HANNA & CALEB PER EPISODE
└ It’s Alive (2.01)
These kids are so perfffeecccctttt. D: I love how all this set up for Caleb to come back is used, that in another example of people (particularly men) making decisions for Hanna, still love-struck Lucas takes off after him seeing how sad Hanna is, and DRIVES CALEB BACK. Like paid for a motel and everything at one point. All of it is under the assumption that somehow, some way, Caleb will win Hanna back and Hanna will be happy because of it.
And so far the set up looked like it was going to follow that terrible formula! Hanna comes home to her mother and Caleb in the kitchen; her mother even excuses herself with a silent blessing for Haleb to happen. Emotions run high and the music swells. I swear to God I even thought Caleb was going to say the presumtuous line, “I came back to
Mystic Falls Rosewood to start a life with you, Elena Hanna.”
HANNA SHOOTS HIM DOWN.
That’s freaking right!
Basically Caleb rattles off everything abusive “romantic” leads
Damon have ever used as a fauxpology or an excuse for his gross behavior: I’m sorry. When I try to talk about feelings, I act out like an asshole. I’ll make it up to you. Because I love you. Because I was alone before I met you blah blah forgive me because of me blah.
HANNA SHOOTS HIM DOWN AGAIN.
She says she believes him, but it’s not going to change anything! Sorry, dude, but my feelings don’t just disappear. I’m sixteen years old, there’s enough going on right there to where I’m pretty much a hormonal and existential mess trying to sort itself out. But nooo, I have more shit to put up with; you know about my daddy issues and my mommy issues and my insecurity issues and my abusive friendship issues. You don’t know that I have a crazy homicidal stalker creeping in on every conversation I have no matter how private, like a bedroom closet for Christ’s sake, and last night my friend nearly died, and now the whole town is breathing down my neck thinking we’re liars and drawing pictures of us being hung on the chalkboards at school.
It’s going to take more than you just saying you’re sorry and you’ll make it up to me, because you’re sixteen too and you don’t really know HOW to make it up to me. And that’s not my responsibility, really, to tell you how to solve a philosophical crisis of undoing what can’t be undone. That’s your issue, because I’m still hurting, and because I exist for more than taking on your issues.
All of that with a simple, “I believe you,” when he says he’s sorry, because she does. She loves Caleb and understands him and believes him and likes him. And “I think you should go,” after weighing his words, BECAUSE WHAT’S HAPPENING IS ABOUT HER AND BEING ADDRESSED HERE AND I LOVE ASHLEY’S FACE CHOICES FOR HANNA AND I LOVE THIS SHOW FOR THIS SCENE! Hanna never chooses herself, because men, Alison, A don’t even give her a chance to choose herself. Caleb is. Instead of “rewarding” him for it, Hanna does choose herself and sticks with it like she did last season!
AND CALEB SAYS GOODBYE. HE RESPECTS HER DECISION AND WILL LEAVE. He doesn’t stomp his foot like Lucas, he doesn’t scream at her like Sean, and he doesn’t guilt trip her like her dad. I couldn’t think I shipped this more, simply BECAUSE he’s letting her make her own decisions. He actually backs up the I love you (eff you Tyler Blackburn for your face while saying that!) and the I want to make it up to you and all the admiration he has for her. That just because she says something he doesn’t like doesn’t change his promise, his sincerity, to treat her well; she doesn’t get respect because she loves him and forgives him, she gets unconditional respect because that’s what you do with people you love. Compare to Lucas, who turned really shitty, because he wanted to make her love him and was pissy and nasty when she didn’t, and BLAMED HER. Compare to Hanna herself, who only saw Sean rejecting her sexually as an insult and acted immaturely (Sean later turned into a tool, but the cycle is still interesting), and Sean who just got worse and worse in condescending, belittling grossness. Caleb doesn’t do any of that! He leaves. Because she told him to! Because he acknowledges the weight that another man in general has damaged her and abused her! Because he acknowledges the pain he put her through! It’s Hanna who initiates unnecessary conversation, it’s Caleb who follows her lead, it’s Hanna who makes the moves and tells Caleb to start touching her again, he stops when she tells him to stop and doesn’t complain, and it’s Hanna who instigates the physical and it’s Hanna who decides they’re back in a relationship later on and Caleb consistently backs up his vow to make sure Hanna never feels alone or unsupported again. He asks her if she’s sure. Caleb shows that loving Hanna means never treating Hanna as anything but a person. I loveeeee this scene for Hanna trashing this narrative Lucas and other presented for her and went ‘no, no one, not my mom, my friends, A, the President, is deciding how I treat the ruins of this relationship that hurt me but me,’ and I love everything Hanna/Caleb is for never making Hanna ashamed of that! I love that everything Caleb says here is proven all throughout the season!