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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
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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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I didn't hate the episode, but come on steffen and elena, a choice eventually has to be made and stick to it, her 2 seconds with Damon just was not enough. She has had feelings for him since the beginning of the series, she just wouldn't admit to it, and if 2 seconds is all we get with Damon & Elena, then I definitely feel very ripped off, I mean what was the point in bringing them together at all if to put her back on team steffen.

Sarah-silva

It was really Tyler. There was an a preview for the show on here yesterday that said Silas will take the form of 4 people so that was: Jeremy, Stefan,Damon and Rebekah. So that was 100% Tyler.

Sarah-silva

I really liked this episode!
I guess the 2 people she betrayed were Caroline and Bonnie and the 4 people that Silas appeared as were: Jeremy, Stefan (off screen), Damon and Rebekah.
It was nice to see Tyler eventhough it was brief.
I am still not liking no humanity Elena,however you can tell when she saw the photos as they walked into the prom and when she was dancing with Stefan that she was lying when she said she felt nothing and when she said she had to get inside before she had a seizure. I think we will see Elena and her humanity before the season is over and I bet she will choose Stefan once and for all!

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I see to be the minority here, but I liked this episode. Guys JP is a the biggest Damon and Elena fan, so you have nothing to worry about. She'll definitely be with him once she gets her humanity back. Loved that there was a perfect balance between human emotions and mythology in this episode. I liked that Silias was deformed.. But i still dont understand why he needs to destroy the other side.

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This episode wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of the show. I think Elena should get her humanity back again and go back with Damon. Stelena should not get back together Stefen should stay with Caroline instead.

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I agree that Elena did feel something for Stefan last night, but this enrages me. Not just from a Delena standpoint but because the writing is inconsistent. It makes Elena seem even more wishy-washy than we already knew she was. She denied her feelings for Damon when she chose Stefan. Then she chose Damon because he made her feel more alive.. She is with him for 5 seconds and now Stefan is making her feel things and she has no reaction to Damon? I get that the Stelena fans enjoyed that, but it is still not consistent writing. Even if she ends up with Stefan at some point, she would not suddenly feel nothing for Damon and have feelings for Stefan.. I feel like we are supposed to be able to relate to a main character and in this case, Elena is off the map. I have no idea what she is feeling or why, even before her humanity left us all.

Shelly1

Why all the Bonnie haters? I think she's great. Kat Graham is just as beautiful and talented as all the other women on this show. It would not be the same without her. I was happy to see the actor who plays Jeremy back, he is well missed. Hope he is able to come back for good at some point. I hope Elena does get her humanity back because now nobody likes her, not even her friends. I knew that was going to happen sooner or later. I thought this episode was good and I have no plans of giving up on this show. I plan to watch The Originals also, theres room for both.

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We know elijah is going to new Orleans with Klaus so I can't see him and Katherine happening now anyway, not that I want to either. The only scene I truly liked was at the beginning with the three originals discussing the cure. That was it, pam I totally agree with you this show is well on it's way to being toast.

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ok disappointed, seriously the love triangle between tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee and elena is like a broken record, that kind of thing only has so long of a shelf life before it goes off and it went off quite a while ago. Hated the fact that there were no scenes whatsoever with both Elijah and elena, she was staying in the same house as him for crying out loud talk about no continuity from the last episode, Elijah was totally underused in favour of the chuckle brothers in this ep and that they are trying to go down the Katherine route with him it just doesn't ring true after the moments between him and elena in the last episode and over the past two seasons. Re Katherine's letter I agree with the other comments they may as well have had giant signposts for the originals spin-off, couldn't have been more obvious. While im on the subject of Katherine's letter a well as being a plot device it also seems like she's saying "well screw you too" to both Elijah and Klaus. We know elijah is going to new Orleans with Klaus so I can't see him and Katherine happening now anyway, not that I want to either. The only scene I truly liked was at the beginning with the three originals discussing the cure.

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I have one thing to say: Julie Plec, wake up!!!! You are losing viewers and will drive this show into the ground. Unless that is what you are trying to do......

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 19 Quotes

Caroline: I have a real crisis on my hands: Elena stole my prom dress!

Hey Bonnie, hear you got your mind wiped. That sucks.

Elena
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