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The Vampire Diaries Review: Ring the Alarm-ic!

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Turns out, Beyonce had it wrong: if you like it, you really should not put a ring on it. At least not in Mystic Falls.

Indeed, The Vampire Diaries may have returned this week with a visit to the past, but "1912" left viewers wondering instead about the future, specifically: what the heck will now happen to Alaric?!?

Damon in a Bowler

The stunning revelation that this mild-mannered history teacher has been responsible for various killings in town - due to a ring that's caused him to come back to life so many times he now makes Charlie Sheen look stable - takes the series in a whole new direction.

How will Alaric react? Will he turn himself in? Lock himself up? Make the ultimate sacrifice? What help can Meredith, Elena or any of the supernaturals possibly offer?

Considering the news that Matt Davis has been cast on another CW show, we can watch assured that something major will come of this storyline. It won't be neatly solved with a couple of spells next Thursday. Alaric may die, he may go to jail, he may send himself far, far away... but, for one reason or another, Mystic Falls High School should prepare a Help Wanted ad in the near future.

I watched this episode inside a packed auditorium of TVD fans at PaleyFest, and the screams lasted for a solid 10 seconds upon the concluding reveal. Alaric has been such a fun character specifically because he's been used so sparingly, creating a beloved bromance with Damon; awkwardly encountering Elena on the way to sexing up her aunt; acting generally exasperated at all times by his role in the battle between good and evil, yet never to the point where he backs out of any action.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Alaric is always around. He can always be counted on - by both viewers and other characters - to crack a joke or team up with Damon to execute some desperate plan. He's just never at the center of any conflict. He's the guy picked almost last for kickball, yet the guy diving for every stop in every game.

I've always referred Alaric as a reluctant hero. But now that the hero aspect of that description is in question, through no fault of his own, I can't wait to see what the arc brings out of Davis as an actor and Alaric as a person. And one final set of questions before we move on to the brothers, their bowling hats and their beheadings:

What about Jeremy?!? We've seen him die, what, two times already? How crazy will he go? And what will Elena do to prevent a similar fate for her long-suffering brother?

Now, on to Damon and Stefan: In Vampire Diaries lore, it's rare for flashbacks to take a backseat to current day adventures, but I was far more intrigued here by Damon's role as sober coach than anything we witnessed in 1912.

Salvatore vs. Salvatore

Sure, it was interesting to meet Sage, and to witness how Damon went from the sullen blood sucker we saw in 1864 to the passionate, human-hungry man we know today, the same guy who fed on vulnerable women throughout season one. (Man, remember when Caroline was one of those vulnerable women?!?) And, let's face it, both siblings can rock an early 20th century suit.

Still, it's the ever-evolving relationship between Damon and Stefan that is truly at the heart of The Vampire Diaries, and it was fully on display in 2012. Their shared love for Elena has actually brought the pair closer - in a unique, often bloody kind of way - while we learned this week that Stefan isn't the only Salvatore to suffer from some serious guilt. Damon actually took pleasure in unleashing the Ripper 100 years ago. He did nothing to stop it, and when he first returned to Mystic Falls, Damon did all he could to return Stefan to his non-bunny devouring ways.

Now? It's the new Damon Salvatore, doing his best Dr. Drew impression and hilariously guiding Stefan through steps to control his thirst. Yeah. It's gonna take Elena a bit to get over that blood-soaked image.

Forget Stelena or Delena. I'll take all the Stamon (Defen?) I can get... as can Elena, of course, who did a masterful job summing up her feelings for both brothers in a heart-to-heart with Matt.

Smaller bites:

  • Rebekah just hung out this week. Most distracting darts player ever. How did Damon even hit the board?
  • Sage is totally the Dr. James Naismith of the time-honored vampirical "challenge stronger-looking people to a fight for money" pastime.
  • Matt is sort of invisible in Mystic Falls, it's true. He should hang out in the girls' locker room.
  • Take a look now at next week's all-new Vampire Diaries episode!

So no Klaus, Caroline or Bonnie this week. And still no Tyler. But as much as I adore each of those characters (okay, three of those characters), I appreciate it when a show zeroes in on a select few and tells such a tight narrative. There will be plenty of time for us to complain about Klaroline again or wonder about the fate of Bonnie's mother.

