You want to know something impressive?  I didn’t follow any The Vampire Diaries spoilers this summer.  None.  I made that decision when I was in the Vampire Diaries press room at Comic Con because it was so noisy in there I couldn’t hear any of the interviews.  I thought, why mess with such a twist of fate?  Aside from a few teasers that I did make out in the Julie Plec interview, I didn’t even watch a preview.  


I’m really thrilled I did that too, because oh boy what an opener!  Not knowing what to expect is fun.  Of course I didn’t expect anything less than what we got, but it more than lived up to my hopes.  I was mostly satisfied with the reveals, especially when I was dying to know that if there was persecution from the Founders Council, how were they going to thwart that?  Getting everyone in a room and blowing them up is certainly one way to do that. Naturally we’re wondering now was the pastor a religious nut, or was he compelled to do such a thing?  I digress though.  Starting at the end is never fun. 

For anyone that read The Vampire Diaries books, it was never a question of if Elena would become a vampire –  it was when.  The cliffhanger last spring told us the when, so “Growing Pains” brought us the how.  And the where.  And the “Holy mother of God can this get any more intense?” 

Sure, the setup was a bit contrived.  Lock them all up in pens so Elena pushes it to the last second, grasping at a growing pool of blood with literally no time left. Still, you had to like that little tag team from Rebekah and Stefan, right?  I honestly thought Damon and Matt would come to the rescue and Elena would feast on a Matt snack.  Wouldn’t it have seemed fitting, since Elena was in this mess because she wanted Matt to live? 

The Vampire Diaries did in it’s season four premiere exactly what it does best, pushing character dynamics the hardest they can go so that the basic drama seems anything but basic.  Love triangles are boring.  Love triangles that involve two vampire brothers and the girl they fancy who is now transitioning to become a vampire herself, who now remembers all those sweet, endearing moments with Damon that he compelled her to forget, after she chooses Stefan gets more interesting.  It’s a flipping love pendulum, that’s what it is. 

But hey, there was plenty of great drama that went beyond the three main characters.  Everyone stepped it up and we were biting our nails for all of them.  Bonnie is now taking on the temptations that doomed Esther as a witch.  She will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, including crossing lines into the very, very dangerous territory of dark magic.  She shows blantant disregard for the natural order, even if she had no choice but to finish what she started with Klaus.  That’s the consequence though of not considering that she was pushing her luck when trying to bring back the dead part of Elena before she transitioned.  Hey, it worked with Jeremy, right?   Except Jeremy wisely told her that the whole plan was completely stupid just because of what it did for him.  He should know Bonnie!  I love how they keep finding ways to bring back Bonnie’s grandmother, but it looks like she might finally be gone for good now.  Yes Bonnie, what have you done?  I’m very, very curious what this means for Bonnie now.  Does she become a dark witch or no witch?  What sort of punishment comes her way?

Poor Matt.  He feels guilty enough over Elena choosing him to live over herself.  This is a guy too that’s suffered enough guilt and heartache for several of us.  Usually in this bunch one steps in to support the other though, and this time it’s Stefan to give Matt a chin up.  Perhaps it was fitting since it was Stefan’s brother that tried to kill Matt because he wasn’t supposed to live.  Ah Damon and his twisted logic.  This just goes to prove that Matt can never die, because this twisted dynamic needs its human desperately.  Especially when the pastor seems to have wiped more of them off the map.  At this rate Matt will be the only one left.

How many of you thought that Klaus would confess to Caroline he was in Tyler after going all the way with her?  Whew, he’s not totally awful.  I’m still waiting for this redemption of Klaus thing to happen.  You know it’s going to happen eventually.  Interesting how he saved Caroline and left Rebekah to be captured.  I didn’t understand that but I did enjoy how it led to the “hell yeah!” development of the night.  Rebekah destroyed the blood bags of Elena’s doppelganger blood out of rage against Klaus.  No more hybrids for him.  She finally did what she should have done early into last season, giving Klaus the riot act for picking hybrids over his family, especially the one person who’s been most loyal to him.  Perhaps watching Stefan and Elena’s devotion to each other gave her a needed jolt.  I’m already loving this new, independent Rebekah and now that the threat of the originals being killed is no longer a pressing matter (hear me show?), we should be able to sit back and watch these characters grow.  That means Elijah needs to come back.  Yes, I’m still firmly riding the Elijah train. 

Other random thoughts:

  • Anyone crack a smile over knowing that it is indeed Damon’s blood that turned Elena?  I’m usually not a hard core shipper with shows but I’m still captain of the Delena boat.  Okay, at least first mate.  The way she attacked Damon with her vampire fangs when he tried to kill Matt?  Hot!  Far more enticing that the dewy star-crossed lovers on the roof enjoying the sunrise.  I did love Elena’s new ring though.  So pretty and suited for her. 
  • When push comes to shove, Elena chooses to be a vampire instead of dying.  And now she seems so happy with her vampire love for eternity.  Hee, one look at the preview tells us it’s not going to be all sunshine and smiles.  Great job overall on showing Elena’s perspective as she got hungrier.  We rarely get to see that when someone turns.  Caroline I think was the last person we saw that with. 
  • I miss Alaric.  That’s all.  Damon needs a friend, and their friendship was so enjoyable to watch over the last two seasons.  During the Comic Con press conference, I did hear Ian Somerhalder say how strange it was not to have Matt Davis around.  Yep, I’m feeling that too. 
  • How did Elena, Stefan, and Rebekah get out of the cages?  All we saw was Elena turning into a vampire.  Did that amp her up enough where vervain wasn’t an issue and she could bust through bars?
  • Let’s go back to that ending.  WHAT THE HELL???  Didn’t see that coming, and I was waiting for the big twist this time.  So the pastor has killed all the council members?  That means everyone involved in that witch hunt is dead and those left behind, including the mayor and sheriff, can go on living with supernatural beings like all is well?  Please tell me that the actions of the pastor mean something and will led to a tasty development in the episodes to come.  That sounds better than the quick fix tactic this is looking like.  I don’t like quick fixes. 

Overall, I’m one happy camper.  I liked this year’s premiere better than last year’s.  More important though, I’m dying to see what comes next.  That means The Vampire Diaries still knows how to do it’s job.  Season four is getting off to a perfect start. 


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