The Vampire Diaries

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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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Stefelena

This episode is so much better than the previous one,love almost everything about it but God knows i'm not going to lie both stefan and damon annoyed me in this episode they turned an innocent woman just to save their precious elena,granted their is no other choice and they will definately do what ever it takes to protect her but what they did to abby is awful,and i always thought that a witch can never be a vampire,rebekah said so in "ordinary people" that witches are servant of nature and vampire is an abomination you can either be one but never both,so now abby is going to die,right?

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@ Kenley, I was thinking the same thing. Vampire Diaries has been suprisingly diary free, good too see Stefan remembered the diary part of the show. I would love to see Candice in Blonde Distraction. Caroline gets the awesomest nicknames, usually from Damon. Vampire Barbie and Blonde Distraction. I'm still waiting on the Klaus/Caroline kiss.
Felt bad for Elijah. The guy isn't inherently evil, I don't think any of them are truly evil, they're just trying to deal with the fact that they have an instinct to feed on people, and their daddy and mummy issues.

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Kol didn't die he just fled Mystic Falls like Elijah

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I don't know if anyone said this but I love it that they showed Stefan writing on his diary again. This is The Vampire Diaries after all. Yes pretty shallow comment but everyone has said a lot of things already. Can't for March! I want to know about Sage. =)

Blu

@Matt spot on review. Elijah and Damon pretty much stole this episode. I would have liked some more clarification on what exactly happened to Esther,Finn,and Kol. The moral greyness is what makes this show so awesome. I'm not a Bonnie fan BUT I liked that she avoided Elena at the end.She'll do anything for Elena and Elena will do the same for her but it doesn't change the fact that Bonnie (and all of them) keep losing things because of Elena...even if it isn't technically Elena's fault. So it's real that it's being acknowledged so to speak. And yes I say it ALL the time. The HEART of this entire series is not either brother and their relationship with Elena. It's Damon and Stefan's relationship with each other. Their scenes are the most compelling and a show that focuses so much on romance is actually more about family then anything else.

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as far as the turning vamps human thing goes, this is my take.. in VD in order to become a vampire you have die as a human with vampire blood in you.. so technically your mortal life ended.. even if she could restore them to their human form, the wound they were inflicted with as a human would return.. the sword that was driven through them to initiate the vampire process... granted i have no idea.. but that is the way i see it..this isnt a bite and they turn into a vamp.. they had to die to become one.. so you are already dead

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To everyone who's bitching about everyone trying to save Elena, I would like to point out that if the situation had been reversed, she would have gladly died to save Bonnie, she tried to do it ALL last season. The judgment towards her is a little unfair. Did Damon do it FOR her. Yes. But if she had the opportunity to stop him, she would've tried. Now granted Bonnie does have every right to be angry. Secondly this whole Damon treats Elena like royalty, and elena treats him like crap mentality is crazy. They ARE NOT equals. The most morally wrong thing Elena has done all season has been stab Rebekhah in the back after pretending to like her. She did this because she felt like she had no choice, and she felt HORRIBLE afterwards and she's been suffering for it ever since Rebekhah came back. Damon kills people on a regular basis just because he wants to. He's suffered next to no consequences 4 everything he's done over the series. As stefan pointed out Elena is better than them both.

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Oh My God! They killed Alaric! You bastards!!!

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I DOn't want the originals to die!!!! I grew to like all of them so much (except for creepy finn of course!) i would like to see more of rebbekah and damon, more elijah and kol and sure Klaroline happening!

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I agree with the review. I would also like to say I've always been a Delena fan, but was really happy to see Damon stop taking crap from Elena. I was pissed when she told him to "get over it", nice apology for telling him his love was a problem. I loved that Damon told her he was over it and hung up on her and then gave her some more crap when she showed up. Let her sweat and realize that he's not her doormat. Go Damon. I also liked how he's trying to look out for his little brother and how observant he's been to Stefans habits. Good stuff.

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