Review: The Vampire Diaries (Season 5, Episode 1)

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The Vampire Diaries has returned after what seems like a long hiatus. The end of the last season saw Elena finally declare her love for Damon, and then the ‘dumped’ Stefan was also dumped at the bottom of a quarry in a locked box by their immortal enemy Silas. Jeremy was brought back to life (again!) and Bonnie is officially dead – well she’s a ghost, so sort of dead.

So that’s where we left off at the end of season 4: raging at the tv screens if you’re a Stelana fan (Stefan + Elena), swooning if you were pro Delena (work it out), and shocked that Bonnie had paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring Jeremy back from the dead. But we were all pretty confused that Silas, the immortal who can look like whoever he wants, in his true form looks exactly like Stefan. In this moment the doppelganger story-line was propelled even further, and it was a twist that I don’t think anyone had predicted. Suffice to say, The Vampire Diaries expects a lot from its fans to keep up with its complexity.

Season 5 opens with a montage of how Elena and Damon spent their summer, which consisted mostly of rolling around between the sheets. Cut to later in the episode when we see Stefan, Elena’s ex-boyfriend and Damon’s brother, drowning and reviving over and over again at the bottom of the quarry. Poor Stefan – at this point, nobody even knows that he’s missing.

Monster’s BallWhen Elena and Caroline head off to college, they toast (with blood bags) to their future of being ‘functional vampires’, while Jeremy gets into some mischief at school. I have to say I was apprehensive about the show’s move to college, and how they would maintain narratives in two different places, constantly flicking back and forth between the girls and Whitmore college and Damon and Jeremy who stayed at home in Mystic Falls. This episode did this seamlessly though, and overall the season opener was a very promising start.

My favourite part of this episode though has to be when Katherine makes her appearance, and Nina Dobrev’s acting is once again on top form, delivering a brilliantly comedic performance. After Elena shoved the vampire cure down her throat at the end of season 4, Katherine comes begging for Damon’s help to hide her from her many enemies. “Do you know what it’s like to run in heels?” she proclaims, “I have blisters Damon!”. The badass vampire Katherine Pierce is reduced to blisters and chipped nails – I’m starting to think that making her human was one of the best plot twists on the show.

Overall this episode gave us all the ingredients that I love about The Vampire Diaries. The acting was as good as ever, the mysteries were piling up, the love triangle reached new dimensions, and we even had new characters added to the mix. As the series progresses, I wonder how well audiences will take to the new faces and just how invested we will be in their characters. I didn’t even miss the Original family in this episode, there was enough going on to sustain momentum without them. Dr. Maxfield, our new creepy professor, hasn’t exactly got me on the edge of my seat, so I hope that more goes into his character development in the coming episodes. I also hope they rescue Stefan soon – not only did he lose the girl, he’s also spent his summer drowning over and over again.

Needless to say, if this is the standard set for the rest of season 5, The Vampire Diaries will keep the fans happy. Personally I can’t wait to see how the series unfolds.

8/10

The Vampire Diaries is broadcast on ITV2 on Tuesdays at 9pm

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