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Vampire Diaries: Do You Remember the First Time?

“This isn’t working. I’m sorry.”

The two major plots in this episode—Elena and Damon, Bonnie and Kai—center on a character’s willingness to sacrifice himself or herself for the good of another. That would be more interesting, of course, if us viewers actually thought the sacrifices were the best choice.

Elena’s brainwipe is unchangeable because Alaric is no longer a vampire, but didn’t really die, or didn’t die as a vampire, or something, so Damon attempted to evoke memories of their romance and his heroic deeds. His actions wavered from creepy stalker (the fundraiser) to sweeter self-sacrifice (refusing to let Elena risk her life to remember).

But their conversations were a bit odd. Were Damon and Elena really well suited because they were both “crazy”? I don’t tend to think of Elena that way. Elena did admire his blue eyes, so there’s still some sex appeal there. She’s also letting Damon call the shots: he’s the one who decided she shouldn’t try to regain the memories by using a the Mystic Falls boundary as a sort of hard reboot to the brain. Would an Elena without memories of affection still listen to Damon without objection?

I’m not sure. Elena’s willingness to abandon Liam at the fundraiser hints that there is still some deeper connection between Elena and Damon. Or, perhaps this is about Elena’s quest to regain the lost parts of her life—although in that case, why would she listen to Damon’s objections?

Despite being abandoned at a truly boring fundraiser, Liam still wants something from Elena: a partner in detection as he susses out the super-soldier conspiracy at Whitmore--and a desire to crack her "secrets." That one sentence made me hate Liam: yes, some people have secrets. You know why? Because we don't owe anybody an explanation. "The right to know" is complete bullshit. And Liam needs to realize that his threat is just that--basically a threat of doxxing, and a serious violation of Elena's personal autonomy and her right to have a life that doesn't get messed with by nosy jerks.

On a less angry note: why hasn’t Elena compelled him to forget about the Lady Whitmore thing yet?

We can add one more to the list of questions: why didn’t Bonnie tie up Kai after killing him? I’m never going to stop asking that totally logical question, which I also raised last week. Bonnie’s plan to imbue Cuddles the Bear with her magic was another example of self-sacrifice that is ostensibly for a greater good (keeping Kai trapped), but in this case it seems to exist only to create delay: Damon has a bearful of magic and a spare witch—surely, a solution will occur. We simply must wait.

Speaking of that witch: I do like Jo. A lot. She’s straightforward, sassy, and likes to have pizza after boring fundraisers. She and Alaric are adorable together, and that has me worried that one of them is going to die or turn evil or something, because TVD doesn’t tend to reward grown-ups in grown-up drama-free relationships where they avoid dissimulation. She’s also Kai’s little sister, which I expected.

I didn’t expect Enzo to turn Tripp into a vampire. It was an interesting trick, and one that I don’t feel horrible about: nobody messes with Caroline or her mom. Enzo’s solution makes sense according to TV morality and the balance of poetic justice.

But for every semi-decent thing Enzo does, he does something awful. Why did he reveal Caroline’s crush to Stefan? Was it just general meanness? A desire to get back at Caroline for not returning his little crush on her? Nobody messes with Caroline or her mom. Enzo better watch out.

Bites and Pieces:

• Caroline: “What kind of a person sets a ticking clock without setting his watch?”

• Caroline: “What took you so long to answer your phone?”
Enzo: “My fingers were covered with blood and the touchscreen wouldn’t work.”

• Matt: “I’m not on the wrong side. My side is just really, really complicated.”

This episode raises a lot of not-so-good questions for me, and I’m having a hard time deciding how many bears to give it. Two?

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. I'd probably give it an extra bear because this episode just made me laugh so many times. The opener where Damon was ranting about losing Elena while playing with Alaric's IV and medical equipment -- and Alaric's reaction -- might be one of my favorite TVD scenes ever. Matt saying his "side" was really, really complicated -- funny, especially his face.

    Enzo is an ass, but I keep enjoying the stuff he does and he's become the TVD wild card, like Damon in season one. The line about the blood on the cell phone touchscreen made me laugh. Him turning Tripp into a vampire I could see coming; it made sense. And telling Stefan that Caroline had a thing for him, so funny, and so high school. Let's face it, Caroline will never tell Stefan herself; they had to get that information to Stefan somehow, because he's being just too self-absorbed lately.

    I'm starting to like Jo, too, and Alaric needs someone. But I'm not sure they work as a couple for me. I wonder why? Is she the one who put her brother in 1994 Hell, or did I forget something?

  2. Yellow Leadbetter, Black Hole Sun, The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get and now Pulp's 'Do You Remember the First Time?'. Loving the 90's music titles!

  3. Shouldn't Alaric have become a vampire again when he left Mystic Falls (like the others did)?

  4. Damon's lying to Elena and wanting her to be happy even if it was without him was reminiscent of the signature moment that Alaric and Elena identified when Elena began to fall for him: Damon put Elena's happiness (in that case giving her hope for her future with Stefan) ahead of his desire to be with her. I'm guessing this will eventually lead to Elena falling back in love with Damon.

    M, I thought of that too, but being dead is a requirement of being a vampire. Therefore Alaric being alive when he crossed the border would make having vampirism in his system not matter at that moment.


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