Thoughts, Questions & Comments on 2×18 – The Last Dance
So it’s been suggested to me that the relationship between Klaus and Elijah is supposed to mirror Damon and Stefan. Obviously we don’t yet know what the real deal is between K & E but if they’re setting it up for Damon to be like Klaus and Stefan to be like Elijah, I am going to be pissed off. One because I happen to like Elijah more than Klaus (more on that later) but mostly because they can take Klaus two ways: either he’s 100 percent pure evil incarnate – in which case having Damon mirror him doesn’t really say anything good about where they are expecting Damon’s redemption arc to actually lead OR Klaus has some sort of long lost humanity sob story like every other blood sucker on this show which would be more boring than an Ernest Hemmingway novel (see how I snuck in that reference to The Sun Also Rises episode title? )
In any event Klaric is there being all bitchy to Katherine and I have to admit it’s totally creepy but (and as good as I think Matt Davis was) I think the creepiness factor had a lot more to do with Katherine’s reaction. When Kat is batshit scared, you know serious evil is in residence. Later in the episode, I found Klaus to be more mildly amusing than actually scary. I don’t know why but I get the feeling that Klaus wasn’t actually that old when he became a vampire, if in fact Originals also have to have been turned at some point. He’s got a spoiled brat kind of vibe going on.
Bonnie and Elena cuteness. It’s nice to see these flashes of a more lighthearted Elena. She’s definitely been MIA lately.
When this D/S scene was released as a webclip, I said it was probably the last time we’d see S/D actually act like brothers for a while. Events later in the episode confirm that so I’ll take a moment to appreciate this one. I also love that Damon’s reaction to the idea of Katherine dead so closely mirrors Elena’s reaction to Isobel’s death. In both cases they are dealing with people who they had these deeply antagonistic relationships with, people they should be happy to be rid of and yet there is a little bit of honest grief there nevertheless.
We’ve seen D/E mirror each other before, we know that they approach many things – including love – in similar ways and with similar intensity but it’s always nice to see that play out on screen.
Now, I know Elena got a lot of hate for this scene because people felt like she was being bitchy to Damon since he did you know, come up with the idea of giving her his house. And also because she “lectured” Damon but not Stefan.
But I see it a TOTALLY different way. First of all, the fact that she pressed the point with Damon tells me that like pretty much everyone else on this show she knows that she can be all irresistible force with her bad self if she wants to, Damon is still going to be immoveable object. And as non science minded as I am, even I know that means, she only gets her way if he decides to give it to her.
But Elena has spunk and she’s feisty. These are reasons that Damon was sucked into her in the first place. She’s trying to use whatever tools are at her disposal to get/keep the upper hand in their
thrilling and erotic battle of wills. Damon was probably a bit annoyed with her, yeah but he was probably equal parts amused.
And come on, did you see the look on her face after she let him in? She was totally yanking his chain and feeling very good about the fact that she can. So she’s a little high on her own independence at the minute. Let her have it. More to the point let US have it. I much prefer this animated version of Elena than gloomy graveyard girl. I have a feeling Damon does as well.
I should also point out that Damon gives as good as he gets. Elena’s all “Do you promise to obey me?” And Damon is all “bitch please.”
And when he gives in, you can totally tell he’s humoring her. If Elena actually wanted a truly serious and sincere promise out of him, she would have held out.
Meanwhile I thought it was especially hilarious that Damon told Stefan to just shut up.
Y’all realize that after Elena gives her little “I’m not going to be a prisoner” speech, neither brother says anything and then Elena looks at Damon in order to provoke a reaction. All this tells me that she understands that Damon is the one most likely to challenge her; the battle of wits and wills continues. They totally have a moment there with Damon reminding her that he promised to do it her way and Elena nodding her acceptance of that. Re-watching these scenes I’m seeing the details that lead to an overall impression I already had last night.
