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The Vampire Diaries Midseason Report Card: B

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With many TV Fanatic favorites on a midseason break, we'll be using the next couple weeks as an opportunity to assess various programs and offer advice on where they should go in 2012.

First, our Grey's Anatomy critic offered her thoughts on the first half of that show's eighth season. Now, I'm excited to pore over The Vampire Diaries, hand out a midseason grade and see where readers stand on television's most twist-filled drama.

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Best Character: Klaus. It takes a lot to beat out Damon Salvatore and his snark, smile and smolder. But Klaus has given us a lot... and then some! He's the ideal villain: sympathetic, cruel, multi-dimensional, funny. Joseph Morgan portrays this character with an eerie calmness, making those moments when he loses it even more impactful. Plus, the addition of Klaus has led to the addition of Rebekah. Major points there.

Worst Character: Katherine. She disappears. She shows up. She always has some mysterious agenda. The writers seem to have lost their grasp on this ancient vampire a long time ago. Nothing more than a plot device at this point, Katherine really has to disappear one final time - forever.

Best Episode: "The End of the Affair." New light was shed on Stefan's friendship with Klaus; we flashed back to Chicago; we first met Rebekah; we were introduced to Mikael. A packed episode provided viewers with fresh sympathies for Klaus, Elena and Stefan.

Worst Episode: "Ghost Town." Easily the worst installment in show history, it seemingly existed solely to bring back former characters. Sadly, not even the handsome face of Tyler Kinney could save this boring, nonsensical hour of filler.

Most Interesting Development: Tyler as a hybrid. What does this mean for Forwood? Where do Tyler's loyalties lie? How many more breakfasts will the guy spill on his shirt? The directions the show can now go with Tyler know as few bounds as the affection our site has for his girlfriend.

Biggest Surprise: Klaus killed his own mother, and was being hunted by his own father! Gotta combine this storyline into one major shocker. We figured the history of the Originals would be rich. We just didn't expect it to take even Rebekah by surprise.

Best Bromance: Alaric and Damon. Granted, there are no other contenders (no offense, Matt and Jeremy), but these two deserve their own shout-out for simply making me crack up so often. Damon is the only person allowed to refer to his pal as Ric.

Most Misused Character: Bonnie. All she does is pop into a scene, cast a spell and leave. This may belong in the following category, but the show needs to round Bonnie out to be more than just an angst-filled witch. Fortunately, this appears to be the plan. Look who is on her way to Mystic Falls.

Hopes for 2012: Full-on Delena. I'm not just saying this because the pair won our poll for Best Teen Couple, and it would be nice if they were actually a couple. But the series needs to make a choice in either direction. No more teasing, writers. You've done an admirable job developing the feelings between Elena and Damon. They feel real and believable at this point. Stefan may not want his humanity, but Damon does want the girl who makes his rise to the surface. Give her to him.

Also: a bubble bath scene for Rebekah; even more Caroline; the return of Elijah; the opening of a competing restaurant for the Grill.

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

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Blairshipper

"Hopes for 2012: Full-on Delena. I'm not just saying this because the pair won our poll for Best Teen Couple, and it would be nice if they were actually a couple. But the series needs to make a choice in either direction. No more teasing, writers. You've done an admirable job developing the feelings between Elena and Damon. They feel real and believable at this point. Stefan may not want his humanity, but Damon does want the girl who makes his rise to the surface. Give her to him." SO MUCH YES!

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Sorry to whoever is saying that Stefan is the most complex and interesting character on the show, but he's really not. He has a dull, "fawn over Elena like a baby" side to him, a constant bunny-drinking do-gooder, and then the scary, out-of-control, hell-and-revenge bent ripper side of him. He's black and white. His only gray area is his love for his brother and his brother alone. He's cut and dry except for the brotherhood. He's been laid bare to us - no mystery anymore, nothing complicated.
I'd say all of the originals are more complicated than Stefan (speaking of, give us back Elijah NOW, dammit!). Even Damon may not seem as complicated now that we know so much about him, but he still is. Damon is the wildcard. You really never know what he will do - what he's capable of. Just at the end of season 2, he force-fed Elena his blood! Not smooth on his part. He's crazy, irrational, passionate - a fiery combination that gives us infinite unpredictability.