This week, I was more than happy to sit back, learn the origin of The Ripper and be introduced to another killer I never saw coming: The 'Ric-er.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (445 Votes)

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

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Jess-gannon

While I found this episode good, I was absolutely shocked to find out that Alaric was the killer! Bravo TVD writers for delivering on that front and the flashbacks were cool I felt the absence of Klaus and Caroline tremndously, thats what stoped me from loving this episode. If Klaus gets killed off I am wondering how the show will keep my interest since klaus and the originals are my favorite Part of the show right now!!!!

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@ Bored Now. I honestly don't understand why you continue to watch a show you don't enjoy. When there is nothing on tv that I actually enjoy watching, I do something else with my time - read a book, take the dog for a walk, do the dishes, chat with a friend, etc. Why waste hours of your life that you will never get back being bored, watching a show that you do not like? It doesn't make sense ...

Amie

Ok so, not a bad episode, but not great either. I definitively like the brothers's bonding scene because having a sibling myself I know how important that relationship over anything else. Like I said before that was probably the only scene I was looking forward to in this episode and it was well shown. Now as for everything else...well, the thing with murderer - yes, shocking to find out it was ACTUALLY Alaric murdering the council members and that it was all about the Gilbert ring, however, I had this feeling a long time ago that the person committing murders is a puppet for someone else..so I did not have an OMG, I never saw this coming moment. This story line with Alaric being the one who commits murders and being thrown into jail sort of reminds me of the books when Matt was accused of raping Caroline. Interested in finding out how things will progress from here and from the promo and the pictures it looks like Meredith is going get either killed or badly hurt. As for Matt and Elena...I don't know and not sure if I really care. One thing I do know is that Elena needs to STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD to try and make everyone saints! Book Elena understood that Stefan needed human blood to be strong because in the end she knew that he would have to protect her and her friends, so she even encouraged him to drink more human blood. TV Elena is acting like she does not get the simple fact that vampires need blood to stay alive and to protect her DUMBASS! And I really missed Klaus in this episode...TVD just feels so back to s1 without him, and I was not a fan of s1.

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@Bored Now, seriously if you hate this show so much, stop watching it, it is THAT simple!

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Here is a little spoiler;
According to Cassidys recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, it’s actually a different Original who’s Sage’s true love. Finn (Casper Zafer), the only O.V. to side with his witchy mama has the tough vamp’s heart… and she wants it back.

Ripleyaeryn

I miss more Tyler than Klaus and in Vampire Diaries.

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I really really really love Damon and Stefan together and i absolutly agree with Julie who told during the PaleyFest that the silent and unadmitted brotherly love is the epic stuff of this TV show. And i`m gettin sick already by both fanbases. The STELENA part is much more agressiv where the other is so full of potential for the writers to drain them out, because they want DELENA so badly. It`s already obvious that the descision will not be make before this Show is over. So please calm down about which Salvatore Elena love most. I`m pretty sure it will change episode by episode. This is the function of a triangle
@Bored now..you`re a little bit pathetic to waste your time with watching a tv show you obviously don`t like..I´m sorry for you

Farsia2010

oh boo hoo, so Alaric killed a couple of people, so what, it seems to be the normal initiation in this town, at least he was out of his mind at the time which is more than i can say for most of the characters in this show, i mean come on! Damon tried to kill Elena's BROTHER not knowing that he had his (now creepy) ring on and still she forgave him and we still love him and he seems okay with it too. Stephan is a killing machine now and we and Elena also still love him, Caroline helped kill a couple of cops when they were torturing Stephan and Damon, nobody is holding that against her, Tyler killed to activate the curse and then some, again we are all okay with it, not to mention the numerous times that all the characters killed the supernatural creatures which were also once human and if you look at Stephan and Damon and just as human still only with extra powers.

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everbody who said this wasnt a good ep needs to stop watching.damn every week its somebody bitchin about this or that enough already.enjoy the show or leave when i dont like a show no more. i dont bitch about it every week i dont watch it at all shows i stop watching
1]buffy stop mid season 4
2]dollhouse stop season 2 episode 2
3]one tree hill stop after season 6
the list goes on

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Vampire Diaries has just lost it's charisma. I no longer feel enchanted with the show.
And Stefan and Damon's bromance sucked outright during the entire episode. The scenes felt so forced

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie, will haunt me, forever.

Damon

You date vampires, Elena. It shouldn't come as a shock to learn that your guardian is a murderer.

Dr. Meredith Fell
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