Home TV The Vampire Diaries S05 E08 – “Dead Man on Campus”

The Vampire Diaries S05 E08 – “Dead Man on Campus”

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Anyone else relieved that Silas, Amara, and Tessa are all dead so we can more on to something other than ancient vampires/witches trying to kill everyone/destroy stuff? Because I sure am. This week on The Vampire Diaries, Elena, Caroline and the now-resurrected Bonnie return to college and throw a welcome party. However, Bonnie isn’t exactly the same old witch. Now that she’s the anchor between reality and the other side, she feels every supernatural being as they pass through her to move on. She attempts to hide it from her friends and Jeremy, but eventually her secret comes out.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wes attempts to continue his experiments on Jesse, but the new vampire escapes from the lab and finds his way to Caroline. As Caroline tries to acclimate Jesse to being a vampire, Damon interrogates Dr. Wes and tries to discover why Wes has been experimenting on vampires. Back in Mystic Falls, Stefan is dealing with PTSD from his time in the safe at the bottom of the gorge. Katharine attempts to help him in return for his assistance with Matt, who asks Katharine to exorcise the Traveler, Gregor, from him. While doing so, Gregor tells Katharine that the Travelers want her dead.

As far as this episode goes, it was particularly good. I hate to admit it, but I think I’m going to miss Silas and Tessa a little bit. Though their characters were hastily developed and then killed off quickly, they had some great sassy moments. But I am glad to be done with the ancient love triangle. For the first four seasons of TVD, it seemed as if the writers kept going farther and farther back in history to bring in new characters and villains. First there was Elena’s birth mother, Isobel, then Katharine, then the Originals, then Silas and his crazy ex-girlfriend, Tessa. Now that TVD has gone back as far as humanly possible in the history of vampires and supernatural beings, they have to go in a different direction.

In this episode, they focused more on Dr. Wes and his experiment on vampires, specifically on what he did to Jesse and the consequences. When Jesse finds Caroline—well, technically he calls her when he gets back to his dorm room and she rushes in just as he starts feeding on his roommate, Aaron (Wes’s little brother)—she explains the hunger, how he can heal Aaron with his blood, as well as compulsion. Caroline brings Jesse to the party she and Elena throw for Bonnie. However, as a result of Wes’s experiments, Jesse’s main food source isn’t human blood, it’s vampire blood. Jesse quickly leaves the party and returns to Wes’s lab. Unfortunately, Damon is still there and Jesse feeds on Damon, nearly killing him, until Elena stakes the new vampire.

Although I’m sad to see Jesse go because I think they could have done a lot more with his character, I kind of like the direction the show is going in. Between Wes’s experiments and the secret vampire-hating society, Augustine, I think TVD could do something really cool and different this season.

That being said, I personally thought the “twist” that Damon was an Augustine vampire at some point in the past was not well delivered. (Of course, I might reached and surpassed my limit with ridiculous twists this week after Once Upon A Time’s “Think Lovely Thoughts.”) I’m interested to see where the show goes with this plot line because I think the whole humans doing scientific experiments on vampires storyline is a great new direction for TVD to go in. They have focused too often on vampire legends and the history of supernatural beings—they’re still doing this with the plot surrounding the Travelers—and the show rarely goes into how vampires fit into modern day society. We’ve seen a similar scientific approach to vampires on True Blood this summer and I’m interested to see how TVD will differentiate itself from that storyline.

I’m also curious to see if anything happens with Bonnie and the pain she endures when supernatural beings pass over to the other side. It could be really helpful for everyone else since Bonnie can contact any dead spirit at any time—at least, I think that’s how it works. However, the pain obviously took a toll on Amara. Though no one has mentioned it, I think this might be the reason she went insane. I’m surprised Bonnie hasn’t thought of this, or that it hasn’t been voiced on the show yet.

The Vampire Diaries is taking a week off for Thanksgiving, but will return on December 5 with “The Cell.” It appears that Damon is Dr. Wes’s newest science experiment while Elena works to find and rescue her boyfriend. She will turn to Aaron for assistance, though I don’t know how much help he will be given that up until this point he hasn’t shown any knowledge of Wes’s work or Augustine. Given Damon’s past affiliation with Augustine, “The Cell” is sure to be another flashback-heavy episode, which could be exciting but we’ll see.

Molly Freeman – @MollyRockIt

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