The Season 3 cliffhanger finale of "The Vampire Diaries" left us with an Elena who died with vampire blood in her system. Despite her love for the Brothers Salvatore, the orphaned woman has always been adamant that she wanted a normal life as a normal human. As expected, the premiere of Season 4 began with a lot of angst, guilt, and regret along with plenty of action and peril.
Well, as long as I'm still here...
When she awoke at home, she learned that Matt was safe but that she was turning into a vampire. Elena was understandably horrified. She insisted she had been ready to die, which she did, but it soon became clear she wasn't actually in a hurry to repeat the experience. A guilt-ridden Stefan promised her that Bonnie had a few witchy ideas to prevent vampirism, and rather than feed as Damon suggested, Elena agreed to wait for an alternate solution.
The council fights backAs much as we love our vamps and hybrids, it's tough to deny that the town's council hasn't exactly been doing the job of keeping their own people safe. With a mayor and sheriff that have huge conflicts of interest, the supernatural crowd has pretty much had the run of the place for some time now. Enter Pastor Young (Michael Reilly Burke) and his loyal followers, who take over the town and do some serious vampire hunting.
With pretty ruthless precision, the pastor ends up with Caroline, Rebekah, Stefan, and a changing Elena in his custody. Klaus, lurking inside Tyler, manages to bust Caroline free but leaves Rebekah to fend for herself. As the two vampires and one vamp-to-be languish in their cells, Elena starts to realize that she's probably going to have that second death, whether she wants it or not.
Bonnie plays with black magicBonnie's big play is to cross over to the "other side" and bring Elena's not-dead-yet spirit back over to her body. This is seriously dangerous stuff, and before she can complete the transition, her ghostly grandmother shoves her back into the real world with a serious warning to not ever return. Klaus has other plans, however, and forces her to get him back into his own body by threatening to rip Tyler's heart out. Bonnie completes the spell, but not before her grandmother pays a terrible price from the spirits on the other side, and Bonnie barely gets out herself.
Time to feedOnce again showing the vulnerable heart under her ruthless exterior, Rebekah softens at all of the love talk between Stefan and Elena. She helps Stefan kill one of their keepers, and the pool of blood just reaches Elena's cell in time. Feeling the cravings big time, Elena scoops up some nourishment and starts her transition.
Damon uses the also-guilt-ridden Matt as bloodied bait to get close to Pastor Young and their captives. Once the rescue plan seems to have worked, Damon happily goes to town on Matt, ready to kill him before an aggressively vampiric Elena stops him. He's furious that Stefan saved Matt instead of Elena, and insists that the right choice would have been to honor Elena's desire to always remain human.
Moving onElena manages to hurt Damon again by letting him know that she now remembered that she met him first, but she can't deny that it wouldn't have made a difference in her choosing Stefan over him. We saw that Elena was incredibly moved by the rediscovered memory of Damon professing his love for her, though, so we're guessing this love triangle isn't going away any time soon.
In the meantime, Elena has no problem cuddling up to Stefan while he tells her she's going to go through a lot of cravings, pain, and hell. Perhaps turning changes your perspective, but Elena seems eerily calm that all she wanted for herself is now gone, and her brother is the only human left in their family line. She seems to like the idea of eternity with Stefan, but it remains to be seen how much her lust for Damon gets heightened in future episodes.
What do you think, "Vampire Diaries" fans? Did Elena change too easily, or has the reality of her situation just not hit her yet?
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