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This Used to Be a Funhouse (But Now it’s Filled with Evil Clowns) – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Monsters in the End”

Betcha can’t guess which one is the Evil Clown?

(By the way, the title of this recap was brought to you by a fabulous little song, entitled “Funhouse,” by the one and only, Pink.  To “get in the mood,” feel free to enjoy it here.  But, those, like myself, who suffer from Clown Phobia, be warned.  There ARE Evil Clowns in the music video . . .)

Hey there, my Pretties!  This week’s installment of Pretty Little Liars was not for the faint of heart.  In fact, it was pretty downright terrifying!  No matter what scares you, be it clowns, closed spaces, creepy stalkers, having to wear a BAG over your head, or . . . MONA . . .

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

 . . . chances are there was something in this penultimate hour of PLL’s first season that made you want to SCREAM!

So, are you ready to relive the fear?  Let’s get on with the recap . . .

“I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me.  (And I Have No Privacy.)”

The episode opens with a REALLY grotesque looking life-sized clown being dragged away on a gurney.  Surrounding that clown are about four other equally evil-looking clowns, including THIS GUY . . .

Yes, boys and girls.  Garrett the Police Boy spends the ENTIRE episode lurking in the background, watching our Pretty Little Liars navigate the slings and arrows of being tortured by “A.”  And if he didn’t look about 15-years old, this would make him a TOTAL pedophile (Because we don’t have enough of THOSE on this show!).  But since he DOES look 15, and IS wearing uniform, we can chalk this up to Little Garrett just being REALLY good at his job (and REALLY needing to get laid . . . like . . .  BIG TIME!)

Anyway . . . as Garrett watches amorously from a nearby window, our PLL’s enjoy coffee at one of their favorite hangouts.  Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games.  Our fabulous foursome has important business to discuss, like Evil Blind Jenna, and her bizarro alliance with Hot Male Ho Caleb. 

The girls decide that someone needs to talk up Caleb, and figure out why Evil Blind Jenna was so interested in stalking them.  (Isn’t EVERYBODY on this show interested in stalking the PLL girls?)  Emily and Aria suggest they tag team ambush the boy (kinky!).  However, Hanna reluctantly admits that, if anyone should be getting information out of Caleb, it should be the girl who’s taken an extended vacation inside his boxers  . . .

“Got a secret?  Can you keep it (in your pants)?”

As the girls are leaving the restaurant, Spencer stops to stare out the window.  She is certain (and rightfully so) that the girls are being watched.  Unfortunately, for Spencer, the rest of the PLL’s stopped listening to her paranoid rantings, ever since she started making THIS FACE all the time . . .

As we will soon find out, Aria, in particular, should have heeded Spencer’s warnings . . .

Why You Should Always Password Protect Your Computer . . .

I have a question for you ladies out there.  When you first start crushing on a boy, or, at least, before you start dating him, aren’t Googling him, and checking out his Facebook page two of the FIRST things you do to “get to know him better” and “confirm he’s not a serial killer?”  I mean, SERIOUSLY!  I find it REALLY hard to believe that Aria has been dating her Fitzy for ALL THIS TIME, and has never even thought to look him up on Facebook.  Then again, this is the girl who accidentally sent a SEXT to her OWN mother . . .

Speaking of Aria’s mom, I know I’m usually kind of hard on her in my recaps, due to the almost obscene level of SHEER BORINGNESS that surrounds her relationship with “Byron,” and my irrational anger at having to be subjected to it, week after week.  Nonetheless, I must admit, Mama Montgomery was responsible for what was arguably the most hilarious PLL scene of the week. 

So, yes, I guess it WAS understandable that Aria’s mom, upon seeing Caleb talking intently to Aria about Hanna (more on them later), would assume that Caleb was Aria’s “secret boyfriend.”  What wasn’t quite as understandable was the ridiculously HILARIOUS way in which she reacted to this false news . . .

OK.  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT FACIAL EXPRESSION??  Did I miss the episode where Ella Montgomery became a blood-thirsty vampire?  She looks insane!

And while I do agree with Ella’s assessment that Caleb is “cute,” I highly doubt that, as a teacher at that school, Caleb’s reputation as a “con artist” who is “always in detention” and “got caught living in the school library” would have escaped her knowledge.  (I guess ignorance runs in that family.)  Then again, if Ella had a choice, she would probably rather Aria be dating Juvenile Delinquent Caleb, then the person she is actually dating . . . the one who Aria impulsively spilled coffee all over to prevent her mother from seeing them talking in the hallway . . .

“Ohhhh no!  You have a big brown coffee stain on your crotch!  Please, let me wipe it off very slowly with a napkin, while my mom watches . . .”

This, of course, brings me back to my main story.  Aria arrives at Fitzy’s house early, while he is still at school.  While there, she “accidentally” knocks into his laptop.   And, because he was not smart enough to password protect it (stupidity is apparently contagious on this show), and because he has left it on ALL DAY with his Facebook page wide open, Aria finds THIS PICTURE . . .

Who the f*&k is JACKIE MOLINA?  (Maybe SHE’S A!)

That’s right, my Pretties!  Apparently, “Jackie Molina” and Fitzy used to “lick one another’s Gelato,” back in the day!  And they did it in ITALY, while she was wearing HIS ENGAGEMENT RING!

Oh Fitzy!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

I love the other PLL’s reactions, when Aria comes clean to them about inadvertently cyberstalking her English teacher boyfriend!

“What was his status update?  Ezra Fitz has joined the Mark Twain Fanpage?”  Spencer snarks.

Fitzy likes this (and so do his four wives in Western Europe).

Make a fake profile, friend Jackie, get to him through her, and NAIL HIS ASS TO THE WALL,” a recently betrayed (and obviously still VERY BITTER) Hanna exclaims, when she learns about Fitzy’s possible “Double Life.”

And with Hanna’s help, Aria does exactly that . . .

But when “Jackie” eventually accepts fake-Aria’s friend request, Aria can’t bring herself to go through with it.  So, she rents a WHOLE LOTTA Big Love DVD’s (Yay polygamy!) and rushes to her boyfriend’s apartment, to get information straight from the Fitzy’s Gelato-licking mouth . . .

Now, I hate to say it, Ezria fans, but I found Fitzy’s explanation about Jackie, a bit lacking in the credibility department.  Was I the only one?  According to Fitzy, he was engaged to Jackie, back when the pair were finishing up college, which had to have been at least three or four years ago.  He proposed to her in Italy.  She said “yes,” at first . . . and then she said “no.”  And yet, “Jackie” not only KEPT THAT PICTURE on her Facebook profile, but she, VERY RECENTLY, TAGGED her supposed ex- lover in it, so that it would appear at the top of Fitzy’s “recent updates” page. 

Isn’t that kind of a dick thing to do:  rub your botched engagement in the face of the dude you spurned. after over two years of dating?  I mean, seriously!  What is wrong with you, “JACKIE MOLINA!”

Issues of reality aside, Fitzy insists that Jackie is his past, and Aria is his mid-life crisis future.  And because they aren’t able to take normal “coupley” pictures together, for obvious reasons, Aria and Fitzy decide to pose for a picture that they WON’T be embarrassed to show their friends . . .

