The Vampire Diaries – Nostalgia’s a Bitch
By: Luke Joseph
What demons hide inside of Damon’s head? On the last episode of “The Vampire Diaries” we got our question answered. The episode was titled Nostalgia’s a Bitch and for Damon Salvatore it really is. The quote was first used in the Miss Mystic Falls episode when Damon and Anna are looking over the townsfolk for the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. The title was quite fitting considering its main focus was heavily given to Damon.
It’s Where My Demons Hide
The episode starts off with Caroline (Candice King) in a depressed state considering her on again and off again engagement is off again. Well Caroline, we can’t blame you seeing as your fiancé rather dig his teeth into humans than choose which wedding invites you’ll be using. Because of this, Caroline is in no mood to get out of bed. Cue Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) entering the Boarding House! Only it’s not Caroline she finds first, it’s Damon who seems to be in his own world and he is.
Thanks to Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) he’s in his own catatonic state and locked in his own mind. Realizing they’re powerless without her, they end up asking for Sybil’s help. Is it sad that Sybil actually seems thrilled that people have to endure hanging out with her? Doing her annoying siren like thing, she’s able to give Caroline and Bonnie a first class trip into Damon’s mind.
There Are Faces I Remember
Henry: Ironically the first place that the girls end up is the Salvatore Boarding House which now seems to be a fancy inn. Only, no Salvatores are to be found roaming around the place. Instead, the inn keeper Henry (Evan Gamble) looks to be the one in charge. Caroline asks Henry where Damon is, but it seems that Mr. Salvatore passed away years ago as a civil war hero. The portrait hanging in the parlor proof of that. So why is Henry here? Well, back when Damon was trapped in the hell stone the day he kept reliving was when he was responsible for Henry’s death. That was when Damon was still human and yet he’s carrying that guilt.
Vicki: When Caroline and Bonnie find themselves at the Mystic Grill they run into Vicki (Kayla Ewell). The thing is though Vicki doesn’t remember she’s dead. She’s still taking orders and acting like nothing has happened. Back in Season One Damon ended up killing and turning Vicki simply because he was bored. When she had to be staked because she was too out of control, he was quite heartless over it. Now, we see he’s been carrying the guilt of her death all of these years. The girls are about to follow Vicki out to question her, but in the end it’s only Bonnie because Caroline something or rather someone stops Caroline in her tracks. Bonnie believes that by following Vicki she will find Damon. Only he’s nowhere to be found.
Liz: “I forgot how pretty she is.” How beautiful was it to see Liz Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) again? It would have been even more touching if Caroline and Liz had gotten a tender reunion but that wasn’t the case. Rather than the understanding mother who accepted her daughter as a vampire, Caroline was met with the vampire hater. This was Season Two Liz, the one who was part of the council and made it her mission to end vampires. Rather than a heartfelt hug, Caroline ended up getting a torture session by her mother. It reminded us of when Daddy Forbes chained his daughter up and proceeded to torture her.
Grams: When Bonnie’s old house door opened and Grams (Jasmine Guy) was revealed from behind we all felt that tug at our hearts. It was so beautiful to see Bonnie and her Grams talking in her living room. Unlike Liz, Grams was quick to accept what was actually happening. The best part about this? Bonnie confessed her happiness and a vampire being the reason for it. She went as far as telling Grams she’d even become a vampire if circumstances were different. We all know how it was against a witch’s nature to love a vampire, but Gram’s supported it because she could see how happy Bonnie is. Even though this Gram’s wasn’t “real” it was nice to see her giving Bonnie her blessing over her relationship with Enzo (Michael Malarkey). So why was Grams there? Well, in Season One Damon had forced Bonnie and Grams to open the tomb; it had drained Grams resulting in her passing. Maybe he’s still holding that guilt, but there’s another reason why Bonnie is in this house and it because Damon’s letter is there.
Tyler: Bonnie had ventured off into the Salvatore crypt where she had found Damon’s tombstone from when he had died as a human. Surprise, surprise, Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) is running inside Damon’s mind. He believes that he can’t be saved, but Bonnie thinks otherwise because Damon led her here. It’s obvious why Tyler is there. The Damon that had killed Tyler had his switch flipped and under a Sea Witches’ command. Now that he’s feeling again, he’s remembering how Tyler had been someone he could trust. It had been Tyler that Damon had entrusted to keep guard of Elena. How did he repay Tyler’s good deed? By killing him.
Behind Blue Eyes
Meanwhile in the non-alternate reality, Stefan (Paul Wesley) is on a mission to deliver more souls to Cade (Wolé Parks). When he gets wind of what’s going on with Damon he instructs the girls to fix it. At first he had been on Team Sybil, but then Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) had sweetened the deal explaining how he could have one thousand souls on that very night. All that needs to happen? The bell has to be rung twelve times by a Maxwell family member. Obviously, since it won’t happen willingly, Stefan cheats the system when he tells Matt (Zach Roerig) that if he can’t forgive Damon then he will ring the bell at the top of the hour and with it comes hell.
