The Vampire Diaries 5.18 “Resident Evil” Reviewby Emma Fraser / April 18, 2014
Fate, prophecy and choice are all discussed on The Vampire Diaries as the Travelers versus witches battle escalates and everything becomes rather muddled for both the characters and the overall storyline. Visions between Stefan and Elena of a perfect non-supernatural life lead to yet more relationship talks with one half of the love triangle coming out of it a lot better than the other. Bad things are occurring on the other side thanks to the recent departure of the very old Markos and like a lot of this episode it’s unclear what his overall motivation is.
Let’s start with Markos and at first he doesn’t seem all that bad, in fact he has a pretty reasonable if not a little vague chat with Damon. Damon wants to know why Markos is there and what he wants and he annoyingly avoids this by explaining that it is complicated, oh it’s like that is it. Markos is more forthcoming about the doppelganger visions and here comes the mythology information dump bringing up Silas and Qetsiyah, the feud with the witches, why they can’t gather – bad things like earthquakes and fires happen, hence the need for passengers to act as hosts – and how the visions are a construction to draw the doppelgangers together. The doppelganger blood is important to the Travelers, the love part was just an easy way to get them to find each other.
So what does this mean for Elena and Stefan? The fireside chat is all about the difference between fantasy and reality; what they had when they were together was the real deal, these visions are nothing more than a look at a life they could never have. There’s something achingly sad and also rather hopeful about their conversation as they talk about what they were to each other and how they changed and grew together, then apart. There was of course a lot of supernatural danger that had an impact on their time together including Elena dying plus the dreaded sire bond. What this chat does is give a sense of closure to their time as a couple and there is warmth (not just from the fire) between them. Will Stefan and Elena ever share romantic notions again? It’s hard to say definitively, but they come across very much like they are former lovers and firm friends. Sorry Stelena fans.
The Damon/Elena relationship is a lot more fraught and it’s incredibly raw emotionally at the moment; Elena wants to do the friends thing but he doesn’t want to see her if that’s all they are. Stefan and Elena have taken time to get to the platonic stage and because of how messy Damon and Elena are, I can’t see this happening anytime soon for them. During this discussion I actually thought they were going to succumb to each other, despite the repeated “we’re bad for each other” assertions, but alas it turns cold instead. The merry-go-round continues and while Damon and Elena jump on and off, we’re stuck watching from the sidelines.
Liv is still on her quest to stop the Travelers as it’s something her coven have been doing for hundreds of years and instead of enlisting the one person who has access to the other side and every dead witch, she instead insists on Jeremy withholding information from Bonnie. This is so dumb and it feels really contrived so that tension is created where instead it would make sense for an alliance to be formed. It’s always nice to see Jasmine Guy as Bonnie’s Grams and she pays Bonnie a visit to tell her the witches are scared about what is going on with the other side. They’re not the only ones as Original Kol shows up to act as a kind of snarky spirit guide for Matt (who is temporarily visiting) and implores Matt to remember what he has experienced when he returns to his body.
When Matt realizes he can interact with Kol this sends him on a Vicki hunt and he does find her. This joy is short lived as there is something that prevents her from crossing back with him and that something looks a bit like whatever darkness grabbed Katherine; are the two linked? If the other side does collapse what does this mean for everyone who is there and for Bonnie as she is the anchor?
Other acts of “huh why did you do that?” also include anyone but Jeremy being in possession of the only passenger killing knife as he is the only one who can’t be controlled by a Traveler. Instead Tyler has now been inhabited and Markos destroys the knife. Oh and it seems like when the Travelers are done with whatever nefarious plan they have, then Mystic Falls will be no more. The level of vagueness is meant to be captivating I’m sure, but it only makes the levels of frustration I feel towards this episode rise.
Enzo’s quest to find Maggie is much more compelling and his reason behind wanting to find her makes him more than just the revenge intent antagonist he has been cast as. Caroline mentions that Maggie will be old by now, but he doesn’t want to date her, he wants to thank her. This is all rather sweet and Enzo is a good addition to this group. The playful banter with Caroline and the slight needling of Damon are much needed as a lot of this episode is weighed down by talks of prophecy, fate and all endless love triangle drama.
– At first I thought Elena and Damon were both in the Mystic Grill when they were talking to each other on the phone, but no, the Salvatore mansion now has a pool table.
– This episode was directed by Paul Wesley, which is probably why the non vision world was Stefan light and he did a good job with an episode that included fantasy, the other side and the regular world.
– The Mystic Falls town slogan “an uncannily high death rate”