I’ve said many times that Damon and Elena exist and evolve regardless of S/E. Stefan or S/E doesn’, directly impact their friendship and all their issues and now these less than platonic feelings. They have grown in spite of S/E. And what I’m getting now is that when it comes to this fight over how to protect her and despite that Stefan and Damon are going to argue over it, Elena’s real battle here is with Damon. They love the same way. They will do whatever it takes for the ones they love. Damon will never accept Elena sacrificing herself and Elena isn’t going to accept Damon or anyone else sacrificing themselves. It’s a deadlock and one that Elena really wants and needs to break. She doesn’t have that issue with Stefan because a) he’s much more reluctant to upset/challenge her/ take drastic measures and b) he’s fought longer for his humanity and he’s not sure if he’s willing to sacrifice that. A lot of people will hate on him for that but I don’t. I find it quite normal. Now I’m the first to say that it’s a HUGE handicap when dealing with Klaus – the dude hasn’t met a moral he couldn’t ignore – but it’s not something Stefan should be condemned for. Elena wouldn’t want either one of them to sacrifice their humanity for her anyway.
The non verbal conversation between Damon and Stefan was kind of funny. Stefan’s like “WTF?” And Damon’s like “WTH you looking at me for? Go with her.” And then when the leave Damon gets this look like, “Bloody hell, effing teenagers”
Oh look, it’s agitated Ken doll. I still have no pity for him or the Sheriff. Which is a shame cos I used to really like Liz and her friendship with Damon.
So yeah, Klaus attempting to teach a history class. I was mildy amused by this. He’s really not coming off as that scary. Crazy and sadistic, yes but scary not so much. And honestly –while I am sure Joseph Morgan is a great actor – from the still I saw, he doesn’t look that scary. He looks like kind of a lightweight to be honest.
From the minute Elijah exploded with his BAMFness on the screen, I knew it was going to take something AH mazing to top him. So I’m waiting to see how I feel when JM turns up but for now Klaus strikes me as kind of a thug. He doesn’t have Elijah’s style or class or elegance. <– All reasons I will be pissed if Damon is meant to mirror Klaus and not Elijah.
My favorite part of this scene aside from Elena’s facial expressions was when she called Ric by his first name. That was funny.
This actually made me crave a Damon teaching history class scene. I also absolutely love that a few months ago (in season 1) Elena had no idea when Pearl Harbor happened but she is very clear on the fact that Watergate was in the 70s. Cause you know, she’s had so much time to study since then
I’m over Matt/Caroline. Not that was I ever into them. Right now I just wish she’d kick him and Tyler to the curb and go steal Stefan away from Elena. Stefan and Caroline actually bring the best out of each other just like Damon and Elena do.
I love Jeremy. He’s so freaking cute! And he’s got that Gilbert stubborn streak.
“Something tells me he’s not going to be 16 and pimply.” Have I mentioned that I love Damon?
Klaus is a total egomaniac. If you have to tell people how scary you are, how scary can you actually be? Right now, Klaus is just not cutting it for me. I’m not really scared or intimidated.
Cute mother/ daughter moment but Poor Caroline, she has no idea she’s about to be stabbed in the back – probably literally too.
I completely tuned this scene out the first time. See no reason to pay attention now. The stills for this episode and this scene took me about three days of writing therapy to get out. So yeah. Not about to expose myself to the virus again lmfao.
I do like one thing though. Elena looked a lot more reassured after Damon spoke to her at the dance, reminding her of the last decade dance than she did when Stefan told her they were going to put an end to Klaus that night.
Speaking of Nicklaus, no wonder he hated the sixties. He looks absolutely ridiculous dancing like that The Original is not supposed to be providing comic relief and honestly that’s what he spends a lot of this episode doing. Here’s hoping the new body is what’s throwing him off his game.
Worried Jeremy is so worried but it’s sweet. I’m glad the writers didn’t gloss over the dilemma that he’s in with his girlfriend and his sister in danger. It’s good to see him struggle with trying to keep them both safe. He knows everyone else is looking out for Elena but Bonnie has just him.
I like the girlfriend vibe between Elena and Bonnie though. I’ve always liked their friendship. On the days I actually like Bonnie that is. Admittedly, few and far between and almost always in moments like this with Elena.
I’m amused at how Klaus looks so smug and later so offended when Damon says that he’s not impressed. Seriously, he actually pouted.
Now to me, Elena didn’t look like she was in the moment with Stefan when they were dancing. She was smiling but it didn’t reach her eyes. Contrasts VERY sharply with the smile she gives Damon towards the end of their dance. God help me, I’m about to quote Tyra Banks but Elena was smizing. Definitely smizing.
