*Spoiler Alert: Please note that this post is a recap of the entire second episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 4 and therefore contains spoilers and scene descriptions. Do not read any further if you have not yet watched “Memorial.”
If anyone out there has ample stock in Kleenex, then you’re in luck because you probably saw a rise in profits after tonight’s dangerous yet heart-achingly sweet tearjerker of an episode on The Vampire Diaries. “Memorial” had it all — human moments, rawness, horror, and even a few super sexy scenes. We witnessed Damon’s vulnerability, sensed Stefan’s pain, and suffered right along with Elena. Relive all the terrifying and glorious moments of the night below:
Stefan Takes Elena Hunting: The two lovebirds wake up smiling but little do they know their cheerfulness will dissolve as the day drags on. He tells her to close her eyes and takes down the doe for her. She sips up its blood with tears in her eyes. (What’s the opposite of comfort food? Because this was definitely it.)Elena releases the deer and cries a bit. Stefan whips out a hanky since Elena’s face is smeared with blood in the same way Bruce’s was in the scene in Matilda when Trunchbull forced him to gobble down a massive chocolate cake. Stefan pats her shoulder with a “hang in there, champ” vibe and says, “You did it. I know it’s hard but you can do this.” (Not helping, sir.) While all this is going on, we catch glimpses of Stefan and Damon arguing about how Elena should feed and it gets tense. Really intense. Here’s a taste:
Damon: “She needs human blood, Stefan…from the VEIN.”
Stefan: “Oh come on. You know what happens. You name me one vampire who didn’t kill at least one person when they were new.”
Damon: “You name me one who went on a bunny diet and didn’t kill dozens.”
Later on, they return to baby deer hunting lessons which quickly turn into a major snog fest. (Apparently, scoring fresh meat involves posing in a butt squat and then feeling your lady up.) Elena giggles like the shy little schoolgirl she is and the two scrap the hunting lesson and go at it against a tree. (Get some!) “It feels like you’re touching every nerve on my body,” Elena sighs as her eyes practically roll back inside her head and an imaginary Trey Songz tracks starts playing in her mind. However, Elena’s upset stomach ruins the sexy moment, and she vomits up all the Bambi blood mid-hookup. Nastiness yo!
Meet Connor Jordan: The new hunter enters the scene. He pokes around Pastor Young’s cabin and finds a letter in the oven addressed to April, the Pastor’s daughter. How the letter didn’t burn or go poof just like the poor council members did is beyond us, to be honest. Then again, an oven is sort of like a mini bomb shelter for pots, pans, and stationary so there’s that to consider.
This Seat is Taken: Sheriff Forbes drops by the Mystic Grill and tries to sit next to Damon but he mutters, “Seat’s taken.” So she switches to the other side and plops a newspaper in front of Damon and he reads the headline aloud: “Open Gas Line Leads To Tragic Explosion at Young Farm.” She blames him but he denies having any part in such atrocity. That and if he were to kill anyone, it’d be with a good old fashioned bite to the neck. Waste not, madame! At that exact moment though, Connor saunters up to the bar and asks to speak to Liz about the gas explosion…in private. Damon looks after them with a bummed expression as though Janet Howell invited everyone to join the Unicorn Club except for him.
The Return of April Young: Matt’s complaining again. (As much as we adore him, he’s just gotta get over the whole “Elena joined the Undead Members Society” ordeal and move on.) He basically wants to pay it forward (preferably with Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment by his side) and help out Elena. Jeremy looks bored. Luckily, April bounces on up and Jeremy looks at her as though he’s just seen a ghost. (Hey! You never know with this kid.) He looks very surprised…but in a good way…and he makes googly eyes at his old friend. (Frankly, we’re surprised that Jer didn’t lick his lips and say, “Damn, girl, you so fine. Mmm!”) She chooses to ignore the expression of shock on his face tells them she’s back in town since her dad died and all. (Everyone in this town is pretty much an orphan though so she definitely came to the right place.) Then things get a tad awkward as April begins rambling about her father and death so she dashes off before things get too crazy.
