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The Vampire Diaries Review: Love Prevails?

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As Tom Hanks told Private Ryan after saving him oh so many years: earn it, Bonnie Bennett. You better earn this second chance at life.

Following a number of wayward Vampire Diaries Season 5 episodes - full of crazy plots twist, dopplegangers pouring out of Damon's ears and, okay, some really hilarious Silas lines - the show finally put one storyline to rest this week.

By putting three bodies in the ground.

Silas is dead. Amara is dead. Tessa is dead. And Bonnie is (sort of) alive. It took a long, meandering time to arrive at this place, with the latest run of episodes bogged down by side characters and crazily complicated backstories. So allow me to reiterte:

You best make this worth our while, Bonnie.

Tessa on TVD

If it's possible for an hour to feature a trio of deaths and one long-awaited resurrection, and yet conclude without feeling like much was really accomplished, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 7 pulled it off well.

Because that really is all that went down this week: two characters killed themselves, one because she was sick of living and the other because she's crazy in love, and Stefan finally got his revenge against Silas.

Granted, it was definitely nice to get some insight into all Stefan went through while trapped in that safe and it was definitely moving when he admitted he wanted to see both Elena and Damon's faces when the door was finally. I complained in my review of The Vampire Diaries Season Episode 6 that the series has gotten away from character development, so I do need to note the focus here on Stefan's inner turmoil.

That said... those three are goners and Bonnie is now the anchor for The Other Side.

Someone could easily have not watched this installment, be informed of those facts and be instantly caught up, ready to view The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 8.

Which is okay I guess. Especially when Damon is making references to crazy island dwellers and their volleyball pals and Silas is lamenting the price of gas. At least as the storylines have become more convoluted, The Vampire Diaries quotes have become funnier. A lot funnier.

But I didn't feel anything when Silas was saying goodbye to Amara... or when Amara stabbed herself... or when Tessa took her own life. And I simply felt relief when Bonnie was brought back, not any kind of joy. Did anyone doubt this would actually take place? And, sorry, but does anyone really care about Bonnie?

I'll wait to reserve judgment on what the consequences of her feeling all supernatural deaths will be, but I can't say it's the most exciting cliffhanger. Nor is Stefan collapsing due to his memories of being submerged in water for three months.

So let's not call this episode filler. Let's call it a house cleaning. The side characters that infused the series with some humor but who mostly overstayed their welcome are now gone. Bonnie is back. Stefan has regained his memories. Let's shift focus, shall we, Julie Plec?

Dr. Maxfield is involved in some intriguing stuff at Whitmore. And let's not forget that there's an entire person inside Matt. Those storylines have potential. Let's hone in on them and leave this Other Side mumbo jumbo alone for awhile.

What did everyone think of "Death and the Maiden?" Were you affected by any deaths? Did you shed any tears over Bonnie hugging Caroline and Elena? And a sitcom based around Damon's home life? Sold! What should it be titled?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
  • 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (275 Votes)

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

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the episode wasn't point less it was produced well and was very mysterious and exciting.

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Pointless episode. Glad those 3 are dead. Bonnie coming back - could care less. Hoping Katherine dies soon as well. Come on Julie Plec what happened to the old VD?!?!?!

Amygirl

This is something that really really annoys me. I know this show depicts the human race as being completely stupid... but people would notice if certain faces reappeared 1000 times. Sorry, but it's true, and unrealistic.

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How can you make a recap without even mentioning Katherine??

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I am glad Bonnie came back.

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I will never understand all the Bonnie hate and I have to take a moment to defend her character. IMO Bonnie is the one character on this show that has been a truly good person through and through, she's made sacrifices for the ppl she cares about in every situation even if it's meant giving her own life. Her mother was turned into a vampire and her father was killed in front of her. When something of this magnitude happens to Damon or Stefan they start eating people. Elena burns down houses. Caroline cries in bed for weeks. Bonnie's always been tougher than the other characters when it comes to stressful situations and without her powers most of them would be toast by now. Her role as Elena's best friend and a hero to everyone else makes her important to the show which is why these characters have have been scrambling to bring her back. Done now, love season 5 so far and all characters except Matt are being written well as usual. Katherine's story arc is an effing blast to watch so far. People hating on this season probably would complain no matter what was on their screens.

