The Vampire Diaries Review: The Nick of Time

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I'm not sure who I feel worse for after watching "The End of the Affair." Elena, Caroline or Klaus?

Okay, it's definitely Elena. The man she loves and would chase to the end of the world has told her to leave him alone; her mere existence is all that stands between relative peace and an army of Hybrids; and viewers even learned that the only reason Stefan fell for her may have been because he was forced to forget the woman who could truly be his soulmate.

Still, we learned a lot about Klaus this week and the intel painted a picture of a tortured, lonely, scared Original who hasn't been killing merely for the sake of killing.

Stefan in Chicago

Klaus is petrified. He's been on the run for centuries. He's been under orders to create Hybrids and I'm guessing it's not for his own personal army. Does that excuse all of his murderous behavior? Of course not. But let's remember the state Damon was in when we first met him. And the past of Stefan that gets unraveled every week.

There's always context to even the most evil of actions and Klaus' appears to be centered around the mysterious man who showed up for a few seconds near the end of this episode, asking after Stefan's forgotten friends. Is he a vampire? Maybe. A werewolf... such as Klaus' biological father? I say yes.

One thing is for certain: Sebastian Roche (Supernatural, Fringe) is an actor familiar with the non-human.

I also take issue with how the show keeps upping the bad guy ante. There was Katherine... and then Klaus... and then now random new guy. Granted, each villain has brought with him or her a different angle; and we need new blood to keep spinning the story in various directions. But it's a bit irritating to continually learn that there's always someone else out there. Nothing ever gets resolved as much as the plot in general gets altered.

Have we finally met the true string puller? I doubt it.

Ripper Road Trip Pic

Let's return to Katherine for a moment: perpetual props to Nina Dobrev for expertly pulling off such contrasting characters, but I'm sick of this one. She's become more of a plot device than an actual person, showing up from time to to time because she serves the purpose of writers in some way. That was never more evident than it was here, as she randomly called Damon with full knowledge of Stefan's whereabouts just because... she's made a lot of contacts over the years? That's pretty thin, Vampire Diaries.

Figure out a direction for Katherine or kill her for good.

Those small frustrations aside, the flashbacks were as fun and engrossing as ever and they culminated in a fascinating new trio. Stefan remembers! Throughout the first few episodes of the season, it was difficult to believe he had returned to his full-on Ripper ways or truly wanted to be a sidekick to Klaus. But with these memories flowing through him now, with the knowledge that he really was close to Klaus and in love with Rebecca, we may truly see a different side to Stefan. His loyalties aren't so clear anymore.

Hence my original sympathy for Elena and hence my one-word reaction to this development: GULP.

Elsewhere, there's not really much to say about the Caroline storyline. It sucks that her father is anti-vampire and it's great that her mother has done a 180 on the subject. It's also nice to see her and Tyler grow so close. I'm assuming Liz's actions will cause a serious divide within the council, but that's for another day. For now, the focus was so squarely on Chicago that this B story felt almost like a Z story. It was rushed through, which is a shame considering it was actually the cliffhanger from a week ago.

Closing thoughts:

  • Have we ever gone an episode without seeing Elena waking up?
  • You want a partner in crime? Forget Stefan. I'm so much more fun. One of my favorite Damon lines in awhile, considering he said when he was near death.
  • When I'm done with him, he won't wanna go back. Seriously, what is Klaus' plan for Stefan?!?
  • I'd watch an entire series based around Klaus and Stefan's life in the 1920s. Call it The Real House-Originals of Chicago.
  • Check out the official CW promo for next week's episode HERE!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (327 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Okay, first Catherine was the big bad character... Then we learn that she is running from someone : Elijah.
But then we find out that Elijah is under the orders of the evil Klaus.
And - guess what - Klaus is actually also running from someone !!!! -___-' Seriously, where is it going to end ? THE DEVIL himself ?! This is getting ridiculous ! I understand that 'bad characters' always have a reason to do what they do (they're not just 'plain bad' or 'born bad') : but, damn, can these writers find something else than the pathethic 'i'm running from someone' excuse ?!


Did anyone else notice that Caroline's dad looked a lot like the guy who showed Stefan the sketches of the Original siblings?


For me, best episode ever! Stunning reveals. I agree, I could watch a series on Stefan and Klaus's life in the 1920's!


i liked the episode it was scary how elena was hiding in the secret room of stefans apartment when klaus and stefan showed up and klaus opened the door and almost saw elena but stefan saw her and made sure he didn't.i was shocked to find out that stefan and klaus knew each other and they were actually good friends and stefan wanted to be his was sad how elena loves stefan and wouln't stop looking for him and when they talk he tells her to stop looking for him and he wasn't coming back.i was also suprised that klaus who's a hybrid and unstoppable is running from someone so that means theres someone scarier and stronger than him out there.i really liked that carolines mom came in to save her and almost shot her dad when he tried to stop tyler from getting her.i can't believe that carolines dad would hurt her even though she's a vampire now i mean she's still his daughter she's still the same caroline the only difference is that she' a vampire now and he said that blood controls her now when it doesn't really sense she killed 1 guy when she was first changing and couldn't help herself and then a couple more guy to save stefan and damons life she never killed anyone on purpose just to kill them she's a good vampire why can't her dad see that.i like how katherine is following stefanand klaus and klaus wants her dead.i didn't like that the brought klaus's sister back i wish they would have just kept her dead. i also didn't like that the necklace stefan gave elena came from klaus's sister.i wonder how there going to get the necklace sense elena has it and they think she's dead and stefan can't go and get it from her cause klaus will wonder where he found and he will figure out elena is still alive.i can't wait for the next episode it looks pretty good and bonnie comes back which makes it better.


