Tag Archives: Episode 22

“So what? I’m still a Vampire!” – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season Finale “The Departed”

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NOT choosing between all these hot vampires, who love me unconditionally, all season was EXHAUSTING.  I need a nap!  Wake me before the final credits roll, OK?”

So what?  I’m still a Rockstar.  I’ve got my rock moves.  And I don’t neeeeed youuuuuu.”

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Pink’s classic single-girl anthem “Rockstar” initially seemed like an odd choice to kick off the Season 3 Finale of The Vampire Diaries.  For one thing, here’s a show that’s made a name for itself by specializing in sad and/or moodily haunting songs, written by virtually unknown artists, just on the cusp of making it big.  Pink is hardly an unknown artist.  And as for moodily haunting, “Rockstar” is probably one of her peppiest ditties to date.

Also, I don’t think there’s a woman on television who’s more patently un-accustomed to the Single Life than Elena Gilbert: She Who is Loved By All. Plus, let’s be honest, I’m kind of shocked they got the rights to play it.

However, in hindsight, the song choice made a lot of sense.  Because while the moody, mopey, perpetually waffling between two vampires, “Everyone around me is dying, let’s paint some walls,” Elena we know and love probably wouldn’t be caught dead (no pun intended) rocking out to anything remotely resembling a dance beat . . .

“Hey!  I resent that!  I do rock out . . . once a season . . . at my school’s annual Bloodbath Prom.   Take that, you mean recapper, you!”

 .  . .  her two-years younger, cheerleading, pony-tail wearing, Matt Donovan-dating, “Nothing bad ever happens in Mystic Falls” self absolutely would!

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And when you think about it, that’s really what “The Departed” was about . . . comparing Elena’s pre and post vampire worlds, and recognizing that they might not be quite as different from one another as we originally thought . . . You know, aside from the whole “Constantly in Danger / On the Verge of Death,” thing . . .

So tighten up your ponytail, hike up your skirt, and take a nice long drive off the very short Wickory Bridge, because it’s time for another TVD-cap .  . .

(Special thanks to my good pal, Andre for providing me with an entire season of the most amazing screencaps ever invented.  If you were a vampire, I’d put your soul into somebody else’s body, so you wouldn’t ever have to croak.  That’s how appreciative I am!)

“Caroline thinks my ponytail lacks zchuzz” (By the way, I must have sat for at least ten minutes, trying to figure out how that word was spelled.)

Like so many episodes of TVD, this one begins with Elena groggily waking up to the sound of her alarm, and undoubtedly looking like she wants to slit her wrist on her bedside table . . . usually because one of her friend’s (or an attractive guest star) died in the previous episode or is destined to die in this one.

“I told you not to wake me until the end credits, DAMMIT!” 

But wait!  Are my eyes deceiving me?  Is our girl Elena actually . . . smiling and bobbing her head up and down to pop music?

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Oh, I get it!  This isn’t regular Elena, it’s her sassy alter ego, Ponytail Elena.   This makes a lot more sense now . . .

But why is she wearing the Glee Cheerios uniform?

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QUINN: “I hate that b*tch.  She stole my man.”

SANTANA: “I hate her too.  She stole my woman.”

BRITTANY: (offscreen) “Unicorn?” 

Clearly, I’ve stumbled into some Alternate Universe Crossover Fanfiction of some sort.  Either that, or this is the start of another . . . wait for it . . . Flashback Episode.

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That’s right, Fangbangers!  Meet Elena Gilbert, the peppy popular high school cheerleader, with the clean-cut jock boyfriend, the twerpy little brother, and two uncommonly hot parents, who both love and support her unconditionally.

“Aren’t you glad both of us will be dead, long before we could ever get wrinkles?”

 I feel like I’ve stumbled into a Tampon Commercial .  . . or one for Teen Spirit Deodorant.  Now, all I need is for Elena to say something like, “At school, I work hard, but I also PLAY HARD!”

ELENA: “Psst . . . Matt, I’m not wearing any underwear under my skirt.”

MATT: “Psst . . . I’m wearing a skirt, under my underwear.”

BONNIE: *judging you*

“Caroline thinks my ponytail lacks schuzz,” Elena pouts, as she walks toward Mystic Falls High with fellow cheerleader Bonnie Bennett.

Matt’s there too, with his varsity jacket,  butterfly kisses, and references to the dreaded L Word.  In short, he’d be the Greatest Boyfriend Ever . . . if his mere presence didn’t seem to put Elena to sleep.

Bonnie chastens Elena for “stringing Matt along,” when it’s quite clear she doesn’t share his feelings for her.  In other words, Bonnie is judgmental in Flashback Land too.  Something NEVER change . . .

“I’m so going to give that Recapper a piece of my migraine!” 

RECAPPER: *takes an Aspirin*

Meanwhile, in the FUTURE . . .

“Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your not being the dumbest brother on Earth?”

Future/Present / Non-ponytail Elena wakes up in a hospital bed after the dramatic, nosebleedy faceplant she did at the end of last week’s episode.

Ahh . .  . waking up miserable.  Now THERE’S the Elena I know and love . . . 

(At this point, Jeremy probably has the ambulance on speed dial.)  Mini Gilbert is understandably concerned about his sister’s newfound tendency to make out with home flooring.  However the Only Doctor in Mystic Falls, Crazy Nanny Carrie, tells him not to worry.   “Just a itsy bitsy concussion . . . nothing to worry about.”

“I’ll just bash her face in with a hammer, like I do all my other patients.  She’ll be good as new in no time.”

Jeremy calls Elena’s two vampire lovers to let them know what went down.  Both Stefan and Damon are absolutely furious with Jeremy for trusting traditional modern medicine.  (Clearly, they must be closet Christian Scientists or something.)

STEFAN: “I think we’ve spent about half the season in this car.”

DAMON: “Tell me about it.  It’s a good thing vampires never have to pee.” 

“Get her out of there,” they exclaim practically in unison, realizing that keeping Elena in a public place makes her a sitting duck for .  . . oh, I don’t know .  .  . EVERY VILLAIN WHO’S EVER BEEN ON THE SHOW, EVER!  (Then again, it’s not like they all don’t know where she lives.)

 

Did I mention that Damon and Stefan are still roadtripping to make Klaus’ body swim with the fishies hide Klaus’ body?  Honestly, in hindsight, I’m kind of glad The Brothers Awesomesauce decided to scrap their original, wetter, plan to dispose of Klaus.  What if Klaus’ dry, flaky, desperately in need of lotion, body was devoured by a hungry shark . . . or a really ambitious school of goldfish?  Then, the whole entire cast would die, and they would have to rename the show “Ghost Diaries.”

“I ain’t afraid of no ghost vamp.”

Upon getting off the phone with Jeremy, Damon, who’s been especially brother-bondy with Stefan lately, praises the latter’s intelligence .  . . or, perhaps more accurately, his lack of utter stupidity. “Have I ever told you how much I appreciate the fact that I don’t have the dumbest brother in the world?” Damon quips.

Awww!  That’s sweet.  You know, it’s really too bad that no one ever decided to make Brother’s Day a national holiday.  Because, that would have made a really great statement for the inside of a Hallmark card.

Back at the hospital, Nouveau Ric has gotten wind of Elena’s whereabouts . . . though he may have had to show some poor lonely EMT his Chunky Monkey to get that information . . .

“My eyes aren’t the only part of me that has vampire compulsion powers.” 

He corners his erstwhile sex buddy Crazy Nanny Carrie and demands that Elena be released to his custody, as her legal guardian.  He also tells her that P.S. she’s fired.  WHAT?  You can’t fire Crazy Nanny Carrie, Alchy Ric!  I told you, she’s the ONLY DOCTOR IN MYSTIC FALLS!

“You can’t fire ME!  I’m Paul Wesley’s wife Meredith Fell!”

Also . . . I hate to break this to you Nouveau Ric but uhhh . . . you’re dead and have no authority whatsoever.

Nevertheless, to add insult to injury, Nouveau Ric quickly locates Crazy Nanny Carrie’s healing vampire blood stash, and DUMPS IT ALL ON THE FLOOR!

“How dare you fill these shot glasses with a non-alcoholic beverage!  That’s just wasteful!” 

Crazy Nanny starts to cry, thus proving she’s not quite the cyborg we always thought she was.

You know I’d have a heck of a lot easier time feeling sorry for the Good Doctor if she didn’t hide her Most Important Medical Miracle, in an UNLOCKED FOOD MINI FRIDGE, right next to her Lean Pockets and Dannon Yogurt Cups.

Honestly, she would have been better off putting it inside her bra or down her pants.  After all, I’d willing to bet that, since Alaric “died,” no one has ventured inside there at all.  Also, not to nitpick (just kidding, I’m totally nitpicking), but did you see how little blood she had left in there?  I’ve had shots of tequila with more total fluid ounces than her entire stash!

Where did this woman go to medical school that she thinks this is an appropriate amount of blood to take from someone? Munchkinland?

Crazy Nanny Carrie’s apparent incompetence aside, by the time Nouveau Ric reaches Elena’s hospital bedside she’s . . . wait for it . . . already long gone.  SURPRISE!

“Nothing wrong with free will!”

Back at the Gilbert house, Caroline, Tyler, Jeremy and Matt are all babysitting Elena.  Caroline offers the recently concussed and drained of blood tea and vodka to help her sleep.  (Mix in some soda, a little triple sec, and a bit of that tequila she had last night, and she could have a Long Island Iced Tea.  It’s just what the doctor ordered!)

“All the best tea comes from Long Island.” 

Wait . . . correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you NOT supposed to sleep when you get a severe brain hemorrhage concussion?  I swear I remember reading that somewhere.  Man, Crazy Nanny Carrie really is the worst doctor ever!

But hey, it isn’t TVD, if Elena isn’t constantly in danger right?  So, sleep again, Elena does.  When she awakens, Caroline and Tyler have left on an emergency call (more on that later), leaving Matt as the soul Mr. Mom of Casa Gilbert. (Jeremy, the “breadwinner” is out getting food.)

With her flashback / dream still fresh in her mind, Elena chooses now to apologize to Matt for sort of/ kind of leading him on when she was 15.  It does seem like a rather odd time for an apology.  And Matt quickly conjectures that this whole conversation really has less to do with Elena’s and Matt’s relationship, than it does with Elena’s and her vampire entourage.

Now, not to bash Elena or anything, but am I the only one who found Elena’s apology a little insulting from Matt’s perspective?  I mean, sure, she used some “nice” words to say it.  But when it came right down to it, wasn’t Elena really telling her ex this:  “I’m sorry I continued to suck face with you, even though you, quite honestly, bored me to tears.  And I had no romantic feelings for you whatsoever.  Now would you mind helping me choose between the two men I REALLY love?”

“You’re right, Recapper!  WTF!  Now I’m pissed.” 

My own interpretations of the situation aside, Matt seemed to take the whole thing quite well . . . acting all “understanding and supportive,” through the whole monologue, until Stefan came bounding through the door, in true “speak of the devil,” fashion.  (Then again, Matt did purposefully drug Elena later in the episode.  So, maybe  just maybe, he wasn’t quite as OK with all this rejection, as he pretended to be . . .)

It looks like Matt might have accidentally drugged himself too . . . 

Meanwhile, over at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, Nouveau Ric (for whom this is probably his first time at the bar sober) promptly corners Jeremy.  He then makes a surprisingly convincing case for the latter turning over Klaus’ body, and getting Elena out of dodge for a “Vampire Free Life.”

Super Hero Hair on Super Villain Head

Vampire the Vampire Slayer even volunteers to allow Bonnie to desiccate his body, so that Elena can live out her natural life, and he will no longer be a threat to anyone (Then again, all the IMPORTANT vampires . . . except Elijah and Rebekah . . . will pretty much be dead anyway, so an un-desiccated Nouveau Ric would just be bored).  Jeremy, who’s been becoming more than a bit anti-vampite himself lately,  seems more than a bit receptive to Nouveau Ric’s suggestion.

“You just look so different, Vampire Ric.   Have you gone tanning recently?”

But would he be willing to betray his sister and everyone she loves, in order to accomplish it?  We’ll know soon enough . . .

Back at the Gilbert House, an old familiar friend has stopped by to catch up.  It’s ELIJAH!  And dare I say, he’s looking fabulous . . .

Elijah has come to . . . wait for it . . . make a deal, with the Scooby Gang, in return for Klaus’ body.  Wait a second.  I think I heard this joke before.  And I didn’t particularly like the punchline.

Don’t get me wrong, I love you, Elijah.  You will always be my favorite Original.  But let’s be honest with ourselves.  Your “deals” always SUCK ASS!

“Lunch?”

Damon, who’s been conveniently dialed into the meeting on speaker phone seems to agree with me . . .

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That said, you’ve got to admit that, just like Nouveau Ric, Elijah drives a hard bargain. (Then again, maybe it’s just the hypnotic sound of his super sexy voice that makes me want to just mindless agree with everything he says.)

Elijah offers total and complete protection from ALL the Originals for the rest of Elena’s natural life, and the lives of her children and grandchildren.  (In hindsight, all this talk about Elena’s “natural life” and her “having babies,” were like neon flashing lights over her head that just SCREAMING Soon-To-Be-Vampire.)  Only when Grandkiddy Elena finally croaked would Elijah finally reawaken Klaus.   “You have my word,” he said . . . again.

(Note: If there was ever an Elijah Talking Doll, one of the phrases it would always say, when you pulled the string on it’s back, would be “You have my word,” the others would be, “There is honor in revenge,” “You cannot beat me,” and, my personal favorite, “Hello Elenaaaah.”)

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“It’s a shame you and I never hooked up.  We would have the most polite and sophisticated sex ever.”

