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The Vampire Diaries Review: Dancing with the Devil

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Senior prom never lives up to expectations.

You think you have the perfect dress... and then a classmate shows up in something similar. You think you're gonna get some... and then your date passes out drunk. You think you can flip your loved one's humanity switch back on... only for her to attempt multiple murders and for the event to be overtaken by a deranged ancient witch on a mission.

It's the same old story at high schools around the country.

Caroline Prom Dress

"Pictures of You" wasn't an in-your-face, non-stop-action, thrill-a-minute return episode.

It was actually light on blood and gore and surprises and didn't even conclude on an especially intriguing cliffhanger. Sorry, but seeing Silas' scarred face didn't nudge me any closer to the edge of my seat.

But the hour did bring into focus many relationships, from Elena's nearly destroyed ones with Bonnie and Caroline to Rebekah's burgeoning one with Matt to Caroline's briefly revived one with Tyler.

That was Tyler, right? Not Silas? What an odd scene and return. It was used to soften Klaus a lot more than further anything related to the reunited couple, as our favorite Hybrid admitted he cared about Caroline's happiness to such a degree that he was willing to let Tyler go in order to maintain it. Really, nothing says I Love You more than NOT murdering your boyfriend.

Elena, meanwhile, was going in the opposite direction with her friends, doing all she could to tear them down. She stole Caroline's dress. She referred to Bonnie as a "brain washed crazy person." She told Stefan she lacked a heart and she scoffed at Damon's title of "boyfriend." The humanity-free vampire made Katherine seem like your caring next door neighbor.

But while it's a nice change of pace for both Nina Dobrev and this typically innocent character, it's also refreshing that it may be coming to an end soon. As Caroline noted (I know you said to kill her with kindness, but can't I just kill her?), there's only so long such a stone-cold killer can be accepted by those around her before they either give up trying or do something worse to her.

So it's on to Plan C: scaring the humanity back into the blood-sucker. I can only imagine a marathon of The Ring is on tap. Maybe Toddlers & Tiaras.

Matt and Rebekah at the Prom

Let's also hope fan reaction frightens Julie Plec and company into choosing a direction and sticking with it when it comes to this perennial love triangle. Stefan is gonna get out of town... only to remember his feelings for Elena. Damon is confident Elena really does love him... only to wonder and rage when he watches her dance with his brother.

The overall dance of Who Will Elena Pick? has grown very old. It's been pushed to the side over the past few episodes because the Salvatores have had other issues to worry about (Other Sides ending, waitresses being killed, etc.), but it was brought back a bit to the forefront here, much to my chagrin. I don't care if Elena pulls a Kelly Taylor and chooses herself at this point. She just needs to make some decision.

After she stops trying to kill her best friends, that is.

Thee others developments worth noting:

  1. Poor Matt! Dude, you are so much more than a busboy at The Grill. (Seriously, at this point in your tenure there, you better be so much more!) You are the rational, benevolent human being who does all he can to keep everyone around him safe and grounded. The town would fall apart (ummm... even more) without you there. So glad Rebekah picked up on this and so pleased with her evolution overall. She has a ways to go, but she could be "good" yet.
  2. Bonnie may not have smiled in about six months, but at least she's driving the plot now instead of being used to randomly turn it in one direction or another.
  3. The opposite can be said about Katherine. I've often noted how she's really nothing more than a plot device - popping up now and again with no real explanation - but that was never truer than her note to Klaus. She might as well have written: "Yo dude, The CW is considering a spinoff titled The Originals. Get down to New Orleans!"

Overall, not the best episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 4. The ability of Silas to simply turn into anyone is a significant writing crutch, a storyline that makes it far too easy to dupe both the viewers and the characters.

But at least he now has The Cure. At least Bonnie has agreed to help him. There's momentum on this front, there's movement in bringing the old Elena back - and there's Caroline in that dress! Far be it for me to complain.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (2035 Votes)

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

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lets put it this way American gothic left me wanting more but this episode was disappointing, it was not worth waiting three weeks to see

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This is so stupied she is sired to Damon, so why doesn't he just bring her humanity back

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I think we should get a bitchier Caroline. I know she can be bitchier than this, but they should really bring it out of her - it'd be so interesting to see her and Elena finally have a bitchfight, or something. Plus, I hated how Caroline got beaten by Elena, a newbie vamp.

