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"We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes."
—Madeleine L’Engle

Love You to Death: Season 5 is the fourth book of the Love You to Death series, the unofficial companion to The Vampire Diaries.

With a foreword by co-creator Kevin Williamson, the fan-favorite Love You to Death series returns with an essential guide to the fifth season of The CW’s hit show The Vampire Diaries. As the series hits its 100th-episode milestone, this companion delves headlong into the twists and turns of each episode, exploring the layers of rich history, supernatural mythology, historical and pop culture references, and the complexities of the show’s memorable cast of characters. Add chapters on the making of the show, interviews with the people who bring Mystic Falls to life, and the intensely loyal audience that keeps it thriving, and you have a guide as compelling and addictive as the show itself.

The Cast

Episode Guide: Season 5


Excerpt from Love You to Death: Season 5

Foreword

There’s a scene in The Vampire Diaries’ first episode that to this day still gives me goosebumps. It’s the moment when Julie and I knew this show was going to be special. Whether or not it would find an audience, whether or not it would be a hit, we both knew that it was going to be something very special to us on both a professional and a personal level. It was the moment when Elena and Stefan meet face to face in the graveyard. Their eyes meet, they are connected. We had chemistry between our two leads. It was there and was felt by everyone on set. It’s an introduction that includes a line from Elena that perfectly defines the mythology of the show: “We have History together.” A beautiful moment between two broken but strong souls in what can best be described as, and what soon became our buzzword for everything TVD, epic. It was the beginning. One hundred and eleven episodes later, the romance and mystery of Mystic Falls are stronger than ever, and I love every minute of it.

However, it’s no secret I was reluctant at first to join Julie in adapting the book series into a tv show. I didn’t want to create another vampire love story knockoff. It was already overdone. I felt sure this would be the final nail in the coffin of the vampire genre that had taken the world by storm. But as I gave the books a chance, I realized this was much more than just a love story about a vampire and a mortal — TVD was about loss and grief. It was about people and family. It told the story of how even the hopeless and lost can find a way to live and love. It’s about family and second chances and all the sad and happy truths that come with life and death. It was truly epic. So, here we are five years later, and I couldn’t be more proud and fulfilled to be a part of the TVD world. I was dealing with great grief and loss in my own personal life, and working with my dear friend Julie and all the wonderful cast and crew — this show brought me back to life. It saved me in ways you will never know.

Season five was a huge milestone for us. We took Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie out of Mystic Falls and dropped them into Whitmore College, a place with mysterious ties to the Gilbert family. We delved deeper into the history of the doppelgängers and introduced new mythology through the Travelers. The Originals moved to New Orleans, Bonnie anchored the Other Side, and Katherine came face to face with the daughter who was ripped from her arms after childbirth. Stefan dealt with his shadow self, Silas, and lost his mind in the process. Damon went off the rails, redeemed himself, got the girl, and sacrificed himself to save Mystic Falls. And if that wasn’t enough, we celebrated our 100th episode, a true testament to the incredible work done by our cast and crew over these past five years. I couldn’t be prouder of Julie and Caroline Dries and their creative team for keeping the series going twist after twist. Their hard work and dedication is in every fiber of this show and it’s because of them that we have been so incredibly successful around the world.

The Vampire Diaries would be nothing without its eternally loyal and hardcore fans. You’ve stood by us from the very beginning, keeping tabs on Julie and me and all of our fabulous writers as we deviated from the books and developed our own version of Mystic Falls. And through it all, Crissy and Heather have been our biggest cheerleaders. We first met them through the popular Vampire-Diaries.net, which connected us to you in ways we could never have imagined. I was floored when I saw how devoted the VampireDiaries.net team was at keeping up with us as they built their incredibly comprehensive website. With their Love You to Death books, they’ve spent countless hours breaking down and analyzing each and every frame of season five. They bring you close to the action through insightful interviews, analysis, and witty commentary — sometimes even calling us out on our mistakes! Their books serve as a perfect companion to the show and are a must-have for any TVD fan.

Thank you for being part of what is a truly special fandom family. Stay tuned for season six of TVD. There’s so much more twisty fun to come. So many more epically epic stories to tell . . .

Much love,
Kevin Williamson [1]


Introduction

“I’m in.” “Me too.” “Absolutely.” “Count me in.” “Done dealio.” This spring, very shortly after we sent out interview requests for this here volume of Love You to Death to a list of TVD crew, our inboxes filled up with these quick and keen replies. As it turns out, the talented folks who work on The Vampire Diaries, just like those who watch it, are more than happy to talk about it. Which makes this season five companion a Super Edition: we have more insights and voices herein than in the previous four books combined. (See the sidebar for a rundown of who’s who.) From the revealing backstories that informed what we ended up seeing on screen, to the lighting and framing and stunts, to the perspective on the season as a whole now that it’s in the rear-view mirror, this group of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, production designers, and editors together provide a candid (and often funny) oral history of this season. We hope you find it as illuminating and entertaining to read as we did to put it together. After all (to paraphrase Ferris Bueller), The Vampire Diaries moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

In the episode guide, each write-up begins with a bit of dialogue that stood out either because it captures the episode in a pithy few lines or it was just too well written to ignore. From there, we dive into an analysis of the episode, exploring its main themes, the character development, the questions it raises, or, in some cases, providing a critique. Next, we present these sections:

