It's important to Damon, and we've known this for at least a couple of seasons, that things remain "real" between him and Elena. I do not think he would take advantage of the sire bond just to bed her. Not everyone is "real" to Damon. Believe me, I know. I remember him compelling Caroline into bed and how he used her as his chew toy. I remember Ace Reporter Andi. She was only last season, right. But forcing Elena to do anything flies in the face of all of his character development, so despite the promo monkeys suggestions regarding the next episode, I don't think Damon took advantage of the sire bond -- at least in a romantic way.
Provided Elena's romantic feelings for Damon aren't now being written off as the result of the sire bond, I can accept this wrinkle. I can even accept that maybe it was the sire bond that intensified her feelings to the point where she finally felt free to indulge them (provided she doesn't want to take it all back, when and if the bond is broken). There does need to be conflict, after all. But regardless of how it all shakes out, I will always be disappointed that we did not get to enjoy their first time together, without all the cuts to Caroline blathering. Stefan ended their scenes by saying, "Elena is sired to Damon." From there, we jumped right to the first view of Damon and Elena in bed together, and it made me sick. I watched in horror, not in joy. If this plot point had been introduced in the next episode, I could possibly get on board with the exploration of this theory. I just hate that those of us who have been waiting for this never got the chance to enjoy it, even in the moment. Seriously, even in the very moment that it was playing out, it was being undercut by Caroline's theory. Between that, and the thought that it's just an easy out (just like this frigging cure is an easy out to Elena's vampirism), I started to question if this show is still worth my time, interest and carpel tunnels. I hope it is, but I'll be keeping an eye on it. And that's all I have to say about that.
I'll be back Friday morning, with coverage of, "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street." In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where we always keep it real.