Friday, November 30, 2012

Thinking Deep Thoughts about Episode 407

Must be Friday.  I'm thinking deep thoughts about TVD again - sadly, this interferes with the chapter I'm working on, so I'm going to go ahead and get these out of the way.

This was a complicated episode with too many players (not Matt - he can stay forever) and too many plots running through 42 minutes, so I'm not even going to attempt an analysis of the whole thing.  Instead, I'm focusing on two points.

Let's go.

I'm not starting with the obvious topic because, honestly, one short scene impacted me more than any other section of the episode.  Shall we discuss Stefan and Elena's conversation about Jeremy?

Do you even know the real Elena?
The episode opened with Damon making a simple request to Stefan - leave Jeremy out of his "find a cure" plan.  Look for another Hunter, but keep Elena's little brother safe.  Why?  Because Damon understands Elena.  She would never want to save herself at the expense of Jeremy's mental stability.

And what did Stefan do?

He deliberately brought a vampire (maybe more than one - I kind of blurred over that section in my brain because it was painful) to Jeremy in order to make the map grow, simply to find the cure for Elena.

Watching Elena's face as she processed that information....seeing the horror dawn on her was one of the most emotionally resonant scenes in the episode.  Stefan sacrificed Jeremy to bring back "his" Elena - the one he could love.

In this moment, the full horror of who Stefan really is became clear to her.  Early in the series, he referred to himself as a monster.  He was right.  He was so consumed by desire and greed to bring his Elena back that he was willing to destroy the person who meant more to Elena than anyone in the world.  And I think Elena realized she'd never really met the real Stefan.  That's why it was so easy for her to fall into bed with Damon later in the episode.  All this time she'd been faithfully clinging to someone who didn't really exist, and Stefan's actions with Jeremy destroyed the faith she'd always had in him.

I struggle to see how Stefan and Elena could reunite after his actions with Jeremy.

Yes, Damon killed Jeremy in the premiere of season two, but he was acting on blind rage - not that it really excuses his actions.  Stefan's actions are different.  He planned what he was going to do.  He thought it out.  He was deliberate.  He knew what he wanted, and nothing was going to deter him from his plan...even Elena's love for her brother.

The Elephant in the Room
Come on y'all, this is my YA-friendly blog, so just get your minds out of the gutter.  I'm talking about the sire bond.

Or as I like to call it - Caroline's Screaming Banshee Moment.  (Really, that's how I referred to it in a text to my husband.)

I've read the interview with Julie Plec.  (I also read an interview a few years ago where she said we wouldn't see Katherine till late season two or early season three...and that was about a day before Katherine arrived in Mystic Falls.)

Y'all know how much I disliked The Five, but by golly, I'm thankful for it now because we're about to revisit a few scenes.

Anyone remember the first victim Damon pointed out to Elena?  Cute, blonde, had a picture of her little sister (or her niece - something like that) on her cell phone.  Yes?  Y'all with me?  What happened to the young lady?


Damon told Elena to feed on her and she didn't because she didn't want to.  Yep, sounds just like someone who has to do her "master's" will to me.

When explaining the sire bond to Caroline, Tyler says that it makes you want to please the person who sired you.  You do what they want because you believe its the right thing to do.  So...about that....

After Elena has learned to successfully feed, she's pretty effectively slut-shamed by Bonnie for enjoying the process of feeding.  When Damon and Bonnie face off about Damon's attempts to turn Elena into someone like him, he responds that Elena already is.  And then what happens?

Damon takes Elena home where Elena admits that Damon's right.  It would be easier to just enjoy the feed - accept the fact that she's a vampire now and she's changed.  With tears in her eyes, she looks at him and admits that she can't.  Because she doesn't want to be like him.

Yep, sounds just like an unbreakable sire bond to me.

I'll admit it.  I'm confused after this episode.  (And I'm angry that the scene showing Damon and Elena's first time was intercut with the "lightbulb" moment for the Stefan/Caroline brain trust.)  Throughout the season, we've seen just as many instances where Elena's gone against Damon's wishes as the times that she's agreed with him.

I think this whole "sire bond" thing is a ploy for Stefan to twist the knife into Damon's psyche.  Elena's in love with Damon.  She has been for a while.  Klaus knows it - and that's what he was referring to when he was flirting with Caroline.

My final opinion on this episode is still to be decided.  I need to know where they're going with this sire thing since it confuses me.  If Elena were sired to Damon, I'm pretty sure she would have picked up the cell phone to call Stefan the minute Damon asked her to, and she definitely would have apologized to Stefan for misinterpreting his motivations for lying to her - because Damon wanted her to forgive his little brother.

Thanks for taking the time to read.  Feel free to leave a comment or two.  I'd love to hear what you have to say.


