The Vampire Diaries: Masquerade (Review)

The Vampire Diaries: Masquerade (Review)

Previously

Mason is more than a little surprised to find that Stefan and Damon are still alive. With an accidental brush with Bonnie, his relationship with Katherine is discovered and the Salvatores capture him in order to find out just what Katherine’s plan is for the moonstone. Once he gets all he can from Mason, Damon rips the werewolf’s heart out. He boasts of his deeds to Katherine who, in an act of revenge, compels Jenna to kill herself. Though Jenna doesn’t die, its effect is felt by Stefan and Elena, with the latter telling her boyfriend that they can no longer be together.

The Vampire Diaries: MasqueradeUnlike the start of last year (which is forgiven since it was the series premiere) this season of “The Vampire Diaries” has rated consistently high in my book. We’ve had better character development, surprises out of the blue (don’t snap Jeremy’s neck, Damon!) and an unpredictable, charismatic villain, who just so happens to be the main character’s doppelganger. There hasn’t been a true filler episode and, while much of this season’s story arc has not been fully explained, every show has successfully added pieces to the still developing puzzle. I have been very pleased with what the creative team behind the team has produced so far.

All that being said, even I wasn’t expecting the fast paced action, unexpected developments, and added plot threads that were present in this week’s episode.

It starts with Katherine (Nina Debrov) delivering a message to Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) to bring her the moonstone before people start dying. Knowing just how serious she is, the brothers along with Jeremy (Steven R McQueen), Caroline (Candice Accola), Alaric (Matt Davis), and Bonnie (Katerina Graham) devise a scheme to get Katherine with they want her so the brothers can take her out. The plan is quite crafty and works to perfection though, before it can be enacted, minor character Aimee (Tiya Sircar) falls into the category of collateral damage when Stefan tries calling Katherine’s bluff about the moonstone exchange.

Knowing that something is up, Katherine corners Caroline who she bullies into telling her of the moonstone’s location. Well, this was a turn that the overconfident Katherine never saw coming as Bonnie had be-spelled the room to trap vampires, exactly like the tomb was used the vampires of Mystic Falls back in 1864. Trapped in the room with both Salvatores, Katherine holds her own but it’s only a matter of time before she succumbs to the brothers. It looks like she may be done.

But not so fast! One of the reasons Katherine is a great villain is that the writers aren’t afraid to show her gaining a one-up on our main characters and it is something she does here, a precaution, no doubt as she was caught off guard when Damon killed Mason Lockwood (Taylor Kinney) throwing her original plan into disarray. She has called in her own witch, Lucy (Natashia Williams) to link her and Elena together. Any injuries she receives are transferred to her human doppelganger. It gives her the leverage she needs to demand the moonstone—even threatening to harm herself to give Elena pain and, by extension, both brothers. When Lucy returns with moonstone in hand, Katherine knows she’s won. But like many villains (and even heroes) there are some things that even the best planning overlooks. We find that Lucy and Bonnie are related and the elder witch, once she realized just how she was being used, turns her back on the debt she owed to Katherine and throws her chips in with the good guys.

Immobilized by Lucy’s spell, Katherine is carted back to the tomb where, poetic justice is served when Damon closes her up as she pleads for him to stop, promising to do anything and even suggesting that she’s there to protect Elena, a claim Damon instantly dismisses. Yet her words seem to be the truth when, after telling Stefan they can’t be together just yet, Elena is kidnapped by a masked assailant as she makes her way to the car.

So many things happen in the episode’s primary track, that I haven’t even mentioned a very important secondary development in Tyler (Michael Trevino) becoming the resident werewolf for Mystic Falls. He’s Katherine’s backup plan now that Mason’s permanently out of the picture. Just how Tyler’s new condition affects things, especially when he finds out that Damon killed his uncle will be very interesting to follow.

In a season with good episodes all around, “Masquerade” was the best this season has offered so far and truly looks to be a springboard for season two’s overall direction.

Vampire Bites:
  • The interaction between Katherine, Damon, and Stefan when they are trapped in the room are great. The mutual attraction is still there along with quite a bit of animosity, too (and rightfully so). I look forward to more of the exchanges from this trio.
  • Damon shutting Katherine up in the tomb may have been a turning point for him. The anguish of what he has to do is tangible, despite knowing she deserves it. I think it’s apropos as he is closing the door on any lingering feelings he still may have for her. Whether they resurface once Katherine gets out (and make no mistake, she will get out) remains to be seen.
  • Will Caroline be the one to help Tyler through his new status as full moon furry? If so, how will that dynamic affect her and Matt’s relationship?
  • Bonnie and Jeremy making goo-goo eyes at one another?! Wow, did not see that. At least they waited for an episode where I actually liked Bonnie and wasn’t thoroughly annoyed with her.
  • While I am more of an Elena/Damon ‘shipper, I really have to shake my head at Elena’s decision not to get back with Stefan. The threat (at the time of her conversation with Stefan) was over, so what was holding her back? I do think this may open the door a tad for Damon to enter which will cause some serious tension between the trio; isn’t that what good drama’s about though?

Rating: A

– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)

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