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The Vampire Diaries Review: Dopplegang-HIM?!?

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Note to Sheriff Forbes: Can we get better protection around the water sources of Mystic Falls? They are causing major problems for some of your daughter's best friends.

First, Elena plunges off a bridge and into eternity as a member of the undead on last year's season finale.

Now, in "Graduation," Stefan is locked inside a safe and pushed into what appears to be an impenetrably soggy grave because Silas reveals his true self to be the doppleganger of this Salvatore brother, the shadow self created because nature needed a balance to the witch who created an immortal curse.

Allow me to repeat that again, using the capital letters it calls for: STEFAN IS SILAS' DOPPLEGANGER!!!!!

Holy game-changing cliffhanger, Julie Plec. You have most definitely done it again.

Caroline at Graduation

Until the wholly unexpected concluding scene, The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale centered more on matters of the heart than matters of the Holy $hit Did That Really Happen?!?. Consider all the romantic scenes and developments:

  • Rebekah saved Matt's life and the pair ran away together. Drove away together? Flew around the globe together with Rebekah using her vampire-like speed and carrying Matt on her back?

Travel arrangements aside, this was a well-deserved trip for both parties. Matt has clearly saved up some vacation time from The Grill and the past few weeks have done an admirable job of softening Rebekah and proving she really can be "good." Of course, we all know The Originals is coming (Tuesday nights this fall!) and Mebekah's future doesn't appear especially bright. But a summer fling with an Aussie-accented blonde? Things could be worse, Matt Donovan.

  • Bonnie brought Jeremy back to life and said goodbye for good. (Possibly? That didn't feel like a proper farewell. I fear Bon Bon is not Gone Gone.)

Okay, I'll make it quick: this was incredibly dumb. Bonnie's use of random, all-powerful spells to fix situations has been a source of frustration - and occasional humor on The Vampire Diaries Round Table - for many seasons. But this was a magical step too far. She simply did a spell? And that's it? Jeremy is now alive? Very lame. No other way to put it.

  • Klaus granted Tyler his freedom and delivered the line of the night to Caroline: He's your first love. I intend to be your last. However long it takes. Damn. That guy is good at a lot more than using graduation caps as a weapon.

This was a perfect scene all around. It left the Klaroline door open just the tiniest crack, while making us wonder how Caroline will react when Tyler next walks through her bedroom door. Seriously, is it possible for Candice Accola to just be on both shows this fall? Running really fast between New Orleans and Mystic Falls? She and Joseph Morgan are terrific together. And think of all the parties Caroline could throw in The Big Easy!

  • Elena chose Damon. Again. For real this time. It was the only real solution to the triangle, as many viewers would have tuned out for good if she somehow went back to Stefan. And simply choosing herself? Kelly Taylor beat her to that years ago.

Season 4 did a mostly solid job of shoving the Who Will Elena Choose? question to the sidelines (that's what happens when you lose your humanity and go around killing waitresses), but the end result was that it made her decision here seem so anti-climactic. We all knew full-throttle Delena would happen at some point, so let's just hope it now sticks... and we never hear the words "sire bond" ever again.

(Must we even discuss The Cure? A storyline that never really went anywhere and never made a great deal of sense ended with essentially a side character being forced to take it. Is anyone counting down the days until October because they care about Katherine as a human? I didn't think so).

So, yes, a lot of sentiment and not a great deal of shock for about 58 minutes tonight. Until that conclusion. Until the scene that absolutely no one could have seen coming and which opens up a never-ending number of possibilities. But they all go back to Paul Wesley getting to revisit his Ripper roots in some way, which is a treat for both the actor and every viewer.

There's no way the real Stefan is actually dead... right? Will Silas now integrate himself into the group and try to pass himself off as Stefan? To what end? That's actually the only real cliffhanger we have heading into The Vampire Diaries Season 5, the only thread really left dangling, aside from how The Grill will possibly function without Matt.

But it's a doozy! I now turn it over to you, TVD Fanatics, and ask for your take on the crazy twist and on Season 4 as a while. How would you grade it?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (2702 Votes)

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

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Shelly1

I loved tonights episode. I'm happy that Jeremy is alive, Elena really needs family. I'm glad she chose Damon but in light of Nina and Ian's real life break up I have to be honest that it kind of ruined the moment a little. I hope one day they get back together because playing lovers on TV could become sort of awkward. But I love them together or apart. I hope Bonnie isin't really dead. Wish Alaric could've stayed. Stephan having an evil doppleganger and it's Silas? Wow did not see that coming. Looking forward to next season.

Bethemockingjay

THIS ENTIRE EPISODE WAS FREAKIN AWESOME...
until the stefan silas scene.....i really hate that they are keeping the stupid silas thing going...and so that he can be stefan doppelganger.....really killed it...

