Recap by Jaye
Most of the episode took place in Damon’s head, which is just what I wanted and needed to see. I kid of course. Seems to me we have been bombarded with the happenings in Damon’s head for a few seasons. I frankly could care less…well let me be clear. I could care less about this latest foray into the schizophrenic head space of Damon Salvatore. This story has been told a myriad of times and each time seem somehow to contradict what was canon the time before. Well, you say, that’s kinda been the m.o. of the show–this revisionist history stuff right? and you’d be right; sadly we as an audience are once again being ‘treated’ with the reality of the writer’s inability to tell new stories–or at least their ineptitude in creating a compelling variation on the theme. Had there been a reasonably coercive story about the state of Damon’s mind, I might–might have been more receptive to it’s telling.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who Damon is and what he’s about. The mindset/personality of the Salvatore brothers had been established within the first three seasons. It’s been a see-saw journey and this Damon’s ‘redemption arc’ has been the longest in serial history.
Last season we were battered with the groundhog story telling of his personal hell. In the end he made the right choice Yet it seemed then that the theme was about how irredeemable Damon was. Which was confusing (then) since in past seasons it was established that he did realize he was worth saving and therefore redeemable. In fact he said so in S1 whilst he thought he was speaking with Elena.
So now, with this episode we are back to dealing with Damon’s personal hell with the revelation that he is, now, in fact redeemable–at least until the next episode.
Redemption depends on the kindness of other people apparently, and so the forgiveness tour began. Everyone (Caroline, Bonnie, Stefan) except Matt forgave Damon. More thrilling is that he forgave himself–whoohoo. And yet in the end he realized he didn’t really need forgiveness. He saved MF from being hell on earth (rip off of Spike saving the hellmouth)–I’m thinking it’s too little too late though. MF was already hell on earth, no?
But still, Damon being catatonic with …hmmmm…guilt? shame? didn’t ring true as was established with the building of his character. Damon was always painted as a vampire who accepted what he was. He embraced vampirism. He liked being dark and bad. He was disruptive and unapologetic and had the strength of conviction. Although his resentment of Stefan ‘turning’ him was the one thread in this whole episode which stayed consistent with his original characterization. BTW, can I just take a moment to say again how much I hate the implied “Stefan turned Damon” scenario. Damon had free will for christ’s sake. He could have chosen NOT to drink. In any event Damon is now full of…er…self awareness.
Damon recites the content of the letter he wrote to Bonnie. Gotta say these two are so strong together–sorry they didn’t have the guts to pair them romantically. In any event Damon’s one tear trick was on display.
As for nostalgia, apart from Tyler, Vicky and Liz showed up in Damon’s head.
Meanwhile Stefan compelled Matt to ring the bell, had his heart ripped out by Damon and is now chained in the basement. Caroline still wants the other Stefan (who wouldn’t) and will wait for his return.
Best part of the episode? The sirens were burnt to a crisp. I’ll forever be indebted to Cade for that!
And six to go!