There is a lot of blood in this episode of The Vampire Diaries. Human blood. Bambi blood. Vampire blood. Blood in bags. Blood in bathrooms. Blood all over pretty dresses.

It’s a wonder everybody made it out of this episode, “Memorial,” alive. But they did, and this recap reminds us of how they did it.

Bambi Meets Elena

Stefan takes Elena out into the woods for her first feeding, working on the theory that she will be happier drinking only animal blood. Thus, Bambi has to die. Or at least, Bambi has to get seriously maimed. Whatever the case, Elena drinks some deer blood.

Then she and Stefan get it on, vampire-style… For a minute. The passion is rudely interrupted by Elena puking up all of that Bambi blood.

That would be a no on animal blood.

Connor Interruptus

Mystic Falls’ newest vampire hunter arrives quietly into town, checking the bombed-out Young farm before anything else. There, he finds a letter addressed to someone named April. Even though Connor is clearly not anyone named April, he reads the note.

Then he goes to the bar, interrupting newly reinstated Sheriff Forbes’ half-hearted attempts to ask Damon if he is responsible. Apparently, Liz points Connor in the direction of Carol Lockwood, because this is where the hunter goes next.

Connor is most annoying at the Lockwood Mansion. In addition to grilling the Mayor about why and how she avoiding being blown up, the new hunter interrupts Tyler and Caroline’s grief sex upstairs. Then he really kills the mood by shooting Tyler in the chest with a funky gun.

Fortunately for everyone, Tyler is a hybrid, so even special, anti-vampire, wooden bullets just sting a bit.

What is the deal with the bullets? They burn a vampire to the touch and are etched with funky symbols, but not even Bonnie can say what any of that means…

Drinks with the Boys

Elena isn’t feeling well.

Not that she’s going to tell Stefan this, since he’s all happy and proud and popping champagne. With Damon, however, Elena has no qualms about telling her vomit stories.

Damon isn’t surprised. He tries to get the new vampire to partake of any of the fine Mystic Grill patrons, but Elena is stubborn enough to refuse this. So they come up with a kind-of compromise: Damon’s blood. Even though this is supposed to be personal, Elena jumps at the chance.

And we get to watch one of the most steamy scenes in Vampire Diaries history as she drinks. Stefan is not going to be happy.

April — So Sweet and Sad She Makes You Puke (Blood)

It’s now time for the memorial service. Because Elena is a glutton for emotional punishment, she volunteers to lay out programs at the service honoring the group that recently tried to kill her. Awkward… Elena’s vague angst only grows stronger when she spies April Young, the daughter of the exploding pastor.

Elena and April bond, as former babysitters/babysittees are wont to do at their parents’ funerals. But Elena’s attempts to give advice are somewhat derailed when she starts thinking about April’s blood.

Then she runs off to the church bathroom and pukes. A lot. Seriously, that bathroom resembles a slaughterhouse before the girl is finished. So much for that pretty, pretty dress!

Juice Boxes Suck

As it always is in the more awkward of situations, it’s Damon to the rescue!

This is especially important because annoying, badass Connor is randomly prowling the church basement and grows suspicious of Elena’s extended time in there (although I seriously wonder what he thinks she’s doing…).

When Damon shows up with Elena’s new dress, he handily deflects the hunter with inappropriate wit and a claim of germaphobia. And the kids make it out alive (ish)!

But as soon as she hits fresh air, Elena is ready for another go at the blood. She eagerly downs the bag of donated blood Damon brought along with her dress. And then spits it up again. It’s really a good thing Damon brought a dark-colored dress this time…

Fashion aside, Elena has a problem. None of the blood will stay down. Damon assures the girl that all she needs is fresh, human blood from an opened vein. This comfort works… a little too well. Damon and Elena share one of their lust moments briefly before they’re saved by the church bell.

Not Quite the Memorial They Were Planning

It’s time for the memorial service, and everything goes wrong from the start. What exactly?

  • April isn’t there for starters. After missing the chance to jump Elena in the bathroom, Connor gutted April up in the church balcony and is using her as blood bait for vampires.
  • Elena staggers up to the front to take April’s place talking about Pastor Young.
  • Even before the smell of the blood gets overpowering, Elena pretty much collapses and is helped back to her seat by Stefan.

And that’s when it gets really crazy.

While Elena gets her first (welcome) taste of fresh human blood from the offered neck of Matt, Tyler strides up to the podium in order to bait Connor right back. That works. Tyler gets a high-powered stake through the chest while Connor makes his escape in the confusion.

This being Tyler, who is almost un-killable, he doesn’t even need the ambulance his mother calls.

Sated for the moment on Matt’s blood, Elena rushes to save April up in the balcony. Yeah, that was a bad choice. The second the young vampire spots April’s blood-soaked body, hunger starts to take over again.

This is why it’s good to keep Caroline around. She stops Elena from munching on the teenager and then feeds April her own blood for healing purposes. Ever the positive-thinking teacher, Caroline also insists that Elena should be the one to compel April to forget about this mess.

Surprisingly, Elena is pretty good at it.

And Now for the Real Memorial

After Jeremy and Matt raid the Mystic Grill — maybe for booze, maybe for food, definitely for the chance for Jeremy to notice Connor and his invisible-to-others tattoos — all of the kids gather in the darkness to mourn their many, many losses.

Everyone lights a Japanese paper lantern and mentions the dead they miss. Everyone, that is, except for Damon, who rightly thinks this is all too sappy.

Not that Damon isn’t in mourning. He is. He’s just too mature to believe that lighting candles will do anything to ease the pain of loss. Instead, Damon shares his grief with Alaric’s gravestone.

And Alaric — a ghost sitting invisibly right next to Damon — misses his friend too.

Now that, people, is how you memorialize someone. Well done, Vampire Diaries!

What did you think of “Memorial”? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of The CW)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.