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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?!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (471 Votes)

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

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Wait so Silas has/had no other power's then his mind control?

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This show has the most ludicrously convoluted back story ever. I'm sorry, but it just gets worse and worse. The writers have apparently abandoned any efforts at logical plotting. Pretty Little Liars isn't as far-fetched as this, and that's saying something.

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In order for Bonnie to come back, Qetsiyah will probably have to return to the other side.

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dont get me wrong I love the vampire diaries, but can they give it a rest with the whole love triangle. In case we have forgotten Katherine is human and more suitable with Stefan now since she does not need to consume blood and tempt Stefan that way. Also, although she has always been and will most likely always be bitchy, she has never loved Damon, attracted maybe, had fun with him definitely but loved him, no. While Elena has felt love for Damon based on the season finale. Plus, I think Stefan might be better of with Caroline or now that he can be turned human with katherines blood become human and find a nice normal unsupernatural girl he can grow old with. Also it is best if no one from the Original family knows that Katherine is human and carries the cure in her blood stream.

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Tessa is fantastic. It's been a while since TVD introduced a brand new character that I could love & hate in equal measure so quickly. There seems to be a LOT of confusion about the original witch and doppelganger line, so I thought I would try and clarify on how I perceive it: 1. Esther was called the Original Witch because she was from the Original family. She is obviously not the first witch because she was friends with the witch Ayana. Qetsiya is the original, original Traveller/Witch (as far as we know). 2. Qetsiya did not create doppelgangers, nature did. A shadow self was created in order to restore the balance of the creation of an immortal creature. Amara was NOT a doppelganger - she was the originator of the Patrova line. Therefore, when she died (as a human) she was not supernatural and passed on without being stuck on the other side. 3. Tatia was (possibly) the first doppelganger and from her, the Patrova line was continued. Amara did not have to have a child in order for the line to be continued - Tatia did. 4. If Silas took the cure and passed on, he would no longer be immortal, but would still be a supernatural 'witch/traveller' and would have, therefore, been trapped on the otherside with Qetsiya. This is how I understand the TVD logic and I think it's brilliant. Very fun and very well written. Stefan losing his memory is not my favorite idea - but hey, at this point, I'm just along for the ride. (Sorry my previous comment did not show up correctly)

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Tessa's is fantastic. It's been a while since TVD introduced a brand new character that I could love & hate in equal measure so quickly. There seems to be a LOT of confusion about the original witch and doppelganger line, so I thought I would try and clarify on how I perceive it: 1. Esther was called the Original Witch because she was from the Original family. She is obviously not the first witch because she was friends with the witch Ayana. Qetsiya is the original, original Traveller/Witch (as far as we know). 2. Qetsiya did not create doppelgangers, nature did. A shadow self was created in order to restore the balance of the creation of an immortal creature. Amara was NOT a doppelganger - she was the originator of the Patrova line. Therefore, when she died (as a human) she was not supernatural and passed on without being stuck on the other side. 3. Tatia was (possibly) the first doppelganger and from her, the Patrova line was continued. Amara did not have to have a child in order for the line to be continued - Tatia did. 4. If Silas took the cure and passed on, he would no longer be immortal, but would still be a supernatural 'witch/traveller' and would have, therefore, been trapped on the otherside with Qetsiya. This is how I understand the TVD logic and I think it's brilliant. Very fun and very well written. Stefan losing his memory is not my favorite idea - but hey, at this point, I'm just along for the ride.

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@queenbee94 Esther never said she created the doppelgänger. The wording was that she used the doppelgänger's blood for the curses. Meaning that she was a doppelgänger (somehow Esther knew this). Tatia was NEVER human always a doppelgänger. Amara and Silas are not doppelgängers, those that have come after them are the doppelgängers. We the fans are the ones that made the mistake of calling Tatia the first doppelgänger. The "Original" witch name was only given to Esther because she was the witch of the "Original" family, not in meaning she was the first witch.

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Queenbee4 - Very good points about Amara still being alive

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Okay - two more questions. Tessa said that she created the Hunters. But we saw in a flashback that another witch did about 100 years after the Orignals were turned. That makes it over 1,000 years after Tessa died. ??? Also, I like the theory that Nadia could be Katherine's daughter but what exactly are the Travellers? Is Nadia a vampire? If not, how is she still alive and, finally, Katherine knew about Elena which means that she had been following her line. So wouldn't it make sense that she knew what happened to her daughter (who must have had children)?

Sarah silva

Matt: I actually found this episode easy to follow, I usually find myself rewinding to see things again but not this time! :)

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.

Damon

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

Damon
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