The Vampire Diaries Episode 4.15 "Stand By Me" Recap

The Vampire Diaries 4.15 Stand By Me

Feeling a little bit like Caroline right now, because seriously?! Apparently Jeremy really is gone for good, but what kind of person thinks lighting their house on fire with lighter fluid and bourbon is the only good “cover story” for his death? A terrible one, that’s who. Regardless, what’s done is done – now let’s talk about how Elena got to that point.

Stefan, Jeremy, Caroline, and Elena in 4.15 Stand By MeIn trying to pick up where last week left off, it seems the writers made a mistake right out the gate. Remember that final scene – the one where Bonnie had just watched Jeremy die right in front of her, as she slowly bleeds out herself? Well, this week they claim that Bonnie had taken off to find Jeremy, making her lost somewhere on the island while Jeremy (Steven McQueen) still lies dead in the cave. Also: Katherine, Silas, and the cure are nowhere in sight, not that anyone was surprised about that.

Anyway, the obvious reasoning for the “missing witch” plot diversion is that Bonnie won’t be able to use her powers to bring Jeremy back. In the meantime, Elena is focused on the idea that Jeremy’s ring might be enough to save him – going with the theory that, since the Hunter tattoo had disappeared, he was no longer a supernatural being. While Stefan (Paul Wesley) helps Elena get Jeremy‘s body back to Mystic Falls, Damon decides to stay on the island and look for Bonnie.

Jeremy, Elena, Meredith, and Stefan in 4.15 Stand By MeBack in Mystic Falls, Caroline (Candice Accola) is busy scrubbing floors in the Gilbert house when Stefan walks in with Jeremy in his arms – but Elena has no time for anything but focusing on her brother. Determined to not leave his side, she opts to hover over his body – though it’s starting to decompose already. When Caroline and Stefan start to smell him, they call in Dr. Meredith Fell (Torrey DeVitto) to come help take care of Jeremy’s body.

Later, Elena walks in as Meredith is about to inspect him, and agrees to let Dr. Fell checks Jeremy over. Meredith tries to tell Elena that he is definitely dead – that it’s not like the other times when he and Alaric have died with their rings on. Not yet ready to accept it, Elena vamps out on her. Stefan pulls Elena off of Meredith [LOL for a minute at Paul having to save his wife from Elena’s vampire crutches], and Elena is soon distracted when Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) walks in and gets upset at the sight of Jeremy’s body.

Elena and Matt in 4.15 Stand By MeMatt then takes Elena out of the house for a bit – to the Stoner Pit at the high school, of all places. He shows Elena some graffiti Jeremy did for Vicki way back in the day – his main point being that it was okay that Elena had hope that Jeremy wasn’t gone because hope can be all you have sometimes. [Reminding us of Jeremy‘s early days on the show – and his “rebel” phase?  Well played, writers. As if we weren’t already traumatized enough, let’s add a little nostalgia into the mix.]

While all this was going on back in Mystic Falls, Bex and Damon were still on the remote island. Rebekah called Damon out on his choice of staying behind to find Bonnie when his sired signifcant other needed him back home. [Who wasn’t thinking that was an odd choice? Good on Bex for acknowledging that.] Anyway, Damon said that his real reason for hunting down Bonnie was because he knew Elena would need her best friend back home when the grief hit… or maybe even because he knew Elena would want Bonnie there to try and revive Jeremy.

Galen Vaughn in 4.15 Stand By MeTheir argument is interrupted when Damon uses Bex (Claire Holt) as a shield from a flying arrow. He leaves her to pull the arrow out of her own back while he chases down the shooter – Galen Vaughn, the other Hunter. [Yay! He survived!] When Damon and Rebekah threaten to torture information out of him about how he came to be on the island, Galen tells them that he was in cahoots with Katherine – who learned everything about the entire situation through Tyler’s old frienemy Hayley.

Now that the mystery of how Katherine got there is cleared up, Damon’s all about leaving Galen (Charlie Bewley) to rot on the island – but as Bex sees Galen as her ticket to finding out where Katherine took the cure, the two part ways. Damon, still trying to find Bonnie, gets a phone call from Stefan – who advises him to give up the search for Bonnie and get home because Elena’s about to lose it.

Bonnie, Elena, Matt, and Caroline in 4.15 Stand By MeJust as Damon hangs up the phone, Bonnie (Kat Graham) appears out of the woods with an amazing story to tell about where she really disappeared to – and with who. On their way back to meet with the gang, Bonnie explains it all to Damon. Once they get to the Gilbert house, Bonnie heads inside to tell Elena, Caroline, and Matt about the new plan while Damon informs Stefan that Shane has got Bonnie brainwashed.

