As we anticipate The Vampire Diaries Season 5, we thought we’d show some love to our favorite episodes from last season. Narrowing down the field was extremely difficult and we had to rewatch a lot of episodes, but hey, nobody said this fansite thing would be easy. Right? Just kidding! It was totally easy and were really just looking for an excuse to watch our favorite episodes again. And again. And maybe a few more times after that, just to make sure we got all the details right. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
Elena: All of the hurt, I feel like it’s trying to explode out of me.
Written by: Jose Molina & Julie Plec | Directed by: Rob Hardy
Crissy: I was in Iceland when Memorial aired, and I remember feeling reluctant to watch it. On my first proper vacation in ages, I was all Waterfalls! Fiskur! Tall Nordic men!, and not really in the Elena-is-a-newbie-vamp headspace, despite having loved the season premiere. But then I watched the episode, tucked away in a quiet corner of the apartment me and my pals had rented in Reykjavik. And I was riveted. I bawled my eyes out. I lost my damn mind when Alaric showed up at the end, having been beside Damon in his grief the whole time. To me, this episode is a calling card of all the glorious things The Vampire Diaries is — surprising, fast as lightning, bloody violent, unexpectedly hilarious, full of heart and full of despair. The series shines when the gang rallies together, and never have I loved Tyler more than when he stood up in front of the congregation and took one for the team. From pitch-perfect character moments to insane amounts of blood vomit, Memorial will not be soon forgotten.
O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409)
Carol: Klaus, please. Don’t hurt him. He’s my son. He’s all I have.
Klaus: And you’re all he has. There’s a beautiful symmetry to that, don’t you think?
Written by: Michael J. Cinquemani & Julie Plec | Directed by: Pascal Verschooris
Kate: It took three and a half seasons for Mystic Falls to get to celebrate Christmas, and what a Christmas it was. (Given the trauma that ensued, I’ll forgive them if they decide to wait another three years – or thirty – before attempting it again.) I’m one of those ridiculous Christmas-obsessed people who’s inclined to love the Christmas episode of any show, but I thought this one did a particularly good job of using the melancholy that often lurks under the cheerful trappings of the holiday to highlight and take stock of how alone so many of the characters are and how far they’ve come from any semblance of “normal” life or family. But let’s face it: The main reason why I love this episode so much is the gorgeous, terrible scene in which Klaus slaughters his hybrids as “O Holy Night” plays in the background. I’m a sucker for violent scenes set to classical music, and the Christmas lyrics add another layer of devastating beauty to this scene. It reminds us of how human Klaus’s motivations are – no one wants to spend Christmas alone and betrayed – and how they combine with his incredible power to make him truly dangerous.
Catch Me If You Can (EP411)
Professor Shane: You’re accusing me of orchestrating a mass murder. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds?
Sheriff Forbes: It’s Mystic Falls. It’s actually one of the least ridiculous things I’ve heard.
Written by: Brian Young & Michael Narducci | Directed by: John Dahl
Vee: Look, I know this pick might be mildly controversial, especially when The Killer (EP405) didn’t make this list, but if there is an episode that continues to delight with every single rewatch, it’s Catch Me If You Can. It is a straight-up whirlwind of crazy, with oodles of nasty fun and killer one-liners all up in the mix. It also has one of the season’s best pre-title card sequences, with Matt, Jeremy, and Damon getting their hunt on in the deep, dark woods, and Klaus’s Near Dark tribute in a backwoods bar. Then enter Elena, coming to Matt and Jeremy’s rescue as a flock of newbie vampires descend. The pace doesn’t let up for the next 40-plus minutes as the gang works to complete Jeremy’s mark, Damon fights Kol’s compulsion to kill Jeremy, Bonnie finally sees Shane’s true and creepy colors, and Stefan and Rebekah let wit and sparks fly. Fun is, in fact, possible on The Vampire Diaries and, next to American Gothic, this may have been TVD at its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink zaniest, capped with Elena’s downright Machiavellian master plan, not to mention one of the most devastating Stefan and Elena conversations ever: “You don’t know what I look like when I’m not in love with you.” Ouch.
Stand By Me (EP415)
Elena: There’s nothing here for me anymore, Stefan. Every inch of this house is filled with memories of the people that I love that have died. My mom, my dad, Jeremy and Jenna and Alaric . . . John, even John. They’re all dead. Everyone is dead.
