The Vampire Diaries Review: “For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Season 5, Episode 4)


The Vampire Diaries Review: "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (Season 5, Episode 4)

For a show that is so centered around the concept of death like The Vampire Diaries is, it’s remarkable that the death of a familiar character can still evoke such a powerful response.

The news of Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) death comes as no surprise for fans of The Vampire Diaries. This secret may have caused an invisible rift between Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and his pieced together family all summer, but it was never really a secret.

Although it was quite the jaw dropping scene back when it happened last May (during the season four finale), the real shocker so far this season has been that everyone else was still in the dark. Jeremy managed to keep this death to himself for an admirable amount of time, at the urgent request of Bonnie. And, I’ll be the first to admit that he was better at hiding this fact than I would have thought. Convincing everyone you love that their friend was on vacation bonding with her vampire mother (who last time I checked, she was on the rocks with) takes quite a bit of resolve – and creativity.

It was a relief to finally have the truth out there, though. The more Bonnie guilted Jeremy into keeping up the facade, the more it visibly ate at him. Imagine if your reality was living with the fact that the only reason you were alive (again) was because someone else made the ultimate sacrifice, and then on top of that, having to live with that secret alone. That sounds like a cruel and unusual punishment to me.

With everything else going on, not only was it the right call for Jeremy to make, but it was definitely time for everyone to be on the same page. The additional stress of thinking that Bonnie had abandoned them wasn’t helping the situation, and it won’t help them deal with Silas (Paul Wesley), or the now unpredictable Stefan (also Wesley).

No one on The Vampire Diaries is unfamiliar with the concept of loss. Unfortunately, on a show where the stakes are literally life or death, the quickest way to facilitate a change in storyline is the death of a character. For once, however, there is a silver lining to this redundant story. Bonnie is a ghost, and Jeremy has an open line of communication with her. She may not be able to perform any magic to help solve their most recent conundrums, but she can still advise her supernatural brood from the “other side” – one small perk of being stuck in the limbo created by Qetsiyah (Janina Gavankar).

Let’s talk about Qetsiyah for a moment. This 2,000 years old witch bitch (who now wishes to be known as Tessa for some superficial reason or another) has really put a damper on everyone’s life. Basically, our characters are now caught between her and Silas in a 2,000 year-old grudge match. Apparently, Elena (Nina Dobrev), Katherine (also Dobrev), and Stefan are all part of a supernatural loophole that links them to the original story, but everyone else is pretty much just along for the ride.

I’m a little confused on how this all works actually. I thought that the doppelgänger line that Katherine and Elena were part of stemmed from the time of the Originals. That was why Klaus needed Elena’s blood for his hybrid curse to work, right?

This is the second time during the The Vampire Diaries‘ run that we are being told that the doppelgänger line was created as part of an elaborate plan to restore balance in nature. I’m not sure if this is something that was overlooked by the writers of The Vampire Diaries, or just something they hoped no one would notice. Either way, it definitely leaves me with an unsettling feeling. I prefer my story arcs to make sense.

Even if you could get fans behind the idea that the doppelgänger line originated 2,000 years ago instead of in the 10th century like Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his siblings (which is the story we’ve been told all alone), there are still holes in the story. The only way this works is if Silas’ love was the original version of Katherine and Elena, and if Tatia was just another doppelgänger in the long line of them – and that this is all one giant coincidence created by the “Universe” in honor of the idea of fate.

Is anyone else a little lost by the latest backstory? Are you digging the current state of the Stefan, Damon, and Elena love triangle? Let us know what you thought of this episode of The Vampire Diaries in the comment section below!

Until next episode.

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