The Vampire Diaries Review: Forwood and Backward

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Forget Alaric Saltzman. Following "Heart of Darkness," another Vampire Diaries episode that teased a decision between brothers by a certain ever-oscillating heroine, it's clear who is actually schizophrenic on this show:

Isn't that right, Elena Gilbert?

Delena Alert!

We're as confused as you are, Damon.

It really is aggravating that she continues to go back and forth. If she wants to make like Kelly Taylor and choose herself over either romantic option, that's fine. If she wants to play it safe and go with Stefan, more power to her. If she wants to follow her heart, as dangerous as it may be, and go with Damon, fantastic.


Yes, it's hard. We've all been there. Okay, we haven't all been stuck between a pair of smoldering, blood-sucking brothers, one of whom has hair that belongs in the Smithsonian and another whose smirk should be classified as a lethal weapon - but we have all had to make tough choices in our love life.

And, more often than not, the person at whom you are staring at before falling asleep, and the person you essentially attack on a hotel balcony, is the person you truly want to be with. Elena seems to know this. Stefan clearly know it. Damon mostly knows it. And viewers most definitely know it. Heck, even Rose the ghost knows it!

(Tangent: she sure was annoying, wasn't she? First, it's been made clear that ghosts in general do not work on this show. Second, we've been watching for almost three seasons now, thank you. We really didn't need Rose to spell out for Jeremy/us exactly why Elena is so torn and exactly what each brother does for her. Less obvious exposition, please, TVD. Have some faith in the viewers' intelligence here.)

So it's hard not to get the impression that Julie Plec and company - as much as I have to trust their decision making, based on over two seasons of enthralling action - are simply drawing out Elena's big decision until the season finale.

And that would be acceptable if the series were giving her something to do in the meantime. But her entire storyline these days is based around this love triangle and, I'm sorry, but it's growing tiresome.

Elena in Pain

Unfortunately, the grating love bug didn't merely bite Elena and Damon this week. It even sank its claws into Caroline and Tyler.

Yes, even after some seriously (seriously!) wild and hot sex, all it took was Tyler catching sight of Klaus' drawing for him to find someplace else to crash. Do I buy he'd have questions? Absolutely. Do I think Caroline should have explained all the weird Klaus wooing that went on for a couple weeks there? Yes.

But, based on the clear feelings that exist between these two (see sex, wild and hot), I find it hard to believe that one piece of (admittedly decent) art would send Tyler packing. Is TVD really going to drag this romance out as well? Must we really see Forwood moving backward? I'm all for Tyler getting angry at Klaus for trying to make a move, but Caroline never gave in and I could do without this contrived drama.

Sigh. Deep breath. Yes, I had issues with the romantic interludes throughout "Heart of Darkness."

Fortunately, everything revolving around Alaric and Dark-laric was a winner. Matt Davis continues to have a blast taking on his alternate persona, as the confrontation between he and Stefan was legitimately intense. The blood spewed. Stefan's thirst intensified. The taunts escalated.

It was fun stuff, and revealing, too. Alaric really is a good guy, one who wrestles with his failure as a vampire hunter, especially when you consider the fates of his wife and of Jenna.

And the end? Now we're on to something! I've been saying for awhile that season three is missing that hook, that ongoing arc that drives everything and everyone toward the finale. But Dark-laric and Esther teaming up? Against both the Originals and the Salvatores? With Tyler caught in between the bloodline battles?

Lines are being drawn, sides are becoming more clear, daggers are being discovered and- with just three episodes remaining - we have a better idea now where it's all headed. Someplace where not everyone can come out alive, that's for sure.

What did everyone else think? Are you sympathetic toward Elena or do you wanna pull out all her straight brown hair? Weigh in now and then get your first look at next week's "Do Not Go Gentle."


Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (779 Votes)

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


I want Damon and Elaine together. Damon brings the best out of Elaine. They make a hot and sexy couple. Stefan needs to go dark. Besides Elaine doesn't love Stefan.


