The Vampire Diaries: Prayer for The Dying Review

The are very few shows on television today with storytelling as tight as the Vampire Diaries. Here's our latest review...

This week The Vampire Diaries balanced two story-lines rather than three and the lack of the third wasn’t missed. The struggle between Kai and Jo was escalated with Luke’s sacrifice to protect his sister and Caroline’s struggle to let go of her mother was a study in subtly for every actor working on those scenes. Add to this the perfect intersection of the stories, using Kai as the shared segment of the Venn diagram? Man, I am in delicious story-heaven. It’s like someone just wheeled fondue over to my bedside will setting me up with an IV drop of Bordeaux: Decadent and unlikely. 

The are very few shows on television today with storytelling as tight as the Vampire Diaries. Unfortunately, this is a fact that sometimes lost even on fans like myself when the decision is made to jam as many of those excellent stories into one episode as is humanly possible. The result is like giving a toddler their very own birthday cake. It’s cute and exciting at first but inevitably leads to overindulgence, mania, and vomiting. Sadly, it’s Jeremy Gilbert and Bonnie Bennett who suffer the most when this happens. Bonnie peeks her head into a frame or Jeremy sashays past the Salvatore swathed in just a towel and it sets my teeth on edge: TOO MUCH BIRTHDAY.

Tonight’s episode was about loss as well as the limitations even the supernatural beings face. With Liz’s imminent death, we are reminded that though she may live forever, Caroline is still a teenager. Without her mother’s presence (however vague it has felt at times throughout the show’s run) Caroline runs the risk of being pulled completely free of her moorings. That’s why her relationship with Stefan is so important, OTP believers be damned. They are both characters who thrive and survive because of the people in their lives. It is inevitable that they will turn to each other. That said, it’s a shame that it has to come with Liz’s death. But this is the CW, where no adult is allowed to live forever. Unless we are talking about Jane The Virgin in which – OH MY GOD PLEASE NO ONE DIE… 

Jo is dealing with loss as well. Kai’s melding with Luke left the good brother dead and the bad one very much alive. This is great for us in terms of storytelling (Kai is one hell of a villain) but awful for Jo. Sure, Luke’s death will ultimately only serve to make her stronger, but at the cost of a brother she loved. Both Luke and Caroline learned this week the limitations of their abilities. Luke paid with his life, Caroline’s fate was even worse: She learned at the cost of her own mother’s life, and that’s something she’ll have to live with for all eternity. 

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4 out of 5