The Vampire Diaries 4.23 "Graduation" ReviewA tv review article by: Shawn Hill
So much happened this week my head is still spinning. We’ve got Elena back, with her emotions. So what if she’s got a one-track mind regarding killing Katherine? We’ve got all of last week’s ghosts still lingering. Plus all the dead hunters are back, still hunting. Plus Klaus really wants to say goodbye to Caroline. But Bonnie is still dead? WTH, show?!
This week both the vengeful ghosts and the clueless humans convene at the football field repeatedly, planning either to wreak unholy vengeance or graduate, respectively. Which is really worse?
The hunters have some nasty plans for Rebekah and Matt, and the old-school ones learn from tricksy Connor and start wielding Vervain soaked wooden bullets and explosives. What an asshole Connor is in death, even worse than the one Elena killed. Two good things come out of the master bomber’s plans: Rebekah sacrifices herself to save Matt (just one more step in her atonement for killing Elena) – knowing it’ll take more than some nitro to take out an Original. And Alaric, in perhaps his most righteous fit of rage ever, escorts Connor from “his” bar so that it won’t go all kaboom, full of patrons. Dude always was serious about his drink.
Kol remains intent on getting his vengeance on Elena, and keeps reviving no matter how much heart-ripping-out and hasty burying the fang gang commits upon his non-person. He’s the Original bad penny (see what I did there?), and his final strike is rather fittingly denied with perfect timing. Before the veil drops, Jeremy, Elena and Alaric have a beautiful moment of half- or nearly undead bonding, the remnants of her family convening one last time around the fire.
This is really the fate of the characters in this show: unending frustration. How many characters ever get exactly what they want, even of their smallest dreams, without some other immortal creature fucking up their plans? Rebekah has been trying to get to the prom for centuries. Not even her brother Klaus, king of all evil, succeeded in forming his little hybrid army of sired wolves. And he may have to settle for a replacement girlfriend. Nobody’s ever killed Elena for long, much less Katherine; Bonnie can’t play goddess no matter how much she sacrifices, and Elena can’t have her family back, just their shades, especially now that she’s one too. Not to mention poor April (who’s that) or the fact that neither Lexi nor Alaric, despite their lasting friendships from beyond the grave, can stay for long.
Not to mention the king of all frustrations: neither Stefan nor Damon can have the girl of their dreams, no matter how long they live. Only, the show does us a solid on that front at last: Elena is as in her right mind as she’s ever going to be again, and she chooses Damon, no strings attached, at last. Damon’s world is subtly, profoundly upended, even moreso when Stefan, while not giving his blessing, finally at least gives his understanding and sympathy.
Oh, and what was the one thing Katherine wanted most of all? Invulnerable immortality, rather like an original? Psyche! Instead, Elena gets her vengeance after all, by shoving the cure down her throat during a very ill-advised doppelganger struggle. That’s season five right there, you guys, at least the first four or five episodes, don’t you think? The rest is apparently going to be about Silas, free again due to the Bonnie situation, oh well. My prediction about the familiarity of his true face, btw, totally on the money.
Bonnie pretends to be alive for the day to her friends (as long as the veil is up she’s as solid as anyone), but she doesn’t seem to mind, because something better happens: as she says goodbye, Jeremy gulps down the air of the living! He can still see her because, once again, he sees dead people.
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net.