There is this quote from early on in the show, possibly from Kevin Williamson, to the effect that The Vampire Diaries is the story of Elena falling in love with one brother and changing the life of another. Now, I may not read interviews but I do know this quote, because it gets bandied about all over the place as evidence of Stefan/Elena being endgame, and Damon/Elena never really being a threat to it. And I get that. It makes sense. Anybody who watched the first season of the show might well assume that Stefan/Elena is the love story and that Damon is the one who gets his life changed. Because Elena does change his life, no doubt about that. But the more we see of the triangle the more I’m starting to think the quote holds as a description of the show, but it works the other way around. Because Damon is the journey for Elena. He’s the one she’s spending four seasons plus learning to love. In contrast, she fell in love with Stefan in the first ten episodes of season 1, and that tells me that Stefan/Elena is not so much a journey as the set-up for another journey. And Stefan? He’s been struggling back and forth between the good and the bad in him for so long. This is decades of one step forward, two steps back – decades that make up more than a century. But he’s never really changed. And so I’m thinking that just as Stefan/Elena was the romantic set-up for the romantic journey between Damon and Elena, so Damon’s ability to be transformed by that love, is the set-up for the much larger and longer transformative journey that is Stefan Salvatore’s.
—  Rophdoes (x)

From The Ropher Awards:

Sophy Says:The trouble is that where most shows get more layered and emotionally and intellectually mature as they go on, Gossip Girl dumbed itself down relentlessly. By the time the finale came around I was expecting literally nothing good to come of it. I was expecting to roll my eyes and smirk and point and laugh and wonder how it ever stayed on the air for five and a half seasons. And yet somehow, it was much, much, much, much, much worse than I anticipated

The Gossip Girl series finale was so bad that I have actual conspiracy theories in which it is an industry in-joke, a secret I’ll just let it burn parody, a tongue-in-cheek attempt to see just exactly what kind of excrement these mindless drones that call themselves fans of this shit will swallow.

I’ve been wondering about that since it aired. I’m still wondering.

It’s not actually that the show hurt me, although hurt me it did – when it gave up on Blair and Serena, when it built Dan/Blair up into the most beautiful thing it had ever done and then tossed it aside in the space of one episode, only to get it out and stomp on it every now and then in the final season, when it humiliated Serena one last time and called it romance, and, perhaps most keenly, when it turned Blair Waldorf into the shallow, one-dimensional, trust-fund-baby bitch she sometimes used to pretend to be back when this used to pretend to be a show worth watching.

And I mean, I was going to choose Chuck and Blair for worst couple and then I realized that Dan and Serena probably deserved that honour more when all was said and done. On account of how Dan Humphrey was Gossip Girl and Serena thought it was a love letter that time he got her sectioned. And then I decided this shitfest needed a special category all its own.

It’s been months since the finale and I still don’t understand how it got written, performed, filmed and aired. I still catch myself thinking about Chuck and his father on the rooftop and covering my mouth because wow.

Most unintentionally funny scene in television history? Possibly. Worst series finale ever? It’s a definite contender. Worst thing that happened in 2012? 100% of people with functioning brains agree.

I don’t think Damon believes Elena loves him. I think he believes she believes she loves him. I think he believes she wants him – she wants to be with him – she wants him to want to be with her right back. But love him? Like the way he loves her?

Well that would be just about as grotesque as him being Bonnie Bennett’s friend.

When Silas muses that he has no idea why Elena likes Damon, it’s not because he has sat down and had a good long think about Damon’s feelings. He has little to no interest in Damon’s feelings and no need to dissect and discuss the way fandom does. If he wants to know what’s eating Damon Salvatore all he has to do is read his mind.

So when Silas says he doesn’t know what Elena would see in Damon what he’s really telling is us that Damon doesn’t know what Elena would see in him. Or maybe he does and maybe that’s worse. When Damon replies that that’s because Silas hasn’t had sex with him, okay, it’s hilarious, okay, it’s pure Damon, okay it’s the kind of thing he would say when it meant nothing at all… but it’s also the truth as he sees it.

Elena likes him because she likes having sex with him. Or that’s his best guess at this point, because that’s the only thing he knows he must be good at – because she keeps coming back for more, right? And that many orgasms over a summer cannot be wrong.

