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The Vampire Diaries Round Table: "The Departed"

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The Vampire Diaries concluded season three with one shocker after another: Klaus is still alive... in Tyler's body?!? Alaric is dead and gone... for real this time? Elena is... gulp, a vampire?!?

Oh, yes, there's a lot for our weekly Round Table panel to discuss from "The Departed."

In this edition, regular TV Fanatic staff writers Matt Richenthal, Steve Marsi, Eric Hochberger and Dan Forcella are joined by Ruthie from Vampire Diaries Online. Let's do this!

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What was your favorite scene from the finale?
Matt: Caroline crying. Only because the pain it caused me made it clear just how much more invested I am in Forwood than either Stelena or Delena. I predict a problem or two dozen between C-Diddy and Bon-Bon when the former discovers the latter replaced her boyfriend with a murderous Original.

Steve: The heart-stopping final few minutes overall. It was compelling, shocking and above all else, poignant. Apologies for OD'ing on adjectives there, but it's true. Simply amazing filming and soundtrack. Even if the producers clearly watched the end of Breaking Dawn and adapted it for TV, with the final shot of Elena waking up as the screen faded to black, it was extremely well done. I mean, I heard it was similar.

Eric: Alaric coming back to say goodbye to Jeremy.  No clue why the Ric (yes, unlike Damon I can call him that) became my favorite character, but last night was a big loss for me. Both Jeremy and I needed to say goodbye to the real Ric after the awesome but evil Alaric has been dominating our screen. RIP, buddy. You will be missed.

Dan: My favorite had to be Damon and Elena on the bridge. It was such a special moment between the two, and it was so sad to realize that he DID meet her first. He COULD have been the one that came into her life at just the right moment. Damon would have been the love that consumed her from now until the end of days.

Ruthie: Favorite scene from the flashback: Matty and Elena kissed!! I know, I'm such a sap... and he said "love ya." Sigh. Favorite scene from the present: The entire drowning scene was done beautifully. I found myself out of my seat, standing two feet away from the television, bawling my eyes out.

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Biggest shocker: Klaus taking over Tyler, Alaric dying or Elena turning?
Matt: Going by my initial reaction to it (i.e. yelping like a wounded animal), I've gotta go with Klaus. Most of us foresaw Alaric biting it and no way was Elena actually dying, so some twist had to be coming there. But when Bonnie referred to Tyler as "Klaus." Shiver.

Steve: Klaus taking over Tyler. In a word ... wow. Is Klaus' claim to have originated the Salvatores' bloodline even true? If he is ever removed from Tyler, does he die for real then? Is Klaus more or less inclined to mack on Caroline from the body of his romantic rival? Does Dan Forcella's man-crush escalate or dissipate now that Klaus is embodied by Michael Trevino instead of Joseph Morgan? So many unanswered questions.

Eric: Yet another body switch this season? Yawn. Alaric's death? See: Cult announcement. Now Elena turning? Holy crap! How long have Julie Plec and the other producers claimed they'd never follow the books and turn Elena? Now she has an eternity to play with the Salvatore heart strings and bore CW viewers everywhere. Yay.

Dan: To answer Steve, only time will tell which way my Klaus love turns now that he has taken control of Tyler. Klaus was awesome inside of Ric way back when, but that's probably because Matt Davis is also completely awesome. For the question at hand, Elena turning was the most shocking to me. It's a huge move for Plec and co. to make, which is why I really thought that Elena might actually die. I'm probably really dumb for thinking that they might kill of their leading lady, but in the moment, it seemed more plausible that turning Elena. Shocking.

Ruthie: Definitely Klaus taking over Tyler. Did NOT see that coming at all. And at first didn't understand it, until I watched the episode again. I'm still a little confused actually. Does this mean that Klaus' body is dead? And I'm assuming Tyler is still "in there" somewhere, like when he took over Alaric's body? And Esther with Rebekah? I have a feeling that the stake wasn't left in there long enough, and then just closing the casket put the fire out.

