Damon is tired of standing in for Stefan

Season 3, Episode 4 (“Disturbing Behavior”)
Ian Somerhalder (Image: The CW)

After spending months trying to find Stefan and save him, Elena has finally decided to stop searching. She certainly hasn’t given up on him but she is no longer actively trying to find him and get him home. Focusing on her life in Mystic Falls, she and Damon are starting to grow closer, much to everyone else’s dismay. Both Alaric and Caroline state their concern about it. Alaric tells Damon to back off and Caroline tries to get Elena to admit that she has feelings for Damon. Elena doesn’t want to admit this because she will feel like she is betraying Stefan. But she definitely seems more confused than ever about her feelings for both Salvatore brothers.

With Stefan gone, Elena is hoping that Damon will step up as the good Salvatore vampire in town. However, Damon isn’t necessarily willing to take on that role. Damon is tired of everyone expecting him to be a new and improved version of himself. Ever since Stefan left he has been on his best behavior, but in this episode he seems to need to prove that he is still just as bad as ever. He can be the good guy so long as it’s on his own terms, and not because anyone is expecting him to be. He would rather sabotage his relationships with Elena and Alaric than be depended upon. He takes his frustrations out on Caroline’s dad (who honestly deserves it) and goes back to being his impulsive, destructive self. He snaps Alaric’s neck to get him out of the way and attacks Bill Forbes just because Elena told him that he needed something to keep his behavior in check.

Speaking of Caroline’s dad, he is still as much of a dick as ever. She is still able to love him despite everything that he has done to her. He is a founding family member that hates all vampires, regardless of who they are. He doesn’t believe that there can be good vampires, and all of them, including his daughter, are a lost cause. He cannot love her despite what she is. After she saves him from Damon, he is nicer to her but he still doesn’t think she is okay as she is.

Klaus, Stefan, and Rebekah are still in Chicago using Gloria to find out where Rebekah’s necklace is. Of course Stefan knows where it is and is terrified of what will happen when Klaus finds out. He and Rebekah realize that Stefan is hiding something from them and so Klaus brings Stefan back to Mystic Falls to figure it out. This is a welcome development because I don’t think that the show could keep them separate from the Mystic Falls crew for much longer and keep it interesting. This season always impresses me with just how long they allow Stefan to be “bad”, but he can do that and still be in town. Obviously Klaus will eventually figure out that Elena is alive and now that they are back in Mystic Falls that should happen pretty quickly.

Finally, the ghost storyline continues as Jeremy’s connection with Anna grows stronger. They are able to communicate and even physically touch each other now as they are both reaching out to each other. Anna says that she is on “the other side” which is the first mention of this supernatural element that will become much more important later on. Jeremy initially hides all of this from Bonnie because he is unsure of what it means to him for him to be seeing Anna.

Overall this episode is one that I really enjoy watching but I found it difficult to have too much to say about it. It set up the return of Klaus and Stefan to Mystic Falls which is great. It also poses the question of whether Elena and Damon could ever be a real thing. Damon is never going to be Stefan, and if that is what Elena wants then it is never going to happen. But if Damon wants a shot at a relationship with Elena, he has to change in someway because his impulsive and violent actions will drive her away. She was able to love Stefan despite him being a vampire because he strove to be as human-like as possible. Damon on the other hand embraces his vampire nature and will default to it when he is feels hurt. Is there some in between version of Damon that Elena could learn to love? Clearly she has developed feelings for him even if she isn’t ready to go there, but there is still the question of whether it could ever work. Even if she has feelings for him, is Damon even a viable love interest for her? This season really turns up the love triangle and so this is going to be brought up a lot throughout the season 3 reviews.

Episode Grade: B+

Other Thoughts:

  • Event of the Episode: Another Founder’s party, it feels like it’s been a while since we had one.
  • Sexual Tension: Elena and Damon cooking chili in her kitchen is the most overtly flirtatious they have ever been.
  • Liz/Damon: “Just because you and I are on ok terms, doesn’t mean I’m a big advocate for your lifestyle” “Is that what you told him when you two got divorced?” Damon and Liz’s friendship is one of my favorite things on this show.
  • Damon: “Well if there is anyone who doesn’t need help, it’s your annoying control freak of a daughter” Glad to see Damon recognizing that Caroline is pretty badass on her own.
  • Damon was right, everyone brought chili to the party.
  • Alaric is very upset with Damon which leads him to try and join the Founder’s council as a stand-in for the Gilberts now that several of the council members are compromised.
  • Stefan won’t let Katherine in on his scheme so she schemes on her own and gets the necklace from Bonnie and then recruits Damon to help her with her plan.
  • Body Count: 3, Stefan and Klaus kill and feed on two random people (2), Katherine kills Gloria (1)

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