Ummm . . . yeahhhhhhh . . . the only thing that would make this Bag Head picture more disturbing, would be if Aria had cut “mouth holes” out of the bags, so that her and Fitzy could be photographed “licking eachother’s Gelato.”  (Just imagine the paper cuts!)

Bag Head Photographs preserved for posterity, Aria suddenly has to bolt (more on that later).   The problem of course, is that SOMEONE saw her leaving . . .

Oh Fitzy!  You have some ‘splaining to do  . . . AGAIN!

In the final scene of the episode, a mysterious gloved hand removes the hide-a-key from under Fitzy’s welcome mat (SERIOUSLY FITZY?  You might has well have just left it in the DOOR!), and sneaks inside, under cover of night.  Hide your Bag Head, Ezra Fitz!  Because you are about to be in some SERIOUS trouble, Mister!

Speaking of boys in the dog house . . .

Another One Bites the Dust . . .

Goodbye Caleb!  (For good?)

As promised, Hanna approaches Caleb to ply her whorish ex boyfriend for information about Blind Jenna.  To his credit, Caleb seems pretty darn remorseful about what he has done.  Then again, sleeping on a park bench for two days would be enough to make anyone “remorseful.”  (Not to mention REALLY smelly!)

Hot Male Ho Caleb confesses to Hanna that Blind Jenna paid him a lot of money to locate a “key”  that she believed that Ali had given one of the girls before she died / was murdered.  “I miss you,” Caleb whines, after providing Hanna with some useful, if maddeningly vague, intel.

“Yeah, well . . . you’ll get over it,” Hanna replies, before stomping off.

Caleb then stops by Hanna’s house to give a letter he has written for her to Hanna’s mother.  You see, Caleb is heading off to “Arizona,” and the letter is meant to tell Hanna “goodbye.” (I hear they have really nice park benches to sleep on in Arizona!) 

In hindsight, had Hanna’s mom accepted the letter, things might have gone very differently for Caleb and Hanna.  But noooooo . . . Hanna’s mom’s heart had softened toward Caleb.  And she wanted him to go to the “Founder’s Day Carnival”  to say goodbye to Hanna in person.  (First The Vampire Diaries, now Pretty Little Liars?  Is my town the only town that doesn’t have a Founder’s Day?) 

“Hanna doesn’t need any more men in her life leaving, without saying goodbye like, for example, every other boy on this SHOW!”  Mama Marin instructs.

So, Caleb heads on over to Founder’s Day, where he runs into .  . . the terrifying . . . the horrific . . . the vomit-inducing . . . MONA!

Can they just MURDER this chick, already?  Seriously!  Just looking at her makes me want to break my television . . .

Because Hanna won’t talk to him again and because he’s a TOTAL MORON Caleb gives his very personal letter to Mona, so that she can give it Hanna, on his behalf.  So, of course, the minute Caleb walks away, Mona starts reading the letter.  Not liking what it says (Because she wants Hanna all to herself?), Mona proceeds to rip the darn thing up, over the trash . . .

She then pours her soda all over it.  Now, if Mona was a normal human being, we would never be able to learn the contents of that letter.  Fortunately, for us, however, Mona is NOT a normal human being.  Rather, she is a strange alien life form, who’s hands are like delicate scissors, and who’s mind is like cottage cheese.  So, when she rips up Caleb’s letter, she does so in a way, that makes the whole thing STILL COMPLETELY LEGIBLE.  And then, when she pours soda on the letter, she only pours it on the outer rim, so that NONE of the words are obscured . . .

Seriously!  Who rips paper in perfect straight lines like that?

When Hanna returns and asks Mona what she was talking to Caleb about, Mona lies through her ridiculously large, eye-gougingly white, beaver teeth, and tells her that Caleb was merely asking for change.  So, later, when Aria and Hanna spy Caleb waiting on line to board a bus to Arizona (a bus that is conveniently parked RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOUNDER’S DAY CARNIVAL), Hanna turns down Aria’s suggestion that she rush over and say goodbye.  And, of course, back at home, Hanna’s mother, though openly admitting that she was “wrong” about Caleb, never mentions the letter he had written for Hanna.  (Because, like I said, stupidity is contagious on this show!)

Sorry Hanna!  It’s really not your fault that everyone around you, is either dumb or evil!

Meanwhile, somewhere deep in the PLL Lost Boy Vortex, Lucas Gottesman is pumping his fist in triumph . . . Lucas and Hanna . . . it is SO ON . . . again  . . .

Source

(Hey, check out the cardboard cutout of President Obama in the lefthand corner of this GIF!  RANDOM!)

Speaking of dorky, but surprisingly adorable, couples that seem to be in for the long haul . . .

Spencer and Abs Toby Sitting in A Tree H-U-M-P-I-N-G . . .

This is the number of times Spencer and Toby are going to SCREW, after this episode is over . .  and that’s just tonight!

Every teen drama has it’s Romeo and Juliet.  This is a couple who are constantly being kept apart from one another, by their family and friends.  A couple that must battle extraordinary forces to stay together  . . . forces like b*tchy sisters, and creepy pedo brothers-in-law, and funhouses that LOCK, and, EVIL CLOWNS! 

When the episode begins, Spencer’s mom and sister tell Spencer that she can’t PLAY DOCTOR Scrabble with Abs Toby anymore .  . .

Just in case you forgot the rationale behind the nickname . . .

They believe that, by associating herself, with the OTHER known suspect in Ali’s murder, Spencer will only make herself look more guilty to prospective jurors.  Instead, they think she should attend the Founder’s Day Carnival, so that she can “integrate into the community.”  When Spencer runs outside to see Toby, she learns that HE is not supposed to see HER either, because HIS family thinks she framed him for Ali’s murder . . .

The pair silently (because Blind Jenna is nearby) agree to meet at the Founder’s Day Carnival .  (Riiiight, because NO ONE will know you are together, if you hang out at the BIGGEST TOWN EVENT OF THE YEAR!  Apparently, even the two smartest characters on this show are not immune to the Stupidity Epidemic, spreading like wildfire around this town.) 

At the Carnival, Creepy Pedo Ian threatens Spencer for the 85,000th time this Season.  And Spencer catches Creepy Pedo and Melissa in a not-so-little white lie.

As it turns out, Melissa is pretty clueless about the layout of the Hilton Head hotel, where she supposedly aborted her FIRST baby with Creepy Pedo Ian a year ago.  This means it’s possible that Creepy Pedo DID spend a weekend in the hotel with Ali shortly before her death, as the PLL girls initially suspected.  But, then, why would Melissa cover for him?  Verrrrry interesting!

Spencer then gets a text from “Toby” who wants to meet her in the “Fun House,” which, pretty much seems like the least romantic meeting spot ever!  But Spencer goes anyway.  And, let’s just say, she doesn’t have that much “fun” there . . .

If Spencer entered the Funhouse hoping to get felt up . . . she got her wish.

Hey, did you know that, in addition to her other talents, which, include, among other things, having impeccable text message timing, and being able to insert messages inside fortune cookies, “A” is also a Master Graffiti Artist?

