'Reilly, the direction by Marcos Siega, the script by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain and the incredible song choice of "DLZ" by TV on the Radio (best known for its use in Breaking Bad) was all so very brilliant. This was one of the show's best.

13.) 2.13 – "Daddy Issues"Don't tell me those weren't eyes they were making at each other! They totally were!

      213-Caroline: I'm not girly little Caroline anymore.

I love this scene because of not only the uber-shippiness of Stefan and Caroline (♥ eyes), but also simply because of Caroline and her quiet awesome on display. That key line ("I'm not girly little Caroline anymore.") really represented the very truth of Caroline now. After all she had been through that day—the kidnapping, the torture, more torture, Tyler's betrayal—she was still strong. She was quiet; she was in pain and she was not a happy camper, but she was still standing and had strength in herself. It was so beautifully epitomized in that line, and that quiet strength flowed throughout the whole scene. Which had some really lovely dialogue overall, as well as subtle acting from Candice Accola. And, of course, I so loved every moment with Stefan and Caroline. I loved (so, so, so loved) that he told her that she didn't have to pretend with him—an early sign how much better they were for each other than Stefan and Elena. My shipper heart just went pitter-pat. They were just so uber-ly delightful together, so good. My Stefan and Caroline were sparkly and adorable and made me smile from the get-go.

14.) 2.18 – "The Last Dance"Bonnie Bennett is one BAMF!

      218-Bonnie Bennett is one BAMF

This was just bad-ass, period. The sparks were a'flying, the magic was thrown all willy-nilly at Klaus in poor Alaric's body, blood was a'spilling, and Bonnie "died" for the first time. Every bit of that was powerful and extremely well done, but what made this stand out so much was one particular moment. Bonnie and Elena were separated by the classroom doors and Bonnie had used her wily magic to keep Elena from entering and the two gazed at each another. Elena looked at her best friend helplessly in frustration with deep love and despair, emotions that were shared by Bonnie because she was doing what she had to do. Even with that anguish and the blood streaming down her face, Kat Graham looked so beautiful and it was because her love for Elena was shining through (OK, and because Graham is gorgeous).

15.) 2.21 – "The Sun Also Rises"Stefan will save his big brother because he LOVES him the mostest!

      221-Stefan: I will do this.

This was my favorite Stefan Salvatore, Paul Wesley and Brothers Salvatore scene until season 07's "I Went into the Woods." It is *that* awesome. OH. MY. GOD! I was more verklempt and emotionally moved by this scene than any other since Bonnie reacting to Gram's death back in mid-season 01 and it still does the trick. Wesley broke my heart, and this scene confirmed what I had long believed. However much Stefan loved Katherine, however much he loved Elena, however much he would love Caroline (and which she confirmed herself later and Stefan choosing to save Damon over a life with Caroline—and yes, even typing this is making me tear up, damnit!—proved that), Damon will always be his #1. It is totally Damon >>> everyone else in the entirety of ever for Stefan. Damon was (and always was and will be) the most important person to him ever. And that's exactly how Paul Wesley (rightfully) played it. When Damon told his brother that he had been were-bitten, there was a shell-shocked reaction from Stefan, and when he moved closer, there was a jerkiness, a disbelief in his very movements. His voice was hushed, as if trying to control the tremors, and hold back heaving sobs.

I've always maintained that despite everything, Stefan freaking ADORES his brother. He just can't lose him. (And the following seasons and Stefan's non-stop efforts over and over to keep that from happening—including the very next episode where he kept Damon from burning to ashes in the sun—attested to that.) He can, and expected to, lose Elena someday—and he did. Not Damon, though. Never Damon. And, yet he looked at that bite and he knew what it meant. However, being Stefan, he immediately rejected reality, buried his head in the sand and determined that he would find a cure. And the phrasing of his statement was so beautiful and wonderful and interesting. He didn't say "we," including Elena or anyone else from their group. It was all about Stefan saving Damon. When he spoke of how they had found a way to keep Elena human (*snerk*) he had used the plural, but when push came to shove he switched to the singular. And he made sure that Damon was looking at him, and his voice was so determined, his gaze was so strong.
Stefan: We'll find something. A cure.
Damon:There's no cure, Stefan.
Stefan: We kept Elena human, right? We found the way when there was no way. Hey. I will do this.
Then came my favorite moment of the whole scene, Damon turned to walk away, and Stefan looked after him, utter devastation written on every line of his body, but he was standing as still as a statue. Except for his fingers. They were moving in this jittery dance of desperation, of helplessness, of an urgency to DO SOMETHING.* Ah, it was so good. Just watching his brother walk away into the sun, and all the love that Stefan felt for Damon the viewer could feel in that moment so keenly. Oh, Stefan. He just killed me dead in the best way possible. Damn, I love my Salvatore Brothers.

