Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 15 Review: “Stand By Me”

Vampire Diaries - Stand By Me Episode Recap

Vampire Diaries has not failed to impress. Each episode since the mid season premiere has been packed with twists, turns, and surprises, yet perhaps none have been as shocking, and as meaningful as Jeremy’s death. As revealed in this episode, as a hunter Jeremy is now a supernatural being, and as such has negated the effect of his ring. With Silas revived, Klaus free, and the cure gone, the cast of Vampire Diaries are going to be scrambling, and Jeremy might be the last thing they can worry about

With that said, let’s see what went down in episode 15 of the 4th season of Vampire Diaries.


What is the connection between Shane, the enigmatic professor, and Silas, the most powerful being of all time? Up until this point we believed that Shane’s connection to Silas was nothing more than the compulsion of an ancient being, but with all that is revealed in this episode, “Stand By Me”, so much more has come into light.

When Bonnie awakens at the beginning of the episode, only remembering being stabbed by the hunter at the end of “Down The Rabbit Hole”, she is met by Shane. His leg wound, inflicted when the cave collapsed as Bonnie and Jeremy opened Silas’s Tomb, is now healed and we are led to believe that Silas has healed Shane, allowing him to live to complete his bidding. Before long, Shane tells Bonnie about the events in the tomb and how Jeremy has died at the hands of Silas. As Bonnie begins to melt down, crippled by the loss of the person she loves, Shane reminds her that she must not fear. Once ‘the ritual’ is complete, Silas will have the power to bring back from the dead all those who have served him. Shane then tells Bonnie what she needs to do to serve Silas and sends her to Damon to bring her home.

Later, as Rebekah is interrogating the hunter who had found them on the island (and previously kidnapped Damon), she confirms that Silas has truly awakened and is now free. Up until this point the fate of Silas had more or less been left up in the air, but now we’re certain. The hunter then proceeds to tell Rebekah that no one, living or dead, knows what Silas looks like. He could be anywhere, anyone, and no one would be able to find him.

This is when things get tricky. We cut to Bonnie’s house, where she has returned and is now met by Shane. They talk for a moment before the show cuts back to the Island in Nova Scotia where Rebekah is wandering around in the dark. We are unsure why she is there or what she is doing, but she is alone. After a few moments, she stumbles across a body. As she investigates, we discover that the body is Shane, his leg still crippled. He is near death. All he mumbles is “Silas” before the camera pans away. Leaving us pregnant with SO MANY QUESTIONS.

First, WHAT? Without a doubt in my mind, the Shane who has been with Bonnie, guiding her since Jeremy’s death and teaching her what she must do to bring the dead back to life, has been Silas. But what is he? Is he an actual physical form? Or is he an illusion only Bonnie can see? As we learned back in the cave, even with the slightest drop of blood, Silas’ dessicated corpse could make you see someone you loved who had passed away. This is powerful for several reasons. One – in order to bring back someone you love, Silas would need to be able to read your mind and then fill it with illusions of your own memories. What kind of vampire would this make him? If this is so, is he simply filling Bonnie’s head with illusions of Shane? Or is something else going on?

If the Shane-Silas following Bonnie is not an illusion, would that mean that Shane is Silas’s doppelganger? And if he is a doppelganger, how did he get the exact clothes (including the wounds) that Shane had? Also, how did he locate his spiritual twin and draw him to where he, Silas, was buried?

Or is there a third option? That Silas is indeed following Bonnie, but he is using his powers to alter her perception of who he is? Making himself appear to Bonnie as if he were Shane, when in fact he had a different appearance altogether? It will be interesting to see which one of these is true… or if there’s something else out there I have missed altogether!


Vampire Diaries - Stand By Me Episode Recap

As mentioned above, Bonnie is being led around by some form of Silas, be it an illusion, a vision, or his actual self. Regardless of what form, this only proves how truly powerful Silas actually is. In any sense, he either has the ability to alter his physical appearance or the power to bend the perception of those around him.

While they are meandering around the Island (in order to prevent confusion, I will now be referring to Shane and Shane-Silas, since the names can get a bit confusing), Shane-Silas (who Bonnie believes to be Shane) tells Bonnie that Silas needs her help to complete an ancient spell, and that once the Spell is complete, all those who have served Silas will be brought back from the dead. Shane-Silas then confirms something I had been wondering about after the past episode: that Silas is no longer a witch, and that one must choose between Immortality or Magic (although it does seem that the more immortal you are, the more your powers are practically that of a witch). Which is why Shane-Silas and Shane have been training Bonnie, a Bennet witch, in expression—so that she will have the power to complete Silas’s bidding.

Bonnie is then sent back to mystic falls with Damon to meet up with Elena (who is in denial about her brother’s death), Caroline, and Matt. Here at the house, she informs the Vampire Diaries gang that three sacrifices needed to be completed, to create power-spots (similar to where the witches were burned in season one) that would remove the veil between the living and the dead.

