The Vampire Diaries is back for season number 5 with a fresh new look, new characters, and new reasons to watch. The task of bouncing back after a mediocre senior year clearly did not fall on deaf ears. The storyline has received a much needed facelift, and the excitement we came to expect in earlier seasons is coming back into style.
Looking back for a moment, season 4 quickly became stale. Vampire Elena (Nina Dobrev) desperately tried to adapt to her new supernatural lifestyle while everyone else desperately searched for the cure. Emotions ran high as different vampires vied for a shot at being human again. And, the person who ended up with it wasn’t exactly a welcoming candidate. Death became an easily traversed problem (welcome back, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), the sire bond became an irritating problem (more will they, won’t they with Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder)), and Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) new form of witchcraft just became a problem (waking up in a room you set on fire with your mind, not a good thing).
Another huge blow to the narrative was that The Vampire Diaries was clinging to a villain that no one wanted to hate any longer. Klaus (Joseph Morgan) was so season 3! Both he and Rebekah (Claire Holt) were developing some serious likable qualities. Even with all the bad things they have both done, they seem inherently redeemable. Without going into a spin-off, there was no way to include them in the way fans wanted without completely refocusing the show. Thus the spin-off was born, The Vampire Diaries had a chance to regroup, and everyone rejoiced – with the minor exception of those reluctant to see Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola) separated.
Going into season 5, The Vampire Diaries writers had their work cut out for them. They needed to come up with something that would give fans a renewed sense of enjoyment for the show after the season 4 slump, and I think they may have found it. There are some new twists that are already in motion that should be interesting to see how they play out.
Last year left off with a cliffhanger that really put the episodes leading up to it to shame. Silas (Paul Wesley) was an enigma for most of the season, but his “true” face was finally revealed. He is now wreaking havoc in his own skin. And, no offense to Klaus, but Silas makes all other villain’s look insignificant. Here’s a guy who is immortal, doesn’t share the same pesky ‘stake through the heart’ problem that most vampires have, and doesn’t have to worry about the effect vervain has on compulsion. More importantly, or concerning, is that he also either has the same ability to switch off his humanity, or worse, doesn’t have any to start with. Either way, he makes one badass super villain.The transition from high school to college has been known the kill even a strong show pretty quickly. If you recall, we saw former WB hit series Dawson’s Creek start to fall apart around this time in the character’s lives. The CW chose to avoid this period completely with the long-running One Tree Hill. Even though that wouldn’t have worked well with The Vampire Diaries, they seem to be going about it in an equally interesting way. Instead of completely uprooting all their characters and making them either all attend one college, or inventing an inexplicable reason for why everyone else needed to find themselves in that same alternate town, Mystic Falls is still very much a featured component of the show.
Although Elena and Caroline headed off to college a few hours outside of town, most of the characters are staying right where they were. Watching the girls have a fairly normal college move-in day was a refreshing change of pace. Last season was particularly tough on Elena emotionally, and she (probably the fans, too) needed this benchmark moment to put things in perceptive. Although it doesn’t look like the college experience will be quite what she had in mind, maybe the change of scenery was exactly what she (and the show) needed.
The girls thought they were leaving Mystic Falls and their vampire issues behind in exchange for a fresh start they both welcomed, but someone has other plans for them. Well played, The Vampire Diaries, well played. Just in case anyone was worried that the boys back in Mystic Falls would be having all the fun, what looks to be family drama is catching up with Elena at her new location. We saw this work well as a plot twist in season 1 and 2 with the discovery of her biological parents. This also might be a good segue for Jeremy to join his big sister, even though Damon as a caretaker has quite a bit of appeal.
It would have been nice if Tyler (Michael Trevino) had made an appearance after his extended absence. If this is just all part of an elaborate plan for a Caroline and Klaus reunion, you have my attention. Other than that bit of wishful thinking, this episode of The Vampire Diaries was one of the best we’ve seen in a while. I like the direction the series is going in, and look forward to being surprised in upcoming episodes.
Vampire Diaries S05E07 Srt Sub Subtitle Download
If there is one constant in The Vampire Diaries’ world, it is change. Alliances always shift, relationships ebb and flow, and plots twist on a dime, forming the bedrock of what makes the show such an entertaining ride. Season four represented the most seismic shift, examining “regular girl” Elena’s transformation into a vampire, and although the transition was a rocky one at times, it eventually settled into an interesting exploration of what it means to have humanity even when you are a monster.
