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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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    Everything else felt like a filler episode to get to the finale, which better be good or I am kinda done. There is teasing in a good way that keeps people wanting more and then there is just frustration where I am like okay you are not delivering quality entertainment and I have better things to do.

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    There used to be something epic about this show. I remember thinking it would be another teen drama and then quickly learning that the writing was phenomenal. Almost too good for a teen soap on the CW. I have not felt that anything epic has taken place this whole season. I heard a rumor that is probably ONLY a rumor about how this season is just Elena in a coma. Usually that would completely repel me but in this case, I would be okay with this not being a real season and only being a fabrication of Elena's brain. Its just that bad. I feel like the other villains even had a better build up. They all rolled into something bigger and were connected. Am I supposed to feel something about seeing Silas's face? I don't care, really. Who is Silas to anyone really. How is he connected? Its just a new add in that has no relevance to anything. Plus, I find myself feeling like every episode is a filler BESIDES the one where Jeremy died and Elena turned off her humanity. Everything else felt like a filler episode to get to the finale, which better be good or I am kinda done.

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    Episode seemed a little off... did it move fast in the beginning or something. Anyway Stefan please stay focused on leading your own life. I m slowly warming up to Caroline and Stefan. I started to not care about Elena either way and her "honesty" is everything fans have been wanting to say. I m not sure how TVD is going to stay relevant when The Originals leave. Klaus is going to have to do a major readjustment because he is so soft these days.

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    This was such a good review! I'm on the same wave length with every thought. Especially that note... "[Katherine] might as well have written: "Yo dude, The CW is considering a spinoff titled The Originals. Get down to New Orleans!" :D Also the Tyler scene through me as well. I was sure it was Silas but yeah, it was definitely all about making Klaus look like a bit of a softy. To be honest, I'm strangely all for Caroline going with Klaus to New Orleans. I'd love it if his "King" speech was actually to Caroline (it would make sense because there's also a vulnerability about the speech). I could see her all "what?! ...Oh god Klaus." but she seems to get him (his good and bad points). She'd bring such a good balance to the show.

    Mse

    Loved the episode ! Absolute favorite moment was Caroline blathering how Elena stole her dress and Klaus trying not to laugh

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    I was actually rooting for Elena to kill Bonnie. Seriously, how could she be SO stupid to not recognise Silas? Oh my God. But the same goes for Stefan, Damon and Elijah. Everyone knew Silas could impersonate anyone and yet nobody even tried to figure out if the person in front of him was really him- or herself? Best part, as usual: Klaus, Caroline, Rebekah and Elijah, especially with his little speech about Katarina. I don't know how the TVD is supposed to survive once the Originals are shipped elsewhere. Lamest plot device EVER: Kathrine's letter. Can't believe the writers are THAT unimaginative now.

    Drea-xoxo

    best part of the episode and only worthy moment to comment on...... elijah declaring his love for katerina!!!! this made the 45 minutes not seem such a drain. other than that meh, same ole triangle bs like we have time to invest anymore. silas is more evil than i thought, bonnie should have died and a new witch comes in town..... just think the series should quietly end now

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    Bekkah... her scenes with Matt were really nice ! But can she be a human...nah ! No way. April, annoying as usual. I can't believe Elijah fell for Silas's trick. Seriously !
    Also, I had my doubts as whether or not it was Tyler, BUT, I think it was him. Okay, not sure. But it was still nice to see him. Noticed there were no pics of him on the display... Oh well. I was rooting for Klaroline but since Klaus is leaving, it's not going to happen.
    I don't feel anything for this show anymore... Someone gets killed, bouhouh ! Compelled, ugh ! If renewed for another season, I REALLY hope it'll be the last.

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    The episode was alright. The dresses !!!!! OMG just beautiful !!!!! Small town like Mystic Falls getting dresses like that, er, HELLO !!!! But out of Klaus's chest dress was royal-worthy ! Caroline looked absolutely splendid in it, better than the red one, suited Elena better !
    NOW, the episode lol. Bonnie, whether you die or live doesn't matter to me no more ! It still was nice to see Jeremy, but the fact that it was Silas made it feel wrong. Elena attacking the witch, bold and stupid move. Also, drinking her blood...Damon did it and didn't get sick, so I guess expression witch is toxic LOL.
    So bored at the Stelena, Delena triangle, honestly, couldn't care less.
    @LAuren : And I totally agree with you, they made Delena look like trash, not even lasting long enough to be important, ruined it with the Sire Bond crap. As Silas said, it was a one-night-stand. I was kinda glad when Stefan said he would move on blah blah, only to go back to his feelings for Elena while dancing.
    Bekkah... her scenes with Matt were really nice ! But can she be a human...nah ! No way. April, annoying as usual. I can't believe Elijah fell for Silas's trick. Seriously !
    Also, I had my doubts as whether or not it was Tyler, BUT, I think it was him. Okay, not sure. But it was still nice to see him. Noticed there were no pics of him on the display... Oh well. I was rooting for Klaroline but since Klaus is leaving, it's not going to happen.

    Ilkvomit

    Damon looked like a total fool with that new haircut. Katherines letter to Klaus was ridiculously stupid. I don't feel like that was really Tyler. I just don't care what happens to Bonnie good or bad. I'll always love the tension between Elijah and Klaus. ending threw me off a bit... was that really Klaus shit talking Becca ? Or Silas