"The Vampire Diaries" season 4 saw Elena in the aftermath of Jeremy's death in the Thursday, Feb. 21 episode 15, "Stand By Me," and she was in a serious state of denial regarding her brother's fate.
Island time continued on "The Vampire Diaries" as Bonnie woke up to Shane explaining Silas was awake and would bring back the dead—and Jeremy was among the dead. She began losing control as she grieved, but Shane told her that Silas needed her and he could bring everyone, including Jeremy, back. To do that, they needed to get her home. She needed to do the magic for Silas, and there needed to be a third massacre, something Shane didn't see as a problem since he said they'd come back. She ran, but after she saw Jeremy and couldn't help him—he wasn't really there—she told Shane she'd do whatever it took.
Meanwhile, Damon updated Rebekah on the situation, and while she wasn't going to miss Jeremy, she wasn't heartless. He was Elena's only family. They needed to find Bonnie. As they searched, Vaughn attacked, but Damon knocked him out. He tied him up, ready to torture him until he got his answers, and Rebekah lent a hand with some graphic descriptions of what was coming. "You are creepy," Damon told her. Vaughn explained that Katherine found him and said she could help find Silas and was working with Haley, whom she found in New Orleans. Rebekah wanted to find the cure, but Damon was going after Bonnie. Elena needed him to bring her home. He checked in with Stefan, who told him he needed to come home because the sire bond was the only thing that would hold Elena together. Fortunately, that was when Bonnie showed up and told Damon she could bring Jeremy back. Meanwhile, Rebekah threw Vaughn into the pit, and he told her she'd use the cure to kill Silas if she was smart, or she'd be doomed, human or vampire.
Elena and Stefan found Jeremy's body, and she kept saying the ring would bring him back. However, as Stefan and Damon discussed, Jeremy was one of the Five; he was supernatural so the ring wouldn't work. "She won't survive this," Damon said and told his brother to get her off the island. They brought Jeremy home, where Caroline was scrubbing at Kol's burn mark. Elena said she'd sit with Jeremy until he woke up, even covering him with a blanket. And she insisted she wasn't in denial when Stefan and Caroline worried she was. "There's absolutely no way that my brother's dead," she told them. She had to hold on to any hope she could find, and she was hoping that the tattoo being gone meant he fulfilled his supernatural destiny. However, when Caroline and Stefan could smell his body decomposing, they brought Meredith in, and she tried to get Elena to accept what was happening to him. She refused to, instead talking about keeping an eye on him when he came back so he didn't go crazy like Alaric and then pinning Meredith to the wall when she asked her to release his body to her. She said they needed magic—Bonnie—to fix it, something she repeated as she hugged Matt as he cried when he joined them.
Matt convinced Elena to leave Stefan to watch over Jeremy while he took her to the stoner pit and showed her where Jeremy had written "J+V." He told her it was okay to have hope. "Sometimes, that's all that keeps me going," he admitted. And then Stefan called to tell them Bonnie was coming home. When Damon brought her to the Gilberts' house, he told Caroline to bring Stefan out to him and explained what Bonnie told him while she talked to Elena, Caroline, and Matt inside. She needed to complete an expression triangle, and when she did, there would no longer be anything separating the two sides—every supernatural being would come back with a vengeance. Caroline argued with Bonnie that she couldn't just kill 12 people and invite every monster back into the world while Elena sat there, taking it all in. And then April called, looking for Jeremy, and Elena told her Jeremy was dead.
Elena went upstairs and removed the blanket covering Jeremy's face, and it all hit her. What followed was a sequence in which Nina Dobrev absolutely killed it and couldn't have been any more perfect. She realized Jeremy was dead, had been dead the entire time. When Damon tried to reach out, she told him to carry Jeremy downstairs—and got started on what she thought was a good cover story: burning down the house. There was nothing there for her anymore. The house was filled with memories of everyone she loved who had died. She even went so far as to light a match after dumping out bourbon—Alaric wouldn't need it anymore—and she completely broke down, crying about the pain. Stefan told Damon to help, and Damon told Elena, "Turn it off, and everything will go away." It was what he wanted, he told her.
This week's endings were… Caroline had been leaving Tyler voicemails the entire episode and finally left him one telling him of Jeremy's death. Matt brought Bonnie home, and she told him they'd bring him back. After he drove off, Shane joined Bonnie, who wondered about the humans who died who wouldn't be brought back. He said they were a necessary sacrifice for the greater good. "We are the beginning," he told her. However, on the island, Rebekah found Shane's body on the island, and he grabbed her leg as she walked by. "Silas," he said, reaching out.
Elena looked at a photo of her and Jeremy while Stefan told Damon it was a mistake. Damon said they'd bring her back when she was ready. But her humanity was all she had left. That didn't mean anything anymore. Damon wasn't enough for her this time. After Stefan and Damon acknowledged their brotherly bond despite everything that happened, they found Elena preparing to burn down the house. Stefan told her that she may want to come home one day when it was all over. "I won't," she said, dropping the match. The three left the house as it—and Jeremy's body—burned.
"The Vampire Diaries" season 4 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of "Stand By Me"?