I started to write my usual type of recaplet, but so much happens in "All My Children," that it was nearly a weecap by the time I was done. I've saved it as a weecap draft and am approaching this recaplet from a different angle.
"All My Children" is a beautiful testament to the love between the Salvatore brothers. Since the end of last season, we've watched Stefan lose everything, in order to save Damon's life. Now, perhaps he shouldn't have done so, but he did. Since the moment Stefan coerced Damon into transitioning, back in 1864, one thing has been clear: Stefan refuses to be the only immortal Salvatore. Sure, maybe he goes months, years or decades without enjoying his brother's company (sometimes while he is in his brother's company), but he will always choose Damon.
Meanwhile, The Vampire Diaries has been working to convince us that Damon will always choose Elena. And? I'm not saying he won't, in his own Damony-way. But he too, will always choose Stefan. A literal flip of a coin freed Damon from having to be the bad guy and end the Bennett bloodline mojo Esther needed to destroy her unholy spawn, but Damon has been watching Stefan. While Stefan's humanity switch might be, or may have been on the fritz, he has quietly eschewed human blood, since the night he took his not-caring act (and oh, what an act) too far, force fed Elena his blood, and used her as a pawn in his vengeance quest against Klaus.
Damon knows Stefan has enough guilt heaped upon his poofy-haired head, and that despite his (now disintegrating mask), Stefan has been having FEELINGS LIKE WHOA, all over the place. While Damon loves Elena, and knows Stefan is his most formidable rival for her affections, he wants to play it straight (or at least as straight as his crooked little heart will let him). Damon won't give up on their girlfriend, but he won't sacrifice his brother's recovery -- his redemption -- in the battle for her love. That, right there, is why this love triangle works for me. Each of the three characters cares deeply for the other two.
Damon's decision to be the one to vamp a Bennett, will likely not sit well with Elena (nor with Bonnie). But Damon's decision to spare Stefan further guilt (and further grief from their girlfriend), to my weird way of thinking, proves Damon capable of becoming the sort of vampire who may, one day, be worthy of Elena.
Now, I don't want to alienate either E/D or E/S fans, so let me be clear -- I don't think Stefan is worthy of Elena, either. I mean really, I don't think any vampire who has killed a human, for any reason other than self-defense, is worthy of a human who hasn't killed a human. Krazy Klaus is right, that Elena would have a better life with someone like Matt. Admittedly, I cut Caroline some slack, when she first turned (and murdered) and was still in love with Matt, but Caroline is a different case. She became so much more awesome once she was vamped, that I just refuse to hold her measly murder record against her. More honestly, this series is a gothic teen romance series -- featuring absurdly attractive vampires and humans. There is going to be vampire/human canoodling. I have to lower my standards (even for Elena), or I'll just be raving like loon -- I mean more than usual.
Speaking of Caroline, how great was it to watch her play Klaus? Oh sure, he made me swoon last week, with his, "I fancy you," and his I love Caroline + HORSIE drawing, but come on, he's Satan Klaus. Assuming this season will end Klaus's reign of terror over Elena and company, I do hope that Klaus's love for Caroline turns out to be his fatal flaw.
I keep thinking about Caroline keeping Elena from talking to Bonnie during Abby's transition. When she says that Bonnie loves Elena and is glad she's alive, but that she (Bonnie) always seems to be the one who gets hurt, my heart breaks for both Bonnie and Elena. Bonnie often is the one who suffers. It's true. What is also true is that I'm so used to watching Elena suffer, that I often forget she's suffering. Some of my nonchalance about Elena's pain, can be chocked up to her innate heroism. Last season, Elena was more than willing (to the point where those people calling her suicidal couldn't quite be written off as cranks) to sacrifice her life, so that Bonnie wouldn't have to risk her own life, performing the spell to stop Klaus. Also, as Damon and Stefan discuss in "All My Children," Elena would have preferred that Damon and Stefan let her die, if it meant letting Bonnie and/or Abby live.
