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Last night was the season four premiere of The Vampire Diaries and, as expected, it revolved heavily around whether or not Elena would complete the transition to become a vampire. Elena, who died with vampire blood in her system in a car accident caused by Rebecca, on Wickery Bridge in the final moments of last season, wakes up in the early phases of her vampire metamorphosis. As we already know from past experience, to complete the transition to full-fledged vampire, a newbie needs to feed on human blood within the first day of transition or they will wither and die. Understandably, Elena is more than a little reluctant to go down this path and, with Stefan’s encouragement, decides to put off the decision until the end of the day with the hope that Bonnie will be able to negotiate a deal with the spirits to restore Elena’s life. Bad idea. We pretty much know this will never happen, but a witch has gotta try, right?
Stefan has a lot of guilt about saving Matt over Elena, but maintains hope for Elena and stands by his decision to do what Elena asked – get Matt out of the sinking car first. Damon is perhaps taking Elena’s situation the hardest, maybe because it was his blood that Mystic Falls’ favorite doctor used to cure Elena and that inadvertently triggered her transition to the world of the undead. Damon wants to kill Matt and berates Stefan for listening to Elena rather than saving her. He feels Elena has been cheated out of the life she was meant to have and the opportunity to grow up, and I can’t disagree with him.
Elena’s having a hard time adjusting to her new heightened senses – the ticking of the clock and buzz of a light bulb are literally driving her nuts. She also begins to recall things Damon compelled her to forget, like the fact that he met her before Stefan and the night he told her he loved her and didn’t deserve her, one of my favorite Damon-Elena scenes ever.
Meanwhile, the council is on a rampage after Alerick revealed the identities of all the town’s vamps and vamp-enablers, like the mayor and police chief, last season. Armed with an arsenal of weapons and vervane, they wage an attack and capture Stefan, Rebecca, and Caroline. Claus, who’s still hiding out in Tyler’s body thanks to Bonnie’s witchy ways, gets wind of the situation and opts to save Caroline over Rebecca, his own sister (who can’t be killed by normal means). Michael Travino, the actor who plays Tyler, did a great job capturing Claus’ mannerisms and expressions and, thankfully, opted not to try out the accent. Both Caroline and Rebecca quickly realize it’s Claus inhabiting Tyler’s body thanks to some subtle tells.
The council is being led by a reverend I feel like we should know, but I don’t recall ever seeing before. He takes Elena – who used to babysit his daughter – to his cattle ranch and reveals his plan kill all the vamps before realizing there’s something seriously wrong with her. Upon realizing she’s vamping out herself, he locks her up with Stefan and Rebecca, where she won’t be able to get any blood to complete her transition.
Bonnie and Jeremy try to find a cure for Elena by sending Bonnie in to the world of the dead to try to pull Elena’s spirit back. She finds the ailing Elena, but the spirit of her Grams appears and warns her that she must leave at once and stay away from dark magic forever or there will be serious consequences. Just as a weakened Bonnie begins to recover from her failed attempt in the spirit world, Claus/Tyler shows up and demands she restore him to his own body immediately. She tries to tell him she is too weak to use traditional magic, but he says he will kill Tyler’s body if she won’t do it, so she resorts to dark magic again. Tsk, tsk, girl. Her Grams appears again and begins crying out, saying that the spirits are torturing her to punish Bonnie for not heeding their warnings.
Damon goes to the Reverend’s ranch, using Matt as bait, to try to bargain for Stefan and Elena’s freedom but is quickly taken down by the well-armed council. Inside, Rebecca – a big softie at heart despite all the wicked things she does – is touched by Stefan and Elena’s love for each other even as Elena is moments from death, and helps Stefan lure and incapacitate a council member so Elena can drink his blood. Elena is able to get a bit of his blood on her fingers through the bars and complete her transition. It’s ironic to see Elena, who has always said she would rather die than be a vampire, fight so hard to lap up a bit of blood, but she does it for an eternity with Stefan (although I predict she’ll eventually switch to Team Damon this season, at least briefly).
Elena, Stefan, and Rebecca escape, although I’m still not really sure how. Stefan and Elena discuss how they will adjust to their new life one day at a time, and Stefan presents Elena with her very own daylight ring – those things seem to be a dime a dozen. Seriously, are there any vampires on this show that can’t go out in the sun?
Rebecca confronts Claus – now back in his own body – about choosing Caroline over her and destroys the last of his blood supply from Elena that he plans to use to make more hybrids. He tells her she’s dead to him now and storms off, leaving poor Rebecca alone again.
In the end, the reverend has gathered the council and is giving a speech that they all begin to realize is bordering on loony. You can see the panic on their faces as they realize the good reverend may not be playing with a full deck. He tells them they are just the beginning and then blows himself and everyone else to bits. Hmmm, I doubt we’ve seen the last of them, so what does this mean? An angry army of council ghosts will cleanse Mystic Falls of vampires? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Although I knew it was going to happen after last season, I’m a little sad to see Elena is truly a vampire. For the last three years, everything has been about protecting her and keeping her alive, and now it all seems kind of pointless. Plus, we’ve seen other people struggle with the transition to becoming a vampire and controlling bloodlust, and I don’t really feel like watching it again. We can only hope Elena copes as well as Caroline did. However, it was a strong episode and almost every actor got to show off their talents in a more quiet way than usual. I have high hopes for season four!
What did you think?