Elijah may be winning over his fanbase, but a good percentage of the Scooby Gang is still not down with his plan.  Damon wonders out loud, whether inhaling all the pain fumes last week gave Elena brain damage.  I’ve wondered this about Elena a few times myself.  And Matt, who’s been pretty quiet up until this point, suddenly looks like his eyes are about to pop out of his head, and roll across the kitchen floor, like in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons, when the pretty girl bunny walks by.  “WHY SHOULD SHE TRUST YOU?” He yelps.

“Duuuuuuude . . .” 

Why indeed .  . .

But Elena’s question for Elijah goes a bit deeper than that.  “Why do you want his body, so badly?” She wonders.

“He’s my brother.  We remain together,” Elijah replies matter-of-factly.

Oh, that was smooth, Elijah! You know full well that this crowd can’t turn down a statement of “brotherly love.”

Elena’s heart immediately turns to mush.  She’s blinking a lot, and making googly eyes at her brother.  Before the words, “You have a deal,” come out of Elena’s mouth, we already know that Team Original has won . . . this round, anyway . . .

Later, Jeremy gripes to Stefan about the ridiculousness of Elena’s decision.  Once again, Stefan clearly disagrees with a choice that Elena has made (Heck, everyone in the gang seems to disagree with it, except her and Elijah.). And once again, he says nothing.  Wussy pants  “Nothing wrong with free will,” Stefan explains sagely.  “You’d understand that if you ever had it taken away from you.”

“Anyone have a bib I could borrow . . . or a neck?” 

But Stefan’s been this way, since long before Klaus compelled him to turn on his emotions.  He always seems to blindly go along with Elena’s half-cocked plans, so as to seem agreeable, and not to start a fight with her.  It’s a fundamental difference we’ve seen between Damon and Stefan, one that the two of them discussed briefly back in “The Last Dance” episode,  and will discuss again before the episode is over.

In fact, Stefan willingness to ALWAYS go along with Elena’s wishes literally costs her her life at the end of the episode . . .

I don’t know.  I feel like there has to be a happy medium in relationships between strong arming and bullying your beloved, just because you can, and rolling over and playing dead, every time your better half makes a controversial decision.

To me, the best couples are the ones that fight and duke it out about the things that matter to them most . . . trying to get the other person to see their way, for better or worse.  .

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.  But not getting your way, is not the same thing as not having free will.  Not by a longshot . . .

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OK, now that I’m off my soapbox, it’s time for some FORWOOD!

“Just you . . . and maybe a curling iron.”

Last week, Nouveau Ric outed Mayor Lockwood and Sheriff Lizard Forbes for harboring vampire /hybrid kids.  The heads of the Vampire Killing Council (that never, ever kills any vampires) both breastfed future vampires!  Oooh!  Que Escandalo!  This is some seriously juicy stuff . . . like the Mystic Falls equivalent of a sex tape leaked on YouTube.

“Wait until they find out about our demon baby lovechild . . .”

I found it kind of funny and ironic, how the Mayor and the Sheriff encouraged, even INSISTED that their barely legal children run off together to lord knows where, for a life of nonstop sex, and blood drinking.  I mean, of course, they didn’t want their kids pitchforked by the members of their own town.  But the fact that neither parent even thought to offer to come WITH their kids, was kind of strange, and  a little shocking to me.

“We promise to call you from the road . . . after we’ve robbed a few banks for shopping money.” 

And of course, the newly reunited Forwood pair was just ecstatic about the concept of running away together.  In fact, they barely managed to refrain from ripping one another’s clothes off, while their respective moms were still in the room!

You know, I teased Caroline and Tyler a lot this season, about having a sort of puppy-in-heat-leg-humping relationship . . . lots of hot sex and very little talking, apart from the occasional grunt and growl.

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But these past few episodes, have included a lot of really fun relationship moments for these two!  In short, these horny puppies are growing up . . . though, arguably, in that last scene between them . . . well . . . I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anywhoo, once apart from their parents, Tyler and Caroline begin to chart out their future as Bonnie Vampire and Clyde Hybrid.  They discuss what they need to pack . . . a few clothes and a curling iron.  (Hey, at least won’t need condoms!)  “Let me protect you,” Tyler says, solemnly, grasping his lover by the shoulders.

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But Caroline can’t leave town yet, because she has to . . . wait for it . . . SAVE ELENA.

The minute Tyler and Caroline made a pact to meet one another in two hours,  I knew things were about to go south.  I mean, come on you too, don’t you watch TV?  Don’t you know that by planning to meet at some indiscriminate future time, you are pretty much GUARANTEEING that one of you won’t make it?  I mean, let’s face it “I’ll see you in two hours,” is the romantic drama movie equivalent of horror movie classic lines like: “I’ll be right back.”  or “Let’s split up,” or “Come drunk girl with big boobs, let’s go out into the woods and have sex.  It will be FINE!”

Speaking of Best Laid Plans . . .

“You know what else was her idea?  Everything bad EVER!”

Jeremy and Matt, the sole representatives of Team Human, have a little pow wow on the Gilbert Porch.

They discuss the possibility of “going rogue,” and ratting out where Team Scooby buried Klaus.  Shortly thereafter, we see what we THINK is the result of that pow wow, when Jeremy calls Alaric with a location.  “You are doing the right thing for your sister,” Nouveau Ric says, in a voice that’s oddly paternal for a soulless sociopath.

Jeremy agrees, as he hangs up the phone.  Oooh . . . Jer Bear!  Bad Boy!  Judas of the Vampires!

But wait!  The camera just panned back, the whole Scoooby Gang is there.  It was all a trap!  You got me, TVD!  My faith in Team Human has been restored . . . for now, anyway.

Meanwhile, Damon and Bonnie, who have been surprisingly chummy, ever since she gave  the vampire brain freeze, and fed herself to her history teacher, are in a storage locker retrieving Klaus, toasted body, so that they can turn it over to Team Original, as part of the Great Vampire Truce of 2012. Damon gripes to Bonnie about how the rest of the gang is letting this happen AGAIN . . .

 Hey look!  It’s Klaus’ new apartment.  I wonder if he’s going to invite me in?”

“It’s Elena’s call,” Bonnie says diplomatically.

“You know what else is her call?   Everything BAD ever,” Damon quips.

Truer words have never been spoken.

“Yay . . . wait .  . . that was an insult, right?” 

Creepiness ensues, when they open Klaus’ coffin, and his eyes pop open.  Wasn’t expecting that.  All chained up, and pale, Klaus suddenly sort of looks like whatever vampire Johnny Depp is playing in that new movie Dark Shadows.  It’s not a good look for him.

Someone should really consider bringing this coffin to the tanning salon where Nouveau Ric’s been going . . . 

There’s this really weird moment that follows, once Bonnie is left alone with Klaus’ coffin.  She starts talking to him about how he’s very likely the source of the bloodline of all of her vampire friends . . . her mother’s blooline.   “I can’t kill you,” she says morosely.

Later on in the episode, we will learn just how far Bonnie will go to stay true to that statement . . .

“That’s the difference between you and me.”  Oh, and also, I’M AWESOME!

Back at the house, Stefan and Elena are having a moment.  He’s promising to come back to her.  She’s contemplating telling him about her Big Boyfriend Choice.  (Yeah . . . uh . . . Elena, this isn’t really the time for that.  We’ve still got Nouveau Ric problems.)  And yet, for a second, it seems like Elena might be prepping to kick Stefan to the curb.  My Delena heart is beating faster.  I’m excited.

Then Stefan rushes back to her room, and starts kissing Elena.  It’s probably one of the more impulsively passionate things we’ve seen the younger Salvatore brother do all season.  But it hasn’t changed my mind about who Elena should choose, of course.

“Tastes like chicken.” 

Speaking of Damon, he’s waiting outside to have yet another brotherly chat with Stefan.  As I mentioned, this conversation is a kinder gentler echo of the one they had back in “The Last Dance.”  Damon notes that he will always do whatever it takes to keep Elena alive, even if he has to drag her kicking and screaming to her salvation, and even if it makes her hate him.  Stefan . . . well . . . we all know how Stefan feels about this.  “That’s the difference between you and me,” remarks Damon thoughtfully.

That’s not the only difference, Damon . . .

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But it is a BIG difference, one who’s specter promises to haunt Season 4 in a BIG WAY . . .

Beef-jerkified Original

Now, we are back at Save-a-Vampire Storage Center.  Damon is waiting for Rebekah, so that he can hand over Klaus’ crunchy baked tortilla-like torso.  Unfortunately, someone else has crashed their party.  It’s Nouveau Ric!  He breaks Damon’s neck . . . again. Seriously, how many times has this poor guy had his head popped out of it’s socket, this season.  He must be practically a Pez dispenser by now . . .

Eventually Beks does find a now re-necked Damon.  But Nouveau Ric is still on the prowl.  So, Damon does that sexy kidnapper thing, where he wraps his arms around her, and covers her mouth to keep her save.  The fact that I always find this kind of behavior hot, disturbs me.  But hey, at least this time, it’s for a good cause . . .

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Last week, we saw Damon save Bonnie,  despite the fact that she’s often such a crazy b*atch, where he is concerned.  This week, we see him do the same thing for Beks.  It’s noteworthy, especially considering, how, at this point, Damon is pretty sure that he comes from Klaus’ bloodline, which would give him no personal motive for saving Rebekah.  It’s just the nice, Southern Gentleman thing to do . . .

But let’s not get too comfortable, folks.  Because Nouveau Ric has just found Klaus’ coffin.  And he wastes no time, popping it open, and shoving that Big Bad Dagger right in his heart.  It’s kind of a b*tch move, I’m not going to lie.  I mean, if stabbing someone in the back, so they can’t see you coming is cowardly, stabbing them when they are covered in 100 pounds of chain metal is Wuss Incarnate.

Hey look!  It’s a TUMS Antacid commercial.  Product placement anyone?

Still, the shock of seeing Klaus, Big Bad for Two Seasons Now, erupt into flames, without a single villain monologue, or fist-shaking declaration of revenge was probably the most shocking moment of the Season.  Rebekah is inconsolate.  It’s heart-wrenching to watch her like this.  Her history with her brother is complicated.  But, through it all, there was never any question that she loved him deeply.

Damon’s pretty depressed too.  I mean, he saw what happened to Sage, after Finn died.  It certainly didn’t look like a party.  Now, suddenly, he’s gone from the Man with the Plan to Undead Man Walking.

Then Nouveau Ric closes the coffin, without waiting to see if Klaus actually finishes burning.  Nouveau Ric is a MORON . . .  But we like morons on this show.  They keep our heroes alive.

“Sorry . . . I over honeyed.”

Back at the Gilbert house, Elena is still having her extended Golden Girls mini episode with Matt.  Hey Matt, newsflash, the rest of your friends are out fighting vampires, while your home putting too much honey in Elena’s tea.  Don’t look, now. But I think you might have just sprouted a va-jay-jay.

“And afterward, we can paint our toenails, put on mud masks, and sing Katy Perry songs into our hairbrushes!” 

In hindsight, the fact that Elena’s tea tasted crappy was meant to be “foreshadowing.”  But at the time, I was just thinking.

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“This tastes like our relationship.”

What guy puts honey in their tea, in the first place?

Matt, ever the glutton for punishment, wants to know what Elena loves so much about the Salvatores.  We’ve heard this one before.  Stefan makes her feel safe when he’s not threatening to bite her neck,or drive her off the Wickory Bridge.  She met him at a time when she needed him.  She sees their love as something “true and constant.”

Damon, on the other hand, gets under her skin.  When she’s with him, he consumes her.

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Which kind of love would YOU choose?

“You have a beautiful future ahead of you. Me?  Not so much . . .

It’s angst time, on TVD.  There’s lots of bad news to be spread, and uncomfortable conversations to be had.  Damon calls Stefan with the bad news.  It’s soulful crying all around.  Though both men are a bit confused as to why they aren’t bleeding from the nose or coughing like Rebekah was.  They know that one of them has to break the news to Elena that everyone she ever loved, more or less, might very well croak, within the next hour.  Or WILL they?

Stefan gets the honors, “Say goodbye for me,” Damon says solemnly.

Meanwhile at La Casa de TV Recapper, there’s a whole lot of Ugly Crying, and snotty sobs going on . . .

Over in the Sex Cave, Caroline and “Tyler” reunite.  She’s bawling her eyes out.  “Klaus died,” she sobs.

And we all know what that means for Tyler . . . and possibly Caroline too.  But this isn’t the “Tyler,” we met back in Season 1 (in more ways than one!).  This Tyler isn’t immature, or selfish.  He’s not going to place blame, or break down.  He stays strong for Caroline’s sake.  “You’re going to be fine.”  “Tyler” reassures Caroline. “I’m a lost cause.  But you are strong.  You have a beautiful future ahead of you.”

OK, in hindsight, this was a rather loaded monologue for our Alpha Male.  I never really considered Tyler the kind of guy, who would ever use the word “beautiful,” to describe anything without tits.

In fact, this sounds a lot more like something ANOTHER one of Caroline’s suitors would say . . .

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But in the moment, I genuinely felt the chemistry, the passion, the love, loss and longing of the scene.  It seemed real to me.  So, I ignored the warning signs.  I suspect others did too.  And that Presumed Last Kiss .  . . WHEW! Smokin!  We’ll get back to that a bit later.

Then “Tyler” starts coughing, presumably starting to feel the “death” effects of Klaus’ demise.  But Caroline is just peachy, which undoubtedly causes fans to wonder if her bloodline might have begun with another Original, after all.  Ever the stalwart girlfriend, Caroline is determined to stay by “Tyler’s” side, until his death, just like she did during his first werewolf transformation, nearly a year ago . . .

But in the words of Schmidt from New Girl, Tyler “White Fangs” Caroline by wolfing out on her ass, so that she will leave.

He seems determined to die alone.  Or DOES he?

Meanwhile, Rebekah and Elijah share a quiet tearful embrace over the loss of the brother they’ve known and loved for over 1,000 years, despite his many flaws.  (But wait . . . where’s Kol?)

