The Vampire Diaries' fifth season has been consistently throwing fans for a loop but TVD went one step further during last week's episode. We're not talking about Katherine taking over Elena's body permanently — we're talking about Damon flipping his humanity switch. Fans were shocked when show runner Julie Plec had the elder Salvatore brother break up with Elena in the show's midseason finale and they were even more upset when Damon made his longtime-coming return to the dark side.
So how did we end up here? Enzo, Damon's old friend from his time being imprisoned by the Augustines, has been testing his humanity limits since they were reunited during the first half of the season. And this week, he finally got Damon to cross the threshold. Well, with the help of Katherine posing as Elena dishing out a huge rejection when he took Stefan's advice about trying to get Elena back. I guess one person, human or vampire, can only handle so much pressure and disappointment.
Fans were upset that TVD had not only broken up one of their favorite couples but also turned one of their favorite, most crush-worthy characters into a villain. They even went so far as to ask why Julie Plec and Caroline Dries were trying to make them "hate" Damon Salvatore while at the same time vowing to stand by him till the end of the series. But is "hate" really how we feel about Damon flipping the switch and returning to his dark side?
We all seem to have forgotten that when Damon Salvatore was introduced to this show he was its first villain and the epitome of evil. And we loved it. We loved Damon from day one — and so did everyone else. The best way to describe him was deliciously evil and I distinctly remember being in love with the character, regardless of whether he was the absolute worst or not. (Even after he killed Stefan's BFF Lexi.)
That Damon was confident, proud, and happy about his decision to turn his humanity off and the fact that he was enjoying every part of being a vampire to the fullest. And, most importantly, he was unpredictable and interesting. Sure, he was trying to compensate for his pain and avoid his feelings but he was so great at it that even though we should feel bad, we didn't. He brought a natural, dark edge to the show that it's since tried to recreate with Klaus and Silas but neither of them really got "deliciously evil" trait back on screen.
Then he admitted his feelings for Elena, kissed her on her now burnt-to-ashes porch, sired her vampire transition, and the rest is history. But as soon as he acknowledged that he was in love with her and turned that switch back on he went into lost-puppy mode. And even though he challenged Elena and their relationship occasionally, he became exactly what she wanted him to be because she wore down his resolve.
So why would we feel like we need to hate Damon? We've seen him like this before — we actually liked him like this before. It doesn't really make sense to say that we have to dislike the character now that he's turned his humanity off because he might be better off this way. This is the Damon that Elena fell for to begin with because we all know that if she didn't feel the need to help him and change him there never would've been a relationship — because that's how Elena is. She was drawn to the darkness and so were we.
TVD needed a breath of fresh air after it snuffed out Klaus and Caroline's relationship a few weeks ago — and Damon's return to the dark is going to do the trick.
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