Elena should be an expert at losing people she loves by now. Her parents died, Jenna died, Alaric died, just to name a few, but none compared to the pain of losing Jeremy, her last family member. In the most heartbreaking Vampire Diaries episode in four seasons, “Stand By Me,” was tragic in many ways.

Executive Producer Julie Plec’s script was masterful in both words and at times even more so for the lack of words, while the cast was amazing in their performances. Nina Dobrev embodied Elena’s pain fully and her monologue while preparing to burn down the house will be difficult to forget. As I sit here writing, uncontrollable tears come to my eyes.

The often underused Zach Roerig also gave a standout performance. Matt was the best person to be by Elena’s side as the one friend that truly understands the loss of a sibling. He held strong for her until he let it all out in a painful cry.

The search for the cure started off as an adventure with the hope of bring humanity back into their lives, but instead it was turned upside down and brought the loss of the very thing they were searching for. The quest became a tragic turning point from which they will have a difficult time overcoming. 

The tragedy was not simply a single death, but much greater. It was the loss of a brother and friend in Jeremy. Elena lost that which made her special: her humanity. And, Bonnie lost her sense of right and wrong while being misguided by Silas.

Given both Jeremy and Alaric’s history of coming back from the dead, it wasn’t crazy for Elena to hold out hope that Jeremy would wake up again this time. It was a stretch but she wasn’t acting unreasonable.

It wasn’t until Bonnie announced her Silas’ plan to resurrect all the supernatural creatures and a call from April that the truth hit Elena and it hit hard. She could finally smell Jeremy’s decomposing body and accepted that he was gone.

Elena decided to burn down the house to cover up Jeremy’s death, but really to erase the painful reminders of everyone she has lost. The use of Alaric’s bourbon was a heartbreaking tribute of her pain.

Instead of allowing Elena time to heal, Stefan and Damon decided to “fix” this for her by removing her pain through the sire bond. Wow. They have done it with noble intentions, but they took away an integral part of Elena — her humanity.

It wasn’t their place to make that decision. It may have been an acceptable move if Elena asked them to take her pain away, but she didn’t. They overstepped here not to help Elena, but to ease their own pain at seeing her grieve.

The now feeling-less or at least feeling-lesser Elena still decided to burn down the house and leave her memories and old life behind. The tragedy of Jeremy’s death was compounded by Elena’s own death of sorts.

As it stands now, Jeremy is dead, Elena’s dead inside and Bonnie’s under the control of Silas in Shane’s form. If Silas succeeds in resurrecting all supernatural creatures, Jeremy, as a Hunter, would be brought back from the dead as well. Though, the price to have him back was even too high for Elena to consider.

While the idea is a horrible one for the world and Mystic Falls, for the show, it’s quite an intriguing one. With the Originals leaving Mystic Falls for their own spin-off potentially, this spell could add a new long-term twist that would refresh The Vampire Diaries. Though, as much as I love Supernatural, I hope it wouldn’t turn into that.

I’m sad Jeremy is gone, but I’m more interested in the far-reaching consequences that the resurrection would have than in the return of former characters. Though, Matt’s mention of Vicki could be a signal of her reappearance in Mystic Falls.

What havoc would be spread across the world when a horde of dead people show up again from periods old and new….

Back on the island, Rebekah, Vaughn and the real Shane remain. Will Rebekah be able to get back to Mystic Falls with the news about Silas in time to prevent or at least inform Bonnie of who is directing her? Will Vaughn continue to work with Katherine?

The cure is still out there for someone to use and the reason Katherine wanted it is unknown. Will the cure be given the Silas to end this? Will another vampire take it? Or, will it end up destroyed somehow?

We will have to wait until next month to find out what happens next. It’s going to be a long wait!

Are you interested in Silas’ plan succeeding and the new direction it could take the show? Did Damon and Stefan make the right decision to take Elena’s humanity away? What will happen with the cure?

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(Image courtesy of The CW.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.