ELENA’S WORST NIGHTMARE — Elena 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.
Special Guest Star
- 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.
- However, in The Originals episode Bloodletting, it was revealed that there is one other way to create hybrids—by feeding a werewolf the blood of his daughter Hope Mikaelson before they die and as well as after they awaken in transition. This method has created two hybrids: Dwayne, and Hayley Marshall.
- 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.
- Pastor Young and Eleven other Town Council members - Explosion; killed by himself
- Deputy Adams - Head trauma; killed by Stefan Salvatore
- Two Sheriff's Deputies - Broken neck and Impalement; killed by Damon Salvatore
- 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.
- The quirky dialogue between Elena, Stefan with Damon's snarky remarks was a very elegant Exposition that recapped the events that led to this all. Could it be that through 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.
Behind the Scenes
- This is the first season premiere to feature every main character since Pilot (not counting with Katherine Pierce).
- Following Matt Davis' departure from the cast in Season Three, this is the first season to feature just nine series regulars.
- This is the first season premiere to feature Meredith Fell, Sheila Bennett 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.
- This episode had about 3.18 million views in the USA.
- Hashtag during the airing is #WelcomeBackTVD
- 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 third 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 mentioned in this episode.
- Vicki Donovan was mentioned by Jeremy and Elena. She was turned and destroyed as a vampire in Season One's Lost Girls and Haunted, but she came back as a ghost in Season Two's As I Lay Dying. She was last seen in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
- Jeremy and Elena both mention Bonnie's part in bringing Jeremy back to life, as well as the "consequences." It became an recurring theme from Season Three.
- No one ever 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.
- However, this is likely because A) the spell had to be done prior to the person's death, and B) they had no one they were willing to sacrifice in Elena's place, and Elena wouldn't have let them do it anyway, as she chose to die so Matt could live.
- 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.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- 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."