The question is:  Who, aside from Ian, Melissa, and Blind Jenna, would want Spencer to “shut up?”  She hasn’t really incriminated anyone else . . . lately . . .

Anyway, Spencer wanders off into a deserted corrior, and ends up trapped in the dark.  In short, it’s every claustrophobic’s nightmare come true!  (Like I always said, “A” CLEARLY hates Spencer and Hanna THE MOST!)

Spencer screams at the top of her lungs, and cries continuously.  But no one seems to hear her.  Then, suddenly, she hears the walls literally crumbling in front of her.  And then she sees THIS . . .

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  It’s CREEPY PEDO IAN with a HOOK FOR A HAND!  HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLP!”

So, Ian is Spencer’s HERO?  HE’S the one who RESCUED her from the Funhouse?  WTF?

Surprisingly, Creepy Pedo assumes the role of the “Good Brother-in-Law” quite well in this scene.  He’s actually fairly convincing, when he’s yelling at the carnival attendees, for allowing his baby-sister-in-law to become trapped in that way.  And yet, I’m still not 100% sure that neither he or Melissa were the ones that trapped Spencer in there, in the first place.  But, for now, I will give the pedophile the benefit of the doubt.  Because I’m kind and generous like that . . . 🙂

After her “brush with death,” Spencer decides that she will no longer live in fear of public opinion.  Life is too short to not play doctor with Abs Toby, dammit!  And, so, when Spencer’s current Flavor of the Month magically appears at the carnival (WAY LATE, MIND YOU!) Spencer, rushes over to him, and begins to “lick his Gelato,” in front of her WHOLE family . . .

Be jealous, Creepy Pedo Ian!  Be VERY JEALOUS!

It’s just you and your hook for a hand, TONIGHT!

Speaking of people Spencer has made out with . . .

I FINALLY FOUND WREN A.K.A. JULIAN MORRIS!  He’s on TWITTER!  And FACEBOOK!  And HAS HIS OWN WEBSITE

Life is GOOD AGAIN!

OK .  .  . back to the show . . .

Paige . . . You’re FIRED!

Silly Paige!  Don’t you know that everybody on this show, except Aria, gets a new love interest, every three episodes?

Emily’s storyline was a tad redundant this week.  Once again, Paige offered to be Emily’s “girlfriend.”  Once again, she contemplated “coming out.”  This time, the plan was for Paige to meet the head of some Gay Pride Association from a neighboring school, at a coffee shop,  so that she could figure out how to come out to her dad.  Paige asked Emily to accompany her to this “outing.”  Emily agreed.  But when she got there, Paige had bailed, leaving Emily and the modelesque “Samara” to flirt shamelessly with one another, and make plans to meet at, where else, the FOUNDER’S DAY CARNIVAL!

When Paige sees “Samara” rubbing up on Emily, under the guise of “helping her try on earrings,” she is obviously SUPER JEALOUS.  But, instead of staking claim to Emily, by doing some rubbing up of her own, Paige lashes out at Samara, and calls out Emily for telling Samara that Paige is gay, despite the fact that it was PAIGE who made the appointment with Samara, in the first place.  Deciding that Paige has awful hair!  is way too much drama to be worth the trouble, Emily grabs the pair of earrings her future girlfriend gave her, and stalks off.

Once at home, Emily gets an apologetic message from Paige.  She then gets another one from “A,”  informing Emily that her “type” is girls who’s secrets she has to keep.  I SMELL A FLASHBACK!

It’s now a year prior.  Once again, Ali is manipulating Emily’s romantic feelings for her, to get the attention she desires.  Ali gives Emily a cheap snowglobe from her vacation, warning her not to tell the other girls about it, because, Emily is supposedly the only one of the four for whom she got a gift.  “Keep it in a safe place,” instructs Ali.  “It’s more valuable than it looks.”

Having not made out with a girl ALL EPISODE, lonely Emily starts fondling Ali’s snow globe.  And lo and behold, it has a FALSE BOTTOM.  Something is inside.  It’s . . . wait for it . . . THE KEY BLIND JENNA WAS SEEKING!

Score!

Emily immediately recognizes the key in question, as one that belongs to a storage locker.  So, she texts all the girls to meet her down there.  Spencer, of course, can’t come, because she’s a little “stuck” at the moment.  But Aria and Hanna do accompany Emily to the storage locker . . .  (Lord knows who’s been paying the fees on it, for the YEAR that Ali’s been dead!)

Personally, I think renting an ENTIRE storage locker, to store ONE Tweety Bird lunchbox is a bit overdramatic.  (Not to mention a HUGE waste of money!)  Nevertheless, the girls retrieve the cute little lunch box, and find within it, yet another flash drive . . . (What’s with PLL girls, and their hiding flashdrives in BIRDS?  First, the ugly owl, now THIS?)

“Ughhh!  She left a turkey sandwich in here too!”

Back at home, the girls insert the flashdrive in one of their laptops.  On it, appears to be HOURS AND HOURS of footage of the girls and Ali from the past year, obviously taken by cameras hidden in their homes, by someone other than Abs Toby . . .

The girls begin to suspect that Ali was killed for having incriminating evidence of this video stalker.  This, of course, begs the question of WHO THE HECK IS HE (OR SHE?)

Based on the Much Music Preview, next week’s Season Finale looks pretty intense.  It promises, among other things, the return of Lucas (and Caleb), a surprise appearance by the mysterious “Jackie Molina,” more annoying antics by Garrett the Police Boy, and LOTS of driving around in the dark.  What more could a PLL fan ask for?  (Well, aside from lots of hot sex, of course?)

See you then, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Let your fangs be your guide! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Brave New World”

There’s a crazed newbie vampire and two VERY testosterone-y werewolves on the loose in Mystic Falls.  But worry not!  The Salvatore Brothers have it all under control . . . sort of.

Last week, our heroes, Damon and Stefan, had their hands full with Vampire Katherine and her crazy, sexy, evil doppelganger ways . . .

This week, Katherine seems to have taken a little siesta from Mystic Falls.  But that didn’t make life any easier on our Bro Vamps, who still managed to spend most of the episode tending to supernatural creatures, and cleaning up their magical messes . . .

“Who you calling a MESS, b*tch?”

So, without further adieu, let us head off to the Mystic Falls Carnival, and pay a very special visit to its fabulous House of Freaks!

 Hospital Food BITES

After suffering the massive inconvenience of having the life smothered out of her by an antiseptic-smelling hospital pillow . . .

 . . . Caroline “wakes up” in the middle of the night, mildly disoriented and MAJORLY hungry.  Unfortunately,  B*tchy Night Nurse, won’t let her eat until morning.  So, Caroline does what any girl would do in a such a situation.  She improvises.

“Mmmmm, is it just me or have these juice boxes gotten bigger, since I was a kid?”

The next morning, Caroline’s boyfriend, Matt, comes to visit . . .

. . . and Caroline gives him a shoulder so icy cold, it can only be offered by the undead.  She refuses to kiss him, flinches at his touch, won’t eat the food he brings her, and cowers against a wall, when he tries to open the blinds.  Like all boys forced to deal with moody mates, Matt undoubtedly wonders whether Caroline is “On the Rag.”  Little does Mystic Falls’ resident nice guy know that his girlfriend has a WHOLE DIFFERENT “Blood Problem” on her hands (and in her mouth .  . .).

