the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 4.15, Stand by Me: Brace for Impact

Elena picks up a broken picture of herself and Jeremy and stares at it.

Rewind to the island, where Elena finds Jeremy dead after Katherine fed Silas his blood and stole the cure. Since Jeremy’s wearing his Gilbert ring, Elena reassures herself that he’ll be okay. Stefan tells Damon what happened, then notes that Jeremy is supernatural now that he’s a hunter. Damon realizes what he means: The ring only protects humans, so Jeremy isn’t going to come back. Damon predicts that Elena won’t survive losing him. He volunteers to find Bonnie while Stefan gets Elena home.

Stefan and Elena arrive at Gilbert Gables with Jeremy’s body as Caroline is trying to scrub the burn marks from Kol’s death out of the floor. Stefan puts Jeremy’s body in his bed and lets Elena keep believing he’ll wake up.

On the island, Damon goes back to the gang’s campsite, where Rebekah demands to know what happened to the cure. He tells her Katherine nabbed it and killed Jeremy. Rebekah kind of feels bad about that, though Damon says she doesn’t have to pretend, since Jeremy killed Kol. Rebekah says Elena has no family left now. Damon asks her to help him find Bonnie, but Rebekah thinks they should find Katherine. He tells her that’s a pointless idea. He adds a warning that Silas is awake.

Bonnie, who we last saw in the tomb, is now in the woods with Shane, whose broken leg is no longer broken. He says Silas healed him. He praises Bonnie for succeeding at waking him and promises that now she’ll understand that all the people who have died in the lead-up to this trip didn’t die in vain. Silas will bring them back. Bonnie tells him bringing back the dead is unnatural, but Shane thinks she’ll get on board now that Jeremy’s one of them.

While Elena sits with Jeremy, Stefan turns on the water in the kitchen sink so he and Caroline can discuss the situation without her hearing. He’s hesitant to tell Elena that Jeremy won’t be coming back because her denial is the only thing protecting her from a total breakdown. He wants to wait until they know Bonnie’s safe, and until Damon can be there to use the sire bond to calm her down.

Elena comes to the kitchen and says she’s not in denial. Since Jeremy’s tattoo is gone, she thinks he’s fulfilled his destiny and isn’t supernatural anymore. It’s at least a possibility, and she’s going to hold on to that hope. She says there’s no way Jeremy’s dead, but also, she’s not in denial.

Caroline leaves Tyler a message asking him to call her. Stefan reminds her that Katherine ran from Klaus for 500 years, so Tyler should be able to handle hiding from him. Stefan thinks Katherine stole the cure so she can trade it to Klaus for her freedom. Caroline can’t believe that after all the gang went through to get the cure, it’s gone. Stefan admits that he’d convinced himself that Elena would be able to become human again. Now she’s stuck as a vampire and her last living family member is gone.

Caroline does her typical Caroline thing, jumping into planning mode. They need a funeral and/or a cover story. She decides to fill Liz in and get her advice. Stefan tells her to get Matt involved, too. Caroline realizes there’s a bad smell coming from upstairs, and Stefan says it’s Jeremy’s body, which is start to decompose. He tells her to call Meredith.

Damon and Rebekah continue looking for Bonnie as Rebekah worries about what Silas’ awakening could mean. She’s surprised Damon stayed back to find Bonnie instead of going home with Elena. “Aren’t you Elena’s current love? It’s so hard to keep track these days,” she says. She thinks Damon’s scared of what will happen when Elena realizes Jeremy isn’t coming back.

Damon suddenly grabs Rebekah and uses her as a human shield from the arrow flying at him. Vaughn has resurfaced and is after Damon again. Damon’s back at full strength now, so he wastes no time knocking Vaughn out.

Shane offers Bonnie some tea with herbs that will calm her down. She rejects it and starts losing control of her magic as she grieves. Shane tells her that Silas can bring Jeremy back with her help. She’ll see Jeremy again.

