The Vampire Diaries 5.03 "Original Sin" Review

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

We've gotten up to speed very quickly this season. This is a classic VD episode, full of breakneck plot developments and whiplash changes, not to mention all the actual snapping necks. There are even a few new surprises, interspersed throughout with goofy but explanatory flashbacks.

The big reveal is of Qetsiyah. Qetsiyah, the witch who started vampirism almost accidentally, who influenced the creation of the Hunters, and may or may not have had anything to do with werewolves (who have a tendency to show up where they're not wanted anyway). Qetsiyah, who, in watching 2000 years of human history unfold, has grown tired of how no one can pronounce her antique name any longer. So it's now Tessa, thanks.

That's about the only rational choice she makes, and Janina Gavankar milks what she can out of the complications of her role: Tessa is all-powerful, from an alien culture (let's just say "Ancient Greece" and leave it at that), kind of crazy and obsessed with everyone who looks like Silas. Meaning, Stefan. Meaning, it was she who freed him from the quarry lake, she who arranged for him to kill the owner of her stolen house, and she who uses him this week to cancel out Silas' omnipotence.

It's Bonnie (unseen this week after last week's step towards closure) who freed her, however, by lifting the veil that also returned Jeremy to life. She saw an opportunity to finally deal with Silas for good, and she took it. She's sort of an Akasha at this point, though: too strange and powerful a creature to trust. Damon opts for just killing her when he finally comes to Stefan's rescue, but his bark is nothing to her bite.

The other fun performance this week is from Nina Dobrev, who gets to have a road trip and several other scenes with her doppelganger, the now-human Katherine. Whom they've nursed back to full on bitchy health. Dobrev frankly astounds in the way we never confuse the two twin brunettes for a second. The muscles in Katherine's face just do different things than those of Elena, who is the still the all-American high school cheerleader that Katherine could never have been (despite their having traded vampirism). Both end up on the run from Traveler Nadia (identified early-on as Eurotrash by the ever-apt Katherine), who seems to be a vampire as well as a witch, and only gave Matt his revival ring back so she could kill her partner and let his soul possess Matt's body.

Which is like, yay, Matty has a story, but what's he going to do about it without Rebekah around to back him up with supernatural mojo? Stay tuned on that one.

Katherine even thanks Elena (for not killing her after she made her human, I think), which is a surprising step to take considering how she's even more of a "moonstone" now than she was last week. Not only did she take the Cure; she's now become the Cure herself, or at least her blood has. Does that mean any vampire who drinks from her will become human? Because: yikes!?

The flashbacks are completely unconvincing, but the show stages them almost like a modern dance version of mythology, all beautiful people in non-descript places in flowing attire, which is probably for the best. The point is that Stefan and Elena are destined to be together throughout time, which is one perspective. But it seems more like they're destined never to get together due to endless obstacles if you look at it objectively, which is good news for Damon.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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