The Vampire Diaries Review: “The Walking Dead” (Season 4, Episode 22)

The Vampire Diaries

As the season finale of The Vampire Diaries approaches, it seems more likely that things would be tying themselves up in a nice bow rather than coming completely unwrapped. Yet, one episode away from graduation and leaving the past in the past is the last thing happening in Mystic Falls this spring.

When Elena (Nina Dobrev) finally broke down and let her humanity back in, she funneled all of her guilt and grief into one emotion – rage. And not just in the general sense. Elena very specifically targeted all her emotions toward Katherine (also Dobrev). Not that Katherine doesn’t deserve to be on the unfriendly end of Elena’s short temper, but once again in hindsight, Stefan (Paul Wesley) may want to use a bit more discretion when doling out advice. We all saw the aftermath of the last Salvatore attempt at saving Elena’s mental state, and it didn’t turn out very pleasantly for anyone.

Now that we’ve seen what truly obnoxious results come from Elena having zero emotions, it’s pretty obvious how un-Katherine like she really is. Katherine’s entire existence is fueled by emotions. The main one, naturally, being self preservation. However, she often acts out of loneliness, and even occasionally – very occasionally – out of genuine compassion. We’ve seen Katherine come through in the clutch for both Stefan and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). We’ve also been privy to a side of her that still has the ability to love. It’s an offbeat notion to think that she can put herself aside for even a moment, but for Elijah (Daniel Gillies) she was willing to, so it’s definitely not an inconceivable idea. If anything, it’s the best version of herself buried beneath five hundred years worth of emotional masks. Even though we so rarely see that in her, we know it exists.

Elena was different. She had one goal and she was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish it. This made her incredibly predictable. A trait that she and Katherine will never share, unless you count Katherine being predictably unpredictable as equivalent. Actually, this is a trait that Elena also had as a human. Her objective has always been to protect the people she cared about most – even in her super psycho, emotionless, worst case scenario self, she managed to be consistent in her tactics. Go big or go home.

It seemed that Elena’s vendetta against Katherine would have to be pushed aside until next season with all the doom and gloom already in motion, but not so much. The events in this episode of The Vampire Diaries cemented her sanity. The one thing that loomed over her in the events surrounding her brother, Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen), death was the severe lack of closure. Everything on the island, and in the cave, happened so fast. That, combined with her denial that followed, her flipping the switch on her humanity, and her family history of sudden losses, left her in a completely vulnerable state.

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