The Vampire Diaries review – 4×02: ‘Memorial’

Courtesy of The CW

Well, that’s a relief. After a disappointing season opener, The Vampire Diaries’ second episode is everything I could have asked for and more. I spent a week afraid that my beloved show had lost its magic (pardon the pun). But with cliffhangers, the return of a favourite character, and the love triangle back in action, the show has found its footing again.

Let’s bitch it out…I was going to say that the scene in the memorial is my favourite of the night, but as I started typing, I realized that isn’t true. The scene that made me the most emotional and invested is the final scene with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Alaric (Matt Davis) at Alaric’s grave. Honestly, I never thought I would see Alaric again, seeing as Matt Davis has a starring role in a new CW show that’s premiering mid-season (it’s called Cult, and it starts in January for those who are interested!).

Just having Damon at the grave is an emotional moment by itself, but when Alaric appears…I’m not going to lie: I gasped and started crying. I loved every second of it. It is so powerful having him just sit there, only uttering the words “I miss you too, buddy” as Damon walks away. But now I have so many questions that I don’t know what to do with myself. Is he back? I’m assuming Damon doesn’t see him, so what is he? We did the ghost thing at the end of last season when he said goodbye to Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), so what’s happening now? And most importantly…IS HE BACK?!?! They better not be playing with my emotions and have this little tease be the end of Alaric again. I had a hard enough time last season when Alaric died. The show better not make me go through losing him again because my heart can’t handle it.

Okay. Moving on. The scene in the church where everyone is fighting not to react to April’s (Grace Phipps) blood is masterful. It also reminds me that they don’t do enough of these group scenes. I especially found it interesting  when Matt (Zach Roerig) offers his neck when Elena (Nina Dobrev) loses it. Yes, it is moving, and yes, he saves her in a moment of need, but it also makes me worried that Matt’s whole “paying it forward” is going to establish him as Elena’s blood supply. But Elena shows impressive restraint. It’s funny that she’s losing it when she stands in front of April, but she can drink from Matt’s neck, in a room full of people, and just calmly let go and arrange his collar. I just hope they give Matt more to do than this. He’s one of only a few humans left, so it would be a shame to let those possibilities go to waste.

And for those of us who thought the love triangle was no more… well, we should have known better. Can I just say what a highly sexual scene it is when Elena is drinking from Damon? Wow. There’s no doubt they have chemistry, even if I am firmly planted in the Stefan (Paul Wesley) camp. Clearly we’ll be seeing more of the love triangle push and pull in the coming weeks, indicating that I probably shouldn’t have celebrated Stefan’s win last week.

Courtesy of The CW

In my humble opinion, the introduction of Connor (Todd Williams) is as good as you can get on this show (especially for someone being introduced four seasons in). Connor arrives on the scene guns blazing – both literally and figuratively – and sets up many questions and stories for the weeks ahead. Things were wrapped-up a little too tight for our vampire friends when the council died, so the introduction of a new vampire hunter is genius. The show needed a bit of new blood (and new characters), and based on his bold moves, I’d say Connor Jordan is exactly what the show needs.

But just for the record, he can never replace Alaric as the best vampire hunter on the show. That’s just the way it is.

A few other observations:

  • The Originals were surprisingly absent this episode. However, there was so much happening that I didn’t even realize they weren’t around until I saw the preview for next week and heard Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) name.
  • While Matt runs the risk of becoming little more than a blood bank for Elena, Jeremy at least looks like he’ll be getting a solid story (Is it just me, or has he also been working out over the summer again?) I am looking forward to the explanation of what the heck it means that he can see the tattoos on Connor’s arm. Whatever it means, I doubt it will be good for our friendly neighbourhood vampires.

What did you think of the second episode? Are you as happy as I am with it? Am I the only one who was tired of hearing the word “heightened” by the end of this episode? We get it, Elena’s more emotional now. What do you think is going to come from the introduction of the Connor character? Sound off below!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on The CW

4 thoughts on “The Vampire Diaries review – 4×02: ‘Memorial’

  1. I totally agree… If they rip Alaric away from us again I think I may lose whatever sanity about the Diaries that I have left. Most of it was lost last night at the “I miss you too buddy.”

    I think they have firmly established that Elena is a vampire now, so let’s move on! I was kind of worried for her when she was having … digestion issues, and I liked how that played into the triangle and the whole ‘I love her more than you’ conflict between the Salvatore brothers. I love how Damon can be concerned about her one second and his good old badass self in the same moment. He had a few one liners this time that I really loved and I hope we get that side of Damon back a bit more.

    I did miss the originals too, but I am with you on the sheer overload of plot development in this episode… Throw in some Klaus and we might be overwhelmed, not that I would complain.

  2. “Damon, germaphobe.” lol

    I was surprised to see Alaric back. I wasn’t expecting to see him back until his new show gets cancelled (ouch!). One of the best duos on the show was Damon and Alaric so it’s nice they got some closure, assuming this was just a cameo for Alaric. But since Jeremy can see the dead I guess it’s possible Alaric might reappear again sometime.

    Loved it when Stefan punched Damon! The final scenes where they stopped to remember all the dead people was touching. The show moves at such a fast pace, it’s nice for the characters to take a moment to remember.

    I wouldn’t get too attached to Connor. This show has a tendency to quickly create interesting characters only to kill them off a few episodes later.

    It’s hard to speculate on TVD but where do you think they are headed this season?

  3. Loved this episode. I was actually a little relieved that the standard was back to normal this week. I also liked how they brought the love triangle into play. It now has a new depth: Human v bunny blood. It just fells fresh. As happy as I am that Elena chose Stefan I still think the tease of the triangle is an intrinsic part of the show.

    I like April but have a suspicion she won’t be around for long. I think Connor might be staying for a while though. Jeremey can see ghosts.and only he saw the tattoo… I get this feeling that he might be already dead.

    Anyway I hope the show stays at this level all season. Thanks for the review.

  4. I read a tweet somewhere that the heightened thing should be made as a drinking game. Haha! Yeah Stefan, wegeddit.

    Truly, this episode was much much more compelling than the premiere. Everything in that church scene was intense, I could feel the tension while I was watching it. But of course, the best would still be Alaric and Damon’s scene. It was so moving. I do hope this means that there’s more Alaric because I’d hate them for teasing us just like that. But I doubt that since he’s got a new show. HUHUHU

    Me too! I forgot that the originals weren’t even in any scene because that’s how tight the story was with the ep. Loved every second of it! <3