The Vampire Diaries season 4 episode 14 review: Down The Rabbit Hole

A major death occurs in this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries, but will it stick?

This review contains spoilers.

4.14 Down the Rabbit Hole

This week’s The Vampire Diaries might have changed everything in its last ten minutes, but we’re still far too concerned with this damn cure, along with the tedium of various love triangles and the clumsy dismissal of secondary characters. If the big death in this episode ends up sticking, it will be remembered as one of the more important ones but, if it doesn’t then we’ll all have to permanently lower our expectations from this point onwards. 

The fact that we don’t know what we’ll be seeing next week might be great for tension and building fan theories, but it also demonstrates how much The Vampire Diaries has changed over the last couple of years. Judging by the slow-motion and dramatic soundtrack that accompanied the scene, Jeremy has been killed, but the truth is that he’s died so many times that without these obvious signifiers, we wouldn’t be worried at all. The show has tied itself up with loopholes and a thick, mystical rulebook full of contradictions, and a lot of people are worried at how easily the writers can bring him back from the dead. 

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Looking at it within the rules of the show, a lot of fans have pointed out that Jeremy was wearing his protection ring while down in the caves. There is even a long, lingering shot of his hand moments before he meets his end, so the choice to confirm his wardrobe choice must be a deliberate one. That said, Jeremy is now a supernatural being, so does the ring even work anymore? No matter what, this seems like a cruel trick on the audience, since we’re likely to get a quick ‘the ring doesn’t work on a hunter’ speech next week. If they knew that, shouldn’t someone have piped up before they sent him to Nova Scotia on a suicide mission? 

But the big news that accompanies the tragedy is the return of Katherine, who pulls her Elena dress-up act all over again without being spotted. We kind of knew that she would pop up sometime, but I can’t say I expected her to run off with the cure. What does she want with it? I very much doubt that she’ll take the one and only dose, since that would mark the end of a season-long debate amongst our main characters, but she must have her reasons for waking up Silas and removing the cure from the equation. No matter what she does, it’s great to have her back, and I can’t wait to see how a now undead Elena will cope with having her around. 

Or how Elena will cope in general. If Jeremy is in fact dead, then I can’t help but think that this is a little harsh on the poor girl. First she lost her parents, then her birth parents, then Jenna, then Alaric, and now the only blood relative she had left. Since Jenna died, all Elena has been concerned with is keeping Jeremy safe, and now that she’s failed in that mission, the emotional fallout could be huge. It could essentially change the whole show, which is one of the reasons I’m keen for Jeremy to stay dead. This show used to kill characters all the time, but we were getting hugely overcrowded. 

And Tyler has also gone running, as fear over what violent form Klaus’ revenge will take once he’s free means he has to leave Mystic Falls. We’re supposed to find his and Caroline’s breakup heartbreaking and poignant but, at this point, I have zero emotional connection to the character. He was just taking up space in a busy show, and it was a good decision to have him head out for an undetermined amount of time. The writers can have him back whenever they want but, until then, we can spend some time wrapping up the Caroline/Klaus storyline before he heads to New Orleans. 

With the cure found, Silas raised, Tyler gone, Jeremy dead and Katherine returned, the events of this episode should at least kick season four up the jacksee. Most fans will be happy to see the back of this ‘race for the cure’ malarkey, and a bigger-than-big death could bring some emotional intensity back to a largely plot-driven season. We should be looking at a vastly different second half, providing the writers don’t chicken out and raise Jeremy from the dead via some half-arsed loophole. Fingers crossed, I’ll see you there!

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Into The Wild, here.

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