'The Vampire Diaries': Damon and Elena prove touching is overrated
"The Vampire Diaries"' long-hyped love triangle between Damon, Elena, and Stefan is finally starting to take shape in tonight's episode, "Miss Mystic Falls." If we thought we'd seen a spark between Damon and Elena before, it's a bonfire now.
8:01 p.m. - I'm confused. Since when do these people go to school? Stefan is showing some serious swagger and it's only minute one. Paul Wesley is doing a great job of channeling Ian Somerhalder. I'm almost disappointed, though, because I loved that despite all the craziness, Stefan was still being honest with Elena last week. This week, he blew that in the first minute.
8:04 - Bonnie's back! I've been looking forward to her return, and I'm glad she doesn't just look sad, but also angry. What happened to her grandmother was awful, and the fact that it was ultimately pointless makes it even worse.
8:06 - I've been wondering how Elena would get involved in this Miss Mystic pageant, because while that might have been something she'd done last year, new Elena is a bit preoccupied. The connection to her mother makes a lot of sense, though - it's why she writes, as well.
8:06 - I'm over the fact that Stefan is lying. Now it's just bothering me that he's so darn good at it.
8:08 - "Well, well. He's a liar and a thief." I love that Damon is getting all self-righteous about this! Damon is a murderer. I don't think he should be busting on Stefan for swiping a few bags of blood... that Damon stole. Oh, Damon. Please never change.
8:12 - "Right now is not a good time for me to be worried about you snapping," Damon tells Stefan. Aww, it's so sweet that he worries.
8:13 - Beauty pageant interviews! "Just because my DUI made my community service mandatory doesn't make me any less committed."
8:14 - Jonathan Gilbert is looking for a mysterious contraption that the original Jonathan Gilbert invented in 1864. When Damon realizes that Jonathan can't lead him to Katherine, the look in his eyes is downright maniacal. I believe 100% that Damon would go on a murderous rampage if Jonathan threatened his place in Mystic Falls. As he said last week, it feels like home to him.
8:15 - At this point, the formal dance class has transcended the cliche and become a teen drama staple. It's almost a tradition for the WB; we've seen it in "Gilmore Girls," "Dawson's Creek," "The O.C.," and probably more. "If you ask me, the near-touch is overrated," Stefan says. I'm so glad he's having fun, even if that's because he's been guzzling O-neg.
8:17 - I sort of hope Caroline wins Miss Mystic. I know that Elena has the whole orphan sympathy vote in the bag, but Caroline's life is kind of awful. She deserves a break! Plus, she has really really pretty hair.
8:18 - I'm so happy it's been acknowledged that Bonnie's grandmother died for nothing. I'll admit that at first, it felt like a cop-out to me that after Grams died, Bonnie just disappeared. We didn't see any of her grief. Now I realize that sending her away gave her time to process what happened, and I like where she's ended up. She's made decisions about the way she wants to live her life now when it comes to the vampires - and she's not being rash or impulsive. She's really processed it.
8:19 - Good move, Stefan. Put your history teacher in a death grip. That won't draw attention to you at all!
8:25 - Malese Jow has been a fabulous addition to the cast. She's young, but she holds her own next to Ian Somerhalder. The audience really believes that Anna and Damon are on a relatively even playing field.
8:27 - Caroline looks like a '40s starlet in the scene where she's getting ready at her vanity. So pretty!
8:28 - Jeremy! I'm so happy to see him, but he needs to wash his hair. I know it must be rough, having all your girlfriends be vampires, but it's no reason to let yourself go.
8:29 - Soundtrack junkie moment: is this a string quartet playing "Clocks" by Coldplay? I just got transported back to high school.
8:30 - "Normal to a vampire is drinking human blood, but he's spent all this time fighting it when he should've been learning to control it. He'll do anything, he'll say anything, because he's not gonna want to stop." Has Damon been watching the A&E show "Intervention"? He sounds just like Jeff VanVonderen.
Elena says that Stefan's current state is her fault because she fed him blood in the first place. I have been wondering about that. He's a vampire. Was he really going to die out there in the woods without her blood? He's immortal. The other vampires survived 145 years in a tomb starving to death, and Stefan couldn't handle a little torture?
