The Vampire Diaries Season 4 'Growing Pains' Review

As you know, I love the TV show The Vampire Diaries. I’ve been counting down the weeks and then days to their first show of the season. I’ve read spoilers and watched interviews from some of the cast members. I was prepared to cry during this first episode of the season because of the hype saying to get your tissue box ready.

But I didn’t cry.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed.

The show was good, but it wasn’t ohmyfrickingod that episode kicked ass like I thought it would be.

Here’s my review:

Elena awakes in her bed with Stefan next to her side. Damon is there as well, but he’s in the background (as always) sitting in a chair. They inform Elena on her situation, which I’m glad they did.

Rewind to last season:

When Elena had bumped her head, it caused a cerebral hemorrhage, slowly killing her. She was given Damon’s vampire blood so she would survive. However, when she was in the car with Matt, and they were driving on Wickery bridge, Rebekah appeared in the road. While Matt tried to avoid hitting her, he lost control of his car, and they plummeted into the river. Stefan happened to be there. He dove into the water and reached for Elena, but she indicated to save Matt first. Stefan complied, saved Matt, but then Elena died.

Sort of.

Since she had vampire blood flowing through her veins, she survived.

Now, in present day, she’s in transition. If she drinks blood, she’ll become a vampire. If she doesn’t, she dies. So after Stefan and Damon tells her this, she’s quite upset. The last thing Elena wants is to become a vampire. Both Stefan and Damon know this, and Damon is pissed at Stefan for saving Matt instead of Elena. Stefan tells Damon he’s going to have to live with that decision for the rest of his life, which doesn’t snuff out Damon’s burning anger towards Stefan and Matt for doing this to Elena.

Elena begins to transition. The writers did a good job folding in little details of her transformation into the story. Elena becomes uncomfortable around bright lights and the sun bothers her. When she takes a bite out of a sandwich, she spits it out, telling Stefan it’s gross and all she can think about is blood. Soon after she goes into a laughing fit, then as if she’s one of those dolls with a switch on her back, she burst into tears. Her emotions are unbridled, and she’s going to eventually have to learn to rein them in.

Meanwhile, the council of Mystic Falls bands together with the Pastor leading the group. They’re aware of the vampires in their town and aim to destroy them. They’re able to capture some of them: Stefan, Rebekah, and Elena. The council holds them in a barn, fashioned as a prison. Elena is in big trouble because if she doesn’t drink blood soon, she’ll die.

During this time, Jeremy is with Bonnie who decides to go into the spiritual world in an attempt to save Elena from becoming a vampire. Her thinking is, Elena’s soul is in between worlds. If she can enter that realm, find Elena, she can rescue her. But in order to accomplish that, Bonnie has to dip into dark magic. Jeremy doesn’t want her to, but she does anyway. She enters the spirit realm and finds Elena. It’s working. But then Grams appears, and she’s mad as hell at Bonnie. She basically tells Bonnie what she’s doing is forbidden. She can’t be messing with the order of things or using dark magic. Bonnie attempts to argue with Grams, but Grams stands her ground and tells Bonnie to leave and NEVER use dark magic again. Bonnie awakes from her trance and tells Jeremy the bad news.

Damon discovers what the council has done and forces Matt to help him. Damon would really like to kill Matt because he blames Matt for Elena’s unfortunate situation. But he needs Matt’s help in order to save Elena and Stefan, so he restrains his urge to snap Matt’s neck.

Elena is dying in a cell next to Stefan’s. Rebekah is in another one across from them, enjoying watching Elena die (not really, but she says so). Elena tells Stefan she has chosen him over Damon, and she loves him. Through silent tears, Stefan tries to comfort her. He knows if she doesn’t drink blood soon, he’ll lose her forever.

In the interim, this drama craziness spills into Caroline’s life. With Tyler’s . . . um, Klaus’ help, she manages to escape the vehicle the council has her restrained in. At first, she thinks it’s Tyler who saves her. She's overjoyed to see him because she thought he was dead, and she cries happy tears. Shortly after, though, she realizes it’s Klaus in Tyler’s body. They go see Bonnie, and Klaus demands for her to put him back in his old body. At first Bonnie refuses because Grams warned her not to use dark magic again because there WILL be consequences if she does. Klaus in turn–who will not take no for an answer–begins to rip Tyler’s heart out of his body. If she’s not going to help him, so be it. He will kill Tyler. He digs his fingers deeper into Tyler’s chest, and Caroline screams for him to stop. Bonnie complies with Klaus’ demands. While she wields her magic, Grams' spirit manifests and suffers for Bonnie’s actions, leaving Bonnie heartbroken and full of guilt. Klaus is now in his own body and Tyler’s soul is back in his own vessel.

Elena is rapidly deteriorating. Stefan knows if she doesn’t feed soon, she’ll die. I don’t know why Rebekah has a change of heart, but she lures a council member into the barn. She gets him close to her cell, promising to give him wealth in exchange to free her. She manages to grab him, then shoves him towards Stefan’s cell. Stefan snatches him and bangs the council member’s head repeatedly against the bars, knocking him out. Their captor collapses to the floor. A pool of blood gathers, and through the bars, on the brink of death, Elena reaches out. I like this scene because she has to struggle to get to the gore. Finally, her fingertips makes contact with the blood, and her hand flutters to her mouth. She sticks her fingers on her lips, sealing her fate.

Damon and Matt find their way to the council’s hideout where they’re holding Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah. Damon bites Matt’s neck, provoking the council members. In all his badass glory, Damon takes them down and saves the day. He then slams Matt to the ground, preparing to end his life. Suddenly, Elena is there, now a vampire ( I don’t know how she broke free from her cell. That was a little disconcerting). She tells Damon to leave Matt alone, and he backs off.

Damon and Elena haves a conversation. She tells him she remembers everything now . . .

When she was human, he told her he was in love with her, but he didn’t deserve her, Stefan did. He loved her too much to be selfish. And then, he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want to burden her with his feelings. I was hoping Elena would get together with Damon now that she knew those things.

She didn’t.

Even when Damon told her, unlike Stefan, he would have saved her instead of Matt because he knew she never wanted to become a vampire. Of course, Elena defended Stefan’s actions, which was so annoying.

I know Damon can be an ass, but I think Elena should be with him instead of Stefan.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Stefan, but he doesn’t help her grow as a person or challenge her like Damon does.

Anyway, at the end of the show, Elena is with Stefan, proclaiming her love for him–again. The council members, including the Pastor is at their secret hideout in the country, gathering for a meeting regarding the vampires. The Pastor spouts off some religious nonsense, reminding me of David Koresh, and blows them to smithereens. I think he was compelled to do it, by the way.

So there you have it. It was a good show, but like I said, it left me a little disappointed.

That’s okay, though.

I still love TVD, and I’m looking forward to the next episode and the next and the next . . . You get the idea. :)


  1. In the UK we don't get to watch it till tomorrow. But reading this I feel like I'm going to be let down lol. I was expecting a kick ass episode as well but seems I won't be getting it :(

  2. I recently read the first three episodes in this season is basically tying up the loose strings from the last season. After the third episode of this new season, things are going to be rocking. So even though this first show didn't kick ass, I'm thinking there will be some that will.