The Vampire Diaries season 5 episode 17 review: Rescue Me

This week, it's Paul Wesley's turn to play a double role in The Vampire Diaries. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

5.17 Rescue Me

Last week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries dealt with the aftermath of Katherine’s reign of terror and, with season five’s second big bad out of the way, it must be time to introduce yet another threat for Elena and her friends to deal with. Of course, as everything seems to revolve around the doppelgangers and their all-powerful blood this year, it’s time for Paul Wesley to pull double duty (which, after Nina Dobrev’s hard work this season, is only fair) yet again as nice-guy paramedic “Stefanganger” Tom, whom Caroline and Enzo have travelled to Atlanta to murder in a bid to stop the travellers melting Stefan’s brain.

Despite the lengthy discussion about the moral complications of this particular subplot, it’s still a little troubling that the show would even entertain the possibility of its most likeable character murdering an innocent man. It was touch and go there for a minute but, when Caroline bottled it at the last second – planning to send Tom off into the sunset where he couldn’t be found – Enzo was on hand to finish the job. This is further proof that, with Damon too wrapped up in winning Elena back to actually get anything done, Enzo is our stand-in no nonsense vampire, willing to do the evil thing when other characters are unwilling.

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There’s certainly room for someone like that in The Vampire Diaries, evident in the gradually lessening body count of the last few seasons, and the emerging love triangle between Caroline, Stefan and Enzo, despite being yet another love triangle, feels fresher than any of the revolving love connections the show is currently dealing with. Eliminate Tyler from the mix and that’s a pretty compelling mixture of characters that, as is sadly so necessary right now, will distract from whatever’s going on with Elena and Damon. Stefan and Caroline, like Delena before it, developed relatively organically and, in a show as manipulative as VD, that’s welcome.

After all of the fanfare and anticipation, it’s a shame something still feels missing when it comes to our new central couple, but it’s the case nonetheless. Damon and Elena have broken up again, for what is actually the fourth time since the big “I’m bad for you” speech pre-Katherine and, with the ultimate relationship stage of their courtship proving as frustrating to watch as it would be to be in it, I’d rather they stayed that way. Rewind a couple of seasons, and I was the biggest Delena shipper out there but, as it stands in season five, my affections have moved elsewhere.

Aside from the final act of the travellers, the only big news to report from Rescue Me is Elena’s realisation that Jeremy can’t really function as a real human being when just being a Gilbert has destroyed his life more times than he can count. From the moment it flashed up on Elena’s calendar at the top of the episode, the whole concept of a parent/teacher day for Jeremy was hilarious and, adding in the school councillor’s warnings about an unstable home life having an impact on homework and attendance, it was the funniest The Vampire Diaries has been in years. The bonus of this, of course, is the prospect of Matt, Tyler and Jeremy all living in a house together – let’s hope hijinks ensue.

That’s if there’s time, of course, with that final image of the travellers literally setting themselves on fire in order to bring fourth their leader via Bonnie and the other side suggesting our gang might have a few things to deal with in the coming weeks. The badly-kept secret of Liv and Luke’s true intentions is also out and, with Jeremy now intent on keeping his sister safe from the travellers and Caroline well and truly on Team Stefan, this might be one big showdown that finally gets everyone equally involved. Too bad we have to wait until the 17th to see – see you there for awkward Elena/Stefan sex visions!

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, While You Were Sleeping, here.

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