It’s Not A Tumor
The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 7 recap
I was a pretty substantially nerdy little kid. Surprise. I used to look at all kinds of things to help me understand the stupid world, including books on parenting so I could figure out what I would say to me in a given situation.
One thing I remember that really stuck with me was a phrase about someone acting out of character. Without being a direct quote, it said “If someone is acting truly out of character, either it’s a brain tumor or there’s something going on with them.” I can’t tell you how often I applied this to whatever drama was going on in my life or with my friends.
It seems appropriate here.
Yes, like many of you I was exasperated that Elena and Damon finally coming together, which was long awaited but let’s be honest, smoking hot, was wrapped up in a “because she was sired”. In fact, as someone on Twitter suggested, there’s merit in going back and watching that sex scene without any volume, or at least just listening to that sweet song again.
But I’m not at all sure I believe it.
It would be so convenient to believe Elena had the equivalent of a brain tumor, wouldn’t it? Caroline could be placated and feel like she was right, and who doesn’t like that? I like that girl, but I couldn’t stand her this episode and to channel Lainey, her shoes are terrible. Maybe Jeremy could hold off on killing her for a few minutes if he thought she was sick, instead of being a murderer. Stefan -- who by the way was acting like a crazy person himself this entire episode, and really, this whole season -- would be justified in his by-any-means-necessary attempts to turn back the clock. Eventually there’d be a spell or something, and then they’d have to let Bonnie out of her box to fix Elena before returning to being unseen for the next six weeks.
But even if it’s true, even if Elena’s bond to Damon is what made her flip from the blue dress to the red dress (and by the way, that was the only part I cared about in the pageant at ALL. Where was the pig’s blood when April was crowned?), it still doesn’t undo everything that’s gone on.
Think about the scene where Elena arrives at the Salvatores’ to stay. She says “I can’t be at home any more.” Stefan leaves, and she doesn’t protest. She doesn’t say “I’m so sorry for turning you out of your house.” She doesn’t pretend that nothing will happen between her and Damon. She makes a statement, and doesn’t apologize for it. Like an adult would. As I recall, Damon didn’t say a thing that whole sequence. That’s not about her sire bond. That’s about Elena, growing up.
And, like I said last week, that’s what Stefan and Caroline are really reacting to. For all Jeremy’s problems, he’s never really been opposed to Elena growing and changing – when you are the younger sibling, I think it’s par for the course that it’s going to happen eventually. His feelings on her being a vampire aren’t even “real”, they’re based in what he feels he must do. Elena may have chosen Damon because of a sire bond – even though I think that’s a cheap thing to do – but she definitely didn’t fall out of love for that reason. Right? A sire bond can’t change something that’s already there.
Plus, as we heard in the inexplicably boring werewolf subplot, part of the bond is maybe about gratefulness. For not making you hurt anymore. (I really was bored by the werewolves. So Hayley works with Mark Zuckerberg now? I know that’s not his name, but he’s a famous smart guy from a top university and he has curly hair…you know where I’m going?)
But that’s not what Damon did for Elena. Instead, he didn’t expect her to be who she had been. I keep talking about this but I can’t overstate how important it is. Vampire bonds whatever – this is the “human” bond between them. This is why they understand each other as people. You can change into what looks like a “bad person” to the rest of the world and still be very good inside. Having someone else see that in you is invaluable.
I’m ready for it to be over, though. Not Elena and Damon, not even the tension as they figure out how to navigate a Stefan scorned. But Caroline and Stefan, and Jeremy depending on the day, are acting as though Elena ditched her dreams of going to med school and is now joining the circus. I have really had enough of the heavy parent routine from those two. And the fact remains that Damon and Elena are magic onscreen together. I’ve praised Nina Dobrev before for the differences between Elena and Katherine but I’d swear there are also differences in how she stands, how she moves, when she’s with Damon as opposed to Stefan.
So. Maybe there will be some magic that comes to light all about how siring in Elena’s case blah blah blah. But I don’t believe the love between her and Damon is about that – and not just because of his face when she said “You”.