~This is a Facebook post I wrote to my best friend after I saw Rebel Without A Cause for the first time today, which is one of her favorite movies. It’s pretty personal but I realized I had a lot of opinions about the movie that I want to share to I’m posting what I wrote about it here.~

Karen, I just saw Rebel Without A Cause at the theatre down the street from my apartment (it plays old movies). I’m kind of speechless. And kind of shaking. The whole walk back from the theatre to my apartment was kind of a blur, and I felt like I was in a trance, like in a box and everyone who was walking around me didn’t exist. I just … I’ve never been this affected by a movie before. I can handle the fact that James Dean is literally the essence of pure sex in a human body (GOD I understand your obsession SO much now), and the fact that his character and acting are both so amazing, and how the dialogue and characters and plot were all so fucking accurate and realistic and so three-dimensional, but what I don’t know how to handle is how close to home the movie struck with me. You never said it was traumatizing to watch. It’s almost realistic to a fault, because I feel like I was in that movie and I was there and all that happened to me and I don’t know how to recover from it. Don’t get me wrong. It was a phenomenal movie, probably the most incredible movie I’ve ever seen but wow. Wow. It’s not just that I felt like I was watching myself go through all the family stuff in the movie, it’s that there were certain moments where I was just sitting there like, that happened to me. That exact thing has been said to me or that exact moment has happened in my life, and I couldn’t breathe and I would start to tremble or cry. It was like having to watch flashbacks about stuff I don’t ever want to think about. 

And then I remember after the movie was over and everyone was getting up and laughing and I was this close to breaking down and I was thinking, how can everyone just get up and get on with their lives after a movie like this? How can they just laugh right after and start talking about other things, or worse, start talking about funny points in the movie or just casually talk about it like it wasn’t the most traumatic and startling thing they’d seen? I mean, it probably wasn’t because not a lot of people have gone through the family shit that you and I have. But still. It’s just. I don’t really know what my point is or what I’m trying to say, all I know is it affected me more than any other movie has. And I’m not sure why I’m posting this to my wall rather than to yours, but I think it’s cause I need to have this on my profile so I remember how I felt right now and what this movie did to me. It’s not good or bad, it’s just … Wow. 

I think what’s traumatizing me most about the movie actually isn’t how much of my own life I saw in it, but the whole thing about the adults. How they never understood that their kids were acting like this because they were so fucked up (especially Plato), because their parents had done this to their children, their kids’ actions were cries for help and a result of the trauma and way they’d been treated all their lives but the parents never saw that and they just blamed the kids and lashed out at them and made it worse. And the police fucking SHOT him, a poor scared kid who was spat on all his life by the world and didn’t know what to do about it so he snapped. The police fucking shot him while Jim had taken out the fucking bullets but of course he couldn’t say that to them because Plato would hear and he would freak out and shoot someone. Jim was so fucking smart. The way he handled the situation with Plato at the end. He almost would have gotten him out safely but the stupid police had to make the stupid mistakes and ruined everything and I’m crying now just typing this out. Because shit like this happened to kids all over and still happens to kids and no one cares or does anything about it or actually tries to help them. God. Look the fact that this movie is shaking me up so badly and hits so close to home and has this kind of affect on me is a compliment for it, it shows how incredibly realistic it is. This movie IS real life. I just wish I didn’t have to be so traumatized from watching it. 

Side and unimportant note, not sure what I feel about the whole falling in love in one day thing. I mean I get that they were so lost and alone and fucked up from their families that they both desperately needed someone and so they fell really fast, and it wasn’t so much that they were in love but that they would’ve done anything to find someone to help them and someone was there, and even more they needed someone who understood what they’d been through and then they both find someone who’d been through the same things they had, so I get it and I get why the whole rushed feelings thing was done but still, that was the only part of the movie that felt superficial and not real. I mean I’ve been there, where I fall for someone I barely know fast because I need someone so I’ll fall for anyone, believe me that is basically my life, you know this. But it still was the only part in the movie that took me out of how much it felt like reality. 

And watching all these characters snap and do crazy, horrible things because they were so fucked up and had such painful pasts was so hard because I’ve been there, I’m there right now and it was so painful to see that happening to someone else. It’s amazing that the movie could capture that so well. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any movie be so accurate and realistic and REAL and just so close to the truth of life before. I just can’t handle this.

I’m going to end this post by talking about aspects of the movie that are less difficult to talk about so you don’t walk away from this post super down. God knows about me though, I’m still sitting here shaking and sweating like bullets through my shirt because the trauma of watching it hasn’t left me. It was the most incredible movie I’ve ever seen but I don’t know if I could ever watch it again with what it does to me, at least not for many years. Not until I’m past all this.

So anyway, less heavy aspects of the show to say stuff about:

-THE WRITING. MY GOD THE WRITING. And I’m not talking about it in general or plot wise, which I basically covered up there and which is phenomenal. I mean specifically, the structural elements of the writing were so well done. All the foreshadowing, down to exact moments at the end that parallel to ones at the beginning and the use of objects as foreshadowing (using objects as foreshadowing is one of the most skillful things a writer can do, in my opinion), and the lines of dialogue that kill you when you remember them at the end. Just. Everything. And the use of symbolism too especially with the cinematography and camera work… just. So much talent. I was sitting there the whole time in awe and in love. 

-James Dean. JAMES DEAN. I already talked about him briefly above but he must be brought up again. I think I’ve just found the most talented actor in all the talented actors I’ve seen. Every moment he is onscreen, he isn’t playing the character, he IS the character. There wasn’t a second where he wasn’t fully ALIVE as the character, breathing and thinking as him. All the little things he did and just … he was naturally Jim Stark. I would’ve believed he was Jim Stark himself and this was an autobiography. Just. Wow. I mean when you get past the fact that he’s the most attractive man I’ve ever seen (oh and yes I mean this, and I’m saying this after being fucking OBSESSED with very, very attractive men such as Darren Criss and Eddie Redmayne—James Dean still takes the fucking cake), you can’t get past the talent. The ability. Just WOW. 