In addition to coping with her brand new kind of “thirst,” and the fact that her face now occasionally sprouts dark lines and wrinkles that even Botox won’t be able to cure, Caroline is also stressed out about not being able to run the Mystic Falls Carnival.  The Carnival was something Caroline had organized every year, since she was a freshman.  And now, with her “out of commission,” Elena and Bonnie are forced to take her place.

While the girls are unpacking boxes, and stacking Team Jacob t-shirts . . .

Every screaming thirteen-year old girl should have one . . .

. . . they can’t help but make a few jokes at Type A blood drinking Caroline’s expense.  “If we mess this up, she will KILL US,” quips Bonnie.  “I don’t know how she does this every year!”

“Simple.  She’s not human,” replies Elena.

Little do they know how VERY RIGHT they both are .  . .

Fortunately, for Caroline, she may have found away to attend the Carnival after all.  Even though Blondie is not due for hospital release until the next day, she somehow “convinces” (read: threatens then compels) B*tchy Night Nurse to discharge her early.  Never one to be discourteous, Caroline thanks the Nurse for her help by NEARLY CHEWING HER NECK OFF!

It was kind of a sloppy move on the new Baby Vamp’s part.  After all, massive neck wounds?  Those are the kind of thing people tend to notice.  Fortunately, the intrepid Caroline has a cover story up her sleeve.  “My boyfriend likes to get kinky,” says a newly Zombie-fied B*tchy Night Nurse, after taking in enough mind compulsion to scramble her brain for weeks. 

(Now, that’s fine for a good hospital tale, but how is B*tchy Night Nurse going to explain all those massive hickeys to her ACTUAL boyfriend?)

Dating discepancies aside, Caroline admires her mind control handiwork.  “I don’t know what THAT is, but it’s SPECTACULAR,” she concludes, as she struts out of the hospital, looking absolutely TO DIE FOR!

You can hardly even tell she’s been dead for 24-hours!

Bark at the Moonstone

Wolves will be wolves  . . .

Considering the fact that TVD fans have known that Tyler Lockwood is a werewolf since the end of Season 1, the writers are REALLY dragging out this “major reveal” a bit long, aren’t they?  Week after week, I just keep waiting for the kid to finally figure out what EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE PLANET already knows.  But, alas, Doofus Tyler keeps missing the boat, on this one . . .

“I may be dumb.   But, hey, at least I look pretty when I’m topless!”

 After a random excuse to show off Michael Trevino’s hot bod, clad in nothing but a towel brief jog around the neighborhood . . .

Well HELLO, Tyler’s crotch and abdominals!  It’s so nice to finally meet you!

 . . . Tyler continues to “bond” with Mr. Wolf in Black Sheep’s Clothing, Mason.

And YOU are wearing a shirt . . . because?

And by “bond” I mean that Mason peppers Tyler with so many questions about his “rage issues” that for a moment I thought I had accidentally switched channels, and was watching a rerun of the Dr. Phil Show . . .

My final diagnosis is . . . you’re CRAZY, Wolfboy!

“I’m an angry guy,” explains Tyler matter-of-factly.  (Now THAT’S the understatement of the year!)

From this exchange, we also learn that Tyler “loses himself,” when he gets angry, and sometimes even suffers from “Rage Blackouts” a la Summer Roberts from The O.C.

When he’s not interrogating Tyler, arm wrestling, or defending his brother’s honor (more on all that later), Mason seems to spend most of his time at Mystic Falls searching for something called a Moonstone.

Riiiiiiight, because that’s EXACTLY what this show needs, MORE ugly jewelry that possesses magical powers . . .

Detective Damon and his Trusty Sidekick, Stefan

“Cheers, to me already getting, in just two episodes, more sexy facial closeup-shots, than I did during the ENTIRE last season!”

But Mason isn’t the only one investigating Tyler during this episode.  Damon seems to have his eye on the Baby Werewolf too.  (Or, maybe he’s just trying in vain to keep his mind off of a certain someone . . .)

Whatever the reason, Tyler’s “Secret” is occupying most of Damon’s thoughts.  Big Brother Salvatore, is pensively pouring himself a goblet of blood, when Stefan arrives home from a morning of “Hunting Wascally Wabbits” with his good pal, Elmer Fudd.

“So, that thing you told me about your brother eating humans . . . you were just kidding about that, right?”

When Stefan turns down Damon’s offer of a blood glass, Big Bro can’t help put take a pot shot at his brother’s Drink of Choice.  “Aren’t you worried that, one day, all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back.  I mean, surely, they talk,” quips Damon.

Be afraid, Stefan.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Damon, who has recently been crowned new head of the Anti-Vampire Council by Ms. Lockwood, herself (How’s THAT for irony?), peppers Stefan with questions about the Lockwoods.  Specifically, he wants to know why they were affected by that Supernatural Clock Thingy during the Season 1 Finale, even though they are not vampires.  Unfortunately for Damon, Stefan sees Damon’s new hobby of “playing detective” for exactly what it is, a way for a guy who’s recently been dumped (TWICE) to pass the time.

“Come on, Damon!  We all know you’re suffering from Man Pain.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just massage your Willy, and call it a night?”

“Well, DUH!  But I’d much prefer massaging YOURS . . .”

Ever the jealous ex, Damon just can’t resist asking Stefan if Elena talks about him.  (How adorable is he?)  And, based on Elena’s exchanges with Stefan during this episode, we know that she DOES talk about him.  However, most of those exchanges involve her repeatedly saying, “I want to be normal and do human stuff, like kiss at the top of the Ferris Wheel.  And I DEFINITELY don’t want to talk about the D- word.”

“D?  As in DELICIOUS?  DEBONAIR?  DECADENT? DRUG-LIKE?  DESTINED TO BE YOUR MAN?”

While over at the Lockwood’s house for an Anti-Vampire Pow Wow,  Damon overhears Tyler talking to Mason about his “rage blackouts,” and comes up with a plan to expose the pair’s supernatural nature.  At the carnival, Damon commandeers Super Human Strength Stefan to challenge Mason to an arm wrestle.

Stefan loses badly.  It’s kind of an embarrassment really.  (I mean, have you SEEN those arms?)  The loss forces Stefan to agree with Damon that Mason is not human.  Stefan’s diagnosis?

Mason and Tyler are Ninja Turtles!  (You know what, I kind of wish he was right.   Because that would be AWESOME!)

Damon rolls his eyes at the joke, echoing the thoughts of some TVD fans, who believe that Stefan “has no comedic timing whatsover.”  I, however, beg to differ.  I thought that Ninja Turtle line was pretty darn hilarious, and his dry emotionless delivery made it even more so.  And I NEVER disagree with Damon.  So, you know I must really mean it.

All this arm wrestling and talk of rage blackouts inspires Damon to come up with a plan, as to how to break Hero Mason Lockwood, out of his “half-shell.”  (TURTLE POWER!)  And so he finds Poor Random Guy, Connor (who is about to have the WORST NIGHT EVER, by the way) and compels him to pick a fight with Tyler, and never back down, no matter what is done to him in retaliation.

