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The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.14: “No Exit” has characters come to important realisations

The Vampire Diaries, Ep 5.14: “No Exit” has characters come to important realisations
Zach Roerig, Olga Fonda

Zach Roerig, Olga Fonda

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 14: “No Exit”
Written by Brian Young
Directed by Michael A. Allowitz
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on The CW

Katherine’s jump into Elena’s body in her dying moments worked to alter the group dynamic at Mystic Falls, as their emotional core had now been replaced with someone they all had an antagonistic relationship with. This was further compounded by Damon’s ambush by Dr. Maxfield and the Travelers last week, and his newfound thirst for vampire blood. This week’s episode continues to explore the ramifications of both Katherine’s undetected presence and Damon’s vampire bloodlust, in an enjoyable episode that adds dimension to a secondary character.

Nadia’s character arc continues to be an intriguing one this week. The parallels between Katherine and Matt’s mother are not coincidental, as the vampire has spent over 500 years looking out for herself above everyone else, which many individuals in Mystic Falls can attest to. There were, however, two possible circumstances that could have allowed Katherine to look outward, one of which was the discovery of her daughter, and the other one being freedom from her enemies. Neither one appears to have done the trick, however, which is a realisation Nadia is slowly but clearly arriving at. It will be very interesting to see how Nadia’s actions change in light of this discovery. Katherine’s ease with killing Matt indicates that she’s willing to go to any length to protect her secret, and it’s possible that she’ll see this as an opportunity to tie up another loose end in that regard. However Katherine reacts, Nadia’s next course of action will be very telling in whether there’s a chance for her redemption or not. If she chooses to continue to stand by Katherine despite knowing that her mother could abandon her in a whim, whether or not she still has any allies in Mystic Falls, and how they deal with her persistent loyalty, will be worth keeping an eye on. On the other hand, if Nadia were to switch sides and go against her mother, how the Mystic Falls group reacts to her, and whether they accept her after gaining full knowledge of her actions, promises to be fascinating.

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder

Despite the loss of Augustine, Dr. Maxfield and his plans also continue to be an interesting aspect of the show. His continued pursuit of Damon, even after receiving proof that the virus works, is indicative of one of two possibilities. It’s possible that Dr. Maxfield’s virus is still in the experimental stages, and he genuinely wants to run more tests, including resistance and other such factors, which would mean his appearance in Mystic Falls is likely not far away. It’s also possible that the doctor simply intended to torment Damon, either for Aaron’s death, or simply due to his distrust of vampires, which makes his apparent deal with Enzo more suspect than appearances suggest. It will be intriguing to see what prompts Dr. Maxfield’s next appearance, as he is likely to also be a wanted man by those in Mystic Falls and elsewhere who hope to cure Damon. In addition, once news of the virus comes out, Dr. Maxfield is likely to have a target on his back from other vampires around the world, and even the Travelers may not be able to protect him. His course of action at that point is likely to involve Damon in some way or another, and how it does so and whether or not Damon agrees to help Dr. Maxfield or let the vampires have a run at him has the potential to make a compelling story. It will also help reveal more about Damon, and whether his sympathetic and forgiving side is still capable of taking a hold of him, or if he’s become unequivocally ruthless.

Overall, despite not making much progress on the season’s story arcs, this is an entertaining episode. The friendship between Stefan and Caroline continues to be a strong aspect of the series as a whole, and it’s touching to see them try to help the other one in their personal matters this week. Their mutual conclusion that Katherine is residing in Elena’s body opens up the possibility of the two of them working together as well, which is likely to be an exciting watch. Damon’s continued thirst for vampire blood also opens up a dilemma for Stefan, with regards to how he shall keep his brother fed while he tries to determine a cure. The absence of Bonnie and Jeremy is once again felt this week, particularly as the two were close to Elena and would thus also be likely to notice the change in her behaviour brought about by Katherine’s presence in her body. Tyler’s re-emergence as a threat against vampires is a welcome one; as the lone werewolf left in Mystic Falls, he has the potential to be the group’s secret weapon, and his willingness to bite Nadia to save Caroline and Matt indicates that he’s willing to use his werewolf powers to protect his friends. What are the next steps of Nadia and Dr. Maxfield, as well as what Caroline and Stefan do with the information they glean at the end of this week’s episode are stories worth watching for as the season continues.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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