A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×14 (I hear there are good deals on anti-neck snapping braces on vampire ebay)

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Katherine continues to plot and scheme her way into Stefan’s arms while Enzo tries to keep Damon’s hunger for vampires at bay as The Vampire Diaries resumes from a short break. Wes and a group of Travelers trap Enzo and Damon in a house to observe how long it will take Damon to feed from him. Nadia keeps Matt alive and eventually compels him to forget what he knows about Katherine but is found and attacked by Caroline and Tyler, who bites her as she flees. Katherine lures Stefan by sabotaging the car and they spend several hours in a hotel where Katherine kisses Stefan but he doesn’t let it get serious. Enzo contacts Katherine and leads them to the house before Wes allows Enzo to leave under an unknown condition. When Katherine and Stefan finds Damon she enters and puts herself in harms way, hoping Stefan will force himself to kill Damon for feeding off her. Stefan distracts Damon with his own blood and then snaps his neck. Damon later wakes back home in a cell and tells Stefan that Elena wanted Stefan to kill him. Caroline and Stefan later discuss Elena and Damon and, through a cryptic text from Matt earlier, come to realize that Elena is actually Katherine.

I first want to say that Stefan’s ability to realize Elena’s strange behavior was almost nil. I seen characters on other shows manage to internalize plots like these and come to their conclusions before the audience does and surprises the villain in question. None of that happened here, which I could let slide, but when two people sitting on a sofa figure everything out based on some pretty far fetched scenarios, I’m left with not much suspension in disbelief. It’s not lazy writing exactly, the pieces fit because the writing says it fits, but I’d like to think Stefan could have figured it out on his own. Love tends to overshadow strange behaviors, so there’s that.

The opening scene with Enzo and Damon belittling the house owner before Damon killed him wasn’t a very good selling point for either character. It would almost make more sense if both their emotional personalities were turned off, then Damon sacrificing whoever he has to feed would make a tiny bit more sense. Damon chooses to devalue humans because his survival is more at stake, which collectively isn’t a very decent “good guy” trait, but that’s the trade when we have a edgy character like Damon. Still Enzo seems like a guy with enough wit that he could just as easily filled a bucket of his own blood to give to Damon. Vampires are externally ravenous, but “good” vampires can learn to drink blood with cups and pouches and blood bags. A vampire blood drinking vampire doesn’t change that core rule unless the virus is adding new conditions to his system. If the hunger devolves Damon into a beast, the core element is to feed. Whatever is closest is what Damon would go after. It doesn’t have to be another vampire if a bucket of vampire blood is closer to his fangs. It’s just a thought but Enzo and Damon didn’t even attempt it. Just odd.

This episode brought more sympathy for both Matt and Nadia who, surprisingly, I think work well together. With the kind of advice that Matt can give it’s a bit bittersweet that he has to forget his experience through compulsion, but at least he tried to appeal to Nadia relationship with Katherine to his own. Nadia is starting to really consider her role and that’s good development since Katherine has since completely lost her points for trying to be a better person at all. I have to give Matt credit for trying to make out with Nadia and text a warning at the same time right before she caught him. If that’s not a metaphor for cell-phone culture today, I don’t know what is.

Tyler and Caroline’s status is making me scratch my head. I’m not sure where they’re going with this except to ease the tension that Tyler caused in previous episodes. They no longer match up as believable couple so keeping them apart is smart, but the “Forgive not forget” mentality is too cozy just to get us believing in Tyler’s role again. He did ask smart questions but also kept jabbing her with reminders of what she did with Klaus. Friend or not, he’s keeping his head high using unfair tactics. Caroline is too guilty to stand up for the choice she made and so long as Tyler feels like it, he’ll push that guilt on her making him more antagonistic than anything. It’s time to separate the two for a bit and allow Tyler to get involved in some other part of the plot.

No Jeremy and Bonnie again this episode. I’m fine with that.

I also think someone needs to get Wes out of this plot once and for all. I’m rooting for Enzo to be that enforcer. The poetic justice fits and Enzo is trying to remain a charismatic and loyal character on the show. He’s had a few ups and downs, but as long as he’s not sharing the same personality as Damon in their duets together, I think Enzo’s potential will rise.

Overall, this episode showed that Damon has been trying to provide a sliver of self-control, but the moment when that could have worked the best, it didn’t when Damon ended up feeding on Elena(Katherine). He’ll always be a victim of his inner carnal needs and admittedly told Stefan he’ll eventually kill him. He’s still not learning to fight his battles for himself. He gives in too quickly and resigns to letting Stefan handle business much to his dismay. His self-loathing needs real work. Nadia showing Katherine Tyler’s bite was probably my favorite part of this episode because it was a brutal slap to Katherine’s face as Nadia was almost wearing the wound like a badge of smite. Katherine has yet another chance to figure out what she truly cares about and it’s time she make some hard choices coming up. I don’t want to see Nadia die, but I’m not sure what Katherine is willing to do about it, especially if her own life is put on the line. We’ll see what she does and hope for the best.

No more words

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