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The Vampire Diaries Review: Breaking the Bloodline

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24 has nothing on The Vampire Diaries.

On "All My Children," a heart-pounding episode full of both action and emotion, Damon and Stefan made like Jack Bauer. Except the terrorists were vampires, the full moon was the ticking bomb and the world would actually have been a safer place if they had failed at the mission.

But not their world. Neither Damon nor Stefan could imagine a world without Elena and they turned an innocent woman in order to save her. It was just one of several morally grey acts throughout the installment.

Stefan vs. Bonnie

There really is no black or white anymore on The Vampire Diaries. The show has created such a well-layered, fascinating universe that viewers can endlessly debate the choices various characters make.

Should the siblings have sacrificed Elena in order to remove a killing machine such as Klaus from the planet? Probably. They are partially responsible going forward for every life he takes. But can anyone honestly say you would let your true love die if you had it in your power to save him or her?

Should Elijah have kidnapped Elena? Not if he aspires to be more than a monster, as he so righteously and profoundly put it to Rebekah near the end of the hour. But he was desperate to live. Again, who can say they would do it differently?

A look at almost every character tonight reveals multiple shades and sides, as the past few weeks built to an episode where agendas, feelings and motivations collided. To wit:

REBEKAH: Easily my favorite performance of the evening. She got wake up next to Damon, for starters, and then rub that in Elena's face. She then talked some serious smack in the caves (Why don't you sit down and shut up before I ruin everything by ripping your head off?), but also proved she possessed brains to match her brawn and beauty, dousing Elena with gasoline when her enemy thought she was safe.

Yet behind it all, there was clearly pain. I picked up on it the same way Elena did when she finally talked Rebekah down. This is someone who has been betrayed by her own mother and, prior to that, literally stabbed in the back by someone she considered a friend. It almost seems like years ago, but it was really only a couple months ago, when Caroline really just wanted to fit in at high school.

Elena ruined that. Rebekah was acting out like anyone would, just in a slightly more dangerous way because, you know, she's a vampire.

DAMON: The dude is definitely getting his mean mojo back. It's true, Stefan, he is better at being the bad guy. But it's different this time, there's a sentimentality mixed in to his nefarious actions. He's not killing just to kill or turning just to turn. He's doing it, in this case, to save his brother from a guilty conscience and to save Elena from... dying.

Moreover, he can actually admit that! Talk about progress. This is a Damon Salvatore who is in touch with his sensitive side, yet NOT letting those emotions get in the way of what needs to be done.

THE ORIGINALS: I'm gonna lump the rest of them in to one section here because I just marveled at that gathering outside the old witch house. This is group of people we were conditioned to hate not very long ago, some of whom we only very recently met. Yet an entire scene was built out of their fate and I found myself rooting for... I didn't even know what. That was the beauty of it.

I should have wanted Esther to succeed, right? Just consider the body count on all of their resumes. But the way TVD has driven home the concept of family, and depicted so many sides to both Klaus and Elijah, I simply watched, dumbstruck by how well the show has woven these individuals into the fabric of Mystic Falls. Granted, the conclusion was a tad melodramatic.

Where did Esther actually go after Abby was turned? She and Finn just... left? And Finn scattered? It's hard to imagine we won't see them again, but it felt a bit cheap to have them all just leave off-camera.

Of course, Klaus and Rebekah are still here. And they apparently have something new to fear. A tree. Looks like these two need to take another road trip and do some major gardening again.

MEREDITH: Just kidding. She has no layers. We all knew she was shady all along, didn't we?

BONNIE: She still bores me. But at least the turning of her mother has potential. It could hurt her friendship with Elena and, remember, Bonnie has never really been a fan of vampires. Now she reunites with her parent and just a few days later - bam! - blood sucker central. Who is gonna tell Jaime?!?

Quick bites:

  • Mother made us vampires. She didn't make us monsters. We did that to ourselves. Who doesn't love Elijah?!?
  • I'm surprised you have time to call, what with all this Original sex you've been having? Alaric best not be dead.
  • Does anyone else want to see Candice Accola front a band called Blonde Distraction? We all know the girl can sing.
  • Damon, The Vampire Gigolo. He should put that on his business cards.
  • If Esther had the power to turn all her kids back to human, why not just do that and avoid killing them?

So no more Vampire Diaries until March 15. And, as great as this episode on its own was, I must say: I'm not overly intrigued by the two cliffhangers. There's a new white oak tree and Meredith is the Mystic Falls murderer. Okay. Neither of those, by themselves, leave me dying for the next new episode.

But, on the whole, I love the integration of Klaus and Rebekah into this world, and I think the show has handled the Damon/Elena/Stefan love triangle as well as any show in recent memory. Heck, the relationship between the brothers is more interesting than the one either shares with Elena. It's really at the heart of The Vampire Diaries.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (627 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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First off let me say.........I AM SO GOD DAMN SICK OF ALL THIS TIME OFF IN BETWEEN EPISODES! Ok now......seriously this love triangle is pissing me off beyond belief. We ned Delena and we need it now! And focus the new love triange on Klaus, Caroline and Taylor. Leave Stefan to brood and wallow a little longer, it's because of him all their lives suck anyway. He turned Damon when he didn't want to be turned, he's the one who all the ladies always choose (aka Katherine, Elena, Rebekkah), and I am so done with him always getting everything. Damon deserves for once. Honestly, I could care less about the upcoming 1912 episode where we find out how Damon became so ruthless. Move on to Delena and be done w/it already! Or through in Elijah and Elena to mix it up a little. Oh and Kol.....I could punch his arrogance right in the face.........not liking him!

