The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Premiere Review: Dire Learning (PHOTO RECAP)
Time is the pink slime of the universe. It's haunted and dangerous; it'll move real quickly all of the sudden and then slow down to a sludgy dribble just for kicks. Time will kiss you on the lips and then push you into a mud puddle. Time is disgusting basically. Look at what it's done to us! We used to be so young. We had the whole world ahead of us. And now here we are, adjusting our wigs and applying arthritis cream to our barkin' dogs and raising up our motorized hospital beds in the old folks home so that we can watch Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries. FIVE. FIVE SEASONS of The Vampire Diaries. What. Is. HAPPENING? How is this possible? This show has been on for five seasons? But you know what, hush your mouth. The Vampire Diaries deserves one thousand seasons, so in the scheme of things maybe five years is not that many. See what I did there? Tricked you again, Time, you ridiculous trollop. We are young still and so are all the monsters of Mystic Falls.
Quick question: Do you remember Season 4? It's okay if you don't, because A LOT went down. Here's the gist: Elena became a vampire and then Jeremy's shirt fell off and Elena burned down her house and an evil wizard locked Stefan in a box and pushed him off a cliff and then Jasmine Guy ran in and shouted at Bonnie and also Klaus cut off someone's head using a hat. It was a great season overall, I enjoyed it. But guess what? This week's Season 5 premiere takes place months and months after all that stuff, so the characters are mostly over it. If there's one thing these kids are good at, it's experiencing repeated, overwhelming devastation only to immediately feel safe again forever. But here's the catch this time around: Danger is BACK.
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" was named in memory of a time before Kevin Williamson decided to write a comedy show on Fox, but the nostalgic horror reference probably wasn't a coincidence. This season premiere felt very much like a throwback to how TVD started. New kids in new environments. A clean-ish slate. By that, of course, I mean COLLEGE. Yep, two vampires and a ghost are now going to college, but don't worry: Whereas most high school TV shows barely ever survive the transition into college years, you can rest assured these kids will still never, ever go to class or read books. This is still the same classic formula of never-ending nightmare scenarios punctuated by the occasional towel scene.
Friends, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was a very good and fun episode. Let's talk about it a ton.
In what must've been a joking reference to the voiceovers that used to begin each episode, Elena "wrote" a letter to Bonnie explaining what everyone had been up to all summer. "Wrote" might not be the correct word because I'm pretty sure she used Siri or Dragon to just dictate this letter because her hands and fingers were busy having SO MUCH SEX with Damon.
Which, fair enough. Also a Vampire Weekend song was playing during this part haha very funny guys. More like Vampire FREAK-end. That is a perfect pun I just thought of, do you like it? Anyway, Elena and Damon weren't the only ones mashing their sensitive areas together.
Somewhere in Europe Rebekah was making out with some random lady while Matt pretended he was turned on and not terrified. Uh can I ask a controversial question? Has there been a legit same-sex kiss on this show before? I guess this is progress then. But anyway, look at Matt and Rebekah sexin' everyone in Europe! Proud of u guys. You earned it.
Oh and the sad poignant fact about Elena's letter to Bonnie was that Bonnie was hella dead and Elena didn't know that. Apparently in order to keep up the charade that she was still alive, Bonnie was forcing Jeremy to send emails on her cell phone and I guess procure and mail postcards from around the globe. Honestly felt so bad for Jeremy here. Scram, you bossy phantasm. Let Jeremy enjoy this presumably brief stint as a living person!
Um, I was NOT prepared for Teen Runaway Katherine. I mean, we knew exciting things were in store for Katherine when Elena crammed the vampire cure down her throat, but the sight of her bobbing and weaving all crazily on an empty sidewalk was straight-up amazing. We were only seconds into Season 5 and it's already going to be the best. This Katherine is everything.
But the biggest question mark was what had become of Stefan ever since a suicidal warlock locked him in a safe and rolled him into a quarry.
Damon and Elena seemed to think he was on vacation or something, but the truth was MUCH wetter.
Yikes. That is not the best way to spend a summer in my opinion. And I should know because one time I spent a summer working concessions at a movie theater while wearing a bowtie. Stefan's situation seemed worse than even that.