Well, we already all know Shane is a lying, manipulative dirtbag, so what we learn about his plan is not so much a surprise. Shane, after calming Bonnie down as she almost lost control when she learned about Jeremy’s death, tricked Bonnie into thinking she could help Jeremy and bring him back to life. Apparently, the reason Shane (David Alpay) had been orchestrating the massacres was to complete an “Expression Triangle” that would totally destroy the separation between the living and those on “The Other Side”.Bonnie and Shane in 4.15 Stand By Me

Shane told Bonnie that Qetsiyah created The Other Side to prevent Silas from ever meeting up with his one true love. The Other Side is home to every supernatural being that has ever died. So, if the “Expression Triangle” is complete, every supernatural creature that has ever died will be brought back to life [yeah, sort of like a large-scale Ghost World, right?]. Anyway, Bonnie is all over that idea, having been convinced that it will all be fantastic and wonderful. [She’s obviously been brainwashed to forget about what happened last time.]

Matt Donovan in 4.15 Stand By MeThe only setback is that there is still one more massacre of 12 people that needs to occur for the triangle to be complete. The gang argues, but doesn’t manage to convince Bonnie about how bad a plan that is. In the end, Matt takes Bonnie home, where she meets up with Shane so he can throw more lies at her. Meanwhile, Matt Donovan doesn’t even make it home without having to pull over for a good man-cry over losing his bro-BFF. [One of the worst scenes ever – you’re soulless if you didn’t just fall apart and want to hug Matty forever after watching that.]

Back at the Gilbert house, Elena finally comes to the realization that Jeremy really is dead for good. She demands that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) bring Jeremy’s body downstairs, and then sets about creating the “perfect cover story” by dousing the house in lighter fluid and bourbon – intending to burn her entire house down with Jeremy inside it.

Elena Gilbert in 4.15 Stand By MeFinally having enough, Elena has a major break-down – basically amounting to the fact that she wants to burn the house down because she wants to forget all the memories of all it’s former residents who have died. [That part is understandable. Crazy, but understandable.] Stefan, Caroline, and Damon have no idea what to do to help her, but they do their best to convince her that she may eventually regret burning the house down.

In the end, Stefan asks Damon do use the sire bond to try and take away Elena‘s pain – which Damon interprets as him meaning to make her turn off her humanity. Elena does so [in an actually pretty impressive performance on Nina Dobrev’s part], but Stefan doesn’t really think that was the best way to go about helping Elena.

Stefan and Caroline in 4.15 Stand By MeThe two brothers take their disagreement outside, where they finally make up after their long fight over Elena. Damon tells Stefan that getting Elena to flip her humanity switch is the best option since she has no one to care about anymore – no one important enough to counteract the grief, anyway. [Side note: I don’t care how much you try and convince me, I’m still not buying that Elena feels grief to any higher a degree than some of the rest of the characters.]

Anyway, this is sort of a major game changer in Mystic Falls – which was the entire point of killing off Jeremy, to turn Elena the innocent little vampire into someone who doesn’t care about hurting people. [Jeremy absolutely did not deserve to go out that way – but I guess we could all take that as a lesson about death not being justified sometimes.]

Caroline, Stefan, Damon, and Elena in 4.15 Stand By MeSo, the brothers go back inside to find Elena still wanting to torch her house. Now, however, her decision makes more sense since she really probably couldn’t care less about her house or her brother anymore. I have a feeling there will be repercussions when Elena regains her humanity and finds out they let her set her house on fire – but I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

As for the “best cover story” idea – they’re all completely insane to think that was the best way to cover up Jeremy‘s death. Any fire investigator with half a brain would be able to tell that the house was intentionally destroyed. I can’t even handle the level of stupid in that particular plan. Again, this ridiculousness is all to further the plot of making sure we all understand Elena‘s firmly on the dark side now…. [FYI: WE GET IT!]

Shane in 4.15 Stand By MeMeanwhile, back on the remote island, Rebekah was just getting warmed up torturing Galen when he revealed the key problem with Silas: he can take any form he wishes. With that development, Bex realizes that he can literally be anyone in the world, so she has enough sense to be scared enough to take off. While running through the woods to try and get away, she stumbles upon a body.

She turns the body over to see none other than Shady Shane himself. [The sight of him lying there, broken leg and all, literally gave me chills. That was actually a pretty awesome twist.] Thinking he’s dead – and not realizing that “Shane” is supposedly back in Mystic Falls with Bonnie – Rebekah starts to walk away, only to have him grab onto her ankle and say one word: “Silas”.

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