The Vampire Diaries ‘Original Sin’ review: Conflict that makes things interesting

tvd original sin

There were plenty of moments during tonight’s Vampire Diaries where it seemed like the writers were speaking directly to the audience. One of them, of course, was Quetsiyah telling Damon that he’s basically used to dramatize another romance. We know that Damon and Elena love to prove to themselves that they are beyond fate and circumstance, but time and time again, the actual series provides to us that Elena and Stefan are somehow epic. This is always my main concern with love triangles. I remember watching Lost Girl this summer and thinking the same thing, but vice-versa. In that show, one side of the love-triangle was never going to happen because of a spell, which was just used as some sort of greater and epic obstacle for their inevitable love story. Here, given that there has been such an insurmountable amount of evidence about the “epic” Stefan and Elena romance, one can’t help but think Damon and Elena are entering a relationship that’s doomed. In a show that has set up relationships as the ultimate prize for heroism, it’s going to be weird to see how Damon’s story could end without Elena. I can’t imagine a high-note ending for himself without her, myself; no other viable love interest prospects have popped up throughout the entire series’ run. And yet, I can see an ending for Stefan that’s positive where Elena isn’t in his life. Basically, as always, they’re on a thin line here.

But more importantly, it was the reveal of another original doppelgänger in Imara. Tatia who? Never mind her because The Vampire Diaries isn’t concerned with what it has actually already set up — which is that when the original vampires were created, they needed a blood source and that was Tatia, which is why the universe created doppelgängers in the first place. (I suppose that this could be briefly shooed away with some sort of, “Oh but we thought….“)

With the reveal of Stefan being Silas’ doppelgänger last season, we knew even more retcons were coming. And they have arrived. Though, you have to admire the show’s ingenuity here. In some weird way, the “shadow selves” theory makes some sort of sense. When an entity who was supposed to die suddenly becomes immortal, the universe creates doppelgängers to balance it out. OK, then.

So for centuries, Stefans and Elenas have continued to draw themselves to each other. And, apparently, whenever there was a Stefan and Elena, there was a love triangle in the mix. With Imara, Silas and Quetsiyah (excuse me, Tessa) were the other side of the triangle; with Tatia, there was Klaus and Elijah on either side; with Damon and Stefan, there is Katherine and Elena, respectively.

Show to audiences everywhere: If you were tired of love triangles, too effing bad. The Love Triangle is a fabric of the entire mythology. It is embedded in everything that has ever happened with the show — and that’s the way it is. So change the channel, or keep watching. Either way, the love triangle stays — for good. It may not be the show we want exactly, but it’s the show that The Vampire Diaries is. And there’s really nothing we can do about it.

However, I will say that this has been the most fun episode to watch, in my opinion. The first two episodes of the season were retreads of episodes past (as is this one in a way, but whatever) with anti-climactic twists and unintentionally hilarious scenes. There’s probably a reason why I liked this episode which featured no college setting and no Bonnie plainly mentioning she’s dead.

At this point, one of the better elements of The Vampire Diaries is watching everyone just playing a whole bunch of people and having fun. Katherine continues to throw out amazing one-liners. My personal favorite this episode: “Anything to [drone out] the sound of eggshells cracking.” Not exactly a punchy one, but weirdly clever. And though The CW very blatantly lied to us about Ripper Stefan returning, was anyone else extremely impressed with Zach Roerig’s stint as New Lady’s lover? That was fun! Plus, Janina Gavankar’s portrayal of Tessa was just terrific, in my opinion. She really had fun hamming it up there, and I was very grateful for that. I mean, when you give someone a line that very obviously states the essence of their character (“I’m paranoid. I’m crazy.”) and they still deliver it without anyone second-guessing it, well damn!

Besides, I also felt like this episode was transitioning more to its roots. Sure, Katherine being the cure was probably guessed by all of you, but whatever! Everyone wanting doppelgänger blood: check! A “history lesson”? Yes! People just talking at each other and it somehow being dramatic? Classic TVD. This was a much more fun episode than the previous two is all I’m saying. Even with the retcons.

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About the author: Michael Collado
Michael Collado
Mike's a television junkie located in Miami, where he spends all of his time watching TV with his best friends couch and cable access.

