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+.


[continued from prev comment] To be fair, I think they're just as bad as each other.


@Herewego: sorry I don't understand how Stefan basically stole Katherine from Damon. She didn't belong to any of them to begin with. They both started to like her around the same time. Damon might have loved her a bit more but it doesn't mean katherine was his. And she seemed to choose Stefan [or both of them], that's entirely her choice, not Stefan's fault. Blaming Damon's hurt on Stefan because he got the girl is just wrong. In fact, there's nobody to blame. Everyone is just following their heart and at the end of the day, if you lose, you should probably forget about it or if you can't, don't blame ur misery on other people because they love each other. I also don't know how you know Stefan killed more people than Damon. They showed Stefan's dark past and his long list of victims. but Damon too has a past of living as a monster who has no remorse. Just because the show hasn't fully explored it yet doesn't mean during that time he killed no one. To be fair, I think they are just as bad as each other in terms of murdering innocent people


Delena delena!!!


tyler needs to be cut from this show like damon's terrible monk haircut.


Stephan basically stole Katherine from Damon while he was off fighting in the war, he forced Damon to turn, Katherine loved Stephan in spite of his rejection and therefore continued to hurt Damon, Stephan played as the good guy even though he has killed more people than Damon, ... I think Damon deserves to win one of the dopplegangers!!! I see Damon as the one that has been slighted in this series, not Stephan.


Delena! Delena!!! DELENA!!! AHHH


I don't think the Rose conversation with Jeremy was really about both brothers...only Damon. As much as we've gotten mild teases about Damon and Elana(and a small kiss) most of the evidence for love has been placed in the Stephan box...all you have to do is read the forums to see that some people need to have it spelled out for them...yes she does have deep feelings for Damon as well as Stephan...the Rose convo spelled it out for those that continue to try and deny it.
Really don't get all the drama about Damon being a bad boy...his character has been described as self-destructive...he strikes out and does stupid things because he hurts (and when he hurts he really hurts)... He has changed a lot from the first season (hence the Elana makes him better comment. Just like Stephan changed because of Klaus's influence. As far as I was concerned the playing field was even then...Stephan was proven to be just as much a bad boy as Damon. I actually think when you take out the present day history of the two brothers and look at their pasts...Stephan's ripper past seems more evil than Damon's wild one. The Stephan Elana fell for wasn't really who he was a repressed illusion...she has been falling for Damon slowly all along as she glimpses his true self (the one he tries to hide) as it occasionally surfaces. I think Stephan's bad past was due more to shutting off and his blood hunger than out of any pain. I find his character much colder than Damon's. All you have to do is look at the fact he forced Damon to become a vampire to see that. And I have to agree with Camilla's's not about Damon's looks...I was a fan of Lost before TVD and I could not stand Boone...took me a while to warm up to Damon because I disliked Boone so much but the character development, writing, and acting won me over.


On the plus side . . . Tim Burtons Rework of "Dark Shadows" looks fun.Barnabas would totally own Bitch boy klaus.


I'm a huge fan of Delena. But I don't ship the couple because of how hot Ian is. He's the icing on the Damon cake. I love the character. What gets me is how people continue to misunderstand him, always bringing up his bad points and raving about "good" Stefan. Stefan has his dark side too, lets not forget how he killed Andy, Damon's girlfriend, whom by the way did not return to life. Damon snapped and broke Jeremy's neck, even Jeremy has forgiven him, why shouldn't Elena? Oh but let's continue to judge him relentlessly. Even after he spent the entire 3rd season protection and supporting Elena. He deserves love. He lived 145 years loving one woman, 50 of those, prior to Sage, celibate, whereas Stefan turned into a ripper and hated Katherine for what she did to him, never making real amends to Damon whom he forced to turn. I don't think anything that Damon has felt for Elena has been manipulative or wrong. He tried to fight against those feelings for almost two seasons. And his recent actions, turning Abby so that Stefan didn't have to, and playing up Elena's anger towards him so that she would go back to Stefan were so selfless. All he wants is for Elena to love him, but more than that he wants her to be happy, even if that means being with Stefan. I don't think Stefan would ever say the same, all he has is hatred for his brother. A brother who defended, saved, sacrificed and almost died for his brother's girl. So don't slander Damon. He's done more for Elena and Stefan than either of them deserve. And I can see why Elena would love him, if only she would stop denying it, if she let her heart guide her and not her head, I think we'd see her with Damon and it would be amazing!


The most beautiful scene was the passion between Damon & Elena. Hell, it was more passionate than Elena's scene with Stephan. There's no way Elena should be still confused. I'm personally tired of some of the fans recalling what Damon has done in the past but all is fine and dandy with Ripper Stephan being with Elena. Such hypocrisy from the fans at times. Damon is good deep down inside but like he said to Elena, "When people see good they expect good. And I don't wanna live up to anyone's expectations." Damon is just Real about his feelings, which is better than the phony display of who you truly are, hence Stephan. It's obvious that Elena is in love with Damon and I think you're right Matt. The writers are saving the decision for the season finale. Elena's decision will determine whether or not I continue to watch TVD. Hope she makes the right one!

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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