This makes me terribly sad but it stands to reason. You can’t be told you’re unworthy as many times as Damon has been – as he still is on a regular basis – even by the the girl who loves him – and not take that to heart – not believe in it to some extent. And at the end of the day, what did Katherine actually ever want with him? All we know for sure is she liked fucking him.

I’m not saying Damon thinks his relationship with Elena is equivalent to his relationship with Katherine – not even close. But perhaps we are at our least rational when we are afraid. Or perhaps Damon just remembers too well how much of a bitch hope is.

So I think a part of him already feels defeated with Elena. This – this bliss the two of them having been living in – has been a perfect aberration. They sire bond has been broken, but the honeymoon isn’t over, not quite. And when it is? It’s always going to be Stefan.

What they had was a real relationship, right? What he and Elena have is one big long one-night stand that is probably the result of the sire bond.

Silas was reading Damon’s mind then, just as he is reading it now, and what he is telling us is nothing new.

—  RophyDoes (x)

People often scoff at the idea that Damon could be a real boyfriend to Elena. What are they going to do, they ask rhetorically? Make dinner and watch TV? Well, the answer to that is… sure. Why not?

To be honest I think it’s been clear for a long time that that’s exactly the kind of couple they could be – alongside being the kind of couple who shag like rabbits on crack and sweaty-dance with blood dripping down their faces. As far back as when Damon was casually shifting Elena’s feet to sit down on the couch and leaving them in his lap, the signs were there. And then in season 3 there was the “sucky chilli” interaction. And now we have Christmas time at the lake-house, and Elena is reminiscing about beloved Jenna with beloved Jeremy and beloved Bonnie, and she’s gazing dreamily Damon’s way between tales of yore.

—  Rophydoes (x)

First of all it’s rare to hear someone speak positively about Damon. Like, it’s as rare as winning the lottery. Without a ticket. And I’m pretty sure it’s even rarer for Elena to get to be around to hear it. And her face when she takes it in. Shane is all “Damon is very intuitive,” and Elena looks down and smiles a tiny smile and looks like she almost wants to start nodding enthusiastically but catches herself just in time, and basically she is just generally warm and fuzzy and sort of smug about her man’s special abilities, and it’s just the sweetest thing ever. Elena has copped so much flack from everyone lately, well, okay, mostly from Caroline, for seeing the good in Damon, and so I think it’s positively delicious to have someone acknowledge a reason why she might. Even if it’s only the tiniest of non-moral reasons, it’s still a treat for her and for me, and I love that it went directly against Caroline’s hysterical protestations that not only was Damon a terrible person, he was also never right. Oh Caroline. Your judgment-clouding bias is showing. The truth is that Damon is almost never wrong when it comes to people and the ways they feel and the secrets they hold, and I like that Elena got a second to quietly revel in that fact with Shane.

He was right about her, after all. There was something between them. And she was lying to herself. He may have crossed the line sixty-five ways in that scene way back in 201, but he was not wrong, and Elena knew it then, and she knows it now.

—  Rophydoes (x)

Damon would do anything for Elena, you guys. As long as he believed it was what she wanted. But right now he doesn’t and that’s the problem. Damon doesn’t believe for a second that Elena really wants to basically marry him. He doesn’t believe for a second that she’s going to feel exactly the way she does now when the sire bond is broken. He doesn’t want to invalidate her feelings by saying so when she asks, so he hedges with “I’m saying we don’t know”. But I think in his mind hope that her feelings are real is fading fast.

So if he turns human he won’t be doing it for her, he’ll be doing it for a pipe dream and he’ll have only himself to blame. And what’s worse, he believes that Elena will love Stefan again when the sire bond is broken. And Damon knows his brother. He knows that if she’s human again and loves him again and the two of them are able to pretend nothing ever happened, he will want her again in a heartbeat. And he knows Stefan would take the cure, with or without her, without a second thought. So it’s all too easy for him to see a Stefan/Elena endgame in which the two of them are human and oh so happy and he is human and not happy and the useless part of the group everyone feels guilty about.

I think Shane hit the nail on the head when he said that Damon felt his relevance slipping away. Because I think that’s exactly what he fears – being irrelevant. And that’s what human beings are, as a general rule. They’re irrelevant except in the measure in which somebody loves them, somebody wants them, somebody needs them, somebody calls them their own. And I don’t think Damon thinks he can have that with Elena or with anybody. So what would be the point of him as a human, exactly?

