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The Vampire Diaries Review: Breaking the Bloodline

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24 has nothing on The Vampire Diaries.

On "All My Children," a heart-pounding episode full of both action and emotion, Damon and Stefan made like Jack Bauer. Except the terrorists were vampires, the full moon was the ticking bomb and the world would actually have been a safer place if they had failed at the mission.

But not their world. Neither Damon nor Stefan could imagine a world without Elena and they turned an innocent woman in order to save her. It was just one of several morally grey acts throughout the installment.

Stefan vs. Bonnie

There really is no black or white anymore on The Vampire Diaries. The show has created such a well-layered, fascinating universe that viewers can endlessly debate the choices various characters make.

Should the siblings have sacrificed Elena in order to remove a killing machine such as Klaus from the planet? Probably. They are partially responsible going forward for every life he takes. But can anyone honestly say you would let your true love die if you had it in your power to save him or her?

Should Elijah have kidnapped Elena? Not if he aspires to be more than a monster, as he so righteously and profoundly put it to Rebekah near the end of the hour. But he was desperate to live. Again, who can say they would do it differently?

A look at almost every character tonight reveals multiple shades and sides, as the past few weeks built to an episode where agendas, feelings and motivations collided. To wit:

REBEKAH: Easily my favorite performance of the evening. She got wake up next to Damon, for starters, and then rub that in Elena's face. She then talked some serious smack in the caves (Why don't you sit down and shut up before I ruin everything by ripping your head off?), but also proved she possessed brains to match her brawn and beauty, dousing Elena with gasoline when her enemy thought she was safe.

Yet behind it all, there was clearly pain. I picked up on it the same way Elena did when she finally talked Rebekah down. This is someone who has been betrayed by her own mother and, prior to that, literally stabbed in the back by someone she considered a friend. It almost seems like years ago, but it was really only a couple months ago, when Caroline really just wanted to fit in at high school.

Elena ruined that. Rebekah was acting out like anyone would, just in a slightly more dangerous way because, you know, she's a vampire.

DAMON: The dude is definitely getting his mean mojo back. It's true, Stefan, he is better at being the bad guy. But it's different this time, there's a sentimentality mixed in to his nefarious actions. He's not killing just to kill or turning just to turn. He's doing it, in this case, to save his brother from a guilty conscience and to save Elena from... dying.

Moreover, he can actually admit that! Talk about progress. This is a Damon Salvatore who is in touch with his sensitive side, yet NOT letting those emotions get in the way of what needs to be done.

THE ORIGINALS: I'm gonna lump the rest of them in to one section here because I just marveled at that gathering outside the old witch house. This is group of people we were conditioned to hate not very long ago, some of whom we only very recently met. Yet an entire scene was built out of their fate and I found myself rooting for... I didn't even know what. That was the beauty of it.

I should have wanted Esther to succeed, right? Just consider the body count on all of their resumes. But the way TVD has driven home the concept of family, and depicted so many sides to both Klaus and Elijah, I simply watched, dumbstruck by how well the show has woven these individuals into the fabric of Mystic Falls. Granted, the conclusion was a tad melodramatic.

Where did Esther actually go after Abby was turned? She and Finn just... left? And Finn scattered? It's hard to imagine we won't see them again, but it felt a bit cheap to have them all just leave off-camera.

Of course, Klaus and Rebekah are still here. And they apparently have something new to fear. A tree. Looks like these two need to take another road trip and do some major gardening again.

MEREDITH: Just kidding. She has no layers. We all knew she was shady all along, didn't we?

BONNIE: She still bores me. But at least the turning of her mother has potential. It could hurt her friendship with Elena and, remember, Bonnie has never really been a fan of vampires. Now she reunites with her parent and just a few days later - bam! - blood sucker central. Who is gonna tell Jaime?!?

Quick bites:

  • Mother made us vampires. She didn't make us monsters. We did that to ourselves. Who doesn't love Elijah?!?
  • I'm surprised you have time to call, what with all this Original sex you've been having? Alaric best not be dead.
  • Does anyone else want to see Candice Accola front a band called Blonde Distraction? We all know the girl can sing.
  • Damon, The Vampire Gigolo. He should put that on his business cards.
  • If Esther had the power to turn all her kids back to human, why not just do that and avoid killing them?

