The Vampire Diaries will not air a new episode until April 19, which is extra bad news this week... because it means we're left stewing over "The Murder of One," one of the most disappointing outings in what's been an uneven third season.
What has promoted such a negative reaction from Round Table panelists Matt Richenthal, Miranda Wicker and Eric Hochberger? Read on. Find out. Chime in with your take.
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: Caroline Forbes, quotes machine! Typically my favorite aspect of any TVD episode these days, but more often for her looks and/or attitude, this blonde bombshell was on fire with the one-liners this week. Rebekah is lonely and desperate, Damon says? Clearly, C-For replies: She slept with you. Altogether now: ZING!
Miranda: Stefan criticizing Damon on Damon's inferior whittling skills in a way that only a brother could was a nice start to the episode. But I also liked Damon's shirt being ripped open before Beks started slicing into his pretty man flesh. At least she left his face alone. Klaus pretending that he actually gets his hands dirty when torturing people was laughable, though. We know that everything he knows about being evil he learned from Stefan. Between Rebekah and Klaus, my money's on Rebekah for being the master torturer. Hell hath no fury and all.
Eric: Oh, definitely the torture scene that's be alluded to for weeks now. Okay, well since PaleyFest for me. There were some awesomely done cringe-worthy moments.
Who will you miss more: Sage, Finn or Troy?
Matt: Full disclosure: my wife's last name is Sage. My best friend's last name is Finn(egan). But I think both would understand that Troy McClure still comes first and, in his honor, I will mourn Troy the vampire for about as long as I knew him. Heck, twice as long! No one talk to me for like seven minutes...
Miranda: Sage. While I don't necessarily like how she was introduced (Do the Really Old Vampires have some top secret Vampire Signal no one else knows about? How did she know to show up?), I think she had a lot of potential. I think she could've been season 4's Big Bad.
Eric: Obviously there's only one choice here. How could anyone be attached to the most boring, suicidal original? Or his lame threesome-loving, boxing girlfriend? Obviously I've been on team Troy since I met him. He was just so... identifiable. Wait, was this the first episode we met him?
What would you title Elena Gilbert's handbook?
Matt: Oh, 'Ship: How to Not Lose Either Guy in Like 310 Days.
Miranda: How Not To Die. Step One: Fall in love with a vampire that will cause all sorts of bad things to happen to everyone you care about. Step Two: Fall in love with his brother. Step Three: Repeat steps one and two. Somehow, you'll always come out on top while everyone else suffers.
Eric: I assume the copy Caroline picked up was the recently abridged edition: How to Forgive the Person Who Totally Killed Your Parent. Yeah, Elena took some creative liberties with calling Jenna her mother in the handbook. Come on, who totally remembers when Klaus killed Jenna? Not Elena. That's for sure.
Most interesting takeaway from the episode: the bloodline all dying when an Original is killed, Elena admitting she is unsure about her feelings or Jeremy owning a dog?
Matt: I've been snarkier than usual above, so allow me to get serious for a moment: the bloodline angle is certainly intriguing. It raises many questions about the past, which could lead to more flashbacks, which is always fun. And it could even pit hero versus hero. No one wants to see Tyler die, of course, but if Damon killed Klaus and, therefore, also killed Tyler, wouldn't that save many lives? Wouldn't that be for the greater good? Moral dilemmas abound.
Miranda: It's been clear for a long time that Elena's unsure of her feelings, so it's definitely not that. And Damon DID tell Jeremy to go have a normal life, so the dog isn't surprising. That leaves the bloodlines story. I like it because maybe, JUST MAYBE, there's a chance we can keep Elijah. Maybe. Or Rebekah if she created Trevor and Trevor created Rose.
Eric: Whoa, whoa... There was a dog? I have got to re-watch that scene. Mind. Blown. Oh, and the bloodline dying was neat.
Heading into the final four episodes, give season three a grade so far.
Matt: I don't want to pile on, so I encourage readers to check out my review (conveniently linked to below!) for details, but I'll do as low as a C-. Is TVD still better than almost any drama on network television? Yes. But this is a grade relative to the past two seasons and there's just no way around it: the show is lacking any kind of consistent direction.
Miranda: C+. Like Matt said in his review, we're back to square one. What have we been doing for the past month??? Klaus wants to create a hybrid family so Elena's in danger! Again! Stefan loves Elena! Damon loves Elena! Elena's conflicted about her feelings for Damon and Stefan! Bonnie gets used as a witchy plot device! Let's kill some Originals! Except we can't because that will cause really bad things to happen to people we care about! Scratch that. Make my grade a D. It's all so been there, done that.
Eric: I think we all unfortunately share Matt's review sentiments: this season just officially got demoted to a C after tonight's circular ending. Wait, so they still can't kill Klaus AND he's going to build a hybrid army. That's a crazier sounding development than the time Jeremy got a dog.