Damon shows once more that patience is not one of his strongest suits. “Do You Remember The First Time,” explores his and Elena’s short trek through attempting to remember what Alaric compelled her to forget. Much to Damon’s despair, Elena can’t, but attempts to break the compulsion by crossing the border into Mystic Falls. Damon pulls her back and realizes he has to let her go to live her own life. It’s a harsh step in a direction some may not agree with, but angsty Damon needs more to live for and helping Bonnie return to their plane may be the start of it.
As this was a Damon and Elena centric plot, not much else stood out. Even the twist with Trip’s fate was settled halfway through the episode putting to end a rather tired cliché. For the effort, Trip was a decent character that lasted as long as was expected for a human villain. Anything more and they’d have to introduce a whole slew of human hunters backing Trip up. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Another fizzle of interest in the background was the forever awkward Tyler and Liv debacle. Tyler attempts to repay Liv back for keeping him from turning back into a werewolf. She feigns every aggravating emotion toward him because we certainly know better. This barely works with Caroline and Stefan and that’s because both characters are integral, but with Liv and Tyler, it’s borderline desperate. What’s sadder is that eventually something will cause Tyler to kill again, and unintentional or not, this will send Liv down a path of supreme regret and it could happen shortly after they join together. I can see that happening and it’s still not very interesting to think about. I don’t want to see them drag this out and it would make sense to trigger Tyler now.
The only real piece of thrilling action was Bonnie escaping Kai and his maniacal rage with wanting to leave limbo. Bonnie continues to be resourceful on her own, going to far as to kill Kai and purge her magic into a teddy bear and send it back to reality, trapping Kai and Bonnie forever in limbo. Damon finds the bear and it looks like he’s mistakenly seen it as a call for help. In truth, I don’t think Bonnie had such plans in mind, but it’s nice to know she isn’t forgotten and with Damon on the prowl, it’s just a matter of time before he sets the wheel in motion to save her.
Onto Stefan and Caroline’s mish-mash of reverse psychology. Thankfully, Enzo was there to catch the nuances and inform Stefan of Caroline’s feelings toward him. What’s baffling is how surprised Stefan is even though it seemed apparent that he understood this a while ago. He must have the memory of a goldfish. In any case, no amount of apologizing can really turn things around as Caroline settles on her recent development of the guy. Stefan still can’t betray anything he felt with Elena in the past, and as such he can’t speak to having any feelings toward Caroline. It’s hard for him to think for himself in a way that excludes Damon from the picture. Without Damon, he’d rather be alone, and with Damon, he’d still rather be alone. It’s tough to write him in a way that he’ll open up to possibilities with Caroline. It’s classic high school drama with the male character too blind to understand what’s being presented to him and the benefits with trying. I’m not surprised this arc continues to be dragged out, but I am hoping they draw this to it’s natural conclusion soon.
Human Liam is on the case as he calls out Elena as a liar with secrets once he discovers the woman she saved in the maze survived unscathed with no memories. There isn’t a lot of stock in this subplot either. Elena is trying to be honest but it’s short sighted and he doesn’t buy into it. He’s basically alienated himself from her, which is a bit sad for him and Elena, but who knows how either will react during the next get-together dance recital kegger.
It was interesting to see Elena cross the border and drown again just to see those memories and feel the compulsion slipping. I’m only slightly intrigued that she didn’t cross over again just to prove a point. I liked the moment and Elena does put herself in extremely crazy situations to get what she wants.
Damon easily wins this round. He fought in the most polite way possible to win Elena’s affection back, but he did so with one key trait. Impatience. Damon wants the old love returned when he could have created an entirely new love based on Elena’s willingness to try. It wouldn’t be the same, but there’s always the chance it could be better. Still, he showed an arc in just this one episode and that speaks volumes to his character, as vampires go.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Now that we know Jo and Kai are related, will Jo need to be a part of this plan to save Bonnie?
Luke mentioned the family that he and Liv belong to. I don’t recall but were they mentioned by name or should we just assume they’re also from the Gemini coven?
Is turning Elena back into a human even an option at this point in the show? Or is she doomed to stay a vampire forever?
If Alaric somehow was turned back into a vampire, would he need to have original blood in him to remove the compulsion, or would a death of that magnitude erase the compulsion for him?
Still no reunion with Sara and the Salvatore brothers. What are we waiting for?
Not terribly exciting and the cliffhanger wasn’t very persuasive to me with the score. This week it gets a 6 out of 10. Damon carried a lot of the episode and killing Trip this fast wasn’t a terribly great idea. More dragging with Stefan and Caroline that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Many of these scenes feel very thrown together like the kidnapping trade at the border and Tyler’s scene with Liv. Throw Jeremy drinking himself silly and that pretty much sums up my thoughts on tonight’s episode. Some good things came, mainly with Damon reminding Elena and then deciding to let her go. Those hard to fathom moments can carry a lot to the future, but only if there’s an eventual resolution on the matter and we’re only seven eps deep into season 6. Stay tuned.
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