A lot of people said right after watching the season 4 premiere that it was like season 3 never happened and Stefan and Elena were back to their relationship as it was in season 1 and 2. Obviously 4x02 changed a lot of things because once again Elena was leaning on Damon, not Stefan and this time by her own choice. Many talented people on tumblr have pointed out the parallels that Damon and Elena had in this episode with various other episodes which Ace summed up in this post. However what is fascinating is how what Damon said in 2x05 no more holds true:
Oh come on, Stefan. You and Elena don’t fight, especially not over me.
And that is exactly what happened in 4x02 Stefan and Elena fought because of Damon, because Elena sought after Damon and not Stefan and even she even drank from him which is a call back of Damon and Stefan’s conversation in 2x08 which thequeenofdrama pointed out in her gifset:
Damon: Does Elena know you’re drinking blood?
Stefan: I’ve been drinking hers.
Damon: Hmm, how romantic.
Damon says that blood sharing is personal and according to what we witnessed of Damon and Elena’s blood sharing encounter and what Julie Plec has said it is also sexual:
“Bloodsharing in vampire folklore — and certainly in the book mythology — is kind of sexual,” [Plec] explains. “It’s very intimate. It’s an exchange of bodily fluids, as they say, that you really shouldn’t be doing with anybody who’s not your one true vampire love. That’s the intention that we were going for there. In a weird way, Elena needing a fix was doing things that she shouldn’t have been doing to get help.”
Now there have been number of cases of bloodsharing on the show including Mikael drinking from Katherine and Caroline from Klaus but none of these scenes were as intimate and sexual as Damon and Elena’s scene in 4x02 which probably means that it only becomes such a huge deal when both the people have strong feelings for one another hence Damon saying it’s kind of personal. Where in season 2 Damon was not a reason for Stefan and Elena’s fights and seemed in significant in front of Stefan and Elena’s blood sharing, now we have Stefan and Elena fighting over him for that very reason. This is a shift in the triangle however slow it might be and as Plec said about Stefan and Elena in the premiere about Elena saying she’ll be with him forever if she wants:
Someone asked me what the biggest hurdle would be for Stefan and Elena this year, and it’s Damon. Plain and simple. Damon and Elena’s feelings for Damon continue to be the biggest things that could keep Stefan and Elena from being together forever.
In another interview she says about Stefan and Elena:
They love each other as deeply as two people can love each other, but that doesn’t mean that their relationship is infallible.
We all know what Elena wants is a love that consumes her. Where it seems like Stefan and Elena’s relationship is falling apart because of its lack of foundation, Plec says:
“it’s certainly not the end of Delena, as anyone might be afraid,” insists Plec. “In fact, in a way, it’s the beginning of the beginning.”