Since Damon has yet to be found Stefan is the last hope – taking a journey into his brother’s mind. Considering that Stefan is also the Ripper, he’s not all that genuine with what he’s saying. He enters the “cemetery” and calling out to Damon that he forgives him for whatever past sins Damon committed. Hold up, why would Damon need Stefan’s forgiveness? Yes! It looks like it’s not Stefan’s forgiveness he is looking for, it’s Damon’s. The admission completely stuns the younger brother as he looks at Damon in complete disbelief. He actually looks appalled by the admission. “You’re right, I’m the monster, but like I said I forgive you.” This comment causes Stefan to punch Damon right in the face. “You’re not here for Cade; you’re here because you blame yourself for turning me in the first place,” snaps Stefan. Yup, upon losing Katherine, Damon had decided he couldn’t live in a world without her. He had made the choice not to complete the transition, but Stefan forced him to do so. Constantly Damon keeps telling Stefan that he forgives him and it only results in Stefan becoming all the more violent.
“I forgive you for making me what I am. I absolve you from all the death and destruction I’ve caused as a result and you want to know why? Because you’re my brother and I love you and there’s nothing you can do to ever change that.” -Damon
The admission on Damon’s part is quite tender. Perhaps, if Stefan wasn’t a Ripper he’d share in that feeling. Unfortunately, he is so there aren’t any hugs – only the cold hard truth. He tells him how he’s about to burn Mystic Falls to the ground. He has the tiniest shred of guilt for leaving Damon to die with everyone else, but he knows the only way to get rid of his brother is to let him go up in flames with the rest of the damn town.
Meanwhile, while this is all going down, Matt is ringing the bell. Stefan is returning back to the present and Damon is finally snapping out of his trance. Becoming the protector of the town that he’s known to be, he shocks Stefan by ripping out his heart and amusingly Caroline looks impressed as her fiancé drops dead. Don’t worry – he’s not dead, dead. Damon does prove; however, to be a hero seeing as he saved Matt Donovan after Matt had instructed his father to kill him. So, the bell wouldn’t ring twelve times. It only rang eleven; knocking Matt’s head against it doesn’t count.
Thank You For Being A Friend
There are three key moments with individuals that shows just how much an effect Damon has on them. Not only that but also how beautiful his character development is.
Caroline: Alright, technically speaking Damon and Caroline didn’t actually share this scene. It’s between Caroline and her mother and she’s trying to reason with Liz about the importance of Damon. “Believe me, I never thought that I’d see the day Damon was a monster and he did terrible things to me and my friends. And I used to hate him for that…he was the only person who truly understood how much it hurt to lose you and as strange as it sounds that made me forgive him for everything else.”
Matt: Yup, you read correctly. Damon Salvatore finally owned up to Vicki’s death by apologizing to Matt. He confesses, “I’m sorry about Vicki. I know you’ll never forgive me for what I did, but I should have told you this a long time ago.” I mean, this was something big for Damon to do because it shows he does care. Matt might not be ready to forgive him just yet, but he’s willing for that view to change if Damon continues to prove himself. The two even share a smile when Matt states he’s heading to the police department because he heard they’re looking for a sheriff. “I always did like the Sheriffs in this town,” Damon admits and damn with that old score playing it makes it all the more nostalgic.
Bonnie: Back in Season Seven, before Damon went off to desiccate next to the love of his life, he had left Bonnie a letter. Throughout episodes it’s been hinted at but never read. That changed when after Bonnie met him at the Boarding House he said the letter out loud to her by memory. “I’m absolutely terrified of failing you both,” so pretty much Damon admitted to taking the coward’s way out. He already felt that he had failed Elena by past actions and he couldn’t endure disappointing Bonnie as well. It just goes to show what a beautiful friendship Damon and Bonnie have. They went from hating each other, to tolerating each other and somewhere along the way finding friendship.
Though it was disappointing that Elena wasn’t really brought up, it’s actually in away very much to do with her. This episode was about Damon finding redemption. It’s about him preparing to be human because as a human he can’t afford to make reckless choices. He needs to embrace the good, but also accept the bad. He’s over one hundred and seventy-five years old, but he still had a lot of growing up to do and this episode shows how much he’s growing. It shows he’s ready to be human.
Hello Cade, Goodbye Sirens
In the final moments of the episode Seline and Sybil are having a sisterly chat at the diner. Really, it’s ending with these two? Oh thank God (or rather the devil) because Cade just walked in. “My beautiful children, still broken after all of these years,” he comments before slipping in the booth to sit next to them. Both siren sisters seem shook wondering how he’s here. The bell only rang eleven times. It wasn’t enough to release hell on earth, but it was enough to let Cade come in and say hi. Sybil and Seline suddenly become desperate realizing what’s about to happen. They offer to work together, but Cade isn’t having any of it. Instead, he’s having two sirens shish-kabob and we can only hope they sang their last song.