The Vampire Diaries Review: Forwood and Backward

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Forget Alaric Saltzman. Following "Heart of Darkness," another Vampire Diaries episode that teased a decision between brothers by a certain ever-oscillating heroine, it's clear who is actually schizophrenic on this show:

Isn't that right, Elena Gilbert?

Delena Alert!

We're as confused as you are, Damon.

It really is aggravating that she continues to go back and forth. If she wants to make like Kelly Taylor and choose herself over either romantic option, that's fine. If she wants to play it safe and go with Stefan, more power to her. If she wants to follow her heart, as dangerous as it may be, and go with Damon, fantastic.


Yes, it's hard. We've all been there. Okay, we haven't all been stuck between a pair of smoldering, blood-sucking brothers, one of whom has hair that belongs in the Smithsonian and another whose smirk should be classified as a lethal weapon - but we have all had to make tough choices in our love life.

And, more often than not, the person at whom you are staring at before falling asleep, and the person you essentially attack on a hotel balcony, is the person you truly want to be with. Elena seems to know this. Stefan clearly know it. Damon mostly knows it. And viewers most definitely know it. Heck, even Rose the ghost knows it!

(Tangent: she sure was annoying, wasn't she? First, it's been made clear that ghosts in general do not work on this show. Second, we've been watching for almost three seasons now, thank you. We really didn't need Rose to spell out for Jeremy/us exactly why Elena is so torn and exactly what each brother does for her. Less obvious exposition, please, TVD. Have some faith in the viewers' intelligence here.)

So it's hard not to get the impression that Julie Plec and company - as much as I have to trust their decision making, based on over two seasons of enthralling action - are simply drawing out Elena's big decision until the season finale.

And that would be acceptable if the series were giving her something to do in the meantime. But her entire storyline these days is based around this love triangle and, I'm sorry, but it's growing tiresome.

Elena in Pain

Unfortunately, the grating love bug didn't merely bite Elena and Damon this week. It even sank its claws into Caroline and Tyler.

Yes, even after some seriously (seriously!) wild and hot sex, all it took was Tyler catching sight of Klaus' drawing for him to find someplace else to crash. Do I buy he'd have questions? Absolutely. Do I think Caroline should have explained all the weird Klaus wooing that went on for a couple weeks there? Yes.

But, based on the clear feelings that exist between these two (see sex, wild and hot), I find it hard to believe that one piece of (admittedly decent) art would send Tyler packing. Is TVD really going to drag this romance out as well? Must we really see Forwood moving backward? I'm all for Tyler getting angry at Klaus for trying to make a move, but Caroline never gave in and I could do without this contrived drama.

Sigh. Deep breath. Yes, I had issues with the romantic interludes throughout "Heart of Darkness."

Fortunately, everything revolving around Alaric and Dark-laric was a winner. Matt Davis continues to have a blast taking on his alternate persona, as the confrontation between he and Stefan was legitimately intense. The blood spewed. Stefan's thirst intensified. The taunts escalated.

It was fun stuff, and revealing, too. Alaric really is a good guy, one who wrestles with his failure as a vampire hunter, especially when you consider the fates of his wife and of Jenna.

And the end? Now we're on to something! I've been saying for awhile that season three is missing that hook, that ongoing arc that drives everything and everyone toward the finale. But Dark-laric and Esther teaming up? Against both the Originals and the Salvatores? With Tyler caught in between the bloodline battles?

Lines are being drawn, sides are becoming more clear, daggers are being discovered and- with just three episodes remaining - we have a better idea now where it's all headed. Someplace where not everyone can come out alive, that's for sure.

What did everyone else think? Are you sympathetic toward Elena or do you wanna pull out all her straight brown hair? Weigh in now and then get your first look at next week's "Do Not Go Gentle."


Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (779 Votes)

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

Allison berry barbieri

on a television show...they are not motivated by actual feelings or thoughts, only by the thoughts, feeling and whims of the why do people get so worked up about how awful "Elena" is or imagine what the characters were thinking? Sure, fans have opinions on the direction of the show and it's reasonable to analyze the choices the WRITERS make, but let's not take it out on fictional characters and speculate on why they are horrible/slutty/confused, etc...

Allison berry barbieri

Also, I have said this before but I will push it again. These are CHARACTERS

Allison berry barbieri

First of all...don't these people ACTUALLY go to school anymore?! Am I the only one that misses football throwing Stefan and parties in the woods a la Season 1? Though, I guess Matt, Elena and Bonnie are technically the only ones these days that don't have another 100 chances at high school... That said, not sure how I feel about this episode...LOVED the kiss and Delena heat, OBVIOUSLY, but getting worried about the direction this show may be taking... And where could it go if she does choose, since that is the premise of the show "girl stuck between two vampire brothers"...I bet she chooses herself...for now anyway, as a way to add drama to future seasons..


