The Vampire Diaries

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The Vampire Diaries Review: Raging Against Death

by at . Comments

The Vampire Diaries told us this week, in one of a number of emotional scenes, it's okay to feel. That's what makes us human, right?

So allow me to let my humanity shine through and say this about "Do Not Go Gentle:" I feel... torn.

It was mostly a terrific episode. Seriously, I can't think of another show that can pull of such conflict - both emotional and physical - in the course of one hour, causing my eyes to both well up and pop out of their socket. It ended on a shocking note and it set up a clear direction for the final two episodes of the season.

Decade Dance Dates

But it was the best scene of the episode, heck maybe even the best scene in series history, that has left me feeling a bit empty. I'm talking Alaric. Outside of that cave. Torches lit. His loved ones all around. Set to "Be Still" by The Fray.

It was beautiful shot and beautifully acted. It was a fitting farewell to one of my favorite characters. I didn't want him to die, but it's clearly been a possibility for weeks now - both in terms of the storyline and Matt Davis signing on for Cult - and if one half of the best bromance on television has to go, there simply couldn't have been a better way for it happen, right?

Except it didn't happen.

Alaric lives, or at least a far more evil, far more blood-hungry version of Alaric. Was the concluding shot awesomely frightening? Yes. But do I feel a bit like Damon with Elena now, like TVD is just messing with my emotions and jerking me around? Sort of, yeah. And I didn't even get to ferociously make out with a hottie in exchange for this confused heart!

I just got my sofa cushions went with tears.

Another problem I have with Alaric's revival? Esther is just too powerful at this point. Can she ever die? Can she just inhabit whatever body she chooses? Feels like a bit of a storytelling crutch. Death has to stick more on The Vampire Diaries. I don't wanna see any more ghosts (I guess Rose is simply gone now, following her random commentary last Thursday night?). I don't wanna see Esther come and go as she pleases, no matter what happens to her on This Side.

And I don't and this to be the end of Ric and The Dick. Come back, good Alaric!

Everything prior to the final scene - which, to be clear, I am quite intrigued by in terms of where we go from here - was simply marvelous. The idea that Alaric visited Esther on The Other Side every time he died, and that she nurtured this supposed vampire hunter to remember what his mission is meant to be, was fascinating and believable.

The scenes between Stefan and Elena? Sorry, Delena lovers, but also very well done. After everything I put you through, I'm just honored to be your date tonight. Who didn't swoon at that line? Can Damon compete with the history between these two? Stefan may be the safe choice for Elena... but there's something to be said for safety when you're surrounded by supernatural beings.

The guilt Elena is feeling, the bitterness from Jeremy over losing another guardian, the desperate gratitude from Damon. I bought it all this week. It was very much earned all around.

And unlike last episode, the love triangle here didn't feel forced down our throat. It was integrated well within the action all around the Salvatores and their shared love.

Tyler, Caroline Pic

And then of course there was the fun scene above, followed later by the only words Tyler needed to hear:

It doesn't matter how many times I dance with him. I love you. | permalink

There's no love triangle here, folks. Forwood forever.

Other worthwhile moments/scenes:

  • Klaus blowing up at his mother. He's angry, he's brave, but he's really just an unloved son. This is one lonely, sad Original.
  • A white oak stake is the "ultimate weapon" for Alaric, "the ultimate hunter?" Don't tell that to an arrow, a bow and Katniss Everdeen!
  • Gotta give props to Jamie the gentlemen. The guy was invited to spend the night with Bonnie and all clothing remained on. Gotta give him props or mock the heck out of him, that is.
  • The title of the episode "Do Not Go Gentle," was taken, of course, from the iconic Dylan Thomas poem. Rather appropriate, I'd say. Alaric most definitely raged against the dying of his light. Will one of his loved one be stuck sending him to eternal darkness before the season is over?

Get an idea of what's to come via the official TVD promo for next Thursday's "Before Sunset" and then sound off: What did you think of all the twists, turns and tears this week?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (342 Votes)

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

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Komal

Really great episode. I didn't know how the dance theme would go over (previous experience has not been kind). And I actually sort of liked Stephan, at least the normal non-ripper Stephan.

