2×12 – The Descent

Thoughts, Questions and Comments on 2×12 The Descent

 

So this episode opens with Jules who I hated pretty much from the moment we met her.  At the moment the only thing changing on that front is that I hate her more and more every time we see her. Really can’t wait for Damon  – or anyone really- to just go ahead and rip her head off.

I am however curious about something. Jules was specifically targeting Damon when she went to the boarding house in wolf form. This suggests that even as a wolf, she retains some or all of her human thought processes. How else would she have known where and who to attack? But. If that is the case, it means that when she killed those four or five or however many campers it was, she knew exactly what she was doing. And she doesn’t seem to be particularly sorry about it.  🙄

I won’t lie. When I watched the episode live, I didn’t actually watch this S/E scene. Only listened to it. Which is pretty much what I’m doing right now 😆

Okay, I caved a bit and actually watched now that all the kissy facing is over. I sense Elena wanting to get back to La Vie en Rose and feeling just a bit annoyed with Stefan continuing to press the issue. After everything that went down in the The Sacrifice and BTLOTM Elena wants back in on her fairy tale and Stefan is not cooperating.

Interesting though that he takes Katherine’s word for it. I mean, yes, he doesn’t trust Kat and he’ll know better than to trust Isobel too much either. But he’s still following up on Kat’s lead even though not two episodes before, he was telling Elena not listen to Kat’s Klaus tales because she was probably making it up to manipulate them.

I know better than to say that Kat got under his skin but I do think that she’ll always have more influence over him than he – or Elena – will be comfortable with.

Poor, sick Rose. I wasn’t a fan of the D/R relationship at first but I got to appreciate their dynamic (mostly through writing it in fic) and that made this episode really sweet. I liked the way they interacted and I liked the things that Rose forced to the surface about who Damon really is; the questions she made him ask  himself.

Also, I love my Damon’s sense of humor. “If you’re going to be maudlin, I’ll kill you myself to put me out of your misery.”

Maybe this was just me but when Elena followed Damon and asked was Rose going to die, I thought to myself, “Elena, you do know Rose can probably hear you?” 😆

Forwood cuteness. I used to think Matt and Caroline were cute. And I don’t not like them together but I’m loving the Tyler/Caroline dynamic. Plus, Matt has always kind of bored me.

I hate Jules. I’m going to say it every time I see her. But it’s nice to see Liz again.

What is Stefan’s problem. “Oh you’re doing Damon’s dirty work now?” Ugh. 🙄

Also, and maybe I’m being overly harsh but I do think that in a way Stefan’s focus on Elena here while Damon is going through stuff with Rose, shows a lot about how different the brothers act towards each other.  When Stefan was going through his existential crisis at the back end of season 1, Damon was already falling in love with Elena. But his focus was on Elena and Stefan. He made sure to take care of them both. And yet here Stefan is – and yes, I know the stakes are WAY higher here than they were before – but he is completely focused on Elena to the exclusion of all else. The honest truth at this point is that I think Elena matters more to Stefan than Damon does. And it’s possible that Elena matters more to Damon than Stefan does but I doubt it. What he did at the end of 2×08 shows that.  It was as much for Stefan as for Elena that he compelled her to forget.

Damon’s bedroom is made of win. That is all.

Rose telling Elena that she’s lucky to be as loved as she is. I know that Rose is aware that Stefan loves Elena but I definitely think that comment has more to do with what she knows of Damon’s feelings for Elena. I know I’ve often talked about the challenges that come along with being loved with the kind of intensity that Damon feels towards Elena. But it’s still a remarkable gift to be able to inspire that level of emotion in someone else. Elena is lucky. She’s just a bit oblivious at the moment.

I like that Elena doesn’t believe the moonstone has been destroyed. She’s beginning to catch on. Good girl!

Lauren Cohen killed it in this episode. Seriously. I felt for Rose the entire time. And I also love what these scenes brought out in Elena. Her compassion, her intelligence, her strength; all reasons that Damon loves her as much as he does.

Interesting thing Rose said when she thought that Elena was Kat. She said “you betrayed us.” Now I’m thinking this wasn’t when she turned herself into a vampire and ran. Betrayal implies trust and at that point I don’t think there was any. Perhaps they had other run ins in the intervening years?

“So much time wasted. I just wish I hadn’t been so afraid.” I suspect that this line is what took the place of the “It’s okay to love them both,” line and in a way I’m glad. Because instead of Elena repeating that she loves Stefan and only cares about Damon. We have Rose putting a thought in her mind. Elena is scared of what she feels for Damon. And so without having to address it directly or out loud, we know that Elena is going to be thinking about what it means to waste time because you’re scared of your feelings.

