Elena takes the cure

The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 20 (“I’d Leave My Happy HOme for You”)
Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries

Elena Gilbert has always been defined by her humanity. It is what made Stefan fall in love with her way back in Season 1. It is partially what brought Damon back to some semblance of humanity, slowly, over several seasons. It is the thing that has motivated her character throughout the entire series. When she became a vampire she felt her death more deeply than others. Even though she had already been changed by her experiences with the supernatural world, forcing her to question her sense of right and wrong, when she became a vampire all she could feel was the loss of that defining characteristic. She has come a long way since then, becoming more comfortable with what she is and finding the good in it. But Caroline was right, she will always see the vampire life as settling. Never truly fulfilled.

After some hesitation, Elena takes the cure. And it works. She gets flooded with all of the memories about Damon she had Alaric compel away from her. She didn’t need much convincing of course, it is what she has wanted ever since she became a vampire. Her only hesitation was what it would mean for her and Damon. No one is convinced that Damon really wants to be human with her. He has always loved being a vampire. He loves the strength, power, and invincibility it gives him. Elena has only ever felt the pain of it. But as Jo rightfully points out, being a vampire doesn’t change who you are. When Elena becomes human, it doesn’t affect her feelings for Damon. It is not as though her life as a vampire is erased. If Damon becomes human, he is not just going to return to who he was in 1864.

Damon convinces Elena that he really does want to take the cure, but once she gets her memories back she remembers how against it he was the first time around. He told her being a human was the most miserable thing in the world. But he has changed since he was first faced with the idea of becoming human again. Way back in Season 2 he did want it. As much as he feels empowered by being a vampire, he also has hated who he became. However, I think that that has changed a lot since the early days of this show. Being reunited with Stefan and his relationship with Elena has given him a middle ground where he can still have that strength and power, but still retain some humanity. Damon seems ready to take the leap and give up his vampirism for her, but he still needs to convince her of that.

Meanwhile, Stefan is stuck dealing with Mama Salvatore. She is spiraling out of control without her companions. Stefan tries to create a bond with her over both of them being rippers. It is unclear how much of this is because he actually hopes he will be able to get his mom to feel a connection with him again, and how much is just to stop her from killing the town. He probably doesn’t really know himself. Knowing Stefan as we do at this point, it is probably a little bit of both. He isn’t in the denial that Damon is about not caring if she loves them or not. But he also doesn’t seem to be holding his breath. After 150 years, Damon is pretty much the only family he needs. This is why he is so hurt to learn that Damon is considering becoming human again. We saw how much Damon’s disappearance at the beginning of this season affected him. Damon becoming human means he will get to have the happy ending Stefan always wanted, and then he will leave Stefan alone for eternity.

Matt is continuing to grow more and more resentful towards vampires and is taking it out on both Tyler and Alaric in this episode. Matt has lost all of his friends to the supernatural world. He got Tyler back this season but when he finds out that Tyler isn’t going to go through with the police training, he isn’t very supportive. Despite Tyler’s very valid concern that being a police officer will re-trigger his werewolf curse. But his conversation with Alaric, about how he shouldn’t raise his child in Mystic Falls, certainly begs the question as to why Matt stays in Mystic Falls. At this point he doesn’t really have anything keeping him there other than the fact that he probably wouldn’t know where to go or what to do once he left. He also wants to protect Mystic Falls from the supernatural dangers, but he will always be torn between helping his friends and protecting the town.

I have gone back and forth on how I feel about Matt as a character. He is kind of the least significant main character, often cast aside to make room for the other more important characters. He hardly ever has much of a storyline. But the dilemma the show is beginning to plant this season for him is the first time it has really tried to flesh his character out beyond the nice, good guy, human. On the one hand I like that they are giving him something more to do and it certainly feels earned. After everything he has gone through, it is fair that he would feel exhaustion with the constant problems caused by having vampires around. And he has nothing else, so I feel for him. But through it he is losing sympathy for his friends, which is the thing that has always made him the good guy human.

This episode had some interesting conflicts, and of course a very big moment with Elena becoming human again. I enjoyed watching Damon and Elena talk through what they both wanted as far as becoming human again. I was less interested though in Elena’s memories coming back making her doubt Damon’s commitment to becoming human again. It is clearly a way to stall him taking the cure too so that we can keep guessing about that for the last couple episodes of the season. The end of the episode hints at Kai having figured out a way to escape from the 1903 prison world and that he will take the Heretics with him. This I was most excited for.

Episode Grade: 7/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Jo and Alaric are having twins which means that their kids are going to have to deal with the whole Gemini thing. And with Kai potentially coming back, leaving Mystic Falls might be very necessary.
  • This episode centers around Jo and Alaric’s bachelorette/bachelor parties and there are very different. Alaric’s is thrown by the Salvatores, Matt, and Tyler plus like hundreds of others. It is very typical bachelor party style. Jo’s on the other hand is just Bonnie and Elena… does she not know anyone else?
  • Enzo not knowing how to take a jello shot was a highlight for me.
  • Damon: “Well I wasn’t going to leave it in the soap dish” a great call back to Season 2 when he hid the moonstone in the soap dish. The worst hiding place.
  • I’m not sure why but this season the show has made multiple references to Elena really liking eggplant. In the flashback to her first date with Damon, she is concerned that he might not like eggplant. Like it could be a problem in their relationship.
  • Damon explains to Alaric/the audience how him taking the cure would work. Since Elena was only a vampire for a couple of years she won’t age that much if he takes it from her so she will be fine. So long as no one takes it from him, he will be fine.
  • The quick glimpse to the 1903 world shows Kai making cornbread for the Heretics and Collective Soul is playing. I have missed him so much. Why didn’t we get to see any of him in the 1903 world?
  • Body Count: None!

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