Cracking my knuckles.... Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I’m rusty - and pressed for time as always. I’m going to kind of glance over some things, and I’ll likely focus on some areas you might not expect.
Witchy dream sequence. The only really important thing I got from this scene is that I think the key to putting Klaus in that locked coffin is what’s already inside the coffin. (And I’m predicting the necklace is the key to opening it. Doesn’t Damon have it now? I’m not sure who had it the last time we saw it.)
Elena’s running. I like that they’re staying with the continuity of Elena training. Just because Stefan isn’t compelled any longer, he’s still not on their team - and there are a lot of other bad guys in town. (I just wish Elena were jogging with someone else too - surely Caroline likes to keep in shape.) Of course, if she had a jogging partner, we wouldn’t have the “freaked out and jogging like a scared bunny scene” when the hooded dude appears.
At the grill -
Elena’s “freaked out” trumps Bonnie’s bad dreams. Enough said. I am confused as to why Bonnie asked about Damon - he’s sitting about 10 feet in front of her. Pretty sure she can see him.
I adore Damon and Alaric scenes. Here we can see that Stefan’s actions seem to have impacted Damon more than they have Elena. I like that she’s not doing the mopey thing any longer. She’s given Stefan a chance (in Ghost World). He betrayed them - she’s ready to move on.
Alaric really is acting guardian-ish. John knew what he was doing when he asked Ric to look out for the kids.
In the woods -
Tyler and Jeremy are bonding. Information about how to kill hybrids is discussed.
At the grill 2 -
Damon and Elena are exchanging banter. Elena has every right to be worried about Jeremy - she’s seen this before. It doesn’t end well. Speaking of not ending well and seeing this before...Damon’s day drinking and playing darts. Elena’s worried about Damon too. (I’m pretty sure she should be joining him in the drinking. She’s got a lot on her shoulders right now.)
Elena comments that being day drunk isn’t an attractive look for him, and he seems amused that she’s concerned about his appearance. (Let me go on record to say that Damon’s hair issues this season have been on purpose. As he’s been worried about Stefan, he’s let himself go. Now that his relationship with Elena has shifted post-kiss, he will be making some improvements.)
Klaus arrives and the three have a discussion. My favorite part has to be the fact that Damon keeps trying to keep himself between Klaus and Elena. Klaus seems to notice Damon’s attempts and he finds it amusing as well.
Witch House -
Bonnie finds Stefan. Stefan needs her help to conceal the coffins.
Gilbert House -
Alaric and Elena seem to be prepping for lunch - right after breakfast. (Seriously, I do not understand the flow of time here.) I’m assuming they’ve been talking and worrying for a few hours since the last scene with Klaus in the Grill.
PLEASE do not let Alaric’s comment here be foreshadowing. Elena’s worried about Jeremy which Alaric says “is proof that she’s still human.”
Alaric tries a version of Jenna’s “we need to talk” meal. Interesting that Alaric and Elena get a little bit better of a response - Jeremy doesn’t leave - he calls Tyler inside. Jeremy, not sure if inviting a sired hybrid into the house was a great call.
Klaus drops by for a drink. He and Damon exchange veiled insults about their relatives. I love how Damon downs the vervain-filled drink. (I keep remembering Stefan’s attempt at drinking vervain-kool-aid last season.)
Gilbert House -
Tyler gives us Hybrid 101.
Klaus and Damon are still drinking. Klaus knows Stefan’s weakness - Damon. Damon’s the most likely person who can get Stefan to give Klaus his family back. He also knows Damon’s weakness - Elena. To get Damon motivated, he gives a little demonstration.
Gilbert House -
Hey, where did Jeremy go? Oh, there he is...standing in the path of the car. Run, Alaric, run! Seriously, I don’t think words can express how much I like Alaric in responsible-parent mode. He didn’t even pause when he ran to knock Jeremy out of the path of the car. He had no idea who was driving. He very easily could have died right here, but he wasn’t going to let Jeremy get hit.
Let us all pause in awe of the awesomeness that is Alaric - anybody else think he’s seriously lost weight?
Street of Awesomeness -
Jeremy “wakes up” and remembers it was Klaus who’d called him. He and Elena carry a very dead Alaric into the house.
House of Renovation -
Tyler didn’t realize they were going to kill people. Somehow, being sired isn’t as awesome as it once was.
Gilbert house -
Damon asks the million dollar question - where’s Jeremy’s bracelet? Hmm...so that’s why Tyler’s been hanging around. This really is like one big chess game. To influence Elena, Klaus threatens Jeremy.
