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+.


2/ I agree that it's not a surprise to hear Elena telling Stefan that she doesn't know what she feels but at some point it was an important moment because it shows that she's starting to understand and accept that she has feelings for Damon too and to realise that she has to deal with it instead of fighting and denying it.
3/ Seeing Damon fantasizes about Elena wasn't made to make us see Damon's love for Elena which is something have been shown and assured all along the show but it was part of Rebekah's torture plan for Damon and me in the process.


I just wanted to say that I loved and enjoyed this episode immensely and that I'm far away from being disappointed by this episode or by this season in which laughed and cried, I felt joy and pain, love and hate, in which I've screamed of happiness and sadness and till now I still feel excited and keep waiting and counting the days till the next episode.
1/ I 'm enjoying the storyline of the love triangle still I understand that people feel tired of it and that they want it to end and who doesn't want to see that ? , to see his favorite couple together and if not to see them move on with their lives and have another love intrest, but even that we know that a decision will be made at the end of this season I think that this decision wont be the final decision because I believe that the finale decision will be at the end of the show and not at the end of the season.


I don't want the Originals to die. Klaus and Rebekah have their differences and she wants a family real bad. I wanted Karoline and Klaus to work as a couple very much however I don't think she will kill him. This Alaric "alter ego" history seems to be pushy and with dead end. I think he should die. Bonnie should release her "mojo" and become powerful. Cause for a witch he hasn't been very helpful at all. Now, where is Elijah? he might not be the strongest vampire but he's the one Klaus fear the most. He has a soft spot for Elena we got that. Jeremy and Tyler are poinless at this time. Let's see what happens I just wished Klaus didn't die. However I guess Elijah might be ploting something ¬¬


This season started off keeping my attention but I am about sick of all the back and forth....Elena needs to pick already or go with someone new....something needs to be done with Klaus once and for all....Sidenote: I kinda figured they would go this way with the killing of all the vamps because it just wouldn't make sence to only kill the orignals since she Mama witch orginal thinks they all are an that didn't shock me. I think they need to do something with Bonnie or kill her off....I mean she is suppose to be this kick butt witch but so far this season all I have seen her do is gets old quick! Bring in another witch from her bloodline that knows what they are doing or bring in someone that can help her because she needs it. The only one I seem to like at this point is Damon, Caroline and Rabekah! I use to like Tyler and Jermy but they have been gone so long that they can stay gone....bring in some new BLOOD!


@Julie I understand that the story line called for getting a hold of one Original to kill them all. I was just calling out the writers choice for having Finn bite the dust instead of Rebekah or Klaus, who seem to be the one's causing most of the chaos.


Maybe Bonnie can cast a spell to separate the originals' blood from the rest of the vampire species' blood and that way the originals can finally be offed with. I don't actually want to see the originals die though. I love how lonely they all are and how basically they just want to be loved. Sure Elena did start out being a goody two shows and that is the core of her character but having been through so much the girl is bound to change a little bit. I would love to see her and Damon get together but I think her love for Stefan is much more profound. Like her I am torn between them.


i loved this episode and i think that it was way better than the previous one..for the reason that it included all the original characters which i like very much and i think they all are compelling!as far as the triangle is concerned..i agree that the plot is slow..Elena continues to deny her feelings as she cannot cope with reality probably..BUT...i don't blame her cause this whole growing love for Damon is something she could never have wished or imagined before as she was a loyal person committed to Stefan, i prefer watching this struggle between her and her feelings than watch her jump in bed with Damon so easily, like in other shows like Gossip girl (which i have started to hate) or 90210..where love changes so easily and it seems pointless focusing in one couple for long as they usually don't last...this love is epic!Damon and Elena eventually will be together...i know it!


I am a huge Stelena fan too and agree with Spindae...those scenes make my day!!...except when they are not one. For someone that fought so hard to save Stefan when he joined Klaus (Which Stefan did to save his brother/Damon) she sure did get sidetracked to Damon pretty easily. I guess she forgot that he snapped Jeremy's neck, like he does when he gets angry. He is spontaneous and what is to say after he "has Elena" he doesn't move on in his true form. He was crazy in love with Katherine not too long ago, now it's Elena. I don't feel the chemistry between Ian/Nina-Damon/Elena, but sure do with Paul/Nina-Stefam/Elena. There are some things you just can't deny, "actions speak louder than words."


Why elena? Why? Stefan hurts,you can see it in his eyes and voice. I was crying and yelling at you to tell him that you love him. I know that Elena loves Stefan,but WHY she loves Damon? Good this love triangle is so torn.


I know many want to see Elena pick Damon but I still remain loyal to her and Stefan which is what drew me into this show in the first place. I have said it before, but if Elena hooks up with Damon then she is just like Katherine. No morals; you don't hook up with your brother's girlfriend, which since Damon is a dick I can see him doing, but it was painted in this series that Elena was a "do gooder" and this would prove otherwise. I hope she decides that she cares for and love Damon as you would a best friend (platonic relationship) and she and Stefan try to get back to where they started. I feel like since Paul married and Ian and Nina are dating off set that the show has pulled in that direction as well. I don't care for it. As for the originals, since the lineage would mean the demise of many a vampire I hope they continue to appear on the show from time to time. I was hoping that this series would be around for some time to come but maybe not?

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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.