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@Allison... my thoughts exactly. Season 1 was greatness personified. The writers took their time building the characters and creating believable stories. There were hardly any twists and they weren't needed. Now we have Bonnie turning evil for some reason that I still don't get. Why now take the time to DEVELOP her character then incorporate a believable twist when the time is right? The decline in quality is certainly not the actors' fault--this series boasts one of the most talented casts on TV today. The problem lies in the script. I agree with "Bored Now" that Matt needs to go. We're on season 3 and his character is still stunted. Get rid of him already. Anyway, I've said my piece. Here's to hoping that some significant deaths happen in the season finale and season 4 returns with a bang.

Charmed jenna

@Bored Now, besides Sage, where are you getting all these sexist vibes from the characters. I feel like there are alot of independant female figures in this show. Also, you may not like it but these odd sort of sexist sounding comments/things or quotes like John's letter to Elena, is still very much alive in small towns similar to Mystic Falls, i should know, so in a sense it's actually quite realistic, escpecially a town planted so knee-deep in it's male-governed history.

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matt how can you claim klaus as an unloved son, lonely and sand and root against a love triangle with caroline?

Allison berry barbieri

@ Sanne, you said "Right now, realistic character development and character depth are suffering for the sake of twists and turns." And I think that is put perfectly. The best part of Season 1 was the way the characters were developing, how their emotions were playing out, there wasn't even a big twist until Katherine appeared really...and I LOVED that...sure some shock is great, but the writers need to go back to "writing base zero" and capture the greatness of the 1st season!

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Vampire Alaric will kill Meredith because she is a vampire sympathizer, or just because she uses vampire blood as medicine. And as happy as I will be to see her gone, it won't be a very shocking twist.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

And Meredith Fell just needs to go.
this so much. Matt, Elena and Meredith are the worst "characters" in this whole show. Matt is just pointless and his S2 plotline of misogyny ruined any character potential. Also the power-progression in show went up way too fast for us to acre. Elena is...Bella Swan. A mary sue of pointless and bland "personality" who amounts to nothing yet everyone counts her as best. Meredith is just....bland. Also second most sexist character after Sage and TVD is already overflowing with Sexism and Misogyny.

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(continuation) I want her to go away, so that they can work on their brotherly relationship; later, they could get two girls for each of them and be happy.
I was laughing when Elena told Stefan how broken she was that now, nobody would look after her (Alaric was supposedly gone)! Because that´s what she does in the show: she has everybody sacrificing for her, begging for her love, putting her needs first, dying or killing for her sake, while she gets to play damsel in distress, telling the brothers how she wants them to be... Be honest Elena, be a hero! Nina Dobrev deserves a better character to work with.
To Elena fans: don´t be upset, it´s just my opinion. And this is still just a tv show, no hate!

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I love this show and this was a great episode. However, I need to say this: I CAN´T STAND ELENA!!! There, I said it.
All characters in the show are interesting, to some degree, but not Elena... I see "Stelena" and "Delena" fans arguing over who gets to be with her! What?! Damon and Stefan are too awesome for this, they deserve better! The love triangle doesn´t work for me anymore. During this episode I was thrilled and excited, but when Elena was on I got bored and distracted... So, if Damon acts the way she wants him to, she has feelings for him, kisses him. But, if he plays hard to get (after all, she has to choose on her own, with maturity) Elena decides to go after Stefan, given that he´s able to be sweet to her and say what she wants to hear! How can she always be so self righteous and, at the same time, play with the Salvatores´ feelings?? What a bitch she´s become! I want her to go away, so that they can work on their brotherly relationship, later, they could get two girls for each of them and be happy.
I was laughing when Elena told Stefan how broken she was that now, nobody would look after her (Alaric was supposedly gone)! Because that´s what she does in the show: she has everybody sacrificing for her, begging for her love, putting her needs first, dying or killing for her sake, while she gets to play damsel in distress, telling the brothers how she wants them to be... Be honest Elena, be a hero! Nina Dobrev deserves a better character to work with.
To Elena fans: don´t be upset, it´s just my opinion. And this is still just a tv show, no hate!

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One of my favourite moments of this week´s episode? deffintly tyler´s entrace. His hand shaking in his suit with the hat to the music by caro emerald... it was perfect

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

Elena: I didn't tell you that so you could torture me about it.
Caroline: What are friends for?

Damon is too arrogant to think his only friend would betray him.

Alaric
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