TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 402 - 'Memorial'



The Vampire Diaries Episode 402
Written By: Jose Molina & Julie Plec
Directed By: Rob Hardy
Original Airdate: 18 October 2012

In This Episode...

So Elena’s a vampire now. She has decided to go the Stefan route and refuses to feed off a live human. Damon, naturally, thinks that she needs to feed off humans - the only way she can learn to control the hunger is to experience what she is trying to control. But the deer blood Elena has been consuming hasn’t been staying down. Stefan is so proud of her that she can’t bring herself to tell him. But she is slowly starving, and hunger leads to a loss of control. Damon recognizes this and forces her to drink some of his blood.

A mystery guy shows up to town, Connor Jordan. He is nosy and suspicious. He goes over to Mayor Lockwood’s house to introduce himself as an “outside contractor” and asks why she wasn’t invited to the founder’s meeting that killed a dozen people. She has no answer. Tyler comes down and steps between his mom and Connor. When the men shake hands, Tyler’s burns. Connor’s gloves are soaked in vervain and he immediately shoots Tyler. Tyler takes a hard hit, but runs to the Salvatore mansion, where Stefan digs the bullet out. It is a custom bullet that burns Stefan when he touches it; he surmises that it would have likely killed someone who wasn’t a hybrid.

It’s time for the funeral for Pastor Young and his blown-up flock. His daughter, April (whom Elena used to babysit), has returned from boarding school to attend her father’s funeral. Before the service starts, Elena gets violently ill and calls Damon - not Stefan - to bring her a change of clothes. She desperately tries to mop up the copious amounts of blood in the bathroom while Connor waits impatiently to use the facilities. Damon swoops in with a new dress and refusal to shake Connor’s proffered hand (“germophobe.”) With Elena cleaned up, Damon gives her some bagged blood and tells her she needs to drink from the vein - something which Elena still refuses. Elena goes into the church, and Stefan confronts Damon about the human blood. Damon counters with “Elena is starving” and “she can’t even keep down my blood.”

Before the service, Connor kidnapped April, bound and gagged her, and left her bleeding up in the rafters. During the service, the scent of her blood fills the room. All the supernaturals can smell it, and Damon whispers that it is a trap. The fresh blood is driving Elena mad. She has gone up to say a few words about the pastor, and is quickly losing it. Stefan escorts her back to her seat, playing it off like a boyfriend consoling his grieving girlfriend. Stefan can’t control her urge, and they can’t leave, so Matt offers himself to her. She pretends like she is crying on his shoulder, and instead drinks. For someone who is so damned thirsty, she is easily pulled away before Matt loses too much blood. Tyler heads up to the podium to speak, knowing that Connor’s special bullets won’t kill him, and knowing that the only way out is to make Connor step into his own trap. It works: Connor shoots, Tyler drops, the church empties. Elena runs upstairs to save April, but is sidetracked by her blood. Caroline appears in the nick o’ time and talks Elena down from the edge. Instead, she coaches Elena through her first compulsion, making April forget everything that happened. It works, and Elena is quite proud.

Stefan is mad that Elena wasn’t truthful with him, and mad that she drank from Damon (but more mad at Damon - Elena didn’t understand the significance of sharing blood.) Elena is experiencing the world’s worst PMS, and Stefan realizes that Elena has not gotten a chance to mourn properly. No one has. He gathers the usual suspects (Matt, Caroline, Tyler, Bonnie, Jeremy, and Damon) and they have a private memorial service for all the people they have lost in the last four years (and there are a lot) by lighting paper lanterns and setting them free (no one notices the tremendous fire hazard this presents.) One of the people that Elena includes in her memorial is herself. Damon is not having any of this touchy-feely garbage, and instead heads to the graveyard to drink alone. He talks to Alaric’s grave in a surprisingly touching moment (surprising because I rarely find things touching.) Alaric is there, as a ghost.

Also: Jeremy compliments Connor on his full-sleeve tattoos. Thing is, no one else can see his tattoos, and Connor seems stunned that Jeremy mentioned them.

Dig It or Bury It?

We are starting to get back to The Vampire Diaries I know and love. Yes, there was still some puke-tastic scenes - the entire first act was killing me. But all the church stuff was awesome, and really helped ease the pain of the cheesy lantern lighting. I admit, I did really like the scene with Alaric and Damon. And Connor seems like he is going to be an awesome addition.

I kind of hate this new prologue that has opened the first two episodes so far this season. I hope they don’t keep it around much longer. If you don’t know who the characters are at this point, a thirty-second prologue isn’t going to help much.

Devilishly Charming

Everyone is blaming Damon for the Pastor Young explosion. When Liz accuses him, he says, “Don’t look at me - you know I always take credit for killing people.” When Elena asks him, he says, “Am I wearing my ‘I blew up the town council’ t-shirt?”

Vampire Training Camp

Stefan reveals that vampires drink alcohol so much because it helps cut back on the blood cravings. Plus, it’s not like they have to worry about destroying their liver....


Connor tries to enlist Jeremy to his side; and Elena returns to school.