Elena makes her first kill

The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 5 (“The Killer”)
Todd Williams (Image: The CW)

The big question surrounding Elena’s transition has been, how will she handle it if/when she kills someone? Knowing Elena’s compassion and value of human life, it was going to be especially hard for her. Stefan has been terrified that it will cause her to turn her humanity off and thus they may lose her for good. But he has let this fear of losing the that Elena he loves that it has severely clouded his judgement. This episode really highlights the ways in which Stefan has struggled with Elena’s transition and that his fears go beyond just not wanting her to feel pain.

The potential cure has given Stefan renewed hope. Hope that Elena won’t have to deal with all of the negatives of being a vampire, and hope that she will return to the person she was when she was human. He makes a deal with Klaus to find the cure, but he has been sworn to secrecy which really hurts the cause in this episode. Damon can tell that something is suspicious about Stefan’s plan to deal with Connor. Damon wants to kill Connor, Stefan is trying to keep him alive, without making it obvious. It is a situation where if Stefan had just told Damon and Elena what he was up to, Connor would still be alive. Stefan went through all of this to help Elena, but it just ended up in her doing the thing he was most afraid she would do.

It is inevitable that a vampire is going to kill someone at some point. Even those who are most in control, slip up sometimes. Stefan should know this as well as anyone so why did he not prepare Elena for it? He has been so focused on keeping her from ever killing someone, that he has completely failed in helping her to deal with it when it happens. The psychological effect that killing someone has on Elena is explored more in the next episode, but we get a few glimpses at the end of this one. As she is writing in her diary about how she has completely lost herself, she starts to get visions of blood everywhere. She walks into her bathroom to find it completely covered in blood with “Killer” written on the mirror. However, it is all just in her mind.

Stefan ends up telling Damon about the cure, after Elena has killed Connor. Damon agrees to help him to continue looking for it, though he is skeptical of its existence. He makes it clear that he is doing it for him, and not so that he can “fix” Elena. He brings up the uncomfortable truth that Stefan wants to find the cure no just to help Elena, but because he doesn’t like her this way either. It makes sense that Stefan would struggle with the idea of Elena being a vampire since a major part of why he fell in love with her was for her humanity. It is hard for him to accept that she may be losing that.

There are some other plot developments being set up in this episode. Professor Shane continues to be suspicious as he is shown using Connor to get the mark, but won’t tell him what it is about. He is also helping Bonnie to get her magic back with some unconventional methods. Tyler and Hayley are working to un-sire the rest of Klaus’s hybrids. They know the danger this puts them in if Klaus were to find out, so they let him think that they are having an affair to keep him from finding out what they are really doing. Finally, after Connor dies, the Hunter’s mark starts to show up on Jeremy – making him one of The Five.

This episode is good in the ways that it sets up what is going to happen in the next episode which primarily deals with the fallout from this one. Elena’s first kill is a big moment in the show and it will likely change her forever. The questions moving forwards are just how much it will change her and whether or not Stefan will be able to handle it. Back in season 1, Stefan told Lexi that being with Elena made him feel human. But if she isn’t human anymore, can he still love her?

Episode Grade: B+

Other Thoughts:

  • Was not excited about the return to Stefan and Elena’s parallel diary writing. I am fine with the “diary” part of The Vampire Diaries being forgotten.
  • Stefan/Klaus: “I trust Damon, a hell of a lot more than I trust you” “And I trust no one”
  • Poor April Young, just gets caught up in the middle of everything simply by existing and being kind of desperate for friends.
  • Caroline gets her mom to say that the Grill has a gas leak to keep the citizens of Mystic Falls away while Connor holds them hostage. This is I think the first of many “gas leaks” the Grill will have.
  • Damon: “Is that where you’ve been all morning? Out buying bossy pants?”
  • Damon: “Those two idiots. They’re like danger magnets”
  • Product Placement: Those AT&T phones can send pictures now! Wow!
  • Hayley: “Yeah, I don’t do teen drama”
  • Damon: “You want to cure her because she’s a vampire and she’s not cut out to be, or you can’t love her if she is one?”
  • Damon: “I’m fine with her either way brother. So if we do this, we’re doing it for you.”
  • Body Count: 2, Connor kills one of Klaus’s hybrids, Elena kills Connor.

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