REVIEW: THE FLASH – SEASON 3

The-Flash-Season-3-Poster-e1497470774907

Starring

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (The Guest)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Keiynan Lonsdale (THe Turning)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jesse L. Martin (Injustice)
Tom Felton (Harry Potter)

Matt Letscher and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Alex Désert (Swingers)
Michelle Harrison (Tru Calling)
Matt Letscher (Her)
Todd Lasance (The Vampire Diaries)
John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek)
Tobin Bell (Saw)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Joey King (Slender Man)
Violett Beane (God Friended Me)
Peter Flemming (Staragte SG.1)
Wentworth Miller (Underworld)
Danielle Nicolet (Central Intelligence)
Grey Damon (Aquarius)
Ashley Rickards (Pretty Little Stalker)
Patrick Sabongui (Power Rangers)
Susan Walters (The Vampire Diaries)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Victor Garber (The Orville)
Franz Drameh (See)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Caity Lotz (The Pact)
Dominic Purcell (Prison Break)
David Ramsey (Dexter)
Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Melissa Benoist (Whiplash)
Audrey Marie Anderson (The Unit)
Christina Brucato (The Intern)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Jerry Wasserman (I, Robot)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Jessica Camacho (Watchmen: The Series)
Stephen Huszar (Faces In The Crowd)
Andrea Brooks (When Calls The Heart)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Vanessa Williams (Candyman)
Robbie Amell (The Duff)
Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
David Harewood (Homeland)
Jeremy Jordan (The Last Five Years)
Chris Wood (The Vampire Diaries)
Darren Criss (Glee)
David Dastmalchian (Reprisal)
Anne Dudek (White Chicks)

 

John Wesley Shipp and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)Season 3 appears to be the real test for The CW’s Arrowverse shows. Arrow followed up its first two seasons with a much rockier third season, leaving that series in a hole of which it’s only just now managed to climb out. The Flash went through a similar series of hurdles this year. The Flash: Season 3 was noticeably more uneven than its predecessors, suggesting that maybe Barry Allen’s best days are behind him. Luckily, the show was able to recapture its footing where Arrow continued to struggle. The strong last couple months of the season went a long way towards making up for the mistakes that came before.Grant Gustin and Violett Beane in The Flash (2014)It was clear right away that Season 3 faced a long, uphill battle. Season 2 ended with an exciting cliffhanger, as Barry (Grant Gustin) traveled back in time, undid his parents’ deaths and created the alternate timeline known as Flashpoint. Anyone who’s read the Flashpoint comic or watched the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox was surely salivating at the thought of seeing a twisted, dystopian vision of the Arrowverse. What the premiere episode, “Flashpoint,” actually delivered was slightly less exciting. Aside from a few key differences, this world wasn’t a particularly dramatic change from the norm. There was still a definite appeal in seeing Barry briefly granted the happy, quiet life he’s always dreamed of.Tobin Bell in The Flash (2014)
Looking back at  the first half of Season 3, it wasn’t until the midseason finale that any episode scored above the low 8 range. That pretty much encapsulates the problems with the season right there. The show was often perfectly fine on a week-to-week basis, but it was rare for any episode to really stand out from the pack. The general status quo in the first half of the season too often struggled to measure up to the Reverse-Flash and Zoom conflicts from seasons past. The end result of Barry’s three months spent living in Flashpoint was a handful of changes to the Team Flash dynamic, many of which became all but irrelevant after a week or two. Flashpoint also resulted in the rise of two new villains – Doctor Alchemy and Savitar (both voiced by Tobin Bell). Alchemy never amounted to much more than a shadowy, mysterious string-puller, while it wasn’t until the final few episodes of the season that Savitar truly came into his own.Danielle Panabaker in The Flash (2014)There was plenty of character drama to work through early on, much of it the direct result of Barry’s time-meddling. Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) dealt with a mutual estrangement. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) mourned the death of someone close to him. Both Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) dealt with the spontaneous appearance of metahuman powers (with the former dreading her transformations into Killer Frost and the latter relishing his opportunity to follow in Barry’s footsteps). That’s to say nothing of the complications created by Barry’s new co-worker/frenemy, Julian Desmond (Tom Felton). When all else failed, the Team Flash family drama could usually be relied upon to keep the show humming along.Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)Julian proved an entertaining and somewhat unpredictable addition to the recurring cast, adding a unique voice and temperament to the Team Flash dynamic. But the best addition this year was H.R. (Tom Cavanagh), the latest alternate universe incarnation of Harrison Wells. It’s part of The Flash’s charm that there must always be a Wells in the picture, even if Cisco and friends have to go on a recruitment drive to find one. Cavanagh again proved to be one of the show’s MVP’s, playing H.R. as a wholly distinct character compared to Season 1’s Dr. Wells and Season 2’s Harry. There were even a few opportunities to see Cavanagh play multiple Wellses in the same scene, just for kicks.Grant Gustin and Keiynan Lonsdale in The Flash (2014)

This season also got a lot of mileage out of John Wesley Shipp’s new role as the real Jay Garrick. Like Cavanagh, Shipp successfully managed to set his new character apart from the old, casting Jay as a grizzled veteran not entirely comfortable with his status as mentor to Barry and his fellow speedsters. The only complaint here is that the season never used Jay as often as it could. That was especially true with the midseason finale, “The Present,” which offered a tantalizingly brief glimpse of Jay’s rivalry with Earth-3’s Trickster (Mark Hamill).Grant Gustin, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Violett Beane in The Flash (2014)Looking back, the one character who felt oddly underutilized this year was Wally. On paper, it was a big year for Wally, as he gained his speed powers and took his place alongside Barry. That paved the way for several memorable speedster team-ups (including one with Violett Beane’s Jesse Quick thrown in for good measure). But there was a specific point in the season where it seemed like the writers completely lost interest in Wally. He all but completely faded to the background and never recovered as a result. Andre Tricoteux in The Flash (2014)The character drama gave the early episodes weight where villains like Alchemy faltered, but that drama brought about its own set of problems. Not only was the scope of Flashpoint itself disappointingly limited, the fallout often felt small and perfunctory. Some subplots, particularly the Joe/Iris rift, were quickly resolved and forgotten, almost like they never happened at all. And at some point, the series simply felt too mired in darkness. Character drama is great, but this series has always thrived on its ability to balance that drama with lighthearted adventure and that ever-important sense of hope. But Barry Allen became more morose than ever this year, and his misery seemed to envelop everyone around him. It didn’t help that The Flash was airing new episodes at the same time as fellow Arrow-verse/CW series Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, two shows that did a much better job of balancing character drama with lighthearted fun this year.Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)Once the reveal came and Savitar’s true endgame became apparent. The final five episodes went a long way towards reviving the Savitar conflict and building the character into someone worthy of Reverse-Flash and Zoom. That doesn’t necessarily excuse the writers for keeping their cards close to the vest for so long, nor their decision to focus on a third speedster villain when there are so many other worthy Flash villains who haven’t gotten their due yet.. But at the same time, the reveal did make it apparent why that prolonged secrecy was necessary. Moreover, the reveal wound up tying the season together, forcing Barry to confront his mistakes and his habit of being the architect of much of his own misery. For a villain who remained so aloof for much of the season, Savitar wound up becoming a surprisingly personal villain in the end.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)It also didn’t hurt that the later episodes placed so much emphasis on Caitlin’s fall from grace. I still maintain that Killer Frost should have been the central villain of Season 3. But even as a supporting player in the Savitar conflict, Caitlin added a great deal of dramatic weight to the series, with the writers banking heavily on the strong bond linking Barry, Cisco and Caitlin and the tragedy that arose when those bonds were shattered. This was also a valuable chance for Panabaker to play Killer Frost not as an overt villain, but someone torn between her twisted metahuman side and the good, loyal friend that still remained within.
As for the dark tone, it’s no coincidence that some of the best episodes this season were those that diverged from the Savitar conflict and focused on the lighter side of Barry’s world. The two-part Gorilla Grodd storyline was very entertaining, offering fans their first real glimpse of Earth-2’s Gorilla City and suggesting that Grodd would make for an excellent recurring villain if not for the sheer expense involved in bringing the character to life. The series even took the opportunity to throw in a little levity right before the end, as “Infantino Street” offered a wonderfully entertaining Flash/Captain Cold team-up before moving into the dramatic fallout of Savitar’s final attack.But nowhere did the series shine brighter this season than in the long-awaited musical episode/Supergirl crossover “Duet.” For one glorious hour, all the darkness fell away and Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist were given free reign to sing, dance and just have fun playing superheroes. It certainly didn’t hurt that so many actors involved, including Victor Garber, John Barrowman and Jesse L. Martin have serious musical theater chops of their own. Not only did that episode strongly suggest that the musical crossover needs to become an annual tradition, it served as a crucial reminder of how enthralling The Flash can be when it focuses on the lighter side of Barry Allen’s life. Hopefully that episode, and the generally improved state of the series in the second half of Season 3, are signs of what to expect when the show returns in the fall.
The Flash: Season 3 is a clear step down from the show’s first two years. It’s not that there were many truly bad episodes this year, but more that the show struggled too long to find a compelling status quo and make the most of the fallout from “Flashpoint.” Some of the best episodes this season had little to do with the overarching Savitar conflict. Luckily, the show did find its footing in the final two months of Season 3, and that strong finish went a long way toward redeeming the season as a whole.