Poppin’ Champagne: While Elena is busy begging Caroline for help via voicemail, Stefan drops in with a bottle of
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1995 random bubbly from the year Elena was born in order to celebrate her first feed. (Unbeknownst to him, she puked it all up in the middle of the woods.) He lets her pop the champagne and then they smooch but are ultimately cockblocked deterred by Damon’s incessant calling. So what’s the scuttlebutt? Council’s been blown up. Elena races on over to the Mystic Grill to get the scoop.
Bloodlust: Elena arrives at the Mystic Grill and, just like he did with Liz, Damon forbids her from sitting in Alaric’s seat. She pesters him about the explosion but he huffs and puffs about not having done it. “Am I wearing my I Blew Up The Council T-shirt? Why does everybody keep asking me that?” he demands. Then he asks, “Anything else?” And suddenly we get the feeling Elena didn’t come to chat murders and crazy pastors. She came to talk shop, specifically feeding. She reveals that can’t keep any bunny/Bambi/woodland creature blood down so Damon swoops in to rescue her from her own compassion. He leads her to bathroom, locks the door, cuts his right hand and extends it out to her. Elena digs in and the feeding session turns into a sexual and passionate moment much like it did when Angel sank his teeth into Buffy’s tender neck in the second to last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 3. (Frankly, we were surprised that the mirrors didn’t fog up with all the sucking and licking taking place!)
Grief Sex:Speaking of sexy times, Caroline and Tyler were enjoying some of their own and making up for lost time. However, midway through, she stops abruptly and confesses that she doesn’t feel having sex while people that they’ve known all their lives have died. BUt Tyler is like, “It’s grief sex. It’s healthy!” and then peppers her up with an “I Love You” and makes her knees melt and that’s that. Let the sex marathon continue!
Unwelcome Visitor: Connor comes a-knockin’ to the Lockwood Manor to talk about the explosion with the Mayor and gets aggressive when she tries to cover up what she knows. Tyler hears all this and heads downstairs to investigate. Connor reaches out to shake his hand but then Ty’s hand begins to to sizzle. Vervain soaked gloves — what in sweet Frodo’s name is this?! Connor freaks out when he realizes Ty is a vamp and shoots wooden stakes the poor
stud guy. The Mayor screams in horror at the sight of her son’s spilt blood and orders him to run away and fast. Tyler crashes through the window faster than Benicio Del Toro in the Wolfman remake ever did. (The only thing missing was a billowy pantaloon shirt.) Curious Caroline hears all the commotion, arises, slips on a robe, and hurries on downstairs to investigate. (Awkward alert. We think the horrified expression on Carol Lockwood’s face is the sight of Caroline’s nearly bare bosom.) Luckily, Stefan comes to the rescue and helps out the two lovebirds by surgically removing the stake bullets from Tyler’s rock-hard body. (I mean, who wouldn’t volunteer for that gig…Just saying.) Upon close inspection (of the stakes…not Tyler’s abs), Stefan spots some interesting etches on the bullets and seems very intrigued.
Don’t Tell Connor The Babysitter’s Dead: Elena is helping Matt set up for the council members’ memorial when she spots April, the girl she used to babysit long ago, and asks her, “Are you going to survive this?” April reveals that the event organizers want her to speak and she is not ashamed to express her discomfort with the idea, “What am I supposed to say? I’m sorry my dad didn’t fix the gas line?” She then goes into a lot of detail about her relationship with her mom and dad. (Sorry we couldn’t keep up but we felt bad for her. Very very bad.) Elena, self-proclaimed advice columnist, consoles her, “You say what you want to say. Or you don’t say anything at all. And don’t worry about your dad. Everyone in this town loved him.” This scene is beyond touching because we suddenly notice all these parallels between the two girls — especially with how they lost their parents at such an impressionable age. However, Elena decides to pat April’s hand to reassure her but feels/smells/hears April’s veins pumping with fresh blood and runs off to the bathroom where she vomits up more blood.” She stares in the bathroom mirror crying at her ruined dress. Oh no! (RIP Elena’s stunning ensemble. 10/18/2012 – 10/18/2012).