  • COMPELLING MOMENT Here we choose one moment that particularly stands out — a turning point, a heartbreaker of a scene, or a shocking twist.
  • CIRCLE OF KNOWLEDGE This is the section in which you’ll find all the need-to-know info — the details you may have missed on first watch, the cultural references, and motifs or recurring elements. If an episode’s title is a play on another title (of a film, book, song, etc.), those references are explained here.
  • HISTORY LESSON The only class at Mystic Falls High School that ever got considerable screen time is history. History, both real and fictional, is important in this series — so, for the characters’ historical quips, the town’s history, and subtle references, “History Lesson” is your study aid.
  • THE RULES Any work of fiction with a supernatural element has its own particular spin on how that world operates. Here we catalog what we’ve learned about what goes bump in the night.
  • PREVIOUSLY ON THE VAMPIRE DIARIES History repeats itself in Mystic Falls, and here we outline the incidents, motifs, and key moments that are revisited or echoed in each episode.
  • OFF CAMERA We leave the fictional world behind to hear what the cast and crew have to say about an episode; you’ll also find background details on guest stars.
  • FOGGY MOMENTS Elena, surprised by Stefan in the cemetery in the pilot episode, tells him the fog is making her foggy. “Foggy Moments” is a collection of confusing moments for these viewers — continuity errors, arguable nitpicks, full-on inconsistencies, and conundrums that may be explained later.
  • QUESTIONS TVD fans love to theorize about what will happen next or what motivates a certain character. In this section, we raise questions about characters, plotting, and mythology and leave you to consider them as you watch the season unfold.

Wherever sister show The Originals got into a little crossover action with TVD this season, we include a brief rundown of what went down in the Big Easy in the section entitled “Meanwhile in New Orleans . . .” Make sure you watch an episode before reading its corresponding guide — you will encounter spoilers for that episode. The timeline included in previous volumes of Love You to Death is updated to include season five’s info on the past 2,000 years in the TVD universe. As well, a song-by-scene guide is included at the back of the book.

Enjoy the trip back to Mystic Falls,
Crissy Calhoun and Heather Vee
July 2014 [1]


The Vampire Diaries’ Crew
"Usually the episode writer gets to pick the title.The titles usually emerge at some point in the break [of the episode] and we’re all present and give it our stamp of approval. I like the slightly funnier/ironic ones. I usually pick existing movie titles. I have veto power on titles and have used it a few times . . . I won’t say on which.And Julie vetoed one of mine once too — [what became] ‘The Murder of One’ [3.18]. Not that I’m still thinking about it or anything."
Caroline Dries
  • Brett Matthews, writer and producer. Joined TVD in season four, after having worked on little-known shows like Firefly and Supernatural. (!!)
  • Caroline Dries, executive producer, writer, showrunner, badass painter. She joined the writing staff in the midst of season one.
  • Darren Genet, cinematographer on the series since season four. Don’t freak out (like we did) but he worked on Kings. Genet directed his first episode of TVD this season.
  • Garreth Stover, production designer with the series since season one. Expect to hear a lot of love for Garreth and his work in these here pages.
  • Joshua Butler, director. His work on TVD began back in season one as an editor, and he’s also worked on all of your favorite shows (e.g., FNL, PLL, The OGs . . .).
  • Julie Plec, cocreator, executive producer, and writer. Mad genius. Excellent conversationalist.
  • Holly Brix, writer and producer, who joined the TVD family in season five.
  • Kellie Cyrus, associate producer and director. Kellie joined the series in season one as script supervisor.
  • Marc Pollon, editor. A season one veteran, Marc is another Whedon alum, having worked on Angel.
  • Matthew D'Ambrosio, writers’ assistant and writer. Matt’s been with the show since season one; in addition to an episode this season, he cowrote issues of DC’s TVD comic.
  • Melinda Hsu Taylor, writer and producer. New to the series this season, Melinda’s IMDb page boasts such credits as writer/producer for Lost, Medium, Falling Skies . . .
  • Michael A. Allowitz, first assistant director and director.A beloved TVD veteran, Michael has been with the series since episode two and directed his first episode last season.
  • Michael Karasick, cinematographer. New to TVD in season five, Michael has been shooting TV and film for the better part of two decades.
  • Neil Reynolds, writer and producer. Joined the writers’ room in season four.
  • Paul Wesley, director and actor. The one and only Stefan Salvatore. (Also, Silas.)
  • Rebecca Sonnenshine, writer and producer. On the writing staff since season three; has a penchant for horror that we adore.
  • Tony Solomons, editor. With the show since season four and has an impressively varied résumé — from Californication to MMA reality series to ANTM. [1]


5.01 I Know What You Did Last Summer
"If I hear the word doppelgänger one more time, I think I’m actually going to have to learn how to spell it."
—Damon

Original air date October 3, 2013
Written by Caroline Dries Directed by Lance Anderson
Edited by Tony Solomons Cinematography by Darren Genet
Guest cast Max Calder (Student #2), Jesse Haus (Student #1), Claire Holt (Rebekah Mikaelson), Hayley Kiyoko (Megan), Hans Obma (Gregor), Rick Worthy (Rudy Hopkins)
Previously on The Vampire Diaries Paul Wesley

It’s college move-in day for Caroline and Elena, and Damon tries to keep things in check at home with human Katherine, extra strong Silas, and Little Gilbert.

