The Vampire Diaries Review: A Tale of Two Hunters

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What an absolutely terrific episode of The Vampire Diaries.

While past top-notch episodes of this CW drama relied on flashbacks or major twists/turns (See: "Blood Brothers," "The End of the Affair"), "Memorial" required no such visit into the past.

It was simply tense from beginning to end, incredibly tense, featuring the introduction of a fascinating new character; taking us deeper into Elena's transition; and giving Matt something to serve aside from drinks at the Grill.

Scared in Church

Let's start there. The Season 4 premiere was a slight letdown because it focused so much on something every viewer knew was coming: Elena turning into a vampire. It felt anticlimactic by the time that act finally took place.

But this episode shifted the focus to how such a development will impact Elena's relationships, from her rekindled romance with Stefan; to her complicated bond with Damon; to her new, extremely close connection to Matt; to her mentor/student relationship with Caroline.

This storyline is at its most powerful and its most effective when we witness its impact across all our favorite Mystic Falls residents. There are multiple layers to Elena turning, far beyond the simple fact that she will now live forever, and it was interesting to watch their domino effect play out here, specifically when it came to the tension between Stefan and Damon.

To feed on human blood or not to feed on human blood, that is their question. It's a legitimate moral debate and it brings back up the history between these brothers. Stefan knows the Ripper-like consequences that can result from one's immediate turn and foray into Homosapien digestion. He wants Elena to avoid the mistakes of his past.

Damon? He's never been as forward-looking as his optimistic sibling. He's always about the here and the now and he sees the girl he loves in pain and he offers up the fastest solution possible, his blood. And now our love triangle - thankfully - has a new twist.

It had grown tiresome last season. There's only so much of Elena pining for both Salvatores that viewers can take, especially when she's listing the same reasons over and over for why this is such a difficult decision. But this feels fresh. I spent the episode sincerely wondering on which side I'd fall, Damon or Stefan's. I can understand both, and I'm curious to see how Elena balances Stefan's big-picture thinking with Damon's quick-fix blood lust.

She isn't just trapped between two brothers now; she's caught between dueling philosophies.

And she was part of maybe the most moving scene in TVD history. That ending. Wow. It was unexpected, it was appropriate, it was touching, it gave us a Lexie shout-out. For a show that prides itself on hanging off the cliff at the conclusion of every hour, this was a surprising/emotional/perfect way to conclude an episode that focused so much on death and life and the choices we make. I absolutely loved it...

... and that was before we even moved to Damon in the cemetery. My goodness, Julie Plec! Are you trying to put Kleenex out of business?!? Any regular readers of my Vampire Diaries reviews understands the soft spot I have for both Matt Davis and Alaric Saltzman and Damon's mourning of his best friend was nothing short of beautiful.

I'm going to pretend like there's someone there because the alternative is too damn depressing. | permalink

Stefan and Caroline

From saying farewell to one hunter to greeting a new one... what the heck is up with Connor?!?

An outstanding debut by this dangerous new foe, the bad ass' introduction raises a number of questions: How is he connected to the Council? Is he related to the council? What prompted his appearance in Mystic Falls? What's up with the markings on his bullets? Why can only Jeremy see that tattoo on his arm?

Easily one of the more gasp-worthy moments in recent show history, the ink sighting makes it apparent that Connor is... what? A ghost? He doesn't seem to be a regular human, that's for sure.

The entire scene in the church was gripping television at its best. With Connor and his rifle lined up in a pew, April bloody by his side, a series of supernaturals sitting down below, everyone plotting his or her next move, it was simply heart-pounding to watch.

The same can be said for the episode as a whole. I just loved every minute of it. It's hard to remember an hour that so richly developed relationships and delivered with action-filled sequences.

Who is Connor? Down which path will Elena go? Will I ever stop crying over Alaric? Following a lackluster premiere, questions abound, trouble is brewing, tears are flowing and I can't wait for next Thursday.

What did everyone else think?


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1835 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


at least he's not serving drinks at the grill anymore hahaa but who is? and the last scenes were so amazing.. the scene where everyone let's go of someone or something and the grave scene.. God i miss ALaric..


