Damon was lying in the middle of the road in the flashback because he was hunting, waiting for his next kill. The only thing that stopped him from feeding on Elena was her resemblance to Katherine. Stefan jumped into the water when he saw the car crash BEFORE he ever saw Elena’s face. Before he ever knew she looked like Katherine, he was going to save them. A random family. People who he didn’t know and had no obligation to whatsoever. He tried to help them. That is Stefan Salvatore. And that is why Kevin Williamson said that Stefan is the true tragic hero of the show. And that is why he will always be better for Elena than Damon is. Because in Elena’s final moments of her life, he gave her the same thing that he gave to her father before he died. Hope. Hope that this one person who jumped into the water would save their loved one. Hope that if they couldn’t survive, at least their loved one would. Elena, like her father, chose to save someone else, and both times, Stefan obliged. And the strength of that decision is a strength that Damon doesn’t have and probably never will have. To do what is right over what you want. Everything was screaming at Stefan in that moment to save Elena, to save the girl he loves. But he chose to honor her wishes over his own. He chose to save someone she loves first. Because Stefan understands Elena. And he knew that Matt’s survival meant more to her than her own. And he gave that to her. In her dying moments, he gave her the thing she wanted most. I don’t care what ANYONE says. Stefan is selfless. And his decision to save Matt was THE single most selfless act I’ve ever seen on the show. That is why I choose to always believe in Stefan, no matter what the writers put him through or whatever trial he has to overcome, I always know at the end of the day that, it’s STEFAN. He will pull through. Because deep down, he is good. He may forget that every once a while, go to dark places, but he will always return. He will always be Stefan. And I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
Credits go to @SignalFire90.