Previously on The Vampire Diaries, everything was going wrong for everyone all at once. Pretty much every character on the show had something go horribly wrong during this episode, and it’s safe to say that Growing Pains kicked off Season 4 with a bang. Need to brush up on the details before tuning in tomorrow night? We’ve got you covered with recaps galore!
- Crissy Calhoun, Vampire-Diaries.net: Though there were many, many tense moments in Growing Pains — Elena crushing the light bulb, the car crash scene, Klaus-as-Tyler ripping out his own heart, to name a few — there was also a lot of emotional business to take care of in the wake of Elena’s death.
- Price Peterson, tv.com: I loved this episode a lot; whether it’s because it was truly good or because I was simply just so starved for m’vampires is a good question. But who even cares? “Growing Pains” had all the main ingredients: Scares, twists, surprises, emotions, shotgun barrel impalings, Jasmine Guy. It had everything! Just call me Chatty Cathy because I want to talk about it a bunch!
- Carrie Raisler, The AV Club: Nothing as significant as Elena potentially turning into a vampire has ever been attempted on this show, and it’s doubtful anything ever will. Taking your teenage-girl lead character from the girl next door who just happens to love vampires to a vampire herself is a fairly astonishing place for a show like this to go, and aside from a few isolated moments, that gravity simply isn’t felt here.
- Erin Frazee, Wine Stained Life: Caroline must have an invisible “kick me,” sign that she wears at all times only hers says, “please vervain me, tie me up and torture me, that’d be great kthanksbye.”
- Iphignia939: I really, really like that Elena’s constantly hearing everything: the buzzing of the light bulb, street noises six blocks away. Sometimes you can forget that vampires are like Sentinels, just constantly jacked up to eleven ’til they figure out how to make it not be awful.
- Andy Swift, Hollywood Life: As expected, Damon was less-than-pleased about Elena’s transition, and he decided to unleash his smoldering fury on — well, pretty much everyone.
- Emma Fraser, TV Overmind: Elena got to have big conversations with both Salvatore brothers and one that has been much anticipated is what Elena would do when she remembers the Damon compulsion moments.
- Shannon Vestal, BuzzSugar: Excuse me, but who are these new council members? We’ve never met this Pastor Young, but he appears to be someone everyone knows, and he’s out for vampire blood (oh, also, somehow he has absolute authority and can arrest people without a badge). The good news about a new villain is that maybe we don’t have to watch everyone trying to kill Klaus every week.
- Mandi Bierly, Entertainment Weekly: Our first glimpse of Elena in full vamp mode was her stopping Damon from killing Matt, whose survivor guilt is bad enough that he would have let Damon do it.
- Cindy McLennan, Television Without Pity: Hey, Damon? Shut up. I love you, but just shut up, because Matt needs to live. This show has gotten so short on ordinary humans as to be ridiculous, besides, Matt is our Pudding Pop, so why don’t you have yet another drink and calm the heck down? After all, Elena’s no more dead than you.
- Maddie Coe, Small Screen Scoop: A big reaction for me tonight was that I really appreciated how all of the main and supporting characters were well-represented, even if certain characters’ scene counts were higher than others. The promotional material for this season has done a great job of appearing well-rounded in terms of full cast representation, so I loved seeing that play out onscreen as well. Also, how cool was that updated episode introduction?
- Robyn, Allie Is Wired: On tonight’s show Elena awakens on the morning after the accident to find the thing she dreaded most has come true – she died with vampire blood in her system and now must go through the terrible transition to become a vampire…or face certain death. Stefan promises Elena that he and Bonnie will exhaust every possible way out of the situation, but Damon ( is furious with his brother for letting Elena die in the first place.
- Debbie McDuffee, CliqueClack: I’m really on the fence with Elena being a vampire. While it was time to shake up the love triangle dynamics a bit, I’m not sure this was the way to do it. Stefan and Damon subsisted on saving her, Stefan by respecting her choices and giving her freedom and Damon selfishly saving her from herself, sure that his way was the right way. Will these dynamics benefit from the Salvatore brothers no longer having to save their mortal love? I’m not sure they will.
- E. Reagan, The TV Chick: Bonnie and Jeremy are chilling while she’s trying to do spells to put Elena back. The dead witches won’t help. Bonnie’s all maybe I can go get her spirit myself by dying temporarily? (Bonnie, I appreciate the effort, but that sounds like a terrible idea.
- Dianne Sylvan, CrazyBeautiful: In case you’re not keeping track the population of House Gilbert is now one borderline vampire and one kid who sees dead people. Actual responsible adults: 0. Hey, at least some things never change.
- Thomas Galvin, Thomas Galvin Blog: Jeremy Gilbert: Hi Elena! Do you want to talk about what you’re going through? Because I remember when this happened to my ex-girlfriend …
- Kristen and David, ThinkHero: video recap (below)
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