-Jim Stark’s character. WOW. Just WOW. Such a three-dimensional, rounded, genuine character my god. And I loved him so much. Every word out of his mouth got to me, right down to the core of me. There was so much of him that was me that I couldn’t breathe while watching. I related to him so much. Related seems too weak of a word. He got me. It was fascinating and terrible and amazing.

-So um. Can we talk about how this movie wins the award for having the most eyesex there has ever been and ever will be in a movie. Christ, man. The King of Eyefucking is what this movie should have been titled omg. Every. Single. Character. Eyefucked. Each. Other. Multiple. Times. Throughout. Pleeease tell me that you noticed this. I can’t be the only one. Go watch it again if you missed this because I SWEAR there was so much I felt some in my lady parts at some points, I’m not even kidding. Aww man. Hilarious.

-THE TITLE. MY GOD THE TITLE. The title itself is a work of genius. I mean. It breaks my heart, because it says so much about the movie. “Rebel without a cause” because none of the stupid ignorant selfish adults thought that all the kids had any reason for doing any of this. But they had every reason. When you break someone that badly, all they can do is break everyone else back. They managed to capture the true tragedy of the movie—the ignorance and destructive behavior of the adults—in the title so perfectly, it’s pure genius.

-So many of the kids at the high school, all the ones that were after Jim, were so messed up. It makes me wonder how many of them were fucked up emotionally and came from broken homes, or how many of them were just assholes who were wrong in the head. It’s really interested and kind of scary to think about.

-Can we talk about how Jim Stark is supposed to be in high school and he looks 30 years old omg… Judy looked way too old too

-UGH. CAN WE TALK ABOUT JUDY. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I sympathize with her. I saw her broken family life. I saw how messed up she was, and I felt bad for her and her family life really struck me home too. BUT. It’s really hard not to hate her. Especially when she’s Buzz’s lapdog in the scenes where he’s bullying Jim and then she latches on to Jim after. I know, I know her motivation and why she did all that but it’s still really, really hard not to hate her. 

-I really like the timeline of the movie—how it all took place in just two days and the movement was so quick and precise, it just got straight to the point and didn’t skirt around what it was saying or what the focus of the movie was. And the fact that we were watching just two days of his life made it so much more powerful.

-JAMES FRANCO IS JAMES DEAN REINCARNATED. Seriously. You’ve been saying it and now I see it. It’s not just because of how much Franco looks like Dean, it’s his mannerisms when he acts, his voice, his body language, EVERYTHING. Their acting styles are SO similar. And now I really want to see the movie where Franco plays James Dean. But GOD. James Dean’s spirit is inside James Franco omg. You MUST go find James Franco and marry him. I understand you so much more than I ever did before.

I think that’s pretty much all I have to say about it. But god, Karen, a warning label could’ve come with recommending it to me? Naw, I’m kidding. Still. I think I need to go take ten showers and drink 10 martinis in order to be okay again and stop shaking. Phew. Hopefully in like 10 years I will watch this movie again and it won’t be so traumatizing because I’ll hopefully be past all this stuff. (But what if I’m not? Can one ever truly get past these things? Okay sorry we are NOT starting this conversation now). 

Just had to share all my thoughts and show you how it affected me. Let me know what you think.

I was looking at a gif set of the last Noatak/Tarrlok scene and I noticed something I never had before. A single tear rolls down Noatak’s face a second before Tarrlok puts down the glove and the boat blows up. It’s almost as if Noatak heard Tarrlok take the glove and knew what he was going to do but didn’t stop him or turn around because he accepted that this had to be his fate and he’s crying not just for the life he’s about to lose, but because they’re going to end this together. Or what if he doesn’t know what Tarrlok’s going to do and he’s crying because of Tarrlok’s words, that it’s a happy tear and he wants it to be the old times again? That would be even worse. Oh god I’m going to start crying all over again.

I don’t think they could have come up with a better backstory for Amon to explain the reasons behind his ideologies and behavior. Of course Amon ended up as twisted and corrupt as he did. Of course he had such an overpowering hatred of bending and of course he wanted to rid the world of it. Bending is what tore apart his family. He grew up seeing how bending was what destroyed his father, and how bending was putting a rift between him and the brother he loved dearly. He witnessed Yakone force him and Tarrlok to use bending against each other in a dangerous way, to take away each other’s willpower and break the bond of trust they shared. With such a terrible father and such a traumatizing way to be raised, it wouldn’t make sense for Amon to have turned out okay in the end. The way he acts and the rebellion he is leading fits everything about his past, so much. How you are raised really does shape what kind of person you’re going to be and I’m very impressed at how accurately Legend of Korra captured that. I also really liked the theme of failed fatherhood in the finale, with the heartbreaking and painful portrayal of both Asami’s and Amon’s horrible fathers. They’re really hitting the LOK themes out of the park.

Tarrlok’s choice to blow up the boat is perhaps the greatest thing in the whole finale. Just a few episodes ago, he kidnapped Korra and was fighting to avenge Yakone and to take the city for his own. He was twisted and power-hungry and just as bad as Amon. But then in this episode, he’s been reunited with his brother and he has realized how corrupt Noatak has become and it has changed Tarrlok’s perspective on everything and made him realize his own fault, made him see the mistakes that he’s been making. He sees that he and Noatak have both become their father and he remembers how horrible Yakone was, and that now he has managed to become the monster he never wanted to be.

