Elena and Stefan have intense visions of a perfect life together that lead them to Marcos’ location. Meanwhile, Liv has Jeremy, Matt, and Tyler scouring the town for passengers with surprising results. Here is a recap and review of the Vampire Diaries episode “Resident Evil.”
Elena sits outside enjoying the weather, but not her most recent diary page. The wind carries the loose page straight to an approaching Stefan. The two stare longingly into each other’s eyes, meeting for the first time. When a car almost hits Stefan, Elena wakes from this vision. As Caroline and Elena wait for Sheriff Forbes, it happens again. Elena confides in Caroline about what’s happening, and about that time, Stefan calls Caroline with the same concern.
After checking them, Liv tells Matt, Tyler, and Jeremy that they must stab random townspeople with the Traveler knife to lure out potential passengers. Bonnie arrives at Tyler’s looking for Jeremy. She gets angry upon seeing Liv and when Jeremy keeps her in the dark.
Because of Caroline’s concern, Matt looks for the now passenger-infused Sheriff Forbes, finding her right before she stabs him in the neck. He passes through to the other side, where Kol and Vicki say there’s something wrong. Tyler goes looking for Sheriff Forbes, and when she fails his test, he stabs her with the knife.
At the Salvatore mansion, Caroline and Enzo eavesdrop on Elena and Damon’s awkward conversation about being friends until Luke interrupts as their token witch. He reveals that the doppelgangers are being drawn together and to the Travelers. Another vision happens; while Stefan’s cooking, Elena stumbles upon an engagement ring and accepts. Elena snaps out of it, having seen Marcos’ address. Damon and Enzo find Marcos, who admits to creating the visions because doppelganger blood can help the Travelers break the curse preventing them from settling down. He stops the visions and reveals there’s quite a few townspeople harboring passengers.
Stefan and Elena reflect on their amazing visions, trying to convince themselves they weren’t real. Although Elena still wants Damon in her life, Damon thinks friendship with her is too hard and doesn’t want to see her again. Sad, she complies. Tyler, now possessed, hands over the last Traveler knife to Marcos, who destroys it.
“Resident Evil” delved into the mythology of the Travelers, finally providing a few answers while raising a few more in the typical Vampire Diaries fashion. It was an interesting episode that held my attention better than some others this season despite its seemingly fragmented storylines and the fact that the Travelers are simultaneously making more and less sense. In addition, it’s always a nice surprise when a few familiar faces pop up, and this marked an impeccable directorial debut for Paul Wesley, hopefully his first time directing of many.
The story of the Travelers started out as one of an ominous group threatening to bring dangers into the town, but has since morphed into one of a displace society just looking for a way to re-establish their home, albeit through bloody means. Their imposing aura had faded away since Marcos has established that he wants doppelganger blood most of all (speaking of, is it just me or has doppelganger blood become the new cure-all the way vampire blood was used in the early seasons?). Marcos, as a newly introduced character, lacked a personality that easily captivated me and by the end of the episode, I was still apathetic toward him, which is concerning if he’s to be the new antagonist. Although we finally met this head honcho and learned about his group’s desires, I’m still waiting, still expecting, some big twist that elevates them to a higher villainous level. Hopefully, the characters knowing the Travelers end game will start to restore their proactive nature instead of continuing to have Elena and the gang react to everything as they’ve done lately. Now that Tyler’s body has been taken over, there’s sure to be some good drama to come from it.
“Resident Evil” felt slightly disjointed as an episode, with two factions of characters working against the same force, but taking two separate routes that didn’t help or interfere with the other. It would have been interesting to see the non-vampire group unintentionally get in the way of the vampire group, or vice versa, or at the very least have communication between the two. This division of characters has left Bonnie with little to do other than complain, which decreases any sympathy for her character.
If you didn’t know beforehand that this episode was directed by a first-timer, you certainly would not have guessed it afterwards. Paul Wesley did an amazing job capturing this episode, to say the least. Not only was it one of the most visually beautiful episodes of the series, but it’s also impressive to see the way he distinguished reality from the visions and from the Other Side with their color schemes and the level of enthusiasm that permeated the different performances. Due to Wesley being in front of and behind the camera, the episode was somewhat lighter on Stefan, but the nature of his scenes didn’t make it feel that way since the episode hinged upon the visions he was sharing with Elena. The scene between them in front of the fireplace toward the end was simply stellar. Placing these characters in close proximity enhanced the subject matter, physically demonstrating that they could be friends instead of only having them say it. It created a contrast with the last Damon/Elena scene, in which the two were physically separated and discussing their separate futures. Although it’s usually not something the audience consciously thinks about, the director’s attention to this type of detail makes a world of difference in the scene.
As previously mentioned, seeing Grams, Vicki, and Kol for a brief bit was a nice way to remind the audience of the show’s history and give us a little surprise, but there wasn’t anything substantial that they revealed that we didn’t already know. It felt as if their appearances were solely for nostalgia’s sake rather than forwarding the plot. Regardless, it’s a testament to the lack of bounds that the show operates under if Vicki, a character that was killed off less than half way through the first season, can still reappear in a plausible way. I personally have always found series based on creativity rather than reality to be more enjoyable and praiseworthy, and The Vampire Diaries definitely falls under that category.