The Vampire Diaries Review: Break On BOO to The Other Side!
I've had enough of this ghost stuff to last forever.
Amen, Matty. Amen.
Consider this a warning, Vampire Diaries fans: I did not like "Ghost World" one bit. Take that as a backward compliment, perhaps, because I've come to expect so much from this typically tantalizing show. But this spirited invasion was nothing more than a random, confusing mess that pushed all our main characters off to the side in favor of dead folks we haven't thought about in ages.
I know, I know:
Lexi is tons of fun, Anna is adorable and sensitive and Mason is smoking hot (right, ladies?). I grant you all of that. But they had their time, they died in exciting, surprising ways and it was a major letdown for every emotional moment tonight to be centered around individuals who have played no role in the ongoing story.
My beef with the hour started at the very beginning. I can't be the only one who felt the show skipped a major scene, can I? One second Mason was torturing Damon, the next Damon was free and driving around in a convertible. I want my ghosts to go bump in the night, not to provide us with such bumpy transitions.
Let's move on to the class taught by Lexi: Ripper Detox 101. Huh?!? Where did she suddenly get some sort of extra strong compulsion ability? Is there a Master's Program taught on The Other Side? Paul Wesley deserves gobs of praise for his portrayal of a pained, peeved Stefan throughout these scenes (I will rip you apart, Lexi!!!), but this just came across like a contrived solution. Which is my one major problem overall on season three.
There's been a lack of flow. There's been too much exposition and not enough well-paced build-up. Characters are simply telling other characters about something that seemingly came out of nowhere (Anna explained last week her convoluted connection to Mikael, Mason just showed up here and - voila! - presented Damon with some family secret about how to kill an Original).
It feels like our favorite players are just pawns in some supernatural drama. I want to see them taking control of their own fate, making decisions based on what we've seen and learned about them over the years... not just going along with whatever plan is dropped on them each week.
And then there's Bonnie. I'm pretty sure she speaks more witch jibberish than English these days. Seriously, is she ever not casting spells?!? Her sole purposes for awhile now is to show up, read her grimoire and utter some nonsense that may or may not save the day. Consider: Damon doesn't drink blood all the time. Tyler isn't perpetually howling. These characters grew into well-rounded, interesting people when time was spent with them outside of their supernatural abilities.
I know I should be encouraging teens to read as much as possible, but come on Bonnie: put down the book and chill. Try smiling even.
Finally, I can't help but wonder: will the gruesome murder of a founding family member, in front of the entire town, be addressed after this week? Especially when it was presumably followed by ghosts running wild - and then vanishing - around Mystic Falls? The blood and gore and violence on this show are most often kept secret from residents, but will questions about what the heck is going on now permeate every meal at The Grill, as they really should? Or, as I fear, will the public murder just be dropped from storylines?
This is a small town that takes its traditions seriously, and a prominent citizen was just strung up from a tree. I'm just saying. That really should come up again in the very near future.
So let me have it, VD lovers. You won't find a bigger fan of this show than yours truly, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to its problems or can't point out when an episode really lets me down.
In this case, when nothing was really accomplished in the grand storytelling scheme - save for Alaric's concluding discovery, which will serve as an introduction to next week's Original flashback episode - it somehow seemed appropriate that the final exchange between Damon and Alaric went as follows:
What is it?
I have no idea.