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After the initial cryfest though, Rebekah and Elijah get down to the brass tacks of Plot Explanation.  They both admit to not being the sires of Scary Mary.  Neither, for that matter is Kol.  So, Klaus is the source of the Salvatore Bloodline after all!  But then why did Tyler “die,” while Caroline and the others are still alive.  The plot thickens . . .

“Maybe, if I met you first.”

More flashbacks . . . Elena’s at a party.  She had a fight with Matt, because she doesn’t want to get married and have babies at age 15!  (See?  I told you he was a woman.)

Speaking of Matt, Elena wakes up in a car next to him . . . destination unknown.  “You drugged me with crappy ass tea,” she says incredulously.

“Is this what you have to resort to in order to get laid these days?” 

“I’m getting you out of Vampire Town, once and for all,” Matt explains, more or less.

Then, they both get the call . . . the Dead Friend call . . . Suddenly, this isn’t just your average kidnapping . . . it’s a mass funeral.  “We have to go back!” Elena proclaims.  (How very Dr. Jack from Lost of her.)

The question is back to WHO?  Damon is back at the Save-a-Vampire-or-Watch-Him-Burn storage site, and Stefan is back home.  Elena has to  . . . wait for it . . . CHOOSE BETWEEN THE BROTHERS.  She calls Damon, to tell him she won’t be seeing him, before he croaks . . . if he croaks.  Ouch!

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But Elena has a good excuse.  Back home she has three-soon-to-be-dead friends: Stefan, Caroline, and Tyler (four, if you count Bonnie’s mom . . . which nobody does).  There, she just has one, super hot vampire lover.

However, Damon isn’t letting her off the hook that easily.  He wants to know what her choice would be, if it wasn’t just a matter of numbers.  She tells him.  Over in La Casa de TV Recapper, shoes, pillows and soda cans are thrown at the television screen.  You’re not going to actually make me say it, are you?

“I love him Damon.  I never unfell for him,” Elena expains.  (Oh, come on!  Un-fell . . . now that’s just bad grammar!)

“I care about you, which is why I have to let you go.  Maybe, if it was you I met first,” she explains, as she hangs up the phone.

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Damon morosely looks up from his own cell phone, and sees Nouveau Ric.  It’s time for another installment of Vampire Fight Club . . .

But wait . . . first Matt has to find out from Elena (who found out from Caroline) that “Tyler” died.  He may be a Golden Girl, but Matt Donovan’s surprisingly attractive cry face broke my heart.  “This isn’t how our lives were supposed to be,” Matt complains.  I agree, Matt!  Elena was supposed to pick Damon.  And you were supposed to NOT DRIVE ELENA OVER THAT DAMN BRIDGE.

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Elsewhere in “Everything is going to Hell Land,” Rebekah unilaterally decides that Klaus’ death means the brokerage of peace between Team Original and Team Regular Average Joe Vampire is officially over.  She vows to avenge her brother’s death, by killing Elena.

“May I wash your windows for a $1.00?” 

But wait . . . check this one out!  A not-so-dead Tyler meets up with Bonnie.  It turns out, he’s not Tyler at all, he’s KlausiTyler, who was conveniently witchily inserted into Real Tyler’s body shortly before that whole “burning thing.”

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Yeah, so remember last week, when Tyler said this . . .

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That didn’t work out so well for him, did it?

I must say, this was pretty clever, as far as plot twists go . . . (not to mention, probably the most daring thing Plot Device Bonnie has done all season). The writers got to keep Klaus as the sire of the Salvatore Bloodline, without actually killing ANY of the main cast.  Also, the fact that we never saw Klaus’ body fully burn, leaves an opening for HIS return as well . . . the question is, who will “Klaus” be when that happens?

Also, this little bit of intrigue just made that seemingly run of the mill, angsty death scene between Caroline and Tyler SOOO MUCH more interesting . . . not to mention slightly creepy.  I mean, after all, what we just witnessed was the first time Klaus and Caroline kissed, and she didn’t even know it was happening!  (Plus, something tells me that Mr. Hornball-My-Character-Never-Gets-Laid-on-this-show Klausityler is going to take a heck of a lot more advantage of this situation, than just kissing Caroline in the coming episodes.)

“Suck on that, Elena!”

So, it’s a win for both Team Klaroline, and Team Forwood!  Speaking of a win for both teams . . .

“You want a love that consumes you.”

Nouveau Ric and Damon are kicking the crap out of one another, just like old times!

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 Damon takes a nap for a little bit, and wakes up in his very own flashback.  We find him lying in the middle of the road in Mystic Falls . . . a tactic we’ve seen him use many times in the past, to get chicks . . . and eat them. 

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He runs into Elena on the road, and, of course, mistakes her for Katherine.

It’s your classic Meet Cute, complete with flirty comments, and a whole lot of Damon’s trademark “Eye Thing.”  Not-Ponytail-Wearing-But-Still-Perky Elena looks like she wants to rip Damon’s clothes off, right there in the road.  So,  of course, the two start talking about Elena’s dreaded soon-to-be ex, and why he isn’t cutting the mustard . . . in the bedroom or otherwise.  “You want a love that consumes you . .  . passion, adventure, danger . . .” in short, everything she has with Damon now . . .

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Then the elder Salvatore Brother compels Elena to forget ever meeting him, promising her that she will get everything she desires, in the future.  And she does . . . well . . . once she gets through that whole, my parents are going to drown in about 10 minutes thing . . .

P.S. Elena met Damon first.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it SUCKAS!

“Glug, Glug, Gurgle, Glug . . . Cough, Cough, GASP!”

Back in real time, Rebekah is standing in the middle of the road, and Matt Donovan, Worst Driver Ever, swerves WAY TOO WIDE to miss hitting her, and sends the car he’s driving with Elena careening into the water below.  (Moron!  She’s a vampire!  Hit her with the friggin car!  It’s not like she’s actually going to die or anything!)

The scene then begins to intercut back and forth, between Stefan’s rescue of Elena, from the backseat of her parents drowning car, and Stefan’s rescue of Elena in present day.  Back then, as we’ve all heard, Elena’s mom died right away.  But Elena’s dad held her hand for one last goodbye.  We also know that Stefan tried to save Elena’s father first.  But he refused to be helped, until Elena was safe on dry land.

Sidenote: This kind of reminds me of that question jealous siblings always ask of their parents.  “If me and [insert sibling name] were both drowning, and you could only save one of us, who would it be.”

“I’d save you both,” the parent inevitably say.

Which we know is something no HUMAN would be able to actually do, if the situation occurred in real life.

HOWEVER, I would argue that Vampire Stefan, totally could have saved both Elena and her father back then . . . and now . . .

Stefan finds himself faced with another’s Sophie’s choice.  Now, Matt’s unconscious.  And it’s Elena who’s refusing to be rescued, until Matt is safe and sound.  Stefan ultimately follows her orders.  He’s her bitch after all.  Damon would’ve probably given her the middle finger under water, and then actually rescued them both .  . . just saying.

But Damon wasn’t there.  So, we have to watch Elena die . . . and we know, for sure, she croaked too, because over at Vampire Fight Club, Nouveau Ric croaks too.

Poor Damon!  Not only is losing his former best friend again, but he’s facing the loss of yet another lover . . . There’s a lot of heartbreak in this episode.

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And there’s about to be more.  Back at home, Jeremy gets a visit from Ric . . . not Nouveau Ric . . . the real one . . . complete with gelled up, Nice Guy hair, and a trademark Chunky Monkey smile.  Upon seeing him, Jeremy comes to the sad realization that his sister is gone.

Alaric promises to look out for Jeremy, so he’ll never be alone.

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It’s a sweet gesture, not to mention the writers clever, if short-handed way of redeeming a character they pretty much made mincemeat of, these past few episodes.  But still  . . . I don’t know . . . would you want a dad-type “looking out” for YOUR every move .  . . watching you sleep . . . and eat . . . go to the bathroom  . . . have sex?

I just totally killed that perfectly nice moment, for you, didn’t I?  Sorry, Alaric!  We’ll miss your well-meaning, but with inappropriate relationships with his students, goofy stalker, ass! 🙂

Back at the hospital, an inconsolable Damon is begging Crazy Nanny Carrie to tell him where Elena’s body can be found.

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It’s then that we find out, what many of us suspected, that Elena’s injuries, from MASSIVE BLOOD LOSS, PAINT FUME INHALATION, AND FACEPLANTING, were way worse than your run-of-the-mill concussion.  Her brain was bleeding (kind of makes Damon’s comments about Elena’s brain damage earlier offensive, doesn’t it), and she needed vampire blood to survive . . .

AKA . . . Elena died with vampire blood in her system . . . AKA the TVD writers just Breaking Dawned Elena Gilbert . . .

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But more importantly, now she’s going to remember all the wonderful things Damon did for her,  that he compelled her to forget.

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Game on Team Delena!  Godspeed Vampire Elena!  Until next season . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

“I Know Who Killed Me,” a Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Fugitives”

[Greetings Fangbangers!  The TVD Season 3 Finale Recap is on its way.  I should have it up by early Saturday morning, EST!  We have A LOT to talk about!]

“Try and hit me with your car again, LOSERS!” 

Greetings Upper East Siders! This week on GG, Donut Dan’s frightening Medusa-like bedhead, and crippling self doubt, threatened to end his relationship with Blair.

But,  unfortunately, it’s not quite dead . . . yet . . . just paralyzed from the waist down, and begging to be put out of its misery.

Also on GG, Lola and Ivy gave us a glimpse into the future of both of their respective acting careers  . . . by posing as high middle lower-middle class call girls.

Meanwhile, Serena, after weeks of pretending to be Gossip Girl, put on a headband, and pretended to be Blair Waldorf instead.  (Clearly, this is a Multiple Personality Disorder waiting to happen.)

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In other news, Bart Bass is adjusting to not being dead anymore.  And who knows?  In another year or two he might even re-learn how to emote and display real facial expressions . . .

So, slap on your sassiest headband, pick up your favorite flavor of gelato (as long as it’s not pistachio), and, for Heaven’s Sake, hide your diary, because it’s time for another GG cap . . .

“What did we bury that day?”

I suspect few GG fans would disagree with me, when I say that, as amusing as Bart Bass: Real Estate Magnate of the Undead is to watch, it’s pretty much the most ridiculously unbelievable plotline these writers have ever put on our screens . . . well, except for maybe that whole “Pact with G*d” thing.  Actually, Chuck Bass thinks it’s pretty ridiculous too. This is why he meets with his father, early on in the episode, in hopes of getting some much needed answers for himself, and, by extension, GG viewers.

“You look pretty good, for someone who’s been underground for three years, dad.  Was there a tanning bed in your hidey hole?” 

Bart explains to Chuck how one of his Big Bad Competitors . . . one with some all-too-convenient “connections to the mob,” tried to get Bart killed in that fateful car accident.  So, Bart, being the strong, powerful, manly man that he is, decided to deal with it by . . . going Ninja on his would be killer’s ass      going to the police and having him arrested  ruining him financially by buying out all his hotels    using his own mob connections to kill the guy right back  giving him a royally painful wedgie  burrowing in an underground hole for three years, while wearing a Snuggie, and watching a whole lot of Real Housewives episodes.  Bart Bass . . . MY HERO!

“This guy even makes ME look good!”

But Chuck’s not done with his interrogation.  There’s so much about this situation that still confuses him . . . and me.  Like, for example, how did Bart manage to fake a flatline in the hospital, while the entire Bass / VDW clan was standing over him, pretending to be genuinely upset about his demise?  And what or who exactly did they put in Bart’s coffin for the faux funeral?  Actually, I have a few ideas about that one . . .

Also, how did Zombie Bart manage to sneak blood to Chuck, without anyone knowing he was there .  . . or that he supposedly has no pulse?  Chuck wants to know the answers to all these questions.  But, most of all, he wants to know who tried to have his father killed, so that he can get REVENGE.

 “Avenging the not real death of my father . . . I think I read a book about that once . . .”

So, Bart answered these questions, right?  I mean, of course, he had to answer these questions.  A show simply can’t have a character come back from the dead, after three years, without explaining to fans how it happened . . . right?  RIGHT?

Noooo . . . sorry.  You lose, Chuck Bass!  Thanks for playing!  Better luck next Undead Dad!

By the way, I miss Monkey.  Where’s he been lately? 

It would have been easy to laugh off a moment like this.  But Ed Westwick gave the situation some genuine gravitas, illustrating how this cold callous man had the power to transform the  dignified, often cocksure, adult Chuck Bass, into a vulnerable boy in desperate need of his father’s love and affection.  “What is this?  You’re kicking me out?  You’re just going to disappear, and leave me alone again?” Chuck inquires, eyes filling with tears, as one of his father’s henchmen bodily removes him from the premises.

It’s literally impossible not to feel for Chuck in this scene.  And yet Bart Bass seems to manage it quite well.  Seriously, I’m starting to think that the guy is actually a cyborg.  It would explain so much . . .

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Louis-bot approves . . . 

Despite all this, Chuck is still determined to vanquish his father’s enemies, Amanda Clarke from Revenge-style.  He turns first to one of his most “loyal and trusting” henchmen, Andrew Tyler.  You know, the guy who Chuck is forever throwing ridiculous sums of money at to provide him with misinformation nearly every week?  But Andrew doesn’t want to take the case, despite Chuck’s willingness to pay him three-times his normal fee.  He, apparently, has better things to do . . . like needlepoint . . . or spelunking.

“I’m not just a P.I. / lawyer.  I’m also dress up like a clown for children’s birthday parties . . .” 

Come on, Andrew Tyler!  Buck up, buddy.  Chuck is offering you obscene amounts of money to find the secret not-killer of a secret not-dead guy.  And he’s pretty much guaranteed to pay you, even if you provide him with the wrong name.  (He’s done it before!)  So, tell him it was Oscar the Grouch or something, take the money, and run.  It’s not like you actually have “morals,” or anything . . .

