VAMPIRE DIARIES: 4.02 “Memorial”
I wanted to write about tonight’s episode of Vampire Diaries while I’m still reacting. And by “still reacting,” I mean that I very well could burst into tears just thinking about the end of the episode again. It was hard enough for me to stop in the first place.
What a fantastic episode. I mean, really fantastic. And it wasn’t one I was looking forward to. Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen so many people transition, whether on this show or other vampire series (including things like, ugggggh, Twilight), but I just thought that seeing Elena’s struggle would be boring. It doesn’t help matters that she’d be going through this with Mr. Boring himself, Stefan Salvatore.
But it was actually the opposite. While I’d never really recommend adding vomit to spice up a series, Elena’s struggle to keep down blood that wasn’t from the vein was a great move on the writers’ part to keep our attention. Clearly, it’s not going to be so easy for Elena (I doubt she’s 100% ready for vampire-dom after this episode, no matter what strides she took), and I was really enjoying watching it. Of course, seeing her rely on Damon — myself being a Damon/Elena shipper — certainly didn’t hurt.
Meanwhile, we had a new vampire hunter in town. Though many people were wondering (much like a certain commenter on this site) whether Damon had a hand in the reverend’s death, we did ultimately find out that it was part of a master plan. The vampire hunter, Connor, though… What’s his story? Other than violently (and openly) wanting all vampires dead, no matter what he needs to do to assure it (including murder in a crowded room), we don’t really know where he came from or how he found out about Mystic Falls. All we know is that he’s rather ruthless and lethal. We’re just lucky that Tyler can’t be killed in traditional ways.
Plus, it’s clear that there’s more to him that meets the eye — literally. Jeremy was able to see hidden ink on Connor, something no one else can. What is he a part of?
But all that action and mystery isn’t what we were left with at the end of the episode. It was the grief. The grief that we’ve held onto for years at this point that, as Elena pointed out, we never got to release. As they named name after name after name, it was shocking to really think of all those characters that TVD lost (or killed off) in recent years.
And while those lanterns were lovely, it wasn’t what made the tears start flowing. Damon’s speech at Alaric’s grave really hit home. His one close friend and confidante — the one that he was unable to kill when he needed to last year — is gone, and Damon’s left to pick up the pieces. To make matters worse, we had Alaric sitting there, listening to every word, knowing that Damon wasn’t really angry. He was just hurt. And he missed his friend.
It was a touching moment and a wonderful one for Vampire Diaries. I’ll tell you what: I’ve complained about some things about TVD in the past, but the big, poignant moments, they know how to do right.