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+.


The episode was pretty good last night, however I expected more of the deceased to make a appearance. I wanted to see Kol so bad, and even Finn would have made it the "perfect" episode. Bonnie's parents and grandparents were left out as well. There was no sign of
Elena's parents either. I probably expected too much though.

@ John Huggins

But none of those characters would have made sense showing up in an episode surrounding Katherine!


TVD is really boring now and has bee since this last season. Nothing interesting or exciting about it. I feel it has run its course.


i loved the originals visit to the show but i was surprised with the klaus caroline hook up; i never thought that would happen! my favorite part was ric of couse. i really don't understand why they don't have him on the show since bonnie can see him. did matt davis piss off julie and kevin or something? i agree that the katherine elena thing has been over done.


Good episode. Really glad to have Tyler back. I missed him and hope he sticks around. Him and Caroline are meant for eachother


Loved Klaroline but it was still not enough. It seemed that she was more bored and lonely than actually wanting Klaus. Hope she goes to originals at some point but does she actually know about Hayley? Not remotely interested in Tyler being back. And are Matt, Bonnie and Jeremy ever going to do something remotely interesting? Would be happier if they weren't in it. Found it strange that Elijah didn't actually go to say goodbye to Katherine (rather than Damon being his usual twisted self). So bored with the whole Katherine/Elena thing. I like both characters but sick of the fact that neither of them can be with Damon or Stefan for longer than 5 minutes. I'm a Delena and a Statherine fan. Loved Alaric being back ever so briefly.

@ blonde bubbles's not enough that they give Bonnie the short end of the stick, blonde bubbles doesn't want Bonnie to have a stick at all.

@ Wow

Your point being?

Drea xoxo

Can i also say how ecstatic I was when I saw my katerina and elijah have their fleeting moment!!! i just want it to happen damn it! eff haley! I believe more in petrov and original love!! second moment i loved was the bromance between ric and damon! why couldn't they have done the spin off SIGH


I liked the episode overall cause when the cast gets together there's just so much life. But yes, the writers are admittly rehashing old and ambused storylines. And it's to the point, that I think they just don't care.
The ep, IMO felt line the show was heading towards a new direction or a reboot again, Closing the Klaroline book and killing off Katherine, the constant pull out of your ass plot device the writers like throwing at our face, so I enjoyed almost all of it.
The Klaroline thing did not feel forced, it felt organic. Maybe a little forced but still believable and Plus Caroline's cleavage, like ZOMG.
But then it all went to hell, when they miked the dried up cow and used Katherine as another dried up plot line/Plot Device.
Enough is enough. I just finished reading the EW TVD writers interview and it seems like they just make up things all the time, and that little trick has been creating nothing but duds for a while now. Sigh.
The OGs appearing was epic, seeing them return was refreshing, cause here they were all cheery and worry free, a change of paste from the actually series.


The episode was fine! I read the review first and was expecting it to be awful but I agree, it was pretty solid. More entertaining than the last four or five episodes where I must admit I'd been bored. I think the next season will be Vampire Diaries last one, and Caroline will move to the Originals and that klaroline scene could serve as a possible link

Spindae 2o

Again I'm thinking this was a solid episode. Yes Katherine taking over Elena was a cheap move but the rest of the episode was pretty solid. Nina's performance overall was great. Loved the Kathemon.Steferine and Stelena scenes.
Why did Caroline slept with Klaus? She is alone, she lost Tyler, Jesse, Elena has Damon, Bonnie Jeremy. She just wanted someone to love just her and no one else.


sorry for the double post but the mobile site is horrendous

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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.