The Vampire Diaries Review: “Promised Land” (Season 5, Episode 21)


It’s time that The Vampire Diaries fesses up and admits that this entire show revolves around blood. On the menu for tonight’s episode – the blood of the final remaining doppelgangers, Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Welsey). Conveniently for the travelers, the cure for what ails them lies in the form of two vampires, thus an almost-endless supply of what the doctor prescribed.

In the penultimate episode of season five, the writers are wrapping up the traveler storyline for the meanwhile and that calls for an epic showdown between the supernatural residents of Mystic Falls, and those looking to move into town and erase them (err, replace them?). And if Markos (Raffi Barsoumian) and his magic-wheeling followers weren’t enough of an adversary, Liv (Penelope Mitchell) and Luke (Chris Brochu) are joining their cause, hoping for different results.

The episode itself seemed a little slow going – all the way up until roughly the last three minutes. Although there were hints of action penciled in between scenes loaded with emotional distress, it was overwhelmingly a means to an end, until the final scene when the threat of the travelers forced itself on everyone. As the screen faded and the credits began to roll, viewers were left with a metaphorical hole in their chests as Stefan was left with a very literal one.

There’s been a lot of debate among the characters about the best way to rid Mystic Falls of the travelers. When hiding the doppelgangers turned out to be an inefficient method, the witch twins took up their covens mission and decided that one lucky doppelganger must die. Although the spell took out their magic before they could make that a reality, it forced Damon (Ian Somerhalder) to release his traveler prisoner in an attempt to get the upper hand. Clearly his trust was misplaced. Not only did Salvatore manor become ground zero for the new traveler commune, but the hijacked version of Tyler (Michael Trevino) just took out a main character.