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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: The death count grows

May 6, 2011 |  7:00 am

“The Vampire Diaries” is not kidding around. For most of this season, we've been hearing about a sacrifice and that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) would die. So what happened Thursday night? Klaus went through with the sacrifice and Elena died. So did a lot of other people. But unlike them, Elena came back because, well, there's no show without her. With four deaths, if we're not counting Elena, the curse broken and several juicy reveals, this was quite an action-packed episode, and it's not even the finale. Obviously, next week will deal with Damon's (Ian Somerhalder's) werewolf bite, but the real action was Thursday night. I have a feeling next week's episode will play like a coda. But before we start worrying about Damon's life, let's take some time to mourn those who died.

Jules (Michaela McManus) -- I can't say I'm going to miss her. Jules came off as a harsh character, who turned Tyler (Michael Trevino) against Caroline (Candice Accola), so that's a big no-no. Still, she was forced into survival mode by her very nature and perhaps her instincts were well-intentioned. “I was just trying to help Tyler. I didn't want him to be alone,” were her last words before Klaus killed her. I feel bad that she never found out the curse she wanted to break wouldn't even help her.

Greta (Lisa Tucker) –- Greta, Greta, Greta. Who were you? Why were you so loyal to Klaus? Why did you not think to put a protection spell on yourself? Oh well, that made it easier for Damon to snap your neck when he and Bonnie flew in for the kill. In a way, the entire Martin family died without leaving much of a mark on the show or on me. They came, they were devious, they served some purpose, and then they died. But we never really got to know or care about them.

Jenna (Sara Canning) -– Greta cut herself and Jenna couldn't help feeding on her, completing the transition to vampire. It wasn't quite as interesting to watch now that we've seen at least two other characters go through it –- Caroline and Vicki –- but it did come in handy when Stefan (Paul Wesley) showed up. Elena told Jenna to use her new super-hearing to listen in on his and Klaus' conversation. Stefan was trying to make a deal –- his life for Jenna's newbie vampire one. But Klaus stabbed Stefan, revealing that he has “other plans” for him. “I want him alive,” he announced. Intriguing! I wonder if his interest in Stefan has to do with starting a hybrid race.

As happy as I'm sure Elena is that Klaus doesn't want to kill Stefan, it comes with bad news for Jenna, who becomes Klaus' sacrificial vampire. My sadness about Jenna's death had more to do with Elena and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) than Jenna, a character who has struggled to have a purpose on the series. Those poor kids have lost yet another loved one and now have absolutely no parental figures. Is Elena going to get emancipated and become Jeremy's guardian? (Beautifully touching scene between Elena and Jeremy at the end of the episode: “I’m sorry you’ve lost so many people.” “I still have you.”) Will Alaric (Matt Davis) take them in to honor Jenna? He is pretty much the closest thing to a parent they have now. Finally, I can't mourn Jenna without mentioning the terrific moment in which she talked about the day she learned she would be Elena's and Jeremy's guardian. “Look around, Elena. I failed you,” she said, to which Elena tearfully replied, “No, I failed you.”

John (David Anders) –- I think I may miss John most of all, and I can't believe I just wrote that. John Gilbert has come a long way from the vampire-hating jerk we met in Season 1. Sure, he still hates vampires, but he has learned to work with them and has even shown that he does have a heart. A lot of people were sacrificed Thursday night, but John made the ultimate sacrifice. Bonnie (Kat Graham) performed a binding spell that would tie his life force to Elena's. As long as their souls were tied -– or some “God mumbo jumbo,” as Damon put it –- she would come back as a human. When Elena “awoke” from her death, she was fine. But outside in the sun -- at first I thought the vampire part of Elena had transferred to John and he'd burn up -- John collapsed to his death. Jeremy gave Elena John's letter. It was so good, it made me want to forgive him for everything –- and the ring he left behind for Elena's own child.

Other brief thoughts:
–- The Matt/Caroline/Tyler love triangle also took some interesting turns as Matt (Zach Roerig) realized he wants a life “without all of this” and broke up with Caroline. Luckily, werewolf Tyler found himself lying at Caroline's front door. Awww, it's like a dog that finds its way back home five cities over. Tyler invited Caroline to cuddle with him under the covers (naked?!) and apologized for trying to kill her twice. Caroline's response? “Well, no friendship is perfect.” These two are too adorable for words right now.
–- Oh, Elijah (Daniel Gillies). The honorable Original wanted revenge on his brother for killing his entire family and scattering their bodies across the seas. But just as Elijah stuck his hand inside Klaus' body, Klaus told him he lied. The bodies are safe. Bonnie and Stefan pleaded with Elijah not to believe him, but he took the bait and whisked Klaus away. My money is on Klaus playing Elijah, but I'm glad these two made it through the hour alive. I can't wait to see how Damon and Stefan tackle that problem.
–- I need an audio file of Joseph Morgan saying, “Hello, my lovelies.”
–- Why was it so dark in the woods, but so light at the houses when everything was taking place at the same time?

Showtrackers, what did you think of Thursday night's deaths? What do you think will happen to Elena and Jeremy? Are you mad at Elijah for not killing Klaus and betraying Elena? She kept her word, but he didn't really keep his.

Complete "The Vampire Diaries" coverage on Show Tracker

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

Photo: John (David Anders) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) look for a way to save Elena. Credit: Bob Mahoney / The CW