Okay, so the main story finally got rolling on the morning of Elena's first day of college. It would also be Jeremy's first day back at high school, which promised to be awkward considering everyone still thought he was dead and they all went to his funeral and also his house had burned down and his XBox melted. But Damon was being a super good boyfriend and offered to let Jeremy stay at the Salvatore shanty, a situation that will probably prove to be very beneficial to both Jeremy and also to slash-fic writers. (Links pls)
It made me laugh how such a big deal was made about Whitmore College being a few hours away from Mystic Falls. This is a show where people take day trips to Nova Scotia like it's no big deal, so yeah, I'm pretty sure Elena and Damon will still get to hang out & sex each other pretty regularly.
I loved this part when Caroline and Elena were carrying their belongings on move-in day already having a great time as college ladies, and then some ghost creeped up on them.
This was probably the cruelest joke the writers have ever played. Bonnie was now a GHOST who is legit invisible to almost all of the characters yet this changed NOTHING about her role on the show. Elena and Caroline simply did not give a shit about where she was at that moment and Bonnie just sort of had to pretend she was part of the gang. Man, just brutal. I mean we have seen Bonnie deal with self-esteem issues in the past, but this was just deranged. To you or me this would be an existential nightmare, but for Bonnie it was just another day.
Um, look at Caroline and Elena's dorm room. Maybe it's because I went to a state university but my freshman dorm was basically a prison cell with two sets of bunkbeds and a window that didn't open. LOOK AT THIS ROOM. It has no fewer than THREE hanging lights, one wall sconce, a sitting area, a private bathroom (with sauna?) and vaulted ceilings? Just how many incoming freshman is Whitmore housing with this kind of luxury? Couldn't be more than 7 or 8 right? I'm sure the enrollment is pretty underwhelming due to the murder rate, but still. This room was enormous and Caroline still found ways to repeatedly complain about not having enough personal space.
But anyway, what do two vampire co-eds do to celebrate their first day of college? Toast blood bags, obviously. But just as they were about to dig into their delicious vampire Capri-Suns, in walked, get this: A THIRD ROOMMATE.
I loved how shocked and openly angry Elena and Caroline were about this intruder. Uh, first of all, did you count the beds on your way in?
I will admit something right now: I liked the new roommate character. She seemed smart and peppy and distinctive, unlike that disastrous April situation from last season. April was not mentioned in this episode, but hopefully she'll be brought back for a murder because get out of here, April. That being said, she was great in Teen Beach Movie, a very good & important film. (I'm writing this from jail.)
But right off the bat, the new roommate showed definite signs of being a creep. For instance, just look at what she was using for a computer. "I want a laptop but it should be way too weak to use for anything important and also it must have a floppy keyboard. And a kickstand." Still though, this was exciting because it was our first product placement of the season! In some ways this was the true beginning of TVD Season 5.
It had only been a few hours since they parted ways but Elena was already calling up Damon to vent about college life. That's when Damon found THIS beauty loitering in his parlor:
Oh Katherine, Sweet Katherine. Look at her. The Platonic Ideal. This is the kind of lady people write classical poetry about. There is officially nothing about Katherine that ISN'T inspiring. To see her is to be cleansed. To hear her is to be absolved. For she is Grace. Entire religions have been inspired by less impressive beings than this lady. Fresher than morning dew, wiser than Mother Gaia. If Katherine were a novel it would be written by Toni Morrison and its title would be Katherine but people would only ever whisper it. Elegance, thy name is Katherine Pierce. KATHERINE!!
In case you forgot, Mystic Falls is still f*cking weird. Look at these weirdos, having a townwide party because the summer is over? Uh, most of you die every time there is a townwide party, maybe chill with the townwide parties in general? But also, don't you dare tell me the summer ending is a good thing. Don't even. Do not. Orange leaves do NOT make up for an absent sun.
Like, look at these two. They don't even care that summer's ending because they ARE summer. Honestly, this was a lot of beige on beige, but it's fine.
The main thing was these crazy kids were very horny for each other but Rebekah wanted Matt to remember that it's a loveless f*ckfest and nothing more because she is a lady like that. But in my opinion she totally loves him and was probably dreading having to go to some swampy hellhole soon so she was trying to mentally disengage. By the way, if Matt's smile at the end didn't make you feel things in your heartbones then throw away those heartbones!!
Ouch my heart is so warm TOO warm. I am rooting for them. That's how I know they're headed for disaster.
Speaking of which:
Haha Silas! Silas was so different from Stefan it was like he wasn't even trying. For one thing, his hair wasn't as nice and also he wore a baggy shirt which Stefan would NEVER do. But also he brazenly drank the Sheriff's blood while she was trying to eat her french fries?
