The Vampire Diaries 4.06 "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes"

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill


Elena is sometimes a dope. Nina Dobrev at least is playing her as big and clumsy and confused since her unwonted transition. A character who’s a walking victim isn’t that exciting. Her few moments of agency since she died (at the fraternity rager, drinking and dancing with abandon; when she killed the tediously one-note Connor) were quickly retracted. The last one even had a built-in curse, so even if Elena didn’t feel guilty about taking a human life (I’d say all bets were off since he’d promised to kill her and all her friends, and had been regularly threatening humans as well), she’d still be haunted by visions of loved ones telling her she was better off dead.

Pretty creepy, and creepier still, because her dilemma calls Klaus back to town, and he’s more charming than he’s ever been. He wants to save her, of course, for the potential of her possible cure to allow him to build doppelganger hybrids again, but he knows more about what’s going on than either of her lovers, and would have kept her safe had they not kept conniving to free her. Which they do, but a little over much, as she takes off on her own and that’s the worst thing that could happen to her right now.

We get advances on several plot points this week. Tyler and Caroline are working with Hayley to free more of Klaus’s sirelings, while acting like Tyler’s ruining his love life with the beauteous Caroline. Which works out in her favor, as she’s also trying to distract Klaus while the Elena shenanigans are under way, and there’s some justification to her playing nice with him for once. It’s also super-adorable when she comes clean as soon as the plan goes awry, and he almost promises not to kill her for the ruse. For a date!

Bonnie continues to put too much trust into her witch dude, Atticus Shane (it’s not Alaric Saltzman, but it’s up there as a moniker), who has way too many answers to all of the gang’s many questions. That it’s Matt who puts all this together is pretty amazing, as even Damon acknowledges, holding up his usual bar stool beside Alaric’s empty chair at the Grill.

Elena, sadly, inevitably, finds herself on Wickery Bridge, a site she should really always avoid, considering it killed her parents, and her, and nearly Matt, and maybe finally “third time’s the charm.” She can’t drown anymore, but she can burn up in the sunrise, if she ditches her daylight ring. Which, for an added cruel touch, her mother’s shade encourages her to do. This is doubly upsetting, because shades have visited before, and her parents have always been as loving and benign as a certain Mr. Potter’s. The warriors 5 spell is cruel and intense about its vamp destruction, encouraging suicide if not succeeding in more direct ways. Klaus apparently endured it for five decades, before it finally stopped, when a new warrior took up the cause. I’m trying to imagine those conversations. “You should really end thyself, Klaus.” “I already told you how immortal I am, begone bitter shade!”

Elena’s stops right as the sun rises, because Jeremy is now the new slayer, and Damon plunges them both into the safely dark water. The only catch; Jeremy had to kill a vamp, and they choose Klaus’s unknowingly free-agent Chris, who had previously helped them. That’s the kind of shitty deal you always end up making with Klaus (who can’t have insubordination on his team, and sacrifices his pawns at will), which means the brief respite of tolerability is probably over. God, I hate Klaus. Poor Caroline.

In the final tease, which keeps this episode from a higher score, the Katherine appearance was only another hallucination, and she says just as much nonsense as the other shades. We still don’t know how she really feels about Vamp Elena. The only glimmer of light is: Elena finally knows for herself. Alive, she loved Stefan. Dead, she only wants to be with Damon. She tells Stefan honestly, but we all know it won’t be that easy.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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