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that scene of stefan in the box under water reminds me of Angel season 3 final when Angels son trapped him in a box and throu him in the sea.

Marissa

Great episode. I kind of wish Bonnie would of left the vail down because I liked seeing Lexi and Alaric again but only those 2 the rest didn't matter to me. I'm glad Jeremy's alive I wonder if he will do what Bonnie says and keep her death a secret or if he will do what he wanted and tell the truth that she's dead. I wasn't shocked when Elena forced Katherine to take the cure. I'm so glad Elena finally chose one of them and I'm really happy it was Damon because they make a pretty good couple. I was surprised that Stefan is Silas's doppelgänger and I'm curious on how that's going to play out. will they realize he's not the real Stefan? How long until Stefan is rescued or until he breaks free? I can't wait till next season it will be very good.

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I know that they have to break away from the book-series, but this is just a bad cop-out. It was obvious Bonnie would be perma-dead and Jeremy wouldnt, this ending is just bad writing imo. The thing that made the show 'unique' was that there was 1 dobbelganger, and now there's two? I like how Klaus came to the rescue, he's an amazing charater, and we all love Alaric, and i'd rather have had him stay, than Jeremy. Cathrine getting 'the cure' was predictable, since Stefan would never take it, due to his love for Elena and his blabla-bad conscience. Also, the whole vampire-in-a-box-under-water, seems like its stolen from another show .. I recall i've seen that scene before, not sure where, but i've defo seen it. Matt taking a roundworld trip with Rebecca seems fitting as they're both useless since The Originals got picked up, and Matt's the only non-pire. I've been a fan of this show since the get-go, largely due to Damon and Alaric, but do I really want to watch a show, that makes such a bad 'cliff-hanger'?

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I was devastated when Jeremy died earlier this season, but the fact that they are bringing him back now just doesn't make sense to me. He doesn't really have anything to do and his character will be like Matt's, just in the background. They need to do something interesting for him in season 5. I think they should have brought back Alaric I love him and Damon's friendship and he was sort of like a dad to Elena. More like an uncle, actually. But at least one family member is back for her so she won't be alone. I wish Bonnie would just be gone for good. There's been several times that she has barely survived but then she is suddenly fine. Plus, since they said that her, Caroline, and Elena will be roommates in college, how is that going to work since no one can see her now except for Jeremy? Is she magically going to be alive again?

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I love what they are doing with Stefan's storyline, but I just wish they would give him a break! He has been hurt all season and now he is left to starve in a box underwater? He has such a sweet heart I want to see Stefan happy next season but it will be interesting to see Silas acting as Stefan (which I'm sure is what will happen) and being all evil and badass. Hopefully the whole Silas pretending to be Stefan thing doesn't go on for half the season. Someone has to notice it's not the real Stefan at some point right? Especially Damon then him and Elena will try to find him and save him. I knew Elena would choose Damon. I love Elena and Stefan's love and relationship but it wouldn't seem natural for them to get back together at this point. Plus it wouldn't work with the way they are going with Stefan's storyline. The love triangle will happen again eventually but I hope right now they just focus on the new storylines happening. I'm tired of it always being about Elena and who she loves it's just boring now.

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Personally I didn't think the finale was all that great. No suspense at all in who Elena would choose because we all knew she would go with Damon just to keep this love triangle going and to satisfy all the people who want them together. I don't get the draw of them two, I think that her and Stefan have a much more real relationship. Season 1 and 2 were much better because Elena wasn't annoying and fickle. She knew who she loved and fought for it. Now she just ping pongs between brothers. Also never saw the draw of Klaus and Caroline. The writers keep putting her with almost every guy on the show (also her "first love" is not Tyler - it was Matt, they said "I love you" to each other). I just feel like the writers are now making stuff up as they go and are not taking into consideration past seasons plots and the qualities that made these characters.

Whathappened

@rose
"Kol was an ass.. He did nothing but hurt and torture people in his life.. he doesn't get to pop back in and stay, he doesn't deserve it." Hmmmm, Stefan, Damon, Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, Klaus have all done the same things some even more, but because they're the "main" characters they get a free pass and deserve to be showered with rose petals? Klaus is even getting his own show and he killed Jenna! Twisted logic is twisted

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There were a couple sweet moments in the finale (namely, Klaus and Caroline and Elena and Damon). I'm not really feeling Matt and Rebekkah -- I can't put my finger on it, but there's something missing between those two. From an action standpoint, there are no stakes in this show -- no real suspense because the "shocks" are superficial and temporary. During the finale, I felt no real dread when someone's life was in danger, because I know that they will ultimately come out of it "alive." They need to start taking some risks and kill off some of these characters FOR GOOD! I'm sick of seeing characters whose expiration dates have long passed sticking around or coming back from the dead.