A cure to vampirism?

The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 4 (“The Five”)
Paul Telfer, Claire Holt (Image: The CW)

What The Vampire Diaries is really excelling in at this point in the series is combining plot developments with character. Half of this episode was an information dump, but it also provided some great character moments. There is still a lot of mystery, but what the central theme of the season is going to be is becoming clear. This season starts to utilize Klaus and Rebekah in a way that is interesting and not just as being the “big bad” they need to deal with.

When I first encountered the idea of “the cure” for vampirism, I was not excited. This is a show about vampires, I don’t really want them to be cured. It also seemed fairly obvious that it wasn’t ever going to happen because there are still four more seasons after this one. What would they do if they were cured? So it felt like either some of them would be cured, which I didn’t really want, or we would just spend a season looking for a cure that they either never found, or for some reason couldn’t use. But the more I got into it the more this storyline grew on me. It is actually one of the best ways that the show ever combines plot with character development. The effect that the idea of a cure has on everyone is the most interesting part of it and allows the show to explore what each of them wants out of life. Who would take it? Who would choose to remain a vampire? Why?

So far only three vampires know about the cure – Stefan, Klaus, and Rebekah. Stefan wants the cure for Elena and would likely take it as well so they could grow old together. Klaus also wants the cure for Elena so that he can make more hybrids. We can probably assume Klaus would never take it himself. Rebekah wanted to take it when she learned about it so that she could be with Alexander. As more people learn about it we will see what everyone thinks of becoming human again, as well as the people they love becoming human.

While Stefan is learning about The Five and the cure, Damon, Elena, and Bonnie take a trip to Whitmore College. Bonnie is going to meet with the professor who took over her grandmother’s occult studies classes, Professor Shane. He is immediately suspicious. He seems just a little too “cool” and he know an awful lot. He is also connected with The Five and is the one who sent Connor to Mystic Falls to kill vampires. He is also at a frat party with no explanation, which is pretty weird for a professor.

Damon and Elena tag along so that he can teach her how to “snatch, eat, erase” on college students. At first she is reluctant as she cannot help but see her potential targets as people who have full lives. However, a frat party proves to be a good place to find douchebags that she doesn’t have to have as many hang ups about. Damon is successful in getting her to enjoy it as they live it up at the party, until a look from Bonnie snaps her out of it. She is freaked out by how easy it was for her to get caught up in it, especially with Damon. She hates the idea that she might enjoy being a vampire. In the previous episode I said that Stefan was pushing her too far in the guilt direction, but in this episode Damon is pushing her too far in the other direction. She isn’t Damon and will never enjoy it like he does, but if she continues to feel too guilty then she is going to be miserable for eternity. What is right for her is probably somewhere in between Damon and Stefan on the vampire spectrum but they need to let her figure it out.

This was another good episode that had a much more fun feel to it than some of the previous episodes. Even with Elena breaking down at the end, afraid that she won’t be able to handle being a vampire, she was at least able to let go for a while. In order to be a vampire she is going to have to adjust her moral code in some ways and it is very interesting to watch her figure that out. This was also the most plot heavy episode of the season so far which it was probably about time for. And I am excited to get into how the idea of a cure affects everyone throughout this season.

Episode Grade: A-

Other Thoughts:

  • Damon: “Covered in a tattoo that only Jeremy Gilbert, of all people in the world, seems to be able to see”
  • Stefan: “We’re not in a ‘fight'”
  • Damon/Bonnie: “If I can go to college, you can go to college” “You? Went to college?”
  • Bonnie/Damon: “You’re disgusting” “I know”
  • Matt/Rebekah: “You two are friends?” “Is it so hard to believe I would have one?” “Yeah it is.”
  • Damon: “What should we go as? Victims or killers?”
  • Rebekah/Klaus: “I’m not eating til you apologize.” “For which indiscretion? There have been so many”
  • Stefan: “Let me just name the million other people I’d rather be having dinner with right now”
  • Stefan has some great sass in this episode. He is clearly annoyed that he has to be the go between for the constantly fighting, Rebekah and Klaus, but he needs them.
  • Body Count: 6, Klaus kills the original “Five” and Connor kills one of Klaus’s hybrids.

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