8:33 - Have they put extra eyeliner on Paul Wesley to make him look more dangerous? He looks like a lost Fall Out Boy, if the Fall Out Boys worked out. Stefan is being such a jerk right now that I'm starting to hope he and Elena break up. She loves him, but she's also not a shrinking violet. She's not going to put up with his smarmy attitude and casual lies for long.
8:36 - What are all these flimsy excuses for denying me Matt? Boo! Who is this invisible "Jeffrey Lockwood-Hamilton" character that's escorting Caroline, and what relation does he have to Tyler?
8:38 - Stefan is so compelling (ha!) in the scenes with Amber. It's so out of character for him. He's using her like an object, talking to her the way he'd write in a journal. "I'm not sad," he barks. "I'm freaking hungry." He's acting without regard for consequence, which is completely unlike Stefan... and completely like Damon.
8:39 - This is it. This is the moment. Damon has no good reason to come through for Elena when Stefan ditches her, but he does it anyway. Normally, Damon wouldn't care about the pageant. He'd only be concerned about himself (and Stefan) and he wouldn't care about whether the pageant was important to Elena. His feelings for her are changing, though, and he doesn't just pull her away from the festivities.
Remember, he was around when this dance was invented. He's danced with Katherine this way. This is a very, very big deal for Damon and Elena. I think we'll all have to disagree with Stefan's earlier statement about not-touching being overrated. Damon and Elena are proving that touching is completely unnecessary. That wasn't an earthquake you just felt, it was just the result of millions of Stefan/Elena fans falling to their knees in surrender.
8:41 - "Your carotid artery, right there," Stefan hisses. "If you puncture this just right you can control the blood flow. It takes practice but it doesn't have to make a mess, you don't have to waste any." Even as Stefan was giving this speech, I didn't think he'd actually do it. When he bit Amber, he crossed a serious line... and because there's always a sexual aspect to the bite, it also almost feels like he's cheated on Elena.
8:47 - Yay! Caroline wins! It's sad that Matt didn't get to see her be all awesome.
8:50 - I'm glad they made Wesley look hideous and monstrous and horrible in the scene where Bonnie, Elena, and Damon find him chowing down on Amber. Often, vampires in pop culture look sexy even when they feed, but not so with Stefan. He looks as ugly as he's acting. Paul Wesley has thrown any lingering vanity to the wind in favor of really committing to this scene. He gets the MVP trophy, and I promise not to take it away this week!
8:53 - Bonnie is lying for Elena again, but she's not going to do it any more. "I told you I wasn't gonna make you choose, but I need to make the choice for myself. Please just leave me alone." Elena is really alone in this now.
8:55 - Pearl passes the mysterious invention over to Damon, but we still don't know what the invention is. We don't know what the catch is, either. Pearl tells Damon, "My daughter wants to stay here. I want to stay here. Consider this an apology." Still, I'm not sure why Pearl is suddenly in favor of Anna staying in Mystic Falls - around Jeremy - when so recently she wanted Anna as far from Jeremy as possible.
8:57 - Oh, man! I was so, so disappointed in Elena when, after Stefan tossed her against the wall, she said, "It's OK." Just a moment later, she plunges a syringe full of vervain into his side, and she gets her rock-star status back.
8:59 - I know I say this every week, but the parallels between Stefan and "Supernatural"s Sam Winchester are getting stronger. Don't get me wrong - I love that. They're both fantastic shows and they compliment each other perfectly. As Elena and Damon dropped Stefan off in the panic room - or dungeon, or whatever that is - I was so thrilled to see them teaming up and trying to take action. I thought Damon would love crazy, feeding Stefan, but he's more concerned about Stefan's welfare than he is psyched to have his hunting buddy back.
Next week: Flashbacks! I can't wait to find out how Damon and Stefan turned in the first place. There are only three episodes left, folks... do you think Stefan can recover in time for the finale on May 13?
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don't forget to check back next week to discuss those flashbacks I love so much.
--Carina MacKenzie (chat with me on Twitter @cadlymack!)
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Photos: (top) Nina Dobrev as Elena and Ian Somerhalder as Damon. Credit: The CW. (bottom) Paul Wesley vamps out as Stefan. Credit: The CW.