Shunned by his father, and spurned by the uber-un-talented Andrew Tyler, Chuck is now more determined than ever to find out who orchestrated his father’s car accident, all those years ago . . .

“No need to be a Jealous Freak.”

While Donut Dan is in the shower, wrestling with the ferocious Chia Pet that, since last week, has made a nest in his head and given birth to an entire litter of tiny baby Chias . . .

. . .  Blair is busy sexting with Chuck . . .

Chuck’s reply text: “I’m fine now that I got this pesky underwear off.  How are you?”

(By the way, I love that Blair is so prim and proper in her texting. She even uses capital letters and punctuation marks.)

Unfortunately, before Blair can tell Chuck that she’s not wearing underwear, she receives a call from Dan’s agent, who quickly informs her that the Donut has turned down Italy on her behalf.  Blair, understandably, is furious.  I mean, here she was, finally being given the opportunity to spend the summer away from Donut Dan, so that she could carry out an awesomely torrid affair with Chuck Bass across every limo in Manhattan . . .

. . .  and Humpty Humphrey totally ruined it for her.

So, selfish, right?

Blair begs the Donut to reconsider his decision.  After all, she explains, “Rome is just two glasses of Chardonnay away . . . assuming you drink wine really, really, really slowly.”

She goes on to assure this puff pastry that he has absolutely nothing to worry or be jealous about, when it comes to Chuck.  And her argument would probably be considered pretty convincing too . . . provided Dan has never rented the first four seasons of Gossip Girl on DVD . . .

“The most important thing in a relationship is trust . . . after sex, hygiene, and earning potential.”

Though Blair acts all cool, calm and collected with her hairy temporary tattoo of a boyfriend, beneath the surface, she’s furious with him for lying to her.  And so she turns to the only woman who could really understand her pain . . . Serena van der Woodsen, the woman who’s not-so-secretly still in love with Dan.  Way to be sensitive, Waldorf!

Ditched by Dan, canned by Nate, bested by Serena, and ousted by Gossip Girl herself, you can tell that the slings and arrows of life have started to take their toll on Serena.  For starters, she’s wearing a sweater that looks like it’s been chewed up and spit out, by a pack of rabid coyotes . . .

Some girls eat their feelings, when they get upset, I eat my fabrics.”

And when Blair starts waxing poetic about the trust issues threatening her totally lame relationship with the Donut, and how honestly is like the eighth most important thing in a good relationship (distantly behind good sex and hygiene, and not getting your hair done by the Tazmanian Devil), Serena feels compelled to confess her own Gossip Girl-centric sins to her bestie . . .

“Oh, while we are on the subject, I’m also secretly Perez Hilton and that ‘I’m a lawyer’ guy from TMZ.” 

So, was Blair furious with her BFF for hiding this HUGE secret from her?  Not a bit!  In fact, Blair seemed more disappointed that she herself didn’t get the opportunity to dirty blog the “scandalous lives of Manhattans elite,” than betrayed by her bestie.  Now that Blair mentions it, I too am kind of disappointed that the sassy, manipulative and side-splittingly sarcastic, “Origina Gangster” Queen B never got to take the helm as Gossip Girl.  For one thing, I think she would have been ten times better than Georgina or Serena at the job . . . giving the actual GG a real run for her money, in the process.

Also, it would have been a heck of a lot more interesting to watch then this whole “pretending to date Dan fiasco.”

Speaking of Blair’s love life, she runs into Chuck Bass, as she’s leaving Serena’s place.  As per usual, the chemistry between the two is electric.  Blair looks at Chuck, eyes filled with concern and thinly-veiled longing.  She wants to know how he’s processing this overload of information regarding his father.

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She can see the pain in his expression, though he tries to remain strong.  When Chuck tells her that his father is leaving town again, and asks for her help and moral support, she agrees without question.  It’s the only thing she can do.

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BLAIR: “You mean, aside from in your pants?  Not that I can think of?”

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“Waiiiiittt . . . what about meeeeeee?!!!” 

So, Blair follows Chuck into his limo for the second time in as many episodes LIMO SEX! LIMO SEX!  LIMO SEX!, while, Dan searches for her to share some boring important information about Italy. Haha!  SUCKA!

“When this Chair’s a-rockin  . . . take a taxi Humpty Humphrey.” 

“Dan needs you . . . to pretend you still have feelings for him.

While Chuck and Blair wait to speak to Diana, in hopes of getting answers about Bart Bass’ past, Serena calls Blair to warn her that the Donut is on the prowl.

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“Dan needs you,” Serena warns.

(Um, sorry Dan, but Chuck needs her more.  Why don’t you call back when Rufus fake dies, and we can talk?)  Nevertheless, Serena’s guilt trips works on Blair enough to get her to leave Chuck with his not-mother Diana.

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Speaking of Diana, didn’t she have like the longest guest star stint, ever?  Because it sure seemed like she did.   That said, it’s hard not to enjoy a scene that begins with Chuck “thanking” Diana for lying about his father, traumatizing him for life, by pretending to be his mother, and f*&king his best friend.  (For that last one, Diana thanks him right back.  After all, when it comes to Nate Archibald, Chuck Bass has always been the Best Pimp Ever.)

“Nate always gets so slutty when he drinks.” 

Knowing full well that Nate Archibald has become the sex / blackmail monkey on her back, Diana is eager to strike with her not-son.  She agrees to tell Chuck who tried to kill his dad, in exchange for him getting Nate off her tail, and shipping her back to run a London newspaper with her “reputation” in tact.  (Um, what reputation, Slutty McWhoreson?)

Later, Diana pops by Chuck’s house to offer him the name of the murderer, in question: “Mason Nevens” . . . fakest . . . name . . . ever (my apologies to all those Mason Nevens out there, who might be reading this).  Apparently, “murderer” and “mob connected” aren’t Mason’s only flaws.  He also has a fetish for twin prostitutes.  (Apparently, it’s a requirement on the Upper East Side for all real estate magnates to be psychotic manwhores.)

Why am I thinking these aren’t the type of twins he’s talking about? 

Though Diana initially seems willing to help Chuck catch Mason en flagrante with the Ladies of the Night, in order to help him achieve vengeance on his father’s behalf  (I don’t know . . . I still think “murdering dad,” is a lot higher on the “bad news” list than “embarrassing me with fake hookers.”  But, hey, what do I know!), she quickly changes her tune, when she learns that Nate and Lola ratted her Escort Service running self out to the New York Times.

Chuck is understandably furious.  So, he comes clean to the rest of the gang about the whole situation with his not-dead dad, so that they know exactly what they just cost him.  Then again, since Diana already gave Chuck all the information he needs for the Mason Nevens smackdown, it sort of doesn’t matter anymore, anyway.  Feeling more than a bit guilty for what just happened, NJBC . . . and Lola vow to help Chuck carry out his plan.

“Exxcceeellllent.” 

Elsewhere, Blair learns that Dan has somehow managed to get back on the Summer in Italy writers roster, and has scored Blair a spot as well.  Blair, honestly, doesn’t seem too enthused about spending another summer, in another European country, with another boring boy toy who isn’t Chuck (remember Louis-bot?).  And yet, possibly out of feelings of guilt, Blair agrees to the trip, as well the preliminary interview with the folks who are running the program, which is supposed to take place later that day.

Of course, minutes before the interview is supposed to take place, Blair gets a call from the NJBC informing her that her scheming services are needed for Chuck’s Mason Neven’s Takedown.  “Ummm . . . I’ll be right back.  I have to go get . . . macaroons gelato . . . or something,” Blair fibs, as she makes her hasty retreat to Chuck Town.  Yeahh  . . . that’s my girl, Queen B.  It’s good to see that you have your priorities back in order . . .

“Handcuffs . . .every good girl has them.”

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To be perfectly honest, Blair’s role in the scheme of coaching Lola, and her “twin” Ivy in the art of playing believeable prostitutes, was kind of superfluous.  She absolutely could have done it over the phone, and still made it back in time for Dan’s stupid interview.  And the fact that Blair sent Serena to do it in her place, just shows how much more important Chuck is to her than the Donut.  Because of that, I agree with her actions wholeheartedly . . .

Oh yeah, and her High Class Hooker 101 monologue was just jam-packed with awesomeness.  “You think this is the first time I’ve entrapped someone with prostitutes,” Blair quips, when questioned about how exactly she knows all this stuff.

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(Are those crotchless panties? OMG!)

Speaking of Blair’s lingerie choices . . .

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(I see what you did there, writers.  You naughty little teases, you!)

Original Gangster Blair indeed . . .

Meanwhile, Nate’s and Lola’s New York Times tip, has Diana on the lam.  She’s planning to take Bart Bass out of the country, never to be seen again, ASAP.  This means Lola and Ivy better hurry up and be hookers fast (shouldn’t be that hard for Ivy)  . . .

. . . or Chuck will lose his father again . . . this time, possibly for good.

“You two make an . . . interesting . . . couple way more interesting than the REAL Dan and Blair.”

Back at La Casa de Waldorf, Donut Dan is shocked, when a headband clad Serena introduces herself to the “Italy Trip Interviewer Guy” as Blair.  So, he makes this face . . .

What I adored about the scene was the way that Serena used the interview and her false identity as a way to subtly bash the Dair relationship.  “We couldn’t stand eachother for years. Now we’re madly in love.  It’s like a movie,” Serena quips.  “We’re like Brad and Angelina, once they got Jennifer Aniston out of the way.”

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Dopey Dan, of course, knows exactly what Serena is doing, and is clearly uncomfortable in the situation, which makes me very happy.

Not surprisingly, Faux-Blair and Donut ace their interview, since Serena and Dan have always been a much more believable couple than Dan and Blair ever were.  Things almost go south, when Interviewer guy runs into Blair’s mother, who unwittingly refers to Serena by her proper name. But, fortunately, Dorota takes the bullet.  “I’m Serena!  I’m doing fine Miss Waldorf,” she says quickly.

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How can you not love Dorota?

After the interview, Donut Dan wonders out loud why Blair keeps lying to him.  He suspects it’s because she doesn’t really love him, and doesn’t want to go to Europe with him.  (Gee, ya think?)  Despite still being madly in love with Dan, Serena quells his fears about his relationship with Blair, by telling him the truth about the whole Chuck Bass Thing.  Donut Dan seems relieved by the explanation.  Donut Dan is an idiot . . .

“Inappropriate Transient Women.”

Back at the Whore House Hotel, Lola and Ivy giddily practice striking “sexy poses” in overpriced lingerie . . . .

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 . . . while they wait to entrap the elusive Mason Nevens.  Then, Andrew Tyler randomly pops up, and tell them that Chuck wants them to follow him back to Bart’s hideout.  Oh, come on Andrew!  “Daddy said you should come with me?”  That’s the Oldest Trick in the Child Abduction Handbook.  Anyone over the age of five would know that . . .

But not Ivy and Lola, who seemingly fall for the trick, hook, line and sinker.  However, Lola is skeptical enough at least to tell Blair where she’s going.  She, in turn, tells Chuck, and the plan is back in motion .  . . except there’s now a new target, Andrew Tyler himself.

In a TOTAL, “Scooby Doo,” “those meddling kids moment,” Father and Son Bass corner Mr. Tyler, and he sings like a canary.  Apparently, HE was the one who sold out Bart to Mason, when the latter threatened the lawyer / PI’s family.  Of course, the police are conveniently right outside the door to hear Little Orphan Andy say all of this.  They arrest him right there on the spot.  Nice knowing you, Andrew Tyler.  Try not to drop the soap!

Alone at last, Bart boredly thanks his son for bringing . . . well . .  . not his actual not-killer . . .  but the henchman of his not-killer  .  . . to justice.

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Although honestly, the elder Bass doesn’t seem all that enthused about it.   Is this just a Botox thing, or is Bart still hiding something?

For his part, Chuck conversationally quips that the only thing he ever learned from his father was how to screw around with “inappropriate transient women.”  On behalf of Inappropriate Transient Women everywhere, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bart Bass for that as well.

Oh, and Bart still has to break it to Lily that she now has two husbands.  This ought to be fun . . .

*DOH!* 

In other news, Nate decided to not sell out Diana for being a Whore Monger, after all . . . how nice for her.

“Dear Diary . . . I’m so f*&ked.”

Back at the Waldorf house,  S and B share a super sweet moment, where they congratulate eachother on yet another NJBC victory, and Blair thanks Serena for doing such a great job impersonating her . .  . even if she did volunteer to teach English in Italy on Blair’s behalf. (Oops!)

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The besties then declare their love for one another, and Serena encourages Blair to DUMP THE DONUT, SO SHE CAN DATE HIM tell the Donut how she really feels about him.

But Blair and “I love you,” kind of have a bit of a checkered history . . .

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. . . so it’s understandable that she is a bit gun shy about saying those words to anyone other than Chuck Bass again also, she’s not in love with Dan . . . like at all.

“I want the next time I say [I love you] to be the last,” Blair muses.

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Good for you, Blair! That’s one of the smartest things you’ve said all season . . . though that thing you said before about the handcuffs was pretty genius too . . .

So, of course, now that S’s and B’s relationship is awesome again, the real Gossip Girl has to go eff it up, right?

Yep,  it appears Chuck Bass wasn’t the only one with vengeance on his mind this week.  Gossip Girl, herself, is still mighty pissed at Serena for stealing her laptop, and her title.  So, Serena’s going to pay for that, big time . . . with her relationship to Blair.  Apparently, Blair keeps a not very-well-protected diary of her inner most thoughts.   (Really, Blair?  Have you learned nothing from Every Teen Show Ever?)

Now, Gossip Girl has Blair’s pages scanned on her computer.  And she’s ready to share them with the world, GG-style.  She’s also proud to share the source of this new information.  And the winner is . . . wait for it . .  . Serena van der Woodsen.

So, what does the first page of the diary reveal?  Why, Blair’s lukewarm feelings for Humpty Humphrey, of course.

Ruh-roh Upper East Siders, I smell a cat fight!

