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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.

JUST DECIDE ALREADY!

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."

Review

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+.

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I liked this episode, it was good. I was so happy to see Rose again, I missed her. I cried twice during this episode. I was shocked by the twist at the end with Esther/Rebekah. Never expected that to happen. Overall good episode.

Ambrose

Honestly, I hate Elena. She never knows what she want's and she keeps messing with Damon and Stefan and I think she will chose Stefan but because of her feelings for Damon Stefan will reject her and she will then rush into Damon's bed! Also it would be nice if she finally sleep with Damon so we all can move on. And for season 4 please find her a new boyfriend,someone fun and dangerous,someone like Klaus or that new mysterious guy that everyone is talking about saying that he is even more terrifying than Klaus.

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so this love triangle won't end until the end of the show so enjoy the ride like I do plus for those who are insulting Elena and keep saying that she's a sinner for loving Damon 1st she's Stefan's ex-girlfriend so she's free to love and kiss whoever she wants 2nd if the probleme is that Damon is her ex-boyfriend's brother so you shouldn't have watched this show from the beginning.

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@ leila: I just want to say that I'm happy to see you on the commentary again I really messed your comments :)
This episode is a wonderful, amazing and awesome episode, I love Esther/Rebekah shocking twist, Stefan & Alaric brilliant scenes and my best part is Damon & Elena's road trip: I love the bed and the kiss scene which is a masterpiece ( I lost counting how much I repeated it and every time I watch it I feel breathless and butterflies in my stomach) and I love their fight even that it was confusing to hear her saying that she doesn't know if she has feeling for him specially after that Passionate kiss still I feel sympathetic toward her and I think that she knows what she feels and what she really wants but she can't say it loudly because she's scared about it and its consequences.
Finally, I want to add that we all knew from the begining that the story of this show is based on a girl who fall in love with two vampires brothers so this love triangle won't end until the end of the show so enjoy the ride like I do plus for those who are insulting Elena and keep saying that she's a sinner for loving Damon 1st she's Stefan's ex-girlfriend so she's free to love and kiss whoever she wants 2nd if the probleme is that Damon is her ex-boyfriend's brother so you shouldn't have watched this show from the beginning.

Amie

Continued Just think about it, the might as well have called this show: The Love Complicated Life of An Mystic Falls Teenager. I am not saying get rid of either brother, all I am saying and the rating from this episode (which have dropped severely) prove that shirtless guys and sex scenes are not enough to have a good show, there still has to be a good plot to it and all the characters are supposed to contribute to the story.

Amie

So what should be in store for this show if Damon or Stefan will be out of the picture. Well, I would not state that for sure. See, the problem is this triangle is overshadowing everything else that should be more focused on. Even in the books the triangle was not the focus of the story, it formed and developed along with it, with all the supernatural stuff going on. Here, unfortunately, everything has been zeroed on Elena, all the decisions made are to protect Elena, everything is done in the interest of Elena, not Mystic Falls and its people - everyone wants Elena, all villains are connected to Elena, everyone is concerned about Elena. All the other characters are left as if to just go along with the flow, apart from Caroline almost everyone other character is a "back up dancer" for the Elena and Co show - Matt, an interesting and strong character in the books, is a boring ass sad dude here. Bonnie is a go-to-witch. Tyler is left to deal with the sire bond of screen. Just think about it, the might as well have called this show: The Love Complicated Life of An Mystic Falls Teenager. I am not saying get rid of either brother, all I am saying and the rating from this episode (which have dropped severely) prove that shirtless guys and sex scenes are not enough to have a good show, there still has to be a good plot to it and all the characters are supposed to contribute to the story.

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I love the show and I think the writers are going to do something great
ine the nest three weeks...

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

As to add to the points I wrote about triangle: BECAUSE of how uninteresting and unlikeable all the corners of the triangle are and because of how VERY badly it is writing, triangle comes off as irritating. Good quality compelling and well written love triangles can add a lot of enjoyment to the work of fiction(and even then should not be the sole focus of work of fiction). In case of Elena, since there's NOTHING to like or be interested in and since the character had NO BUILD UP and continues to be identical or even worse than Bella Swan, her "Struggle" comes off as annoying and boring instead of compelling and relatable.

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

So what should be in store for this show if Damon or Stefan will be out of the picture. Hmmm...how about plot, character growth and character development? Actually returning to telling compelling and interesting storylines of those characters living in this supernatural town and NOT relying on cheap love plotline gimmicks to carry on the show. ?

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

nd i go with Paul who said during the Paleyfest that no one will go on watchin if it would find an end. The triangle is butter and bread of this show. As much as it might surprise you, A VERY BIG part of the fanbase does NOT watch the shows for love triangles. Soap operas are for that. TVD did NOT attract viewers and critics with some compelling love story, because IT WAS ALWAYS the weakest point. It got where it is because of good quality writing and endless potential the show had in S1. Now once all of that is gone and only triangle remains, reasonable people end up asking: Why is this show still on air? What is there to be told apart from atrocious love triangle that comes off as bland and annoying and where you can NOT relate to none of participants?

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.

Damon

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
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