The Vampire Diaries Review by John Keegan

The Vampire Diaries 5.18: Resident Evil

The Vampire Diaries 5.18: Resident Evil

Written By:
Brian Young and Caroline Dries
Directed By:
Paul Wesley


Much like its spawn, The Originals, The Vampire Dairies has been struggling to find a solid new direction since the departure of a popular female character.  In this case, while one can certainly argue that the Travelers have been a consistent presence since the season premiere, they simply don’t do much to overcome the feeling that resurrecting Katherine would have been a far more effective and meaningful plan.



 

Not that I necessarily have anything against Markos, his grand plan to defeat the curse that prevents the Travelers from gathering without loopholes, or this idea that the blood of doppelgangers is the key to the whole business.  It’s just that it all feels a bit overly familiar.  It’s a variation on a well-worn Vampire Diaries theme.  When one of the characters points out that they are facing a terrible evil once again, it seems a little too on the nose.

 

It really doesn’t help that the visions experienced by Stefan and Elena invoke the worst memories of the Buffy: Season 8 comics.  The universe is trying to push Stefan and Elena together using visions of married bliss?  If the intention was to make the audience want to hit the fast-forward button in vain, that mission was assuredly accomplished.



 

Far more effective was Matt’s journey into the Other Side, where he discovered that Markos’ departure has changed something important (if undefined).  Getting to see some familiar faces was a nice touch, though the implications for the Other Side are still a bit vague.  It probably doesn’t help that I was mentally trying not to conflate the Other Side with those visits to Purgatory in Supernatural, given that they are very similar in concept.

 

The takeover of Mystic Falls by the Travelers is also very creepy, and I almost wish that it had been a plot point that was slowly introduced over the course of the season.  Imagine how it would have played out if seemingly normal supporting characters were suddenly revealed to be “possessed” by Travelers!  It would have reinforced the themes of identity that were central to the Elena/Katherine swap, especially since that plot thread didn’t last long enough to really delve into the implications.



 

With only a handful of episodes left to the season, and the usual pacing on The Vampire Diaries, I can only hope that this Traveler situation is resolved once and for all.  I really don’t want a repeat of the Silas arc, with all the plot points lingering into the next season.  The situation with the Other Side sounds a bit more promising as a start to the sixth season.


Our Grade:
C+
The Good:
  • The takeover of the town was creepy
  • The Other Side implications are promising
The Bad:
  • The Travelers plot is overly familiar
  • Those visions were mind-numbing

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The Vampire Diaries by - 4/18/2014 5:42 AM214 views

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