The Vampire Diaries

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The Vampire Diaries Review: A Case of Klaustrophobia

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Before delving into one of the greatest Vampire Diaries episodes in history - The action! The emotion! The ethical dilemmas! - I must start by correcting Damon:

We did make Elena a pros/cons list. But it's gonna take more than that, man. She didn't seem closer to a decision after reading through the comparisons. Sorry.

Staring at Klaus

Okay, now I can truly start reviewing "Before Sunset," and I'll do so by asking: Are we sure this wasn't the season finale?!? My. Goodness.

The episode wasted no time getting into the action - okay, it wasted a tiny bit of time, giving us a blonde-off between Rebekah and Caroline, but no warm-blooded male in his right mind would consider this a waste - as Dark-laric was instantly on the attack.

He grabbed Rebekah. He was staked by Caroline. He responded by breaking her neck and, a short time later, proving there actually is something worse that can be done with pencils in a classroom other than fill out those tiny little holes on a Scantron. Ouch.

This sequence led to Ethical Dilemma #1 of the evening: to kill Caroline or not to kill Caroline? Granted, it wasn't actually a choice Elena entertained, but it did pose an interesting debate. I mean... is Dark-laric totally wrong here? If we can somehow remove ourselves from the affection we feel for the vampires of Mystic Falls, can we really argue that the town as a whole would be safer without them around?

Major kudos to Julie Plec and company for creating a legitimate villain - in the eyes of any true TVD fan, there's no question that Dark-laric must be stopped - and yet still painting him with a morally grey brush. Let's face it, the guy has a point.

All of this led to the return of... Abby!!! Okay, that may be three exclamation points too many. But she was needed on the scene because Elena somehow figured out that Dark-laric was tied to her (who else figured Damon would be the first to tie up Elena?!?) and the team couldn't actually kill him. They needed to desicate him, like Abby did with Mikael. This was actually an effective, necessary use of the witch-turned-vampire and a nice callback to an early plot point.

It's here we can stop again and focus on Ethical Dilemma #2: Elena could have killed herself and put an end to Dark-laric. That's a mighty major step, no doubt. I'm not saying I could do it. But the show did a masterful job this week of depicting situations that actually did have alternate ways out, albeit ways that would lead to the deaths of major characters.

It's one thing to make viewers' heads spin via non-stop action. It's another to make the brains inside those heads consider what they would do if faced with similar circumstances. Great work throughout when it came to the latter.

So... Elena is tied to Alaric. And Stefan, Damon and Tyler are all tied to Klaus. (It was pretty clear he was telling the truth about their bloodline based on Stefan's reaction when he actually reached inside Klaus' chest). But Tyler is no longer tied to his maker, as Ethical Dilemma #3 involved the decision this hybrid arrived at in grand fashion:

I'm not your little bitch anymore. And why isn't Tyler Klaus' little bitch anymore? How did he break the sire bond?

By breaking every bone in my body a hundred times for the girl I love. | permalink

Once more, with feeling: Forwood. Forever.

Klaus at the Door

I've been delaying it for as long as possible, but now it's time to say goodbye.

Bonnie did succeed at the spell, but she did so with Klaus, who was trying desperately to flee town with both his real family and the ability to make a new one - and we all know why, right? At heart, this is simply one lonely hybrid. He yearns for attention. Why do you think he throws so many hissy fits? Why he continued to have faith that his old friend, Stefan the Ripper (sorry, Stefan the Rippah) would return to him?

Klaus just wants to be loved. And while that will never happen in Mystic Falls, it happened in living rooms around the country. Joseph Morgan brought this character to life in every conceivable way: he was scary, he was funny, he was sympathetic, he was vulnerable and, in what I have to imagine will be his final scene for a long time, he was in a state of shock.

Klaus didn't utter any final words. But his eyes - and the perfect, heartbeat-based score - said it all. A perfect exit for a perfect villain.

I raise my own shot to you, Niklaus Mikaelson, but I do it out of sadness and respect, secure in the knowledge that we have to see you again at some point... right?

