When a television show enters its 4th season, there are certain expectations that must be lived up to. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was premised on the idea of two vampire brothers that fell in love with the same girl. In fact, they fell in love with the same girl twice in two different centuries. Though in their defense, once both realized how vile and unlovable their first love Katherine was, they both shunned her. But the same cannot be said for the lovely, innocent Elena – who currently holds the hearts of both Damon and Stefan Salvatore in the palm of her hand.
For three seasons, fans have been counting down the day that Elena would wake up from her girlhood love with the safer brother Stefan, and awaken her passion for the bad-boy brother Damon. In the season 3 finale, Elena was even forced to make a choice between the two brothers and she chose Stefan. Then everything was turned upside down when Elena died and awoke a vampire.
It gave the Damon-Elena fans hope that they scarcely believed possible. Was it finally their turn to cheer for the core romance of the show? Would Elena’s new heightened desires help her realize that she was no longer interested in a childhood love and that she was ready to embark on a deeper, lust-filled journey with Damon? If the first 7 episodes of this season were any indication, that certainly seemed the case.
But in this last episode entitled “My Brother’s Keeper,” just as Elena was set to pursue a relationship with Damon, cold water was thrown across that hot romance. As Stefan and Caroline (who had passionately reviled Damon for the abuse he put her through in Season 1) sat commiserating in their mutual misery over Elena falling under Damon’s spell, it suddenly occurred to them that there may be something much more sinister and supernatural at work. For surely Elena had not willingly chosen Damon, but rather was under the influence of a sire-bond – not unlike the sire-bond that Klaus shared with his hybrids.
This was the first time that a sire-bond had ever been mentioned for vampires. In all the years of watching Caroline, and everyone else who was turned go through their vampire-turning phase, it was never even considered. For if there was a sire-bond, wouldn’t that have compelled Damon and Stefan to be the love-slaves of Katherine? And wouldn’t the same be true of Caroline? If anything the past three seasons have amply demonstrated, vampires feel no loyalty or bond of any kind with the person who turned them.
So why now? Why crush the blossoming joy of fans that stood by the show patiently awaiting their turn to cheer for their couple of choice? Just as Elena and Damon were getting a chance to explore whether they could have a deeper relationship, up sprang the notion of a vampire sire-bond, which must be the explanation for Elena’s attraction to Damon.
Yet this fool-hearted notion discounts the past three years in which Elena has been getting to know Damon and was beginning to realize how much he meant to her – even before she became a vampire.
For fans of the Damon-Elena relationship, it felt like everything was transitioning normally through natural progression from Elena’s teenage years to young adulthood. She was no longer feeling a youthful crush and infatuation with the first boy who saved her and who had kept her and her brother safe from harm. Elena was figuring out who she is on her own and that she can take care of herself. It made perfect sense that she was now choosing to explore other relationships and to see if there was something more between her and Damon — other than just a growing attraction.
Yet now the show has hinted at this possibility that Elena is not making her own choices. It has stripped her of her newfound freedom and independence and turned her into a pathetic, weak human who does not have any freewill.
This is just simply wrong. It is wrong to portray a character that has fought so determinedly to show that she is her own person and that she can make her own decisions. It is also wrong to treat a patient and loyal fanbase with such cruelty as well. Just as the Damon-Elena fans have had to wait for their turn, now should be the time in which the Stefan-Elena fans must sit and wait. Surely, they too could wait through 3 seasons just as steadfastly as the Damon-Elena fans.
With unease we now wait and wonder whether THE VAMPIRE DIARIES will restore our belief in the strength and self-possession of Elena, or if our worst fears will be realized and the show will continue with its foolish notion that Elena is subject to a vampire sire-bond that compels her every action.
Here is to hoping that this tragedy does not come to pass. For introducing a sire-bond between vampires is a sad way to treat both a character worthy of making her own decisions and a fanbase worthy of being rewarded for their patience. Sire-bond be damned. Let’s leave that to Klaus and all his evil plans. It’s time to let Elena explore her adult compulsions and allow her to be as strong and independent as we believe her to be. Let us see how she would truly enjoy, relish and appreciate an adult, equal relationship. Perhaps Damon and Elena would burn too bright and fizzle out, or they may just burn with passion for eternity. Let’s give them a chance.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursday at 8PM on the CW (9PM on CTV Two in Canada) and stars Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Steven R. McQueen, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, Matt Davis and Joseph Morgan. Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv