The Vampire Diaries 5.13 “No Exit”

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

I suppose this is a pretty existential moment for the Mystic Falls vamps after all, come to think of it. Damon has excised himself from the tribe, since he only eats vamps now. Caroline is still sulking over her broken relationship with Tyler. Matt is fending for himself against the needy emotional predations of Nadia. Bonnie and Jeremy as usual are nowhere to be found.

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But that’s still not as missing as Elena, who apparently doesn’t exist at all anymore since the Traveler spell that solidified Katherine’s soul with her body. Which I thought would be way more fun, but I’m officially done with this possession storyline. If all Katherine can think to do with Elena’s body is throw herself at Stefan, she doesn’t deserve it. When she was fighting to survive she at least had style and flair and long-term goals. Now she does annoyingly stupid things like break Stefan’s sports car and get dirty so they’ll have to shower? What an epic lack of imagination.

Shippers of the show may be moved by the hot and sexy moment that ensues in the hastily procured hotel room as Katherine almost succeeds in re-inflaming Stefan’s dormant passions (usually a pretty dangerous thing to do), but it’s retread city for me. And it should have been a blaring red warning flag for Stefan, who has never known Elena to be this aggressive (as opposed to cutely flirtatious) when it comes to sex.

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On the more interesting front, the Travelers have trapped Damon and Enzo in a house, so they’ll eat each other or die trying, which sucks but Enzo at least tries to take some steps, one of which is to call Stefan and “Elena” and ask for help. Which they provide, for opposing reasons: Stefan thinks he can save Damon, and Katherine wants him dead.

Not just out of the picture, not just out of town, but dead and gone. Now you can’t say Damon doesn’t deserve such a thing, as he’s killed plenty with even less motivation, but the delight she takes in spoiling his fantasy relationship with Elena and then shitting all over anything he ever meant to anyone else is just vile. Hating Katherine now. Wanting Elena back.

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Happily, the Scooby Gang (never exactly Holmesian in their thought processes) start to notice how “Elena” is behaving, thanks mostly to Matt, whom Katherine also wants dead and who figured it out before anyone else and manages to text a warning before Nadia compels him again. I don’t like Matt being everyone’s human Renfield, but I do like him fighting back with his wits. Such as they are in this brain trust.

Also, I have hope for Nadia. Sure, she’s doing bad things in order to get Katherine to love her. However long a vampire survives, they can be horribly immature. But they do have real feelings, and Nadia has so far done everything she can not to hurt Matt even while she’s using him. So when Caroline and Tyler step in, I’m almost sad that Tyler bites her. Almost, but it’s kind of Tyler’s best moment in weeks. Caroline’s not old enough to really threaten Nadia (who’s from Katherine’s days); but hybrids do trump all, as we know from Klaus. Oops, Tyler, sorry to bring him up.

 

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Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Somehow that led to him writing the Harvey Kurtzman entry for Icons of the American Comic Book: from Captain America to Wonder Woman (2013). He also writes for Art New England and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), an NGO of UNESCO.

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