The Vampire Diaries Review: Truth or Scare

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Never have I ever been impressed by an episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 5.

Darn. I need to drink.

In actuality, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 20 wasn't a terrible installment; storylines have been dragging for awhile and the show can't be rescued in a single hour.

This outing did a solid job furthering Caroline's obvious crush on Stefan; evolving Damon as someone worthy of being loved; and scaring the crap out of anyone who enjoys a good ghost story.

But the stakes continue to feel miniscule when compared to past seasons, especially as we inch closer to the finale (seriously, only TWO episodes remain).

Yes, the Travelers want to eliminate all magic and take over Mystic Falls and, yes, that's a mighty big problem for our heroes and heroines.

But the show continues to spend so much time on Delena's never-ending dance that everything else is pushed to the background.

How many times can these two share heartfelt moments? How many times can Damon open himself up to Elena without anything being accomplished? The relationship is spinning its wheels and - please, tell me if I'm mistaken - but even the most loyal Delena shippers must be losing interest at this point.

The overriding plot point heading into "What Lies Beneath" was that Stefan wanted to keep his killing of Enzo a secret. There were two problems with this line of thinking, however:

  1. Stefan didn't kill Enzo. Enzo killed himself.
  2. Stefan wanted to keep his role in Enzo's death quiet because he was afraid Damon would hate him.

That second point is very sweet and all... but this is The Vampire Diaries. It sky-rocketed in popularity due to crazy cliffhangers and jaw-dropping twists and one shocker after another.

And now, in its Season 5 stretch run, the drama is hanging storylines on Stefan worrying about the bond between brothers. Life and death circumstances, these are not.

Meanwhile, about those Travelers. Or, as they should be called, those TravelerZZZZZZ: they are boring. Like, really, really, really boring

Producer Caroline Dries told us at PaleyFest that she purposely slow-played the Travelers' storyline so that too much wasn't taking place at once over the first half of the season. But the move appears to be backfiring.

On its own, the threat of taking over Mystic Falls forever is a scary one. But we learned in elementary school that it's best to show and not tell; the series has basically told us the Travelers are bad and we should be afraid of them... but it hasn't really given us any reason to be.

A series such as TVD needs a strong villain - and Markos is a complete snooze. He has no personality. He hasn't done anything remotely frightening. He's simply existing in the show's universe and saying he wants his people to have a home.

I know not all bad guys can be Klaus Mikaelson, but look what happens when you have no investment in the Big Bad: far too much time is spent on the relationships of the main three characters.

It's just back and forth among Damon and Elena; and Elena and Stefan; and Damon and Stefan. We've seen every iteration of this trio over the years. There's nothing else to mine here.

We need an engaging outside presence or some kind of cast shake-up or just... something to change here.

Enzo has been that different, interesting presence for a few weeks now - yet the series now has him in some unexplained ghost state that's more confounding than terrifying. Typically, I disdain bringing characters back from the dead because it removes any kind of dire consequences from ongoing storylines.

But The Vampire Diaries needs Enzo on Season 6.

What did everyone else think? Are you excited to see Elena once again in peril? Are you rooting for Stelena? And which is dumber: going to a secluded cabin when you are being hunted... taking a bath inside that cabin... or playing Never Have I Ever with two ex-boyfriends?

Sound off and check out the official trailer for The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 21, "Promised Land."


Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (209 Votes)

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


I was very dissapointed in this episode. I mean they were all taking forever to leave the cabin, talking about their feelings when they knew the travellers were on their way. Who does that? I knew that Elena and Stefan were going to be captured it's like they were waiting to be captured. You can discuss your feelings when you are safe! I am really annoyed that all the travellers have to do is mumble a few chants and it renders people helpless. Jeremy and Bonnie could have taken the body and be out of there if they hadn't been talking so much. I hope they can save Tyler, I still really like his character. I don't mind Caroline and Stefan being together if it is written properly. No forced drama just a friendship that becomes a happy sexy relationship. I hope the finale is good.


I was not a fan of this episode or for this season. Tyler's body is being taken over by a traveller.....didn't that just happen with Elena and Katherine? Also, how many times can elena be saved? Bonnie might die....again. And the travelers chanting is not scary, it's annoying! As for the damon/elena relationship, I'm
Over it. They don't have any passion and it feels very forced. Actually, This season, it just seems like all the characters don't have any chemistry with one another and they are just going through the motions.


