Vampire Diaries: Into the Wild

“Is there some mass bloodletting that I’m forgetting?”

I’m going to put it all on the table, go out on a limb, cash in my chips, and lay it on the line: this was the clumsiest episode of The Vampire Diaries I have ever seen. And that includes the dreadful silly pilot. I know you can do better than this, VD. I know it.

It started promisingly enough. We began nowhere near where we left off last week: 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, on the island that contains the magical well under which Silas is allegedly buried, according to Caitlyn, Shane’s dead wife, or possibly according to Silas himself, disguised as Caitlyn, working his witchy magic from beyond the grave. Well, I guess just from the grave, as he’s still in it.

Which is probably a good thing, as Silas wants not just one or two, but three total massacres—one of which has yet to happen. Could that be a part of why Shane wanted such a large contingent to go with him to the island? It must be, given that we don’t have many other cast members left.

Of course, we didn’t get much more information than that, since Elena stopped Damon’s exposition-generating torture just soon enough to leave us wondering what was going on. In general, start-and-stop was the order of the day: over the course of two days and a night, our heroes only managed to walk a lot, wander off, talk about Damon’s butt, divide into nonsensical factions, and give each other (or the camera) emotional yet inscrutable looks.

As we’ve left it: Rebekah, Stefan, and Elena have teamed up and decided to trust each other. (Or not—I don’t understand the looks Elena and Stefan were giving each other in the tent. Was she just now realizing why he wanted the cure? Had she sussed out a lie and wanted to back him up?) Jeremy has been captured by a dreadlocked, painted he-witch who is working with Shane, who managed to trick Bonnie into the woods using her own magic. (Or something.) Damon, out a-wanderin’, has had his neck broken by a hunter.

I can only hope that all those factions exist for a reason, although I cannot imagine what it would be, given the general refusal to stand back, take a deep breath, and say, “Hey, raising the dead? Can someone remind me why we think that’s a good idea? Or when, in the history of mankind and horror films, it has ever turned out well?” Right now, everybody wants the cure; Shane seems to want to keep the vampires away from it, and likely wants to sacrifice Bonnie and/or Jeremy. But if he wanted to keep the vamps away, why not invent a pretext in Mystic Falls for keeping them off the island? Tell them it has been anti-vamped, or something.

Anyway, back in Mystic Falls Caroline is in peril of dying, Tyler is working on his leadership skills, Kol is still in the Gilberts’ kitchen, and Klaus is deciding whether or not to be a good guy. Two guesses as to what he chooses.

This is a mean, snarky review, but I cannot find anything good to say about this episode. And that concerns me: we’ve all been worried about this show for a while, although for different reasons. But this is one of the first times where I started to notice serious structural flaws in pacing, acting, cinematography, and emotional logic. Has VD lost its magic? Am I overreacting? I’d love to hear from all of you, in the comments—especially if you can convince me I’m wrong about this episode’s quality.

I don't know what to rate it. Is this a one out of four he-witches?

17 comments:

johanne said...

I think I agree with you, Josie.. VD has gradually lost whatever it was that made each episode great, and the wait between each episode seem like forever. These days I almost forget that a new episode is up.. what I'm saying is that I'm just not that hooked anymore, and I miss it, because this show used to be the best!

Maybe what's missing is variation of some kind; in the earlier seasons there were a big plot/problem that was the silver lining in all episodes, but also more sub-plots that kept taking the show in new directions.
I feel the last couple of episodes, maybe the entire season, has been to focused on this cure, and moving a bit slower than usual..
There's too much back and forth, without moving anywhere, and to many weird surprises - like Shane's male witch friend who suddenly appeared..

I don't know, but I miss the glory days of this show!

OHara said...

Yeah, Josie, you're not wrong. This was kind of a crap episode. The island stuff seemed really cheesy, and none of the characters were employing any logic at all. Why not just super-speed around the island until they found the cave? Why trudge across it all day? Why not let Bonnie finish her locator spell and then all go after Jeremy together?

Hopefully next week will end the tiresome hunt-for-the-cure plotline, so we can get to the good stuff.

Juliette said...

I enjoyed it, though they really don't seem to know quite what to do with Klaus and Caroline, and everyone's deep stupidity is still intensely irritating. I was cheering for Damon to kill Shane, though I knew it wouldn't really happen. They'd better have a good reason the new hunter didn't kill Damon though.

Juliette said...

Oh yes, Caitlin's name amused me for reasons I won't spell out as I don't want to spoil anyone for other stuff (could have lived without The Big Bang theory's spoiler this week, though as it happens I'd already read something online about that elsewhere!)

celticmarc said...

Up there, in that picture :

"...already deja-ed this vu."

Wow, it DOESN'T get any cuter than this.

I MIGHT be repeating myself (not really sure) but I'm a big fan. Oh ya. Big time.

Can someone ask the guy if he saw a polar bear by any chance ? Black cats do not count.

(On a positive note note, I finally received the 8X10. Poor cat, the cold winds didn't help. Just callrd his (its) supervisor and I'm keeping him for a few days in my blankets. Lots of purring in the bed sheets.

celticmarc said...

typo !

called

PlatinumRosebud said...

With you, Josie.

TVD is really down spiraling.
Sorry.

I don't care for the characters as much as I did before.

For this ep, I liked Rebekah.
How weird is that?

Most of the characters seem to pass around scripts like "it's my turn to be like this in this ep" thing.

If not ridiculous, it's becoming downright idiotic!.

Pleeease, writers, give us back the marvelous stories that made us invest in this show.

Mark Greig said...

The moment this episode started I knew it was just going to be 40 minutes of people wandering the woods bickering with each other. I don't want to say it is the worst episode of The Vampire Diaries ever made but it is certainly a contender.

ChrisB said...

I'm confused. Why was Caroline's wound fatal? We've seen other vampires brutally stabbed, pull the offending weapon out and walk away. What made this one different?

I managed to distract myself through the rest of the episode trying to figure that out, so I only half watched. Unfortunately, that's all this show warrants at the moment.

The cure, if and when they find it, could prove a really interesting character study in terms of who takes it and who doesn't. I'm not holding my breath, but I remain hopeful and it's what keeps me coming back week after week.

Josie Kafka said...

ChrisB, it wasn't the stab-wound that was fatal; it was Klaus biting her. Because he's a hybrid, his bit is deadly like any werewolf's bite (for vampires).

ChrisB said...

Of course! I had forgotten that little detail. Thanks, Josie.

celticmarc said...

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT :

Josie's awesome. (But we already knew that)

TheShadowKnows said...

"The cure, if and when they find it, could prove a really interesting character study in terms of who takes it and who doesn't."

The characters seem to be taking it for granted that they'll be unlimited quantities of this cure. I think there's only going to be one dose. And the one who gets it will be the one who wants it least.

Josie Kafka said...

Oh, yes! Yes! I like TheShadowKnows's idea.

Juliette said...

Thanks Josie and Chris, I was confused by exactly the same thing! I forgot Klaus-bites are werewolf bites.

I think there'll only be enough for one too - and I think a cure for immortality will kill anyone who'd be dead of old age by now anyway.

Anonymous said...

Love the Shadowknows theory,it makes sense..hope the writers go with it.
I don't want our vampires to be human. Elena might want to but it gives her power..Confusing episode but not as bad as the pilot..just eventless..also stop huting Caroline!
Anna

lesley said...

Does anyone else harken back to Buffy with the immortal to be awoken and all wackiness ensues? And the piece of rock aka tombstone? They did it better and I used to love doing Vampire Diaries marathons, at mid season and end of season. Now I can barely make it through one episode.