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I thought this episode was good, not great but still a good episode. I think Elaina turning off her humanity is her way of grieving. She doesn't want to feel and she doesn't want anyone to make her feel, that's why she is so mean to everyone and wants them to stay away from her. She knew she felt something seeing the pictures at the prom and when she was dancing with Stephan. And the Silas (as Stephan) conversation with Damon is exactly correct about Damon & Elaina's relationship. Elaina herself said as much. Elaina was "in love" with Damon because he sired her. Elaina may be w/o humaity but everything she has said (no matter how blunt) has been true. Sorry Delaina fans but I don't see them together for the long haul. M.O. but I think the reason for the chemistry between Delaina is because of Damon. Again m.o. but I see chemistry with everyone Damon is with (Rose, Arlic, Rebecca, Klaus, Bonnie, Caroline, etc.)I.S. is a great actor. I liked the Mad Bonnie/Elaina scene. Bonnie was having a bad night & to top it off Elaina tries to kill her. I say good for you Bonnie, Elaina had it coming. As for Tyler, I think that was really Tyler - Silas has no use for Caroline so why would he bother to appear to her or run from Klaus.

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This writing for this episode was just horrible. Vampire Diaries S4 is boring, tired of the originals, Silas, the Cure. Season 1 and Season 2 have been the best so far. Going down hill since then.

Leon-alexis

This is so hard to predict that face! I'm talking about Silies. That guy scared me. I liked Shan's twin brother John more.

Leon-alexis

Earlier,I always wanted Caroline and Klaus together,but now I understand, this is bullshit! An original vampire can't be a puppy! That's not right, tha's not interesting,this is for some small girls.
Klaus has to be free in his own loneliness crying everytime when he looks at the mirror.

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-I'm over humanity free Elena. She behaves like she's the only one whose suffered loss and been through traumatizing events. Her comment to Bonnie about Bonnie being a harsh reminder was just uncalled for. Yes, her humanity is off but stop acting like such a self-righteous bitch Elena! When Bonnie basically tormented Elena in the parking lot i kept thinking Bonnie should be doing this to Elena because of that comment. Bonnie lost her Grandmother, her mother turned into a vampire because of Elena and she wants to stand and say Bonnie is a reminder of all the bad things happening to her? Please! Humanity free Elena was fun in "Bring it on" now, she's become irriating and a bore. Stealing Carolines dress, Wow Elena talk about immature.
-The love triangle is a waste.
-Silas wasn't interesting. Not once when i saw Jeremy (except in the dream) did i actually believe it could be him. And his ugly appearance at the end just didnt make sense for me. If you can take on the shape of other people, why can't you appear as your old self before the witch scarred you?

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The episode was just okay. Nothing epic.
Pros:
-i liked the episode opening with Bonnie visiting Jeremys imaginary grave and waking up to flames.
-Seeing Elijah
-Strange enough, every scene with Matt in. :)
-Bonnie overpowering Elena, i kept thinking "punish Elena for everything she's put you through Bonnie! Punish her!"
Now for the Cons:
-Elijah was seriously underused in favour of the Salvatores and Klaus and Rebekah. He was genuinely wasted in my opinion.
-Klaus behaved like a irritating brat throughout the entire episode i couldn't stand it!
-Tyler's return was sweet and nice for Caroline but like Elijah, he was wasted and might as well shouldn't have been around.

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I don't care if anybody agree with me or not, but the best part of this episode is when Bonnie over-powered Elena and showed her who the badass really is. Elena don't have nothing over Bonnie!! She showed her & all the Bonnie haters whose boss and who is the real badass without even trying hard. And another thing, aren't some of you people tired of bringing up the one night stand between Damon & Elena? Everything that Silas(pretending to be Stefan)said to Damon was 100% true. So, Delena lovers, get over it!!!!