He knows this as they sail away from Republic City in the boat. He knows the two of them could run away and start a new life like Noatak wants, but he also knows that it would never work. That they both caused so much destruction to innocent people and that they have to pay for it. If he doesn’t end this right now, the Amon in Noatak will come out again and he’ll start another rebellion in a new city, terrorize more people, and the hunger for power could rise up in Tarrlok again and consume him, and this would all happen again. He can’t let his brother go his own way after what Noatak has done and can do, and Tarrlok can’t let himself go either for the same reasons.

And I think it’s more than that. There’s no going back to the way things once were for the two of them. Tarrlok knows Noatak is gone, knows it as much as he knew it when he saw him bloodbend Yakone and leave. He knows his brother will never be himself again and that Noatak has reached such a point of corruption that there’s no hope for him. No hope for either of them, after what they’ve both done. After what they’ve both become. They are replicas of their father and for that, they must die.

I don’t think he only wants Noatak to die and views his own death as a necessary suicide. I think Tarrlok truly believes that he also deserves to die because of who he now is. That kind of awareness is amazing. It shows that he has evolved. His decision is disturbing, but it’s also a brave and righteous one. I would never have thought I’d associate those words with Tarrlok. With one great decision, he has managed to redeem himself for everything he has done and he has managed to gain my respect and my admiration, which is saying something because I hated him throughout the show until now.

You can see on his face the moment when he makes the decision as he’s watching and listening to Noatak. It must be so hard for him, realizing what he has to do and knowing that the only chance he’d have to do it would be now. Noatak says “The two of us together again. There’s nothing we can’t do,” and Tarrlok wishes he could succumb to that notion, to the possibility of them being brothers again. And he hears the wistfulness in his brother’s voice, the barely concealed nostalgia, the longing for another life—but he reaches for the glove anyway, because it’s the right thing to do. Because Noatak is no longer his brother. Because the boy inside of Tarrlok loves him.

And the saddest part of the whole thing is when Tarrlok says, “It will be just like the good old days” right before he creates the explosion. It’s almost like he’s saying, We’ll be together again in whatever comes after this, Noatak, and have the life that we were supposed to have together. It’s like he’s promising his brother that they will be restored to their old, true, purer selves and that they’ll do it over again and fix it in another life or in the next world. It is a vow to find the real Noatak and keep him there this time. It’s a goodbye and the best explanation Tarrlok can give his brother for why he is doing this.

Korra was right. That’s one of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard.

It makes so much sense that when Avatars have hit their lowest point, when they are in their worst emotional state, when they’re completely breaking down and feeling an overwhelming sense of loss, their barriers are completely let down and so the spirit world can come flooding in. That’s why Aang went into the Avatar state for the first time in ATLA when he went to the Air Temple and discovered that the monks were all dead and found their skeletons. It was the lowest he’d ever felt, the most pain he’d ever experienced—and it’s the same for Korra after she loses her bending. That’s genius.

The only thing that disappointed me in The Avengers was that we didn’t get enough of Loki at all. I’m probably the only one that feels this way. I just think that all the great potential he had wasn’t used as much as it should have been. There was so much they could have explored with him that they didn’t, especially things in the realm of his vulnerabilities and the motivations behind everything he was doing. I wanted more scenes like the one when Thor asks him to come home when they’re fighting on the mountain or the one where the evil space creature threatens him to complete his mission. I feel like there’s so much that we don’t know about him that could be fascinating. It’s frustrating because I can see he’s a great character but we only get the edge of it, like we’re just on the brink of him and I want to see all of him because it could be brilliant. I know they can’t do everything because of time limitations but I wish they could have chosen to expand more on him. I also didn’t feel satisfied with the ending he got—to me, it felt like his situation was wrapped up too quickly in a nice little bow. It was like "Snap! This is what happens to Loki, you understand? Okay we’re all good." I wanted to actually see it. I wanted to see and feel his pain as he had everything torn from him once again. I wanted to see what happened between Thor and Loki when they went back up. I wanted to see how Loki reacted to his hopes and aspirations crashing down around him because that’s what I cared about throughout the whole movie. I sort of wish I could just reach in there and tweak the ending so it feels less brushed over and more specific, so that we are shown what happens to him rather than told.

Proof That Delena Will Be Endgame

Julie Plec was a co-producer of Kyle XY, a show that ran on ABC in 2009 before it was canceled after the third season. That show has a love triangle that has huge similarities and parallels to the Elena/Damon/Stefan triangle of TVD.

The triangle of that show is the main character, Kyle, and two girls: Amanda and Jessi. Amanda is the girl he falls in love with first. They have a cute “high school sweetheart” type relationship, and Kyle thinks she’s his true love and the one for him, his “always.” This is the “Stefan” role of that triangle. Elena fell in love with Stefan first, and they act very much like the typical high school couple. She thinks he’s her “always” and says so several times until … he’s not. Until she develops feelings for someone else and she isn’t sure what “always” means anymore, until Stefan is reduced to her “right now” (3x22).

There’s more to that comparison. The premise of Kyle XY is that he was a superhuman created by science, who was “born” in a pod and spent seventeen years of his life developing in there. When he comes out, he is as clueless as an infant at first, leaning how to live and going through his first life experiences. He meets Amanda in this stage. She teaches him what it means to love. She’s the first crush he ever has, the first person he feels something for, and he learns a vital life experience because of her. I think that because of this, Kyle still feels attached to Amanda in the present, and he can’t let go of that even though he’s matured a lot since then and he’s not the clueless, ignorant boy he was when he came out of the pod and met her. This is very similar to Stefan’s role in Elena’s life. After her parents’ accident, Elena didn’t know how to be herself anymore. She didn’t know how to come back to life. Then she met Stefan and he taught her how to live again. He brought her back from that dark place and because of this she still feels attached to him. She can’t let him go of him because of that, even though she’s not the broken girl that she was after the accident when she met him, even though she’s much stronger and doesn’t need to lean on him anymore.