While the season begins with its characters all over the map (underwater, on the Other Side, in the mountains of Appalachia . . . ), the episode manages to unite the storylines through each character’s desire to hold on to some form of normalcy after a summer that held them in various states of limbo — some of them way more fun than others.

Some opt for fresh starts in new surroundings, but Matt chooses the good ol’ reliable world he knows. He’s back in his Grill T-shirt because he needs a paycheck, and Rebekah’s “one more chance” to go with her to New Orleans doesn’t even tempt him. Tyler, a character fated to another thin season, literally phones it in this episode, leaving Caroline a voicemail wherein he chooses to focus on his supernatural side (helping a wolf pack) over freshman courses at Whitmore with his girlfriend.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Caroline and Elena struggle with their new normal in a storyline that explores that tension between a fresh start and bringing the past with you to the dorm, along with the small appliances. That conflict is created by doomed-from-the-start Megan: how will the girls manage to keep their supernatural secret from a vervain-waterdrinking roommate? Determined not to be outed as vampires on their first day at college, the roomies have amusingly opposing reactions, with Caroline suggesting the old route (capture, compel) and Elena successfully arguing for a diabolical alternative: act like normal and fun-loving human college students, a.k.a. fake it ’til you make it. “What’s the point in going to college if we’re just going to recreate what happens in Mystic Falls?” asks Elena, convincing Caroline to give it the old college try. These two as roomies is highly entertaining so far, and Caroline’s hilarious and sweet turn in this premiere signals a more Caroline-heavy, and nuanced, season than we saw in season four — from her neurotic control freakiness over the Megan situation to the perfect mix of emotions Candice Accola gives us as Caroline reacts to the news that Tyler won’t be joining them at college.

Remember back in season one when Elena told Damon that she “used to be more fun”? Well, gloomy graveyard girl is on hiatus in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Bonnie is right: Elena does look happy at Whitmore — thanks to a summer of lovin’, free of supernatural drama. Elena’s ignorance is her bliss, and her “normal college experience,” quite expectedly, is shortlived. The girls can’t even enter the party house, thanks to being vampires. Pretend as they might, they can’t deny what they are or outrun the past. What at first seems like a simple touching moment turns out to be a hint at a mystery to come: Liz tells Elena that her father fell in love with medicine at Whitmore College, and by episode’s end Elena has found a photo of her dead dad on her dead roommate’s cell phone. What does the vampire-hating good doctor Grayson Gilbert have to do with Megan?

Before Bonnie’s father is rudely interrupted (and then murdered) at the town’s end-of-summer barbecue, Mayor Hopkins says that family is one of the core values of the Mystic Falls community. But “I Know What You Did Last Summer” gives us families splintering and separating, which forces the characters to find connection outside their bloodlines. In the least tragic of situations, Caroline is treated to her empty-nest mom in tears, and then sheds some of her own. Lying in a strange new bed, her parent no longer a room away to console her, she relies on the comforting presence of her roommate and friend to get her through the heartache. It’s about as normal as it gets on The Vampire Diaries, especially Caroline’s earnest “I’m really glad you’re here,” said through her tears. By episode’s end, Liz Forbes is the only living parent of the core characters, and she acts as a surrogate parent to Elena when she moves the girls into their dorm room. Between the schlepping of boxes, the adorable “mom ears” comment (overhearing Caroline say that Damon and Elena have been “shacking up” all summer), and her tearful embrace of Elena, Liz acts as a stand-in for Grayson and Miranda Gilbert, reminding Elena that attending Whitmore is part of her family tradition.

The new Gilbert tradition? Struggling through the end of high school orphaned. It’s not clear what Jeremy did all summer (other than forge emails and postcards for Ghost Bonnie), but it’s obvious that Elena was way more focused on fooling around with Damon than on being her little brother’s keeper. (Which, fair enough.) The Gilbert siblings’ rehearsal of what lies to tell the school about Jeremy’s death and the Gilbert house fire are certainly necessary but a far cry from “normal.” With Elena off to college, and his actual little brother M.I.A., Damon is in the position of surrogate older brother, so he steps into Alaric’s old role as unofficial official guardian to Jeremy.

Now with two little brothers, Damon feels like he’s failing, and when he learns from Silas that Stefan has been suffering all summer long, he realizes he has. Silas’s suggestion that Damon has just been deluding himself into thinking that everything was fine, that Stefan would ever just leave and not get in touch, that it would be that easy, hits a nerve. While his initial reaction to being alone with Jeremy is that this guardianship will be very hands-off, by episode’s end, Damon shows just how much his feelings about Little Gilbert have changed since the beginning of the series. This episode offers a few choice callbacks to earlier seasons, tweaked for the new era that is season five, but none so poignant as Damon saving Jeremy and giving him a little hug as he comes back to life — now his protector, not his murderer.

