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Torturing the Humanity Back into Elena: The Vampire Diaries “She’s Come Undone” Review

By on May 3, 2013
Image © CW Network

Image © CW Network

By Mandy Treccia

Those expecting The Vampire Diaries to be a bit of a letdown after last week’s fantastic preview for The Originals may have been surprised by last night’s “She’s Come Undone.” While the episode did start off on the slow, repetitive side, it ended up packing an emotional punch capable of bringing a tear to the eye. Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) were ready to torture the humanity back into Elena (Nina Dobrev). This was the tedious part. The brothers would do something to her, Elena would say something mean to hurt them and then they’d start again (lather, rinse, repeat). Finally, Elena got bored and set herself on fire, proving her point that neither brother would let anything drastic happen to her. Well played, Ms. Gilbert. So the Salvatore brothers went to Plan 73,736 and called Katherine to torture her doppelganger.

It’s always fun to watch Dobrev do scenes as both characters, but this episode might have been her best performance yet, and not just in the Elena and Katherine face off scenes. She excels at bringing the right nuances to whatever side of Elena or Katherine that she is playing at that moment and she never fails to impress. Anyway, Katherine tortured Elena for a minute, Elena said some mean things about Elijah dumping her and then Katherine set Elena loose because she wanted to see her ravage an orphanage and then be forced to live with the guilt.

Damon came up with a new plan (we’ve all lost count at this point) and decided to use Matt (Zach Roerig) as bait. Matt found a tired, hungry Elena in the woods and tried his best to talk her out of drinking from him, but Elena nearly drained him dry anyway. Damon and Stefan showed up before she could kill him and Elena barely finished rolling her eyes at them when Damon snapped Matt’s neck.

Elena saw Matt lying dead on the ground and Damon taunted her over the loss of her oldest friend and Elena finally let her walls collapse and started to cry. But this was a beautiful scene and again, I have to applaud Dobrev and her talent. Her face just broke with the pain and misery of losing someone else that she loved. As much as I’ve disliked this storyline, credit is due to the writers for finding the one thing that would be impossible for Elena to ignore, no matter how much she probably wanted to. Damon pointed out that Matt was wearing the Gilbert ring that protected him from supernatural death (duh, of course he was. I’m ashamed of myself for not thinking of that).

Elena was relieved for about two seconds before she started realizing all the terrible stuff she’s done since her switch had been turned off. It was Stefan’s turn to step up. He calmly told Elena to focus on one emotion; the thing that would give her a reason to keep living. It worked and while most of the fans were probably debating whether Elena was thinking of Stefan or Damon as her reason for living, the lady in question told both of her ex-boyfriends what was giving her the will to live: her hatred for Katherine. Elena blamed her doppelganger for all their problems and swore that she was going to kill her.

It was a nice twist and a brilliant way to allow Elena to keep some of her edge now that her humanity is back. It’s also setting up a huge showdown because throughout the episode Bonnie (Kat Graham) had been attempting to make a deal with Katherine. She wanted Silas’ headstone for her spell and Kat wanted to know what was in it for her. Bonnie finally promised her that she would get the witch that had cursed Silas to grant Katherine immortality as well so no one could ever threaten her again. Naturally, she was all in.

What’s interesting about this is the fact that Bonnie and Elena have been at odds for most of the season so it’s entirely possible Bonnie won’t side with her best friend. It’s also possible that she was lying and doesn’t plan on doing anything for Katherine. I have a hard time believing the show will kill Katherine off, but it will still be interesting to watch this play out over the next two episodes.

Caroline (Candice Accola) had the other story worth noting. After failing to help Elena, Caroline was accosted by Klaus (Joseph Morgan), but it was actually Silas trying to track down Bonnie. He slipped into Matt’s form next and threatened to hurt the person who mattered most to Caroline: her mother. Caroline called Liz (Marguerite MacIntyre). Caroline was relieved to find her mom at home in one piece, but it wasn’t long before Bonnie showed up and told her that it was actually Silas.

Liz was lying on the floor, dying and a desperate Caroline fed her blood and even injected it directly into her heart. As she cried over her mother’s lifeless body and begged her to come back, Accola had a chance to show off her talent and once again, I found myself crying with her. The anguish in her voice when she talked about graduation was gut-wrenching. Thankfully, Liz woke up and I let out a relieved sigh for the second time. Caroline has had enough heartache.
Next week, Bonnie does her spell to drop the veil between the two worlds and Mystic Falls will be overrun with ghosts once again. It should be fun to see what kind of mischief (or danger) they’ll bring with them.