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@ Mike

Sorry, I disagree. This season pales in comparison to Season 2 and Season 3. This season feels very reactionary. The second half of Season 1, the entire Season 2 and much of Season 3 were really good. Phenomenal. This season just feels like they're dragging out the Stefan-Elena-Damon triangle all over again. It's exhausting to watch Elena go back and forth. Katherine's story arc is great. Always been a great fan of Katherine. Glad she's not just a means to an end like in certain episodes in previous seasons (e.g. the episode where Katherine teamed up with Damon to trick Mikael). I love what the writers have done with Katherine and Nadia. I've always loved seeing Katherine, this beautiful, seemingly heartless, self-centered woman becoming vulnerable. And what happened to Matt? And the traveller in him? What's happening? TVD writers have their storylines all over the place and they're not really keeping track of them. Vampire Diaries is at its strongest when the characters when the characters are yearning for redemption, for love and struggling to get that love or redemption because their desire for power or they can't forgive themselves or because their family members can't accept them. Watch Katherine in the episode 'Katerina' or Joseph Morgan in his confrontations with Mikael, Esther, Rebekah, any of his family members (except maybe Finn) and even Caroline. Watch Caroline with Sheriff Forbes (when Sheriff Forbes first finds out that Caroline's a vamp) or Caroline with her dad. Tyler with his mom. See Stefan when he called Elena over the phone and he cried while she was on the other end. Seriously, watching a TV show primarily based on Elena's love for Damon and Stefan and their unending love for her can get boring. So many of their actions are in response to getting Elena back or making Elena happy. What I do like is the focus on Stefan's desire to see his brother and Elena when the coffin was opened. That's important because Elena's not only Stefan's ex-girlfriend and lover, she's his friend too. And I want to see more of Damon helping his brother get through the tough times ahead. Always good to have more character and relationship development. Doppelgangers. It's nice that Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley get to play so many characters who are rather layered..And they did great jobs. It's tough. But I think when your viewers can't even keep track of how many doppelgangers there are and the purpose of the doppelgangers, then it seems that something's wrong. I mean, so many people forgot about Tatia Petrova. And okay, if doppelgangers are born from the same bloodline. Since Stefan became a vampire, where's his doppelganger? You have like 3 doppelgangers after Amara and only 1 after Silas? Huh? Shouldn't Katherine have met Stefan/Silas lookalikes while she was going about those 500+ years? Or was Tessa/Qetsiyah being literal when she said "the face that launched a thousand doppelgangers"? Kevin Williamson needs to come back and get this show straightened out. It's lost its footing.

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I actually shed a few tears! Not because I'm so overly fond of Bonnie but imagine your best friend died and now you have her back. I was more crying for Caroline's sake. She was so happy and well she's my girl :) I want her happy! I like your interpretation of a house cleaning. That fits but I have to admit I actually liked those "overstaying their welcome characters"^^But I agree now we can move the focus and and I can't wait for it. I'm mostly interested in Stefan's struggle. I hope he can get some distance between him and bloody Elena. She's no good for him. I was nearly screaming when she appeared in his bedroom for bonding while he was sleeping. I mean god damn it Elena you can't have them both. It's just not fair. You made your decision, now live with it and give poor Stefan a rest. He needs to move on....I need to see him move on ....badly! I hope for a lot of Caroline/Stefan/Katherine action.
However yeah Matt kinda disappeared the last few episodes. Hope he gets some action soon too. His story for once looks interesting.

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Delena relationship ruined the show. It turned Elena into horny selfish slut. She just lost her heroine charms. I only hope it's for purpose, to show how Damon efects her. STEFAN, tvd's true hero is the only reason this show worth watching.

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@ once a fan

I agree with you. Stefan and Elena should get back together. Stefan had her first.

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I hope VD stops embracing or desperately continues this FUN route and actually tries to become respectable show again. I feel the writers think they can conjure any type of crap and we'd still watch. There probably right.
I'm a loyal fan, I love the characters and the show and will never drop the show. Even though the quality has dipped substantially. And the "turn up" on the humor has made that fact even more clear.

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And Kudos to Janina(Tessa), her portrayal made Tessa real fun to watch, and Paul and Kat to, they made a crappy plot(TVDs low point in terms of writing by far) actually watchable.