In the weeks between spring finale time, and the summer television season, TV fans tend to do one of two things: (1) reflect on seasons past or; (2) look ahead to the new season. As for me, my intention in writing this post was to do the latter. But I ended up doing quite a bit of the former, as well.
Allow me to explain. You see, having recently watched all the new trailers from this years’ network upfronts, my original goal was to select the five new series with the most potential to end up on my new 2012/2013 TV roster, and review their trailers. However, after I made my selections, it occurred to me that all of the series I chose shared one interesting commonality: Lost.
You guys remember Lost, right? You know, the show about the plane crash, where the writers promised that the characters weren’t in Purgatory, until the last season, when it kind of / sort of turned out that was exactly where they were . . .
Why? Personally, I think these shows failed because they focused too much on trying to emulate the crazy plot twists, erudite literary references, and rampant conspiracy theories of the older series, while virtually ignoring the one thing that really made Lost shine . . . its characters. After all, before all the flashbacks, flash-sideways, and flash forwards . . . before the polar bears, Hurley birds, and omniscient dogs . . . before there were Others, Dharma Initiatives, donkey wheels, hatches, and secret videos starring a guy with one arm . . . Lost was simply about fourteen fascinating people, who just so happened to be flying on the same ill-fated plane.
As I mentioned earlier, all five of the news series on my Most Likely to Watch list all seem to possess certain qualities that make them seem particularly Lost-like. (Well, actually four of them do. But I’ll get to why I chose the fifth one, in a bit.) The question is, will any of these series be able to pull off the unique mix of script, characters, plot, and mystery necessary to become TV’s Next Big Thing?
Let’s analyze, shall we?
666 Park Avenue – ABC
Clearly, the most obvious connection between 666 Park Avenue and Lost is this guy . . .
Terry O’Quinn . . . a.k.a John Locke. In a clever (and possibly slightly tongue-and-cheek) bit of casting “the producers of Gossip Girl and Pretty LittleLiars” have opted to hire Oceanic Flight 815’s resident Man of Fate, Denizen of Destiny, and an eventual alter ego for The Black Smoke Monster / a.k.a. The Man in Black to play the Devil. So now we know that at least one character on this show will be exceptionally well-acted. But stunt casting alone is not enough to make for a successful show.
As for the concept of the series, intriguing as it is, it’s nothing new. 1997’s The Devil’sAdvocate boasts a similar premise, in which the Devil takes Manhattan, and faces off against a similarly upwardly mobile late twenties to early-thirty something couple, by tempting them with riches, and only partially disclosing their true cost . . .
And yet in 1997 we weren’t reeling from a recession caused by the burst of a very large real estate bubble. What better time to explore a television series in which the much maligned 1%ers actually ARE evil incarnate? So, the series boasts not only a solid cast (Vanessa L. Williams also stars), but also a timely premise. But there are other Lostian aspects this show offers, which could end up making it a success, if the writers handle them correctly.
Just like that “other show,” 666 Park Avenue offers an over-arching mystery, along with some tantalizing questions that, if producers play their cards right, viewers can chew over and discuss for seasons to come. What exactly is the Devil doing in real estate? What happened to the last managers of the Drake Apartments (I think most of us know the answer to that already. “Warmer climates?” HA!) What’s the deal with the dragon etched on the basement floor? And, perhaps, most importantly, what are the HOA fees for living in a place like that?
But what’s really going to make or break 666 Park Avenue, I think, is its cast of characters. Lost explored the lives and backstories of its various survivors with great sensitivity, and depth. 666 Park Avenue has the opportunity to do the same thing with its various apartment tenants. Who are these people who live in the Drake? What drives them, and what ultimately enticed them to sell their soul for some extra square footage, a view of Central Park, and an on-site gym?
Only time will tell . . .
CULT – THE CW
Folks who have spent these past few weeks wondering what happened to vampire-slaying history teacher, Alaric Saltzman, after he croaked on The Vampire Diaries, can breathe a sigh of relief now . . .
Though often written off as a “teen television” channel, over the past few years, the CW has enjoyed a surprising amount of success producing shows for a slightly younger, hipper audience who are seeking series that are a bit darker, and grittier than your typical “bright and shiny” network fare. And from the looks of it, Cult might just prove to be the darkest and grittiest of them all. Just watching the trailer gave me chills . . . probably because that TV Guy / Possible Cult Leader looks and sounds like a cross between Hannibal Lecter, Kevin Spacey’s character in Seven, and, of course, Benjamin Linus from Lost . . .
But of course, Cult shares more in common with Lost than just an average-looking, kind of creepy, but still oddly charismatic, intellectual type, who might be a cult leader. Much like it’s predecessor, Cult will offer its fans countless conspiracy theories, clues to unravel, mysterious happenings to be explained, lots of oddly dressed folks with dubious motives to puzzle over, and most importantly, confusing, but compulsively rewatchable, YouTube videos . . .
What intrigues me most about Cult is how unabashedly “meta” it seems to be. I mean, here is a show that blatantly eviscerates the one thing it needs to survive as a series: a diehard fandom. This, of course, begs the question, could Lost fans be driven to commit murder, simply because Benjamin Linus asked them to do so? Well, maybe if he asked really nicely . . .
Revolution – NBC
Here’s another timely premise, in light of the world’s increasing dependence on technology to survive (not to mention Facebook’s catastrophic failure as a stock IPO.) Imagine a world completely without technology, that’s populated by folks like us, who can’t remember a time before the existence internet, and who can’t let a day go by, without checking our e-mail, sending a text message, or asking SIRI if it’s raining outside.
Of all the shows on my new TV viewing roster, this J.J. Abrams-produced one probably wins the prize for being the most Lost-like. Let’s see, we’ve got an unexplained supernatural phenomenon and/or terrorist act, that has cut off our main characters from technology, a sustainable food source, and the benefits of generalized medicine, forcing them to spend hours wandering aimlessly in the woods, looking dirty . . . and hot . . .
We’ve got repeated flashbacks to a climactic event, which, when viewed together, at the end of the series should explain everything . . . almost. We’ve got various factions of people, some who want things to remain as they are now, and others who want to “go back” to the way things once were . . .
We’ve got snarky rogue-loners, who begin the series looking out only for themselves, but inevitably “learn to love” and become the series’ obvious unlikely heroes . . .
We’ve got nerdy professor types who spend the entire series looking vaguely confused, while trying to “figure it all out.”
Heck, we even have weird ancient-looking symbols, and those dopey, green-screen computers from the 80’s . . .
But beyond all those superficial similarties, I think “Revolution” has the potential to be a true character study, just as Lost was. After all, nothing exhibits the true nature of a person better, then putting them in a completely unfamiliar situation, without the benefits or camouflage that modern-day luxuries provide. In the words of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, “DUUUUUUUUDE.”
The Last Resort – ABC
Forget, “You sunk my battleship.” Something tells me, come this fall, everybody will be yelling at their TV screens, “YOU SUNK MY SUBMARINE!” If Revolution is the series that most resembles Lost in terms of plot points, The Last Resort most resembles its tone, high production values, and cinematic quality. In fact, if I hadn’t spied the ABC logo on the corner of screen, I could have sworn this was war movie. Heck, they even hired That Movie Guy with the Oddly Deep Voice to do the narration! Conspiracy theorists, war aficionados, and political pundits alike will find much to love in this series, which, like it’s famous predecessor will revolve around an international cover-up . . .
. . . the result of which will strand our main characters on an island, separating them from the people they love, and putting their lives in constant imminent danger . . .
Hey, this place even looks like Lost island. Where’s Vincent the Dog? WAAAAAAAAALT!
And of course, there will inevitably be dealings with “those pesky others.”
But mostly, I’ll just be watching this one, because Ben from Felicity will be there . . .
Speaking of completely shallow reasons to watch a television program . . .
Chicago Fire – NBC
At the beginning of this post, I admitted to you that really only four of the five series I chose for my Watch List were like Lost.Chicago Fire doesn’t resemble Lost at all . . . unless you count the repeated obligatory shots of Sometimes dirty-faced and slightly bloody cocky alpha males who never met a shirt they actually liked to wear . . .
I’d be lying if I said the prospect of having a naked Taylor Kinney on my television screen every week, wasn’t a big draw for my choosing Chicago Fire for this blog post. But personally I think the trailer for this series boasts more than good looking shirtless guys with bad attitudes. The in-fighting between the squad members, caused in part by the oh-so-cliched concept of The Fallen Comrade shows promise for solid character development. The kickass females in the series make my feminist heart proud. And if done right, those inevitable Burning Building sequences are going to look really awesome in HD.
Besides, who doesn’t love a man in uniform . . . or out of it?
And there you have it folks, my five Lostian . . . and not so Lostian picks for the best new shows of Fall 2012. So, what’s on YOUR Must Watch List?
Brothers . . . they know you better than anybody else in the world . . . sometimes even better than you know yourself. And that specialized knowledge gives them an incredible amount of power over you. It can make them your strongest allies . . .
. . . or your most frightening enemies.
Sometimes brothers can play both roles in your life, at once: protector and destroyer . . . advocate and executioner . . . confidant and betrayer. Perhaps, there are no two people that understand this concept better than The Vampire Diaries’ iconic brothers — both in life, and in blood — Damon and Stefan Salvatore.
Correction: There MAY actually be two people who understand this concept just a bit better than the Salvatore Brothers, but only because they’ve had about 1,000 years more experience than their decidedly younger counterparts . . .
Of course, I am referring to the original vampire brothers, Klaus and Elijah, two siblings for whom the phrase “blood brothers” carries with it an incredibly powerful, not to mention, extremely deadly, meaning all it’s own . . .
Upon completing our four-part Ripper Redux series, last week, Amy, over at Imaginary Men and I, turned to you, our beautiful and brilliant readers, and asked for your suggestions as to what TVD-related topic we should cover in our next pre-Season 3 installment . . .
All of your suggestions were so amazing, that we had an incredibly difficult time picking just one topic to cover in this week’s post.
So, we decided to start with two . . .
Beau’s suggested we tackle the Salvatore Brothers, and their complex relationship with one another. “The bond between them, is it now rivalry, an unpleasant, unwelcome, brothership, or hidden care for each other?”
Coincidentally, Serendipity, author of the spectacular Delena fanfiction Shadowdancing, was also interested in the Salvatore Brothers. However, her interests lied less in the way that they loved one another, and more in the way that they loved others . . .
They love others GOOD!
Specifically, Serendipity hoped to explore the parallels between Stefan’s and Damon’s love for Elena and Katherine, and Klaus’ and Elijah’s “love” for Katherine and the Original Petrova Doppelganger Charlotte, who’s mysterious existence has been hinted at throughout The Vampire Diaries’ second season.
Since Amy and I tend to be rather . . . um . . . visual people . . .
We’ve decided to frame our analysis of the aforementioned issue using three iconic scenes from The Vampire Diaries’ series. The first scene, from Season 1’s “Children of the Damned,” features a standoff between Damon and Stefan that inadvertently endangers the lives of BOTH Elena and Katherine.
The second two scenes, both from Season 2’s Klaus, involve a similar standoff between Klaus and Elijah, in which the brothers discuss the nature of vampire love, and the fate of one, very special, Petrova Doppelganger . . .
Here’s how it’s going to work. First, Amy, Serendipity and I will lay out and analyze each of the three individual scenes for you. Once we are done with that, we’ll take a step back, and discuss what these scenes say about the Salvatores versus the Originals, in terms of their various likenesses and differences. Sound good?
Excellent! So, without further adieu, let the Brotherly Betrayals, and Doppelganger Love Triangles begin!
Scene 1: Another Vampire Girlfriend for Stefan and Damon?
Episode: “Children of the Damned” – 1 X 13
Setting the Scene:
So, remember, back last season, when the Salvatore Brothers still thought Katherine was locked away in suspended animation in that vampire tomb? Ahhh, memories!
The key to unlocking the tomb lied in reciting a spell developed by Bonnie’s ancestor, Emily.
The spell was contained in a Grimoire or “spell book.” As it turned out, the REAL reason Damon had initially returned to Mystic Falls — after having abandoned the town and his brother for nearly a century — was to find that book, recite the spell, and open the tomb, so that he and Katherine could be reunited, for all eternity . . .
