The Vampire Diaries: The gang’s all here!

Yup, Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) a vampire for sure now.

How good was last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries?  I know some people aren’t fans of the fact that Elena is now a vampire, but let’s be honest, it was bound to happen sometime.  I really appreciate the fact that the writers took the chance and made her a vampire this early in the series.  (Especially if it means we’ll eventually see a Katherine/Elena show down – I know, Katherine is older therefore technically stronger, but Elena has love on her side. . . oh who am I kidding, Katherine would kick her ass.  I still want to see the fight though.)  Last night’s episode proved that this was a really great decision.  Making Elena a vampire has made it necessary to put the love triangle on hold for the moment, has given Damon and Stefan a new way to have the same philosophical disagreement about what it means to be a vampire (Stefan wants to get Elena started on an all-animal diet immediately, Damon thinks she needs vampire food AKA human blood from the vein in order to survive), Caroline is no longer the baby vampire on the block so it gives her a chance to take the lead instead of always being in Elena’s shadow, and it has given Bonnie and Jeremy a chance to make googly eyes at each other again which makes me very happy.

Elena struggled not only with the fact that she couldn’t keep any blood in her system but also with her constant sadness (Paul Wesley, Dobrev, Zach Roerig)

I loved the season premiere last week, but I thought it focused too much on Elena’s physical transition into a vampire and not enough on her emotional transition.  On top of that, the episode worked very hard to introduce this pastor character only to have him blow himself (and the rest of the council) to smithereens.  I kind of enjoyed the precision smooth way he took over the council and swooped in to clean up the Mayor and Sheriff’s mess and I think I would have enjoyed seeing more of that.  I’m on the fence on the new vampire hunter in town but I definitely give him props for his tactics (the vervain laced glove was genius and we definitely know that he’s not too worried about being compassionate after what he did to poor April).  I still think there are some Elena transition issues that got swept under the rug a bit too quickly – especially considering that Elena has made it very clear that she did not want to be turned – but last night’s episode gave Elena (and me) some emotional closure on the human side of her life while also bringing together our band of supernatural misfits in a way that I find exceptionally pleasing (Damon excluded as per usual).

I’m glad that Damon and Elena didn’t keep her feeding from him a secret for too long. But it’s pretty clear the issue isn’t settled yet. (Ian Somerhalder, Dobrev)

My biggest complaint about The Vampire Diaries has been the lack of integration of the characters and their storylines (ahem Caroline ahem) but in one scene last night, I felt like the writers sort of made up for that.  The scene during the memorial when all of our vampire/vampire-hybrid friends were smelling poor April’s blood and basically conspiring through whispers amongst the mourners was fantastic.  It brought everyone together and put them on the same goal – resisting Conor’s trap.  It gave everyone a common enemy and having Tyler sacrifice himself for the rest of the team was fantastic.  Even Matt got in on the game by offering up his neck to Elena to feed on after she had grown weak from not being able to keep down either animal nor Damon blood.  I just loved that they were all there, together, saving each other.  Almost more than the final scene of everyone taking stock of all those they’ve lost over the past three seasons.

I think this was my absolute favorite scene last night – Caroline (Candice Accola) gently teaching Elena (Dobrev) how to not eat people she loves.

There’s very little this show could do that I wouldn’t jump on board with.  I mean, there are vampires and werewolves and witches and houses of 100 dead witches and humans who see ghosts and hybrids and dopplegangers – my disbelief is firmly suspended.  I got rid of the need for grounded, realistic storytelling from this show the minute I started watching it.  But I do like it when the show takes focuses on making these characters feel whole and lived in.  The actors do a great job of bringing their characters to life, but the writers give them these small moments that have big impacts

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