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The Vampire Diaries Review: I Peaked...

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You may wanna turn off your humanity this summer, Vampire Diaries Fanatics.

It's gonna be a rough few months.

A truly shocking and emotional hour of television, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 22 concluded with an absolute stunner. A heartbreaking loss. A goodbye for which viewers were not prepared.

Rest in peace, Mystic Falls Grill.

Goodbye, Mystic Falls?

While we spend the next few months wondering where the heck everyone in town will drown their sorrows in bourbon, it should probably also be mentioned that Damon Salvatore is also dead.

I'm sorry, though, I'm not buying it.

To far too many fans, Damon is The Vampire Diaries. Ian Somerhalder is The Vampire Diaries. Few actors have as much passion for any project as Somerhalder has shown for TVD over the years - and few fan bases show as much passion for their star as this one has shown for Somerhalder.

Granted, this has been the season of major farewells across the television landscape. Joffrey was poisoned on Game of Thrones; Will was gunned down on The Good Wife; Moira was sliced into a mess on Arrow; Tara was kitchen knifed into multiple pieces on Sons of Anarchy.

And a good death isn't done simply to shock viewers. It's done to propel a series forward, to ensure against staleness, to focus on how various characters react to someone important being taken from them.

So IF Damon truly is gone, it's impossible to judge this move prior to The Vampire Diaries Season 6. We need to see what choices the writers make going forward.

And I've been loudly on record for weeks now as saying The Vampire Diaries Season 5 was badly in need of a shake-up. We've seen all the scary villains... we've witnessed every iteration of the love triangle, replayed a million times... we've milked almost everything we can out of some terrific characters and some excellent storytelling over the years.

It's been five years. It's understandable. Few shows even last this long, especially ones with the number of twists and turns TVD has pulled off again and again.

But is the answer killing off the most popular character and actor? I don't believe so - and I don't believe Julie Plec and company believe so either.

Something will happen. Some spell will be cast. Some special move Grams made on The Other Side will save the day for Damon (and maybe even for Bonnie... unfortunately. Sorry, but her time really has come.) and here's the thing: THAT'S what should annoy viewers when it happens.

Killing off Damon may be exactly what The Vampire Diaries needs. It certainly has fans talking now. It will have them tuning in this fall. It's silly to get angry at a show for axing a character you liked; that person is fictional, he or she is there to serve a story and it may be in the best interests of that story for the person to die.

But it is not silly to get angry at a show for playing with your emotions. For constantly faking you out when it comes to death, something TVD has been guilty over for awhile now. 

Death has to mean something. A series will lose viewers quickly if nothing ever sticks. So while I enjoy the character of Damon - and, come on, who isn't a Somerhalder-ic? - I'll be far more upset if Damon is magically resurrected on Season 6. It will come across as an extraordinarily cheap, desperate trick.

My prediction: Damon comes back, but in human form.

As for the non-Damon portion of the finale...

  • ALARIC IS BACK! This is amazing. This is astounding. This actually leads me to believe Damon really might be dead because Matt Davis serves as a quasi Ian Somerhalder replacement in terms of a new male lead and... sorry, no more Damon talk. Right.
  • Lexi is not back. Come on, Bon Bon. Couldn't you have just stumbled into her as well?
  • Tyler is human. Interesting. That's the sort of change-of-pace TVD needs. Is everyone who returned human? Or only Tyler because of how he was tossed into the cursed town as Julian?
  • Can we talk about the irony of blowing up the one place dumb enough to employ us? Line of the century, Matty Blue Eyes.
  • Is it a crime for someone so good looking to be so sad all the time? Second place, Silas.

Okay, I tried. But, really... what else is there to discuss aside from the apparent death of Damon Salvatore.

REACT NOW: Is he really dead?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (316 Votes)

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

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Rita brown

Damon should be permanent he is the show.

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I'm not looking forward to season 6. I don't even know if I'm going to watch it. This way or the other... They killed off my favorite character. Without Damon I can't enjoy Alaric or Enzo (who seems to be a cheap replacement for the snarky lines). And probably we have to watch Stefan and Elena as a couple again...yawn. So nothing really interesting is going to happen.Since the other characters aren't able to get things going it would have been much more interesting if the writers had "killed off" Stefan....

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Stelena feels like love, Selena feels like lust. The writes had to degrade Elena so that her being with Damon made sense, is a completely different person in all the bad ways. I feel uncomfortable with the relationship of those two, so forced, so fake, there is nothing there aside from sex, no matter how much they force it, the magic isn't there. The first 3 seasons where amazing because of the love of stelena.

