Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Vampire Diaries Review: "Monster's Ball" (Season 5, Episode 5)

It's hard to narrow down which of the shock and awe moments from this week's episode of was the most surprising. Likewise, I'm having the same problem deciding which one was the most exasperating. Luckily, the writers of The Vampire Diaries were extremely generous in providing options for both trains of thought.

Tyler (Michael Trevino) returned to Mystic Falls last week in an unexpected act of chivalry. After the news broke that Bonnie (Kat Graham) was in fact dead, as opposed to traveling the world with her mother like Jeremy (Steven McQueen) had led them to believe, his return was a nice change of pace. It added the final piece to a touching scene (meaning, I cried like a baby), and signaled a move forward for all the character. There was a sense that the group was once again complete, despite Stefan's (Paul Wesley) recent bout of amnesia and the loss of yet another member of the inner circle.

It didn't take long for that hopeful illusion to dissolve. It makes me wonder if Tyler's aversion to staying has less to do with avenging his mother's death, and more to do with Caroline's (Candice Accola) latent feelings for Klaus (Joseph Morgan)? It's convenient for him that he has a more noble excuse to declare than that he feels his man card has been challenged.

Between the grief of losing Bonnie - his childhood friend - and the knowledge that he is only able to live blissfully happy with the woman he loves because someone else deemed it alright (for the time being), now doesn't exactly seem like the best time to be making life altering, grown-up decisions. Klaus would more than happily rip out Tyler's heart if he no longer had to be concerned with Caroline's deep affections for him. Whatever mountain range he was shacking up on might not have had cell phone reception, but last time I checked New Orleans doesn't have that same problem. Let's hope for Tyler's sake that Caroline didn't call Klaus for a pep talk after Tyler walked out of her life.

She wouldn't be the only one looking for a little consolation. Another huge reveal on this episode of The Vampire Diaries - who is this Nadia (Olga Fonda) chick that seems to have it out for Katherine (Nina Dobrev)? Oh, that's right, it's her daughter. Apparently, becoming a vampire is a calling for women in this family gene pool just as much as the doppelganger phenomena is a curse.We haven't experienced many moments over the seasons where Katherine has proven that she still has a thread of humanity, but there's always been a softness to her when she brings up her family. That compassion doesn't extend to her family in the present sense i.e. Elena (also Dobrev), but I imagine at least part of her sympathetic act toward Nadia was sincere.

In case you haven't thought this through, Nadia is a vampire like Katherine. That means that at some point she stopped being able to have children. In order for the Petrova blood line to have continued, and Elena to exist today, she must have had a child before she stopped being technically alive. Although this was really a huge bombshell for fans (and, Katherine, let's not forget her), it's a really compelling plot twist and something that I'm thrilled to see happen to the show. I don't think I've been this excited to see how anything plays out on The Vampire Diaries since Klaus and Caroline started making googly eyes at each other.

Although the team behind The Vampire Diaries has picked up the momentum, we're still hitting these slick spot that wreak with predictability. The moment Dr. Maxfield's (Rick Cosnett) eyes lit up while examining Jesse's (Kendrick Sampson) vampire bites, was the same moment we knew for sure that he was well-versed in the vampire lifestyle. Now that the council is all but disbanded in Mystic Falls, finding a new aggregate of vampire-hating humans was the next step in securing a revolving door of story arcs for the show. If all the villains are of the super natural persuasion, things tend to get a little one-sided.

Do you think Dr. Maxfield's warning to Elena was out of reverence for her father, or was he just trying to stir the pot? What is step 2 of his experiment now that he turned Jesse into a vampire who's "a perfect candidate" for whatever he's planning? I'm almost glad that Katherine didn't die after Damon (Ian Somerhalder) fed her to Silas (also Wesley), but what does that mean? And, what will a human/witch Silas be like?

Let us know what your theories about THE VAMPIRE DIARIES are in the comment section below!

Until next episode.

Thanks for reading
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