‘The Vampire Diaries’ Roundtables: So… Is Damon Still In The Phoenix Stone

Last weeks episode of The Vampire Diaries was a departure from the norm and to be honest – we’re conflicted over our feelings about the episode. We’re all for changes and growing and all that stuff. But this one just left us meh…

To prepare for tonight’s episode, lets review last weeks episode in Fangirlish Roundtables.

This weeks TVD was a departure from the norm. How did you feel about the change?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight] I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. I don’t know if anyone else remembers the TVD Stefan’s Diaries books that were being released for a while, but the flashbacks always remind me of those and I really enjoyed learning about the characters’ pasts. That being said, I felt like this episode didn’t move the story along whatsoever.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] It may have been different from the norm, but it made sense for what is happening. So I didn’t necessarily have any feelings about the change.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]Listen my secret shame (not so secret now) is I really do adore Damon; he’s my second favorite character in the series. With that written, he often gets on my nerves because he is a foul creature and I don’t mind when he is dropped down a peg or two. So an episode focused on him AND spotlights Bonnie, my favorite TVD character, did my soul great. However, the overall execution didn’t please me.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight]Eh.. I could take it or leave it. Wasn’t my favorite episode but it wasn’t the worst? I found myself wanting to fast forward at one point because I was tired of the same scenario happening over and over again.

tvd1Damon’s torture. What would you have assumed that it would be?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight]  Considering the show has never fully addressed Damon’s time serving in the Civil War, I was definitely not expecting his torture to be focused on this time in his life. I wasn’t surprised that he frequently saw his mother though, because it was always clear that he was extremely hurt by her abandonment.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] Given Damon’s goodbye to his mother, I assumed Lily would be quite present in Damon’s hell. I was hoping for something Elena related, but I didn’t think Nina would come back for this.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]I wasn’t anticipating Damon’s torture to be the first time he spilled blood and the cover-up for it. But a time where Stefan and Damon were battling over some issue. I truly thought his torture would include more one-on-one scenes with Stefan.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight]I didn’t think it would be Civil War related because I get the impression Damon has done some BAD things in his 100 something years as a vampire that would cause him some guilt/torture as well. I was kind of bored that it was Civil War Damon again… Can’t we get something new for flashbacks?

We know that in previous episodes we were told that Damon was a Civil War hero. Were you expecting that to be addressed? Why do you think that he was a war hero?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight] During the Civil War, killing Union sympathizers was considered heroic, despite its cruelty. I was not expecting for the show to delve into Damon’s past so much 7 seasons into the show when we’ve already learned all we thought there was to know about the characters.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] I feel like Damon’s military life is all we really know about his past, it’s what is brought up the most since that was the last time he was human. So it makes sense that this was brought up in his hell. Why he’s a war hero? Because he’s awesome, duh.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]I honestly wasn’t expecting an answer as to why Damon was a war hero. I feel this is something that is brought out to remind us that Damon wasn’t always a hotheaded, stubborn, and often selfish butt. And the fact that it was included in the dialogue and then cut (due to time) is annoying. But if we ever find out why he was a Civil War hero it will most likely be Damon sacrificing himself in some way that saved others. But I can’t say with full certainty that it was an intentional act. It might have just been an error or an impulsive decision in his quest to be good enough for his father.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight] Why do you think that he was a war hero? Am I missing something? He was a war Hero? I feel like I didn’t know that? Just that he was in the Civil War confederacy. (oops. Fail)

If you had to choose, who would come out of the Phoenix stone first? Damon or Stefan?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight]  DAMON. Always Damon. I have loved Damon since the very beginning of season 1 and I will never stop loving tvd2him. Stefan has become an extremely whiny and self-righteous character that I could do without to be honest.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] Damon, always Damon.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]Damon! I think everyone was correct, the longer Damon stayed in the Phoenix stone the more difficult it would be to get him back to his normal self, which isn’t always that great to begin with. Stefan has been through this kind of torture before. Plus, Stefan willingly self-inflects his own type of mental torture upon himself on a daily basis because of his times as a ripper.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight]Uh. Team Stefan

Let’s talk that ending… what do you think is going to happen? Did you think Damon was still in the Phoenix stone?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight] This is tricky…earlier in the show it seemed like this setting with Bonnie, Matt, Stefan, and Caroline was the only glimpse of the real world that we got. It seemed to make sense because Damon was still “trapped”. But I also know that all of the characters wouldn’t just be killed off, so I don’t think it was real.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] He has to be. This is just more hell for him. If it isn’t real then everything we saw back in the first half of the season is completely useless now, and I really think that would be a bad move.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]Honestly, can we not talk too much about the ending? I’m in my feelings over it! I’m such a Bonnie stan and TVD constantly plays with my emotions when it comes to this character. For a brief moment I felt like the folks around her (Caroline and Matt) cared about her well-being; she had value as her own person and not just as a witch. Then they show me this long scene where Damon chokes her and cracks her skull. Yeah, I’m not happy and I want to live in my bubble and act like this never happened. So, la, la, la, la, la, la…..what scene?!

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight]I honestly don’t know. I hope so. There’s no way he actually killed them because we have seen them all in the future… so I’m guessing another part of his hell.

tv2Where do you think this episode succeeded? Where do you think it failed?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight] For a while this show has been focusing so much on Elena that every character just seemed to be a side character in her midst. Damon and Stefan have always been main characters and I think this episode succeeded in bringing that back to that title. In fact, this season in general has done that. As much as I miss Delena, I think the absence of Elena has done wonders for character development.

As I stated earlier, this episode failed in moving the plot along. While I appreciate what the writers were trying to do—showing Damon’s hell and how inescapable it is—I think it was a little overdone. To dedicate an entire episode to this seems wasteful to me.

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] It succeeded in keeping us interested, but I don’t know that I can say much more than that. Personally I’m over Lily. She’s dead and I kind of wish they would stop bringing her into the picture. I don’t think the episode necessarily failed at all, I’m just not quite sure where they are going with this and what they’re trying to accomplish.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]I think “Hell Is Other People” writers Holly Brix and Neil Reynolds succeeded in providing some levity for Damon going through his own hellish Groundhog Day. Getting a glimpse into Damon’s past and learning he hasn’t been a selfish butt since birth and how his character was further altered from the events of this day, was a nice departure from the rampant daddy and mommy issues behavior we’ve been fed in the past. However, the episode failed because it wasn’t necessary to draw the process out. Groundhog Day!Damon should have taken no more than half of the episode to explore.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight]I guess it made us see the humanity in Damon, but it was just a semi boring episode to me.

What is the biggest question you need answered in the back half of the season?

[highlight]Katie, Fangirlish:[/highlight] What’s happening 3 years in the future?? Most importantly, why the hell are Caroline and Alaric engaged?

[highlight]Kylie, Hastag Avenue:[/highlight] Who is hunting them in the future? That’s the #1 thing on my mind every episode this season.

[highlight]T.J., We So Nerdy:[/highlight]I have more of a request than a question that I won’t answered before season 7 closes. Can Julian die already? I know that getting a recurring acting gig on an established show is difficult to achieve. So, I don’t want to wish unemployment on Todd Lasance, but I’m so sick of Julian that if he died 1-3 episodes from now, I wouldn’t even care who is tormenting the Scooby-Doo gang in the future.

[highlight]April, Hashtag Avenue: [/highlight] WHO is hunting them in the future! Who is Caroline engaged to? Are Ric and Caroline like “together”? But mostly who is hunting them and why do they want Stefan.

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