REVIEW: THE FLASH – SEASON 2

 

Starring

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (The Guest)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Keiynan Lonsdale (THe Turning)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jesse L. Martin (Injustice)

Tom Cavanagh, Adam Copeland, Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, and Carlos Valdes in The Flash (2014)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Victor Garber (The Orville)
Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
Wentworth Miller (Underworld)
Dominic Purcell (Prison Break)
Robbie Amell (The Duff)
Teddy Sears (The Politician)
Vito D’Ambrosio (Bones)
Isabella Hofmann (Burlesque)
Patrick Sabongui (Power Rangers)
Adam Copeland (Highlander: Endgame)
Aaron Craven (Izombie)
Logan Williams (When Calls Your Heart)
Shantel VanSanten (For All Mankind)
Vanessa Williams (Candyman)
Tony Todd (Final Destination)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
Malese Jow (The Shanara Chronicles)
Peyton List (Gotham)
Franz Drameh (See)
Demore Barnes (Titans)
John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek)
Amanda Pays (Max Headroom)
Greg Kean (Dead Like Me)
Kirby Morrow (Staragte Atlantis)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Violett Beane (God Friended Me)
Ciara Renée (The Big Bang Theory)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
Willa Holland (Legion)
David Ramsey (Dexter)
Neal McDonough (Van Helsing)
Casper Crump (The Legend of Tarzan)
Falk Hentschel (Knight and Day)
Anna Hopkins (Shadowhunters)
Jack Moore (Repiblic of Sarah)
Liam McIntyre (The Legend of Hercules)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Matt Letscher (Her)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool)
Michael Rowe (Tomorrowland)
Audrey Marie Anderson (The Unit)
Allison Paige (Good Trouble)
Andy Mientus (Gone)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Michelle Harrison (Tru Calling)
Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Reboot)
Greg Finley (Izombie)
Katie Cassidy (Black Christmas 2006)

Teddy Sears in The Flash (2014)The Flash’s first season has become the benchmark by which all other DC Comics-based shows on The CW are judged. It offered a truly winning blend of humor, heart, and romance, and superhero action, culminating in a terrific season finale that showed just how much emotional depth there is to the story of the fastest man alive. The cast and crew faced a real uphill battle in living up to the standard with Season 2. And more often than not, they succeeded. This season met and occasionally even exceeded the heights of its predecessor.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)Season 2 got off to a solid start as the writers explored the fallout of Season 1’s big cliffhanger. But rather than pick up right where “Fast Enough” left off – with a giant temporal vortex threatening to swallow up Central City – “The Man Who Saved Central City” jumped ahead several months to the somber aftermath. The question wasn’t whether Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) could save his city once again, it was what kind of life Barry would return to when he got back. As we saw, it was a pretty lonely existence. The premiere opened on a surprisingly somber note, but one that offered an effective look at Barry’s fragile emotional state and the current status quo of Team Flash, including Cisco, (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) Iris (Candice Patton) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin).Tony Todd in The Flash (2014)That darkness was a way to bring the gang back together while reminding viewers that many challenges awaited Barry even after defeating Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh).Image result for the flash versus zoomEven as those early episodes touched base with some familiar faces from Season 1 (including Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold and Peyton List’s Golden Glider), they also spent a great deal of time setting the stage for the next major villain in Barry’s life, Zoom. Rather than continue to rely on the familiar Season 1 formula, where Barry and his friends battled various metahuman villains spawned by the particle accelerator accident – this year they confronted foes like Atom-Smasher (Adam Copeland) and Sand Demon (Kett Turton) who crossed over from Earth-2 to Earth-1. The addition of parallel worlds this season wasn’t just the latest example of Greg Berlanti and friends delving into all corners of DC’s mythology, it was a fun shake-up that resulted in a wealth of both comedy and drama.David Sobolov and Danielle Panabaker in The Flash (2014)Seeing characters like Cisco, Caitlin and Linda Park (Malese Jow) face off with their alternate universe doppelgangers never got old.No character benefited more from the doppelganger concept than Harrison Wells. Wells might have died at the end of Season 1, but thankfully the writers found a way to bring the character back in a very different role. Earth-2’s Dr. Wells made the trip to Earth-1 and began assisting Team Flash in their ongoing fight against Zoom. Cavanagh excelled in his rejiggered role. He consistently played this new Wells as a much different character than the cold, calculating villain of Season 1. This Wells was all nervous, agitated energy, driven by nothing but a desire to stop Zoom and rescue his daughter, Jesse (Violett Beane).Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)His character arc was among the strongest of the season, as Wells formed close bonds with his new friends and worked to counteract some of the destruction his counterpart wreaked on Barry’s life. Most of the cast benefited from the ongoing Earth-1/Earth-2 status quo this year. Grant Gustin was frequently a highlight of the show as he explored Barry’s lingering guilt and heartache after briefly reuniting with his mother and tried to disprove the parting message from earth-1 Wells – the idea that he’d never allow himself to be truly happy. Wells’ words proved distressingly accurate and on-point over the course of the season. Barry went through a lot of emotional highs and lows this season, including a second tear-jerking, phone call reunion with his mother in “Welcome to Earth-2” and multiple traumatic clashes with Zoom. To their credit, the writers didn’t try to force a happy ending out of Barry’s arc, either. By the end of the finale, Barry was at an even lower point than he was a year before, which fuelled his decision to make another ill-advised trip back in time.Mark Hamill in The Flash (2014)He’ll no doubt be dealing with the consequences of that act for some time to come.Image result for the flash welcome to earth-2Both Cisco and Caitlin frequently stood out this year, as well. Cisco always served as a reliable source of comic relief, particularly as his bond with Wells deepened and the two bickered with one another. But on a deeper level, this season allowed Cisco to come into his own as a hero. He grew more familiar with his powers, even finally adopting the name and trademark glasses of Vibe. He caught a glimpse of what he could become when he met his doppelganger, Reverb, and began testing the limits of his courage and his abilities. Similarly, Caitlin was shown a glimpse of the villain she could become when she met Killer Frost. But even after her failed romance with Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) and subsequent ordeal at the hands of Zoom, Caitlin never lost her heroic streak.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)If the writers ever decide to morph her into Killer Frost for real, that’s going to be one devastating emotional gut punch.The Flash also deserves credit for the way the writers are able to weave romantic drama into the narrative without it coming across as forced. The ongoing romance between Barry and Patty Spivot (Shantel Van Santen) was always entertaining, thanks in large part to the stellar chemistry between Gustin and Van Santen. And if Iris was never the most compelling character in any given episode, she definitely improved this year thanks to her more proactive behaviour and her deepening bond with Barry.Image result for the flash invincibleThen there was the debut of Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) to the Team Flash lineup. Looking back, I’m not entirely convinced Wally needed to be introduced this year.Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell in The Flash (2014)With everything else going on this season it didn’t always feel as though the character received the attention he deserved. But Lonsdale proved to be a solid addition to the cast nonetheless. And despite all the foreshadowing, at least the writers weren’t overzealous in terms of rushing Wally into becoming a speedster. There’s plenty of time for that in a later season.Image result for the flash the race of his lifeThere was a lot to love about Season 2. At its best, this season was easily a rival to its predecessor. “Welcome to Earth-2” stands as probably the best single episode the show has delivered to date, with episodes like “Flash Back,” “Rupture” and “The Runaway Dinosaur” also ranking among the best.Image result for the flash the race of his lifeThe Villain of the year was Zoom.Tony Todd and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)This villain was tricky in that he was simultaneously one of the best aspects of the season. Zoom left a pretty strong impression during his first clash with Barry in “Enter Zoom.” Between the demonic costume and the gravely rasp of voice actor Tony Todd, Zoom was by far the scariest and most physically imposing villain Team Flash had yet encountered. That certainly counted for something. Zoom’s characterization was even more intriguing in the second half of the season unfolded. We learned much more about the villain’s past and motivations, including the big twist that Zoom was actually Hunter Zolomon/Jay Garrick and that Team Flash’s newest ally was no ally at all. With all the emphasis on doppelgangers this season, it was fitting that Zoom himself was really Barry’s dark mirror. Both men had childhood’s defined by similar tragedies and grew up to become speedsters. But whereas Barry had a close circle of friends and family to help guide him along his way, Hunter had no one.Tom Cavanagh and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)He was utterly alone on his world and all others, and that gave the villain the humanity and pathos he needed. And it was nice to see the writers acknowledge just how crucial characters like Joe, Cisco and Caitlin are to the show. Without them, Barry would be as empty as Zoom.Image result for the flash the race of his lifeThe season finale, “The Race of His Life,” was a great way to wrap up Season Zoom’s defeat was satisfying and his metamorphosis at the end was intriguing,Teddy Sears in The Flash (2014)Also in the finale there was the reveal of the real Jay Garrick, an act which allowed Shipp to don a Flash costume for the first time in decades, then there was the final cliffhanger, with Barry traveling back in time and almost certainly sparking the beginning of a Flashpoint-inspired status quo for the series. That alone is cause to be excited for Season 3.Image result for the flash the race of his lifeThe Flash season 2 was firing on all cylinders and continued through too the end top form an awesome season and leaves you hanging waiting for season 3.

