The Vampire Diaries season 4 episode 19 review: Pictures Of You

Review Caroline Preece 19 Apr 2013 - 21:30

It's senior prom time in Mystic Falls. Here's Caroline's verdict on the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries...

This review contains spoilers.

4.19 Pictures of You

It’s been a couple of weeks since there was a party in Mystic Falls, so it must be time for the ladies and gents of the town (or at least the high school) to dust off all of their finery for senior prom. Episodes of The Vampire Diaries set around some kind of event are usually entertaining and, despite all of the same problems season four of the show has been stumbling over for nineteen weeks, this is no different.

Pictures of You works best if you ignore everything that Elena, Damon and Stefan are doing and, as they’re our three leading characters, that just illustrates how confused The Vampire Diaries has really become. No, this week is a chance for Matt and Bonnie, usually ignored or missing half of the time, to shine. If you’ve been reading my reviews of the show for a while, then you’ll know that I despise Bonnie and everything she gets up to, but I genuinely enjoyed her this week.

She gets to be badass while at the same time not acting like an idiot – two things you can’t usually say. Because this is a sentimental high school rite of passage episode, Jeremy pops up a couple of weeks early, first in a dream sequence and then outside of the high school ready for a dance. Of course, as has been guessed by fans across the internet, Jeremy is actually Silas in disguise, doing his best to sway Bonnie on the whole ‘opening the gates of hell’ issue. She resolutely refuses, but her magic starts getting her into a bit of trouble.

Since this is senior prom, there’s plenty of relationship drama to go around. Elena still refuses to turn her emotions back on, and Damon and Stefan are still intent on forcibly defying her wishes. This whole thing is just creepy and deeply sexist – it would be slightly better if one of the people trying to change her mind was a fellow woman. Caroline, for example, could be used to explain how being a vampire has helped her through various traumas. In the end, the two boys literally drug her and lock her in the cellar, planning to torture her until she agrees with them – great boyfriends, eh?

Their original plan doesn’t even make sense – that they could ‘stir’ feelings in her – surely the switch works like an on/off button – no one would want to feel grief and pain if they had the chance. Seeing a picture of Jeremy or a photo that her mother took before freshman year wouldn’t stir anything in her because she has no feelings to stir. I really need a proper explanation as to how the switch works and, for that matter, a list of characters who currently have it on and off. Also, let me know in the comments if I’m mistaken, but didn’t Rose once tell us that the switch was a work of fiction?

In addition to the central trio, another love triangle makes a brief (and final?) return when Tyler comes to visit Caroline. It’s a sweet little scene that presumably plays as closure for fans of the couple, and makes prom a little more romantic than it had been up until that point. But I do wonder, in a show so focused on its characters' romantic entanglements, what they’re going to do with Caroline after Klaus runs off to New Orleans (more on that later). Will we be getting some new characters? Or will we be seeing the long-awaited and very popular Stefan/Caroline pairing? They get my vote, if only to get him away from Elena.

And another couple popular with the fans get their last hurrah before The Originals, too, as Matt goes from telling Rebekah that she’s the antichrist to actually recognising that she wants to be a better person. It’s satisfying to see him be telling her the blunt truth, but also completely in character for him to offer her some forgiveness once she selflessly saves April’s life. Whether she’ll get her reward in the cure is now in question though since, via a neat editing trick, we and Elijah were tricked by Silas into thinking he was the littlest Original and handing over the vial of blood.

We’re unlikely to find out what happened to it next week, as we’re taking a holiday to New Orleans for the backdoor pilot of The Originals. That letter from Katherine to Klaus in this episode was clumsy as hell, but it did the job in giving him an excuse to pack his bags. I’m going in with high expectations, so let’s all hope that the episode meets them. See you there!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, American Gothic, here.

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This was one of my favourite shows but now they are dragging it so bad that I am losing interest. Elena-Damon-Stefan love triangle has become boring. I am glad to see Elijah back again, he is the only sensible vampire in this entire show. And for Christ's sake Klaroline, get a life! Either you guys be together or be away from each other, its just the same old cliched story. I prefer these vampires any day over Twilight sparkles but TVD really need to stop beating around the bush.

I see where you're point is coming from, but I honestly disagree. I find it quite

interesting to see what's gonna happen in the end. Klaroline has been bound to happen sometime, but wouldn't it be amazing to see them finally together? Or wouldn't it be heartbreaking for Caroline to turn Klaus down once and for all and for Klaroline to be all over? To some of you who are fans of Tyler and Caroline, it could be the other way around. Also, the Damon and Stefan love triangle is basically the entire point of the Vampire Diaries, without it, the show just wouldn't be the same anymore. Again, after all these episodes and seasons, wouldn't you like to see who Elena ends up to be with for sure? After she's been with both Stefan and Damon, I'm sure you would like to know the ending. Also, I believe that Stefan and Damon are doing something good by locking her up. Elena and Lexi's ghost did the same thing when Stefan decided to run away with Klaus and become the ripper that he was before. Otherwise, Stefan would be the same Stefan he was, ripping people's heads off and writing their names on a wall. Maybe this thing with Elena may actually work, and maybe it won't. That's the beauty of the Vampire Diaries, even though many things have happened over and over again, you never know what's going to happen in the end.

I totally agree wit jane cos I myself am a huge fan of Klaorine. It would definately be soulwrenching for Caroline to reject Klaus

Personally, I have to agree with Hola. Typically teen shows spend a lot of time changing up relationships and dynamics between characters, and that's fine. As you say, it's kind of what the premise TVD was built upon with the whole love triangle thing. But the problem for me has been in the quality of execution.

For the past couple of seasons, it's felt as though the ONLY reason writers make certain things happen between characters, is to enlist a reaction from their audiences. I understand that in order to survive another year, it needs to bring in the ratings, and do things that make the fans go AH! But Julie Plec can't seem to commit to her plot re-directions. She wants crazy things to happen, but she isn't willing to acknowledge the real-world consequences of her characters' actions and emotions with enough depth or concern. On so many occasions revenge, tragedy, trauma and unrequited love have been left hanging, lost in yet another contrived plot twist. Hardly anything is resolved anymore, and it's become confusing, and boring to watch the characters try to make us care.

There is always SO much build up on this show, each episode spent waiting for something defining to happen... How important was Prom, really, considering everything that has happened to them since the show began? Is it admirable that most of last episode was spent dealing with Elena's new bitchitude, Caroline's fury over a dress, and the importance of a romantic date, when we all figured out that Silas was running rampant in Mystic Falls some couple of episodes ago? Not even the Salvatore brothers had the sense to even be cautious.

Plec doesn't realise that she's turned her characters into self-involved, teenage monsters, whose only redeeming qualities stand as echoes of previous, better episodes. This has been the most static season to date.

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