The idea is to get Tyler to rage at Connor, and for Mason to go all “Supernatural” on Connor’s ass in Tyler’s defense.  The plan, of course, works flawlessly.  And we watch with amusement, along with Damon and Stefan, as Poor Connor picks a losing fight with Tyler.  Tyler predictably rages.  Then, Mason gets all yellow-eyed . . .

 . . .  and starts “jumping over cars” to break up the wrestling match.  But the fact that DAMON AND STEFAN still can’t figure out what kind of creatures these guys are, EVEN after witnessing THAT, bugs me to NO END!  In fact, I think I may have just had a Rage Blackout, just thinking about it . . .

I’m Burning Up For Your Love

A Newly Undead Caroline arrives at the school, and runs into Damon who has been lurking the hallways.  Caroline confronts Damon about all that mind controlling and physical abuse he heaped on her during Season 1.  Damon, of course, denies it.   But Caroline is insistent. 

NEW VAMPIRE RULE:  Apparently, if you were compelled a vampire, while you were alive, you can remember it, once you are undead.  (This is probably also how Stefan figured out that his love for Katherine was largely the result of compulsion.)

“I have a message from Katherine,” Caroline whispers in Damon’s ear.  (You know, I forgot how hot and hilarious these two were together, during Season 1)  “GAME ON!”

Caroline then throws Damon across the room.  “You suck,” she says wistfully, before stalking outside.

Once at the Carnival, Caroline runs into her loyal, but clueless boyfriend, Matt.

“I’m all better now,” the Undead Girl insists when asked how she was so quickly discharged.

The two quickly head off to the Ring Toss.

Still unused to her superhuman strength,  Caroline’s ring flick ends up shattering about five or six bottles within range.  “They must have already been broken,” Caroline mumbles cleverly.

The “neat trick” totally turns Matt on, and he pulls Caroline in for a kiss.  However, once the Little Vampire gets to close to his human flesh, she becomes incredibly hungry.  Not wanting to hurt Matt, she pushes him away violently.  “Leave me ALONE!”  She screeches, before running away.

An ashamed and humiliated Caroline is crying in the corner, when who should spot her, but a Lip-Bloodied Connor.  “Is everything OK?”  The Nice Guy / Poor Sap asks.  “I am so sorry,” cries Caroline, before doing this . . .

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would hereby like to award Poor Connor this week’s Senseless Death Award!

Meanwhile, Damon pulls aside Elena . . .

It’s amazing how fast Elena seems to have forgiven Damon for the whole “attempted killing of her brother” thing.  Not that I’m complaining . . .

. . . to warn her about Caroline’s newfound vampishness.  Stefan is called in for support, and our three main characters engage in their obligatory Pow Wow of Sexiness and Plot Explanation for the week.  Gently reminding everybody about how lousy the whole Vicki Vamp Conversion went . . .

. . . and what a “manipulative nasty little slut” Katherine is for doing this to all of them . . .

“That’s ME!”

. . . Damon suggests that they have no choice but to stake Caroline, and put her out of her undead misery.

“Absolutely NOT!”  Elena insists.

Stefan agrees with Elena, but does so half-heartedly,  so that everyone in the room knows that, deep down, he thinks that Damon is right  — Caroline won’t be able to survive as a vamp.   And the longer she lives, the more all of their  lives will be in danger.  When Elena confronts Stefan about his true feelings he PUNCHES A WALL.  (SO HOT!)

“Oooh, baby!  Do it again!”

Damon finds a tearful Caroline outside, crying over a lifeless Poor Connor.  He moves in to “console her,” cupping her chin with his hand, and gently brushing her bloody hair out of her face.  “Don’t cry.  I can help you,” coos Damon with enough faux sensitivity that I almost believe him, myself.

“How?”  Caroline sniffles.

“I’m going to kill you,” replies Damon, matter-of-factly.

Caroline starts bawling now, begging for her not-life.  “Please don’t, I’m not ready to die.”

“But you’re already dead,” explains Damon.

Eventually, Damon convinces Caroline that he’s NOT going to kill her.   He pulls her into a hug, and, then, TRIES TO KILL HER with a sharpened stake!

But then Stefan comes and SAVES THE DAY, knocking the stake right out of Damon’s hand.

(I’ve gotta say!  I’m not ready to see Vampire Caroline go.  Human Caroline was really boring (except, of course, when she was Damon’s Play Toy).  But THIS Caroline?  She. Is. AWESOME!  Way to go, Candice Accola for making me warm up to your character in a big way!)

Then Damon picks up the stake AGAIN, and lunges for Caroline a SECOND TIME . . .

 . . . this time Elena blocks his path. Damon’s stake is now just inches away from the heart of the woman he loves.  “She’s my friend,” whispers Elena.

The two lock eyes, and say nothing for a few moments, the expressions on their faces revealing everything.  It is UNBELIEVABLY HOT!

Damon eventually drops the stake.  “Whatever happens, it’s on you,” Damon warns Elena — the vampire, himself, knowing a thing or two about residual guilt.

In the midst of all this, Bonnie arrives, touches Bloody Caroline and instantly learns that she’s a vampire.  Being a Vampire Hater, and a total bitch Bonnie turns away from her former BFF in disgust.  This causes Caroline to start bawling.  When Elena goes to her, Caroline pushes ELENA away, thinking that Elena was the one who turned her into a vampire.  Elena explains that the vampire who did that to her was Katherine.  But Caroline has had too much excitement for one day, and runs to the bathroom to pee.

Stefan rushes off to the bathroom (the Women’s Restroom?  FOR SHAME, STEFAN!) to comfort Caroline.  He carefully wipes the blood off her face, like a loving father.  Stefan then patiently teaches Caroline how to control her blood lust.  I guess Stefan is like the Mister Miyagi of Vampires . . .

. . . or a Vampire Jiminy Cricket.

He promises not to let anything happen to Caroline.  He  says he will do everything in his power to protect her.  It’s really sweet, actually.

Outside a bawling Bonnie, uses her magic Migraine-Giving powers to initiate a gas leak . . .

 . . . which causes a fire, and results in Damon looking like this . . .

But, despite what he did to her brother, Elena finds enough forgiveness in her heart to come to Damon’s rescue . . .

“This is not US!  This can’t be us!”  Elena tearfully screams at Bonnie, breaking the latter out of her witches’ spell trance.

All That Mushy Stuff

In the post-carnival portion of the episode, we get to see everyone, more or less, kiss and makeup.   Well, Tyler doesn’t really kiss or makeup with anyone.  But  . . .

he does finally find that Moonstone, and the information regarding his ancestry, under a floorboard in his father’s office. 

Matt . . .

. . . sneaks into Caroline’s bedroom and expresses his love for her.  She returns the favor by kissing him, without literally chewing off his face.  Thank you, Stefan-y Cricket!

Damon . . .

 . . . bonds with Jeremy . . .

 . . . over them both having parents that hated vampires, and Jeremy’s inability to whittle a proper stake with which to kill Damon.  Good times!

