The Vampire Diaries Review: Ring the Alarm-ic!

at . Comments

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
  • 4.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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+.


This show is over. They can't save it. This episode sucked, the whole season has sucked, and I'm very sad about it. The actors even seem to be unable to make any of it convincing. I kept watching, hoping that they have something up their sleeve, but I've watched my last episode. I'm not a hater, I wanted it to continue, but the writing has killed it.


How come I cant watch he whole episode? It only lets me watch 1 minute of it ???




I must admit I always found it a bit odd that Alaric had apparently been attacked and stabbed in the kitchen and then made his way UPSTAIRS rather than go to the phone or a neighbours for help. Are we to assume he stabbed himself then? And Im still not sure I really understand that Doctor Lady. If she wants to help him why make him look guilty in the first place? Why that speech to Elena?


My take, the whole Sage thing seemed silly to me. I didn't see the real impact of showing Stefan killing someone on a blood high either, I mean everyone guessed that's how it came about right? Not rocket science. Again with the terrible hairstyles and my least favorite hats for all mankind, bowlers. Big mistake to take Alaric off the show, BIG, HUGE. Elena, give Matt a go (or Alaric which would be very enjoyable). Stefan, you need to call Katherine. Damon, just keep doing what you do.


What a great episode! Damon is my favourite character on the show, so of course I loved the flashback. It was great to see Matt actually having a storyline. I felt so bad for Alaric when he realized that he was the killer. And I'm worried because of what that means for Jeremy.
But what I loved most about the episode and what truly is the heart of the show for me: the Salvatore brothers. I loved every single scene with these two. I can never get tired of their interactions. And the best scene of the episode for me was when Damon told Stefan that he is going to be there for him, that he will help him with the recovery and that he is going to do that because Stefan is all that he has got left. That moved me to tears. At the end of the day no matter what happens Damon and Stefan love each other and that will never change. Go Team Salavatore!


Six generations of Gilbert madness traced back to the two rings, that is a pretty awesome twist.
The main problem I have with this episode has nothing to do with the substance of the episode itself but it's promotion. I was promoted as the Damon origin episode, and it really wasn't. How did he tame the crow? How did Samantha Gilbert's seduction take place? When did the fog come into play?
Damon and Stefan scenes were the BEST. So so good. Raw and emotional and the teaser about Elena finding Stefan in a "compromising" position was such the right word to use. Stefan looked so embarrassed and ashamed, and Damon's reaction was really funny.


I have many things to say but the words are escaping me and all I can say for now is that I loved this AWESOME episode. :)


I liked this ep a lot! It wasn't so action packed and it was more narrative than anything else but it was amazing!
Few things that were off for me:
They never really showed how Sage got Damon to be the Damon we love to hate. There was too much hype and it was just one scene. I love Cassidy Freeman, she's a great actress and she was brilliant in her small role. Hope her role expands soon! I kinda figured that Alaric was the killer, and that the ring is somehow involved. I think Elena should end up with Matt. If she never wants to be a vampire, she should fall in love with Matt and let the Salvatore brothers go. She can't be with either of them cuz she loves them both.


Good episode. Glad Elena admitted some Damon love. Not looking forward to next week with Damon and his gruesome threesome. Makes me want to upchuck vampire blood!

Tags: ,

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