Vampire Diaries Season 4: Could Jeremy’s return diminish the impact of future character deaths?

Admit it, though you might have wailed like a baby when young Jeremy Gilbert was confirmed dead, it was kind of a relief to see him burnt along with the Gilbert house at the end of the same episode. Bringing dead characters back for one last hurrah has always been endemic in fantasy shows, and the novelty has paled over the years. It’s always lovely to see old favorites return and old relationships revisited on screen, but news that Jeremy will be making a return to Vampire Diaries before season four wraps up has gotten me worried.

Will bringing him – a character who was definitely one hundred per cent dead as a doornail – back forever diminish the impact of character deaths on the show? Killing Elena’s little brother was a ballsy move, and it’s one I feel the writers should stick by. Flashbacks and dream sequences are one thing, but rumors suggest that this could be something far more solid (are zombies still on the agenda?). There are also spoilers online that this week’s episode will see another big return, though it remains to be seen whether this is a character that was killed off or not.

Remember when Vampire Diaries killed people every other week, no matter how beloved they were by fans. Since then, the show has lost its gumption somewhat and it’s sad that, when they do have a fan-favorite kick the bucket, there’s always the chance we’ll see them again. They even used this trick against us at the end of season three, with Elena’s ‘death’ resulting in her becoming a surprise vampire. But overall, the gang have become a little too invincible, a fact not helped by the original family’s actual invincibility, and death doesn’t seem quite so permanent.

The final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduced a shape-shifting ultimate evil who could take the form of any number of deceased characters. This was the perfect way for the show to include swan-song returns from old characters, and provided the writers with the perfect excuse. Now, Vampire Diaries has done exactly the same thing, the only difference being that this isn’t their final season. Do we really need to see Jeremy again so soon? Or Alaric? Or Vicky? Those deaths had a massive impact on our existing characters, and repeatedly bringing them back inevitably dulls that pain of loss.

We already saw this when Jeremy developed the ability to see ghosts, and the world of the dead (apparently vampire have ghosts, too) made a brief return to the land of the living. We saw Anna and Vicky haunt their ex-boyfriend and, after two seasons, it was great to see them return to reignite their individual storylines. Vicky, especially, has a symbolic importance for Vampire Diaries’ fans, as it was her death the kicked off the brilliant show we all well in love with. But it was with her death that we saw how nasty a teen fantasy show on the CW could get away with being, and bringing her back weakens that power a little.

So are we hoping that Steven R McQueen makes a full-time return at some point? Or are we done with the character? Maybe he could come back as a zombie, adding a whole new species of the supernatural to the show? I have no idea, but I know that I don’t particularly want him back. Why don’t we leave Elena to grieve and concentrate on character currently on the show – like Matt, or even April. A reluctance to kill Alaric off last season led to a misconceived evil lookalike plot that I don’t want to see repeated with another of Elena’s loved ones.

What do you think? Are you excited to see Jeremy makes his return, or do you want the dust to settle first? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.