The Vampire Diaries 5.19 “Man on Fire” Review

by Emma Fraser / April 25, 2014

Man on FireThe bonds we share with others give characters that might otherwise be monsters a reason to keep their humanity and this is a repeated theme on The Vampire Diaries. Flicking the switch is the thing that takes place in moments of despair and it is something we’ve seen on multiple occasions; whenever this occurs, bad and bloody things happen.

It’s not surprising then to see Damon desperately trying to save his very good friend Enzo and there’s an argument here about how much this group will go to save someone who isn’t their nearest and dearest. Now this is something Stefan is going to have to live with and try and cover up as Damon’s BFF is now dead. There are degrees of who is worth saving and if you are on the outside of this circle then your chances are reduced. This is the argument Caroline put forward when Elena staked Jesse earlier this season and it’s an ethical one that I would like to see them continue to address.

Having learnt everything about Enzo and Maggie, it should have been clear that all was not going to end well for Enzo as his story has reached a completion point, however I was still very much surprised when he forced his heart out of his chest cavity at Stefan’s hands. Not that he is totally gone of course, as while the Other Side still exists so does Enzo and his quest for revenge. The version of Enzo that Damon talks about, who defends Stefan even though he has never met him is not really the one we see in present day, but 70 years of captivity and experimentation will do funny things to a guy. This includes upping his desire for death and while he has been able to forgive Damon for leaving him to burn, he doesn’t extend the same courtesy to anyone else.

It’s a complicated set up and now without Damon even knowing it he has pitted brother against brother once again. I think it was a mistake that Stefan told Elena what actually happened with Enzo as the chance of Damon finding out increases with the more people who know. With Bonnie it makes sense as to why Stefan gave her the heads up as Enzo was going to have to pass through her to the Other Side. Damon is going to find out and he’s going to be pissed that his brother both lied to him and killed his BFF.

There is of course a chance that Enzo could return as The Vampire Diaries has a habit of resurrecting the dead and considering what is going on with the Other Side this could be a possibility. Or he could get sucked into the same dark abyss that took Katherine and Vicki. Enzo was a fun addition to this group as both a friend and antagonist so it would be a shame to permanently lose him.

One thing that did take a backseat thanks to the high threat level was the triangle drama as there wasn’t much time to dwell on this and in the end it was the perfect distraction tool for Elena, even if it did result in a broken neck. The revision scene was very cute as Stefan continues to tutor Elena and at the moment they feel very much like friends rather than anything more. They need to look out for each other as the Travelers are coming for their blood now they know it has the power to revert someone back to a human state if they are a vampire. The human state it reverts them back to is one of death as Sloan found out the hard way.

Ah yes the Travelers plan has been revealed and it involves breaking the 2000-year-old curse that stopped them from settling anywhere without a natural disaster ruining everything. This curse requires blood and that blood just happens to belong to Stefan and Elena. They now know how to counteract a witch’s spell and at the moment they have the upper hand.

Bonnie’s also facing a dire predicament and it doesn’t look like there is a fix to the Other Side imploding. This all comes from Liv and even though she has warmed to Bonnie, I’d still like Bonnie to get a second opinion from another witch in the know. Liv tells Bonnie that she should tell Jeremy what is going on so of course she tells him that everything is fine.

As this season draws to its end there are several threads going on that will impact personal relationships like the Enzo business and then other factors like the Travelers plan and the Other Side crumbling that has a wider and more immediate threat. Returning the focus to Damon and Stefan is a good move as while the love triangle is a big part of the dynamic, it’s actually the brother relationship and all the messiness it brings that is at the heart of The Vampire Diaries. The reason why Damon ripped Maggie’s head off was part rage and part revenge for Stefan not noticing he was gone for five years, even though he was the one person he clung to. These dudes are complicated and I adore it when they focus on them.

Other Thoughts

– Damon threats of violence towards the Hardy Boys (Matt and Jeremy) include vamp tossing his keys into Matt’s chest cavity and twisting their kneecaps off if they leave the house. No wonder they won’t invite him in.

– Liv is pretty squeamish when it comes to Stefan getting tortured whereas Bonnie doesn’t even flinch, she’s seen this a lot.

– More flashbacks to the 1960s please as it’s a good look on both Damon and Stefan.

– “You have your murder voice on” ah yes Damon knows Enzo very well.

– The knife is missing as is Tyler and Damon correctly deduces that the Travelers have him. Tyler isn’t in control of when he can take over his body back and he’s chained up. I have a feeling they might underestimate his strength.

To browse through photos from the next episode of The Vampire Diaries “What Lies Beneath” 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