Now I have a really big hope that Enzo will be back to the living land because like Damon said Bonnie and Markos back ,why he wouldn't back too ??I am sure they'll find a way . It was nice to see Matt torturing Tayler (Jolian) for answers .(not that I like torture but I would love to see Matt in any thing but his job as bartender ) .
I got excited a lot to see Elena in peril unlike a lot of people but I think after she became a vampire ,the real peril shrank to be in just two things stake and fire . Like in this episode I had some thoughts (that Enzo would lure everyone out side the cabin in some way and leave Elena inside alone and then set the cabin on fire and when she tries to get out he pull her back in ,and everyone watching from out side without being able to do any thing ).
so I am hoping for the next time she's in peril to be in a really really danger .


TVD USED to be my fav I don't much care if I miss an episode. This whole season has been a bust, a storyline that has jumped all over the place. Let's see, we started with Katherine becoming human and aging, the continuation of Silas/Tessa, Bonnie is dead and won't tell anyone, the Dr Max and the Augustine Vampire story, the Travellers (and how many bodies they've "jumped") etc etc etc. I think the writers got a little too ambitious or just didn't know which way to go. Also, I'm with everyone else re Delena and/or Stelana...enough already!! They all need to be either with someone else or all alone. Neither relationship makes sense now...and please don't hook Caroline and Stefan together. That would be a monumental mistake. I sure hope they get it together, cause I don't think I'm the only one who's loosing interest.


ok I didn't read all the comments I don't other opinions but I personally like this episodes, not the best of all but ok...all the season 5 was a mix of...I don't know...and finally they are following some kind of storyline even if it's boring or charachters are boring or Travelers are boring, give to the show you've loved for the past seasons another possibilities....then, the show started years ago with a lovestory, that what TVD is, c'mon guys!


This episode was hard to watch. Caroline and Stefan, booooring and makes no sense at all. They have no chemistry whatsoever and look so forced. Damon and Elena also booooring. The looks they give each other, I just want to gag. Enough already with the on again/off again. Just it rip off and be done with that relationship. They need to have Stefan and Elena hot scenes and forget about Damon and Caroline already. Hey, maybe they should hook up together and that would make the show a little more interesting.


I feel as if they are never going to give up the stupid love triangle. They seem to think that it's the driving force of this show. But clearly fans on both sides are sick of it. Elena has become incredibly unlikable in my opinion. Damon does nothing but mope about not being able to be with Elena. And Stefan is for some unknown reason hanging around these two giving advice. None of the main characters ever die on this show, and that's created this lack of urgency. Even when someone dies, the writers just think up a new spell to bring them back. What's the point of the show? There is no peril really.

Sarah silva

I really enjoyed this episode!
Matt I am glad that you mentioned that Stefan did not kill Enzo, that Enzo killed himself. It is true!
Michael Trevino is great playing two characters!
I really hope they find a way to get the Traveler out of Tyler.
The game of Charades was funny to watch. Then they played Never have I ever. That got heated very fast. I think Caroline was a little jealous when she thought the secret Elena and Stefan were keeping was that they were kissing! It did not take long for Elena to tell Damon and Stefan to tell Caroline that Enzo was dead. Damon took it better than I expected him too, he understood why Stefan did it and said he would have done the same thing. Then when he hit Stefan it was all forgiven.
Once again Elena and Damon kiss, they are not done for good.
Bonnie's days are numbered.
Will Damon find a way to bring Enzo back?
It looks like Luke may be on Elena and Companies side, not sure about Liv.


As a Delena I can say, no, I am NOT tired of their eternal dance, but yeah they could give them a break and try thins "on again, off again" thing in another way.
The problem with this show, as many already mentioned, is the lack of a good storyline and a bad guy.


Can someone please explain to me how Enzo was strong enough to attack Elena, Stefan and Damon but MIKAEL FREAKING MIKAELSON couldn't hurt one heavily pregnant woman on The Originals?

@ Lannister

Maybe because Hayley could actually see Mikael to fight him: she was on the brink, remember, and was unresponsive to the living and the undead trying to resuscitate her!!! Enzo on the other end was invisible and therefore had the element of surprise. Only Bonny and Jeremy could see him, but were too busy looking for the traveler's body.

@ Lannister

Unfortunately it seems that the writers just make up scenarios and 'rules' as they go, to suit the story of the hour. Consistency has gone out the window.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 20 Quotes

For a couple of dopple-targets, you two seem to be taking this all in stride.


Markos has a good week or two in the land of the living. Now, where is he so I can kill him?


The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 20 Music

  Song Artist
Lucius turn it around Turn It Around Lucius iTunes
Together pangea river River Together Pangea iTunes
Kerli chemical Chemical Kerli iTunes