The Drop By Guy: Stefan has some time to kill so he pays Bonnie visit at her house to see if he can enlist her on the group’s latest supernatural mission. (Geez. Homegirl is like an underpaid Hollywood assistant at this point with all the tasks and favors she’s asked to complete.) Bonnie’s snuggled up under a blanket on the couch looking sad and tired (and what we imagine the human version of Egor from Winnie the Pooh would look like). However, Stefan’s persistent and basically states, “I know you’re in there. I can hear you breathing.” So Bon-Bon peels herself off the couch, trudges to the door, and opens it for him. He tries to come in to console her but the door is barricaded with a spell. So she invites him in and promptly falls into his arms and cries her sweet witch heart out. (We’re not shippers of any sort but we truly enjoyed the connection between these two — their mutual respect and understanding — and hope to see their friendship strength through Season 4!) She talks out her feelings about Grams and the mean old family witches who ruined her life, and then, finally, offers to help him out with his inquiry. Thus, Stefan pulls out the mysterious stakes with the etchings and shows them to her. She doesn’t know what the writing is and then they sigh because a new vampire hunter is in town at the most inconvenient time ever. What gives, universe, what gives?!
Bathroom Blues: Elena is in the bathroom trying to clean up all her projectile blood vomit while conversing with Damon on the phone. She hears a knock from the outside. It’s Connor! He keeps knocking and she panics. Damon hurries on over with a new dress in tow for her and spots Connor waiting on the couch. Damon rolls his eyes, “You again. Stalking small time funerals?” Elena then opens the door and grabs the fresh set of clothes from him — but of course she feels bad for making any guy who needs to pee wait so she pops her head out, smiles, and apologizes, “Sorry. I spilled coffee all over my dress.” Connor looks suspicious. He gets up and goes to shake Damon’s head but Damon back’s away without shaking it and simply says, “Damon. Germaphobe.” (Technically, the correct term is Mysphobe but we’ll let this slide on account of them deep blue eyes.) They engage is passive aggressive small talk and Elena finally exits the washroom. Flash forward to April. She’s writing down her speech and Connor approaches her. He STABS her. Yes he stabs her. Why? Because he’s a looney tune!
Capri Suns of Blood: Damon hands Elena a blood bag to drink but she spits it up like a newborn baby grossed out by its formula. “I’m dying aren’t I?” she asks frantically. Damon responds, “No you’re not dying. You just need to drink from the vein.” He blames her doppelganger blood because it seems to be rejecting the transition. She doesn’t want to drink from the vein and cries out, “Maybe I’m better off dead.” The two then proceed to have crazy eye sex. At that exact moment, Stefan walks up and witnesses Damon packing up the blood bag picnic. Damon decides to crack a joke, “Mid-service snack. Church always gets me hungry. The whole blood Christ thing, you know?” They then argue some more about Elena feeding from the vein. Damon brings up the Ripper years and Stefan’s all like “Oh no you didn’t, brother!” The argument escalates and then Damon drops the (figurative) bomb: Elena can’t keep food down for days. “Your four-legged protein shake was a bust. The juice box was a no go. She can’t even keep my blood down, “ All Stefan got from that was, “She drank from you?” He looks beyond betrayed and we can’t help but wonder why Damon bothered to tell his young brother the truth when he knew it’d just cause a lot of heartache and pain.
The Holy War: Elena reenters the church and plops down next to Matt and Jeremy. Jeremy tells her that April was looking for her because she needed help with her speech but poor April is currently bleeding out behind a pew while crazy Con-man loads up his rifle with vervain stakes. Stefan spots Tyler sitting next to Caroline right in open view and asks what he’s doing there with a hunter out on the loose. Tyler shrugs and asserts that he could care less. (He’s a family man — a compassion Mystic Falls community member — and he’s here to mourn people who have never ever appeared once on the show before dammit!) Caroline also pipes up that she’s ready to kick some hunter ass for messing with her babycakes. Stefan just nods uncomfortably, raises his brows, and then hurries away.
The service begins Mayor Lockwood takes the stage and opens the floor to anyone who wants to say anything about the council members. She calls out for April and then offers the mic to other people when April does not respond. Elena naturally stands up and hobbles to the stage to give her two cents. At that exact instant, Damon enters the church, dips his hand in the holy water and does his cross looking like a total BAMF. (In the name of Father, The Son, and The Damon Salvatore. Amen, y’all!) He smirks and mutters to himself while sliding into an open seat in the pews, “Don’t know why but that always makes me smile.” (Us too, Damon, us too.
The Smell of Fear (and Iron): “The worst day of loving someone is the day that you lose them,” Elena begins. Beautiful words! However, she halts because she smells something delicious. Sadly, it’s not a fresh loaf of homemade break baking in the oven — it’s April’s blood dripping through the top pew, through the ceiling, and into the water bowl below. Caroline and Tyler smell it too as do both Salvatore brothers. “Nobody move. Don’t turn around. It’s a trap,” Damon warns. As a baby vampire, Elena struggles with the scent through. Luckily, Stefan swoops in and escorts her back to her seat.
Everybody gets up and begins singing. Elena grasps Stefan’s jacket and complains about the overpowering scent of blood seeping through the church. Matt glances sideways and asks, “What’s wrong with her?” Stefan shares the news that Elena is hungry and hasn’t eaten in days. (Great. Now the whole world knows.) Matt follows up, “So get her out of here.” (Like, duh!)
Damon’s pretty pissed off as well at this point. “I’m going to go rip his head off now,” Damon comments in reference to Connor. Stef begs him to wait and not do anything stupid, but Damon’s impatient. “I think the risk will be slightly diminished when I…well, you know…rip his head off.” Elena’s will-power and control are slipping out of her grasp. “You have ten seconds before I go old-fashioned on the new guy,” Damon says. “Three two one. Bye.”
Sticking His Neck Out for A Friend: Hold up — no need to panic, everyone! Matt offers up his ripe juicy veins as an appetizer. “It’s okay. Everyone will think you’re upset. Just feed from me.” Elena doesn’t resist the urge and sinks her teeth into Matt’s neck while Connor observes. She manages not to kill him and retracts her fangs after a little sip. (What a lady!) Honestly, this scene is so beautiful yet sad. Matt’s returning the favor for being alive by risking his well-being — but, judging by his actions, he seems to understand what sacrifice is all about! Even after feeding though, Elena and crew still sense the blood and Elena reckons it belongs to April — and they can’t do anything without attracting unwanted attention.
A Team Player: Tyler to the rescue. Klaus’s baby hybrid is all grown up and it becomes apparent when rises up from his seat, walks to the podium, and begins saying a few words about Pastor Young. “Back in first grade I was a brat who couldn’t be bothered with team spots. Didn’t care much about anything that didn’t affect me. But he was the one who helped me understand how important it was to be part of a team, a community. Of giving yourself up for the sake of…” Before he can finish though, Connor shoots his gun and Tyler spins around and crashes to the floor as stake settles in his (rock hard) chest. Connor packs up his weapons and bolts from the scene of the crime. Mayhem ensues inside the church. People begin screaming and fleeing, but Tyler’s friends rush up to his body and Caroline yanks out the stake. “I’m going to kill that bastard,” Tyler growls. “Damon’s way ahead of you,” Stefan responds. Luckily for them all, while they were role-playing scenes from Revenge, Carole Lockwood thinks fast on his feet and calls an ambulance since the whole town witness Tyler getting shot.
Punching Out: Connor tries to drive away quickly, but Damon catches up with him and yanks the door right off his pickup truck and throws him out into the street. Connor shoots bullets into Damon’s chest and the brawl begins. (Connor is the reason why gun control laws make sense.) He tries to stake Damon but Stefan calls out his name and Connor speeds away in his car. Stefan then punches Damon in the face instead of helping him out.
