Recap: ‘The Vampire Diaries’: Elena goes through some “Growing Pains”
Aaaaand we’re back! After what seemed like a five year hiatus as opposed to five months, the Mystic Falls gang is back kicking ass and taking names and making out in the woods.
One of the strengths of this show has always been its ability to hit the ground running. Hell, this show never slows down, not even for bathroom breaks. I don’t know how the writers do it, but I’m grateful for all of their hard work, because in tonight’s premiere they had to cover a lot of ground in very little time.
Elena, having died with Damon’s vampire blood in her system in the season three finale, is now in transition. And yes, I would like to point out that Damon is basically Elena’s sire, but this is the one and only time I will do this because sire bonds, when they happen, as we all know, are kind of fucking crazy. And because sires are basically the parents of baby vampires and I really don’t want to get into how that would throw the entire love triangle into a whole other dimension of weird.
So Elena is in transition, and, of course, the Salvatore brothers disagree – as they do most of the time – on the best course of action.
Damon, who is still reeling from Elena’s death and who is angry at both Stefan and Matt for the parts they played in her death, believes that the best course of action would be for Elena to feed there and now. Damon’s never really been a sit around and wait kind of guy, nor is he an eternal optimist like his brother. He’s a man of action and he knows that Bonnie won’t succeed in finding a way to keep Elena human. No one else has ever been able to do it and Bonnie’s not exactly the greatest witch there ever was.
Stefan, of course, thinks the opposite and has faith in Bonnie’s magical abilities. What he doesn’t know is how angry Bonnie has made the spirits over the past couple of seasons. She’s treading into dark magic territory with everything she’s doing lately and during her attempt to crossover and bring Elena back to the land of the living, she’s stopped by (surprise cameo!) Grams.
If Walton Goggins hadn’t shown up with breasts and ass-less chaps in this week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ she’d have been the surprise guest star of the year, but alas, it was still great to see Jasmine Guy reprise her role. I’d always felt she died too soon, but then again, this is Mystic Falls where the average life expectancy is 17, so if she lasted long enough to be a grandmother, then I think she was lucky.
So while Bonnie is busy trying to stop the transition, the Council, led by Pastor Young (hereafter known as Pastor Crazy Pants), is rounding up all of the supernaturals in town (thanks Evilaric for spilling all of those secrets! PS – Baby, come back. I miss you. XOXO.).
They capture Stefan, Rebekah, Elena and Caroline and plan to take them to Pastor Crazy Pants’ old farm where no one will ever think to look for them except Damon (because where Elena goes, Damon goes). But on the way to the farm, Caroline is saved by Klyler/Tylaus (?) and the two engage in a hot and heavy makeout session in the woods. To his credit, Tylaus did try to tell Caroline he wasn’t actually her boyfriend Tyler, but homegirl was so happy that Tyler’s abs weren’t a pile of dust somewhere that she didn’t listen to any of the words that were coming out of his mouth.
Finally, after realizing that Tylaus had called her love, which is something only Klaus would say, she understood what must have transpired and pushed him away from her. I think she’ll be OK once she bleaches her mouth, but at the same time, I’m still looking forward to seeing where their relationship goes this season. As much as I love Tyler, I really can’t help it. The Pacey Witter Theorem rules over this kind of matter, and let’s face it, Tyler hasn’t been the bad boy since he hung up his do-rag. And all Klaus really wants is someone to love him. Since Stefan turned down his offer of a bromance, the dude has been lost and lonely. Maybe if he found something with Caroline he wouldn’t be stomping around throwing soccer balls through people’s houses. So yes, I’m still team Forwood, but I dabble in Klaroline from time to time.
Back at the farm, Pastor Crazy Pants hasn’t yet realized Elena is not exactly human, until she starts wigging out and tries to escape. Once he realizes that she’s a vampire, they lock her up with Stefan and Rebekah (who also didn’t know about Elena’s new state of being at first). With Elena locked up, there’s no way for her to feed and so she accepts her fate – she’s going to die. Elena, in front of Rebekah, the very woman who tried to kill her the night before, tells Stefan that the reason she was on the bridge was because she was coming back to him, she chose him.
I have to say that scene is right up there with the silent phone call from Stefan last season. It tugged on the heartstrings because Elena and Stefan couldn’t even look at each other. You know I’m a Delena fan at the end of the day, but there’s always been something very sweet and pure and beautiful about Stelena. And there should never be tears running down Paul Wesley’s beautiful face. I don’t remember seeing a lip quiver, but the scene was still a very emotional and sweet one. And when Elena was done telling him about her choice, Stefan lies to her and tells her he is smiling. Though he was probably just trying to save face, not make her feel better. Dude’s don’t like to cry in front of people. It’s science.