And Jeremy doesn’t want to be part of the game any longer. He wants to pack up and leave. Problem is, Elena knows trouble would just follow her, no matter where they go. Damon explains what Klaus wants. Elena knows how to provide part of his wish list. Damon says..no. Rebekah’s going to be ticked when she wakes up, and Damon doesn’t want to risk Elena getting hurt.
Elena calls Bonnie who tells them to find Stefan at....
The Witch House -
Still can’t figure out why the witches are so anti-Damon. (I discussed this with my husband at lunch today. His theory’s as good as any I’ve heard. Stefan’s goal is to get even with Klaus. The witches are anti-Klaus. Damon’s goal is to keep Elena breathing. The Original Witch doesn’t like having her alive - hence her instructions to Matt that Elena needed to die to save Tyler along with her attempts to kill Elena through Vickie. Since Damon’s on Team Elena Needs to Keep Breathing....he’s not on the witches’ good side right now. Not sure how to explain the other times they’ve been anti-Damon, but that works ok for me now.)
I have to say that when Stefan tells Elena to go away, that’s as bored as I’ve ever heard him. If he’s acting like he doesn’t have feelings for Elena at this point, he’s doing a VERY good job. Honestly, I don’t think it’s an act. Right now he’s only letting one thing
drive him - his desire for revenge. (Since he’s taken one family from Klaus, I think Stefan could be a very real threat to Elena’s safety since she’s the key to making Klaus’ second family.)
Damon sends Elena home to deal with Jeremy and endures some very real pain getting downstairs to deal with his brother.
Damon’s pretty strong when he’s mad. Not only has Stefan ruined the plan to kill Klaus - he’s just made Elena really upset. I’m amazed at how fast Damon was able to get Stefan out of the house. After staking Stefan, Damon’s finally able to get him to say why he interfered - to save his brother. Problem is, Damon would have gladly traded his life to kill Klaus.
Tyler’s still out there. He warns Jeremy that Klaus isn’t done with him.
Gilbert House -
Alaric’s on two feet, but he’s not doing well. After rolling around and vomiting blood, Elena calls the paramedics. Oops - the cute hybrid has arrived and compels the paramedics to leave. Alaric’s not doing too well... Tony says he’ll save Ric, but only if she lets him in.
Jeremy saves her from having to make the choice. In a moment of supreme ickieness, Jeremy cuts the hybrid’s head off without blinking even though Elena looks like she’s about to be sick all over the porch.
Really, I think this moment greatly influences Elena’s later actions. Jeremy is so blase about killing someone. And, Klaus has further illustrated just how easily she can be manipulated by threatening a family member.
Witchy Woods of Darkness
The brothers have a glare down as Damon presses Stefan to tell him why he saved him. Stefan’s not budging. Finally, Stefan tells Damon there must be another way to get rid of Klaus.
Damon wants in. Stefan agrees, but only if Elena’s left out of it.
Now, I’ve seen comments that question Damon’s actions here. Agreeing to leave Elena out of it....could it come back to haunt him? Maybe... I think Elena and Damon both know, though, that sometimes they have to do things the other won’t agree with. (We’ll come back to this when Elena visits Rebekah.)
Mystic Falls General -
Um, sorry, Dr. Fell checks on her patient - only to discover he’s checking himself out. She seems a bit suspicious of his rapid recovery. She’s a Fell. This won’t end well.
Boarding house -
Elena meets with Klaus. She needs to make a deal - her brother’s safety for Rebekah. After they come to an agreement (and he guarantees that Rebekah won’t hurt Elena), she drops one more bomb on Klaus - Rebekah knows he killed their mom.
Hospital Parking Lot -
Jeremy appears to be waiting to take Alaric back home. (Alaric’s ring isn’t working too well lately. That’s not a good sign. Team Blood and Beer forever.) As they walk through the parking lot, Alaric wants Jeremy to know that he’s available to talk. Jeremy says it won’t help. He just shot a hybrid in the back and chopped off his head without blinking. It’s something he has to get used to?
I think his blase attitude is one of the most frightening parts of the episode. He’s so blank and empty.
Gilbert KITCHEN -
Damon’s been on body duty while Elena’s been cleaning the porch. (Seriously, look at the assortment of bottles behind Elena - the Gilberts are serious about their cleanliness.) She’s washing the cleaver of doom in the sink..and seriously loosing her battle to keep tears at bay.
Damon gets Elena.
Even without looking at her, he can tell she’s definitely not ok. She levels with him about giving Klaus Rebekah back, and Damon mildly freaks out thinking that Rebekah’s going to come after Elena, but he doesn’t question her actions for too long. She did it to keep Jeremy safe, but she knows that even now that’s not a guarantee. Stefan’s “running his own show” and Klaus twists his words.
