Welcome back, everyone. I hope your summer was better than TVD's Season 4 premiere. I kid… except, I guess I don't kid. I don't know. I am so glad my show is back. The acting was strong. The dialogue was fine. There was a smattering of cheese, which I do enjoy, but the plot left me scratching my head. Am I alone here?
After a new intro, we watch Stefan and Damon break the news to Elena. While Matt survived the car crash, she did not. She's transitioning into a vampire and if she doesn't feed in 24 hours, she will die for real. Elena is heartbroken. Stefan offers hope: Bonnie is looking for a way to rehumanize her. Damon, the eternal pragmatist -- except for when he's not -- tries to cluestick his brother and their girlfriend about the fact that no one in the history of vampirism has ever rehumanized a vampire, but to no avail.
Remember back when Alaric turned into Vamparic and wanted to destroy the entire Vampire Race? Yeah, well I almost didn't. My TiVo died over the summer and I haven't yet bought the season 3 DVDs. Anyhow, remember when Vamparic summoned the Founders Council and filled them in on Carol and Liz's collusion with the local vampires and other beasties? The Council members are scared, pissed and usurping Carol and Liz. The new self-proclaimed Council leader doesn't appear to be from a founding family and he's both a pastor and a rancher. Oh wait, the voices in my head tell me I'll need a new paragraph for this tangent.
I've known a lot of pastors, and have spent a lot of time working on church committees (except lately, because my church and I are totally on a break, but that's for another day). Also, one side of my family includes third generation dairy farmers. I've spent a lot of time on the farm. Pastoring is more than a full time job. Farming and/or ranching -- the same deal. There's no way this guy is both and if he is both, he should at least have enough dosh to paint his house. Oh, maybe he's really crappy at both jobs. He certainly seems like a crappy human being, but most of us are crappy when we're scared. I really don't know what to make of Pastor Young and the end of the episode sheds more heat than light on his character. (Sorry.)
The revamped (sorry, again) Council captures Stefan, Rebekah and Elena. They're trying to use them to bait Damon and the Originals out to the ranch, so they can commit a little vampire genocide. Elena almost dies from failure to feed, but she doesn't because Rebekah (!) helps Stefan wound (and probably kill) one of their captors. Elena laps up his spilled blood with her fingers, and is then magically transported out of her barn jail and into a fight with Damon about how he shouldn't kill Matt, because it's not Matt's fault she's a vampire... which it isn't.
The episode ends with Elena and Stefan sitting on the Mossy Manse rooftop, coming to terms with her vampirism and waiting for the sun to rise. Don't worry. She has a lapis lazuli daylight ring of her very own. The CW should merchandise the heck out of that. Bonnie enchanted it for her, just in case her rehumanizing spell failed, which it totally did like we knew it would. It just didn't fail the way in which I expected it too. Instead, it failed because the Ghost of Grams appeared and told Bonnie that there would be terrible consequences to using such dark arts. This leaves Bonnie plenty of time to dip into those very same dark arts to take Klaus's spirit out of Tyler's body and put it back in his own. Her punishment from the aggrieved spirits seems to be watching them give Ghost of Grams a henna tattoo, and it looks like Ghost of Grams is allergic to henna.
The episode ends with Pastor Young gathering his Council together at the ranch, disconnecting the gas stove and blowing the whole place to Kingdom Come. Um show, I didn't like him either, but so why did we even have him in the first place? I've seen people wondering if Damon compelled the pastor to do this, but that guy was surely taking his vervain, so it would be sloppy if that's the case. Instead he was just another offensive stereotype, that complicated things just enough, so that there'd be some action.
I'll be back with the whole story, in the full recap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where we don't even have a gas stove.
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Welcome back, everyone. I'm so glad our show is back. I'm glad to be back at work, too! An awful lot happens in the Season 4 premiere of The Vampire Diaries, to some extent -- too much happens. Some scenes and plot points are overly telescoped, but still, we get an hour (well, 42 minutes) of exciting, compelling TV, so I'm going to dive right in. You ready? Okay!
There's a new opening montage. It begins with Stefan narrating, but soon Elena, Damon, Bonnie, Klaus, Liz and more take the mic. It's cheesy, but in a fun way, like the fog and the crow of yore. I'll break it down just this once.
STEFAN (over shot of him jumping off the Mossy Manse roof): Mystic Falls. I was born here. This is my home.
DAMON (driving his baby blue convertible): And mine.
ELENA (writing in her diary): And mine.
STEFAN (over shots of the Originals' North American village; 1912 Damon): For centuries, supernatural creatures have lived among us.
ELENA (over shots of modern game-face Damon with a bloody mouth; a wolf; Katherine, Elena and Stefan in Mossy Manse): There are vampires, werewolves, doppelgängers...
BONNIE (stopping Jeremy's heart): ...witches...
KLAUS (in game face): ...and even hybrids.
LIZ (opening the door to Matt carrying Caroline in): There are those who protect them.
ALARIC (as Vamparic, from on-screen Season 3 lines, over shots of himself; bloody-mouthed Caroline; Carol; transitioning-Tyler): "The Sheriff has a vampire for a daughter, and our lovely Mayor -- a son, who is half vampire, half werewolf."
JEREMY (over shots of Vamparic staking desiccated Klaus; desi-Klaus opening his eyes): And those who want them dead.
ELENA (over a shot of Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie hugging): They're our friends...
STEFAN (over a shot of him trying to stake Klaus): ...our enemies...
ELENA (over shots of Elena making out with Damon, and then Stefan): ...the ones we love...
STEFAN (over shots of the gang burying Jenna; Damon cradling Vamparic as he dies): ...the ones we've lost.
ELENA (in a clip from the Season 3 finale bridge accident): "Matt look out!" (Cut to Rebekah standing in the road. Matt slams on the brakes. His truck swerves and goes right over the bridge).
ELENA (Elena and Matt, trapped underwater, Stefan swims to the rescue, Elena insists he save Matt): And then there's me. I'm human. (Elena dies. Cut to her lying in the morgue.) At least I was. (She gasps and sits up. Fade to black.)