I know a lot of you didn’t watch the episode. You’d heard enough on tumblr or twitter or on the forums to know, without a doubt, you didn’t want to subject yourself to another round of DEx. I won’t deny it was hard to watch, but I’ve actually seen the episode, in all it’s painful entirety twice! It wasn’t all bad. There were moments here and there of hope, and if you’ve read Nicole’s take on the sire bond, you’ll see the episode in an entirely different light. Anyhow, as we prepare for 4×09, let’s get our 4×08 recap out of the way!
DREAMS – Like many recent episodes, dreams are difficult to come by. They often appear as moments of triumph or hope for characters we love. Truth telling in a time when history is being revised and characters trampled upon is also a welcome relief.
Caroline – It’s really hard not to love this girl for continuing not only to advocate for the Stelena ship but more importantly for her friends, Elena and Stefan, together or individually. We have to remember that Caroline has been down the Damon road. She was sprung for him at first, then used and abused and almost killed by him when he’d tired of her. Once she became a vampire, she remembered it all, and thankfully, unlike certain other characters, she hasn’t forgotten how he’d treated her. She was disposable to him, a liability, not once but twice and perhaps regarding Elena, a third time.
As a friend, she has to tell Elena that Damon isn’t the guy for her. She has to remind her of all his dirty deeds, and when she says, half joking, “Think of all the germ ridden skanks that Damon has lured into his den of inequity,” Elena is quick to cut into her, telling her it didn’t take her long to jump into bed with him. Ouch. This isn’t the real Elena talking, is it? The real Elena would understand that Caroline was deeply hurt by Damon, whether the true depth of what he’d done to her is something the characters of Mystic Falls want to truly address or not. She would get that it would make Caroline ill to see her best friend with a man who makes her skin crawl. No matter how much Damon may have changed, what he has done to Caroline can’t be erased. Regardless of how much we are to believe Damon is being redeemed, it doesn’t change the cold, hard facts. Has he ever asked her for forgiveness? What Caroline has endured is worthy of more than a roll of the eyes, and we can’t help but to salute her for both her strength and her friendship.
Elena – While it’s been difficult to watch Elena act like a glass-eyed cult member, it warmed our hearts just a little to know that, without doubt, this uncharacteristic behavior is because of her sire bond to Damon. It was proven for him, Stefan and Caroline through her ability to drink from a blood bag. Tyler and that witch in New Orleans told us (well, hit us on the head with it) that you have to have feelings for the siree first and that the sire bond only affects your actions, not your feelings. Okay, we get it. Doesn’t this still call into question every single thing Elena has done since being sired? Do the actions that Damon propels her to do not affect the feelings that are created because of them? It has been argued in the forums that feelings and actions really can’t be separated in the way the writers want us to believe they can. More so, what if Elena were sired by a good friend, like Matt? She has feelings for him, doesn’t she? Just not the passionate kind. That doesn’t mean the love for him wouldn’t magnify itself times a million to the point where she believed Matt was the the be all and end all of her universe. In short, the sire bond will always beg the question of the real Elena’s true feelings for Damon while we can be sure, that without compulsion and with complete and total free will, Elena had chosen Stefan.
Lexi – We know this girl gets some hate, but we adore her continued, although via flashbacks, advocacy for her friend, Stefan. While the point of her final scene with Damon may have been to make the audience feel sympathy for poor Damon, being chased off again by Lexi, all it did for us was extend our gratitude to her. Remember folks, Damon callously staked Lexi in the heart as a way to cover his murderous rampage in Mystic Falls. No matter how difficult his relationship may have been with her, he had no right to take his brother’s best friend away. Lexi, like Caroline, knows the real deal when it comes to Damon.
Stefan – Stefan seemed a bit too at ease with this whole sire thing, but perhaps he’s had enough of being angry since that won’t do a thing to help Elena. We have an inkling he won’t be so happy once he finds out about DEx. I shudder at the thought of it. So, knowing that will come to pass at one time or another, it was nice to see Stefan a bit relaxed, telling Charlotte “that’s a really long time; stop listening to the same song,” when she said, a bit dazed and confused, that she’d been counting bricks and singing about it for the last 70 years. Eeek! Now, I do have to wonder how it hadn’t popped into Stefan’s mind that the sire bond had caused Damon and Elena to have sex. Maybe he just didn’t want to go there, like it was just too unbelievable to be believed. We just hope Caroline will be there for you when you find out!
Hayley – Her duplicity has a greater purpose — trying to find her parents. Perhaps we can still be TEAM HAYLEY after all, but that all depends on just what exactly Shane has told her he’s going to do with those un-sired hybrids.
Damon/Elena – Their morning sexathon was pretty gross to watch for a few reasons. Knowing Elena is sired means free will wasn’t playing into it for her. Elena is all about making her own choices, so this is going to be a hard pill for her to swallow once she’s lifted out of this fog. It was also a little nasty to see Elena tearing into Damon’s back with her nails. Isn’t that more Katherine’s modus operandi? Then there was that “walk of shame” to the front door and seeing Stefan on the doorstep. There is no way Elena could ever be giddy about hurting Stefan that much. No matter what may have happened between Stefan and Elena, without the sire thing, no way Elena would have moved on that quickly with Damon. The respect she has for Stefan would have prevented it.
Damon – While I have some small degree of respect for Damon actually testing out the sire theory and thus proving it, it’s hard for me to imagine he didn’t have an inkling about this before Stefan had to bring it to him. If he had sired Charlotte and was willing to kill twelve people in order to break it, wouldn’t that have stuck with him? Wouldn’t it have popped into his head that perhaps it could happen again and that Elena’s unusual behavior necessitated a look into the past? And why exactly didn’t Damon just kill Charlotte? She obviously wasn’t that important to her. He wanted to be rid of her, so why go through the trouble of killing twelve people for it? The only answer I can come up with is that he wanted to.
The other thing that’s getting really old is seeing Damon as a victim. Elena tells Damon that he’s changed, just like she has, but of course Damon tells her he never does the right thing, how he’s bad, how he’s gone after his brother’s girlfriend, etc… etc… I suppose this is to elicit some sort of compassion for him, that Damon is coming to terms with his naughty past, that he’s reiterating he doesn’t deserve to be loved, that he is just so alone. I’m sorry, but having Damon just confirm what we already know doesn’t make me feel a sense of compassion for him. It’s actions, not words, that are the true test of someone who is seeking redemption. There is a reason Damon has been alone, and revisionist history that tries to show his softer side just doesn’t work. For once, I just wish we’d be allowed to embrace the dark character Damon is and not make excuses for him. He can be loved. He can be reached, but it makes no sense to water down a villainous character in such an unnatural and incongruent way.
Elena/Caroline – In the end, Caroline had to be the one to say she was sorry to Elena. What for though? You were trying to be real, Caroline, to save your friend from the same misery you endured, and all you get is an invitation to leave. Because of the sire bond, we can understand Elena’s POV, but it still made this unfriendly fight hard to watch. At least Elena stepped up to help get Caroline back from the hybrid torture chamber. Damn, it’s been said many times before this, but Caroline sure gets tortured a lot, doesn’t she?
Bonnie – I’m going to skip it this week. I have no words.
So, after all that, do you have the stomach to watch 4×09?!