And more pop culture references. I love Damon. I love Ian. But whenever I hear a guy say “How you doin’” like that, I think of Friends and Joey Tribbiani. Can’t help it.
Now about this dance. On first watching, it felt way too short but the more times I watch it, the cuter it gets and the more I like it. So much actually goes on in it. From the very first spin into his arms, we are talking total invasion of personal space. Then, we have Damon reassuring her, by reminding her – in typical humorous fashion – of what went down at the last decade dance. That was one of the first times that Elena fought for herself and came out on top. By reminding her of that, he’s reminding her of how fierce she is and that he believes in her ability to get throught this (with his help naturally). There has been a lot of talk about how Damon will sacrifice everything to protect Elena and keep her safe. But the one thing I really think he DOESN”T want to sacrifice are all the things that make Elena who she is. He doesn’t want her to lose her spunk or for the circumstances to defeat her.
The way he holds her hands (The Return flashback anyone?) and the conviction in his voice when he says, “Yes, we did,” after she said that they’d won that time, is the non verbal version of what he says to her later in his bedroom. It’s a “I will keep you safe no matter what and we will survive this” moment and lo and behold, Elena responds to it. They have hot eye sex and seconds later we see Elena relaxed and enjoying the moment.
That people, that, is the magic of Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert.
Meanwhile Matt and Caroline are boring me. Then Stefan and Caroline dance. This is the first scene that they’ve shared where I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. Not really sure why. I’m also not sure why Caroline isn’t more in the loop on this; I’d think she’d have some strong feelings on the subject of either of her best friends dying.
Now this B/D dance that has ¾ or more of the D/E fanbase in a rage. Honestly, I can’t be arsed to make a fuss about it. They were plotting about Klaus. They have exactly one thing in common and her name is Elena. Both of them are willing to die for her and they can grudgingly respect that about each other. Damon’s devotion to Elena’s safety was always going to be his saving grace not only in her eyes but in everyone else’s. The writers might push a B/D friendship eventually because of the relationship that they both have with Elena but it will never be more than that. In all probability if Bonnie survives this whole Klaus ordeal, she and Damon will go back to tolerating each other at best. So really, there’s nothing to be in hysterics about. Their scenes this episode were a plot device to deal with the Klaus situ.
I won’t go so far as to say that Elena was jealous. Just like I don’t think she was jealous of Andie originally. But I do think she’s now very aware of whenever Damon is around and interacting with other women. I also think she has a possessive streak where he’s concerned so she may not have been jealous but she wasn’t exactly amused either. And I just think pouty Elena is so damned hilarious.
Well played Steven R. McQueen. Well played.
I loved Damon dancing with those two random girls. The man has definitely got moves. I was much less impressed with Bonnie ogling him even though I know perfectly well like I said before that there is nothing romantic anywhere on the horizon or beyond for them. I mean, he’s happy to let her die if it means saving the woman he truly loves. Not to mention that Ian did recently point out in an interview that if D/E doesn’t work out for Damon, he’s going to head out for a tan without a very critical accessory. It’s do or die, all or nothing with him. She’s his life, his world now. He doesn’t want anything or anyone else.
Oh Stefan. I can’t even. I just don’t have the energy to deal with this man’s many issues. Surely there’s got to be a therapist in the Yellow Pages somewhere that can handle this?
Bonnie/Elena scene was good even if I didn’t get emotional over it. The stalemate between them is similar to the one between Damon and Bonnie but again, like Stefan, Bonnie still cares what Elena thinks. Damon is really the only person in this Scooby gang who can suck it up and take all the heat. And he’s willing to do it as well which just adds to the awesome.
Katherine told Klaus about Jeremy’s ring of not dying, right? I’m not sure if Klaus compelled the boys cause he just wanted a distraction or because he knew Jeremy was protected from supernatural death. Or both.
Why is Damon literally running? Same thing with the boys in the episode last week when they were searching the house. Is this a special effects budget thing or what? Cos it makes no sense in context.
So when Klaus said “Surprise” like that when Elena figured out who he was. He was a little creepy. And telling her that he wasn’t there to kill her tonight, the cat and mouse thing, that was sadistic ergo a little creepy. I’ll give him points for effort but still much room for improvement.
The one thing I will say is that thank god, Bonnie cottoned on to what Klaus was trying to do. This would have been so much more tedious if she hadn’t realized he was trying to get her to use all her power and commit witchicide.
