The Vampire Diaries Review: I Peaked...

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You may wanna turn off your humanity this summer, Vampire Diaries Fanatics.

It's gonna be a rough few months.

A truly shocking and emotional hour of television, The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 22 concluded with an absolute stunner. A heartbreaking loss. A goodbye for which viewers were not prepared.

Rest in peace, Mystic Falls Grill.

Goodbye, Mystic Falls?

While we spend the next few months wondering where the heck everyone in town will drown their sorrows in bourbon, it should probably also be mentioned that Damon Salvatore is also dead.

I'm sorry, though, I'm not buying it.

To far too many fans, Damon is The Vampire Diaries. Ian Somerhalder is The Vampire Diaries. Few actors have as much passion for any project as Somerhalder has shown for TVD over the years - and few fan bases show as much passion for their star as this one has shown for Somerhalder.

Granted, this has been the season of major farewells across the television landscape. Joffrey was poisoned on Game of Thrones; Will was gunned down on The Good Wife; Moira was sliced into a mess on Arrow; Tara was kitchen knifed into multiple pieces on Sons of Anarchy.

And a good death isn't done simply to shock viewers. It's done to propel a series forward, to ensure against staleness, to focus on how various characters react to someone important being taken from them.

So IF Damon truly is gone, it's impossible to judge this move prior to The Vampire Diaries Season 6. We need to see what choices the writers make going forward.

And I've been loudly on record for weeks now as saying The Vampire Diaries Season 5 was badly in need of a shake-up. We've seen all the scary villains... we've witnessed every iteration of the love triangle, replayed a million times... we've milked almost everything we can out of some terrific characters and some excellent storytelling over the years.

It's been five years. It's understandable. Few shows even last this long, especially ones with the number of twists and turns TVD has pulled off again and again.

But is the answer killing off the most popular character and actor? I don't believe so - and I don't believe Julie Plec and company believe so either.

Something will happen. Some spell will be cast. Some special move Grams made on The Other Side will save the day for Damon (and maybe even for Bonnie... unfortunately. Sorry, but her time really has come.) and here's the thing: THAT'S what should annoy viewers when it happens.

Killing off Damon may be exactly what The Vampire Diaries needs. It certainly has fans talking now. It will have them tuning in this fall. It's silly to get angry at a show for axing a character you liked; that person is fictional, he or she is there to serve a story and it may be in the best interests of that story for the person to die.

But it is not silly to get angry at a show for playing with your emotions. For constantly faking you out when it comes to death, something TVD has been guilty over for awhile now. 

Death has to mean something. A series will lose viewers quickly if nothing ever sticks. So while I enjoy the character of Damon - and, come on, who isn't a Somerhalder-ic? - I'll be far more upset if Damon is magically resurrected on Season 6. It will come across as an extraordinarily cheap, desperate trick.

My prediction: Damon comes back, but in human form.

As for the non-Damon portion of the finale...

  • ALARIC IS BACK! This is amazing. This is astounding. This actually leads me to believe Damon really might be dead because Matt Davis serves as a quasi Ian Somerhalder replacement in terms of a new male lead and... sorry, no more Damon talk. Right.
  • Lexi is not back. Come on, Bon Bon. Couldn't you have just stumbled into her as well?
  • Tyler is human. Interesting. That's the sort of change-of-pace TVD needs. Is everyone who returned human? Or only Tyler because of how he was tossed into the cursed town as Julian?
  • Can we talk about the irony of blowing up the one place dumb enough to employ us? Line of the century, Matty Blue Eyes.
  • Is it a crime for someone so good looking to be so sad all the time? Second place, Silas.

Okay, I tried. But, really... what else is there to discuss aside from the apparent death of Damon Salvatore.

REACT NOW: Is he really dead?

Home Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (318 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 5 Episode 22 Quotes

Is it a crime for someone so good looking to be so sad all the time?

Silas [on Stefan]

I’ve saved you from metaphorical darkness and actual darkness. I think you owe me a beer.