And finally, Stefan makes good on his promise to have a “normal moment” with Elena, by flying her *rolls eyes* up to the top of the ferris wheel and kissing her there, a la Ryan and Marissa from The O.C.

“We have to take this moment,” comands Stefan.  “I came back to this town to start a life with you.  We can’t forget to live it.”

(Awwwww!) 

And yet, just to keep things from getting too sappy, Kevin Williamson makes sure to end this romantic scene on a slightly dark note.  “It’s not going to get any easier, is it?”  Elena inquires.

“No, it’s not,” replies Stefan, before the screen eerily fades to black.

So, that was Episode 2.  What did you think?  Did you love Vampire Caroline as much as I did, or did you miss Vampire Katherine?   Were you insanely happy (like ME) or slightly disappointed that Elena has started talking to Damon, so soon after she claimed to HATE him?  And finally, were you as underwhelmed by the werewolf storyline as I was, or did Michael Trevino’s shirtlessness make it all OK?

That’s all I’ve got!  See you next week, fellow Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries’ Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert: The Top Ten WINNING Season 1 Moments for OUR Team!

 

It’s a choice that heroines in teen dramas have had to grapple with for ages: the brooding and sensitive good boy versus the unrepentant and dangerous bad one. 

And nowhere on television is that eternal question more fully explored than on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, where good can be bad . . .

 . . . and bad can be deliciously GOOD!

Unlike in other shows, where the “good guy” is so bland and boring as to make the heroine’s choice completely obvious, writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec actually make a startlingly good case for both the “straight-laced” Stefan Salvatore, and his “fun loving killer” brother Damon.  Nonetheless, a choice HAS to be made . . .

Threesomes are fun, but they can’t last forever . . .

 . . . and I’ve made mine.  In Stefan’s defense, 9 times out of ten, when this sort of question is raised, I will throw MY lot in with the Bad Boy, without a second thought.  But there is something about Damon’s and Elena’s relationship that makes it special.

Unlike most heroines in these type of dramas, Elena is NOT drawn to Damon out of any sort of need for rebellion against authority.  After all, Elena’s parents are dead, and Useless Aunt Jenna certainly isn’t going to be “reigning her in” any time soon.  As for Damon, well, sure, his attraction to Elena may have started because (1) he wanted to stick it to his baby brother; and (2) she looked SO MUCH like his ex .  . .

 . . . but that changed almost immediately after he met her. 

Damon and Elena understand one another in a way no one else around them can.  They know eachothers’ vulnerabilities and weaknesses, as well as their respective strengths.  This allows them to be at ease with one another, and let their guards down in conversation. 

When Damon and Elena are in the same room together, the sexual tension between them crackles and pops like a sparkler on Independence Day.  And even when they aren’t saying anything, the pair can carry on entire conversations through eye contact and body language.

This is why what I am about to do here is so difficult.  When EVERY interaction between two individuals is electrically charged with sexuality, emotion, and meaning, how can one POSSIBLY boil down their entire complex relationship into JUST 10 scenes?   Nonetheless, I figured it was worth a try.  What follows are ten Damon / Elena scenes from Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries.  These scenes, in my opinion, really encapsulate the pair’s relationship, and comprise the best of what this couple has to offer.

[Note: For whatever reason, The CW has always been a bit finicky about what videos it allows us fans to embed in our blog posts.  Therefore, most of the below videos will require you to click on an internal link, that will redirect you to YouTube, before you can watch.  That being said, when I tell you the slight inconvenience you must endure to see the videos will be entirely worth it, I promise, I am not lying . . .]

10) Damon and Elena get flirty in Elena’s bedroom . . .

Nothing says “manly” like a boy in a pink bed, cuddling with a Teddy Bear.

Episode: “Under Control” – 1 X 18

Setting the scene: Elena invites Damon over for an emergency meeting to discuss Stefan, who has been acting strangely ever since he ingested Elena’s blood, during the prior episode . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You ask, I come.  I’m easy like that.”

DAMON: (Calls out to a suspicious Jeremy, who is eating cereal in the next room) “No, Elena, I will NOT got to your bedroom with you!”

Why it made the list:  I love how Damon challenges Elena’s growing attraction to him here, by invading her personal space.  Watch the glee Damon takes in laying on Elena’s bed, hugging her teddy bear, fingering her photographs, and fondling her bras and delicates.  Then, at the end of the scene, Damon invades Elena’s person, as he moves in close, trapping her up against the vanity table.  In that moment, without saying so, Damon is forcing Elena to confront her feelings for him, and how they differ from her feelings for Stefan.

9) Damon gives Elena a rose

Episode: “Under Control” –  1 X 18

Setting the scene:  Damon and Elena are at a Founder’s Day pre-party, where Stefan is drinking heavily, in an attempt to dull his hunger for human blood.  Elena expresses her concerns to Damon as the two sit next to one another at the bar.  But Damon is more concerned about Elena’s brother, Jeremy, who has been asking questions about Vicki Donovan’s death. 

 (Background: After Damon made Vicki into a vampire, she violently turned on Elena and Jeremy.  Stefan killed Vicki to save them.  Then, at Elena’s request, Damon buried Vicki’s body, and compelled Jeremy to forget what had happened.)

Potent quotables:

DAMON: (Mimicking Jeremy) “Oh, but sheriff, someone buried her.  Who would do that?”  (raises hand)  “I know, I know!  ME!”

And later . . .

DAMON: (Upon agreeing not to use any more compulsion on Jeremy) “OK.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Why it made the list: For me, this scene really illustrates the snap, crackle, and pop of Damon’s and Elena’s witty banter.  These two are clearly at ease with one another.  Check out the pair’s body language, as they angle their chairs toward eachother, and repeatedly brush limbs.  I also love the old-fashioned way Damon “courts” Elena, by selecting a rose from a nearby bouquet, sniffing it to make sure it is of top quality, and delicately placing it in her hand. 

So often, we forget that Damon “grew up” in the mid 1800’s.  This scene gently reminds us of that.  When Elena receives the rose, she can’t help but be flattered and intrigued by Damon’s gesture, even though she knows she shouldn’t be.

8 ) Things “heat up,” while Damon and Elena are in the kitchen together. . .

Episode: “Children of the Damned”  – 1 X 13

Setting the scene: Damon has dropped by the Gilbert home for dinner, unannounced.  After the meal, Damon and Elena wash dishes together.  Things quickly evolve from fun and flirty, to serious and intense, when Damon inquires as to Stefan’s true motives, in agreeing to help Damon free his long lost love, Vampire Katherine, from a nearby tomb.  Elena initially shrugs off the question, but Damon confronts her directly, imploring her to be honest with him.  She isn’t . . .

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “Don’t do that”

DAMON:  “Do what?”

ELENA:  “That move was deliberate.”

DAMON:  “Yeah, I was deliberately trying to get to the sink.”

And later . . .

ELENA: “I’m wearing vervain, Damon.  It’s not going to work.”

DAMON:  “I’m not trying to compel you.   I just want you to answer me . . . honestly”

Why it made the list: So many of Damon’s and Elena’s interactions revolve around the issue of trust.  Can these two individuals trust one another?  Well . . . that really depends on the episode. 

