This recap will probably be one of the shortest on record. I just don't have too much to say about this episode. Some parts were good...some parts were laughably bad (I'm looking at you - motorcycle scene)...and some parts just felt like a bridge to get to later episodes in the season. I'm a writer. I know that sometimes "filler" happens, and this seemed like an episode that was simply meant to introduce us to the various plots that will be winding through the rest of season four.
Two Brothers - Two Kitchens - Same Topic
"It'll feel really good for about ten seconds and then after that tens and thousands of vampires all over the world will start to die. Every vampire she ever turned will die. See rage is a really powerful feeling. But guilt...take it from me....it'll destroy you." - Stefan
"What have I done?" - Elena
"Nothing you should be ashamed of. You are a vampire now. You just have to learn the right way to be one."
Last week we had two scenes involving feeding, a tree, and Elena vomiting blood. This week we have Elena out of control in a kitchen. Both brothers talked her down off the proverbial wall, but I was really intrigued by their choice of words.
I've been surprised at how much this season has seemed to focus on highlighting the difference between the brothers. While we know they disagree on diet, these two scenes also brings the contrast in the way they've accepted their very nature into sharper focus.
Now I know the severity of the issue Elena was facing was different in the two discussions. Had Elena staked Rebekah, countless vampires around the world would have dropped dead. But if Elena had killed Matt, I don't think she ever would have recovered from it. She would have killed the very person she gave her life to protect. While that didn't happen...I keep coming back to how each brother's choice of wording displays how he has accepted his nature.
Stefan equates being a vampire with guilt. He's come back to that phrase over and over this season. She needs to learn the bunny diet to free her from the guilt of if she hurts someone. She would never get over the guilt of killing someone. He's trying to protect her from the guilt that would result in her turning off her emotions.
Contrast that with Damon's reaction to arriving in the Gilbert kitchen just in time to keep Elena from killing Matt (more on that later...). He instantly reassures her that she's done nothing to be ashamed of. She's a vampire. She has to accept the fact that she's a predator now, and that means she needs guidance. Guidance Damon can provide but Stefan can't.
"I'm good at it because of you." - Caroline
Most of y'all who chat with me on Twitter know that Caroline has begun to annoy me over the past couple of seasons. Her transition was too easy (yes, I remember she killed someone), but she learned control way too easily...unless it really isn't that hard to learn control and Stefan's the aberration.
Now more than being "super baby vamp," her insistence that Stefan is all things good and perfect has begun to grate on me. Because he's not.
-Stefan is the ripper.
-He's the guy who fed Elena his blood and threatened to drive her off Wickery Bridge to get revenge on Klaus.
-He's the one who drove his girlfriend to tears for lying to him about her difficulty with animal blood, even though she DID try to tell him and he just didn't want to hear it.
Stefan is NOT perfect, and Caroline can stop trying to pretend that he is.
Sorry. Breathing in...breathing out...I feel better now, but I had to say it.
Stefan's attempts to have Caroline follow in the way of animal-diet-dom didn't work. The ONLY reason that Caroline's had an easy transition is because she's a neurotic control freak who can consume blood bags. Elena doesn't have that option. Elena needs to consume human blood, fresh from the vein, and she has to learn control.
Stefan can't teach her how to control herself while feeding from a human because he never mastered that skill himself.
Baby Vamp Probably Needs a Babysitter
When we last checked in with Elena, she was adamantly against feeding on people because she couldn't face the prospect of killing anyone; but the need grew too great in the church and she had to give in.
And now we open the episode with Matt and Elena meeting up for a little "behind the school feeding?" Unless Elena's trying to hide the fact that she's still feeding on people (namely Matt), I don't understand why she doesn't have some type of vampire babysitter.
Oh wait -
Stefan doesn't have the necessary control. We have no reason to believe that Caroline or Tyler have developed that level of control either since they both have adopted the blood bag diet. So, who does that leave them with?
Stefan's insistence that Damon stay away from Elena almost proved to have fatal results. If Elena has to feed on living humans (and I'm assuming they've tried other sources), no one should have trusted her ability to control herself, especially when Stefan was very aware of her heightened rage throughout the day.
The Whole Fresh Blood Situation
Sorry this commentary is so disjointed. That's kind of how I felt about the episode. I don't understand where Elena stands on the need for human blood. I'd originally assumed that she'd be able to go back on the bagged stuff at least after she'd had a proper feeding from Matt. (That's what we've seen with Caroline and Tyler.) But it seems that Elena still can't tolerate other sources - or there would be no need for Damon to teach her control.
But why can't Elena tolerate other sources? Katherine can. We've seen her go to the Salvatore supply of blood bags. She shared a drink of something with Isobel. Is her digestive system just less picky because she's older?
I'm really concerned that we're going to discover it's some type of balance of nature thing. The witches are good at making their witchcraft complicated - to break the binding spell, they needed a doppleganger, a werewolf, moonstone, and a vampire. I imagine there's some type of safety protocol in place that means that the doppleganger line can't end. Katherine had a child before she turned. I imagine there's a high likelihood that we're going to discover that Tatia also had a child - hence the creation of the whole doppleganger bloodline. Elena hasn't. The Petrova line ended when Rebekah caused Matt to drive them over that bridge.
I think Damon was likely right when he said something about Elena's doppleganger blood was causing her to resist the transition. As much as I like vampire Elena, and I know that I've said it before, but I think we'll see Elena at least having the choice to become human again...and that's why Klaus saved her when she had the werewolf "venom" in her system. That whole scenario was to lay the groundwork to show that now that this mysterious member of The Five has arrived, Elena's doppleganger-ness is valuable again. Whether it'll prove to be a bargaining chip or if these ultimate hunters have the ability to reverse the transition into a vampire still remains to be seen.
So, all in all, this wasn't a favorite episode of mine. It also won't go down on my list of least-favorite episodes. It'll soon be forgotten in the list of middle-ground episodes that are easily forgotten.