8. Senior night (3.05)
She’s stubborn, I’ll admit that. Sometimes against all hope and even all logic, Elena pushes and fights for people – like Ripper Stefan, who is compelled to attack her and has no faith in himself to stop it. And yet, she doesn’t give up on him. She’s always believing the best in everyone – from Damon to Alaric to Stefan, she sees the good side and she reminds them of it, all the time. For the entirety of season 3, she doesn’t give up on Stefan, even when he attacks her, yells at her, scares her away – she won’t stop reminding him of the guy he really is.
Even when it doesn’t exactly work out in her favor. While Stefan fights the compulsion with nobility, it’s no match for Klaus compelling him to turn off his humanity – and then, all bets are off. Stefan as we know him is gone.
Maybe it’s the ensemble of the episode, but Elena still shone through to me. In Stefan’s darkest hours, she was there, reminding him that she loved him, the real him – and that wasn’t changing. That is the mark of true loyalty and true love, and that’s just the kind of person Elena Gilbert has always been.