The Vampire Diaries took one step Forwood... and then a couple backward in the romance department on "Heart of Darkness."
How is our Round Table panel of Matt Richenthal, Steve Marsi, Eric Hochberger and Dan Forcella feeling about events and characters these days? They chime in on the latest episode below...
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: The final one, only because I can legitimately say I didn't see it coming. The show has teamed up many characters in nearly three seasons, but a dark alter ego of Alaric's and the Original Witch taking on her daughter's form? Yeah. I couldn't have predicted this one.
Steve: The instant you knew Dark-laric had finally resurfaced. Matt Davis sold it with one look ... and help from a shift to more eerie Vampire Diaries music. But still.
Eric: This whole episode belonged to Alaric and Stefan. Do I really need to pick a scene? Fine, Klaus popping in and hilariously killing Alaric to make him pass out. I'm glad it didn't work and it was The Ripper to save the day.
Dan: Looking back, my favorite scene was probably the calm before the storm. It was Damon having a drink, shirt completely undone, looking out the window... and Elena completely taken by it.
Hotter kiss: Delena or Forwood?
Matt: Hotter kiss? Delena. Hotter action after the kiss? Forwood. Sex underground will beat getting interrupted by your brother any time.
Steve: Delena. More of a surprise, and actually more of a plot advancement than I've come to expect from the world's slowest-evolving love triangle.
Eric: Two words for you: dungeon sex.
Dan: Delena. I'm over Forwood, and all for Klaroline. I'm so happy she kept the picture my boy Klaus drew for her. That's real love right there.
Grade the return of Rose.
Matt: Can I go lower than a F? She led them to a random vampire; she talked down to the audience; and she somehow claimed to Jeremy that she's "rooting" for Damon and Elena. Come on. They want us to believe the Other Side is just free to hang out and look down on events from the real world? Are they taking bets up there?
Steve: F. See spot-on tangent in Matt's review.
Eric: B. Relative to the last trip to Ghost World her visit was short, sweet and to the point. I deducted a few points for her terrible cliched relationship advice. But gave her back a little because, again, it was that much better than Ghost World.
Dan: I guess D. I wasn't as angry about the whole thing as some others, but the ease in which ghosts can return is kind of silly. Rose was pleasant enough in her return, but I wish they would have been able to get to Mary another way.
More surprising: Jeremy's inability to hit a pitching machine fastball, Caroline still having Klaus' drawing or the concluding Esther reveal?
Matt: My first answer covers this, so I'll ask a question instead: wasn't Jeremy compelled to forget most everything about Mystic Falls? He seemed well-versed right away in ghost whispering and the Originals here.
Steve: Are options A and B even surprising? Jeremy's not exactly a star athlete, and who would toss that work of priceless art? I definitely didn't see the Esther reveal coming, although her reappearance and "death" did seem a little too random and prompt.
Eric: Jeremy! I never knew there was a grown man out there with worse batting skills than me.
Dan: The final Esther reveal. I like that Dark-laric had me thinking back on the times Klaus was inside his body all episode long, but I still didn't have a clue Esther was in Rebekah until she stepped into the cave.
Should Matt hook up with Rebekah?
Matt: Yes. Yes. A million times... yes.
Eric: If Rebekah returns to her body? Absolutely. If not, it'd be the same as hooking up with Rob Schneider in Rachel McAdams' body. It may look right, but it'd just be wrong.
Steve: As Eric says, it depends who he's really hooking up with. As the old adage goes, if you're putting the movies on a middle-aged woman in Claire Holt's body, but unaware said body is being possessed by a middle-aged woman, does it matter?
Dan: Does this keyboard have volume? How loud can I type YES! I don't care if it's Esther, Rob Schneider or whoever else is in her body, go for it Matty!