The Vampire Diaries season 5 episode 20 review: What Lies Beneath

Review Caroline Preece 5 May 2014 - 07:00

The Vampire Diaries gang are off to a spooky cabin in the woods this week. Here's Caroline's review of What Lies Beneath...

This review contains spoilers.

5.20 What Lies Beneath

Secrets. The Vampire Diaries is a show built on secrets – what the characters aren’t telling us, what salacious flashbacks have yet to be mined for present-day parallel and what each corner of each of the numerous love triangles is actually feeling at any one time. This week’s episode, What Lies Beneath, was an episode that addressed these secrets and, as a handy by-product, actually provided some relief to the audience. There’s only so long we can watch Caroline pine after Stefan, or Stefan and Elena keep the fate of Enzo under wraps, before everyone needs to sit down and discuss things.

That’s not usually the show’s style, with all the characters being in one place a rare enough occasion, but the weekend in a remote cabin cliché is useful for a show full of ulterior motives and ghosts – figurative and literal. We know from the end of last week’s very good episode that Enzo is in no way gone from these characters' lives and, with Stefan and Elena hell-bent on keeping his death a secret from Damon, it was only a matter of time before he started haunting the heck out of them. Being in a remote cabin in the woods, you wouldn’t really expect anything else from a vengeful undead(er) vampire.

Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy, Matt and Tyler had their very own storyline, something that has been happening more and more since they all decided to cohabitate in the vacant Lockwood mansion. At this point the gang only really have one parent between them but, with being orphans such a big part of those three guys’ characterisation, it’s fitting that they should find a little family with each other. It suddenly makes each of them a little less disposable, especially when they’re getting stuff done as in this episode. Thank god Tyler’s traveller possession didn’t turn into another body-swap story, and it was instead used as a way to get the whole cast involved. Even if the possession now sticks, this episode at least made good use of him.

As dire as the travellers’ situation is right now, it’s kind of hilarious how preoccupied Stefan, Damon, Elena and Caroline are with Enzo and their own weird romance square. Because yes, Caroline and Stefan’s friendship is almost certainly going to turn into something more before the end of the season, leaving Delena shippers kind of free to wallow in the idea that their once-underdog pairing might actually be endgame. I admire the show’s restraint with this, having another pairing develop over multiple seasons while we were all distracted with the ‘epic-ness’ of the central trio’s dysfunction. I like it, and look forward to seeing it play out.

But the primary reason for their little trip was to hide the doppelgangers from the travellers, with only a game of Never Have I Ever foiling Stefan and Elena’s foolproof plan to pretend Enzo’s actually holidaying in the Bahamas. The whole ‘let’s keep Damon from going off the deep end’ dance is getting very old at this point, selling the character short at the same time as making everyone around him seem supremely stupid. The other fact is that the circumstances surrounding Enzo’s death don’t actually make Stefan a murderer, and Damon knows Enzo well enough to believe he’d pull a stunt like that. He knows what we know, in other words, and proved everyone right when he decided to be calm and collected about the whole thing.

The love triangle’s still not working, and it remains a shame that Enzo isn’t on the show in the same way. As shaky as season five has been, in fact, we’ve gotten more great new additions than we have in ages. Enzo, Luke and Liv all feel like worthy parts of this show at a time when the main cast are getting stale and boring, and it feels like The Vampire Diaries could maybe claw itself out of its hole if it just embraced the change they could bring. We’ll see what happens (if they can bring Mikael back on The Originals, then why not Enzo), but for now we can look forward to the final two episodes of the season. See you next week!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Man On Fire, here.

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