REVIEW: THE FLASH – SEASON 1

 

Starring

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (The Guest)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jesse L. Martin (Injustice)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michelle Harrison (Tru Calling)
Chad Rook (Timeless)
Patrick Sabongui (Power Rangers)
Al Sapienza (Suits)
John Wesley Shipp (Dawson’s Creek)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Fulvio Cecere (Dark Angel)
Olivia Cheng (Warrior)
Jennifer Cheon Garcia (Van Helsing)
Brendon Zub (Batwoman)
Logan Williams (When Calls Your Heart)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Robbie Amell (The Duff)
Anthony Carrigan (Gotham)
Wentworth Miller (Underworld)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Dominic Purcell (Prison Break)
Kelly Frye (Criminal Minds)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Greg Finley (Izombie)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool)
David Ramsey (Dexter)
Paul Anthony (Blade: Trinity)
Anna Hopkins (Shadowhunters)
Amanda Pays (Max Headroom)
David Milchard (Sanctuary)
Roger Howarth (One Life To Live)
Andy Mientus (Gone)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Victor Garber (The Orville)
Malese Jow (The Shanara Chronicles)
Britne Oldford (Blindspot)
Bill Dow (Izombie)
Isabella Hofmann (Burlesque)
Katie Cassidy (Black Christmas 2006)
Chase Masterson (Star Trek: DS9)
Liam McIntyre (The Legend of Hercules)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Peyton List (Gotham)
Paul Blackthorne (Arrow)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Matt Letscher (Her)
Bre Blair (Game of Silence)
Vito D’Ambrosio (Bones)
Devon Graye (13 Sins)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Danielle Nicolet (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Peter Bryant (See)
Doug Jones (Star Trek Discovery)
Ciara Renée (The Big Bang Theory)

 

The Flash was unique in its first season in the sense that it never really needed to find itself or grow into something better. It simply started strong and continually got better over the course of seven months. Much of the credit rests with the fact that the Flash was hardly starting from scratch. This show is the first spinoff of Arrow and its growing superhero universe. It features many of the same producers as Arrow and several writers responsible for Arrow’s stellar second season. Not only did The Flash not have to waste much time establishing its universe, it didn’t even have to introduce viewers to its protagonist. Grant Gustin debuted as a pre-speedster Barry Allen midway through Arrow’s second season, culminating with the accident that created the Flash. By the time this show came around, viewers already knew Barry, what made him tick and what fueled his particular quest.Gustin rapidly grew into the role of Barry Allen once the spotlight was placed on him. Gustin brought a winning blend of youthful energy, latent pathos and Peter Parker-esque awkwardness to the table. He gave us a Barry Allen that’s impossible not to connect with. Barry is immensely likable. He’s less intense than Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen. He’s driven by tragedy but anchored by a small family unit. He’s faithful to the comic book Barry Allen. One of the main reasons for The Flash’s success, though, was its supporting cast. So much of the drama and the emotional core of the show centered around Barry’s ties to his core circle of friends, family and allies.Kelly Frye and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)There was his adoptive father, Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). There was his adoptive sister/unrequited love, Iris (Candice Patton), a dichotomy that never came across as creepy or incest-y as it could have. There was his newfound father figure/mentor in Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). There were his new friends/partners in metahuman-busting, Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). And rounding out the core cast was Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), Barry’s colleague and sometimes rival/sometimes ally.The show exploited these various relationships to great effect. Above all, the father/son relationships between Barry/Joe and Barry/Wells were the source of great drama. Martin and Cavanagh were the MVPs among the cast. Martin brought a crucial warmth to his role as a concerned father and a man simply baffled by the increasingly bizarre state of life in Central City. Cavanagh, meanwhile, helped mold Wells into the show’s most captivating figure. It quickly became apparent that Wells was far more than he seemed, eventually emerging as the primary antagonist of Season 1.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)But thanks to Cavanagh’s performance, it was always apparent that Wells cared for Barry even as he plotted and schemed and tormented the hero.Caitlin and Cisco became increasingly compelling characters in their own right as the season progressed. Caitlin, initially cold and a little haughty, grew as her relationship with Barry blossomed and her past relationship with Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) came to light. Cisco was largely a comic relief character at first. And while he remained the show’s most reliable source of comedy, he too was fleshed out and developed a father/son connection to Wells of his own.Iris and Eddie were a little more uneven when it came to their respective roles within the show. At times it was easy to forget about Eddie given his tendency to drop out of view. However, he definitely became an integral player in the final couple months of the season.Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)I appreciated how the writers never took a one-note approach with Eddie. He may have been Barry’s romantic rival, but he was never written as a bully or a jerk, just a guy with his own set of hopes and desires. As for Iris, there were some episodes where she filled what seemed to be a mandatory quota as far as superhero relationship drama. The Barry/Iris/Eddie love triangle definitely had its moments, but some weeks it came across as pointless filler. The big offender was “Out of Time,” which featured a terrifically epic climax but dull build-up. The premiere episode, did a fine job of laying out the cast of characters and basic status quo for the show. The idea that the STAR Labs particle accelerator created a new wave of metahumans alongside the Flash offered an easy way to start building a roster of villains and put Barry’s growing speed powers to the test. Luckily, it wasn’t long before The Flash began moving away from the “villain of the week” approach and building larger, overarching storylines. Bigger villains like Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) were introduced, paving the way for the Flash.The show played its part in expanding the CW’s superhero universe, introducing Firestorm and crossing paths with Arrow at several points. The mid-season finale, “The Man In the Yellow Suit,” offered the full introduction of the Reverse-Flash and set the stage for a conflict that would drive the show all the way until the season finale. As that conflict developed, the question of just who Dr. Wells was and what he had planned for Barry became paramount. Wells symbolized just how much the show was willing to play with expectations and shake up the traditional comic book mythology. I noted in my review of the premiere episode that the show was showing signs of being too predictable for seasoned comic book readers. It wasn’t long before that concern faded away.Looking back at these overarching conflicts and how they were developed over the course of the season, it’s clear that The Flash succeeded because it managed to adopt the serialized nature of superhero comics so well. Each new episode offered its fair share of twists and surprises, culminating in a dramatic cliffhanger that left viewers craving the next installment.Grant Gustin in The Flash (2014)It served as a reminder that, in many ways, TV is an inherently better medium for superheroes than film. A weekly series can do serialized storytelling in a way a couple superhero movies every year can’t. The show started out big with the premiere episode, pitting Barry against the first Weather Wizard and a massive tornado. Even that was chump change compared to later conflicts. Barry’s battle with the second Weather Wizard culminated with the hero stopping a tidal wave at supersonic speed. But the most impressive technical accomplishment was more subtle. The late-season episode “Grodd Lives” introduced viewers to Gorilla Grodd, a completely computer-animated villain who looked far more convincing than we had any right to.Mark Hamill in The Flash (2014)Perhaps one of the strongest episode of Season 1 was “Tricksters.” That episode paid terrific homage to the short-lived 1990 Flash series as Mark Hamill reprised the part of the prank-obsessed villain the Trickster and former Flash John Wesley Shipp was given his most in-depth role as Barry’s father, Henry. Not only was “Tricksters” a fun love letter to the old show, it proved that this series can venture into full-on camp territory without losing sight of itself.Ultimately, though, it’s the finale episode that stands out as the crowning moment of Season 1. The show bucked the usual trend by getting the physical confrontation with Reverse-Flash out of the way in the penultimate episode (via a team-up between Flash, Firestorm and the Arrow, no less). “Fast Enough” wasn’t concerned with the visceral element of the Flash/Reverse-Flash rivalry so much as the psychological one. The finale was intensely emotional, forcing Barry to decide just how much he was willing to sacrifice to save his mother. Just about every actor delivered their best work of the season. It was a tremendous payoff to a year’s worth of build-up.Jesse L. Martin in The Flash (2014)The finale ended the season with a big question mark of a cliffhanger. The great thing about the way the season wrapped is that now the door is open for practically anything. The finale touched on the idea of the multiverse – other worlds inhabited by other Flashes like Jay Garrick. The Flash didn’t suffer from the familiar freshman growing pains most new shows experience in their first season. This show built from the framework Arrow laid out and made use of an experienced writing and production team, a great cast, and a clear, focused plan for exploring Barry Allen’s first year on the job. The show was never afraid to delve into the weird and wild elements of DC lore, but it always stayed grounded thanks to a combination of humor and strong character relationships.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE FLASH – THE MAN IN THE YELLOW SUIT

