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Posted by | November 13, 2012, 20:49 (EST) | 99 Comments
Category: In Review, The Vampire Diaries TV

Vampire Diaries In Review: The Killer (EP405) - MarkedFive episodes in, Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries is proving to be a rare hybrid: a return to some of the themes of early Season 1 — highlighted by the dear-diary duet and candle-lighting moment in The Killer — while simultaneously exploring darker, more violent territory where a “by any means necessary” philosophy is put to work — and its dangers revealed.

With “danger magnets” Matt and April at the Grill as hostages along with vampire-hunter potential Jeremy, the question of how far each character will go in the name of what they value most is explored, each motivated by a tenuous balance of hope and desperation. Stefan must keep his secret and Connor alive — fighting for his endgame of a cure for Elena. But the newbie vamp is focused on her little brother’s safety: being Jer’s only family is the defining role Elena has, and it’s what’s keeping her from giving up. It’s for her brother that she becomes the titular killer. The danger in adhering so closely to one goal, one mission, is nowhere more apparent than in Connor, whose puts his faith in his Hunter’s Mark, believing that if only he completes it, he’ll discover the true purpose of a life killing vampires — including his best friend. For Connor, the world was clearly delineated: vampires kill humans, hunters kill vampires; making a deal with a vampire was not an option, no matter how desperately he wanted to learn about his mythological history as one of the brotherhood of the Five.

In The Killer, the Gilbert kids are each marked as killers: one of humans, the other of vampires — a set-up for a supernatural sibling showdown I do not ever want to see. The bond the Gilberts share is one of the show’s foundations, there since the beginning of the series though not without its tests. Jeremy’s anger at being compelled — again — is instant and palpable, and thankfully for once Elena had nothing to do with it. Instead she shares his anger at the betrayal, realizing that she too has been kept in the dark and her brother left vulnerable to attack. And with Connor’s death and the appearance of Jer’s mark, Jeremy can never be compelled again. (As we learned last week from Stefan’s comment to Klaus, a member of the Five can’t be compelled.)

On a show where the kill count is incredibly high, it was refreshingly honest to see Elena so destroyed by the fact that she killed someone. Despite the fact that it was an awesome death scene, in my opinion — the “You missed” was such an action movie line — the aftermath shows how human and how sane Elena still is. That’s the way you should feel after snapping a man’s neck: horrified and like you’ve betrayed who you are and what you’re willing to do. TVD has shown us again and again that if you put a character in terrible circumstances, they will do unthinkable things, and after three seasons it’s Elena’s turn to prove how dangerous she can be. However much it was an action of self-defense, and done in protection of her little brother, that Elena is gutted about it proves to me how little she’s lost herself — diary entries that say otherwise aside.

What I liked about this episode was how the secrets, betrayals, and discoveries were powerless, as always, to truly shake the bond between the Salvatore brothers. Damon nearly tears Stefan’s heart from his chest in search of the truth, but by episode’s end he is signing up for a quest he doesn’t believe in for a result he has no personal interest in. It was an on-point question that Damon asks of his brother: can Stefan love Elena as a vampire? Their relationship grew from his admiration of her humanity, and it’s been clear from the past five episodes that he is desperate for her to hold on to it. Where does Stefan’s motivation to cure Elena of vampirism truly lie?

In the world of subplots, I’m personally finding Bonnie and the Professor a lot more compelling — even when they’re basically doing nothing for seven hours — than “Ty” and his two supernatural lady friends. Caroline, Tyler, and newcomer Hayley haven’t yet had much to do this season, and I’d love to see more — and more integration between the various pockets of Mystic Falls supernatural teen drama. Who better to do that than Klaus? With his interests in all intrigue, I heartily welcome him home from Italy. And considering he killed five of the Five back in 1114, he’s sure to have some insight for Elena into those pesky blood hallucinations she’s having.

Compelling Moment: The conversation between Stefan and Damon in Stefan’s room at the end of the episode — adversarial but full of brotherly love, funny but getting to the heart of the tension between them, and of course punctuated by sips from amber-alcohol-filled tumblers.

The Rules: “Potential” Jeremy gets his hunter’s mark after Connor is killed, suggesting that these vampire hunters operate similarly to Buffy’s Slayer system. Bonnie tells Shane that witches have a natural resistance to manipulation, but he’s able to hypnotize her with the help of a little “better when you smoke it” tea. Elena experiences hallucinations in the wake of killing the hunter; details on that next week!

Foggy moments: Not a traditional foggy moment, but I found the blood-dripping-down-Elena’s-chin distracting, and almost a moment ruiner. Instead of empathizing with poor Elena, all I could think about was the makeup.

