TVD 6x1 - I'll Remember

Oct 04, 2014 21:28


I was struck throughout the episode at just how distinctly Millennial the whole setup feels? Not necessarily the characters, though IMO they were individually Gen Y already, but the collapse of and alienation from Mystic Falls. The world we grew up with is gone, and wasn’t as safe as we were compelled led to believe that it was. And we’re dealing by sinking ourselves into drugs like Elena, or tech like Jeremy, or DIY do-gooding like Caroline and Matt, or just getting consumed by the childhood drama we kept ourselves busy enough to ignore like Tyler.

Or, on an in-universe level, it’s a coming-of-age story that none of its characters have, strictly speaking, survived.

S4 was my favorite Elena season to date, but I think I might have liked her even more here? I think it rings true, though I haven’t thought it through entirely, why her mourning for Damon is so much harder that she really can’t face it. Not so much because I think she loves Damon more than anyone, because I don’t, but because of what Damon represents to her as her first adult infatuation and the entity who in a lot of ways became, for her, a symbol of and way of coping with all of her losses, and so losing him kind of broke the dam on her other traumas. And I think it hits her harder because you don’t actually get inured to loss, I don’t think; understanding what that means makes it more difficult to grieve, not less. The Damon-figment becomes her vampire diary, the private, passive audience for which she shares all her secrets.

Oh, and she’s going to be a doctor, even though her academic interest thus far has been showing up once in a while for Occult Studies. It’s her massive performative denial at work. It’s the transition from her earlier image as protected caregiver Elena to an ambitious, respected profession. She’s leaving behind the dream of being a writer which she associates with her mother and embracing her vampire-torturing father’s profession. And oh, yeah, being a doctor is actually the easiest profession she could pick, since all she has to do to fix someone’s ailment is slip them a few drops of her blood. It’s a much more constructive application of her craving for power over life and death than her Highway Rippah side hobby, but it does come from the same place.

Elena isn’t any more or less stuck in the past than Caroline, and I really liked their interactions in this episode. Caroline, too, is trying to cling to something which is gone, putting her life on hold as if she can buy the town’s existence with personal sacrifice. But really, everyone’s coping in a slightly different twist on their own unhealthy ways. The big difference is that they’re all going through it at once. Elena throws herself into putting on the a-ok façade, but for herself instead of her peers; Jeremy utterly refuses to pretend even a little bit. Stefan without Damon (without Mystic Falls, without Silas, without Katherine) is kind of at sea with even being Stefan. I do like his attempt at a compulsion-free lifestyle.

As ever, I love where things are with Tyler. Being “cured” in this ‘verse is to be worse off than before sometimes. Tyler used to feel in control over himself, and in his ability to control most of the threats in his environment and know the rest of them. If it wasn’t Klaus-related, he could know that he could handle it. Now he can’t - he’s less powerful than everyone around them who’s kept their fangs, and he’s all too aware of what happens if he goes over the top. Being a wolf and then a hybrid was an expression of his issues, not problems in and of themselves. As is his anger, really; anger is so often an expression of powerlessness and fear. Partly being turned forced him to grow up quickly, but it also allowed him to grow up in a way that being a human wasn’t, and now he’s regressing.

THAT BAMON TEASE THOUGH. Damon making smiley-fang pancakes while all dressed up in flannel had me cackling all night.

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tvd: elena gilbert will cut a bitch, tvd

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