The Vampire Diaries Review: Tricks of the Traveler

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The Vampire Diaries turned 100 this week.

And while the series isn't wearing dentures, walking with a cane or eating dinner at 4:30 p.m. every night, it's very clearly showing its age.

Let me clear:

TVD has lived an impressively long and accomplished life. It deserves a chance to sit back in its figurative rocking chair and reminisce about the good ol' days, which was basically the point of The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 11.

Using Katherine's impending demise as a conduit, characters reflected on everything from the tomb to Uncle John's fingers to Alaric being awesome.

The drinking game was a fun little meta exercise that fit into the episode smoothly and honored this milestone installment properly. And most returns were cute, simple, harmless and fun. Vicki. Jenna. Damon's BFF. All popped in, made viewers smile and made their way out again.

But it was the appearance of The Originals that really started this episode down a bad path.

First, there was no wow factor here. It's hard to be surprised or jubilant to see Elijah, Rebekah or Klaus in Mystic Falls when we see them every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on The CW.

My reaction wasn't "Oh, hey, cool, The Originals are in town!" It was more along the lines of "Wait, who is protecting Hayley?!?"

Second, their cameos made for a rather easy storytelling crutch: Matt is in danger! No problem: Klaus and Rebekah will hear his calls and Rebekah will go fish him out. That was easy.

Third, and most importantly, we must talk about that scandalous sex. Look, I'm in favor of scandalous sex. I'm especially in favor of scandalous sex when Caroline Forbes is involved. But this just came totally out of nowhere.

It felt forced, shoved in merely to make Klaroline shippers happy and to create an obstacle for Caroline and Tyler down the line.

Shows should never write toward their fans. They should always write toward their characters and the best possible storytelling. But that's not what this forest fling felt like. It came across like a desperate attempt to please one fan base and to create a gasp-worthy moment just for the sake of a gasp-worthy moment.

At least it was something different, though. I can't recall the last time a hybrid had passionate sex with a blonde against a tree in the forest. I CAN, however, remember many times (MANY, MANY times) when one TVD character was taken over by another.

Which is why I didn't just roll my eyes... I wanted to gouge them out with a spoon after the big cliffhanger centered on Katherine switching bodies with Elena. How many times can the series go to this well?!?

Silas acted like numerous people on The Vampire Diaries Season 4. Matt was taken over by a Traveler this year. Heck, Elena joked on this exact episode about how often Katherine has pretended to be her. The series is literally, admittedly repeating itself.

Seriously, since when did one character acting like another character in order to fool some other characters become the only card TVD has to play?

So, yes, overall I was very disappointed. The Klaroline fornication felt too random and the Katherine/Elena switch way too redundant.

I love The Vampire Diaries. I want to celebrate this momentous episode along with every other fan and I take off my Mystic Grill baseball cap (note: they should totally sell Mystic Grill baseball caps!) to the actors, writers and producers for getting this far. It's an amazing accomplishment and it's only natural for such a long-running series to take a downfall after awhile.

But this was just poor execution all around. The hour was too reliant on returns, on random actions and on a body takover storyline we've seen played out over and over and over and over.

I might have to take back what I wrote up top about dentures. Slowly but surely, The Vampire Diaries is losing its bite.

What did you think of The Vampire Diaries 100th episode?


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (286 Votes)

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


I used to love VD, it was so cheesy and enjoyable, but since Elena became a vampire I just plain hate her and fail to understand why should anybody care so much about her/her stupid love for Damon, although at this point, they suck so much that they deserve each other. Therefore, it would be ok for me if Katherine takes her body for good and we can stop suffering Elena.


I didn't think it was ridiculous for Katherine to take over Elena's body, it makes the most sense. If I could pick someone that already looked exactly like me, that makes things pretty easy. Plus, Elena was the one who forced the cure down Katherine's throat in the first place and started the cycle of Katherines aging and impending death. Elena was completely justified in doing so, but I'm sure Katherine has a vendetta about it. Plus, Elena stole the affection of both Stefan and Damon, who Katherine considered her territory. So, even though it is predictable that she jumped in Elena's body, I also think it's the most logical choice. As far as Caroline goes, I feel like her plot line has kind of reached a dead end and she was getting preachy and boring for me. I liked her hooking up with Klaus and I think that they should eventually move her to The Originals to be with Klaus. Her being with Klaus is a huge betrayal to Tyler, but she did tell him that if he chose revenge over her that they were done and she doesn't owe him anything anymore. I'm wondering if he'll be able to smell Klaus on her. I don't think Katherine will be in Elena's body for long. It had occurred to me and someone else mentioned it, that Bonnie will know that Katherine didn't really die. I'm sure they'll put two and two together in short order. I was actually sad that Elijah didn't come to say goodbye to Katherine. They had a long history and one of his better qualities is forgiveness. He could have left Rebecca behind to watch over Hayley. Katherine did a lot wrong, but I think she truly loved him. I loved the drunk game and Damon's quips. Was it the most exciting episode of this show that I've seen? No, but it wasn't the worst either, I don't think it deserved such a low rating.


