The Vampire Diaries 5.05 "Monster’s Ball" – Subterfuge and impersonators: any excuse for a party.


Unsurprisingly, the big Monster’s Ball event at Whitmore College served no other purpose than to provide background scenery – and an excuse for the characters to put the wardrobe department to work. There was enough distraction from all the deception and angst in the episode that they could have all stood around the Salvatore Boarding house for all the difference it would have made. Still, when it comes to The Vampire Diaries, it’s any excuse for a party, right? Let’s talk about it:
First of all, Forwood is finito. Tyler basically told Caroline that he can’t love her anymore because he knows it’s only because Klaus has given him permission to do so. So, instead of staying with Caroline, he decides to go off to the mountains with a random werewolf pack and hang out “helping” them with some random problems. [I don’t know – it doesn’t make sense to me either, so don’t ask.] I am frustrated with the entire trajectory of Tyler’s character lately. None of it is making sense – especially now that Klaus is gone and they show no signs of having any sort of crossover for Tyler to get his revenge, so I don’t see the point in this “storyline”. And no, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Now, on to the rest of the episode.
Sure, Damon has done some good things in his time, but remember that time he said: “I’m not a hero. I do bad things. I hurt people.” Well, he sure reaffirmed that declaration this week, reminding us of how he used to be – and how he still is, under that lovesick puppy façade. Damon spent a great deal of time in this episode hurting people he cares about and just generally doing bad things [even if the thought it was for the right, albeit somewhat selfish, reasons]. Elena feels guilty, and he wants to alleviate that guilt so that she will want to stay with him. Everything he did this episode is typical for Damon, so nothing he does is really all that surprising… it’s just been a while since we’ve seen him be so callous.
Regardless of our expectations from the current Damon, the old Damon is more unpredictable, and it was refreshing to see him back this week. Basically, Damon teams up with Jeremy and together the two devise a plan to bring Bonnie back. Understanding how nature works, he knows that Bonnie might be able to come back if someone – in this case Silas – dies in her place. Jeremy sides with Damon [against Bonnie’s wishes, but since she’s a ghost and only Jeremy can hear her objections, what can she do, right?], so the two come up with a plan to help Silas get the cure, become a witch [like he was before he became immortal], and then die to be with Amara.

As for Silas, he is chasing after some mystical object that keeps the veil in place for the other side. We learned last season that if Silas dies without dropping the veil, he will be separated from Amara forever. So, obviously, Silas still wants that veil dropped, and he has an idea of how to do it: if he can just get the mystical object that is holding the veil in place – find it then destroy it – the veil will no longer exist. [Basically, this mystical object is the new moonstone/Gilbert device/cure of the season. Can we please get some storylines that don’t involve spending an inordinate amount of time chasing some mysterious mystical object? No? Fine. Whatever.] Anyway, somehow Silas figured out [or already knew, I’m not sure which] that he is able to work his mind-reading powers when his doppelganger Stefan is dead. So, Damon agrees to help Silas take Stefan down – and then keep him there – while Silas impersonated Stefan to try and get Qetsiyah to tell him where the mystical object was. As Stefan is a vampire, they could kill him all day long and he would just keep coming back, so the plan was for Damon to stand guard over Stefan so that every time Stefan DID come back, Damon could kill him again.

Silas managed to trick Qetsiyah, but he reached a bit of a snag when he learned that Quetsiyah had no idea where this “mystical anchor” was located either. She told him that the travelers took the mystical object that keeps the veil in place and hidden it from Qetsiyah, so no one knows what it is, where it’s hidden, or how to use it to drop the veil – but they’re all sure going to try and figure it out. Qetsiyah actually had a plan to find some other mystical object – a necklace that used to belong to her – to increase her power enough to allow her to use a locator spell to find the mystical anchor.

leaves her alone so she can do her thing, but he eventually catches up to her once she finds her necklace and completes the locator spell. Using the last bit of his mind-reading before Stefan wakes up yet again, he reads Qetsiyah’s mind and manages to find out where the mystical anchor is. Unfortunately for him, about that time, Stefan managed to one-up Damon – which resulted in Damon getting the broken neck this time. Stefan then comes barging in on Silas and Qetsiyah, blows Silas’ cover, then and takes off, leaving Silas with a very pissed off ex-girlfriend. Qetsiyah had succeeded in taking out Silas, performing some sort of magic that basically froze the blood in his veins or something.
Meanwhile, Nadia was still holding Katherine. The two were holed up in some hotel [one that apparently did not have a good continental breakfast, as Katherine was pretty much living off vending machine snacks]. Eventually, Nadia decided to make Katherine a deal: if she answered Nadia’s questions, Nadia would let her walk. Initially, Nadia told Katherine some story about turning herself into a vampire to track Katherine down because Katherine killed Nadia’s mother. However, in one of the biggest plot twists ever, Nadia later admits that her mother is still very much alive – because her mother just so happens to be Katherine. [I agree, it’s a lot to take in.]

Back at the Salvatores, Damon still hadn’t given up on HIS plan, so he called Katherine over and… well. He tore her neck open and force-fed her blood to Silas, not only waking him up, but also letting him ingest the cure… which, obviously meant Katherine would die. While this behavior was certainly not surprising coming from Damon – he has made it more than clear on many occasions that he will basically do anything to keep Elena happy and in love with him – it was certainly a surprise to see Elena stand back and not only watch him kill Katherine, but not even make an attempt to try and stop him, even as Katherine literally begged [which – as we all know – is not something Katherine Pierce would do if she felt she had any other options.
To be honest, I found that moment to be out of character for Elena, who herself admitted just two episodes ago that she couldn’t kill Katherine after she became human because Elena still had her humanity, plus she was also hoping Katherine would be able to find hers. So much for that redemption moment, though, since she watched as Silas fed on Katherine.

I don’t really understand how the good, moral, selfless Elena we’re supposed to be sold on would sit back and let that happen, but whatever. It happened. Fortunately [and I say fortunately because I know that the majority of the fans would much rather Katherine live and Elena die], Katherine somehow managed to survive, almost immediately waking up – confused and thinking she is in Hell; but nonetheless alive. [My guess is that either Silas didn’t actually fully drain her, or perhaps with the “cure” removed from her veins that she is possibly a vampire again?] Anyway, that’s pretty much it, besides the fact that Professor Maxfield is keeping Jesse locked in his laboratory while he conducts research on the various stages and reactions newly-turned vampires have to the world – you know, for science and whatnot. [I’m sure I’m not the only one getting Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Initiative flashbacks right now.] Not sure yet what his role is in all this [trying to create a government-controlled army of supernaturals, maybe?], but he is also playing guardian to a new playmate of Elena‘s [a man named Aaron, friend of the dead roommate, who has his own demons and tragic backstory to deal with] – and tonight he warned Elena to drop out of school and get the heck away from Whitmore before everyone finds out what she is, basically.
So there you have it. On the upside: amnesia Stefan is a total blast – without all the self-loathing and guilt, he’s turned into a pretty straightforward, ballsy vampire who refuses to take crap from anyone. Loving Stefan, loving Silas, just basically loving all that. Not so much loving the direction Tyler‘s character is heading – mostly because there really isn’t a direction – but I’m just going to sit here and hope this disappearance is more temporary than previous ones. [On that subject: why is it always Tyler that gets sent away anyway?]



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