As odd as it sounds, Elena needed a vampire to love after her parents’ death, because of the safety factor. She said it herself: "It’s like I knew that her would never stop loving me … Like he would never die." (3x16). Her parents stopped loving her, they left her by dying and so she needed to cling to someone who would never die and leave her the way the ones closest to her did (It’s a beautiful and complicated character trait, but that’s beside the point). It could have been any vampire who came along, but it happened to be Stefan. (We can go even farther to say that it wasn’t really a vampire she needed after the accident, but simply and literally anyone new to come along and be there to fix her, and it just happened to be Stefan.)

And even when she doesn’t need that sense of safety from him anymore, even when she’s emotionally stable enough to no longer need to hold on to someone who won’t die on her, she still needs to hold on to him for what he represented—because he meant that much to her at one point and had that kind of role in her life once and she can’t just let that feeling go. She’s not holding on to him, but to what he represents, and I think in the same way Kyle isn’t holding on to Amanda, but to what they used to have and what she did for him back when he knew nothing.

Back to the Kyle XY triangle: So then Kyle meets Jessi. She’s wild and impulsive and has a lot of darkness inside of her, and because of this she makes a lot of bad choices and does things that makes everyone label her as “evil.” Sound like Damon in the beginning of season one, anyone? And yet even though Jessi has done so many horrible things and doesn’t seem to have anything good in her, Kyle sees something human in Jessi and sees that she can be saved. He reaches out to her and they begin a friendship. The hidden good things in Jessi come out when she’s around him, and she begins to love him. I don’t think I need to spell it out for you that this is exactly what happened with Damon and Elena. (But I will anyway, lol). Elena sees Damon’s humanity even when it’s buried far beneath the surface, even when it’s disguised so well that everyone (including Damon’s own brother) can’t see anything but a monster. She takes a leap of faith and reaches out to him because she sees a spark of something good, and she begins to pull that goodness out of him. She brought out his humanity, his old self, when no one else could, and their friendship changed Damon into the good person he wasn’t able to be before he met Elena.

And Kyle’s feelings toward Jessi mirror Elena’s feelings toward Damon right now very accurately. It takes Kyle a really long time to admit that he has feelings for Jessi, long after the viewers see it happen (Amanda even notices it and comments on it before Kyle realizes it, similar to how Stefan confronts Elena about her feelings toward Damon when she’s still in denial). Amanda is the love that’s always been easy and clear, his first love, and he doesn’t want to love anyone but her. This is exactly Elena’s stance on Stefan. She can’t define her feelings for Damon just as Kyle can’t define his for Jessi because they’re too different and too consuming. Amanda and Stefan are safe for Kyle and Elena, the love that makes sense ("There was something about being with Stefan that just … felt safe." -Elena, 3x16). Jessi and Damon are the love that they can’t describe, the one that can’t be labeled or pinpointed because they’re too large and overwhelming. And what they both don’t realize (or at least what Elena doesn’t realize) is that’s the kind of love they want more. ("You want a love that consumes you." —> "When I’m with him, it just … consumes me." -Damon and Elena, 3x22)

Now that we’ve established the similarity and parallels in these two triangles, let’s move on to the point of this post. As I mentioned earlier, Kyle XY was prematurely canceled. It was supposed to have at least another season. The producers and writers of the show made this video (which I think was part of the season three DVD’s special features) in which they discussed what would have happened in the future of the show if it hadn’t been canceled. One of the people who speak in the video is Julie Plec. I gathered several quotes they discuss about the future of the love triangle and about who would’ve ended up with Kyle. Some of these were said by Julie Plec, and some by the other producers and writers.

1) “Amanda’s always represented the idea girl next door, his first pure love, love at first sight.” —> This screams Stefan and Elena so much. Not just because Stefan is Elena’s first love (I don’t think she truly “loved” Matt; she wasn’t able to say it back to him when he said it to her in the 3x22 flashback), but because Stefan and Elena definitely fall into the “love at first sight” category (which I hate and think is incredibly unrealistic and fake, but that’s beside the point). They saw each other and were “drawn to each other” for inexplicable reasons and fell for each other way too fast after that. Elena also considers Stefan her “ideal” love.

2) “She’s [Jessi’s] very complicated. Kyle’s never sure how to feel about her.” —> This is clearly Damon and Elena. Damon is complicated and Elena’s feelings for him are complicated; she still doesn’t know how to define them or what they mean, and she doesn’t know what she feels about him at all, just that she feels something.

3) “Had the show continued, Jessi and Kyle would have had a complicated relationship. Does she have the ability to be good? Does Kyle have the ability to bring the good out of her forever?” —> Again, this is very much Delena. Every word here applies to them. We’ve seen that Damon does have this ability because of Elena, and that Elena has been able to bring the good out of him permanently. There’s no going back for Damon.

So now that we’ve seen that the quotes also really refer to Stelena and Delena, let’s go on to what they say about endgame matters in this video.

1) “I think Kyle one day in his life would have returned to Amanda to see, now that they both had their own identities and their own life experiences …” —> This is what’s going to happen in the beginning of season four of TVD. Elena and Stefan have been away from each other for a whole season, discovering life on their own and developing themselves (well, Elena’s been developing. I can’t say the same for Stefan, but that is a moot point). Elena’s grown into a stronger, different woman and has learned what it means to truly fend for herself and rely on herself to change things rather than rely on Stefan, like she always used to. And now Elena has chosen Stefan, and she’s going to give being with him a try again now that she has her own identity and her own life experiences.