* And Wesley did the exact same thing in the season 05 finale when he accidentally returned too soon to the land of the undead leaving Damon behind on the crumbling Other Side. That finger was doing the jittery dance of devastation.

16.) 3.03 – "The End of the Affair"Oh, Rebekah you owned my heart just like Stefan owned yours.

      303-Stefan remembering Rebekah.

Rebekah and Stefan's love story was introduced in flashbacks and due to the awesome of Claire Holt's performance as Rebekah, the chemistry of Paul Wesley and Holt and the gorgeous writing by the glorious Caroline Dries, that love story was, well, glorious. Therefore, when Stefan was given his memories back by Ni(Klaus) and he and Rebekah were reunited in the present it was beautiful. Stefan said her name and she totally melted looking at him. In response, I totally melted. The way her face softened and her eyes lit up and even more so, how Stefan's face softened and his eyes lit up was something to behold. It was the first time in the present that we saw Stefan react that way to any female who wasn't Elena. In retrospect, we know that his reaction was based mostly on the flood of memories, but the feelings were still there to a degree based on the brief relationship they later had. Still, in that moment, it was enchanting, that look on his face when he remembered, the way he said her name, the smile as he walked towards her. *sigh*

17.) 3.05 – "The Reckoning"Here he comes to save the day, that means that Damon Salvatore's on the way!

      305-Damon rescuing Elena from the hospital.

There were so many things to love about this scene. There was the obvious of Damon rescuing Elena—so romantic—the swelling music, the (anti-)hero swooping in and saving the heroine from the big bad. But there were little strokes that made the scene so much more, and they rested on the knowledge of the other characters, relationships and what had happened earlier in the episode. Stefan had been unable to save Elena. Damon did. Stefan had been unable to resist Elena's blood even though he desperately, savagely tried so very, very hard to do so. Now we saw Damon, on the other end of the spectrum, who, unlike Stefan, was easily able to do so. It was made clear just how easy it was for Damon to do this. The scene began with Damon holding the transfusion tube filled with her blood and he was staring at it yet his veins didn't pop out, his fangs didn't even emerge. He had to have been tempted to some degree; he was a vampire after all and it was human blood and not just any human blood but the blood of the girl he was in love with.

That was in stark contrast to Stefan who had informed Elena—even as he was fighting it—that he wanted to drink her blood. He wanted it so much. Klaus told Stefan the only thing stronger than his need for blood was his love for Elena, but clearly… not so much. Once Klaus told him to let go, he gave right in and drank. For Damon? Again, it wasn't even temptation enough to bring out the hint of the monster in him. All it took to tear his attention away from the blood was Elena breathily saying his name and then his focus was all on her. And then he was all hers. He removed the tubes, he swept her up into his arms and carried her to safety. *sigh*

18.) 3.06 – "Smells Like Teen Spirit"So rude.

      306-Rebekah: Rude

While on The Vampire Diaries, Rebekah Mikaelson was never anything less than awesome. And this scene, short while it may be, was a perfect encapsulation of all of the awesome that was Rebekah. We saw just about every shade of the character. There was the imperiousness that came with being an Original, her fury over Klaus' desertion that hid pain over him leaving her yet again. We also saw the solidarity she felt with Stefan from their time in the 30's that jerk!no-humanity!Stefan extinguished like a flame that showed the vulnerability that lie under the surface so often. There was also a quick bit of her manners paired with sass ("Rebekah, pleasure, I'm sure.") And, it was just cute and funny with bonus, befuddled Damon.

19.) 3.09 – "Homecoming"Poor Bonnie.