Meredith arrives at Gilbert Gables and Elena lets her examine Jeremy. Elena’s been thinking about how all of Alaric’s deaths affected him, and she says they’ll need to be on the lookout for any behavior indicating that Jeremy’s turning evil like Alaric did. Stefan joins them and indicates that it’s okay for Meredith to tell Elena the truth. Meredith gently says that Jeremy is dead for real, and Elena needs to release his body so they can get him to a funeral home. Then Elena and the gang can say goodbye to him.

Elena attacks Meredith, and Stefan has to pull her off. Elena doesn’t see the point of getting scientific here – they’re dealing with magic. They need to find Bonnie and let her fix this. Matt arrives just then and is devastated by the sight of Jeremy’s body. Elena promises him that everything will be fine. He takes her downstairs for tea (no drugs this time) and they talk about how strange it is that Damon is trying to find Bonnie. Elena thinks his claims that he hates Bonnie are a lie and he secretly kind of loves her. Matt asks Elena to go somewhere with him while Stefan stays with Jeremy.

Damon ties up Vaughn and says he knows it can’t be a coincidence that Vaughn and Katherine showed up on the island at the same time. Rebekah joins them (after digging the arrow out of her spine) and Damon tells her Vaughn is her best bet for getting a lead on Katherine. Vaughn refuses to tell them anything, knowing they won’t risk the hunter’s curse by killing him. Rebekah notes that they can torture him and tear him into pieces, then heal him and do it again. “You are creepy,” Damon says. “Thank you,” Rebekah replies.

Vaughn tells them that Katherine found him in Colorado and told him about Silas. She already knew about the hunter’s mark and the cure. How? She has an inside man. Well, an inside woman. Hayley has been passing Katherine information. All Vaughn knows about that connection is that the two met in New Orleans.

Damon decides they know enough now, so they can throw Vaughn in a well and let him starve to death, which technically won’t count as them killing him and will keep them from suffering the hunter’s curse. Rebekah still wants to track down Katherine, but she figures Damon won’t join her, since he doesn’t want to get the cure. Damon still wants it for Elena, but he knows she needs Bonnie more right now, so he’s going to keep looking for her.

Bonnie doesn’t know how she’ll be able to bring back the dead. Shane reminds her that Silas was originally a witch, but he lost his magic when he became immortal, because of that whole you-can’t-be-both-a-witch-and-a-vampire-at-least-until-season-6 thing. Now that Bonnie knows expression, she’ll be able to continue Silas’ work. She can use the power left behind by the three massacres (well, two so far, the council explosion and the hybrid bloodbath). Shane and Bonnie just need to kill 12 more people and complete the triangle. But they’ll be resurrected, so it’s totally okay! It’s not really murder! Bonnie refuses to help, but Shane thinks she’ll consider it worth it if she can see Jeremy and Sheila again, and bring back all the people the gang has lost.

Bonnie runs away from him but trips over something. It’s Jeremy, who asks her to help him. She tries to use her magic to save him but soon realizes that he’s not really there. Shane guesses that Jeremy asked for help and assures Bonnie that she can bring him back. Bonnie agrees to do whatever it takes.

Meredith tells Stefan that they won’t be able to keep Jeremy at Gilbert Gables much longer. He says he’s been alive for 160+ years and has seen countless people die, but it never gets easier. She can sympathize. She thinks denial is the worst part for people like them, people who understand the truth and can see the heartache coming for those who won’t accept it. All they can do is brace for impact.

Damon calls from the island and Stefan tells him Elena’s on the verge of losing it. They’re going to have to send Jeremy to a morgue soon. Damon frustrated that he can’t find Bonnie, but Stefan thinks it’s better for him to come back now and be with Elena in case he needs to use the sire bond. Stefan will take his place and keep searching for Bonnie. But just after they hang up, Bonnie finds Damon, who’s so relieved that he hugs her. She tells him Shane led her to Damon and told her what to do. She knows how to bring Jeremy back.

