Damon, maybe in an attempt to prove, yet again, that the power of the sire bond is a fickle fiend, if, indeed, it exists, says, "Elena, I need you to calm down." Dropping to her knees, Elena sobs uncontrollably as she says she can't. "No. It hurts. It hurts. Make it stop. Please make it stop. It hurts." Stefan, knowing their girlfriend is feeling all the feelings with more feeling than feelings have ever been felt says, "Damon, help her."
Damon watches for a moment, then drops to Elena's side. Taking her in his arms, he says, "I want you to let me help you." Finally, Elena asks him, "How?" Smoothing her hair back, Damon says, "Turn it off."
Stefan: No, no, no!
Audience: No, no, no!
Recapper: Well, he already tried to invoke the sire bond when he said "I need you to calm down," but it didn't work. I'm not sure what Stefan thinks he can do here, except go nuclear. I don't like it. I would have preferred for Elena to choose this option on her own, but Stefan has been harping on Damon using the sire bond to help her, ever since he and Elena got back to town -- even while Damon was still traipsing all over Craphole Down East.
Damon (to Elena): Just turn it off and everything will go away. It's what you have to do. It's what I want you to do. Just turn it off.
The pain falls from Elena's face. Instead, her expression is numb. Her eyes are dead. She sits in silence on the floor. Damon looks up to Caroline and Stefan. We can tell even by their backs that they're judging the hell out of him. Meanwhile, I'm judging all three of them. It's time for everyone to stop treating Elena like she's helpless. She seldom is helpless, but they all act like she is. She's their holy grail or their golden fleece. She's the Precious. She's the delicate hothouse flower in their minds. I know I'm kind of contradicting myself where Damon is concerned. I only stuck up for him, as far as Stefan's expectations go. Stefan expects Damon to do something. Damon tries a kinder, gentler sire bond invocation, but it is not strong enough to cut through Elena's love for Jeremy and for all she has lost. Damon's choices were either go nuclear or do nothing. I'm for the do-nothing approach. Elena just lost the last living member of her family. She needs to lose control and weep. She needs to grieve for longer than two minutes. She should have been being hugged, a lot, and by everyone. Except for Matt (and Elena took the initiative there), everyone keeps her at arm's length until Damon kneels down and hugs her. I don't care if it would have been awkward for Stefan, he should have been hugging her, ditto Caroline, and Damon -- as soon as he got there. I'll cut Bonnie the slack I save for the truly delusional. The rest of them have sucked this episode and they've sucked hard. Commercial.