At first, when Damon came back, I was annoyed that Elena didn’t remember. It just seemed like somewhere we’ve been before. Do Damon and Elena’s trials always have to be because of her? Couldn’t their relationship be thrown a curveball because Damon misses Bonnie and can’t focus on Elena right now? Can’t it ever be about him?
But the more time that passes, the happier I am that Elena’s memories have not been magically restored. For one, the new characters on this show are absolutely spectacular, and Liam is one of them. #TeamLiam. But for another, the depth of Damon and Elena’s relationship has always been in the things they are willing to give up for each other. But Elena made a choice: She gave up her memories for herself, for her own happiness. She made a selfish choice that, ironically, was one of the least selfish things she has ever done. In forgetting, she allowed herself to finally move forward (and the people around her to stop dealing with her drug-addled depression).
Probably you just want to talk about the Delena Rain Kiss and have no idea what I’m even ranting about. This is a show about vampires, who cares about personal agency.
“I remember … pain.” Elena and Damon were having a conversation in her doorway where Damon was trying to get her to remember or agree to remember, and Elena was trying to express that her life is miserable and, as far as she’s concerned, he is responsible for 90 percent of it. Context is everything. Minus 20.
Alaric is human again, which means Damon is at the hospital giving him a checkup, a.k.a. harassing him into early heart failure. I’ll take bro-bonding where I can. Plus 15.
Only in Mystic Falls does a doctor release a patient with a gaping chest wound because she needs a date. Priorities, people! (Also, are you understanding what I’m saying about Elena in 15 years now?) Plus 6.
“His eyes were really, really blue and pretty.” Ian is still Ian, even if she can’t remember the sex. Plus 5.
Caroline had some really excellent points about Elena’s compulsion being a great thing. I agree, Caroline! Who needs dudes who try and murder everyone? Oh, wait, murder is Elena’s primary aphrodisiac? Never mind.
Finally, we saw Bonnie again. She woke up with blood all over herself, holding her stomach, because, as you may recall, she has recently been shot. Whatever. This is basically a mild-to-slow Saturday for Bonnie. She was faking how injured she was, though, because as soon as Kai came over to taunt her with his grabby superpower, she shoved him in the neck and made a beeline for the ascendent and all its accouterments. Way to go, Bonnie! Even though no one remembers you were ever alive or cares at all, you are the reason they can go on with their inane lives, so you are either a hero or a villain, depends on the vantage point.
Stefan showed up to Caroline’s, and she was NOT having it. “News flash: I don’t need your protection,” said Caroline. But then her mom called with a gun to her head, so turned out Caroline DID need Stefan’s protection? He looked so smug about it, though. A less appealing side-effect of his raging hero complex. Minus 22.
Caroline is the only person on this show who still (a) has a mother, and (b) cares whatsoever when someone human she loves is in trouble. Plus 20.
“My fingers were covered in blood and the touch screen wouldn’t work.” #VampireProbs. Plus 8.
“I’m not on the wrong side, man. My side is just really freaking complicated” —Matt Donovan. Just when you write him off as being a lovable but silly make-believe police officer, he comes through with something so profound, you realize he is the actual voice of reason on this show. Plus 20.
Bonnie was pretty injured still, turned out. She ran to the hospital to give herself some painkillers and treat her wound. I found this scene enraging. Here was Damon, just moseying around Alaric’s hospital bed, whining about how Elena didn’t remember the time he murdered someone and then made out with her, while Bonnie was trying to get herself literally out of hell. Very disappointed in Damon. Minus 40.
But I perked right up again when I saw Tyler and Liv cater-waitering at the fancy doctor’s party. So into these two. Plus 10.
Okay, I know I was supposed to be sad, but I found it 100 percent straight-up hilarious when Elena walked in with Liam and the sexy doctor started talking him up, and Alaric made this face like, I’d do him. Plus 8.
Liam is such a college dude. I love it. The interactions with him and Elena are totally sweet and adorable. He is even making me like her a little? What was not sweet and adorable was how Damon felt the need to inject himself into her evening and then compel her date to, what, confess Damon is awesome and he’s intimidated by him? Since when does Damon give a shit about how some random sophomore feels? Minus 18.
Elena hates Chardonnay? What is this, Gossip Girl? Elena is 19. The only preference she has is white versus red. Minus 10.
