The Vampire Diaries Review: “After School Special” (Season 4, Episode 10)


The Vampire Diaries Review: "After School Special" (Season 4, Episode 10)

“I’ve updated our relationship status to: It’s Complicated.”

It’s been a while since we’ve had a new episode of The Vampire Diariesthanks to the mid-season holiday hiatus, and the last time we visited Mystic Falls things were a mess. That should really come as no surprise to fans since that’s the state most commonly associated with this picturesque town, even if most of the residents aren’t aware of it.

More and more it becomes increasingly obvious that the number of oblivious people in Mystic Falls is considerably lower than we may have first imagined. Enter the new mayor. Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) dad? Papa Bennett, who is not a Bennett at all, has finally shown his face and taken on the task of filling some pretty complicated shoes. Carol Lockwood, not a winner of the genetic lottery in terms of full disclosure, only became a member of the council through marriage. She took over as mayor when her husband was killed in season one. The convenience factor of filling that role in the town with someone that already had considerable knowledge about both city council, and the secret council, was definitely a plus. Assuming this is how things tend to work, it looks like Bonnie’s absentee father is more plugged in than I would have ever guessed. Any suspicions of that not being the case were squashed early on. Which leaves us with the bigger question of, why does Bonnie’s father all of a sudden feel a need to protect his daughter? Does he know something that we don’t?

Whatever the reason, Bonnie is still one of the only one of her friends that even has a parent alive enough to step up. In case you haven’t been keeping count – Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) lost their parents in a car crash, their aunt and uncle (er Elena’s biological father) in Klaus’s (Joseph Morgan) hybrid sacrifice, Isobel (Elena’s biological mother) in her own self-sacrificial stunt, and their guardian, Alaric (Matt Davis), to some supernatural malarkey; Caroline (Candice Accola) lost her father in transition after Alaric’s alter ego tried to eliminate any and all vampire sympathizers; Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) father was killed in a fire meant to take out all the tomb vampires and his mother, the most recently deceased was another victim of Klaus’s temper; Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) have killed most of their family over the years, including their own father; Matt’s (Zach Roerig) mother left town for good after his sister was staked and we don’t know anything about his father; and Bonnie’s mother is now a vampire who has abandoned her not once, but twice.

There are still a few parents and assorted family members in the wings, but let’s face it – there’s not a complete family unit around. Despite all that, life seems to go on. Tyler is understandably distraught in the aftermath of this mother’s murder. Honestly, what did he think was going to happen? It’s one thing to turn against Klaus on a solo mission, but to involve a dozen other hybrid’s is just unintelligent. Morally it makes sense, but if Klaus is anything, it’s predictable. When backed into a corner he will always choose himself over anyone else. He’s proven this time and time again, yet no one ever seems to learn. Tyler may have been the last one let in on the attack plan, well except for the unsuspecting dozen that wound up headless and heartless, but – and this is just be me thinking out loud – wouldn’t common sense dictate that the best thing to do at that point would have been to find his most vulnerable loved one, and I don’t know, protect them?

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