An unexpected kill. A new tattoo. A dangerous mentor/protege relationship.
The Vampire Diaries did it again on "The Killer," shocking viewers with its action and suspense. In this edition of the TV Fanatic Round Table, staff members Matt Richenthal, Miranda Wicker, Steve Marsi and Leigh Raines breakdown the episode, analyzing Stefan's secret, Elena's murder and more...
What was your favorite scene or quote from the episode?
Matt: The final few moments between Damon and Stefan. This is the true love story on TVD. The Brothers Salvatore are often in conflict, but they always come back to one another. Even just an hour or so after one comes ever so close to squeezing the life out of the other's beating heart.
Miranda: I love Extra Snarky Damon an unhealthy amount, so for quotes, every word that came out of his mouth, especially asking about Stefan's bossypants. As for a favorite scene, Elena killing Connor to protect Jeremy. She didn't hesitate. She just acted. And it was kind of badass of her.
Steve: Seems almost too obvious to point out, but Ian Somerhalder was just destroying it this week - with his facial expressions and Damon quotes, not fangs. With Elena now a member of the undead and all the implications therein, the love triangle has been infinitely more compelling in Season 4.
Leigh: Hayley saying to Caroline that she doesn't do teen drama. It was ironic and hilarious.
Do you welcome the return of the journals?
Matt: As much as I miss the presence of ghosts in Mystic Falls.
Miranda: I know I'm probably in the minority, but yes, I like the journals. I know the motto is "show, don't tell" but when it comes to the inner thoughts of characters, I'd rather the writers didn't go around having them talk about their feelings all the time. The show isn't The Vampire Therapies, you know?
Steve: What do you want them to do, blog? Facebook? It's not The Vampire Tweets. "dear followers, omg elena effin broke connors neck but I dunno if that makes me want her more or less lol. kthxbai 4 now!!"
Leigh: I've missed the journals. But doesn't Stefan know how easily Klaus could find those? Journals are for feelings, not deep dark secrets.
Should Stefan tell Elena about the cure?
Matt: YES. I know Stefan just wants what's best for Elena, but let's think about how he's treating her: like someone who truly cannot think for herself. He isn't even trying to give her a say in this decision, he's just making life-altering decisions - that place many people in danger - for her and, what's even worse, he's doing it by teaming up with someone who only wants Elena to be human so he can extend his Hybrid line. Seriously, Stef, take the gloves off and treat your girlfriend with some respect here.
Miranda: Another question first: Did I miss the part last week where Klaus said the cure won't work unless the vampire hasn't killed yet? Or did I just start writing for The Vampire Diaries? Because if that's true and killing Connor means she can't be cured, then no, he shouldn't tell her. Her shame spiral would just spin faster and a depressed Elena is, well, depressing. If she can still be cured, then yes, tell her. That might be the control she needs to keep from killing again.
Steve: Definitely. Kids these days have no appreciation for the '70s British goth-infused post-punk revolution. But seriously folks ... no. Not until he regroups and formulates a new plan to go after it, which will obviously happen. No reason to tell her unless there's a chance, however slim, that they might get it.
Leigh: Yes. Everyone needs to stop keeping stuff from Elena if they don't want her to go rogue and ya know...kill the hunter.
Cooler cliffhanger: Jeremy's tattoo, Elena's hallucination or Bonnie lighting some candles?
Matt: Jeremy by a landslide, and I can't say I ever imagined saying that. But The Vampire Diaries Season 4 has tied him into the events surrounding Elena extraordinarily well. I love the idea of his destiny actually being to kill folks like his sister. Talk about a conflict of interest!
Miranda: How about a tie between the tattoo and the hallucination? Both of those set up some very interesting stories moving forward. And while I know Bonnie's going to have a witchy role to play in this whole cure-map thing, her lighting some candles? Snoooooooze.
Steve: Jeremy's tattoo. You knew it was coming, but still, a cool twist for his often-maligned character. Why him? Does his mentality change now? So much potential there.
Leigh: Elena's hallucination and Jeremy's tattoo. Calling it a tie.
Are you buying Tyler's story about Hayley?
Matt: That they never hooked up? Sure. Not sure I'm buying why this lie covers their tracks with Klaus, though. Couldn't they be were-ing each other out in bed and still be plotting to free other Hybrids?
Miranda: The sire-bond takes away free will, so I can imagine that there are other werewolves out there who hate it as much as Tyler did. And I got the sense that Haley was attached to Dean, so yes, I'm buying his story.
Steve: Sure. Why wouldn't they want to help their kind break the sire bond? Besides, this display of teamwork and potentially pawing one another werewolf style aren't mutually exclusive.
Leigh: I buy Tyler's story, but that doesn't mean there can't be some sexual tension there.
What do you remember best about your first kill?
Matt: The click of the trigger. The drop of the body. The splattering of the blood. The ever-lasting satisfaction that I finally beat my brother at Big Buck Hunter.
Miranda: Hmmm. Well, it was definitely unexpected. And messy.
Steve: It was so awesome. I may not look like it, but I am a certified beach volleyball all-star with an impressive vertical leap. Those 11-year-olds never saw it coming.
Leigh: Wait... what? The first kill I had was probably a goldfish or something.