The Vampire Diaries Review: O Holy Fright

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As we head toward the Christmas season, it's safe to say The Vampire Diaries is in a major holi-daze at the moment.

What had been a promising start to Season 4 - with Elena learning to transition successfully, her bond with Damon growing stronger by the day, a menacing hunter in town and even a strong storyline for Jeremy - has devolved over the past three weeks.

It all came to a confounding head in "O Come, All Ye Faithful," as Damon set Elena free and Klaus went all Emily Thorne on his former sired protege, killing Tyler's mom out of revenge.

Tyler v. Hayley

Let's start with this illogical, contrived sire nonsense.

Damon can only free Elena from the spell by essentially compelling her to stay away from him... but that doesn't actually free her from the spell. She's forced to obey because she still is sired to him. So the move creates nothing but physical distance between the pair, with the feelings remaining intact. Because it's also been explained by Tyler that being sired to someone has nothing to do with one's feelings for that person.

So... we have two options, right?

  1. Elena remains close to Damon, sired, and the two carry on a relationship based on legitimate feelings. The only caveat would be that Elena listens to whatever Damon says.
  2. Damon orders Elena to stay away, which means only that: she stays away, but both yearn to be with each other.

Why, again, must Damon choose option number-two? How, exactly, is that doing the "right thing" by Elena? And why on earth was any of this trumped up, aside to drag out the love triangle further and further and further?

I'm confused, and - far worse - I really don't care about any of it.

On to Tyler's elaborate plan: He wanted to bury Klaus inside of him and then bury himself inside of concrete (temporarily, somehow) in order for the unsired hybrids to disappear. But I must be missing something here... because can't the unsired hybrids just disappear anyway?

Tyler is a hybrid and he's been free from Klaus for ages now and the two have nothing to do with each other. What was stopping those other creatures from just saying sayonara to their creator? Fear of Klaus killing them for such a transgression? He didn't kill Tyler.

This plan only grew more elaborate when Rebekah's body was brought up, which led to Hayley's secret text messages to Shane, which may have been more intriguing if we knew anything at all about Hayley. I never thought I'd diss a character played by Phoebe Tonkin, but she's pretty much just been Tyler's wing-woman this entire time (conjuring up pretend witches for the audience and her supposed friend).

I don't feel like I know her or are invested in her storyline simply because she's seeking her birth parents.

Similarly, Tyler's actions regarding the hybrids seemed noble and all, but it would have been helpful if we have known any of them. Or if we had spent awhile delving a lot deeper into Tyler's sense of responsibility for their well-being. Instead, his Alpha status and the whole set-up felt rushed together and unnecessary.

Which is too bad because Mayor Lockwood paid the ultimate price.

Talk of a death to close out the episode has been all over the Internet, and it was easy to predict she would be the victim once she shared that heart-to-heart with her son. Am I glad Klaus is back to his killing ways? Am I curious to see the fallout from this vengeful act and how the Tyler vs. Klaus war will be waged? Absolutely.

But it was a winding, confusing mess that took us there.

I'll end this negative review on a few positive note, however:

  • Rebekah is coming back! Hooray!
  • It would have been more appropriate if the episode aired yesterday, but this 12 (dead bodies in 1942), 12 (dead council members) and 12 (dead hybrids) angle - along with Shane's "We are the beginning from "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street" - is very interesting.
  • So is the concept that Jeremy must keep killing vampires in order to find the cure.

What did everyone else think of the outing? As you mourn Mayor Lockwood, sound off: has The Vampire Diaries lost its way a bit? Should Damon have let Elena go? What, precisely, are the duties of Miss Mystic Falls?


Editor Rating: 2.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (1294 Votes)

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

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The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

What the Hell is Professor Shady Pants doing here?


This would be so much more fun if we were naked.

Damon [to Elena]

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 9 Music

  Song Artist
Song Covering Your Tracks Amy Stroup
Julian casablancas christmas treat Christmas Treat Julian Casablancas iTunes
Song Take You To The Mistletoe The Kicks