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  • cacherr1

    IDK if I am suppose to find DE funny but I laughed at all their scenes. A) once again Damon and her are trying too hard as if they were trying to prove something (I Mean Damon’s bar speech was too funny for words). B) Elena left him sprawled on the floor. C) Damon acting like an insecure bitch is not a good look.

    Yay for Amnesia Stefan as he really don’t need to remember losers.
    The writers are so lucky I love me some Janina (I mean it really makes no sense for her to be greece but I guess we can’t have more than 2 blacks at a time) but wtf was her referring to Bonnie as if they aren’t related. P.S. is Bonnie a traveler too?
    Yeah retcon doppleganger history. So Amara and Silas are not related like Elena and Katherine are to Tatia. Apparently there are more Stefans too in history. okay.

    • Mike

      Yeah, the retconning is very confusing. I think we’re just supposed to go with it and not question anything much, which is like the tagline for the show at this point.

  • cacherr2

    Guess theres a good thing from this episode, Elena and Stefan we’re made to be together by the universe and not because they wanted to or decided to. Was wondering how that boring relationship lasted so long.

    • Mike

      BAHAHAHAHA! Whelp, at least some things DO make sense on the show!

    • bird

      Actually, they we’re made to be together, yes. They’re soulmates. But that doesn’t mean they HAVE to be together. That doesn’t work for all doppelgangers, since Stefan was never in love with Katherine, although he was drawn to her. With Elena, though, it was different. True that the universe set Elena and Stefan up, but it didn’t make them fall in love with each other, THEY did. Their personalities match and their love for each other is strong and respectful, caring and intimate.
      If they we’re somehow programmed to be together, then how could have Elena chosen Damon on season four? They HAVE free-will to choose who they want to be with.

      • cacherr1

        Yeah Elena and Damon plus free will in the sentence don’t go. Lest we forget how big the sirebond played into the Damon and Elena getting together (Julie admitted DE wouldn’t have happen without it), so the only time someone got manipulated into a relationship due to magic was Elena in season 4 to be with Damon.

        • wendy

          Yes! If there’s anything such as a boring relationship, this relationship is Delena.
          When they’re not having sex, they’re either talking about Stefan or Elena is reassuring Damon how much she “loves” him.

  • lala

    I didnt watch the episode, actually I havent watched since before last season’s finale, but keep following these reviews to see if it’s worth to return (for what I gather it’s not). Anyway, what I dont get is why are stefan and elena epic because of doppelgängers and not stefan and katherine for example??

    • Mike

      Yeah, I have no idea about that. Maybe Katherine missed her other Silas doppelgänger in the few hundred years she was alive before Stefan was born? I don’t.

  • beeMikeB

    Damon/Elena never made sense after we saw in Season 3 how Elena was treating the just day before (or whatever) almost-drove-her-off-the-bridge Stefan as she had in Season 1 – she still clearly totally loved the guy. I stopped watching this show in 3.18 because it made no sense. The sire bond made less than zero sense given her heightened feelings would have made her love Stefan even more, and probably should have made her hate Damon given he’d killed Jeremy, raped Caroline for months, etc.

    As for the sexy factor, I saw the promo clip for the Stefan/Katherine sex in the cave stuff. That was cut drastically and it seems simply to make Stefan-Elena appear less hot that in could be. The promo stuff was hotter than anything Nina-Ian had done.

    So, yeah, I never could get into Damon/Elena simply because after he did things like use and rape Caroline and then kill Jeremy, that relationship would never make sense. Imagine if in say Season 4 of BtVS if Spike had mind-controlled Willow and was drinking from her and raping her for months. And then in Season 5 after “Crush” (5.14) or something, Spike killed Dawn but Dawn managed to not die because of some magical reason. Let’s also imagine Angel didn’t have the perfect happiness clause and had decided to stay in Sunnydale. Would anyone in the audience be rooting for Buffy/Spike?

  • MA

    I was watching this entire episode thinking “There is some reason the explanations you are throwing at me don’t make sense, but goddammit, I don’t remember why because season two was so long ago.” TVD is lucky it’s made itself so convoluted that at this point, the viewers are forced to accept anything. I agree that this episode was far, far better than the previous two. I think they need to just get rid of Bonnie permanently and keep Katherine permanently.