Resurrected Jeremy struggles with the return to his old life, managing to get expelled on his first day back at school. Picked on for being the freak who faked his own death, he reacts as if he is battling a supernatural creature and not a run-of-the-mill teenaged jerk. Jeremy’s unaccustomed to his hunter strength and agility and the necessary secrecy that goes along with being mystically endowed, but his new roomie Damon is already teaching him the ropes. The tension between these characters has always made for great tv, and, awesomely, Jeremy is not too shy to bring up the whole “you killed me” thing. With Elena away at college but still very much present in their lives, their dynamic takes on new complications. Damon is keen to keep the darkness away from her; he withholds the truth about Katherine, about Silas and Stefan, about Jer’s expulsion and near death, so that she can go on enjoying her new college life. It’s as close to being a normal, supportive boyfriend as Damon is capable of, given the circumstances. And though it’s likely to blow up in Damon’s face at some point, Jeremy goes along with it. He’s used to keeping major secrets.

Bonnie Bennett shares Damon’s motivation. She refuses to drop the ruse that she’s still alive, forcing Jeremy to dupe her loved ones. It’s another lie that’s sure to be revealed soon with the way these TVD writers like to blaze through storylines. Bonnie’s putting on a happy face in the first half of the episode: she tells Jeremy that she feels lucky to be able to talk to her best friends from beyond the grave, she wants Elena and Caroline to have their happiness, and when she stands beside them at college, unseen, it’s a bittersweet and lonely tableau. She’s there, and they have no inkling that she’s dead. As the episode progresses, an increasingly frustrated Bonnie hits the limitations of her ghostly existence: she can’t help Jeremy convince Damon that Silas is back, she can’t help Jeremy when he lies dying in the road after the car collides with a telephone pole, and most heartbreaking of all, she can’t do anything to stop Silas from murdering her father in cold blood. While, on an intellectual level, she knows she is dead, knows that she’s present but unable to truly be a part of what’s going on, her new reality is brought painfully and horrifically home when she witnesses Silas’s demonstration of strength in the town square. Unaffected by his mass mind control but unable to stop him, she watches as Silas slits her father’s throat.

The episode’s “Previously On” narration says, “We’ve all made sacrifices,” but true suffering is visited upon Bonnie and Stefan. Characters who have been punished rather than rewarded for their selflessness and sacrifice, they struggle to hold on under the weight of excruciating situations. Though Bonnie is (for the most part) alone on the Other Side, she has found ways to still be a presence in her loved ones’ lives, and in an inverse of that situation, Stefan finds a way to keep his loved ones with him, even as he is alone in a nightmare. The horror of being trapped for months in a coffin-like prison, waking, drowning, dying, and then doing it all over again with only his own tormented thoughts for company, is a little too much for anyone’s brain to handle. Stefan basically mind-whammies himself, as we’ve seen vampires do to others in the past: he hallucinates his home — open space and daylight and sustenance — and, in the shape of his brother, Stefan tells himself to give up and turn off his emotions. While he’d still be in physical pain in the underwater safe, if he flipped his switch, he would lose all the emotional torment. And he very nearly does choose that option. Stefan may have a literal, external shadow self in Silas, but he also has split selves within: the conflicting voices in his head arguing for this or that course of action, which he personifies as Damon and, finally, Elena. Stefan seems surprised by her appearance in the final hallucination (though it’s his own imagination that has conjured her), and he draws from her words the strength he needs to hold onto his humanity, just as he did during their brief phone call on the night of her 18th birthday when he was tethered to Klaus and on the path back to ripperdom. Stefan well remembers the last time he flipped his switch, and his Elena apparition urges him not to let go. “Your humanity is the one thing that makes you who you are” — sage advice from one doppelgänger to another. While there are some differences in physical ability between Silas, the original immortal, and his vampire knock-off, what makes Stefan Stefan and not just Silas’s “shadow self” is his humanity, and Stefan knows it. He finds a way to experience light in the darkness, and the hallucination sequences are masterful from a technical standpoint, as are the stark transitions in and out of those moments. While “Graduation” had Stefan resolving to let go — of Elena, of Mystic Falls — here he chooses to hold on to what his love for Elena inspires in him. It’s a poignant reminder that the people you love are with you even when you’re alone.

But what if you’ve spent 500 years deceiving, using, cheating, killing, and making enemies and running from them? Enter Katherine Pierce, Human Edition. She now understands how much work mere mortals put in to looking even one percent as good as she normally does, and Katherine remains delightfully Katherine in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Like the girl who hung herself to escape Klaus and Rose and Trevor, Katherine solicits help from Damon but as soon as she realizes she’s reached the limit of his goodwill, she scrambles to save herself. The scene in the car with Jeremy is a prime example: Jeremy goes along with the rescue mission but gives her the silent treatment (after all, he’s been ordered to protect the person who fed him to Silas, left him for dead, and unleashed all kinds of hell on earth), but when he turns that car around to deliver her to Silas, Katherine kicks into high gear, negotiating for her life with all she’s got. When her pleas fall on deaf ears, Katherine Pierce doesn’t accept her fate: she changes it. Crafty and quick thinking, she crashes that car and leaves Jer for dead — again. Still integral to Silas’s plan (for reasons yet to be revealed), our girl is back on the lam, bruised and bloody, in a bathrobe and bare feet, no less. TVD may have lost a villain we loved to root for when Klaus left to be King of New Orleans, but Queen Katherine is proving more than capable of filling that role this season, scrambling to survive no matter who she has to leave in her dust.

