Season 2, Episode 21 (“The Sun Also Rises”)
Ever since they found out about Klaus and his plans to sacrifice Elena, they have tried to come up with a plan. At first Elena was willing to just die so that no one else would have to. But then everyone around her convinces her to fight to find a better solution. They try using Bonnie to get enough power that she will be able to kill him without a weapon. Elena makes several deals with Elijah who she trusts to keep everyone else safe. But all of these plans mostly failed. They wanted to keep Klaus from breaking the curse, but that failed. Elena’s plans revolved around not letting anyone die for her, but that failed. They thought they had an ally in Elijah, who also wanted Klaus dead and to not break the curse, but that too failed. The show didn’t spend all season keeping Klaus’s identity shrouded in mystery, only to kill him off a couple episodes after we first meet him. Klaus is only just getting started.
Elijah goes to the site of the sacrifice ready to put an end to Klaus. When Stefan questions his commitment to killing Klaus since he is his brother, Elijah assures him that he no longer feels any loyalty to him. Klaus has taken the rest of their family away from him and scattered them across the world so that he can’t find them. Presumably, they are just daggered and thus not permanently dead, but impossible to find. However, all it takes to make Elijah switch sides is Klaus’s promise to reunite him with their family. Elijah has prided himself on being a man of honor and one who keeps his word. He values loyalty above most other traits. However, you can never really turn your back on family. No matter what, his loyalty to them comes first. Just as Stefan said, no matter how many times he has wanted to kill his brother, he couldn’t actually do it.
In the end, Elena had to put her faith in everyone else to carry out their plan. She believed that if she willingly went with Klaus and did what he asked, Elijah, Bonnie, and the Salvatores would come through. Or they wouldn’t, and she would die. By this point her fate is out of her hands and she just has to trust in everyone else. She was willing to die if it meant that no one else had to. But she is unable to stop him from killing Jenna, who Katherine lured out by pretending to be Elena. Jenna’s death seems like it could have been prevented if they had been more open with her. She was only just starting to learn everything and was easily tricked by Katherine. When she lets Klaus “kill” her she is unaware of the spell that John found and thus probably thinks she will come back a vampire.
In a somewhat surprising twist, John is the one that ends up saving Elena. He finds a spell that will bind his life to Elena’s so that when she dies, his life will transfer to hers and she will remain human. He however, will die. He is willing to sacrifice himself to save his daughter, probably the only real parental thing he has done. But he doesn’t just do it because he hates the idea of her being a vampire, but also because he loves her. In his goodbye letter he admits that he failed as a parent by letting his hatred of vampires get in the way of being there for her. He seems to finally figure it out in the end, too bad he had to die before they could have a relationship. And now Elena has lost the two final parental figures she had in her life in the same day.
This was a huge, action packed episode that was also heartbreaking. Elena and Jeremy have now lost their entire family. And Alaric lost another woman he loved to the vampire world. Despite John’s many flaws, and the fact that no one liked him, he did come around in the end and let his final act be saving his daughter from a fate that she didn’t want. With his curse broken, Klaus is now even stronger and more invincible than he was before. This is presumably his reason for wanting to become a werewolf, because as we have seen with Tyler, actually being a werewolf doesn’t seem all that great. He hints at having a greater agenda when he refuses to kill Stefan, saying that he has other plans for him. Next up is the season finale which will have to deal with the lingering issues, primarily Damon’s werewolf bite!
Episode Grade: A
- Caroline and Matt officially call it quits when he decides he doesn’t want to deal with the vampire craziness. But at least he doesn’t hate Caroline for it, he just can’t be a part of it.
- But Caroline and Tyler make up so at least she has her friend back.
- Damon: “Us ending up on good terms isn’t exactly on my bucket list Katherine”
- Damon: “Well that’s my brother for you, always cleaning up my messes” True.
- Elijah to Klaus: “Hello, brother” Even more parallels!
- John: “And whether you are reading this as a human or a vampire, I love you all the same”
- Body Count: 4. Klaus kills Jenna and Jules. Technically John sacrifices himself but it is all because of Klaus so I am putting this one on him. Damon kills Klaus’s other witch Greta who is also the Martin’s daughter/sister.