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The Vampire Diaries Review: The Five Stages of Grief

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Wow, I need a minute. It's amazing how an episode can be so dull for the first half... and by the end you are totally speechless. "Stand By Me" was definitely one of those episodes. Before we dive into our review, I want everyone to take a moment and say goodbye to Casa Gilbert. 

As for Jeremy...well, that's gonna take a little more time.

A Plotting Foursome

Thirty minutes into this installment and I was thinking "ugh another filler?!" Bonnie was acting stoned and brainwashed, Professor Crazy was spouting his psychobabble, and Rebekah was threatening lives. Blah blah blah. Actually I'm only semi-kidding about that last one because does anyone threaten torture better than Damon and Rebekah? I thoroughly enjoyed that bit. I think they do a better job than Klaus at this point!

Then we had the turning point: annoying April calls and for lack of a good excuse or lie, Elena finally admitted Jeremy was in fact DEAD. Boom. Okay so now let's hit the five stages of grief:

Denial: Obviously this was the first 30-40 minutes of the episode. Everyone else could smell Jeremy's body starting to decompose. Caroline was scrubbing the floor from where Kol got torched to keep her mind from Tyler's absence. Jeremy just could not be dead, right? Wrong, he's a supernatural so the Gilbert ring couldn't work on him anymore. 

Anger: Enter Dr. Fell, who calmly tries to tell Elena to hand Jeremy's body over to the morgue and set up a private viewing for friends and family to say goodbye. I thought Elena was going to bite her head off. At this point, the only person who could maybe reason with her was Damon. We needed that sire bond and we needed it fast. Since Elena still thought Jeremy can be brought back, she was begging for Bonnie. Damon finds Bonnie who looks brainwashed out of her mind, because duh she is.

Bargaining: Bonnie and Damon return to Mystic Falls and Bonnie introduces her psychotic plan to break down the veil between the mortal world and the other side. Only 12 more people need to be sacrificed, no biggie right? Elena was almost considering this as Caroline, Bonnie and Matt argued. She had hope after her touching scene with Matt in the stoner pit. But does she really believe that Bonnie and the sacrifice can bring him back? Then the aforementioned call from April and Elena snapped. Jeremy is really dead. There was no more bargaining.

Depression (and a buttload of anger): Honestly, Elena's meltdown was almost four seasons in the making and it was epic. I truly think that scene in the living room with the lighter fluid and the throwing of objects was Nina Dobrev's best work on The Vampire Diaries to date. Just think of the amount of loved ones she has lost and tell me how that girl is still standing. I know everyone makes fun of her that she can be whiney and she's always the victim, but in all seriousness she has lost a lot. 

Every inch of this house is filled with memories of the people that I loved that have died. My mom, my dad, Jeremy, and Jenna, Alaric, John, even John. They're all dead. Everyone is dead. | permalink

Acceptance: I don't know that I would call this stage acceptance so much as sire bond compulsion, but they served the same purpose. Elena is numb. Her humanity is gone. She knows Jeremy is no longer coming back. The Gilbert house isn't a place she can stay anymore. It's over and it's all gone up in flames, literally.

A couple of notes before we turn it over to you readers. So... is Shane dead? Was Bonnie communicating with his ghost? Where is Silas? Was that Silas?!? Most of all, are the writers really telling us that our favorite little Plot Device Katherine Pierce has been running this show from the get-go? Working with Hayley and the Professor before he even got to Mystic Falls? Well I'll be damned.

One last thing: if Bonnie can raise the dead and Cult doesn't do well, can we have Alaric back? Sorry, had to ask.

Time to share your thoughts. Hit the comments!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1385 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Neejan

Looked like yet again another filler, but really.. I think this episode was much needed. It brought more Silas tension in the story with Shane knocked out, it cleared the path for a new Elena (which didn't change after she became vampire up until Damon basically told her to change) and this episode featured some of the best TVD acting I have ever seen on the show.

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Ugh other filler, TV fanatic doesn't deserve the honor of reviewing TVD. The hate bleeds in the reviews so effortlessly. 9/10 ep BTW.

