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The Vampire Diaries Review: The Five Stages of Grief

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Wow, I need a minute. It's amazing how an episode can be so dull for the first half... and by the end you are totally speechless. "Stand By Me" was definitely one of those episodes. Before we dive into our review, I want everyone to take a moment and say goodbye to Casa Gilbert. 

As for Jeremy...well, that's gonna take a little more time.

A Plotting Foursome

Thirty minutes into this installment and I was thinking "ugh another filler?!" Bonnie was acting stoned and brainwashed, Professor Crazy was spouting his psychobabble, and Rebekah was threatening lives. Blah blah blah. Actually I'm only semi-kidding about that last one because does anyone threaten torture better than Damon and Rebekah? I thoroughly enjoyed that bit. I think they do a better job than Klaus at this point!

Then we had the turning point: annoying April calls and for lack of a good excuse or lie, Elena finally admitted Jeremy was in fact DEAD. Boom. Okay so now let's hit the five stages of grief:

Denial: Obviously this was the first 30-40 minutes of the episode. Everyone else could smell Jeremy's body starting to decompose. Caroline was scrubbing the floor from where Kol got torched to keep her mind from Tyler's absence. Jeremy just could not be dead, right? Wrong, he's a supernatural so the Gilbert ring couldn't work on him anymore. 

Anger: Enter Dr. Fell, who calmly tries to tell Elena to hand Jeremy's body over to the morgue and set up a private viewing for friends and family to say goodbye. I thought Elena was going to bite her head off. At this point, the only person who could maybe reason with her was Damon. We needed that sire bond and we needed it fast. Since Elena still thought Jeremy can be brought back, she was begging for Bonnie. Damon finds Bonnie who looks brainwashed out of her mind, because duh she is.

Bargaining: Bonnie and Damon return to Mystic Falls and Bonnie introduces her psychotic plan to break down the veil between the mortal world and the other side. Only 12 more people need to be sacrificed, no biggie right? Elena was almost considering this as Caroline, Bonnie and Matt argued. She had hope after her touching scene with Matt in the stoner pit. But does she really believe that Bonnie and the sacrifice can bring him back? Then the aforementioned call from April and Elena snapped. Jeremy is really dead. There was no more bargaining.

Depression (and a buttload of anger): Honestly, Elena's meltdown was almost four seasons in the making and it was epic. I truly think that scene in the living room with the lighter fluid and the throwing of objects was Nina Dobrev's best work on The Vampire Diaries to date. Just think of the amount of loved ones she has lost and tell me how that girl is still standing. I know everyone makes fun of her that she can be whiney and she's always the victim, but in all seriousness she has lost a lot. 

Every inch of this house is filled with memories of the people that I loved that have died. My mom, my dad, Jeremy, and Jenna, Alaric, John, even John. They're all dead. Everyone is dead. | permalink

Acceptance: I don't know that I would call this stage acceptance so much as sire bond compulsion, but they served the same purpose. Elena is numb. Her humanity is gone. She knows Jeremy is no longer coming back. The Gilbert house isn't a place she can stay anymore. It's over and it's all gone up in flames, literally.

A couple of notes before we turn it over to you readers. So... is Shane dead? Was Bonnie communicating with his ghost? Where is Silas? Was that Silas?!? Most of all, are the writers really telling us that our favorite little Plot Device Katherine Pierce has been running this show from the get-go? Working with Hayley and the Professor before he even got to Mystic Falls? Well I'll be damned.

One last thing: if Bonnie can raise the dead and Cult doesn't do well, can we have Alaric back? Sorry, had to ask.

Time to share your thoughts. Hit the comments!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1385 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Allison-berry-barbieri

@Callisto, good point on your end also! Maybe no humanity means no sire bond? But that wouldn't be good.....the plan was to have Damon tell her to "turn it back on" when they think she could cope again... If there is not sire bond anymore...oh dear. Either way, I HATE the sire bond thing. Totally ruins the tension of the triangle.

Allison-berry-barbieri

@Sonia, good point! So much for a cover story. Though, April is "in the know" so, as long as she doesn't blab "Hey, Jeremy Gilbert didn't die in a house fire, a 2,000 year old vampire killed him" all over town, I think that the story might still be safe...

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This episode was great, but really sad. All of the actors did an amazing job, especially Nina. I really felt for Damon from the moment he was looking for Bonnie, you just knew he really didn't want to let Elena down by not showing up with Bonnie. Also, I liked the fact that he shut off Elena's humanity. It probably won't get him cool points with her later on down the road, but he did what needed to be done at the moment (it was obvious he couldn't stand seeing her in pain). Damon is never afraid to do the dirty work as long as it means protecting the ones he love and there was no exception in this episode. You can see that he loves Elena deeply, I just hope with her humanity being temporarily gone she doesn't hurt him. I have a feeling the writers may use this as a plot to have Elena toy with Stefan and Damon.

Whathappened

Nina Dobrev needs to be nominated/win a fucking golden globe for her performance week in and out. To bad she never will as the golden globes and the emmy's won't even blink at a show on the CW. In any case thank god Elena's turned that pesky humanity off, now she's gonna be awesome! And I really hope she ditches those two clowns and does whatever the fuck she wants cause its time this girl live it up! For once Dumpling Plec is doing something right! I'm glad Jeremy's dead.

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I definitely think that Elena's lack of humanity can be a good thing. But, I almost feel like it will only be entertaining for a few weeks and then it will feel too much like the heart of the show is gone. Since Elena became a vampire, the writers have almost caused her to seem brainwashed. Instead of pointing out that this is just her true self magnified, they are acting like her vampire inside is the one who is ruling. I feel like she is not herself and her feelings for Damon are not real. I am disappointed in how dry her relationship with Damon has been ever since they got together. She had so much more passion with Stefan when she was a human and now she is supposed to be passionately in love with Damon with intensified feelings? I don't buy it. Now she is going to turn into Katherine part 2 and I anticipate that it will feel like we are watching a different show. Elena is the "humanity" in this show. She is the one we relate to as viewers because it is all from her perspective.. If she is "gone", it feels very hard for us to connect as viewers.

Soapjunk

Cut cult and get Alaric back! I see a great opening!

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So I don't know if anyone else noticed this but it seems like the sire bond is kind of broken. Maybe after Elena turned off her humanity it broke the bond. I noticed it when she wanted to burn down the house and Damon told her not to. She still did it. If she was still sired wouldn't she do what he asked? I'm interested to see how this develops.

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.....And i really think Damon loves Elena more than Stefan does¡¡¡ Why can they be together again?

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How is Elena going to love anybody if she has turned off her humanity? Damon could have told her just to feel good¡ Is she becoming another Katherine? Theres no show without the love story.

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How did everyone completely ignore the fact that Elena told April that Jeremy was dead before they burnt down the house, talking to her on the phone that was in the bloody house? So much for the cover-up story.

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