The Vampire Diaries Round Table: "The Ties That Bind"

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A pair of family reunions dominated the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries, while Stefan showed some heart and Alaric displayed some stupidity.

Which scene stood out the most? How excited are we to welcome back Elijah? Join Round Table panelists Matt Richenthal, Steve Marsi, Dan Forcella and Eric Hochberger now as they break down "The Ties That Bind..."


What was your favorite scene from the episode?

Matt: Abby texting to Bonnie while the random hybrid dude stood nearby. She made Leonardo DiCaprio in The Descendants look like a text messaging amateur!

Steve: As Matt sums up very well in his review, there's almost too much going on from which to choose, or know what to invest ourselves in at this point. I was probably most interested in Tyler's storyline, though. Can Caroline's dad really fix him, and will he be the key to bringing down Klaus if so? It makes one wonder, and half-close one's eyes during every terrifying transition scene.

Dan: My favorite was Stefan's reaction to finding out about the kiss.  At first it seems he's in shock, which is why he just walks away quietly, but then he gets angry and gives his bro a good right hook to the jaw.

Eric: Sure, it's cheesy to pick the obligatory TVD cliffhanger as my favorite scene, but the second I saw that dagger in Damon's hand I eagerly thought... Elijah!? And they delivered to a giddy fan.

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Did you feel bad for Stefan when Elena told him about the kiss?

Matt: I did. It's been clear for a couple weeks now that Stefan is in denial. Of course he has the same feelings for Elena as always, he's just been acting out and focusing on Klaus because he didn't want to face the harsh, snark-filled reality: she's fallen for Damon.

Steve: I had mixed emotions, which speaks to the brilliance of this love triangle and the performance of all the actors (I'll elaborate more in question #4).

Dan: I did. I don't really know why, because he's been an absolute ass hole as of late, but I felt bad for the guy. The bro code is one thing, but the actual brother code puts things on a whole other level. As much as he knew Damon wanted Elena all this time, I bet he never actually considered something happening between them. It was pretty heart-wrenching.

Eric: Since FIOS decided I didn't need those 10 seconds, I cannot possibly answer this based on his actual reaction. But, either way, yes! Poor guy threw away his humanity to save Damon, only for him to violate the bro(ther) code.

Stupider course of action: Alaric telling Meredith about his ring; Elena leaving out the sheet that identified Abby; or Abby not thinking ahead when she took Jaime in years ago?

Matt: Abby taking in Jaime. Look, there are certain precautions you need to take when you're a powerless witch on the run. Foremost among them: do not invite others to live under your roof in case your past one day catches back up to you and a half-vampire/half-werewolf compels your quasi son to take action that threatens multiple lives. This is Former Powerful Witchery 101.

Steve: Alaric was distracted by Dr. Fell's hotness and Abby was dealing with some pretty significant external factors at the time, so both of them can be forgiven. Elena leaving out the sheet would never happen in real life, though. No one involved in any sort of covert activity would commit a blunder that obvious, save for O.J. leaving one bloody glove he wore while murdering his wife at his house and the other at hers. The Juice may have been acquitted, but in having Elena leave evidence simply to lead Stefan to her, TVD writers are guilty of a semi-weak plot device.

Dan: It has to be Alaric telling Meredith about his ring. This is life and death. He has that ring to protect him from dying, and whether he thinks the good doctor is a supernatural or not, he should tell no one about his life-saving ring. What a moron.

Eric: Hotness or not, you save talk about your live-saving ring for pillow talk! Everyone knows you can only trust a woman after...

More welcome return: Elijah, Bill Forbes or a semblance of humanity in Stefan?

Matt: I'm not sure if it makes sense within the show itself - didn't Elijah prove his loyalty to Stefan on the season two finale? - but gotta go with the obvious answer here: good to see you, E.

Steve: The latter. Ancillary characters come, go, die and come back to life so haphazardly that I'm rarely surprised, even by the better ones. I love the many layers of Stefan, however. Will his humanity ultimately win out? Will he snap and go off the rails like a bloodthirsty sociopath again? Paul Wesley and the writers are great at keeping us guessing every week.

Dan: Elijah! The dude is completely awesome. It really doesn't matter who he sides with, now that he's awake, he's going to be as cool and ruthless as ever, and it's going to be amazingly fun to watch. Did you see that heart-ripping bit? There will be more of that to come, and I welcome that more than anything else.

Eric: Did I not answer this with number-one? Elijah! I love me some HRG  as much as the next former Heroes fan, but the Originals are a little more developed in my TVD heart.

Is Elena really better than both Salvatore brothers?

