The Vampire Diaries 5.18 Review: “Resident Evil”

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Paul Wesley deserves a round of applause for this incredible episode that served as his directorial debut on The Vampire Diaries.  Seriously, it was very impressive for numerous reasons including how it dealt with the mythical doppelganger prophecy and the mythology of the Travelers.  Plus we got to see some familiar faces on the Other Side, which it’s always nice to see that even though characters may be dead, the show finds a way to keep them coming back every so often.

Lots to discuss about this episode, so I’ll start with the most prevalent storyline that involved Stefan and Elena experiencing daydreams of each other.  They weren’t necessarily R-rated dreams, but rather more of a cute alternate universe where the two met under different circumstances, and most importantly, they were both human.  It was fun to see how the visions seemed to span quite a few years, as they met when they were young enough to still be living at home with their parents (and Elena’s parents were still alive in this reality) then showing how they would have gotten engaged, and even led up to a few years later when they’re raising kids together.  I was even hoping they would go further and show their entire life together, flashing forward to when they’re both older and gray and maybe being visited by grandchildren.

However, the visions stopped and both Stefan and Elena seemed a little sad that they couldn’t keep experiencing this unexpected fantasy of a life that just wasn’t possible.  They both expressed that they’ll always love each other, and this scene and conversation could be interpreted a few different ways, depending on who you think Elena should end up with.  When Elena asks Stefan if he thinks she’d ever be able to have such a conversation with Damon, he answers, “I think you can either be friends with someone or in love with them.  I don’t think you can be both.”  Hmmm.  Cut to the end of the episode when Elena gives Damon the “I just wanna be friends” speech again, and he flat out refuses to be reduced to her friend.

The reason the visions stopped was simply a favor for Damon by Markos to prove that he’s not the enemy here.  Markos cleared up the whole doppelganger prophecy that the universe was pushing for the doppelgangers to be with each other, when in fact that was just blown way out of proportion centuries ago.  It all started because of a spell that he was responsible for when the normal witches began interfering in the Travelers’ lives.  They wouldn’t allow them to settle down anywhere, so they’ve since had to resort to being Passengers in unsuspecting victims (like Sheriff Forbes in Mystic Falls.)  This can all stop with the doppelgangers’ blood, and now that Markos has found the last of the doppelgangers, he calls off the visions of the love they once believed to be written in the stars.

Markos can’t be all good though if his unnatural exit from the Other Side is causing such destruction over there.  Grams warned Bonnie that who or whatever escaped through her from the Other Side is causing extreme repercussions over there.  When Matt was temporarily dead (and thank god Sheriff Forbes was possessed by a Passenger so that his ring would bring him back to life), he saw firsthand just how creepy the Other Side is.  Not just creepy, but downright scary when his sister Vicki warns him to get back to his body and go home just before she’s swept away in a gust of wind similar to Katherine’s end when she finally died.  Matt also saw Kol Mikaelson over there, and even Kol was scared so it must be pretty terrifying to be stuck in a purgatory that’s looking more and more like hell.  I was a little disappointed Matt didn’t see Alaric, but maybe that’s for the best so that we wouldn’t have to see such a beloved character suffering.

Back to Markos, I also have to question what his real motive is in needing the doppelganger blood.  The other Travelers already took a few buckets of Stefan and Elena’s blood before, and that was just to resurrect Markos.  He must need a whole lot more than that to deal with his witchy business.

Speaking of witches, we now know that Liv and Luke’s coven has been tracking the Travelers for centuries so they’re well aware of their patterns of taking passage in regular humans.  The one true test to be rid of a Passenger is to stab the person with a particular knife, and Liv makes sure she tests Matt and Tyler before she allows them to help her and Jeremy start their rounds of ridding Mystic Falls of Travelers/Passengers.

This is where I got confused, because in the end of the episode it’s revealed that Tyler is working with/for Markos.  He passed that test with the Passenger knife, so was he possessed after that?  Or is he really himself, and if so, why would he hand the knife over to Markos to destroy it?  Even if he’s working with Markos of his own volition, what does he have to gain from probably attempting to kill Stefan and Elena eventually?

I was actually in Atlanta when they were filming some of next week’s episode, but it was an interior scene so I can’t know for sure what happens.  All I know is Tyler, Markos, Sloane, and the rest of the Travelers are together and probably up to no good.  I can say for sure though that Michael Trevino is a very nice guy as he took a couple minutes to talk to the handful of fans who were crazy enough to be freezing outside all day!

What are your thoughts about the episode?  Are you tired of the love triangle, hoping this was much needed closure for Stefan and Elena?

 [Photo via Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved]

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