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THE MAN IN THE YELLOW SUIT
CAST
Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (Heroes)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order)
Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
GUEST CAST
Robbie Amell (The Duff)
Michelle Harrison (Tru Calling)
Amanda Pays (Nip/Tuck)
John Wesley Shipp (The Flash 90s)
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Barry races through the city chasing his mother’s killer; the man in the yellow suit. One Day Earlier. Barry is decorating a Christmas tree with Joe when Iris come in with eggnog. While Joe takes a call from the DA in the next room, Iris convinces Barry to exchange gifts early. Barry gives her a replica of her mother’s wedding ring; she lost the original in the fifth grade. Iris is touched. Eddie arrives and notices the exchange but says nothing.
Later Barry goes to Star Labs to give his new friends their gifts. Wells leaves abrubtly during the festivities and Cisco reminds Barry its now the anniversary of the explosion. Christmas was Well’s favorite holiday, but since the accident its now a bitter reminder of all he has lost. t Jitters, Eddie asks Iris if she believes Barry is in love with her. Iris denies it, despite the gift and allays his concerns. Eddie gives Iris a key to his apartment which she happily accepts. At the mall parking lot, Caitlin notices she is being watched from the shadows by a homeless man. Following the man when he tries to flee, she corners him and he sprouts flames from his hands and head. The metahuman turns and reveals himself to be Ronnie. Shocked to see him she runs off allowing him to escape. At Mercury Labs several guards are killed by a fast yellow blur. The yellow blur appears to be looking for something and ransacks much of the lab. Later Barry, Eddie and Joe investigate the scene. Eddie speaks with a surviving scientist who mentions a man in a yellow suit. In private Barry notes to Joe only something moving at impossible speeds could have killed the guards. After hearing Eddie’s description Barry realizes its his mother’s killer. Joe is forced to admit the other metahuman has been in town for a few weeks; he didn’t tell Barry since the man threatened Iris’ life.
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The next day Joe and Barry discuss the break in with Wells at S.T.A.R. Labs. Wells explains Mercury Labs and S.T.A.R. Labs were rivals until the accident crippled S.T.A.R. Labs. Mercury Labs has been working on a project involing Tachyon particles and the three deduce this is the Man in the Yellow suit’s target. Barry suggest they use this fact to create a trap for him. Caitlin goes to Jitters to speak with Iris about her blog on the various metahuman sightings. She asks about the “burning man” story; a metahuman Iris has not really kept much track of. Iris promises to send her all the information she has and asks if Barry has been keeping secrets; noticing his strange behavior in the past weeks. Caitlin responds that she should talk to him if she is concerned. Wells and Barry talk with the head scientist of Mercury Labs at the police station; trying to obtain the tachyon experiment as bait. The scientist refuses; believing Wells is looking for an advantage in the market again. At S.T.A.R. Labs Caitlin and Cisco work on the trap. Caitlin finally tells Cisco about Ronnie and she needs help to find him again. Cisco believed she imagined it since Ronnie was vaporized in the explosion. Barry reviews his mother’s case at his lab.
He remembers the night of his mother’s death; Nora tucks a young Barry in while checking his bruises. She assures him that he is not afraid of the dark; just afraid of being alone in it. However, once he realizes he is never alone the fear will have no power over him. Later Barry awakens to the sound of a commotion downstairs and runs to find his mother being attacked. Iris breaks him out of his memory and the talk about her relationship with Eddie. Barry defends his bizarre behavior as shock at the speed of their relationship. He assures her he is happy that she is happy. After Iris leaves Barry spots the Man in the Yellow suit watching him on the roof opposite to him. He chases the other speedster who finally stops in an alley. Barry demands answers for his mother’s murder but the metahuman taunts him, that he will have to catch him first and speeds off again.
The two end up in the stadium and start fighting. The man in the yellow suit taunts Barry; behaving as if they have met and battled before while outmatching him with speed and superior fighting. Before leaving he tells Barry it is his destiny to lose to him, just as it was also destiny for Barry’s mother to die that night. The next day Barry relates what happened to Joe and Wells. Joe dismisses the Man in the Yellow Suit’s claims to Barry as scare tactics in the heat of battle. Wells assures Barry the trap will hold but both voice their concern that Barry should stay out of the next stage of the plan; he is too close to this foe. Barry dismisses their concerns and heads off with Joe to get the Tachyon device. Thanks to a bluff they are able to get it with little trouble. Overhearing some of their conversation Eddie manages to get himself and his task force involved; believing it to be a chance to catch the Flash once and for all. Elsewhere Cisco and Caitlin use a device to track Ronnie from where he was last seen. Cisco believes they should have told Wells and Barry but Caitlin says they must try this alone first. Cisco is warned that Ronnie is not like they remembered him when the device reacts to him being close to them.
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Hiding further down the hallway they find Ronnie. Caitlin tries to coax him to come with them but he reacts with confusion and anger; claiming he isn’t Ronnie and warns them to stay away from him. He grabs Caitlin when she touches his burnt hands and whispers “Firestorm”, before erupting into flame and running off from the pair. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs the Tachyon prototype is set in the heart of the trap. Barry is told by Wells and Joe again that he needs to back off and he reluctantly agrees. Down in the pipeline Cisco finds a sobbing Caitlin and assures that they now know for certain Ronnie is alive, and they can find him again. Caitlin is not certain she wants to find him; certain that unlike Bette and Barry he has turned into a monster like the metahumans they have locked up. She laments it might have been better that he died in the explosion over being a metahuman. Cisco tries to console her as best he can.
Barry goes to visit his father. Barry confesses to his father that he finally found the man who murdered Nora but he got away. Distraught he tells his father it is now his fault that he is stuck behind bars. Henry tells him not to blame himself; that the murder has dominated Barry’s life for fourteen years and he hasn’t been able to truly lead his own life. Henry has also worked out Barry is in love with Iris but never told her. He tells his son not to let the killer take anymore of his life from him. Barry returns home and talks to Iris. He confesses his feelings to her; admitting he never acted on them because he feared losing her like he did his parents. Iris remains silent; crying silently. Barry apologises for upsetting her and leaves. At S.T.A.R. Labs, the group along with the task force wait for the Man in the Yellow suit. Cisco has been releasing pulses from the Tachyon device to draw his attention. Sure enough the speedster arrives and Cisco activates the trap; encasing him in a force field. Wells, Joe and the taskforce head down to inspect their captive while Caitlin and Cisco remain in the control room to keep the trap running. In the chamber Joe attempts to interrogate the villain over Nora Allan’s murder. The villain ignores him, but speaks to Wells; acting pleased they can meet face to face. The two trade barbs over knowledge of the other. When Wells point out they created the trap based on the villain’s similar nature to the Flash he laughs; claiming he is quite the reverse of the hero.
Cisco notes a fluctuation in the barrier and tries to warn Wells; just as the barrier drops for a second. The villain quickly grabs Wells; pulling him into the force field and proceeds to violently beat him. Joe has no option but to break the field generator to save Wells from the attack. Caitlin calls Barry for help and he speeds over. The Man in the Yellow suit takes out the Task force; but hesitates when facing Eddie and strangely spares him. The villain then speeds over to Joe and chokes him, reminding him that he was warned not to hunt him. Barry then comes in and takes The Man in the Yellow suit outside flying out of the building in a tornado of red and yellow electricity, Caitlin and Cisco run outside to watch the fight. The fight is not going well for Barry as the man in yellow continually beats on him. Before he can kill Barry however, he is taken down by a stream of fire, it is Ronnie who used his powers to stop the man in yellow. With this turn of events, the man in yellow tells Barry that “their race is not yet done” and that he will see him soon, he then speeds away.
As Cisco runs over to help Barry up Caitlin runs over to Ronnie who tells her to not look for him again, he then sprouts his flames, takes flight, soaring off into the sky while the 3 look up in awe, Barry is once again upset that the man in yellow escaped. Back at the station a shocked Eddie wonders why he wasn’t killed but Joe can offer no answer. Joe is forced to admit the existence of Metahumans to Eddie. He swears Eddie to secrecy; that public knowledge of Metahumans would lead to a panic. Eddie agrees but asks if Joe knows who the Flash is; Joe simply responds he is the man who saved their lives tonight; secretly casting a glance at Barry. At S.T.A.R. Labs Caitlin tends to Wells while Cisco wonders how the trap failed; apologizing for the danger they put their friend in. Wells assures them he is not upset about it; but he is annoyed they kept the fact Ronnie was alive from him. Caitlin covers for Cisco; she wanted a chance to bring him in herself; especially after seeing the state he was in. This defuses Wells anger and he promises Caitlin he will help in whatever he can to bring Ronnie home. Joe goes to see Barry in the police lab; Barry admits that the murder of his mother has kept him in the city for fourteen years. Joe admits that when he first brought Barry home he didn’t know if he could handle him; but in a week Barry had brought light and life into his and Iris’ lives. Joe does not want Barry to lose that light to fear.
The two return home to find all of Barry’s friends there, except for Wells. Joe admits he called everyone since Barry needed cheering up. Caitlin apologises for Wells absence; that he needed to recover from the beating. Barry congratulates Eddie and Iris moving in together but Iris does not meet his gaze. Cisco talks privately with Joe; during the brawl he noticed something that reminded him of Barry’s account of Nora’s murder. Red and yellow lightning merging; both realize there were two speedsters there that night; explaining how Barry ended up across the street. Iris calls them over and Joe puts the angel on the tree. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Harrison enters his hidden chamber, unlocking it with a ring with the Flash insignia on it. Inside is the Blur’s yellow suit, and Harrison attaches the stolen prototype to its chest. Smiling, he speaks in Reverse Flash’s distorted voice, saying “Merry Christmas”.
The Flash is ne of the best TV shows on television today, this Christmas episode shows you why it’s just so damn good. The Man in The Yellow Suit you finally get to know just who Reverse Flash is, they save the big reveal for the last few minutes of the episode to make sure viewers tune back in for the next episode. This is one of my all time Christmas episodes.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Nina Dobrev (Never Cry Werewolf)
Paul Wesley (8 Simple Rules)
Ian Somerhalder (Smallville)
Steven R. McQueen (Piranha 3D)
Kat Graham (Honey 2)
Candice King (Juno)
Zach Roerig (As The World Turns)
Kayla Ewell (Lucifer)
Michael Trevino (The Factory)
Sara Canning (Smallville)
Matthew Davis (Cult)
Michael Malarkey (The Selection)
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GUEST CAST

Jasmine Guy (Dead Like Me)
Robert Pralgo (Fast & Furious 7)
Susan Walters (The Flash)
Natashia Williams (She Spies)
Tiya Sircar (The Internship)
Maiara Walsh (The Starving Games)
Malese Jow (The Flash)
Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark Thirty)
Arielle Kebbel (The Uninvited)
Kelly Hu (X-Men 2)
Olga Fonda (Real Steel)
Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
Rick Cosnett (The Flash)
Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2)
Colin Ferguson (A Town Eureka)
Penelope Mitchell (Hemlock Grove)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)
Emily Chang (Total Recall)
Chris Wood (Supergirl)
Annie Wersching (24)
Elizabeth Blackmore (Evil Dead 2013)
Scarlett Byrne (Harry Potter)
Teressa Liane (Neighbours)

