The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 5 recap

I was watching something else last night when a commercial for The Vampire Diaries in syndication came on -- you know, just all kisses and quick cuts and good lines --  and I realized how much I miss Katherine.  All that sass and a real willingness to get into trouble and curly hair.

And then I realized that maybe that’s the road we’re on right now.  

It’s been a long time coming, figuring out who Elena could be with her new persona, but watching her jones for blood from the vein and have difficulty with the transition made the angst of things more exciting.  Stefan was the one reminding us that if Elena changed, she’d never be the same, booo hooo hoooooo.

But I am so into the fact that Elena is showing us she’s made of stronger stuff.  As she took Damon down (onto the bed, where she wound up straddling him, which is one of those things that’s such an obvious move that absolutely nobody is ever going to complain about ), he said the best line of the episode, right?  “For someone who doesn’t want to be me, you’re sure good at it.”  

This is what we’ve been told over and over and over.  Elena is more like Damon.   Much more.  She’s adaptable and she can enjoy a wide range of people and she can recover from all kinds of tragedy – we’ve watched her.  All she needs is a dude who believes in her and a bunch of friends and she’s good.

But this is the problem.  Stefan doesn’t believe in her.  Stefan wants to cure her so bad because he thinks she won’t be able to handle it when she kills someone,  by which of course he means he won’t be able to handle it.  Whereas Damon finally, finally says in so many words that he’s fine with Elena any which way (…no kidding) so anything he does to help is for Stefan.  This is so obviously what is going to make him win.  Damon wins.  Loving the girl the way she is is always the win.

But let’s not kid ourselves -- that’s for end-of-season or next year.  For now, we get to watch Elena as she sees her own words come true.  “I’m dangerous too”, she spits, and for once it doesn’t seem like you want to pat her on the head.  I’m sorry, but I was happy when she snapped dude’s neck, because she didn’t agonize over it.  Does that make me a sociopath? Probably, right?  But she did something because it needed to be done and it could be done (and in the grander scheme of things if you believe in self-defense, it was kill or be killed).  Isn’t that kind of the definition of maturity?

I’ve said before that I never thought I could get this involved in a show about vampires.  But they’re setting up a really nice conflict.  Can a man who was so invested in the fact that this girl was a virgin deal with the fact that she’s a fully formed sexual being with desires and talents, and can he love her as an adult?  Is that what she will want?  Or will she choose the man who loves her always, no matter what?  It’s kind of amazing how simple it is when you boil it down, right?  There I go with the subtext again, but honestly, this is a lot of what this is about, and it makes me feel justified in how I’ve always felt – that Stefan is a creep.

Speaking of men and the choices they make,  I’m glad the show is reaffirming my belief that Tyler Lockwood is still a bit of a player.  I am happy as long as Caroline is happy because she is the beginning and the end of sunshine in Mystic Falls, but did we really think he was going to be without reproach?  Hayley is annoying (and how come everyone in the world decided to name the brunettes on TV this fall “Hayley’”), and way, way too superior, but it’s probably because she knows the truth about Tyler and partly pities the innocence that is Caroline.  I mean, she’s another one who’s going to deal with some changes sometime soon if she gets an idea of what’s really going on, but I only forsee her getting more Caroline, you know?  I don’t see her going down the rabbit hole.  Maybe that’s naïve.

At this point I would like to give thanks for the relative lack of Klaus in this episode, and for the second week in a row, give thanks for the lack of Klaus in Caroline’s life.   I know he’s a necessary evil, sort of, but he got cartoonish for me a long time ago, and now that he’s sort of faffing around whining about hybrids, he seems even more pointless.  Also, this may be something I’ve missed in vampire lore, but um…why do they have to take planes?

Bonnie and Jeremy.  Not a couple I ever understood, not a romance I ever believed.   In fact, I think those two are mainly about feeling equally left out.  But as Bonnie gets romanced by a witch-fetishist vampire-hunter and Jeremy wears the mark now that Connor is dead, it kind of seems as though they might have more in common, doesn’t it?  I could be wrong, and I could be offending all of you forever, but it seems to me that Bonnie’s being groomed to turn against her friends – something that’s been brewing at least half a year.  Everything she does is anti-everything witches want.   Hypnotism and trances and lighting candles are one thing, but she’s continually saving the lives of those who should have died.  She’s messing with the order of things.

And Elena and her friends will always want and need that to be the case, and Bonnie’s instincts will always tell her it’s the wrong thing to do, and isn’t this when sh-t gets real?  When you have to look at your friends and wonder whether it was all just pretend?

Also, showrunner Julie Plec squealed on Twitter last night because of this, just in case you thought it was getting a little too heavy in here: