Release date: August 26th, 2013
Running time: 927 minutes
Creator: Kevin Williamson
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Steven R. McQueen, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Matthew Davis, David Alpay
Death comes to us all. Our pets, our friends, our families, our loved ones… us. There’s no point in denying it. All living things come into this world and live for a time, and then they’re gone. It’s as simple as that, and while we may try prolonging it, there’s only so much that can be done before that thick blanket of sleep covers us for eternity. Unless of course you happen to live in Mystic Falls, a place where you can keep denying death, even when it’s breaking down your door, desperate to get in.
For Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) death is never far away. She been surrounded by it since the show first started. First her adoptive parents are killed when their car runs off a bridge and they drown in the river beneath it. This event opens her up to the world of the supernatural. Her ex-boyfriend’s sister, Vicki, becomes a vampire and shortly after she’s killed. Her best friend Caroline meets a similar fate but survives. Later on her aunt Jenna is turned and she too dies. Her biological father, John, also dies. In the previous season, her friend Ric (Matthew Davis) also meets his end. In the season 3 finale, we see Elena suffering the same fate as her parents when the car she’s in runs off that very bridge and she drowns, but having Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) blood in her system, she comes back as vampire.
With season 4 of The Vampire Diaries, the show takes some surprising turns as we see Elena, her friends and her brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) struggling with her new life. As to be expected, life as a vampire makes her loosen up a bit and let go of some of those burdens that have been resting on her shoulders since her parents’ death. Part of that’s down to the bond that’s now developing between her and Damon, forcing her former love Stefan (Paul Wesley) out of the picture. This comes as a relief because, to be honest, I never cared much for brooding vampire anyway.
Elsewhere, Bonnie (Kat Graham) starts brushing up on her magic with the help of Professor Shane (David Alpay), a new teacher at the school who knows all about the things that go bump in the night. A new vampire hunter arrives in Mystic Falls and Jeremy’s the only one who can see the tattoos on his skin, which means he’s possibly a hunter in waiting. This makes Klaus (Joseph Morgan) very interested and the plot begins to thicken as we learn the tattoo is actually a map that reveals more of itself every time a hunter kills a vampire. The map can lead them to a cure for vampires.
While Stefan’s intent on getting the cure for Elena, she doesn’t want it. Becoming more and more like Damon every day, her humanity’s in danger of disappearing completely, making those who care for her worry about the girl whose compassion once radiated from her. Damon as well becomes concerned with Elena’s thirst for blood, but what event could’ve caused her to turn off her emotions like this?
Meanwhile Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) doing her best to convince her brother Klaus that she deserves the cure, but can she go even a day without her vampire powers? With Tyler still running from Klaus, this leaves Caroline (Candice Accola) in a very vulnerable position, especially with prom and graduation on the horizon. It’s here she finally has to admit if she has feelings for Klaus, but with all the terrible things he keeps doing to the people she cares about, this makes any admission of the sort somewhat painful.
With quite a few twists and surprises along the way, season 4 of The Vampire Diaries got off to a great start, slowed down a bit, but then picked up the pace again with a vengeance as the fight for the cure heated up. Characters such as Elena, Rebekah, Damon, Klaus, Bonnie and Caroline all moved forward in a tightly woven story revealing they can take turns at being compassionate and careless with amazing results. Vampirism really seems to take to Elena and it’s really great to see her having fun for a change and not needing Stefan to save her every time danger rears its head. There are some wonderful scenes where we see her riding on the back of a motorcycle, dancing in a club with Damon and burning down her family home.
Other characters don’t fare so well, for example Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), Meredith (Torrey DeVitto), April (Grace Phipps) and Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) don’t seem to have much to do and there are times when it feels like this season has too much going on. With all that work to find a cure for Elena, the end is nothing short of a surprise, but whether or not it was worth it is for you to decide.
In a town where death can mean a release from the pain of living, Mystic Falls has a unique way of going through its human population and changing their outlooks completely, but it’s good to see there are some characters who continue to resist the supernatural pull and let their life take its natural course. Matt (Zach Roerig) is one of those characters and as he gets closer to Rebekah, their fragile friendship is really one of the wonders in this show because, like with all things, we know it too will come to an end.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
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