The Vampire Diaries Review: Compulsive Behavior

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On your marks... get set... CURE!

The Vampire Diaries finally returned after a lengthy hiatus this week, airing an "After School Special" that featured the return of Rebekah, harsh truth from Elena, a transformation for Tyler, sides being chosen in a race for the elusive elixir and, unfortunately, a rather lame writing crutch to get everyone there.

Who knew compulsion could make everything so easy?

Questions for Stefan

It was a pleasure to see Claire Holt back in my living room (or as close as she'll ever get to my living room... damn), as Rebekah can always be relied on to bring the perfect combination of pain and pity, revenge and bitterness.

She lashes out because she's lonely, she turns her sorrow into rage. Can you blame her? Considering all she's been through with Klaus as a brother?

Rebekah is a terrific character, but simply locking everyone in the library and forcing the truth out of them was far from a terrific move for the show. Didn't we learn in Writing 101 to show and not tell? It doesn't make for mesmerizing television to have characters sitting around a table, reciting dialogue to move the story forward.

Not to mention how this just adds another chink in the paper thin armor of that whole sire bond thing. Why didn't Damon just have Klaus compel Elena before? If there's a way for her to be forced to come clean about her feelings... why didn't that come up before?

When we left The Vampire Diaries Season 4 in December, Damon ordered Elena away. Fast forward fewer than one episode and now she's certain that she loves him and that's enough for him to invite her back to the cabin for some naked bedroom action (if you know what I mean!). Please, pretty, pretty please with sugar and Bonnie's magic salt on top - can we be done now?

Can Elena and Damon just be together without all this contrived back-and-forth?

Of course, the main takeaway here is that Stefan now knows the truth. But he won't accept the truth. That's why he wants to team up with Rebekah and find that cure in order to turn Elena human again and find out - no, really, truly, seriously find out! - if she's in love with Damon. No wonder Elena feels like a "broken toy," a sad/apt description for how Stefan has been looking at her.

I feel the guy's pain, but it's rather clear at this point: she loves Damon. Move on, Stef. May I recommend the gorgeous blonde blood-sucker standing right in front of you?

Out in the woods, meanwhile... it's AWESOME! Jeremy is jacked, Klaus is turning humans into vampire prey, Matt is wearing a varsity letter jacket. We need to dedicate a lot more time to this storyline (enter The Vampire Diaries promo for next week's episode. Yes!). I'm all in on Jeremy and his mark and Klaus' being a total bad ass and double pepperoni pizza and the idea that some immortal dude named Silas can raise the dead.

This is fun Vampire Diaries lore and mythology, a lot more fun than Elena's oscillating, supposedly sired feelings.

Finally, in the Totally and Completely Random News Department:

  • Bonnie's father has been elected temporary Mayor, even though he's never actually around and has been referenced about three times in four seasons.
  • Kol is back!
  • April is ping-ponging back and forth from Rebekah's secretary to Bonnie's partner in witch crime to town tattle tale. Sorry, Katherine, you're no longer the show's most obvious plot device.

So, yes, The Vampire Diaries is back, but so are some of the problems that have plagued its past few episodes. Still, I maintain hope!

Team Stelena vs. Team Delena has been replaced with Team Rebekah/Stefan vs. Team Klaus/Damon vs. Team Shane/Bonnie. Who will get to the cure first? What will that squad do with it at that time? And who are YOU rooting for, TVD Fanatics?


Editor Rating: 3.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (1377 Votes)

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


what i enjoyed?? the only thing that i enjoyed- rebekah making them suffer. torturing them emotionally. she's the only character i really feel for these days. nobody cares about her... so it's time she makes them care about her. atleast i get that out of the episode- stefan finally understands what she's been going through (just a little bit) and he seems to be on her side now. well hopefully the writers allow them to develop a substantial relationship this time. stefan was better as the rippahhh... i want him to buddy up with the originals again. this poor pathetic stefan is not doing anything for me at all. and what about damon??? so NOT the badass damon i fell in love with. what he hell are these writers doing???


i understand that they needed to set the foundation for the rest of the season but they didn't have to make this foundation episode completely shitty in every single way. lik WTF was that??? i've been waiting so long for THAT???? enough with the elena and damon and bonnie and shane. time to see some stefan and rebekah action. spice it up again. lik come onnnnn... TVD is becoming more and more boring. TVD is supposed to be anything but boring.


WORST EPISODE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it lacked everything!!


Kol was the only I reason this episode did something for me!


I don't even understand where this season is meant to be going...


Can we kill Elena and Damon off please?
These two main characters serve no purpose to the show other than to cause petty relationship drama.
Stefan deserves a lot better than that tramp who changes her mind every five seconds. Seriously Stefan, you have two gorgeous blonde haired vampires who you hang around with all the time. Take your pick!
Jeremy, Rebekah, Kol and Matt were the only saviours from an otherwise disappointing episode.
There was far too much focus on the romantic drama and not enough screen time for the major Vampire Hunter Jeremy storyline.
Please writers, less Elena! She's so dull and is taking up valuable screen time that could be filled with scenes that will actually move the plot along.


I am sick of Damon and Elena already! Honestly aside from Bonnie Elena is the least interesting character on the show. I'm all for team Stefan/Rebekah. It's gonna be interesting to see those two working together and also exciting about Jeremy finally having a good storyline this season. He has been underutilized in the past I always thought. Was disappointed that stupid Shane survived thanks to stupid Bonnie. Oh yeah and April I'm sick of here seriously why is she still alive wtf?!!!


I am sorry but i completely disagree with the 3/5 for the episode... Easily a 4/5 maybe a little more... It was a solid episode unlike the previous ones.. things got clarified regarding both elena's feelings,the cure and the expression magic. Just because we know as audience some things, it is imperative to be said amongst the characters! With Rebekah's intervention they put the dots together... Shane's agenda has been outed and Bonnie isn't too oblivious to what she doing.BTW Bonnie's dad is a welcome addition! Kol/Rebekah and Shane scene was terrific! Delena was adorable- Tyler's grief was overwelming and sweet Caroline was so supportive for tyler and for stefan. Klaus was badass.. Everything coming out of the Originals mouth was great! Whether some like it or not the Originals have shaped the show and at times overtaken it! When the spin-off is aproved because it will i am sure of it.. it is going to be a huge loss for the tvd their absence. Damon-stefan-elena can't hold the show anymore.


anyone else find it ironic that bonnie's dad is the original vampire on supernatural?


What I find most disturbing about Delena fans is that they think Damon should be forgiven ANYTING bad he does. It's never his fault and/or he didn't really mean it. They love to try and compare who's done worse with any other character. It makes me think of those girls who stay with abusive boyfriends or husbands....they always have an excuse for why he didn't really mean that horrible things he said or did. How it wasn't really his fault.
It's sad really, if you think about it.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

Damon [to Jeremy]: I'm updated our relationship status to: It's Complicated.

April: You asked me to take notes:
Rebekah: I wasn't being literal, darling.