Soothing Words: Elena finds April and is happy but then smells the blood pouring from her wound. She wants to help but the hunger and bloodlust takes over and with fangs bared she rushes at the poor girl. STOP RIGHT THERE, MISSY! Thank goodness, Vampire Barbie is around to help because she intervenes and prevents Elena from a terrible lapse in judgement. “Look at her, Elena. She’s April. April Young. She’s not a warm body for you to feed on. She’s your friend. She’s orphan, just like you. And she’s scared just like you were,” Caroline says. (It sounds like April and Elena have a lot in common and we sense that they’ll be getting along in no time!) Caroline then feeds April some of her blood and tells her that one is going to hurt her.
Then, Caroline pushes the envelope. Hey, girl. You can’t feed off of her her…but ya mind compelling her? Caroline says Elena needs to compel April to help her forget all the trauma from that day. “She needs you. You can make her forget all of this.” “No. I can’t, Caroline. You have to do it,” Elena responds nervously. “You just have to believe what you’re doing,” Caroline reassures her. (Seriously, Care-Bear should be a life coach.)
Elena then compels poor April to help her get through all these tragedies and manages to restore a sense of comfort and balance back into April’s life: “April, listen to me. Everything’s going to be okay. You’re going to get through this just like I got through this. I’m going to help you. I promise. You watched the service from up here so that you could grieve alone. It was a beautiful service. People said really nice things.” Elena
Tattoo Ghosts: Back at the Mystic Grill, Jeremy and Matt are joking around.
Matt: That was a scene. How do you think they’ll cover this one up?
Jeremy: Assassination attempt on the mayor’s son.
Matt: Altar boy goes postal.
However, the jokes end when Connor pops out of nowhere and asks Matt about his neck wound and Matt immediately blames a nonexistent person in his life, “[My] girlfriend went a little overboard.” Jeremy then looks at Connor and can’t help but notice the sketches on Connor’s arms and offers approval, “Nice ink.” That tattoo is intense and includes a dragon breathing fire (or that could very well be a dinosaurs…but we’re not paleontologists so who knows) and a compass on the back of his right hand. Connor just looks baffled. He’s all like, ‘Suuuuuure thing, kid’….and then does a cuckoo sign in reference to Jeremy. (No he doesn’t but his spooked expression suggests such a thing.)
Finally, Jeremy and Matt wander off together and Matt asks Jer what ink he was referring to. Apparently, only Jeremy can see it! (Is this sort of like the Hippogriff situation? Where only cool and special orphans like Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood can detect the tats?)
Dear April: Connor heads back to his RV and tears open Pastor Young’s letter to April. This is what the letter reads:
I’m sorry for what you’re going through. What I did was a necessary sacrifice…and I’m afraid it’s only the first of many more sacrifices to come.
There’s always been an evil that spread through Mystic Falls, but now a greater one is coming. My death is but the first in the war ahead. I will see you again when we all find our salvation.
Until then, I love you.
The camera zooms out and we see that Connor has all the newspapers that covered the gas line explosion including the Mystic Falls Courier. (Hilariously enough the front page includes weather for the day (sunny with mild chance of rain) and an Opinions column which features this week’s topic: “Do cultural events divide or connect our community” (Moreover, on the left hand side there’s syntactically displeasing story called “Workplace”: How women’s changing influence our environment. A special report.”) But OMG! Connor has a list of all the Founders Council members – and of them include Sir Peter Moutin, Lucille Ann Martin, Daniel Jones, and Linda Jonmes…The list goes on. What does the new hunter plan to do with it? You can never tell what a crazy person is thinking is what we’ve learned three seasons later.
Bourbon Night Cap: Stefan hands Elena some bourbon to sip on back at the Salvatore manor. When she makes a disgusted face, he mutters, “Helps with the cravings.” Stefan is clearly upset (we’ve never actually seen him quite as upset over a Damon and Elena “adventure”), so Elena addresses the elephant in the room saying she went to Damon to ask for help because she didn’t want to burst Stefan’s happy bubble. Stefan goes, “You think I’m happy? You’re in hell which means that I’m in hell.” (Swoon!)