This is a line that deals only with what Elena feels for Damon rather than inserting Stefan into the equation. Because at the end of the day, Elena isn’t scared of her love for Stefan. She clings to it like a lifeline in fact. It’s what keeps her feeling safe.

One last thing about that line. It reminds me a bit of when Isobel told Elena that Damon was in love with her. It’s the seed of an idea basically and now that it’s in Elena’s head, she won’t be able not to think about it.

I hate Jules.

I’m also not a big fan of the way Stefan chose to semi ambush Damon in the grill. I mean honestly, Stefan could give his brother just a little bit more credit. Did he really think Damon was going to kill Jules in front of god and everyone? 🙄

I hate Jules. Evil were bitch.

That scene with Rose “hunting” Elena was intense. But love how resourceful Elena was. I know it wasn’t the best idea for Damon to have left Elena alone but at the same time, he didn’t know until werebitch told him that dementia and hallucinations were going to set in.

Stefan’s room also seems smaller than Damon’s which makes me wonder if Damon’s room is in fact the master bedroom. Which would make sense as in S1 it was definitely alluded to that the house actually belongs to Damon.

I felt for Caroline. She loves Matt. But she’s still trying to “protect” him.  Brave, baby vamp.

Bye bye Mr. Janitor man.

That scene after Rose kills the couple and Damon is bringing her back to herself and you can see how much she regrets what she’s done. I think it was massively important for Elena to witness that. It affects her relationship with both brothers to be able to see first hand the kind of devastating remorse that a vampire can feel after killing. It adds context to the guilt she knows that Stefan feels. It adds sincerity to the apology she got from Damon post JNSI and I think it might even help her cope when she finds out about Jessica.

“I wasn’t meant to be evil, it hurts.” Rose says. And because Rose is meant to be a mirror of and for Damon, I think that applies to him as well. In fact everything Rose says in this scene is meant to apply to him. He misses being human, he’s haunted by it. And he’s weighed down by the crimes he’s committed. They hurt him as much as anyone because deep down, that’s not who he is.

One of the things I really liked about this episode is how focused on Damon Elena was throughout. She sensed that this was going to be hard for him and she was worried and she couldn’t hide that. There have been other times this season since the JNSI that she’s tried to mask her concern for him but not this time.

I talk a lot about Elena not being ready to handle her feelings for Damon or the fact that she needs to make up her mind. I mean, even in this episode, she’s wanting to have her cake and eat it too. She tells Damon not to pretend that he doesn’t care and at the same time, whenever he lets her in, she ends up pushing him away.

Having said that though, I think that Elena herself is torn. She’s fighting with herself as much as anything else. She cares about him so much, she hates to see him in pain and she wants to comfort him. Those feelings are very strong within her. The fact that she left the boarding house but then came back proves that.

And at the same time, being that person with Damon. Being there for him and the effort required to make him let her be there for him, comes with a price tag that she just can’t accept yet. She’s not ready to give him her whole self  and I think on some level that hurts her just as much as it does him.

I really liked this Tyler/Caroline scene. That was a pretty good first kiss. 😆

This scene between Damon and Rose was so poignant. And Ian absolutely hit it out of the ballpark. Seriously, give the man an Emmy already. He’s earned it.

I know people are asking why Damon got so emotional over Rose and everything. But as I mentioned earlier, she’s a mirror. In her, Damon started to see himself again. The tears aren’t just for her. They’re mostly for him. Killing Rose was an act of mercy, of compassion. Emotions that Damon would have sworn from hell and back that he was incapable of.

Damon has come to the end of the line as far as his denial goes. He has to face up to all he feels including the things he hasn’t admitted before. It overwhelms him and I think that’s normal because he’s got a hell of a lot of internal conflict going on.

I still hate Jules.

And bloody hell. More werewolves. Just what we don’t need.

This D/E scene is my favorite scene of the episode. Damon’s final scene is intense and I loved it as well. But this here, I just love the interaction between them and I love that Damon doesn’t hold back or sugar coat.

Elena wanted so much to be able to comfort him even though – and partly because of her own choices – the circumstances won’t allow for it. I think it made her emotional and upset her in a way as well.

