With fans already buzzing and speculating over The Vampire Diaries Season 4, let's stop and take one final look back, shall we?
What worked? What failed? What do we hope to see continue and who do we hope to never see again? Pour one out for Alaric Saltzman, TVD viewers, and review the following TV Fanatic Report Card.
Best Character: Caroline Forbes. The top three characters are out because they were each involved in the tiresome love triangle. Rebekah has to be considered a contender because she's layered, interesting and extremely attractive. But she also wasn't prominent enough. Klaus earned this honor at midseason, but I thought the show fell too in love with this villain and should have killed him off at the end. Caroline and her bubbly attitude, as we all know, simply rules.
Worst Character: Bonnie Bennet. Just too dour for my taste. Smiled for maybe a total of 30 seconds combined all season and is too often used as a plot device to just cast a spell and solve a problem.
Best Episode: "Before Sunset." Our introduction to Rebekah and our trip to Chicago in "The End of the Affair" is a close second, but this penultimate installment featured an thrilling mixture of emotion and action. It posed ethical dilemma, it highlighted Matt Davis at his evil best it gave Joseph Morgan an incredible send-off, even if it only lasted a week.
Worst Episode: "Ghost World." Let's just move on.
Most Welcome Return: Elijah. Every time.
Most Unwelcome Return: Rose. Being a ghost was reason enough, narrating obvious points about Damon and Stefan sealed her fate.
Biggest Surprise: Elena turns, Matt gets a day off from the Grill (tie). Whose jaw is not still hurting from smacking the flaw upon the concluding scene of the season finale? And who else worried, throughout that finale, about whether or not the Grill remained open with Matt out in the field?
Final Grade: B. As always with TVD, this is relative. The worst episode (okay, except for "Ghost World") is better than almost anything else on network television. But any regular reader of my Vampire Diaries reviews is aware that I constantly complained of a lack of direction. The love triangle also grew stale and, as much as I adore Klaus, I'd have killed him off and moved on to a new enemy.
Hopes for Season 4: A resolution for Katherine (bring her back full-time or kill her off). Fewer spells that place twists on the twists; a new, steady love interest for Damon; a mud wrestling match between Rebekah and Caroline; more consistency in storylines and a general feeling that one builds upon another, leading to an earned payoff in the end.
What grade would YOU give The Vampire Diaries Season 3?