The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 21 recap

Elena has her humanity back, and it took Matt, who had never hurt anyone, being hurt himself, for her to realize this was all a bit much and to stop with the temper tantrums. Sorry, but that’s clearly what’s up here – Damon was the first to call her a brat, but she’s been cruising for it for a while.

The thing about it is that it didn’t actually show us a different Elena, because we’ve seen her in Katherine. Katherine doesn’t have the inherent goodness, but she has desires and thoughts and all of these make her, frankly, far more interesting that Ms. Gilbert, who was one note for the longest.  I worry that Elena – even with humanity turned back on – sees “being bad” as something to grit her teeth through. The whole joy of being a vampire, in what seems to be otherwise a kind of miserable unending existence, is that you get to have fun. Be bad with impunity. Hell, even Caroline knows this with her incessant carping about Graduation.

Which…can we let this go, please? I know I’ve barked about it before, and I know that we’ve got only one episode before they graduate (please let it be reminiscent of Buffy – I now associate TV graduations with a total eclipse of the sun) but I am so tired of who might or might not graduate, who is or isn’t flunking out (because who cares?) and what shenanigans we can go through to get the characters into univerisities they don’t care about and won’t attend. I mean, seriously. Bonnie needs to deal with the most evil of all evil, ever, but she’s still taking the time to study for French? Are we sure?

I know the show began as “what would happen if the sleepy town and high school kids were invaded by these vampires?” but we’ve got to let it go now; it seems silly and it cheapens the rest of the process. As usual, I have more time for Rebecca in this situation because she’s adorable and she thinks like a four year old. “Matt wants school – I’ll get him whatever he wants.” But by and large, it’s a waste of time.

I also feel like we’re at the point where, call me callous, an “attack” from a vampire doesn’t bother me. A broken neck doesn’t worry me. Ring or not, I assume we’re going to find a way to bring Matt back – and Sherriff Forbes, too – and lo and behold, we did! I feel like in previous seasons, we were bleeding bodies left and right by now. Remember when Aunt Jenna died and we weren’t even sure she was going to be the last of the bloodshed? Where has the brutality gone?

But, aside from Silas (which, by the way, is tiresome – trying to track who’s in which body is a game that we the audience can never win), there’s nothing really scary here, save for Elena’s “dark” side. And I can appreciate that there actually may be something in her wanting to kill Katherine – not because I think murder is so terribly becoming or anything, but because I don’t think you can do that, humanity on or not, and not have some of it kind of come to rest inside yourself. Elena maybe knows this (please God, I don’t want to hear her have to figure it out for the first half of season 5) but it seems to me she kind of wants to be changed. To have something to show for the fact that she’s a vampire who, yes, walks around naked and has had cruelty to spread to Damon & Stefan (more on this in a minute) but has no reason to live.

Maybe killing Katherine – and yeah, partly becoming her, I bet, due to mythological laws and doppelgangers and the sake of a story engine – will give Elena some more texture and layers.

I’d like to point out, too, that for all her protesting, Damon was still the one who was able to get through to her. Stefan was markedly silent. I don’t buy the “I was sired” business, nor do I buy that Elena in her right mind would have given into Damon (even though she really wanted to) so I think there’s more to be done there with what’s real and what’s not. What seems cooked and done is the idea that the show’s going to find something in Stefan for Elena to have faith in again. I don’t know how that’s going to work, because they’ve exhausted every possible avenue.

I do like that Bonnie could give a sh-t about Elena – or anyone, really -  and that Caroline isn’t far behind. In fact, Damon and Stefan are kind of alone in caring what happens to anyone. When’s the last time we heard that?

Also, there’s still that cure on the loose…

Attached -- Nina Dobrev at The Great Gatsby premiere the other night and Ian Somerhalder hanging out in New York too.