Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. These are the five stages of grief. And they were all on display, during this Very Special Episode of The Vampire Diaries . . . each with their own supernatural twists, of course.
So, break out your hankies, Fangbangers! Because this one is going to be a tearjerker . . .
(Oh, and please don’t forget to checkout my informal tribute to Jeremy Gilbert in Part 1 of this recap! JerBear needs your support today!)
[As always, special thanks to Andre for all the kickass screencaps you see here. He claims he's going to not read this recap in protest of it's inevitably schmaltzy content. But we don't actually believe him, do we? ]
“There’s absolutely no way that my brother is dead. I am NOT in denial.”
It’s Elena who first discovers Jeremy’s limp and lifeless body, covered in his own blood.
Poor guy! Dumped unceremoniously on the floor, while Katherine escaped to lord knows where . . .
. . . and “Silas” sauntered off to literally “put on his new face.”
A body like that deserves better . . . Ugly, decrepit, thousand plus year old Silas got his own entire tomb. Sexy Jer Bear should have at least gotten a small mausoleum, complete with a life-sized marble statute etched in his likeness . . . kind of like Michaelangelo’s David . . . except maybe not as tall . . .
She carries him all the way home from Nova Scotia swaddled in a blanket, like a baby.
“That’s not a casserole!”
Trust me, if Jeremy was alive to see that, he would have hated it. But Elena can’t help but baby Jeremy. He’ll always be her little brother, no matter how old or supernaturally buff he gets. Besides, he’s not really dead . . . just taking a supernatural ring-induced nap . . . right? RIGHT?
Damon stays back in Nova Scotia to find the still-missing Bonnie, and break the bad news about the cure to Rebekah. This leaves Stefan and Caroline to deal with Elena, and pass one another “She’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” looks, as Elena straddles the dead guy in his bed, and cups his ringed hand in her own, like she’s about to propose marriage. Jeremy would have hated that too!
Morbid as these scenes were, I have to laugh when Stefan tries to prevent Elena’s vampire ears from hearing him talk about her to Caroline by . . . TURNING ON THE SINK. Is this guy for real? This is even more ridiculous than his TURNING ON THE MOTORCYCLE last week to prevent Klaus from overhearing him.
I am proud of Elena for putting those two in their places.
She isn’t going nuts.
She has good reason to believe Jeremy is still alive . . . sort of. After all, this isn’t exactly the first time Jeremy Gilbert has laid lifeless on his bed . . . In fact, it’s probably the fourth or fifth.
And besides, JerBear lost his manly tattoos in the caves! That should make him human again, right? And humans wear rings of immortality that actually work, in this world . . . even if wearing them eventually turns their minds to mush. (Sorry Alaric.)
Elsewhere, in Denial Town, Caroline is hoping that a nice casserole will make everything better. Stefan is finally coming to grips with the fact that his ex-girlfriend might just wind up remaining a vampire bonded to Damon for all eternity. As for Damon, he’s in the forest, trying to convince himself he stayed behind just to find Bonnie . . . not not because he dreads having to face an utterly bereft Elena, and fears that he won’t be able to take away her pain.
But then poor Jer’s body starts getting grey and stinky. And for a girl with a vampire nose to avoid that, her denial has to not only exist, but be pretty darn deep. Is there a doctor in the house?
“NO! It’s NOT science. Where was science when you used vampire blood to save my life?”
Someone calls Doctor Meredith, who has to perform double duty as a coroner / undertaker, when she tries to convince Elena to “release the body to her.” (Shouldn’t she be wearing gloves, a lab coat . . . a surgical mask . . . something? Talk about unsanitary.)
Meri-DEATH drops a medical text book babble-filled truth bomb on Elena.
“Blah, blah, blah, bloodloss, bloating, blah, blah, blah . . . lividity . . . YOUR BROTHER IS A CORPSE! GET THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL!”
“NEVERRRRRR! DIE, PUNY HUMAN!”