Though both Stefan and Elena had jointly and separately promised Damon that they would help him do whatever it takes to rescue Katherine from the tomb (He promised to leave town, once he found her), the couple had secretly decided that awakening a rather large group of incredibly bloodthirsty vampires was not a particularly good way to boost Mystic Falls’ morale. So, based on a hot tip from Good Old John Gilbert’s journal, the pair snuck off, in the middle of the night, to Stefan’s and Damon’s father’s grave, where Old Man Gilbert said the Grimoire would most likely be buried.
After a minimal amount of digging, Stefan and Elena uncovered the book, which they eventually planned to destroy, so that Damon could never find it. The problem, of course, is that, like Stefan and Elena, Damon was also clued in to the Grimoire’s whereabouts. And when he found Stefan and Elena, in the process of betraying his trust, to say he was not amused is the understatement of the century . . .
STEFAN: “I can’t let you bring her back. I’m sorry.”
DAMON: “So am I. For thinking, for even a second, that I could trust YOU!”
STEFAN: “You are not capable of trust. The fact that you are here means that you read the journal, and you were planning on doing this yourself.”
DAMON: “Of course, I was going to do it myself, because the only one I can count on is ME! You made sure of that many years ago, Stefan. But you (looks at Elena) . . . you had me fooled.”
And later . . .
DAMON: “Give me the book, or I will snap her neck. And you and I will have a Vampire Girlfriend.”
Still later . . .
DAMON: “The problem is that I no longer trust that you will give it back.”
STEFAN: “You just did the one thing that ensures that I will.”
Julie: I find it fascinating that most TVD pundits (myself included) spend so much time and space discussing Damon’s second force-feeding of his blood to Elena, in “The Last Day” . . .
. . . whereas this first instance of involuntary blood exchange generally gets short shrift.
Perhaps, this is because, at the time, the act of forcefeeding had comparatively less significance to both parties involved, than it does now. Elena, though clearly frightened, of the prospect of dying and “going vamp,” had really just started becoming intimate with her vampire boyfriend Stefan, at this point in the series. Having not yet been exposed to Stefan’s darkside, Elena probably wasn’t particularly aware of the potentially negative impact becoming a bloodsucker might have on her psyche. She also hadn’t really had the opportunity to consider what she would be giving up, if she was turned . . .
By the time Elena has drank Damon’s blood again in “The Last Day,” we know, based on her later discussion with Stefan, that she has since given this matter a good deal of thought . . .
For Damon’s part, he was still very much hung up on Katherine, at the time this scene was taking place. So, the threat of turning Elena was viewed by Stefan more as a bargaining chip to get back the book from Stefan, than anything else. In fact, there is a good deal of evidence in the scene that Damon is actually bluffing . . . and that he never intends to actually turn Elena.
We see in Damon, a surprising amount of hesitation, caution, and guilt, in his dealings with Elena, following the force feeding . . . the way he nuzzles her hair affectionately, prior to the book being placed on the floor . . . the gentle way he releases her from his grasp, when the book is actually delivered . . . the almost apologetic way he pats Elena on the arm, as she rushes back to Stefan.
For a so-called cold and calculating killer, Damon sure seemed conflicted about the actual act of killing, in this scene! In fact, I’d be willing to argue that a part of Damon was actually AFRAID that Stefan would call his bluff, and not return the book, forcing Damon to stick to his word, and turn Elena, to punish Stefan. Oddly enough, Damon’s forcefeeding of Elena in “The Last Day,” which was done out of an INTENSE love for her, was much rougher and more callous seeming. I think this was because, in that scene, Damon was NOT conflicted at all. He simply couldn’t picture a life without Elena, and saw turning her as the only way to keep her from dying . . .
Amy: While Damon seems used to betrayals from his brother, his new pain over Elena’s betrayal is written all over his face.
And when Damon is hurt – he lashes out and does things that cause irreparable damage – such as here where he threatens Elena and feeds her his blood. An act he’ll repeat in S2 when his fear that Elena will die at the Sacrifice for Klaus’ curse leads him to force feed her his blood as a desperate “insurance policy” that she won’t ever die.
At this point Elena does not know the true story of how the Salvatores became vampires. Is this Damon not so subtly telling her that he has
every reason not to trust his brother? Or maybe an early foreshadowing of Stefan’s secret Ripper past?
Serendipity: This is Stefan’s second betrayal of Damon, the first being (in that same episode) when 1864 Stefan promises Damon not to tell their father about Katherine, and Stefan betrays that trust. Damon says he’s not surprised by Stefan doing that again in the present, but he is very hurt by Elena doing so, especially since he asked her about it earlier that night (“Can I trust you?” And she says “Yes,” which is actually her first act of lying to Damon, I think).
Julie: What’s interesting about the exchange between Stefan and Damon in this scene, is that you can really see where both brothers are coming from. From Stefan’s perspective, this has much less to do with Damon’s “right” to be reunited with Katherine, and more to do with the extreme danger that the release of these OTHER vampires will undoubtedly cause for the town. And yet, you can also see how Damon sees this as the ultimate slight, on his brother’s part.
Damon’s overwhelming devotion to Katherine blinds him from seeing the collateral damage of what he is doing. He can’t understand why his own brother would possibly choose to ensure the happiness of a town full of virtual strangers over his own kin. Plus, I’m sure there’s a small part of Damon that wonders whether Stefan is keeping Katherine from him, so that he can have her (or at least, her modern-day equivalent, looks wise) all to himself . . . while Damon, once again, is left alone and empty-handed.
Amy: Here the brothers are forced to trust one another – when neither of them do. Stefan has to trust that Damon cares about Elena enough not
to hurt her despite his threats and his anger with them both; Damon has to trust that Stefan loves Elena enough to give him what he really wants – the journal – and also trust that his “good brother” will make the “good decision.” Whereas Katherine was the one using the brothers as pawns in 1864, in this moment Elena is the pawn the brothers have to bargain for to each get what they want.
Serendipity: Question though: I wonder how the Grimoire got buried with Giuseppe Salvatore? Stefan killed him to complete his
transition (awkward having to dig him up then) but we see Emily running away from the round-up, and she isn’t a vampire, so how did they get it? Did she just leave the thing behind? Emily didn’t die that day, since Kat had to come back to ‘tie those loose ends’ as she told Damon in ‘The Houseguest’.
Julie: Hmm . . . good point. I never really thought about that before! I’m thinking that, since John Gilbert survived BOTH Giuseppe and Emily, following Emily’s death, it was John who buried the Grimoire with Giuseppe Salvatore.
Maybe he believed that this would be the best way of keeping the book safe from the Vampire Salvatore Brothers. The grotesque circumstances surrounding Giuseppe’s death (which were probably fairly obvious, once his body was found) would seem to dictate that Stefan and Damon would NEVER go anywhere near that body, knowing, that, if they did, the townspeople would round them up, and possibly do to them what they had to the other vampires in Mystic Falls.
This is just a guess, of course . . . 😉
Amy: You might be right about that. Despite the promises of eternal misery and the constant wall slamming/throwing each other out windows/staking one another throughout the centuries – deep down the Salvatore Brothers love each other. They need each other – why else would Stefan have wanted his brother to turn Vamp with him? He didn’t want to be alone, he wanted them to share eternal life together. Stefan
is always swearing there is humanity still in Damon, and he withstands a lot of Damon’s terrible behaviors to try and force that humanity out.
Scene 2: “Love is a Vampire’s Greatest Weakness”
Episode: “Klaus” – 2 X 19
Setting the Scene: Klaus and Elijah are half-brothers. And both are part of THE Original Vampire family, from which all vampires are to some extent descended. Though they were born to the same mother, the two brothers have different fathers. Klaus’ father is a werewolf. This means, technically, that, upon taking a human life, Klaus should morph into the only were-vampire in the entire world!
Fearing that this would make Klaus too powerful, and would mess with the supernatural order of things, a group of witches put a spell on Klaus, rendering his werewolf side dormant, no matter how many humans he killed. The spell was sealed by the blood of a woman named Charlotte, the Original Petrova Doppelganger, with whom both Klaus and Elijah apparently had intimate relations.
Breaking the curse requires a Sacrifice ceremony that can only be performed on a Full Moon. To complete the ceremony requires the incantations of a witch, and the lifeblood of a werewolf, a vampire, and, most importantly, a Petrova Doppelganger. The problem of course, is that since Charlotte’s death, a Petrova Doppelganger hasn’t appeared in centuries! That is, until Katerina Petrova enters Klaus’ and Elijah’s life. For very different reasons, she is precisely what both vampire brothers are seeking . . .
KLAUS: “After all these centuries, it is finally time.”
ELIJAH: “I have been to see the witches. They believe they may have found a way to spare the Doppelganger.”
KLAUS: “What does it matter if she lives or not? She is a means to an end. That is all.”
ELIJAH: “But she should die for your gain?”
KLAUS: “She is human. Her life means nothing.”
ELIJAH: “I beg you to consider this.”
KLAUS: “Are you so foolish as to care for her?”
ELIJAH: (hesitates) “Of course not.”
KLAUS: “Love is a vampire’s greatest weakness. And we are not weak, Elijah. We do not feel. And we do not care.”
ELIJAH: “We did once.”
KLAUS: (softens) “Too many lifetimes ago to matter. Tell the witches not to bother. The Sacrifice will happen as planned.
Amy: The big reveal that Klaus and Elijah were brothers was a doozy. Up until that point the audience sees Elijah as an ally in the war against Klaus (a scary, unpredictable ally, but still) But as his brother – does he have an ulterior motive? Does he want reunion or revenge?
In this flashback, Katherine (or Katerina) is, for once – the pawn between this set of brothers. Klaus needs her in her human form to break
the curse that will allow him to be a WereVamp, and Elijah who has been assisting with these Curse Breaking duties has clearly fallen for the lovely Petrova Doppleganger and would rather she not die in the service of his brother’s master plan.
Julie: The acting in this scene was just spectacular. Kudos to both Daniel Gillies and Joseph Morgan for a truly complex and riveting peformance. Watching the calm, calculating, dignified, and thoughtful Elijah navigate the rough waters that are the easily excitable, and often rash, yet, at the same time, surprisingly cool and calculating, Klaus, was truly mesmerizing.
In particular, I love the choices Daniel Gillies makes in this scene. As understated and soft-spoken as the character of Elijah can be, he’s also brutally smart. Elijah knows exactly how Klaus feels (or at least pretends to feel) about humanity. And I suspect that the Original Petrova Doppelganger broke his heart BIG TIME. So, while it’s clearly obvious that Elijah has fallen hard for the maiden Katerina, and desperately wants to save her from death, he’s wise enough not to come right out and say so . . .
At first, Elijah is very casual and nonchalant about his “suggestion” that the witches can spare Katerina’s life, while still giving Klaus exactly what he wants. He clearly has experience placating, and playing sidekick to his brother. And he does it well.
The problem is that Klaus has grown up with Elijah for CENTURIES, by this point. So, he sees right through his brother’s machinations to the love lurking in Elijah’s heart. Backed into a corner, Elijah is forced to finally be honest with his brother about his feelings, BEGGING him to reconsider. Now, that he has him right where he wants him, Klaus puts the final nail in Elijah’s proverbial coffin, by implying that he is weak for having feelings for a human. And yet, when Elijah not-so-subtly suggests that even the GREAT Klaus is not immune to such affections, we can see the slightest chink in the Big Bad Vampire’s armor. A chink that will grow into a gaping hole, in the next scene . . .
Scene 3: “DO NOT LIE TO ME!”
Episode: “Klaus 2 x 19
Setting the Scene: Shortly after the above scene has taken place, Katerina Petrova mysteriously vanishes. And Klaus has a pretty good idea who was behind her sudden disappearance . . .
KLAUS: “What have you done?”
ELIJAH: “I don’t understand.”
KLAUS: “Katerina has gone. She has fled . . . What did you tell her?”
ELIJAH: “I told her nothing.”
KLAUS: *insert Original Wall Slam here* “DO NOT LIE TO MEEEE!”
ELIJAH: “I will find her. You have my word.”
KLAUS: “If you do not, I give you my word. You will be dead.”
