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The Vampire Diaries Review: A Deadly MiStake?

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It's done. It's over. I'm right back where I started.

I feel your pain, Stefan Salvatore.

Following "The Murder of One," for as much as I've tried to fight it over the past few episodes, I must now admit: The Vampire Diaries is running in place. It's not really going anywhere. It's burning through storylines so quickly that it's then forced to go back and recycle old ones... only to quickly finish those off and move on again.

Stefan's Soft Touch

Last week's TVD installment, for example, ended with the meant-to-be chilling line from Damon: let's go kill some Originals. Except all I could think at the time was: really?!? Why? What have the Originals even done in the recent past? Isn't that arc over with?

Heck, Damon has slept with Rebekah, Caroline has flirted with Klaus, Elena and Elijah have a cute little bond going... Aren't these groups practically closer to friends than enemies at this point?

Here, meanwhile, I experienced the same unfortunate feeling of deja eww, not again! Case in point: Klaus is now back to his plan of building a hybrid army using Elena's blood? Again, didn't this storyline come and pretty much go nowhere? Many weeks ago? Does the show expect us to get re-invested in it? Or to come up with a new way to tell it?

The fleeting/ever-changing stakes has been an issue for most of the season. Mikael came and went. Then the Original Witch came and went. Then the Originals were linked, only to be unlinked within a couple weeks. TVD keeps moving the target on us, unlike previous seasons where there was a consistent build-up to one or two major events: the tomb/Katherine on season one; the arrival of Klaus/his hybrid ceremony on season two.

I may have also been finally pushed over the edge when it comes to Ms. Non-Independent herself, Elena. One moment she's pleading with Stefan to change plans because Damon is in danger; the next second she's telling Stefan how worried she was that Klaus might kill him. She's torn. We get it. That's fine. It's even interesting when woven well into ongoing, overarching storytelling - but it's now become tiresome, shoved down our throats in what feels like every other scene.

I don't know what I feel, Elena told Stefan near the end of this episode. And it may have been a major blow to his ego, it may have been a total shock to his system (although, come on, he knew they kissed. Was Stefan really surprised his ex sort of has a thing for his brother?), but it's been hammered home to viewers for most of season three. Was anyone surprised to hear Elena utter these words? Did anyone feel like it moved the story along?

And this moment wasn't even the worst love triangle-based scene! That dishonor would fall to Damon's dream, where Elena came to save him, fed him her blood and was about to kiss him before we were snapped back to reality. Fantasy sequences rarely accomplish anything aside from filler. Again: what did we learn here? Damon fantasizes about Elena? Damon loves Elena, something he's already told her and the audience? It was simply a waste of three minutes.

One final gripe before I focus on the positives from the hour: Bonnie has to go. If she can be so easily convinced to use her magic for evil, she's a perpetual liability. All Klaus had to do was threaten Jeremy and her mother and - presto! - Bonnie is at his service? What would stop him from doing this at all times? Why not just have Bonnie living in his mansion, casting spells left and right that would help his cause?

Fortunately, her role did serve one purpose aside from irritation. It led to the funniest Vampire Diaries quote of the episode, courtesy of Rebekah: Thank you, Bonnie. See you in physics class.

What did I like about "The Murder of One?" The overriding narrative it left us with: kill an Original and all its bloodline members also perish. That was really the only takeaway from the episode, but at least it's an intriguing one. Where do the Salvatores go from here? How does Alaric's psycho alter ago possibly come into play? And, the question that will likely have many fans creating family trees tonight: WHO TURNED ROSE?

What did everyone else think? Are you still intrigued by Elena/Stefan/Damon? Or do you wish she'd hurry up and pick already? Do you, like Caroline, miss well-adjusted Stefan? Does this season feel far more aimless than seasons one and two? With just four episodes remaining, what is it all building up to?

And how much will you miss Troy?!? Let's all take a moment of silence now in honor of that brave vampire.

Check out the promo for The Vampire Diaries April 19 return now and sound off with your thoughts.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
  • 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (480 Votes)

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

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serie Amo esta serie deseo que Stefan y Elena regresen y que finalmente se den un buen beso como los extrañsos. Quiero que eso ocurra antes de que se acabe esta temporada para quedarme con las ganas de mas y esperar la proxima temporada con mas anxias. Stefan (Pauk Wesley) yo soy tu fan #1 siempre te apoyare.