2) “He [Kyle] recognizes that she [Jessi] has this extraordinary potential. By the end he comes around to loving her as well.” —> Elena has already seen a glimpse of the potential that Damon has, of the extraordinary things he has to offer her, in 3x19 when she kissed him and saw how much passion and fire there was between them, and how much she felt in those moments that she never felt with Stefan. She knows how good he can be, how kind and compassionate and selfless he really is when there’s no one around to see it. She knows that he has the power to overwhelm her and take her completely away from herself, in a way that Stefan never can (“Damon just … sort of snuck up on me. He got under my skin and no matter what I do, I just can’t shake him.” -Elena, 3x22). So the first sentence of this quote has already happened in TVD. And so it’s fair to say that we’re well on the way to the second part of the quote, that soon she’s going to come around to admitting that she loves him as well (because it’s clear as day that she loves him already but can’t admit it, as I wrote about here, here, and here). And finally, for the endgame confirmation of it all:

3) “But I think the triangle’s dissolving. I think Amanda was a puppy love, and Jessi’s real love.” —> And there you have it. We’ve already beyond confirmed that Amanda = Stefan and Jessi = Damon, and here’s a quote directly from the writers of that show saying that Amanda is the puppy love, the immature love, the love that was, and Jessi is the real love, the mature love, the love that will come. The future love that will stay. The lasting love. The “endgame” love. The endgame.

Julie Plec said it herself: "This show is a journey of a teenage girl finding her way back to life through the love of one vampire and discovering maybe other elements of life through the love of another vampire, growing up, graduating high school, moving on."

Since she coproduced Kyle XY and thought of Amanda as the “before” role and Jessi as the “after” role in Kyle’s life, we can say that in terms of this quote, Damon is the love that she discovers other elements of life with—aka, new and future elements. "After" elements. By logic and fact, in this quote, Damon = growing up. Damon = graduating high school. Damon = moving on. It’s safe to say that Julie Plec sees Stefan as Elena’s “before” love, Elena’s young love, and Damon as Elena’s “after” love, Elena’s mature love. That she sees Stelena as a “puppy love” and Delena as “real love,” the same way one of the coproducers/writers differentiated Amanda’s and Jessi’s love. 

To wrap up, I’ll put the conclusion in the simplest terms I can: Amanda + Kyle = Stelena. Jessi + Kyle = Delena. Kyle XY producers see Jessi and Kyle as real love, or “endgame” love. Kyle XY producers = Julie Plec. So Julie Plec sees Delena as “endgame” love. 

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen—some of the plain and simple facts that Damon and Elena will be endgame.

It just occurred to me that if Elena had been with Damon first, she never would have fallen for Stefan. If she had let herself love Damon from the start, it would have taken over ever part of her being and she wouldn’t have had any room for anyone else. But because she fell in love with Stefan first, before she knew the real Damon, her judgement is now too clouded by the history she has with Stefan for her to see how much stronger and more powerful her love for Damon is. If Stefan was the one she was meant to be with, she would never have fallen so deeply in love with Damon while Stefan and her were still together and she wouldn’t have kept coming back to Damon through everything.

I just realized that when Damon says "You are not dead … You are not dead" when Alaric dies, he’s talking about Elena, not Alaric. I thought he was upset over the fact that Alaric had to die in his arms and to him it feels like the real Ric just died all over again, but now it makes more sense that he realized the only way Alaric would be dead is if Elena died. That makes the scene so much more painful. There’s so much pain on his face and he’s desperate and unwilling to accept it and I don’t think there’s ever been that much pain on his face, ever. Elena’s death really would kill him and it’s horrible but also amazing that we could to see a portion of what it would do to him when he thinks she’s dead. She is the one thing he lives for now. For him, there’s no life without her and he loves her more than his existence. It will never stop being beautiful and the writers will never stop showing us that no one loves anyone and no one has ever loved anyone as much as Damon Salvatore loves Elena Gilbert.

The lyrics of Never Let Me Go are perfect for Damon and Elena, and they are so, so fitting for the 3x19 kiss. An Emmy needs to be given to the person or people who pick the songs for the Delena scenes and kisses. They do it so perfectly, and their song selections and edits make the moment or scene so much more powerful and amazing; the songs always have such a huge part in the beauty of it.

"I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in …" For one moment, Elena stopped denying her feelings and kissed Damon. It’s not that she gave up fighting how she felt about him, because she went back to that after the kiss; it’s that she gave in to her feelings for that one moment. And then after, she couldn’t let Damon know what she felt because she had to keep denying it for her own safety, so she waved the kiss off as testing her feelings to make up for the fact that she let herself give in. Her denial and the reasons behind it is a really amazing character construction.

The way Elena breathes into Damon when she rushes toward him and kisses him, how he leans into her—it’s like she’s finally letting out this huge breath she’s been holding in for ages, and he’s letting out his own held breath with her, and she’s letting go of this huge weight she’s been carrying when she kisses him, like she’s finally safe. Damon is her home—they’re coming home to each other and she’s finally coming home when she’s kissing him. They are each other’s home. 

I love how Damon doesn’t even take a moment to register that Elena’s kissing him, doesn’t take a second to process it. Her lips touch his and he instantly reacts, pulling her into him, closing his eyes just as soon as she does. It’s so sudden and yet Damon jumps right into it because this is something he waits for every day, something he’s been waiting for for months. To him, it doesn’t matter why she’s doing it or how sudden it is or what it means; her lips are on his and who cares about the context, he’s automatically and instantly kissing her back with everything he has.

