Daughter, I think what I hate most of all about this episode -- at least as it stands now and maybe that will change -- is that the only way Elena can have free will is if her free will is taken from her. I know the writers are trying to draw a parallel between Adrian's predicament and Elena's. Yes, it hurts Adrian too much to break the sire bond, but break it he must. At the end of the day though, while Tyler is the pack's alpha, Tyler doesn't hold sire bond sway over Adrian, and Klaus is Adrian's alpha until the sire bond is broken. Adrian could have refused to transition until Klaus's hold was broken. And once it is broken, Adrian has the power to refuse Tyler. And Adrian hates Klaus. Adrian doesn't want to be with Klaus. Excuse me for jumbling all that, but I'm just that annoyed. Anyhow, Elena loves Damon. She wants to be with Damon. But the way this has been set up, the only way to give her back her free will is for Damon to shut himself out of her life. The Stefan parallel worked better, but even then only because the writers didn't delve into the story. I have no reason to believe that if Lexi and Damon had said to Stefan, "It's too risky at this point in your recovery, for you to spend time among the bleeding, with a vampire like Damon, who doesn't go all Ripper," Stefan would have seen the wisdom of that point and agreed that Damon shouldn't accompany him overseas. It's not like Stefan went to New Orleans because he wanted to get Damon to come with him overseas. He just went to make up with him as part of his Ripper 12 Steps.
Honey, I know, like me, you're wondering why Damon can't just trying saying something like, "Don't be sire bound to me anymore. What will please me the most if you make your own decisions. Sure, I want us to consult each other and hear each other out, but don't let me make up your mind. Weigh all sides and do what you think is right, just like you did when you were human even though that always drove me crazy." Along with us, 90% of the fandom is wondering why he can't try that. And since it has occurred to so many of us, that tells me it's too easy an out. Unlike you, I don't even care about the romance right now. I just hate that the only way Elena can be "free" is if she is not free to give her love to whom she chooses, someone who loves her in return. I hope that will change -- either the story or my feelings about it. I fear the only way to change it will, in fact, be curing Elena of vampirism, which just makes me feel like we're wasting our time.