Alaric knows she's trying to keep from getting hurt again. Elena: "You think I'm crazy -- to believe I can protect myself from a vampire who's flipped the switch on his humanity." Alaric: "I think you found a way to get out of bed this morning, and that makes you the strongest person I know. I think that you can do -- pretty much anything." I love that. He hands her back the stake ejecto-bracelet. When Alaric walks off, Elena contemplates the device and then nods as if to encourage herself. And show, I already soap-boxed all over the viewers, so now I have some suds for you. Watch Buffy season 6, then go back on the TWoP boards from that time and read the complaints about the character Buffy. Even if your heroine has been through the most hellacious things imaginable, you can't have her walking around depressed all the time. She needs to retain her pluck, her spunk, and her smarts. And? Even if she loves brighter than the fire -- you can't have her behaving practically suicidal. Oh, fans may feel bad for her at first, but after a while it is alienating. Did you ever try to connect with a clinically depressed person -- in real life, writers? You work in the biz. Of course you have. You know, right, that it's damned near impossible, because the clinically depressed person cannot connect. The same is true for viewers and fictional characters. Tell whatever stories you want, but if you want us to invite you into our living rooms every week, your characters have to be people who don't shut us out. Title card.
MFHS: It's the first day of school. Bonnie, Caroline and Elena survey the crowd. It's their senior year. Caroline is the perpetual cheerleader, saying they have to accept that Senior Prank Night was a bust, and move on. Try telling that to Chad and Dana, Show. Sheeesh. Bonnie grumbles about Jeremy's visitations from Anna and Vicki. Caroline grumbles about Tyler being turned into a hybrid. They both try to pretend they're not going to let these issues ruin senior year. Elena trails behind. When she speaks, her voice is but a whisper. "Today's our anniversary." When Care Bear and Bonnie turn to face her, she adds, "Technically, Stefan and I met on the first day of school last year." Caroline: "Yeah. You win." Bonnie: "Are you sure you want to be here?" Elena: "I have to be here. I have to put it behind me. New year, new life." She nods to herself, much as she did in the woods, and marches forth. Caroline and Bonnie follow suit.