Questions & thoughts before We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes (EP406):

  • R.I.P. Connor: a true hunter, a great adversary, and a lover of blowing stuff up and smashing phones to bits.
  • How will Klaus react to the Connor’s-dead news?
  • Are there more active hunters out there? How would Stefan find them?
  • Will Jeremy keep his mark a secret?
  • How shaken is Elena’s trust in Stefan?
  • What is Shane’s master plan and how does it involve Bonnie? Does he have a way of identifying hunters?
  • Who owns the Grill, and who’s going to explain the blown-up interior to that poor sap?
  • Was anyone else filled with infinite sadness seeing Alaric’s uninhabited apartment?
  • Whose ring will be stolen next week?
  • Is Tyler telling the truth about his plan with Hayley?

 
 
Crissy Calhoun is the author of the Love You to Death companion guides to The Vampire Diaries: Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3. Find her online at crissycalhoun.com and tweeting @crissycalhoun.

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  • ihatepeople

    We might think she’s drunk if we hear that. Haha.

  • ihatepeople

    Caroline too!

  • ihatepeople

    Saw the photo. He looks pretty damn hot in his WWII uniform.

  • Eva

    lol,or it could be a side effect from the hallucinations

  • Eva

    ahahaha, I fell on the floor ;)

  • ihatepeople

    Wow Shannon that would be awesome to watch. Or she could watch that girl kiss him right in front of her while her mouth hangs open and she seeths. Haha

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

     Hahaha, aww poor thing, yes hun, tomorrow is the last episode, then it won’t return til the 29th.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

     IF….being the keyword there….I won’t hold my breathe.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

     Idr her actively walking in on them, so i don’t count her, but if u ad the negative advice she keeps giving Elena, then sure, she counts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

     HA!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    I could actually see JP doing that to us, just to throw us off, like she did with Bonnie, when they were in the car, and Bonnie didn’t knock her, she just asked was it good?….I liked that, that’s how a normal best friend would act in that situation.

  • ihatepeople

    Haha an inability to lie side effect. Love it.

  • ihatepeople

    Yeah that’s what I count…her rah rah Stefan vs her boo his Damon speech she gives Elena every chance she gets.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U42UWOLRXBTMSTIGISV6SRTT64 Annie

    I know, so sexy. I can’t wait to see the guys in uniforms on my TV screen

  • From Beginning To End

     I read that too- sounds interesting. If Elena was jealous before it’s going to be way worse now that she’s a vampire lol.

  • From Beginning To End

     I have been wondering that exact same thing for ages now! Like, why couldn’t they just cut Klaus’ head off? What would happen if they did?

  • Eva

    Oh maaaan :@

  • ihatepeople

    I’ve wondered that since Jer decapitated Tony the hybrid.

  • Tania Rahman123

    Poor old Elena, she really can’t win can she? As a human doppelganger she was always looking over her shoulder waiting for Klaus to strike. Now she’s made her first kill, a seemingly unstoppable hunter to save her brother and she was brilliant, by the way, and slowly growing used to life as a vampire, and she has to face ‘consequences’ like hallucinations etc, etc. Then again, it does give Nina Dobrev a chance to play Elena in a way we’ve never seen her before. I’ve said it before, if there’s a cure it should be for every vampire who wants it.
    Professor ‘Creepy’ is a nice touch, but it falls into the ‘Damon is always right’ pile of storylines. Best of all is the Jeremy storyline, not only is he supposedly linked to, if not is, a hunter, oh and a Rebekah free episode.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    = (

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    Hahaha, that made me LOL!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    The line would die, remember?

  • Raven

     You are so right! But as some one posted I think shila1307 she has no right to be jealous. She has no right to be anything when it comes to Damon except grateful for  saving her ass time and time again, and she cannot even be that.

  • Raven

     Sounds good to me ihatepeople! I would also love it if Elena walks into the Grill and sees them looking into each others eyes, Damon’s hand caressing Charlotte’s face the same exquisite way that he done to Elena, and Elena losing it.The begging and groveling part sounds very appealing as well

  • Raven

     You are simply magnificent.You should consider writing recaps for a living.Funny and sharp it had me on the floor and yet it was so true!

  • ihatepeople

    LOL. That might make us Damon fans stick our tongues out at the TV and go “nahnahnahnahnah”, how do you like it? :)~

  • Raven

     Funny as hell! You guys make my day. Humor is  medicine that is one  of the reasons I love Damon.

  • Raven

     Let’s not forget the Cockblocker to end all Cockblockers:Jeremy!

  • From Beginning To End

     I didn’t know that!!! Awe, I thought we weren’t getting as many breaks. I want to see episode 7 so bad!!!