Serendipity: What we see in “Klaus” may very well be the First Betrayal Klaus has experienced from his typically-loyal brother. At least, I think it’s a First Betrayal (though we do not know that for sure). Not that we see the actual betrayal, just the aftermath of Katherine having gone missing and it being Elijah’s fault for having warned her about Klaus’ plans.
Amy: Here, the Originals’ Brothers do their version of the patented Salvatore Brother Wall Slam. Klaus’ Curse Breaking Party is about to get ruined because Katerina has written her own escape clause and started her life of Vampire Bitch on the Run. He blames his younger, dutiful, brother for having feelings that allowed him to betray Klaus to help the woman he loves.
Julie: In the last scene, we saw how cool and calculating Klaus can be, when it is in his best interest to do so. But, in general, I think Klaus is a pretty excitable guy. Unlike Elijah, Klaus’ MO is to rip something to shreds first, and think about the consequences of that action later. Here, we get to see Klaus in what I believe is his TRUE form. He is raw, animalistic, and full of RAGE. And yet, I think a part of him is also extremely shocked, and maybe just a bit hurt, that his own brother has had the GALL (and the intelligence) to go behind his back and foil his plans, in this very personal way . . . especially, since Elijah knows just how much Klaus wants to become a were-vamp, and how long he has been waiting for it.
Klaus feels as though Elijah has made a fool of him. His brother has done something Klaus thought no one could do . . . trick and betray him. And the fact that Elijah did it for a HUMAN, and lied about it, when confronted, that just digs the knife in deeper, as far as Klaus is concerned. When Klaus threatens to kill Elijah, if he doesn’t find Katerina and bring her back, we KNOW he means it. And centuries later, Klaus proves just how serious this threat actually was . . .
A Blood Brotherhood Redux: Tying it all Together . . .
Amy: So the Originals Brothers have switched hair colors but clearly Klaus = Damon and Elijah = Stefan. Damon plots, kills and feels nothing. Stefan fixes, protects and cares deeply. Elijah wants to remind Klaus that they DID feel at one time, the same way Stefan wants Damon to remember his humanity and that he too can feel love and compassion. Klaus wants ultimate power and he does not care who he has to kill to get it – innocent girl, brother.
Serendipity: That’s interesting that you see them that way. Because, for me, I always want to see Damon as Elijah and Stefan as Klaus… after all, it looks as though Katherine is ‘something’ (lover? Special someone?) more to Klaus than to Elijah, casting Elijah in the role of the pursuing brother, victim of (unrequited?) love, just like Damon.
But on the other hand there are certain parallels being drawn between Klaus/Damon and Elijah/Stefan, because it is Klaus who is betrayed by Elijah, casting Elijah into Stefan’s role of the betrayer of hope. I took a sneak peak at parts of both episodes, and remarked that the clothing seems to reflect that, specifically as far as the first betrayal goes (might be a total coincidence though): 1864 Damon wears a blue suit in CoTD, just as Klaus does when meeting Katherina for the first time (might just be because they both are blue-eyed though, only this is the first time I noticed this; and neither usually wears blue), while 1864 Stefan wears a brown suit in CoTD just like Elijah (then again, both have brown eyes, but that hardly ever seems to play). I didn’t pay attention to present day Damon and Stefan, though I imagine they wore their regular clothes…
Julie: You both raise good points. On one hand, Elijah and Damon both seem to have that broody, unrequited love, thing going for them. (“I’m going to save that Katherine’s life, dammit! So, what if she’ll probably end up choosing my brother over me! At least she will know I care!”) And yet, in the scenes we’ve selected, Klaus and Damon were both definitely playing the role of The Betrayed to their brother’s Betrayer . . .
Also, there’s a definite similarity in temperment and ideology, between Klaus and Damon and Elijah and Stefan, respectively. Regarding Klaus and Damon, these two are clearly, the more emotional and impulsive brothers. When they feel something, they ACT on it. And very little effort is made on either of their parts to disguise their emotions.
Though in many ways, that makes them SCARIER than their more diplomatic brothers, it also, oddly enough, makes them more “honest.” When it comes to Klaus and Damon, you always know exactly what you are going to get. That’s not necessarily the case with Elijah and Stefan, who have been dishonest and betrayed the ones they love on numerous occasions, under the guise of doing what they feel is “honorable.
In terms of ideologies, we saw in both of these scenes, that Klaus and Damon, each for their own reasons, value the lives of the people they love and their own lives, over the lives of “humans.” Klaus tells Elijah that because Katherine is human, her life means nothing. Damon, by wanting to rescue Vampire Katherine from the tomb, at the risk of letting all the rest of the tomb vampires loose as well, impliedly places HER life, and his happiness, over the lives of the townspeople of Mystic Falls. Elijah and Stefan, conversely, seem to value human life, and see humans, like then-Katherine, Elena, and the people of Mystic Falls, as individuals worthy of having their lives protected.
Klaus’ and Damon’s feelings toward humanity extend toward their feelings toward human emotions. Klaus doesn’t care for humans, because he sees them as inferior. (Though, of course, this may be the result of earlier heartbreak, at the hands of the Original Petrova. Who knows?)
Damon, on the other hand, resents his loss of humanity, and the experience of human emotion serves as a painful reminder to him of what he know longer has. A comparison of Klaus’ “Love is a vampire’s greatest weakness . . . We do not feel. We do not care” line in Klaus to Damon’s “[Being upset over Rose’s death] would be human of me Elena, and I am NOT human,” in “The Descent” is pretty telling in terms of the similarities and differences between Klaus’ and Damon’s respective opinions on the experience of human emotions.
Amy: We haven’t seen enough of the Originals’ Brothers to really understand how their relationship worked, but I don’t get a whole lot of
brotherly love vibes. Elijah actually seems more like pre-Vampire Damon – sweet, quiet, prone to easily falling deeply in love. And Klaus – well I don’t doubt that he’d kill his brother in a heartbeat (heh. Get it? Because they don’t have one?) if he believed he had been betrayed.
Serendipity: Also Damon and Klaus are alike in that they didn’t get on with their fathers. For Klaus that seems logical, since his father turns out not to be his father at all, which makes me wonder whether maybe the same might not be true for Damon… (pure conjecture of course LOL). Then there is something about respect, as well, I think… in CoTD, if I heard it right, Giuseppe says he lost respect for Damon, who just
seems to shrug that off. When Stefan tells Damon he has something from Elena Damon will never have (in Klaus), i.e. her respect, they start brawling. Apparently, Damon does care about Elena’s respect, more than he did about his father’s.
Julie: It makes sense that Klaus and Damon feel rejected by their fathers, their brothers, and their former lovers (again, I’m making assumptions about this Charlotte girl). In all of the above scenes we see that Klaus and Damon both have a bit of a “Me Against the World” attitude toward life. In “Children of the Damned,” Damon notes that the only one he can trust is himself. It’s a sad statement, and yet, it seems largely consistent with much of his life experiences. Unlike Damon, Klaus might have initially felt that he COULD trust Elijah. So, it wasn’t until his brother betrayed him, that he felt truly alone in the world.
This Lone Ranger attitude Klaus and Damon have extends to their feelings about the women they love. Just as there may have been a part of Damon that saw Stefan’s keeping Katherine from him as a jealous and possessive move, as opposed to a humanitarian one, there also may have been a part of Klaus, that assumed Elijah’s actions were at least partially dictated by his feelings for the Original Petrova Doppelganger. If that was the case, Klaus, being the cocky self-absorbed vampire, he clearly is, might have assumed that the reason Elijah helped Katherine to escape his clutches had LESS to do with him simply loving her, and more to do with (1) not wanting Klaus to become a supremely powerful were-vampire; and (2) punishing Klaus for getting the girl, once again.
If human brothers are naturally competitive, in all aspects of their lives, it would stand to reason that VAMPIRE brothers are TWICE as competitive, since they have that much more TIME to compete, and that many more opportunities to potentially feel inferior . . .
Amy: Mirroring the 1X13 clip, we see that Damon does NOT = Klaus in this form of the equation, because he doesn’t want to kill either his brother
or Elena to get what he wants, no matter how desperately he wants it.
The Salvatores, on the other hand – talk about killing each other a lot – but when it comes down to it – they never would. If they did, who
would they threaten, slam into walls, and fight over the same girl with for all eternity??
PHEW! That sure was a lot of analysis! But hopefully, it’s given you a bit of insight into both pairs of our favorite vampire brothers. Now, it’s YOUR turn readers. Do you think Damon is more like Klaus or Elijah? What about Stefan? And how do you think these dynamics will change now that Ripper Stefan has, at least temporarily, aligned himself with Klaus?
Also, I’m curious as to what you all think happened with the Original Petrova? Perhaps, Stefan Salvatore wasn’t the first vampire in TVD world to have a human Petrova Doppelganger girlfriend . . . 😉
By the way, if you’ve missed any part of the Ripper Redux series, you can find the links to all four parts, by clicking HERE . . .
Well, that’s all for now, Fangbangers. We’ve still got one more week before the Season 3 premiere. So, please keep submitting your article ideas. Who knows? You might just end up being featured in next week’s blog series installment . . .
Watch out, World! The TRUE Rippers are coming . . . And BOY, are they HUNGRY!
Have we got a treat for you, this week, Fangbangers! For weeks, my fabulous blogger pal, Amy, over at Imaginary Men, and I have been hard at work watching (and rewatching, and rewatching) countless hours of Vampire Diaries’ footage, with the goal of boiling down for you, our patient viewers, those special scenes that embody the TRUE Spirit of Ripper Stefan . . .
Part I of this series, took us all the way back to 1864, where we witnessed the birth of Stefan and Damon as vampires, in the Season 1 episode “Blood Brothers.”
Awww, look at the Baby Vamps! Aren’t they cute?
Back then, Ripper Stefan was just an infant, nudging and crawling his way toward bloodsucking greatness . . .
In Part II of the series, we returned to present day, and the “Miss Mystic Falls” pageant. There, we watched with horror (and just a little bit of glee) as Ripper Stefan tore into the carotid artery of Amber the Beauty Queen with the skill of a surgeon, and the cold, unfeeling, attitude of a sociopathic serial killer . . .
But THIS is what you’ve all been waiting for! The Piece de Resistance of the ENTIRE SERIES . . .
Because when you think about it, all of these individual moments, have really been leading us down one single dark road . . . With every drop of human blood Stefan consumed, he was further cementing his fate.
So, when his path inevitably crossed with a certain blonde-haired Original Vampire, there really was no turning back. Stefan’s Destiny had already been decided. The Ripper had RETURNED, in earnest . . . and the Devil they call Klaus had made it so . . .
P.S. For those of you who have enjoyed this web series (and we hope you have), here’s an opportunity to take part in it, going forward!
As you well know, there are two weeks left between now and TVD’s September 15th premiere. That means that Amy and I have two weeks left to give you more TVD-related content. The problem is we’re not sure what we want to write about, yet!
No, I’m serious, Damon! We’re stuck! But that’s where you come in, dear readers!
Drop by the comment section here, or on Amy’s blog, and tell us what TVD-themed topic you’d like to see us cover, in the next two weeks. If we choose your idea, we will give you full credit for it, of course, as well as the opportunity to insert your two cents directly into the post . . .
Great! Then get those wheels turning, and start coming up with ideas!
Thanks in advance! And, hopefully, we’ll see you next week!
Welcome back, my darling Ripper-aholics! Thank you for joining us for Part III of The Ripper Redux Chronicles. Last week on The Ripper Redux, we traveled to Present Day, Mystic Falls, to observe the first underpinings of Modern Day Ripper Stefan. This week, it’s back to 1864, where we will learn how Stefan and Damon spent their first few days as vampires . . .
“Dammit, Stefan! I just had this couch cleaned! Must you always eat in the living room!”
Ironically, it is during these Darkest Days, that Stefan began to build two tenuous links to his humanity, both of which were destined to chart his fate for the rest of eternity: (1) his own vampire brother, and (2) his tremendous capacity for LOOOOOOOOVE . . .
*clears throat* Did it just get hot in here?
I’m referring, of course, to the same Ripper Stefan who devoured all but one of Elena’s ancestors for dinner . . .
The Last Gilbert Standing . . . (well, actually, he was pretty much laying down, at the time)
. . . and snacked on a trio of Lusty Ladies of the Night for dessert. Here was a vampire whose appetite for blood and lust knew no bounds. It is this Ripper Stefan who we meet in the series of flashbacks shown in Season 2’s “The Dinner Party” . . .