Next week on Gossip Girl, Serena gets drunk and jiggy on a bar with maybe Donut Dan . . . or dreams about getting giggy with him .  . . or gets jiggy with Donut Dan’s bad hair twin, and imagines it’s him.  Also, Blair still loves Chuck.

Duh!  XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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“She Likes to Watch” – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Raiders of the Lost Art”

[ The Vampire Diaries’ “Before Sunset” recap is on its way, Fangbangers!  Check back here early Saturday morning, May 5th!]

Blair: (thinking to herself) “Chuck has such good hair!  I miss dating a guy with hair I can run my fingers through.  Last time I tried to do that with Dan, my hand got stuck.”

“O.G.B. – Original Gangster Blair.”  That was how Donut Dan referred to his soon-to-be -ex (Those two are SO dunzo.  I can’t wait!) girlfriend, upon hearing that, after weeks of residing in Castle Blahhh with him, our Queen B had finally decided to reunite with the rest of her old Non Judging Breakfast Club to hatch one of its infamous schemes.

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Cheesy and lame, though that nickname was (I mean, it came from Humpty Humphrey, after all) Donut Boy happened to have a point!

“Did TV Recappers Anonymous just give me a compliment?  Clearly, this is one of the signs of the apocalypse.” 

Not only did Blair seem more like her old strong, spunky, smart, seductive, and scheming self, this week, than she had been in weeks, the rest of the Upper East Side cast seemed more like itself too.  In “Raiders of the Lost Art,” the characters seemed better defined, the dialogue sharper, the plot twists twistier, and the Chair chemistry more swoonworthy than GG fans had seen, since the beginning of the season.  In short, this wasn’t just “Original Gangster Blair.”  It was “Original Gangster Gossip Girl.”

So break out your trusty cipher slide (or cereal box decoder ring . . . whatever), slip into some nice lingerie, and head on over to the Secret Sex Club, where your not-so-much dead dad likes to hide, because it’s time for another GG-cap . . .

All Gossip and No Play Make Serena a Dull Girl . . .

“I know I’m supposed to be writing a Gossip Girl blast.  But I just can’t seem to stop watching that YouTube video about the honey badger.” 

Why am I suddenly starting to get the feeling that, when they finally do reveal the REAL Gossip Girl, she will end up being this socially awkward nerdette, who hasn’t left the house, since high school?  (Either that, or it will end up being Lola . . . same difference)  One thing the whole Gossip Girl swapfest that’s played out over the course of the season has showed us is what a demanding job being GG can be, and just how much it infringes on your social life.

We saw it first with Georgina.  Now we are seeing it with former It Girl Serena, who seems to have spending the entire last third of the season, holed up in her room behind a computer screen.  (She’s also oddly started speaking like an 85-year old woman with emphysema.  What’s up with that?)  Honey, when your best friend’s housekeeper starts making fun of you for not having a life, you have some serious problems on your hands.

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Dorota is judging you . . .

Serena seems to be in the need of a serious Gossip Girl Intervention.  And Newbie Interloper Lola (or Serena Lite, as Blair cleverly nicknamed her), and her current boy toy Nate (Lola knows Serena is Gossip Girl.  Nate just pretends to believe her, because the sex is really good.) are the perfect people to break her of her Nasty Little Blogging Habit.

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Speaking of Dirty Little Secrets, Nate is intent on finding out what Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing Diana is hiding that prompted her to PRETEND to be his best friend’s bio mom.  (Because seriously, how sick is that?  It’s almost sicker than having sex with your real kid’s best friend, while he sleeps next door.  But not quite . . .)

Nate theorizes that once he finds out this secret, not only will he be able to offer Chuck the truth about his maternity (and paternity?), he will also be able to oust Diana from his Little Newspaper that Could . . . the Spectator.

This little theory prompts Nate to steal Diana Von Slutterstein’s day planner from her underwear drawer during one of the erstwhile couple’s heated impromptu sex sessions.  (Way to take one for the team, Nateypoo!)

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“This is SOOO hard.” 

The only problem, of course, is that Ms. Von Slutterstein apparently keeps entries on her day planner in code.  Well, THAT seems like a lot of unnecessary work.  Why not just have an ELECTRONIC DAYPLANNER with a PASSWORD like everyone else?  Hey Diana, 1985 called . . . it wants your coded dayplanner back.

Hoping that Serena’s newfound friendship with Diana McWhoreson gives her an inside advantage to tracking down the code for the dayplanner, Silly Lola puts all her cards on the table for her scheming half sister.  “We stole Diana’s [book],” Lola admits proudly.

“When even I think it’s a bad idea, something is REALLY wrong.”

Now, most of the time, Serena can be pretty darn dense.  But it seems as though her tenure as Gossip Girl has had the unintended affect of garnering her a few extra IQ points.  Rather than fall, hook, line, and sinker for Lola’s ploy, Serena gamely plays both sides against one another, by offering to help Lola find the decoder one minute, while revealing to Diana the NJBC’s plans against her in another . . .

*insert evil laugh here*

Oh, Serena . . .you might just be Lily’s daughter, and Cece’s granddaughter after all.  It appears the vastly over-priced Big Apple, doesn’t fall far from its well manicured tree . . .

Nate’s Brain and Dan’s Personality Hair: Two things the Wizard of Oz needs to fix

Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Blair continues her losing battle to make Donut Dan look slightly less like a homeless hippie time-traveler from 1972, by getting him to shave and cut his hair.  (Seriously, at the rate it’s growing, Dan’s mop top is going to be down to his ass, by the middle of next season.)

 Apparently though, the Donut’s hair isn’t the only thing that hasn’t been working in this relationship.  It appears that ever since Blair and Dan started getting wasted together, just so that they could have barely passable sex, the latter’s writing has gone down the proverbial toilet.

Fortunately, Dan’s soon-to-be-future girlfriend Agent Alessandra has the perfect cure for this (please say it’s sex with a prostitute, please say it’s sex with a prostitute) : spend the summer in Italy with an elite and snooty group of writers, of course!  You know what?  I like this idea even better than the prostitutes.  Send Dan to Italy . . . better yet, Tokyo . . . better yet the North Pole!  He and Santa could exchange haircare tips!

A highly flattered Donut promises to consider the offer, which really means he has to ask his mommy girlfriend, if he’s allowed to go.

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Of course, Blair has more important things to be thinking about than the Donut’s future . . . like, for example, Chuck.  Good ole Bass . . . after lounging around Nate’s apartment in his silk floral robe all morning, trying in vain to decipher Diana Hoestein’s day planner with Nate, the Beautiful Mental Midget Ever, he turns immediately to the smartest and best code breaker he knows . . . Blair Waldorf.

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She can crack the code, all right . . .

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 . . . to get in YOUR PANTS!

Chuck and Blair – Back in that Limo Again

As we know from past episodes, Blair has been trying to keep her distance from Chuck lately, knowing that she’s no match for his charm and sex appeal, especially when she’s stuck eating stale Donuts for breakfast everyday.

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“Ribbit.” 

But after last week’s award ceremony debacle, Blair is determined to return to her old fun self, and getting into bed with Chuck . . . er . . . I mean helping him take down Diana, and find out the truth about his parents seems just the way to do it.

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“This is your lucky day,” Blair tells Chuck, as he looks at her with a mixture of amusement, and unabashed attraction.

When the pair entered the limo together . . . a perpetual reminder of their EPIC first rendezvous . . . I literally started dancing in front of my television screen.

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 Please allow me a few fangirl moments to express how great it was to see Chuck and Blair at their scheming best once again.   Having spent weeks apart,  the two quickly got back to their old tricks, as if they had never been separated.  I adored the lusty loving look Chuck gave Blair, when she changed into her tight blue Diana-look-alike dress, and started doing that dead-on impersonation of the busty Brit.

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“In this moment, I can’t tell you how glad I am that Diana is NOT my mother,” Chuck replied earnestly, as he retrieved his jaw from the floor.

Not long after, Chuck rewarded my Chair-loving heart again, by conveniently yelling out “Waldorf I LOVE we need you,” right when Blair was on the phone with the Donut, explaining the events of the upcoming day.

Sidenote: Did I mention that Blair was TOTALLY fine with Dan skipping the country without her for an entire summer?  You just KNOW if it was Chuck who was contemplating leaving the Upper East Side for months, Blair would have spent the entire episode gorging on macaroons, screaming at Dorota, and sobbing through old Audrey Hepburn movies.  Oh, Poor Little Donut Hole (Munchkin?)  You should be afraid for  the state of your relationship . . . very afraid, indeed.

But back to more important things, Chuck and Blair were on a roll, this week.  From their tagteam insults of Nate, his foggy memory, and his lame extra-curricular activities (Come on!  Who writes in their dayplanner, every single time they go to the gym!) . . .

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. . . to their use of combined super-sleuthing skills to finally crack the Day Planner code (Blair used her trusty cipher slide, while Chuck impressed all with his obscure knowledge of country codes) . . .

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“That depends.  Is it some kind of sex toy?” 

 . . . to the knowing looks they gave one another throughout the scheming session, it was hard to imagine a time when these two lovebirds WEREN’T absolutely perfect for one another.

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 Of course, the group did run into a little hiccup when Double Crosser Serena tried to run off with the Day Planner.  (She had planned to give it back to Diana, in exchange for the real Gossip Girl’s telephone number.)  But Blair quickly disposed of that problem too, by effortlessly guilting her friend into submission.  “Be with us, not against us,” Blair told her Bestie, Matter-of-Factly.

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Within mere moments, Serena was back in the fold.  And the NJBC was ready to put the next stage of their plan into action.

Cross the NJBC, and wind up with Dorota on your back . . . literally.

Good old Dorota.  I love it when the NJBC lets her play in their scheming games.  But sometimes I worry about her babies.  Does she have nannies for those things?  Because she never seems to take care of them AT ALL!   This week, Dorota MASSAGED the truth about her coded weekend dalliances out of Diana Whoreson, using a few clever bait-and-switch techniques she’s undoubtedly learned from watching Blair all these years.

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Moments later, the group finds themselves with an invitation to a mysterious party . . . one that’s about to offer them more answers than they had bargained for . . .

Blair and Chuck seek out exotic locations for their next sexual rendezvous, while Stalker Donut pouts in the distance

Though Donut Dan was still playing the role of the non-neurotic boyfriend to Blair’s face, behind her back he was stalking her’s and Chuck’s limo in his taxi.  Pathetic as his actions were, he had good reason to be concerned, Diana’s day planner had led the NJBC to that random Secret Sex Club, where Chuck got it on with some random maid, a couple seasons back.

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 Truthfully, as far as Secret Sex Club’s go, this one left much to be desired, filled as it was with lots of old creepy men in business suits, and bored looking 18-year olds, all dressed in the same white nightgown.  No wonder Serena was so bored.

“Blah.  Another sex club.  Been there, screwed that, have the HPV to prove it.” 

Chuck and Blair weren’t bored though, bouncing right back into their usual couples routine, in search of Jack Bass and Diana.  “You look like you need a friend,” one of the high class call girls cooed, leeching onto Chuck the minute he arrived at the party.

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“He already has a friend,” Blair said possessively putting her arm around Chuck.

For me, one of the absolute funniest moments of the episode, was when Chuck and Blair posed as an exhibitionist couple, in order to explore the entire mansion where the sex club was being held (which, of course, when you think about it, isn’t actually that ffar from the truth.)  “You look like the type who would love [a room] with a royal theme,” suggested the host.

“Been there, done that,” replied Blair, which got a smirk from Chuck.  “How about someplace hidden and dark.”

“Let’s look at every room,” ad-libbed Chuck.  “She likes to watch.”

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Shortly thereafter, Diana arrives at the party.  And this is when the plot really becomes ridiculous thickens.  Split up from Blair, Chuck encounters Jack, an asks him flat out, if he’s his father.

Never  . . . gets . . . old. 

The answer he receives is evasive and inconclusive.  Nate finds Diana in the creepy security room on the second floor of the mansion.  (So, her dirty little secret is that she runs a sex bar? LAME!)

Serena, having returned Diana’s book, after the NJBC successfully decoded it excitedly calls Gossip Girl’s number.  The phone rings INSIDE the sex club.

“Gossip Girl is a prostitute?” 

But then Diana, knowing that her jig is up, fakes a police raid.  And everyone empties the house, before Serena can get the answer she is seeking.

Blair however, finds Chuck’s answer in a seemingly abandoned room on the second floor.  And the look on her face when she finds it is truly heartbreaking  . . .

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” (surprisingly, not a cliche, in this context)

Throughout the episode, we’ve been reminded of how good Chuck and Blair can be together, when they are scheming and having fun.  Here, in this moment, we are reminded of how good together they can be when they are hurting and in need of support.  “What’s wrong?  You look like you just found out that Jack Bass was YOUR father,” Chuck gently teases, as a teary eyed Blair emerges from the sex club.

Chuck and Blair as relatives . . . How very Game of Thrones now THAT would be awkward.

He takes her wrist, gently, a gesture of calm, support and strength.  “After all we’ve been through, there are no secrets between us, nor should there be.  It’s just us here, you and me.  You can tell me anything,” Chuck tells Blair solemnly,  and we know he means it.

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Leighton Meester knocked this scene out of the park.  In hindsight, knowing what she saw in that room, you could imagine the emotionality of her reaction.  Blair, more than anyone else, knows the complexities of Chuck’s relationship with his father, and the way his death unraveled him completely, exposing to the world a vulnerable side to Chuck Bass that no one had ever seen before.

And yet, she decides not to come out and tell him what she saw, nor to accompany him back to the mansion, where he will find it.  I think Blair recognizes that no matter how difficult this will be for Chuck, he has to come to this discovery on his own.

And so Blair instructs Chuck to return to the mansion.  It is there that he finally sees his father . . . his true blood donor, and life saver / ruiner . . . not so much dead, after all.

Well, he looks well preserved for someone who’s been dead for three seasons. 

