The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 6 recap

I have been rightly chastised for spoiling major plot points in the title of the article, so I’ve been vague thus far.  But seriously?  Get going, because I am about to squee.

All the hits, all the time!  I heard a little about this episode beforehand – that it was going to be a little unusual.  I did not hear that it was going to be a hit parade of action and emotion such that I would be all curled up in my chair like Elena on hallucinations.  (Also, for a variety of reasons I watched this in the dark at 5 in the morning.  I….don’t want you to underestimate the terror of that shower scene.  And the blood?  Flashbacks to IT.)

Before we get to Elena, let’s talk about werewolf summer camp.  I will admit it took a little bit of time to understand why these ruffians were just hanging out in Tyler’s living room for weeks on end, like, doesn’t Mrs. L have spare rooms?  But tonight it’s clear that what they are is what they do.  They are quite literally a pack, and don’t need to leave each other for silly reasons of privacy or solitude.  So even though everyone had the best of intentions, I cheered when  Tyler manned up – after the passing of Chris, of course, RIP, buddy – and informed Caroline that you can have more “friends” than the five you’ve had since birth.  They can matter as much.  Even more – remember when you tried to explain to two friends why you liked the other and how “they’re usually really cool”?

I love how the show is having the characters go to college even though they’re not actually going to college.  It’s just so smart.  Their interests are divided, they have a common root but maybe not a common future.  Bonnie is the academic, the one who’s having mind-sex even when she’s not touching anyone.  She’s going to be left out of the drinking and the carousing and the duping of the dumb guy, and she’s going to say she doesn’t care, but it still hurts.  Her professor is, of course, suitably creepy and going to be the boss ( ..?) of Jeremy, but it’s still her fascination with him that’s going to cause the most problems.  When you love someone and your friends can’t see it.  Right?

As for Elena, nobody’s having a college experience like that girl is.  First you wind up in a place you never expected to be.  Then, the first time you do something really, really out of character, you think you’re going to barf.  This, of course, does not preclude the situations in which you actually do barf.  But all the people in your life do flash before your eyes.  Do they know?  Are they about to know?  What will they think of you when they’ve seen the worst of you?

In a surprise to nobody ever, my favourite parts of the episode involved Katherine.   I get a huge kick out of her being around but more than that, with the way she treats Elena.  In the past she smirked at the little girl who was so hesitant and shy, but now, now that she’s a grown vampire woman, and even allowing for the fact that she was a figment of Elena’s hallucination, sort of, she’s just channeled everything she feels for Elena into disdain, and a curl of her lip.  If you think, as I do, that Katherine is just recognizing in Elena something like her former self, it’s not hard to think  that she just wants her to hurry up and get there.

And so Elena performs the vampire (or television season) equivalent of the Turkey Dump.

I mean, this is about as gloaty as I’m going to get, but WHAT HAVE I BEEN SAYING?   The guy who doesn’t need Elena to be the girl she was?  He’s been right there all along!  I mean, there are no clearer signs than when one man is on your bed and you can’t even let the other one in the door.   
And it’s hard, leaving your first love, because you don’t know that this can happen.   Your feelings can change out from under you, even undying love.  Or so you thought.  But Elena can’t be the girl he needs her to be, and he can’t see her in a new way – at least not yet.  (None of us are naïve enough to think this is over…right?  You’ve watched some TV before? )

What I love about where Elena is now is that she’s kind of at her lowest point.  She’s accepted that she is a fundamentally flawed person with terrible aspects.  But she saw the worst in herself and lived through it.  Well, with help, anyway.  Now she gets to see the other side of things – that other people are also fundamentally flawed, and she sees them as good people, still.  Why do I feel like this is going to start with Caroline?

A few random thoughts:

“You’re on the verge of impressing me.  Go on.” – this is an excellent line and I appreciate that Matt is about to become Damon’s own Damon.  I can get down with this and I’ve always appreciated the human boys’ role in the show, but could we please get some emotion out of Jeremy one of these fine days?   

Also, Damon got in a Heathers reference!  Big Fun.  I love this show.