A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×02 (Why hasn’t Damon built a tolerance to vervane by now?)


High school heartache has officially graduated into college heartache…and sometimes college eye rolling. At least Damon had the sense to poke fun at Elena’s “Nancy Drew” situation on campus considering the side story that’s brewing about her father. New charismatic seasonal characters begin to flounder toward our love-sick franchise players and naturally, one or more will turn out to be pleasantly secretive and the rest, red herring bait.

Stefan’s suffering continues, now limited to just a single scene as his fantasy with Elena is short-lived and he drowns again, still stuck in the safe at the bottom of the lake. I think it was also noticeable that Stefan hallucinated Elena’s dyed highlight in her hair. Maybe their connection to each other is stronger than we know? Or is someone lazy on the cutting room floor? I’ll play along.

Elena and Caroline attempt to crash a microbiology class to spy on the teacher who was responsible for forging Megan’s death certificate as a suicide. Jesse is conveniantly placed to invite them to the college bonfire, which Elena graciously accepts and even hints at Caroline dealing with Tyler’s absence in dubious methods.

Katherine is eventually recaptured by Jeremy and Matt helps them drive to a campsite out of Mystic Falls to hide from Silas, who has compelled the entire town into searching for her. Even though Katherine tries to escape, Jeremy pities her just enough to give her some small comfort, leading her to make an unselfish decision toward the end of the episode. I had strange thoughts that Katherine may begin to warm up to Jeremy in ways that would make Elena lose her mind at the concept, oh and Jeremy too.

I’m honestly over Bonnie. As caring and motivated as her character is/was, the lingering ghost arc isn’t progressing her in a kind direction and she needs to move on, unless she can somehow return to the world of the living. I’m not even certain I even want that to happen. I used to dislike Jeremy, but he’s made it on his own and when he died last season, they treated it like a big deal…then brought him back. Death on this show has desensitized me to the point I just shrug when major characters get the short end of a long life span. It’s time for Bonnie to either dissolve, or make a new impact. Her scene with Matt in the “ether” world was decent, but with Matt realizing he won’t remember any of it, makes me feel like I won’t remember any of it either. And Matt really should remember. It’s more annoying than heartfelt to witness these kinds of moments.

Gypsies have now been introduced. I’m blanking if they’ve been on the show before, not the characters but the group. Nadia is one of them and just as they appear to confront Silas, she kills her partner and reveals she has her own agenda, one that Silas can read and acknowledge. What powers do gypsies, sorry, “Travelers” have in this world? Will Damon and Stefan know of this group from their past? Silas certainly knows who they are. And kudos for Jeremy for standing his ground and taking on Silas. Impaling oneself to gain the advantage is something only immortals will think of and Silas proves to be resourceful even after being entombed for a millennia.

Silas also found and compelled Elena into wanting to kill Damon every time she gets angry. She captures Damon and forces vervane down his throat while he tries to convince her to think of Stefan to keep her from blowing them up. Is it me or did the gas leak suddenly stop after she no longer felt Silas’s compulsion affect her? I do think concentrating on stronger feelings is a classic and necessary tool to combat artificially placed emotions. It’s a method that, if done eloquently, can provide a powerful moment for the character in question. Elena’s feelings for Stefan are still there, regardless of her passion to remain for Damon. And Damon’s no fool, once Stefan returns to the fold, we’ll have that triple threat tug-o-war that happens every season, alive and kicking.

Speaking of Stefan, looks like Liz’s helping hand got the safe and died allowing Stefan to roam free, and likely in a homicidal hunger rage. To quote 300, he’s “Blood drunk” which means any encounter with or without Silas may prove to be viciously violent. Will Elena have to show more passion to Stefan to bring him back, thus creating more friction with Damon again?

What I liked the most out of this episode was the real lack of Mystic Falls itself. That town needs a break from their festivals and it’s good to see the characters away and handling their conflicts outside of luxurious homes and cozy bars. Caroline is stuck playing detective at Whitmore college, at least until Tyler makes his reappearance. Will Jesse sweep her away before that happens? Caroline had been handling herself well since she became a vampire, but her dreamy, I still want a normal college life, isn’t helping her case. All she wanted was the perfect prom, and then the perfect graduation. I don’t think she’s really getting what she’s turned into anymore. I’m not saying she should become a female ripper, but her priorities seem to be in a constant state of self-absorption. No, Tyler’s not helping things either, but at least he communicated his intentions. If Caroline runs off the rails, I’m not certain she’ll let him know about it.

As much as I hate her, I want more character development with Katherine. Bringing a cold-hearted bitch through to a realm of humility and self-sacrifice is a compelling and universal storytelling device that has worked since Taming of the Shrew…sans self-sacrifice, but still. Her humanity will return a sliver at a time, but hopefully, when it does come full circle, we’ll appreciate it. Unless they take her out in the next episode, then I’ll just throw my arms up. Does her blood somehow help Silas in his next phase? Does he even have a next phase? If the vampire cure was blood and it’s in her system, could her blood somehow restore other vampires? That may be thinking too granularly. We’ll see.

No more words


One response to “A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×02 (Why hasn’t Damon built a tolerance to vervane by now?)

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