It’s a patently unbelieveable twist . . . though one that many of us saw coming a mile away, thanks to some not-so-carefully placed spoilers on entertainment news outlets, but no one can deny its potential entertainment value.  Undoubtedly, this bombshell is going to have a major impact on most of the members of the Upper East Side, most notably Chuck and Lily . . . who is technically still married to the zombie/vampire / old rich guy or whatever.

“My Botox injections prevent me from appearing more upset about the fact that I now have two husbands.  How very Big Love of me.”

Personally, though, I’m a bit disappointed that Bart Bass didn’t end actually BEING Diana Payne (post-op sex change).  After all, you would think that, for a well-reknown man, becoming a woman would make it a whole lot easier to fake your own death as a man, than spending the remainder of your undeath hiding out in skeevy Whore Houses . . . just saying . . .

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In other news Nate and Lola double-double crossed Serena, by stealing her laptop, and returning it to Gossip Girl, whoever she might be  . . . (seriously, I’m starting to think it’s Lola).  As for that infamous telephone number,  Serena fought so hard to get.  It was promptly disconnected after the faux raid on the whore house.

Poor Serena.  Now, it seems she’ll have to return to her pre-Gossip Girl hobbies to obtain spiritual and emotional fulfillment  .  . . drinking heavily, and having sex with random guest stars . . .

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Oh, and I almost forgot (mainly because I could care less), Donut Dan turned down the summer in Italy to be with Blair.  But he lied to her about it, and told her he lost the spot to another writer.  Then Dan tells Blair he loves her for the first time, and she replies, “I know you do!”

BURN!  These two are more burned out then Dan’s weave.  Nice knowing ya, Dair . . . well . . . not really.  But whatever!

Oh, how I loved this episode, let me count the ways.

XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Daddy Dearest? – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Father Knows Best”

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Dads . . . scientifically speaking, we can’t live without them.  Though, by the end of this episode, three out of four of our Pretty Little Liars may have been wishing they could do just that.  Not Emily.   Her dad is awesome . . . which is probably why the writers are going to kill him off, just to make us cry.  Meanies!

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about “Father Knows Best.”  Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t a bad episode, by any means.  It gave us some solid insights into each of the girls’ families (Hint: Spencer’s family is CRAZY!), while providing us with some interesting clues as to A’s identity.

And yet, I kind of felt as though something was missing.  Perhaps, it was because the girls had little time in the midst of all their family drama, for their usual fun snarky interactions with one another.

Maybe it’s because not one of the girl’s significant others actively appeared in the episode.

(I refuse to count that ridiculous shot of possibly-Toby on the motorbike.) All I know is that I left the episode hungry for a bit more camp, and A-related chaos . . .

That said, I’m seriously considering replacing “Clowns” with “Dolls” at the top of my list of Things that are Supposedly Meant for Kids that Give Me Nightmares . . .  It’s been nearly 24-hours, and just thinking about that doll hospital still gives me chills . . .

So grab your dad, and strap on your favorite dress, and, for heaven sake, hide all those creepy dead girl pictures you have in your lock drawer, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Emily Fields and the Case of the Missing Maya . . .

It’s a few days before Rosewood High School’s annual Father/Daughter Dance.  While Emily’s obviously psyched that her father traveled all the way from Texas just to attend, erstwhile-girlfriend Doobie-Lovin’ Maya’s recent disappearance has her feeling more than a bit distracted.  Fortunately for Emily, her dad is the most awesome dude on the planet, and is completely understanding of Emily’s predicament.

When Emily admits that she suspects Maya St. Pothead of possibly running away to San Francisco, so as not to have to attend Druggie Daycare, Papa Fields even shares with us a tale of his own days as a teenage runaway.  How cool is that?  That’s almost as good as your parents admitting to you that they used to smoke pot, when they were your age.  Not that I know this from experience or anything . . .  😉

Anywhoo, culling from his experience as a Teenage Bad Ass, Papa Fields cleverly suggests to his daughter that Marijuana Maya probably headed to the nearest bus station.  He reasons that bus transportation tends to be the quickest and cheapest way to get out of town in a pinch.  I liked how Papa Fields immediately offered to drive Emily down to the bus station, so that she could look for her friend, rather than immediately calling Maya’s parents, which would have been (in my opinion) a betrayal of her daughter’s trust.

Some might argue that Maya’s parents — who were undoubtedly extremely worried about their daughter — had a right to know this information.  And yet, it wasn’t really Papa Fields’ information to give.  Plus, if it turned out that Smokey St. Germaine had never gone to the bus station, the Fields’ “tip” would have done nothing more for the St. Germaine’s than get their hopes up about their daughter’s safe return home.

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At the bus station, Papa Fields shows off his awesomeness again, when the man on duty at the ticket booth is less than helpful in providing Emily with information.  Papa Fields plays the Army Card, and immediately gets Ticket Man to change his tune.  Suddenly, he absolutely remembers a totally stoned looking Maya purchasing a ticket to San Francisco, before, possibly, getting into a strange unmarked car and driving away.  It’s not exactly the news Emily wanted to hear, but at least it’s something . . .

Later on in the episode, Emily misses a phone call from Maya’s cell phone.  But when she calls the number, back she learns that the voicemail box is full.

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Well, that sucks . . .

You know what else sucks?  That Emily has to find out at the father/daughter dance that her awesome dad is going to be deployed to Afghanistan for six months.

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Why do I have a sinking suspicion the writers are going to kill off the best dad on this show, just to tug at our heartstrings, around sweeps week?  Here’s a hint for you, PLL writers: DON’T DO IT!

In other news, Gloved Hand takes a newspaper from a bin with Maya’s picture on the front page, and the words “Missing” emblazoned across the top.

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Silly Gloved Hand!  We already knew Girlfriend was missing.  You couldn’t have found something a wee bit more EXCITING and A-like to do besides reading yesterday’s news?  Just sayin . . .

Hanna Marin and the Case of the Police Report that will NEVER DIE . . .

You know how sometimes after a celebrity is big and famous, someone will come out of the woodwork with an old nudie picture of the actress from her starving artist days, and it creates a whole big “SCANDAL?”  Well, that’s kind of what happened to poor Hanna and her dirty little shoplifting secret.  That darn police report just keeps popping up everywhere, doesn’t it?

Now, it’s prompting Mama Marin to make more Not-So-Secret Meetings with Deputy Douchey, who suggests that Mommy Dearest steal her own daughter’s phone, to find out what exactly she’s been hiding.

Then again, maybe she just wants another excuse to get him naked .  . .

But hey, at least Mama Marin kinda cares about her kid.  The same can’t be said of Papa Marin, the guy who supposedly moved into town and enrolled his stepdaughter in Hanna’s school, so that he could spend more time with Hanna.   And yet, oddly enough, can’t be bothered to attend the Father/Daughter dance with EITHER of his kids, despite living right down the block from the school . . .

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Feeling more than a bit guilty, Mama Marin offers to attend the dance in her ex-husbands place . . . which sounds like a super sweet idea, until Hanna gets wise to her mother’s rendezvous with Deputy Douchey, and throws her cell phone in a sink filled with soapy water, in protest.

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Hanna Marin: Enemy to All Technological Devices . . .

Though the bold move solved the immediate problem of having Deputy Douchey or Mama Marin learn about “A,” it did little to solve the larger problem of the “Police Report.”  Oddly (and suspiciously) enough, it’s Mona who suggests that “the best liar of the group” confess to sending the report to Hanna, herself, as a way to stage an “intervention” on Hanna against future shoplifting excursions.

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I found it interesting that the girls immediately chose to crown Aria as “Best Liar” of the bunch.  I guess that’s true, somewhat.  This meta moment, was followed by another one, in which Aria hilariously confessed to Mama Marin, “A stand for Aria.  A stands for Anonymous.  I am A.”

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Could that be true?  Random Hot Guy at the end of the episode certainly seemed to think so, when he saw Aria wearing Ali’s alter ego “Vivian Darkbloom’s jacket” in the street,  and immediately referred to her as “Vivian.”  Upon seeing this case of mistaken identity play out, one can’t help but notice that Ali’s “Vivian Darkbloom” wig, does bear a striking resemblance to Aria’s natural hair color, style, and texture.

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Hmmm . . .

In other news, as good of a liar as Aria might, in fact, be, Mama Marin apparently doesn’t buy her story, which is why she teams up with Aria’s mom at the end of the episode to find out once and for all who this “A” person is, who has been torturing their daughters.  This can’t end well . . .

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Aria Montgomery and the Case of  . . . Lots of Pouting . . .

It was basically more of the same, in Arialand.   There, the littlest PLL girl, struggled with the notion of having to “play nice” with her pops, despite knowing that he tried to permanently cock block his own daughter, by shipping her lover off to the Big Easy.  With both Pops and Daughter being stubborn as mules,  it was up to Mama Montgomery, and formerly crazy, but now seemingly perfect, Little Brother Mike to keep the peace.

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Mommy did her part, by convincing Aria to attend the dance with her dad, despite her protests.   As for Mike (who would like you to know that he’s a REAL man, who shaves now . . . yessiree!) . . .

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 . . . he subtly and politely asks Aria, whether all the trouble that her dating Fitzypoo is causing the Montgomery family is worth while.

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She replies that “When you love someone it’s worth fighting for.”

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I wonder if Little Mikey has ever been in love.  I find the character intriguing, and was kind of disappointed when they unceremoniously dropped his storyline earlier in the season.  I hope they revisit it soon . . .

Lest you think Little Mikey is on Team Dad, he also has some choice words for Papa Montgomery, later on in the episode, about how the latter might not be really giving his daughter a chance, by actually listening to what she has to say, in regards to Fitzy.

Nonetheless, despite the rest of the families’ encouragement, the Father/Daughter Dance does not go well for the Montgomery duo.    In fact, it all ends, pretty sh*tty, with Aria huffily refusing to take a picture with her father, arguing that, “I’m not your little girl, anymore.”

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Now, I’ve certainly never been a fan of Byron Montgomery’s.  But, I have to say, my heart went out to him just a smidge in this scene.  Maybe it’s because my dad isn’t around anymore.  And I would do absolutely anything to get to take my picture with him again, dance with him, and have him call me his “little girl.”  But I guess that makes me a bit biased . . .

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What do you think, my Pretties?  Was Aria’s treatment of her dad at the Father/ Daughter dance overly harsh?  Or did the punishment meet the Ezria cockblocking crime?

Spencer Hastings and the Case of “Which of My Family Members is a Murderer?”

As screwed up as the rest of PLL girls families might be, Spencer’s family definitely takes the wackadoodle prize!

When we last left Spencer, she was stupidly heading off alone in a car with her surely-psycho sister, sans cell phone.

This week, she’s already in the car.   And so far, Melissa has not yet bludgeoned her with a butcher knife.

I take that as a good sign . . .

Anyway, Spencer’s still wondering why Melissa ditched her to go hang out with Police Boy Garrett.  (I’d say, Spencer should be THANKING her for doing that, because it enabled her to have more makeout time with that Hot Doc, Wren.  But that’s neither here nor there.)

Melissa makes up some excuse about wanting to talk to the Police Boy about her supposedly murderous husband Dead Creepy Pedo Ian.  I, for one, don’t buy it.

If you are feeling guilt about Marrying a Psychopath, tell your shrink, or your priest.  Don’t tell the Local Police Boy.  How exactly do you think he’s going to heal you, by handcuffing you, and telling you to “Get Up Against the Wall and Spread Em?”

“Well, I’d certainly enjoy that.” 

That said, even though I don’t trust Melissa, I don’t think she’s “A” either.  If she was, she probably wouldn’t have admitted to her sister, that she threatened the dead girl, by sending A-like texts to her, when the latter started making out with her boyfriend in public places.  The setup . . . the motive . . . it all just seems a bit too simplistic too me.

Plus, having Melissa end up being “A” after learning all the suspect things she did, just three episodes prior would be more than a bit anticlimactic for fans, I suspect.  That said, at least now we know why Melissa was in that video on A’s phone.  And why Jonah traced one of the cell phones that called Ali to the law firm where Melissa used to intern.

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When the rest of the PLL girls, learn Melissa’s excuse, they immediately want to turn her in to the cops.  But the ever-loyal Spencer, asks for more time to clear her sister’s name.  And why not?  When her equally psycho dad would make just as solid of a suspect in Ali’s murder!  Boy, when they were handing out family members in Heaven, Spencer Hastings must have been in the bathroom.  There sure are a lot of runts in her litter, aren’t there?

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Speaking of Spencer’s dad, like Aria’s not-so-proud papa, Spencer’s sire is also trying desperately to make amends for past wrongs.  Check out the I’m Sorry I Fathered a Bastard Big Brother of Yours and Never Told You About It Designer Necklace.  Spencer’s not quite sure how to react to this token of monetary affection.  So, she starts by snooping around her dad’s office, while he’s out playing tennis.

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There, she finds a number of naughty things, including porn a copy of a check made for $15,000 to cash . . . which just so happens to be precisely the amount of blackmail money Ali had lying around, and a folder filled with a bunch of creepy photographs of Ali.

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“Why is every male I know a TOTAL PEDO?” 

One thing she didn’t find in dad’s drawer, was a gun.  You know, because “A” already STOLE that . . .

And where does Spencer confront her dad about all this?  You guessed it, the Father/Daughter Dance.

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“Out of all my legitimate children, you were always my second favorite.” 

After she drops the bomb shell, she then dashes outside to see a mysterious leathered up figure riding past her on a motorcycle, “Toby?” She stage whispers.

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But whoever it is just rides right past her . . .

Now what the hell was the point of that?

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Once at home, Spencer admits to finding the incriminating items in Daddy-o’s drawer.  He explains them both away, by saying that he used the money and the pictures to hire a private investigator to find Ali, shortly after she went missing.  He claims that because he knew Melissa was threatening the girl earlier, he was hoping he might be able to clear her name.

