The Travelers take over Mystic Falls

The Vampire Diaries SEason 5, Episode 18 (“Resident Evil”)
Kat Graham, The Vampire Diaries

This episode did a lot more than the previous to get me excited for the end of season 5. It is a common problem with 22-episode seasons, there is a lot of filler. Much of what happened in this episode could have happened in the previous instead of wasting our time with parent-teacher conferences (which Enzo pokes fun at making me like him more than ever). We get a lot more information on the Travelers and what they want, something weird is happening with the Other Side, and the “fated” doppelgängers prophecy is proven wrong. So let’s get into it!

With Markos back, the Travelers are preparing to take over Mystic Falls by passengering themselves into the town’s residents. After the rift between the Travelers and the witches caused by Silas and Qetsiyah the witches placed a curse on the Travelers so that they wouldn’t be able to gather in the same place. For their magic to work they need each other so if they can’t settle in the same place, their magic is pretty limited. But if they passenger themselves into humans they can get around it. What I like about this plot is that it also brings back Mystic Falls as being a major element in the story which has been lacking since they introduced Whitmore. It also makes the Travelers sympathetic for the first time all season. They don’t have a home and have been forced into a nomadic existence and their magic suppressed. This doesn’t necessarily give them the right to take over a town, but at least they have sufficient motivation.

Another consequence of Markos’s return is that it has done something to the Other Side. This was probably not intentional on his part but his return has created some instability in the Other Side. People are being ripped away to an unknown dimension, including Vicki. Matt takes a trip to the Other Side where he learns all of this from Kol and Vicki, which were some fun faces to see again. Bonnie also learns about it from her grandmother who tells her that the witches are scared. We don’t yet learn too much more about it but it seems that everyone’s existence on the Other Side is in jeopardy. This feels very much like J.K. Rowling destroying the time turners in Order of the Phoenix, the show realized they created a problem with having people on the Other Side so they are now getting rid of them. The Other Side is a cool concept, but if supernatural beings can come back from it then their deaths can never be real.

Markos also reveals the truth about the fated doppelgänger, he made it up. Similar to the Sun and the Moon curse that Klaus and Elijah made up, Markos put a spell on the doppelgängers to draw them together. Since the doppelgängers can show up anywhere, at any point in time, it would be pretty impossible to find them. If they are not only drawn together, but drawn to the Travelers themselves they are much easier to find. Markos draws them to him in this episode by placing visions of an alternate reality where Stefan and Elena were human, happily in love, and living a perfect life. But the important thing is that none of it was real. Elena and Stefan each have complete free will to fall in love and be with whoever they choose. The universe doesn’t decide anything. I was very happy for this development because the idea that they were fated for each other is not interesting.

With all of the visions happening, things are more awkward than ever for Elena and Damon who are struggling to be friends. Elena wants to skip all of the awkwardness and be friends like she and Stefan are. But she is forgetting how long it took for her and Stefan to get to that place. Damon on the other hand needs space which is actually the healthier choice. Though he makes it sound absolute, obviously in time things will heal and they could be friends down the line, but they can’t be now. Caroline is clearly concerned that Elena and Stefan might get back together if things are really over for her and Damon, but the show makes sure to quiet those concerns here. Stefan tells Elena that you can either be in love with someone or be their friend, but not both. This is not exactly true but I get what he is trying to say. He and Elena are finally friends again and that is because neither of them are in love with the other anymore. Which is great because I don’t think I could handle a re-emergence of the love triangle at this point.

Episode Grade: 8/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Elena and Stefan’s visions of their perfect life is exactly what their relationship would be and I was so bored. Elena also reverted back to her straight hair in her visions, does her hair change based on who she is in love with?
  • Damon buys a pool table to get out his frustrations.
  • Enzo giving Damon shit for his situation with Elena was great.
  • It is never really explained how Matt can suddenly see everyone on the Other Side and how he remembers what he saw when he wakes up. Is it because the Other Side is unstable?
  • Tyler is revealed to have a passenger inside him at the end of the episode and he has the knife that kills them which Markos destroys.
  • Poor Matt: He finally gets to see Vicki on the Other Side only to have her ripped away again.
  • Body Count: None!

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