Skip to Content

The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.01: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” sets the show off in some interesting new directions

The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.01: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” sets the show off in some interesting new directions
Nina Dobrev, Candice Accola

Nina Dobrev, Candice Accola

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 1: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
Written by Caroline Dries
Directed by Lance Anderson
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on The CW

The series premiere of The Vampire Diaries came amidst a slew of vampire stories in movies and books, facing an uphill battle in attracting an audience already wary of another spin on the supernatural creatures. The show soon set itself apart however, with compelling characters and a quick pace to its storylines as it expanded its universe. With its success leading to a spinoff this season in the form of The Originals, the show heads into its fifth season with major changes underway, as Bonnie Bennett’s death opens a major weakness among the crew of Mystic Falls, a weakness compounded by the absence of Stefan, replaced by Silas, and the departure of Elena and Caroline to college. Fortunately, the show starts off the new season on a strong step, with the introduction of some interesting new foes for the show’s core group.

The idea of multiple villains is an intriguing avenue for the show to go down, and meshes nicely with the split in locations that this season seems to pursue. Despite the relative closeness of the college, it would have strained credibility to have Elena and Caroline constantly appear in Mystic Falls, and the multiple antagonist approach not only makes for an interesting way to sidestep that situation, but also allows for a further exploration of how the characters act when outside the comfort zone of each other’s reliance.  The added benefit is also that both Nadia and the mysterious campus vampire seem like potentially compelling villains, already sure of their actions but still in the shadows.

Steven R. McQueen, Katherine Graham

Steven R. McQueen, Katherine Graham

Silas is also proving to be an interesting antagonist. While his status as another entity who cannot be killed ran the danger of pushing him into Klaus 2.0 territory, his calculated ruthlessness, psychic capabilities, and disgust of vampires does enough to set him apart in his first real appearance. His pursuit of Katherine also has the potential to be a promising storyline, as there is no love lost between Elena’s doppelganger and anyone in Mystic Falls, yet the idea of helping Silas is likely to cause a conundrum for the group regardless, particularly for Bonnie, after the death of her father. Having the group fight someone who’s an unknown supernatural entity, instead of a vampire, witch, or werewolf, can also lead the show down some interesting new directions. How they deal with the issue of Silas vs. Katherine, as well as how Stefan reacts to the ongoing situation upon his return, is worth looking out for.

Overall, this was an intriguing return for the show. Stefan’s mental dilemma over how to react to his imprisonment, while a familiar retread of his inner conflict since the beginning of the show, was nonetheless well done, particularly in displaying the switching off of his humanity as a sympathetic move, rather than one motivated by lust. Paul Wesley also does a fantastic job as Silas, giving him enough of Stefan’s quirks to make him initially believable, yet portraying his ruthlessness in an effective manner. Nina Dobrev similarly does a compelling job with Katherine’s newfound fear over being vulnerable again, and how her cunning and manipulative nature manifest themselves in her human form is worth seeing. Tyler’s offscreen adventures continue to sound fascinating and worth seeing someday, and whether or not he makes a return to fight Silas, as well as how the group reacts against their respective adversaries, particularly Matt and his fight against Nadia, and the possibility of exploring the supernatural mythology and Gilbert family history outside of Mystic Falls is worth tuning in for next week.

– Deepayan Sengupta

[wpchatai]