The Vampire Diaries 5.07 "Death and the Maiden" – Goodbye, Silas – please take Elena with you.

Real talk: I have a hard time remembering this show having humor before Silas rolled into Mystic Falls. I’m sure there were funny moments, but Silas really raised the bar there – and, though we knew it was coming, it’s going to be so hard re-adjusting to life without him. Paul Wesley has a fantastic talent for the angst-driven scenes we usually see with Stefan, and for a few brief episodes, we got a glimpse of Ripper Stefan’s more subtle humor. Now, however, he has also proven his skills for deadpanning comedic lines like a pro. With the way things ended this week, we’re in for a treat with Stefan‘s upcoming PTSD storyline, but I am sure going to miss Silas‘ dry sarcasm.

Of course, The Vampire Diaries isn’t meant to be a comedic show, and in this week’s episode seemed determined to remind us of that. The doppelganger extravaganza of the last few episodes culminated in a doppelganger gathering  this week – which included several scenes in which the various doppelgangers were sharing screentime. As we have been dealing with Katherine and Elena in the same timeline since Season 2, these sort of scenes are not unfamiliar.
What made this week’s episode a little different had more to do with the sheer number of doppelgangers running around. Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev both had their share of duo-doppelganger scenes, but Nina had the added pressure of  a scene in which all three of her doppelgangers were in the same room together – which was all fine and great, but also felt a little like a forced scene just to try and compete with BBC America’s Canadian hit Orphan Black. Still, Nina Dobrev didn’t disappoint – not that we expected any less. [Three years later and I still often forget that Katherine and Elena are played by the same actress.]

So, it all came down to a Silas/Stefan showdown, and this week looks to be the last we’ll be seeing of Silas and Amara. Though, being Mystic Falls [and given the complete lack of fanfare around his death, in stark contrast to how the show normally does away with the “big bads”], I’m not entirely convinced this was the last we’ll be seeing of him [or maybe I’m just really hoping]. Regardless, it has certainly been an interesting few episodes, dealing with doppelgangers everywhere we turn.
Anyway, let’s get to the reacap: last week Amara shocked the hell out of everyone when she was finally reunited with her “one true love” Silas only to stab him in the neck so she could take the cure herself and die. She then ditched him, but Damon found her and took her back to Mystic Falls for safekeeping – as we’d also learned that she was the anchor to the other side, meaning if she dies, Bonnie would be gone forever.

So, Silas (Paul Wesley) was left behind in New Jersey, and this week’s episode opened with a very disillusioned-with-love Silas waiting on a bus [yes, a bus] back to Mystic Falls. When Damon called Silas for a status update, and to remind Silas of the pinky-promise he made, Silas revealed that he had no intention of helping Damon by bringing Bonnie back – since Silas wanted nothing more than to watch Damon and Elena’s relationship blow up in Damon’s face.
Fortunately for Damon, Bonnie and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) were busy making nice with Amara, who not only could see Bonnie, but also could touch her – which helped the gang discover a bit more about Amara and her skills as anchor for the Other Side. With Amara wishing for death, and Bonnie wanting to be alive, they devised a plan to make Bonnie the new anchor to the Other Side. Amara was obviously fine with this plan as it would mean the Mystic Falls group would let her kill herself, so Damon went in search of a witch strong enough to do the spell: Qetsiyah.

 agreed to make Bonnie the new anchor, and asked Damon to assemble the three Petrova doppelgangers so she could use them to generate enough power to work a transfer spell. Caroline had to track Katherine down, as Katherine was a little busy trying to find a way to stop aging. She made Dr. Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) run tests on her, and he found that she was aging so quickly that she basically only has a few months left to live.

When Caroline (Candice Accola) drags her to the Salvatores to help with the spell, Katherine makes a deal with Qetsiyah. Katherine agrees to let Qetsiyah use her blood if Qetsiyah would do another spell to reverse the aging. So, the three doppelgangers gather and drop some blood onto Bonnie’s spell book, but the Silas shows up before Qetsiyah can finish the spell. In the ensuing chaos, Stefan makes off with Amara, Silas corners Qetsiyah and stabs her, and Jeremy and Bonnie confess their love for each other and prepare for Bonnie to die for realsies.