  1. Soo true, I had the same thought when Caroline was all 'THAT'S what Klaus meant!' like, sweetie, I love you, but noooooo, so wrong. And haha, "screaming banshee moment" so true, she was being absurd. I agree with everything said here, I think that out of EVERYONE, Damon is the one who doubts Elena's feelings for him the most, and I think if Stefan tells Damon she's sired, he'll be so ready to believe it, because he doesn't think it's possible she could love him. so sad :( We'll just have to see how it'll play out, I'm trying to stay positive whilst replaying the scene of elena throwing damon against the wall and breaking a lamp.

    1. Ha! You have a great way to keep yourself positive. I might have to try that. Thanks!


    1. I don't begrudge Stefan and Caroline their moment - I actually think they're pretty awesome together since Stefan doesn't act like Caroline's overprotective father. I just wish that they hadn't edited the scene the way they did. I'm pretty sure that's the only love scene that we've seen cut in that manner (except for the Elena/Stefan mixed with Katherine/Mason moment back in "Plan B" - and that doesn't really count since neither couple was really "busy" at the time). For a moment with such "build" and expectation, it should have been allowed to run w/out other scenes cutting in.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  3. I agree completely with everything said here. I kinda half figured that maybe Klaus was saying it was interesting because when Damon came in to the picture he was a "monster" like Klaus who couldn't be loved and trusted, like Klaus.

    I love Caroline, I really do, but she got on my nerves so bad this episode. It was like, just because you are insecure about you and Ty doesn't mean you should take it out on Elena.

    1. I think Caroline may be projecting to a degree, but she is allowed to dislike Damon. He did use her early on in the series, but he's changed a LOT since then.

      The fact that Caroline doesn't see that others might care about Damon is troubling, though. Especially since she's flirting with Klaus - the guy who killed Jenna and would have killed Elena had Jonathon not stepped in.

      Thanks for visiting!

  4. Thanks for your re-cap, D'Ann, so insightful as always. I think we all still have a lot to think about with this episode.

    As to the intercutting in the last scene, someone needs to explain to JP that there is a special corner in hell reserved for people who talk at the theatre - because that's pretty much what it was. We desperately needed an emotional payoff after the last three years, not something to send (at least) me into a murderous rage.

    The other thing that bothers me about the scene is that the intercuts were underscoring the idea that what was happening between Damon and Elena wasn't real; it didn't deserve to be seen properly. Honestly, it was the sire bond I didn't think real at the end of the episode. I was sure that it was Caroline grasping at straws, 'she liked the red dress, too, she's obviously sired to him!'

    Oh, come on.

    Cue the promo, and it appears the bond does exist. My fear is that 4x4 will be largely what confirms it. Carina McKenzie said that the bond makes one 'supernaturally inclined to agree with one's sire', or words to the effect. The first thing Elena does when she starts crashing back to earth at the frat party is to cry that she should be there with Stefan, not with Damon. During the porch scene she (supernaturally?) agrees with Damon that his ideas of how vampires should be are correct, but she doesn't want to be that way. Then the next day (? it's difficult to keep track of time with this show) when she talks with him, she reveals how disgusted she was by her actions (supernatural inclination at work again? she did all those things, but hates herself for them).

    I would like to think that the character growth we saw for Elena, especially in 4x6, won't be negated by this daft bond storyline. I'm not optimistic.

    Much of my dislike for Stefan comes of the way he's never held accountable for the bad things he does, and this episode threw it into overdrive. It was especially disturbing when Caroline (his sober sponsor, remember?) was perfectly okay with his killing and turning people to 'fix' Elena (the whole 'fixing Elena' subplot is a discussion unto itself), even though a successful outcome would comprise a) Jeremy's destruction, and b) Elena becoming a human bloodbag and breeding machine to further Klaus's plans. Then again, in the previous episode, Caroline helped in the murder of Chris, and she was okay with that, too.

    My fervent hope is that the show is going to finally be smart enough to go there - that the writers will up their game, and there will be some serious questioning of this blasé attitude towards the murder of innocents. My fear after three years of watching the show is that this is yet another potentially fantastic idea that will barely be touched upon, and we'll spend the season dealing with what amounts to another sun and moon curse - this time the sire bond and the 'cure'.

    Sorry for the wall of text, and apologies for my bad English - it's horribly rusty from disuse these days.

  5. Ha! People who talk at the theater - so true! That's a huge pet peeve of mine. You know, I hadn't looked at 404 like that, but now that you mention it, it could just as much verify the bond the way you look at it as it does negate the idea of a bond.

    If done well, I think the bond will show just how badly Elena wants to fight for Damon. And, by golly, after all this time...someone needs to fight for him. If poorly handled, the idea of a bond could be my worst nightmare.

    Guess only time will tell. But you've given me some definite things to think about. Thanks!