‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season 5 Premiere Review: The College Years

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Vampire Diaries Season 5 Premiere The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Premiere Review: The College Years

The Vampire Diaries has never been a series known for its subtlety, but the fast-paced action mixed with intense amounts of dramatic flair and plot twists have made it a show unlike any other. ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ is another stellar season premiere that doesn’t disappoint.

In typical season opener fashion, writers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries bring us up to speed on what our Mystic Falls inhabitants have been doing these past three months. The opening montage reveals Elena enjoying her new “emotions” as she and Damon have yet to leave each other’s embrace. Matt (one of the few non-supernatural characters remaining) is having the time of his life, traveling the world and having erotic adventures with Rebekah. All seems well until Stefan enters the picture, and we’re reminded of his entombment underwater.

At the end of last year’s finale, Stefan was excited to spend some time away from Mystic Falls and forget his heartbreak over losing Elena, only to discover that he was Silas’ “shadow-self.” Trapped inside his own pain and misery, Stefan has been talking to an imaginary version of his brother Damon, whilst considering the idea of shutting down his human emotions in order to better cope with the pain. Thinking of him trapped in water for three months with nothing but his thoughts is a chilling notion. Being immortal does have its downsides.

Vampire Diaries Goes to College The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Premiere Review: The College Years

Happier times take us to college, where Elena and Caroline are entering their freshman year. While Elena appears thrilled at the prospect of starting a new phase in her life, it’s difficult for Caroline to forget Tyler, who is off helping some werewolf pack get their act together (oh, to be young and supernatural). Their unexpected roommate Megan (Hayley Kiyoko) is anything but your typical college student. Having vervain in one’s protein water is not normal, as Elena discovers that Megan is somehow linked to her dead father. In a series so laden with supernatural occurrences, it’s hard to tell who’s dead and who isn’t. Could Elena’s father still be alive? What’s Megan’s connection to Mystic Falls?

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ creates more mysterious excitement by bringing Silas out into the open. Even though Stefan is his doppelgänger, Paul Wesley shows off his acting abilities by giving a superb performance as he calmly parades around town in search of Katherine. With each drop of human blood Silas drinks, he becomes more powerful; however, he does seem to lack the speed and strength of vampires. Even without vampire super-strength, Silas’ psychic abilities and his 2,000 years of knowledge make him a formidable foe. The question is – what does he want with Katherine?

The now mortal Katherine Pierce does appear to be different. Even as she soaks in a bathtub, Nina Dobrev is able to capture Katherine’s new vulnerability, while still being able to convince us that she’s not Elena. The Vampire Diaries may never be nominated for an Emmy Award for best drama or acting, but the cast deserves credit for being one of the finest ensembles in genre TV.

Silas in Vampire Diaries Season 5 The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Premiere Review: The College Years

One of the final mysteries revealed in the season premiere was the arrival of the lovely Nadia (Olga Fonda). Matt’s sexual escapades overseas have gotten him into more trouble than he asked for, and now it appears that she has him under her spell. What do Nadia and her partner want to use Matt for? Hopefully, Matt will stay the way he is and not transform into some kind of supernatural being like everyone else on the show.

The Vampire Diaries has a cruel way of reminding viewers that no character is safe in this world. Death is frequent on this show, so it was no surprise that Megan would never make it to her first class. She will be missed, if only for the potential humorous roommate banter between her and Caroline. Will Caroline and Elena discover Meagan’s assailant before more innocents are killed?

The end of the episode showcased one of the most haunting and visceral deaths of the entire series. Bonnie’s dad (Rick Worthy) was not the most important character to die in The Vampire Diaries, yet hearing her screams of anguish amongst the stillness of the crowd was chilling. Alone in death, without anyone to comfort her, Bonnie was left to mourn what Silas had taken from her.

Moving forward, one has to wonder if Bonnie will be able to get revenge from beyond the grave? Also, where has Katherine run off to, and how long can Damon pretend to be a father figure to Jeremy? Keep watching to uncover the mysteries.

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The Vampire Diaries continues with ‘True Lies’ next Thursday @8pm on The CW.

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  1. I just recently marathoned this show after reading an article about it on SR and I am so glad I did. For years I refused to even give it a chance due the powerful stigma combo of the CW and Twilight. I was surprised to find that this show is actually very entertaining with great acting and writing. This show get’s my vote for best high school vampire show since Buffy. Thanks SR for getting me to try something new.

    • Yeah I definitely understand your perspective ThetaSigma, CW frankly just has a bad reputation for really teeny bopper and frankly bad shows. So when VD came out i tried it despite my gut saying it was another one of those teen shows, and i was met with the same conclusion you came to. It was an exception to the CW’s lineup, not the rule. Sad part is far too many people refuse to even watch it because of the stigma attached to the CW, i really wish it was on another network it would get SO much more attention, as you mentioned the writing and acting in particular are among the best in the business, and clearly the best on teh CW (Despite that meaning very little lol).

      Anyways, I really enjoyed this premiere, they set up quite a lot of storylines, i felt last season despite being still pretty damn good overall, had some low points that the series never experienced before, and i really questioned how much they had left especially with “The Originals” leaving and getting their own show, so i expected this season to essentially to be the make it or break it season. So far the potential is sky high, and the former seems to be the route it’s taking.

      P.S. Paul Wesley seriously needs some award love with his insane range of acting, his portrayal of the “ripper” version of himself in S3, and now as Klaus, is just impeccable.

      • EDIT: Whoops, meant Silas, not Klaus *