Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 1 recap

One of my favourite things that is going on on Twitter these days is the TV tweeting by Retta. You know, Donna on Parks & Recreation? Her tweets about Season 4 Buffy were endearing and hilarious, especially since you know what’s coming. Last night, though, she was livetweeting about this episode of  Vampire Diaries – and it was all just like  “Aw, no, and he loved her!” This show moves so fast that all you can really come up with for reactions in the moment are ‘”aw, no!”

Did you miss it? Did you worry? Were you like me, thinking there was going to be a bait-and-switch and those who were dead wouldn’t be? I thought about refreshing myself and everyone else about who had and had not been killed, but when it all reverses again in moments, what’s the real benefit? This show is so delicious we’ll go back to the scene-by-scene thing next week because there’s too much to miss otherwise, and because Damon’s one-liners deserve a second airing. But for now, let’s just …sit with it for a second. Because what else can we do? After that hour?

In truth, it was a little more setup than shock, wasn’t it? Especially since so much was undone again by the end? As the nobles in town are stripped of their titles, a vigilante crew goes to collect up all the bad vampires. I would consider this to be a welcome transfer of power except that they…you know, kind of went up in flames at the end there.  So…am I right in assuming the Sherriff and Mayor can just…pick up their badges from where they fell on the floor and continue on as before? Or have I missed something?

It’s kind of the way I think I must have missed something where Bonnie is concerned. She plays with dark magic to save Elena – and Grams says no. While we all delight in having Jasmine Guy on our TV screens and wonder why we had to put up with Bonnie’s mom last season, Bonnie capitulates , only to play with the dark magic again later on…and hurt Gram. Part of the problem here is that the Bonnie routine doesn’t really include us – with the chanting and the bleeding and the whatnot, we can no longer tell what’s a workaday spell and what really takes something out of her. Likewise, when she faints, or screams, and Jeremy urges her to stop and wake up and be normal – that’s …what we know of Bonnie. I wish it had been a little more…different somehow. I wish Bonnie had a desire beyond endless do-gooding and unpicking others’ mistakes. Is that wrong?

As for those mistakes - yes, Elena is a vampire. Interesing, isn’t it, how every man on the show laments this and cries and thinks it’s his own fault, whereas every woman seemed to digest that this was  just another event in the course of their ridiculous lives? I am as anxious as anyone to see how her transition goes – her memories of all the things Damon told her to forget were nicely played. But…why is the fact that Elena wanted a “normal” life more important than everyone else’s desires?  Jeremy might want a normal life but nobody sheds tiny, roofbound tears when his gets inevitably messed up, you know? She doesn’t get the life she wanted. Does anyone? 

For example, I’m sure Matt doesn’t want a life of unrequited love mixed with self-flagellation for letting her become a vampire, but there it is. Caroline’s emotions are getting jacked around with on an hourly basis, especially since out of everyone, she’s the only one who still has a recognizable parent she cares about (I know, Tyler.   But until I see Tyler actually back in Tyler’s body, I’m not convinced). Rebecca and her brother have had a blood-spattered rending of their familial agreement – all bets are off there. Shouldn’t we feel as bad for them?

Nonetheless, as Elena points out, everyone now knows who they are. We are set up for an incredible ride as we watch her become a vampire for the first time – if the previews are anything to go by, next week we’ll get to watch her indulge certain other appetites for certain stuff that vampires appear to like. It will not be a moment too soon, if you know what I mean, and not just because everyone, even Caroline, knows that vampire sex is hot.

But since we’re breaking all the rules here, let’s break a few more, no? Can we see these guys having some other sides? Or is all that coming once we see Elena’s dark side surface for the very first time?