'The Vampire Diaries': Monster's Ball (5x05)
This is going to be a rapid-fire review. Let's start with the plot.
We see Professor Maxfield running experiments on the new vampire Jesse, and it appears that these sorts of experiments aren't new to him. That cannot be good. Meanwhile Elena, trying to handle her grief over Bonnie's death, looks further into Megan's death. She meets Aaron, a rather taciturn student who apparently knew Megan when they were kids. Things are getting interesting, however, as Elena is threatened by Maxfield to leave the school before people start asking questions.
Tyler is back in town, but only long enough to have sex with Caroline for a few days and then break up with her to go join the spin off. Apparently, his hatred for Klaus is stronger than his love for Caroline.
There's a ball at the college, and everyone goes dressed up as famous historical figures, which is a great opportunity for some fun costumes. Nina Dobrev looks beautiful as always, dressed as Anne Boleyn. Also in attendance at the ball are Damon, Caroline and Tyler, a very grumpy Stefan, Tessa/Qetsiyah, and Silas. See, Damon and Silas are working together.
Since Silas wants to die and be at peace, he needs two things. First of all, he needs to take the cure. But if he does that he'll be a witch, so if he dies he'll go to supernatural purgatory. So, the second thing he needs is something that only Tessa can get him. But, in order to figure out Tessa's plan, he needs his psychic powers back. Silas agrees to help Damon bring Bonnie back to life, but only if Damon "kills" Stefan and breaks the hold on Silas' powers. Damon does so, snapping Stefan's neck and allowing Silas to get what he needs from Tessa. Things go wrong when Stefan wakes up and overpowers Damon, warning Tessa about Silas. Tessa squeezes Silas' heart and renders him basically calcified. Not dead, but unable to move or do anything.
While all of this is happening, Nadia and Katherine are on the run from Silas. We learn the truth about Nadia: she's Katherine's daughter!
The end of the episode was seriously epic... Silas, still all mummified, is lying on a couch in the Salvatore house. He needs the cure, so Damon calls Katherine over and feeds her blood to Silas. Katherine falls to the ground, supposedly dead, but then she awakens, apparently unharmed even though she's just been drained of her blood. Dun dun dun...
So, let's just do a quick pro/con list about this episode, because there were things to love and hate, as there usually are with this show.
Amnesia Stefan is the best Stefan. He's just so done with everyone's crap. I actually cheered when he snapped Damon's neck. I mean, come on, I love Damon, but the guy sort of had that coming.
Tyler is gone. I'm not happy that Caroline is unhappy, but Tyler just never did much for me as a character.
Bonnie might be coming back?! Well, yay! I'm happy to see how far Damon is willing to go. It's also very amusing how ghost Bonnie is still hanging out with Jeremy as her only way to communicate with the world.
That. Ending. For a moment there I thought they had actually killed Katherine. I thought that Katherine Pierce was actually dead. And I was... wow, I was emotional about it. Just the thought that Damon could actually kill Katherine is so dark and twisty, especially considering how in love with her he once was. But of course they aren't going to kill off a character that awesome, so I guess the new question is, how the hell is Katherine still kicking?
The Maxfield and Jesse stuff. With this new addition with the character Aaron, I'm actually starting to get pulled in to the mystery of Megan's death. There are a lot of ways they could screw this up going forward, but for now they've got my attention.
Nadia is Katherine's daughter. This is the dumbest twist ever, thank you, the end, goodbye.
Tessa and Silas. I know their showdown is supposed to be the main focus of the story here, but I'm just not grabbed by them. There's something potentially interesting about a villain who wants to die, but Silas is just a bit too one-note evil for me. And Tessa is just after revenge, which is a pretty standard motive. Kudos to Paul Wesley for playing Silas so well, however.
The lack of focus. There were a lot of different plot elements in this episode. At first it seemed like the plot was going to be focused by the ball they were all at, but it didn't really work out that way. We had Caroline and Tyler's drama, Elena's master sleuthing attempts, Katherine and Nadia, the attempt to bring Bonnie back, etc. etc. There was no real focal point for the episode to aim its energies at, and as such, it felt pretty chaotic. Normally, episodes with a focus on a big fancy event go over very well, but this one was a bit of a flop for me.
And I guess that's all I have. I did keep it sort of brief, right?