The Vampire Diaries Review: A Dirty Rotten Shane

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Sorry, Damon Salvatore. You may have a handsome behind, but you are one giant liar.

To conclude last week's strong Vampire Diaries episode, you uttered these inspiring words: Here we go. But the show didn't go very far at all on "Into the Wild," burying itself in far too much drivel from Atticus - yes, Atticus! - Shane and dragging the hour down with an over-reliance on exposition.

Yes, we learned a great deal.

About why Shane manipulated the Pastor to commit group suicide. About what his end game is for The Cure. About Bonnie's relationship to a witch with a really complicated name. But if Shane's history classes are anything like the way this information was doled out - talking, talking and then even more talking - I can't imagine why anyone would sign up.

Shane on the Island

This was really one of the more boring episodes of The Vampire Diaries in recent memory, which is slightly understandable because it clearly served as a transition to next week's official introduction of a new hunter and what hopefully will be a final showdown between Shane and, well... everyone else.

But, for all the answers given, the installment really didn't accomplish much at all.

Is anyone surprised that Shane has an ulterior, evil motive? Anyone taken aback that he was training Bonnie for his own nefarious purposes? We were clearly headed here all along. I doubt many viewers thought Shane was simply a well-meaning father figure who would bring out the best in our resident witch.

The Elena-Damon divide over taking The Cure has grown old, as well. My feelings on the sire bond nonsense have been made clear over the course of The Vampire Diaries Season 4 (spoiler alert: I don't like it!) and it's tiresome to watch these two continually debate whether her feelings are real.

Moreover, what do they/we even know about The Cure? Is it an injection? Are there gallons' worth? Can one vampire take it? Two? Three dozen? The group would have been better served if they stopped discussing the pros and cons of taking it - and instead focused on the shady dude who promised it could be found.

Know how else the group would have been better served? If it stopped splitting up! Sheesh! Do these people not watch any horror movies?

Back in Mystic Falls, meanwhile, we had a Tyler and Caroline sighting for the first time in three weeks. But the return wasn't welcome for this couple, as Caroline quickly suffered a bite at the mouth of her occasional, quasi paramour.

Now, I adore these characters. And I love the actors portraying them. But it's unclear what point this mini storyline served. We should all understand Klaus by now: he's cruel, but he also possesses a softer, vulnerable side and it stems from how he's been hurt in the past and... yadda, yadda, yadda. Caroline calling on his humanity in order to be saved was really just pointing out the obvious.

Maybe his love for C -Money has now been solidified? Perhaps he'll really try to fight for her heart now? But it's hard to see how much mileage that angle would get, considering Caroline also called him out for killing Jenna and Tyler's mother, among many other victims. She ain't falling for his serial-killer-with-a-wounded-heart-of-gold act.

So we're left with a wasted trip into the wild. There was far too much telling and not nearly enough showing this week. I watch The Vampire Diaries for the occasional heart-to-heart, sure, but not to watch one guy just spout his history for minutes on end. The pressure is now on, new hunter dude.

You better bring it next Thursday night. What did everyone else think?

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Review

Editor Rating: 2.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (1171 Votes)

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

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