The Vampire Diaries Review: A Time to Kale

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So... that was a bit of a letdown, huh?

The Vampire Diaries has become a victim of its own success. Especially on a midseason finale, fans expect violence. They expect shocks. They look forward to twists and turns and one doozy of a cliffhanger.

But The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 10 offered up none of the above.

Aaron Talks to Damon

It brought back Enzo from the dead, following his unexpected appearance to close out The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 9.

But there was no great backstory here: he was saved by a scientist. He's been used as a lab rat for the last 60 years and... that's pretty much it.

Granted, he's very bitter at Damon for leaving him behind to fry, and that bitterness prompted Damon to once again paint himself as an unfixable monster and break up with Elena - but that development felt more forced and rushed than anything else.

Is Delena really over? Just because Damon is down on himself again? What about the speech Elena gave him on The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale, when she said she doesn't need him to change? She doesn't want him to change? She loves him just the way he is?

You’ve been a terrible person, you’ve made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices that I’ve made this will prove to be the worst one. But I am not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon.

And that grand speech led to this hot kiss:

Delena GIF

Remember, writers? So don't try and tell us that Damon and Elena are over because Damon is feeling guilty.

As Caroline Dries told us, Enzo will be sticking around for a bit, acting like a Devil on Damon's shoulder. So consider me at least curious where this is headed. He does seem like an intriguing fellow.

Now, when it comes to that cliffhanger... ZZZZZZZ. Oh, sorry. I feel asleep there for a moment. Didn't Katherine nearly die a few weeks ago after being fed to Silas? Does anyone out there really care a great deal about her fate at this point?

Heck, Stefan slept with her and he remains just not that into her.

If Katherine lives, it's yet another lame tease. If she dies, well, thank goodness, it'll be about time. But I'm just not invested enough her character to be on the edge of my seat, awaiting The Vampire Diaries Season 5 to return on January 23.

See what I mean about TVD spoiling viewers? It's in its fourth season. It will next air its 100th episode. I don't blame the writers for not making my jaw smack the floor as hard as it once did. Still, that doesn't make the show in its current incantation any more entertaining.

It spent a bulk of this season focusing on Bonnie's fate, only to eventually save her... totally forget about her. Seriously. Bonnie has scarcely played a role since she made it back to the Land of the Living. Which is fine. I'm not complaining. I'm not her biggest fan.

But it does say a lot about the state of the series' storytelling when the character everyone worked desperately to save for multiple months isn't even relevant at the moment.

What did I like about this installment? Katherine making herself a kale smoothie was funny, certainly funnier than her referring to Matt as merely a "busboy." Cheap shot, K! The guy's mother left him! He's hard up for cash. Sheesh!

I liked seeing a bit of Elena's father and her past. There seems like some unexplored territory that could be mined there.

That's sort of it, though. Damon feeing guilty (been there, heard that!) and Katherine on the verge of death (yawn!) are the only real storylines left in the air as we head into 2014. Aaron has that syringe, too, doesn't he? Eh, I'm not particularly excited about any of these.

Are you? Where do you stand on The Vampire Diaries at the moment? Do you want Katherine to live or to die? And, most importantly, do you care?

Watch the promo for the 100th episode and sound off now:


Editor Rating: 2.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (256 Votes)

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


I liked the episode even without any really interesting cliffhanger. I love Katherine, I wouldn't like her to die. As for Damon breaking up with Elena, I liked it better than the opposite. I hope that this won't be the end of them. It would be a shame and a lame excuse to get Stefan and Elena back.
And I agree with everyone about the lack of storyline for the other characters.


Not trying to be rude but anyone that thinks that Damon and Elena getting broken up ON THE SHOW has anything at all to do with real life, is just silliness. They are actors. If they can't deal with it and act like a couple for filming, they should find new jobs. (And since the two of them ARE still close friends, who says it's super awkward anyhow? Doesn't look that way to me...still hot as hell!) Anyway I'm getting sick of reading these reviews that bash Katherine. She is easily one of the BEST parts of this show at any moment, plot device or not. She gets the best lines and clothes and watching her be all snarky with everyone is great entertainment. Please get off the "kill Katherine" bus. I'd like to read something new for a change.

@ MurphysGal

I don't get all the hate towards Katherine either.
She's the best character on the show, and if she dies the show will lose a lot, both in terms of storyline and ratings. She's funny, and sassy... Elena is the boring doppelganger, she's one of the main characters so of course she will never die, but if Katherine was the main girl everything would be better.

@ luka

TV Fanatic doesn't like Katherine.
But go read Price's recap on (with captions, even better)! And it's all about how Katherine is the only good thing this season. I totally agree with him btw. TV Fanatic is crap.

@ Stef

Thanks Stef! No wonder no one really reads the TVD section on TVFanatic anymore.


this is its FIFTH season

@ nate

and it's clearly going downhill... too bad really.