In Damon’s mind I think it’s better to stay a vampire so he can at least mean that to Elena and Stefan even as they mean everything to each other. Because as a vampire he can protect them where they can no longer protect themselves. As a vampire he can save them from the nasty little happenstances of human life, like car wrecks and cancers and sick children and even unbearable sadness. He can still be the hero if he can’t be anything else. And hey, he can still be the eternal stud, and he wasn’t lying when he said he liked that.

—  Rophydoes (x)
Okay, so this was the actual worst. Stefan snapping Damon’s neck, standing tall and saying “How does it feel, brother?” had my eyes rolled and my palm on my face. I would love to be able to call it irony, but the thing is that as long as nobody is around to raise a brow and be all ‘I’m guessing it feels pretty much like it did the last time you did it to him, when you were running Elena’s agenda and wanted him out of the way because he cared too much whether she lived or died…?’ then it simply stands as a ‘Bam’ moment for Stefan. Yet another instance of him painting himself as a victim and a hero, yet another instance of nobody correcting him, and nobody ever will because this is not the kind of thing that’s ever going to be brought up around other characters.
—  Sophy’s recap of 5x05 { x }
When Stefan had sex with Elena for the first time she did not know who he was. I don’t feel that this is an exaggeration. At no point during their “epic” all night conversation did he tell her a scrap of the truth about Stefan. Like how he’s not just a vampire, he’s a ripper. Like how he’s killed what? Tens of thousands of innocent human beings? Like how he yanked their heads off and drank from their brain stems? Like how he slaughtered her ancestors? Like how if he himself doesn’t snap and end up brutally murdering her or people she loves, he has this seriously unbalanced brother who’s likely to follow him into town and do it for him? Like how that brother would take a particular interest in her because she looks exactly the same as this girl they both used to be in love with? Like how he stalked her for months to make sure she wasn’t that same girl? Like how he had to know her? Like how he knew things about her – deeply intimate things like how she has a doppelganger, like how she’s adopted, before she did? Before he ever contrived to bump into her outside the boys’ toilets at her high-school?
—  rophydoes

The sire bond appears to pick what it wants to be like a fashionable schizophrenic gets dressed in the morning. One minute it’s the way Tyler was with Klaus. Then it’s just different with vampires. Then it’s Charlotte, who takes everything Damon says literally and runs with it all the way to the painful and the ridiculous. Then it’s Elena who appears to be much more able to argue and much more attuned to what Damon really means. No comical ‘You said to show no mercy!’ moments for her. In fact, when Damon flat out tells her to feed from somebody she just doesn’t. And does the sire bond operate on direct orders only? If so then why is everyone and their dog questioning her feelings? Because it operates on knowing what Damon wants deep down even if he doesn’t say it and mirroring that? Well then why is it so easy for her to haul him off a baddie he’s trying to kill? And you know, half the time I’m supposed to accept that the sire bond makes Elena change her mind about things. But then also sometimes she doesn’t change her mind, it’s just that her body changes it for her. I mean, if her not being able to keep the blood-bag down is about the sire bond, shouldn’t she have been comically staggering backwards to the car in 409 whilst grabbing at stray branches in an effort to stay put? And why isn’t anyone on the show asking these questions? These are things the characters should be thinking about, not just the audience! I mean, I can well understand Stefan and Caroline ignoring any and all evidence that Elena might not actually be sired to Damon, but Damon and Elena themselves? No fucking way.

-RophyDoes [x] - 4x13 Recap.

yes yes and yes.

It devastates me that Elena has been compromised here [by the sire bond]. Because I was really enjoying Damon being the first of many choices made by a liberated Elena, an Elena who no longer hangs herself up, an Elena who no longer thinks she should suppress her instincts. I wanted her to want, take, have with Damon, and for that to be okay – with her – and ultimately with the people who love her. I wanted the message to be that it’s okay for a woman to fall out of love, and it’s okay for her to fall in love again, and actually, it’s okay for her to do both at the same time, and it’s okay for her to make choices other people don’t agree with and it’s okay for her to give in to pure desire without being made ashamed of it.
—  Rophy Does