So what’s coming up here isn’t really all that much up for analyzing. There’s lots of sparks and stuff breaking. Then Bonnie appears to die but doesn’t really. Elena is very upset and Stefan is very judgy.
One thing I should also point out and that I don’t think Damon is getting enough credit for is that he pulled this plan out of his ass on the spot. It’s not like they knew beforehand that Klaus was living inside Alaric. It was improvisation. He did not have time to go consult – and inevitably argue with – Stefan and Elena about whether it was a good idea or not.
I wonder if the writers meant anything by having Elena repeat over and over “Stefan do something, please” when she was sobbing over Bonnie. And I don’t mean that in as mocking a way as it sounds. But seriously, think about it. If I’m Stefan – and I get taken to task like he does later by Damon – and I have the memory of Elena sobbing over Bonnie’s body, begging me to do something and there is nothing I can do….well to be honest, I don’t think I’d take it well. I think that it might spur me to do something a little reckless or possibly plain stupid like go after THE Original vampire with a kitchen knife (like Stefan does in the promo). I think Damon’s words will eat at Stefan because Damon has verbalized what Stefan himself is already thinking/fearing. Incidentally, I think that’s true about the whole Bonnie dying for Elena situ, too. If you put him balls to the wall and made Stefan choose, he’d choose Elena too. But he would never actually tell her that beforehand. Just imagine her surprise…. At least with Damon she knows what to expect.
And again, people shouldn’t underestimate how Damon is affected by this. He doesn’t like seeing Elena in pain. After the JNSI, I’m sure he really had in mind to try very hard never to put an expression like that on her face ever again. But he did it because it was necessary. That doesn’t mean that he enjoyed it or that he doesn’t give a damn. It’s BECAUSE he gives a lot MORE than a damn, that he did it.
Other thing to point out, whenever Elena is feeling weak, she leans on Stefan; he’s like a crutch for her. It was true when they first hooked up as she was still dealing with her parents death and it’s true in this moment here. It makes for an uneven relationship in my eyes and one that has Elena either as submissive or damsel in distress. And that’s not her real personality.
And I think it is very telling that her most honest emotions in the aftermath of Bonnie’s “death” are actually evacuated on Damon. He’s the one she lashes out at and takes her anger and frustration out on. Not just because she’s blaming him but because he’s proved to her in the past (2×10, tomb scene) that he can and will take it.
If S/E had the relationship some people seem to think they do, Elena would feel comfortable acting that way towards Stefan. It wouldn’t matter that it wasn’t his fault or that he had nothing to do with it. She would know that she could lash out at him just to express her emotions and that he wouldn’t take it personally because he would understand what she needed from him in that moment. Grief isn’t rational. You don’t think when you’re that upset, you just react. It so happens that Elena just reacted to Damon and not to Stefan.
I said on VD.net that Damon and Elena aren’t always – or even most of the time – about what gets said. They are about what gets done. And the actions here speak volumes.
I love Damon/Jeremy scenes. Team Milk & Cookies FTW!
So Elena’s all in shock and Stefan’s all let me give you some tea because that’s what people do in crisis. He’s in full on coddle mode.
Damon comes in and suddenly Elena all full of angry fire, demanding explanations and ignoring his request to calm down. Now, there’s something else I have to talk about here. An added layer to the many that D/E are already operating on.
Elena is beginning to be very confused about her feelings for Damon and I believe this has been steadily increasing since The Descent. But the thing with Damon and Elena is that every time – seriously, every time – she thinks she has him figured out, he does something to pull the rug out from under her and make her wonder if she’s wrong. Having to reevaluate who you think someone is that many times is emotionally draining.
Elena’s just beginning to accept the idea of trying to figure out what Damon really means to her and then this happens. I think she’s as much frustrated by him as she is anything else. Elena wants to believe in Damon. She really does and in a way that no one else is willing to. But he’s not making it easy for her. Then again, she’s not making his life easy either so basically, like always, they are equals.
“Don’t talk like I’m not standing right in front of you,” I love it that she calls him out and I know she’d never do it to Stefan. It’s painfully, tragically ironic that she sees through Damon so easily and demands honesty and respect from him in way that she never does with Stefan.