Oh and then he drank her blood out of a styrofoam cup! Guys if you didn't know this already, listen to me: Drinking someone's blood out of a styrofoam cup is basically the most disrespectful thing you can do. It is the ultimate insult. Like, sure, cut open someone's arm in broad daylight and steal their blood, but those things can still be done with respect. The second a styrofoam cup comes into play you are basically calling that person trash. So for the record, Silas: Is immortal; drinks human blood; is NOT a vampire; is the original doppelganger of Stefan; is hella psychic; and, most importantly, considers Sheriff Forbes to be capital-T TRASH.
Speaking of disrespect, it was like a Haters Holiday out there. Look at what somebody did to Jeremy's phone!
Jeremy got bullied at school because he'd died and come back to life. Nothing makes a bully's blood boil more than that, so yeah, Jeremy deserved it. He brought it on himself, let's be real. Still though, NOBODY slaps a man's cell phone out of his hand and kicks it across a hallway. So Jeremy had no choice but to go full Zangief on those dudes.
I mean it was probably foolish for anyone to mess with this sweet-faced hulk. Lesson learned, bozos!
Katherine the Perfect Human Being was drinking all of Damon's brown fluids because let's face it, being alive is a nightmare. But as entertaining as Katherine's teenage Lucille Bluth routine was, even Damon could see that Katherine was not handling her new heartbeat very well.
I loved this little moment: Katherine had spent upwards of half a millennium pissing folks off, so now she was on the run from all her haters. She admitted it, she was scared, she needed Damon's help. And the fact is, they DID have a history. She MADE him. And even though she was concerned that she could not become a vampire again (the process might kill her forever), she appealed to his common decency. And it worked. Because duh.
This was another really clever piece of writing: For months Stefan was literally dying over and over again. Each time he'd die he hallucinated some sort of afterlife full of lens flares and bossy advice.
Specifically, Dream Damon was forcefully suggesting to Stefan that he flip his humanity switch back off (Hello Ripper Stefan!) so that he could not feel so much anguish about having to be in a wet box all the time.
It was clear that Stefan wasn't totally on board with that thought as he'd spent entire SEASONS being a jerk-murderer and didn't seem interested in doing that again. On the other hand, the habitual drownings didn't seem very fun either. It was a tough call.
Back in the world's most luxurious dorm room, Caroline was throwing a fit about having to have a new roommate, so she rifled through the roommate's unmentionables and then drank her Protein Water to make a point or something. But the Protein Water burned her insides all up because there was vervain in it!
So suddenly Caroline and Elena came to suspect that maybe their roommate was hiding something from them. Specifically, she maybe probably knew they were vampires. But in my opinion maybe most people in this world were sick of being assaulted and mentally molested by blood-sucking demons? Yeah, the new roommate had the most devious agenda of all: Not being murdered at college.
So anyway, Caroline was FREAKING out man, and Elena tried to convince her to relax and play it cool. And that's what brought us to maybe the #1 best and most instantly iconic Elena moment of all time?
Hahahaha! In mere seconds she went from a classic Elena frown to a double-shoulder party shimmy? Astonishing. And perfect. And the best. Dobrev 4 Prez.
Aaaand I'm still laughing. Elena and Caroline tried to attend a frat party (or whatever) and couldn't get in because of vampire laws!
Then their roommate saw them but didn't invite them in (which, would that even work? Doesn't it need to be the homeowner?) and they were doubly convinced she was some kind of anti-vampire bigot.
Except then they tried to call her and when they put the roommate on speakerphone, it turned out the roommate was right in the middle of getting murdered!
Yeah, sorry girl. We don't yet know what your deal was, but rest assured that as far as the campus police were concerned, you died of suicide and not those obvious vampire bites on your neck. A noble death, in other words. Meanwhile Elena snaked the dead girl's cell phone and found a picture of her adoptive father on it. I don't know either, don't ask.
So then Silas finally wandered into Mystic Grill and creepily read Damon's mind about where Katherine was.
Then on his way out Silas grabbed Jeremy's shoulder and Jeremy IMMEDIATELY knew something was up.
I guess the ghost of Jeremy's tattoo was VERY sensitive when it came to immortal villains, plus Bonnie was still loitering nearby straight-up admitting what a failure her magic had been in destroying Silas. Like, we know, Bonnie. Don't worry, we know. But honestly, I'm so glad that this Silas charade didn't last too long. Basically everyone now knew that Silas was back, and a bathing Katherine was about to find out too.