Enzo-Caroline-Stefan. So Enzo and Caroline were sassing each other, as they do, when it suddenly dawned on Enzo why Caroline is always in such a tizzy about Stefan: She loves him! Enzo then proceeded to have this entire revelation out loud, with his mouth. Stefan looked vaguely like he was going to vomit. No points because ughhhh already.
Back to Damon and Elena. What revisionist history this was. Stefan was unreliable? Come the fuck on. But this was fun: “I literally went through time and space to be with you.” But God, am I over one of these Salvatores making Elena feel guilty and terrible. She is happy! Isn’t that what you want for her? Minus 12.
Ha. Alaric. “Yeahhhh, that’s my fault.” To his credit, he wasn’t that torn up about watching the Damon and Elena saga play out to symphony tunes. He is human again, and also, it appears a lady wants to have sexy-times with him! As I said: priorities. Plus 10.
Liv and Luke — plus 18. Putting these two onscreen is the actual best decision this show has ever made, including the time Stelena kissed on a Ferris wheel.
Do you think it’s true what Kai said? Do mice actually not like cheese? No points, but can someone Google it?
I guess I understood why Elena wanted her memories back, but unlike Elena, I have a memory, and the whole Delena journey just felt like that episode where Elena tries to get Stefan to remember their love. Time and magic heal all wounds, you guys. Just move on.
I think I’m shipping the Kai-Bonnie-Damon love triangle? Kai is so complicated and interesting! Can we have a show with all the new people and Bonnie? Stefan and Caroline can stay, too. Plus 11.
Matt’s face over Tripp’s dying body was DEVASTATING. Daddy? Is it you? Heartbroken for Matt. Dude loses everything and everyone. If the last episode of the show was Matt just straight-up murdering everyone he knows, I wouldn’t even blame him and it would feel believable. Minus 30.
Oh, SNAP. Bonnie put her magic in the bear and the bear disappeared. Bonnie is so badass. The beauty of this show is that you can go five years feeling like Bonnie a write-off, and then she can get a story line so compelling that it renders the actual love triangle the show was founded on a joke. Well played, TVD. Plus 25.
Question: Why can’t Elena just step over the Mystic Falls boundary, break her compulsion, and then Damon can yank her back before she drowns to death?
Okay, I liked that Damon’s favorite memory with Elena was one we haven’t seen. And also, writers, we see what you did there. #DelenaRainKiss.
Oh, man, they exacted the actual plan I had! For some reason, it didn’t work? It felt like it didn’t work. Minus 4.
I was really nervous when Sheriff Forbes was in the hospital, but it was pretty cute when Stefan asked her for help and Sheriff Forbes was like, “I can’t talk to you, mommy rules.” Plus 8. You know Sheriff Forbes ships Steroline.
I was so in love with this scene. “Why do you have a thing for me?” Stefan asked, because he’s never seen a mirror. But no, guys, this is not about his abs or hair, it’s because Stefan is worth having a thing for. Caroline laid it all out. About how there for her Stefan has been, about what an idiot Elena was for letting him go. All Stefan could say was “Sorry,” but it was sincere. This relationship is so delightful and awkward and precious. It’s such a welcome reprieve from the angst that is Stelena and Delena. I can’t wait for Stefan to realize what an idiot he is. Plus 10.
Damon let Elena go, so I guess … this will be a nice eight hours. (I don’t think it will stick is what I’m saying here). Minus 20.
Sexy doctor is Kai’s sister! Loveeeeee it. Plus 10. And plus another 10 for Alaric finally getting some (although it’s kind of unclear whether clothes came off).
Liam showed up at Elena’s with files and questions. How there is anyone left in the South who doesn’t know about vampires seems unbelievable, but I will give Liam a pass because maybe he grew up in a bunker; stranger things have happened.
You finally got it, guys. The Delena Rain Kiss you have been waiting six years for. It was pretty great, right? “Promise me this is forever,” Elena said. “I promise,” Damon told her. He is just trying to keep his promise to her. But now he has a more important mission. He has Bonnie’s bear. Plus 20.
P.S.: can someone make me a GIF of Damon clutching both the teddy bear and the bottle of bourbon? Thanks.
Today’s episode came up in the negative. We can’t win them all, but like Bonnie, we will try.
NEXT WEEK LOOKS SO GOOD. Of COURSE Caroline throws Friendsgiving. And of COURSE Stefan isn’t invited. Can’t wait for this family drama.
As always: @RebeccaASerle