The Vampire Diaries Review: A Time to Kale

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So... that was a bit of a letdown, huh?

The Vampire Diaries has become a victim of its own success. Especially on a midseason finale, fans expect violence. They expect shocks. They look forward to twists and turns and one doozy of a cliffhanger.

But The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 10 offered up none of the above.

Aaron Talks to Damon

It brought back Enzo from the dead, following his unexpected appearance to close out The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 9.

But there was no great backstory here: he was saved by a scientist. He's been used as a lab rat for the last 60 years and... that's pretty much it.

Granted, he's very bitter at Damon for leaving him behind to fry, and that bitterness prompted Damon to once again paint himself as an unfixable monster and break up with Elena - but that development felt more forced and rushed than anything else.

Is Delena really over? Just because Damon is down on himself again? What about the speech Elena gave him on The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale, when she said she doesn't need him to change? She doesn't want him to change? She loves him just the way he is?

You’ve been a terrible person, you’ve made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices that I’ve made this will prove to be the worst one. But I am not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon.

And that grand speech led to this hot kiss:

Delena GIF

Remember, writers? So don't try and tell us that Damon and Elena are over because Damon is feeling guilty.

As Caroline Dries told us, Enzo will be sticking around for a bit, acting like a Devil on Damon's shoulder. So consider me at least curious where this is headed. He does seem like an intriguing fellow.

Now, when it comes to that cliffhanger... ZZZZZZZ. Oh, sorry. I feel asleep there for a moment. Didn't Katherine nearly die a few weeks ago after being fed to Silas? Does anyone out there really care a great deal about her fate at this point?

Heck, Stefan slept with her and he remains just not that into her.

If Katherine lives, it's yet another lame tease. If she dies, well, thank goodness, it'll be about time. But I'm just not invested enough her character to be on the edge of my seat, awaiting The Vampire Diaries Season 5 to return on January 23.

See what I mean about TVD spoiling viewers? It's in its fourth season. It will next air its 100th episode. I don't blame the writers for not making my jaw smack the floor as hard as it once did. Still, that doesn't make the show in its current incantation any more entertaining.

It spent a bulk of this season focusing on Bonnie's fate, only to eventually save her... totally forget about her. Seriously. Bonnie has scarcely played a role since she made it back to the Land of the Living. Which is fine. I'm not complaining. I'm not her biggest fan.

But it does say a lot about the state of the series' storytelling when the character everyone worked desperately to save for multiple months isn't even relevant at the moment.

What did I like about this installment? Katherine making herself a kale smoothie was funny, certainly funnier than her referring to Matt as merely a "busboy." Cheap shot, K! The guy's mother left him! He's hard up for cash. Sheesh!

I liked seeing a bit of Elena's father and her past. There seems like some unexplored territory that could be mined there.

That's sort of it, though. Damon feeing guilty (been there, heard that!) and Katherine on the verge of death (yawn!) are the only real storylines left in the air as we head into 2014. Aaron has that syringe, too, doesn't he? Eh, I'm not particularly excited about any of these.

Are you? Where do you stand on The Vampire Diaries at the moment? Do you want Katherine to live or to die? And, most importantly, do you care?

Watch the promo for the 100th episode and sound off now:

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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 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Damon: I'm gonna barf.
Katherine: Great. Then my work here is done.

That's my brother Stefan. But I'd watch your tone with him because he's kind in the middle of a psychotic break.