All of this experience with change is why I should not have been so worried about how the show would handle The Vampire Diaries: The College Years. These writers stare change in the face and challenge it to a deathmatch (Spoiler: They win with surprise stabbings!), and Elena and Caroline’s move to college isn’t treated like a wholesale change for the entire show; it’s merely one difference amid a sea of different things, and thus manages to simply feel like the next adventure for two characters rather than the kiss of death that a high school show transitioning to the college years can be.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the sheer amount of stuff the show manages to pack into an hour of television. This episode is practically bursting at the seams, straining under the weight of catching us up with what everyone did over the summer and what they are up to now that it’s over, all while also introducing not one but three separate mysteries to unravel in the coming weeks. It’s not the smoothest, most cohesive episode the show has ever done, but that the whole thing doesn’t implode halfway through is a victory in itself.
The biggest story—and the one I had the most reservations about going in—was Elena and Caroline’s first few days at college. What’s fun about the whole thing is how it takes expected college tropes like unwanted roommates and house parties and turns them on their heads, focusing on how being a vampire can really throw a wrench in all of your human college fantasies. It’s all fun and games until you can’t walk through the front door of a house party without being invited in, right? Caroline’s conviction that roommate Megan was some sort of vampire hunter started out as typical Caroline neurosis but transformed into something else entirely, as Megan takes a header off a building and ends up at Caroline and Elena’s feet with vampire bites on her neck and a picture of herself with Elena’s father on her phone. Suddenly, this college plot is a lot less about Shakespeare 101 and a lot more about giving Elena a puzzle to solve and that? That I’m all in on.
The other thing I’m all in on is Paul Wesley as Silas. The “shadow self” doppelganger reveal in the season four finale was a bit of a confusing mess, but the realization that it would mean plenty of time for Wesley to play an evil mastermind made at least some of that confusion go away. The writers make the smart decision here to not delay important folks like Damon and Jeremy figuring out Stefan wasn’t who he appeared to be, and make the other smart decision to give Silas a bit of a mysterious quest himself: to find and kill Katherine Pierce. Is this because she ingested the cure meant for him and he means to get revenge, or does he have something else planned for her? All that is clear is that Silas has incredible compulsion powers, stronger than anything we’ve previously seen in this world, and he isn’t afraid to use them to make the entire town into his Katherine-seeking minions. It would be immensely creepy if it wasn’t so obvious just how much fun Wesley is having playing the bad guy again.
But we don’t just get to see Wesley play the bad guy. There’s also the little matter of Stefan in a safe at the bottom of a reservoir, and the show does not back away one bit from focusing on the torture he’s going through by dying and resurrecting over and over again underwater. He’s not there alone, however; guided by his visions of Damon telling him to turn off his humanity switch to save himself from misery and Elena begging him to keep it intact, Stefan’s time in the coffin is his own purgatory state, a continuation on the themes explored with Stefan and Klaus in season three and last season with Elena. These moments don’t quite mesh with the rest of the episode, but they are shot gorgeously and have a stark, emotional beauty that serves as a nice tether to Stefan’s character while Wesley is off having fun playing Silas elsewhere. I’m not sure I want eight episodes of this, but for the premiere, it was quite nice.
Less nice is whatever is going on with Bonnie and Jeremy, which simply does not work for me at all. Damon having to take care of Jeremy in Elena’s absence is kind of great. (Imagined dinner conversation: “Jeremy, eat your vegetables. Never mind about that time I killed you.”) Jeremy still talking to a dead person who refuses to let him tell anyone she is dead is less great. What Bonnie is doing right now is completely selfish and hard to watch, not to mention fairly dramatically uninteresting, considering she can only really interact with one person in the cast. Even her agony over her dead father seemed pointless because she had no ability to even communicate with him when he was alive. I’m sure the writers have some sort of plan to justify her sticking around, but for now? It feels a bit like wasted time.
The most surprising thing about this episode, though, has to be Matt Donovan getting what appears to be an actual story of his own. The brief glimpse into his threesome-laden summer adventure with Rebekah was everything I wanted it to be, but I truly expected that to be it: for Rebekah to waltz off to New Orleans and for him to continue being a bartender and occasionally turning up to play Xbox with Jeremy. But with the reveal that summer conquest Nadia stole the Gilbert ring and tracked him down in Mystic Falls to return it, only to have some spooky warlock dude put a curse on him and make his eyes turn Supernatural-demon black? Well, that’s pretty darn interesting, Donovan. What a difference a summer full of vampire sex makes.
So yes, this wasn’t necessarily a perfect episode of The Vampire Diaries but it feels like the perfect introduction to a season that looks to be filled with changing character dynamics and ever-shifting alliances. The greatest thing here was how it maintained that classic TVD tone of a sort of giddy excitement—exemplified here by Elena’s awesomely happy college vampire girl persona—undercut by a current of dread. When a happy Elena starts off the episode saying “I’ve got this weird feeling that something bad is about to happen,” Damon should know better than to brush it off, because he should know by now that any time someone is happy in Mystic Falls, something horrible is bound to happen next.
