Set the wind machine to maximum because Bonnie (Kat Graham) is dropping the veil and that’s not a euphemism. With only one episode of The Vampire Diaries left before the fourth season finale, it’s time to deal with this Silas problem once and for all.
Let’s bitch it out…There are two ways of describing the Silas problem: one is to consider the issue of the malevolent figure within the show who manipulates our characters by accessing their thoughts and taking on any appearance he pleases. The other refers to the construction of Silas as a villain in The Vampire Diaries itself. It is this latter form that has proven to be a greater issue as the show has written itself into a narrative corner.
Things were okay back in S2 when the principal antagonist was Katherine (Nina Dobrev), a 500 year old vampire who used sex as a weapon. She was feisty, flirty, and she broke some girl in half at a dance one time. So far, so good. Then in S3 came Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his family, the original vampires who could only be killed by a rare type of white ash. Instead of a villain, we now had multiple villains who were basically unkillable unless you were prepared to tear the town sign into pieces. (They also overstayed their welcome by a full season, but that’s a different complaint).
In the fourth season, the show tried to top itself by raising the stakes even more. Enter Silas, a completely immortal villain. Oh…and instead of casting an actual actor, Silas simply appears as other characters from the show. So he’s unkillable and he can be anyone.
The immortality and unidentifiable aspects are problematic because they’re narratively uninteresting. How can you have a conflict without any kind of stakes? How can you invest in a villain that doesn’t have any kind of presence? Since Silas woke up and began terrorizing Mystic Falls, the writers have repeatedly fallen back on the tired “it’s actually Silas!” bait and switch to the point of exhaustion. Most problematically, they’ve also called in Bonnie Bennett to save the day (which is something your regular reviewer, thedude, has ridiculed each time it has happened this season because Bonnie is like your inept cousin that locks herself in a trunk trying to perform basic tasks).
So to recap: the writers have taken something that already wasn’t working (one upping the villains each season) and added an extra dose of suckage (that’d be Bonnie) for good measure.
All of this to say that there is a great sense of relief that accompanies ‘The Walking Dead’ (nice shout-out, btw) This episode marks the end of Silas – at least temporarily. After some prompting by good ol’Grams (Jasmine Guy) that she’s powerful enough to use Expression to stop him, Bonnie finally grows a pair and turns the ancient guy into stone (Side Note: way to cop-out and refuse to show his actual face). Clearly this is not the last that we’ve seen of Silas (they always come back), but at least Bonnie’s stupid plan to do something has finally paid off.
Oh wait…I spoke too soon. Nope – Bonnie gets greedy and tries to keep the veil between supernatural death world and the real world down so that she can bring Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) back from the dead. Like an idiot. And it kills her!
Again, I don’t believe for a second that this will last, but seeing Bonnie Bennett – dumbass extraordinaire – accidentally commit suicide is enough to make my week. (Side Note: Yes, that is morbid, but it’s Bonnie. We hate her. Plus she’ll be back. They always come back)
Unfortunately, as the end of the episode makes clear, Mystic Falls’ favourite idiot witch has also left the veil down (what do you want to bet that this is the loophole that allows her to come back to life?). The result is that supernatural dead folk are still able to open a can of whoop ass on the living, especially on our characters – the majority of whom are vampires – since many of these ghosts are Hunters, including Connor Jordan (Todd Williams), Galen Vaughn (Charlie Bewley) and Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) shaggy-haired boyfriend whose name I can’t be bothered to look up.
Better run vampires!
- Another problem that I have with Silas? This whole “appear as anyone” bit was done with The First in Buffy S7 (as noted by Io9) and it was done a whole heck of a lot better then. The difference with The First is that it was incorporeal so everything it did was psychological since it couldn’t actually hurt anyone. Much more interesting
- Whenever the show brings back this “ghosts return to haunt the living” storyline (last seen in 3×07 ‘Ghost World’) I’ve always got my checklist of preferred candidates at the ready. While I know that thedude was likely way too excited to see the return of Jeremy and Alaric (Matt Davis, fresh from his own failed CW show), I’ll admit that I was psyched to see Lexie (Arielle Kebbel) again. I still maintain that killing Lexie back in S1 is one of the dumbest things that the show has ever done. Love, love, love her
- With that said, how awesome would an appearance by Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) have been? I know that she’s human, but isn’t it a bit of a stretch that Alaric returned (or is his connection to the anti-death ring considered “supernatural”?)
- Wow, who would have thunk it: Angry Elena is just as annoying as Emotionless Elena! I’m beginning to think that it may just be the character since I enjoy Dobrev’s performance as Katherine (particularly how she hides her fear in tough-girl bitchery), but every time Elena is on-screen I just want to shake and slap her. She can’t even manage to use her bloodlust to defend herself against Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic)? Weak!
- How does Stefan (Paul Wesley) “kill” Kol considering he’s a ghost? Shouldn’t Kol just jump right back up? Perhaps we’ll get some answers when we have to stop the Hunters again next week
- Finally (just in case you like drama), real-life couple Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder (aka Damon) broke-up this week. Quick poll: are their scenes tougher to watch now?
- Elena (when Stefan explains that as a vampire she’ll have to deal with her emotions eventually): “You’re saying I’m hopeless?” Umm, yes, though that’s not exactly what he’s saying in this exact moment
- Candice Accola’s Caroline (after Rebekah slaps her): “Bitch!” Rebekah: “There is the Caroline I know and loathe”
- Bonnie (worrying she can’t stop Silas): “I don’t know how to boot him down.” Is it because he’s not a computer?
Your turn: are you doing the dance of joy that Bonnie is dead? How long until Silas gets that single drop of blood he needs? Who’s the most dangerous ghost Hunter? Is a Stefan/Caroline hook-up as inevitable as Lexie suggests? And does anyone care about Matt’s (Zach Roerig) desire to be human on graduation zzzzz. Oh sorry. Drifted off. Comment away below.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on The CW