The Vampire Diaries Review: A Deadly MiStake?

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It's done. It's over. I'm right back where I started.

I feel your pain, Stefan Salvatore.

Following "The Murder of One," for as much as I've tried to fight it over the past few episodes, I must now admit: The Vampire Diaries is running in place. It's not really going anywhere. It's burning through storylines so quickly that it's then forced to go back and recycle old ones... only to quickly finish those off and move on again.

Stefan's Soft Touch

Last week's TVD installment, for example, ended with the meant-to-be chilling line from Damon: let's go kill some Originals. Except all I could think at the time was: really?!? Why? What have the Originals even done in the recent past? Isn't that arc over with?

Heck, Damon has slept with Rebekah, Caroline has flirted with Klaus, Elena and Elijah have a cute little bond going... Aren't these groups practically closer to friends than enemies at this point?

Here, meanwhile, I experienced the same unfortunate feeling of deja eww, not again! Case in point: Klaus is now back to his plan of building a hybrid army using Elena's blood? Again, didn't this storyline come and pretty much go nowhere? Many weeks ago? Does the show expect us to get re-invested in it? Or to come up with a new way to tell it?

The fleeting/ever-changing stakes has been an issue for most of the season. Mikael came and went. Then the Original Witch came and went. Then the Originals were linked, only to be unlinked within a couple weeks. TVD keeps moving the target on us, unlike previous seasons where there was a consistent build-up to one or two major events: the tomb/Katherine on season one; the arrival of Klaus/his hybrid ceremony on season two.

I may have also been finally pushed over the edge when it comes to Ms. Non-Independent herself, Elena. One moment she's pleading with Stefan to change plans because Damon is in danger; the next second she's telling Stefan how worried she was that Klaus might kill him. She's torn. We get it. That's fine. It's even interesting when woven well into ongoing, overarching storytelling - but it's now become tiresome, shoved down our throats in what feels like every other scene.

I don't know what I feel, Elena told Stefan near the end of this episode. And it may have been a major blow to his ego, it may have been a total shock to his system (although, come on, he knew they kissed. Was Stefan really surprised his ex sort of has a thing for his brother?), but it's been hammered home to viewers for most of season three. Was anyone surprised to hear Elena utter these words? Did anyone feel like it moved the story along?

And this moment wasn't even the worst love triangle-based scene! That dishonor would fall to Damon's dream, where Elena came to save him, fed him her blood and was about to kiss him before we were snapped back to reality. Fantasy sequences rarely accomplish anything aside from filler. Again: what did we learn here? Damon fantasizes about Elena? Damon loves Elena, something he's already told her and the audience? It was simply a waste of three minutes.

One final gripe before I focus on the positives from the hour: Bonnie has to go. If she can be so easily convinced to use her magic for evil, she's a perpetual liability. All Klaus had to do was threaten Jeremy and her mother and - presto! - Bonnie is at his service? What would stop him from doing this at all times? Why not just have Bonnie living in his mansion, casting spells left and right that would help his cause?

Fortunately, her role did serve one purpose aside from irritation. It led to the funniest Vampire Diaries quote of the episode, courtesy of Rebekah: Thank you, Bonnie. See you in physics class.

What did I like about "The Murder of One?" The overriding narrative it left us with: kill an Original and all its bloodline members also perish. That was really the only takeaway from the episode, but at least it's an intriguing one. Where do the Salvatores go from here? How does Alaric's psycho alter ago possibly come into play? And, the question that will likely have many fans creating family trees tonight: WHO TURNED ROSE?

What did everyone else think? Are you still intrigued by Elena/Stefan/Damon? Or do you wish she'd hurry up and pick already? Do you, like Caroline, miss well-adjusted Stefan? Does this season feel far more aimless than seasons one and two? With just four episodes remaining, what is it all building up to?

And how much will you miss Troy?!? Let's all take a moment of silence now in honor of that brave vampire.

Check out the promo for The Vampire Diaries April 19 return now and sound off with your thoughts.


Editor Rating: 3.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (480 Votes)

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


I'm sorry but who gives a shit if Bonnie's mom dies. The woman abandons her child twice and were supposed to care about her after the what 4 episodes she's been in (not to mention the whole parents must die thing VD has going on). Klaus hurting Jeremy, I understand if that's why Bonnie did the spell but her mom? Also I'm going to go ahead and say Elijah turned Rose thus starting the vampire bloodline. Why Elijah? Because he and Rebecca are the only two originals that are actually important, and its would be a excuse to bring him back on the show.


This week's episode was okay. Definitely better than they have been recently. I feel like season 3 started out amazing and then dropped after the Holiday hiatus. Hopefully it picks up again soon. I'm getting a bit tired of all the Delena-teasing though. I love them together, but if the writers aren't going to make it happen then they should put us Delena fans out of our misery and make Elena choose already. I know the love triangle is a central theme of the show, but after 3 seasons it's getting a bit old.
Looking forward to the April 19 episode! *fingers crossed* that the rest of the season is amazing.


Oh how I love TVD but tonight my daughter and I both agreed it would be nice to get some new bad guys and some fresh story lines again. But I have hope that us viewers will be blindsided come the finale :)


Im so sad for this show. This season has been more let down than not. Here' s still hoping they can pull it out


Finally we were reminded of how evil Klaus is! It was almost like the writers forgot! And did anyone else see that Tyler's back next episode?!?! It's Forwood time!

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Its official: this episode did not JUST jump the shark(the show has been casually jogging around the shark and jumping over it as a warm up for this entire season). This episode jumped the shark while riding fracking titanic into fracking iceberg, with plec playing benny hill music in that very titanic.


I meant receiving.


What is up with the Bonnie hate, she was far from irritating today, for once I thank the writers for finally revealing the emotional damage she has been recording. Let's not pretend that Elena, Stefan and Damon would not roll over if they either of them were being threatened. Bonnie has to go, sorry but I want her to stay. If anything she is one of the most realistic characters on here, I would not gave lift a finger to save Damon, he snapped her mothers neck and made inappropriate comments about it. At least she called Elena about Damon.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Boring, full of retcons, plain pointless. So kids, what did we learn from this episode? 1. Elena continues being there and being useless. Seriously, I have seen an extras in the shows developed MORE than her.
2. show continues introducing characters and pointlessly murdering them to be "edgy".
3. Plec loves retconing and asspull twists that make no sense.
4. Misogyny and sexism are the keywords for the plot developments of female characters.


Kitty, stop possessing Matt body. I definetly agree with this review that I feel I do not need to even include anything because you did it all for me. I also like that they did the line of vampires die thing and glad that the Salvatores are giving killing Klaus a rest. I am glad that Caroline quote that why do she have to be the one to distract Klaus all the time.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 18 Quotes

Elena Gilbert, savior of the curse and the damned.


Damon: You know what they say: The way to a psycho killer's heart is through his stomach.