And that’s why we keep coming back for more.
Matt. Freaking. Donovan. I’m going to need a flashback episode solely focused on Matt and Rebekah’s European sex vacation.
So Jeremy and Elena go with the whole “I went crazy on drugs, accidentally burned down my house, and faked my death” trick, huh? Only in Mystic Falls would this be barely a blip on the radar.
Speaking of Jeremy’s lies, he got bullied for faking his own death? And the thing that made him go insane was some guy insulting his phone? That’s some deep product placement voodoo.
Katherine having messy hair, chipped nails, and complaining about high heels was delightful. It’s also nice to see that becoming human hasn’t changed her character, as evidenced by her careening Jeremy’s car into a telephone pole in an attempt to save herself from Silas.
The transition from Elena in the bathtub to Stefan in the safe was nifty.
Damon: “If I hear the word doppelganger one more time, I think I’m actually going to have to learn how to spell it.”
Forget the Freshman 15. The Vampire Diaries Season 5 premiere introduced viewers to the Freshman Fif… SCREAM!
Indeed, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” took Caroline, Elena and millions of fans to Whitmore College, a university where the only thing more dangerous than the dining hall lunch is being roommates with two secret blood suckers.
What do we make of Megan’s demise? How awesome is Paul Wesley as Silas? How hilarious will Jeremy and Damon be as roommates?
With the countdown to TVD’s return finally over, let’s answer all these questions and pose many more in the following countup. Come along and join me, won’t you? I promise it’ll be safer than a Mystic Falls town square celebration…
Ready to Move In
ONE: The number of threesomes depicted in the episode’s opening few minutes. Damn, Matt! You go, boy!
Of course, there may truly be no such thing as safe sex, not when it involves a mysterious European woman named Nadia who then shows back up in Mystic Falls to return your magic ring and help knock you out because… who the heck knows why?!? But isn’t it refreshing to see Matt get some action? Both of the screen variety and the HAWT bedroom variety?
TWO: The number of deaths on the premiere. Yes, Mayor Bennett’s was more emotional, as it’s hard enough to imagine losing one’s father and even harder still to imagine losing one’s father when you’re a ghost and no one can hear you scream or be a shoulder for you to cry on. But we barely knew the Mayor himself. His arrival was almost comical, with Bonnie’s dad just showing up out of nowhere and somehow being elected to high office.
So it’s Megan’s death that is truly most interesting. Why was there Vervain in her water bottle? Did her killer put it there? Did she put it there? And who is her killer? And is the campus police covering up the murder? And how in the world is Elena’s father tangled up in all of this? Lots of questions. Lots of place for this storyline to go.
THREE: The number of months that went by since events on The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale in May went down. Stefan is still stuck under water (and help me on this one, TVD Fanatics: Is Damon subconsciously encouraging him to turn off his humanity so he can escape? Or just so he can stop feeling pain down there?)… we know where Matt spent his time (ooohhh, yeah!)… Bonnie was supposedly traveling the world (and pretending to still exist, via emails through Jeremy)… and Delena?
They have been going very, very, very, VERY strong. We’re talking sex-all-throughout-the-house and dropping the L Word to each other strong. Is it everything you ever wanted and more, Delena fans? Let’s just hope the writers keep these two together. There’s been enough back and forth in the past. No more wavering over Stefan and no new college upperclassman to steal away Elena’s attention, please. She has enough to worry about at Whitmore with that whole my-roommate-was-murdered thing going on.
And also Psych 101. That class can be tough.
SEVENTEEN: The number of small appliances Caroline can apparently fit into the world’s biggest dorm room. My goodness! And I thought the kids on Saved By the Bell: The College Years had it lucky.
FIVE: The number of times I marveled at Wesley’s depiction of Silas. Approximately. The actor has said many times in the past – including to TV Fanatic – that he embraces a chance to play a darker role and it really is clear by the way he oozes charisma and shadiness as Silas. You can just see a satisfied glint in the star’s eye that he’s getting a break from playing his typically moral, upstanding character of Stefan Salvatore.
SIX: The number of questions I have coming out of a strong premiere:
When will we see Tyler again? And what has he really been up to out there?
What’s the deal with Jesse? Anything aside from having an (understandable) attraction to Caroline?
Why is Silas seeking out Katherine?
How are the chores doled out in Casa Salvatore now? Does Jeremy take out the garbage and Damon do the dishes?
How did Elena’s father know Megan and what is Mr. Gilbert’s connection to her death?
Seriously, what does Nadia want?!?
Overall, a very entertaining opening episode. The Vampire Diaries Season 5 has a fresh feel to it, with plenty of new territory to mine at Whitmore, Delena as a certified couple and Silas as a fun, threatening villain.