The Vampire Diaries Review: "Unpleasantville"

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There are many reasons why we love The Vampire Diaries: a hot cast, intriguing characters, suspenseful storylines.

But above all, perhaps, is this: the show actually provides answers. It doesn't drag out mysteries with no end in sight. Every week, viewers are treated to valuable nuggets of information, while, of course, dropping their jaws over new questions and plot developments.

That's also why we love The Vampire Diaries. This week's episode, "Unpleasantville," was the perfect example of an hour that shocked fans with what we learned about both old issues and new characters.

For example :

Alaric's wife is Elena's mother?!? Wow. Did anyone see this coming? Did Damon kill Isobelle, as we're being led to believe? Or did he turn her into a vampire? Alaric, after all, wears a ring and seems to know a whole lot about the world of the undead. That was a great scene when Damon tried to interrogate him, but Alaric secretly possessed vervain and kept his intentions a secret.

The Gilberts were vampire hunters?!? Does Jenny know about this history? Did Elena's parents follow the tradition of their ancestors? We love how the show uses Stefan's age for both humorous moments (the guy can really sock hop!) and for storyline development, as he clearly knows more about Elena, the Gilberts and Mystic Falls than what he lets on.

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Caroline and Matt are an official couple?!? Good for them, we guess. Considering what's at stake everywhere else on the show, it's hard to get too excited about anything involving these two. (Until Melinda Clarke debuts as Matt's mom, that is!)

Anna and Ben are both vampires?!? So was Noah, but Stefan took care of him in a very cool moment that showed he's got a violent side, as well. It was chilling when he said to Elena afterwards: He was been invited in.

Still, if there's one complaint about the show, this would summarize it:

If every new character is a vampire - or a creature of some kind - the shock value is decreased with each reveal. Yes, we were still aghast at the episode's conclusion. But the series has to be careful about overdoing the number of vampires in town. Pretty soon, it won't be realistic for citizens to be in the dark about them, and we'll start to be surprised when someone does not turn out to be a blood sucker.

Overall, though, another outstanding episode that leaves us anxious about what's to come: How far will Stefan go in his lie about helping Damon with the tomb? What are Alaric's true intentions? How did Noah know Katherine? Who knew number-two pencils were so effective outside of filling in Scantron forms?

What questions stand out the most to you? Check out our favorite Vampire Diaries quotes from the hour below, and let us know if you agree with the rating we gave to "Unpleasantville."

Bonnie: Don't rain on my hot guy parade.
Caroline: It's just a drizzle. | permalink
Elena: You are so teaching me how to hand-jive. | permalink
Stefan: He posed as a pizza delivery boy last night.
Damon: Well, he gets points for that. | permalink
Bonnie: You tried to kill me.
Damon: But I didn't... does that not count for anything? | permalink

    Unpleasantville Review

    Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
    • 4.5 / 5.0
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    User Rating:

    Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

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

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    Stefan: I could help you.
    Damon: You? Help me? Seems a little unnatural.