Elena is far too clouded by the idea of her love story with Stefan to recognize the reality of the love that she has with Damon. And I think that this is in part because when you are seventeen, you don’t entirely realize how much work love actually is and how incredibly messy and painful and yes, fucked up it can actually get.
What her and Damon have is not the stuff you read about in Disney fairytales. No Sleeping Beauties, no dwarfs and no genies in any bottles. Damon and Elena’s story is something you might find in ancient or medieval legends, where love, jealousy, tragedy and fate are all inextricably intertwined.
She got him good, didn’t she? To be honest I’ve actually enjoyed all the times she’s slapped him. I don’t want her to make it a habit or anything but again, it’s just proof that she’s a) so not indifferent to him and b) feels safe with him.
Stefan’s weakness and I think this is the lowest common denominator that I can boil it down to is that he really doesn’t have the stomach for pain; not his own or anyone else’s. And because every exception has a rule, obviously his is Damon. Damon is the only person, he doesn’t seem to feel guilty about inflicting pain on. But I digress. All that to say, that if you look at him here, Elena’s unraveling and slapping Damon is making Stefan cry.
Damon is just sucking it up. It’s not like it doesn’t hurt him to see Elena hurt or that he enjoys having her angry with him. But he can man up and take it in silence just like he’s absorbed every other emotional blow that’s come his way in the last 145 years. Yeah, he’s lashed out at lot of people in his time and most them ended up dead. But. He’s still standing and he still has humanity in him to fight for. I don’t know how many other people could live Damon’s life and say the same.
So I know I’ve already discussed this S/D scene but it’s up there with my favorites in this episode and my favorites ever period. Certainly between the brothers. A lot of times when they confront each other, this way, I feel that Stefan draws that extra bit of blood. He’s very sly with words sometimes. Not tonight. Tonight, Damon gave it to him but good. Every word he said was the truth. Not pretty, not sugar coated or dressed up. It’s getting really hard to choose among Damon’s epic speeches now but as far as speeches not given to Elena, then this one over takes the one he gave Isobel in the second to last episode of season one.
I especially liked the “I’ll even let her hate me for it,” line because I’ve always believed that this is exactly how Damon feels. It’s proof that his love for Elena is in fact selfless because he doesn’t want or expect anything in return for protecting her. He just wants her safe and because he loves her, he’ll do whatever it takes even if that means being the worst version of himself instead of the better man that she’s longing for.
One final point on this, a friend of mine pointed out that Damon is actually preventing Stefan from having to make choices that they both know he’d struggle to live with. Damon is in effect doing the dirty work so that Stefan can keep Elena’s image of him intact.
I’m skipping over the Beremy/Elena advert for Myfi and getting back to the really good stuff.
The “I love you” at the end of Rose was dubbed THE scene. Well I hereby dub “I will always choose you” THAT scene.
You know, the one where Elena accepts that Damon is in love with her. The one where she displays by her uncharacteristic hesitancy around him (we are talking about the same girl who bitch slapped him like five minutes ago) that she no longer knows where the lines are drawn between them. The one where she realizes that she’s craving something else between them but she isn’t sure exactly what.
This scene is all about honesty and Damon and Elena can tell each other the truth no matter how hard or ugly it gets.
Watch Elena’s reaction very closely to Damon’s words and the intensity behind them. She sighs a little bit but she also gives a tiny tiny nod; a nod of acceptance. This is such a HUGE deal that I don’t even know where to begin. She’s not just accepting the words at face value. She’s accepting where they come from. Damon has basically just told her without telling her that he’s in love with her and she didn’t reject that. And the fact that she didn’t is incredibly significant.
Then she goes off and wakes up Elijah. Seriously, what good is vampire hearing if neither Damon nor Stefan heard that cellar door creaking open?
In any event, her decision to do that is directly related to the previous conversation with Damon. Like I said at the beginning of this recap, he will never accept her sacrificing herself for anyone else and she will never accept anyone else sacrificing themselves for her. Neither one of them is ever going to change their minds about that. But that’s what keeps them equal and that’s what keeps it balanced. They are two sides of the same coin, two halves of the same soul.
They love fiercely, passionately, unconditionally (often to their detriment) but when – and yes, it is a question of when, not if – they turn that love on each other (and yes ‘Lena we’re only waiting on you) it is going to be the most spectacular thing that they have ever lived – bar none.