And honestly, I can’t blame the newbie vamp for going full on Mean Girls rage fest on her ass. . .
After all, when has TVD given two licks about SCIENCE? Never!
“I like science!”
NOBODY CARES, SHANE!
This is a world where Mythological “Rules” are made to be broken, and science just plain doesn’t exist . . . (which likely explains why the students at Mystic Falls High only seem to attend classes in history and gym). Meredith, herself, probably had to get shipped off to Nova Scotia just to attend Med School.
Stefan immediately leaps into Hero Mode, in order to prevent Elena from murdering
his wife The Only Doctor / Coroner / Undertaker / Supernatural Shrink in Mystic Falls. But he need not worry. All it takes is for Matt Donovan to pop by with his Cry Face, and Elena melts into a warm puddle of goo . . . as do we all . . .
Maybe this Matt Kid has superpowers, after all!
Elsewhere in Anger Town, “Shane” breaks the news to Bonnie that JerBear has taken off his shirt for her for the very last time. Girlfriend is so pissed that her hookup prospects have just been limited to . . . that guy who’s sort of/ kind of her brother, that she starts to burn down the ENTIRE FOREST WITH HER MIND! Smokey the Bear would definitely not approve . . .
At this point, part of me was REALLY hoping that Bonnie would turn into the Lost smoke Monster and eat “Shane” ass . . .
But alas, it was not to be . . .
Also angry? Perpetually Cockblocked Damon! Damn that Stupid Bond for making him feel perpetually guilty about getting laid by the woman he’s loved for our seasons! He’d like to KILL that sire bond, if he could. But he can’t. So, instead, he uses Rebekah as a human shield to block the arrow heading for his heart. He then beats that Vampire Hunter Vaughn Guy, within in an inch of his life.
By the way, I’m still trying to figure out what that guy’s purpose on the show is exactly. Has JerBear’s death and Tyler’s “disappearance” left an opening for Window Dressing on the TVD Casting Roster? If so, why is Vaughn always wearing so much clothes?
“I’ll do whatever it takes.”
Bonnie . . . Bonnie . . . Bonnie. Everybody needs Bonnie. She’s been the magical answer to seemingly every supernatural kerfuffle into which the gang has got itself embroiled in the past. Why not this one too?
The problem, of course, is that Bonnie doesn’t want to be found. She wants to curl up into a ball and die, thank you very much. So, “Shane” has to take drastic measures. He has to get his eyes all wide and buggy, and mesmerize Bonnie into believing she could bring JerBear and his hot bod back to life.
When that doesn’t work, he literally brings back the dead . . . albeit temporarily. Suddenly, JerBear is on the floor asking Bonnie for help. Nevermind that he is actually back in Mystic Falls stinking up the Gilbert house . . .
Bonnie doesn’t question it. She’s still enamored with the memories of her hand running across that delicate firmly muscled skin. She’ll do whatever it takes to get that body back. Fortunately, “Shane” has the solution. Bringing JerBear back to the world of the living? It’s easy. All you have to do is murder twelve innocent humans. No biggie!
Just when Damon is about to return home Bonnie-less, the intrepid witch literally runs right into his arms. Bonnie and Damon hugging? Without trying to strangle one another, in the process? Clearly, the apocalypse is upon us!
Speaking of the apocalypse, since when did “Silas” become Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects? From the character’s mythological “too bad to be true” beginnings, to his masquerading as that doofus nerd, Professor Dumpy Dork . . . They even had the temporarily incapacitated Vaughn borrow a line straight from that iconic film, when he was warning Rebekah about the big bad’s inevitable escape. “How do you run from the Devil, if you don’t even know what he looks like?”
Yeah, I don’t know about you. But I wasn’t all that shocked when the soon-to-be-dead Shane revealed that Silas had somehow assumed his form, in order to wreak havoc on Mystic Falls.
“Anybody have a toothbrush I could borrow?”