I don’t know, it all sounds a bit too convenient for me. Besides, since when do you need 80 pictures of a girl to send to a private investigator?  Shouldn’t one or two suffice?  And besides, why exactly did Papa Hastings have SO MANY pictures of Ali, on hand, in the first place  It’s all a bit creepy, if you ask me.  Unless, of course, he ends up being HER father too . . .

While rifling through his now thoroughly searched drawer, Papa Hastings finally figures out that SOMEONE has stolen his gun . . . someone who has a key to his home and his lock drawer.

Once Spencer assures him she’s not a gun thief, Papa Hastings call the cops.

It’s not until they arrive that a frantic Melissa — who claims to have been “watching television” in the “no television” cabin — escapes back to her home in Philly.  Wow, someone really has something to hide, doesn’t she?  Melissa’s parting words to Spencer are that, if things get too tough, “I will always be around to protect you.”

“Riiiiiiiiight.” 

Why is that statement, when coming out of the mouth of a freakazoid like Melissa, not at all comforting?

Now, I remember . . . 

Newsflash: Dolls are Scary.

So, do you guys remember Jonas ?  The guy who bilked Spencer and Facelift Vampire Jason out of a crapload of money, just to give them the address to some old abandoned law firm?  Well, apparently, the guy’s been withholding some information.

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Apparently, Melissa’s phone wasn’t the only one threatening Ali.  She was also receiving calls from another number.  . . one in a nearby town called Brookhaven . . . a telephone that “A” likely dialed, while standing in front of the Creepiest Doll Hospital ever.  (Of course, in Doll Hospital’s defense, this is probably the first Doll Hospital, I have ever seen . . .)

Looking in the window, the girls immediately recognize the dolls as highly similar to the blackmail-bearing Chuckie dolls they received from “A” last season.  The plot . . . oh how it thickens.

In other news, Aria apparently didn’t dress weather appropriate for the Doll Hospital excursion.  Fortunately, Dead Ali’s alter ego’s red coat is still waiting in the trunk of the car.  The minute she puts it on, from the back, Aria looks exactly like the infamous “Virginia Darkbloom.”  Special Hot Guest Star must think so too, because the minute he sees her, he starts calling her “Vivian.”

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That Dead Ali!  She sure did get around, both literally, and figuratively, in her short life, didn’t she?

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And that (aside from the obligatory showing of Gloved Hand READING A NEWSPAPER) was Father Knows Best, in a nutshell.

Next week on Pretty Little Liars, Toby returns, Blind Jenna gets a super eye patch, and Hanna BLOWS UP.  It’s all just another day’s work for “A” . . .  You can check out the trailers for the episode here:

See you next week, My Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][FangirlsForever]

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Bite into that BIG Apple! It’s Time for Nationals! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Finale “New York”

“Man, it is really hard to find a bathroom in this city!  Every place you try to go, they say you have to buy something first.  No wonder there is so much public urination in the Big Apple!’

Greetings Gleeks!  After weeks of speculation, the moment we’ve been waiting for all season, has finally come and gone.  The Glee kids came, saw, and conquered New York City . . . or at least a squeaky clean, sparkly, neutered version of it.  Speaking of neutered . . .

“Where the heck did my balls go?  I know I had them earlier in the season, back when I was in JUVIE.  Is it possible that when I was taking a shower in the communal . . . ?  Uh oh!”

Times Square:  The One Place Where You Can Still Buy Tickets to See Cats

“These tickets all say ‘SUCKER’ on them.  Ooh, maybe that’s one of the Cats’ Names!”

The episode begins with the Glee kids arriving in the usually bustling (and sometimes pretty scary) Times Square.  Although Times Square is typically, by far, the busiest part of Manhattan, the Glee kids find the area eerily void of humanity (AND DIRT!).  Seeing this reminded me of the opening dream sequence of that Really Bad Tom Cruise Movie (well . . . at least I thought it was really bad).  You know  . . . the one where he goes to Times Square, and learns that he’s the Only Man Left on Earth.  Talk about a HORROR FILM!

“L. Ron Hubbard predicted this would happen.”

Anyway, the Glee kids all start belting out “New York, New York,” on the steps near the TKTS Broadway ticket booth.  And I cringe inwardly, waiting for one of them to get mugged.  Then Rachel actually DOES . . . well, sort of.  Standing in front of the rest of the Glee Club, Little Miss Barbra Streisand 2.0 excitedly informs her pals that she got them all tickets to see “Broadway’s Longest Running Show . . . Cats.”  It is then up to Quinn, of all people, to break it to Rachel that the show has actually been off Broadway for ELEVEN YEARS!

 

“Oh, Febray!  Say it ain’t so!”

(By the way, was anybody else bugged by the fact that RACHEL, the Human Broadway Show Encyclopedia — who usually spends at least 5 minutes per episode spouting out useless facts about the Great White Way — DIDN’T know Cats was dunzo, but QUINN did?)

Anyway, the kids quickly head to the hotel, where Cheapskate Mr. Schue only manages to secure them TWO ROOMS (which has GOT to make the Bathroom Situation an absolute NIGHTMARE!).   Oh, and I’m pretty sure the “self-sacrificing teacher” somehow managed to get a room all to himself. (Real nice, right?)

“Well, if I roomed with the kids, I couldn’t watch 8 hours of hotel porn, now could I?”

I have to giggle a little bit when Puck and Zizes try to get served at the hotel bar (They order a Manhattan, har de har har.), and the bartender actually QUESTIONS whether these two are of drinking age.  This, of course, is despite the fact that both Puck and Lauren each look about 35-years old, and, by Glee’s timeline, have probably been chugging back shots of tequilla, since they were twelve . . .

PUCK:  “Hey Sweet Cheeks, what time are you getting off from work?  I’m sharing a hotel room (and two double beds) with five other guys.   We can show you a REAL good time . . . and my girlfriend can watch.”

As if Mr. Schue hasn’t already proved himself to be the Worst Chaperone EVER, he then decides to lock the Glee kids in a SINGLE hotel room, so that THEY can pen the songs they SHOULD have come up with weeks ago for the National Competition, which is less than 24 hours away.  Meanwhile, HE goes off to promote Matthew Morrison’s upcoming album pursue his Broadway Dreams . . .

“On stage, we call this an ‘Inspired Performance.’  In the potty, we call this a Bad Bout of Constipation.”

 A Stagehand happens to catch Will Schuester performing “Matthew Morrison’s Hit Single ‘We’ve Got Tonight'”  on an empty stage, in the theater where April Rhodes’ CrossRhodes (not to be confused with the terrible Britney Spears film of the same name) is set to debut.  Stagehand is quick to compliment Will on his “obvious talent.”  He then tries to sell Schue some leftover tickets to Cats . . .

“They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  When’s your birthday?”

Nothing Says Loving Like a Street-side Serenade Outside Sardi’s

ARTIE:  “Just think, at this time last night, real, honest to goodness, hookers could have been occupying this very spot.”

SAM:  “Hey Puck!  Put down the friggin accordion!  You’re TOTALLY destroying our game!”

PUCK:  “What?  I want the ladies to know I’m good with my fingers!”

Cooped up in the hotel room, Artie and Brittany offer up THEIR suggestion for an Original Song the Glee kids can sing at Nationals.  It’s called “My Cup.” 

I can’t be the only viewer who found this song a little dirty, right?  I mean, come on . . . “In the middle of the night, I’m in bed alone.  Don’t care if you’re paper, glass, or Styrofoam” ????

Santana TOTALLY gets it!

You can listen to this masterpiece (emphasis on the “master”) in its entirety, HERE:

Though Britney and Artie are the first ones to suggest an actual song, it’s QUINN  . . .

(She of the “Last week, I said I was going to do something evil to Finn, and ruin Nationals for the Glee kids, when all I actually did was cut my hair short and scowl a lot.”)

 . . . who comes up with the most INSPIRED performance idea.  Bad Apple Quinn easily convinces the Glee kids to disobey Will’s wishes and spend the night running rampant around the city, instead of working on their Original Songs.  “We don’t have to write Original Songs,” says Quinn.  “New York City will write them for us.” 

(You know, I hate to break this to you, Quinn, but I’ve been trying to get New York City to write my next novel, for about a year now.  The City is just too damn lazy!)

Reality Checks notwithstanding, the Glee kids frolic around Central Park, while rocking out to an inspired “I Love New York / New York, New York” Mashup.

(Just out of curiosity, does anybody else agree with me that THIS mashup, along with Kurt’s and Rachel’s later duet from Wicked, would have, ultimately, been better choices, as Nationals performance numbers, than the songs the Glee kids actually ended up singing?)

Back in the boys’ hotel room, Finn, once again, suggests that Rachel and him singing a duet together would be a great strategy for getting in Rachel’s panties winning Nationals.  The rest of the boys agree, and egg Finn on to invite Rachel out on a romantic New York Date .  “You know, like the ones in those romantic comedies, that make men grow a vagina, if they watch them all the way through,” Puck adds.

Did Puck just really say “vagina” on Fox?  (And did I just type it . . . twice.)

 (Taking this statement into consideration, one can’t help but wonder whether this is what happened to Puck, after he went on his first date with Lauren Zizes to see “Something Borrowed,” starring Kate Hudson.) 

Speaking of girly movies, when Finn texts Rachel to ask her out on their Romantic Date, she looks like she’s trapped in the “Girl Bonding Montage” of a Chick Flick, herself . . .

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RACHEL: “If one of you ends up getting a Makeover to Increase Your Self Esteem, I’m SO jumping off the Empire State Building . . . Oh, wait . . . Quinn actually DOES that, in the next scene?  Just kidding!”

Finn takes Rachel out to explore the sights of New York.

“I guess going skinny dipping is out of the question, huh?”

The pair end up at Sardi’s for dinner, causing me to wonder what kind of High Class Paper Route Finn runs at home, because that place is NOT CHEAP!

“I hope you like washing dishes.  Because that’s how I’ve arranged to pay for this meal.”

“Seriously?  Now, instead of having Jazz Hands on stage tomorrow, I’m going to have Dish Pan Ones!”

At Sardi’s, Rachel encounters her idol, Barbra Streisand Patti Lupone (I guess Barbra was busy?).  Lo and behold, Patti has some Sage Advice for Rachel.  She tells her to . . . wait for it . . . “Follow [Her] Dreams.”

Oh my goodness!  I have never heard such inspiring words before.  My life will never be the same again.  Thank you, Glee!

Outside Sardi’s, Rachel tells Finn that the only thing that would make this night more perfect, would be if the pair were serenaded.  So, of course, Finn’s posse magically appears, and starts singing “Bella Notte” to the Happy Couple . . .

 You can LISTEN to the song, in its entirety, here:

Personally, I would have liked the scene much better, if the Boys started singing the Lady and the Tramp Song, back at Sardi’s, while Rachel and Finn were playing meatball hockey with their noses, and accidentally making out with one another, thanks to one Very Mischevious Strand of Spaghetti . . .

 Speaking of making out, while the Boys are still singing, Finn tries to plant a wet one on Rachel.  But, alas, Finn’s Love Interest of the Week runs away, because she ate some bad Chicken Carbonara has to go “Follow Her Dreams” . . . or something.  And because they have NO TACT WHATSOEVER, Finn’s boys actually continue to serenade him, even after he’s been FLAT OUT REJECTED . . .

AW-KWARD!

(Needless to say, at the exact same moment when this is happening, about 200 men, forced to watch Glee at home with their girlfriends, spontaneously sprout vaginas . . .)

 A Stagehand Saves the Day: Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

“We’re not in Lima, anymore, Toto . . . er . . . I mean, Rachel.”

Kurt wakes Rachel up the following morning, so that the pair can have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (or, perhaps, more accurately, breakfast OUTSIDE of Tiffany’s).  The aforementioned exchange made me wonder if Mr. Schue had followed the concierge’s advice, and assigned rooms based on “sexual orientation,” after all . . .

(Then again, had he done that, Santana would have been sleeping with the guys . . .)

Anyway, Rachel confesses to Kurt that she and Finn love eachother.  However, she knows she’s destined to go to school in NYC and be on Broadway, and blah, blah, blah, Boyfriend Emergency, blah. 

So, Kurt comes up with the “inspired idea” of breaking into the theater where the pair’s favorite Broadway Show, Wicked (Remember when they sang the duet to “Defying Gravity” together?  Ah, memories!), is performed.  This way, Rachel can see what she might end up missing in the long run, if she starts dating the Finn-ster  and actually ends up dating him for longer than a two-week period, this time . . . 

“But we’ll get in trouble,” Rachel squeaks.

Have no fear, Little Berry, SUPER STAGEHAND is here to let you Live Out Your Broadway Dreams (provided your dreams only last fifteen minutes) . . .

“Ta-da!”

With Super Stagehand’s permission, Kurt and Rachel perform a GORGEOUS duet to Wicked’s “For Good,” with the set of the play, flanking them on all sides . . .

“Woah, Kurt, how much hair product did you use this morning?  I’m worried your Snookie Poof will set this set on fire!”

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

You can watch Kurt’s and Rachel’s impromptu performance, here:

At the end of the duet, Rachel seems to have made her  “Sophie’s Choice” . . .

 Meanwhile  . . .

Quinn Cuts Her Hair, Will Cuts the Chord . . . on his Dreams

Back in the hotel room, Quinn has a mini freakout, because her, Santana and Brittany “don’t have a chance at true love.”  Umm  . . . Quinn?  You’ve been single for LESS ONE EPISODE.  You are act like a heinous bitch, about 95% of the time  Please allow me to serenade you, with my tiny violin, regarding your Tragic Lack of True Love . . .

 As for Brittany and Santana “not having love,” well, the former just dumped her boyfriend for calling her “stupid.”  And the latter is faux-dating her fellow beard, Karofsky . . .

So, take that QUINN! 

My personal annoyance with Quinn, notwithstanding, Brittany and Santana are surprisingly sensitive to their erstwhile-pal.  They even attempt to bolster her foul mood, by treating her to a ridiculously overpriced New York haircut.  And, as much as I dislike Quinn, I have to say, girlfriend looks quite fierce in her new do’ . . .