      309-Bonnie: You are mad at your little brother.

I absolutely adored this Bonnie and Elena scene. Maybe it meant so much to me because I have a younger brother or maybe because it was just a really good scene. {shrug} When Bonnie told Elena that her being mad at Jeremy over him cheating on her with ghost!Anna (I love this show so hard) would just be her being mad at her younger brother, I nodded, because that is so the case. When a sibling (you're close to) screws up, they are always your (in this case) baby brother first and foremost. You can and will be furious with them for whatever wrong they committed, but you are upset with them because they did the wrong *as* your baby brother. You expect better of them *as* your baby brother. This show just SO got familial relationships, especially of the sibling sort, I loved it so much. And that Bonnie was so awesomely cool and understanding about it, but still made it clear that, yeah, Elena and she really could not talk about it was just… awesome.

20.) 3.10 – "The New Deal"Poor Jeremy.

      310-Damon: Your sister thinks we should have another one of our talks.

Oh, my, I loved the little family unit of Damon, Elena, Jeremy and Alaric and only wish that we had seen more of it. *sigh* (Sighing forever that we didn't.) The last scene that we ever saw of it was a beautiful reminder of how truly wonderful that unit was and how well they worked together. Even though Elena lamented how Jeremy would react to her having Damon compel him, it was obvious that Jeremy knew exactly what was going to happen. Damon didn't hide it at all, and Jeremy let him do his thang. Sure, he sent a look towards Elena—'Really, again?' that look said—but he went along with it.

He didn't fight it; he didn't put up a protest and when Damon sat down, Jeremy looked right at him knowing what was coming. He didn't know the full measure of it, but he knew that Damon was going to compel him… and he accepted it. And it made perfect sense why he did. Jeremy almost died because of a compulsion that was brought on by the betrayal of a friend… then he cross-bowed someone in the back… and then meat-cleavered off his head. Yeah. Oh, and one more final note that spoke to my love of this scene and this atypical family, a small moment, but I loved how Damon checked with Elena before adding Alaric's suggestion to the compulsion. When it came to Jeremy, she got the final say-so.

21.) 3.10 – "The New Deal"
The kiss. 'Nuff said.

      310-The Kiss.

I wanted wild, crazy passion for Damon and Elena's first, real, non-death bed kiss. The Vampire Diaries denied me that. The Vampire Diaries was right to do so. That kind of kiss wouldn't have been right, not right then. Instead what we got was perfect for these two, for then, for that moment. It was the push, the pull, it was Damon coming out of his shell enough to admit that he deserved to kiss the girl. It was Elena coming out of her shell enough to admit (at least physically) that she wanted to be kissed by this guy. It was all of the sweetness, the gentle beauty of the friendship and support and the there-for-each-other-ness melding into love on display in that kiss. It was Damon Salvatore saying, 'Fuck it.' It was Elena Gilbert saying nothing because he left her speechless and breathless. It was perfect. More than just the perfection of the kiss though, was the conversation that came before it. There were two key points of awesome that stood out to me.

The first was the simple fact that Elena thanked Damon. Fully, completely, legitimately, absolutely. She thanked him for being there, for his presence, for all that he had done, all that he was still doing, telling him that she wouldn't know what to do without him. I wrote "simple," but it wasn't, not really. From their first interaction on the Gilbert porch in season 01 when he offered to erase the horror of Vicki's death from Jeremy's mind for Elena, all of the good that Damon had done since then has never been acknowledged by anyone. This was the first time ever. That was huge and awesome and amazing. The other thing of note was that Damon told her that Stefan had screwed them over—saving Klaus' life—for a good reason. This was significant because that "good" reason was saving Damon's life. In other words, for the first time—perhaps ever—Damon Salvatore actually believed that his life being saved was a good thing. So, alongside that beautifully perfect kiss, there was some lovely, lovely character growth and long-awaited acknowledgment at play as well in this scene.

22.) 3.11 – "Our Town"Damon Salvatore, no longer top dog.

      311-Klaus: I'm very sympathetic.

