The Vampire Diaries

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The Vampire Diaries Review: Not Having a Ball

by at . Comments

Only The Vampire Diaries could kill off two students, transform one character into a werewolf, lock another inside a tomb and prompt the following reaction from this critic:

Eh.

Indeed, it speaks to the show's credit that I found "Masquerade" to be a bit slow. I also found there to be more holes than usual, so while it remains one of my favorite programs on television, and while even a mediocre episode of The Vampire Diaries is better than almost anything else out there, I'm gonna spend most of this review focusing on the negative for a change.

That's Katherine!

First, there was a major question left unanswered: what does Jenna think happened to her? This woman plunged a kitchen knife into her gut last week. It's important that the series explains her reaction to this. Does she actually think she's suicidal? Was she compelled to believe it was a freak accident? Just a quick line or two on the episode could have resolved this issue.

(** Thanks to astute readers/viewers, I've been told that Jenna did make a comment about running into a knife by accident. I missed it. Thanks to all who pointed it out!)

Next, two students were killed at the party. Both served a purpose - setting off the werewolf curse for Tyler and proving how bad ass Katherine can be (Paralyzed from the waist down... and dead) - but this would result in major fall-out.

It still might, of course. There may be future investigations into these deaths, but I'd be surprised. It's hard to imagine the police questioning everyone at the party next week, trying to find the first girl's missing body, etc. I love how the show plays with serious stakes and isn't afraid to kill characters off - but at some point, it gets very hard to believe that there aren't more consequences to these actions.

Then, there was Elena's reaction to Katherine's supposed death. The best aspect of The Vampire Diaries is how it manages to make every twist and turn feel organic. It brings in new characters, reveals various alliances and plans, ends each week with a great cliffhanger... and none of it feels forced. It all fits together very well. For the first time, however, a storyline felt contrived.

I don't buy that Elena would give Stefan some lame reason for wanting to remain apart. Katherine is gone (more on that below). She was the reason they broke up. One can sense the writers just trying to come up with a new obstacles to get in the way of Stelena, one that feels less natural than typical storylines on the show. I hope these two get back together soon.

Masked Vampire

Finally, let's deal with Katherine's fate. I'm fascinated by the idea that the brothers actually need her and that the "doppleganger must be protected," as she put it. What does that mean? For what purpose? Who was the dude in the mask that kidnapped Elena? All major questions, all a result of Katherine needing to be placed in a situation where she could plead with Damon and reveal this information.

So I get that the show couldn't kill Katherine off yet. But it's still very hard to believe Damon and Stefan wouldn't do so. That had been their plan all along, and for very good reason. After all she's put them through, it felt like a storyline-related cop-out to just lock Katherine in the tomb. It's not something the characters would do - it's something the writers needed them to do in order to keep Katherine around.

Because, let's face it, does a single viewer believe we've seen the last of her?

A few closing thoughts/questions:

  • Stefan is a Bon Jovi fan?!? I may need to switch vampire teams now. Sorry, Edward.
  • Why does Katherine want to break the werewolf curse? Will we ever find out?
  • It wasn't just me getting a romantic vibe from Bonnie and Jeremy, right? Who now finds themselves rooting for Jonnie?
  • Seriously, being a student in Mystic Falls is more dangerous than being a porn star in a hotel room with Charlie Sheen.
  • Note to Stefan and Damon: when aiming to kill a vampire, perhaps you should not leave the man who was introduced to us as a vampire hunter at home. The brothers could have used you on the scene, Alaric. And, no, I still refuse to call you Ric.

Not my favorite episode of The Vampire Diaries overall. But, as I said above, I'll take a disappointing installment over almost anything else on TV any day of the week. What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (251 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Bella21

I absolutly loved this episode !!! I do agree on one thing though, it also felt forced to me that elena didn't want to get back with stefan, i think that maybe it is because the writers are going into direction delena? I think putting katherine in the tomb was good even better than staking her, just because of what damon said, dead would have been to kind for her and the tomb is where she should have been all along. So i still love this show, i think it's the best show ever !!

