The Vampire Diaries 5.05 “Monster’s Ball”

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

This was a fun episode. I think Season Five is finally starting to make sense. After Bonnie dispatched Elena back to college, Elena and Caroline decide to focus on the unfolding vamp mystery there. Well, Caroline would, but she’s too busy focusing on Tyler instead, not to mention planning the campus costume party. Which is like, so very Caroline.

Of course there has to be a party as a backdrop to the seventeen different plot reversals planned for this episode. While Tyler and Caroline are a pretty unconvincing Clyde and Bonnie, Quetsiya was clearly born to play Cleopatra. She looks alluring, young and needy (I totally get points for my Akasha call-out when she debuted!), and is almost ready to fall for memory-free Stefan (who she hilariously half-apologizes to for wiping his mind) because of all the doppelgangeryness to her twoo wuv Silas. Or maybe it’s because of his very lazy James Dean getup?

However, Silas is also there, and also intent on messing with her, and, like her, after some precious ancient artifact needed for their witchy spells (both are witches, remember) that the college has perilously collected and now decides to display, unguarded, in some forgotten upper room of the grand hall or wherever they are at Whitmore. Right, you know, like Tony Private Colleges are wont to do with their treasures.

It’s not even the real McGuffin they’re both after, it’s the McGuffin that leads to the other McGuffin, which is always the way with this show. It doesn’t matter next to the fun of seeing Damon repeatedly “kill” Stefan (not hard for Damon, considering how annoying the memory-free version has been) so that the mumbo-jumbo whammy Tessa put on the doppelgangers’ psychic connection can be interrupted long enough for Silas to manipulate his nemesis with his full-on mind-control mojo.

Witch-wars, people, are ugly things. As they’re learning over on the Originals, just stay out of them!

In other news, evil professor is being evil to poor newly turned Jesse (whose “personality remains intact,” interestingly … I thought that always happened to the vamps on this show, unlike, say Buffy’s demons), and Tyler dumps Caroline, because he can’t abide living at Klaus’ dispensation. I smell crossover.

There is not, however, a lot of Katherine/Nadia baby mommy bonding time, but Katherine does get herself over to the Salvatore mansion in time to witness Silas’ downfall (he ends up in stasis due to Tessa crushing his heart, literally, with her fist, while Stefan is on the prowl again thanks to a convenient head-butt and retaliatory neck-snap of his own). Silly Katherine, somehow she thought this would be good news for her, until she realizes (pretty late in the game) that Damon and Elena mean to feed her to Silas, killing them both!

Yes, even humanity-preserving Elena, who just a few days ago was professing her moral superiority to the opportunistic Katherine, is now non-committal on this solution to all their problems. Katherine moans and rants but can’t fight back (surrounded, as she is, by vampires and witches), and ends up experiencing the same fate she abandoned Jeremy to last season.

Except, Silas doesn’t snap her neck (I never understood why he had to do that to Jeremy, either) and when her indefatigable heart refuses to stop beating, Elena is totally like: sheisse!

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


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