Did Elena make the right choice?
Matt: I'm sorry, but I don't care and I don't think it will matter because the new Elena will remember various things about Damon on season four and go back to wavering between the brothers. And that car scene - should I turn back to Stefan or drive on to Damon? - was SOOOO clunky and contrived. The more intriguing question: Did Elena choose to become a vampire? Did she know that blood was in her system?

Steve: You mean having Stefan save Matty? Definitely. If there's any character the show can't live without, it's the O.G. Mac (Only Grill mac and cheese server).

Eric: Tea over vodka for your final drink? Terrible choice. I know I'm going drunk.

Dan: Breaking up with Matty back in the day? Absolutely, that dude is a loser compared to the Salvatore bros.

Ruthie: I think she did, and her logic was dead on and completely honest. She fell for Stefan instantly and she hasn't fallen out of love with him. Makes sense to me.

Most extreme action: Bonnie spelling Klaus, Rebekah causing the accident or Elena's chipper morning mood?
Matt: If it were me acting that way in the morning, my wife would say it was harder to believe than the Grill giving Matty a day off. But, sure, whatever, Elena was a cheerleader back then. They're always happy, right? It's hard to go with Rebekah, either, because she has always been about self-preservation. This fit in to that theme. I say Bonnie casting that spell because it has such direct repercussions on so many she cares about it.

Steve: Rebekah standing in the middle of the street to send Elena and Matt plunging to their watery graves. She's badass and certifiably insane ... with payback coming her way after vampire Elena builds up some strength.

Eric: At 6:45 in the morning? There's not nearly enough caffeine you could give me intravenously overnight to cause me to wake up dancing.

Dan: It has to be Rebekah, mostly because she did it just by standing in the middle of the road. There was no vicious action that needed to be taken. She was like, 'I'm so bad ass that I can stand here and kill you two.'

Ruthie: Bonnie spelling Klaus was a pretty extreme action, but I still have so many questions about this! When Tyler and Caroline had their heart-wrenching moment in the cellar, was that Klaus or Tyler?

Give this season a grade.
Matt: C. On a very relative scale. This remains one of the best dramas on network television, but the first two seasons set such a high bar. I found the back half especially meandering, I fear death has lost all meaning on the show and I'm sick of the love triangle.

Steve: I'm going with a B+. It might be closer to B- or B by Vampire Diaries standards, but that's the thing ... even with somewhat uneven, haphazard installments like we've seen lately, there's still so much more right than wrong with the show.

Eric: B-. The season of the Originals hardly felt like it brought resolve to its chief baddy. Now when Alaric took over as Monsieur Bad Guy? Things were A material. Getting the town on his side and killing vampires? Now that was a scary threat... that was shortened to two episodes. While Dan's man crush was allowed to run around for a season wooing my Caroline with horse pictures only to find his way into someone's body by season end? What kind of TVD villain arc is that?

Dan: I will agree with you, Eric, that they didn't find enough things to do with the fantastic Joseph Morgan, but I still go with an A- for the season. If I'm grading on a TVD curve, it would be down in the B range, but this is still one of my favorite shows on TV, and that is A level work in my book.

Ruthie: A-. Aside from too many spoiler-y interviews, promos and episode stills, I think this was a pretty kick-ass season. I know, I love good Vampire Diaries spoilers as much as anyone, but I really think they need to tighten it up a bit next season. Several episodes lacked the punch due to the fact that too much information was revealed.

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Delena forever! I mean season 3 ending was awesome but Elena should have choose Damon but now that she is a vampire she will remember everything and how she met Damon first. Can't wait fir season 4! Please hurry. Dying to see more of delena!!!!!!

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I cannot wait until Elena remembers Damon telling her he loves her (season 2 episode 8) it will always be my favourite Delena scene...as well as that dance scene in season 1. I thoroughly enjoyed the finale but I was a bit gutted she didn't go rushing to say goodbye to Damon....but hey....that's what keeps us watching ehh?! Let us hope vampire Elena isn't a a boring sap like her human self.

