Reviews

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Top 5 Moments from ‘No Exit’

Bob Mahoney/The CW

Things have reached a new level of crazy this season on The Vampire Diaries and last night’s episode might as well be the poster child for that. The show still provides a fun hour of television, but it’s not so much OMFG, edge of your seat TV anymore. And that’s okay because we’re in season five and those of us that are still watching love these characters way too much to ever leave them.

But sometimes the show takes our faith in it and pushes it just a little too far and that’s why “No Exit” featured some head scratching, WTF moments. Right off the bat, what happened to Katherine? It’s hard to reconcile this silly version of her with the same woman who was smart enough to stay 10 steps ahead of Klaus, Elijah and everyone else who wanted her dead for 500 years.

Is it because she only has access to Elena’s brain? I mean I love Elena (sometimes), but her plans have never been the brightest. So maybe Katherine can only work with what she’s got. Or maybe the show thought we’d enjoy these silly antics that made everyone involved look dumb?

Then we have Damon and Enzo, who are once again following a plot that was already done much better with Stefan and Klaus. But instead of Damon using his new ripper skills on random people, he has to fight the urge to use them on vampires. Actually, Enzo just wanted him to fight the urge to eat him. But Dr. Wes showed up (why is this guy still around?) with the travelers and made Damon eat Enzo a little. Sorry, but all I could think during these scenes was that I wish Damon had finished the job.

So all of that was messy, but there were a lot of good things in this episode that more than validated my undying love for the show. Let’s talk about those:

5. Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley bringing the sexy

I’m just going to set aside the ick factor for a moment and talk about how hot these scenes were (as long as you didn’t think too hard). First, that shower scene…did anyone else wonder how they got that silhouette scene past the censors (Holy boobs, girl!)? Anyway, Katherine continued to flaunt Elena’s assets and Stefan definitely took a peek, but he’s Stefan so he felt bad about it.

Or he did until ‘Elena’ started kissing him. Stefan totally went in for it and again as long as you don’t think too hard, it was hot because Dobrev and Wesley are always hot when they’re making out, no matter which doppelgangers they’re representing. But thankfully they didn’t push things too far and Stefan pulled away and felt guilty about everything. ‘Elena’ respectfully backed off and then Katherine practically did a dance of joy over it. Can’t say that I blame her…

4. Katherine and Nadia’s unique mother-daughter bonding

It’s nice to see Katherine have an ally, even though her plan is absolutely insane and she’s super bad at pretending to be Elena. But she was not interested in her daughter’s excuses once she learned that Matt knew the truth and Kat ordered Nadia to kill him. But Nadia didn’t want to because she was attached to him and he agreed to keep her secret. Unfortunately, Nadia is new and didn’t realize that Matt like look innocent, but he’s a liar. She caught him texting Caroline to warn her.

Nadia compelled him to forget everything and then things got ugly between her and Caroline and Tyler (more on that below). After his misadventures with the Salvatore brothers (more on that below too), Katherine was excited to share her good fortune with her daughter, but Nadia was not impressed. She was disappointed in her mother’s complete lack of interest in her and then let Katherine know she wouldn’t have to worry about her much longer – because Tyler had bit her. Suddenly Katherine wasn’t quite so happy anymore.

3. Tyler saves Caroline and they finally talk

Early in the episode, Tyler called Caroline to let her know Matt was missing. Things were super awkward between them, but they set their differences aside to look out for their friend. They weren’t impressed with Nadia’s excuses and explanation for why she was compelling Matt and then Caroline caught her in another lie. Caroline pinned her against the wall, but Nadia got the upper hand in less than two seconds and she had every intention of killing Caroline – which she told Matt was on him.

But then Tyler came to the rescue and reminded Nadia that hybrid beats old vampire. Even though they didn’t show him biting her, it was obvious that was what happened and Caroline was grateful. He apologized for his initial reaction and she wanted to get back on track to being friends. Tyler wasn’t ready to go that far and I can’t say that I blame him. Klaus took everything from Tyler so I understand why he didn’t welcome Caroline back with open arms. But they’re going to be civil to each other now and Tyler is on track to being one of the good guys again so this is a total win as far as I’m concerned.

2. Stefan refuses to give up on Damon

As always, the Salvatore brothers remain one of the best parts of the show. Enzo called Elena and Stefan for help and Katherine finally got around to relaying the message once she decided to use it to her gain. She planned to have Damon attack her, which would force Stefan to kill him. This is the scene where Katherine did her best version of Elena because this was exactly what Elena would do – cut her wrist and offer it to Damon so he could prove that he was strong enough to resist. Damon tried his hardest, but the hunger was too much. He started to feed from her and Katherine kicked a stake toward Stefan.

But Stefan had another idea. He offered up his blood and as soon as Damon turned around, Stefan snapped his neck. Then he brought him home to the family dungeon and gave him some vervain and some time to think about what he did. Stefan promised that he’d find a way to help him, but Damon was pretty bummed out by the fact that ‘Elena’ had wanted to kill him because even in ripper mode, he hadn’t missed that part (ouch).

1. Stefan and Caroline solve the puzzle

These two are secretly married, right? I know they’re BFFs and both coming out of relationships with other people, but come on, they’re like an old married couple in the best possible way. They have so many inside jokes, they look out for one another, they call the other one out on potential mistakes and the mutual teasing is one of the highlights of the show. So are their deductive reasoning skills.

Stefan loses some points for not seeing the truth sooner, but I’m going to cut him some slack because as he told ‘Elena’, she doesn’t know what it’s like to be in love with her. So maybe Stefan buried his head in the sand a little because a part of him was fine with Elena wanting him again. But Damon’s words really got to him, along with Caroline sharing the text message Matt sent (speaking of, ‘Help K’? Really, Matt? That was the best you could come up with?). It doesn’t matter though because it did the trick.

Naturally, Caroline didn’t want to believe it at first. She reminded Stefan that they knew Elena and even as she said the words, it was like a light bulb was going off and they both saw the truth: it was Katherine in Elena’s body.

So there you have it. Katherine’s secret is out and Nadia doesn’t have much time left because I doubt anyone is going to call Klaus to save her. Of course the gang still has to figure out how to get Elena back (I’m so curious where she is and how much she knows about what’s going on). Plus, there’s that whole Damon issue where he’s going to want to keep eating all of his loved ones.

Now it’s your turn: Did you enjoy the episode? Are you said this is probably the end of Nadia? Will Katherine find another way to survive or did all her reasoning skills burn with her body? Is anyone else wondering what the deal is with the travelers? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

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  • I was so happy when the light bulb went on in their brains. through out the whole show I kept wondering “how can they not tell that she’s not Elena?!” Elena can be pretty annoying sometimes, the reason being is that she’s consistent with her self-absorbed self-less-ness. She’d sacrifice herself for the people she loves. She’d never be so cold to Damon, because as the show pointed out, he has done worse. Now that they know, I’m looking forward to how the story progresses.