TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 19 – “Pictures of You”

TVD_promoAfter a three-week hiatus, The Vampire Diaries begins its push toward the season finale. And what better place to start than prom? Thankfully, the show returns with a much stronger showing than it’s had for the past several episodes. Mostly that’s down to Silas, but there was a healthy dose of Originals drama to send us into next week’s pilot episode.

It’s time for prom: a reminder that time is moving forward and our friends don’t have much time left at Mystic Falls High. There’s always mayhem at large gatherings in this town, and prom is no exception. But at least this time it’s centered around our favorite vamps, and the general population is left to have the fairy tale prom they’ve always dreamed of.

Damon and Stefan are still trying to find the cure behind Elena’s back – they decide that they are going to bombard her with memories in the hopes of triggering her emotions, and they get the entire gang in on it, even a reluctant Caroline. Elena, for her part, is determined to remain just as she is and attempts to wreak havoc on Caroline’s carefully planned event.

Klaus and Rebekah both plead their cases to Elijah, but in the end he decides that Rebekah should have the cure. There is one condition, however: she has to live the entire day as a human. She cannot use her supernatural strength, compulsion, or do anything else that humans cannot do. If she can do that, then he will give her the cure. Throughout the course of the day, she faces some harsh realities about the kind of person she is. With Matt’s help, she starts to understand more about what it means to be human. When she is faced with a difficult decision, she actually does the right thing, even though it may cost her a shot at the cure.

Jeremy appears to Bonnie throughout the episode. It starts in her dreams, and then he actually comes to her at prom. While she’s happy at first, she eventually realizes that it’s Silas trying to play on her emotions. He is still trying to get her to perform the spell that will break the veil between the two worlds. She makes it clear to him that she has had enough of being manipulated, yet her magic is stronger than ever and she is having trouble controlling it. When Elena tries to kill her in an attempt to thwart Silas’s plans, Bonnie nearly ends her best friend before she realizes things are getting out of control. She finally seeks Silas out in an attempt to end all of this.

Silas, meanwhile, has gotten his hands on the cure by appearing to Elijah as Rebekah. By the time Elijah realizes his mistake, Silas is long gone. At the end of the episode, Klaus receives a letter from Katherine telling him there is a witch in New Orleans who is plotting against him. Big easy, here we come!

This is the first time I’ve enjoyed an episode in quite a while. The fact that Silas can take any form makes things so much more interesting, because no one is sure who they can trust. At some point, nearly all of them get duped in this episode. It feels very much like he’s toying with them; sending a message about exactly how powerful he is, and that he won’t stop messing with their lives until he gets what he wants. I’m glad, really – it’s about time someone really shook these guys up a bit.

Not that I want to take away from Klaus, who has been the resident baddie up until now. Frankly, I find it impossible to dislike him, no matter what he does. To be sure, he is completely selfish and driven only by his desire to protect himself, but he’s unintentionally charming about the whole thing. Silas also has an agenda, but you kind of get the sense he’s just messing with them because he can. Interestingly, it’s when he appears as his true self (scary) to Bonnie that he’s at his most convincing.

I really enjoyed watching Rebekah struggle with the concept of humanity, something she’s been out of touch with for so long. It’s fitting that Matt was her touchstone, given he’s practically the last human left on the show. But where I used to wish they’d give him some kind of supernatural story line, I find myself liking the fact that he’s just normal.  He handles everything that happens with unbelievable grace, and he’s often the one his supernatural friends rely on for strength when things go bad. So good on you, Matt!

Elena is still an emotionless vampire, but she was marginally more entertaining in this episode. Now that everyone is on board with flipping the switch on her emotions back, it’s looking like it’s just a matter of time before it happens. While she may wish it so, I don’t think she’ll stay emotionless. Too much emphasis has been placed on her compassion for them to just throw it away. The only question is – what will happen to make her flip the switch back on?

Next week’s episode, called “The Originals,” is the unofficial pilot for their spinoff series. I can’t wait to learn more about the first family, and based on the extended promo that was released this week, it’s going to be a good one!

Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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