The race for the cure to vampirism is on!

The Vampire Diaries season 4, episodes 12 & 13 (“a view to a kill” and “Into the wild”)
Nathaniel Buzolic (Image: The CW)

This is another double episode review so I will get right to it!

“A View to a Kill” does a lot to both set up the cure expedition and clean up some of the plot lines that weren’t working in the previous few episodes – namely Kol’s existence and Jeremy’s vampire hunter training. There is also a lot of scheming in the name of killing Kol and getting everything they need for the cure. “Into the Wild” is the first installment of the cure expedition episodes. It is interesting that they placed finding the cure here – a little over halfway through the season, but it is consistent with the show’s pacing. Finding the cure and the fallout from it is much more interesting than the mechanics of getting it, so it is a good idea not to drag it out too long. Tensions are running high on the island. Elena and Rebekah are bickering non-stop, Damon is insecure about the entire expedition, Shane reveals everything he has been hiding from them, and everyone gets split up by the end of the episode due to some outside forces.

David Alpay, Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Claire Holt (Image: The CW)

Elena and Rebekah’s conflict illustrates a point I have made a few times already – there often isn’t really much of a difference between our protagonists and the people they are fighting. It is hard to argue that the tomb vampires didn’t have some good points. Elijah was their enemy for a lot of the second season, but he isn’t evil, he just had a greater purpose he was serving. The werewolves in season 2 were doing the same. They like to think of themselves as the good guys – but are they really? They also kill and use people when it suits them. Rebekah points out that she only killed Elena to save her family. Her life was tied to Alaric’s who had been transformed into a vampire-hating/hunting vampire. He was going to kill them. It is exactly what they would have done. Elena also played a role in both Kol and Finn’s deaths. Rebekah and Elena have done a lot to each other, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other.

Damon is very anxious being on the island. He clearly wants to get in and out as quickly as possible so that there can finally be clarity in his and Elena’s relationship. He is terrified that when Elena turns back to a human she won’t be in love with him anymore. Even if she does – the vampire/human relationship just doesn’t work. Realizing that the only way to give her the life she wants means doom for them, he isn’t exactly being his best self. He is taking a lot of this out on Shane, who to be fair has been hiding a lot of things. His wife was a witch who died doing expression, and he is securing his survival in this by being the only one who can save Bonnie from the same fate. He also admits that there needs to be a third massacre to generate enough power to bring back the dead. Essentially, Shane’s entire purpose this season has been to raise Silas in order to bring back his wife.

We also get updates on who wants the cure and why:

  • Rebekah wants the cure because she has been miserable as a vampire. She has been alive 1000 years but she has never had a life. She still hasn’t made it to a high school dance (she was finally going to make it to the ’80s decade dance, but it was cancelled), or been in love with someone she could have a life with. She has spent 1000 years running from her father and fighting with Klaus. She just wants to be a normal human.
  • Stefan wants it because he has obviously had a pretty rough time as a vampire. He doesn’t just want it for Elena, or for him and Elena to live a human life together, he wants it for himself.
  • Damon claims to not want the cure – which is probably only half true. He would not take it for himself, but if he wasn’t so insecure about Elena he would probably take it for her. He also still resents Stefan for making him a vampire, even if he has convinced himself he is over it. But he also loves being a vampire – like Caroline, it has made him stronger and given him a confidence he never had as a human. He doesn’t resent being a vampire, but he resents that Stefan is the one that made the choice to turn him, and has judged him ever since.
  • A lot of people just want the cure for Klaus so that they can finally kill him.

Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler and Caroline are watching over Klaus who is still trapped in the Gilbert’s living room. Tyler is having a little too much fun with this. He is convinced that they are going to get the cure and force it on Klaus and then they can kill him. After everything that Klaus has done to them, Tyler really wants this. Klaus is also more angry and vengeful than usual after they killed Kol. This leads to him biting Caroline, condemning her to suffer the death of a werewolf bite. He initially refuses to cure her, his need for revenge is greater than his feelings for her. She finally convinces him by telling him that all of his rage is because he has been hurt. She also knows he is in love with her. If he is capable of such strong emotions, he has some humanity left in him and can be saved.

“A View to a Kill” is a good set up episode, it felt like they started the episode not very close to getting the cure and by the end of it they were ready to go. It was abrupt but necessary to get this season out of its slump. “Into the Wild” is jam packed and it is only the first part of the island expedition. We still don’t know what will become of them finding the cure. I enjoy seeing what it brings out in everyone, though I am not super thrilled about being on this island for multiple episodes. The island gets to be a lot, some of which I just don’t care about. The reveal that Shane’s entire plan was just about getting his dead wife back was kind of underwhelming. It didn’t really make me like him more and I am honestly ready to be done with him. Everyone on this show has lost someone, and the idea of getting them back can be tempting. But as Bonnie’s experience with magic has shown, there is always a price to such things.

Episode Grade: “A View to Kill”- B-, “Into the Wild”- B

Other Thoughts:

  • Bonnie’s dad is still mayor and put vervain in the town water supply.
  • Bonnie/Elena: “Do you think Caroline will notice if there are only 89 red balloons” “Probably, yes”
  • Rebekah and Stefan go to the dance anyway, it looks like there are way more than 99 balloons – probably because 99 balloons in a gymnasium would look underwhelming.
  • Stefan’s love of Bon Jovi is a running joke through the show and it always makes me smile.
  • Klaus: “If he gets too much strength back, or if he just annoys you, bleed him out again”
  • Stefan: “Well, why don’t you two enjoy your little villain bonding time”
  • Stefan: “They may be dysfunctional bickering lunatics, but they stick together no matter what”
  • Klaus wants to know how Damon got Elena to forgive him for all his misdeeds, he wants tips for Caroline – biting her and refusing to save her life is probably not the way to go.
  • Klaus is mad that they killed Kol because he wanted to be the one to do it? “I was going to make him suffer on my terms”, or was he just going to dagger him again?
  • When Jeremy hulked out because his tattoo was coming in, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
  • Shane/Damon: “Sunscreen?” “Is that a joke?”
  • Qetsiyah and Silas sound like the pettiest people of all time.
  • Caroline: “You are not even worth the calories I burn talking to you”
  • Rebekah: “I don’t care what happens to you either way, but if you’re going to die it might as well be epic”
  • Damon: “There is one flaw in your logic. I don’t give a crap about Bonnie Bennett”
  • Body Count: Jeremy kills Kol plus whoever is in his bloodline – maybe thousands? Someone kills an islander that was going to kill Jeremy but that person isn’t revealed.

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