With Katherine as willing as ever to kill off Jeremy to serve her own interest, it’s a good thing Damon is in Hero Mode, because with his brother trapped in the quarry, Bonnie dead, Matt brain-zapped by mysterious and sexy foreigners, and the college coeds out of town, he’s leading a lone charge against the impressively villainous Silas. Introduced last season wearing all manner of disguises, Silas reveals his true self and personality in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” — a snarky, all-knowing villain who hits where it hurts, and not just with physical violence. He casually reminds Damon that Stefan has historically been the Chosen One when it comes to their shared lady loves; he points out to Katherine just how vulnerable and weak she is; even poor Liz Forbes gets a dig (“Eating your feelings?”) before being sliced into. Silas is clearly experimenting with the limits of his abilities — chugging blood all summer. But the biggest question isn’t how many people he can dupe in one go, it’s the one he flat-out refuses to answer: what is his plan? What does he want with Katherine? As the one who consumed the Cure, she’s got very special blood running through her veins. A bold new villain wearing a hero’s face, Silas seems intent on not only compelling the townsfolk into helping him find Katherine, but on revealing the selfdelusions that plague the characters.

Damon has deluded himself into thinking that Stefan really would just disappear for three months, cool with his big bro shacking up with Elena, and send nary a text message to assure anyone that he’d not spiraled into ripper mode. Elena herself has been plagued by unease and dread — something’s wrong with Stefan, and she can feel it — but she’s been pushing those feelings aside, assuming they are just the workings of her guilty conscience, as Caroline argues. And Caroline is herself deluded about her relationship with Tyler. Silas hints at a season-long concern when he asks Damon, “How well do you know your brother?” In a season full of characters not knowing those closest to them and not recognizing when something is terribly, terribly wrong — like a loved one is imprisoned in a safe underwater or has been dead for three months — the gang is unable to admit how far from okay their reality is for fear of losing the little glimmer of happiness they are experiencing.

No normal college party free from murder-by-vampire. No pleasant town event without the Mayor’s shocking death. No threesome in Europe without supernaturally dicey consequences. Whether a few hours away at Whitmore College or back home in Mystic Falls, the gang’s drama-free summer has come to a brutal and bloody end.