I think we all have our favorite story lines. Personally, I like the Katherine humanity arc and the Damon-Elena tragic romance. My best friend strongly disagrees. This is all fine. The problem here is not the acting. I think everyone is operating at 100%. Especially Nina Dobrev who continues to play two very different people convincingly. The problem is the writing. Here's what will never work: a one-episode flashback that is designed to make us all somehow totally invested in a lackluster new character who (shock and awe TVD) is revealed to be mysteriously alive soon after. Add cheesy period music and plenty of 'mate' and cricket references and I mostly want to throw my remote at the TV. Here's what won't work: beating the "Damon thinks he's a bad person so he pushes everyone away" horse. If you want to do a hard reset on the Damon character have him do something seriously awful. Kill Matt, kill Tyler, kill Caroline's mother, (note: I actually like these characters - but) to buy into this "Damon is unforgivable" bit he needs to do something unforgivable. In real time. Not a cheesy flashback. Get it? Finally, we notice when you drop Caroline or Bonnie or Jeremy for several episodes. Clearly we all notice. Someone disappearing for a few is fine but dumping three main characters while you let doppelgangers and flashbacks carry your show? Come on. We're more viewer savvy than that. We all love plot twists and random acts of violence. We're TVD fans, after all. We get that you're busy Julie Plec. But please don't simply let The Vampire Diaries recycle itself while you pour all of your energy into your new projects. It's human to be more interested in fresh new material but we've been very loyal fans. If you're going to kill this project the very least you could do is not let it die of neglect.


This season by far has not been good at all. The storyline with Stephan with PTSD was dumb, bring back Bonnie was not exciting at all and the storyline of the Augustine Society was a fizzle to me. I will watch next season when it comes back but if it continues with these dull stories, I am definitely skipping this show all together.


Avid reader of all your reviews; it's the first thing I do once I finish an episode but I finally feel brave enough to comment! I may not make valid points but here goes: 1) If there's more of Nina Dobrev in an episode, I am not complaining!!! Elena/Katharine, I love seeing her portray both. Plus Katharine is hysterical. 2) Do you not think that because Ian and Nina broke up in real life, they're breaking them up on the show because it's ridiculously awkward for them to film being so in love and kissing all the time? I guess actors should get on with it and they worked so hard to get Delena together that I may just be talking crap. 3) In all credit to TVD and Julie Plec, it's had 99 episodes and is in its 4th season - that's an awfully long time to keep trying to think of new storylines. It still has fans and I still watch every week so I for one, applaud the show. Obviously it's going to have bad episodes and good episodes but that's the same with all shows... Anyway, I'm done. Haha!


I think the problem is that Julie Plec has too much on her plate. Her two new shows, "The Originals" and "Tomorrow People" are doing really well while TVD is flopping. It seems like all the good storylines are going to the new shows and TVD is using recylcled material over and over again. If she wants to focus all her creativity and originality in the new shows thats cool, but don't leave TVD to sink. Either make the storylines for TVD better or let it end. I hate to see the writing for successful tv shows flop. Its not fair to loyal TVD fans. This show use to make me laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of my seat with suspense. Now I feel absolutely nothing. I'm not able to connect with the storylines or none of the characters anymore.


I guess The Originals had stolen all the good storylines from TVD as now The Originals is much better. I guess TVD writers went to work for the Originals and all the good stories end up there. Tyler is gone, Jeremy is hardly seen and so does Matt. Caroline is misused so where the heck is TVD I fell in love with. Bonnie was brought to life and now she is not even on episodes. I guess the Stephan/Silas/her lover/The Travelers story messed up the current TVD. I know we had to find out who was Silas but they drag the story too long. Katherine was much better in previous seasosn now she is useless, she is not adding anything to the story, her character is just dying and she is of no use for anything anymore. If this pattern continues like this, dot get surprised if the show is cancelled or in jeopardy.


Elena repeated her speech about loving him and does not want him to change, but he does not want Her to change. I hate to say it but new moon was my least favorite movie. The reason he left was just he thought he knew what was best.
I like that the 100 episode is going for the farwell tour of Katherine
Damon and Enzo sounds like fun. did damon mention that he went through with the revenge he told in the cell? that should make it a little better. Not better for the whitmore gen

Sarah silva

I liked this episode. I guess I am one of the people that really loves the show.
I was not expecting Damon to end things with Elena. He fought to be with her and I guess after hearing what Enzo had to say and then Damon telling Enzo why he did not feel bad when he left him in the fire, made Damon think he is no good for anybody. I used to be team Stelena and was so against Delena, but I kind of liked them together.
However after Katherine talked to Stefan we know he still love Elena and always will. So it is only a matter of time before they are back together.
So is Katherine dead? I think she is.
I did personally miss Caroline, Bonnie and Jeremy.
Stefan and Damon had some great funny moments with Aaron.

@ Mrs alex o'loughlin

you are right ,everyone seems upset from the show but I'm still so in love with this show.
and I liked Stefan and Damon moments too, it was really funny.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Damon: I'm gonna barf.
Katherine: Great. Then my work here is done.

That's my brother Stefan. But I'd watch your tone with him because he's kind in the middle of a psychotic break.