The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 10 (“After School Special”)
When Klaus first found out about the return of The Five, and thus a way to the cure, he told Stefan that they needed to keep it between them. If anyone else found out there would be competition for the cure which would hinder their mission to get it for Elena. At the time, keeping it from Elena hurt their relationship and ended with her killing the Hunter that was supposed to lead them to it. Now, it seems Klaus was right. Everyone knows about the cure and their different agendas are hurting the mission. As I said when the cure storyline was first introduced, the most interesting aspect of it is learning which of the characters want it and what they want it for. At first everyone wanted it for Elena, though they had different reasons. For some that has changed and I think this is an interesting point in the season to check in with each characters motivations for finding the cure.
- Elena: wants the cure for herself because she hates being a vampire. This hasn’t really changed.
- Stefan: he started wanting it for Elena because she was not adapting to being a vampire very well. He wanted her to get back the life she always wanted, he would even consider taking it with her so they could grow old together. A lot has changed since then. His and Elena’s relationship is at the lowest point it has ever been in this episode and now he wants it for her so he can find out for sure if she is really in love with Damon.
- Damon: he also wants it for Elena, but started off wanting to help his brother more. Now he also wants to know if Elena really is in love with him, because until the sire bond is broken they can never have a real relationship. He stands the most to lose from her taking the cure, but it is better than the uncertainty.
- Rebekah: in this episode she is primarily motivated by revenge and hurt over Klaus using her to get information about the sword and then putting her in a box. She wants to find the cure first and force it on Klaus, since the last thing he wants is to be human.
- Klaus: he has always wanted it for Elena so that he can make her human again and use her blood to make hybrids.
- Shane: he says he just wants to find Silas who is buried with the cure so that he can reawaken him. Not very clear why he would want to wake him up – he says it is for the mythology of it all but I don’t think anyone really buys it.
- Kol: he returned in this episode (not sure where he had gone to) and he absolutely does not want Silas reawakened because he believes that Silas will kill them all. He presents a potential threat to any of them finding the cure.
A lot of this episode is taken up by Rebekah’s kidnapping of Stefan, Elena, and Caroline as she compels them to tell her what has happened since she has been gone. A lot of this felt like unnecessary recap/episode filler but it did lead to Stefan and Elena having a painfully honest confrontation. They haven’t really spoken much since their break-up and since Stefan found out that she slept with Damon, he pretty much wants nothing to do with her. This episode highlights a major issue with the narrative surrounding the sire bond and the love triangle. The show seems to be simultaneously saying that Elena’s choice to be with Damon has nothing to do with the sire bond, or her transition, but that it still could be. It is a weak mechanism of keeping the love triangle alive instead of just letting it go.
Elena admits under compulsion that she slept with Damon because she is in love with him and that she is no longer in love with Stefan. Along with Tyler saying that the sire bond doesn’t make you love someone, and that the sire bond only occurs when a vampire is turned using the blood of a vampire they are in love with, it would seem to follow that her love for Damon is not because of the sire bond. But no one seems convinced. They are still saying that the only way to know is to find the cure and break the sire bond. In this episode, Stefan even goes as far as to say that he wants Rebekah to remove all of his memories of Elena, but then he says he wants to find the cure so they can find out for sure. Maybe it was anger in the moment, but if he really thought there as still a chance that with the cure, Elena would want him back he would not have told Rebekah to erase his memories of her.
This episode was frustrating and really highlighted the things I hate about this storyline. The conversation that Stefan and Elena have under compulsion seems like it should be the beginning of their journey in moving on from each other. Elena says some harsh, but true, things and Stefan needed to hear them. The need the show has to keep the love triangle going at this point is really hurting it. There are so many other aspects of the show that are more interesting. Unfortunately right now the sire bond dominates the conversation. However, as we get more into the cure storyline we will learn who would choose to take it, and why, which I am looking forward to discussing.
Episode Grade: B-
- The interim mayor is Rudy Hopkins – Bonnie’s father?? He definitely just popped up out of nowhere. Bonnie doesn’t seem to thrilled about it either.
- On snapping Elena’s neck – “Was that necessary?” Rebekah: “No but it was fun”
- Damon being Jeremy’s coach is an interesting decision. I do like watching him boss Jeremy and Matt around though.
- Jeremy/Damon: “You see that?” “Couldn’t miss it. It was in slow motion”
- Stefan: “Who was dumb enough to pull the dagger out of you?”
- Klaus turned the pizza delivery girl for Jeremy to kill. Seems like a season 1 Damon move. Klaus is disappointed that he is grown soft.
- Shane finally admits that he was behind the killing of the Founder’s Council.
- Rebekah: “Why are my least favorite people always the most durable?”
- Bonnie is losing control of her magic. She is not happy with what Shane has been teaching her.
- Body Count: 1, Jeremy kills the pizza girl.