Taking a quick step back, Shane-Silas also reveals something else on the Island. Qetsiyah buried Silas with the cure (as we all know), giving him the option of living forever or taking the cure and dying of old age in the tomb. Seems pretty nice, right? Well, apparently Qetsiyah is the biggest bitch in the world (or Silas was the biggest —this decision to come by the end of the season). She did not want him to have the release of death, knowing that death would have been the option he would have chosen, setting him free and giving him peace. So, Qetsiyah created “the other side” or a purgatory that ALL supernatural beings would be trapped in for eternity after they died.

Wow. This means that all the dead witches, the power spots, the ghosts, pretty much EVERYTHING up until this point has been because Qetsiyah has prevented the supernatural from ever truly dying. Jeremy’s undead girlfriends, Grams visiting Bonnie, Rose visiting Damon, etc. This makes sense as to why witches can call on the power of the dead, or use their magic to influence the physical world, because they never truly left it.

Jumping back to Bonnie and the Vampire Diaries gang, she claims that she and Shane only need to complete one last massacre of twelve people and then she will have the power to undo Qetsiyah’s spell. This will bring back all the supernatural creatures who have died, EVER.

What could Silas benefit from this? Would he be reunited with his loved one? Does he intend on ruling a new world, populated only with the supernatural? Also, what would happen once every supernatural creature is brought back? Would they not be able to be killed again? Would all vampires be truly immortal, like the originals? Or would this only give them one last chance at life?


Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 15 Review- Stand By Me - matt and elena

Now for the Elena debacle. She is not in good shape. With Jeremy dead, she is literally without a single living family member. All of her parents, including her adopted parents who died before Vampire Diaries began, and her real parents, who are revealed later on in the series, die because of elena as well. Aunt Jenna, Alaric, and now her brother are all also dead. She is completely alone. Even the Originals have one another, and even Stefan and Damon have each other. No one in the show is as completely alone as Elena is. As such, she clings on to the hope that the ring might bring Jeremy back—that once the spell was completed and the tattoo disappeared, he was no longer one of the five and would be back any moment. But as time goes on, we discover that this is not true.

Caroline and Stefan begin to smell the decay on his body, and as the day progresses and Jeremy lies motionless, it becomes harder and harder for Elena to cope with the truth. Matt attempts to console her, bringing Elena to a spot at the school his now dead sister Vicki marked with graffiti. He tells her that the dead never truly leave us, but even hearing this from someone who has lost a family member wasn’t enough for her. It is only when April calls looking for Jeremy that she is forced to face the truth, that her brother is dead. She mumbles this under her breath, drops the phone and runs upstairs.

Elena, in a fit, rips the blanket from Jeremy’s body and suddenly is able to smell the decay. Her denial brakes, and she is faced with the truth: Jeremy is dead and will never be coming back. She has a complete breakdown, and begins to destroy her house. Caroline, Stefan and Damon try to comfort her, but she won’t stop. While listing everyone who has died on her behalf, Elena begins to douse her living room in lighter fluid and alcohol—smashing picture frames, tearing up Jeremy’s sketches, and screaming. As she strikes a match and is about to burn every memory of her past, Damon stops her, and uses their sire bond to force Elena to turn off her humanity. In the midst of a panic attack, Elena slowly calms, until she is left sitting on the floor, covered in tears, with a distant emotionless face.

After she has calmed, Stefan and Damon step outside where they share a brief yet tender moment, acknowledging that even after everything they’ve been through, and all their family that has died, they still have each other. It was adorable, but while they were outside touching their butts, emotionless Elena, who decided that they needed to have a cover story as to why her brother died, lights a match and burns down her house anyway. After some dramatic moment, the show ends on Jeremy’s burning body and then Elena’s journal. As she walks out the house, Elena looks oddly familiar. Cold, emotionless and void. She has completed her transformation into Katherine—physically in her appearance, and metaphorically in the her burning diary—the last connection to her humanity (and a major plot device of the first season).

Will Bonnie go through with Shane-Silas’ plan to resurrect every dead supernatural creature? What will happen once Rebekah brings Shane back to mystic falls, if she does at all. And what is this new Elena going to be like? Will she become Katherine? Or is there something different between them still? Can’t wait to see what happens next!


Rebekah can’t catch a break. Not only does she get left alone on the island (which is how she finds real Shane), but Damon uses her as a meat shield and protects himself from an arrow with her body. He doesn’t even have the courtesy of taking it out, and just leaves her there to fend for herself. At this point, Rebekah doesn’t even seem to care. But I care. Every episode I like her more, and everyone is just such a big butt to her. Well I’m tired of it! Give the poor girl a break, god damn it!

Anyway, It’s going to be interesting to see the new power dynamic developing. Throughout the last few episodes, Vampire Diaries has been doing a great job of diminishing the power of the immortals. Not only did Elena, a new vampire, and Jeremy, barely a hunter, kill Kol, but Bonnie took down and trapped Klaus without batting an eye and Rebekah keeps getting the shit beat out of her for no reason. In reverse, Silas is only looking more and more terrifying, as mentioned above, regardless of what he is doing. He has the power to either change his form or alter your mind, which is perhaps even more powerful than compulsion. Or maybe that is his compulsion, and he compelled Bonnie to see him as Shane. Why didn’t I think of that before? Whatever, I think it’s fine down here. 


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