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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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OH! And in regards to your obvious comment. NO ONE IN THE SHOW HAS EVER POINTED THIS OUT! They always praise Stefan, blah blah blah. No character ever rooted nor enlightened the others on Delena and though we ALREADY KNEW ALL OF IT. It needed to be said and Rose was the perfect one to say it!

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I LOVED the episode. I liked Rose coming back and the Damonx Elena action was incredible. Damon has made mistakes, but he atones for them, and takes the hate the ensues. And what about all the crap he has done for Stefan? Damon has constantly take the fall for Stefan, saved him from himself with his bloodlust and gave up Elena. He has been Letting her hate him, she MADE THE MOVE! And know it isn't Damon's fault Stefan went to Klaus. How can you fault someone for dying? Stefan made a choice, one Damon would ave made if the roles were reversed, not fault should be placed anywhere. And Damon didn't move on her, he tried everything to get Stefan back, offered himself as a replacement for Stefan, had Andie until Stefan killed her etc etc. EVERYONE knew Damon loved her, and used it when it was advantageous for them. Especially Stefan. Damon loved her, and now he has earned her love in return. It's a love triangle people!Get over it! For 2 years Damon watched the girl he loved love someone else, he deserves her too. Their long journey, from hate to understanding to acceptance to friendship to love is Beautiful AND UNIQUE. I wish Stefan happiness, but it's time for Damon to be chosen FOR ONCE!

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

I am not sure why both brothers keep fighting over Elena. Not much to her. Tall, slim, pretty, no money, no job, air head, too many problems/issues, high school student, no fun, and lusting after them both. Let's not forget: ignorant, hypocritical, weak-willed, personality-less, bland, dull, clingy and most likely won't ever enter college with her considerably low IQ. Also, prety much no fashion sense at all.

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Jojo, you hit the nail right on the head. After what Stefan to save the life of his brother, that scumbag ending up with the woman he loves is nothing less than disgusting. And that's even disregarding all the major crap that Damon has pulled over the life of the series. Fiction or not, it takes a really shallow person to want Stefan to get dumped now because why? Oh yeah that's right, because Damon is sooooo hot. This show has become a real disappointment. I won't be around next season - and maybe not to the end of this one.

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Avery, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? The first time in the whole series it hasn't gone in Stefan's and Elena's direction? Have you even watched TVD this season? Stefan and Elena have been estranged since it began.There has been one heartbreaking moment after another between them for the past several episodes. There has been virtually nothing romantic that has happened between them. The only thing that has happened to really give us Stelena shippers any real hope is when they said they stilled loved each other, but then that was quickly squashed by Elena not being able to tell Stefan that she didn't have feelings for his brother. So that pretty much ruined that moment. And now in last night's episode Stefan and Elena have a heavy make-out session which was definitly headed for the bed when Jeremy showed up. But that was merely the knockout punch by Julie Plec to culminate an absolutely lousy season so far for Stelena shippers. It's been so long now since those two were a couple that it's almost as if they were never really together. And now we get to enjoy watching Elena get bedded by Stefan's brother, an especially cruel development for Stefan, given that the only reason Damon and his ex-girlfriend can become lovers is because he saved his brother's miserable life and entered a life of pure hell for him. He should have let him die. Plec apparently wants to send a message here and one that Delena shippers must all agree with - avoid making sacrifices for others because if you do, it will likely come back and bite you on the butt.

Veetayt

Anyone else feel that the writers arw now doing a little people pleasing, that's why things have been kinda dry lately. No hating but the Delena kiss was a little too forced for me, i felt like they had to intensify it for it to have the desired fan reaction. Tyler and Caroline are now lacking romance, when they don't argue about sirehood they're having sex, we need tender moments! Im beginning to think Matt and Caroline were better at this romance thing. If Klaus wasn't psychotic they would make a good match too. The old Damon was fun, full of punchlines and kickass, you'd want him on your side, this tender Damon they're tryna make isn't working. The writers failed to show the story and had Rose explain it to us, (another people pleasing move) hope season 4 will be better and fresher and not needing a witch to fix every little problem.

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At this point, I'm pretty sure that I don't care who Elena ends up with now. My strongest reaction to Damon and Elena making out at the motel was to think "Buffy and Spike had to wait like, five and a half seasons for this," LOL.

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I hate how when there's one episode, ONE episode where there was like no stefan/Elena and instead Delena an all of the SE-ers freak out like it the worst thing in the world. Seriously, chill out. Just because things arent going in your direction for the first time in like the WHOLE series, doesn't mean you have to start talking bad about damon and Elena's relationship. As far as I'm concerned, Rose had it spot on in this episode, and spoke what we all know deep down.

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I am not sure why both brothers keep fighting over Elena. Not much to her. Tall, slim, pretty, no money, no job, air head, too many problems/issues, high school student, no fun, and lusting after them both. The one that walks away is the better man. The one who stays and claims victory better collect another prize. Perhaps an older, wiser Elena who apologizes for stringing them both along would make a better mate. Elena does not seem to know how to recognize love from lust. I do believe she loves Stefan, but she is lusting after Damon. Bad boys are always ones to lust after, but try to love one - women end up feeling empty and alone. They cry, they are confused and unsure of their feelings. they go back and forth = Elena. How much confusion did she feel with Stefan? She knew. There was no question and by episode 2 there was a kiss with no regrets. They had their ups and down and no third party was hurt. It was a relationship that developed and the audience cheered on. The triangle does not make it interesting, it is tediuous and is dragging on too long. No will be happy. Someone will feel left out and sad. We will then have to deal with someone leaving and Elena continuing to think about them while being with the other and the triangle lives on. We also may have both staying, she chosing and dealing with puppy dog eyes for another season. Even worse, she choses herself like every teen drama from the past.

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Really annoyed at everyone hating on Tyler... Imagine if Caroline did that to Tyler.. She got annoyed in ep. 6 bc rebekah gave him a blood bag and now he comes back after going through excruciating pain for her and finds out the guy who is the reason they broke up in the first place is putting moves on his girl and he's suppose to just take that? I love Caroline she's my fav. Character but y didnt she tell Tyler the truth from the get go? Elena and damon were soo hot together but I won't ever be able to see them together bc Elena how she is could nvr be with Damon.. Unless they r planning on making her change drastically in the next 3 episodes I can't see it... Love Matt davis' performance and loved him and Stefan together! Cannot believe ester took over rebekahs body!!! Is she dead or will it be the same as when klaus was in alarics??

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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