This episode was terrible. I cannot believe Stefan would talk that way to Elena, I was crying when she teared up. I undertstand he's doing this to protect her from Klaus but really he needs to come back to her very soon. As far as him and Rebecca, that was not beliavable at all. I mean what they showed about Stefan in the past and what he is now, it's like totally 2 differnt people and I don't believe it at all. As far as Damon getting his butt kicked by Klaus, he totally deserves it and I didn't feel bad at all, as he is the reason Stefan is now with Klaus and killing people and cannot go back to his normal self, so Damon gets what he deserves. I hope Stefan has a plan of how to go back home soon and Elena better not run to Damon for comfort now, as that would be sooo lame.


I really don't think this mystery person that Klaus is so afraid of is his biological werewolf father. A werewolf is not immortal and could easily be killed by Klaus so I doubt that Klaus would have spent hundreds and hundreds of years running from a werewolf. My guess is that this "person" hunting Klaus and the rest of originals has something to do with the story of how the original family even became vampires in the first place. Then again...this show has done crazier things so I could be completely wrong. Even though most of the people commenting have been quick to disagree with you Matt about Klaus's reasoning behind creating an army of hybrids I am still undecided. Klaus did seem terrified but I can't tell whether he is scared because no army means no protection, or if no army means seriously pissing someone off.


@Uncle Jackass wrote:
Some sense of irony... Damon stalks Katherine (in a tomb), Katherine stalks Stefan periodically, and Stefan stalks Elena spontaneously. I swear, it's not love, it's Stockholm syndrome!! I swear I just laughed my butt off over this :D Sooo true! Someone still needs to tell this Edward Cullen ;D


I for one was delighted to see Katherine! She's SO much fun to watch! And I love Nina for playing this two roles so perfectly. I mean I'm not interested in Elena very much! It's not that I don't like her but she's well... normal. And I'm tired of seeing both brothers going bonkers about her!! (I mean what in the world is so special about her??) So Nina makes a hell of a job to make me love Katherine so much and not even sligthly interested in Elena and her love life! I don't care if she takes Stefan or Damon...maybe in the end neither of them will want HER :P (I'd find that really funny^^) Elena can settle with Matt or someone else (aka uninportant character) Let's see but I predict that Stefan will go back to his precious Elena sometime and Damon should consider a woman more at his eye level! I LOVED the episode! I must agree it COULD get boring if there were even more anonymous people behind this whole Klaus story but I think I can tolerate one more person behind the curtain!^^ I suspect it will be one of Klaus' parents! I'd be ok with that:)
So I just adored the phonecall between Katherine and Damon. They both are so teasing and funny with each other! Then of course the flashbacks were awesome (exept of Katherine's wig at the end. We now know Nina should never wear a bob^^)
I think I like Rebecca but I found it kind of lame that Stefan could forget about Klaus and Rebecca for so many years and then just snap all memories and feelings were back?? I mean feelings aren't memories right?! She should have at least felt a big loss after Klaus glamoured him even if he didn't remember what he was missing. Exept of course he wasn't THAT into Rebecca. Though I really like them together a lot!
I also was dissapionted with the Caroline arc. Just when I was feeling for her and tears were welling up in my eyes we went back to Stefan. Just not anough screen time for our special most beautiful girl =) (and her most sexy werewolf guy :D) Her father is sick. A real douche. Mine too btw so I can understand her. It hurts like hell if one of your parent doesn't love you or want to change you into another person! But Caroline: Screw your dad. He wasn't there for you once and he will make your life only miserable. You're better off without him. But of course unfortunately this won't be the last time we've seen of him!
Can't wait for next week and the chat between Katherine and Stefan *love*=)


Stefan and Elena bores me to death. Did they really expect me to feel something for their number 104th break up? Really? Sorry, no cant do. Move on already show!


Q: Who do you feel bad for Klaus, Stefan, Elena, or Caroline? None of the above. Klaus can rule the world, Stefan is too emo and I'm sick of seeing Elana and Caroline play helpless! How bout Damon? Thats who I felt bad for, poor guy, he may be a sarcastic little s**t but he is the moral compass to this story. He cares about Elena, he cares about his brother, he keeps getting his butt kicked for both of them and whats the prize if he comes out the "winner" his brother gets elena. Yup poor Damon. Of course I think it'd be a real kick in the butt if elena ends up with Klaus! Hey why not stranger things have happened :)

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

You know you were dreaming about me.

Damon [to Elena]

Bringing back memories of the good old Ripper days?