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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
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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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Drea-xoxo

@hannah you're review had me in actual tears! knocked it out the park there with a perfect profile on nikaklaus.

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I'm glad that Stefan finally knows about Damon and Elena, and that Caroline told him because apparently they were not going to tell him themselves. I like that Caroline is a good friend to Stefan, he needs one, plus she has never pretended to like Damon after what he did to her, so it's only natural that she would not want Elena to be with him.I too love Klaus and hope to see him at some point with Caroline. I was disappointed with this episode, very confusing. I wish Beauty and the Beast had been reviewed, it was an amazing episode, the chemistry between them is so romantic, I just loved it. Enjoying it so much more than Vampire Diaries now. Hopefully VD will improve.

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i think what Damon did for elena shows how much he loves her and wants the best for her .i think he wants it to be real and to know 100%it is for her .Caroline and Stefan have no place trying to decide what Delena should do its really none of their business .Stefan let Elena go .

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I agree with this review entirely. This whole episode was just a loads of indigestible nonsense. I don't get most of the storylines because almost everything is completely illogical and makes me question the effort that the writers are putting in this season. Seriously, is anyone thinking the stories through? Bitterly disappointed with this season. It started with a lot potential and now I can barely make throught the episodes. The only think I liked in this episode is Klaus rising to the occasion and killing them ALL!

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Just so you know, DAMON, by doing this to Elena, you are doing exactly what she DOESN'T will so that IS taking advantage of the sire bond in the wrong way. She even kissed you while going away.
Love the way Klaus is back in action and IMO Caroline and Stefan should get together already. She has already shown who she's loyal to... she chose Stefan over Tyler.

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Wow. All this Caroline bashing. How can we have forgotten that Damon compelled, raped and abused Caroline? That he killed Lexie? Yes he's grown, but how can we hold Caroline's feelings about her former tormentor against her? Come on, people. She was like uber-roofied by Damon. Having seen what roofies do to people, I can tell you it's vile. It's vile knowing your will, your mind was taken away and that you were forced to do things. Vile. In the past, Stefan was there for Caroline. He helped her transition and taught her how to not feed on people. He helped her control herself so she didn't lose control around Matt or Tyler. He helped her and Tyler, so of course she feels more loyalty to him than Damon. She doesn't trust Damon and she knows Elena's still sired to him. She felt like she owed it to Stefan to be honest to him. When do you think that Elena would have told Stefan when Elena knew Damon didn't want her to? Hmmm? She's sired, after all. At least Caroline is more honest than most of the other characters on the show.

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Here's the thing, if Elena continues to have anything to do with Stefan and Caroline after this, the show is pretty much off the rails and not really watchable. This whole storyline is showing how weak Elena is, how selfish and hollow Stefan and Caroline are. Those pair aren't thinking about her, they are thinking about themselves.

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@ItsSteph: Exactly! I felt so sorry for him when i saw his face it was just heart-wrenching

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@sue total support! Damon has suffered with Katherine, his father, and now elena. Im really hoping that (even though it seems a little slutty) Damon throws elena back in his bed a d never let's her leave!

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@ ItsSteph
No, we are NOT heartless nor are we ignoring Stefan's pain...we are just so used to seeing Damon being emotionally burned, abused, rejected, ignored and discarded like garbage for the last 3 seasons ( by Elena, his own brother and everyone in Mystic Falls), that we are getting immune to that kind of stuff..our hearts have bleed for Damon for such a long time that Stefan's pain pales in comparison....Puhhleazze... For me, ItsDamon...

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

What the Hell is Professor Shady Pants doing here?

Damon

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
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