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?


Editor Rating: 2.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (1294 Votes)

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


I was so disappointed by the way the sire bond situation was handled I this episode. To begin with, the introduction of the bond between Damon and Elena was overkill...IMO... Was that really necessary? Absolutely not! Now, we are faced with an un-sired Elena that has to be away from Damon because he ordered her to do that to appease his conscience and his brother's selfish request. I wonder if ANYONE would've have an objection if Elena was sired to Stefan? Ok, I digress.. What's in store for us now? Elena being still sired to Damon but not being able to be near him due to...the sire bond! Shit, that is just freaking idiotic.... This is been a WTF development in the story that only serves the purpose of prolonging the dreaded love triangle between these characters... I guess the writers are not aware how the fans are getting tired of seeing the same old, recycled dung for the last 3 seasons...what a waste of time!


you're right quinn. also, stefan is not as selfless as he makes himself out to be. he has his own reasons for wanting that cure, like damon said, stefan doesnt love elena as much when shes a vampire, but damon loves her either way.


Caroline is just a backstabbing, jealous, petty and meddling poor excuse for a friend...why in hell did she have to tell Stefan about Damon and Elena when Elena expressly asked her to let HER be the one to tell him? That was a disloyal and dick move... I know she felt bad about Stefan, but it wasn't her call to make. She is the reason why Elena knew she was sired to Damon and why ultimately he didn't break the bond when she came to her from New Orleans. She's been instrumental in messing everything up...argg... I hate the way Caroline is behaving and how her character is evolving into a judgmental, volatile and proud person who thinks she knows what's best for everyone...she shouldn't be throwing stones when she is living in a freaking glass house... I am hating her...hard! Regarding the sire bond; that's been the worse piece of shit I've seen in a show n a LONG's stupid, convoluted, meaningless and unnecessary...what were the writers thinking when they conjured up that crap? It's beyond me, really...Now we are stuck with Damon "ordering" Elena to stay away from him with the bond intact...WTF?!? How that makes sense is a mystery to us all...sloppy, lazy and incoherent writing... I feel sorry for the characters as they are being butchered worse than Klaus' hybrids...


@ Ana
really? That Caroline bit is getting old...we ALL how Damon used and abused her, but we cannot continue harping just n the bad he has done..what about the good? I bet you can't see any, but there is plenty he has done for Elena, for Stefan and for the town itself...we can ship either way, but we can't blind ourselves to see only a character's flaws...we have to be fair and square..and talking about being fair, have to forgotten about all the horrendous things Stefan has done? He threatened to kill Elena....Yeah, that's right... Elena broke up with Stefan before anything between her and Damon came to fruition...this is been a story developing for three seasons... Damon has been by Elena's side for a LNG time now and he has gained her trust and ultimately,her love...he has sooo selfless with her is not even funny...everyone says he is a selfish character, but out of his selfishness many beautiful things how come forth. His love for Elena have changed him completely and that's what Elena loves about him. She trusts him with her life and she knows he will die defending and protecting matter what! I don't feel sorry for Stefan because even after he wasn't compelled by Klaus, he deserted her and treated her like dirt. Even he admitted to that. Now it is too late, his time with her is over. I wish he finds somebody to love, but Elena's love belongs to Damon now...


@samthwoo I agree Klaus is amazing and by far the most interesting character. This is the only show where I don't care about the main characters and that is bad. I care more about Klaus, Tyler, and Jeremy's story line. I'm very intrigued on what this professor guy's motives are. I could care less if Elena picks Damon or Stefan. The third season I was all into it and happy as hell when she picked Stefan and that the triangle was over. But no. They found a way to drag it out even more. Smh!


Hannah Damon has killed people close to Elena and used Caroline as a blood bag. Do people forget how Damon was in the first season?! He is no different then Klaus. Klaus has became my favorite character. He is do darn sexy!! And people who can't see how or why Stefan is upset is crazy. His brother is sleeping with a sired girl that he lives and was recently in a relationship with. It is just wrong and Damon knows it. Which is why Damon is setting Elena free.


@ItsSteph, I'm not a shipper of any of those two being with Elena, so I'm talking about them as individuals. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to Stefan and Damon. I used to like Stefan, but this season, his judgmental attitude has gotten worse (and being the ripper, he shouldn't be so judgmental). Damon has been a lot of things, but I don't remember him being as hypocritical as Stefan. Also, Damon has grown as a character, but I can't say the same for Stefan, who just gets more and more boring.


@Cody4: Very true. I agree with you. You can't deny though that there was a point when Damon was like that too yet it's ok to not care about Stefan's feelings, because's Stefan.


@ItsSteph...I couldn't care less about Stefan and here's why: he'd been a MAJOR pain in the ass so far this season. He's self-righteous and hypocritical. Sorry, but you asked.


I think it's messed up how everyone mentions Damon and Elena, but what about Stefan? Did you guys not see his face when he found out? Are you guys heartless people or something? You could see the pain in his face. It broke my heart. How could everyone just ignore that? Not supporting Stelena/Delena or anything, just saying.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

What the Hell is Professor Shady Pants doing here?


This would be so much more fun if we were naked.

Damon [to Elena]

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 9 Music

  Song Artist
Song Covering Your Tracks Amy Stroup
Julian casablancas christmas treat Christmas Treat Julian Casablancas iTunes
Song Take You To The Mistletoe The Kicks