Elena kicked off this episode of The Vampire Diaries by stabbing Jeremy in the neck. She ended it by stabbing Stefan in the heart.
In between, there were hallucinations, unexpected returns, heartfelt pleas, professor-based revelations, a hilarious reference to Van Helsing and one seriously bloody step taken by the fresh-faced new hunter in town.
Yes, "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes," TVDers. Especially when protecting our loved ones...
What a tremendous job this hour did in tying together all characters and storylines.
Caroline, Tyler and Hayley had felt as if they were on the outside looking in on events in Mystic Falls, but here their de-siring plans came into direct (read: deadly) contact with Elena's crazy visions. We learned more about April's father... and his connection to Professor Shane... while Bonnie remains under his dangerous wing... and, of course, Jeremy is tied to both Bonnie (via their feelings) and Elena, Tyler, Damon and company (via his axe).
Everyone has a role to play, everyone is playing it well and nary a second of the hour feels wasted. That's impressive stuff.
However, I should really begin at the end, shouldn't I? The splitting of Stelena is sure to wreak havoc among TVD fans, but let's try to move past the 'shipper wars and give props for how this break-up was handled.
Unlike some issues I took with the love triangle on The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Elena was open and honest in her closing conversation with Stefan. She wasn't oscillating. She wasn't whining. She was direct and logical, based on what we've seen over the past few weeks: this really is a darker Elena and she really does have a lot more in common with Damon.
We've been told for ages that being a vampire "magnifies" one's feelings. And we've watched her bond with Damon grow. I completely bought Elena's reasoning and I appreciate that Julie Plec and company didn't drag this will-she-or-won't-she out any longer. She WILL, Delena lovers. Let the anticipation begin...
As for the hallucinations, these were strange and powerful images. They were also revealing. A bloody Connor? A taunting Katherine? A duplicitous mother? The Vampire Diaries has gone all-in with Elena's transition, taking the time to show it from every angle. She's sorry she killed Connor... but she also admits it felt great to taste his blood.
She doesn't ever want to be Katherine... but she's more like her than ever before. She worries that she's responsible for her parents' death... and now she's also to blame for Jeremy's necessary transformation.
It's safe to say Elena is going through A LOT these days - and Nina Dobrev is positively killing (pun, intended!) each and every scene/emotion.
Oh, right, about that Jeremy fella: what a fascinating storyline! So now he's a Hunter. What does that mean, exactly? Will he develop an urge to kill vampires? Will he be pushed to do so in order to complete his map and lead everyone toward a cure?
And how does Professor Shane enter into all of this? He clearly played some role in the Pastor blowing up the Council. He eerily warned Bonnie that she best turn to him when the map is complete. But does that mean he's truly a bad guy?
He may know something we don't (correction, this is The Vampire Diaries: he definitely knows something we don't...) and his aims may very well be noble. My guess is that he sincerely wants to do right by the residents of Mystic Falls. Unfortunately, he likely believes the supernaturals that inhabit this town do not feel the same way.
My only complaint about the episode? The Caroline/Tyler tension. It just seems silly and contrived. I want to see these two teaming up to help other Hybrids and playing Klaus for their own purposes, not fighting one second, pretending to fight the next, and then fighting for real once again.
But Jeremy awakened and Connor's legacy passed on? AWESOME. Elena and Stefan having an honest conversation about the state of their relationship? PERFECT. Elena next turning to Damon? INTRIGUING. More references to Alaric? TEAR-INDUCING.
Another great episode. What did everyone else think?