So no more Vampire Diaries until March 15. And, as great as this episode on its own was, I must say: I'm not overly intrigued by the two cliffhangers. There's a new white oak tree and Meredith is the Mystic Falls murderer. Okay. Neither of those, by themselves, leave me dying for the next new episode.

But, on the whole, I love the integration of Klaus and Rebekah into this world, and I think the show has handled the Damon/Elena/Stefan love triangle as well as any show in recent memory. Heck, the relationship between the brothers is more interesting than the one either shares with Elena. It's really at the heart of The Vampire Diaries.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (627 Votes)

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

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My biggest question is: is Alaric dead? I mean I know he was wearing his ring, but Meredith isn't supernatural so doesn't that mean that he's going to die now that she shot him, and plus she knows about his ring! Also I hope Elijah isn't gone for too long, I love him!

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I rarely disagree with the reviews on here, like ever. But I hated this episode. Bonnie's mother getting turned into a vampire? Seriously? The white oak tree had a sapling? Great, so now there's that. Elena has compassion? Most of the time, not enough compassion to actually get anything done or make a good decision. I feel there is a decline in one the greatest shows of our time.

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In this weeks episode of TVD Jacob pretends to not care that Edward is actively pursuing Bella again. He's not drinking blood and he's acting like wimpy Edward again. Jacob, long suffering guy that he is, gets over his love for bella quickly so we can get back to the Edward Bella relationship as soon as possible.....yuck!

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ALSO as much as I don't want to Alaric to be dead, it's getting kind of old with him dying almost every episode and then coming back. What is this like the 10th time this season? Boring, either kill him or leave him alone for a but! If Meredith is going after humans connected with vampire methinks Matt is next on her lit! Could be interesting.

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ALSO im totally over Bonnie. This is a repeat of season 1 after grams died. Bonnie gets mad at Elena whenever things go wrong. Yes input was to save Elena but Bonnie has helped kill people in the past to help save Elena (John Gilbert, uncle mason). It's time to write bonnie off the show she is a plot device and an annoying one at that. I hope this isn't the end of klaus and Caroline! I thought the tree cliffhanger was dumb but Alaric getting shot was awesome. This is one of my favorite episodes of the season by far. Can't wait for march 15th!!

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Oh Klaroline... believe me, I can't believe it myself. It defies my good senses and better judgement, but I totally ship them. I'm a little heartbroken after what happened tonight. But I hoped it's not nipped in the bud. Maybe Caroline could even do a little thing to turn things around and make it up to Klaus. He'd so fancy that. I think...

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Loved the entire episode. So much was going on with every character but they managed to connect them all. Characters like Caroline and Alaric who usually are off doing their own things still managed to incorporate their romances (klaus and Meredith respectively) while at the same time incorporating them into the main plot. Genius. I also was NOT expecting them to turn Bonnie's mother into a vampire. As soon as I saw it I said Why didn't I think of that!? The writers on this show time and time again prove how clever they are at giving us twists. Sad to see Elijah go but there isn't a ton to do with his character now that he's moral (plus the actor has another show lol) but Im super happy rebekkah and klaus are sticking around. Most developed originals! Make rebekkah a series regular please. ........

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@Sodone @Mia @ AmyGirl I think they should just waste 2 and a half seasons alluding to a potential romance between Damon and Elena and then midway of season three call "do over" and pretend like it never happened.

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Does anyone know a good link where I can watch this episode?

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@Sodone don't forget the part where Damon is constantly saving Elena from herself and her stupid ideas. Wow this series is starting to remind me of a book I read...

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 15 Quotes

Why do you look like someone just show a panda bear?

Damon

Elena: If you're mad at me, Damon, you need to get over it.
Damon: Oh, I'm over it.

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 15 Music

  Song Artist
Song Poison & Wine The Civil Wars iTunes
Civil-twilight-fire-escape Fire Escape Civil Twilight iTunes
Song Medicine We Were Promised Jet Packs
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