Damon goes through hell in the form of Groundhog Day and the gang worries about what he’ll be like when he gets out.
I’m sure you know the aphorism about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Damon went through a version of hell that followed a variation on that saying. Trapped in the Phoenix Stone, he relived the first time he had blood on his hands from killing a family and 2 deserters when he was sent to capture the deserters, despite the fact that he didn’t believe in the war any more than they did. While he didn’t repeat the exact same events, he kept trying over and over again to spare everyone before finally changing what he did and even that didn’t work.
When he first “came out” of the Phoenix Stone, I thought it was real. I realized it wasn’t as soon as Julian torched Stefan. This show can kill a lot of people, but I don’t see either of the Salvatores being permanently killed unless it is in the final season as part of some massive story arc. In that dream, Caroline’s reason for bringing him out first made sense. Well, sort of. Stefan has always had a firmer grip on humanity than Damon has, so leaving him in there a bit longer is the smart choice. Add to that the fact that a dehumanized Damon is much more likely to kill Bonnie in order to get Elena back, and bringing him out first is the best idea.
Damon has always reminded me of Spike from Buffy, a good and decent human being who is radically altered by becoming a vampire. And both of them change tremendously because of they love a human. Given that, Stefan would be analogous to Angel/us. Normally, they are exhibit great control, but they both have a tremendously dark side that is beyond vicious. Both Angelus and Stefan the Ripper are absolutely vicious creatures who delight in harming and torturing others. Both are also tragic characters, trying to redeem themselves for the horrors they’ve done in the past. I was really reminded of this tonight when we saw Damon in the past. As a human, Damon was a good soul who really didn’t want to transition. The events we saw tonight obviously left deep psychological scars on him that made that time worse for him than anything he did as a vampire. And given what we’ve seen him do, I can only imagine what he did that we haven’t seen. I think what made this worse is that he was a human when it happened. As a vampire, he could put a large amount of distance between him and what he did. As a human, that is harder to do.
I also found it interesting that he needed to admit that he needed and wanted Lily before he could come out of the Phoenix Stone. Unfortunately for everyone around him, when he came out he was frantic because he wanted to apologize to Lily but wasn’t able to. He was so convinced that he was still in the Stone that he went berserk on everyone else. I feel safe in assuming that no one is dead, since we see them all in the flash forwards, but that was some serious damage he did to everyone. That was not a good thing.
Until next week!