Matt takes Elena to the stoner pit and shows her some graffiti Jeremy did of Vicki’s name and their initials together. Matt had trouble accepting Vicki’s death after her body was found, and he came to learn that she wasn’t really gone. In their town and their world, it’s okay not to accept death right away because sometimes it’s not final. Elena asks if Matt really believes that, and though he can’t really commit to the idea, he thinks it’s okay for her to hold out hope. Sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps him going. Stefan calls to tell Elena that Damon and Bonnie are on their way home. Bonnie might know a way to bring Jeremy back, so Elena isn’t wrong to have hope after all.

Rebekah takes Vaughn back to the well, where he advises her to use the cure on Silas so he can be killed. She says that’s Vaughn’s supernatural destiny, not hers. He tells her Silas is running around free, offering her proof in the form of the stone that covered Silas’ face for 2,000 years until Jeremy’s blood freed him. “How do you hide from the devil when you don’t know what he looks like?” Vaughn asks. Silas could be masquerading as anyone, even Vaughn. If Rebekah doesn’t use the cure to kill Silas, everyone’s doomed. She zooms off, and he yells after her that the gang has brought whatever happens on themselves.

Caroline goes back to Gilbert Gables, leaving Tyler another message to update him that things were bad for a while but are looking up. Damon and Bonnie arrive right after her and Damon asks Caroline to bring Stefan outside so they can talk.

A flashback to the island continues the conversation between Bonnie and Shane where she said she’d do whatever it takes to bring Jeremy back. Shane tells her what needs to happen next. At Gilbert Gables, Bonnie tells Elena, Caroline, and Matt about the expression triangle. Outside, Damon informs Stefan that Shane has brainwashed Bonnie. Matt objects to the idea of Bonnie purposely killing 12 people.

In flashback, Shane tells Bonnie that by burying Silas with the cure, Qetsiyah gave him two choices: stay there for eternity and rot, or take the cure and die of old age. Bonnie figures he would have welcomed death after a while. But Qetsiyah knew Silas wanted to die and be with Amara, so she created the Other Side as a purgatory for supernatural beings. That way Silas would go there after death and would never be able to reunite with Amara. Bonnie, as Qetsiyah’s descendant, can destroy the Other Side.

Damon tells Stefan that Bonnie keeps talking about how she can drop the veil to the Other Side. There was some fine print to Shane’s promise that raising Silas would bring back the gang’s loved ones. It’ll actually bring back all supernatural beings who are currently on the Other Side. Bonnie tells the others that dropping the veil removes the border between the real world and the Other Side. Shane insists that Bonnie has the power to drop the veil. Jeremy, Sheila, and all of Bonnie’s witch ancestors will come back. She will do this.

Caroline refuses to let Bonnie kill 12 people or give every dead supernatural being an open invitation to come back. Bonnie thinks it’s worth it; they’ll get Jeremy and Sheila back, as well as Alaric and Vicki. As the two of them bicker, Elena sits by quietly, thinking about what it all means. The phone rings and she goes to answer it as Stefan and Damon come inside. It’s April, who asks to talk to Jeremy. Elena tells her that Jeremy can’t come to the phone. She starts to make up an excuse, then blurts out that he’s dead.

Elena goes up to Jeremy’s room as it finally hits her that there’s nothing anyone can do to bring him back. She makes herself look at his body. Damon joins her as she admits again that he’s dead. Damon calmly tells her he can help, but Elena doesn’t see how. She wants to take Jeremy downstairs. She goes down first and asks where Bonnie is. Stefan says that Matt took her home. Elena decides to do this “the old-fashioned way”: a fire.

She starts pouring lighter fluid around the house as she says they need a cover story. They’ll burn the house down with Jeremy inside. Stefan tries to stop Elena, but she’s trying to face the truth. She doesn’t want to live in a house where everything reminds her of her brother. She knows the gang isn’t willing to bring back every supernatural being from the Other Side to get back Jeremy and Alaric and everyone else they’ve lost.

