The Vampire Diaries Episode 2.21
"The Sun Also Rises"
Written By: Caroline Dries & Mike Daniels
Directed By: Paul M. Sommers
Original Airdate: 5 May 2011
In This Episode...
We waste no time picking up right where last week left off. As Elijah explains to Stefan and his posse, the kill order goes werewolf, vampire, doppelganger. So Jules, as the sacrificial wolf, gets offed first. Before Klaus can move on to Jenna, Stefan offers himself up in her place. Klaus is amused at the thought of leaving the decision up to Elena, but he has "other plans" for Stefan. Klaus stakes Stefan, but not fatally - just pinning him to the ground. When he comes for Jenna, she makes one desperate attempt to stop the ceremony and attacks Greta. Klaus moves fast, stabs her once to get her on the ground, rolls her over, and lands the killing blow. Elena locks eyes with Jenna and begs her to turn off the human part to make it easier.
When phone calls to Elena went unanswered, John came to town and went looking for her at the Salvatore home. Damon admitted she had his blood in her system, and they join up with Jeremy, Bonnie, and Ric at the witch hideaway. They are all researching desperately for a way to save Elena. Bonnie finds reference to a spell in Emily Bennet's grimoire. John cross-references that with Jonathan Gilbert's journals, and discover it is a soul-binding spell. A mother came to Emily with a very ill child, begging for a cure. Emily bound the child's soul to its mother's. The baby still dies, but it can then be revived. Of course, the mother died shortly after, but it is a sacrifice she is willing to make for her child. John insists that this is their only chance to preserve Elena's humanity. Bonnie casts the spell, then heads to the sacrifice spot with Damon. She seals Ric, Jeremy, and John in the house for safety.
Stefan comes-to as it is Elena's turn. He cannot get up from the ground, and is forced to watch as Klaus grabs her, drinks, and tosses her lifeless husk next to Jenna. The ritual complete, Klaus begins his transformation, and Bonnie begins her own counterspell. Damon snaps Greta's neck, grabs Elena, and removes the stake from Stefan, then takes Elena back to the safehouse while Stefan remains to see the ceremony through. Now it is time for Elijah to finish off the weakened Klaus. As he reaches into his brother's chest for his heart, Klaus stops him. He may have killed their family, but he didn't bury them at sea like he said he did. "Their bodies are safe," Klaus insists. "but without me, you will never find them." Elijah weighs his options, apologizes to Stefan, and the two originals disappear behind a wall of fire.
By way of denouement, Damon brings Elena back to the safehouse, where she wakes with a gasp - but she feels fine and 100% human. John left a letter and his ring for her (for her to give to her child, he explains) and goes outside. He drops dead quietly, shortly after Elena wakes. The whole gang gathers for a private funeral for Jenna, who is buried next to Elena's (adoptive) parents. After the ceremony, Damon finally admits to Stefan that he was bitten by Tyler Lockwood. Stefan is convinced they will find a cure; Damon just doesn't want Elena to know. "She doesn't need another grave to mourn."
Dig It or Bury It?
I've got to admit: this episode made me tear up a bit. Just a bit. I love that this show will just kill off anyone at any point, but Jenna? Damn, that is just harsh. The other deaths occurred to such secondary characters, it didn't really have that emotional impact. But damn. Elena is now truly, truly orphaned. I think she and Jeremy need to move into Salvatore Manor.
Other than Jenna dying, this episode didn't really offer any surprises. It was tense and well-structured, but everything happened as I expected. I knew that Klaus would not die because executive producer Kevin Williamson said he was coming back next season. Of course they would find a way to save Elena and keep her human. It was a little convenient, but believable. This episode felt like a season finale - but we still have one more episode to go. I am worried they are going to go down the True Blood path, where they blow their wad an episode or two before the finale, and spend the last episode cleaning up after last night's rager.
One big question: where the hell are the townspeople through all this? Sheriff Forbes is on such high-alert when it comes to vampire activity - why didn't she notice the three enormous circles of flame in the woods?
This episode had a nice body count. There was Jules, whose heart was ripped from her chest with Klaus's bare hand. This kill gets bonus points because Klaus then proceeds to squeeze the blood from her heart, like water from a sponge. Then there was Jenna's death, which was too sad and moving to be gory. Greta's death was quick and violent, Damon snapping her neck in one blink-and-you'll-miss-it move. Elena gets an honorable mention for her brief death, and John's death was about as peaceful as you are likely to get on this show - he just crumpled to the ground.
The boys worked well together this week. When Stefan found out about Damon's bite, he was truly horrified and determined to save his brother. Damon, though seemingly accepting of his fate, seemed just the teeniest bit pleased that, after all the hell he put his brother through, Stefan was still determined to help.
The season finale looks like it is going to be a little soapier than I like. Damon alternates between being resigned to his fate and offering penance, to "going off the rails." In one scene he actually looks like he is going to rape Elena. I bet they will find a possible cure just before the credits roll, and leave us waiting all summer to see if it worked (spoiler alert: it will).