 

Downstairs at the hotel bar, Mr. Schue meets up with Vocal Adrenaline coach, Dustin Ghoulsby . . .

. . . (who, unfortunately, is wearing a bit more clothes in the scene, than he is in the above picture).  Dustin has conveniently heard through the grapevine that Schue plans to leave teaching to pursue his Broadway Dreams.  Dustin thinks that’s a fab idea, remarking how much HE would love to stop teaching Show Choir, considering how much he DESPISES his students.  “But I love my students,” Will remarks, as I throw up a bit in my mouth.

Insert shallow attempt at humor here  (I’ve got nothing.)

Will’s undying love for his underage students notwithstanding (See how I just made something Sickeningly Sweet and Innocent sound Disgustingly Inappropriate?), Dustin immediately rushes to go rat out Will to his students. 

However, when Will arrives at the hotel room to collect the Glee kids for the Nationals competition, rather than bitch him out for NOT GIVING TWO CRAPS ABOUT THEM, THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE NEW YORK TRIP, they actually encourage Will to give Broadway a try.  And yet, Will (who has clearly never met Patti Lupone) is not about to give up his  love of teens for something as insignificant as a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity at Fame and Fortune.  Andhe  tells his kids as much. 

(So, much for leaving us with a Cliffhanger, Glee writers!)

Happy to have their Steadfast Mr. Schue for at least one more season, the Glee kids join their teacher in a Big Fat Group Hug.  Puck enters the embrace first . . . because he has a vagina.  (Ummm . . . yeah, I’ve used this word WAY too many times in this recap.  It’s starting to make me feel uncomfortable, to be honest.)

Anywhoo enough about vaginas (DAMN!  I did it again.), it’s NATIONALS TIME!

The Big Kiss . . . and The Even Bigger Kiss Off . . .

RACHEL:  “Finn, is that GUM, in your mouth?  How many times have I told you not to chew GUM on stage?  It’s unprofessional.”

FINN: *blows bubble in Rachel’s mouth*

 At the Nationals Competition, Some Random Girls’ Choir, wearing short slutty dresses, performs Usher’s 2004 hit, “Yeah.”  And while their singing is “OK,” the dancing is ridiculous, and reminds me a bit of the Glee kids’ bizarre lunchroom dance to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It,” back in Season 1 . . .

You can listen to the song, here:

In the bathroom at Lincoln Center, Rachel and Sunshine Corazon come full circle from their Season 2, Episode 1, Potty Sing Off . . .

.  . . when Rachel, upon hearing Sunshine RALPH in the toilet, finally apologizes for sending her to a crackhouse for Glee club auditions. When Rachel learns that Sunshine HATES Vocal Adrenaline, and is petrified of performing in front of the crowd(Can I smell a transfer BACK to New Directions for Sunshine in Season 3), the newly reformed diva even goes so far as to offer to give Sunshine the “thumbs up sign” when she’s on stage, so the youngun won’t be nervous.   “But don’t you want to win?”  Sunshine inquires, without the snarky edge she COULD have used with that line . . .

“How was the old crackhouse, by the way?  I’ve been meaning to get back there for a refill, but I’ve been so busy not preparing for Nationals, that I haven’t really had the chance.”

“Guys like us have to stick together,” Rachel replies, pulling Sunshine in for a hug.  (All together now, “AWWWWW!”)

Sunshine performs an original song entitled “As Long as You’re There.”  And, while her voice is amazing, I must admit, I was mighty underwhelmed by herVocal Adrenaline backup dancers, who basically did the same dance to this WILDLY DIFFERENT number, as they did last year to “Bohemian Rhapsody during Regionals. 

But don’t take my word for it.  Watch the performance here, and judge for yourself . . .

During New Direction’s performance, a Smouldering Jesse St. Douchey-But -Still-Hot-James arrives, sneaking into a conveniently empty seat next to Schue to watch the show. 

“I’m here to collect my payment for hitting on Rachel, and not helping you prepare for Nationals at all.”

Though Jesse claims to be only interested in the performance, it’s pretty obvious he’s there, because he’s still in love with Rachel.  And Schue glibly calls him on that fact. 

(So, am I the only one that’s still kind of rooting for Jesse?  What can I say?  I have a thing for Raging Asshats!)

Asshat Lovin’ = Good Lovin’

The first New Directions Number is an Original Song written by Finn, called “Pretending.”  Not surprisingly, it’s a Finchel Duet. 

“Pretending” sounds and looks pretty much like every other Finchel Duet we’ve seen since Season 1, from the “Walking Slowly Toward One Another from Opposite Sides of the Room” Bit to the “Staring Intently Into One Another’s Eyes While Holding Hands, and Making Teary Constipated Facial Expressions at Eachother” Bit.  The only difference HERE is the ending, in which Finn (despite Rachel having reiterated her “I’ve got to follow my dreams” dumping of him, prior to the start of the performance) abruptly shoves his tongue down Rachel’s throat.

The audience is stunned into silence. (probably because they skipped last week’s episode, and thought Finn was still dating Quinn).  After a few moments of uncomfortable awkwardness, Schue offers the couple a tepid Slow Clap off the stage.  Poor Jesse looks heartbroken.  But hey, that’s what you get for making breakfast on your girlfriend’s head in Season 1 . . .

Watch “Pretending” and the Controversial Kiss that Ended it All here:

“Pretending” was followed up by another Original Song.  This one was entitled “Light Up The World.”  And, while it was peppier, and definitely more fun to watch, than “Pretending,” I didn’t find the song itself particularly memorable, or the dancing that accompanied the song all that different from what we saw at Regionals with “Loser Like Me.” 

You can check out “Light Up The World,” here:

The Big Shock of the Evening (though, considering the meh performances, it actually didn’t seem all that shocking) is that New Directions doesn’t end up placing in the Top Ten at Nationals.  (It comes in twelfth.) 

Oh, the humanity!

Though everyone is pretty bummed about the loss, no one takes it harder than Santana.  The former Cheerio has a little Lima Heights Adjacent Style Freakout in the dressing room.

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Once she is back home from New York, Santana even goes as far as to create a Yellow Cardigan- wearing-Rachel Voodoo Doll to torture.  (Many of the Glee kids, Santana included, blame the loss on how mediocre they performed the inappropriateness of the on-stage Finchel Kiss.)

So, of course, it is up to Brittany to cheer Santana up.  During a very sweet little locker scene, Brittany tells Santana how much she loves her (but just as a friend .  . . for now, at least), and how lucky the two of them are to have found “family” in their fellow Glee clubbers.  Brittany’s surprisingly wise words do wonders for Santana’s spirits.  And Santana tells Brittany as much . . .

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I, for one, adore these two togther, and very much look forward to the mature progression of their relationship in Season 3. 

Speaking of couples I adore, Kurt and Blaine finally exchanged “I LOVE YOU’S,” this week!

As dramatic as the multiple Finchel Moments were in this episode, I loved the quiet sweetness of this single Klaine moment.  No over-acted overtures, extravagant gestures, or big speeches were necessary.  This was just another day for Kurt and Blaine. 

The couple was just having coffee together, sharing stories, and enjoying one another’s company.  And then, seemingly out of no where, Blaine said it . . . the three words that Kurt undoubtedly has been wanting to hear, since he first met the guy, earlier this season. 

It was perfect!  Kudos to Darren Criss and Chris Colfer for the understated elegance of this memorable moment.

Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, Finn and Rachel got back together.  (SUPRISE!)  After all that hemming and hawing about “following her dreams,” it turns out Rachel has an ENTIRE YEAR LEFT OF HIGH SCHOOL, before she even has to think of applying to NYU.  Talk about an hour’s worth of unnecessary drama! 

That being said, the couple’s second kiss on the floor of the library was way more adorable and genuine, than their overblown stage one, at least, in my opinion . . .

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Speaking of couples, you know who else is secretly dating in Glee Club World because heaven forbid any of these folks date someone who isn’t remotely involved in the show choir ? SAMCEDES!

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Hmmm . . .  it could work! 🙂 

And, there you have it folks!  Two seasons of Glee down, and hopefully, at least a few more to go.  So . . . how did you like the finale?  Did you think the Glee kids deserved to win Nationals?  Are you down with Samcedes?  Feel free to sound off in the comment section below . . . 

Have a great summer, my Gleekies!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Deconstructing Delena – My Picks for the Top Ten Damon and Elena Moments from the SECOND HALF of The Vampire Diaries’ Second Season

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 . .

Potent Quotables:

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.

Potent Quotables:

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 . . .

Potent Quotables:

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 . . .

Potent Quotables:

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. 

Ahem?

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 . . .

Potent Quotables:

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.”

Potent Quotables:

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 . . .

Potent Quotables:

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” . . .

Potent Quotables:

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?

Potent Quotables:

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. ;)]

Potent Quotables:

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. 🙂

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Damon and Elena, Damon Salvatore, Delena, Elena Gilbert, Television Super Couples, The Vampire Diaries, Top Ten Lists

Redemption, Thy Name is Chuck Bass (Charlie, Thy Name is Ivy?) – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s Season Finale “The Wrong Goodbye”

CHUCK:  ‘So, Blair (other half of “Chair”), maybe you could explain to me how, even though we crashed this Bar Mitzvah, somehow you and I end up the stars of the Chair Dance, an honor typically only bestowed on the Bar Mitzvah boy and his parents?”

BLAIR:  “Maybe it’s supposed to foreshadow something?”

CHUCK: “Like the Super Hot Sex we are about to have  in the conveniently-located private room, right outside the reception hall?”

BLAIR: “Like the fact that we are about to become parents.”

CHUCK: “You know, they should really start handing out condoms at Bar Mitzvahs, given the whole ‘boy turning into a man’ theme, and all . . .”

We wanted it, and we got it, Chair fans: The Redemption of Chuck Bass!  After weeks of agonizing and hand-wringing over the whole “pretending to love Raina” thing, and the “drunkenly breaking glass on Blair’s face” thing, Team Chuck was finally rewarded.  This week, fans got the opportunity to hear our King Bass say to his Queen B. everything we have wanted him to say to her, since the couple’s devastating breakup at the end of “The Witches of Bushwick.”

Chuck Bass rescued Blair Waldorf tonight, and not just from Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, Russell Thorpoop either . . .

“Yes, I’ll admit it.  I’m an adult who likes to play with fire.   How else did you think I ended up bald?”

Through his eloquent words, Chuck rescued Blair from her fear that she was not a successful enough woman, in her own right, to be coupled with a powerful man.  He also rescued her from her belief that love and happiness were two mutually exclusive emotions.  And, perhaps, most importantly, he rescued her from those pesky panties she was wearing . . .

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This is NOT your mother’s Chairytale!

And though things didn’t end quite the way we had hoped for Chuck and Blair in “The Wrong Goodbye” (an apt title, if ever there was one), the growth Chuck has undergone as a character this season, coupled with the personal sacrifices he made for the happiness of the woman he loves, this week, have proven, without a doubt, that Chuck Bass deserves to be with Blair Waldorf.  And he will be with her . . . eventually.

Patience, my dear Waldorf!  There’s always Season 5!

But this Season Finale wasn’t ALL about Chair (about 98% of it was), “The Wrong Goodbye” also treated us to some Crazy Charlie(?) shenanigans, a bit of Georgina hilarity, and a few dryly humorous meta-references, courtesy of the Three Kings of Snark, Dan Humphrey, Nate Archibald, and Eric van der Woodsen . . .

So, what are we waiting for, Upper East Siders, let’s get on with the recap?

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

MANESSA:  “I can’t believe this is my last episode of Gossip Girl, EVER!  I’m really going to miss you guys!  But, hey, maybe I can come back for a few guest appearances next season?”

SERENA:  “I doubt it.   They’ve already converted your trailer into a gym for the rest of the cast.”

In a scene that would absolutely NEVER happen under normal GG circumstances (and is ONLY happening because it is Jessica Szohr’s last appearance on the show, and the writers want to throw her a bone, by giving her some lines, and a teensy bit of character redemption), Serena and Manessa are riding to Constance Prep together, in search of an off-her-meds, wacked-out Charlie.  Manessa explains that Charlie, had to leave college after “Single White Female-ing” her roommate.  And now, evidently, she is doing the same thing to Serena.  (“Thanks for the explanation, Manessa!  We would NEVER have figured that out, otherwise,” The Recapper says sarcastically.)

For the record, the only time I EVER want to be watching the inside of a limo on Gossip Girl, is when THIS is happening inside of it . . .


Meanwhile, in Bromantic Buddy News . . .

. . . Dan and Nate are getting gossipy at the bar over at Constance Prep.  Dan “Screw and Tell” Humphrey is overly eager to fill Nate in on his Principal Office sexcapades with Belongs in a Strait-Jacket Barbie.

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Initially, Nate, not surprisingly, reacts the same way most of us fans did when we heard Charlie utter “Call me Serena” during sex, by laughing hysterically at the poor girl’s expense.

“Apparently, ‘Call me Serena,’ is the New ‘What’s My Name, B*tch?'”

But, of course, Nate is DUDE.  And for most dudes, a little schizophrenia CERTAINLY isn’t going to get in the way of a good lay!  “Just tell her ‘That’s not necessary,’ and get back to doing whatever it is you were going to do,” instructs Nate.

THIS . . . coming from the guy who once thought Raccoon Zombie, Little J was a “great catch.”

Nate, I love you to pieces.  But it’s characters like you that always die first in horror movies.  Just sayin’.

The GG writers continue to laugh at their own absurdity, when Dan sees Chuck entering the party, and wonders why the dude isn’t in rehab, like Gossip Girl said he was.

For the record, I would totally watch a show in which GG’s Alcoholic Chuck, got together TVD’s resident alcoholics, Damon and Alaric,  and entered into some kind of CW Character rehab .  . .