TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Episode 5.10 – “Fifty Shades of Grayson”

the vampire diaries promoIn the mid-season finale of The Vampire Diaries, Stefan and Damon team up to find Elena, while Katherine is desperate to prolong her increasingly shorter life.

 

 

 

I find the title of this episode infinitely amusing, given Ian Somerhalder’s apparent interest in another role having to do with shades of gray (wink wink).

Last we saw Elena, she was hanging out in Maxfield’s dungeon with the still very much alive Enzo. Damon, clever boy that he is, manages to free himself only to discover that Elena is not in the lab attached to the cells. Where could she be?

She’s in a super-secret lab somewhere in Mystic Falls! All roads end there, do they not? While she’s on the table, she realizes that she’s been there before – as a little girl visiting her father.  She barely has time to come to grips with that realization when Wes shows up ready to commence his latest experiment – you guessed it, turning her into an Augustine vampire (the kind who craves vampire blood).

Damon enlists Stefan’s help finding Elena. They pick up Aaron as leverage, and all seems to be going to plan. They arrive at the agreed upon exchange place and find Wes’s insurance policy – Enzo. Understandably, Enzo is a little fixated on getting revenge, so Stefan and Aaron book it back to his place while Damon and Enzo catch up. We find out that Enzo has been injected with a poison that will cause him to desiccate unless he returns to Wes for the antidote. He tries to kill Damon, but he winds up desiccating first.

Aaron sees that Stefan’s not like Damon and turns over the information that Wes gave to him. Stefan immediately figures out where Elena is and goes to save her – he gets there just as Wes is about to inject her with the Augustine mojo and frees her. That’s not the last we see of the lab, though – Damon takes Enzo there and cures him. Instead of being grateful, however, Enzo tells him he will always be a monster.

Back at the Salvatore house, Elena is reading through her father’s medical journal when Damon returns. She tries in vain to justify her father’s experiments, exasperating Damon. When she does the same for him, excusing him for his Whitmore killing spree, he tells her that he’ll always be a monster, but he refuses to change who she is. He dumps her, and we have the first (probably of many) Delena break up.

While all of this is going on, Katherine is on a rather hilarious mission to stay young – drinking raw veggie juice, working out with Matt. Her daughter Nadia shows up with a better solution – become a traveler and put her spirit into someone else’s body. Katherine is resistant at first, but she eventually decides she’s going to do it – and then has a heart attack.

I was pretty dissatisfied with this episode, especially for a mid-season finale. In the past, The Vampire Diaries  was defined by its explosive cliffhanger finale episodes. In comparison, this one fizzled out.

It wasn’t all bad, though. We saw a return to some brotherly bonding (I may be stretching it a bit) when Damon and Stefan had to work together to find Elena. I have said countless times that the best thing about this show is the relationship between the Salvatore brothers. That relationship has been in tatters because of Damon, so it was nice to see even a shadow of that return here. My hope is that the whole Delena relationship takes a backseat while he repairs his relationship with Stefan – but sex does sell, so I am not optimistic this’ll be the case.

What really bugged me the most, and what’s been bugging me for a while, is that the writers can’t seem to figure out what to do with Damon. In the last several episodes, a lot of emphasis has been placed on reminding everyone what a monster he is. And yet, he lets Elena go, for her own good. Am I the only person who feels like that’s a very un-Damon like thing to do? At his very core, Damon is a selfish man. There’s no way he would’ve given Elena up, not if he’s really the monster everyone proclaims him to be. And if he’s not, that’s fine – stop bring up terrible things that he’s done in the past. Pick a tack and stick to it, will you?

I am curious to see what will happen with Aaron in the second half of the season. He’s made a real break with Wes, so he’s clearly not going to blindly follow in the family business of vampire torture, but he also scored himself a neat little insurance policy in snagging the Augustine poison. Will he be a friend or foe to the Mystic Falls gang? Too early to tell, but I hope they give him something good.

The next episode doesn’t air until late January, but it’s a special one – the 100th episode, to be exact. An impressive feat for any show, I think, but especially for what’s essentially a YA show about supernaturals. It’s gotten this far, so despite the lackluster mid-season finale, I am hopeful that things will pick up soon.

 

Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

Catch up on everything The Vampire Diaries at The CW.

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