It's that time of the year again. Leaves begin turning brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow (except, of course, in Texas - where we're just pleased that the temperature is under 100). Kids begin planning their Halloween costumes. And posts on this blog turn to discussions about The Vampire Diaries.
I can't help it. As much as the show frustrates (and, lately, has a tendency to disappoint me with unfulfilled character arcs), it is just so addicting. Even when I don't really want it to, thoughts about various plots and scenes just kind of sneak into my mind and I feel I must share them...mainly so I don't feel like I'm completely batty.
Today's random musings - the three times Damon "left."
I'll admit it. I was scrolling through Tumblr this morning, and I saw a gif set with the "where were you, Damon" scene....and I realized something both awesome and frightening. When Damon leaves, bad stuff happens.
Let's start with the first (and least obvious) time Damon left. At the end of Masquerade, all the characters have gone their separate ways. Jeremy's giving Bonnie a ride home. Caroline and Tyler are dealing with the mess in the former mayor's office. Stefan and Elena are having a discussion out by the pond (and no, I don't think Stefan's choice here to let Elena go home alone without checking on her later will ever be ok with me), and Damon's off dealing with Katherine. Damon is separated from the group because someone has to lock Katherine in the tomb. He's aware that Elena's been hurt, but the whole rest of the "Keep Elena Breathing" task force is still there. Surely someone's watching her....right?
By the end of the night, she's been kidnapped and on her way to Rose.
In The Reckoning, Damon and Katherine (and Jeremy, but since he's in the trunk, I'm not sure if he counts) are road-tripping. Damon and Elena have fought - he can't be who she wants him to be...Stefan. She's not looking for Stefan - she just wants Damon to be the man she knows him to be. So, Damon needs some time to cool off, and Katherine just happens to have just the trip in mind. Damon leaves and before the night's over, Tyler's become a hybrid, Stefan's emotions are switched to "I'm a jerk," Klaus has discovered the methods of keeping a hybrid alive, and Stefan has fed on Elena.
By the end of the night, Damon promises to never leave her again.
But he does. The brothers aren't getting along as well. They're both aware of the feelings Elena has for the other - even if she's choosing to ignore them. They've been down this road before with Katherine. They've developed a fragile relationship over the past year, so they agree that it's time for Elena to make a choice....and the other brother will leave for the remainder of Elena's human life. But, before they really have the chance to get her to make her decision, the whole "we need to hide Klaus' body" issue pops up. The brothers look at each other - one needs to drive while the other goes back to Mystic Falls. Of course it would be Damon who ended up having to deal with Klaus. Stefan couldn't leave...then how else could he put those pouty eyes and "just in case" kiss to use making sure that Elena picks him? (Sorry, that's a whole different blog post.) Well, you watch the show. You know the end of the story. Matt drives Elena back to town both to her friends and the brother she's "chosen." (I still stand firmly behind the theory that Elena had no idea that her choice would theoretically result in one brother leaving town.) Matt crashes the car. Elena and Matt are trapped. At Elena's urging, Stefan saves Matt first - leaving Elena to drown.
I'll never leave you again - Damon said it at the end of The Reckoning. In a small but significant way, he didn't leave her. His blood coursing through her veins has kept her .... undead. But he knows what he would have done at the bottom of the river. He would have saved her, even if she hated him for it, because she'd still be breathing.
After watching the web clip, I can't help but wonder if he's thinking back to those words. He's always chosen the more difficult tasks - allowing Stefan to be the hero in Elena's eyes. This time, just like the earlier times, when he left, bad things happened. The snark and barely-concealed anger in that scene is there for a reason. He knows the choice he would have made.