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The Vampire Diaries Review: O Holy Fright

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As we head toward the Christmas season, it's safe to say The Vampire Diaries is in a major holi-daze at the moment.

What had been a promising start to Season 4 - with Elena learning to transition successfully, her bond with Damon growing stronger by the day, a menacing hunter in town and even a strong storyline for Jeremy - has devolved over the past three weeks.

It all came to a confounding head in "O Come, All Ye Faithful," as Damon set Elena free and Klaus went all Emily Thorne on his former sired protege, killing Tyler's mom out of revenge.

Tyler v. Hayley

Let's start with this illogical, contrived sire nonsense.

Damon can only free Elena from the spell by essentially compelling her to stay away from him... but that doesn't actually free her from the spell. She's forced to obey because she still is sired to him. So the move creates nothing but physical distance between the pair, with the feelings remaining intact. Because it's also been explained by Tyler that being sired to someone has nothing to do with one's feelings for that person.

So... we have two options, right?

  1. Elena remains close to Damon, sired, and the two carry on a relationship based on legitimate feelings. The only caveat would be that Elena listens to whatever Damon says.
  2. Damon orders Elena to stay away, which means only that: she stays away, but both yearn to be with each other.

Why, again, must Damon choose option number-two? How, exactly, is that doing the "right thing" by Elena? And why on earth was any of this trumped up, aside to drag out the love triangle further and further and further?

I'm confused, and - far worse - I really don't care about any of it.

On to Tyler's elaborate plan: He wanted to bury Klaus inside of him and then bury himself inside of concrete (temporarily, somehow) in order for the unsired hybrids to disappear. But I must be missing something here... because can't the unsired hybrids just disappear anyway?

Tyler is a hybrid and he's been free from Klaus for ages now and the two have nothing to do with each other. What was stopping those other creatures from just saying sayonara to their creator? Fear of Klaus killing them for such a transgression? He didn't kill Tyler.

This plan only grew more elaborate when Rebekah's body was brought up, which led to Hayley's secret text messages to Shane, which may have been more intriguing if we knew anything at all about Hayley. I never thought I'd diss a character played by Phoebe Tonkin, but she's pretty much just been Tyler's wing-woman this entire time (conjuring up pretend witches for the audience and her supposed friend).

I don't feel like I know her or are invested in her storyline simply because she's seeking her birth parents.

Similarly, Tyler's actions regarding the hybrids seemed noble and all, but it would have been helpful if we have known any of them. Or if we had spent awhile delving a lot deeper into Tyler's sense of responsibility for their well-being. Instead, his Alpha status and the whole set-up felt rushed together and unnecessary.

Which is too bad because Mayor Lockwood paid the ultimate price.

Talk of a death to close out the episode has been all over the Internet, and it was easy to predict she would be the victim once she shared that heart-to-heart with her son. Am I glad Klaus is back to his killing ways? Am I curious to see the fallout from this vengeful act and how the Tyler vs. Klaus war will be waged? Absolutely.

But it was a winding, confusing mess that took us there.

I'll end this negative review on a few positive note, however:

  • Rebekah is coming back! Hooray!
  • It would have been more appropriate if the episode aired yesterday, but this 12 (dead bodies in 1942), 12 (dead council members) and 12 (dead hybrids) angle - along with Shane's "We are the beginning from "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street" - is very interesting.
  • So is the concept that Jeremy must keep killing vampires in order to find the cure.

What did everyone else think of the outing? As you mourn Mayor Lockwood, sound off: has The Vampire Diaries lost its way a bit? Should Damon have let Elena go? What, precisely, are the duties of Miss Mystic Falls?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.6 / 5.0
  • 2.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (1292 Votes)

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

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People saying that what Caroline did was wrong seriously need to shut the fuck up! I'm only defending her because she did do the right thing. Anyone as a friend would do the same thing. Anyone would appreciate a friend telling them the truth if an ex and even worse a BROTHER don't tell you the truth. Not saying Damon is a bad guy (I love him) but he should have been honest with Stefan. Elena should have told him the truth but the thing is she's his EX. Damon on the other hand should have told him the truth because well he is his BROTHER.

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Damon didn't let Elena go. He only told her to go home. I don't remember hearing him saying stuff like "don't think about me anymore" or something like that. I really don't think Damon should choose option number 1. The feelings Elena has for him aren't actually real. Of course, she developed feelings for him prior the transformation, but she chose to ignore them in order to be with Stefan. She didn't even say goodbye face-to-face to Damon; all he got was a call. Because she was hurrying to get to Stefan. Now, as a vampire, Elena has hightened feelings for Damon. This means they had to make her a vampire then sired to him in order for them to happen. Lmao. And her not being able to make her own decisions anymore and having the urge to always please Damon changes everything. How could a relationship like this be good for her? What they got isn't real, in spite of Elena assuring Damon that it is. She only did it because he wanted it to know that her feelings for him were real.
It's frightening how people cannot see that this whole sirebond thing changed Elena so much. This girl that we see now isn't the Elena we used to know, it isn't the real her. The real Elena wouldn't have slept with Damon only a day after she broke up with his brother.

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The sire bond is not an exclusivity of hybrids.
Remember in Season 3, Damon came with the Sire bond thing,
noting that Tyler is all defending Klaus at the beginning,
and remember before Tyler, there were no Hybrids except for Klaus. So its easy to see that the Sire bond forming between a Vampire and Another Vampire Existed,well before the Hybrids, because Damon mentioned it BEFORE, he was aware of it.

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This episode also reminds me when supposedly Stefan hides things from Elena throughout some of the seasons but now Elena is hiding too many things from him. Thanks for being a big fat liar to Stefan Elena. It brought up his anger and heartbreaking feeling. ;P

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I'm glad that Damon has let Elena go but it all happened once Caroline spilled the news to Stefan that they're together. When the season comes back,Stefan will definitely be mad and heartbroken that Elena never told him and was such a big fat liar to her. If Damon lets Elena go and Stefan has no point in wanting to talk to Elena,then good luck for her to find her true love when she said at the end of season 3 that she would choose Stefan and admitted to Damon in season 2 that she loves and always will be Stefan. I can't wait to see what else happens when the season returns. =|

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Just one other observation...how is it that Tyler and his 12 hybrids figured they could overtake Klaus and bury him, but when Klaus found them in the woods they didn't fight back?? I mean 12 vs 1...it should've been some kind of fight right?!! LOL!!
Still liked the scene tho...:)

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Professor Shady Pants is definitely either Silas or Silas' best friend. He is definitely a witch (former?) because he immediately was attracted to Bonnie. In my opinion this is the best story line...
Tyler and the hybrids...BOOO!!! Especially since we have NEVER seen these characters before! Not invested!
Is Hayley even a werewolf??! I've been wondering that all along. Perhaps she was just coached by Prof Shady Pants as to how to break the sire bond? And purposely went after Tyler so she it put the 12 hybrid plan into effect?

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Question: Do vampires get cold?? Why was Elena at the cabin with a blanket wrapped around her?? LOL! Just sayin...

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oh except Caroline she had no right to tell Stefan anything and julie has said that Elena sleeping with Damon was her just giving into her feelings finally .i would have prefered more of a build up but it was explained

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i loved everything about this episode .NO complaints at all .Julie has said that the sire bond is an important factor in Delenas relationship and i think Damon did the right thing because he was torn from the moment Elena asked him to come to the lake house .Theres too much doubt in his mind .Klaus was Klaus .the music was very moving and tragic in contrast with the Christmas feel of the ep .cant wait for the next one .