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The Vampire Diaries Review: Not Having a Ball

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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
  • 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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Katherine doesnt want to break the werewolf curse, remember it is why vamps walk only at night and why wolves only change on full moons. She most likely doesnt want to wear a ring anymore and rely on witches. Maybe.. I don't know, its only speculation.

Amy-jackey

It was a great show last night. I loved it. I'm glad matt didn't get killed. I wish they would have killed kathern after the spell was lifted instead of sticking her in the tomb. I really think that bonnie and jeremy will get together and tyler and caroline will become a couple. It sucks that Stefan and Elaina didn't get back together. Hopefully one day they will get back together.

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First off, in case some of you guys havent noticed or heard, Kevin Williamson said that this episode and next weeks episode act like a part 1 part 2 kind of thing. So obviously, they needed to leave unanswered questions in this episode! Most of the things this critic said, i completely think the opposite! I for one, loved this episode. Just stating my opinion.

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Ok critic, I have some issues with your review. First, pay more attention to your own reviews. Just last week there was a spoiler saying that Bonnie would have a love interest and that it would be someone she knew. Enter Jeremy, who hasn't had much play time yet. Second, wouldn't putting Katherine in the tomb be killing her? She will rot and die without blood, so that sounds like killing to me. Why take the chance with the stake with this crazy spell that hurts Elena thru Katherine. Third, of course there are questions that aren't answered right now. If we knew all the answers we wouldn't need to watch next weeks episode. And lastly, it makes sense to me that Elena needs a break from all the drama that being in a relationship with Stefan brings. Her life has been crazy since she met him. By her choice, but still. Who wouldn't want a break and think things thru. I do agree that it stinks because for the first time, I was routing for them as a couple. I am a die hard Damon fan but Stefan has developed into an awesome character this season. I can't wait to see what happens next. Great episode.

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all I will say is you critics oblivously haven't read the vamp diaries book, especially the last one! They are out there, very good, but out there! Completely different then the TV show tho :( ;)

Alisharose

I totally agree with this review, and was thinking many of the same things when this episode ended last night (love your bit about Charlie Sheen, made me LOL). I couldn't help but root for them to stake Kat last night, but I just KNEW they wouldn't, and it actually disappointed me. I mean yeah, of course I get why, but still! You've been talking about it all season, get rid of her already!!!
And although Stelena is great in it's own right, I can't help but hope that this will leave an opening for Damon to make Elena feel 'safe.' Oh no, I'm not a Delena shipper at all... XD

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I agree 100% and don't buy that Elena would not get back together with Stefan even though Katherine is gone. That was so stupid and lame. They love each other so much and Katherine was the only thing in their way and now that she's gone, there is no reason at all for them not to be together. Their relationship is the best part of this show, so they better get back together very soon, or this show will be stupid and lame.

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Damn, Jeremy gets better looking every week! I liked him with Bonnie--it's like she was looking at him with 'new' eyes last night, thinking hmm....so what if he's Elena's little brother? :P I like Tyler with Caroline, too, although he's been SUCH a dick to her in the past. There would have to be some serious apologizing/bonding/enlightenment for that to work out...and if it does work out, my heart breaks for Matt :( Nina did a great job in this episode!! I wasn't happy that Stefan and Elena didn't have a big lovey dovey moment at the end, but that was me living vicariously through them and wanting that. In reality, it makes sense for her to be a bit guarded, yet... Also, I love all TVF's reviews of the programs I watch. There's always stuff to ponder, stuff to laugh at, etc. Keep up the good work :)

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Hay. I'm kinda surprised that you didn't like this epi 'cause I thought that it's one of the best ever.
This show is seriously getting better each week - Not that it wasn't awesome to begin with. ;) Totally loved it. Still psyched.
And, BTW, the Being - A - Bon - Jovi - Fan - Thing was mentioned before, when Lexie visited. She talked about it to Stefan. ;)

Xomoniquexo

totally agreed with this week review, really couldn't understand the break up/ make up scene and also why did they leave Katherine the moon stone, if anythink they should have left it fo levarage to b used at a later date , i do think they are goin to have to let kat out to get her help for someting later now the line lovin bonni and jeremy