  • COMPELLING MOMENT Silas murdering the Mayor in front of the silent and still crowd, Bonnie’s screams and cries as her father is slain the only sounds. Absolutely chilling.
  • CIRCLE OF KNOWLEDGE
    • Tyler doesn’t appear in this episode, but his voice is heard when Caroline picks up his voicemail.
    • I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1973 young adult suspense novel by American writer Lois Duncan. Nine months after a hit-and-run accident that kills a 10-year-old boy, the four teens who were in the car are confronted with their past sin as a vengeful Someone Who Knows escalates from creepy notes to violence. Julie James, a happy senior whose love for cheerleading and socializing disappeared after the life-changing incident, plans to escape the past by attending college far from home. Her ex-boyfriend Ray Bronson comes back to town after a year away, having realized that you can’t outrun your past. The 1997 film adaptation, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillipe, was penned by Vampire Diaries cocreator Kevin Williamson, who reimagined the story as a straight-up slasher film.
    • In the threesome scene, Nadia says to Rebekah in Czech, “I want you.” Rebekah and Nadia’s smooch is the first same-sex kiss on the series.
    • Bonnie’s email has one line that we don’t hear in the voice-over but is visible onscreen in Elena’s Gmail: “And I’m assuming no one’s heard from Katherine since you shoved the vampire cure down her throat?”
    • It wasn’t until most of our characters had graduated for the series to give us Mystic Falls High School’s principal. Principal Weber calls the Salvatore house to report Jeremy’s hallway brawl. Damon later uses compulsion on Principal Weber (offscreen) so Jeremy won’t be expelled from school; he gets a “generous three-day suspension” instead.
    • Silas prefers to use the term “shadow self” over doppelgänger, which pulls in the Jungian concept to the relationship between Silas and Stefan. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875–1961) wrote about the “shadow” as the darkness within each individual’s “self” that is cut off from his or her conscious being. “We carry our past with us,” said Jung in 1937. For someone to be cured of a looming shadow self, Jung said, “it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.” The idea being, if one ventures into the “darkness” of the self and brings the self and shadow into a “precarious unity,” then it’s possible to assimilate the dark side rather than be overwhelmed by it (which Jung felt was the inevitable result of denying and repressing it). “The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness,” wrote Jung, referring to the victory of the conscious self over the subconscious urges. In TVD, Silas and his shadow self are a peculiar inverse of this concept — with Stefan as a carbon copy of who Silas was before his crime against Nature (the immortality spell), a shadow of the self that is arguably less evil and dark than the original or prime consciousness.
    • The lady doppelgängers share a fondness for baths: at the start of the episode, Elena indulges in a bubble bath while Damon plies her with champagne and asks her to stay; later, Katherine takes a bubble bath in the same tub, only her experience is much less relaxing . . . since Silas tries to kill her.
  • THE RULES Bonnie can communicate with Jeremy, because he can see ghosts, but they can’t touch each other. Her death undid her spell that encased Silas in stone (“The Walking Dead,” 4.22). As a ghost, Bonnie has no magic.
  • Silas unloads a lot of important fun facts regarding his capabilities. First of all, do not call him a vampire. He’s an immortal; vampires are just perverse knock-offs of him. He is unkillable and has vampire-style healing abilities (though a little slower, judging by his recovery time from Katherine’s retaliation), he needs to drink human blood in order to sustain himself, he does not have super speed, but he does have super psychic abilities — mind control, mind reading — and the more blood he drinks the greater his ability. (R.I.P. mayor #3.) And while there haven’t been any psychic powers the likes of Silas’s, Bonnie’s spirit-magic abilities first manifested as psychic (like her uncanny ability to correctly guess what’s in the Gilbert kitchen drawers in “Friday Night Bites” [1.03]); through physical touch, she was able to learn that Mason and Katherine were a secret item and that the moonstone was hidden in a well in “Plan B” (2.06).
  • When Jeremy touches Silas, he gets a chill where his hunter’s mark used to be — akin to the way a witch can tell someone’s a vampire by touch.
  • Silas states that the creation of a shadow self, or doppelgänger, was Nature’s retaliation for him becoming immortal: a killable edition.
  • PREVIOUSLY ON THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Tyler’s excuse for missing his first semester at Whitmore is a familiar one: he tells Caroline that he’s helping a wolf pack in Tennessee. After Bill Forbes told Tyler how he must break his sire bond to Klaus in “The Ties That Bind” (3.12), Tyler left town and later returned to Mystic Falls a changed man in “Heart of Darkness” (3.19), having broken free of the bond by turning deliberately a hundred times in the Appalachian Mountains. When Klaus and Stefan searched for werewolves to turn into hybrids, they found a pack in the Appalachian Mountains (“The Hybrid,” 3.02).
  • Jer’s excuse about faking his death plays into his character, albeit the one we were introduced to in season one: erratic, a drug user, troubled.
  • We first saw Whitmore College in “The Five” (4.04), when Bonnie, Elena, and Damon went to scope out the school and met the professor who took over Sheila Bennett’s Occult Studies class, Atticus Shane.
  • Silas reminds Liz that they “met before” when he impersonated her daughter — a moment we didn’t see from “Pictures of You” (4.19): by the time we see Caroline returning home, Silas was role-playing as Liz.
  • By forcing the car crash, Katherine nearly kills Jeremy — again. She attacked him in “The Sacrifice” (2.10), when he attempted to retrieve the moonstone from the tomb where she was trapped, and she killed him in “Down the Rabbit Hole” (4.14) by feeding him to Silas.
  • Silas taunts Damon, refusing to tell him what he’s up to because it’ll be more “fun” that way; not a far stretch from season one Damon, who irked his brother with his smart-ass villain comments like in “The Night of the Comet” (1.02), “That’s for me to know and you to dot dot dot.”
  • Last time Stefan was missing for a summer, Damon and Elena spent every waking moment trying to track him down (“The Birthday,” 3.01), but they spend this summer assuming Stefan has left town of his own volition, as he told them in “Graduation” (4.23).
  • OFF CAMERA Caroline Dries calls “I Know What You Did Last Summer” her proudest writing moment of the season, “because it felt funny and fresh and like a really good start to the season. Also, every department was ‘on’ — all the actors were fresh, the directing was inspired, the editing was fantastic. Everyone kind of nailed it.”
  • This episode marked Claire Holt’s final recurring guest star appearance on The Vampire Diaries as she made the transition to a regular on The Originals. She admitted to ET Online that she was surprised at Rebekah and Matt’s European adventures when she read the script. “Even when we were filming [the threesome scene], I thought, ‘Are we allowed to do this?’ We’re getting very risque in the 8 p.m. hour . . . All bets and clothes are off!” Olga Fonda revealed that it was the very first scene she shot when she arrived on the Atlanta set. “I call it an ice breaker,” she told E! Online. “I got to tell you, Claire and Zach are amazing. They made that scene so easy and so fun and so wonderful that I’m very thankful for them.”
  • Kat Graham was excited about Bonnie’s lack of powers now that she’s dead, particularly the moment where she can only watch helplessly as Silas murders her father. “You’re going to see a character who is already vulnerable because her power got taken away,” she told Zap2It. “But I also think you’re going to see a side to her that’s a bit more powerless. She’s wanting things to change and realizing the reality of the situation she’s in now.”
  • As for Silas, who returns to Mystic Falls masquerading as Stefan, Paul Wesley provided insight into the Big Bad’s cocky nature. “[Silas] isn’t intimidated by anything,” he told TV Guide. “He’s 2,000 years old and finds himself to be supremely more interesting and sophisticated.” As for Silas’s unusual method of drinking blood, which we see him perform on Sheriff Forbes, Wesley explained, “He doesn’t feed on people, he thinks it’s gross and primitive, so he manipulates people into cutting themselves and pouring their blood and then he drinks it; he’s a little snobby.”
  • FOGGY MOMENTS The lid and straw to Liz’s drink cause some continuity problems, disappearing and moving from shot to shot, as Silas is mopping up her wound before walking away. But perhaps more curiously: why did no one in the town square see Silas cut Liz’s wrist and drain it into the cup?
  • We see how Bonnie is able to email her friends from the Other Side (thanks to Jer) but how does she send postcards that are (a) in her own handwriting and (b) postmarked from all over the country?
  • Back in “The Five,” Elena and Damon were able to waltz right into a party at Whitmore College, their only invitation a flyer, but here Elena and Caroline are barred from entry because they haven’t been invited in by the homeowner, even though they have a flyer and the verbal invite from Jesse. So only some frat houses at Whitmore have legitimate tenants?
  • Why does Caroline care if the authorities hear the voicemail Elena left for Megan? It was a deliberately innocent-sounding message about leaving the party.
  • QUESTIONS
    • In “The Walking Dead” (4.22), Silas’s victim, whom we saw in the hospital drained of blood, had his wrists slashed, and Silas gives Liz a slice at the block party in this episode. Does Silas have fangs and refuse to use them, or did those come with the vampire upgrade too?
    • Where did Silas get the large volume of blood he consumed over the summer?
    • The mystery of poor Megan! When was that photo taken of Megan and Elena’s dad? How did they know each other? How did she end up as the girls’ roomie? Did she know they were vampires, or did someone give her that vervain-laced “protein water” to protect her from her roommates? Who killed her and why?
    • Matt’s eyes turn black after Nadia’s friend performs some sort of spell. What did he do to Matt? What language was he speaking? Are Nadia and her friend witches? Did she know what the Gilbert ring was when she stole it? Will she be returning Rebekah’s earrings as well?
    • Resurrected Jeremy is still a hunter, Silas still lives . . . Does that mean there are still four other hunters (or hunter potentials) out there?
    • Katherine is reluctant to try turning into a vampire for fear she will just stay dead. What would happen to Katherine if she tried to turn?
    • Who will volunteer to be the next mayor of Mystic Falls?
    • Tyler says he is “helping” a wolf pack. How? Unless the entire pack of them are newbie werewolves who need help sorting out how to handle the full moon (and the psychological ramifications of realizing you’re a werewolf), Tyler has no skillset to offer them — no hybrid bond to break. Does he just not want to return home after Klaus lifted his exile in “Graduation” (4.23)? [1]