And the scene looks so beautiful, with the lights behind them and them being on a balcony. It was the perfect setup. 

The lyric that she rushes to him and kisses him on is so perfect, so fitting, and I still can’t get over how amazing that first moment of contact is. Her kiss is saying "I can’t stand to be close to you because I want to do this whenever I’m with you and I don’t know if I should feel that way and I can’t handle it" and I love it and I think it’s a beautiful thing, that these are two people who love each other an unbearable amount and who have this thing keeping them apart and yet still have these moments where they let themselves go and let them have each other for one moment, let them rush at each other and feel what they want to feel because it’s too strong and they can’t push it away all the time, can’t keep ignoring it. They can’t keep fighting it—it’s something they have no control over and no matter what they do they keep being pulled back to each other. No matter what they do, they can’t stop coming back to each other. That’s what love is. I think that’s what makes a couple an OTP of mine: when they can answer that question. Each of my OTPs is a different definition of what love is.

Damon brings out a side of Elena that she never even knew she had. He brings so much life out of her, so much wild fire, so much rawness. Elena has all this passion inside of her that we never see come out of her, so much passion that’s been dried up, and the only person who brings it out is Damon. He dregs up so much of her unexpected passion in the kiss. Elena’s passion is so dried up and subdued, so hidden and dormant, that when it comes out it’s even more fiery than the passion of someone like Katherine. It’s the only passion in the world to match Damon’s, which is why they are the only people who can be with each other. Stefan doesn’t make that passion come out. Elena has never kissed Stefan like that, never with that much fire, and she’s never reacted that way to him. Damon makes her a different person, someone more wild and strong and fierce than the person she is with anyone else.

When Damon and Elena were watching each other silently in the motel, there was such a connection between, a beautiful and unbreakable and profound connection. And when he went and laid down next to her, it was like he’d done it five hundred times before, two best friends lying down next to each other like always. They’re so safe and comfortable around each other, more than they are around anyone else.

Elena always admires him for the small, beautiful notes of kindness that he does for other people, and Damon never opens up to anyone the way he does in the conversation on the bed, he never opens up to anyone like that except for Elena. And they’re friends again here, despite the fact that they’ve barely been talking to each other since Elena hurt Damon at the Originals’ ball and Damon slept with Rebekah in retaliation. They don’t need to apologize to each other; things are just automatically back to the way they were before. And the hand hold was so beautiful and Elena was so close to returning the gesture but it was clearly making her want him and she couldn’t deal with it.

And I love how there wasn’t even a conversation involved, it was just a few words that weren’t part of sentences, words that would have had no clarity if someone else had been listening. It’s just "Don’t." "Why not? Elena," like they have their own secret language, they’re communicating without words, reading each other like they always do, their own secret or wordless exchange, just like they had when they were watching each other in the motel. The actual conversation before the kiss was between their minds. And I still can’t get over the fact that Elena didn’t stop kissing Damon, didn’t pull away from him or push him away. She could have regretted it or ended it once she realized what she was doing, but she didn’t—she just held him tighter and kissed him harder when she came to her senses.

This is the most beautiful, brilliant, powerful, and perfect kiss I have ever seen. The writers are going to be hard-pressed to top this, although I have no doubt they will—at which point my heart will explode.

About Elena in 3x19

There’s no doubt that Elena’s lying to herself when she says she doesn’t know if she has feelings for Damon or not. She has loved him for a long time and she’s been struggling to convince herself that she doesn’t for just as long, partly because she’s scared and partly because she’s ashamed.

I understand why she keeps saying things like “I don’t know what I feel” and why she keeps being confused, and even if I’m frustrated, I do feel bad for her. She thinks that loving Damon—having feelings for someone she thought was her true love’s brother—means she’s a bad person. She thinks having these feelings are a crime. And she also doesn’t want to accept her love for Damon because if doesn’t know what to do if she did. She can’t go back to Stefan if she accepted the fact that she loved Damon, but she would feel bad if she started a relationship with Damon after being in one with his brother, and she doesn’t want to hurt either brother. She just wishes it wasn’t this complicated and wishes she wasn’t in love with two people, and the way she tries to deal with that is by denying her feelings for Damon. But that’s only making things worse.

She wishes it was still simple, that she could go back to being with Stefan and only loving Stefan and not loving both, not because she loves Stefan more but because it was easier when she only loved one, and we all wish we could have the easier path. But it’s more often than not the case that the hardest things are the best things for you.

Admitting to herself that she loves Damon would turn everything upside down inside of her and in the relationship she has with both of the brothers; it would turn things over that she’s not willing to see fall. So I understand completely why she’s been trying to hold on to everything, and why telling herself she doesn’t know if she has feelings for Damon is the way she’s going about doing that, keeping everything in place. It’s like she wants to keep everything the way it is, keep everything the same for as long as she can before the inevitable geyser stream comes bursting through the cracks. She wants to hold that geyser back, put off the explosion that will tear apart everything and change everything, until she can’t anymore. It’s kind of a beautifully tragic character trait.

This season has been about letting go of Elena’s old self, of moving on and letting go of the past, and that’s exactly what she is coming closer to doing. Accepting her love for Damon means letting go of the past and of her old self and the way things used to be and starting something new, something unpredictable and scary but exciting, something that will undo everything she’s ever known about her life. And that’s what growing up is. That’s what this show is about.

I think it’s also fascinating that Elena’s afraid of giving her feelings over to Damon entirely because of how unpredictable he is, because of how he lashes out so fiercely when he’s upset. It’s such a human, realistic, believable fear to have, especially with everything Elena’s been through. She wants to be with someone safe, someone she can always count on, someone who will never hurt her, and she’s not willing to give herself over to Damon if there’s the possibility that he might hurt her. What she doesn’t realize is that Damon, is the person she will be the safest with, the person she will be able to count on the most, the person that won’t do anything to hurt her, more than anyone else.

