TV Review: The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 1
Oh, it’s been too long.
So yeah, I’ve been destroyed by The fucking Vampire Diaries.
It’d make a fitting suicide note, I guess.
TL;DR This episode is absolutely brilliant. It is a legit challenge for me to find something to whinge about. Fuck.
So we left off last season with Elena waking up from dying with vampire blood in her system. Uh oh. Also, Klaus’ body got staked but Bonnie transferred him into Tyler’s body, Tyler and Caroline have been outed to the Founders’ Council, Elena chose Stefan over Damon, Alaric died for real, Rebekah is still hanging around Mystic Falls. Jeremy and Matt are just being chill. Damon is still Damon.
We pick up as Elena comes to grips with her transition. Bonnie tries to save her but must tap into dark magic to do so. She fails, and there are consequences. Bonnie also gets forced into helping Klaus, causing her to use even more dark magic. Ooh. Damon is pissed off that Elena chose Stefan, which is made more awkward when Elena recalls the things Damon made her forget about his love for her. The Founders’ council go on a rampage but are foiled by the crew eventually. Then they blow themselves up for some reason (along with the entire town’s supply of vervain). Oh, and Elena tastes human blood and completes the transition. Gasp!
Honestly, I only have 1 real complaint about this episode, and of course, it’s about Bonnie. In the season 3 finale there’s a very important scene (just after Klaus is revealed to be in Tyler’s body) where Bonnie defiantly states she’s done with being pushed around. Then this episode she promptly allows herself to be pushed around constantly, leading to her falling into dark magic and getting her Grams’ soul obliterated as punishment. Fucking stand up for yourself, bitch.
Apart from that though, I couldn’t be any more pleased with this episode. The Vampire Diaries (if season 3 is any indication) does fantastic season openers and finales, and it looks like season 4 will be no exception. Hopefully the middle doesn’t drag as horrendously as last time.
Why I hate this episode:
But for the sake of nitpicking, Bonnie sucks.
The Founders’ Council is suddenly effective. They’ve previously just been an empty threat, so it’s kind of jarring to see them immediately take down almost every vampire in about 5 seconds.
Damon tries to invinci-stake Rebekah. This isn’t explained. I know Damon is a dick, but it just comes out of nowhere.
Klaus’ body survived its staking. Because plot.
Grams soul blocks Bonnie when she tries to save Elena. Rude.
And the council’s self-immolation (by some priest guy who’s suddenly in charge) is completely wtf. I guess we’ll find out more about that in coming episodes, but it was way random.
Reasons to watch:
I think a lot of the episode hinges on Elena’s reluctance to become a vampire. I know a lot of people would probably be yelling at Elena to just transition, but its been repeatedly established right from season 1 that Elena never wanted to be a vampire. The season 2 finale episodes focused heavily on it, too. Elena did get a bit soft in season 3, but this is still an important attribute of hers that meaningfully results in her dilemma. I’m glad the writers remembered.
Klaus is even more fabulous in Tyler’s body. He gets halfway through a makeout session with Caroline before she realises something’s up, and he don’t a single fuck. Love it. Love him. Love his body. Not ashamed.
When the council abducts Rebeka and Caroline, Klausler gets a pretty awesome rescue scene. He also leaves Rebekah behind as a distraction (and because she’s immortal), which leads to drama with her later. When she is freed, she returns to the family home and wastes the last blood bags of human Elena’s blood. Klaus (back in his actual body) can no longer make hybrids, and his disowning of Rebekah is both terrifying and heartbreaking. For both of them.
Elena’s compulsion memories returning was done well and the tension between her and Damon just keeps getting better. The one where he said he loved her was sho shweet.
After Bonnie gets Klaus back into his body (under duress. Klaus is willing to kill Tyler to get it done), Grams is destroyed by the spirits as a punishment to Bonnie. Serves the bitch right for interfering earlier. Also, hopefully Bonnie’s degeneration into evil will be spurred on. Which means that if she turns into a super villain, we can finally kill her off. Everybody wins!
Damon stabs one of the Council members with the barrel of his gun. It’s awesome.
Rebekah helps Elena and Stefan get blood for Elena to complete her transition. She could be a great ally if they just stopped stabbing her in the heart all the time.
Damon gets best line this episode. He’s clearly not happy about Elena choosing Stefan last season: “Your choice, Elena. As always.”
And he does it again later, too: “It’s a little hard to keep track of all your choices lately, Elena.” Double Damon burn.
And seriously, this could be a return to form for TVD. Block Bonnie’s stupidity out, and it’s essentially perfect.