, thanks to Qetsiyah forcing his memories back on him, was really struggling with the memories of being locked in that safe all summer. We all remember revenge-filled Stefan from Season 3, and though Elena tried to dissuade him from going down that road with Silas, Stefan felt that it was the only way he could deal with the trauma and get past it so he could move on with his life. So, he stole Amara (Nina Dobrev), rightly assuming Silas would come running to track her down.

Thanks to his witch powers, it didn’t take him long to find her. In what quickly became a very emotional scene – both for the characters and the viewers – Amara and Silas confessed their love for each other again, but Amara then begged Silas to understand that she genuinely just really wanted to die. Silas said he understood, took out a knife to take her life, but before he could do so, Stefan showed up and killed Silas.
An understandably upset Amara then took the knife out of Silas’ heart and used it to take her own life. [How very Romeo and Juliet. Sigh. It was all so very cliched. Still, up until that beyond cheesy moment, it was a fantastic scene, once again making me ask: how in the hell is Paul not nominated for PCA?!] Qetsiyah (Janina Gavankar) did manage to get the spell finished just before Amara died, so Bonnie became the new anchor, Silas went to the Other Side, and Amara went… wherever the non-supernaturals go when they die.
Soon after, Elena (Nina Dobrev) shows up and wastes no time in making everything about her – as she did every time she was alone with Stefan in this episode. She seeks Stefan out supposedly to offer support, but instead she proceeds to tell him all about how his traumatic summer affected her, which involved drilling into Stefan’s brain that she’d basically spent the entire summer ‘in love’ while sleeping with his brother all over the house.

[I can’t tell you guys how angry Elena‘s selfishness in these situations makes me. She’s supposed to be the ‘guilt-ridden martyr’ but she really just comes across as a selfish, immature teenager unable to see anything outside of her world other than the way it impacts her – it’s always about her needs, her pain, her feelings – which is perfectly acceptable behavior… for toddlers.] Anyway, rant over. The point here is that Stefan finally confesses something that has been bothering him: the fact that the only thing keeping him sane while locked in that safe was the knowledge that Elena and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) would come rescue him. Of course, in reality, neither the love of his life nor his own brother came and found him; he was rescued by a stranger, on Qetsiyah‘s command. [I know, Damon had Sheriff Forbes working on it, but it just wasn’t fast enough.]

Damon and Elena left him alone after that, but while Stefan finished burying Silas, he was once again hit with flashbacks to his time in the safe. [As much as I hate seeing Stefan in this kind of pain, from the standpoint of loving watching Paul Wesley work, I can’t wait to see this upcoming PTSD storyline play out.] Obviously, killing Silas didn’t end up solving any of Stefan‘s problems. The poor guy really could use a hug – from someone who isn’t his self-absorbed ex-girlfriend.
Back at Whitmore College, Nadia (Olga Fonda) shows up to tell Katherine that she’s going to head back to Prague, but that she’d like Katherine to accompany her. Katherine proceeds to belittle Nadia for wanting to spend time with her – telling Nadia that she needs to get over her mother/daughter bonding fantasies. Katherine also tells her that she’d basically rather die than spend her last few months of her life running around Europe with Nadia. Ouch.
Meanwhile, Jeremy and Bonnie (Kat Graham) are busy making up for all those months of celibacy. The celebration of her newfound life is soon ruined for Bonnie, though, when she learns about the unfortunate side-effect of being the anchor to the other side. When Qetsiyah kills herself to be with Silas on the Other Side [without keeping her end of the bargain with Katherine, unfortunately], she shows up by Bonnie’s side and informs her that, as the anchor, every single supernatural that dies will pass through Bonnie, making Bonnie feel every single death – and, spoiler alert: it doesn’t tickle. [Next time someone offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, read the fine print, Bonnie.] So, in all, it was a pretty exciting episode, if you can look past how annoying Elena was – which is, granted, very difficult to do. I’d like to know why can’t Elena be the doppelganger on her deathbed. I think most of the fandom can agree that Elena is the least interesting and most annoying of the two remaining doppelgangers. Elena aside, things are about to get a lot worse for Bonnie… and Stefan, it would seem. On an unrelated note: I wonder when they’re going to discover Dr. Maxfield’s vampire experiments he’s running on Jesse?

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