I take it from Caroline's use of the word transition, that Abby will not go the way of Bill Forbes, but the conversation was brief enough, that I can't be sure. Even though I love the female friendships on this show (although certainly more in Seasons 1 and 2, than this season), I wouldn't object to Abby dying, and not just because she abandoned her own child and then took in someone else's. Were Abby to die, her death could trigger some enormous fallout in the friendship between all three girls. Bonnie and Caroline would suddenly share a profound bond. Bonnie's resentment of Elena would grow. I suppose there can be much of the same fallout if Abby completes the transition and turns into a vampire, but Bonnie and Caroline would not share the same bond.
This week, I swooned over Elijah's little mash note to Elena. How perfectly Elijah-y it was. He and Elena are embroiled in the most romantic non-romance, perhaps since Little Women's Jo and Teddy. My fickle heart overflows, which almost makes up for my failure to get "Elijah's sword" to trend on Twitter, last night.
Finally, my friend Rachel and I, would like to take this opportunity for me to say, in no uncertain terms, that we are ever so glad that Meredith is the psycho killer, rather than my Pudding Pop, Matt. We are glad, not just for Matt's sake, but because it gives me the opportunity to call our lovely and talented friend, Erin, DELUSIONAL. Don't mind those stray italics. Erin and Rachel know why they're there. Oh, I suppose I should acknowledge Alaric might be dead, too. I hope not. I kind of think, if they were going to kill Ric, it would have been made into a big moment in this episode, but who can tell with this crazy show? I'll leave off, for now, right after I make this...
Confession: my ability to grade this show has either died or been daggered. I started to give this episode an A-. In part, my rationale was, "I've given it a couple of A+ grades in a row." I had at least one teacher who used to do that to me. It's an unfair grading approach. It's not this episode's fault that episode 3-13 broke my heart, and episode 3-14 dazzled me with fancy beauty. Next, I started to give it an A+, but my gut is telling me I've got some fuzzy objection to that. I just can't figure out what it is. So, that A up there -- it might be temporary. Writing up the full weecap usually helps clarify my thoughts.
This was such an action-packed episode, and I have so much more to say about it. The show is on hiatus 'til March 15, 2012, so let me entertain you. I'll be back, ASAP, with my seldom "wee" full weecap. In the meantime, please grade the episode up top and join us in the forum, where we're trying to get Elena and Bonnie to kiss and make up.
Hi everyone, and welcome back. It's the morning after Esther's grand ball. Elena calls Stefan, but he ignores his phone, because he's writing in his diary! Hi, little vampire diary. I remember you. I wish I knew what Stefan just wrote in you.
Vampire Diary: Remember how, back in the first season, you used to refer to the diary voice-over segments as DIARY-Ahhh?
Vampire Diary: Well then, maybe you shouldn't have been so mean, not to mention nasty.
Recapper: There are enough sullen, vengeful characters in this episode. I don't need to import any into the recap. Besides, I just walked over to the TV and read you.
Vampire Diary: wallowing in self-loathing. Better to close it off, bury it,
Recapper: Oh, Stefan. Have you considered therapy? So, gentle readers, where were we? Right. Next, Elena calls Damon, reminds him she called him ten times the night before, and tells him they need to talk. He's too bitter to listen, even though he's still in bed with Rebekah. What's the point of having two men on the hook, if you can't get either of them to pay a little heed?
Elena: I know, right? I tell him if he's mad at me, he needs to get over it.
Elena Haters: We hate you, Elena. Go die in a fire.
Damon: Heh. Oh, I'm over it.
Elena will not be ignored, so she hauls her cookies over to Mossy Manse, only to come face to face with Rebekah. She and her self-healing ball gown are just leaving. I am not going to a walk-of-shame place, because I think the public discourse is currently overloaded with judgments on female sexuality. Besides, Rebekah isn't ashamed. She's pleased as punch to rub her raunchy rendezvous in Elena's face.
Rebekah: Indeed. I'm also pleased Elena doesn't know how rude Damon just was. Ta ta for now.
Elena isn't pleased with Damon, for a number of reasons -- not least of all because Rebekah just tried to kill her. She asks Damon if this is how it's going to be -- she hurts his feelings, so he lashes out at her.
Damon: And she's totally right, but I tell her maybe, for once, something I did has nothing to do with her.
Elena tells Damon about Esther's linking spell and her plan to kill her spawn. He thinks that's nifty.
Damon: And keen. So Elena, why do you look like someone just shot a Panda Bear?