“Could I, perhaps, trouble you for a bib?”
(By the way, for those of you who missed the two previous installments of this series, worry not! You can check them out by clicking the links below:
“I had to turn it off. It was the only way I could survive . . .”
Setting the Scene:
Judging you . . .
So much for a romantic getaway! Tensions between Stefan and Elena reach their height, when Stefan learns that Elena’s “agreement” with Elijah involves her sacrificing her own life to the Original Badass, Klaus (who we later learn is Elijah’s brother). Elena’s got some ‘splaining to do! But, as it turns out, she isn’t the only one . . .
At the Gilbert cottage, Elena finds an old diary of her ancestor, Jonathan Gilbert. In it, he details his 1864 run-ins with then-newbie vampire, Stefan Salvatore. And some of the things that Jonathan has to say about Elena’s boyfriend aren’t particularly nice . . .
“Damn, that Jonathan Gilbert! I should have decapitated that Diary-Writing Douchebag, when I had the chance! Oh, wait . . . that means Elena would never have been born. Doesn’t it? Hmm . . . nevermind then.”
Let’s watch the clip, shall we?
(Click the internal link to view.)
Present Day –
ELENA: “He described you as a monster.”
STEFAN: “That’s what I was . . . In the weeks after I became a vampire, I relished in it. I took it to the darkest place I could.”
(And later . . .)
ELENA: “It sounds like you were Damon.”
STEFAN: “I was worse.”
STEFAN (voiceover): “I wasn’t myself then. I was full of guilt, for what I did to my father, my brother. I had to turn it off. It was the only way that I could survive.”
STEFAN: “Damon, don’t be like this. I’m just having fun.”
DAMON: “Staying ALIVE is more fun Stefan. We have to be more careful than this, more clever . . . like Katherine was.”
STEFAN: “Look where that got her.”
DAMON: “I’m done here . . . with YOU. I’m leaving town.”
STEFAN: “You hate me . . . I know . . . an eternity of misery and all that . . . I know . . . But you don’t have to leave town. Damon, I’ll do better. I promise.”
DAMON: “No, you will get us killed. I’d rather leave you to do that to yourself.”
Why this scene is a key moment in Ripper Canon:
Julie: The TVD writers have done an extremely good job of taking what we THINK we know about Stefan’s blood lusty past, and repeatedly turning it on its head. (They will do so again, in the Season Finale.) In the last scene from “Blood Brothers,” we saw Ghost Emily tell Stefan that his TRUE CURSE would be his inherent good heartedness, and the way in which the pain and guilt of his sins would eat him up inside forever. Based on Stefan’s facial expression following the exchange, we knew that Emily’s words had a definite effect on him. However, the effect wasn’t exactly what you would expect . . .
“Screw YOU, Emily!”
Also, in that episode, we saw Damon wash his hands of Stefan for the role the latter played in his at least-partially unwilling vampire transition. The Elder Salvatore Brother vowed, right then and there, to make his little brother’s life miserable for all eternity. The exchange suggested that Damon left town that evening, “turned off his emotions,” and immediately became the Bad Boy Vamp we know and love today . . .
In this scene, however, we learn that wasn’t the case. Despite his anger at Stefan, Damon, apparently, still felt enough kinship with and brotherly responsibility toward Stefan to stay with him for a few more weeks. But every relationship has its breaking point. And THIS was Damon’s . . .
Amy: Bloodaholic Stefan has the addict behaviors down pat here: the benders, the denial, the pleading when faced with consequences. In this brief flashback we see him slurping away at many a willing victim (“Me! I’m next!” those Civil War belles sure were slutty!) in what is basically a Blood Orgy of sorts. His growling as he feeds, the girls moans, the seeming pleasure that hunter and prey are both getting off on are as close to S-E-X as TVD is allowed to get away with on the CW . . .
“Was it as good for you, as it was for me?”
Julie: Ummm . . . I’ll have what she’s having. 😉 Now that you mention it, New Vamp Stefan definitely seems a bit crazier, and more maniacal, than Seasoned Vamp Stefan. (So much for “not wasting the blood,” and “not making a mess!”) Having not yet sufficiently mastered the “talents” required to become the cold calculating killer we witnessed in “Miss Mystic Falls,” when Stefan chews on his Victorian Honeys, he seems more in need of a feeding trough and a roll of extra-absorbant paper towels, than anything else . . .
And yet, New Vamp Stefan does share a couple of traits with the Blood-Lusty Stefan of “Miss Mystic Falls”: namely, an enjoyment of killing, and a complete lack of concern for his human victims . . .
Amy: Enjoyment of killing, indeed! Ripper Stefan is having a grand old time doing his Biting Thing, until Wet Blanket Big Bro Damon arrives to compel the Slutty Belles out of La Casa de Rich and Awesome 1.0, and smack some sense into him.
“Come on, Stefan! We don’t even know whether or not vampires can get STD’s, yet! Can you imagine having crabs for all eternity?”
This is where Stefan becomes quite the Little Brother with his rationalizations (No worries about the Founding Families, he’s gonna kill them soon, anyway), whining (that line “Damon don’t be like this, I’m just having fun” is delivered in such a bratty tone), justifying his “weeks” of binging on willing ladies’ necks and putting the Salvatores at risk, by exposing the lie that they survived both human – and vampire deaths.
Julie: Good point, Amy! You know, it’s interesting that, in his voiceover, Stefan claims that “turning off his emotions” was his chosen method of coping with his guilt, during those Early Vampire Days. And yet, just like in “Blood Brothers,” here we see Stefan, once again, become rather emotional, when the Elder Salvatore makes his SECOND threat to leave Stefan alone to his own devices.
Stefan’s childlike entreaties for his brother to stay with him, (“I’ll do better. I promise!”), stand in stark contrast, to his monstrous acts earlier in the episode. Here is an individual who is DEATHLY afraid of being alone with himself, and his own powerfully devastating emotions. Despite the fact that, during the act of killing, Stefan genuinely seems to be able to effectively turn off his humanity, it always seems to bite him in the ass, immediately after feeding . . . kind of like a bad hangover that just won’t go away.
“I have SUCH a headache. I’m never drinking AGAIN, I swear! I’m sticking to bunnies, from now on . . .”
Amy: When Damon lays down the law – that he is done with Stefan for good – that’s when the facade of not giving a sh*t and calling the downward spiral he’s on “fun” comes crashing down and Stefan is faced with what he couldn’t face the night he became a vampire: going on without his brother. The desperate tone his voice takes – the way he grasps at Damon as he stalks off – he’s pathetic really. As Julie notes, he is terrified of being alone with himself and feeling all that he is so anxious to “turn off”. But he also needs Damon with him.
His “turning” of Damon into a vampire didn’t go quite as planned, with the “lifetime of eternal misery” and such. But maybe he had hope since Damon stuck around that what he did to his brother could be forgiven – OR perhaps he imagined they would enjoy the kind of brutal partnership that we now know Klaus has planned for him . . .
I just thought it was such a cop out, on the writers’ part. I mean, here we were assuming that Stefan’s Bloodlust was something he battled with, on and off, for 160+ -some odd years, and then this flashback comes along, which suggests it only lasted 160 some odd hours.
Now, we see that Stefan DID, in fact, have a “drinking problem,” LONG AFTER meeting Lexi. In fact, in “As I Lay Dying,” Klaus suggests that Ripper Stefan was alive and well, as recently as 1917. This, of course, makes things a lot more interesting, as it potentially paves the way for us to see some still-darker flashbacks of Ripper Stefan in Season 3. It also makes me wonder whether Stefan intentionally misled Elena about the extent of his dark past, in this episode . . .
Amy: Heck yeah! Bring on more Ripper Stefan!
The mirror of this scene is at least a dozen others we’ve seen in present day Mystic Falls – in which Damon acts cruel, flippant and ignorant to whatever pleas or demands Stefan is making of him.
To find out that at the beginning those roles were reversed adds yet another layer to the very complicated relationship and history of the Brothers Salvatore. Personally, I hope in S3 we explore more how Stefan thinks himself “worse” than Damon. Was that our first clue that he was less Lexi’s Reformed Vamp Buddy . . .
. . . than he was the “ripper” of Klaus’ wingman fantasies?
Julie: I guess we will have to wait until September 15th to find out, won’t we?
“Damn you, CW! DAMN YOU!”
HOWEVER . . . speaking of Stefan and Klaus, Part IV of this series tackles Stefan’s jaw-dropping degradation into his Ripper self, at the hands of the Original Were-Vamp, as seen in TVD’s EPIC Season 2 finale, “As I Lay Dying.” You will be able to find THAT installment over at Amy’s spectacular Imaginary Men blog, sometime next week.
Greeting Fangbangers! Those of you who have visited this blog before, know that I’m obsessed with a little episode of TVD called “Miss Mystic Falls;” and that I am, specifically, enamored with a certain Very Erotic Mating Dance that takes place during the hour . . .
But what you might not know, is that I am equally obsessed with ANOTHER scene that takes place during the episode . . . one that is as dark and disturbing, as the above scene is romantic and enchanting. And yet, in its own way, this second scene is arguably just as seductive . . .
In this week’s installment of The Ripper Redux, my brilliant (not to mention, hilarious) blogging pal, Amy (over at Imaginary Men) and I, have analyzed every tantalizing morsel of what is, arguably, one of Stefan’s most deliciously dark moments of The Vampire Diaries‘ groundbreaking first season. You can read the post in its entirety, by clicking on the link below . . . IF YOU DARE!
(By the way, for those of you who missed Part I of this series, featuring Damon’s and Stefan’s going through “The Change,” worry not! You can still check that out, right on this blog, by clicking HERE.)
So, what are we waiting for TVD fans? Let’s see what Stefan’s got hiding underneath that Nice Guy Vampire Costume, he always seems to be wearing . . .
And be sure to stop back on THIS blog, next week, when Amy and I analyze Ripper Stefan’s notoriously evil flashback moments from Season 2’s “The Dinner Party.”
It’s been a good year for us Delena fans on TVD, hasn’t it? (And, judging by where things left off, next year promises to be EVEN BETTER! YIPPEE!)
After an admittedly shaky start (Jeremy Neck Snap Incident, anyone?), us stalwart D&E fans fans were eventually rewarded for our patience, with a Season 2 Smorgasbord of Tasty Delena goodness. Within just the first 10 episodes of the Season, we were treated to multiple phallic encounters . . .
. . . passionate exchanges . . .
. . . near kisses . . .
. . . and, of course, one VERY SPECIAL (but equally frustrating) declaration of love . . .
Having experienced the joy of all that, who would have thought that the scenes I just described would ultimately end up being just a precursor to all the FABULOUS Delena Decadence that was to come?
And it is for this reason that, while I had already crafted a list of the Top Ten Delena Moments of Season 1 . . . and followed that up with a SECOND list, featuring the Top Ten Moments of the FIRST half of Season 2 . . . I simply couldn’t resist writing a THIRD article, focusing on the Top Ten Delena Moments of the SECOND half of Season 2. After all, far be it for me to deny my fellow Delena fans, the opportunity to relive the ecstasy of THE FIRST KISS . . .
What follows are my favorite Damon and Elena scenes from the last eleven episodes of TVD’s second Season, starting from “The Descent,” and ending with “As I Lay Dying.” So, without further adieu, let Sweet, Sexy, and Swoon-worthy Nostalgia BEGIN!
10. “Be the Better Man, Damon.”
Episode: “Daddy Issues” – 2 X 13
Setting the Scene:
Team Save Elena (a.k.a. The Scooby Gang) has been making some questionable decisions lately. And it’s been trying Damon’s already-limited patience, BIG TIME. First, Stefan comes up with the “brilliant idea” of inviting Known Vampire Hater Uncle/Father John, and Elena’s Evil Bio Mom Vampire Isobel back to town, so that they could “join the team.” Damon and Elena don’t trust either of these two sorry excuses for parents, as far as they can throw them. However, both recognize that John might have information the two could use to defeat Klaus. “Be the better man,” Elena cautions Damon for the first time that evening, before Damon meets John at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls to exchange a few words.