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Second Comment. I take issue with the roundtable's dislike of smells like teen spirit & ghost world. Despite it's unevenness and more plot holes than usual, the mythology revealed in it has a VERY good chance of being key to the season if you look under the surface. The season (which was six-ish episodes old at the time, has had two main plots: Elena / Klaus / Stefan, and The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Through those two episodes we learned that they’re really one storyline. The Original Witch (who will probably be the real Big Bad of the season) is trying to claw her way back into our world. And to do it, she tried to enlist Jeremy’s dead girlfriend, ordering her to kill Elena, which will prevent Klaus from making more werepires. Before those, the GoGP storyline felt like filler. Well-done filler, unobtrusive filler, but filler. After episodes 6 & 7, we know that all of this was really key to the main plotline all along. The original witch has been mentioned eleven too many times to not be important this season and the reveal that she is klaus's mother is only further pushing this theory of mine. The theme for the second half of the year is revenge as stated by stefan so awesomely in Homecoming. Klaus killed The Original Witch, vengeance anyone? Her being the big bad ups the bad guy ante without being unbelievable. She's the mother of the current big bad (it keeps with the emphasis on familiy this season). I think if you take another look at what's going on in the background of those two episodes, you'll notice a few more things that might change your mind.

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Okay, I'm going to explain the problem with Katharine as I see it. Hopefully this sheds some light on her. Some of the critics have questioned if we can trace all her manipulations back to something, and I assure you we can. With the exception of bringing Damon his cure in the Season Finale of Season 2 (because she owed him cuz he brought her vervain in an earlier episode) EVERY. SINGLE. DECISION. Katharine has ever made can be traced back to two reasons. 1.) She is beyond determined to do anything possible (including selling anyone out) to save her skin from Klaus.
2.) She is obsessed with Stefan. Her character hasn't lost direction so much as her storyline is lame. She went from being the unseen chessmaster who manipulated all the actions and storylines for the first 30 something episodes to being reduced to another member of team scooby equivalent to elena stefan and damon. The more popularized term for it, is bad-ass decay. This irks me to no end, because of the fact that the show very very very clearly avoided this problem with Damon (If anything the softer side he occasionally exhibits throughout the show, only serves to make him more badass.) The direction writers take characters in are supposed to upgrade them into something newer and better than what they were before (AKA Character Development) with Katharine her direction downgraded her character. So the direction wasn't unclear so much as it just really sucked. This is truly the only mistake I believe Julie and Kevin made. They originally planned to have Katharine appear in like two or three episodes of the whole second season (WHICH IS PERFECT) to having her appear in many many more than that. It fleshes out a character very fast who isn't supposed to be fleshed out that fast and promptly leads to what we have now (Character Derailment).

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To bad I love katherine...

