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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
  • 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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@Gig4528 you hit the nail on the head!!! Delena fans are the overwhelming mahority BUT the DE 'start n stop' is just the most obvious lack of growth. The way the powers that be (tptb) are unable to tell a complete story is ridiculous and makes me want new writers, this Plec woman scares me. Maybe once they cancel Secret Circle Williamson will come back? I'm quite annoyed right now because it seems that whatever is wanted most, they keep from us that much longer. Sure, eventually they'll complete the story but will the main audience wait that long?

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The only interesting thing on the show for me now is Klaus and Caroline. Really unexpected match, that's why I'm so excited about it right now. Though I know I will never give up on Stelena deep inside, right now I'm tired of shipping anyone and want just see more scenes with Klaus and Caroline. I love the chemistry between them, no matter how crazy it is. But I love watching bad guys falling in love and showing their better and more gentle side.

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I feel so sorry to say that but as some of you already wrote, Elena is getting on my nerves. She's starting to behave exactly like Katherine and that annoys me SO much. Poor Salvatore boys. I mean how can they still love her when she tends to fall for the one she's with right now? She's jealous on Damon's one night stands when she's just pushed him away and even admitted that she always had feeling for Stefan. Hey girl, wake up please, what do you want? Just choose, it's no longer funny, you know. It's not all about you, even though everybody just has to save you in each episode!

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I hope Elijah still makes appearances from time to time. He is such a likable character and I look forward to seeing him. I enjoyed the show last night but wish they wouldn't take so many breaks in between. Looking forward to new shows in March.

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I'm sorry I meant a "HOT" fling would be nice.

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I really enjoyed this episode. However I am so over the whole "we have to save Elena, protect Elena, all things Elena." No I was not invested in Bonnie's mother, but again harm had to come to some one else to save Elena. I hope the writers use this to develop Bonnie's character some more. She has to be good for something other then popping up when a spell needs to be done. I hope this is not the last we are going to see of Elijah. I love this character and the show will not be the same without him. At least for the rest of this season. Also loving Rebekah. Would it be bad of me to say I kinda wanted her to kill Elena or at least hurt her really bad. And last but not least I know that everyone wants Caroline and Taylor to be the end game, but I'm feeling the chemistry between her and Klaus. I'm not saying she has to fall in love with the guy, but a nice fling would be nice.

Beru

Also, I'd just like to add that I am sick of having Klaroline shoved down my throat. Am I seriously going to have to put up with it every episode? And really, what was with Klaus sitting there drawing pictures of Caroline? There's romantic and then there's creepy, dude. Am I the only one that remembers when Tyler and Jeremy used to draw? Who wants to bet all this artistic!Klaus rubbish will be forgotten about in a few episodes? Plus, Klaus is creepy when he's trying to be all nice.

Beru

Another wholly disappointing episode. An entire 14 episodes worth of build up just fell apart in the most anti-climactic way possible. Sure, there was a bit of fire and Kol got stabbed but we all knew that Elena wouldn't die and neither would the Originals, and we all sure as hell knew that the Salvatore's would do something idiotic to save their precious Elena. Alaric getting shot was nothing new because, come on, the guy dies every second episode. I've lost all ability to care about his mortality. Also, how was it that Alaric conveniently missed the giant runic calendar and the mentions of the tree in the cave? Sloppy writing, that's how. Overall, this episode was boring, predictable and worse still, it made me loathe Stefan and Damon. They have some really messed up morals, not that I didn't know that before, but this episode their actions went beyond contemptible. Flipping a coin to decide the fate of Bonnie and her mom? That's what we call a dick move, ladies and gentlemen.

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I knew Elena just couldn't keep her mouth shut....and couldn't stay out of sight...

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Like Abby.
An innocent woman, a mother, never really interested me until the episode was over and I realized that she had just had her entire life torn to shreds. That was just cruel. I understand why the Salvatores did it, but damnit, they're gonna have to pay for that! Bonnie's helped them out so many times, risked her own life to save Elena, without gaining anything herself - all she asked was that they did not harm anyone. And this is how they repay her? By turning her mother into a vampire?
I do hope it's possible to compose an Aneurism strong enough to blow a vampire's head off. (I also think it's kinda cool that I've made an entire page at this site. At least Bored Now keeps it nice and short, straight to the point. Hem. I don't. So glad I'm anonymous)

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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