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I have been a big devoted fan of TVD but this season has brought so much sadness that I am unable to take it! I mean first Elena turns into a vampire which pretty much breaks the entire basis of this show! I mean it was supposed to be two vampires in love with a human! This human was the most powerful one without being supernatural! It was an awesome message and great story catch! Then she had to go and die an became a vampire! Then EVERYONE and I mean everyone died or was gone! And then on top of all that Jeremy, the only guy who had his head screwed on right, the only one who always chose the best way, dies!!!!! That just made me burry my head deep into my blanket and sob! I cried so much that I'm afraid if I watch anymore of TVD I'll go into a depression..lol I'm exaggerating, yes. But seriously this depressing story line really needs to cheer up or I'll be forced to retort to a more happy tv show.:(

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And asking Elena to turn off her humanitie was the right decision at that moment whether others agree or not, Elena wouldn't be able handle her grief over her brother's death and she would've cracked and killed herself, the problem now is how she'll get back her humanitie knowing that the sire bond won't work any more after all it's based on feelings that had turned off? Plus why did Elena took off the ring from Jeremy’s finger instead of letting it to burn along with him and the house and why giving it to Damon ? Well I loved the fact that she gave it to him (I always saw him and Alaric as part of her family) and looks that we didn’t see the end of this ring yet.

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3/ I never thought that Jeremy will die for real but it happened, it has been said clearly and openly: bringing Jeremy back is bringing every one not only their beloved ones but their enemies and all monsters too which is not an option and the results of his death are disastrous. I cried my eyes out all along this episode (except Damon's moments with Rebekah, the hunter and Bonnie, it cheered me up): Elena being in denial waiting for her brother to wake up, not being able to smell his corpse decomposing was heartbreaking but when she told April that he can't pick up the phone 'cause he's dead and realising that he was dead from the start and she could smell his corpse decomposing now killed me and I was shoked and devasted when she started burning the house. And Damon kneeling next to Elena, cuddling her to his chest trying to comfort her was so emotional and beautiful.

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This is a brilliant episode and I must say Nina Dobrev was out standing with her performance. 2/ I love how Damon is the one who always knows what Elena needs and she needs her friend more than the cure 'cause 1st she's more important and 2nd she’s the only hope to bring Jeremy back if there is anyway for that and after Jeremy’s the cure will have no meaning for her. And I loved how he said that he can't just leave her there 'cause he actually cares about her even that he doesn't say it or show it that much but that's Damon's logic as Elena told Matt who agreed and the hug was perfect that showed his care and concern about her.

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1/ So Silis is appearing as Shane when the real Shane is still at the island and he's using Bonnie to bring the woman that he loves using her want to bring Jeremy back and she's brainwashed... this doesn’t sounds good.
2/ I love how Damon is the one who always knows what Elena needs and she needs her friend more than the cure 'cause 1st she's more important and 2nd she’s the only hope to bring Jeremy back if there is anyway for that and after Jeremy’s the cure will have no meaning for her.And I loved how he said that he can't just leave her there 'cause he actually cares about her even that he doesn't say it or show it that much but that's Damon's logic as Elena told Matt who agreed and the hug was perfect that showed his care and concern about her.

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@cantasia.. well they dropped hints.. remember when stefan and rebekah found that guy lurking in Professor Shane's office, looking for the headstone ?

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@Allison Berry...here's my take on the questions that you had...don't know if I'm right but wanted to throw them out there:
1)Katherine lurking around is a little sloppy in my opinion...I agree someone would've seen or sensed her. Not likely she would've gone unnoticed this entire time! Also, how in the hell did she know what Elena was wearing and was able to get the exact same outfit on the island??! LOL...Katherine IS old however and its plausible she knew about The Five as well as the story of Silas
2)Yes, I think Shane is dead (or dying) on the Island. I think Silas took Shane's form (as they said he could take any form) in order to have influence over Bonnie. Also, Silas/Shane needs Bonnie's powers to kill the final 12 and bring down the veil
3)Looks like Silas, as Shane's wife, lied all along to Shane. Silas wouldn't be able to use Shane if Shane knew the veil only brought over the supernatural, not humans.
Anyway...that's my 2 cents! :)