The Vampire Diaries Review: “Dead Man On Campus” (Season 5, Episode 8)


The Vampire Diaries is moving along unusually quick this season. They’ve already tied up one major storyline and Silas (Paul Wesley), Quetsiya/Tessa (Janina Gavankar) and Amara (Nina Dobrev) are all dead – although TVD history has taught us that doesn’t always mean they’re gone for good (Both Bonnie and Jeremy, who are main characters, have come back from the dead). Now, we’re rapidly moving into the underlying Augustine vampire plot that has been setting itself up since the beginning of the season.

Truth be told, I love the faster pace that the writers behind The Vampire Diaries have chosen to take this season. It works spectacularly well for other series, and with networks quick to give shows the ax – even veteran shows – TVD cannot afford another slump like last season. Plus, it’s far more entertaining. I’d rather take it all in to start with and worry about deconstructing it later on.

This episode of The Vampire Diaries keeps the momentum going and even though the story arc has taken a slight turn, the characters didn’t miss a beat while turning their attention to a new possible threat. We may have thought that Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) was brought in as Caroline’s (Candice Accola) new love interest, and for a split-second we were right. However, we’re only a third of the way through the season and he’s already taken his final bow.

It’s actually kind of sad, when you think about it. Caroline, more than any of our vampire characters, always held on to the idea of being human. Even the whole facade of having a “normal college experience,” that the girls are currently stuck in, was a part of her not being able to let go. She may have been in love with Tyler (Michael Trevino), but the idea of a human boyfriend connecting her to a world she’s no longer really part of didn’t take long to manifest itself. And, with both him and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) out of the picture, it wasn’t a half-bad idea.

What’s probably even harder for our favorite bubbly blonde to handle, is that the only reason Jesse ended up a vampire (ergo on the wrong side of a stake) in the first place was because of Caroline’s misguided attempt to protect him from the truth. I’m not advocating exposing your supernatural secrets to everyone. That would probably make a first date pretty awkward. Yet, when bringing a guy home for the holidays, it’s always an elevated risk of trouble. If you look at The Vampire Diaries overall, it seems that any holiday that is unique to Mystic Falls (e.g. Founder’s Day) is now coupled with a tragic event.

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