The Vampire Diaries Review: Ring the Alarm-ic!

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Turns out, Beyonce had it wrong: if you like it, you really should not put a ring on it. At least not in Mystic Falls.

Indeed, The Vampire Diaries may have returned this week with a visit to the past, but "1912" left viewers wondering instead about the future, specifically: what the heck will now happen to Alaric?!?

Damon in a Bowler

The stunning revelation that this mild-mannered history teacher has been responsible for various killings in town - due to a ring that's caused him to come back to life so many times he now makes Charlie Sheen look stable - takes the series in a whole new direction.

How will Alaric react? Will he turn himself in? Lock himself up? Make the ultimate sacrifice? What help can Meredith, Elena or any of the supernaturals possibly offer?

Considering the news that Matt Davis has been cast on another CW show, we can watch assured that something major will come of this storyline. It won't be neatly solved with a couple of spells next Thursday. Alaric may die, he may go to jail, he may send himself far, far away... but, for one reason or another, Mystic Falls High School should prepare a Help Wanted ad in the near future.

I watched this episode inside a packed auditorium of TVD fans at PaleyFest, and the screams lasted for a solid 10 seconds upon the concluding reveal. Alaric has been such a fun character specifically because he's been used so sparingly, creating a beloved bromance with Damon; awkwardly encountering Elena on the way to sexing up her aunt; acting generally exasperated at all times by his role in the battle between good and evil, yet never to the point where he backs out of any action.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Alaric is always around. He can always be counted on - by both viewers and other characters - to crack a joke or team up with Damon to execute some desperate plan. He's just never at the center of any conflict. He's the guy picked almost last for kickball, yet the guy diving for every stop in every game.

I've always referred Alaric as a reluctant hero. But now that the hero aspect of that description is in question, through no fault of his own, I can't wait to see what the arc brings out of Davis as an actor and Alaric as a person. And one final set of questions before we move on to the brothers, their bowling hats and their beheadings:

What about Jeremy?!? We've seen him die, what, two times already? How crazy will he go? And what will Elena do to prevent a similar fate for her long-suffering brother?

Now, on to Damon and Stefan: In Vampire Diaries lore, it's rare for flashbacks to take a backseat to current day adventures, but I was far more intrigued here by Damon's role as sober coach than anything we witnessed in 1912.

Salvatore vs. Salvatore

Sure, it was interesting to meet Sage, and to witness how Damon went from the sullen blood sucker we saw in 1864 to the passionate, human-hungry man we know today, the same guy who fed on vulnerable women throughout season one. (Man, remember when Caroline was one of those vulnerable women?!?) And, let's face it, both siblings can rock an early 20th century suit.

Still, it's the ever-evolving relationship between Damon and Stefan that is truly at the heart of The Vampire Diaries, and it was fully on display in 2012. Their shared love for Elena has actually brought the pair closer - in a unique, often bloody kind of way - while we learned this week that Stefan isn't the only Salvatore to suffer from some serious guilt. Damon actually took pleasure in unleashing the Ripper 100 years ago. He did nothing to stop it, and when he first returned to Mystic Falls, Damon did all he could to return Stefan to his non-bunny devouring ways.

Now? It's the new Damon Salvatore, doing his best Dr. Drew impression and hilariously guiding Stefan through steps to control his thirst. Yeah. It's gonna take Elena a bit to get over that blood-soaked image.

Forget Stelena or Delena. I'll take all the Stamon (Defen?) I can get... as can Elena, of course, who did a masterful job summing up her feelings for both brothers in a heart-to-heart with Matt.

Smaller bites:

  • Rebekah just hung out this week. Most distracting darts player ever. How did Damon even hit the board?
  • Sage is totally the Dr. James Naismith of the time-honored vampirical "challenge stronger-looking people to a fight for money" pastime.
  • Matt is sort of invisible in Mystic Falls, it's true. He should hang out in the girls' locker room.
  • Take a look now at next week's all-new Vampire Diaries episode!

So no Klaus, Caroline or Bonnie this week. And still no Tyler. But as much as I adore each of those characters (okay, three of those characters), I appreciate it when a show zeroes in on a select few and tells such a tight narrative. There will be plenty of time for us to complain about Klaroline again or wonder about the fate of Bonnie's mother.

This week, I was more than happy to sit back, learn the origin of The Ripper and be introduced to another killer I never saw coming: The 'Ric-er.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (445 Votes)

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


I was almost hoping, at the start of this episode, that maybe we had a whole new raison d'etre for the series as a whole - vampire/cold case detectives. I agree with whoever said that the story lines have been all over the place, ultimately unbelievable, no continuity, no real investment in new characters. If I never see Klaus et familia again, it will be too soon. Our main characters used to be interesting enough. But they need something interesting to do. And so far, nada.


I found this episode quite boring and it was the first time since the first season. I was definitely not interested in the whole Sage-thing!! Besides seeing Damon as a coach was really cool and I'd like more of it, but please get Elena and her pouting face off the screen! I can't really stand the look on her face when she witnesses Damon's coaching, how come she cannot see this is the best thing that could have been done since the return of Stefan the Ripper?
And BTW Stefan is much more better as a villain or at least as a non-emotional vampire. It was funny to see him bitchin' around but I fear old boring Stefan is coming back for more!! ps: I'm new here! Hello everyone! ^^

David and sabrina 2014

I didn't enjoy this episode at all from Stefan's acting but surprising to find out that Samantha Gilbert is the mystery killer and is wearing the same ring as Alaric. Now Alaric is going bad in the next episode and who knows how things will turn out so we'll have to find out next week for its arrival. I can't to see what else happens. =O


I'm sorry but this episode was underwhelming for me as almost this whole season has been. The writers seem to jump to a storyline, resolve it sloppily, then jump to another. Jeremy seeing ghosts, the originals, Ether, trying to kill Klaus, Ripper Stefan, and the worst of all: Michael. It seems like the writers don't know what to do with the characters this season so they're throwing scraps to the audience. You can literally watch the last three episodes and not have to have ANY knowledge about the beginning of the season. It worries me that they seem to have trouble coming up with intriguing storylines at just three seasons.


ah reading some comment, I think I made a mistale saying Steph decapitated Samantha Gilbert^^ my bad!


I was waiting for this episode (like you all) for a long time, as the VD addict I am, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed even if I don't really know why because interesting things happened!
Am I not wrong saying that Stephan complety beheaded that poor Samantha? Poor girl, no wonder she went mad!
I love Rebekah more and more but really, I think nobody pointed out that SHE is pointing out a BIG finger on a tree that NOBODY's looking for for now...really, it's only Carol Lockwood but still, not a very clever move...


I've enjoyed this Wonderful episode- I'm shocked that there is some who didn't like it but I think that's what we call it a diffrence of opinions- the entire storyline was brilliant but what captured me the most was Damon being the older brother and a sober coach for Stefan.


Sage didn't really interest me.. I hope that changes in the next episode.


Oh and forgot to say - the one thing I loved, well only thing, about this episode was Damon lines! The chipmunk jokes were fantastic. I don't see how anyone couldn't love him.


I was definitely very underwhelmed, watched the episode late and I heard there was a major cliffhanger and then I see the Alaric bit and... I don't really care. I really wanted him or someone to have been compelled by a vamp to do these things. I think this has potential, but I don't think they did it well. There was way too much hype for this and I really hated the flashbacks.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie, will haunt me, forever.


You date vampires, Elena. It shouldn't come as a shock to learn that your guardian is a murderer.

Dr. Meredith Fell