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WHAT THE HELL???
they've killed Kat! the show was great with Kat, way better than season 1, and they've killed the most interesting character! I'm so sick and tired of the writters killing everybody I love in this show ): that happened with Vicki, with Lexi, with Bonnie's grams, and speacially with Anna. and now... Kat! ¬¬' damn it, the show will be so boring without her. and with Boremy it will get worse and worse and worse.

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"Jonnie? No, no, no. I'd call them Boremy, because they're boring." Totally agree X-D One boring character plus another boring character doesn't make an interessting couple.

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Jonnie? No, no, no. I'd call them Boremy, because they're boring.

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maybe intentionally or unintentionally the PTB have done something amazing by casting the witches as strong black female characters on this show. i know bonnie gets a lot of grief because she is not on the side of the albeit dynamic vampires they have created of the show. but lines Lucy says like "vampires...pull you into it every time" (something Sheila/Grams also said before she died) and "I have to learn to stop letting these vampires control me" have added gravity to me since they are black characters and Mystic Falls is in the south. maybe i am reading too much into that, but can't help but see the historical implications of that. Emily (the most powerful in the Bennett bloodline) was also a slave...I hope they keep Bonnie and the Bennett line around for the duration, social commentary implications not withstanding; they are just part of my favorite part of the Vampire Diaries mythology

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I agree with most of this review. I do think it's silly that Elena didn't jump into Stefan's arms. When someone spends so much time with someone, anything tramatic will usually make her want to jump in Stefan's arms at least just for comfort. I do feel the writers stretched this one a bit. If they wanted to keep them apart they should've had them get together at the end but then pull them apart a little when Elena realizes Katherine isn't dead and could make a come back.
I'm rooting for Jonnie. I also don't understand why she got locked in there with the moonstone. I also think the way Taylor became a werewolf was a bit forced.
I do think Caroline played a nice part in this episode. I'm liking her better than Bonnie at this point.

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Just a couple things: Stefan being a Bon Jovi fan was mentioned, in a fair bit of detail, last season in the episode "162 Candles." Lexi (or "the wench" as Katherine refers to her), brought it up in an effort to make Stefan enjoy his birthday this year. So really, if you were going to switch teams to Edward it should have been last season. Damon did promise "something poetic" for when he killed Katherine. And yeah, we were all rooting for him to just stake the bitch, but at the same time, locking her in the tomb, where she was supposed to have been for the last century and a half, reeks of poetic justice. Stefan and Elena not jumping right back into each other's arms. They're still teenagers in the show. (At least Eleana is.) Elena didn't say that she didn't love Stefan anymore. But it's understandable that after being thrown in the deep end of the supernatural world for so long she'd want to take a breather and maybe re-evaluate. And to be fair, she did break up with him when she found out he was a vampire. Safety issues and all that. I'm not trying to nit-pick (honest). Hopefully next week's episode'll live up to your expectations.

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I loved it! Caroline was fantasic.The brothers had each others back. Is Katherine going to return for sure!!
Good to see Jeremy get a backbone

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I think you and others missed an important scene in the Elena/Stefan situation. Earlier in the episode, Elena had a bonding moment with Matt. I believe that this triggered her to want to return to normalcy--Perhaps not by getting back together with Matt, but she was missing the days when she was dating Matt and life was a lot easier. This was the reason she did not get back together with Stefan when Katherine was eliminated from the picture.

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This episode wasn't quite as great as last weeks so i completly agree with the review above. And I didn't understand why Stelena didn'tget bac together since Katherine was the reason they broke up, Elena's excuse was sort of pathetic. And I keep asking myself over and over, Why did Katherine Want That Moonstone So Bad?? I cannot wait to find out. I was could totally see some romance between Bonnie and Jeremy and I was NOT liking it. It feels to weird too me (plus I am one of the ones still praying Anna comes back somehow lol). But seriously, Jer is Elena's little brother and Bonnie and Elena are like sisters so it's like dating your younger brother. (sort of).
And, I want people to stop calling Alaric, 'Ric'. It rlly bothers me lol :D

The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

You aren't gonna kill Katherine... I am.

Stefan

Tell Damon and Stefan to give me the moonstone or I will rip this town apart until it rains blood.

Katherine
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