The Vampire Diaries struggles to find a compelling villain in season 5

The Vampire Diaries Season 5, Episode 3 (“Original Sin”)
Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries

It is clear this season why The Vampire Diaries kept Klaus and the Originals around for so long. He was clearly a more successful character than they probably dreamed he would be, and Joseph Morgan played him so well. Even when he was being his most evil, it never felt overly dramatic. Though I may have complained that they stuck around for too long, or struggled to find ways to keep them part of the show in season 4, their absence is definitely felt here. Mainly due to the show’s lack of a compelling villain. Paul Wesley does a good job of playing Silas but he the character just doesn’t have the danger of Klaus.

This episode primarily focused on the Silas storyline and Stefan’s reunion with Damon and Elena. Stefan was released from the safe by Qetsiyah, the witch who Silas wronged 2000 years ago and has been trying to get her revenge on him ever since. She is back from the Other Side thanks to Bonnie and she is a lot. I am really not a fan of her character and how she is portrayed. She is essentially an overly emotional, crazy woman which is not an archetype I really want to see anymore. She hasn’t gotten over what Silas did to her… 2000 years ago. She got her revenge when she killed Amara so to continuously punish him is over the top. Neither Qetsiyah or Silas are particularly sympathetic, something that Vampire Diaries has typically excelled at, making the villains just as interesting as the protagonists. Everything that Qetsiyah and Silas are doing is about personal grievances. They are making others pay for their love triangle drama, that is again 2000 years old. Silas’s goal is to get the cure, destroy the Other Side, and die… Sure he might be willing to kill anyone who gets in the way of that, but his ultimate goal is still to die. Qetsiyah just wants to make sure he suffers in death. Their goals have nothing to do with the protagonists of the show, they just happen to have gotten in the way by getting the cure.

We also learn the origins fo the doppelgängers, part of which I liked and part not so much. Stefan and Elena are just the most recent versions of Silas and Amara. Or at least Elena is, it is possible that there is another Stefan out there since he is 160+ years old. When Silas and Amara became immortals, nature found a balance by creating the mortal doppelgängers and they have since shown up repeatedly throughout history. It is not clear if they always show up in certain bloodlines (like Elena and Katherine) or if it is random. We don’t know of any other versions of Stefan, just that there have been. It was kind of cool to get this backstory and it explains why doppelgänger blood seems to be so important in spells. What was less interesting was the idea that they are destined to find each other, fated to be together. This twist just feels like the writers’ way of keeping the love triangle alive after Elena chooses Damon, when I think most people would like to move on from it. There is nothing interesting about two people being supernaturally fated to be together, it takes away any real choice.

This episode clearly was not my favorite. Season 5 starts the second half of the series (it is hard to believe we are only a little over halfway through at this point) and unfortunately it is not as consistently good as the first half. That is not to say though that I am going to hate it all, if that was the case I never would have started doing these reviews. There are some great stories/character developments in the second half but there is also some pretty bad plots and choices the show makes. A least with all of these various plots going on at once, none of them become the dominant storyline of the season so it moves quickly.

Episode Grade: 6/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Elena and Katherine both had the same exact dream at the same time and no one seems to question it all that much.
  • I have enjoyed human Katherine, another fun personality that Nina Dobrev is getting to play this season.
  • Katherine: “Do you think I really want to go on a road trip with you? America’s most boring, self-righteous vampire”
  • Nadia continues to be shady. She pretends to work with Silas to find Katherine but she really wants her for her own reasons. She also wants to use Matt’s body for her traveler boyfriend.
  • Katherine’s blood is the cure now which explains why Silas wants her.
  • At least we got a break from the Whitmore plot line for this episode but it also meant no Caroline this episode which is always a tragedy.
  • We get Stefan back but after Qetsiyah’s spell, he has no memory of who he is.
  • Body Count: Qetsiyah killed Amara 2000 years ago as revenge on Silas.

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