The beginning was awesome. The end was shocking. The middle... left a bit to be desired.
Before we think too long and hard about The Vampire Diaries Season 5, let's stop and reflect, TVD Fanatics. From Elena's adjustment to Stefan's plunge, it's time to analyze the ups and downs of The Vampire Diaries Season 4.
What worked? What failed? What overall grade do the 23 episodes deserve? Read through our Report Card below and then weigh in with your take...
Best Episode: "Memorial." A candidate for best episode of all-time, from the well-filmed action inside the church to the surprise appearance of Alaric at the end. One of the few installments to not end on a cliffhanger, this taut hour combined suspense and sentiment in a way only The Vampire Diaries can pull off.
Worst Episode: "Into the Wild." Way too much Professor Shame yammering and far too little accomplished for an episode that was meant to be a climax to The Cure storyline.
Best Performance: Nina Dobrev. She showed fear and confusion as a newly turned Elena; confidence and strength as the character accepted her new undead status; cold-hearted bitchiness after her humanity was switched off; and an outpouring of tears, anger and sadness once it came back on. An impressive, season-long whirlwind of emotion from the actress.
Worst Performance: The dude behind Silas. It's almost as if he was just impersonating other cast members every week!
Best Spinoff Idea: The Originals. We were skeptical at first, but consider us hooked. Though we still think our own 'Ric and the Dick brainchild has real potential too.
Unsung Hero: Matt Donovan. He came up big at the funeral. He helped train a hunter. He got Elena's humanity back. All while logging double shifts like a madman! Oh, and there's a 90 percent chance he will get in Rebekah's pants this summer. Score one for long-maligned Matty.
Biggest Shocker: The reveal of Stefan as Silas' doppleganger. A close runner-up: That time Bonnie smiled.
Most Beautiful Blonde: Caroline and Rebekah (tie). Come on, like we could choose?!?
Hopes for Season 5: That Damon and Elena stay together; that we never hear from or see a ghost in Mystic Falls ever again; that Katherine is killed; that the show can tell a slightly more consistent, all-encompassing narrative. The Cure arc was really all over the place, relying on leaps in logic and culminating in a side character being force fed the elixir. The Silas storyline, meanwhile, may have stunned viewers with its conclusion, but it failed to catch on as any kind of gripping arc for the duration of the season.
Overall Grade: B-
YOUR turn, TV Fanatics: What grade would you give The Vampire Diaries Season 4?