The Vampire Diaries 5.14 “No Exit” Review

by Emma Fraser / February 28, 2014

The Vampire DiariesThere are several characters that end up in situations they have no control over on The Vampire Diaries, while Katherine continues her plan to manipulate Stefan into succumbing to his feelings for Elena. Katherine’s downfall is going to come courtesy of her Stefan desires as there are too many plates spinning with too many inquisitive minds. Damon is in his own personal hell as he’s been infected by the Ripper virus and his desire for vampire blood is strong.

Katherine’s been doing a good Elena and has managed to keep everyone (well everyone except Matt) fooled until now. Stefan has noted that she is acting strange and the seed of doubt is planted when Damon comments that Elena wasn’t showing how much she believed in him, but was actually trying to get Stefan to kill him. This is all because Damon has prior knowledge of Elena killing Jesse when Jesse vamped out on Damon and she had to kill him as there was no other way to stop him. This coupled with Matt’s desperation text of “Help K” and the original body swap plan means that by the end of the episode Stefan has pieced it all together. Caroline seems less sure, then it all clicks into place and everything that has been going on makes sense. Probably when she remembers what a master manipulator Katherine is.

Up to this point it’s all been going rather well for Katherine as she has been spending a lot of time with Stefan and has even kissed him. That was after she orchestrated it so they ended up in a hotel room together and she just so happened to leave the bathroom door open while she toweled off and got changed. It’s Stefan, so while he briefly gave into temptation he stopped it before it went further than just a kiss. This was good enough for Katherine and this drew the biggest smiling reaction shot, of which there were many this week.

“No Exit” could of course be referring to Elena as she’s the one who is trapped and it also applies to Damon who is stuck in a house with Enzo and he has a terrible desire for vampire blood. This is all part of Dr. Wes’ plan and while the Augustine trials have been one of the least satisfying parts of this season, Damon’s new predicament is much more interesting. Damon is now feeling all those Ripper feelings and who better to coach him through it then his brother, the original Ripper. While they’re vague on how they got Damon out of the house – leaving me to assume that when they broke his neck the spell on the house broke – he’s now back in the Salvatore dungeon of redemption. Meanwhile Enzo has been tasked with doing something for Dr. Wes to buy his freedom, though it’s unlikely that Dr. Wes will stay true to his word.

Pushing people away is Damon’s usual course of action and that’s no longer an option. Stefan’s not going to give up on him and whenever The Vampire Diaries focuses on the bond between the brothers good things happen on screen. Damon is going to try to snark his way out of Stefan’s affections, but after over a century and a half he will be hard to shake. Stefan regrets telling Damon to leave and never come back; there’s nothing like a virus to bring people back together.

Matt’s in his own form of prison, it’s one that he isn’t fighting too hard and as Tyler points out he has history with women who have done bad things to him. It’s all kind of sad as Matt and Nadia have made this connection, but thanks to their loyalty to someone else it ends up destroying whatever they had in the first place. Matt understands what Nadia is going through with Katherine as he has always been an afterthought to his mom and despite this Nadia has made her choice. It might all be redundant anyway as Tyler bit her, expect those fun hallucinations to kick in soon.

Last time Tyler and Caroline spoke he almost did the same to her and while it’s a lot more civil now – he made her tea – there’s not going to be a quick fix and he can’t ever see them being “good.” As he reiterates, Klaus killed his mom and Caroline slept with Klaus. That’s not a good strategy for fixing a broken relationship. He does say sorry for how he reacted, so there is that I guess.

Other Thoughts 

– The opening scene followed with the horror movie-esque shooting style The Originals basked in this week and it is super creepy.

– Also on the horror side is the level of frenzy with which Damon feeds, emphasizing the Ripper lack of control.

– “Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf” – hee at the names for Caroline and Tyler.

– Katherine’s face of confusion as she tries to figure out how to mess with the engine of Stefan’s car is hilarious. Repeating forever that Nina Dobrev is doing some excellent work again this year.

– Like her mother, Nadia knows how to push buttons and brings up Klaus to distract Tyler and Caroline.

– The episode is dedicated to Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who worked on The Vampire Diaries and who was tragically killed on the set of Midnight Rider on February 20. For more on Sarah Jones and Slates for Sarah head here.




Emma has a passion for both ends of the pop culture spectrum and you are just as likely to find her watching HBO as you are The CW. All that matters is a great story or if that fails some amazing fashion. Emma would most like to hang out at the offices of Olivia Pope & Associates or Apartment 4D. Follow her at @frazbelina or over at