Elena’s comment to Damon about how he sabotages things also amazes me because up to this point, Elena’s been denying her feelings for Damon because she’s in love with Stefan. But now she’s focusing on Damon as a single entity without thinking about Stefan. She’s saying that she doesn’t know if she wants to be with Damon because she can’t be sure she’ll be okay with him, not because of Stefan at all. It has nothing to do with him. Her decision rests entirely on her guarantee of safety with Damon, not on her feelings for both brothers. It’s like she already subconsciously knows she loves Damon more.

I wrote in a different post that when Damon asks "What if there was no bump?", her face is practically screaming, "Then we’d already be together." And it’s incredible that Elena has now progressed to the point where she tells herself, “I need to make my decision now.” It’s about figuring out who she’s going to choose, not about figuring out if she loves Damon—because deep down, she already knows that is a sure thing. You can’t choose between two people if you aren’t certain that you love both of them. The fact that Elena is already trying to decide between them proves, more than anything, that she knows she loves Damon.

What I love about Elena and Damon’s argument in 3x19 is how it shows us that Elena is changing. Elena has always taken Damon’s impulsive, lashing-out side as a part of him. She’s used to it, and she knows it well; she has learnt to deal with it. The reason it’s different now—the reason she can’t accept it now—is because now she’s considering him as a lover, rather than just a friend. And that’s such a huge, beautiful change in Elena. She’s beginning to thaw. She’s beginning to move towards accepting her love for Damon with open arms.

In this episode, Elena’s barriers over her love for Damon and her denial of it began to break more than we’ve ever seen them break before. When Elena’s watching Damon from the bed in the motel as he comes out of the bathroom and sits by the window and drinks, there’s so much love and adoration and fascination on her face that it’s almost blinding. I’m amazed by the tenderness and admiration in the way she observes him every time I rewatch that scene. When she asks him about what he did for Rose and he tells her it wasn’t about her, she breaks out with such an admiring smile that it takes my breath away. She loves him so much and it’s written all over her, now more than ever.

And when Damon and Elena get into their fight in Mary’s house, the way she says "I don’t know" is so rushed and hurried, like she’s afraid both she and Damon will see what the real answer is underneath. She’s been coming close to cracking all throughout the last half of this season—she tells Matt she’s in love with vampires plural, and then later she tells Matt that Damon has gotten under her skin. There’s nothing platonic or ambiguous about that statement. She’s able to tell Matt that she loves Damon, but she still isn’t able to tell herself.

Whatever Elena believes, she didn’t kiss Damon just to test her feelings. She didn’t instigate the kiss so she could try to figure things out. There was this beautiful helpless look that came over her face when Damon said "Why not?" It was a look that showed for once, for one moment, she’s giving in to her feelings. She’s acknowledging them and she’s going to let herself act on them. It was a look of someone who was sinking under. This is yet another reason why Never Let Me Go was such a perfect song to play during this kiss.

Even if Elena wasn’t consciously aware that she was giving in to her feelings and accepting her love for him for just a moment, something still came over her. You can see it all in her face before she turns around, in the way she rushes toward him as if she can’t reach him fast enough—she desperately needed to kiss him in that moment no matter what that meant. She just needed to do it because she was overcome with an onslaught of emotion. And the way she reacted and responded to the kiss was not something you do with someone you have no feelings for, not something you do with a kiss that’s just a test of your feelings. She kissed him like she’d been hungry for him for years, like she wanted to eat him whole. I mean, her face practically collapsed when his mouth went down to her neck and her boob. And when she pushed him away for a second and stared at him, there was such a fierce passion in the way she looked at him. There was so much fire on her face. She needed him, wanted him more than she’d ever needed or wanted anyone else. She needed him so much she couldn’t breathe.

And my favorite moment in the entire kiss is when the camera zooms in to a close-up of her and Damon’s face, and they’re just staring at each other, and Damon looks blown away and awe-struck and Elena’s eyes are taking in Damon’s face as if he’s the most beautiful and fascinating thing she’s ever seen. It’s such a beautiful moment, and no uncertain words Elena says or denying thoughts she thinks can erase the love written all over her face in this moment.

And then after Never Let Me Go stops playing and they’re continuing to make out, Elena’s gasping and squeezing Damon to her as if she can make him a part of her, as if she wants them to mold together. There’s nothing platonic about that. There was nothing platonic or uncertain about the way she rushed toward him before, about the way she clasped him to her and held on to him. There was nothing platonic about the way she was gazing at him in bed before. If she didn’t have feelings for him, she wouldn’t have started breathing hard and gotten up when he held her hand. She wouldn’t have had to leave. She would have been fine with it and wouldn’t have gotten riled up over it. But just a simple, tiny, nearly insignificant touch from Damon made her feel so much, made her go into a frenzy, made her heart start hammering and her skin start to sweat. Just a tiny brush of skin made her want him, made her need to touch him, and she couldn’t let herself do that, so she had to leave.

I love the small, helpless shake of her head when Damon says "Why not?" That little head shake is saying "I don’t know why not, Damon, I really don’t know," almost like she’s arguing with herself about why she’s fighting her feelings for him.

On the other hand, it’s almost like she kissed him as an answer to his question of "Why not," of “Why can’t I hold your hand, why can’t I be close to you.” It’s like her kiss was saying "Because of this, Damon. Because I love you."

