While Season 4 of Vampire Diaries has had some great moments with Elena in her new vampire form (the "Rager" kegstand pops immediately to mind), this storyline has been filled with a lot of complications. Most especially with the sire bonding of Damon and Elena, and everyone trying to cure Elena of her vampirism. But what if all this losing Jeremy and her being compelled to be with Damon instead of Stefan was all really just a fantasy that Elena had concocted? What if Season 4 was all a dream and we found out that Elena was really in a coma since the end of last season? Hey, it worked all those years ago on Dallas. And we're pretty sure that most of the people who love this show were not around when that big twist happened.
How would it work exactly? Well, we've got some thoughts.
First, Stefan ignored Elena's request to save Matt first, and instead rescued her and Matt died. It breaks our heart as he's one of the few non-supernatural people left in town and just plain old adorable, but it's not like he gets a ton to do on this show. They'd have to find another way to stop Alaric, but it would have been fitting. And then this whole dream could've just been Elena's way of trying to deal with the loss of Matt, by pretending it didn't happen.
Or, Elena and Matt both lived, but Elena was unconscious long enough to be declared dead for enough time for her to sever her ties to Ric (so he could still go off to star on the needlessly convoluted Cult), and she's just been in a coma this whole time and has lived out her wish-fulfillment (and fan 'shipping) of hooking up with Damon.
A third possibility: Elena doesn't get the vampire blood in time and is really dead, and this is just her fantasy from beyond… Lovely Bones-style.
Lastly, the dream sequence could've started the second she hit the water, and instead of her life flashing in front of her eyes, she got a vision of what the future would be like if she died and became a vampire.
Would making it a dream be better than the season so far?
To be clear, we may have our personal preferences for Elena's romantic options, but honestly, we see the appeal of both brothers… and Matt … or someone else entirely. There are days when we think that she should just up and move away from Mystic Falls and the brothers Salvatore who have inadvertently (and sometimes purposefully) caused her so much pain, not to mention the loss of everyone she knows and loves. She may love Stefan, but honestly, being alive might be a nice thing, too, no? Having your aunt or your brother to spend time with might be a great thing for a high school girl who maybe doesn't need to settle down with anyone for the rest of her life at this point, be they dead or undead.
Sure, we've often wanted to see Elena and Damon together because they have sexy chemistry, but we'd like it to be because of her own free will — not because she's tied to him via a sire bond (based on his life-giving blood) and may or not be attracted to him for real. If this season isn't a dream and Elena stays a vampire long-term, there is always going to be the question of can she trust her feelings for Damon entirely, or are they skewed. And if she chooses to go off with Stefan after all, would the sire-bond always give her feelings of guilt for all eternity?
Another reason to hope this has all been a fantasy: Jeremy is dead — really dead — and that thought is just too depressing for us to cope with. If the show finds a bizarre way to bring him back (Bonnie raising him from the dead Buffy, the Vampire Slayer-style, for instance), we'd be annoyed because it gives any shocking death on this show less real consequences. While making it a dream might be initially an easy fix (and probably create a war within an already divided fanbase), at least we'd be able to trust that humans aren't always easily able to be resurrected in this world, which might make their passing difficult and emotional, but far more realistic.
The dumb cure thing also wouldn't be an issue if this season hadn't really "happened." We thought that we'd tired of hearing about white oak last season, but that's nothing compared to the amount of times that characters on this show discuss "the cure." If they do find it and Elena is cured, there are going to be guilt issues galore since there is only one dose and a host of other worthy candidates who want out of their eternal cursed life. And Elena said earlier in the season that she didn't want her possible return to human life to cost Jeremy his humanity and we're pretty sure that would extend as far as her not wanting her brother to lose his actual life in this quest.
The other viable options?
If they decide to keep this year as reality, and someone else (maybe Rebekah) gets the cure, they could contrive to break the sire bond between Damon and Elena so we can see what she would be like as a true, unencumbered undead bloodsucker. How cool would that be? Would she just turn into Katherine? Or would she be more like Caroline? Would she settle down with Stefan or Damon, or go off on her own? If we can't wipe this season out of continuity, then let's avoid seeing vampire Elena "cured" anytime soon.
Guest contribution from: Television Without Pity