Vampire Diaries Recap: Let the Sunshine In

Vampire Diaries Season 4 RecapOn Thursday’s Vampire Diaries, torture fails to get Elena to turn her humanity back on, so Damon and Stefan come up with a surprising — and deadly — alternative.

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The elder Salvatore starts off the episode by getting into Elena’s head and trying to paint her a picture of the happy graduating high schooler experience she’s missing. She senses that something is off because she doesn’t want to be there. After that fails, the Salvatores turn to torture, letting the sun shine on a daylight ring-free Elena. But the vamp kind of beats them at their own game. First, she goes for their emotional jugular. Naturally, she brings up her break-up with Stefan, while basically telling Damon that being sired to him was the pits. She also verbally attacks Caroline when she tries to interfere with Damon and Stefan’s extreme measures. Elena calls her a needy clinger who drove both her boyfriends, Tyler and Klaus, out of town. Ouch.

“No one likes a tease,” says the girl who’s teased two Salvatores for four seasons.

Caroline’s response: “Do whatever you have to do.”

But Elena’s caught onto the fact that the brothers will never truly let her get hurt, so she’s got nothing to be afraid of. She proves it by setting herself on fire by way of sunlight. As expected, Damon and Stefan extinguish the flames. So the boys are left to call in the one person who will have no problem inflicting pain on her and who is responsible for Elena’s misery: Katherine. At first, the torture session is going well, but then Katherine decides she’d rather see Elena ravage an orphanage and leaves her cellar door open. She’s now on the loose in the woods and hungry, and who should appear but her blood bank Matt. She starts feeding on him until Damon and Stefan arrive at the scene. The former threatens to kill her oldest friend if she doesn’t flip her humanity switch.

“You’re bluffing,” Elena replies, after which Damon snaps Matt’s neck! Admit it, you gasped along with Elena. That finally does the trick as the emotionless vamp is overcome with tears. While she’s reeling at the idea that Matt is really a goner, Damon reveals that her pal is wearing the Gilbert ring. Phew!

Overwhelmed by her feelings, Elena tells them, “The pain’s still there. The grief and the shame.” And the pink streaks, too.

Stefan instructs her to focus on the one thing that makes her want to live, and she’s found it: Killing Katherine.

Elsewhere in the episode:

— Matt and Rebekah bond when she offers to help him study. The boy is failing, like, three classes because having supernatural friends is very distracting. Caroline gets in on it, too, rushing off to grab her flashcards. “You dated that?” Rebekah asks. Matt: “She likes projects.” The Original initially offers to compel him good grades and a scholarship because everyone needs an advantage. But this is Matt, so she agrees to help him the old-fashioned way and to spend every day until graduation paying him back for making her better. She also reveals, “Anyone who leaves you behind is a fool. I wouldn’t.” So you say now, Rebekah, but come fall

— Caroline is haunted by Silas, who appears to her as Klaus and Matt. He threatens to kill her mom if she doesn’t find him Bonnie, who’s in hiding. Silas impersonates Sheriff Forbes, leaving the real one dead on the floor. Caroline manages to save her, but not before promising that if she wakes up, she’ll get her out of town and find her a nice man. Maybe in New Orleans?

— Bonnie and Katherine make a deal: Kat hands over Silas’ tombstone, and Bonnie will speak to the witch Qetsiyah about making her truly immortal. That’s definitely going to come in handy now that Elena is hellbent on destroying her.

Vampire Diaries fans, what did you think of the episode’s two almost-deaths? Are you rooting for Elena or Katherine? And do Rebekah and Matt just need to get it on already?