I only now realize how perfect it is that "for a sinner like me" is a lyric that plays while Elena kisses Damon in 3x19. She really does think it’s a sin to love Stefan’s brother after being with Stefan for so long, and she feels that it’s wrong to love both of them. Elena is the kind of person who always wants to be good, to be moral, and she thinks that loving Damon takes that away from her and so of course she’s terrified of it and unwilling to face it or admit it. But this also shows how 3x19 was a huge, huge change in the path for Delena. It takes everything an entirely new course, and it brings in something we never had before. The fact that Elena was trying to figure out if she has feelings for Damon—or rather, trying to lower her denial about it—means she was willing to start thinking of her love for him as not a sin, but a possibility. Something okay. She’s never done that before this episode.

In 3x11, she told Damon "It’s not right," but now in this episode she’s saying Maybe it could be right if you can be better, if I can get rid of my denial. Just the fact that she’s willing to question whether she loves him or not is such a huge improvement, such a change, when before she wouldn’t even consider the possibility that she loved him because she thought it was so wrong. It shows that Elena has changed so much.

I think the writers believe that when you love someone, you don’t need to apologize to them. It explains why Stefan never made it up to Elena or even apologized for the bridge incident, and why Elena never apologized to Damon for her “Maybe that’s the problem” comment. I don’t agree with this concept (that love means never having to say sorry—I think that no matter what, you still have to apologize for the things you’ve done wrong and earn your loved one’s forgiveness rather than just automatically getting it), but this could be why they haven’t made Damon, Elena, and Stefan apologize to each other lately. I can accept the fact that they’re trying to say That’s what love is, it’s bigger than apologies, you never stay mad at them no matter what they do and you forgive them without an apology no matter what they do, I can see that and it makes me less upset about both lack of apology instances.

Although I also think that the writers didn’t make Stefan earn Elena’s forgiveness for the bridge incident, and made Elena forgive him right away and way too quickly, because they wanted to show that for Elena, forgetting what Stefan did and forgiving him so she can go back to him is the safe and easy thing to do, and how with Damon, it matters more, so it always takes her much, much longer to forgive him, far after he earns it. You always stay mad at the people you care most about.

Things that still bother me about 3x19

  • Elena tells Alaric that they’re going to Denver because they want to pick Jeremy up and bring him back, but the first thing they talk to Jeremy about when they get there is how he needs to help them locate who sired Rose. Why did they never ask him if he wanted to come home, or why didn’t they bring up coming home at all? It was just generally assumed by all parties, including Jeremy, that he’d be coming home with them as if this wasn’t anything big or new and he hadn’t been living in Denver for however many weeks long.
  • Why are Elena and Damon sleeping in the same bed, rather than Elena and Jeremy sleeping in the same bed? It makes more sense for Elena to share a bed with her brother than with Damon.
  • Why wasn’t the cave the first place everyone looked for the stake that Alaric’s alter ego hid, before they tortured it out of Evilric? They know that it’s the one place that vampires can’t go. It’s a good hiding place and an extremely obvious one. Why didn’t they check? Especially since they themselves hid Ester’s coffin there when they didn’t want Klaus to be able to get it. You know for people who fight brilliant-minded vampires all the time, the gang in Mystic Falls ain’t all that smart.
  • Once Stefan got the location of the stake out of Evilric, why did he let Evilric go to the stake to get it himself? Obviously they can’t trust Evilric. Something was bound to go wrong. They should have sent Elena or someone else to get it so that there was a guarantee that they’d get the stake.
  • Are we ever going to find out why Alaric’s ring only half-worked for a while (it brought him back to life but didn’t heal the injuries that killed him) and then seemed to be perfectly fine and working back to normal after? Or is that an untied plot point that the writers forgot about? This really needs to be explained. They writers seem to be getting a bit careless.
  • Ester’s story about how she was there with Alaric every time he died would make sense if not for Samantha in 1912. Since Samantha has the same story as Alaric, and did the same things as him, then it should be that Ester came to her every time she died, too, and that’s why she developed a homicidal alternate personality just like Alaric. But this doesn’t fit, because back in the 1900s, the council was actually doing their job (we have no reason to assume otherwise, since in the 1860s they were still doing their job fiercely and none of their beliefs or policies changed until the present time). They killed vampires whenever they found out about them and they weren’t friends with vampires like the council members in present time are. So Samantha would have no reason to kill them and no reason to develop this alter ego in the first place. There are so many holes in her story and I really wish the writers would patch them up and explain a few things, like maybe give her a similar or different reason than Alaric for her to hate vampires and the council so strongly that she’d develop an alternate personality and kill them.
  • Where is Jeremy’s dog
  • No seriously but like why didn’t they take him home with them did Jeremy really abandon his pet which he just recently got
  • Like seriously Jeremy that’s being a bad pet owner Jeremy you can’t do that that’s just cruel
  • Like really what happened to Jeremy’s dog

It’s amazing that Delena has had four kisses and every single one of them has been like a first kiss. The first two (Damon force-kissing her in her room in 2x01 and Elena barely brushing his lips when he was dying in 2x22) don’t really count as real kisses, and then there was the first “real” kiss on the porch in 3x10. But then things went back to normal between them and they also got mad at each other and stayed that way for for the next quarter of the season, so the kiss on the motel balcony in 3x19 was also like a first kiss. Then they’re mad at each other again from their fight after and Elena thinks the kiss was nothing more than a test and is still in denial about how she feels about Damon, so the next kiss they have will be another first kiss. It’s genius the way the writers are doing this so that we get five or even more first kisses and we are just as excited with each one. The first kiss of OTPs that have good buildup is such a big thing in shows, and we’re so lucky that we get it five or more times. That’s amazing because you’re never as excited as with the first one. You never anticipate anything more than that—and we still have more first kisses to anticipate before they’re actually together. That’s one of the reasons I’m glad Delena has taken so absurdly long to even come close to getting together.