I loved this episode!!! It had everything that i love about this show,loved the scenes in the woods between Elena and Stefan,the scene in the bathroom between Damon and hot and sexy...who else thought he totally wanted to take her clothes off and nail her. Hahaha... Also Caroline and Taylor..God this two,sexy adorable,sweet.. Loved Taylor and Caroline saving Elena from making a huge mistake and also i hate terrible what's his probleml exactly ? I hope he doesn't stay too long.. he annoys me .. Damon.. ah damon so snarky and sarcastic ..awesome ! I loved how he was smart enough not to shake hands with Connor,how great was though that Elena called him for help and not Stefan? Bonnie was not annoying.. actually it was heartbreaking seeing her cry,loved the ending scene with everyone dealing with their grief and how good of an actress is Nina Dobrev? She makeme feel Elenas pain over the fact that she is a vampire nad everything is \so different least he's not just serving drins at the Grill..but who's working there hahah And the grave scene..amazing..the music the speech by damon about losing someone you love and care about and seeing how much he actually misses his best buddy..and Matt davis.. this guy is so awesome,i don't thinsk i'll ever stop crying over the loss of Alaric.


Oh I also like the part when Stefan and Jeremy said Alaric's name, they look at Damon. They know Damon is grieving but too egoistic to admit it to everyone. They've become a family. They have this unspoken understanding between them. Also when Stefan went to see Bonnie and he saw Bonnie's sadness, his first instinct was to go in to comfort her although he has not been invited in but he sort of forgot about that for a second. I too don't like Stefan's reaction at the end but I can try to understand. At least Ripper Stefan is gone for good now. At least I hope. I prefer this Stefan to be honest. I can see the difference between Season 1 Stefan and the current Stefan, although it's minor to some or maybe no difference at all to some. But I see it. Also, Tyler being a 'good' team mate. He knew he was the only one that can take the shot and won't die. Tyler has come a long way too :) I love this show so much!


I hate this Connor guy already and I hope he meets a very gruesome end soon. Julie Plec has a nasty habbit of killing the good people and letting the real a-hole douches lives. I did like how they did the whole lantern thing, it was childish, it was a good thing to do. They needed to grieve the deaths. They've never had time because of as soon as someone died they had other things to worry about so this was a good thing.
I'm excited for whats to come and hope that things get better. Maybe the evil that will come is the Kitsune. That will be interesting.


It was a very good episode I've been watching the series from the beginning and there isn't an episode that I don't like
I like how Caroline helped Elena and I love how Elena drank from Damon and to see how that will connect them even more considering that it was Damon's blood who turned Elena but now we have a new vampire hunter and also why is everyone blaming Damon on the exposion that's killed the town council ppl when it was the pastor who did it and l have a feeling something major is going to happen between Elena an Damon because they have intense chemistry and now to go off subject what does BAMF stand for


I am struggling with Stefan's behavior towards Elena in this episode. Not his behavior towards Damon!! To begin with Elena did try to tell him that she was struggling with the animal blood. In fact she said it "made her sick" in the champagne scene but instead of actually listening to her he assumed what he wanted and she didn't want to push it. That is what pushed her to seek out Damon. 1st she knew he wouldn't judge 2nd that he would listen 3rd Damon has been her go to person for months so i'm sure that it is what feels natural for her right now. What bother's me is the almost self-righteous way that he acts as if she should forget everything and go back to the way things were. I got no sense of guilt or penitence for all the lies and mistreatment that he has dished out but he appears to feel justified in making her feel guilty. Finally I question his motivations in regards to Elena's diet I think that he needs her to be like him more than he is thinking about what is best for her and that's why he doesn't see what is really going on. I truly hope that his attitude towards Elena changes or I fear that their relationship is truly in jeopardy.

Leon alexis

Definitly,this ep.was better. Even Damon was touching me. Alaric!!!


"giving Matt something to serve aside from drinks at the Grill" => yes, now he is the drink ;-)


Bravo TVD!! Really good ep. one of the best after SO long! Brought back the TVD spark that we've been wanting to see. PLEASE keep this up!! I love Damon not letting anyone sit at Alaric's "seat". the ending was perfect. I did not expect that (I haven't been watching promos & spoilers). I love that in the end, Caroline guided Elena. Since last season, I've always thought Caroline would be the perfect person to guide Elena through this transition. Damon and Stefan have conflict of interest. They're out of question. I love how Jeremy has grown as a person. He doesn't like what his sister has become but he accepted it & did not act out like i assume he would if he were S1 Jeremy. With all the drama, it's amazing he has grown to a fine young man. Connor's appearance speaks for itself. I'm still curious why Elena is not accepting the blood & What does it mean when Elena drank Damon's blood? I hope they will still address this Qs


Great ep,Connor was a suprise.Stefan was pissed that Elena feed off Damon.
Then Alaric and Damon at the end.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Damon: You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle's going to make everything OK, or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not going to end up just like the rest of us murdering vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. And I know what you're going to say: 'It makes them feel better, Damon.' So what? For how long? A minute, a day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock with a birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now. I didn't get the girl, remember? I'm just stuck here fighting my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.
Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.

You better hope she's not a fan of Bambi.

Damon [on Elena]