Sunday, 20 October 2013

S5x3 - The Vampire Diaries: Original Sin

Aired 17/10/13 on The CW

I have no idea where to begin with this episode review. It was all kinds of crazy and I feel like my brain’s been fried by Qetsiyah. In the first two episodes of the season we saw Elena and Caroline go off to college, Damon do a crappy job of keeping Jeremy out of trouble, Katherine’s hilariously brilliant struggle as a human, the return of Silas and Stefan’s continuous drowning – I’m still feeling pretty sore about this blatant season finale copycat of Whedon’s Angel, but I’m trying my best to let it go.

In the promo for this episode we were given the impression that Ripper Stefan was returning – usually I’m a huge fan of evil Stefan, but this time I thought the return of the Ripper was unnecessary. Seeing as we already have one evil Stefan doppelganger running around, there’s no point in another. The episode started with Stefan, wet and starving, wandering into a bar after finally being released from his underwater prison. He looked less like a vampire and more like a zombie and couldn’t resist taking a bite out of a blonde bartender. We knew he wasn’t evil though when he didn’t kill her and told her to run away. Go Stefan! Unfortunately, it seems that my favourite Salvatore just can’t catch a break and as he left the bar the sun came up; the unlucky vamp started sizzling away because Silas had taken his daylight ring. Back in Mystic Falls, Elena wakes up having dreamed of this and informs Damon, who is lying in bed beside her. Having your girlfriend dreaming about your brother all the time has got to be tough – even if said brother is biting people and burning up!

Katherine then reveals that she too had dreamed about Stefan and was all for going out to find him. At this point I was unsure whether it was because deep down they both loved Stefan, or if it was because of their doppelganger connection.

Now onto the issue of doppelgangers! Finally, after five seasons, the doppelganger phenomenon was explained. This was definitely the highlight of the episode though I’m not sure if it made complete sense – luckily the writers have the rest of the season to flesh it out and help us to understand it fully. During flashbacks of Silas as a human in Ancient Greece, his relationship with the witch Qetsiyah and his actual love Amara (also another Nina Dobrev doppelganger) was revealed. I nearly choked when we flashed back to Ancient Greece the first time – it reminded me of moments in Buffy when we flashed back to Angel/Angelus in the 19th century. My first thought was that Ancient Greece looked really cheap and the second was ‘oh no not another flashback’. I’ll be honest, unless it’s about Katherine, I don’t really care about the flashback episodes, because nothing much happens in them – they are used to explain things but it means they slow down the momentum of the present.

Let me break it down for you: basically, Silas and Qetsiyah were due to be married and take immortal potions on their wedding day, but because Silas is a bit of a douche bag he stole the potions and used them with Amara the handmaiden. Nature, not liking the idea of immortals because it disrupts the balance, then created the doppelganger. Qetsiyah got mad to say the least, turned Amara back into a mortal and then killed her – literally ripped the poor girl’s heart out. It was all very tragic but Qetsiyah nor Silas have gotten over it, so clashing and grudges have continued right up into the 21st century. Qetsiyah also revealed to a rather disgruntled Damon that for centuries she has witnessed the doppelgangers falling in love – they are fated to be together and nothing can stand in the way of the doppelganger destiny. There is no room for brothers or witches.

This is where things get cloudy – Katherine didn’t meet Stefan until she was a vampire and Stefan has now fallen in love with two doppelgangers. Is he supposed to be with Katherine or Elena? Is Katherine’s doppelganger love actually someone from her human past? It’s all very confusing and I really have no idea how the writers are going to tidy it up, but they definitely need to. The issue has also thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to the love triangle – will Damon and Elena defy the fates because they love each other? Or will Elena and Stefan come together because fate always wins? I won’t deny it, I am a STELENA shipper – I can hear a lot of groans and I know I’m in the minority – but I don’t know whether to be happy or annoyed with this turn of events. Should I be happy because it’s inevitable that Elena and Stefan will end up together? Or should I be annoyed because the fate thing has cheapened their feelings for each other? Just like the whole DELENA sire bond thing, I don’t know whether their love is real or something out of their control. It’s just too much to get my head around at the moment – I can feel a headache coming on and I bet you do too!

I’ll get off the subject of love triangles and doppelgangers quickly and move on to something else completely mind-blowing: MATT HAD A STORYLINE. Do you need me to repeat that? Seriously, it’s true. I have no idea what the storyline was about, except that he suddenly had another guy’s mind inside his body and spoke with a hilarious eastern European accent, but he had some seemingly important screen time. I hope it continues!

Back to Stefan, Silas, Qetsiyah and co – Stefan had his brain fried and started bleeding from his eyes, as did Silas because they’re sooooooo connected. Qetsiyah fried their brains in order to weaken Silas’ immortal powers – most notably his power to control people’s minds. I actually thought that power was one of the best things about him, so I’m a little peeved that they took it away. Hopefully he’s got some more badass tricks up his sleeve. Anyway, as a result of the brain frying, Stefan passed out and then woke up with amnesia. AMNESIA. I’m confused. Stefan’s confused. The writers are probably confused. I imagine Elena will awaken his memory with some old romantic ones of her own and Damon will be left to nurse a broken heart. This love triangle is so tragic, I honestly don’t know why I’m so invested in it. HELP ME. 

I apologise if the review is choppy and confusing – it definitely reflects the episode. I’ll summarise by saying that the good parts included Elena and Katherine sharing the screen (Nina Dobrev’s acting is brilliant), the doppelganger explanation and Matt’s story line. The bad part was basically the Qetsiyah/Silas/Amara love triangle because I didn’t give a crap. They need to get over it! It’s been 2000 years, jeez!