The Vampire Diaries Review: Garden of (Getting) Even

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Despite what you may have read on Twitter or been told in The CW promo for "Original Sin," the Ripper did not return to The Vampire Diaries tonight. Stefan managed to suppress his blood thirsty past self.

Instead, viewers were introduced to an entirely different kind of dangerous being: a crazy, controlling, paranoid, dream-implanting, spell-binding witch named Qetsiyah. And she was totally awesome.

Janina Gavankar as Tess

Janina Gavankar (always a TV Fanatic favorite) played this character as both vulnerable and violent, dangerous and deranged. She's not a villain. She's not a protagonist. She's simply a woman scorned... who happens to be a very powerful witch, meaning those that cross her don't end up with their faces cut out of photos.

They end up with their one true love's heart cut out of her body.

Qetsiyah was the driving force behind an episode that managed to be both very focused and very scattered. There was no Bonnie, no Jeremy, no Caroline and only sort of a trace of Matt (more on that below). The hour told just one story, but what a bat $hit crazy story it is....

  • Silas was in love with Amara, the first Petrova Doppelganger. He wanted the two of them to live forever, so he pretended to be in love with Qetsiyah in order for her to make them an immortality spell.
  • Then he stole it. He took it with Amara and Qetsiyah created The Cure in retaliation, which she fed to Amara in what we'll affectionately call The Garden of Getting Even.
  • She then tried to force Silas to take it, but he refused... so she locked him away for 2,000 years and watched from The Other Side (which she also created as a barrier for Silas), growing more and more frustrated when he was freed and The Hunters she sent after him failed to do their job.
  • When Bonnie lowered the veil, Qetsiyah escaped and set her sights on Stefan because she could use his mind to get inside Silas' and prevent him from compelling everyone and their grandmother.
  • Which she succeeded in doing this week... and here we are.

It's complicated stuff. All the exposition bogged down the episode a bit, especially when we're talking more doppelgangers, curses, witches, other sides, lowered veils, shadowed selves, mind compulsion and Travelers. Not exactly your everyday fare.

Yes, this is what often makes The Vampire Diaries so great, its total craziness and off-the-wall storytelling. But the momentum train (choo-choo, right, Damon?) is forced to slow down when viewers must hit rewind multiple times just to make sense of everything. So let's cut to the bottom line here:

Qetsiyah - sorry, not calling you Tessa, that's too simple a name for an admittedly complicated creature - is after Katherine to use her blood as The Cure than can finally kill Silas. And Silas is also after Katherine to purportedly drain her blood and rid the world of The Cure once and for all.

Oh, and the universe wants Stefan to end up with Elena. Or at least the doppelganger who looks like Stefan to end up with the doppelganger who looks like Elena. It's an interesting twist. It throws an interesting obstacle into the whole Delena 4 Eva thing.

Damon has taken on werewolves, hybrids, evil professors, mean uncles, angry hunters, blonde cheerleaders and Jeremy. The guy is good. He's tough and he's got charm that could even make Hayley on The Originals smile. But can he defeat destiny? And is destiny really working against him? Let's remember the source of that revelation here: Qetsiyah. She isn't exactly the most stable individual.

But while Qetsiyah was thoroughly entertaining, the destiny issue casts new questions over the show's perpetual love triangle and I appreciate the tight narrative at play here, I did have two major beefs with the installment:

  1. Enough with various characters taking on the personas of other characters already! It was a lazy storytelling crutch for Silas to constantly fool those around him on The Vampire Diaries Season 4 when he magically appeared as their friends or loved ones and it's a lazy storytelling crutch now to have Gregor inhabit Matt's body... especially because we know nothing about Gregor and Nadia. These Travelers have just been dropped in our laps and Katherine spoke for all of us when she screamed: Who are you and what do you want?!?
  2. The amnesia angle is dumb. Stupid. Ridiculous. Awful It's the most tiresome cliche in the soap opera world and it's rather depressing that The Vampire Diaries would actually resort to it here.

What did everyone else think? Where does "Original Sin" rank among craziest episodes in Vampire Diaries history? Are you buying this Damon vs. Destiny thing? Do you find the amnesia development and mind-numbingly lame as I do? Was Caroline off hooking up with Jesse while all this was going on?

And, seriously, how awesome is Qetsiyah?!


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (472 Votes)

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


well not necessarily (response to previous comment). Remember Stefan and Damon had their Uncle Zachary from the first season who was the last living human Salvatore relative until Damon killed him. So Zachary could have fathered a child in his youth ho looks like Stefan now. But I am still a Damon and Elena shipper, those two have more chemistry than Stefan and Elena.


@sp - Katherine has a doubleganger (Elena) because she had a child. Stefan has no doublegangers because he never had children. That is why. Should Elena or Stefan have kids then the doublegangers will continue. & if ppl dont like this show then it's simple DON'T WATCH! But don't bag it out. Fans that have watched from ep 1 4 yrs ago, Lov it. They should bring Bonnie back!


Omg!! THIS WAS/is THE BEST EPISODE EVA!! How cool is Katsija, or Tessa I should say! & now that Katherines blood is THE CURE everyone can take it!! Any vampire can be human again!! All they need is a litre blood bag and all drink a little. She can be the cure until her old age!! 
When the show comes to an end eventually, I think that's how TVD SHOULD END, they all take the cure and be human again. Hopefully a few more seasons before that hapns though. 
Tessa & Stefan should hook up, he would be protected instead of him protecting others all the time. Tessa rocks!


This week made it so easy for me to finally say - I like The Originals more than The vampire diaries!!! This episode was so out of everything.....I mean they just abandoned the plot and put that antient witch in the middle of everything and BOOM - suddenly amnesia??? The only thing I won't stop loving is Damon, but everything else is getting stupid.


Okay watched it. Wouldn't this mean KATHERINE and Stefan should end up together? I mean she turned him. This show is beyond convoluted and just honestly dumb. Really disappointed, Boo Plec. Only happy for a lack of Bonnie.


I watched the first few minutes of the episode and I'm confused. Isn't Elena a vampire? Do vampires sleep on this show? Freaking twilight is messing around with my memory.


Another exciting episode. I'm loving the fact that Damon and Elena are together. I hope they're given a real chance this season. Delena forever! I hope Stefan gets his memory back soon. I want to see him interacting with Damon and Elena. I also hope they bring Bonnie back from the dead soon. We need her and her witchy ways on the show.


I loved the episode, I don't understand why people say it was hard to follow. We've heard Silas' story again and again in season 4.
I also liked the amnesia plot line (although cliche) because it gives Stefan's character a new aspect. I got tired of seeing him suffering all the time and maybe that's an opportunity for him to make a fresh start.
Oh and Tessa is awesome!


The story is getting more convulted than any other season im starting to dislike the show. I mean it is very confusing about each character story. They have to pace a little bit not everyone follows the show so fast.


does this mean that the fathers of tatias and catherine 's children were a replica of stefan/silas??if thats true shouldn't be a human stefan replica who is the same age with elena or now that stefan is vampire until he dies there will be no more dobbleganger?

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The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

I know I said it doesn't bother me that you have a psychic connection to your ex-boyfriend, but I don't need the play by the play.


Play nice. Or I'm gonna revisit the deep, dark well idea.