Jeremy’s mental health is at risk too. He just killed a hybrid without blinking.
And it’s tearing Elena apart.
She turns back to the sink and is breaking down while pretending not to. Damon moves in - showing the incredible closeness they’ve developed these past months. He turns off the water and spins her to face him. Stroking her cheeks with each hand, he assures her that they’ll fix this.
Mansion in Need of Remodeling
Klaus and Rebekah share a moment...before he re-stakes her.
Gilbert House -
Jeremy’s guardians (the dude’s a minor - his guardians are still allowed to make some decisions for him) appear in the doorway. I like how it’s clear that Elena, Alaric, and Damon have talked this next scene out.
They haven’t acted rashly.
Alaric and Elena have tried to talk with Jeremy earlier...and each can see that Jeremy doesn’t want this. After all, he tried to get Elena to leave with him earlier that day. Of course, if she left, danger would follow.
So Damon comes in.
He tells Jeremy that they need to talk. Jeremy’s smart. He knows what a chat with Damon means. His eyes immediately flick to Elena’s and he doesn’t miss the tears...but he doesn’t protest. He rolls his eyes at Elena. He’s aware of what she’s asked Damon to do.
(I can’t make this point strongly enough. When Damon offered to compel Jeremy at the end of Founder’s Day, Jeremy point-blank told Damon no. Jeremy KNOWS what’s about to happen. He says NOTHING. Jeremy is aware that he’s about to be compelled, and he doesn’t ask them not to do it.)
Damon’s spent enough time around Jeremy that he knows Elena’s brother too. He tells him to go spend some time with family friends...he’ll take art classes, drink beer, and date living girls.
Alaric wants Damon to add leaving Mystic Falls with no regrets to the compulsion. After checking with Elena, Damon complies.
Gah - I don’t think I’ve ever seen Elena look more fragile than she does in this scene. She’s sacrificing the last thing she has - she’s sending her brother away, and it’s killing her.
Back at Witchy House
(Was anyone really paying attention to this scene after that heartbreaking scene? No? Well, it might be important, so we’ll go through it quickly.)
One of the caskets is locked. Bonnie thinks it was a spell. The locked one is the one that she saw in the dream. (I’m thinking Original Petrova is in there.) Bonnie says what’s inside that casket is “OUR” answer - she’s aligning herself with Stefan.
THE PORCH -
Elena’s pacing...she does that a lot when something bothers her. She’s questioning what they’ve just done, but Damon reassures her that she’s made the right choice. If Jeremy stays, he’s going to end up dead.
Now the temperature on the porch increases about 20 degrees. Elena thanks Damon for being there for her. I love all the parallels this scene has to other episodes. When Damon compelled Jeremy the first time, JP called it his first “hero moment.” When he kissed Katherine (thinking it was Elena), he couldn’t understand how and when she decided he was worthy of being saved. Now, she’s thanking him for being there for her.
Elena wouldn’t have gotten through the last months without him. And she needs him to know that.
Damon needs her to know something. Stefan had a reason for stopping Klaus - if Klaus had died, Damon would have been killed. Neither really seem to understand what that means about Stefan, but it proves he’s not totally gone (he can’t watch his brother die). I love that they made sure Elena knew Stefan saved Damon before this scene progressed.
Damon’s annoyed at Stefan. He didn’t want to feel guilty anymore. And Elena’s been through a lot tonight...she needs him to explain. He doesn’t want to feel guilty for wanting what he wants....her.
Damon’s half smile kills me. “I get it....brother’s girl and everything.”
She doesn’t say anything, but she stands fixed in place as he walks away. And then he comes to his senses. (Personally, I think that he’s so sure that someone’s going to die soon that he doesn’t want any regrets.) Turning around, he says that if he’s going to feel guilty...he’s going to have a good reason for it.
He comes to Elena and pulls her to him. As she doesn’t resist, something happens. His hands shift and move to her cheeks as he strokes along her jawline with his thumb. She lifts her hands and, instead of pushing his away, she grips his as she seems to deepen the kiss by rising onto her toes. He ends the kiss, but her lips seem to be continuing to search for his. She’s still holding the ghost of his hand in hers as he pulls away - and they both seem mildly shocked at what has happened.
He didn’t seem prepared for her to kiss him back.
She didn’t expect to be swept off her feet.
In an echo of the Southern gentleman he was raised to be, he smiles and tells her goodnight - leaving her standing stunned on the porch.