Damon DOES, somehow, manage to hold his tongue, when speaking to John (just barely). Not long after, however, Elena gets a call from Stefan, informing her that the werewolves (Jules and Wereoaf Brady) are holding Vampire Caroline hostage. As a condition of Caroline’s safe release, the werewolves wish to “strike up a deal.” They will return Caroline, in exchange for resident werewolf, Tyler Lockwood.
Upon hearing this, Damon, (who, up to this point, had been completely kept out of the loop, regarding the whole “Tyler is a werewolf” thing) is FURIOUS about this recent turn of events. And he is not at all shy about sharing these feelings with Elena . .
Damon: (about Tyler) “He’s a werewolf. He needs to die. I’m willing to kill. It’s win/win!”
And later . . .
Damon: “You need to stop doing that . . . assuming I’ll play the good guy, because it’s YOU who’s asking.”
Elena: “Be the Better Man, Damon.”
And still later . . .
Damon: (to Uncle/Father John) “First Dad Duty? Ground your daughter . . . keep her here.”
Elena: “I’m coming with you!”
Why it made the list:
“Daddy Issues” was an important episode in the Delena canon, because it, in effectively introduced us to a completely different character, one who we hadn’t seen up to this point. Ladies and gentleman, meet Ponytail Elena. (She will appear again in “The Last Dance,” home to TWO MORE of our Top Ten Delena Moments. Coincidence? I think not!)
While Hair Down Elena might not be sure, at this point in the game, of her feelings for Damon, Ponytail Elena already has a pretty good idea she wants him BAD! (Remember that look of jealously flashing across Ponytail Elena’s eyes, when Andie hit on Damon for the first time? Or the look of triumph on Ponytail Elena’s face, when Damon initially rejected her?) Not unlike Katherine, Ponytail Elena knows EXACTLY what she needs to do to get her way . . .
It was interesting seeing THIS scene back -to-back with the earlier one in the episode, in which Elena instructs Damon to be “kinder and gentler” in his discussion with Uncle/Father John. In both scenes: (1) Elena pleads with Damon to be “good.” (2) He balks. (3) She asks him to be the “Better Man.” (4) He balks AGAIN, but reluctantly agrees. (5) She demands to follow him whereever he is going.
However, the DIFFERENCE between these two scenes is why this one made the list, and the previous one didn’t. Unlike in the first scene, this time, Ponytail Elena is more brazen with her manipulation of Damon. Observe how the Petrova Doppelganger gently places both of her hands on Damon’s arms affectionately, and looks up at him with her puppy dog eyes, when she asks him not to kill Tyler.
Also different from the first scene, is Damon’s reaction. All Damon has to do is take one look at Elena’s hand positioning, and he knows EXACTLY what she’s trying to do. “You need to stop doing that,” he demands, eyes blazing.
I love how Elena, naively, acts as if she isn’t aware of her manipulation of Damon “Doing what?” She asks innocently.
However, the minute he makes mention of it, Elena guiltily removes her hands from his arms. She’s no dummy, that Ponytail Elena! Damon’s response to Elena “(Assuming I’ll play the Good Guy, because it’s YOU who’s asking”) is the closest we’ve come to seeing Damon admit his feelings for Elena directly to her, ever since he told her he loved her, and compelled her to forget it, during “Rose,” back in episode 8.
And yet, the fact that Elena is behaving this way, to begin with, illustrates that she probably already has a pretty good idea of Damon’s feelings for her. When affection doesn’t work, Elena falls back on her catchphrase, “Be the Better Man, Damon,” she tells him, for the second time that evening. The phrase almost acts as a hypnotic trigger for Damon, working on him instantly. Damon will always obey this command of Elena’s, no matter how much he may hate doing so.
And why not? After all, it’s Damon’s incorrect belief that Stefan is a “Better Man” than he is, that keeps him from more actively pursuing Elena, in the first place! At this point in the series, Damon still believes he doesn’t DESERVE Elena. We see this at the end of the episode when the “Better Man” line makes it’s third appearance. “I’m in love with a woman I can’t have,” Damon tells Andie, during the pseudo-couple’s infamous Bathtub Scene. “I have to stay together (read “in control of my emotions”) to protect her, which means, I can’t be who I AM!”
As the series draws to a close, Damon will gradually come to learn how wrong he is in this assessment. But, for now, the elder Salvatore Brother will just have to rejoice in the mini victory of having let Ponytail Elena know that he has her number.
And, hey, she DID want to “come with him” to rescue Tyler, didn’t she? Only this time, Damon said “NO!”
“Nice try, Sweet Cheeks! It’s called ‘playing hard to get.’ Get used to it!”
So, you might be wondering why I included this scene at the top of my list, especially since it seems to show more of a manipulation of Damon on Elena’s part, than actual affection. Well . . . I don’t think that’s ALL it shows.
In “Daddy Issues,” more than any episode we had seen in Season 2 (at least up to THIS point in the season), Damon and Elena are relating to one another in that same super-close, married couple, type way, we witnessed during KEY Season 1 Delena episodes, like “Bloodlines,” and “Blood Brothers.” And, don’t forget, this is POST Jeremy Neck Snap Incident! So, that’s saying a lot!
Yes, they are bickering . . . and arguing . . . and Elena seems to be getting on Damon’s nerves a bit. But beneath all that, are two people who are on the same page. They understand how eachother think. And they subconsciously take comfort in eachother’s company. Why else would Elena keep following Damon around for the ENTIRE first half of the episode? Where was STEFAN during all that time? HMM?
9. Damon asks for Elena’s forgiveness
Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22
Setting the Scene:
Having been bitten by Teen Wolf Tyler, during his werewolf transformation, Damon believes himself to be doomed to die a painful and ugly death by were-rabies. If Rose’s rapid disease progression is any indication, Damon has a few days to live at most, and just hours, before he begins showing signs of dementia. Despite all this, Damon has made the selfless, but tragic, decision not to inform Elena of his impending death. “The last thing [Elena] needs is another grave to mourn,” Damon tells Stefan, when his younger brother first learns of the fatal bite.
And yet Damon has one dying wish: that Elena forgive him for going against her wishes, and force-feeding her his blood, prior to The Sacrifice. (He did this, so that if Klaus, in fact, killed her, she would at least return as a vampire.)
Thanks to Uncle/Father John sacrificing his soul . . . and his life, for Elena’s, Elena was revived following the Sacrifice, and was able to retain her humanity. And yet, Elena has still not verbally forgiven Damon for his actions. In this scene, Damon arrives at Elena’s house, the morning after John’s and Jenna’s funeral, in hopes of obtaining the absolution he so desperately needs from the woman he loves more than life itself.
Damon: “I want to apologize . . . please . . . Elena feeding you my blood, I was wrong. And I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I need it.”
Elena: “And I need some time . . . maybe a lot of time.”
Damon: “Sure . . . of course . . . take all the time you need.”
Why it made the list:
This short simple scene is important, in that it functions as the first step in the journey Damon and Elena take toward mutual forgiveness, acceptance, and possibly much more, during the final episode of the series. The tragedy of this scene, as mentioned above, is that Elena doesn’t know that Damon is dying. Yet, he refuses to tell her.
Damon “needs” Elena’s forgiveness, so that he can die in peace. And yet, he doesn’t want that forgiveness to come from a place of PITY (Take THAT, Pity Kiss THEORISTS!), or guilt. In the epic words Damon himself used last season, in explaining the reason he didn’t compel Elena during the pair’s trip to Georgia, “I wanted it to be real.”
The OLD Damon might have become frustrated with Elena’s stubborness, and refusal to forgive him. (I mean, it’s not like she actually turned into a VAMPIRE, or anything!) Remember how quickly Damon started to pout and complain, when Elena refused to forgive him for the Jeremy Neck Snap Incident, earlier on in the season? But this is a different Damon from the one we knew back then. This Damon truly is “a Better Man.”
Notice how, throughout the scene, even though Damon is obviously going through a TON of personal sh*t, his focus is always on Elena. Watching her linger over Aunt Jenna’s room in the morning, Damon IMMEDIATELY knows the anguish Elena is feeling, upon seeing that bed empty. “It will get easier,” he tells her comfortingly. “Then again, you already knew that.”
And even when Elena refuses to forgive Damon, and he realizes that there is a good chance he will die without receiving that forgiveness, Damon still considers Elena’s feelings to be of the utmost importance. He even manages to smile at her, and say, “Take all the time you need,” when deep down, he knows that his own time is slowly running out . . .
The fact that Damon and Elena started the episode in THIS sad place, however, makes where they end up, by the end of the episode, all the more miraculous . . .
8. Elena rescues Damon . . . from himself!
Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22
Setting the Scene:
Damon’s time is running out. His were-rabies has now set in at full force. He’s feeling weak, is in an incredible amount of pain, and is beginning to have difficulty distinguishing his flashback hallucinations (featuring Katherine) from reality. That’s the BAD news.
The good news is that Damon’s hallucinations have been oddly therapeutic for him. He finally sees that he was personally responsible for his decision to turn vampire, back in 1864. Neither Stefan, nor Katherine forced him to do it. He has to find Elena, and tell her this (as well as FINALLY confess his true feelings for her), before it’s too late.
Elena needs to find Damon too. She found out about his werewolf bite from Stefan, and feels terrible about the way she treated him earlier that day. (See scene above.) Elena wants to let Damon know that she forgives him for feeding her his blood prior to the Sacrifice. She also knows that Caroline’s AWFUL mother Lizard Forbes wants Damon dead. And Elena wants badly to rescue Dying Damon from that b*tch.
Eventually, Damon and Elena do find one another. But Damon just so happens to be in the throes of one of his most vivid hallucination, when the reunion occurs . . .
Elena: “Damon . . . come on . . . come on . . . We need to get you out of here. We have to hide you.”
Katherine: (in flashback, after puncturing her neck, and allowing blood to drip from it) “If you want it, take it. It is your choice to make.”
And later . . .
Elena: (as Damon bites Katherine / Elena) “Damon, you don’t have to do this.”
Why it made the list:
This scene works on two levels. On one, we have Damon, just hours away from death, finally coming to the realization that he is personally responsible for his decision to become a vampire. On another, we have Elena, who, after two seasons of being rescued repeatedly by Damon, finally has the opportunity to put her own life and safety on the line, to rescue him right back.
On some level, Damon and Elena have been searching for one another, the entire episode. It was Damon’s instinctive knowledge that Elena was looking for him outside, that prompted Damon to send Alaric for blood, knock out Lizard Forbes, and escape his makeshift cage in the basement of La Casa de Rich and Awesome. Likewise, it was Elena’s need to find Damon, and comfort him, during his final moments, that prompted her to break through the glass of the police station with that chair. (I wonder who’s going to end up having to pay for THAT!)
Of course, once Damon finds Elena, he shifts right back into hallucination mode, and can only see Katherine. In the hallucination, Katherine’s words to Damon are direct. She tells him that the decision to become a vampire is his choice to make. And by biting down on Katherine’s neck, and taking her blood, he makes that choice. Yet, in the present day, Damon is biting on Elena’s neck. Her words to him are symbolic too. She tells him, “You don’t have to do this.”
And though she’s referring to BITING HER, Elena’s words also apply to biting KATHERINE back in 1864. Damon didn’t HAVE to do that. He didn’t have to become a vampire. And he WOULDN”T have become one, if he hadn’t made that choice. The anguish on Damon’s face, upon waking from his reverie, and realizing that he has bitten and hurt the woman he loves, is truly heartbreaking.
But what is sweet about the scene is Elena’s reaction. Yes, Elena is in pain. Yes, Damon hurt her. But Elena isn’t angry at Damon for what he did, or worried for her own safety.
Like Damon’s actions at the beginning of the episode, Elena’s actions here are completely selfless. All she cares about is protecting Damon, and getting him to safety. The way Elena holds and comforts Damon in this scene, you can tell just how much she truly cares about him. And this show of affection is only a precursor of what’s to come later on in the episode . . .
7. Elena Comforts Damon after Rose’s Death
Episode: “The Descent” – 2 X 12
Setting the Scene:
Damon earned the ire of Big Bad Wolf Jules, when she began to (correctly) suspect that he had killed her werewolf buddy, Mason Lockwood, a.k.a. Tyler Lockwood’s Hot Uncle.