I was only surprised he didn’t do it sooner. That said, I have to say that”Shane” is much sexier as Evil Silas, than he ever was as that annoying, boring mythology spewing, Professor Dumpy Dork. So, there might be hope for this character yet . . .
“You like me? You really like me?”
Meanwhile back home, Matt brings Elena to school, to show her that it’s OK to still have hope for her brother’s survival. And why not? School is a pretty hopeful place for the Scooby Gang.
“So this is what our high school looks like. I forgot!”
Think about it. They haven’t been there for months, and yet no one has ever been expelled!
It kind of makes me wonder what the writers are going to do with the inevitable “college” transition for this group. I mean, these guys are seniors, right? Have they even applied to colleges at this point? Have they taken their SATs? I guess the crew is counting on compelling the admissions officers of the colleges of their choice. Otherwise, I sincerely hope that Mystic Falls has its own community college . . .
Tyler: “I’m a Phoenix!”
Caroline: “No you aren’t, Loser. You’re a hybrid.”
Tyler: “No, I mean the online colle . . . never mind.”
Anywhoo, Damon brings Bonnie back home, and she explains Silas’ Wackadoo Plan. Crazy TVD Mythology Alert!
So, here’s the deal . . . Bonnie’s Desperate Loony Ancestor apparently somehow created this separate purgatory for all dead supernatural beings, all so that, when immortal Silas took The Cure and died, his Vampire/Witch self would be separated from his human beloved forever. But if Bonnie murders 12 humans, that Other Side will somehow cease to exist. This means that all currently dead Supernaturals come back to life, and all soon-to-be dead supernaturals, like Silas, can go to Heaven (or Hell) just like their human counterparts.
Sounds great, right? Except for the fact that some of these supernaturals are SERIOUSLY BAD DUDES . . . folks like the Hidey Hole Vamps, Esther, Mikael, Kol, and those hot Vampire Hunters from the Original Five to name a few . . . folks that the Scooby Gang REALLY doesn’t want to see come back to life. Let’s not forget the fact that doing this involves KILLING MORE PEOPLE.
Aside from that, I’m pretty sure Silas/ Shane is full of sh*t. I don’t think he has any plans for bringing these people back as anything but evil zombies, primed to do his bidding . . . but that’s just me . . .
Except, maybe it’s not just me. Because while Bonnie is spitting her Silas-imbibed Crazy Juice all over the Gilbert Kitchen table, Elena is getting this look on her face. It’s a look of understanding . . . of realization . . . of knowledge . . . of . . .
“There is nothing here for me anymore, Stefan. Every inch of this house is filled with my love for people who have died.”
April calls looking for Jeremy, and Elena admits that he can’t come to the phone. . . because he’s dead. She admits it to April, at the same time that she admits it to herself. There is no more denial. No more anger. No more bargaining. All that is left is the stench of death, rising from Jeremy’s bed . . . and depression.
As the rest of the Scooby Gang looks on in horror, Elena impulsively drowns the house in kerosene. She tosses Jeremy’s sketches, and his X-box on the floor, along with the dearly departed Alaric’s bourbon. She gives Damon Jeremy’s immortality ring (a foreshadowing to Damon’s eventual inadvertent transformation back into a human?).
She’s crying and babbling like a woman who has officially lost all of her family.
She’s scaring Caroline, who has made a vampire career in Keeping up Appearances . . . who hasn’t been able to reach Tyler to tell him what is going on, and who is being eaten up inside by grief, guilt, and concern for her friend.
Outside in his car, Matt has just dropped Wackadoo Bonnie at home, and has finally allowed himself to experience the loss he has been holding at bay for Elena’s benefit. His wrenching release of emotion is arguably more heartbreaking than anything we’ve experienced throughout this entire emotional episode . . .
Back in the Gilbert’s house, Elena is inconsolable. She’s screaming and crying. She’s in pain. Suddenly, it’s as if all the familial losses of the past three seasons, that she’s kept at bay, in order to soldier on, have suddenly revisited themselves upon her, with a vengeance.