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@ NA

I am sorry. But I can't agree with anything you wrote. Only one point... The first three seasons have been amazing - right. But not because of Stefan and Elena. Couldn't care less about them. The three seasons were great because of the journey of Damon and Elena. After they met you could see where it would end up. It was all about these two.

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Ummm okay so no jenna? She died a vampire, didnt she? The originals are making so much more sense right now. It's the better show at the moment. Oh, and davina can bring mikael back from the death without bonnie. Maybe esther's grimoire will magically appear in mystic falls and bring back damon and bonnie?

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@ Wendieta

Jenna found peace. That was already discussed in season 3.

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I assume it might be heaven or hell that is sucking up the souls. It seems Katherine bypassed the other side and went right to hell.
I would be very surprised if Damon was gone for good. There is no way. To be honest though, I'd enjoy season 6 more if they don't cry wolf and he is really in fact dead. While I am a Stefan fan, there is no way they would get rid of such a popular character. They know it would be the kiss of death.
Tyler turned human because of Julian? I have no idea how they think that makes much sense, but I think they all should've come back human.
I think I'm the only one who doesn't want to see a Caroline/Stefan hook up. Kol isn't coming back because he's a regular on the Supernatural Spinoff.
So with the other side deteriorating, does this mean most of the dead witches on The Originals are going too?

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@ Shannon

Tyler bit is confusing. I thought he would return as a werewolf... and he didn't kinda lol. The travelers spell in town was stripping away Ancestral Magic in the town. Damon and Elena made sure to die as vampires. Tyler however died after losing a good bit. His hybrid, vampire, activated Werewolf is gone. But he went to the Other Side... he has to be supernatural to go. Julie Plec confirmed everyone returned how they were.. Alaric a super Original and what not. While Tyler should be a werewolf... he died as someone who hasn't activated the werewolf gene. You are right about Damon returning.. Damon and bonnie still part of show. And last... as corfirmed bit ago on Originals.. Ancestors in new Orleans at least have a separate afterlife than Other Side... so no worry. I believe its the point of the harvest or what not. That's all from a interview by Julie Plec at ew.com & ancestors from vampires diaries wiki a.... hope that all helps!

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@ zaphod703

The Supernatural spin-off wasn't picked up, so Kol is just again...forever :'(

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it be good to have the Elena.jeremy and Alaric household again
Kat Graham was fantasic and i know her character has been annoying.

Drea xoxo

So now they made the audience believe damon has gone too!!! sigh first my katerina and now damon only tolerable salatore brother.... There better be a loophole! positive my lovely Ric is back HELLO!!!!

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I am so OK with Damon being gone, as long as he stays dead...I mean, I agree with you Matt, they need to stick with death...otherwise there is no more sense in all of this!
I never thought they will bring Alaric back...curious about that! I'll totally survive this summer..I mean this shows needed a shake up, and maybe that's the one!

Baraa

After some time since I watched the episode ,and after processing Damon's death ,now I can remember what else happened in this amazing episode ,and actually a lot of good things happened :
- Alaric and Enzo are back and because what happened with Damon we didn't got the chance to be happy for them .
- we saw Lexi and hey ,she told Stefan that Caroline has feelings for him , so not just us who noticed that .I really wished if she can come back too ,but it sound like she found peace or something like that ,so that's good .
- And we saw sails too ,when he said that he's going to back too ,I was kind of happy to see him playing around again ,and then he swept away ,and I felt that's for the best ,we can't stand more doppelgangers .
- Another good thing happened that Markos and all his travelers are gone for good finally ,we don't have to listen to them chanting any more .
- there is someone I really thought that they will bring him back and they didn't ( Kol ) , I mean how can Mikael ,Ester and Fin come back and he can't ?? we need him on the originals , in order to the original family can be united again .
I am really excited for Alaric's back and I hope that he make an appearance on the originals show because after all he's an original vampire too .

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NO!!! Sexy Salvatore can't be gone forever, i will seriously stop watching if so!!!!!! Also, how come Aunt Jena couldn't return she was a vampire before she died, we all know she had unfinished business raising those kids!!!!

The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 22 Quotes

You are by far the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my 173 years on this earth.

Damon

Is it a crime for someone so good looking to be so sad all the time?

Silas [on Stefan]
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