Elena Gilbert is having a bad day. That’s probably because she’s dead.

But she does have a busy day for a dead girl. Find out everything that happened in this Vampire Diaries season 4 premiere recap.

Transition Sucks

The Vampire Diaries season 4 premiere picks up mere hours after last season’s finale, right when Elena wakes up from that whole dying thing with super-hearing for annoying noises, no stomach for sandwiches, an unnatural hatred of light bulbs and a lust for blood.

Yep, she’s in transition to become a vampire.

Absolutely nobody is OK with this. Damon and Stefan spend a great deal of time blaming each other (or Matt) for what happened. Bonnie gets to work on finding an impossible spell that will keep Elena human. Jeremy complains (with some justification) that he needs his sister.

What about Elena herself? Surprisingly, Elena is mostly calm about this whole thing. She doesn’t want to be a vampire, of course, but after the initial freak-out and some hysterical laughing, Elena seems to pretty much accept the deal.

Elena isn’t even fazed by a rather realistic reenactment of that time that Damon told her that he loved her. And then compelled her to forget the whole thing. Elena just seems a little surprised. And maybe just a little bit touched.

Black (Blood) Magic

Because this is Mystic Falls, there cannot be just one life-and-death problem at a time. While Elena is coping with her complicated afterlife, Klaus is desperate for Bonnie to get him out of Tyler’s body and back into his own. Even if the corporeal Klaus is a little crispy these days.

But Bonnie can’t do that. She has to save Elena, because that’s what people do. Klaus/Tyler only agrees to go with this because a reanimated Elena means more blood for more hybrids.

Not that Bonnie gets too far with her Elena-saving attempts. The basic spells and candle-filled rooms don’t work, so our resident witch turns to that dark magic again. Alas, even though Bonnie spurts black blood from her face and has an intense conversation with Gram on The Other Side, nothing much works.

Looks like Elena is doomed.

That Pesky Founders’ Council

Vampire transitions and bloody witches are still not enough for this show. We have to have the Founders’ Council get in on the action too. If you recall from last season, Alaric outed the entire Mystic Falls vampire community in his efforts to destroy vampirism.

They haven’t forgotten.

Instead, Council troops take over the hospital, the mayor’s mansion and the police department. Then the round-up begins. It’s only intermittently successful. Rebekah and Caroline get stuck in the back of a paddy wagon, while troops cart Stefan and Elena off separately.

Klaus and Tyler Would Make the Same Choice

Naturally, no one on the Founders’ Council finds Klaus/Tyler. Thus, the dual-personality hybrid is free to crash the vampire-toting paddy wagon. And then he frees Caroline, leaving Rebekah behind to go to vampire prison.

Caroline, of course, just thinks she’s getting a miracle in the return of Tyler from the dead. That is, she thinks that until Klaus lets slip one “Love” too many right before they have “hot hybrid-vampire sex.”

Darn it.

Vampire Jail

The Founders’ Council imprisons Stefan and Rebekah out at a cattle ranch belonging to the new leader, Pastor Young. They bring along Elena too, pretty much thinking she’s excellent Salvatore bait.

They’re right about that. Unfortunately for all involved, Pastor Young soon realizes there’s another reason for Elena to be there — the girl’s transition period is getting critical. So Elena gets locked up next to Stefan.

This results in a great deal of moaning between the two lovers. Thanks to some vervain gas filling the prison barn, this moaning and extensive coughing make the soundtrack into something befitting a Victorian consumption ward. Tragic death scenes and all.

But our heroes have had enough death for now. At least, they’ve had enough of their own death. It’s totally OK to cause the death of a random Founders’ Council thug. After the guy shoots Stefan for being noisy, Rebekah and Stefan work together to make the thug very dead.

And bleeding. With all of that blood right outside of her bars, Elena musters just enough strength to dip in a finger and take a lick.

Seriously? That’s all the human blood it takes to become a vampire?


Where are the rest of our heroes during all of this? Damon works with the Sheriff, Dr. Fell and (reluctantly) Matt to find and release their friends from the Council. Matt actually proves very useful in this, first suggesting the prison location and then serving as bait to lure out Council folk.

Damon also gets to take out his frustration with Matt by kicking the boy in the face for awhile.
Fortunately for Matt, this is after Elena hand her finger-licking blood snack. She’s a vampire now, and she’ll be damned if she will let Damon beat on Matt for what happened.

As Matt staggers off to the barn for some vampire-blood healing and a major pity party with Stefan, Elena asks Damon what he would have done in the water under the bridge. Damon doesn’t lie one bit — he would have saved her. And he wouldn’t feel at all bad about it.

This is so not over between them

Klaus Messes Up Everything

Now that Bonnie has failed to re-humanize Elena, Klaus is ready to get out of Tyler’s skin. Really ready. Willing to rip out Tyler’s heart with his fingers ready. Even though Bonnie doesn’t have the strength to shift Klaus back, she eventually agrees to use the dark magic.

This works out great for Tyler and Klaus, who each get their old bodies. It works out less-great for Gram. Who dies a screaming, horrible death (re-death?) while Bonnie watches in horror.

Not that Klaus cares. He’s too busy putting his precious Elena-blood on ice. That is, until Rebekah confronts her brother about how he doesn’t care about her, only about his hybrids. She’s not wrong. As we see when Rebekah bursts all of the bags and gets choked by Klaus in response.

Not-Really-Happy Endings

Elena and Stefan sit on a roof to watch the sunrise and be mushy. Stefan still wants to protect Elena from everything but finally recognizes the futility of this effort. Elena responds by looking at this in a positive light — she can be with him forever now.

If she wants… That is so not a throwaway line.

Stefan and Elena seal their forever pact for now, however, with a daylight ring Bonnie made before her blood-spewing, Gram-killing activities. And the sun rises on two vampires in love…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Founders’ Council has gathered to discuss the impending vampire retaliation. Except that Pastor Young has figured out how to avoid this. His solution involves a gas leak, a locked door and a lighter.


Did the season 4 premiere work for you? Were you expecting Elena to turn into a vampire? Why did Pastor Young kill everyone? Leave your comments below!

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 4 Premiere Quiz

(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.