And the bit of irritation when he said, “I’m well aware of that,” in response to her we’re friends comment comes from the fact that he knows that’s all they have but its not enough for him. He’s in love with her. He doesn’t want her friendship (it hurts too much) he wants her love. But he knows he doesn’t have it (yet) and he doesn’t think he ever will because  as we find out with Jessica, he doesn’t believe he can be the man she needs.

I think Elena needed that hug as much as Damon did. (And did anyone else think she was going to kiss his neck or his cheek when she pulled back?) I also think that one of the reasons he didn’t hug back was because he’d never have been able to let go if he had. He’d have completely fallen apart in her arms and I think he still (remarkably) had the presence of mind to know that she can’t handle going there with him yet.

He’s going through this existential crisis and as much as he loves her and wishes he could depend on her to get him through it, he knows that he can’t. There’s a tragic irony in that because in was his help during Stefan’s existential crisis that helped Elena realized that she could depend on him.

Ian absolutely killed it with those amazingly expressive eyes of his. Lauren kicked ass as Rose early in this ep, but Ian owned the final minutes.

Elena is exhausted and emotionally drained when she gets home. And she’s got a lot of food for thought about herself and Damon. So I don’t blame her for being a bit weary when she sees Stefan.

Old habits die hard, and how. But the interesting parallel here is that the first time we saw Damon do this in the pilot, he killed without remorse. Here he (maybe since we don’t know for certain if she’s dead) kills but almost in spite of himself.

Ah. That line of Damon’s when he says that admitting the secret won’t make him good. This confirms something that I’ve always believed. Damon’s certainty that he isn’t or can’t be good has nothing to do with him being a vampire. It has to do with him being Damon. It’s things that have carried over from his human life and a lot I’m sure –rather fittingly given the title of next week’s episode – to do with his relationship with his father.

And yet he misses being human. As painful as it was, he misses it. Partly because I think the things he does/has done as a vampire to cope only end up heaping misery onto an already full plate of pain.

“I can’t be who she wants me to be.” This is a complicated statement, primarily because I don’t even think Elena knows who she wants Damon to be. So really what we’re dealing with is what Damon thinks Elena wants him to be. His perception may or may not be accurate. But regardless of that, Damon is capable of being the man that Elena needs. It’s just going to take him some time to come to that conclusion. A lot of time even but that fits into his character profile. Again, Damon feels unloveable not because he’s a vampire or has become a murderer. But because the man who hides behind that façade has never really known love before. So what reason does he have to think that someone –never mind Elena – would offer it?

Damon says to Jessica that “This is who I am.” I think the truth is that the real Damon Salvatore is in between the man and the vampire. Vampire enough to feed on humans but human enough to make the choice not to kill indiscriminately.

And I won’t lie. I missed his vamp face. Its hot. 😆

4 Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mariah, Mariah. Mariah said: @TVWatchtower MUST-READ recap of The Descent =D https://damonelenalove.wordpress.com/episode-recaps/2×12-the-descent/ […]

  2. I’m with you on the Jules hate. She is far worst the Damon ever was in the show.

    I really loved all of the D/R scenes and kinda wished they kept her around. Damon needed her, but then again he probably would be able to grow cos he would have continued to clingy to her just like Elena is clingy to Stefan. Her death is forcing him to begin to deal with his demons, and i just hope that Elena steps up, and not listen to Stefan (cos you know that he will try and get her to forget that Damon is actually broken, not ruined) and help him grow as a person. They need each other at this time.

    ‘He misses being human, he’s haunted by it. And he’s weighed down by the crimes he’s committed. They hurt him as much as anyone because deep down, that’s not who he is.’
    And you can tell that this is not who he is by the flashbacks. What you are/feel as human is intensified as a vampire. He was loving and loyal, he was the kind brother, though he lived in the shadows of his younger sibling.

    ‘Here he (maybe since we don’t know for certain if she’s dead) kills but almost in spite of himself.’ I believe he did it to prove that he can, to not be a slave to the overbearing feelings that he has had to confront. He NEEDED to feel like he could go back to early s1 Damon. We know that can’t and won’t happen, to much has changed for him to slip back into the facade he created in the past.

    I love your recaps, they speak to the extent to which you know the soul of the characters. You articulated everything i feel. Beautifully done

  3. Once again you are in my head. Well done, dear. 🙂

  4. I waited to read yours until I finished my recap. I have to admit, I thought it was interesting that we both picked up on the “Stefan’s trusting Katherine” issue. They HAVE to explore that at some point – or at least I hope they do.

    I loved your “I hate Jules” every time she showed up. My feelings exactly.


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