Yeah, I just rewatched VD 1x08. The episode in which Damon is a total dick with a 'diabolical master plan', Matt and Caroline sort of hit it off, subtle as it was, Stefan struggles with his moping self and Elena struggles as well, with the truth of what Stefan is and that is - 'vampire', still kind of a new word in her vocabulary. Lucky girl, then she only had vampires to wrap her head around.
We enter the episode with a shot of Stefan dozing off while reading a book in the mansion. Something is disturbing his quiet evening indoors. Is it Damon screwing with him again? Nah, he's got other plans. It's Lexie paying a visit, Stefan's best friend from back in the day, as we soon find out. They catch up, they look beyond happy to see each other. She's arrived to cheer him up on his birthday. '162 Candles', the episode's title informs us. Are we to see Stefan smile? Whoa, it sure looks like it!
Semi-important stuff aside, Jeremy appears to have been abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone. All thanks to Damon's compulsion which took away Jeremy's sufferring as he explains it later to Elena at the Grill. So it looks like Jeremy, minus addictive personality, parental loss and acting out after a tragedy, can actually behave.
Back to Damon though. He vents his anger on Caroline by calling her 'shallow and useless and a waste of space'. Why? She can't provide him with the pendant that appears to be crucial to whatever Damon is planning. He can't take it himself so he tricks Caroline into getting it for him. Poor girl can't do much beyond verbal and more or less polite asking Bonnie to give it to her, right? Granted, she was shallow alright but to bring down an insecure girl like that? That was a low blow to say the least. Not Damon at his worst though.
My point being, so much has changed though so people who can't see past that (there still are people who can't) - haven't you been paying attention to character development at all?
So in the said episode, Damon killed Lexie to provide a scapegoat for the vampire attacks to the city council and he even got his payback so that was a win-win for him at the time. I never thought it was great of him and Lexie was amazing. I think most fans of the show, even those who have been Damon stans from the beginning, can agree on that one thing. She was pretty spectacular. Smart, witty, bright. Fans would call her the ultimate Stelena shipper but how could she not? Being Stefan's friend, she wanted the best for him and Elena was key to his happiness at the time. She used to lighten Stefan up and what was more joyous to witness, right? But yeah, Damon the baddie of season 1A was just the character to screw things up majorly for Stefan. Remember, he promised him the eternity of sufferring after all. That was also the beginning of Liz entrusting council stuff to Damon but that was part of the plan. Sure, he used her, made her his bitch to call it for what it was. At the time. They also formed a true friendship later on and that one, the on-going one, isn't fake.
Stefan, having seen Lexie staked by Damon to serve some diabolical agenda, rushes to end his brother once and for all. Even though he would have probably lost the fight, being of inferior supernatural skills compared to Damon's, if Elena hadn't talked him out of it. In this particular scene we also are let privy to another interesting Stefan's feature. While Elena is begging him not to kill Damon, he rushes into an assumption she wants to save his brother. He's wrong in his insecurity. We could say they have that in common, Caroline and him. Elena on the other hand, she wants to save him from becoming someone he'd later despise. He wallows in self-disgust and hatred for his brother. Can we blame him for hating Damon in that moment? I think not. So Damon takes a beating at the mansion and his life is spared. Stefan leaves him on the floor with a stake in his abdominal.
The point of this is not only to present the events of each episode as they happened. I intend to pinpoint the moments of Damon's journey that shaped him into the man he died being. I'm walking down the memory lane to relive the progress the show provided us with as it comes to Damon, Elena, Stefan, Caroline and the rest.
Let's talk from perspective some more then. We see in s5 finale how much has changed. A blind man could see because it's palpable. Lexie finds peace on the Other Side because she knows how much her best friend needs his brother by his side. That right there - putting friend's well-being before your own. She could have had her life back but she gave that up because she knew how much the brothers needed each other. She even saw past her own unpleasant experience with Damon whom she never liked, whom she thought pest and weed in Stefan's life. Understandably, he never let her see any other side of himself either.
See, in all its messy storytelling, this time TVD managed to actually deliver decently. It was a nice closure, the best one could have taking into account all ups and downs. It does look like she did it in vain now but here's to Damon coming back so.. bottoms up! ;)