|The Vampire Diaries|
|Season 4, Episode 1|
|Air date||October 11th 2012|
|Written by||Caroline Dries|
|Directed by||Chris Grismer|
|Episode Guide transcript|
Growing Pains is the first/premiere episode of the Fourth Season and the sixty-seventh episode in the series.
ELENA’S WORST NIGHTMARE — Elena awakens on the morning after the accident to find that the thing she dreaded most has come true – she died with vampire blood in her system and now must go through the terrible transition to become a vampire, or face certain death. Stefan promises Elena that he and Bonnie will exhaust every possible way out of the situation, but Damon is furious with his brother for letting Elena die in the first place. Bonnie pays a terrible price for her attempt to change Elena’s fate, while Damon takes out his frustration and rage on Matt. In a rare moment of empathy, Rebekah is deeply touched by Stefan and Elena’s devotion to one another. Finally, Pastor Young and the Town Council members begin rounding up the vampires and their supporters, leading to an unexpected tragedy.
Elena wakes up and finds out that she's in transition. Damon and Stefan take turns explaining to her (and the audience) exactly HOW she is about to turn into a vampire. Damon declares that Elena must drink blood fresh from the vein but Stefan says Bonnie will try to find a way to prevent Elena from becoming a vampire. This is because she has said so many times before that she doesn't want to become a vampire.
Klaus (in Tyler's body) demands that Bonnie restore him to his body. Bonnie convinces him to wait, if she can keep Elena human, Klaus would have his "blood bag back." Pastor Young is heading the council now, and they are taking some tough measures: they occupy the hospital, put guards around the bloodbank, take the badge out of Sheriff Forbes and arrest Carol Lockwood.
Matt is having survival guilt. Caroline mourns Tyler, who she believes is dead. She is captured by Pastor Young. Elena is riding an emotional roller coaster. She has vivid flashbacks about what Damon compelled to forget. Also, she tries to eat a sandwich, but is unable to do so. Damon tries to stake Rebekah, but Pastor Young and his troops arrive just in time and interrupt him. Luckily he managed to hold on to the White Oak Stake as he avoided capture. Stefan is not so lucky and gets captured with Elena. She is served dinner she cannot eat, while Stefan is put in a cattle cell. Pastor Young explains to Elena that they've known each other since she was a little girl.
When Klaus/Tyler learns that Caroline has been captured, he runs to their transport car and rescues her - leaving behind a bewildered Rebekah, revealing himself to her in the process. Damon, Liz and Meredith try to figure out where Stefan and Elena have been taken. After almost being strangled by a very angry Damon, Matt imagines that maybe they have been taken to Pastor Young's cattle ranch. In the woods, Caroline tries to have some "glad you are not dead" "hot vampire-hybrid" sex, but Klaus/Tyler refuses her advances (not too much) and eventually she figures out it's Klaus in Tyler's body.
Meanwhile, Elena tries to escape, and believing she is also a vampire, she is put in a cell where she can hear, but not see Stefan. Rebekah watches everything from her cell, across from them.
Bonnie asks the spirits for help to save Elena, but is denied. She then stops her own heart, to go to the other side and pull Elena back. Her grandmother's spirit appears to tell her she cannot do that, and pushes her away from Elena, warning her that there will be consequences if she uses dark magic.
Elena is dying because she has not fed. She confesses to Stefan she was on the bridge because she chose him. Rebekah is touched by their devotion to each other, and helps Stefan to kill one of the soldiers so that Elena could feed on and complete the transition.
Damon recruits Matt to show him to where Elena is being held and to act as bait to draw the Pastor out. It works, but Damon is shot. He wakes up from just in time to take the two goons out. Vamped out Elena superspeeds just in time to stop Damon from killing Matt for being alive. Again. Pastor Young watches everything from his window without interfering.
Rebekah confronts Klaus for not saving her, and they fight. Rebekah destroys the remaining bags with Elena's blood (that Klaus plans on using to make more hybrids) and Klaus leaves town. Again.
Stefan and Elena have a touching moment on the roof of the Salvatore Boarding house. As the sun rises he gives Elena her daylight ring. Pastor Young gathers all the council members in his house, with all the town's supply of vervain, pulls the gas line out, makes a speech about "The Greater Evil" and lights a Zippo. The council is killed in the ensuing explosion.
- Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert
- Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
- Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
- Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy Gilbert
- Candice Accola as Caroline Forbes
- Zach Roerig as Matt Donovan
- Katerina Graham as Bonnie Bennett
- Michael Trevino as Tyler Lockwood/Klaus
- Joseph Morgan as Niklaus Mikaelson
- Torrey DeVitto as Meredith Fell
- Susan Walters as Carol Lockwood
- Marguerite MacIntyre as Elizabeth Forbes
- Claire Holt as Rebekah Mikaelson
Special Guest Star
- Antagonist: Although they treat Pastor Young and Sheriff's Deputies as the antagonists, the true antagonist is Attcus Shane.
- This is the first episode of The Transition Chapter.
- It is revealed that Meredith Fell used Damon's blood to heal Elena.
- The Founder's Council now called the Town Council after Alaric's revelation.
- Those blood bags Rebekah destroyed were the last of Klaus' supply for making his hybrids. 
- The sandwich tasted awful to Elena as a side effect of her transition. 
- Bonnie didn't lose her powers, however, every time she does dark magic, she'll see Grams in pain. 
- This is the first episode of season 4.
- "Death Becomes Her" - a 1992 dark comedy with Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. It's a play in words and it can mean both "she became death" as well as "death looks good on her", (like clothing).
- "Growing Pains" - an American television sitcom about an affluent family, residing in Huntington, Long Island, New York, with a working mother and a stay-at-home psychiatrist father raising three children together, which aired on ABC from September 24, 1985 to April 25, 1992.
- Pastor Young and 11 other council members.
- Deputy Adams
- The quirky dialogue between Elena, Stefan with Damon snarky remarks was a very elegant Exposition that recapped the events that led to this all. Could it be that trough all his Bitter Sarcasm Damon is the Only Sane One?
- Well, this whole episode was a great Introdump, but there was lot of information to recap....
- Pastor Young is introduced very much like Remember this new Guy? He remembers Elena wanted to be a writer, knew her parents and was part of the Council, although we had never seen him before ....
- Like many times before, Bonnie suffers from Psychic Nosebleed when she overexerts herself.
- Very creepy when Klaus threatens to rip the living heart out of Tyler...
- Body count: Paster Young, almost all of the Town Council, and one deputy
Behind the Scenes
- This is the first season premiere to feature every main character since Pilot.
- Following Matt Davis' departure from the cast in season 3, this is the first season to feature just 9 series regulars.
- This is the first season premiere to feature Meredith Fell, and Rebekah, the third to feature Carol, the second to feature Klaus and Liz and the fourth to feature Elena, Stefan, Damon, Jeremy, Bonnie, Matt, Tyler and Caroline.
- This is the first season premiere to not be written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec.
- Before the official title was revealed (July 24) it was rumored that it was named "Phases".
- This is the first season premiere to not have a "Previously On..." voice over.
- Ratings: 3.483 million (highest ratings since the first 9 episodes of season three)
- Meredith, Carol, Elizabeth and Rebekah were last seen in The Departed.
- Many references are made of when Elena told Stefan she did not want to be a Vampire in The Last Day.
- Damon saying there is no 3rd door might be a reference to the many times, when faced with two terrible choices, Elena chose a third choice .
- Elena has a very cool Pensive Flashback to when Damon made her forget that he loves her in Rose.
- All of the events from The Departed are all mentioned in this episode.
- Vicki Donovan was mentioned by Jeremy and Elena. She was turned and destroyed as a vampire in Season 1's Lost Girls and Haunted, but she came back as a ghost in Season 2's As I Lay Dying. She was last seen in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
- Jeremy and Elena both mentioning Bonnie's part in bringing him back to life and the "consequences." It became an recurring theme from Season 3.
- On the other hand NOBODY mentioned that Bonnie already knew a spell to prevent Elena from turning into a vampire... In The Sun Also Rises, Damon fed Elena his blood so that she would not die in Klaus' sacrifice, and John Gilbert gave up his life to keep Elena human.
- Alaric Saltzman was mentioned by Klaus, Pastor Young, Caroline and Elizabeth. He was last seen in The Departed.
- Shelia Bennett was last seen in Ghost World. This is her second appearance as a ghost.
- Finn, Elijah and Kol were mentioned by Rebekah.
- Stefan: "You know what, you weren't there the day Elena looked me in the eye and told me she absolutely never wanted this."
- Damon: "Then you shouldn't have let her die."
- Stefan Salvatore|Stefan]]: "I never meant for her to die. She asked me to help Matt first and I did."
- Damon: "And now the world has one more quarterback. Bravo, brother." - to Stefan.
- Stefan: "I made a choice that I will regret for the rest of my life. Now let me try to fix it."
- Jeremy: "Your fangs coming yet?" - to Elena
- Rebekah: "Tragic about Elena. Not to make the grey cloud greyer but does Matt even have automobile insurance for the car?"