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HAUNTED

Vicki attacks Tyler but Damon and Stefan stop her, and Damon compels Tyler to forget it all. Jeremy tells Elena that he will be joining the search party for Vicki. Vicki calls Matt and tells him she’s okay. Stefan tries to get Vicki to drink animal blood, but Damon convinces her that she needs human blood instead. Elena arrives and Stefan promises her that he will get through to Vicki.  Bonnie talks to her Grams about witchcraft before she leaves for school. Damon overhears Richard and Carol discussing the vampire in town. Caroline gives Bonnie Damon’s crystal and tells her she doesn’t care what she does with it, as long as its gone.
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Damon flirts with Carol to get information. He tries to compel her, but she’s wearing vervain. She tells him about the Founder’s Council and he offers to get vervain for her when he explains that Zach is out of town. She tells him that anybody who showed up during the day to the Founder’s Party and Heritage Display was eliminated as a suspect of being a vampire. At the party, Matt tells Elena that Vicki’s with him and she realizes that Jeremy’s gone. Stefan finds Vicki and confronts her. Elena and Matt find them and Vicki tells Matt that Stefan won’t leave her alone. Vicki escapes, and Stefan tells Matt that he’s trying to help Vicki. Vicki finds Jeremy and they kiss. Damon discovers Bonnie has his crystal, but when he tries to take it from her, it burns him. Elena finds Vicki and Jeremy kissing outside just as she loses control. Annoyed by Elena, Vicki bites her, and Stefan arrives and stakes her.  Grams tells Bonnie that the crystal belonged to her ancestor and a very powerful witch, Emily Bennett. Grams tells Bonnie that it is now hers and she has to protect it. Elena, blaming Damon, slaps him. Matt asks Elena if she’s seen Vicki, but she says she hasn’t, calls him a good brother, and then cries in her car.
Wen Elena gets home, she comforts Jeremy over Vicki’s death and he begs her to “make it stop”. Stefan arrives and Elena asks him if he can compel Jeremy to forget that Vicki died, but he says he isn’t strong enough. Damon then appears and volunteers to do it, asking Elena what she wants Jeremy to remember. She tells him to make Jeremy believe that Vicki left town, he’ll miss her, but knows its for the best. As Damon compels Jeremy, Elena explains her existing feelings for Stefan to him, but when Damon exits the house, she walks back inside alone.
In the earlier episodes, I wasn’t that into Vicki as a person, but when she became a vampire, I was looking forward to seeing her evolve, so to speak. Now I’m sad that they’ve killed her off. Not only that, but it was fun watching Stefan and Damon coach her on what it means to be a vampire, each in their own unique way.

MASQUERADE

The episode starts with Damon handing a stressed-looking Caroline a glass of blood to comfort her. Stefan arrives and asks them what happened. Caroline tells the Salvatore brothers that she was confronted by Katherine at the Mystic Grill. There is a flashback to when Caroline got to the Grill. She runs into the bathroom after an embarrassing encounter with Matt. In the bathroom, Katherine suddenly appears behind her. Caroline pretends to think it’s Elena, and Katherine pretends to be her at first and asks her if she is okay. Caroline plays along for a bit, until she runs to the door in vampire speed to escape, but Katherine anticipated it and is able to block her. She asks her to deliver a message to them and says: “Tell Damon and Stefan that I want the moonstone, or I will rip this town apart until it rains blood.” She then instructs her that the deal is to go down that evening at the Masquerade Ball. Damon assumes that she got scared, noting that what she did to Jenna in the previous episode was desperate. Stefan states that they can’t underestimate her. Caroline suggests giving Katherine the moonstone, but Damon says “No, Katherine isn’t getting dick!” and explains that he’s going to kill Katherine at the ball. Stefan interrupts, saying that Damon wouldn’t be killing Katherine because he is going to do it himself. Meanwhile, Matt, Elena and Jeremy are bringing Jenna home from the hospital. It is revealed that Jenna was told that she ran into a knife while making dinner, even though in reality, Katherine had compelled her to stab herself earlier. Jenna  is embarrassed about it, but they all soothe her by telling her it was a freaky accident. While Jenna is resting, Jeremy and Elena are alone together and he asks his sister what they are going to do about Katherine. Elena says they’re not going to do anything. She believes that Katherine hurt Jenna because she was still with Stefan and now that they’re broken up, they’re safe. Jeremy tells Elena she is being naive and walks away.
Katherine returns to her room at Mrs Flowers’ Bed and Breakfast, and she helps her get comfortable by bringing her shopping bags. When she leaves, Katherine starts to take a dress out of one of the bags when suddenly, a woman (a witch named Lucy) slinks into the room. Katherine hears her and runs to her in super speed and presses her against the wall, scolding her to not to sneak up on a vampire. Lucy replies: “Don’t attack a witch! .. It’s good to see you, girl.” They hug. Lucy says that she came because she asked her. “Like you had a choice,” says Katherine. She tells Lucy about the Masquerade Ball and asks her to come with her and she smiles. Caroline opens the door of the Salvatores’ house and Bonnie comes inside, holding the Grimoire in her hands. Alaric and Damon are seen in the background looking at weapons. Jeremy is also there and tells Bonnie: “We’re gonna kill Katherine”, when she asks what everyone is doing. Bonnie gives them a puzzled look, to which Stefan says “Let me explain…okay, we’re going to kill Katherine.”. Bonnie looks shocked. Stefan walks over to Damon and Alaric, the latter of whom is explaining how to use each weapon. Cut to Katherine straightening her hair and talking to Lucy in a snide tone: “I’m impersonating my dull-as-dishwater doppelgänger, Elena. She has the worst taste.” Katherine says she became quite good at pretending to be Elena. She says she wants the moonstone and that she wants Lucy to help her. When she asks her what she wants to do with it, Katherine doesn’t answer. “You want me to break the curse,” assumes Lucy. “Let’s just get it first,” Katherine says, “What I really need is backup. I can’t imagine that Damon and Stefan are just gonna hand it over without putting up a fight.”
Bonnie tells Stefan that their plan is risky. Stefan clarifies that it’s about more than wanting Elena back, that what Katherine did to Jenna crossed the line and that she needs to be stopped before it happens again. Bonnie is still not quite convinced, but reluctantly says she could do a spell to trap Katherine, similar to the tomb spell. Meanwhile, Elena is at her house with Matt. She tells him that Alaric will be coming over to spend time with Jenna. She invites Matt to join them, but he tells her that he’s going to the Masquerade Ball. Elena responds that she’s not going because of what’s going on between her and Stefan. Matt tells her that he’s going because there’s something he has to do, but won’t go into detail. She looks suspicious, but tells him to go and have fun. When Matt brings up Stefan, Elena says she doesn’t think they’re going to get back together: “There is so much about me and Stefan that will never work.” Matt says that he’s always there for her and they hug. At the Salvatores’ house, Alaric, Stefan, Damon, Jeremy, Caroline and Bonnie, get ready to go through with their plan. Alaric asks if they’re sure that they don’t need his help at the ball, but Stefan says: “No. I need you to stay with Elena, I don’t want her to know about this.” Alaric promises that he’ll look after her. When Stefan asks if anyone wants to back out, no one wants to. Caroline states that Katherine killed her and that fair is fair, but it takes Bonnie longer to reply; in the end, she says she is in as long as nobody gets hurt (except Katherine, anyway). At the Masquerade Ball at the Lockwood Mansion, artists are seen doing tricks with fire and people in masks are watching. Inside in the office, Tyler is getting ready. His mother, Carol, tells him it’s already packed outside. Mother and son compliment each other on their looks. Tyler apologizes for his past behavior and asks his mother about Mason. She says she hasn’t heard from him and doesn’t think she will. Carol mentions that the Masquerade theme was her late husband’s idea. She says that they both loved him and that “it’s natural to feel abandoned. I just don’t want you to feel alone.” They decide to go outside and pretend to have some fun.

