The Vampire Diaries: Episode 5.03 "Original Sin" – Welcome to Doppelgängland, please excuse the retcon.

I’m just going to say it: I hated this episode. All the retcon makes me want to punch a hole in my TV. [For those who don’t keep up with fictional universe terms, click this link to learn what it means to retcon something.] I know I literally just said last week that I willingly ignore the fallacies in logic The Vampire Diaries loves to try and pass off as great storytelling, but this week’s rewriting of the Petrova Doppelgängers‘ entire history is just too much to rationally absorb. I’m not giving up on the show, but I have to admit I’ve come dangerously close after watching last night’s episode. However, I’ve stuck with it this long, so I am going to give the show a chance to try and convince me to buy into all the backtracking and rewriting of these characters I have become so attached to over the seasons – though I admittedly do not put much faith in their ability to do so.
Anyway, I’m jumping the gun a little bit here, so let’s back up and talk about how we even got to that point. The episode opens with Stefan (Paul Wesley) finding and feeding on a human. He doesn’t kill her, but we will never know if he actually would have because he ended up getting burned by the sunrise since Silas stole his daylight ring. He is saved by a witch named Tessa, who takes him to the cabin of the man who rescued him – a man that Tessa sent to resuce him, in fact.

While in the cabin, Tessa (Janina Gavankar) shares Silas’ history with Stefan, telling him all about what we learned last season – that Silas was in love with another woman, who we learned was named Amora (Nina Dobrev), but he tricked Qetsiyah into thinking he loved her so she would make an immortal elixer that he ended up stealing and sharing with his one true love Amora. What was different about this telling is that this time we were told with flashbacks to 2000 years ago, which involved a hilarious Paul Wesley with his hair down (and a little bit curly) wearing a toga. It was a whole new side to Silas – and of Paul, for that matter.
When Qetsiyah discovered Silas’ betrayal, she was obviously heartbroken, as well as extremely pissed off and vengeful. So, she created a cure for the immortality elixir, cured Amora, then violently murdered her and gave Amora’s heart to Silas as a present. When she then tried to make Silas take the cure and he refused, she shut him up in a remote tomb to rot, where Team Good Guys found and freed him last season.

Now, during all this, Tessa is gathering ingredients for a spell. When Stefan asks her what she’s doing, she tells him she is creating a daylight ring for him so he can help her take down Silas. After she told her story, she shocked Stefan by informing him that she is actually Qetsiyah (she changed her name to Tessa to fit in more with the times), and that Silas‘ one true love Amora was actually the original Petrova.
As if that wasn’t enough shocking news, she then proceeded to admit that she wasn’t making a daylight ring for Stefan but was actually working a spell to use Stefan’s connection to Silas to fry Silas’ mind-controlling powers. She ties Stefan up and finishes prepping her spell, during which she is eventually interrupted by Damon, who has found his way there looking for Stefan.

As for Elena‘s location, she was busy keeping track of Katherine, trying to save Katherine from being kidnapped by the traveller Nadia, who was sort of working for Silas – but also sort of running her own show, though we have no idea why yet. Elena was unsuccessful, so Katherine (Nina Dobrev) is now in the hands of Nadia (Olga Fonda), but as Qetsiyah was successful with her plan, Katherine is safe from Silas – who finally admitted that his plan was to drain Katherine, as the only cure for imortality now runs through her veins – but, of course, I’m sure it won’t be long before Silas shows up to collect her.

Matt Donvan
 finally has a great storyline that doesn’t reduce him to a mere love interest. He understands that Nadia and the traveller Nadia killed last week are doing something to him, he’s just not sure what exactly that is. When Matt (Zach Roerig) confronts her about it and later wakes up without any memory of what he’d done that day, it is clear that he is imagining he is heading down Alaric‘s path of serial-killer blackouts, one of those pesky side effects of sporting that nifty resurrection ring. The viewers, who watched as Nadia summoned the traveller posessing Matt‘s body, know different – but who knows how long it will take the Mystic Falls gang to figure that one out. Now WE just have to hope this new storyline doesn’t get Matt killed.

Now let’s get back to Stefan and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Stefan agrees to work with Qetsiyah and allow her to use him to get to Silas – not that he had much choice, being magically immobilized and all. Still, Quetsiyah (Janina Gavankar) successfully fried Silas’ brain, disabling his mind-control abilities. The downside to this spell is that it seems to have erased Stefan‘s memory. So now the poor guy has woken up, probably without a clue of any knowledge of the supernatural, surrounded by strangers. Seriously, poor Stefan has been having such a rough time of it lately; it hurts my heart.

Anyway, with all the information we learned this week, it’s hard to keep track of all the retcon going on, but basically Silas (Paul Wesley) and Amora are the original people the entire doppelgänger line decends from. Tatia is NOT actually the original one like we were told back in Season 3, and I suppose we are supposed to just accept that it was just a random coincidence that Tatia was used to make the Originals because Esther was tired of Elijah and Klaus fighting over her. Qetsiyah told Damon that Stefan and Elena are destined to be together because that’s what Silas and Amora’s doppelgängers are supposed to do, though we are also then supposed to believe (or just forget) that Tatia was in love with both Elijah and Klaus, neither of whom are doppelgängers of Silas, and that Katherine was also in love with Elijah in her own time.

Somehow, neither of those doppelgängers managed to find their own Silas doppelgängers to fall in love with, though apparently every other doppelgänger down the line followed their fate and fell in love with their respective doppelgängers. Whatever. Again, I try and remind myself that it’s best not to try and get to the bottom of the TVD logic because I value my sanity. So, this is where we are. Let’s just focus instead on how fun it will be watching Silas try to manage without his mind-control and how disheartening it will be to watch poor Stefan struggle to recover his memories and deal with the crap hand he was dealt in life.

[As a side note: remember when Stefan asked Rebekah to erase every last one of his memories of the time he spent with Elena? Well, it looks like he finally got his wish; it was just a few months later than originally planned – and not by Rebekah’s hands.] While this will be interesting in that we’ll get to see an entirely new side to Stefan – the side that is untainted by all the horrible things that have happened to him over the centuries, it will be hard watching Stefan fall for Elena all over again (because, let’s face it, that’s probably where this new storyline is heading, what with the whole “destiny” thing we just got hit with combined with the writers’ unwillingness to let the boring love triangle drop). Stefan deserves so much better than that, and I’m just going to sit here and hope that he realizes that before he falls for her again.

So, we’ll just have to wait and see the fallout of Elena falling in love with Stefan all over again, further straining her already tumultuous relationship with Damon. I’m going to sit here and contemplate quitting this show – and again admit that this show is the reason I can’t stand love triangles anymore. [Though I’ll also admit that I found Damon‘s speech about fighting the doppelgänger destiny because of Elena being his life to be absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, neither that nor the amazing Defan moment where Damon declined Qeutsiyah’s offer to help keep Stefan away from Elena were enough to redeem the episode.]

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