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You know, it seems like to me Elena fell in love with Stefan because he cared and made her felt alive, whereas Damon never got the chance in the beginning to show Elena he could care, he always needed to act like he didn't(even when he did), so I really think that was what Elena fell in love for and not to mention a mysterious new student at the beginning of the new school year, who knows everything and great at paying sports. I'm saying giving real-life opinions, if it was me, I'd be intrigued(whether or, not it was Stefan or, Damon), but it would've been actions that would made me fell in love that either did afterwards and in which, Stefan won. By showing he cares, loves her and willing to protect her. Like I stated, Damon never really got a chance to do those things in beginning

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zenda - We wouldn't know for sure if Klaus is just using Tyler's body, but Tyler is still in there somewhere, like how he used Alaric's body previously or, how Esther used Rebekah's body. All I know is, if this is the case, nobody should be mad at Bonnie, sure what she is seems dark, but she was also the one how saved them all from dying, too, maybe this is just the beginning, maybe she's trying figure out if there's any way to reverse the bloodline.
O-O - if anybody is to figure it out, it should be Elijah, like he stated in the past, possession is one of Klaus tricks.

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1.) Their are 2 scenes. a) Nina did a great job and the scenes now and then in combination were amazin. I was really fighting against my tears b.) Damon`s face when he realized that he lost everything..His best friend and the woman he loved more than everything.
2.) Elena becoming a vampire. I hate it, i don`t want it, i loved her attitude to stay human. She was not Bella
3.) I would go anywhere to say goodbye do Damon and i love Delena more than any other couple ever. But for her as a 18year old child that nearly lost everything i could understand her descision. But now it`s unimportant. She`s a vampire now and things will get completely different now. Have i told you how upset i am about Elena loosing her life..cry
4.) No opinion on that. But i don`t like the bodyswitch-stuff with Tyler
5.) 1.Season B- ; 2.Season A ; 3.Season B+

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The Damon-Elena flashback was so random and so contrived! It's like the writers are literally making excuses for Stelena to not be endgame! Can Damon please get with Katherine or better, Rebecca! Let Stelena be! Original couples are always the best!

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Amazing episode! I loved:
- the flashbacks. It was nice to see Elena's parents and Jenna. And a normal dad in TVD.
- Elijah
- Forwood
- Matt and Jeremy teaming up (laughable but cute)
- Matt and Elena as friends, she doesn't go to Caroline or Bonnie when she needs to talk about the brothers.
- Stamon (Defan?)
- Elijah and Rebekah realizing Klaus died
- Elena turning into a vamp
- Damon: "no no no no did I mention... no?" "Coooommme oooon!" He was so right about Stefan letting Elena makes decision that affect so much people, they should vote or something.
- Vintage Damon lying on the road waiting for his dinner, lol
- Delena's first encounter
- Bonnie messing with the plan. Someone always messes with the plan, they should know that by now. I hated:
- Elena choosing Stefan (hope it only makes Delena's reunion better next season.
- Klaus embodying Tyler
- car accident scenes, Stefan's a vampire, he could have save everyone in so many ways!

Amie

You will win the battle SE not the war. LOL, SE makes LOVE not war!

Zenda

Well i am happy that Elena choose Stefan not that i do not like Damon but still.Now we will have many things to worry about in season 4. First of i think everybody will be mad at Meridith than Bonnie will be second in line for both Elena and Caroline...If Caroline comes to know that Klaus is in Tyler's body and it was Bonnie who did it than we can expect a lot of drama.Poor Care will be heartbroken that it was her own friend who did it.

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Gotta say something about the triangle. She keeps choosing S but it's obvious endgame will be D. Not even addressing fan support for the DE side here. She is changing and it's becoming very obvious she is moving closer to D. It's still very early in this tv shows lifespan. DE will happen, don't lose hope just read between the lines. If I were a shipper I would not read much into this short term positive. You will win the battle SE not the war.