Katherine and Lucy arrive in masks. She runs into Matt and he thinks it’s Elena. Katherine compliments him in his suit. She compels him, saying: “Do you know what you have to do?” Matt answers: “I’m going to get Tyler Lockwood really drunk. I’m going to start a fight with him and beat him until he snaps.” “And then?”, asks Katherine. “I won’t stop until he kills me,” says Matt. Katherine then asks him to leave. Stefan is outside looking around when Damon comes to him from inside the mansion. Neither brother has seen Katherine yet. They play mind games on each other about loving Katherine and whether one of them will or will not hesitate to kill her. Sarah and Aimee are inside the office dancing with each other, and Matt and Tyler are there too, drinking and talking. Tyler says he likes that for once, it’s Matt corrupting him and not the other way around. “Okay, let’s go party,” says Aimee and Sarah and the guys follow her. Jeremy is seen going upstairs with a bag in his hand, followed by Bonnie. They enter a room, which Bonnie exclaims is perfect for what they need to do. Jeremy opens the bag and they take out weapons and Emily Bennett’s Grimoire. Bonnie explains the spell to Jeremy. When he asks her about her magic, she explains that she doesn’t want to know too much, and that she’s only practiced spells that do good. She then admits that she doesn’t really like any of this supernatural drama and doesn’t really want to be a part of all of this. When Jeremy says being a witch must be cool, Bonnie says it’s anything but that because of what she knows about what happened to her witch ancestors: “It never ends well for people like me.” She says she only helps because she doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt and that she doesn’t know how to stay out of it. Jenna and Elena are at home eating pizza. Jenna says she feels like an invalid. When Elena asks her aunt where Jeremy went, she says that he went to the Lockwood party, which surprises Elena. Jenna says that she’s glad he’s having some fun. Elena, suspicious, pretends to go get napkins, but actually goes into the kitchen to talk to Alaric. She tells him that she feels like everyone is avoiding her and wants to know what’s going on. Alaric says that he can’t tell her anything, but when Elena suggests that maybe she should go to the ball after all, he clearly has a problem with it. He tries to deflect by telling her that he’s supposed to keep an eye on her in case Katherine shows up and tries to hurt her while everyone else is at the party, but she just gets more confused and upset, saying that Stefan would never go to any of the Mystic Falls events by himself, because he only attended them for her. Alaric tells her to drop it, and she appears to go along with it.
Jeremy and Bonnie go to tell Stefan that the room is ready, but on their way, Bonnie gets a strange feeling and walks over to Lucy to ask if they know each other. Lucy deflects by saying that she’s a plus one and knows no one and quickly takes her leave. “Are you okay?” asks Jeremy and Bonnie answers: “Just got a weird vibe. Let’s find Damon.” Outside, Stefan is seen, still looking around, until he finally eyes Katherine and walks towards her a little. Suddenly, she shows up behind him and asks him to dance with her. When Stefan refuses, Katherine asks him to choose someone at the party for her to kill instead. Stefan finally agrees to dance with her. Katherine tells Stefan she didn’t expect Jenna to survive, acting innocent, asking: “How does one stab oneself?” Stefan tells her he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt tonight. Katherine agrees and says: “Just give me the moonstone.” He tells her that he doesn’t have it on him, and tells him they would have to get it together. Katherine, who expected this, simply says “Or, you can go get it by yourself and bring it here, and I will try not to kill anyone while you’re gone.” Stefan then says: “My way or you don’t get it.” They are interrupted by Aimee Bradley, asking Stefan where Matt is. When she sees “Elena”, she compliments her and her dress. Katherine thanks her and tells her she loves her necklace. She says it’s twisted, pretends to go fix it, but instead cracks her spine, paralyzing her from the waist down, followed by another crack that kills her. Then she says: “The moonstone, Stefan. Tick tock!” and leaves, leaving dead Aimee in Stefan’s arms to deal with. Back at the Gilbert house, Elena tells Jenna and Alaric she’s going to bed, but she instead grabs a key and sneaks out the door to go to the Lockwoods’. Stefan tells Damon that he left the body in the trunk for now. Damon says they’ll dump it later and writes it off as collateral damage. Stefan says that this is why they just need to call the whole thing off, but Damon convinces him to change his mind again, saying: “What? Who’s hesitating now? Hey! Don’t do this to me. This woman ruined our lives, she destroyed us. Tonight it ends. We can do it together. I got your back. Alright?” Stefan reluctantly agrees. Jeremy and Bonnie are outside and Jeremy asks her random questions. “Can you do a hocus pocus to pass a math exam?” “I don’t know that spell.” “Huh. That would be the first one I’d learn. Or a sex spell or something, I don’t know.” He asks her to dance while they are waiting, and Bonnie says “No!”, like it is a crazy idea. Jeremy chuckles and plays it off well, and Bonnie says: “I mean… no, thank you.” Jeremy’s phone rings. He received a message from Damon, saying: “Now.” They look at each other and Jeremy stands up. Lucy catches up with Katherine, saying: “You didn’t tell me there was another witch here.” Katherine plays dumb, but Lucy says that no one was supposed to know that she was involved in this. Katherine says she owes her dear friend – meaning herself – a favor. Jeremy appears, pretending to think that Katherine is Elena. He asks Lucy to let him talk to his sister alone and she leaves. He drops the act and tells her that Stefan and Damon want to meet her at the edge of the lake by the woods and that they brought the moonstone. She asks him why he’s doing the Salvatores’ bidding, and he responds that he’s not afraid of her. She jokes that the Gilbert men are so courageous and reminds him how she cut off John Gilbert’s fingers. She finally leaves, and Jeremy is texting when suddenly Elena pulls him behind a bush. She asks him: “What the hell is going on?”
Caroline sees Matt laughing and drinking with Sarah. Tyler appears and wants Matt to go somewhere with him, when Matt sees Caroline. They smile at each other for a moment, but Matt leaves. She receives a message from Jeremy saying: “Your turn.” She goes into another room. Katherine appears and presses her to the wall, throttling her. She asks her what Stefan and Damon are up to, and Caroline purposely pretends not to know anything. She finally admits that they’re trying to kill her. When Katherine asks for the moonstone, Caroline tells her that Bonnie has it and also tells her – after another bit more throttling – that she’s upstairs. Elena is shocked to find out that they want to kill Katherine there. She tells Jeremy and Bonnie that they’re crazy and that they’ll get themselves killed, especially Jeremy, who she doesn’t want to be involved in this sort of thing in the first place. Bonnie says they know what they’re doing, and Jeremy explains that they saw an opportunity and had to take it; he also adds that Katherine went after Jenna and needs to be stopped, and that he’s involved regardless of whether he wants to be or not. Caroline is whining while Katherine pulls her upstairs with her. She tells her in which room Bonnie is, and Katherine walks into it, asking: “Where is she?” She turns around and sees Caroline smiling before saying: “I did it. I didn’t think I’d be able to fool… you, but… I did it.” Katherine tries to run towards her, but is being held back by the trapping spell Bonnie cast earlier. Stefan appears in the room, and Caroline leaves. She taunts Stefan, asking him if he really thinks that he can kill her with the stake in his hand, and he just smiles and says no before adding “But he can.” as Damon comes out of the closet and shoots a stake out of a crossbow into her back. As the stake impales Katherine, Elena is seen screaming outside, with a blooming red bloodstain on the back of her shirt. Damon stakes Katherine in the deltoids, and Elena screams in pain again, blood blossoming from the same spot in the same arm. Everywhere Katherine gets hurt, Elena feels the same pain and gets the same wounds. Bonnie finally realizes that the doppelgängers are linked to each other and yells at Jeremy to run and stop them before they kill Elena on accident. Katherine, Stefan and Damon continue fighting, and when Damon is just about to drive the stake through Katherine’s heart, Jeremy appears and yells: “Stop! You’re hurting Elena! Everything you’re doing to her is hurting Elena.” Damon looks confused and shocked at him, his arm frozen in mid-air. She gets up and says: “You think you two were the only ones with a witch on your side? Wrong. Something tells me that my witch is better than your witch.” Stefan tells Jeremy to check on Elena and he leaves. “Let’s all make sure poor Elena’s okay,” Katherine mocks, and starts to cut her palm with the stake just to hurt Elena even more. Katherine is about to stake herself in the stomach when Stefan stops her. Bonnie tells Elena that she can’t undo the linking spell, but that she can do a spell to take some of the pain away. Jeremy comes back to Bonnie and Elena and tells them Katherine has a witch on her side. Bonnie realizes it’s Lucy, the mystery woman she got the vibe from, and runs away to find her. Jeremy offers to give Elena his Gilbert Ring in case they try to kill Elena through Katherine, but Elena prefers to know that Jeremy is safe. Katherine reminisces about the old times in 1864 to the Salvatores, making snide comments about what a bore Damon was back then and how much of an inconvenience his obsession with her was. Stefan asks Katherine why she was working with a werewolf (Mason). Damon tells him not to waste his breath, mockingly apologizes about killing Mason and Katherine explains that Mason isn’t the only wolf in town.
Masquerade
Sarah asks Matt and Tyler what happened to Aimee, and the boys don’t know. Matt purposely spills alcohol all over the floor of the office and over a picture of his deceased father. Tyler asks Matt what’s wrong with him. He gets Tyler mad by saying mean things about his father and bringing up the times that his dad beat him, and breaks the frame of the picture. Even though Tyler says: “I’m not gonna fight you”, Matt makes the first move and they start fighting anyway, Matt because he is compelled to, and Tyler in order to defend himself. Caroline walks through a room, still smiling about her achievement, when she hears Tyler and Matt fighting in the office. She runs into the room, asking what’s going on. She pulls Matt far away from Tyler. When Matt still won’t stop, Caroline elbows him in the face and knocks him unconscious. Tyler looks at her, shocked about her strength. She immediately looks if Matt is okay. Meanwhile, Sarah grabs a knife, muttering: “If Matt fails, I can’t.” Caroline sees her coming and starts to warn Tyler, but it’s too late; Sara stabs him in the clavicular area with a knife, and he instinctively pushes her away. She falls backwards, and her head hits the edge of the desk and cracks her neck, dying immediately. Tyler is shocked and doesn’t know what to do when Sarah doesn’t wake up. Caroline checks her pulse and realizes she’s dead. Tyler freaks out, starts screaming in pain and his eyes change colors, signifying the werewolf curse being triggered. Damon, Stefan and Katherine are still waiting for Katherine’s witch, Lucy. Stefan realizes something. He remembers that she told him that she gave George Lockwood something that he needed to make him help her fake her death. He figures it’s the moonstone. He wants to know why she needs it back, but Katherine just changes the topic and says: “I love you in a suit. So dashing.” Meanwhile, Stefan figures the moonstone wasn’t hers to begin with and asks who she was running from in 1864 when she faked her death. She changes the topic again, saying that in 1987, while Stefan was in a concert with Lexi, she was there to see him. Stefan asks her again who she was running from and she just whispers: “I love you.” Bonnie finds Lucy. She walks away when she sees her, but Bonnie follows her. She tells her her first name and says: “I should’ve known I’d run into a Bennett.” Bonnie wants to know how she knows her. She says she doesn’t want to fight her and that she will stop the spell that links Elena to Katherine if she gives her the moonstone. Lucy finally tells her about Katherine: “The bitch saved my life. And now I owe her.” She’s about to leave, when Bonnie grabs her arm. Lucy senses that Bonnie has the moonstone on her. “Can you feel that?” she then says, “You can trust me. Give it to me. It’s okay.”
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Upstairs, Damon is about to kill Katherine with a stake, but Stefan holds him back. Damon says: “The second the spell’s lifted, I’m gonna drive a stake right through your heart.” Katherine isn’t scared, just says: “God, you’re hot.” Lucy appears and gets their attention. She has the moonstone in her hand and tells Katherine that the spell is broken and that she can leave. “When I hand this over, my dept to you is over,” says Lucy. “I owe you nothing.” Katherine agrees and she gives it to her. Then suddenly Katherine starts gasping and falls. “You should’ve told me another witch was involved,” says Lucy. She also says that Elena is fine and that the spell is broken and explains that with Bonnie with her, she will heal quickly. She apologizes for her involvement to the Salvatores and leaves. Caroline explains a different version of how Sarah died to Carol. After she leaves, she tells Tyler that Matt is in the car sleeping it off. Tyler asks her why she is covering for him. He says she doesn’t know what it means that Sarah’s dead. Caroline says she does, but Tyler shakes his head. She asks if his wound has healed and he asks: “How did you…?” Lucy is walking away from the house and Bonnie asks her to wait. She apologizes and makes it pretty clear that she is not more of a fan of vampires than Bonnie is. She asks Lucy how she could know she could trust her, and Lucy responds by asking her if she’s ever felt that feeling before. Bonnie says that she has felt it before around family and her Grams. Lucy says that they’re cousins. She says seeing her was a wake-up call, that she has to stop letting vampires control her. She thanks her and leaves. Bonnie asks her to wait again, saying she has so many questions and that she doesn’t want to be in the middle of all of this either and asks her how to stay out of it. Lucy says: “Unlike me, you’re one of the good ones, Bonnie. The middle of it is exactly where you need to be.” She tells her to take care and that they’ll see each other again and finally leaves. Bonnie looks after her. Jeremy walks over to her, saying he’s going home and offers her a ride. He sees her face and asks if she’s okay. She nods, giggles, and asks him when he got his driver’s license. Jeremy laughs and tells her he’s not a kid anymore. She says she’d love a ride home. Stefan sees Elena outside. She promises she will see a doctor about the wounds, but assures him that she’s okay. She asks if Katherine is really gone. Stefan nods. They smile at each other. Stefan says he was so worried and comes closer to her, but Elena moves him away. “Katherine being gone, it doesn’t change anything for you, does it?” he asks. “I wanna be with you, Stefan,” she says, “You know that. But first, I need to wake up and know that the people that I love are safe. I need to feel safe. Do you understand?” Stefan says he does, even though he looks sad. Elena slowly walks away. Katherine is seen waking up. She is in the tomb, but still has the moonstone. She wants to get out, but she is trapped in the tomb by a new trapping spell. Damon appears outside of the tomb. When she asks him where she is, he says: “Where you should have been all along.” She says he should have just killed her, but he retorts that death would have been too kind. Damon is almost done closing the heavy door to the tomb when Katherine pleads: “No. Damon, don’t. Damon. Don’t. You need me, Elena’s in danger.” Damon stops for a moment and furrows his brow. “From who?” he asks. Katherine refuses to answer. “You’re lying,” Damon says, “You’re always lying.” Damon closes the door further. “Why do you think I haven’t killed her?” asks Katherine. “Because she’s the doppelgänger! She needs to be protected.” “Then I’ll protect her,” says Damon, “While you rot in hell.” As he finally closes the door, Katherine starts screaming and begging desperately: “No. Damon, don’t. I’ll do anything, please, Damon, you need me. You need me. You need me!” She bangs her fist against the door and screams “You need me!” again, but Damon walks away, but not before swallowing hard.
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Elena is in the driveway at the Lockwood’s and is on the phone with Jeremy. “Yeah, Jeremy, I’ve got my car. I told Bonnie, whatever she did, I’m starting to feel better. Yeah, you can drive her home. I’m just gonna go straight to bed. Okay.” She hangs up and suddenly, a masked man appears behind her. Elena realizes someone’s following her. She turns around and the man places his hand on her mouth so she can’t scream and carries her away. It is somewhat surprising that Katherine has been defeated this early in the season, but I am not complaining. The Vampire Diaries moves quickly, and it is better to move on before Katherine becomes one of those tiresome villains who can never be defeated. Although the show is wise to keep her alive; she hints that Elena is still in danger and that she has some information. I’m sure we will be getting back to Katherine and her information sooner or later.

