Homecoming was anything but a celebratory occasion on The Vampire Diaries this week, as a villain fell, a brother was freed and many corpses were stolen.
What did our Round Table panelists think of the 2011 finale? Matt Richenthal, Steve Marsi, Eric Hochberger and Dan Forcella chime in below. Reader feedback, as always, is encouraged...
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: I'll be very specific: when Mikael pulled in that Hybrid to prove he can compel members of Klaus' army. It was just the latest shift in an episode full of twists, turns and tense moments. Mikael and Klaus were akin to offensive and defensive coordinators trying to out-strategize one another. In the end, the former got sacked.
Steve: Klaus and Mikael squaring off in the doorway. Edge-of-your-seat stuff right there. Besides Eric's obligatory "any scene with Caroline" response, is there be any other choice for this question?
Dan: Steve's right. There's no other choice for this question. The climax of that showdown between Klaus and Mikael was magical. Tell me you had any idea how that was going to go down.
Eric: Haha, thanks to Steve I don't even even need to make my obligatory Caroline reference here. And for that, much like Dan, I can rip off his scene choice. Not that we had any other option.
Was Mikael killed off too soon?
Matt: I don't think so. We were treated to the great exchange everyone referred to above, providing even more layers to Klaus and, let's face it, this show can only juggle so many characters at once. We only see Alaric once every four weeks as is.
Steve: Yes. I like that the show actually provides resolution to story arcs and has the guts to kill off characters rather than dragging things out endlessly for the sake of it, but Sebastian Roche was great and I feel like there was more material there.
Dan: No. I don't think so. At times it seemed like TVD got into a habit of just bringing out a bigger and bigger bad guy as the weeks and seasons went on, so bringing out a new big bad and killing him off so quickly was a bit refreshing. Klaus should remain the main target for a while because he's that awesome.
Eric: I actually think so. I do agree that we have enough bad guy in Klaus, but I can't help but feel like Mikael was a waste of good talent. Maybe we could have saved the Vampire Vampire Hunter for later in the season...
More surprising: when we learned Katherine had been posing as Elena, the abduction of the Originals or the fact that no male high school student asked Rebekah to the dance?
Matt: Rebekah all the way. She's been practicing all these cheerleader moves in front of the football team for weeks, right? Where's the cocky quarterback who has taken notice of this new girl and wants to diagram a play in her end zone... if you know what I mean? Come on.
Steve: Rebekah is new in town, mysterious, intimidating and almost unattainably hot for the general population, so I can kinda see that. Katherine as Elena ... it's hard to be thrown for a loop by something that's been done almost too often at this point. Which leaves us their abduction of the Originals by default. I definitely didn't see that coming and it set up a great arc for the spring. You would think Stef and Kat would refrain from poking the vampirical bear that is Klaus after all they've been through, but revenge is a powerful motive.
Dan: Yeah, we've seen the Katherine thing before and no normal high school student would have the courage to ask out the incredible Rebekah, so I will go with the Original abduction. Way to go, Stef!
Eric: While I admit I definitely was shocked by the classic Katherine swap (I mean, it's been awhile!), I have to give it to Rebekah not finding a date! Look, clearly I was never a jock in high school, but I've watched enough television to know the cheerleaders always go out with the football players. There's no way they didn't see her at cheerleading practice wearing those short shorts and ask her out on the spot. Right? Support me here Mr. Athlete, Matt.
Could you beat Klaus at beer pong?
Matt: Probably not. But Never Have I Ever?!? I'd have him wasted in 30 seconds. Never Have I Ever... lied about yanking my mother's heart through her chest? DRINK!
Steve: Does Eric worship the ground Candice Accola walks on? No offense to your boy, Dan, but I am the man at beer pong. He'd get schooled unless he compelled me to lose, but that would just be pathetic on his part.
Dan: No. Neither can Steve. Nobody can. ou can't beat Klaus at anything. You can't even get your murder plan correct against him. He is the absolute man!
Eric: God no. Did you see how badly he was stomping that other team? It was like one cup to seven at that point. I'm much more interested in challenging him for a little 2-on-2 guy/girl teams. His ego would probably pick the most useless supernatural on his side, Elena. I got dibs on Bon-Bon. Sorry, Caroline, but I'm taking a witch in case I need her vampire migraines in the clutch.
Name one thing you hope to see happen on The Vampire Diaries in 2012.
Matt: How about one thing I hope NOT to see? Katherine. She really has to go.
Steve: Two words: For. Wood.
Dan: I hope to see no dead people return to Mystic Falls.
Eric: Steve! Stop stealing my Caroline answers! You make me come up with real answers here. As much as I love Klaus and Rebekah bonding with the gang, I want to see some serious Good V. Bad in 2012. Let the real evil come out. And more Forwood.