The elder Salvatore brother moved even further up Wolf Girl’s Poopy List, when he and Alaric cornered her in the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, and (under the guise of hitting on her) were-rufied her drink with Wolfsbane.
Fast-forward to the next Full Moon. Jules, in werewolf form, barges into La Casa de Rich and Awesome, intent on chopping on some Salvatore skin. (Can you blame her? YUMMY!)
However, instead of sinking her teeth into Damon, Jules’ pointy choppers land smack dab on the backside of Damon’s most recent Screw Buddy, Vampire Rose.
As a result of the bite, Vampire Rose contracts some bizarre form of were rabies. (Then again, isn’t all were rabies, by definition bizarre?). Shortly thereafte, Rose, pretty much, starts going apesh*t. (She looks pretty hideous too.) Rose uses her Sick Time, constructively, by chasing Elena around La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and trying to eat her. (Personally, I prefer to spend MY sick time watching bad daytime television. But, that’s just me . . .)
When that fails, a wacked-out Rose breaks free from La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and starts chowing down on innocent Mystic Falls residents. Damon eventually finds Rose, and brings her back to the house. However, Rabies Rose’s days of eating the Good People of Mystic Falls are numbered. And Damon knows it.
Using his vampiric powers of dream walking, Damon sits Rose down in her lap, like the unruly baby she has become. Being the Generous Mercy Killer he is, Damon creates for Rose a warm fuzzy (read “extremely cheesy”) dream, in which she and he are frolicking through the meadow.
When Rabies Rose is feeling sufficiently blissed out, he stakes her, but not before shedding a few tears, on her behalf.
In THIS sweet and poignant Delena scene, Elena, having learned of Rose’s death, arrives at La Casa de Rich and Awesome to check up on Her Future Lover . . .
Elena: “I came back to make sure you are OK.”
And later . . .
Elena: “Damon I’m your friend.”
Damon: “I’m well aware of that.”
Elena: “And a friend usually knows when their friend is hurting.”
Damon: “What do you want to hear? That I cared about Rose? That I’m upset? Well, I didn’t. And I’m not.”
Elena: “There you go, pretending to turn it off, pretending not to feel. Damon, you’re so close. Don’t give up.”
Damon: “I feel, Elena, OK? And it sucks! What sucks even more is that it was supposed to be me. Jules was coming after ME.”
Elena: “You feel guilty.”
Damon: “That would be human of me, Elena, and I’m NOT HUMAN! You’re one to talk about giving up. That’s all you’ve done is give up! Go home! There’s been enough doom, gloom, and personal growth for one night.”
Why it made the list:
You’ll notice that in this scene, unlike the ones that preceded it, I transcribed practically the ENTIRE conversation between Damon and Elena in the “potent quotables” section. That’s because every line of this scene is heavily laden with meaning. In fact, with the exception of the final scenes of “As I Lay Dying,” Damon’s and Elena’s exchange during “The Descent” is probably the most honest exchange they have with one another the entire season.
Just as, in the earlier scene I posted from the finale, where Damon instinctively knows what Elena is going through, when she stares at Jenna’s empty room, Elena, having experienced Rose’s demise along with him, knows exactly how hard it was for Damon to ultimately end her life.
We’ve seen many scenes in which Elena has pushed Damon away, for one reason or another. However, this time, it is Damon trying to do the pushing, and Elena vying for closeness.
But Elena makes a mistake, when she calls Damon “her friend.” Of course, she’s trying to be helpful. However, reminding Damon of their “just friends” status, during this difficult time in Damon’s life, is like rubbing salt in the wound.
(Then again, perhaps, this is a case of thou doth protest too much? Maybe Elena is already starting to feel a closeness to Damon beyond friendship, and needs to reiterate the “just friends” nature of their relationship to convince herself that this is the case? Wishful thinking on my part? Maybe . . . but maybe not. ;))
When Damon denies having any feeling about Rose’s death, however, Elena goes for the “Better Man,” card again. Though she doesn’t use those exact words, by telling Damon that he is “so close” to humanity, that is, in effect, what she is saying. And Elena is right. Rose’s death did cause a sort of emotional breakthrough of sorts in Damon.
But these emotions scare Damon, because, as he admits to Andie, in the following episode, they make him feel out of control. They also cause him to remember how much he misses being human. “That would be human of me, Elena. And I’m NOT human,” he argues. (Talk about a case of “Thou doth protest too much!”)
But even though Damon commands Elena to leave for a third time, during the scene, Elena refuses to go, without giving Damon the comfort she so desperately knows he needs. She hesitates as she turns to leave, looking at him intently for a few beats before pulling him in for a deep Full Body Hug. Elena’s show of affection surprises Damon, and, eventually moves him to tears.
But Damon isn’t the only one who needed to feel closeness in that moment. While Elena may have decided to hug Damon, in a friendly and comforting way, the look she gives him, when she pulls back from the hug, hints that she might have felt something deeper during it, than she initially expected.
For a few moments before she leaves, we see Elena stare pointedly at Damon’s eyes and lips. She does this so intently, that, the first time I watched this scene, I really did think that she might kiss him. But, alas, our first Delena kiss was still quite a few episodes away . . .
6. “I’ve got moves you’ve never seen!”
Episode: “The Last Dance” – 2 X 18
Setting the Scene:
Though he has not yet shown his “true face” to the Scooby Gang, Klaus has not been shy about expressing his desire to “capture” Elena, and use her in his Wacky Sacrifice Ritual. By compelling one of her classmates, Klaus delivers a creepy message to Elena that she should expect to “meet” him at the sixties-themed dance being held at the high school. Rather than avoid the dance (which, to be honest, would have made a heck of a lot more sense), the entire Scooby Gang, Elena included, decides to attend. Their plan is to draw Klaus out, and then kill him . . . somehow.
Needless to say, tensions are high. And no one is more tense than Elena. That is, until . . .
Why it made the list:
Damon: “How you doin?”
Elena: “Umm . . . freaking out a bit. You?”
Damon: “Cool as a cucumber. Come on . . . remember the last Decade Dance. The vampires were all ‘Arrrghhhh’ and you were all ‘Ahhhhh!”
Elena: “Right . . . and . . . we won.”
Damon: “Yes, we did.”
Elena: “You’re good at this.”
Damon: “I’ve got moves, you’ve never seen.”
You know what I actually just noticed about this scene? (And it’s something that I had never picked up on, in the 20 or so times I watched it before hand.) There’s this little moment, before Stefan leaves to go talk to Caroline, that he gives Damon a bit of a head nod, actually ENCOURAGING him to dance with Elena!
Dear old Selfless Stefan . . . you have no idea what you are getting your “girlfriend’ into! Doesn’t Baby Salvatore know that no girl can resist a Dancing Damon?
Least of all . . . Elena . . .
Still, you might be wondering why this scene ranks so high on my list, when the ones preceeding it are so much more “emotionally intense.” But, actually, the fact that this scene WAS SO LIGHTHEARTED AND SIMPLE is precisely why it earned such a high ranking.
The Delena Dance of Season 2, much like the one in Season 1 that preceded it, allowed us a glimpse into what Damon and Elena will be like as an ACTUAL COUPLE. In just a few short seconds of grooving together, Damon and Elena, illustrate all the fun, sex appeal, wit, good humor, and understanding that is going to make Delena such a force to be reckoned with in season 3.
I love the look of shock and arousal that crosses Elena’s face, when Damon first whirls her into his chest. As we’ve seen often with Elena, when she comes in close contact with Damon, she often seems mesmerized, by his mouth in particular.
And, though Damon is trying to play it, “cool as a cucumber” (his words, not mine), we can see that he isn’t exactly immune to Elena’s charms either. There’s a brief second where Damon loses himself in the movement of the dance, and forgets all about Klaus, the Sacrifice, and all his schemes. In that moment, these are just two beautiful people who are insanely hot for one another.
That being said, when Elena openly admits to Damon that she is “freaking out a bit,” Damon immediately becomes refocused on the task at hand: Operation Cheer Up Elena! And Cheer Elena up he does, through a combination of fun, un-self-conscious goofiness . . .
. . . good humor, and logical reasoning. Damon immediately is able to set Elena at ease, and make her smile, in a way, few members of the Scooby Gang are able to do. But in addition to being really funny, Damon’s “The vampires were like Arrrgh, and you were like Ahhh,” was also a wise and reassuring statement. In other words, “We beat the bad guys before, and we will beat them again.”
Of course, once Damon has sufficiently calmed Elena down, and converted her from Brooding Damsel in Distress to Giddy High Schooler Dancing with Hot Boy, Damon ramps up the charm, dipping her, pulling her close to his body and face, and whispering seductively in her ear, “I’ve got moves you’ve never seen.”
“You’re good at this,” Elena admits breathlessly, looking very much like she wants to makeout with him right there on the dance floor.
Well, isn’t that the Understatement of the Year . . .
5. “I can’t lose you.”
Episode: “The Last Day” – 2 X 20
Setting the Scene:
Not willing to accept that Bonnie’s death (through the exhaustion of all her witch powers) is the ONLY way to kill Klaus, Elena defies the wishes of the ENTIRE Scooby Gang, by de-staking Elijah, and bringing him back to life.
Elijah claims to have a plan to save Elena’s life, while still allowing Klaus to proceed with the Sacrifice Ritual. Then, once Klaus is in the throes of a werewolf transformation, and is in a weakened state, ELIJAH will stake KLAUS with the same dagger Elena used to stake HIM in “Crying Wolf.”
The problem is that Elijah’s Big Plan to “save” Elena seems . . .what’s the right word . . . oh yeah . . . LAME! It involves some sort of Romeo and Juliet-esque elixir he cooked up, that would make Elena APPEAR to be dead, throughout the Sacrifice Ritual, when, in fact, she is really alive. Having never used the elixir before, Elijah can’t guarantee that it will work.
The idea of taking such a gamble with Elena’s life sickens Damon. So, he stalks off to his room to sulk. Elena (who LOVES Damon’s bedroom, more than any other room in La Casa de Rich and Awesome, including, apparently, Stefan’s room) immediately follows Damon there, so that the two can screw like bunny rabbits “talk.”
Elena: “You disappeared.”
Damon: “I don’t want to hear anymore.”
Elena: “I need you to understand why I’m doing this.”
Damon: “Why? It clearly doesn’t matter what I think.”
Elena: “I’ll be FINE, Damon. I’ll drink the elixir. Bonnie will kill Klaus, and all of this will finally be over.”
And later . . .
Damon: “You think it will work . . . You WANT it to work . . . Why am I the only one who’s convinced it WON’T. There has to be another way.”
Elena: “There isn’t.”
Damon: “You are going to die, Elena.”
Elena: “And then, I’ll come back to life.”
Damon: “That is not a risk I am willing to take.”
Elena: “But I am . . . it’s my life, Damon. My choice.”
Damon: “I can’t lose you.”
Elena: “You won’t.”
Why it made the list:
I’m just full of controversial picks today, aren’t I? Here’s the scene where Damon FORCE FEEDS Elena his blood, and stakes Stefan, and I’ve got it as number 5 on my Delena list. But, hopefully, after you rewatch the scene, you will see why. You see, I feel like there’s a real parallel between this scene, and the scene that takes place between Damon and Elena at the end of “The Last Dance,” right before Elena decides to stake Klaus. (See #3 below.)
Both scenes, begin with Elena entering Damon’s room. Both scenes involve a discussion between Damon and Elena, regarding the best way to go about saving her life, during the Sacrifice.
In “The Last Dance,” Elena REFUSES to put Bonnie’s life on the line to save her own. Here, Damon refuses to put Elena’s life on the line for Elijah’s harebrained scheme. “There HAS to be another way,” each party says to the other, more or less. Both scenes climax (see what I did there?), during a moment of intense intimacy between the couple. And, just when it seems like the two are finally in agreement with one another, there’s a moment, where you see one of them making the decision to do something they know the other person will HATE.
As I mentioned earlier, Elena LOVES Damon’s room, and adores his bed. And whenever he is upset, she loves to go and find him there, so that she can “reach out and touch him.” There’s an interesting dichotomy in the scene between how close Damon and Elena come to one another, and how far away their ideas as to the best course of action remain. Throughout the scene, though Damon and Elena, both take physical steps toward one another, psychologically, they remain more far apart than ever.