GHOST WORLD

 Damon is seen tied to a chair with chains, and a poker in his chest. He notices his ring is on the ground, and tells Stefan that’s a low blow; Stefan comes in, telling him he didn’t do any of that. Stefan plucks the poker out, and rips off the binds on his hands, but leaves him chained. Mason, standing in the shadows, opens the curtains and lets Damon burn for a while. It is the Night of Illumination in Mystic Falls and everyone is helping out, hanging paper lanterns. Carol Lockwood introduces Tobias Fell, who gives a history lesson. Jeremy asks Alaric what they are doing there, where Alaric explains Tobias is the head of the history department, and why he’s there. Elena joins them and asks what she has missed, Anna (who is tethered to Jeremy still) gives a witty reply which Elena can’t hear, but Jeremy said she missed nothing. He laughs at something Anna says, which confuses Elena. Anna smiles, and takes Jeremy’s hand. Caroline asks Bonnie whether the spell she did would make Anna disappear too, which she replies no and explains Jeremy still has a direct line to the Other Side, and could see Anna whenever he wished. Bonnie says she took a risk bringing Jeremy back, and was now paying the consequences for it. Damon arrives in his car, and tells Bonnie that she messed up during her spell because Mason Lockwood is now after him for revenge.
At the Mystic Grill, Elena asks for Jeremy’s help with Stefan, wondering if he could contact Lexi—an old friend of Stefan’s that always had a way to bring him back from his ripper ways. Jeremy said he’s not sure if she’s even on The Other Side and he had no previous connection to her whatsoever. Bonnie asks Matt whether he’s contacted Vicki again, and he swears he hasn’t. Caroline asks why she thinks it’s Vicki and not Mason, to which she replies that if any other ghost has a foothold, something is very wrong. Bonnie grabs her bag, but her grimoire falls out, and it flips open to a Manifestation spell, used to reveal veil matter – ghosts. Alaric is not too comfortable with the idea of bringing back dead vampires, seeing as they already have enough vampires as it is. Anna silently tells Jeremy that not all ghosts go to the other side, that some find peace. Stefan joins them at the table, picking up his diaries, wondering how he could have cared so much. Stefan tells Elena it would be better if she moved on and let go of her feelings for him. At the place where the witches were burned, Bonnie and Caroline start setting up to do the Manifestation spell. Jeremy questions Anna why she didn’t want Elena to know that she was there, and Anna replies that she wouldn’t like it, seeing as Bonnie is Elena’s best friend. Jeremy is extremely confused with his feelings, tells Anna he always loved her, and kisses her.
Bonnie does the spell, and Grams appears to her, holding her hands – all over town, ghosts of previous vampires start to appear. Elena walks in on Jeremy and Anna kissing, finally being able to see her again. Lexi appears to Stefan who’s shocked. Mason appears to Damon and Alaric at the Grill, and knocks him over the head with a glass. Lexi tells Stefan he’s off the rails, and that while she’s materialized in the real world, she’ll help him out of his mess. Lexi knocks Stefan unconscious after he refuses her help. Bonnie is emotional at seeing her Grams. Sheila tells Bonnie that the Original Witch unleashed everyone who had unfinished business – she has to close the “door”, by destroying the talisman of the Original Witch. Anna overhears Caroline and Elena on the phone talking about the necklace, and she disappears. Elena walks out and bumps into Lexi, where she thanks her for thinking about her that day, bringing her back. Lexi tells Elena to come with her, as she could help Stefan. Mason tells Damon he’s not after revenge, but an apology. The truth is he’s there to help Tyler. Mason heard of a way to be able to kill an Original, and that the secrets are in the old Lockwood basement. In the City Jail, Lexi has tied Stefan to the torture chair. Lexi looks at Stefan in the eyes and gets inside his head, making him hallucinate. Damon goes to the basement where Mason is waiting for him, and they break through a wall, which reveals a tunnel, which they start to climb through. Stefan is starting to struggle, screaming to get out and Lexi starts to count the total years he’s been without blood as he’s hallucinating. Caroline calls Elena and tells her the necklace isn’t where Damon said it would be. Elena says they should hold off on stopping the ghosts, and they need to help Stefan. Jeremy is shown to be searching for Anna. Frederick walks over to where Anna is standing in the celebrations, saying they have some unfinished business with the Founding Families. A scream erupts and Tobias Fell is shown, dangling from a tree, dead. Stefan is starting to beg Elena to release him, he’s sorry and that he loves her. Lexi warns her that he’d say anything to get out of there. She goes on to say that he’s now getting past the blood and he could feel things – she demonstrates this by stabbing him on the arm. Elena rushes off, not being able to handle it. Walking around the corner, she is greeted by ambulance lights and a body being taken away. Caroline and Bonnie are still searching for the necklace, but can’t find it anywhere in the Salvatore house. Caroline gets a suspicion that Anna could have perhaps taken it, and asks Jeremy about it. Anna tells him no. Back in the caves, Mason is leading Damon through the tunnel. Damon walks forward and is struck by stakes, puncturing him in the sides
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Elena confronts Jeremy about Anna being missing, and that she was the only one who knew about the necklace being needed to send the ghosts away. Jeremy fesses up and tells Elena he can touch Anna, and that he loves her and always will. Elena asks him whether he will love a ghost for the rest of his life. Anna reappears and Elena tells her she’s holding Jeremy back. Anna holds up the necklace for them to see, and Elena instructs Jeremy to call Bonnie with the news that they have the necklace and can send the ghosts away. Mason comes back to Damon and breaks off the stakes. Damon can’t believe that Mason isn’t after revenge, but redemption. Mason only wants to help Tyler. Bonnie and Caroline drive back to the Witch House, but see Carol Lockwood’s car and the tomb vampires approaching it. Caroline gets out and attacks. Jeremy tells Anna that they will still be able to see each other afterwards, and that they have nothing to worry about. Anna says that it should be the end, and that she is holding him back from his life. She is sorry she took the necklace, but hoped that with the tomb vampires out, maybe she would get to see her mother. Lexi repeatedly stabs Stefan with a stake – Elena enters and tells her they are running out of time, and the necklace will be destroyed. Lexi uses the necklace as determination, telling Stefan to focus on that as it once gave him hope. Damon cannot get into the small cavern, as it somehow looks like he has to be invited in. Mason goes on ahead of him to look at the cave walls. Bonnie starts to recite the spell, and her Grams joins her, resulting in the necklace being destroyed in the fire. Caroline is seen fighting off the tomb vampires. Frederick gets a hold on her neck, but he disappears, along with Mason in the cave and Lexi at the city jail. Anna sees her mother, Pearl, and they embrace, disappearing together, finally able to rest in peace. Grams is the last to disappear, telling Bonnie she is very proud of her. In the caves, Alaric arrives to help Damon out. Damon again gives the same apology he gave Mason Lockwood, but genuinely meaning it. In the city jail, Stefan asks Elena what she’s gonna do now and if she’s gonna wait till he dries out. Elena says that she’ll go home and be the support her friends need right now. She’s is headstrong and still has hope for him. Elena comes to stand right in front of Stefan, telling him to fight for it, to feel something, because if he doesn’t, he will lose her forever. “I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life,” she says to him. Jeremy goes to Bonnie, telling her he is sorry. She sends him away, not being able to handle his betrayal. Noises and sparks erupt from the fireplace, and on closer examination, Bonnie sees the necklace’s quality is restored. In the cave, Alaric finds drawings on the wall, yet doesn’t know what they are.
All of the ghosts’ disappearances were handled well, from the heartfelt reunion of Anna and Pearl, or Mason, Grams and Lexie leaving after accomplishing what they needed to do, to the tomb vampires vanishing just in time before they overwhelmed Caroline.

