I've spent a lot of time thinking about Stefan's behavior in The Vampire Diaries Season 6 premiere, as I'm sure any TVD fan has. Last Thursday, Stefan admitted to giving up on rescuing Damon and my immediate reaction was, "Wow, Stefan — HE DIED FOR YOU." However, after meditation on the situation, I've realized that maybe I was a little aggressive in judging Stefan. It's a big deal that Damon and Bonnie have time-traveled to the early '90s, but Stefan's kind of gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to Damon in TVD's past few seasons and Paul Wesley seems to agree.
Let me preface this by saying straight-up that I'm a Delena 'shipper until the end of time, even if their love tends to scare me occasionally. I mean, it drove Elena to become a vampire with a drug problem in the Season 6 premiere — all-consuming love is beautiful, but sometimes it takes a scary turn. But, I digress, I'm emotionally invested in Damon's safe return from the flannel and grunge-filled '90s where he and Bonnie are making pancakes. Because it's not really TVD if we're only get 45 seconds of Damon footage every episode. But is it really Stefan's problem?
Following the Season 6 premiere, Wesley told Vulture that Stefan "just needs a break" from solving Damon's drama. The actor also revealed to the site that it was him who pleaded with Plec to have Stefan not spend his summer looking for Damon. But why? They're brothers and while they don't always get a long, Damon sacrificed himself for Stefan's life, does that mean nothing? According to Wesley, he just wanted to see Stefan do something different "for once" and Plec agreed. And, I suppose, I can agree as well.
Not just because I want Stefan to do something different besides play the hero every time the shit hits the fan with his brother, but because I'm still a little bitter about how TVD's treated him lately. I know I don't have to remind anyone — especially Stelena fans — that Stefan got dumped by Elena because she fell in love with his brother. Delena's a great 'ship and I'm a huge fan, as I previously admitted, but for Stefan, that really sucks. And, unfortunately, he didn't have the option of running away and leaving it all behind because Elena just wouldn't let him. Even now, in Season 6, Elena won't let Stefan go to grieve on his own.
Sure, Stefan seems to be over that particularly moment in his romantic life by now, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. And, personally, I don't think that's the worst of what Stefan's suffered. Let me take you back to the Season 5 premiere, which infuriated me as much as Stefan giving up last Thursday initially made me vow to quit TVD (an empty promise I've made at least 50 times over the years). Remember when Stefan was missing, locked in a safe at the bottom of a quarry and drowning over and over again, for an extremely long time AND NO ONE LOOKED FOR HIM.
No offense to Damon and Elena and their passionate honeymoon phase, but I felt like that was pretty shitty. Those two obsess over the little discrepancies in the "normal" state of affairs in Mystic Falls and yet neither of them — who apparently care about Stefan so much and expect him to care the same for them — didn't think to check on him. C'mon, people. It hurt me. TVD made it like Stefan got dumped and everyone immediately stopped caring about whether he lived or died and it was total bullshit.
Based on these two HUGE bullets that Stefan Salvatore totally ate over the course of TVD, it's totally justified for him to want a break from all of the Damon-related drama. Like Paul Wesley said, "For five seasons, every time things with Damon end up imploding, it’s Stefan to the rescue. And that’s getting old." And I can imagine it's getting old for Stefan, too. Especially when no one shows him the same courtesy while they're running around, being in love, and not giving him a second thought. Elena might not like it, but Stefan's life doesn't have to revolve around her and it doesn't have to revolve around Damon anymore. And she doesn't get to decide how he grieves and whether or not he actively searches for her brother — if she wants Damon back so badly, she should go looking for him herself, rather than living in her own head.
Julie Plec told fans early on that The Vampire Diaries would get a reset in Season 6, well, Stefan Salvatore needs that, too. And separating himself from this Damon drama is not only justified but also the only way to do it — even if he goes back and decides to help in the end. Cut the guy some slack.