Katherine has to push Elena out permanently or her trick will be revealed. Therefore the next thing for her will be nothing but a knife in the belly.



@ Marie



I was very proud of them for letting Katherine die, as it genuinely seemed as though SHE was going to let that happen. If they had done that, the episode would have been a worthy 100th. It will only be memorable now if they choose to let Elena die. Yes, that's right, writers -- you chose to let Katherine live, now let the doppelganger die -- THAT's a WOW moment. After a couple of episodes, we won't miss her whiny ass anyway.

@ Carissa Pavlica

Fully agree. And if she wasn't going to die, they shouldn't have wasted the entire episode on her sobby goodbyes, and gotten straight to the hijacking of Elena and gotten into that storyline.


My reaction when Elijah showed up was along the lines of: "What!? As if Elijah would leave Hayley alone back in New Orleans!" Thankfully, he wasn't actually there. I enjoyed this episode right up until the end when Katherine went into Elena's body, it made the rest of the episode pointless. Katherine could have been redeemed and Stefan guiding her into death was one of my favourite moments this season.
Also, why aren't more people mentioning those creepy people who took buckets of Elena and Stefan's blood? That's surely going to be relevant later on.


This episode was super rough for me. I know I'm the only person who even cares, but my poor little forwood shipping heart has been smashed to smithereens. I've always just kind of assumed that come the end of TVD, they would have found their way back together. But now I'll never be able to ship forwood again. I can understand that they broke up and she's in college and that she's feeling frisky, but klaus? The one guy on earth that she knows would break what little's left of his heart? I'll never forgive her for that and Tyler shouldn't either.
And why would tyler even return to mystic falls anyway? There's nothing and no one for him there. He's not part of the gang, he's not enrolled in college, and he can't even enter his own house without an invitation because he gave it to Matt( which is probably why he's the only one happy to see him). But tyler has always suffered from bad luck and sh***y story arcs and being in the way of crack!ship klaroline, and for that he's received a disproportionate amount of hate from this fandom...


Referring to the Originals comment...well, Elijah was not actually at Mystic Falls. Damon was playing with Katherine's mind so, we can say that Elijah stayed at New Orleans protecting Haley! ;) Now, in matter of the Klaus/Caroline scene...I personally LOVE those two together and I want them together since forever. If the purpose of this scene was to satisfy the fans of the couple (sorry...don't like the word shippers at all!) then this was a huge failure for me!!! What kind of promise is that? Be honest and I won't bother you again?? If the price of them having sex and be together for once was not to meet again then I don't want it! I was SO mad with that! Just my opinion... In general, it was a nice episode. Not one of the best ones but nice (if we exclude the stupid promise of Klaus to Caroline). Plus, seeing Alaric even for 10secs put a HUGE smile on my face! :D I miss him soooo bad! And he probably had the best line of the episode as well! LoL He and Damon are perfect together! The ending...? Just predictable! The moment I saw Katherine waking up and Elena standing there I knew she would say the spell and get into Elena's body. No surprise there at all! I guess now Elena and Katherine will share the same body as Matt did with that traveler! And Katherine is a traveler now...right? Or did I miss something? The only thing that puts a question mark on my mind is what the travelers need the blood of Elena and Stephan for...? Hmm...


Yes! Ha ha! I am so glad Katherine is not dead! I always wanted Elena to turn her humanity off again but this is the next-best thing. I actually thought Katherine was going to die but it only makes sense that she would want to be a passenger in a girl that looks exactly like her. I also loved all the cameoes but I was wondering where was Lexi? They bring back all these characters for a cameo but not Lexi? Overall though, it was a perfect ending to a perfect episode. I only hope that Katherine's takeover of Elena is permanent.

@ ryan jones

Well, Lexi has recurred in many other episodes, with actual plotlines, so it was okay to give some other characters a chance this time.


I loved this episode ,there are so so many amazing scenes : stefan and katherine scenes especially when they first met ,klaroline scene and I hope she will go to him because he promise her that he'll never come back,Kathrine and Nadia scene was heartbreaking now we know why she fought for every thing, Damon and stefan scene was nice too.
I was extremely happy to seeing Elaija coming to katherine and then oops that's Damon messing with Katherine's head .I was so glade of Rebeca return , I really really like her with Matt.
Kathrine possessing Elena I think we all expect that but what we didn't expect was Elena's forgiveness that was very nice.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 11 Quotes

Elena: You memorized my breakup?
Caroline: Of course I did.

Matt: Who spends two years pining after a girl?
Damon: I can hear you, dumbass.