For me, this scene can really be broken down into two parts.  The first part of the scene is lighthearted and flirtatious.  Notice Damon’s highly sexualized “Ohhh . . . mmmm” when he “accidentally” bumps into Elena on the way to the sink.  While Elena pretends to be annoyed by the grope, the sly grin on her face says otherwise.

The second scene is more intense.  Damon can sense that Stefan and Elena are lying to him, but instinctively trusts Elena, and refuses to believe she could do anything so dishonest.  When Elena accuses Damon of trying to compel her to tell him the truth, he appears to be truly offended that she would think he would do that to her, after all they had been through.  When Damon asks Elena if he can trust Stefan, he is revealing to her a vulnerable side of him that she hasn’t seen before.  She feels guilty about lying to Damon, as evidenced by the way her eyes drift downward, refusing to meet his, at 1:18.  Then again, she may just be mesmerized by those gorgeous lips of his . . .

7) Damon and Elena get wet (in the rain)

Episode: “Let the Right One in” – 1 X 17

Setting the scene: Stefan is being held captive by the Hidey Hole Vamps (a random plotline developed, and promptly discarded mid season).  The Hidey Hole Vamps came from the tomb Damon opened during “Fool Me Once” (Episode 14).  You know, the one that was SUPPOSED to contain Vampire Katherine, but didn’t?  So, understandably, Damon feels a bit responsible for his brother’s kidnapping.  Elena of course, is beside herself, and wants part in the rescue.  But Damon fears that if Elena comes along, the responsibility will become too much for him.  And he will lose both Stefan AND Elena, in the process.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  (Lovingly cupping Elena’s wet face in his hands).  “Elena, I know.  But I don’t know how to get him out.”

Why it made the list:  This short scene is intensely emotional for both Damon and Elena.  Both characters have completely let their guard down.  Elena, who is intensely strong willed, and usually highly adept at keeping her emotions in check, is near tears, at the thought of Stefan being killed by the Hidey Hole Vamps.  She feels helpless, and has stored all her hopes in Damon. 

As I mentioned earlier, Damon feels responsible for this whole situation.  He desperately wants to protect Elena and Stefan, and fears he is about to let them both down.  Damon, who has always been supernaturally strong, and can usually mask his feelings with bravado and snark, is completely stripped down and vulnerable here.  And he hates it .  . .

6) Damon watches Elena sleep

Episode: “Friday Night Bites”  – 1 X 3

Setting the scene:  Ummm, I think you all are smart enough to figure this one out on your own . . .

Potent quotables: 

STEFAN: (in voiceover) “I felt there was hope.  That somewhere deep inside, something inside Damon was human, normal.”

Why it made the list:  This scene, from the third Episode of The Vampire Diaries, is important, because it is truly the first time we see anything resembling humanity in Damon.  Up until this point, all we have seen him do is kill and manipulate people.  Every word spoken by him had an ulterior motive.  Every gesture was made in malice.  Here, we know, Damon’s actions are completely uncalculated, BECAUSE no one else can see them.  Not even Elena, herself, who is unconscious the entire time. 

It’s a short scene, only a few moments long, and (aside from the voiceover) dialogue free.  But those few seconds speak volumes about Damon’s complexity as a character, and his early feelings for Elena — feelings that would only grow stronger, as the series progressed . . .

5) Elena falls victim to Damon’s “Eye Thing”

Episode: “Founder’s Day” 1 X 22 (The Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: Elena has just changed out of her 1800’s attire, following the Founder’s Day parade, and a ride on the Miss Mystic Falls float.  Ever since Elena’s biological mother told Elena that Damon “loved her” (“Isobel” – Episode 1 X 21) things have gotten a bit awkward among our favorite Vampire Threesome.  And Elena desperately wants to clear the air. 

Speaking of clearing the air, things of become unusually chilly between Elena and her little brother, Jeremy, following Jeremy’s discovery that Elena has been keeping information aboutVicki’s vampiric demise from him.  She also played a major part in having Jeremy’s memory of the event wiped from his consciousness.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I like you better like this.  The period look, it didn’t suit you.”

ELENA:  “Is that an insult?”

DAMON:   “Actually, Elena.  It is a compliment, of the highest order.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “So, I think you should stop with the flirty little comments, and that . . . Eye Thing . . . that you do.”

DAMON:  “What eye thing?”  (Does Eye Thing . . .)

ELENA: “Don’t make me regret being your friend.”

Why it made the list: In this scene, we can truly see how far Damon has come, from seeing Elena as a conquest, and a doppelganger of his long lost love, to being a sexy, intelligent, and caring woman, in her own right.  The fact that Damon prefers Elena wearing modern clothes, to Elena wearing Katherine’s clothes, speaks volumes about how much his feelings for her have grown.  Further evidence of that is found later in the scene, when Elena tells Damon not to make her regret being his friend.

Initially, of course, Damon’s face, which has been playful and seductive, since the opening of the scene, falls.  Here’s a sexy popular playboy, one who has NEVER had any trouble with the ladies.  And he has just been placed in the Friend Zone. 

But what makes things really interesting, is what Damon does next.  We watch as he takes a beat to ponder his relationship with Elena.  Instantly, he comes to the conclusion that a friendship with Elena would be far better than no relationship at all.  He nods sadly, but with a deep understanding and respect for Elena’s strength, as she goes to talk to Jeremy.  And don’t even get me started on that “Eye Thing.”

4) Damon tries to compel Elena to kiss him / gets slapped in the face

Episode: “Friday Night Bites:  – 1 x 3

Setting the scene: Damon has basically been compelling Elena’s friend Caroline to be his blood whore throughout the entire episode.  But Caroline has started to bore and annoy Damon, so he sets his sights on greener pastures, Elena’s.  Never one to go about things the “hard way,” Damon corners Elena, alone in the parking lot, during a high school football game.  He plans to compel her to be his love slave, just as he has done with Caroline.  Little does he know that Stefan has armed her with a vervain necklace, rendering her impervious to all mind control . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You’re right, I do have other intentions.  But so do you . . . I see them.  You want me . . . I get to you.  You find yourself drawn to me.  You think about me, even when you don’t want to think about me.  I bet you’ve even dreamed about me .  . . (Damon’s eyes glow green, with the power of compulsion behind them).  And right now, you want to kiss me.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “I am NOT Katherine!”

Why it made the list: The acting in this scene between Ian Somerhalder (Damon) and Nina Dobrev (Elena) was positively brilliant.  For starters, the sexual tension between these two is undeniable  — even though, at this point, Elena is trying desperately to deny it, and Damon is trying to force it, for his own personal gain.  When Damon first makes his speech about how “hot for him” Elena is, we, as viewers, know that a lot of what he is saying true.  Elena DOES feel drawn to Damon.  She DOES think about him, even when she doesn’t want to.   And she HAS dreamed about him.

But what’s really interesting is to watch the scene from Elena’s perspective.  That dreamy, faraway, look in her eye.  The way she keeps leaning closer and closer to him, as he speaks, unable to break eye contact.  The first time I saw the scene, I wondered, for a moment, whether Damon had SUCCEEDED in compelling Elena to want to kiss him, in spite of the fact that she was wearing vervain. 

