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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
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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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U guys need to lay off Bonnie. What was she suppose to do? Kol was watching Jeremy and if she said no, he would have been killed in 3 seconds? Did u guys miss that part or do u just like to bash Bonnie. The reason these characters r even alive is because of her.

Stefelena

When esther link the originals together she used elena's blood as the first element or process in linking them so why is it that bonnie didn't use elena's blood in unlinking them?Does this make sense at all?

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I totally saw this storyline coming (and actually had been wondering why there wasn't any sort of connection between those who shared blood), I totally forgot about Rose (was that Lauren Cohan?, I know it was to spoil Klaus' plans, so wouldn't it be reasonable that Klaus turned Rose, after all, she had to know the plans, though I suppose that makes Elijah a likely person). I am pleased that it appears we are going to remember that Jeremy had developed a power of his own that they are going to investigate, presumably to ask Rose who turned her). I too didn't really feel anything for Bonnie when she broke down, which is odd, I am usually on board with her.

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Totally, Elena should have to fallen into Stefans arms, instead of saying she wasn't sure.

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I agree with this review, it seems nothing is happening that's intriguing on this show anymore and season 3 is just so flat. Season 1 and 2 were so much better. I liked the fact that Stefan finally told Elena he loves her and always will but it did not make any sense at all why he's pushing her to think of her feelings for Damon. Who cares if she thinks she may feel something for Damon, he's an ass and doesn't deserve her. Why is Stefan even putting things in her head that may not be there? That seemed completely not natural at all.

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@Matt: I just think that Bonnie could use a little more love that's all. As someone hilariously pointed out, she broke down crying outside Klaus' mansion because apparently she doesn't have a place to live... that we've seen anyway I also forgot to mention that I agree with everything else you said, it's just that Bonnie part that I didn't like.

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Overall I do enjoy the show. But I agree with Matt the show is kind of all over the place. Some storyline have started/ended too quickly.
I liked when Klaus was beginning to get to Caroline or so it seemed. I like that he has/had a thing for her. I think Caroline being torn between Tyler and Klaus would be more interesting and realistic then the whole Elena/Damon/Stefan situation. I miss the old Stefan and Elena. I'm an Elena, Stefan fan. Damon is hot there's no denying that, but I don't really care for him and Elena as a couple or to have a 'thing'.
I agree Bonnie is getting annoying, she has no backbone.

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Im so close to give up with this show , always bringing dead people back . the characters and the plot always running around in circles and im still wondering what the hell Klaus still doing on the show . The bad guy has a crush on Caroline , the girl that once he tried to kill , The twists if i can call then that , are predictable , the only Deaths on this shows are the guest stars , and elena well elena doesnt have emotions and almost the entire town try to kill her , and more cons , This show sucks

Eneci

the opening scene was nice!
why not kill klaus?he killed jenna,he is an ass,he would've killed them all! they should take them down all!that's for the reason!they are to powerful by the way!but the Originals are a pretty good combination!and their dynamic was tremendous!I even liked Finn.First time i liked KLAUS!his cruelty gave the episode a nice touch!klaus knowing all and being all blackmail cruel.Klaus plan from the start was make a family that won't betray him!That will follow him,cause he is THE HYBRID!
becca messing with D's head! :DD
I'm a huge fan of stelena scenes!they make my day!
I got Bonnie, but that is the story that connects that connects through the whole episode.Loved Kate G performans.
I said already that the twist will be in them being connected to their bloodlines,connected to the one that made them.
So if they kill Klaus,Tyler will die?And leave my C desperate?

Amie

Everyone should ask themselves - what purpose did Elena's fake death serve? What purpose "bad steffie" serve? Gloria? Necklace hunt? coffin hunt? coffin opening? Mikael? white oak tree? Originals? Oak stakes? Mmm, yep, true, a lot of these elements we see and saw in the previous seasons kind of felt like they were just given to us but we didn't really know what for and if it is really worth the episode time spent on these elements. Like the whole thing about the moonstone, which in the end did not that bigger role as it was advertised to be. Or Michael, everyone was like oh he is so bad and will kill everyone...and then they just killed him off and burred that suspense with him. Or the Originals, with all this talk that they need to be killed, but in reality they are all suffering from being who they are and each episode is spent on seeing how nice they could be?!

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Elena Gilbert, savior of the curse and the damned.

Caroline

Damon: You know what they say: The way to a psycho killer's heart is through his stomach.

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