ELENA'S NEW NIGHTMARE — Terrifying hallucinations leave Elena shaken and confused, causing her to make a dangerous mistake. After giving Stefan some very disturbing news about Elena, Klaus takes matters into his own hands. Professor Shane reveals a story of ancient witchcraft to Damon and Bonnie. With help from Klaus and Stefan, Jeremy begins a new chapter in his life. Finally, Elena makes a painful personal confession to Stefan, and Matt gives Damon startling new information about Professor Shane.
- Antagonists: Connor Jordan (hallucination), Katherine Pierce (hallucination) and Niklaus Mikaelson.
- Stefan and Elena break up, though it is on mutual terms.
- This is the last episode before a one-week hiatus for Thanksgiving Day.
- Elena and Damon return to Wickery Bridge, where Elena almost died in May 2009, and where she was killed in a car accident in The Departed.
- Connor Jordan and Miranda Sommers-Gilbert haunt Elena from beyond the grave through hallucinations from the Hunter's Curse. She was also tormented by hallucinations of Katherine.
- Katherine makes a cameo in the episode, marking her first appearance in Season 4 after an eighteen episode absence, though she only appears as a hallucination. She was last seen in Homecoming.
- Jeremy makes his first kill as a hunter, which fully activates him as a member of the Brotherhood of the Five.
- In the following episode, it is revealed this activation includes Jeremy gaining various supernatural abilities, including moderately enhanced strength and reflexes, as well as protection from being mind-controlled by vampires or immortals.
- Caroline agrees to go on a date with Klaus if he will allow Jeremy to kill one of his hybrids to advance his Hunter's mark and fully activate his hunter potential, thereby ending Elena's Hunter's Curse.
- Elena finally admits she has feelings for Damon, which leads to her break-up with Stefan.
- Alaric Saltzman was referenced thrice in this episode.
- First when Damon says "Thanks for not ditching the family ring after it drove Ric crazy." to Jeremy.
- A second time in Alaric's old classroom, when Damon drinks a bottle of bourbon he found in Alaric's old desk.
- The third time when Damon orders two drinks at the bar, and Matt asks if he is still saving a seat for "Mr. Saltzman".
- Silas and Qetsiyah are mentioned for the very first time in this episode. Amara is mentioned for the first time, but she wasn't referenced by name, and won't be until the episode Original Sin.
- Silas' Tombstone is seen for the very first time in this episode.
- Not all the waters of the ocean can clean the blood off your hands, Elena, so you better head for the Shower of Angst! After any kind of trauma, all that one wants is to get a long shower, after all, water does have the archetypical cleansing properties that go beyond the visible stains.
- Add a bit of Fanservice with the topless from behind to keep it safe for kids!
- Of course, The Slayer is not the only Chosen One - it is a common trope that is actually older than the pyramids. In modern fiction we have Anakin Skywalker, Harry Potter, Neo from The Matrix, John Connor from the Terminator series, and one can say that Christ and King Arthur were also chosen ones. The Chosen one is often the beneficiary (or victim) of an ancient prophecy. Many times - but not always, they get special powers to fulfill their mission.
- Moral Dissonance: to kill the one hybrid that is not sired to Klaus anymore, but is the one who helped you save your sister or beloved is really not nice. It makes us question who the "good guys" are.
- That is also an example of Protagonist Centered Morality.
- The way Stefan is trying so hard to "fix" Elena, and on the way doing very questionable acts that mess things up more than they further his goal make him a Tragic Hero.
- When Klaus kidnapped Elena for her own protection, he kept her in a Gilded Cage.
- This is the first appearance of Katherine this season. She was last seen in Season Three's Homecoming.
- Jeremy is still wearing the Gilbert Ring, despite the fact that dying too many times while wearing it is what drove Alaric to be possessed by his inner darkness.
- In The Killer, Stefan compelled Jeremy to forget that Connor's tattoo could lead to a cure for vampirism.
- The Wickery Bridge was last seen in The Departed.