It’s one of the curses of being immortal. You are doomed to watch the people you love die, over and over again. And you can never join them. It’s something Stefan and Damon have inevitably had to cope with in their long lives.
But Elena is not 165. She is only 18. And she has already lost more loved ones than she can count on her fingertips. She’s not sure she’ll be able to survive this . . . and, quite, honestly, neither are her friends.
Damon and Stefan both love Elena, in their own ways. And it literally kills them to see her in this much pain.
Stefan tells Damon to do what he has to do to help Elena, even if it involves invoking the dreaded sire bond.
I’ve actually given this a lot of thought. I’ve tried to determine whether Damon had any other options available to him, to help Elena, aside from doing what he ultimately did. Had he done nothing, but comforted her, and allowed her to cry on his shoulder, would she have eventually soldiered on? Or would she have become so bereft that she ultimately took her own life, by meeting the sun?
In terms of evoking the sire bond, was there some other command Damon could have given, aside from the one he ultimately gave to ease her pain? My first thought was that he could have told her to simply substitute her sadness for feelings of hope and comfort. But I suspect that would not have worked. After all, though rooted in love, the sire bond actually only effects actions, and cannot be used to CHANGE emotions, in and of, itself.
A more practicable solution would have been for Damon to tell Elena to FORGET . . . FORGET that Jeremy had died. . . FORGET all the loss she experienced. Heck, he could even tell her to believe that Jeremy had stayed in Denver. And she would have believed it, if she thought that believing that would have made him happy.
But would that have been a better solution, or an even more inhumane one?
So, Damon did what I believe he truly felt was his only option. He told Elena to turn off her humanity, and her emotions, even if it meant that her love for him would cease to exist. He did it to spare her pain . . . possibly to save her life. He did it to give her the gift of . . .
“I’m not enough for her. Not this time.”
Outside, for their very last Porch Scene, Damon and Stefan come to, if not necessarily a truce, at least an understanding of one another. Damon explains to Stefan why what he did for Elena was the only possible solution in his eyes.
Damon assumes he will eventually be able to use the sire bond to bring back Elena’s humanity, when the time is right. But, honestly, I’m not so sure. If the sire bond is seeped in Elena’s preexisting love for Damon, what happens when she no longer feels that love. Will he still have the same hold on her? That remains to be seen.
Anywhoo, the loss of Jeremy, in a weird way, brings these two brothers together, who, despite their differences, are grateful to still have one another, even after all these years . . .
Inside, Elena gives her brother one last look, before coldly lighting the match that will ultimately incinerate her childhood home. In telling Elena to reconsider her decision, Stefan is appealing to a humanity that Elena no longer has. She answers dispassionately.
What a waste of good artwork!
A home fire is the best excuse for Jeremy’s untimely demise. So what if April Young, who was told Jeremy was dead hours ago, asks questions? She could always be terminated . . .
In the final moments of the episode, Damon, Stefan and Elena leave the Gilbert House in a Slo Mo sequence that manages to be both Bad Ass and Utterly Depressing at the same time . . .
It’s kind of like watching the opening scene to Reservoir Dogs over again . . . after you’ve seen it before, and know that pretty much everyone is going to die . . .
Back inside the Gilbert household, Jeremy burns to a crisp, along with his drawings, his sneakers, his X-Box, and let’s not forget Elena’s diary. Don’t fret, JerBear. Other Side or No Other Side, you can rest assured you are going to get laid like a champ in the Great Beyond . . . Dead or alive that body of yours is just too good to resist!
I’m burning up for your love, JerBear!
Next week on TVD, Evil Elena eats some cheerleaders, joins a nudist colony, and engages in a foursome with Stefan, Damon, and Caroline. In other words, “Bring it On” is going to be the best fanfiction ever written!
See you in a few weeks, Fangbangers!