While everyone’s busy making out or busy being locked up, Matt and Damon are on their way to the farm to kick ass. But Damon still very much blames Matt for what happened, which is understandable considering that the accident happened the day before in Mystic Falls time. So Damon takes pleasure in biting Matt to lure Pastor Crazy Pants out into the open. He’s shot by some of the pastor’s guards and because this is Badass Damon Who Recently Found His Balls, he fakes like he’s been knocked out until two guards approach his still form at which point he jumps up and kicks ass like I always wished he would.
It’s a relief to see season one Damon again. As much as I love sweet lovesick Damon, my favorite Damon will always be the “Fuck you, this is who I am, deal with it” Damon that I was first introduced to at the beginning of the series. For the past two seasons, Damon has been desperately trying to change and become a better man in the hope that Elena will finally choose him. But she didn’t. In the end she chose his brother, and so Damon’s hurt and Damon’s reverted back to the core of his being. I much prefer my Damon with some balls, just as long as he doesn’t hurt Pudding Pop too much.
When one of the remaining guards comes into the barn, Rebekah makes to lunge at him, backing him against Stefan’s own cage. Stefan, being the always kind gentleman that he is, kills the guard so Elena can reach through the bars and slurp up some of the man’s blood. So even though she completes her transition, she still doesn’t have her first kill. I’m assuming that comes next week from the looks of the previews.
Back outside with Damon and Matt, Damon is ready to end Pudding Pop until Vamp!Elena intervenes. Elena, always the master of good timing, decides to tell Damon that now that she’s a vampire, she remembers everything: that she met him first, that he selfishly compelled her to forget his beautiful declaration of love in “Rose.” But even so, she still wants Damon to change. She asks him if he’d been the one to reach Matt’s truck first, who would he have saved first. And as we all know from the three years we’ve spent watching Damon act recklessly in order to always put Elena first, he tells her the truth. He’d have let Matt die if it meant that she lived and was able to grow old. But this isn’t good enough for Elena and my Delena heart broke a little bit more.
The episode ends with a very cheesy scene involving Elena and Stefan talking about forever on top of her roof. And with Stefan literally putting a ring on it – it’s her daylight ring that Bonnie made the day before, just in case she failed (like we didn’t see that coming). SIDEBAR: Here’s my problem with that. Does Bonnie even like her friends? Because real friends wouldn’t pick out ugly rings for her vampire friends. Just once I want her to let the vampire pick out the ring. BACK TO DISCUSSION: I know that right now it seems that Stefan and Elena are stronger than ever, but Elena’s a vampire now, and everything she feels, including those residual feelings for Damon, are heightened. And now that she knows about his declaration of love, you know it’s only a matter of time before the love triangle heats back up in all new ways.
Some stray observations:
- Back at the farm, Pastor Crazy Pants starts talking about how they’re the beginning (of what?) and blows everyone up real good. Don’t ask me why, because I really didn’t see it coming. I thought the Council was going to be a big part of this season, and damn it if Julie Plec didn’t blindside us again. He seemed to be in his right mind, so was he compelled? Who knows? I’m looking forward to seeing how that particular storyline plays out this season.
- Klaus demanded to be returned to his own body, otherwise he’d destroy Tyler’s. But when Bonnie performs the spell, Grams appears and chastises her for again using black magic. The spirit world punishes Bonnie by killing Grams’ spirit once and for all. Guess Bonnie doesn’t watch ‘Once Upon a Time,’ cause otherwise she’d know that magic always comes with a price.
- Rebekah confronted a newly-returned-to-his-body Klaus about how he freed Caroline and let her be captured. Finally deciding she’d had enough, she destroys the last of his Doppleganger blood supply and he reacts as any brother would do, he snaps his sister’s neck. If the writers ever think for one second of offing Claire Holt, I’m going to riot in the streets. Adding Joseph Morgan and Claire Holt to the cast was one of the best moves they could have ever made. (Followed closely by hiring Phoebe Tonkin.)
- Very little Jeremy in this episode except for a brief scene in which he hugged Elena and basically told her she could never leave him. But his biceps look real good. Oh yeah, and the scene where Bonnie stopped her own heart. If you guys could have seen how happy I was and how badly I was wishing she never woke up … I am seriously over Bonnie. It’s time for her expire, all right?
- I caught three references to Alaric in tonight’s episode. I miss him all over again.
So what did you guys think? Are you glad that the show is back? Do you wish Damon would cut his damn hair already? I mean, what does he have against barbers? It’s like, every season he starts off with a mullet. Come on, Somerhalder!
Note: Photo courtesy of the CW.