- Miranda Sommers-Gilbert was last seen in The Departed via flashback. This is her first appearance as a hallucination.
- This is the third episode this season in which all main characters appear.
- Sheila Bennett and Abby Bennett Wilson were both mentioned by Katherine.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- McKinley, Virginia
- "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" is a direct quote from both the 1960 and 1998 versions of the film Psycho. It was also a quote that was used to reference Psycho in the well-known slasher-flick Scream, which, coincidentally, was written by Kevin Williamson, the original showrunner of The Vampire Diaries. It was the Scream series that launched Williamson's career.
- Damon tells Stefan that -
- It's time to Face the Music - meaning, accept the consequences of his actions.
- Also to Pay the Piper - this is a reference to the fable "The Pied Piper of Hamelin ", who was hired by a village to get rid of all the rats, which he did. When the village refused to pay him, he played a different tune, and let all the children to death. A cautionary tale about paying your debts or bad consequences will follow.
- And to Dance with the Devil - meaning if you engage with someone known for their evil, crafty ways, he'll beat you at his game. It is said that witches danced with the devil.
- Damon refers to Jeremy as "Van Helsing " (a fictional character from Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.)
- This is the second time Damon refers to a character as a famous vampire hunter. The first time was in Smells Like Teen Spirit, when he referred to Elena as "Buffy".
- This is also the second time Van Helsing reference was used. First one was in Children of the Damned, when Stefan referred to Alaric as Van Helsing.
- If there was any doubt that the Hunters are a reference to the Slayers, it was made clear after Jeremy told about his mark to Matt who replies: "What are you? The next chosen one?" The opening sequence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer said: "In every generation, there is a chosen one".
- Charles Darwin is the British naturalist who wrote the book On the Origin of Species. During his voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle in 1830, Darwin made several observations of nature that led him to postulate that all species descend from a common ancestor, and proposed the theory of Evolution and the process of Natural selection. In the book published in 1856, he presents compelling evidence for both.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 2.84 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.18 million less than the previous episode.
- Hashtag during the airing is #ThatVampCray
- Stefan (after Jeremy reawakens after Elena "killed" him): "Welcome back."
- Jeremy: "What happened?"
- Damon: "Long story, buy the e-book."
- Katherine: "How about you and I have a little chat?"
- Elena: "Katherine?"
- Katherine: "Did you miss me?"
- Stefan (when Stefan's phone rings): "It's Klaus."
- Damon: "Time to face the music. Pay the piper. Dance with the devil."
- Stefan: "You know, I’m glad you find this amusing. If he finds out I told you about the cure, he’ll kill both of us."
- Damon: "Then quit avoiding him. I mean, it’s shady. Shady people get outed."
- Stefan (picks up the phone): "I don’t want to talk about it."
- Klaus: "Well, I can imagine why, what with you ruining all my plans for a hybrid-filled future."
- Stefan: "Well, it wouldn't have happened if you hadn't sworn me to secrecy."
- Klaus: "Well, life’s full of “ifs,” Stefan. Let’s accentuate the positives, shall we? The hunter was one of five, we’ll find another. It may take centuries, but we've got time, right?"
- Stefan: "You’re using your calm voice today. Who’s getting killed?"
- Klaus: "Not you, if that’s what you’re worried about. I am concerned about your beloved. Have the hallucinations started yet?"
- Stefan (grows alarmed and stares worriedly at Damon): "What do you know about that?"
- Klaus: "I’ll tell you. Where are you?"
- Stefan: "At her house."
- Klaus: "How convenient. So am I." (Klaus knocks on the door.)
- Klaus: "Caroline, you're beautiful, but if you don't stop talking, I will kill you."
- Klaus (about Tyler): "He never would have hurt you... I wouldn't have let him."
- Bonnie (to Jeremy): "You need to kill a vampire."
- Jeremy: "Great, give me a stake, I'll kill Damon right now."
- Damon: "Easy Van Helsing, we’ll get you one."