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+.


Scrolling through the comments and wow, so much hate on Elena. I honestly don't understand the hate the girl gets. Obviously, being a vampire has changed her and she's made her mind up about who she loves. Funny how all of you are kissing Stefan's ass. Damon has done HORRIBLE things duh but what about Stefan? You say we bring up other characters' worst parts to make Damon seem better but it's true. Stefan's no angel either so why the hypocrisy? I didn't know being a ripper was SO different from what Damon was, actually it's worse because Damon didn't dedicate a wall to all his victims. Anyway, so glad Elena told the truth. Harsh but needed. Yet somehow, it still hasn't gotten into Stefan's thick skull. Say whatever you want about Elena's feelings for Damon. Until said otherwise, I'm gonna believe it's true that she actually loves Damon. I have to applaud Paul Wesley for portraying Stefan's pain so well. And Damon's fave after his phone call with Elena... phenomenal!


I am very very happy with the all the relationship developments, especially every infintisimal moment between Damon and Elena!! even though I also enjoy the other subplots in the show. I love how characters are transforming and evolving and I think it's really special that Damon shows with his actions how much being worthy and right for Elena means to him, I can't wait to see them get to truly enjoy each other. As for fans trying to diss on Damon for his past "unforgivable" actions, are they forgetting Stefan the Ripper is like the worst blood thirstiest serial killer who lacks the ability to control himself using human blood? He has too many vampiric bed wetting/premature ejaculation issues compared to the dark yet redeemably elegant Damon. Damon knows how to both be a badass ruthless man AnD buckle down for the woman of his heart. I love all the originals, i hope they all come together as loving, understanding, appreciative family by the end of their storyline. I hope Rebekah finds the validation she's always craved, and that elijah comes back doing whatever i dont care. Klaus is a big heart of the show, he deserves love and loyal brotherhood friendships too. I'm really enjoying the plot this season, obviously "the cure" will bring about fascinating developments for everyone, and I'm highly curious about this Silas and just who might be coming back from the dead if he's woken up.... Thank you TVD writers


I like this episode, I think it is right time to move on with Stelna and just ended it for some time. Realy clear the area. Now is time for Delena, and it's realy good plot because all of the drama when Elena became human again. Witch one she will choose? I bet there will be a lot of coments and ideas about it. We will be arguing. And that is the point. Talk.


CHILL OUT REDOKTOBER!!!!!!! I saw your million posts and read one or two lines and new you were just spewing crap!

Sarah silva

I quite enjoyed this episode. I am so glad the show is back.
I was team Stelena since day 1 but from what it looks like, we will never have them together again so I am boarding the Delena train.
I am sure Bonnie's dad has ulterior motives, why else is he back in Mystic Falls?!?
Klaus is back in all his bad ass glory.
I am still not a huge fan of Rebekah but she and Stefan will hook up so I will have to like her!
I am looking forward to next week.


I used to undecided between the two brother or ships DE or SE, but I am at the point where elena isn't even worth it, she knew she liked demon while she was still with stefan and she just stringed him along creating the rift between the brother knowing full well they had gone through with Catherine. I really do think that stefan needs a break from elena, damon and mystic falls, to clear is head he needs to find out who he was before the love triangle began, i really want klaus to compel him so he actually forgets her and have that bond with his brother which i think was one on the highlights of the show.


Well now it's official. I WILL NOT be watching this show anymore. They've "jumped the shark".


This episode was aweful and so bad. How can Elena just change her feelings and start loving Damon, just like that. She is so annoying and such a slut! The writters are doing such a bad job of trying to get Elena and Damon together because of some fans, that it's so forced and not real. The show has lost it's core completely and it's so stupid and boring now. I don't think I'll be watching it anymore. Why would Stefan hang around to see the love of his life screw his brother? That makes no sense at all. Elena is an aweful vampire, she should take some good notes from Caroline, who is awesome! How is it that Caroline didn't change much when she became a vampire and actually became a better person but Elena became a total bitch, that nobody can stand anymore?


I have no idea who Matt Richenthal is or why his opinion of the show is relevant when he doesn't even seem to get it or know how to enjoy it for what it is... Ummm... Price Peterson please!!! Thank you. This episode was so awesome I was speechless with ecstasy and excitement until The Carrie Diaries started, I could care less about minor plot issues. Why? Because I actually LIKE the show.. Plus (SO much plus)-- team Damon---
Stelena fans are sso chewing on the ball of cheese they dished over the whole series and I expect it's being reflected in nonplussed commentaary as seen here... FINALLY


and if rebekah had to say "he/she is compelled so they have to answer" i would have thrown something at the tv. yes they're compelled. we got it the first time. lame. she's an original vampire and yet they don't fear nor respect her at all. lik what's up with that. she can kill them all quite easily. angry volatile rebekah- they should have been terrified of what she might do.

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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.