I’m A Work In Progress – D. Salvatore, 2×04 Memory Lane

This is a fly by post with my thoughts on the D/E motel scene and the final D/E scene in episode 3×19. I haven’t watched the whole episode nor do I plan to at the moment. I also haven’t watched any of the episodes since 3×13. With that frame of reference established, I’m going to start with the last scene first.

It’s possibly one of the most flawless moments in TVD history, certainly between these two. In this and the motel scene that famous “understanding” was back and for once it was verbalized. They’re finally telling each other the things that they’ve learned or noticed about each other and giving each other a chance to fill in the blanks or confirm what they always suspected to be true about each other.

I titled this post with one of Damon’s lines from Memory Lane. It always stuck out in my mind because he said the words to Jenna but he was looking right at Elena. In one of the drabbles from my Coming Home series, I wrote that the words and the look were almost a warning or a statement of intent, Damon’s way of telling Elena that one day, he was going to be the kind of man that she could love at which point, she’d have no place left to hide. Well, that day appears to have come.

Damon’s response to Elena’s fear of her own feelings was the perfect one. We’ve seen Elena push Damon to accept responsibility and consequences so many times. Now he’s pushing her to do the same when it comes to her emotions. He’s not going to make it easy for her to run from what she feels, nor should he. He finally feels worthy of her. He might still struggle with his Stefan issues or be scared that Elena won’t choose him over his brother but he doesn’t seem to doubt that he’s good enough anymore and that is a massive step forward for him character wise.

As for Elena, I adore her. Sometimes, I think Damon himself doesn’t quite realize how many times he wrong footed her, how many times he went out of his way to damage her fledgling faith in him. The miracle of all it is that despite his (and Stefan’s) best efforts, Elena has fought long and hard to keep sight of who she believes Damon to be, at his core. That’s the man she’s fallen (or falling depending on how you want to look at it) in love with. But she’s scared to commit to him. She’s scared to tell the world that she loves him because he is scared to let the world see the man that she fell in love with. He only shows that side to her and for a long time, it allowed her to question and grapple with whether or not what she saw was even real. Now that she knows or has decided that it is, she’s questioning whether or not it’s enough.

When you love Damon, you spend a lot of time defending him. We all know that and we all know that it ain’t always easy. More than her feelings, I think Elena is wondering if she can stand by him through thick and thin. The AMAZING thing about that struggle though is that she inherently understands that Damon will accept nothing less than everything and more to the point, she believes that he deserves nothing less. The whole not doing things in half measures? She and Damon have that in common.

Damon is right to stand his ground and put the choice on her shoulders. But Elena is right not to commit before she is ready. But I think (I hope) people are finally seeing that Elena has never taken pleasure in hurting Damon. She’s not trying to lead him on or break his heart – all the opposite. It’s as hard for her as it is for him and has been for a long time but I don’t think that’s been obvious until now.

Moving onto the motel scene. I particularly loved the conversation about why Damon doesn’t let other people see the good in him. Because as I said above, this is actually quite a large part of Elena’s problem. It was raised in the episode where they fought after he tried to kill Caroline’s father as well. She said something along the line of not wanting him to be what other people think, implying she wants him to be the man she sees in him instead.

And here Damon explains that he is loathe to deal with people’s expectations. I’ve been saying this for years so I felt kind of vindicated 😆 Believe the worst of Damon and he’ll go out of his way to deliver – at least that’s how it used to be. Now and with Elena, it’s different. I think one of the reasons she was so overwhelmed is because the enormity of it finally hit her. For centuries, Damon has lived down to expectations and only for her and with her has he tried to do the opposite. It is a hell of a thing to realize that you’ve had that kind of impact on someone, never mind on someone like Damon.

And as for the kiss, it’s never been a secret that she’s attracted to him or that she wants him. But that kiss was fueled by a lot more than just lust. She wanted – and still wants – to be close to him. But wanting something and knowing how to have it are two different things. It’s Elena’s turn to be a work in progress and eventually she’ll get to the point where she’s looking for ways to be with him rather than reasons to run.