Dairlove

I agree with the rating. This season hasn't been as good as previous seasons in my humble opinion. Best character: Stefan Salvatore. VERY complex and dynamic character this season, easily the most layered and interesting character on the entire show. Closely followed by Klaus, for always keeping me second guessing and not too far behind that, Caroline Forbes, for never disappointing me and ALWAYS bringing entertainment in every scene she is in. Can I also just say it is refreshing that after 2 seasons FINALLY another character other than Damon gets best character? It's about time. Worst character: I have to agree, Katherine hands down. Honestly, she changes every time we see her, just to be a plot device. Remember when she first came and she actually had a purpose? Warning of Klaus etc. She really should have died when Klaus came to town, so that we got the idea that he really is a villain who should be feared. Now it is like they have gotten carried away with this once awesome and evil character, and turned her into what ever is necessary for the plot line at the time, she knows everything according to the writers, but never actually tells anyone what she "knows" until it is convenient to what is happening. I wanted to hit someone in 3x09 when she was the "saviour" of the episode, she is supposed to be the villain. Dobrev does a great job at playing her, but her characters time is well up, she has no reason to be on the show anymore. Best episode: End Of The Affair. Paul Wesley you genius. Also The Reckoning gets an honourable mention. Worst episode: Homecoming. I felt like I needed to hit my head in a wall after watching that incredibly predictable and overall lame episode. Most Interesting Development: Tyler as a hybrid. Very interesting and I can not wait to see where they take it. I think Tyler is a very interesting character, right up there with Stefan in the way of complexities, and I can't wait to see more of his character this season. Biggest Surprise: Klaus and Stefan were friends. Best Bromance: Klefan. Shocked that this wasn't even a contender. I kind of find it adorable how they almost seem in love in some scenes, and how Klaus is this massive villain, yet he constantly refers to Stefan as his friend. Just adorable. Most Misused Character: Bonnie. I won't say Katherine because I want her to die already, but Bonnie needs a storyline STAT, and by storyline I don't mean "Doing anything to save Elena" aka everyone on the shows storyline, I mean an actual storyline. Maybe do a Willow and go bad? UGH. JUST ANYTHING. Hopes for 2012: Not a fan of Delena in the slightest. I feel a vast majority of their scenes are incredibly forced, because given all of the crap Damon has done to Elena, no self-respecting sane person would ever develop feelings for him let alone actually get with him/do the deed. Gross. I personally am not a fan of the love triangle, I am much more interested in Klaus and the hybrid army. I hope we learn more about what a hybrid is/how strong they are etc because their strength seemed like a bit of a disappointment in 3x09. I also hope for more development with Stefan, I don't want him to go "good" in the matter of an episode, I want to see that development happen over the span of the season. I want less of Elena's blood is the answer to everything, it is getting TOO predictable, and I want this season to end in an awesome war of some sort between Klaus's hybrid army and Team Elena. Also I want to see where Tyler falls within all of that. Oh and I want more Forwood.

Rryann

B?really?. . . it should be A+!

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I agree that its so cheap to pick Klaus as best character, he's not part of the regular cast because he would get boring fast. He is only included on maybe half of the episodes and while interesting right now, is wearing long in the tooth. I want him dead and gone for good by season 4, at the absolute latest. Damon and Stefan are the show and they have really hit their strides. Its amazing that Stefan is so much better as the old Damon but without Elena, never want the old hide from reality Stefan ever again! Damon is even better caring and with Elena, its unbelievable that I'm actually dying for delena. I'm so anti ship and pairings but Its very obvious those two are so much better together. I agree with most of the right up and loathe the ghost episode. Oh and why did Stefan get no love? !! I've really loved his journey and where its taking him, some characters are better off standing alone. Very few are stronger alone and those that are....are truly epic. Stefan is an INCREDIBLE lone wolf, makes me happy to see him finally free to be himself. He is no good hand cuffed to a female, if he has be with a female let it be a STRONG and "bad" vampire like Rebecca or possibly Katherine......or heaven forbid Tyler die...

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The midseason finale deserved an A. B??? Really???? The TVD midseason finale was one of the best episodes, unlike the end of the affair. The end of the affair was far from being the best episode. I think that the best episode should have been the reckoning, ordinary people, or homecoming. The best character so far is Klaus??? I'm sorry, but I totally disagree. I think it should have been Damon, Stefan, or Mikeal. But I do have to say, I definitely agree with hopes for 2012. C'mon Stelena fans, at this point Damon does deserve Elena.

Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.

Damon

Damon: You know what they are? Children. Like lighting a candle's going to make everything OK, or even saying a prayer. Or pretending Elena's not going to end up just like the rest of us murdering vampires. Stupid, delusional, exasperating little children. And I know what you're going to say: 'It makes them feel better, Damon.' So what? For how long? A minute, a day? What difference does it make? Because in the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is hole in your life where that somebody that you cared about used to be. And a rock with a birthday carved into it that I'm pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit. Because I should be long gone by now. I didn't get the girl, remember? I'm just stuck here fighting my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.
Alaric: I miss you too, buddy.

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