The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Review “The Five” — In Which There’s a Possible Deus Ex Machina

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 4 The Five

This week on The Vampire Diaries we learned a little more about ‘The Five’. It turns out they’re hunters made by a witch almost a thousand years ago and send to kill the Originals. Little Becky fell in love with one (as she’s wont to do) and it all ended badly, but not before she learned a little something: the tattoo they bear is a map, that, in conjunction with a key on Becky’s beau’s sword, will lead the holder to a cure for vampirism.

Now that the tattoos are invisible to vampires, Klaus drafted Jeremy in to draw it for him (handy how the only guy who can see it is also a great artist, no?). Jeremy learned that Connor’s tattoo spreads with each vampire he kills, so the map won’t be complete for a while yet. It wouldn’t take many more, though; given the rate the tattoo grew after just one kill, we can estimate that Connor’s killed, what, maybe three or four in his lifetime? Yeah. Badass.

Meanwhile, an oblivious Elena went on a roadtrip with Damon and Bonnie to the college that Bonnie’s grandmother used to lecture at. Her replacement, a handsome professor, is a ‘true believer’ in witchcraft, and he and Bonnie get along well. But all is not as it seems; not only does the professor have a part of the tattoo/map hanging on his office wall, he’s actually the one who sent Connor to Mystic Falls! Could he be the big bad everyone’s been talking about?

(Bonnie and Becky should start a support group for girls who choose dangerous boys.)

This was a solid episode, but I found it hard to actually like. This ‘Five’ plot seemed really interesting before this week’s infodump, and I suppose they still are interesting, at least when viewed as strange supernatural threats. We still don’t know exactly how one becomes a hunter beyond being told he(/she?) has an aptitude for it. The reveal that Bonnie’s professor friend is behind Connor being sent to Mystic Falls definitely added a much needed shot of intrigue.

That the Five can lead Klaus, Stefan et al to a cure for vampirism is a lot less interesting. Come on, folks, who didn’t see this coming at some point? It’s just so convenient that this comes up now, when Klaus is no longer a major threat, when Elena’s been turned. The only way this could surprise me is if they find out that the cure doesn’t really exist at all — or they find it and Stefan destroys it.

Elena fans, you may want to look away for the next few paragraphs.

Bloody hell, Elena’s annoying me. She doesn’t want to kill humans, she wants to live, she doesn’t want to be a vampire– Now that we know a cure exists she’s pretty much just a walking plot point (more so than when she was only the doppleganger). Will Stefan find the cure and save her? Probably, yeah. But in the meantime, Elena could just drink a little, often, a la Damon and live. The only other viable option to her right now is to not drink at all and die a painful death. Which is worse? This is just angsting for the sake of angsting. Being upset about having lost her humanity is fine, but angsting about actually drinking blood in case it turns her into a monster is pointless. You’re a vampire, Elena. You’re as good as dead and you’re potentially going to be eighteen forever and ever. That should be enough to drive you to drink!

I suppose my biggest problem is the emphasis on how she can’t survive being a vampire because she’s so damned sensitive. It was mentioned again this week, in an episode in which Becky showed that vampires are incredibly sensitive. She just wants to be loved, and though she makes impulsive mistakes, she wants to be forgiven. No, Becky’s not a particularly good person a lot of the time, but I don’t think anyone would be particularly stable after a thousand years of getting daggered, having your loved ones use you (or seeing them being killed), and dealing with a crazy power-hungry brother who rains on your parade constantly.

Let’s not even get into how Caroline can be a fantastic vampire who cares about people and doesn’t go crazypants. If anyone is super-special on this show, it’s our favourite bubbly blonde.

Anyway, I could get into how annoyed I am at Klaus for daggering Becky (again!) and how Connor using a barbell to pick a lock was ridiculous, but I’ll leave it at that. Despite how it may sound, I did think this was a solid episode that had some really good moments. I just wish TVD wasn’t playing a constant game of oneupmanship with itself, forcing in bigger bads and needless angst in an attempt to upstage previous seasons.

What did you think of ‘The Five’? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!