Darren Genet on TVD’s Cinematography

On bringing his own spin to TVD: Coming in in the middle of the fourth season like I did, the show pretty much had a look and a world that they had discovered over the years with the other [cinematographers]. My decree was to try and take that look and sort of elevate it to another level and bring it a little further. So I had long conversations with Julie and Chris Grismer about some of the things that they liked and what they didn’t like. And a lot of it was compositional, and it was really refreshing to come in and have such a good conversation and good connection with Julie, visually, and we could talk very specifically about what the look should be and what they were hoping it would be.We got to literally sift through and watch episodes and see what we liked, what was working, and what wasn’t working. Julie has always been really good about encouraging me to push the envelope and to expand the mythology in a visual language a little bit. So since then we’ve been doing that, and it’s been a really good collaboration with Julie and with myself and the production designer.

On shooting in digital: It has its pros and cons. I mean, one thing that you gain with shooting digitally is that you can play with darkness a lot more, because the cameras are so sensitive to light.You can use a lot less light on the set, and it really reads into the shadows a lot better and more than film does, in theory. So you can really play with darkness and you can really kind of push it. But the reverse of that is with digital, you’re always struggling against that super-clean digital look.We’re always trying to take that video edge off things, and one of the things that’s been very important to both myself and to Julie is to keep that video look at bay.

One of the ways we do that is by using longer lenses, so there’s more out of focus in the frame. One of the drawbacks of video is that everything is in focus. So we try to limit the focus to have really nice out-of-focus, blooming highlights and what’s called “bokeh” in the background — when you get these really out-of-focus, shimmering spots and shadows. So that’s one way we combat video. Another way we do it is we keep it moving, whether it’s the camera or the people.We don’t let the image just sit static for too long, because when it does your eye starts to wander and you start looking for the creases.That’s been one thing in terms of battling against the digital: try to keep it still cinematic. But these cameras now are so good that I see it as an advantage, where some people try to fight against it, I try to kind of embrace it.

One thing I do like about digital is that we get to see it on the set exactly how it is, so we’re not hoping that some colorist at 4 a.m. is seeing it the same way that we did.We don’t have any of the negative issues — with scratching negatives or lab issues or any of that stuff — so we can really dial it in on set, and that’s exactly what the dailies look like and down the line that’s exactly what it will look like. So we have a lot more control on the set than we ever had with film, which is a good thing, I think. As these episodes are being color-timed, we’re not able to be there, so what we do now is just take little stills from the cut and we give our little notes, but having been able to do it on the set with the digital imaging technician and have the dailies look pretty close to what we want, the notes tend to be pretty minimal.We end up streamlining that whole process tremendously, which is great.

On embracing the darkness: The big challenge with [a show] like this, with the darkness and gothic nature, is to try and keep it as dark as possible and yet be able to see everything, so it’s that movie-dark.What we’re always striving for is riding that line — you still want to see people’s eyes and people’s faces. But we’re shooting, basically, a horror movie every week, so the trick is to ride that line between being too dark and too bright. Because the last thing you want is that night stuff to be too bright. So that’s the big challenge, keeping it really dark and feeling really dark without losing what you need to actually tell the story, which is the faces, people’s eyes when they’re talking, that kind of thing.We’re always struggling to keep depth since we are working in a 2D world. It’s always about giving depth, especially at night. If you have too much darkness in the frame, you look like you have a head floating in nothing. It’s sprinkling just enough light to feel the environment and feel the depth and to feel the tone of the scene without going too far or not far enough. My favorite part of the show is that line, living in that space.When you get that right, it’s really satisfying.