Using her “Be the Better Man” trick, Elena attempts physical contact with Damon, to bring him back from the brink, when he is at his most heated. Damon is angrily and accusatorily pointing a finger at Elena, when Elena affectionately grabs his hand in both her own, bringing it closer to her face, and massaging it, as she speaks.
There’s a moment where Damon looks down at his and Elena’s now clasped hands. He knows EXACTLY what Elena is trying to do. And yet, he loves her so much, that he can’t resist her. His pointed finger relaxes into Elena’s embrace. His body posture softens, as he appeals to Elena’s obvious care and concern for his well being, “I can’t lose you,” he tells her, in all honesty.
“You won’t,” she assures him, eyes widened and dilated.
Elena really believes at this point that she has reached Damon . .. and that he will go along with whatever she says, just like he has so many times in the past. Except, sometime between Elena’s grasping of his hand, and her final promise to him, Damon comes to his decision to force-feed Elena his blood. But even as he is making this decision, a part of him knows he will live to regret it.
“Oh crap! I’m really about to f*ck up now, aren’t I?”
4. Damon revives Elena
Episode: “The Sun Also Rises” – 2 X 21
Setting the Scene:
As far as Klaus is concerned, the Sacrifice Ritual was a success. Aunt Jenna and Jules each gave up their lives as the vampire and werewolf sacrifices, respectively. As the Petrova Doppelganger, Elena also gave her “life” to Klaus, when he bit into her neck, and drained her of a significant portion of her blood.
After snapping the neck of the witch performing the ritual, Damon picks up an unconscious Elena and carries her to Stefan. But Stefan does not wish to take Elena home just yet. He wants to stay and make sure that Bonnie and Elijah defeat Klaus, once and for all.
So, Damon carries Elena back to La Casa de Rich and Awesome in his arms. At this point, her fate is still unknown. Is she dead? Will she come back a vampire, and spend eternity hating Damon for the role he played in her transformation? Or has the Scooby Gang somehow managed to find some way for Elena to return to life as a human? Damon is about to find out . . .
Damon: “Come back as a vampire, and I’ll stake you myself. So, DON’T. Because I can’t stand the idea of you hating me forever.”
Why it made the list:
It’s hard not to see this scene as blatant foreshadowing for a future Damon and Elena union, in the truest sense of the word. I mean, who can ignore the symbolism, of Stefan asking Damon to take Elena home, himself, so that HE can stay and make sure Klaus is dead. (Shades of Stefan’s choice in the season finale, much?)
And then, watching Damon literally carry Elena through the darkness and the fire, to the safety of the home SHE owns, which is also his. Then, of course, Damon CARRIES ELENA ACROSS THE THRESHOLD of the mansion. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks!
The look of love and affection on Damon’s face, as he hovers over Elena’s unconscious body, gently running his hand across her face, and through her hair — unable to take his eyes off her for even one second — is as beautiful, as it is heartbreaking. Who WOULDN’T want a guy to look at them like that? And though the words Damon says to Elena, as he awaits her fate, might seem callous on the surface, they are actually the most romantic words he’s uttered throughout the entire episode.
Contrast these words to Damon’s “I can’t lose you,” in the earlier scene. Damon force fed Elena his blood, because HE couldn’t bear the idea of living without her. That gesture, and the thought process behind it, while romantic, is also somewhat selfish.
Here, Damon’s thoughts are ONLY for Elena. He now knows that SHE would rather die than be a vampire. And even though it would literally KILL Damon to live on Earth for even a moment without Elena, he would be willing to stake her himself, if he knew that was what she truly wanted.
Of course, there’s another aspect to Damon not wanting Elena to become a vampire. He “can’t stand the idea of [her] hating him forever.” This is also a departure from the Damon we’ve grown to know and love for two seasons. In “The Last Dance,” Damon was heard telling Stefan, that he didn’t care whether Elena hated him, as long as he was able to keep her safe.
Now, we see that this isn’t the case at all. Elena’s thoughts and feelings matter to Damon. And from now on, he will fight just as hard to protect them, as he will to protect her life.
The other part of this scene that I loved was the intimate and powerful expression on Elena’s face when she awakens from “death” to find Damon hovering over her. A commenter on my recap of this episode wisely noted that Elena died staring at Stefan, during The Sacrifice, and awakened staring at Damon. There is certainly something poetic about that.
Additionally, there lies within the meaninful look Elena gives Damon the possibility that she remembers his confession of love for her during the “Rose” episode. After all, were it not for John’s sacrifice, which, as you can see, happens AFTER Elena awakens, not before, Elena, having died with Damon’s blood in her system, would have reawakened a vampire. And VAMPIRES remember all instances of compulsion from their lives, as Caroline taught us, following HER vampiric reawakening . . .
So, does Elena remember Damon’s compulsion of her to forget that she loves him? It’s indeed possible. In fact, that very knowledge is hinted at, during the finale, and in my NUMBER 1 Delena moment of the Second Half of Season 2.
3. “I will always choose you.”
Episode: “The Last Dance” – 2 X 18
Setting the Scene:
Damon may have saved Elena’s life the night of the sixties dance, but he did it by breaking her heart . . . albeit temporarily. When Damon and the rest of the Scooby Gang learned that Klaus was possessing Alaric’s body, they determined, to their chagrin, that they had unwittingly provided him with information on their secret Klaus-Killing Weapon: Bonnie and Her Awesome Witchiness. Now AlarKlaus was after Bonnie. He wanted her out of the picture, to ensure himself a “Stress Free Sacrifice.” And he wasn’t going to let up, until she was dead . . .
So, Bonnie and Damon came up with a devious plan. Bonnie would pretend to exhaust her witchy powers, during a faux attempt at defeating Klaus at the dance. Then she would play dead . . . kind of like a dog. But the scheme had a complication: in order for KLAUS to believe that Bonnie was dead, Elena had to believe it too. And in order for ELENA to believe that Bonnie was dead, Gossip Boy Stefan couldn’t be let in on Bonnie’s and Damon’s plan either.
When Elena found Bonnie’s “dead” body in the school snack room, she was inconsolable. And when Damon arrived back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, seeming not the least bit upset about Bonnie’s so called “loss of life,” an enraged Elena slapped him across the mouth . . . HARD. It wasn’t until after Elena almost took off his BEAUTIFUL face that Damon finally decided to come clean to the woman he would do literally ANYTHING to protect.
Damon admitted that Bonnie wasn’t really dead. She was just hanging out in a tomb with Elena’s brother “resting her eyes.” This made Elena feel like a bit of an idiot. It also gave her a good excuse to enter Damon’s room AGAIN, under the guise of “apologizing” . . .
Elena: “I understand why you did what you did. I mean, Klaus was fooled and . . . Bonnie’s alive.”
Damon: “Here’s to duplicity.”
Elena: “Let’s get one thing straight, Damon. Bonnie will not die for me. I will not let that happen . . . We’ll find another way [to kill Klaus].”
Damon: “I hope so.”
Elena: “Look, I shouldn’t have hit you.”
Damon: “Apology accepted.”
Damon: “Let me be clear about something, if it comes down to you and the witch again, then I will gladly let Bonnie die. I will always choose you.”
Why it made the list:
Earlier, I showed you the scene in which Damon made the decision to force feed Elena his blood to save her from certain death. In my analysis of that scene I told you that it directly paralleled the scene from “The Last Dance,” in which Elena, after having an equally emotional and honest conversation with Damon, made the (as it turns out, not so hot) decision to de-stake Elijah. Like the first scene, this one worked on two levels. On one hand, it was yet another romantic bedroom scene for Damon and Elena, in which the pair let one another understand just how well they understood one another, and how much they cared for eachother. On the other, it was a deceptive scene, because, at the very moment when it seemed like the couple had come to an understanding, one of its members was plotting to do something very stupid.
It was interesting watching Damon’s and Elena’s reactions to one another throughout the scene. For instance, when Elena comes into Damon’s room, he clearly expects her to lecture him on not telling her his plans regarding Bonnie’s fake death. Aim when Elena admits that she understands exactly why he did what he did, Damon is a bit taken aback. But he is also clearly impressed by the object of his affections foresight, and understanding that sometimes the ends DO justify the means.
“Here’s to duplicity,” Damon says. (As in, “YAY, I don’t have to apologize anymore, for doing something that I don’t think was wrong at all, and would do again in a second.”)
Elena again uses her trusted tactic of initiating physical closeness with Damon to make her point about not wanting Bonnie to die. And though Damon does seem to bend a little, to Elena’s wishes (“I hope so,” he offers doubtfully, when Elena assures him that they will find another way to kill Klaus), we know that Damon’s position on the subject remains essentially the same.
Now comes the time for Elena to apologize for the Face Slap Heard Round the World . . . Elena clearly feels terrible about doing that to Damon, and wants him to know this. When just moments ago, Elena was stalwart and strong in ensuring Bonnie’s continued livelihood, suddenly she seems shy, contrite, and a smidge coquettish. As Elena apologizes, she dips her head downward, and self-consciously runs her hand through her hair.
Of course, this works. Damon can never stay mad at Elena for long. And he accepts her apology almost immediately. But then he makes the statement, that, while incredibly romantic, seals both of their fates, “I will always choose you.”
Upon hearing this, we see Elena go through a wide range of emotions in a very short amount of time. There is awe at the grandness of Damon’s remark, flattery, at the extent of his feelings for her, a deep affection for the man willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe. It’s a powerful experience for Elena. But then . . . she SIGHS . . .
For me, the above-illustrated facial expression of Elena’s mimics the one Damon made, when he realized that he was going to force feed Elena his blood, and, in doing so, jeopardize his relationship with her. Likewise, Elena realizes that there is no way she will ever be able to convincce Damon to save Bonnie’s life over her own. And so, in this moment, she decides to de-stake Elijah.
Three times, before Elena leaves Damon’s room, we see her hesitate and turn back toward him, wanting to admit what she is about to do. There’s a big part of Elena that knows that de-staking Elijah could end up being a huge mistake. And that part of Elena wants to confess her plans to Damon, so that he can talk her out of them. But, ultimately, Elena’s desire to protect her friends . . . well . . . at least to protect Bonnie . . . wins out. And so, she leaves Damon’s room with a firm sense of purpose.
Examining this scene, side by side with the scene from “The Last Day,” even the casual viewer can see how truly alike Damon and Elena are in their way of thinging, their fierce protectiveness of others, and their courage in the face of all opposition. One thing is for sure, as a couple, these two will be unstoppable!
2. The Cuddle
Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22
Setting the Scene:
Having finally found a were-wolf bitten Damon, just hours away from death, Elena rushes him to the comfort of La Casa de Rich and Awesome. Huddled together in Damon’s bed, Damon and Elena silently vow to make every last minute between them count. Now is not the time for secrets.
No words can be left unsaid. No apologies can be left unspoken. No emotions can be left unburdened. But will these two intimately linked individuals — who have shared so much together, during the short time they have known one another — be able to confess their true feelings for one another, before it is too late?
Elena: “It’s OK, Damon. I’m right here.”
Damon: “Elena, get out of here. I can hurt you.”
Elena: “No, you won’t. I’m here until the very end. I’m NOT leaving you . . . It’s OK . . . It’s OK”
Damon: “It’s NOT OK. All those years, I blamed Stefan. And no one forced me to love her. It was my own choice. I made the wrong choice . . . Tell Stefan I’m sorry, OK?”
Elena: “I will.”
Why it made the list:
As you might have noticed, Damon and Elena have been dancing around true displays of affection for one another, all season. There have been forehead kisses, hugs, hand and shoulder grabs, and even a little grinding on the dance floor. But it took Damon being moments from Death, for Elena to really give herself to him completely.
It is no accident that again, in the final moments of the Season 2 finale, Damon and Elena are huddled together in Damon’s bed. Watch as Elena lovingly holds Damon in her arms, cradling his body close to her with one arm, as she delicately blots the sweat from his brow with another.
Elena saw what Rose went through in her final hours. She recognizes the possibility that Damon, in this sickened state, could be a real danger to her. But Elena cares for Damon so much, that she is willing to put his needs before her own. And despite Damon’s pleas that she go, for her own good, Elena refuses to leave Damon’s side, even for a moment.