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I agree with you all about the originals. They are very interasting. But guys, how cool would it be if Ester didnt kill them but turned them all back into humans and let them live with the intention that they would naturaly die once they get old lol. They could do soooo many cool stories whilst they are human.

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It's going to be interesting to see the development of the Klaus/Caroline/Tyler thing that's starting to happen. As much as I hated Klaus/Caroline when it first started, I am bregrudgingly beginning to like the Head Hybrid. It's amazing how the writers can twist and turn characters around and give them new layers and transform them from the most hated to likable so quickly. I know you're all probably thinking it hasn't been that quick, but just a short month and a half ago Klaus was threatening Stefan over the phone and wreaking havoc all over the place. To go from that to the guy trying to get Caroline's attention in that amount of time, it's a pretty big transformation to me.

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Totally agreed with the article writter : I'm definitely bored by Bonnie's character, maybe she's going to change of register after this mother-witchy tragedy. Damon starts being really predictible, and Stefan back as a Good Man is also kind of... Annoying. But I love the Michaelson family daily-life`(Rebecca receiving remarks after her return, Kol trying to get entertainment with his big brother, Elijah so serious and protective), just hope they won't all disapear in the following episodes. NB:I'm sure Kol and Meredith actually know each other already, I did not buy this scene of "Hey, my name is Kol". Something is not right between these two.
NB bis: I wonder when Tyler will be coming back, and how Klaus will react discovering that his first hybrid found a way to destroy this "obedient" link... Gniark gniark!
NB bis bis : my apologies for all the english-mistakes, I'm French!

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I love Elijah and Klaus' character, they are very interesting men-vampires and have so much appealing. I hope that the producers create a spin-off with the Orginal Family l for adults which it would be wonderful since I am 31 years old and sometimes I find kind of anoying to see boring stories about teenagers in the show

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I love Elijah's character, he is a very interesting man-vampire and has so much appealing. I hope that the producers creat a spin-off with the Orginal Family like Daniel said it would be for adults which it would be wonderful since I am 31 years old and sometimes I find kind of anoying to see boring stories about teenagers in Vampire Diaries

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I have a feeling Katherine will be the one who tries to kill the Originals. She’s probably found the white oak tree by now.

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I hope Stefan tells Elena that Damon took the fall for him with turning ABBY! it was meant to be Stefan who turned HER! Stefan LOST the COIN TOSS, but Damon lied and said that he lost and that he will do it. Damon did this for Stefan, and admitted that Elena doesnt want him, so his gonna back off now and told Stefan to go for it. Damon told Elena when he found out that Stefan ruined the Klaus killing plan to Save him! BUT Stefan is selfish and probably WONT tell Elena. Stefan knew that Damon was taking the fall and let him do it anyway, otherwise how did he know that he lost the coin toss. HE SAW IT!! SELFISH. I hope Damon and Rebeka get together. She would be good to him. As for ELENA in this episode... I have no comment for her anymore. She tried being a hero and went off with Elijah and wrecked the plan! She needs a few punches in the head, maybe then she would LISTEN.
Bonnie suffers AGAIN coz of her.

Stefelena

Caroline's speech to elena was very true,some how along the way bonnie is always the one that's hurting all because of elena and her stupid decisions but if we're gonna be honest elena too has lost too much even though it was coz of her,her adopted parents and biological parents died coz of her,jenna died coz of her,alaric and jeremy were killed coz of her,almost everytime someone must die or get hurt trying to save her,i won't blame bonnie if she doesn't want to see elena,after all she's had enough.

Stefelena

(Con't)love the growing bond between the salvatore brothers and i agree with matt that their relationship is much more interesting than either one of them shares with elena,i love what damon did to stefan,its so nice to see damon doing some preety good things to stefan all over again and that doesn't have anything to do with elena or coz he feels like he owe him,i'm so happy about what he did for stefan so that he will have less thing to feel guilty about(although i hate what he did to abby).Love the scene where rebekah tried to burn elena alive and the scene where elijah was telling rebekah that their mother only turned them into vampires,she didn't make them monsters they did that to themselves,so emotional it seems like elijah was about to cry,i'm not happy that him and kol left,esther and finn disappeared,remaining only rebekah and klaus.

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 15 Quotes

Why do you look like someone just show a panda bear?

Damon

Elena: If you're mad at me, Damon, you need to get over it.
Damon: Oh, I'm over it.

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 15 Music

  Song Artist
Song Poison & Wine The Civil Wars iTunes
Civil twilight fire escape Fire Escape Civil Twilight iTunes
Song Medicine We Were Promised Jet Packs
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