TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Episode 508 – “Dead Man on Campus”

The Vampire Diaries PromoWith Silas gone, the focus predictably shifts back to Dr. Maxfield and his strange vampy experiments. And what the heck is Augustine, anyway?





One thing The Vampire Diaries  has never been short on is villains, and I think we’re about to get a doozy with Augustine.

With Bonnie newly back from the dead, the girls decide they want to throw a celebration party at their dorm (a party – really? Have they never seen this show?). Everyone is invited – even Jesse, who is a baby vampire in dire need of help with his control.  While Caroline and Elena try to sort him out, Damon is tasked with quizzing Dr. Maxfield on the experiments he’s doing. We find out he’s been working on a new breed of vampire – one that only feeds on other vamps. Uh oh.

Predictably, this becomes a problem – Jesse winds up attacking Damon, and Elena stakes him to save Damon’s life. Caroline isn’t happy, and it leads to a bit of a tiff between the girls. Meanwhile, Damon makes an unpleasant discovery back at the lab – Maxfield is involved with a group/cult/secret society named Augustine. We don’t know much about them, but we know they experiment on vampires and we find out that Damon was one of their prisoners in the past. Not surprisingly, he eventually finds himself back in one of their cells.

Stefan is still having trouble coming to terms with what happened to him over the summer. He finds an unlikely ally in Katherine, who is dealing with her own issues (i.e. her rapid aging). They temporarily distract themselves by freeing Matt (remember him?) from his “dark passenger” and then Katherine decides to free herself from the world of grey hair and missing teeth. Her attempt to end it all is foiled by Stefan, who talks some sense into her.

Not a whole lot of action here, though it definitely had its moments. This was very much a transition episode, which makes sense, given the body count in the last episode. The writers took the time to cleanse our palette a bit and set up some new stories going forward.

First and foremost – what is Augustine? We’ve heard references to it dropped throughout the episodes so far, but this is the first real meaty piece of information we’ve received. They’re obviously anti-vampire, and want the vamps to feed on and kill each other until they wipe themselves out of existence. That coupled with the fact that Augustine vampires appear to be stronger and faster than your average vampire spells out a big problem for the gang.

While I tend to be wary about the whole secret evil society plot line in general, I think there’s real opportunity here to make this an epic showdown. In a town where relationships even among friends can be fractured, it’ll be interesting to see how everyone comes together to fight this newest threat. And I would also love to know if Augustine have any other supernaturals helping them – witches and werewolves, anyone?

The other big piece of this new puzzle is Damon. Now that he’s been captured (again) by Augustine, it’s going to be up to his friends – for lack of a better word – to save him. Yep, that means Stefan and Elena will have to work together. It should be deliciously awkward, considering that Stefan’s made his displeasure with both Elena and Damon clear in recent weeks. Also, how will his willingness to run to Damon’s aid be affected by the fact that his brother left him at the bottom of a lake for the entire summer? I suppose it remains to be seen, but ultimately Stefan is the bigger (and better) man, so my guess is he’ll get on board pretty quickly.

I am surprised to say it, but I am enjoying the new, human Katherine. After all the hell she’s put everyone through over the years, it’s fun to watch her struggle with actually being dependent on everyone else’s good will. I liked the spark we saw between her and Stefan this week – a reminder that way back when, before all the bad things happened, the two of them had something special. I don’t know about you, but I definitely wouldn’t rule out a deeper connection forming between the two of them.

Overall, an average episode, but it’s definitely got me looking forward to what’s coming next.


Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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