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.


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+.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Boring epsiode was boring. The episode had no purpose except to retcon, FINALLY RETCON out the damn rings the entire fanbase has been hating for two years already. Otherwise it was like a black hole of boring, sucking out any fun or excitement and ultimately, yet again, just a filler. I would rather we have spent the episode SEEING how BOnnie and Abby and Caroline deal with the problems they have, than watch holy Mary Sue Elena Gilbert flail around pointlessly with mister cardboard matt donnovan, while melissa(who needs to GTFO out of this show) tries to pretend she can act and becky stands around being useleess..


Something felt very off about this episode,and I think it was Damons dialogue throughout....what this episode also showcased in this viewers eyes was how boring the show will be once Klaus and the originals have been removed from the picture.I actually missed sissy ass Klaus today lol.Strange episode indeed and not very good.


To me, this episode was a filler. Sure it might have been interesting at some parts, but there were moments where I was craving for a Klaus dose (**), moments where i was bored... specially because the excessive amount of flashbacks!
And thank god, it picked up those last few minutes!
I definitely like that for a change Alaric is becoming the centre of the story. But since this story is most probably going to be front and centre for a while, i hope it picks up, however i have a feeling it won't. Praise yourselves people, i have a feeling Jeremy is coming back! (woohoo) Back to winy Stefan? love it! because basically i still find Stefan annoying, and now even more, and Damon's character has grown so much: no longer as reckless, nor as sensitive. He's now the better combination of his 2 past phases.




Not the best paced or edited but plenty of interesting scenes. We found out some cool info: Sage is over 900 years old! Alaric is the serial killer, Damon and Stefan hadn't seen each other for almost 50 years. Plus we got to see another Forbes finally!


COOL: Defan, a little more of season 1 Damon,
NOT COOL: Dealing off screen with problems again like Bonnie and her mum, flashbacks were pretty boring, Meredith


sage showed damon how to rape woman not cool

Uncle jackass

It did occur to me that Alaric's MO sounds very similar to the 'bad' men that Aunt Jenna said she attracts. I also thought Elena's one way usage of Matt reminded me much of Book Elena's portrayal. It's selfish but consistent with how Elena only is attracted to Damon and Stefan. Did I see any sparks. A bit, but not a lot. Loved that Damon's one line quips were back. "The Order of The Universe has returned..." I didn't like the sappy Damon. For me that was Out of Character (OOC). Nevertherless, enjoyed the brotherhood ride. I wonder if Stefan's obsession with afixing heads was from linked to being a Ripper or a game of Jenga? Overall, it was sappy, maybe too sappy for me episode. I suspect it was the viewer who needed their weekly 'A Fix' of Kluas. As for the Crow reference again, it was hilarious. Well, in this week's Secret Circle was an orgy of crows and they'll drop dead next week...


I love this show but I feel like this episode was hyped up. The reveal was underwhelming but at least it gives the actor something to do. The whole flash of 1912 .... I will shake my head so Sage doesn't pop up until next week in real time?! I like the relationship between the brothers because no matter what they only have each other just like the orginals. I like Rebecca hopefully she doesn't die. As far as Stefan. I felt bad for Stefan because he is trying so hard to be that guy. Elena should probably pick the normal human breathing guy...t


Love the episode it met my expectations. and also stefan isn't a human being so the rules of conquering a addiction like a human doesn;t count thats like humans trying to contol their thirst for water NOT easy

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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.


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

Dr. Meredith Fell