Episode 2.20 TVD – “The Last Day” or “Never, For a Vampire, Is A Very Long Time (05/04/2011)

Impulse control.  This is a serious issue for Damon.

His impulses caused him to do something with some very serious consequences.  To save Elena’s life, he forced her to drink his blood.  Now, if she dies, she will turn into a vampire.

His motive was to prevent her from dying – to keep from losing her forever (even when she told him he wouldn’t).  But now, if Klaus is able to carry out the ritual of the sacrifice, Elena will become a vampire.

And as we now know, this is not something she wished for herself.

Elena wanted what every young woman wants – to live the natural progression of life.  To marry, have children, and grow old – she wanted to experience life in terms of the human timeline.

Now, she may well have to give all that up.  Although she loves Stefan, and can share eternity with him, this was not her plan.

But Damon – with his inability to control his impulses – took her choices away.

And according to Elijah, Elena will never forgive him.

Elijah: “And never, for a vampire, is a very long time.”

But is Elijah correct?  I don’t think so.

If Elena has demonstrated anything at all, it is that she has an open heart and she is emotionally strong.

  • She bore up well upon the death of both her parents.
  • She fell in love with a vampire because she wasn’t      afraid of him.
  • She watched her natural mother self-immolate and did      not collapse in fear.
  • She has overcome her antipathy towards her father in      order to try to have a relationship of some kind with him.
  • She stabbed herself, and then “killed”      Elijah.
  • And, she has forgiven Damon for “killing” her      brother.

Now since people who are killed on this show don’t always stay dead, perhaps it’s easier to forgive.  But I think being compassionate and forgiving is Elena’s nature.  She will give just about anyone she cares for more chances than they deserve.  I think she will forgive Damon, eventually.

And why?  Because, as Stefan himself tells her…

Stefan:  “He did it because he loves you.”

But what if Elijah is correct?  He’s has been a vampire for 1000 years, and there is a melancholy quality about him that makes me think that not only does he personally know that his statement is true, I believe he has a lot more in common with Damon than we know.

Elijah – in his youth – was in love.  Perhaps he fell in love before he and his family became vampires – perhaps after.  It doesn’t really matter.  The woman he loved was mortal and I think he turned her so he wouldn’t lose her.

And then she turned on him, because – like Elena – it was not her choice.  This woman is still “alive” and she’s made Elijah pay for his decision ever since.

So when he tells Damon that Elena will never forgive him, Elijah is speaking from personal experience.  He also tells Damon that although he talks a good game, he doesn’t really know anything.  And based on the 1000 years of Elijah’s existence compared to Damon’s 150 – give or take – this is certainly true.  Elijah has seen it all and probably done it all.

What I find fascinating is that for some reason, Elijah not only allows Damon to live (after all, Damon killed him once and helped kill him a second time), he is kind to him.  It’s for this reason that I believe Elijah sees himself in Damon (albeit a younger, less mature, more impulsive self) and will perhaps turn into a mentor of sorts.

Lord knows, Damon could use one.

There was a part of this episode that did not ring true to me – the whole “walk in the woods” thing.

The first thing was the idea of Stefan taking Elena on a hike.  If this were my last day on earth as a human, I think I might want to spend it with other humans – especially since it might be the last time I have an opportunity to relate to them as human.

But what do I know – it’s not like I have ever experienced my last human day with the prospect of death and rebirth as a vampire looming before me.

The second thing that was off was the appearance of the falls.  Elena seemed surprised.   She’s been living in Mystic Falls for 17 years and doesn’t know of the existence of the falls?  That didn’t work for me.

But it looked beautiful.

Finally, Elena’s speech about wanting to live her life – grow up, decide to have a family, have children, etc. – it felt disingenuous.  Although Elena wants to believe that she can find a way to foil Klaus’s plan, she has said continually, throughout the series, that if it is a choice between herself and the people she loves, she is prepared to die.  She even stabbed herself to make a point with Elijah.

So if she thinks she may die, and she’s willing to die, how’s she going to have all that growth and all those human experiences?

Do you see my problem here?

While I appreciate the fact that the hiking scenes were an opportunity for Elena and Stefan to talk about their future and Elena’s feelings about becoming a vampire, it didn’t work for me emotionally because it felt insincere.  Although I believe that 17 year old Elena has believed all along that she loves Stefan, now she’s not even sure she knows what love is?

What presumably was intended to be the emotional apex of Elena’s character arc just fell flat for me because emotionally it was false.

It’s been clear from the beginning that Stefan loves Elena and wants to spend forever with her.  And I thought that Elena loved him enough that she would eventually get to the point where she would make the decision to become a vampire.  Now it almost sounds like she’s been leading Stefan along.

Worse than that.  It sounds like break-up time to me.

Please feel free to throw darts, but please help me see where I am wrong about this.

Interestingly, the one part of the hike that I did appreciate had to do with emotions!  It was Stefan’s explanation to Elena of feelings as a vampire – happiness turns to joy, sadness to despair, anger to fury.  That was absolutely genuine and illuminated further the strains of Lexi’s words to Stefan when they first met.

It also helps to explain Damon’s impulsivity – a vampire with a supernatural form of ADHD!

As for Damon, despite the bite – whether it’s a wolf bite from Tyler or something else courtesy of Klaus – Damon is going to survive.    He will drink some of Elijah’s elixir – the one with the mystical resuscitation properties – or he will rub some on the bite, and he will be fine.

I believe the bite came from Tyler, and I strongly believe that Tyler is an alpha wolf.  That gives Tyler special supernatural properties, and it would make a bite from him different than a bite from a garden variety werewolf.  Maybe an alpha-wolf’s bite is cured with the blood of another wolf!

Or, there is no bite.  What we all see (including the characters) is the result of a suggestion implanted into everyone’s consciousness by Greta – or another witch hanging around someplace.  I think Klaus may have a posse of witches!

In any case, Damon will live.  If the bite is real, he may descend into madness, and that may be an experience that results in enormous emotional growth for him.  But he is not going to die.

The writers will come up with something.  They are so incredibly clever at finding ways to bring dead characters back to life, nothing would surprise me.

And I don’t believe Elena will turn into a vampire – at least not this Season.  If Elena is not dead within 24 hours of taking in Damon’s blood, it will wear off and she will be fine.

There are only two episodes left.  And there are so many dangling threads.

  • Will Damon survive his wolf bite or will facing his      death bring the redemption he so desperately desires?
  • Will Jenna actually turn into a vampire or will she die      in the ritual?
  • Or will John Gilbert sacrifice his own life to save      Jenna and Elena?
  • Will Elena be sacrificed and turn into a vampire or      will something or someone intervene?
  • If Elena turns into a vampire, and Damon lives, will      she forgive him?
  • What will Elijah, Katherine, Damon, Stefan, Tyler,      Matt, Caroline, and/or Jeremy try to do?
  • Will Bonnie’s strength be strong enough to kill Klaus      during his transformation – and will she survive?
  • And what about all those Original family members?

One last thought.   I absolutely love what Joseph Morgan does with Klaus.  Clearly he is a sociopath, but Morgan plays him with some humor.  And when he smiles that impish grin, I can’t help but be reminded of the character Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a mischievous imp.

A cold-blooded, demonic, murderous vampire with a smile like an imp?  Deliciously terrifying!

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