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+.


Personally, I think the 'shipping wars' are getting out of control. I miss the great storytelling behind this show. I just don't buy into the idea that any brother would be all for a girl that can't decide between him and his brother... WHAT?! I admit I did love Stefan and Elena together because there was this idea that beyond being a vampire this guy just wanted to be normal again and love... Elena was his everything. Meanwhile, Damon's character was and is awesome, I mean his lines... I loved the "Alright Whoopi" line towards Jeremy. Damn straight I caught that Patrick Swayze 'Ghost' reference and LOVED it! :D I sort of do think that some things have just been dodged to make it easier. Elena continued to fight for Stefan but he constantly pushed her away (actually treated her like crap some of the time). Stefan gave up everything to save his brother from death but that has just been tip-toed around. Damon has absolutely influenced what has happened between Elena and Stefan 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.


i ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS EPISODE...because a part of my greatest dreams fullfilled with that passionate Delena kiss! ok, only if they make love i will be truly happy!although i am really pissed with anyone saying that he/she is bored with the triangle or is hoping for Damon to find another woman to love or Elena...we are not in 90210!this show is different from all the crap other shows include with too many partners changing and strange has stuck to the main storyline that the books have and THAT'S THE BEST THING!the devotion that these three people have towards one another!the brothers will ALWAYS LOVE ELENA AND ELENA WILL ALWAYS LOVE THESE TWO BROTHERS...and if you want my opinion, Elena will be making a decision now, but as Julie Plec mentioned in a recent interview, this does'nt mean her decision will be the same until the end of the series..cause she will be growing up and realising her true feelings or what love no worries!even if she doesn't choose Damon now, i think she will choose him as endgame in the series! so stop watching if you have gotten sick of the triangle but if you don't, please respect the fact that the whole storyline is about DAMON-ELENA-STEFAN!


was meant to be. If she chooses Damon, there's a huge risk. The problem I have is that she shouldn't be trying to make that kind of life-changing decision right now. Admit to feelings, but don't decide. Not yet.


Oh Matthew, I so rarely disagree with your reviews. You can usually count on me to agree, like the way Klaus can count on loyal Rebekah, but I thought this episode was AMAZE, especially compared to the past two or three episodes.
Elena's "I don't know" answer was terrible, it's true. But if she admitted to her feelings, and the kiss all in one episode, I think it would be too much. She already told Damon and us so much with her silent staring. It was such a beautiful scene. I can forgive her "I don't know."
I can also sympathize with Elena a little tiny bit (it's amazing what one great kiss on a balcony can do), because she has a really tough decision to make. The writers through Rose basically told us Damon could help Elena realize her full potential as a human being or he could ruin her. Damon could have an immensely powerful influence in her life, if she chooses him. There's no risk with Stefan. He will love her, but if she chooses Stefan, Elena will not become the woman she was meant to be. If she chooses Damon, it's a huge risk. This is not the kind of life-changing decision she should be making right now. That's the problem I have is that she's even trying to make a choice right now. Let this play out a little more, but for goodness sake at least admit to your feelings, Elena!


I actually love your review so much, it sums up exactly how i feel! I love delena and agree that damon is definitely the best choice for elena (what rose said was soooo right in every way) but it still worries me that she might play it safe with stefan and not take a chance in case she gets hurt - really hope that doesnt happen!!! She really does need to make a choice soon though, she is getting annoying. And oh my god, how hot was that scene with nina/ian!!! I mean WOW, that is what you call chemistry! Delena ftw! ;D


Ohh I definitely want to pull out Elena' straight brown hair! ....adn probably add some curls to it. Seriously...the girl needs a stylist.That's probably the reason I like Katherine. Her hair.........and her sense of humour. On the other hand, Darkalaric is completely blowing my mind! And Esther as Rebekah? Woah! Kinda makes me sad though...she is the only original I wish to see alive


I used to watch this show more than once but evertyime I see another person fall all over Damon I get sick. Elena should have no feeling for him please Stefan has been there since day one for her. Damon has stalked her since day two creeping in her bedroom and I am sorry but game over when you try and kill me, both my best friends and my little brother right in front of me. nd I feel sorry for Stefan has protected her since day one. Every moral says you don't sleep with one brother then try and sleep with the other brother. I am so sick of her she has seen Damon use Caroline like a cheap suit. He has slept with everyone of Stefans girlfriend and of course Elena will be no different. She likes him he is a murderer and serial abuser. For the record Stefan killed Andie because he told Damon not to follow him so that he could keep Klaus from finding out elena lived. Damon also tried to kill Andie because his feeling were hurt he is an old child. Stefan has saved worthless Damon times this year and what happens he loses the one woman he loves again because here comes dumb Damon and they swoon oh please. Elena thinks she can control Damon yea right. He has slept with evey living and dead woman. He was sleeping with Katherine when Stefan saw her first. By the way Elena never broke up with Stefan like she has done so many times in the past oh lets never be a part Stefan. Stefan is a good and trusting man and he deserves better but then Damon will come for Stefans next girlfriend as well he didn't have to sleep with Rebekah too. He has never tried to hurt Elena except to prove a point but otherwise no he didn't try and hurt her feed on her except when compelled by Klaus. She has never respected good Stefan or bad Stefan she is much like Katherine a witch.


I am so tired of Forwood. I honestly want Tyler to die in the season finale. Then Caroline can move on, maybe fall in love with the new villain in season 4? And then they two can kill Klaus together. Rebekah and Matt can get together, and move away to start a new life together. Rebekah can then finally have a good life. Bonnie can move to Denver with Jeremy, and stay away. New, interesting characters need to come to mystic falls and not die within the first two episodes! Forexample, I think that they could have done more with Sage. TVD, find some exiting characters with dark secrets and plots! It would be interesting to see that this new villain is much dangerous then they think. That he/she has great powers of some kind. And I love it in the books when Damon gets possessed and Elena doesn't know!


I'm beginning to think that Elena might not end up with either of them. Katherine will definetly end up with one of them. I still think that Katherine and Damon would be a hot and interesting couple, but I don't think that they will be end-game. Would be awesome to see that Damon ends up with the love of his life though. Maybe Stefan and Katherine? From what TVD has shown us, Katherine was much more in love with Stefan than Damon.
Damon has never been loved by someone the way he deserves. He's never had a real relationship. It's part of his character. TVD must end with Damon finally finding his true love. Maybe someone new who comes to mystic falls in season 4-5, and Damon then ends up with. Or someone from his past, like Katherine. I am so tired of Forwood. I honestly want Tyler to die in the season finale. Then Caroline can move on, maybe fall in love with the new villain in season 4? And then they two can kill Klaus together. Rebekah and Matt can get together, and move away to start a new life. Rebekah can then finally have a good life. Bonnie can move to Denver and live there with Jeremy, far far away. New characters needs to come to mystic falls, and not die within the first two episodes.


elena is a whiny bitch, its the best if she doesnt choose someone but just go on with her life.

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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