TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 504 - 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'


the vampire diariesThe Vampire Diaries Episode 504
“For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Written By: Brett Matthews & Elisabeth R. Finch
Directed By: Michael Allowitz
Original Airdate: 24 October 2013

In This Episode...

It’s Remembrance Day in Mystic Falls, the day that everyone celebrates the dead by drinking and ringing a bell. Seems appropriate since an inordinate number of the denizens die every year. The festival began several hundred years ago, when a cholera outbreak panicked the town and caused some people to be buried alive. It soon became in vogue to bury people with strings attached to bells above ground, just in case. Now it is an excuse to drink. Damon is in charge of helping Stefan get his memory back. He knows the date and where he is, but he remembers nothing about his own life - including the fact that he is a vampire. He gives him his journals to read, but he doesn’t get much out of them, other than his nickname was the Ripper.

Elena meets up with the guys at the Grill. Damon hasn’t gotten around to telling Stefan about Elena. Stefan is distracted by his hunger and follows a cute waitress into the back. The idea of hurting her “scares the hell” out of him, but the hunger is more powerful. Damon gets there in the nick of time. They take Stefan to the family crypt, where there are less people, but Damon gets an urgent message from Jeremy and leaves Stefan in Elena’s care. Elena tries to jog Stefan’s memory by taking him to school and the bridge - all the places they had meaningful encounters. Stefan figures out pretty quickly that he and Elena used to date because when he is with her, he feels calm and doesn’t feel the uncontrollable hunger raging inside of him. The two almost kiss, but Elena pulls away and tells him she is dating Damon. He is hurt that neither one told him. “And just like that, the hunger returns.” And just like that, Stefan is gone.

Damon calls Elena with some urgent news (we will circle back around to that) but she tells him she lost Stefan, and he puts his news aside to come help her. Stefan is at the Remembrance Day “celebration” at the cemetery. Caroline finds him, and he is happy to see her - he recognizes her from photos and somehow gets the feeling that he can “trust” her. Unfortunately, Caroline has brought Jesse with her to town (as a study buddy, she insists, though he does kiss her - and she pulls away) and Stefan sniffs out the live human vein in him. Caroline compels Jesse to hide, but Stefan finds him. “What has being good gotten me? My brother stole my girlfriend and my girlfriend let it happen. What’s the point of being good?” With that, he digs into Jesse’s neck. Caroline manages to pull him off before he drains Jesse completely. She insists Stefan is better than this, and for his pat, he seems to feel at least a little bit ashamed. He leaves, and Caroline heals Jesse with her blood. 

Stefan returns home, but it is just to burn his journals (he doesn’t want to be that man anymore) and pack his things. He doesn’t want to live there, doesn’t want to be the old Stefan. He promises he won’t go on a Ripper binge, and that Caroline promised to look after him.

So now let’s shift to Jeremy. First, Matt calls him and begs for help. He has been losing chunks of time and is starting to feel like he is losing his mind. What’s more, he hasn’t been able to get ahold of Bonnie, and that has him pretty freaked. Jeremy is having a hard time keeping Bonnie’s secret, and eventually breaks. He tells Damon - with Bonnie over his shoulder, begging him not to say the words - in a scene that is quite touching. Jeremy dances around the actual words “Bonnie’s dead,” but Damon knows they are coming and does not want to hear them. So that is the news that Damon keeps from Elena. When he finally tells her, she does not handle it well. But the friends need to mourn. Elena, Damon, Caroline, and Matt meet Jeremy in the forest for a private Remembrance Day ceremony, to say goodbye to Bonnie. Bonnie is there, of course, and she speaks through Jeremy to give each friend a message. She wants Elena to live a normal life and return to school; she admired how Caroline decorated her dorm room like her life depended on it; she tells Matt she would have returned every one of his 300 emails if she could have. Tyler shows up, out of nowhere, and Caroline laughs through the tears. (It is at this point that the sappiness got to me and I yelled out, “It’s a Festivus miracle!”)

Also: Matt sets up cameras all over the house in hopes of finding out why he is losing time. One one of the videos,he sees himself - with black eyes - make a phone call in a foreign language. Then he gets up, picks up a dagger off the desk, and addresses the camera directly. “Hello Matt Donovan,” his image says to him. “I am the passenger inside you. All you need to know is one day my friends will come looking for this blade. Protect it at all costs.” Video Matt slits his hand open. “Or this will be your throat.”

And finally, Jesse returns to Maxfield, who finds evidence of vampire blood in his system. The good news, he tells Jesse, is that this is the first step to becoming a vampire. Then he produces a syringe filled with a toxic-looking yellow liquid. “And this is the second.” He injects Jesse, who flatlines in seconds.

Dig It or Bury It?

There was just as much ooey-gooey emotion crap this week as I feared. The Bonnie stuff was sad  and nicely done (and about time), but I just don’t have the patience for the Elena / Stefan nonsense. I thought we were done with that when she moved on to Damon. But now that near-kiss is going to raise all sorts of problems.

So Maxfield is creating vampires. There has to be more to it than just that. Maybe he is trying to cure vampirism through science?

Dear Diary

Stefan finally burned those journals. 

Devilishly Charming

Damon brings Stefan to the family crypt. “Is there anyone here I didn’t kill?” he asks, having already known about killing their father. “Well, I took care of our uncle,” says Damon. “On the upside, mom died of consumption.”


Damon has a plan. A hideous, horrible plan: team up with Silas to kill him and use that death to balance out nature and bring Bonnie back from the dead.