Written by: Julie Plec | Directed by: Lance Anderson
Red: As Vampire Diaries fans, we’re all used to the emotional roller coaster that this show frequently has us riding, and Stand By Me stands out in this regard, sending the characters and viewers on a whirlwind trip through the five stages of grief in the space of one short hour. We have it all: Elena’s heart-wrenching denial that Jeremy is gone, clutching at any flimsy hope that he’ll still live; Damon’s anger at Katherine, Silas, and even himself that it’s come to this; Bonnie’s bargaining with Silas to bring the dead back, tumbling into her own spiral of madness; Matt’s depression as he deals with his own losses while still trying to give hope to Elena and function as a human in this crazy supernatural world; and Elena’s chilling acceptance that Jeremy is gone, that the price to bring him back is too high. Finally we, the viewers, have to accept that there’s no Hail Mary coming for Jeremy at this point in time, as the Gilbert house – the home we’re all comfortable with and have known from the beginning – is turned into his funeral pyre. While that chapter of Mystic Falls life is firmly closed, the fire brings new beginnings, as Elena’s emotions are switched off and we wait with great trepidation to see just what the new Elena will turn into…
(We also hope that Elena’s teddy bear survived that fire. It was over at the Salvatore boarding house, right? RIGHT?)
American Gothic (EP418)
Katherine: Did it ever occur to you that you have no idea who I really am?
Damon: Did it ever occur to you that you’re not that deep?
Written by: Evan Bleiweiss & Jose Molina | Directed by: Kellie Cyrus
Abby: I admit, I was predisposed towards this episode on the grounds of title alone (I still haven’t forgiven CBS for cancelling that show back in 1996), but this episode had some great stuff in it. Agonized hallucinations! Doppelgänger hijinks! Don Juan Elijah! Furious Caroline! And let’s not forget the cafe scenes between Rebekah, Katherine and humanity-free Elena. (“Your shoes. I want your shoes.”) I mean, come on, how many of us spotted the fishless-fishtank and yelled “IT’S RIGHT THERE!” only to be double-crossed right along with Rebekah? How much skepticism flooded Twitter when Katherine gave Elijah the cure? Throughout the hour, there was a consistent mix of snappy dialog and genuine emotions, with smooth transitions so that none of it felt forced. Joseph Morgan really outdid himself in this one, playing a side of Klaus that we almost never see, and the Salvatore heart-to-heart (not to be confused with a Salvatore “rip out your heart-to-heart”) was a nice display of character growth for both Stefan and Damon. Put all these things together with a last minute murder and you end up with an episode that’s just plain FUN.
Stefan: I’m not happy about Elena, but I’m not not-happy for you either. I just want you to know that.
Damon: Thanks, brother.
Written by: Julie Plec & Caroline Dries | Directed by: Chris Grismer
Holly: Graduation episodes have a high bar to meet at Holly HQ. They’ll always be measured against Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Graduation Day I & II. They need to be both an end and a beginning. TVD’s Graduation succeeds because, like Buffy, it reminds us of the bond between this group people we’ve watched for four years and gives us hope for the next four. Far beyond vampires and werewolves and hybrids and hunters, The Vampire Diaries is about families, the ones we’re born with and the ones we choose. Most every character on the show gets their chance, in this episode, to remind us and their found family of who they are and how they’ve grown in the years since we began this journey on the first day of school years ago. Elena is at peace with being a vampire, and reaffirms her bonds with Jeremy, Alaric and her friends. She gets her moment of triumph, in a great callback to the books, when she defeats Katherine. Stefan and Elena remind us that, even if they’re not together, they never give up on each other. Damon impulsively tries to save the day, as we would expect, and he finally gets to hear that Elena returns his love. The Salvatore brothers prove why they’re my favorite love story of TVD, in a subtle scene that gives us hope that their bond isn’t broken. Caroline is still Caroline, but with the maturity and grace she’s earned. Bonnie Bennett is not gone, but she’s a ghost, the most drastic sacrifice yet in her never ending quest to protect her friends and the town. Alaric got a last drink with his best friend and a meal with his kids. And y’all, Matt Donovan graduated. Bring on the next chapter.
The long winter hiatus is finally over, and The Vampire Diaries will be back tomorrow night with After School Special (EP410). Brush up on the particulars of the last episode – O Come All Ye Faithful (EP409) – with this handy selection of recaps so you’ve got it all straight in your head before the TVD train gets rolling again!
Two more weeks! Tonight the CW is reairing the midseason finale of The Vampire Diaries, O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409). New episodes return with After School Special (EP410) on January 17th.
Episode refresher course:
Miss a post this week?
