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+.


@Lou No, Elena is still sired to Damon, it's just that instead of being mind controlled to stay WITH him, she's being mind controlled to stay AWAY from him. It doesn't matter what she feels in either case, she's still acting with no real will of her own. The sire bond is still there, but it's not as though the sire bond makes sense anyway, not only because all Damon would have to do is say "make your own choices Elena" and solve it, but before it was brought up Elena has gone against what Damon has wanted her to do plenty of times since turning.


the difference between klaus and the mystic vamps is this...nothing! yes, klaus has killed/tried to kill loved ones of the mystic vamps that ..gasp.. can never be forgiven. hypocrites. should we tell the guy's family that caroline killed in S2 she didn't really mean it? should we ask the hundreds and hundreds of ripper victims' families to forgive stefan cause he can't help it if some vamps are rippers and oh darn he just happens to be one? should we ask all of damon's victims' families to not hold a grudge because he was just having a fun night...oh wait he doesn't care who he kills so everyone else should understand his love justifies anything he does to save elena. i bet tyler's hybrid friend had family, but hey they needed him dead so elena wouldn't go insane so they just better get over it. in 1,000 yrs i bet the mystic vamps will have as many kills as klaus and feel justified in every one of them. joseph morgan, you're awesome. i only kept watching cause of your portrayal of klaus. after klaus killed the hybrids and that sigh right at the end said it all. i'm alone again.


Well, I've had it! Until when will these writers insist on having this so called triangle between the Salvatore brothers and Elena and her jewel-encrusted vagina...are you serious? Arggg...Damon must move away with Stefan and just forget about her...they both should ask Klaus to compel them to leave Mystic Falls forever...this show used to be so good but now has become a boring, predictable, unbelievable mess...


- Tyler tries to kill Klaus and Caroline isn't quite ok with that, Caroline leaks Tyler's plan to Stefan, Caroline spends a lot of time with Stefan, hum it seems like Forwood isn't doing so well!
- Mayor lockwood is dead (rip), that leaves only 3 non-supernatural characters among the Mystic Fall's inhabitants that we know: Matt, April and Caroline's mum, hang on guys.


Damon broke up with Elena IN ORDER TO BREAK THE BOND! Meaning if her feelings are strong enough she'll come back to him and the sire bond will possibly be over. That's what the witch from New Orleans said in a previous episode. Or at least that's how I got it. It's either that or they're all idiots, cause they could indeed, as you say Matt, deal with the sire bond thing in plenty of ways. The hybrids and vampirism cure storylines were way too contrived, rushed and confusing! So Klaus needed to kill 12 of his precious hybrids? Why was that? Prof. Shane wanted 12 hybrids to be killed too, for what purpose exactly? Are Klaus and him working together? Why does Shane need to find the cure for vampirism or Silas? Why was he somehow involved in the death/suicide of the council members? And is that Silas character the greater evil they feared? - Caroline and Stefan have so much more chemistry than Stelena or Forwood!
- Rebekah: stabbed-unstabbed-stabbed-unstabbed-stab...
- Tyler tries to kill Klaus and Caroline isn't quite ok with that, Caroline leaks Tyler's plan to Stefan, Caroline spends a lot of time with Stefan, hum it seems like Forwood isn't doing so well these days!
- Mayor lockwood is dead (rip), that leaves only 3 non-supernatural characters among the Mystic Fall's inhabitants that we know: Matt, April and Caroline's mum, hang on guys.


Am I the only person who thinks the love triangle gets in the way of the show's real potential? I want so badly for the characters to break out of their mold. How about a Caroline/Klaus relationship that won't end in Klaus changing his ways or Caroline eventually betraying him for her friends? Or Bonnie, not being a slave to Elena and all the stupid problems that arise from her being the way she is. Who is desperate to see Bonnie being a bad ass witch who is on her OWN team for a change? Not some person who has a bunch of rebellious spouts but then ends up helping the dreaded elena/damon/stefan good guy gang?
I thought Elena becoming a vampire would mean we wouldn't have to hear he whine again. The whole hybrid/Tyler storyline is a bore, and I have never felt the chemistry between Tyler & Caroline. Klaus, Rebecca, Caroline, Jeremy, Bonnie & most recently April - these are the characters who have the most potential if they just spin their stories the right way.


Damon and Elena ... Or I quit watching..


ARGH!!! This Damon/Elena sire bond is ridiculous! I honestly feel like not watching the show anymore, which sounds crazy to me because this was my #1 show. They need to fix their storylines ASAP (starting with the whole Delena plot), before VD turns into another Gossip Girl.


Going to ask this question again since I really want to know. The Lockwood is a founding family so why didn't she (Tyler's mother) have a ring that helps her against supernatural death? So she's not really dead... maybe...


(continued) The thing I liked most about this episode was Klaus - seeing through Caroline's distraction plan ("I that our thing now?"), going back to killer mode and yet treating Stefan as a some-kind-of-friend. Great!!

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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