Reviewed: by Tyler Olson
***The review below contains minor spoilers.***
So far this fifth season of the Vampire Diaries has been largely disappointing, and Monster's Ball is no different. With a title of Monster's Ball, I would expect something terrifying, or action-packed, but instead we got the same old lying dance that many of these characters are now famous for.
What ever happened to the grandiose unforeseeable plot twists, the great fight for survival, and the fantastic villains that can end it all whenever they choose? So far, I'm not seeing any of those in this season, and instead we are just getting a teenage soap opera with some supernatural characters. Sure, the first season started this way too, but if you ask most fans, those were the weakest episodes of the series, so why it is returning to the snore-fest is beyond me.
Let's take a look at the new "evil" characters. Before we had blood-hungry vampires, fierce hunters, vicious werewolves, powerful immortals, and even deadly hybrids, but now we have forgotten children and additional love-triangles with the same actors playing different characters. Silas has shown his destructive side, but instead of tearing up the town to get what he wants he makes back-room deals and flirts with his enemies. Nadia appeared to be ready to launch a mysterious war, but instead she was just looking for her mommy. Lastly, Tessa, who is the flesh definition of a woman with far too much emotional baggage, has lots of power but never uses it. Not really much to be afraid of.
A newer unknown, Dr. Maxfield, may quickly become a huge thorn in the side of the Mystic Falls vampires, but so far he is just running tests as he learns more about them. Sure he made a threat or two, and shows he isn't afraid to kill for his research, but mad scientist is as scary as a sexy zombie nurse costume. We need something exciting to break up the failed romances.
Is it just me or is the Vampire Diaries oozing with doomed love stories more than normal this season. It seems like no one is working out any more, and, just when it looks like that may be about to change, another long-term relationship splatters into another mushy mess. Maybe it's a good thing Tyler's story is pushed to a (hopeful) completion; he has become one of the most selfless characters in the series, and I thought Elena was bad. Part of me wishes that he makes a 15 second appearance on the Originals that ends with Klaus tearing him limb from limb just to make sure it is done at this point.
The only real saving grace in Monster's Ball was Katherine Pierce. Even as a human she has more life than any of the immortals. How she dealt with Nadia was entertaining, and her comments were fantastic, especially at the end. We definitely need more characters like her in the series, or at least give her a larger role in the events.
I feel sorry for the actors involved in this series as it is becoming more apparent that the writers are struggling to come up with new and interesting ideas. Just looking at the ratings tell me I'm not alone in my displeasure for this season; this episode has the poorest rating for the series so far with just two million viewers. It is still far from the danger zone, but it shows that something new and exciting needs to happen to keep the series alive.