Matt: Is that really the point? We can't help who we fall in love with, can we? If the question were as simple as with whom we were best matched ethically, Elena would still be with Matt. But that guy is so boring I fell asleep before finishing this sentence.

Steve: If you define "better" as not having slaughtered hundreds of innocent people during various "ripper" phases throughout life, then yeah.

Dan: No. I paraphrase Zachery Ty Bryan in the movie First Kid when I say that I don't think Elena is better than... anybody. And even if she was, you can't be better than Damon and Stefan Salvatore. Well, unless you're Klaus, then you are just God's gift to earth, and you can do no wrong in my book.

Eric: Sorry Elena, nobody is better than Damon. Nope, Dan, not even Klaus.

Which is more painful, transforming into a werewolf or giving birth?

Matt: Transforming into a werewolf, no doubt.

Steve: Transforming into a werewolf, hands down.

Dan: Transforming into a werewolf, without question.

Eric: Transforming into a werewolf, d'uh.

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


Elijah should really upset Klaus by inviting him to his wedding Elena. Speaking of which, can't wait to see Elena's reaction to her favourite Original's return, after all he did make her go through the whole ridiculous 'sacrifice' and didn't even keep his word to her, (forget them eloping then). He deserves a clip round the ear from his favourite doppelganger (if he doesn't break her arm first) BTW nice haircut.


I agree with "Annie" and the episode was pretty bad by TVD standards. Everywhere and Tyler should want to break free for himself not anyone else and I like Forwood. I also prefer the slightly bad Stefan, much better then the puppy dog follower....he's my fave without Elena and she is better with Damon


The best thing about this show was Elijah being back and Tyler trying to stop his sire bond.


I love the fact that Elijah is back! And that it seems that Stefan is also coming back. I feel that TVD is in the right track now. I love E.


Q1: Elijah's comeback of course! When i saw the dagger in Damon's hand his return was kind of expectable but he still nailed that scene!
Q2:Yeah...kind of... He sacrificed everything (he even denyed his humanity) in order to save his brother and protect his girl...He must feel kind of betrayed and like he has noone left by his side.( Damn! And i don't even like Stephen)
Q3: Alaric for sure! Mer screams psycho bitch from miles away...
Q4: Certainly not the last! I liked badass Stephen... Now he'll go all softy again!
Q5: I think it was the most stupid thing Stephen ever said! Who cares if she's better or not! When you fall in love with sb it's his imperfections that you MUST adore the most.
Q6: I don't know.Only when Tyler gives birth we'll know for sure!


Eric! I love you for standing up for Damon! He's been the true hero this season, though some don't recognize it. People always bring up Damon's awful past, but think about Stefan's past. It may be offscreen, but he mangled and killed people. FOR FUN. People seem to forget that. And Damon is so wonderful because of his depth and character evolvement - and that fact that he's reckless and impulsive and snarky but ultimately driven by love.
Not because he's hot, everyone. Sheesh. Everyone on the show is hot.


Men... you have no idea how painful childbirth is! im sure any woman out there would gladly swap childbirth for an easy break all your bones werewolf transformation.


Just to say one little thing about Tyler. I am not against Forwood at all but I think it's bad that the writers are presenting it as he's going it for Caroline or at least that everyone think he does. I mean, he should do it because he wants to be free from Klaus, not (only) because of Caroline...
But, apart from that: Elijah's back!! YYEEAHHH!!


Damon is not a good guy. Or a bad guy. Stefan is not a good guy. Or a bad guy. Elena, according to the writers, is an angel. There is such thing as multi-dementional characters, which Stefan and Damon were created to be. Vampires can NOT be completely good, however there's no saying they can't be completely bad.


I love how easily it is for people to forget the bad that Damon did at the beginning of the series. They now think he is all high and mighty. Do I think damon has changed for the better? Yes. Should you automatically forget about all the people he killed at the beginning of the series just because he has "Changed"? NOOOOO! Elena, Stefan, and Damon, along with everyone else in their world, are ON THE SAME LEVEL!!! Nobody is better than the other. Every single one of them has their faults. Get over your infatuation of Damon just because he is hot and look at the character. The layers that involve his character. There is good and bad with in him just like everyone else. It does not make him better than Elena, it might make he a better bad ass, but not a better person all around. ps not a Damon hater. Just a hater for people who over look everything bec a person is "hot"

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Damon: What's her damage?
Alarc: No damage.
Damon: Come on, Ric. It's a fact of life. A girl that smart, that hot? Damaged.

Bonnie: What's going on with you two?
Damon: We kissed. Now it's weird.