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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.6 / 5.0
  • 2.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (1292 Votes)

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

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@ Amie: Couldn't agree with you more on the Stefan and Caroline comment.

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Luv triangle:steph->elena->damon.we had it she got them all over then whats next?can anybody else draw me the triangle?plec please stop the showww!

Amie

Oh and P.S. @all those who say Caroline is getting on their nerves because she is crossing the line in telling Stefan about DE. Well, Damon had plenty of time to tell his brother the truth instead of wasting time convincing Elena he has to do the right thing by his brother. Also, if Caroline had told Stefan about them the night she found out then yes, she would have been crossing the line, but this time she had every reason to be concerned about Stefan being lied to - and that is what being a good and HONEST friend is about.

Amie

Srsly, the show has shifted so much focus on the various ships like Delena and Klaroline that its like nothing else matters - look ship whoever you want, but not everybody is interested in which character gets to bed whom. So I hope TVD pulls it together for the next half of the season because now there are so many loose ends - it is getting frustrating yet three episodes were wasted on talking about the cure, the stupid sword, the sire bond, the hybrids revolution and blah blah blah....

Amie

Remember the movie The Devil Wears Prada when Andrea gets her first orders from Miranda and then when she tells Emily about them she goes like: "She asked me about PR-59, then there was something about Simone, Jackie, Frankie and..someone else, oh and she needs skirts from Calvin Kline".....like thats how I fell about TVD right now - I have no idea what is going on or how it all fits together and the show does not bother to spend enough screen time on any other sl except when it involves Elena and the ridiculous sire bond so I could not care less about whether they will find the cure, or who the hell is Silas and what his deal, or who is exactly Shane and what is his endgame....Srsly, the show has shifted so much focus on the various ships like Delena and Klaroline that its like nothing else matters - look ship whoever you want, but not everybody is interested in which character gets to bed whom. So I hope TVD pulls it together for the next half of the season because now there are so many loose ends - it is getting frustrating yet three episodes were wasted on talking about the cure, the stupid sword, the sire bond, the hybrids revolution and blah blah blah....

Neejan

Well, at least we know Stefan and Caroline will get together.. Can't wait to see that happen. :)

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Also my personal opinion without wanting to offend anyone is that the show's best chance to recuperate from the downfall is to de-centralize from Elena. Pause the triangle-Stop everything being about Elena. Give more room to the 3 main as individuals. More Original screen-time. For example, when i see Stefan with Elena i think low of Stefan when i see him with Klaus- it s stellar! Mix them-surprise us!

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Hahahaha! Why am i laughing? With us!
The TVD writers announced that this season is a fresh start- And until now several changes have been made in the realtionships dynamics. Damon-Elena(sire bond or not),Steroline-Klaroline,Matt-Jeremy,TylervsKlaus of all people.All this changes were supposed to be good-all the fans to be happy especially the Delenas-and here we are most of us bickering about Stefan who is being selfish,ungrateful etc. and Caroline the crappy petty blabbing friend,Damon the rapist,Elena the slut of the brotherhood... It is ridiculous. If you look at it merely objectively you ll see that all of them are sooo well-protected from the writers that all the talking done is exaggerating ship-wars hating! Its true -the last 3 episodes are weaker- storylines are somewhat confusing(F.e:i hate the uncoventional witchy staff-ridiculous). Relax and enjoy everyone! Its the journey not the destination!

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Most of the comments are very hypocratic here. Who wants to his brother jump right after your split w girlfriend in bed and call after that him judgmental? Grow up..

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I don't know what's happening with the show. It used to be my favorite show, and honestly, it still is - but I almost feel like NOTHING is making sense. It used to be one of those shows that got you thinking, like a horror flick that freaks out out mentally. Now, its going for cheap thrills and pretty crappy dialogue. It sucks cuz I used to love this show so so much. I hope it picks up after the break, because god knows I don't want to end up turning my back on it like I did gossip girl. I actually liked Stefan this week. Loved Klaus. Caroline is getting on my nerves, but her one-liner quips make up for it. April...I can't. I honestly just can't stand her on the screen, and I have no clue why. Hayley can go too. Tyler pissed me off this week...and the rant goes on and on