But vampire or not, Katherine will STILL cut a bozo with a straight razor!
So now it was very clear that Silas had some deadly intentions when it came to Katherine. I'm guessing he was still all steamed that she'd taken the cure because HE had wanted to take it so that he could commit suicide. (Weirdest Big Bad master plan ever?) So maybe he wanted to drink 100% of her blood and maybe absorb some of that cure juice? I don't know.
But it wasn't as though Silas was fully owning up to his plan just yet. This was only the season premiere, after all! Silas is not only the original immortal, he's also very story-savvy.
To keep Katherine protected from Silas, Damon had Jeremy go drive her away to safety.
It didn't go very well! Okay the truth is, Silas basically bargained for Damon to turn over Katherine and Damon got all cold-blooded about it and tried to get Jeremy to bring her back. But Katherine is a scrapper and would NOT allow that. So suddenly Jeremy's car was wrapped around a pole and they were both dying in the street. It happens.
Oh and look who showed up in Mystic Falls for some reason: That sexy brunette lady from Matt and Rebekah's European three-way! She had apparently stolen a bunch of their things and the word "gypsy" wasn't used because that would be racist, but she was a thieving gypsy basically. BUT she had personally brought Matt back his immortality ring, which he gladly accepted without question.
But then some dude creeped up behind him and grabbed the back of his head and chanted!
Matt's a demon now, I think? I don't know, ask a gypsy. (Do NOT ask a gypsy.)
So then Jeremy was dying for his eighth or ninth time and Katherine didn't give a hoot.
Bonnie dropped by to, I guess, cry for a bit and then immediately rush back to town square so that she could listen to some dumb speech her dad was making about Bonnie being on a road trip or whatever. Girl's got priorities.
But luckily Damon showed up and, in a bizarro mirror flip of that time he once murdered Jeremy, he instead saved Jeremy's life!
And not only that, but seemed genuinely shaken to find Jeremy in such a bad state. Now, was this because he was so concerned about Elena's feelings or because he'd grown to actually love Jeremy as a friend or brother figure? That's for the slash-fic authors to decide. (Link pls)
Meanwhile just when the night couldn't have gotten any worse, Caroline got a voicemail from Tyler who had been spending all summer chillin' with werewolves in the Appalachians and had decided not to go to college after all. This always happens: You're on top of the world because you have TWO love interests fighting over you, and then suddenly you have zero love interests fighting over you. Caroline was SAD. But at least the third roommate was brutally murdered, so that ought to cheer her up right?
This was pretty nice. Just when it looked like Stefan was about to give in to Hallucination Damon's suggestions to become a monster again, Hallucination Elena showed up to talk him out of it.
That's right Stelena fans, this was a big "HANG IN THERE" moment for you guys too. Stefan was clearly going to be using Elena as his constant, which portends a renewed romantic vigor once he busts out of this safe. I think? I don't know what half of those words meant but it felt right. Stefan's hard for Elena again, and it was very touching to see him look all dewy-eyed behind those blinding lens flares, you know?
So then just as Bonnie's dad Mr. Mayor was talking about how proud he was of his daughter for, I don't know, living out of her car now, Silas interrupted and started yelling at everybody.
And he bragged that because he'd shotgunned so much blood over the summer he was now very good at mass mind control. So sure enough, everybody froze in place just like he'd asked! And that's when this happened:
Rude, Silas. V, v rude. But he wasn't done being a major jerk. THEN he had the audacity to brainwash the entire town into hunting down Katherine for him!
Which, haha, that's hilarious that he had to first explain to them that this person in question was the doppelganger of Elena and NOT the actual Elena. Yeah, cool, understandable. Guy, you are an immortal wizard. Do your own chores.
I am not going to lie, my favorite thing about this episode was just seeing all these people again. It made me so happy! And I like the mysterious college shenanigans, and just plum having a new environment to explore. I'm not sure how much I care about the Silas stuff, but as long as Katherine is in danger, consider my pulse POUNDING. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was a really fun hour and proper evidence that this series is still running as strong as ever. Yes we are all much older now and are all hurtling toward the grave at this point, but as long as TVD remains on the air, it will be the best wind-down ever. Welcome back, show!
*lowers motorized hospital bed*
... Will Stefan be mad when he finds out how sloppy Silas has been looking?
... Is Matt a demon now?
... Will Jeremy join in the next time Damon does a household underwear dance? (Link pls)
... Is Whitmore the DeVry of Virginia?
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