This scene with Carol, Klaus and Damon was rewind-worthy to the extreme. Carol was all flummoxed in the middle of these two hot-shot, cool as cucumber supernatural bad-asses but trying to act like she's as cool as can be herself. Meanwhile, Damon was calmly giving plain speak in the snazziest, snarkiest way possible, a.k.a. Damon Salvatore-style. Alas, he had found his match in the silky-smooth purr of the Original Hybrid, one Klaus Mikaelson.
Damon: Don't take this the wrong way, but do you realize that you've been kissing the ass of an immortal hybrid who ruined your son's life?
Klaus: Oh, come now. Some would say that I saved it from all that nasty full moon business. I never had to go through it myself more than twice, to be honest, but still, I'm very sympathetic.
Carol was like putty in his hands. Me? I was cracking up. It was the delivery on "sympathetic" that did me in. Utterly priceless. Meanwhile, Damon was looking between the two of them trying to figure out when the hell he had been replaced in Carol Lockwood's affections. Pure gold, and on a purely personal note, that moment right there was when Klaus Mikaelson (and Joseph Morgan) won me over. This was partly because we truly saw in this episode just what everyone warned the Mystic Falls' crew about: Just how good Klaus was at being bad. The look on Damon's face as Klaus smoothly turned all of the younger vamp's logic around on his head (Klaus' hybrids really were the issue) and had Carol threatening Stefan if Damon didn't get him under control. It was truly a brilliant display of Klaus at work.

23.) 3.11 – "Our Town"Sure, it was his fault Caroline was dying, but, oh, that pretty speech Klaus gave to help convince her to live. So romantic. Oh, Klaus!

      311-Klaus: You can have a thousand more birthdays.

And there was more to come in his final scenes in the episode, particularly the one with Caroline. In the earlier scene where we saw him use his silky charm to get Carol on his side, later we saw him use Liz's love for her daughter to get inside the house and here he preyed on Caroline's fear and oh, then he it was even worse… he preyed on the young girl's yearning. Her hopes, her dreams, her heart. He spoke of the world's beauty, of all she hadn't seen, hadn't done, all there was left to explore and discover. How much was for show, we didn't know for sure at the time since we we *did* know he was trying to woo her to his side, but based on all we did know, there was truth in much of what he said to her. And that is why it was all so powerful.

I believed that Klaus had thought of ending it, and I just as surely know that he had enjoyed the benefits of living forever, of seeing the world and all the beauty it had to offer, of having a thousand birthdays and he translated that to Caroline with the grace and romance of a poet. And it was so clever, so very clever to have *her* bite him to get the cure. When watching it the first time, I kept waiting for him to bite into his wrist, but no, no, no, he wanted *her* to make the choice, to choose to accept his aid… just as Carol had, just as Liz had. Brilliant. And she did. Oh, Klaus. This truly was Klaus Mikaelson's episode to reign supreme and show his stuff. He pwned everyone. As for Klaus and Caroline? Well, I understand why people don't ship these two—I never did on The Vampire Diaries, but I could in the final season of The Originals considering what happened to Stefan *sigh*—but I absolutely understand why people did ship them… this scene is one of those reasons.

24.) 3.11 – "Our Town"It's right, just not right now. *sigh*

      311-Damon: It's right. Just not right now.

What can I say? Damon and Elena on the Gilbert porch generally equals awesome. Such was the case in the previous episode and it happened again in this one. Firstly, the simple fact that they were there, once again and once again, Damon was trying to make her feel better added a layer of tension and poignancy to the scene alone. And then he touched her face, and their eyes met, and that tension grew, and that beautiful honesty between them was just devastatingly right. I loved how just she said it. "You can't kiss me." The tension, the stress, the want of it all nearly brought tears to her voice. All of it, coupled with the guilt, the emotion from what had just happened with Stefan, it was too much for her. And, oh, how she said it… it wasn't that she didn't want him to kiss her because she did. She didn't want him to kiss her because if he did, she would kiss him back and that would be wrong. And she was right, at that moment in time, it would have been. Well, not wrong but as Damon said… "right, just not right now." And I loved even more that he knew that. That he got that. He agreed not to kiss her; he wasn't even planning to do so because even if it was "right," it wasn't "right now."

25.) 3.19 – "Heart of Darkness"Why not, indeed?

