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The Vampire Diaries Review: A Tale of Two Hunters

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What an absolutely terrific episode of The Vampire Diaries.

While past top-notch episodes of this CW drama relied on flashbacks or major twists/turns (See: "Blood Brothers," "The End of the Affair"), "Memorial" required no such visit into the past.

It was simply tense from beginning to end, incredibly tense, featuring the introduction of a fascinating new character; taking us deeper into Elena's transition; and giving Matt something to serve aside from drinks at the Grill.

Scared in Church

Let's start there. The Season 4 premiere was a slight letdown because it focused so much on something every viewer knew was coming: Elena turning into a vampire. It felt anticlimactic by the time that act finally took place.

But this episode shifted the focus to how such a development will impact Elena's relationships, from her rekindled romance with Stefan; to her complicated bond with Damon; to her new, extremely close connection to Matt; to her mentor/student relationship with Caroline.

This storyline is at its most powerful and its most effective when we witness its impact across all our favorite Mystic Falls residents. There are multiple layers to Elena turning, far beyond the simple fact that she will now live forever, and it was interesting to watch their domino effect play out here, specifically when it came to the tension between Stefan and Damon.

To feed on human blood or not to feed on human blood, that is their question. It's a legitimate moral debate and it brings back up the history between these brothers. Stefan knows the Ripper-like consequences that can result from one's immediate turn and foray into Homosapien digestion. He wants Elena to avoid the mistakes of his past.

Damon? He's never been as forward-looking as his optimistic sibling. He's always about the here and the now and he sees the girl he loves in pain and he offers up the fastest solution possible, his blood. And now our love triangle - thankfully - has a new twist.

It had grown tiresome last season. There's only so much of Elena pining for both Salvatores that viewers can take, especially when she's listing the same reasons over and over for why this is such a difficult decision. But this feels fresh. I spent the episode sincerely wondering on which side I'd fall, Damon or Stefan's. I can understand both, and I'm curious to see how Elena balances Stefan's big-picture thinking with Damon's quick-fix blood lust.

She isn't just trapped between two brothers now; she's caught between dueling philosophies.

And she was part of maybe the most moving scene in TVD history. That ending. Wow. It was unexpected, it was appropriate, it was touching, it gave us a Lexie shout-out. For a show that prides itself on hanging off the cliff at the conclusion of every hour, this was a surprising/emotional/perfect way to conclude an episode that focused so much on death and life and the choices we make. I absolutely loved it...

... and that was before we even moved to Damon in the cemetery. My goodness, Julie Plec! Are you trying to put Kleenex out of business?!? Any regular readers of my Vampire Diaries reviews understands the soft spot I have for both Matt Davis and Alaric Saltzman and Damon's mourning of his best friend was nothing short of beautiful.

I'm going to pretend like there's someone there because the alternative is too damn depressing. | permalink

Stefan and Caroline

From saying farewell to one hunter to greeting a new one... what the heck is up with Connor?!?

An outstanding debut by this dangerous new foe, the bad ass' introduction raises a number of questions: How is he connected to the Council? Is he related to the council? What prompted his appearance in Mystic Falls? What's up with the markings on his bullets? Why can only Jeremy see that tattoo on his arm?

Easily one of the more gasp-worthy moments in recent show history, the ink sighting makes it apparent that Connor is... what? A ghost? He doesn't seem to be a regular human, that's for sure.

The entire scene in the church was gripping television at its best. With Connor and his rifle lined up in a pew, April bloody by his side, a series of supernaturals sitting down below, everyone plotting his or her next move, it was simply heart-pounding to watch.

The same can be said for the episode as a whole. I just loved every minute of it. It's hard to remember an hour that so richly developed relationships and delivered with action-filled sequences.

Who is Connor? Down which path will Elena go? Will I ever stop crying over Alaric? Following a lackluster premiere, questions abound, trouble is brewing, tears are flowing and I can't wait for next Thursday.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1834 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Si medirán la respuesta en español mucho mejor se lo agrede seria

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Quisiera saber cuando van a trasmitirla 4temporada en Méx.

David-and-sabrina-2014

This episode was insanely shocking but kind of wacked up with the new hunter wanting to ruin everything. I can't wait to see what'll happen in the next episode of season 4. =) :P

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This episode was great. I love how protective Stefan is of Elena and the fact that he doesn't want her to make the same mistakes as he has and he knows she would never forgive herself if she ever killed anyone. Damon is such an ass for having Elena drink his blood when he knows she already chose Stefan, so he needs to get over it and move on already. I understand Elena and what she's going through and feel so bad for her, as she cannot keep any blood down. She is trying so hard to be good and hopefully she will get through it with Stefan's and Caroline's help. Now Elena can see how much pain and suffering Stefan has gone through to be who he is and survive on animal blood. It's very interesting to see how Stefan is now trying to help Elena stay on the right track and in prior seasons she is always helping him. It's great to see their bond getting stronger and hopefully it always stays that way, as their love is soooo great.

Allison-berry-barbieri

@Damonfan134: Hmmm...maybe there was a bit of jealously thrown in there??

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Best Vampire diaries episode ever. They got the balance between emotion and action perfect. The ending with Damon in the graveyard was enlightening, and actually made sense, i was wondering why i didnt see it before. Damon was right in describing the rest as children, always expecting everything to be fine and not wanting to make the tough choices, leaving Damon to make those decisions for them.

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Stefan is soo selfish! I mean damon is trying to help her by letting her feed on human blood but controlling it while stefan oversees all of this andmake her drink bunny blood?!?! Seriously! Shes a new vampire she cant survive on animal blood! Damons helping instead setefan blames him! Stefan realllly annoys me! Delena scene was awesome! And the fact that elena called damon in her time of need proves who she trusts more! I am rooting for more of DELENA!

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What I'm excited about: Elena not being able to hold in animal blood, vampire blood or maybe any blood not taken from the vein. This opens up the possibility of Elena dying as a vampire, which could lead to the them desperately searching for Katherine for solutions. Then my favorite character can make a much needed comeback! Also, how amazing was that 5 minutes friendship scene between Elena and Caroline??! I love the old Elena/Caroline/Bonnie scenes so much because they add another layer of humanity to the show where not everything is about getting the girl or love triangles. I hope they can focus on the girls' friendship to strengthen Bonnie as a character.

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Season 4 already, huh? ...and this is the first episode I've ever watched. Seems like I picked a really good one! If Elena pursues Damon, she's an idiot. Anyone can see he's bad news. I can feel sympathy for the guy, and I'm sure there are mitigating circumstances, but already, I'm feeling very protective of Elena, and I want nothing more than for Connor to figure out a way to send Damon to be with his best friend! Quick solution to the whole love triangle thing. Getting tired of love triangles. So...what'd I miss? :-)

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I think elena knew full well what she was doing drinking damons blood. Her emptiins are heightened i think its going to be hard for her to ignore her deelings for damon. She wanted that blood and knew what she was doing! :)

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Damon: You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle's going to make everything OK, or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not going to end up just like the rest of us murdering vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. And I know what you're going to say: 'It makes them feel better, Damon.' So what? For how long? A minute, a day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock with a birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now. I didn't get the girl, remember? I'm just stuck here fighting my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.
Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.

You better hope she's not a fan of Bambi.

Damon [on Elena]
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