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+.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

But otherwise i couldn`t understand why it seems that you kind of talking this show down. I mean this is a triangle and whatever Julie said it will not find an end in this season. And 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.
Now I have no idea on why the reviewer himself doe snot like it but here's the thing: Triangle does not work. The writing is just not up to the part to make it interesting. Elena is not relatable and has zero-personality and both SE and DE come off as entirely unrealistic and unlikeable pairings that make both the characters involved and the side characters suffer from character degradation.
What is more the show has NO BALANCE between coherent good quality plot and love triangle, as love triangle ATE UP every interesting plotline now.


choose Damon, but he will kind of sacrifice himself to make his brother happy, because he thought Elena and Stefan will be the couple for endgame. So, Elena will be left stucked with Stefan, realzin that she loves Damon more. And so indirectly the triangle will move on..


@Matt Richenthal..I`m wondering about your bad ratings in the last time..And i must admit that i found other recaps meanwhile better than yours. The reviews and ratings from Cindy McLennan (telivision without pity) and Carina McKenzie are more fun and not the dissapointed like yours. Well I`m on your side with the lost threads of the show. And that some good ideas ended to soon. But otherwise i couldn`t understand why it seems that you kind of talking this show down. I mean this is a triangle and whatever Julie said it will not find an end in this season. And 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. So what should be in store for this show if Damon or Stefan will be out of the picture. Caroline is sweet but she couldn`t carry this show. And this is also true for Bonnie, Jeremy and Tyler. So what should happen after a finale descision. My bet for the end of Sesaon 3 that Elena will choose Damon, but he will kind of sacrifice himself for the luck of his brother. And so indirectly the triangle will go on and Elena is left with Stefan, realizin that she loves Damon more..We will see. Ian told E!online that at the end you will see the love that the brother feel for eachother..


i also dont want to see the season four if she chooses stefan (not that i´ve got anything against him) but then we start again, and we could just watch season one again. and for all stefan/elena, and elena/damon it will be the same again in season four. she is with stefan and in love with Damon and no i dont want to see that throug another season again again.


Yaeh Bored now still find us..You stupid nerd..get out of the picture

Kitanishi h mcdonald

VM and BTVS advocated and promoted strong, interesting, INDEPENDENT female protagonists who have life outside their romantic pairings and who CAN survive without those romantic pairings as WHO they are with is NOT what defines them as people. TVD pairings have been incredibly sexist and Damon/Steffie are incarnations of misogyny and TVD's portrayal of a protagonist is the total opposite of everything that feminism stands for.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

I am sorry but comparing Elena Cardboard and Damon/Steffie TO Veronica mars or Buffy Summers is outrageous. Why? Because both of them were complex WELL-DEVELOPED, interesting multilayered flawed protagonists viewers could relate to and the relationships were developed well and were well written. I LOVED DE in S1, but writing has been atrocious since S2 and there's nothing interesting about that pairing. And comparing it to legendary shows like VM or BTVS is...well insulting the legacy those shows left.


You Delena shippers crack me up. I pray you have functional, healthy romantic relationships when you get out of puberty because if you believe the relationships that Elena has with either of the brothers is healthy or normal (negating the fact that they are vampires), then you need a reality check. Stop defending Damon. He did some pretty atrocious shit.
Stop defending Stefan. He did too. If you have to choose the lessor of two evils, go with Stefan. But if you have two brain cells to rub together, then you should hope that the Salvatores get different girlfriends and leave whiny-ass, can't make up her mind Elena in the dust. Seriously. Who goes from brother to brother; especially just because the other left town?


Saw an old ep from Veronica Mars yesterday and their words are killin me..
Logan: Come on, you know I'm not talking about Hannah. I thought our story was epic, you know, you and me.
Veronica: Epic how?
Logan: Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed. EPIC.
Veronica: Come on. Ruined lives? Bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?
Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.
For me this explains Damon and Elena. It`s not easy and not always beautiful..but it`s all i want for my life. Love Stefan and i feel sorry for him. But if i have to choose. I will choose the stony way with Damon.


I reckon I'll only continue watching if she chooses Damon. It will be tiresome if she just chose Stefan. Ugh!

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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