MONSTERS BALL

After Professor Wes Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) killed Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) at the end of the last episode, this episode starts with him performing experiments on Jesse for unknown reasons and it seems that this is not the first one. Meanwhile, Elena (Nina Dobrev) attempts to deal with Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) death by distracting herself with her research about Megan’s death and why Professor Maxfield covered the reason she died. While she ponders how to get the information she needs, she sees someone at Megan’s grave. She approaches the stranger and asks him his name and if he knew Megan, but the man seems reluctant to answer her questions. It is later revealed that the man’s name is Aaron (Shaun Sipos) and Professor Wes is his guardian. Wes asks Aaron to stay away from Elena and then, on an encounter with Elena at the Whitmore Historical Ball, he tells her to leave college and go back to Mystic Falls with her friends as there are people at Whitmore who are watching her. Tyler (Michael Trevino) returns for Bonnie’s funeral and spends some time with Caroline (Candice Accola) who still tries to convince him to cease what he is doing and come to college. Tyler informs her that he cannot let Klaus get away with what he did to his mom, Carol, and that he will hunt him down and kill him. Caroline tries to change his mind with no such luck. The two part ways, ending their relationship.
Nadia (Olga Fonda) still has Katherine captured and Silas (Paul Wesley) commences to try to find them but is unable to without his mental power. Katherine consistently asks Nadia what she wants from her and Nadia reveals to her that she is her daughter whom she left behind in 1492 and the only reason she became a vampire was to find her. In the meantime, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tells Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) his plan about how they can bring Bonnie back to life. Because someone has to die to bring another back, Damon says that they should take advantage of the fact that Silas wants to die to be with his true love, Amara, so that Bonnie comes back. They have to work with Silas to do so and Bonnie does not agree with the idea. Damon meets Silas to inform him about his plan and Silas agrees but own his terms; he wants Damon to “kill” his brother. By “killing” Stefan, the link between the two of them will be broken and Silas will have his mental power back. Damon just has to keep Stefan “dead” as long as Silas will be pretending to be Stefan so he can get the information he needs from Quetsiyah’s (Janina Gavankar) head.
The plan goes well until the moment Stefan escapes from Damon before he “kills” him again and lets Quetsiyah know that she is talking to Silas and not him. Quetsiyah becomes enraged, reaches into his heart and twists it whilst making a spell causing it to stop. The spell turns Silas cold and grey and unable to move or do anything, but not dead. Damon and Elena find him and take him back to the Salvatore house. Katherine arrives at the Salvatore home after Damon calls her and she is happy to see that Silas is gone, unbeknownst to the real reason Damon called her, to use her to bring Silas back. Silas starts to wake up after feeding on Katherine and while Katherine should be dead after this, she also wakes up with Elena and Damon not knowing why.
Though not the most surprising or action packed episode of The Vampire Diaries, “Monster’s Ball” was full of enough emotion to overshadow these minor missing elements.

THE WORLD HAS TURNED AND LEFTED ME HERE

Trip (Colin Ferguson) calls Stefan (Paul Wesley) to thank him for turning in Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and informs him that he is trying to get out of him all the information he knows about vampires. Enzo told him that there is a vampire in Savannah, where Stefan is, and that leads Stefan to get back to Mystic Falls with Ivy (Emily C. Chang) to avoid the vampire hunters. Stefan arrives at Caroline’s (Candice Accola) dorm and asks her help with Ivy. Caroline tries to keep Ivy in the dorm but Ivy snaps her neck and gets away. When Caroline wakes up, she tries to reach Stefan while she is out searching for Ivy, but he is not answering his phone.Ivy finds a guy and attacks him but she manages to stop feeding on him before she kills him. She tries to compel him but she does not know how to do it. To make sure that she will not kill him, she asks him to run away. In the meantime, Stefan listens Caroline’s messages and comes back. When Caroline asks him where he has been all day, he admits that he was on his way out of town. Caroline is shocked that he would leave town leaving Ivy with her. Angry, she asks him to leave and then Ivy calls for her help.
Elena (Nina Dobrev) invites Liam (Marco James) to the annual “Homecoming Corn Maze” party as her date. She also convinces Alaric (Matt Davis) and Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) to go since they both need it but they have no idea that Elena planned it this way to set them up. While everyone being in the corn maze, the guy that Ivy attacked jumps in front of Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) car and Tyler, on his attempt to avoid him, drives through the corn maze injuring many people, including the guy who jumped in front of him. Tyler is terrified and calls Elena to tell her that he was the one driving the car and she needed her to heal the person he injured. Elena tells him that there are many injured people and Tyler does not know what to do.
Jo and Alaric try to help those who got injured while Liam and Elena do the same. Liam finds a girl who is deadly injured and asks Elena’s help. Elena tells him that she can handle it and he should go to help others. When Liam leaves, she feeds the girl her blood healing her and then compels her to forget about it. On their way out, Liam sees the girl alive and well and gets suspicious of what happened. When he asks Elena about it, Elena denies to tell him the truth and kisses him as a distraction.  Meanwhile, Liv (Penelope Mitchell) finds Tyler and tries to help him. When they find out that there is nothing they can do to save him, Tyler is desperate since his curse will be activated again, but Liv decides to kill the guy before he bleeds to death, so she will be the one who killed him and not Tyler. Back at the hospital, Jo confess her feelings to Alaric but Alaric compels her to forget about him. The compulsion though does not work on her and Jo kisses him before she leaves. Caroline is on her way to find Ivy but Tripp gets to her before Caroline. He shots her with vervain and takes her away while Caroline watches from her car in shock.
Back in 1994, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tries to convince Bonnie (Kat Graham) that it is fine to take Kai (Chris Wood) with them because they will kill him the moment they go back but Bonnie does not agree to free him. When she realizes that Kai does not know the spell, she kills him and tries to find the spell on her own in her grandmother’s Grimoire. Bonnie finds the spell and she and Damon get ready to get back home but Kai, who did not die, appears and shoots Bonnie with an arrow. Damon and Kai start to fight and when Bonnie realizes that she will not make it, she uses her magic to at least send Damon back leaving herself behind with Kai.
The episode ends with Stefan going to the Salvatore crypt and talking alone about his dead family and Damon. While he is there, Damon appears telling him he is alive and back and the two brothers reunite.
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The episode was pretty solid and took viewers on emotional journey filled with ups, downs and some shocking twists. Also it had a nice cliffhanger with the fate of several characters in question.

I CARRY YOU IN MY HEART WITH ME

Damon said goodbye for now to Elena during “I Carry Your Heart With Me,” and Alaric said hello again to Jo.That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The Phoenix stone works! It’s unlikely that this resurrection spell is going to come with no consequences. Resurrection spells, messing around with the laws of life and death, never come without their issues in this world. But that’s okay. We’ll deal with that later. Thanks to the flash forward, we know that the Phoenix stone resurrected not just Jo but also their girls. Twin girls. The Gemini coven has been reborn. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to prevent that whole twin-absorption merging thing that caused a lot of family drama, but if not, my money’s on Josie being the stronger of the two.

The Vampire Diaries -- I’m still not buying that Enzo is in love with Lily and wants to be with her romantically. I think it’s a ploy of his to stay in Mystic Falls and keep whomever happens to wander into town safe. Sure, he brought home a body, but that was more of a peace offering for Valerie than anything, right?

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He’s smart to want to know about Julian and who he was, and he’s smart enough to know that Lily’s a lovestruck, idiotic idealist when it comes to her family. There is no part of me who believes he wants to keep Julian away so that he can have Lily to himself. Enzo just sort of understands that if Lily would fall for this guy, he cannot be a good man. Keeping Julian away is for the good of everyone. Speaking of Lily, she does have a type. Damon was right when he said she prefers the sons who can’t control their bloodlust, and Oscar definitely couldn’t once he was resurrected. Whether that bloodlust is just who Oscar is or whether it’s a weird side-effect of the Phoenix stone remains to be seen. So far, I’m leaning toward Oscar is a blood-thirsty maniac who just can’t stop. That explains the body count in Myrtle Beach and his ravenous feeding frenzy post-awakening.
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It’s time for Damon to let Elena’s body rest. If he’s going to live, move on, whatever, he cannot do it with Elena’s physical presence beside him. He can’t keep her safe, and he has no idea who he is without her. Holding on to her body is his way of holding on to her, and the only reason he’s doing that is because he doesn’t trust himself to be a good man without her. He’s already shown moments of it when he’s protected Matt. In fact, listing “keeping Matt Donovan” alive as one of the reasons he wants to move back to Mystic Falls is a huge sign that he’s already become someone Elena would be proud to know. He can do this. Letting go was the first step