The Vampire Diaries 5.06 “Handle With Care”

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

This is a goofy, all-over-the-place episode. Road trips. College. New Jersey warehouses. Spurned and or/dead witches. Gypsies. It’s how this season’s been going, and a lot of things come to fruition. About the only thing the show ever made us wait for was Elena learning how to be a vampire. Now that she’s on top of that, we’re back to stunning plot reversals that are over almost before they begin. Which can be kind of awesome and fun when it's working?

And now that Qetsiyah’s here (sorry, Tessa), it's working. She’s a loon, but a very entertaining one. Katherine has already forgiven everyone for trying to kill her last week, sort of, and heads off the Whitmore to see if Caroline will let her crash, and maybe use Elena's meal plan. Which, why should she, until Katherine starts coming up with better ideas for torturing Professor Maxfield than she ever could, which leads to a very nefarious and hot team of Jo and Bess finally getting somewhere with the Case of the Campus Vampire while Nancy is off being distracted by her three or more suitors. And Tessa, who sets a trap for our trustingly most human vampire.

And while that’s fun (especially Caroline compelling the bad doctor, after she recovers from spacing out on her own romantic woes while blood drips from the tubes they stuck into him), it’s got nothing on the road trip of Silas, Damon and Jeremy. Miles of opportunity for Jer to sulk while Damon snarks and Silas, for some reason, drives (where'd he learn how to do that?).  They're in search of the mysterious last Macguffin, "the Anchor," that they found using last week’s Macguffin (a necklace). Seems Tessa lost control of it herself, when the Travelers took it long, long ago. Yeah, it’s in a box in a Jersey warehouse, which is so bland it’s almost brilliant. If only Big Pussy or Silvio would show up to weigh in on the supernatural shenanigans.

If you know who the Anchor is by now, you're smarter than Silas, who is blown away by his unexpected good fortune. Tessa, however, is having a much worse day, because she lets herself believe that Stefan is a better version of Silas for a second; and it's true, he probably is, but that doesn't make him a likely lover. Even if he can't remember much about himself (a joke that never gets old for Tessa), he apparently remembers he loves Elena, and he saves her with vamp-whispering when everyone least expects it.

Somehow everyone ends up back at the Salvatore mansion with the Anchor, and okay Season 5, you've done it. I don't know at all what's going on, but I'm all in! Bring on the madness, and please think up more characters for the main actors to simultaneously play right away. Though could we even survive a Damonic Doppelganger?

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

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