Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vampire Diaries – season 4 – review

Director: various

First aired: 2012-2013

Contains spoilers

I’d said, when I watched Season 3 of this show, that it was losing me. This season it definitely lost me.

At its heart, if you like that sort of thing, I guess there is a show that might offer something but to me it felt like the creators of the show had plumb run out of ideas.

Elena feeds
At the end of last season Elena (Nina Dobrev) was turned into a vampire and so that is a major thread of this season – she’s a vampire, she doesn’t want to feed, she’s sired (essentially an emotional slave) to emasculated bad boy vampire Damon (Ian Somerhalder), she’s switched her emotions off and become a psychopath, they’re on and overwhelming her – all whilst looking for a cure for her. That sums it up and it annoyed, she annoyed and it wasn’t Nina Dobrev’s fault because she was good as Katherine (her doppelganger) so it must have been a writing/direction issue.

Kat Graham as Bonnie 
The main thread is that there was a witch, Silas, who became immortal and, when the powerful witch who did this discovered he loved another, was magically frozen in place with a cure to his immortality in his hand. The idea being that he could kill himself (or a hunter could kill him, we’ll get to them). As this would mean he spent eternity with his love the witch created the other side – a limbo for magical creatures who die, so that he would never reach his love (in heaven, we assume). So the show sees him manipulating events – local witch Bonnie (Kat Graham) is the key to lowering the veil (as the removal of the other side is called) – and he is the new big bad.

Silas in tomb
There were several problems with this. Firstly Bonnie allows herself to be manipulated despite magic that involves sacrificing 36 people (the murder of 12 humans and 12 hybrid werewolves/vampires occurs before she finds out but she goes along with the slaughter of 12 witches), which just didn’t gel. Secondly he’s a vampire and yet we have already met the original vampires. Thirdly it is pointed out that he can’t do magic and yet can get in everyone’s heads and make them see what he wants (whilst vampires can manipulate a dream state that is much further than that). Fourthly, with limbo gone why would every supernatural creature killed come back to life (as the show maintains) surely they’d finally pass over to heaven/hell or whatever pixie-land awaits them?

Ian Somerhalder as Damon
Whilst all this is going on the Damon character is still emasculated. The scripts tried to give him an edge but it was unbelievable – probably because (as a friend pointed out) Damon was a bad assed, serial killing sociopath who everyone now simply accepts. The same can be said of original vampire (and werewolf hybrid) Klaus (Joseph Morgan) who you can see being manoeuvred into a sympathetic position when it was his ruthlessness that made him a fun character. This is partly to do with the fact that the original vampires are getting a spin-off show, entitled (with originality) as The Originals. This series was 23 episodes as a disjointedly positioned introduction episode for that series had to be crowbarred in. Beyond that the series felt about as twice as long as the thin storyline demanded. It was like the story had no steam to propel it on – new character April (Grace Phipps) underlined this as she was introduced but then had precisely zero (bar some cipher work) to do.

a hunter and magic tattoo
I mentioned the hunters and this brings us to the subject of annoying coincidences. It transpires that there are five hunters, sporting mystical tattoos that grow when they kill vampires, created by witches to kill vampires but, more specifically, Silas. The Original vampires met them only once in their long lives and yet we come across two in this episode and, as they are replaced when they die, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) becomes one as well. We never see Silas’ face, even his messed up ‘true face’ is a lie, and this is because it turns out at the end of the series that Silas has a doppelganger who is someone we know well in the series. Another annoying coincidence.

perhaps the show needs a stake?
There are plot holes I can’t mention due to them being a spoiler too far, but the show – for me – was poor both because of these and because it had no forward impetus. I said last review if they kept travelling in the direction they had chosen it would drop to being a below average show. It has. 4 out of 10 – and I was tempted to drop a little lower still.

The season's imdb page is here.


Unknown said...

Great review as always!!! I totally agree. I have to say though Elena is pissing me off this season. It seems like her acting took a cliff dive. Anyway totally did not see all the surprises at the ending. Loving Jeremy as well this season, so great that he is becoming quite kick butt this season. Matt is becoming more and more the voice of reason which is awesome. I love how Stefan is a lot more open about his desires to kill people but that he still is trying to be the best person he can be! As always great review and can't wait to read your take on this weeks episode!

Yeah really nice review.. for Vampire show in season 5. if you wants to see all episode than follow me or download this link ......>
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Taliesin_ttlg said...

Sobuj thanks for the comment.

I think her acting had more to do with direction because she was still great as Katherine

I'll let the link stand as the comment is genuine but please no further links to downloads :)