Plus, Elena metaphorically burns her past in an attempt to move forward. But also literally. She literally burns down her past.
“My brother can’t be dead!” This was pretty much Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) mantra through the first half of The Vampire Diaries‘ Feb. 21 episode — until she finally realized that Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is, in fact, super dead. Then came the real show: tears, screaming, the works. It’s like she’d been bottling up all of her reactions from the millions of deaths in her family — her real parents, her fake parents, Jenna, Alaric, and now Jeremy — then decided to release it all in one CW-Emmy-worthy explosion of rage and grief.
Ultimately, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) decided it would be best to help Elena shut off her emotions completely — an idea he will certainly soon regret — in order to relieve his sweet, sweet doppelganger of her pain. The moment you saw the change in Elena’s eyes, after Damon sire-bond-forced her to forget about her feelings, was nothing short of chilling.
And in one final act of emotional rebellion, Elena set fire to her house, and the audience watched as the final pieces of her humanity — her home, her brother, and even the very diaries from which this whole show gets its title — went up in flames. When The Vampire Diaries returns with new episodes next month, I hope fans are ready for a whole-new Elena. Because that’s exactly what we’re going to get.
Hats off to Nina for delivering a power-house performance, and hats off to Julie Plec for writing quite possibly the best episode in the show’s history. There may not have been as much action as we’re used to, but there was more emotion than I’ve ever seen packed into a single hour of this show.
And that‘s saying something!
Bonnie Has Officially Lost Her Damn Mind
A natural reaction to an ex-boyfriend’s death is sadness. But because Bonnie (Kat Graham) is anything but natural, her reaction to Jeremy’s passing is to kill 12 people, thus dropping the veil between the land of the living and the realm of all dead supernatural creatures. I know she’s a witch, and witches are allowed to be a little bit crazy, but she needs to put down Professor Eyebrows’ Kool-Aid and think about her life choices. Even Caroline (Candice Accola) told Bonnie she was being crazy, and Caroline’s the one who’s been toying with the idea of dating Klaus. So she knows crazy!
Bonnie spent much of the hour having little side chats with Shane (David Alpay), but as we saw during Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) late-night walk around the island, it wasn’t actually Shane that Bonnie was talking to. The bushy-eyebrow’d professor is still very much dying a slow death on the ground of the island, which means the “Shane” Bonnie thinks she’s been talking to is actually a Silas-induced illusion.
I guess without Jeremy around to explain what’s real and what’s not, Bonnie is going to be crazier than ever. This should be fun.
Matt Donovan’s Hugs Cure Grief — And Probably Cancer, Too
As much as I hate to see the good people of Mystic Falls experience even the slightest bit of heartache, I do appreciate the fact that it gives Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) a chance to shine. We all know that what he does best — besides throw a football and look stunningly beautiful — is fix people’s problems with his warm words and supernaturally friendly hugs. As I said last season, he is the human Band-Aid, which we saw tonight as he placed himself over Elena’s gaping emotional wound.
That said, it was especially heartbreaking watching Matt sobbing over Jeremy in his truck. All alone. We’ve seen Matt deal with plenty of tragedies on this show so far — the death of his own sister, Vicki, to name a big one — but I don’t think we’ve ever seen him at the end of his emotional rope. … Until tonight.
Who will console the professional consoler?!
Caroline + Tyler 4ever
When you lose someone close to you, or even when you see someone else lose someone close to them, it usually makes you think about the people that matter in your own life. For Caroline, that person is Tyler (Michael Trevino), who she couldn’t resist calling in the final moments of the episode. You can tell the separation is killing her, which means we can anticipate plenty of hot hybrid sex upon his triumphant return to Mystic Falls — whenever that is.
Stefan & Damon Share A Bro-ment
Another reason I have to salute Julie Plec is for the Stefan (Paul Wesley)-and-Damon scene she wrote at the end of the episode. Right before Elena literally torched her house and moved in with the brothers permanently, Stefan and Damon shared a moment — a bro-ment, if you will — that perfectly summed up their relationship in very few words. As much as they may fight about absolutely everything, they’re brothers, and they really do love each other.
Stefan: “I just want you to know…”
Damon: “I know, Stefan.”
Brotherly love… so beautiful, right?
So, what did YOU think of this week’s episode? Did Jeremy get an appropriate send-off? Will the gang have to team up against Bonnie when she decides to go fully nuts and bring back Silas? And how much would you pay for a real, authentic hug from Matt Donovan? Drop me a comment with your personal review of this tearjerker!
— Andy Swift
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