For Damon’s part, we can see in his eyes, how much he NEEDS Elena to be near him. And the fact that he asks her to leave, shows just as much selflessness on his part, as Elena’s staying does on hers. Because Damon has a lot to say to Elena. He has come to the realization that he is to blame for his own situation, and he needs Elena to know this before he dies. He also needs Stefan to know this.
Such is their honest relationship with one another that Elena never lies to Damon, and tells him that he’s going to survive this. She doesn’t sugar coat things for him. When Damon asks her to apologize to Stefan, she doesn’t tell him, “You can do it yourself, because you are going to live.” Rather, she just pulls him closer to her, and tells him that she will.
It’s tragic that it took a lethal illness to bring Damon and Elena to this place. Yet, it is somehow fitting. After all, Damon’s and Elena’s relationship has always been one built on intense emotions and extreme situations. And, sometimes it takes the threat of losing something to finally force you to realize that you can’t live without it.
1. THE KISS!
Episode: “As I Lay Dying” – 2 X 22
Setting the Scene:
[See description for #2 above. THIS spectacular scene takes place just one “commercial break” after THAT one. ;)]
Damon: “This is even more pitiful than I thought.”
Elena: “There is still hope.”
Damon: “I’ve made a lot of choices that have gotten me here. I deserve this. I deserve to die.”
Elena: “No, you don’t”
Damon: “I do, Elena. And it’s OK. Because if I would have chosen differently, I wouldn’t have met you. I’m so sorry. I did so many things to hurt you.”
Elena: “It’s OK. I forgive you.”
Damon: “I know you love Stefan. And that it will always be Stefan. But I love you. You should know that.”
Elena: “I do.”
Damon: “You should have met me in 1864. You would have liked me.”
Elena: “I like you now. Just the way you are.”
Damon: “Thank you.”
Elena: “You’re welcome.”
Why it made the list:
I don’t think it was a surprise to any of you, that this ended up being my number one scene. I mean, really, could Delena fans have asked for anything more. I mean, I couldn’t have been happier, if Damon and Elena stripped naked and had their way with one another, as the final credits were rolling (which is totally how Season 3 is going to end, by the way).
Season 1 ended with Damon kissing Elena . . . except it ended up NOT being Elena, but Katherine. So, it was extremely fitting that Season 2 would end with a REAL Delena kiss. The kiss itself was beautiful. The way that Elena snuggled up close to Damon, looked lovingly at his face, and leaned over to give him a quick kiss on the lips. While it was happening, Damon awoke from unconsciousness, a real life Sleeping Beauty, with a small but beautific smile on his face. His eyes fluttered, and his mouth opened into a slight “O” shape. He wasn’t expecting this. And then, he THANKED HER, for giving him the greatest gift she could ever give him.
And yet, for many fans, there was just as much of a gift in the words that preceded the kiss, as in the kiss itself. Damon has never been much for apologies. And yet, he is able to apologize twice to Elena in this episode, once at its beginning for the force-feeding, and here, for ALL of his wrong doing throughout the two seasons. So, when Elena FINALLY gives Damon the forgiveness he has been waiting for, it is a total and complete forgiveness. Completely gone are the grudges of seasons past. Elena and Damon are finally, once again, on an even playing field.
And it is because Damon and Elena are in this open and honest place, that Damon can FINALLY admit to Elena that he loves her, and allow her to REMEMBER it, thereby completing the circle started in Rose.
Back then, Damon made Elena forget his love, because he deemed his confession, “The most selfish thing he ever did.” But Damon’s new confession of love is not in the least bit selfish, because he doesn’t expect Elena to love him in return. Heck, he doesn’t even expect to live out the hour! Damon repeats Elena’s words to him from the Season Premiere. “I know you love Stefan . . . it will always be Stefan,” but he says them with no bitterness or ire. He’s made peace with his little brother, and Elena’s love for him. He simply believes that Elena has a right to know that he loves her more than life itself. Because that kind of love is a gift to be cherished, even if it cannot be returned.
Except . . . maybe it can, because Elena’s cycle of always pushing Damon to be the “Better Man” is closed in this scene too. That ends with Elena’s declaration that she likes him now, just the way he is, troubled, headstrong, impulsive, and deeply worthy of someone’s love. The threat of losing Damon has caused Elena to realize just how much she needs him in her life. And though Damon IS in fact a Better Man than the one we met in the pilot, he is still a flawed character.
But it are these flaws that bond Damon and Elena, and will undoubtedly continue to bond them throughout Season 3, as they cope with the guilt of their growing bond with one another, in Stefan’s absence, and struggle to ascertain what they mean to one another. In many ways, “As I Lay Dying,” was an end. An end of the Season, an end of the Sacrifice, and end of a very important period of personal growth for Damon. But in many other ways, it is a turning point.
And when Damon sits up in his bed at the end of the episode, and looks at Elena with new and healthy eyes, some would say his new life is just beginning . . . and so is hers.
So, there you have it, folks: my picks for the Top Ten Moments from the final 11 episodes of Season 2 of TVD. Which ones were YOUR favorites?
P.S. Has the TVD hiatus left you hungry for more SHIPPER-friendly Top Ten Lists? If so, be sure to check out my super talented, and often hilarious, blogger pal Cherie’s analysis of the Top Ten FORWOOD moments from Season 2. Trust me, you won’t regret it! The post is made of awesome. 🙂
I’m with you, Lafayette! That’s how I felt, after I watched this video TOO!
If you’re a True Blood fan, and you’ve stopped by this blog, during the past few weeks or so, you know that I have been getting particular joy out of “leaking” the Drop of True Blood minisodes, on here, about a week before they air live on HBO. What you DON’T know, is that I have also been trolling YouTube for solid promos for the show’s upcoming third season. Unfortunately, the ones I’d been finding, up to this point, had been a bit, forgive the expression, “bloodless,” lasting, on average, about 35 seconds, and showing little more than a teasing scene or two.
So, you can imagine how THRILLED I was, when I was randomly flipping channels this evening, and, entirely by accident, came across this gem . . .
(Special thanks go out to TrueBloodItalia for posting this, allowing embedding, and, basically, making my night!)
Color me impressed! HBO gave us A LOT to work with here, especially considering that the season premiere is still about three weeks away.
Let’s analyze, shall we?
:5 – We open with a far away shot of an unidentified shirtless man. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here, and guess that it’s Vampire Bill. As Shakira once said, “The pects don’t lie.” Or, was it hips? I don’t know. It was definitely something about a hot body part telling the truth . . .
:14 – Eric to Sookie: “You’re so blinded by your obsession with Bill Compton, that you are going to get yourself killed.”
Translation: “I love you, Sookie! Toss that Old Dead Windbag to the curb and give a tall Viking Vampire some hot lovin’!”
OK, maybe that translation was a bit of a stretch. But I’m a Sookie / Eric Shipper all the way! And I was HIGHLY satisfied with all the screen time that these two had together in this trailer! I mean, you have to LOVE Eric Northman. He’s cocky! He’s confident! He does that seductive “eye thing,” when he’s trying to infuriate / seduce Sookie . . .
In short, he reminds me VERY MUCH, of another television vampire that I adore . . .
:16 – Eric to Sookie: “You’re life is too valuable to be thrown away!” (OK. I didn’t even HAVE to translate that one. It was Eric/Sookie Shipper Friendly, all on its OWN!)
:21 – Here, we get our first shot of new True Blood character, Franklin Mott, played by James Frain . . .
The casting call sheet described him as an “older vampire and love interest for Tara” . . .
That description is consistent with a character of the same name, who appears in the third book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, Club Dead, on which this season’s True Blood is purportedly based. However, based on the few scenes I have seen involving this character, my impression is that the show will offer a darker interpretation of Franklin Mott than the one depicted in the book. The scenes between him and Tara, seem less like love and more like rape / torture. Tara, honey, I love you, but you have some BAD taste in men and friends (cough, Maryanne from Season 2, cough)!
:22 – Case in point, that was some UNSEXY sex, if you ask me!
:23 – Don’t you hate it when you’re in some backwoods town, and some dirty hillbilly puts a huge shotgun in your face? Because it happens to me ALL THE TIME . . .
WOW! Does that screencap look 3D, or what?
:25 – 27 – It looks like this little scene was our introduction to two more new True Blood characters, namely Sam’s little brother, Tommy Merlotte, played by Marshall Allman . . .
. . . and Mommy Merlotte, played by J. Smith Cameron . . .
These two DIRTY-UP nicely, don’t they? Who knew levelheaded Sam had such Trailer Park Trashy roots?
:33 – This is what happens when Baby Vampire’s Makers go away! It makes Good Vamps go Bad! (Isn’t that the name of a Cobra Starship song?)
:34 – Ahhh, Pam! Same trademark Laura Bush-style wardrobe, same snarky attitude. Kudos to the producers for wising up and FINALLY making Kristin Bauer a series regular . . .
:37 – Eric to Sookie: “Invite me in!”
Ooh, la la! Close talking! Intense looks! He’s trying to rescue her from WEREWOLVES! My Relation-Shipper senses are all a-tingly!
:50 – This exchange between Sookie and her brother Eric? Comedic Gold! Just look how EXCITED Jason gets, when faced with the possibility that Santa might actually be real . . .
I heart Ryan Kwanten!
: 57 – WOAH! Who’s that slut rubbing up on Vampire Bill?
:59 – OK, boys, this is a classic example of what NOT to do when kissing a girl! Check out Tara’s look of utter revulsion, if you don’t believe me . . .
1:06 – Welcome back, Andy Bellefleur! Have you lost weight?
More Andy and Jason antics in Season 3 = EVEN MORE COMEDIC GOLD!
1:14 – Eric to Sookie: “You’re no good to Bill or to me, if you’re dead.” (Alexander Skarsgard looks good, even when his mouth is caked with nasty blood and guts. Now THAT’S the mark of a REAL MAN!)
1:19 – Here’s our first shot of Joe Manganiello, as Werewolf Alcide Herveaux.
Did you notice how he totally looked Sookie up and down, as he said “Eric Northman sent me to look after you.” (Sheesh, is there ANY man on this show who DOESN’T want Sookie . . . aside from her brother, of course ?) It looks like these two will be headed on a road trip to Jackson, Mississippi to “collect Bill.” And we all KNOW that naughty things have a tendency to happen on ROAD TRIPS . . . 😉
1:23 – Holy, Biker Bar, Batman! Did I accidentally flip over to Sons of Anarchy on FX, and not realize it?
1:31 – Meet Big Gay Vampire King of Mississipi, Russel Edgington, played by Denis O’Hare. Observe the most unattractive facial expression on the planet . . .
1:32 – Awwww, puppy!
Come on, those CGI graphics are WAY TOO CUTE to be a werewolf!
1:37 – Here’s a shot of Bad Ass Werewolf Biker Dude, Coot, played by Grant Bowler . . .
1:39 – Speaking of abs, Vampire Bill . . . have you been working out?
1:41 – Stop, Drop, And ROLL, Random Burning Man!
1:42 – Do I really need to explain my inclusion of this picture into this post? I didn’t think so . . .
1:43 – This picture goes out to my new blog pal, Buddy, who says I ONLY show Shirtless Men pictures on My Blog . . .
I’m pretty sure this is ANOTHER dream sequence . . . The question is: Is it Sookie’s dream, or Eric’s, or BOTH?
1:47 – Speaking of “Santa,” I’m pretty sure Christmas came early this year. After all, I was able to get a screencap of THIS blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot from the promo!
1:48 – Four out of five dentists recommend flossing, at least once a day . . .
Vampire Bill just ate the fifth dentist . . .
1:55 – Bill to Sookie: “Do not try to find me. I do not wish to be found!” (Bill, sweetie, with men like Eric and Alcide on her side, why would she even WANT to find you? Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Compton . . .)
There you have it, the True Blood extended promo in a nutshell. Lots of new characters and werewolves, a TON of shirtlessness (both male and female), a boatload of sex, some blood, and MORE than a handful of Sookie and Eric moments, to boot . . . What could be bad?
True Blood premieres Sunday, June 13th at 9 p.m. on HBO, be there or . . . well . . . having seen THIS trailer . . . do you REALLY need any MORE reasons to watch?