The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Review “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

On the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” drama abounded, so it’s only fitting that the title was derived from that epic slice of 80’s cheese, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” (And cue the Bonnie Tyler in 3, 2…1!) I kid, I kid, but if I’m not mistaken, that song is currently being used to sell cheese, or some sort of foodstuffs, so if you’ve got a problem with that, go talk to whoever did that ad. I’d rather listen to Tori’s version, anyway- it’s less melodramatic, as if it could be much less overwrought under any circumstances, save maybe if Meat Loaf took a crack at it.

Moving on…this episode was all about the heartbreak- and the heartache. (Must…not…link…to more Bonnie Tyler!) In one corner, you had Katherine pining over Stefan; in another Damon burying his heartbreak in someone’s throat- namely Aaron’s in the last episode. The only truly happy one was Bonnie, and naturally she nearly ended up losing her man no sooner than she declared that happiness, a big no-no on this show. Only Caroline emerged relatively scar-free, but even she’s still mourning Tyler and Klaus. (Not the horsey picture!)

Well, save Katherine, of course, who’s still posing as Elena. Interestingly, it was Matt who figured it out finally, and he may not live to tell the tale. More likely he’ll be compelled to forget by Nadia, as per usual, especially since she’s fairly sweet on him, which is kind of cute. Of course, he’s not too happy with her, given that she buried him alive in a safe and almost killed him. Ah, young love.

Katherine was, as ever, up to her usual evil tricks, nearly letting Damon and Enzo kill Jeremy, simply because she thought she could use it as a ploy to get some sympathy from Stefan in order to grease the wheels of their getting back together. Thankfully, Nadia talked her out of that, but Damon is making enemies left and right, thanks to Enzo’s bad influence. However, that may not last much longer as the episode ended with Damon getting injected with Dr. Maxfield’s patented vampire cannibal juice. Enzo better watch his back, but at least Damon conveniently told him what he was dealing with right before he started actively having to deal with it.

This was a decent episode, if a bit predictable overall. You knew they weren’t likely to kill Jeremy so soon after getting him back, so there wasn’t much threat there, and I figured from the early stuff with the Doc that someone would likely end up getting injected with the serum- if not Damon, then Enzo, and Damon was the more obvious way to go as it inherently, ahem, raises the stakes.

We did get two new characters, though, and I’m not talking about the short-lived Joey, who got decapitated by Damon for his troubles. First up, there was Sloan (relative newbie Caitlin McHugh), who had a bit of an Olivia Munn vibe, and declared she was there both to fund the doc’s work and protect him from Damon and Enzo’s wrath, but brought a pack of Travelers with her to help do just that. Not entirely sure what spell they used on the toothy twosome, but I assume we’ll find out soon enough.

There was also the new witch in town, Liv (Penelope Mitchell, hot off another supernatural series, Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove”), who Bonnie helped channel her inner sorceress to locate the not-so-good doctor, in order to save Jeremy. Both characters are way too new to get a handle on yet, but of the two, Sloan was more enigmatic and Liv was a bit of a wet blanket so far, but give it time.

That was about it, but I suppose it will do for now. This was clearly more set-up to prepare us for Damon’s going completely off the reservation, with the new characters to add to the potential vampire bait collection. Now if I remember correctly, the serum makes Damon thirst only for vampire blood, but also actively keeps him from feasting on humans. That might well be a problem, as Enzo pointed out in the end there, and he doesn’t even know about that part of it.

It was fun seeing Damon getting back in touch with his inner nasty, and it will be even more fun to see what happens when he gets in touch with his inner fearless vampire killer. Personally, I always preferred evil Damon to “nice” Damon, if you could even call him that. As for Katherine’s nefarious plot to get Stefan back, I think he’ll figure it out sooner than later, as Katherine’s bound to slip up by accident and give herself away without any help from Nadia or anyone else. She just has a tendency to get too cocky for her own good, so just you wait, she’ll screw it up somehow.

So, what did you think of “The Vampire Diaries” this week? Glad to see Damon back to his old self? What do you make of his partner Enzo? Will Matt or Tyler figure out what Nadia’s really up to and spill the beans, or will she kill one- or even both- first? How long will Katherine get away with her Elena shtick? What were those Travelers up to? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next time! Turn around, bright eyes…ah! Make it stop!