Cemetery. Damon's sitting alone, with a bottle of booze, ranting about the kids' makeshift memorial service. "The Japanese lantern is a symbol of letting go of the past. Well, here's a newsflash. We're not Japanese." He takes a swig of booze and berates the gang for being what they mostly are -- children.
When I first saw this scene, I was ready to mock it soundly, because it seems like Damon has just murdered the Exposition Fairy and taken her job. But there's something deeper and more beautiful going on here, and I'm just the sentimental sap for whom it's meant. He's talking at Alaric's headstone, and pretending his friend is still with him, and responding. He continues on about these delusional children because he's in so much pain himself. "In the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is a hole in your life, where that somebody you cared about used to be." Damon can't see Alaric sitting there listening, but he is, and I fight back the tears. Damon looks at the headstone and adds, "And a rock, with a birthdate carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong." Heh. Alaric laughs, but Damon doesn't know. He sits down and continues his monologue, "thanking" his friend for leaving him alone to babysit. "I didn't even get the girl, remember? I'm stuck here fighting with my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big." When Damon rises, Alaric says, "I miss you too, buddy," but of course Damon still can't hear him, which makes it all the more moving.
I'll be back Friday morning with coverage of "The Rager." In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where only one seat is reserved.