The Third Time/Season Is (Supposedly) The Charm

Well hello there! Assuming anyone is still interested in reading my random ramblings on the subject of the Vampire Diaries, I thought this would be a good time for it, given that tonight is the Season 3 premiere.

But I have to be honest. For most of the summer hiatus, I have been totally disconnected from the TVD fanbase. There’s a couple reasons for that – divisions within the fandom, the hysteria over Ian/Nina and most of all, a twisted and delayed reaction to the events of season 2.

Oh and also this man took over my life.

Yes, I am addicted and will seize on any excuse for an ASkars pic spam.  But back on topic. You wouldn’t know it by reading my recap of the last two episodes of Season 2 – you know, those ones where I was all gooey and optimistic about where Damon and Elena are headed? – but I was actually deeply wounded and traumatized by a lot of what happened last season.

My faith in JP/KW which was really strong in season one and even in the beginning of S2 has been shaken to its core.  I’m not sure I trust them the way that I used to. The main reason for that is that as much as I wish it was, TVD is not the Damon & Elena show. If it was, I wouldn’t ever have to worry about justice not being done to their characters. As it is, for better or worse, Damon and Elena’s relationship, such as it is, can’t be separated – plot wise – from Stefan.

And the thing is that I used to be one of those D/E fans that thought Stefan had layers and really wished that the show would explore them. I consistently argued that a more dimensional Stefan would make for better storytelling all around including for Damon and Elena.

That’s still true. I think it will. Problem is, I no longer care. I no longer care because Stefan crossed lines for me in S2 that he can’t ever uncross. I recognize that he “sacrificed” himself for Damon (though I wonder if a small part of him wasn’t relieved to have a really good excuse to stop fighting his nature so damn hard) but it’s not enough.

I can’t stress enough that this is personal. It’s not about Stefan being justified in his treatment of Damon or vice versa. Fans of each brother can argue their case and make legitmate points. It’s just that I, personally, reached my limit and I no longer care whether what he feels  is justified or not or whether he has reasons for why the way he is.

In true and primal mama bear fashion, all I know is that he has – repeatedly – hurt someone that I care about. He has undermined and disparaged Damon time and again. He’s been self righteous and condescending and on occasion, cruel.

Damon’s no saint. I’m not arguing that and I’m not claiming to be rational. All I’m saying is, when it’s about taking sides, I choose Damon. That simple.

Given that, you can imagine my nerves about this upcoming Ripper story line. The show has consistently shied away from following through on the many, many, MANY teases about Stefan’s dark side. We won’t know until we see it, whether this time will be any different.

But that’s a concern for a little bit later down the line. What’s really worrying me right now is how much damage they can or will inflict on Elena’s character development as the Ripper stuff progresses.

I already find it suspect that Elena can grit her teeth and get on with life after losing Jenna and John but Stefan leaves and she starts falling apart and “letting life pass her by” to quote Caroline. There’s the whole accumulation argument but it doesn’t wash with me. I would have needed to see Elena in a different head space after the Sacrifice to be able to accept that.

I don’t want Elena to be the girl who loses the plot entirely because her boyfriend is gone. More to the point, I distinctly recall Season 1 Elena saying that she didn’t want to be that girl either.

I want to see fierce, independent Elena stage a come back.

My other concern is obviously how Damon and Elena’s relationship progresses. The clip released the other day was reassuring but I’m not getting carried away. Ultimately, I don’t doubt that they’ll get closer but I think it’s what happens after that that has me tied up in knots.

I saw this on True Blood with Eric and Sookie. Ultimately, Damon and Elena’s idyll here is temporary because Stefan will eventually come back to his so called senses. Now, personally, I think Stefan’s dark side is WAY worse than Damon’s. But Elena being Elena it’s plausible (if not palatable) that she could find a way to work through that and give Stefan a second chance.

And me…I’m not sure if I would survive that. To say nothing of what Damon might do. It would be one thing if it was a really far fetched scenario but it’s actually not.

I want desperately to be able to enjoy the moments Damon & Elena will share this season but I am scared to.  The words “Stefan, it’s always going to be Stefan” haunt me and  literally make my skin crawl and my blood run cold at this point.

The weird thing is, I don’t actually think Elena will choose Stefan in the end. If she does decide to be with one of the two brothers, I’m positive it’ll be Damon.

And yet, the idea of watching Damon have his heart shattered all over again in the meanwhile – and believe you me, if Elena goes back to Stefan, even if it’s just for a while, Damon will be devastated in ways that he can’t even imagine – holds no appeal.

I’ve never been so invested in a fictional character. Writing him a lot and often probably hasn’t helped because I really do feel like Damon and Elena are part of me now.

I kept saying over summer that maybe I’d be excited when the show started back but I’m not. Maybe I’ll get over my fear/dread as the season goes on.

And if not at least I’ll have this :