Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries hits a bit of a slump

The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 11 “Catch Me If You Can”
Nathaniel Buzolic and Ian Somerhalder (Image: The CW)

One of season 3’s major problems was that the show allowed the Originals to take over. Elena’s transition earlier this season allowed them to get back on track and focus on the characters that mattered the most. However, with the return of Kol, the Originals are starting to take over once again. This time Klaus is not the primary villain (even though he turns probably a dozen innocent humans into vampires for Jeremy to kill), Kol is. Unfortunately Kol is a much less interesting villain than Klaus because we never really get any backstory on him. We have seen enough of Klaus to know why he does the things he does. It doesn’t justify anything, but at least there is an explanation. Kol has only been in a handful of episodes and is almost never referenced by his siblings. He is just bored and concerned about another immortal that no one else seems to care about.

Kol’s big acts of villainy in this episode center around not wanting Jeremy to complete his mark so that they can’t wake up Silas. He kills all of the vampires that Klaus turned and then compels Damon to kill Jeremy. There is no way the show would actually have Damon kill Jeremy, even if it was under compulsion so as a viewer it is not a plot that is particularly suspenseful. They find a way around it, just like we knew they would. Once he realizes what has happened, he does what he can to stop it – telling Jeremy to run and even to kill him first. Elena thinks he should be able to resist the compulsion as Stefan did when Klaus tried to get him to bite her. Damon’s biggest insecurity about his relationship with Elena is that he can’t measure up to Stefan.

Elena continues to lose her agency because of the sire bond. In this episode everyone is telling her that Damon is evil and the she shouldn’t trust him. Matt says that it is the sire bond clouding her judgment. She doesn’t it see it that way, she knows who Damon is and has fallen for him regardless. Whereas the last episode seemed to be trying to convince us that the sire bond isn’t the reason that she loves him, this episode is doing everything to put doubt in our minds. She comes up with a plan to deal with Kol and grow Jeremy’s mark, if they only kill him then all of the vampires in his bloodline will also die. This is an iffy plan morally speaking, even if you are only physically killing Kol, you are still responsible for everyone else who dies as a consequence. It is surprising that Elena would see this is a good idea, maybe Damon is rubbing off on her.

Stefan is still pretty angry with Elena for what she said in the previous episode. He is helping Rebekah to steal Silas’s headstone from Shane in order to force him to work with them. Despite everything that has happened, Stefan does show up to help Damon and Jeremy when Elena calls – snapping Damon’s neck and locking him up in the detox cellar, which seems like something Elena should have thought of. He definitely gets some pleasure in not allowing Damon and Elena to see each other while he is still compelled. This is the one of the first times we really see Stefan lashing out, outside of blood lust issues. He is being pretty mean to Elena and sleeps with Rebekah, probably for the same reason that Damon slept with her last season – he knows Elena will hate it.

This was probably my least favorite episode of the season so far. Kol is not a compelling villain and it feels like they are stalling so that they can drag out the cure storyline a bit further. Almost none of these plots are really working. The Originals were a great addition to the show in seasons 2 and 3, but they are definitely starting to overstay their welcome. Klaus is barely a villain anymore but he isn’t a good guy either. Rebekah is probably the most interesting of the Originals this season and will continue to be so down the line. At this point I am just ready for them to get to the cure so we can find out what happens with it, and move on.

Also as a note I will be combining the reviews for the next two episodes 12 and 13 into one review – 12 primarily just sets up 13 and to avoid spending too much time just recapping plot, I am going to just write one review for both.

Episode Grade: C

Other Thoughts:

  • Shane is trying to keep Bonnie’s magic under control but she doesn’t trust him since she found out that he was responsible for the death of the council.
  • Stefan: “Crazy sex is always good” – interesting take
  • Elena/Rebekah: “What did you do to Stefan?” “Rescued him from his old, dull life, but it keeps calling”
  • Damon: “Stupid idiot, borderline brain-dead moron!”
  • Klaus: “I think you need a lesson in how to properly dagger a sibling”
  • Stefan/Damon: “This is the only way I could weaken you” “You sound real torn up about it”
  • Elena/Stefan: “This isn’t you” “Sure it is. You’ve just never seen me like this. You don’t know what I look like when I’m not in love with you”
  • Klaus: “There’s no shortage of people to turn, or loved ones to threaten, so sleep well”
  • Body Count: 13, Damon kills one newbie vamp (1). Kol kills the rest but it is not clear how many there were so I am just guessing a dozen.

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