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Stefan y Elena YEEESSSS I love this couple

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Oh. Two more things, 1.Elena needs to GROW A SPINE and quit being such a naive "anyone can be saved" idiot. I don't care at all as to who she ends up with, (in fact, why does she even have to choose?) but Elena's been through countless atrocities throughout the series, she needs to grow up! 2. Elena either needs to turn into a vampire or at least learn how to fight. She has been a completely useless load on everybody else, never able to actually contribute to anyone's plans at all and in fact usually hinders them by getting kidnapped or whatever and being used as leveage, which has happened countless times throughout the series. At least Bonnie actually is useful to the plot, even if she is used as a Deus Ex machina far too often. Elena just whines woe is me endlessly every episode and doesn't actually do anything.

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I admit, I still like this show, but the writers really need to either kill off or otherwise get rid of the original vampires ALREADY!!! They are the real reason why this show has gone from completely unpredictable to predictable in each and ever scene. The writers can't come up with a new intriguing villain so they keep on coming up with more and more ridiculous excuses to keep the originals alive. Particularly Klaus, I'll bet anything that he's the one that Damon and Stefan come from, so they'll never kill him, that's probably why they put up the kill the originals kill all vampires of their bloodline plot point to begin with. It used to be unpredictable because they had a new villain EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. but now that they're stuck with these guys we know everything they're going to do long before they ever do it.

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@Komal I agree that Finn was the least deserving. However, their intent was to get to one, just one, so that once they killed them all the Originals would die. At the point of them killing Finn, they had no idea that the siblings were unlinked again. Also, he is merely the one that presented a true opportunity first. That's how the script went. Do I like how the script went? Not really. Rebekah has always grated on my nerves and I would have much preferred to see her staked then Finn.

Komal

This was one of the worst VD episodes I've seen. Everything that makes me love VD, was twisted and manipulated until all I wanted to do was hit myself in the head for even watching. It feels like every character has become annoying...even Damon. And that's sad. The writers really need to step up their game. Also, they killed the least threatening Original. If it's okay for Stephan and Damon to go on murdering rampages and STILL get to live, what did Finn do to them that he had to die? He'd been dead for 900 years and finally found the woman he loves. Was that his crime? It's a double standard I don't understand.

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

I don't think that Bonnie being manipulated by a threat to Jeremy is a weakness. Didn't Elena want to call off the 'kill klaus' plan becuase they had Damon? It's basiclaly the same thing.
not the same thing. Elena, as saint and center-of-the-universe she seems to be is not a witch. Bonnie is someone who solves plots by lighting some candles. THAT is the very tempting thing for writers to fall back to - have villains coerce bonnie into thwarting the main characters plans when writers find(yet again) that they wrote themselves into a corner.

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Honestly I love TVD with all my heart. Overall, this season had so many twists that no one could have seen coming. But I'm tired of Elena's attitude of not knowing what she feels. Seriously. Elena needs to make a choice.
The last thing I hate is that Elena always chooses Stefan, when it's so obvious that Damon loves her so much more. If Elena doesn't chose Damon by the end of this season, and stick with her choice, I'm not going to watch the show.

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I don't think that Bonnie being manipulated by a threat to Jeremy is a weakness. Didn't Elena want to call off the 'kill klaus' plan becuase they had Damon? It's basiclaly the same thing. I think adding her mom in there was overkill, but I understood the Jeremy part. It's not the first time he's been used in that capacity.
That's about where my disagreement ends. This show IS spinning its tires and i'm about tired of it. Elena is the only character who hasn't undergone any form of change in character since this show began and that really makes no sense to me. the main character should change throughout the show. They're supposed to be dynamic.
The only really interesting thing that came out of this episode was the end, realizing that if the original whose bloodline turned you dies, so do you. I'm guessing either Klaus or Rebekah will have ended up turning Damon/Stefan/Caroline, because it's already established that Tyler was turned by Klaus so it looks like the plan to kill him is on hold until they figure out how to circumvent this new development.
With that said, i'm excited for Jeremy and Tyler's returns next week. I hope it doesn't disappoint like the previous few episodes have.

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In addition, it would be nice if the Originals left Mystic Falls, but not dead or in coffins, so that they can coma back from time to time. I liked Elijah, Kol (what an fun immature narcissist) and Finn. Also, Rebekha should not die, she just need her more-mentally stable brothers to take care of her, not like Klaus who basically considers her like a pathetic slave!