The Spirits aren't listening. There's something else I could try. [...] If the witches won't help me save Elena, then maybe I could go to the Other Side and bring her back myself. [...] She's still in transition. Not fully dead, not fully alive. What if her spirit still exists on both sides? [...] I was able to stop your heart to stop Klaus'. I'll do the same thing to myself. Witches have free reign on the Other Side. I will find Elena and I will bring her back with me. [...] I'm stronger now. I found a new source of power.
Bonnie plans to bring Elena's spirit back from the Other Side

Growing Pains is the first episode of the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries and the sixty-seventh episode of the series overall.


ELENA'S WORST NIGHTMAREElena awakens on the morning after the accident to find the thing she dreaded most has come true – she died with Damon's blood in her system and now must drink human blood to become a vampire or face 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. Pastor Young and the Town Council members begin rounding up the vampires and their supporters, leading to an unexpected tragedy.  


Elena wakes up in transition

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.

Caroline mourns Tyler

Tyler 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 her 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.

Elena remembers Damon's compulsions

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 by the way he speaks.

Caroline and 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 trying to bring Elena back

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 feels a force pulling her but she can't figure out what is pulling her.

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 his blood and complete the transition.

Vampire Elena

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 just in time to take the two men 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 breaks Rebekah's neck out of anger, telling her she is no longer his sister and means nothing to him.

Rebekah destroys Elena's human blood

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 a "Greater Evil" and lights a zippo. The council is killed in the ensuing explosion.


Main Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Cast



  • Antagonist: Although they treat Pastor Young and Sheriff's Deputies as the antagonists, the true antagonist is Atticus Shane, who makes his first appearance in The Five and is later revealed to have manipulated the Pastor to kill himself and the Council behind the scenes.
  • This is the first episode of the first chapter of Season Four, The Transition Chapter.
  • It is confirmed that Meredith Fell used Damon's blood to heal Elena between Before Sunset and The Departed.
  • The Founder's Council is now called the Town Council after Alaric's revelation.
    • The Founder's Council got its name because they were a council made by the first families who founded Mystic Falls. However, after discovering the dark truth of the families: Lockwood, Forbes, Fell, Gilbert, Salvatore, they were expelled, leaving only non-Founding Family residents with knowledge of the supernatural to create their own council.
  • Rebekah destroyed the last bags of Elena's doppelgänger blood that Klaus had in his possession from before she turned, ruining any chance Klaus had of making more hybrids.
  • Stefan made Elena a sandwich after she woke up following the car accident, but because Elena had yet to complete her transition, she said it tasted terrible.
  • While Bonnie didn't technically lose her powers, the fact that the Spirits led her to believe that her Grams' spirit is caused pain whenever she uses magic as a punishment for Bonnie using Dark Magic causes her to be too afraid to use it.

Body Count

Cultural References

  • Death Becomes Her is 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 is 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.


Behind the Scenes




Elena: "Am I dead? ... No!"

Damon: (to Elena) "There is no way out. We all know the drill. You feed or you die. There is no door number three.

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: "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."
Stefan: "I made a choice that I will regret for the rest of my life. Now, let me try to fix it."

Jeremy: (to Elena) "Your fangs coming yet?"

Rebekah: "Tragic about Elena. Not to make the gray cloud grayer, but does Matt even have automobile insurance for the car?"

Sheila Bennett: "She is not your problem to solve. Now go, before they keep you here."

Klaus: (to Caroline in Tyler's body) "Easy, love. Wrong time. Wrong place. Wrong equipment."



Last.fm_play.png "Twice" – Little Dragon
Last.fm_play.png "Whirring" – The Joy Formidable
Last.fm_play.png "Wait for the Morning" – Amy Stroup



See also

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