Delayed gratification is supposed to be one of the more pleasurable human experience. Weeks, months, or years trudge by, making each minute of waiting excruciating until finally, the goal is reached and the resultant jubilance is explosive. That’s how tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries should have ended: with pure elation. Instead, we got an unwelcome twist that wants to rewrite two and a half seasons of build-up.
This is, of course, a rant about Thursday night’s long-awaited romantic explosion between Elena and Damon.
The writers clearly knew that the episode in which Damon and Elena finally got together would be the one that sent our perfect little memories back to our first Miss Mystic Falls pageant, when Stefan lost his way and Damon stepped in as Elena’s escort, piquing her interest during the traditional partners dance. This week, the gang is putting on another Miss Mystic Falls pageant and this time, Matt has to step in for Jeremy (who’s lost his way too) when the new girl, April, steps out to perform the traditional dance. Naturally, Damon and Elena both caught the similarities, and even made sure to spell it out for us by episode’s end as they’re about to go at it like vampire bunnies. But it’s all marred with Caroline’s sudden idea: Elena might be sired to Damon.
Let’s start with the “evidence.” Exhibit A: Elena broke up with Stefan because she’s in love with Damon and because Stefan is in love with the Elena who no longer exists. This makes Stefan crazy enough to believe Caroline’s theory.
Exhibit B: Elena supposedly does whatever Damon says, because Caroline noticed she kind of warmed to a dress that Damon chose earlier in the episode and because when Damon told her to calm down about Jeremy and he offered to take care of it, Elena trusted his word. Caroline thinks this is nuts because Damon is “scum,” but hasn’t the past season and a half taught that Damon is good at heart with a bad boy coating?
Exhibit C: When Elena couldn’t keep the blood bags and animal blood down, Caroline says it was because Damon said Elena couldn’t. (So, we’re supposed to believe that being a doppelganger has ruined Elena’s life for the entire span of the show and suddenly, it’s not causing problems anymore and her real blood aversion comes from an outlandish brain-washing yarn?) Plus, according to Caroline Damon was the person whose blood triggered the final stages of Elena’s transformation to vampire. Am I remembering the season premiere differently? Elena was teetering over the edge in the final moments of the 24-hour period in which a baby vampire needs to feed before it dies. She drank the blood of one of Pastor Young’s guards, and boom: she was jumping on Damon with her vampire fangs. Suddenly, we’re forgetting that and letting ourselves believe that Damon was her first feed? No thanks. I’ll stick with the truth.
While Damon and Elena are finally writhing around, ripping off clothes and hopping into Damon’s opulent bed, we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves, yet all we can think about is this crackpot theory which would erase all of Elena’s free will and emotions and replace them with an answer that would draw a line in the sand, making Stefan right about everything and Damon simply evil. That’s where this show started, and we’ve spent seasons watching it evolve, watching the good/evil identities of both Salvatores be replaced with something a little more human: developed personalities that don’t fit into check-boxes.
Elena has spent this season growing up, experiencing more sobering truths than she’d ever known, learning that sometimes you outgrow your first love, and slowing managing to tackle this vampire thing as an adult and not a helpless little girl. Yet Caroline’s idea that she’s simply lost control of herself via some witchy hoo-doo not only undermines the romantic encounter we’ve been itching for, it undermines everything Elena has been doing, thinking and feeling for as long as we’ve known her, and especially for what she’s been doing, thinking, and feeling in Season 4. If Caroline turns out to be right, the show will have rewritten its own brief history, however, if my supposition that Stefan doesn’t really believe it’s possible, but he goes along with the idea because it means there’s a fixable reason for Elena leaving him for his brother, is right, then all will be well in the Vampire Diaries world. In fact, it will be great.
Next: Why Stefan being delusional is actually great...
Because if Stefan is being consistent with his character throughout Season 4 (and throughout this episode, in which he makes Jeremy kill a vampire he just turned so that Jeremy’s tattoo map will grow and lead him to the “vampire cure”), our “good” boy has lost his mind. He wants to “fix” Elena by finding the cure, because he can’t love her the way she is now, and she doesn’t love him the way she used to. He’s lying and working with Klaus, who only wants the cure so he can continue to use Elena as a human blood bag (which sounds pretty inferior to life as a vampire if you ask me and not something a good boyfriend would want to the woman he loves). Stefan doesn’t make sense for Elena anymore. Damon does. We can see that, and we’re not sired. So please, writers, don’t continue to tarnish this wonderful occurrence with some explanation that seeks to cheapen it.
And considering what Caroline spent the episode doing, she’s in no position to question Elena’s judgement. Apparently, her fight with Tyler didn’t quite spell the end for Tyler and Caroline, but that end may be getting closer. Klaus requested that Caroline make good on her promise of a date, meaning she took him as her date for the pageant. Swoon? Still, Klaus showed up looking dapper, and rather innocent (it’s the 1950s side part that’s doing it). While Tyler was listening from afar, Caroline confided in Klaus about her issues with Elena and then giggled like a schoolgirl as he read off her (surprisingly poorly written) Miss Mystic Falls application from the year she won. She was enjoying herself, and Tyler was all too aware of it. (Or he was cranky because Caroline totally ignored Gabby Douglas earlier in the episode. They call that a cameo?)
While Caroline seems to be legitimately enjoying her time talking about the benefits of immortality with Klaus, the most evil vampire to hit this show, she’s judging Elena for having feelings for Damon? She can’t be serious. She could have inklings (whether she likes it or not) towards Klaus and that’s alright, but Elena wants to be with Damon and suddenly Caroline’s whipping out medieval plots? Pot, meet kettle.
There’s also, of course, the issue of this whole vampire hunter plot, which seems to be consuming characters like a terrifying gelatinous blob. Now that Damon knows Professor Shane knew Pastor Young, he’s deduced that Shane set up the explosion. And even though he’s all over his brother’s recent ex, Damon is set on helping Stefan find the cure, which means he can’t kill the vampire hunter encylopedia, Shane. Why? Because, as Shane reveals this week, they need a Bennett witch to use the cure once they find it with the Hunter tattoo, and Shane is the only person Bonnie (the last Bennett witch) trusts right now. But wait, there’s more.
Obviously Jeremy is involved, and now that he’s starting to develop violent tendencies, even toward Elena, he’s an easy replacement for Connor in Shane’s scheme. The younger Gilbert is dreaming about killing his sister, and after Stefan gets him to a kill a vamp to advance his tattoo, he almost takes out Elena again until Stefan and Matt save her. And after she recovers, this is where Shane’s (and Klaus’ and Stefan’s) plan stalls. According to Shane, it’s almost impossible to locate a Hunter, so they need Jeremy’s tattoo. But the more Jeremy kills, the less likely he is to control the urge to kill and the more likely it is he’ll kill Elena or one of their friends. So, after he tries to kill Elena, Matt moves into Elena’s room and she moves in with Damon in an effort to keep Jeremy in check. But with Jeremy in check, all sides of the plan are at a standstill.
That is until the wild card is thrown out: Haley isn’t breaking hybrids out of the kindness of her heart and she didn’t just show up in town because she missed Tyler. She’s working with Shane and breaking all of Klaus’ hybrids is part of his grand scheme. Who wants to place bets on the Hunter tattoo-map theory being an elaborate distraction to destroy Klaus while he wasn’t paying attention?
It could be heating up to be a far more interesting season than we anticipated (if they properly clear up all that sired nonsense).
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[Photo Credit: CW]