      319-Damon and Elena walkway make-out.

It would have been easy to just choose the conversation on the bed, or the wild, passionate make-out in the walkway but it's all one scene and the one lead so rightly and beautifully into the other. And in fact, the scene doesn't even start there, but rather when Damon first walked into the room, freshly showered while Elena—unable to sleep—gazed upon him in wonder. And it was in that moment that the wonder of this scene truly began; it was in that moment that the distance that had begun to grow between Elena and Damon began to subside. It was lying in that bed together that all of the hurt and anger dissipated as Elena turned to Damon, as they spoke, openly and honestly. Too honestly for the moment for her, but it didn't take away from the physical, aching tension that they'd both deliberately shoved deep, deep down after he acknowledged that they weren't "right now." Then her hand fell, accidentally brushing against his and he entwined their fingers and the feelings that had been spiraling in her as she watched him walk about bare-chested, unaware that he was being watched—not cocky or strutting, just Damon in all of his beautiful, dripping with sex glory—came flooding back.

And she was done, gone, boom! out the door because, again, it was as if from the moment she invited him into her bed, all of that distance between them was gone. They were right back emotionally where they were after they'd first kissed, after they'd seen each other the first time after the kiss, before (good) Stefan re-entered the picture. The distance was gone; Stefan wasn't with them either. It was just them, just the two of them being open and honest and feeling. Feeling so damn much. And she couldn't handle it, so she ran away… because that is what Elena does when it comes to Damon. She ran, but she didn't run far, and she waited for him. It wasn't a conscious choice to do so, but it's what she did. Because that's what it's all about with them. It's never about making a choice. It's about the inevitability of what they feel for each other.

So, Elena stopped and waited for inevitability to catch up. And it finally did and it was perfect and it was right, emotions flying free, passion free-falling around them. This was perfect in every way. Elena turning to him, no, not just turning, but practically throwing herself at him, molding her body into him until they became one. It took place where there were no memories, no moments tied to any other relationship. It was just them there in the moment. And the motel lights flickered behind them played like starlight flickering in the night sky, and the wind that picked up around them was symbolic of the elemental emotion being unleashed between the two of them. It was finding beauty in reality. It was real. It was Damon and Elena. It was perfect. It was right.

26.) 3.21 – "Before Sunset"Missed me, missed me, now you've got to kiss me.

      321-Damon: Missed me.

This scene made the list for three reasons: Joseph Morgan, Ian Somerhalder and the brilliance behind the concept. Why no ruthless vampire ever thought of just burning the inhabitants out of their home before is beyond me. Hah! Morgan and Somerhalder both appeared to just be having a ball (no pun intended—despite the soccer ball flying through the window) as Klaus wreaked havoc on the Gilbert home. First came flying pieces of a white, picket fence (double hah!) and then that ball. And while the others were all ducking, hiding—you know, like sane people, Damon was taunting Klaus, calling out, "missed me!" Oh, Damon. On top of that, the music was awesome-sauce! Oh, and then the final bit with Klaus holding a can of gasoline and a lit rolled up newspaper had me literally laughing out loud. He was so disappointed that he couldn't go all the way and burn the damn house down. (Psst, it's alright, Klaus, Elena took care of that later.) He just looked so frustrated when Stefan told him that Elena wasn't even there. It was hilarious. Yup, not every awesome scene on here is serious business.

27.) 4.02 – "Memorial"Bourbon or a Japanese lantern? Yeah, I think Ric would have preferred the booze.

      402-Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.

OH MY! This scene. Oh my, oh my, oh my! My heart! I LOVED this and it made me want Ric back so much. (Be careful what you wish for, right? *sigh* Nah, I'm still happy we got Alaric Saltzman back, I just wish that the Badass!Bromance had been written better upon his return.) Still back then after losing Ric having this was a balm for my soul and it gave me the happy closure feels for Alaric and Damon that I personally felt was missing in his final episodes in season 03. This was just perfection. As well it tied into Damon's earlier "this seat is taken" references and how he wasn't ready to let go of Ric. My heart!

28.) 4.03 – "The Rager"Damon Salvatore is the good brother? Hmm…

      403-Meredith: You are a good brother.

