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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
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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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Sarah-silva

I wept at the end of this episode from Matt crying to the Damon and Stefan moment to Elena dropping the final match the her walking out of her home with Stefan and Damon.
Last week I said that Jeremy was wearing the ring even though tons of people said he was not. However in the end it did not matter as he was a supernatural being and not human.
I knew it was a matter of time before Elena broke down.
As soon as Shane was on screen I knew that Silas took over his body.
I think this was a fantastic episode.

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finally an episode that made me feel like the old times!!! I was getting kind of frustrated with elena lately but this episode had me crying like I didnt think I would... It was like realising that I still cared for the show after all (and her)!!!
And I agree with whoever that mention that the shane boonie is seeing is actually silas!!! The real shane is the one left on the island!!

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Very disapoined in this epsiode. It lacked the drama and the suspense.

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@RedOktober If you're so distraught about kol, who has been on what like 5 episodes, no longer being on the show. Why do you still watch? It's a little silly to be so invested. It's a tv show. Kol is gone. He was killed to fuel klaus's rage and move the storyline along for Jeremy. He was never a key player. And there was nothing special about him. We get it by now, every single episode sucks because they killed Kol, as he was clearly the one holding the show together. Let it go man.

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@VampGirl - I'm thinking Silas is Shane as well! With him saying he can take any form, etc. As soon as I saw Silas on the ground I said "uh oh ..."

Redoktober

And que all the DE fans stating how using the sire bond to turn off her emotions was a good idea. I swear, they just keep making one gigantic mistake after another. God forbid they actually listened to Kol when the man was begging them to let the cure go. I hope Elena drains the town dry in the next episode.

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I'll choose to believe that Damon wud kill the 12 people to get Alaric back. All in all, it wasnt as good as i'd hoped for. It lacked the Klaus-flavour, considering Silas had just awakened and he wasnt there to react to it, with his usual bravado. I'm hard pressed to see the direction of the show, since all the non-main story lines can only revolve around Caroline, Matt and Bonnie, all 3 who are as plausible as main story-characters as a swingdoor.

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I completely agree about Nina. What she did in tonight's episode was absolutely amazing. I wanted to cry with her. And the ending with everything burning so beautifully done. It was a heart breaking final 30 minutes, that's for sure! Matt crying in his truck even had me. While Elena was still in denial I kept thinking damn, it's gonna be rough when Matt finds out too. They had a real bromance this year! I'm so sad to see Jeremy go. I've actually always really enjoyed him, but especially this season. I was also confused about Shane. I'm assuming he's Silas but I guess we will find out. Wow, what an incredible episode this turned out to be!

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Silas is Shane. Calling it right now.
"We are the beginning"...definitely Silas!!!!

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I balled my eyes out in this episode. Caroline with Stefan at the beginning. Elena crying her heart out and about to burn her brother up. So depressing. Even more so when she did burn the house down. All I wanted was Klaus to walk in and take care of Caroline. Even more Team STELENA! Bring back these two love birds. PS-SO MAD AT WRITERS FOR KILLING JEREMY OFF!! COME ON!

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