Just as Damon is about to snap Shane's neck, Elena zoops in and throws him off. When she asks Damon what's wrong with him, Damon walks out. Shane tells her that her boyfriend is a maniac, like that's news to her or something. Speaking of maniacs, even as Elena is telling Shane to stop messing with her friends, she unties him. When she storms out of the cabin, Shane rubs his hands together and smiles. I smile too, because it's time for another commercial.
Outside, Elena tells off Damon for trying to kill Shane, when he's the only thing that is keeping Bonnie safe. "And you wonder why Bonnie hates you." Damon says, "I don't wonder, Elena, because I don't care. I don't care about her. I don't care about some lame-ass cure for vampires, either." When Elena asks how he can say that, Damon says, "I don't want you to be cured." Elena says she doesn't want to fight about this anymore, but being human isn't going to change her feelings for him. Damon indulges her and then spits back everything Shane just said to him. If she becomes human, she will age and die, while he remains a vampire. "We don't work." Elena is upset that he's pushing her away, just because things aren't easy. "That's what you do, Damon. You think that you don't deserve something, so you ruin it. I'm not going to let you pull that, this time. Take the cure with me. That's how much I know this is real. That's how certain I am that I'm going to love you even after this is all over. Take the cure. Be human with me. We can be together -- grow old together. This doesn't have to be hard anymore." Damon says, "That's not me, Elena. That's Stefan. You know, I used to miss being human, now I can't think of anything more miserable on earth." I know I've cranked a lot about this episode, but that's a great scene and a lovely bookend to Rebekah and Stefan's conversation about vampirism. With tears in her eyes, Elena watches as Damon walks off.
Sidebar: Despite the fact that the last scene is emotionally effective, Damon's departure is seemingly more plot driven than character driven. Granted, he is not above getting in a snit, but he knows Shane needs to make some third sacrifice and I just find it hard to believe that he'd leave without at least telling Elena that. Back in the early days of this show, one of the things I loved is that these characters didn't withhold critical information, the way so many TV characters do. Now this show does it all the time, too. It makes me sad. My hope is that Damon is wandering off in order to let Shane think that he manipulated him, when in fact he's wise to all Shane's shenanigans.