Bored of Elena now should I choose this hot guy or this hot guy boy life is hard. Best of vampire diaries is now Caroline and as ever the ultra hot Damon, I hope Elena goes with Stefan cause she will make Damon as boring as her if she ends up with him!


this has got to be the sexiest episode on the vampire diaries ever! i'm glad caroline and tyler are abck together but by the end of the episode was a bit of a disappointment. the chemistry between damon and elena is undeniable since the start of the entire series but will she ever make up her mind om which salvatore she'll choose?

David and sabrina 2014

This episode mas majorly depressing even though it came with a 3 rating. I just want Elena to choose already and to stop hiding lies from the people she cares for. It may seem good that Stefan is being good so far but now I'm losing the Elena I love. =...( ;O


Finally an episode worth-watching! I have to say the last few episode had left me quite bored, in fact it took me some days to find the time to watch this one.
First of all, definitely loved Dark-laric! I think this two-faced character really gave Matt Davis the chance to show how good he can play! So thumbs up..
As for the love tringle, it was obvious we all needed some sex (thanks Caroline and Tyler btw). Damon and Elena have a good chemistry and it's nice to see them togheter but, on the other side, the authors simply can't keep showing this undecided, unbereable Elena. I mean, that's crazy, she kisses him (and then, can't be missed, she cleary smirks with satisfaction) and then starts questioning and thinking about it. Only problem is things should be done in reverse! First you think, then you act. Ok, she's trying to choose...but you cannot play with these doormat-vampires, yes, it definitely makes me wanna pull out her hair and tell her "come on, be an adult for once in your life, do things and be damn well prepared to face the consequences!" ok, I just wrote too much! Now let's wait for next thursday!
Oh, I liked the idea of Esther and bad Alaric working togheter..finally something new!


I was about to fall asleep during this episode when the "kiss" woke me up. It was HOT. Elena has way more chemistry with Damon than with Stefan. Now I fear the writers are going to drag out her decision making. I'm ready for the Originals to die, for good. I'm tired of them--and that's the writers' fault; they used to be interesting. Alaric--he's bland and I never bought him as a killer. Tyler--they made him disappear for so long, I don't care about him anymore. They should have showed Tyler being more sired to Klaus instead of him leaving after just one incident. I miss the natural flow that the show used to have. Right now, there's just too much going on.


Has anyone else noticed the resemblance of this love triangle to the Angel/Buffy/Spike conundrum in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Angel (or Stefan), is the good one, the one that Buffy (or Elena) will always truly love. But Spike (or Damon), is the one that challenges her and who is changed because of her goodness. And who she ends up loving not because of some weird soulmate-nothing-in-common thing, but because she watches him grow and mature. Parallels!


Yes, I wanted to pull Elena's hair out with what she did on this show. What a SLUT? How can you do that to Stefan and how can Damon do that to his brother? Elena's charachter is completely ruined now and she can probably just die already and become a vampire and that would probably make this show a little more interesting at this point.


Like a few others I too am a little so tired of the three some thing. Just a couple of rems. Catherine loved them both but she finally admitted she loved Stef more. I think Cat would b a better fit for him now than Elaina. They have more of a personally match. Damon is so over Cat in the first season its a win win. Just my O....

Allison berry barbieri

That said, I do have concerns over the direction of the show and don't think the writing and story lines are quite the same as Season 1 for sure, and even Season 2 (which got kind of muddly with the moonstone curse thing)...I really love this show and I'd hate to see it "jump the shark" or lose that awesomeness that made me a TVD fan from episode 1...

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 19 Quotes

Elena: Why don't you ever let anyone see the good in you?
Damon: When people see good they expect good. And I don't wanna live up to anyone's expectations.

You're good Stefan again. You're in control. You might get the girl, but you lose the edge.


The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 19 Music

  Song Artist
Florence the machine never let me go Never Let Me Go Florence & The Machine iTunes
Mississippi twilight starting now Starting Now Mississippi Twilight iTunes
Song Dying To Be Born Civil Twilight