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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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I love elijah so badly he so sweet!! but I think he would threatened to kill himself because his guilt he is actually feeling "/ anyway .. now i have to wait almost two weeks to see what happen :(

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ok first of all,KOL is cutest of all,by means even cuter den Jeremy.i know it dat Meredith bitch is the killer!!

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The last quick bite where Esther made her kids into vampires, why can't she make them human again? I thought about that trough the entire episode.

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Before I read this review. OMG. About the ending of course. I'm still all mouth wide open. She's maybe not crazy nanny Carrie, but she is crazy.
Now, back to the review...

Jess-gannon

Can you blame Bonnie for being Mad! Everything is always about saving Elena and everyone else always comes off worse for ware! I hope that isn't the last we have seen of finn, elijah and kol since I love the Originals, especially Kol. They have saved the show for me and like others i really am not that fussed over Delena and Stelena anymore. Elena is an annoying Mary Sue who constantly screwing everything up (But I am happy she told Elijah since if she didn't it would have been bye bye originals).
The White ash tree will be interesting but I hope they don't gather al the originals up in the end and kill them off since I can not imagine VD without them!
Alaric doesn't die since there will be an episode all about Alaric coming up!

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Exciting episode. I'm happy that Elijah and Klaus survived to die another day. Unfortunately, one, or both, will probably not make it past this season. Klaus and Caroline have a lot of potential as a couple. I can't wait to see where that's going. Bonnie, please become more interesting. I want to like you. You're a witch. That should automatically make you a fascinating character. Stop moping and crying all the time. Have some fun doing some witchy things. The vampires are undead and they're more alive than you are. Cheer up. I predict DELENA finally happens this season. Stefan feels he's no longer right for Elena and even though he doesn't think Damon is either, he sees how much Damon and Elena care for each other. I can see him stepping aside, and Elena finally admitting she has feelings for Damon. As a DELENA fan, at least that's what I hope happens.

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I love Elena but she can be cruel and ungrateful at times. She should have really apologized to Damon, who has been nothing but good to her this whole season, instead of just telling him to "get over it." I want Damon and Elena together, but if it does happen she needs to come to him. Maybe Elena can actually do something to help Damon for once. What has she really done for him, since she saved his life during the first season? Yes, she was there for him when he was dying, but Stefan got the cure. On the other hand Damon has saved her life a million times over. He's been there for her, declared his love, sacrificed himself to protect her relationship with Stefan, etc. The writers have done a great job of building up Damon/Elena's friendship/love story this season. But, they've got to make their relationship more equal. It's Elena's turn to be there for Damon and to fight for him.

Fortyseven

Horrible! Failing grade.

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Wowww, it took me hours to get over the last episode. This episode had one problem and it started with an E and ended with a LENA. I found my chin on the table while watchin her stupidest behavior ever. What happend to that gorgeous girl who`s only itention was to care about people on an anoying level. And now, she didn`t hear at her friend, did what she wants because she knows Elijah for -sorry- five minutes and cared more about him than all the others. And by the way, forget the SE-fanbase who can hope now and also the DE-fanbase who can find the pieces of there hearts on the bottom, but how did she treated Damon.

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He told her he loved her for the first time ever and she called it a problem. Okay, i`m okay with this. She maybe loves Stefan more. But now she could be more gentle when you look back what they`d been through. This is the girl who is constantly described as the most compassionate, self-sacrificing character in the history of characters, and she can't drudge up a little compassion for how he might be feeling right now? Even if Damon's feelings weren't reciprocated at all (and we know that they are reciprocated, at least a little bit) her reaction to him dropping the L-bomb would've been cruel. She's supposed to be this immensely sympathetic person, but she's got no regard for his feelings at all here. She could be far gentler. Luckily, he's not really interested in getting chewed out again, and he hangs up after she called him.

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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