The Vampire Diaries 5.10 Review: “Fifty Shades of Grayson”

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Was it just me or was this midseason finale just a little bit underwhelming?  Sure, a fan favorite couple broke up, but they’re clearly not done for good.  Other than that, not much really happened.  I almost want to say I was bored at points, but a few characters really kept me interested.

Damon broke out of his Augustine cell, but as we saw at the end of last week’s episode, Elena is missing.  Furious, he immediately goes home to tell Stefan to get his “hero hair” on and help him find Elena.  Their next stop is to grab Aaron as leverage against Wes.  The mad scientist that he is, Wes lets his number one lab rat, Enzo, free for the day to go in his place to meet up with Aaron and his captors.  Naturally it would be a real shock to Damon to see that the friend he left to die in a house fire is alive.

Meanwhile, we see Elena strapped down to a table as Wes rants on from some old notebooks that turn out to be Grayson Gilbert (Elena’s father)’s notebooks from his days of participating in the Augustine vampire experiments.  Elena has flashbacks to when she was a kid, and remembers hearing weird noises in the basement of her father’s medical practice.  It turns out he was using vampire blood to save patients, including Elena’s future roommate Megan.  I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t really that anxious to have Megan’s death solved.  That seems like a stupid small underlying plot this first half of the season that just was not necessary.  We barely knew Megan to begin with, so why should it matter that Elena’s father saved her using vampire blood when she was younger?

Anyway, just as Wes is about to inject Elena’s heart with a serum that would turn her into the experimental vampire that would feed on other vampire blood like Jesse, Stefan saves the day.  He knocks Wes out, but I don’t know why he wouldn’t just snap his neck and be rid of him for good.  It’s important to note that the syringe fell out of Wes’ hand onto the floor, and later when Aaron goes to confront Wes about what’s been going on, Aaron picks up the syringe and leaves with it.  I’m curious what he’s going to do with that.  He probably doesn’t know what it is, so I would hope he would destroy it.

Back home, Damon and Elena start fighting, with Elena defending Damon’s actions in the past as usual.  He doesn’t want to hear it anymore, as his guilt is probably roaring up now that he’s seen what his old friend Enzo has had to go through all because of him.  Damon breaks up with Elena, but we all know they aren’t done for good.  Like I said, I think he’s just feeling guilty that all of his poor decisions in the past are catching up to him.  He doesn’t feel worthy of Elena’s opinion of him, and he doesn’t want to end up changing her to be as ruthless as he has been in the past.  They both still love each other, so I’m confident that this won’t be the end of Delena.

In my favorite storyline of the night, Katherine enlisted Matt’s help to be her personal trainer in the hopes that being whipped into shape will keep her healthy.  She’s still slowly dying, as her vision and hearing are starting to go.  Nadia visits her mother, and pitches an idea that may keep Katherine alive.    Because Katherine said weeks ago that her father was a Traveler, Nadia thinks that if her mother could find a body to possess, her spirit will live on.  It seems like a logical solution but Katherine refuses.  That would be interesting to see if this happens down the line because I honestly can’t imagine any other actress being as sassy and perfect as Nina is when she is Katherine.

After a fight with Katherine, Nadia’s on her way out of town when she makes a pit stop at the Mystic Grill to talk to Matt.  She gives him the Traveler’s knife that she would need if she decides she does want to perform that spell to save her life.   They had a very interesting conversation where we learned of Nadia’s conflicting feelings for Katherine: “I don’t know if I should hate her for giving up, or be at her side when she dies”.  Matt relates to having a bad parent, which reminds me that it’s been a really long time since we saw his mom, played by Melinda Clarke.  Now that Nikita is ending this season, I wonder if Mrs. Donovan will find a reason to come back to Mystic Falls.

Overall it was a predictable midseason finale.  I was expecting a bigger cliffhanger than just Katherine collapsing from a heart attack.  That ending seemed less effective especially since we saw that she’ll be just barely hanging on in the hospital in the preview for the next episode in January.  The little amount of time she’ll have left will probably be just enough time for Nadia, Matt, and Stefan (her only friends in Mystic Falls) to save her life.  At least let’s hope they can save her, otherwise I’d be very disappointed.

The Vampire Diaries returns January 23rd with its 100th episode!

[Photo via Rick Diamond/Getty]

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