The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.02: “True Lies” lets Bonnie shine

Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 2: “True Lies”
Written by Brian Young
Directed by Joshua Butler
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on The CW

Last week’s premiere of The Vampire Diaries had the burden of recalibrating the show to numerous changes, including the departure of the Original family, the shift of Elena and Caroline to college, Bonnie’s transition to the land of the dead, and the proper introduction of new antagonist Silas. With all of that out of the way, however, the season’s second episode promised to be a better indicator of whether the show would still be able to deliver on the thrills it is known for. Fortunately, despite feeling a little light, this week’s episode delivers on that front, throwing in some development for an underserved character as well.

It is good to see a further exploration of Bonnie’s emotional state following her death, particularly in light of her father’s death last week. The last few seasons have, unfortunately, given Bonnie less of a chance to develop than the other members of the cast. The individual storylines she has received have revolved around her capabilities as a witch, an element which does not come into play here, allowing the audience to get a feel for the youngest Bennett as a person. Despite her death, this episode sows the seeds of a very promising storyline for Bonnie, as the death of her father and grandmother, and the absence of her mother, puts her in an emotionally fragile state that she will have to deal with, by and large, on her own. The chances of Bonnie returning from the dead, despite the precedent set by Jeremy’s resurrection, is slim, and her father’s death further reduces any motivation she might have to return, so how she deals with her mental anguish in her isolated condition, as well as what conclusion she comes to at the end of it, has the potential to be a compelling character arc for someone who hasn’t had many of them.

Nina Dobrev
Nina Dobrev

The idea of a secret society on the college campus does not bode well, however. While there is the possibility of a solid story arc here, particularly as it seems tied to Elena’s father, this plot line could steer a little too close to being a global version of the Mystic Fall’s Founders’ Council, particularly if they end up being an anti-vampire group that recruits Elena. If they are a pro-vampire group, however, that might be a fresh take on the idea, effectively separating it from the Founders’ Council. Not much is known yet about this group, so the hints that are dropped in this episode may end up being red herrings. Hopefully this is the case, and this storyline is still young enough to deserve some time to establish itself.

Silas teaming up with Nadia could prove to be an interesting turn of events, although a little more perspective on Nadia might have given her betrayal and subsequent alliance with Silas some more weight. However, Nadia’s status as an unknown entity in the shadows nonetheless adds an extra card to Silas’ deck. The discovery of a Stefan-less safe is also a fascinating development, as it opens up the possibility that the younger Salvatore brother has been suffering from a particularly vicious form of mind control from his doppelganger throughout the summer, and if that is the case, it will be interesting to see how he manages to break out of it. While Caroline’s developing romance allows for the introduction of a new character into the universe, particularly after the death of the roommate in the season premiere, hopefully it doesn’t signal the end of Tyler’s time on the show.  Finding out whether the college’s secret society ends up siding with our protagonists or against them, as well as where Stefan is and what Silas’s next move is, makes tuning in next week worthwhile.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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