He continues. “You fed on him, Elena, you fed on him. I know that may not mean that much to you but it means a lot to me. And I know it certainly meant a lot to Damon.” Elena just starts crying and apologizing about not wanting to hurt anyone. (At this point, you can sense that Elena is no longer a girl caught between two equally attractive brothers…she’s now a girl caught between two dueling philosophies about the sort of vampire she wants to morph into.) She then cries about crying and then cries about all her woes: “We keep burying people, Stefan. You want to know what’s heightened? This grief, I can’t stop feeling everybody’s grief. All the hurt…I feel like it’s trying to explode out of me.” He calls her “babe” (how weird that sounded since he rarely uses terms of endearment Klaus style) and organizes a last-minute emergency gathering with all of their friends
The ‘We Are Grievers’ Club: Back at Mystic Falls High, Stefan, Elena, Damon, Bonnie, Caroline, Jeremy, and Matt are all huddled together wondering what’s going on. Stef then reveals his intentions — they’re there to grieve and let loose. He then hands them each a paper lantern and asks them to express their sorrow. Here’s which of their loved ones each of them dedicated the lantern to:
Stefan: This is for my uncle, Zack. My friend, Lexi. For Alaric. [lights lantern]
Matt: This is for Vicki.
Caroline: This is for my dad and Tyler’s.
Jeremy: This is for our parents. For Vicki. Anna. Jenna. And Alaric.
Jeremy hands the lighter out to Damon but he storms off saying, “No way. I’m not doing it.” So Jer hands it to Bonnie instead.
Bonnie: This is for my Grams.
Elena: This is for my mom. My dad. And Jenna. Everyone you’ve all lost. Everyone that this town has lost. And for me. Because. [Tears up]
They release them up into the air one by one.
In Remembrance: Meanwhile Damon is getting drunk in the cemetery (no surprise there). However, what is shocking is that he’s talking to Alaric Saltzman’s grave and expressing his true feelings about loss and friendship and love. It’s a wonderful moment because we get to see the softer side to Damon — to see the great man he actually is — to get a glimpse of all the pain he hides on a daily basis and have it resonate with us. This scene showed Damon at his best, at his most vulnerable, and at his most compassionate state of being. Whip out your tissues and dive into his haunting and breathtaking eulogy below:
“They’re floating lanterns in the sky. Can you believe that? Japanese lanterns is the symbol of letting go of the past. Well, here’s a news flash. We’re not Japanese! You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle is going to make everything okay. Or even saying a prayer. Or pretending that Elena’s not going to end up just like the rest of us murderous vampires. Stupid, delusional exasperating little children. I know what you’re going to say. ‘[It] makes them feel better, Damon.] So what? For how long? A minute? A day? What difference does it make? Because in the end when you lose somebody every candle every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is a hole in your life where that somebody that you used to care about used to be…and a rock with a birthday [FEBRUARY 4, 1976] carved into that I’m pretty sure was wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. I should be long gone by now. I didn’t get the girl, remember? I’m just stuck here fighting with my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.”
Damon’s words are touching and meaningful — full of awareness and wisdom. His heart is twinged with loneliness and nostalgia and he exudes the sense of losing a good friend beautifully. However, what really gets us crying up a storm is when the camera pans out and we see Alaric sitting right next to Damon, who’s unaware that the spirit of his best friend, is listening to his every last drop of pure brilliance. Damon sadly stares down at the epithet [ALARIC SALTZMAN. HE WAS LOVED] and turns to leave. And without missing a beat, Alaric responds, “I miss you too, buddy,” leaving us feel hollow yet complete at the same time. End scene.
What an incredible and breathtaking episode! So tell us: what did you think of Vampire Diaries Season 4, episode 2, “Memorial”? What was your favorite scene from the whole episode? Let’s discuss in the comments!