I'm confused by the amount of people saying that Damon is stealing Stefan's girlfriend, that's just ludicrous. Stefan ended things with her the second he decided getting revenge on Klaus was more important than their relationship. He nearly got Jeremy killed, he nearly killed Elena, and she's supposed to just go back to him? Throughout all of this hell, Damon has been a true friend to Elena, he's been there for her, he's even been trying to save Stefan so that he and Elena can get back together. Elena is beginning to realise that she can Stefan can never reclaim what they had before, because their relationship was built upon false premises. She felt that Stefan was safe, he was stable, he lived on animal blood, he never talked back or argued with her ideas, he never challenged her, he was easy to be with. That wasn't really who Stefan is though, it was the person he thought he should be. He's even said to her this season that they can never go back to that. And Elena, she's grown so much more this season away from Stefan than she ever did around him. He coddled her, treated her like a damsel in distress, and she never matured or grew up. She's a fiery, passionate person, but she never showed that side of herself to Stefan, she always acted so meek and placid. With Damon, she feels comfortable showing him everything - the good and the bad. And Damon is the same, he shows her both sides of himself as well, unlike Stefan who only ever presented her with the good. Damon and Elena have fallen for each for all of their virtues AND flaws, they love each other in spite of all of that, whereas Elena only loves Stefan for the good in him. She's made that clear this season, wanting him to go back on animal blood, wanting him to go back to the person he was when they were together, even whilst knowing that he was never truly and completely himself.


I'm not impressed at all with a Damon, Elena hook-up or coupling. Yes Damon is HOT, there may even be chemistry but its just wrong. I think its makes Elena a "supposedly good" girl look terrible. If she ever loved or even knew Stefan as well as she should have, she would have known that all that has happened was because he never stopped loving her or his brother, nor has he stopped trying to protect them. With that said, she needs to make a decision and stick to it. Choose one of the brothers or be alone. Her character is becoming more, and more annoying to me, my least favorite to watch. I love Caroline and Tyler too. I think Caroline, Tyler, Klaus triangle is better, more believable. Loving the twist of Alaric's alter ego. Don't mind Rebekah and Matt becoming friends.


I loved last Thursday of vampire diaries. Esepecially where Elaine and Damon was making out. I hated that her brother came out before they could have finish. I hope they can pick up where they left off. It is about dam time. I am rooting for Damon and Elaine as a couple in the show.


Bill, i respect your opinion but i don't share it! i am sorry but i don't agrewith you about Damon being a badass or trying to steal his brother's girl, cuase it's not true! he in fact fell in love with Elena at first because of her resemblance with Katherine like Stefan did!the way things turned out, and the fact that Stefan had a darker side before we even got to know him, made him react the way he did after Klaus released him from the compelling...his emotionw were supposed to be on again but still his hunger for revenge was even greater than his love for Elena! it's not Damon's fault his brother tried to save him, so what? he would have done the same thing for him, and he has done it many times so far...he was honest from the beginning and just said to his brother that he was trying to win her, not steal her from him...anything is allowed in war and love..he stood by her and never left her alone..when she needed him her feelings changed..although i believe that she was attracted to him even before Stefan disappered..she was just fighting it because of her strong she is free...Stefan has truly lost her once she fell for a second guy too....


Stefan is a vampire, and no matter what anyone says, he lives off human blood. He has excepted it so why can't u stelena fans do the same. He is a predator not some noble knight in shining armor. He can live 100 lifetimes and love a million girls, and he probably has. It is ok to want Elena to end up with Damon, really. Stefan has a couple hundred years to get over it and look alike Katherine to ease the pain. Does anyone else but me remember him saying he was attracted to Elena cause she looked like Kat?


You and I are very different people, Christine. Whether it's a real life or fictional situation, I still think character, integrity and self-sacrifice should count for something. You want Damon and Elena to get together because Damon is so hot and just can't seem to keep his shirt on around Elena (reminds me of a certain werewolf in the Twilight movies). Stefan sacrificed everything to save his brother's life. You and all the Delena shippers know that that the only reason Damon even has a chance is because of Stefan becoming Klaus' slave, again to SAVE HIS BROTHER'S LIFE. Because he went through that living hell, Damon had a chance to make a play on his girlfriend. Do you really think with as madly in love as Stefan and Elena were before he sacrificed his life for his brother's that Damon really had even a remote chance of pulling Elena away from Stefan? If Damon had any integrity at all, he would have never tried to seduce Elena in that situation. But given the scumbag he is and always has been, he did. Now Elena is "confused" and has finally givene in to her lust for Damon (I wouldn't call it love, yet)much to the delight of fans such as yourself. So apparently, Stefan will never stop paying for doing the right thing. And I guess that's just fine with you. You probably think people who commit such selfless acts are idiots for not just thinking about themselves. That seems to be the prime directive for today's generation. And Julie Plec apparently enjoys reinforcing that belief. I know I sound really preachy, especially when its only a TV show, but I think it still brings out the true attitudes of people and when I read comments like yours it tells me where this "me" generation is heading - and it doesn't look good.


(cont) but at the end of the day that's overlooked quite a bit. How could these brothers ever have a relationship in the long run if they both want to be with the same woman? I don't know maybe as a viewer (even though I've watched every episode) I've missed something. I'll continue to keep faith because I believe Plec knows what she’s doing and regardless, it's still the best show on television.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 19 Quotes

Elena: Why don't you ever let anyone see the good in you?
Damon: When people see good they expect good. And I don't wanna live up to anyone's expectations.

You're good Stefan again. You're in control. You might get the girl, but you lose the edge.


The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 19 Music

  Song Artist
Florence the machine never let me go Never Let Me Go Florence & The Machine iTunes
Mississippi twilight starting now Starting Now Mississippi Twilight iTunes
Song Dying To Be Born Civil Twilight