The Vampire Diaries Season Premiere Review: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (Season 5, Episode 1)


The Vampire Diaries is back for season number 5 with a fresh new look, new characters, and new reasons to watch. The task of bouncing back after a mediocre senior year clearly did not fall on deaf ears. The storyline has received a much needed facelift, and the excitement we came to expect in earlier seasons is coming back into style.

Looking back for a moment, season 4 quickly became stale. Vampire Elena (Nina Dobrev) desperately tried to adapt to her new supernatural lifestyle while everyone else desperately searched for the cure. Emotions ran high as different vampires vied for a shot at being human again. And, the person who ended up with it wasn’t exactly a welcoming candidate. Death became an easily traversed problem (welcome back, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), the sire bond became an irritating problem (more will they, won’t they with Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder)), and Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) new form of witchcraft just became a problem (waking up in a room you set on fire with your mind, not a good thing).

Another huge blow to the narrative was that The Vampire Diaries was clinging to a villain that no one wanted to hate any longer. Klaus (Joseph Morgan) was so season 3! Both he and Rebekah (Claire Holt) were developing some serious likable qualities. Even with all the bad things they have both done, they seem inherently redeemable. Without going into a spin-off, there was no way to include them in the way fans wanted without completely refocusing the show. Thus the spin-off was born, The Vampire Diaries had a chance to regroup, and everyone rejoiced – with the minor exception of those reluctant to see Klaus and Caroline (Candice Accola) separated.

Going into season 5, The Vampire Diaries writers had their work cut out for them. They needed to come up with something that would give fans a renewed sense of enjoyment for the show after the season 4 slump, and I think they may have found it. There are some new twists that are already in motion that should be interesting to see how they play out.

Last year left off with a cliffhanger that really put the episodes leading up to it to shame. Silas (Paul Wesley) was an enigma for most of the season, but his “true” face was finally revealed. He is now wreaking havoc in his own skin. And, no offense to Klaus, but Silas makes all other villain’s look insignificant. Here’s a guy who is immortal, doesn’t share the same pesky ‘stake through the heart’ problem that most vampires have, and doesn’t have to worry about the effect vervain has on compulsion. More importantly, or concerning, is that he also either has the same ability to switch off his humanity, or worse, doesn’t have any to start with. Either way, he makes one badass super villain.

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