It was a fair guess that The Vampire Diaries’ first foray into a holiday episode would be bloodier than your average Christmassy fare, but what a beautiful, poignant, and bloody episode that was. A highlight of the season so far for me (along with Memorial), O Come All Ye Faithful hit such a resonant tone of melancholic but hopeful, as it explored the existential loneliness that plagues immortals (and mortals alike) while emphasizing how key trust and family are in finding purpose and peace. From the soundtrack to that fake snow falling on the town square to that stunning slaughter scene: this is an exceptionally well put together hour of television, and what better gift for the TVD family than that?
Relive those gloriously bloody O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409) moments with Arielle Kebbel as she recaps the episode in the TVD Rehash. And a reminder that The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday, January 17th!
Want to relive the holiday “cheer” all over again? Here’s your chance to watch O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409) as much as you want. US fans can now download the episode from Amazon or iTunes. US fans can also watch the episode for free right now at the CW site.
Download O Come, All Ye Faithful:
Canadian fans can watch the episode over at the CTV website.
In case you missed ’em:
- Reaction Post & Poll: O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409)
- Short Promo for After School Special (?) (EP410)
- Extended Promo for After School Special (?) (EP410)
- Complete Songlist for O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409)
SPOILERS ALERT! It’s almost impossible to post anything about last night’s episode –O Come All Ye Faithful (EP409)- without spoiling it. If you haven’t seen it yet, use extreme caution when reading anything Vampire Diaries related today! The mid-season finale was especially rough on Tyler Lockwood and left Vampire Diaries fans with lots of questions. TV Guide went to the source to get some answers, they spoke with Julie Plec, who answers questions about specific details from last night’s episode and reflects back on the first half of season four.
Is Tyler now screwed [spoiler]since Klaus found out he was trying to kill him[/spoiler]?
Plec: Tyler has definitely[spoiler] been marked by Klaus, and that’s something that will play out over the next few episodes — the repercussions of Tyler’s move against Klaus.[/spoiler]
TVLine also has an interview with Julie, and again, spoilers everywhere.
TVLINE | We didn’t actually see Tyler react [spoiler]to the death. How will he deal with it[/spoiler]?
[When] the next episode picks up, a little bit of time has happened, [spoiler]and we’ll see that Tyler’s not handling it altogether too well. He’s keeping to himself, refusing to show his emotions and stewing in his own grief and anger, which is making it difficult to help him. It’s sad for Caroline, who just wants to be there for him.[/spoiler]
Courtesy of Chris Mollere, Vampire Diaries’ music supervisor – follow him on Twitter!
Songs listed in order of appearance.
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It’s taken four seasons, but we finally get to see Christmas in Mystic Falls! We somehow doubt that the town’s resident hybrid Original is any kind of Saint Niklaus, and he probably favours naughty kids over nice ones, but he’s bound to liven the day up.
Once you’ve seen the episode and shaken yourself back to reality, swing by here to rate the new episode of The Vampire Diaries. All discussion about the episode is welcomed and encouraged in the comments of this post.
Remember, some parts of Canada watch the show an hour earlier, so beware of spoilers and avoid the comments if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
Quick guide to the poll options: Have you left out some blood and cookies for Santa Klaus?
5 blood and cookies = LOVE, 1 blood and cookies = MEH.
Ready for O Come, All Ye Faithful (EP409) tonight? Everyone has opinions on the latest turn of events in the Damon and Elena relationship and TV Guide Magazine caught up with Ian Somerhalder to discuss what the sire bond means to the couple’s fledgling romance and the steps they’ll each take to ensure what Elena is experiencing is the real deal:
TV Guide Magazine: Will it be good for the show if Elena and Damon stay together for a while?
Somerhalder: I think it’s good for the story: If Elena is with Damon, this sire bond is always an issue; plus, his brother’s really angry. So until both of them know if it’s true love, they’ve decided they’re not going to sleep together again. There will be more romance and less sex. Damon wants to do the right thing, but losing Elena is not an option. It’s a tough predicament for him.
- The Hollywood Reporter: Caroline and Tyler Unable to ‘Hold Up a Relationship,’ Candice Accola Says
- Entertainment Weekly: Candice Accola teases tonight’s midseason finale
- Hollywood.com: ‘The Vampire Diaries’ star Candice Accola on Hope for Klaroline, Forwood, and a Cure
- Celebuzz: ‘Vampire Diaries’ Candice Accola Talks ‘Klaroline’ and Tension with Tyler (Q&A)
- The TV Chick: Joseph Morgan (Klaus) from The Vampire Diaries previews tonight’s Big Mid-Season Finale
- TV Fanatic: Joseph Morgan Teases “Mind-Blowing Horrors” to Come