Elena takes off Jeremy’s Gilbert ring and throws it to Damon, saying Jeremy won’t need it anymore. She’s getting manic, which scares Caroline, but Elena points out that there’s no room in the Gilbert family’s cemetery plot for another body. She lights a match and rants that there’s nothing left for her in the house. It’s all full of memories of people who have died. The match burns down to her fingers and she instinctively drops it, but Damon swoops in and catches it before it hits the floor and sets anything on fire.

He tells Elena to calm down, but she’s beyond being able to do that. She sobs and begs for someone to make the pain stop. Stefan tells Damon to help her, so Damon holds Elena and promises he can help. Except his idea of helping is very different from what anyone else has in mind.

“Turn it off,” he tells her.

Stefan objects as Damon repeats to Elena that if she turns off her emotions, she won’t feel the pain anymore. It’s what he wants her to do.

“Just turn it off,” he repeats.

Elena stops crying. Her face goes blank.

Caroline goes home and leaves Tyler another message, finally telling him that Jeremy’s dead. She didn’t want to break the news this way, but she doesn’t have much of a choice, since Tyler won’t answer his phone or call her back. Caroline doesn’t want their goodbye yesterday to be the last time they ever speak, so she needs him to call.

Matt takes Bonnie home, choosing not to respond when she says again she can bring Jeremy back. Shane appears at her front door and tells her that her friends are too scared to believe that she can bring back the dead. Bonnie asks about the 12 people killed in the council explosion, humans who didn’t go to the Other Side when they died. Shane says they were “a necessary sacrifice for the greater good,” and they’ve found peace, which is all Silas wants. They’ll finish this mission together: “We are the beginning.”

Rebekah’s still on the island, so…sucks to be her. She comes across Shane’s body, but soon learns that he’s not quite dead. “Silas,” he whispers. That means the Shane who showed up at Bonnie’s house isn’t really Shane – he’s Silas. Meanwhile, Matt drives home, breaking down over his dead friend.

We’re back at the first scene of the episode, with Elena looking at the broken picture. Outside, Stefan objects to Damon’s decision to tell her to turn off her emotions, but Damon says this is the only way she’ll survive her grief. They’ll keep an eye on her, and then after some time has passed, Damon will use the sire bond to get her to turn her emotions back on. Stefan says that Elena’s humanity was all she had left. Damon replies that that means nothing when you have no one to care about. “She had you,” Stefan notes. But Damon says he’s not enough this time.

The brothers acknowledge that things between them haven’t been great for a while, but Elena is their priority right now. Elena losing her brother seems to have brought up some fear for Stefan, and he tries to tell Damon something, probably how much Damon means to him, but he can’t get it out. Damon knows what he’s thinking and just puts a hand on his brother’s shoulder.

Elena lights another match as the guys come inside. Damon says they can come up with another cover story, but Elena thinks a fire is the best one because no one will ask any questions. Stefan points out that burning down the house is something she can’t take back. When this is all over, she might want to come home some day. Elena says she won’t, then drops the match. The three of them walk out of the house together as Elena’s whole past goes up in flames.

Etc.: Hey, Meredith! Thanks for stopping by, doing nothing, and leaving forever!

Zach Roerig (Matt) steals this episode, first with his facial expressions when Matt sees Jeremy’s body, then with his breakdown in the car.

I don’t mind the arc with Elena’s humanity off, but it goes too long. Though I guess it’s better than watching her cry for the next six episodes.

I also wonder if Elena might have decided on her own to turn off her emotions if Damon hadn’t told her to. I think she would have at least considered it. But then again, she didn’t seem to think about it when she was dealing with her guilt over killing Connor, so who knows?

Hmm, turns out Klaus’ threats and warnings about Gilbert Gables burning down were actually foreshadowing.

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