Then I wondered whether Elena knew what Damon was trying to do.  Based on that theory, she was  just pretending to fall under his spell, only to catch him off guard, when she went in for the slap later.  But here’s the thing:  at this point, Elena doesn’t KNOW that Stefan and Damon are vampires.  (Notice how Elena didn’t catch on to Damon’s ironic intimation, that he was MUCH older than Caroline.)  So, she has no idea, they are capable of mind control.  So, Elena’s seemingly lovestruck initial reaction to Damon’s words?  It was REAL!

3) Damon and Elena do the “Mating Dance”

Episode: “Miss Mystic Falls” – 1 X 19

Setting the Scene: Elena has unwillingly agreed to take part in the Miss Mystic Falls pageant.  Stefan has agreed to be her escort.  But on the day of the pageant, Stefan mysteriously disappears.  (Turns out he’s gone all blood lusty, and has set out to eliminate Elena’s competition, by eating it.)  Unbeknownst to Elena, Damon has stepped in to fill Stefan’s shoes, and, subsequently, save the day.

Potent quotables:

USELESS AUNT JENNA:   “What is she doing with Damon?”

ALARIC:  “I have NO IDEA!”

Why it made the list:  Like the earlier referenced scene, where Damon watched Elena sleep, this scene is nearly silent, save for the music to which the contestants dance.  I love the first part of the scene, where Elena has her “Oh so Teen Cliched” Staircase Moment, and we see Damon’s eyes light up with love and sexual desire, as he sees her in that blue dress for the first time.

You can see the changes that take place in the couple, as the dance progresses.  When it first starts, the two are wary of one another, stiff and business like.  But then the music starts to take over.  Smiles form on their faces.  They are actually enjoying THIS! 

Damon’s a surprisingly good dancer (much better than his younger brother).  The first part of the dance, during which the partners can’t touch, is a mating ritual in every sense of the world.  Damon and Elena circle one another like predator and prey.

But things really heat up when they are finally able to grab hold of one another.  He grasps her body firmly, in a manner that is strong and protective.  They both get a bit lost in the moment, wanting to move in closer, but unable to do so, based on the regimented nature of the dance.  When the music stops, and the pair are forced to break from one another, they both seem a bit jarred by the intense emotions this experience has brought to the surface.

2) Damon kisses Elena Katherine

Episode: “Founder’s Day” – 1 x 22 (Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: At the Founder’s Day Carnival, Bonnie, at Elena’s behest, used her magic to rescue Damon from death by fire.  Filled with gratitude, Damon goes to Elena’s house to set things right with Elena’s brother, Jeremy, by explaining to him, what truly happened with Vampire Vicki.  As he leaves the house, he runs into who he THINKS is Elena.  (It isn’t . . .)

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I’m not a hero, Elena.  I don’t do good.  It’s not in my nature.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “Maybe it is.”

And later . . .

DAMON:  “She did it for you [saved me], which means that, somewhere along the way, you decided that I was worth saving.  And I wanted to thank you for that.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “You’re welcome.”

Why it made the list: At first blush, it may seem like sacrilege to put a scene that didn’t even INCLUDE Elena, in a list of the “Top Ten Best Damon and Elena” scenes.  But the fact remains, that, from Damon’s perspective, this WAS Elena, to whom he had bared his soul, and with whom, after an entire season of trying and failing, he had finally shared a kiss.  All this time, us fans always assumed that Damon did “bad things” simply because he wanted to.  Now, we realize, that he did them, because he thought himself to be completely incapable of goodness.  He is confused by, and uncomfortable with, his growing humanity, but at the same time, excited by it.

And Damon is excited by Elena, who for the first time, seems truly open to his advances.  He kisses her tentatively at first.  And then, when she doesn’t pull away, really lets himself get carried away in the moment.  His hands cup her face, his fingers run through her hair.  All thoughts of this awful day, escape from his head, and all that is left is love and passion.

In hindsight, we can see that “Elena” was different — that she seemed colder and more aloof, then she had in previous scenes.  A few cocked eyebrows and vague responses here and there, betray Katherine’s lack of knowledge, as to what has been going on in Mystic Falls this season.  She notices the change in Damon immediately, and is bit intrigued by it, especially since, all this time, she thought SHE was the only woman who held any power over him.  And when they finally kiss, Katherine shows none of the extreme guilt the ever-faithful Elena would experience had she just made the decision to cheat on her vampire boyfriend.

And it’s this complexity, that makes the scene so compulsively watchable . . .

And finally . . . (drumroll please)

1) Damon returns Elena’s necklace

Episode: “Fool Me Once” – 1X14

Setting the scene: Having recently learned that Stefan and Elena have stolen the spellbook that he needs to free his love Katherine from the tomb, Damon feels hurt and betrayed.  After all, the couple had promised to help him get Katherine back, and Elena had given Damon his word that their intentions were genuine.  Later, Elena comes to visit an uncharacteristically broody Damon at his home, waving the metaphorical “white flag” and carrying the proverbial “olive branch.”

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “I was protecting the people I love, Damon.  But so were you, in your own twisted way.  As hard as it is to figure, we are all on the same side, after the same thing.”

DAMON:  “Fool me once, shame on you.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “You and I, we have something.  An understanding.  And I know my betrayal hurt you — different than it was with Stefan.  But I promise you, I will help you get Katherine back.

And still later . . .

DAMON:  I didn’t compel you in Atlanta, because we were having fun.  I wanted it to be real.  I’m trusting you.   Don’t make me regret it.

Why it TOPPED the list: This scene contains everything we LOVE about Damon and Elena, all rolled up into one beautiful and sexy package:  the witty banter, the silent looks filled with meaning, the complex innuendos, the invasion of personal space, gentle caresses, and an admission, on both Damon’s and Elena’s parts, that their relationship is special.  It travels far beyond the expected boundaries of friendship.  The episode, begins with a betrayal of trust, and concludes with the ultimate exchange of trust.  Elena, who has always secretly worried that Damon has been trying to compel her (how else could she explain her strong romantic feelings for him), really puts herself out there for Damon.

By taking off the vervain necklace that protects her from mind control, Elena is exposing herself completely to Damon.  She might as well be standing naked before him.  And Damon, who wonders whether he will ever be able to trust Elena again, has the perfect opportunity to exert ultimate power over her.  And just like in Atlanta, he refuses to take that opportunity.  He will not take advantage of Elena in that way.  When Damon closes in on Elena, and reaches behind her to take the necklace, she is frightened and a bit aroused.  All of this is evident, when, to her surprise, Damon gently clasps the necklace back around her neck.  

A gentle brush of Damon’s fingers across Elena’s throat is enough to send her eyes rolling back in her head in pure ecstacy.  But this scene isn’t just about sex or power.  It is about love, friendship, understanding, and a willingness to let someone see you at your most vulnerable.  And THAT is why this scene made Number One on my list . . .

Season 2 of the Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 9th at 8 p.m. on The CW, and we all know what THAT means — more juicy Damon and Elena scenes to gush over and explore.  I for one, CAN’T WAIT!  Can YOU?

Neither can HE! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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