Where you have fun is in the background and in the big wides and things like that, where you can really play with contrast.That’s something I’m very hyper-aware of is just making sure that even when we’re in really, really dark environments, like caves where there wouldn’t be any natural light or in forests with people just walking around in the middle of the night in the woods, that you can see just enough to know what’s happening, but not feel like you’re looking at a movie set that’s been lit up with lights.

Then also taking a little bit of license because we are in a world where vampires and werewolves roam the earth.We have a little bit of authority to make it look cool and to look scary and all of those things, so we can do shafts of light at night and things like that that really help make it feel scarier, make it feel isolated, and all of those tools that we have. Because, really, the only way you know if something’s dark is if there’s something light as well in the frame. If you have too much darkness, it just turns into a mess. The key is to balance that with contrast.That’s something that we like to play with, and I in particular like to play with. I came out of that independent feature world where it was all about darkness.

On the show’s various realms: We’re the shepherds of those looks and what we do is we pitch ideas and discuss with the director and producers and everybody on board, to see what works story-wise and what we can manage in terms of the grammar of the show, something we can be consistent about. We do testing and we show them things and we talk about things and it goes back and forth for awhile, and then we settle on something that we like, and then we have to make sure that we’re consistent with it. For me, it’s really important to be consistent with our language. So if there is something that is very specific to an episode — like the Other Side is a great example because that’s one of the things that’s been a bit of a through-line this season. We wanted to do something visually that lets you know immediately that you’re not in the “real world” but it has this otherworldly feeling. We did a lot of testing, we basically threw the kitchen sink at it with lenses, with lighting, with color-timing, and techniques, and we ended up settling on a combination where we do a bit of lighting and blooming the highlights so things feel like they’re in another world. We looked at infrared photography as an influence where the skin tones kind of glow and the trees and flora and fauna would glow. It has this whiteness to it, which is really interesting, and then we took it from there and Mike [Karasick] and I found something really interesting where it feels almost like a carbon copy or an inverse of the real world.

And with flashbacks we do the same, but we’re pretty much placed in charge of that. We usually just set what we like — they usually leave that to us. Sometimes there are very specific notes about it, how it affects the skin tones of our beautiful people in those scenes, so we just make sure that people — I think the big concern on the producers’ end, the writers’ end, is that people look good.That we don’t change the images so much that it’s unflattering. But within that there’s a lot of freedom to suggest, and as long as it comes from a place of story, then you can’t really go wrong.And then it’s just a matter of taste.

On working with a director’s unique vision: That’s the beauty of having an episodic, where you have different directors.They can bring — working within the grammar of the show — a little something to it. For instance, there are a couple of episodes where we played a lot with flaring the lens. We would let the light hit the lens and create these big flares, and that would help with our transitions in and out or would just give it yet another layer of abstraction, which is cool. Directors come in and they have ideas about how to work within the language but to make it their own; we love that.We’re sort of charged to be the policemen of the overall tone of things visually — we bring their ideas in but make sure it sits with everything else in the season.That’s fun — adding little personality and tics to what’s there, so we can elevate that way too.

On his favorite type of scenes: I really like flashbacks, I like the Other Side stuff, ’cause, again, it gives us something to play with visually — we’re not tethered to reality as much. But I like anything that takes me out of the normal coverage of scenes. Which you have to do, but I like to do any kind of scene that is new or different or a challenge. Scenes that are fun for me — which may not be fun on the day, but looking back that’s some of the best work — are in the caves, scenes where you have to figure out how to make something look natural where there wouldn’t be any natural light.And then we’ve had some scenes where the camera moves around so much that we have to hide light and any time we’re orchestrating camera work it’s fun. We’ve done a bunch of that in the Scull bar.

I remember specifically episode 4.15 [“Stand By Me”], the first episode I shot, we had one scene and it was the whole axis of the episode and it was all one shot essentially, one long Steadicam shot that we had to do through a whole scene. Of course, we ended up shooting other stuff to cut into it but just making that shot work was a real challenge and something I’ve had a lot of experience doing and it’s always fun.You just have to get involved and figure it out technically and also storytelling-wise, finding the best place to be at the time and make it all fluid. And the sets are great. Garreth’s a brilliant production designer and he makes these beautiful sets and it’s really fun to get in there and work within those sets.

On the show’s cinematic feel: That’s always been the goal is to make this feel like a movie — that we’re watching an hour-long movie every week. And to play with scope and not to get caught in the middle visually, so wide shots should be really wide and tight shots should be really tight and play the gothic, play the darkness, play the negative space. I always try to imagine — whatever framing we’re doing or whatever shot we’re doing — I always try to imagine it on a 40-foot screen. I try to keep things in a movie sense, cinematic — even with the way we move the camera.We’re always trying to make it feel like you’re watching a movie. A 22-hour movie, every season. [1]


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