This is an underrated gem of a scene, I think. I wonder if it's because the 'adorable exploding kittens' line is so damn memorable and delivered so fantastically by Ian Somerhalder that the beauty of the scene itself is overlooked. Meredith (oh, Torrey Devitto, I loved your Dr. Fell so) told Damon Salvatore that he was the good brother. She gave him the credit for doing the dirty work while Stefan was off playing vampire with the girl who broke Damon's heart. My goodness! The phrasing of that blows me away whenever I think of it, because, yes, that was the exact phrasing.
Meredith: You are a good brother.
Damon: I'm the bad brother.
Meredith: You're strung up to a bomb while Stefan plays vampire with the girl who broke your heart. But you're doing a very good job of acting like it doesn't suck.
She put it in terms of Stefan just playing a part, pretending, and described Elena not as Stefan's girl or your brother's girl, but rather in relation to Damon. Viewers never saw that viewpoint before from anyone. I thought it made a lot of sense because she came into their lives seeing Elena from the Damon-side of things. She spent time with Ric, she saw Elena with Damon, she saw Damon there with Elena, supporting her, protecting her, saw Elena constantly depending on, leaning on, and expecting that support and protecting from Damon while Stefan ran around terrorizing Mystic Falls and then… OK, Stefan's "good" again so Elena just pushed Damon aside and was back with Stefan. That's how it looked from her outsider's view. From her perspective Elena was very much a part of the Damon/Elena equation, so she didn't see it as not one-sided at all. It was such a subtle way of the show letting us in on the fact that the whole insular perspective of Stefan and Elena as this 'forever together unit' was not reality, but rather just a norm their group had grown accustomed to seeing. Plus, of course… Damon, Damon, Damon and his awesome Damon-ness!
Meredith: Tell me that is not a bomb.
Damon: Okay. It's a kitten. It's an adorable, exploding kitten.
Every line, every moment, once again... PERFECTION! And, of course, Ian Somerhalder proves himself the absolute, unparalleled king of delivery. Also, {pouts} Devitto was just adorable and precious and so darn likable.

29.) 4.06 – "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes"The look of her face when she looks at him, oh, it gets me every time.

      406-Elena: You saved me.

This may not be my favorite Damon and Elena scene, but it will always hold a special place in my heart because Elena Gilbert—for the first time was just visibly overflowing with love for Damon Salvatore. With the Hunter's mark gone, with the desire to die lifted, no, the desire to live pulsating through her, she was now looking at Damon with eyes fresh from grief, no longer weighted down with sorrow. Once she had turned, Damon had been the one who continued to tell her that she could live, she would live and when she said the words "You saved me," it was as if she was seeing Damon as the one who had been there for her, by her all along for the first time. And for the first time, he was her hero. We had never seen Elena look that way at him before and talk about him being there for her without sadness; this time, there was only happiness.

And then there was the song, "The Thread of the Thing," by Fay Wolf. We've been told that songs in key scenes matter on this show and it's the tone as well as lyrics. Such was the case here. This one is about a woman in love who knows there will be problems, but in the long run, those problems are small and inconsequential. They don't matter because "it weighs out… and you know I love you." More than the lyrics, though, there was the musical tone. There was a tender, almost giddy quality beneath the seriousness of the beat. One couldn't help but smile. The sound of the melody evoked love, acceptance and a feeling of rightness. Just like what we saw in Elena's eyes and in her smile when she looked at Damon throughout the entire scene. This was a woman in love with a man. And that woman was Elena Gilbert. And that man was Damon Salvatore.

30.) 4.07 – "My Brother's Keeper"His face. Just, man, his face when she says that one word.

      407-Elena: You.

I know, I know… this is what I chose from this episode? Yup, this is it. Elena's giddiness and wonderstruck ohmygodIlovehimsomuch reaction when she first saw him was utterly priceless. Standing up straighter when he walked into the room, fixing her hair, following him down the stairs, looking down, at him, away and then back, trying to ascertain what he knew and what he didn't. She was adorable… Elena Gilbert in love with Damon Salvatore and unsure what to do about it. So cute. And then… and then… ah, and then when she knew. When she knew that he didn't know, a buoyant confidence lit her expression and filled with her voice, lilting that one word: "You." Oh, and Damon's reaction, momentary confusion, shock, and then happiness. Yes, Damon, you. Of course, it was this scene.

