The Vampire Diaries Review: “Bring It On” (Season 4, Episode 16)


The Vampire Diaries Review: "Bring It On" (Season 4, Episode 16)

It’s been two weeks since we’ve had a new episode of The Vampire Diaries and that seems to be just about the same amount of time that has elapsed since Elena (Nina Dobrev) flipped the ‘off’ button on her humanity. She’s obviously had enough time to try out the ‘fun’ course of therapy, but with Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) trying to keep her tethered to a humanitarian version of the vampire life, she’s reached her limits pretty quickly.

The Salvatore brothers are desperate to figure out a way to re-introduce her to her own humanity without overwhelming her. After Elena burned her family house down along with the body of her only remaining relative – except for Katherine (also Dobrev) – it’s hard to tell whether her humanity is the best option for her at this point. We already know that all the senses are heightened for vampires, what’s to say that she even has the mental capacity to handle that elevated level of grief? Elena has literally lost every family member she’s ever cared about, and even some she didn’t know she had. Her parents drowned when she was 15 (err, 16?), her aunt and uncle/biological father were killed when she was 17 as a result of a magical ritual that she was the main reason behind, her biological mother let the sun burn her alive right in front of her face, and her brother/cousin died as a result of her desire to be human again – at the hand of her distant relative/doppelganger to make things even worse. If that’s possible.

Elena deserves a break! She hasn’t been allowed to be young in too long. Her self-sacrificing nature has made her obsessed with protecting the people she loves. She is a vampire because she refused to be saved before her friend, Matt (Zach Roerig). That is the definition of an extreme giver. Damon might not be so out of his mind when he suggests that this might be the best thing for her. At least it seems like a good plan until the pain of losing everything has numbed slightly. And, as much as Stefan wants Elena to be alright, he’ll never really back a plan that involves her being any less than as human as possible for the long term. Plus, Elena actually looks like she’s having a good time and not on the verge of falling to pieces.

Ok, yes, there are downsides to Elena’s current state of being. She did try to kill her best friend and thinks it’s ok to eat anything vervain free and walking, but she’s young – so to speak – and fragile, whether she knows it or not. It’s kind of a relief to see her not be her normal self for a while. And, who doesn’t want to not think for a little while? What a relief it must be for her to just be able to do what she wants without the constant threat of guilt and the nagging of regret. Elena piles it on the self riteousness, and not that doing the right thing isn’t admirable – from a viewers perspective it can also sometimes be annoying. I’m excited to see how Elena handles all of this. Even as an “emotionless” vampire cured of the sire bond, she still manages to have some pretty strong feelings for Damon. I’d like to see this no hold bars Elena try this life, and relationship, out.

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