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TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 322 - 'The Departed'

The Vampire Diaries Episode 322

"The Departed"

Story By: Brett Matthews & Elisabeth R. Finch

Teleplay By: Julie Plec

Directed By: John Behring

Original Airdate: 10 May 2012

In This Episode...

Elena wakes up in the hospital. When Jeremy discovered her passed out, he rushed her in. Both Stefan and Damon are unhappy to hear this - she is a sitting duck in the hospital. The boys essentially flip a coin: Stefan goes back to Mystic Falls to look after Elena, while Damon continues on with Klaus's corpse. Matt, Tyler, Caroline, and Jeremy take Elena home and care for her until Stefan arrives. Not long after, Elijah shows up. He proposes a deal: turn over Klaus's body to him, and the originals will scatter to all ends of the earth. He will make sure Alaric chases him, while keeping Klaus safe, and vows never to wake Klaus. The decision is Elena's alone, and she decides to trust him.

Damon has stashed Klaus at a storage unit. Bonnie is there for a moment, casting some secret spell before Rebekah turns up to take possession of Klaus. Alaric shows up as the pair are trying to wheel Klaus's coffin out of the storage unit. Ric goes straight for the coffin and stakes Klaus. His corpse goes up in flames, leaving a shocked Rebekah and a scared Damon. Rebekah takes off while Damon sits in shock. He calls Stefan. Neither of them feel sick, but it took Sage about an hour to show symptoms. Upon the news of Klaus's death, shock waves run through our little team of vampires and vamp-friendlies.

This is how Elena is forced to make a decision between brothers. Matt had drugged her tea, so she woke in his truck, with Matt driving them somewhere far away. When the news comes that Klaus is dead, Elena can choose one Salvatore to drive to; there is no time to say goodbye to both. She chooses Stefan, but calls Damon to give a teary goodbye. Damon handles it with surprising maturity and calm, realizing that Elena's choice has been made. "Maybe if I had met you first, but I fell in love with Stefan - I can't unfall. I care for you, Damon, which is why I have to let you go."

After Ric outed Caroline and Tyler to the council, Mayor Lockwood and Sheriff Forbes decide the only way to keep their kids safe is to send them away. They have a stash of money and new identities. Caroline just needs two hours to make sure everything is okay with Elena, and they will meet in the old cellar in the woods. When Caroline hears about Klaus, she arrives in a panic, absolutely hysterical. Tyler is there and they say their goodbyes. Tyler starts having symptoms soon, while Caroline, like Stefan and Damon, feels fine (something that confuses both Rebekah and Elijah, as she is certain that they are of Klaus's bloodline). She refuses to leave him to die alone - until he starts to wolf out and she is scared off. Bonnie shows up - the secret spell she did put Klaus in Tyler's body so that (I guess) it was only Klaus's body that burned up; his "bloodline" is still intact.

With Klaus now dead (or at least Rebekah believing he is dead) the deal is off. She wants Alaric dead, and the only way to do that is to kill Elena. As Elena and Matt drive back into town, Rebekah appears on the bridge. Matt swerves to avoid her and the car goes into the river. In a "life flashing before your eyes" kind of thing, we flashback to the night her parents died (we have been flashing back off and on throughout the episode, but this is where the important stuff happens). Elena had just fought with then-boyfriend Matt, and she runs across Damon in the middle of a deserted road. He mistakes her for Katherine, and the two chat amiably for a few minutes. Her parents drive up, and Damon compels her to "get everything she wants, and to forget you ever met me - I can't have anyone knowing I am here yet." A beautiful cross-cutting montage between the drowning four years ago and the drowning now takes place. Then, mom was killed instantly, Stefan swims up to help, and dad directs him to Elena in the back seat. Now, Stefan swims up, and a panicked Elena insists that Stefan rescue an unconscious Matt. He does so unhappily, and Elena goes limp.

Alaric, who is still fighting Damon at the storage facility, suddenly goes limp and grey. Alaric then appears to Jeremy as his old self, and promises he will always be there for him no matter what. Jeremy realizes this is Alaric's ghost, and both men are overwhelmed when they realize what this means: Elena is dead. She is really dead.

But it's not over yet. Damon storms into the hospital, overwhelmed with grief and anger. Meredith lied earlier - Elena's original injuries were far more severe than she let on. When Jeremy brought her in, she had a cerebral hemorrhage, and was near death. So Meredith used her "cheater medicine" - vampire blood - to save her life. Which means Elena died with vampire blood in her system. Which means - Elena wakes on the morgue slab with a gasp. 

Dig It or Bury It?

I hate that The Vampire Diaries makes me feel like a 14-year-old girl. But damn, this was an emotionally intense episode. Beautifully done, without feeling too cloying or obnoxious. I will say, I didn't find anything "shocking" or "surprising." That may be because this show has taught me that anything can happen and because of that, I expect absolutely anything. Let's be honest - I am talking mostly about Elena's newfound afterlife. On the one hand, this solves a lot of problems. If she is now a vampire, that means she is no longer the doppelgänger, so Tyler / Klaus can no longer use her blood for hybrids. Of course, with Klaus, that was the only thing keeping her alive. Maybe this will solve her Salvatore problem. She can "date" one of them for 50 years, then switch. She will be eternally beautiful, and she can't get knocked up. My brain is already churning with where the show can go next season.


Is it September yet?