31.) 4.15 – "Stand By Me"Jere won't need the Gilbert ring anymore, that's true.

      415-Elena: Jenna and John took the last spots.

This whole scene from the moment Elena walked downstairs, talking about a cover story, all business, having finally accepted that Jeremy was dead was devastating and offered up a tour de force performance by Nina Dobrev. Grabbing a bottle of gasoline, and pouring it over the kitchen countertop, including her diary, she responded to the frantic questions from Caroline and Stefan, pouring more and more gasoline as her voice rose and her tears fell. She doused Jeremy's sketches, kicked his Xbox, grabbed Ric's bourbon since he wouldn't be drinking that and poured it all over her dead brother's body, ripping the Gilbert ring off since he wouldn't need it anymore.

Oh, Dobrev was absolutely magnificent. Elena, on the other hand, was just absolutely heartbreaking. Explaining in a stilted voice that was on the verge of breaking down with every syllable that there was no more room in the Gilbert family plot because Jenna and John had taken the last spots, unaffected by Caroline's cry begging her to stop, the emotion just kept rising. Holding the lit match while she shook, tears falling, Elena herself was on the verge of breaking when the match almost fell and Damon rushed to catch it. Damon, who had been silent during all of this, finally spoke when Stefan asked him to take care of it. And he did, but not how Stefan expected. No, sliding to his knees beside her sobbing form, he told her to take the pain away, to just… turn it off. And she did. Such a powerful scene, and arguably Dobrev's finest work in the series.

32.) 4.21 – "She's Come Undone"Damon and his minion#2 getting the job done. Oh yeah.

      421-Damon: That's joy.

In some ways this is a companion scene to the previous one. Elena turned the switch off there, and in this she turned it back on. Most of the same characters were in play (Matt in place of Caroline—and terribly important here) and it was a very specific and beautiful parallel. On its own, it's an amazing scene… but paralleled with the other, it is outstanding. What works about this one alone is all about Damon and his characterization. Because of the sire bond, Damon had questioned his actions and decisions regarding Elena and that was why it took so long to get the humanity-on Elena back. However, once she was no longer in their grasp and they knew that she was completely off the rails, he was done. He was no longer following Stefan's lead or anyone else's. He was decisive and didn't stop to discuss it it was anyone; he just came up with a plan and went into action. He corralled Matt (who, of course, obeyed right away because, yeah, Damon had that boy trained) and went forth to bring back Elena's humanity and he got it done. Damon knew that Elena would think he was bluffing since he had been playing by Stefan's rulebook and not his own, so she would think he was bluffing. She was trying to one-up him but Damon was done playing as he said and so he killed Matt, and Elena's bluff was called. With her humanity gone, she forgot one of the key reasons that she and Damon are so good together. In the right ways, they are very much alike and that includes… they don't bluff when those they love are on the line.

As for the parallel with the earlier scene, both Damon and Elena were kneeling, facing one another with Damon speaking softly, carefully to her, trying to reach out to her and say exactly what he needed to to get her where she needed to be. Meanwhile, Stefan was on the outside; he was just an observer. The emotion, the connection, the pull-push was all between Damon and Elena. And taking that mirroring to an exquisite level was the fact that the exact same music was used for when Elena's humanity came back just as when it left. So very awesome.

Alright then, there we go. My favorite scenes and moments from season 01 through 04. Seasons 05 through 08 will hopefully be up next weekend.


- Major Unresolved Issues
- Minor Unresolved Issues
- Missed Opportunities
- THE Love Story
Tags: #1, #2, alaric saltzman, bonnie bennett, bonnie/caroline, candice accola, caroline forbes, caroline/klaus, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, damon/jeremy, damon/matt, damon/stefan, elena gilbert, elena/bonnie, ian somerhalder, isobel saltzman, jeremy gilbert, jeremy/bonnie, katherine pierce, klaus mikaelson, matt donovan, nina dobrev, paul wesley, rebekah mikaelson, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, stefan/rebekah, the vampire diaries, tv

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.