  • From Beginning To End

     I felt the same too, please start to get in the habit of wiping your mouth Elena!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U42UWOLRXBTMSTIGISV6SRTT64 Annie

    Aww thank you! :-)

  • Eva

    LOLOLOL

  • kellygreen17

    It’s only a one week break for Thanksgiving (US) so not too bad.  The breaks/hiatuses make sense as there are only 23 weeks’ worth of shows and 30-33 weeks for the fall-spring lineup depending on when in May they end the series (even more for the shows that started in September) so simple math leaves 7-10 weeks of re-runs in this season. This gives the show-runners time to actually create the episodes as from what I understand from a tweet Julie Pelc wrote, it takes a little over 5 weeks (xxxxx‏: @julieplec do you know how long an episode of TVD typically take to make, from start (filming) to finish (edited, effects and cut)? julieplec: @xxxxx 8 or 9 days to shoot, 3 weeks to edit, 1 week for sound. and no that is not me asking the question but I did x out the name for privacy reasons) to create one episode of vampire diaries (not counting writing it).  Yes it sucks as a viewer to have to wait even longer between episodes, but as Carina MacKenzie points out in her article (actually one of my main sources for this point to be honest), 7-10 weeks of intermittent hiatuses is better than an 8 month one lol. http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/04/tv-hiatus-explained-why-your-favorite-shows-take-breaks-during-the-season.html

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U42UWOLRXBTMSTIGISV6SRTT64 Annie

    Omg! I found this video, it’s hilarious how often Delena gets cockblocked lol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-s6dRcWvu8

  • kellygreen17

    That was just too funny :D. 

  • Raven

     Thank you! That was hilarious. Seriously, they have made Delena cockblocking into an art form.

  • Raven

     hahaha.And the teeth? How can her teeth be pearly white with all that blood sucking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Welton/100001408890435 William Welton

    Elena equates all people as roughly equal.  Killing a vampire and killing a human are much the same to her it seems.  Supporting Jeremy in serial murder just to “save” herself seems a fairly extreme stretch for her. 

    The other interested parties are a different story.  Stefan would probably feed vamps to Jeremy, and Klaus would likely just turn 20 random people for Jeremy to stake.  Food for thought there.

    As a vampire, Elena is a danger to Jeremy by her new nature.  She does not allow those instincts any control over her regarding Jeremy.  Even if he Hunter’s Mark and it’s Calling invests Jeremy in some geas to kill vampires, I think he will express the same restraint towards his sister (cousin).  Will make for some interesting growing pains though.

    What I like is what it makes these last two surviving Gilbert’s.  Both are now supernaturally endowed warriors with a fierce bond.  I was looking forward to a possible relationship between Caroline and Elena bonding as “Blood Sisters” coming into this season. This new potential for Jeremy and Elena interests me now as well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    Hahaha, i’m sorry….yea it’s only cuz of Thanksgiving….after that will be ok for a bit. Ya know til the Dec. hiatus.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5S2Y7H2HJE3A5JXS6UBPX26CY Shannon

    I remember that video.

  • Tia_Serena

    … and making an odd, totally off the topic reference, I thought Elena, with her blood stained lips and chin, was turning into a Mentat (from the 1984 Dune, staring Kyle MacLachlan, that I re-watched recently)  lol

  • Tia_Serena

    Cockblock is the name of this season…

  • Tia_Serena

    Sorry to hang a lampshade on this again, but for me the persistent “foggy moments” are the Hybrids. For a season and half the gang’s mission was to prevent Klaus from becoming a hybrid, then from making more hybrids, because hybrids are super dangerous, hard to kill and have this undying loyalty to Klaus, so he would have an army of super-powerful hard to kill mind-less automatons.

     I was hoping that it as going to be revealed that Klaus needed the hybrid army because of a “looming greater evil”, but he seemed surprised by the reference in the Pastor letter, and behaves like all he wants from the hybrids is a loyal substitute family…

    Then he claims he needs to protect the hybrids because they are a dying race, and proceeds to spoon-feed hybrids to Connor as if they are all red-shirts!
    As for the “hard to kill”, we can only laugh at the concept, even weakling, human Jeremy managed to take one on his own, not to mention all the [heat-rips]….
    Really, what’s the deal?

  • a_softsong

    That would be a new refreshing twist for Vamplena.  Love it.  

  • a_softsong

    Happy, happy, happy!  Finally a sincere moment.  

  • Eva

    I hear you.

  • Tania Rahman123

    Loved this episode. For once, it was Stefan being the Lone Ranger and Damon and Elena working together. Connor is definitely a man on a mission, with no emotional ties to any vampires, but his shouting gets on my nerves after a while. Elena is also a girl on a mission, and its nice to see her visibly care about her brother. A little role reversal here, with Stefan being the lone warrior and Damon and Elena working together. He’s clearly keen to show her both sides of being a vampire. Just a postscript, its really weird to watch Season One, truly evil Damon evolve into an unlikely hero, and even stranger to see Stefan rush head first into danger and Damon and Elena work strategically on a plan. I think I will be sad to see vampire Elena go, if they find a cure, she’s a complete roller coaster these days.

  • Tia_Serena

    SPOILER ALERT for episode 6!!!!

    Another hybrid bites the dust – Klaus gives yet one more of his precious, rare, impossible-to-make-any-more-unless-Elena-becomes-human-again hybrids for Jeremy to kill…Will he be turning random people into vampires so that Jeremy can kill them and grow his tattoo? Not cool Stefan! Talk about Grey Morality!!!!Killing the guy who just helped you save your girl to … save your girl?http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackAndGrayMorality





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