Finally, we arrive at Elena. I've been as frustrated as anyone over the last few weeks - railing against her in my previous TVD review - regarding this dragged-out love triangle. She was just going back and forth on a seeming whim, teasing both the brothers and Vampire Diaries fans on a weekly basis.

But it was saved for me here when Elena just came right out and acknowledged her hedging. If I choose one of you, I lose the other. And I've lost so many people, I can't bear the thought of losing you. That's it. Two sentences, one salient point and I understand. This is Ethical Dilemma #4 from the episode, but it's the only one without a resolution at the moment.

It seemed a bit random and far-fetched for Damon and Stefan to simply agree that the loser would leave town, like the two were simply raising the stakes for the season finale just because. But whatever. That's a miniscule complaint in what was a whirlwind of an enthralling episode.

Where do we stand heading into that finale? Dark-laric has outed himself, Tyler and Caroline to the town council. He wants all vampires dead, and he has to somehow neutralize Elena in the process so she doesn't become collateral damage or sacrifice herself for her loved ones (hence whatever the heck happened at the end... I assume?).

Tyler loves Caroline. Caroline loves Tyler. Rebekah has supposedly fled. Jeremy is painting and having his heart stopped on occasion. Bonnie is spell casting. And Damon and Stefan are actually together and happy. Why do I have the feeling that won't be the case a week from now?

What an hour of television. What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (527 Votes)

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

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Allison berry barbieri

@Double: Klaus presumably turned "scary Mary" who turned Rose, who turned Katherine, who turned Stefan and Damon....Katherine turned Caroline...Klaus turned Tyler...all linked to Klaus.

Marissa

I loved this episode it was amazing and I can't wait for the next episode. This episode was kinda sad at points but happy at others. When they stopped klause's heart I was kinda sad because even though he was the villain all he wanted was to be loved and be with someone he thought as family and the look in his eyes when they killed him was shock and sadness. I loved at the end Elena and her family celebrated even though things wernt that great all they did was kill klaus which was good and something to celebrate about but they still got a lot more to do.

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P.S. - I'm glad Klaus is gone. It was getting old. New villian needed.

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This review was weird. It didn't really mention what actually happened in the episode. Like how Klaus took Elena and was draining her blood. And I think it should be mentioned that when Tyler showed up Elena told him to 'Tell Stefan'. I think that even though that was small, it was noteworthy.
SO next week we see Elijah!!! I am SOOO happy but really worried. PLEASE don't kill him!! Maybe he will be the one to save Elena from the truck after Rebekah causes her and Matt to go off the Wickery Bridge? That would be a very nice twist.
I'm over the whole love triangle. I like Stefan and Damon together WAY too much. I don't know that they have ever been this close?
And please don't let Alaric convince Jeremy to side with him! Ugh.

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This was a beautiful episode, very well put together! All of Damon's non-stop humor, Klaus' clever sarcasm and interest for his special lady vamp Caroline, Tyler's freedom from Klaus finally revealed, Elena not avoiding the brothers anymore, expressing what she feels and the Salvatore Brothers making ammends after a century and a half! I hated to see Klaus in that state but of course, this is not the end of Klaus. I loved the agreement made by Damon and Stephan on if one brother is picked the other leaves town and Damon made it perfectly clear that the one leaving would not be happy with the other for an extremely long amount of years. I loved his comment on after years of being away, the brother will return and this brother will have forgiven the other by then. The Salvatore brother bond was awesome as always when they are getting along. I have a feeling this was the scene fans had been waiting on between the two and it was a beautiful reunion for them with The Act Of Forgiveness and Attonement. Stephan realizes what Damon has done for him all this season and for once, there was no Damon Bashing by him concerning his brother's actions nor his character. Pure Brotherly Love Is What We Witnessed! I give this episode 5 stars *****!!!

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I loved this episode - except for the brotherly bonding about leaving town if Elena doesn't choose 1 or the other. If you love her fight for her Damon - I know she's getting a bit ridiculous but Stefan makes her even more boring! I gotta say I am a Joseph Morgan fan - I think he makes a great Klaus and his weaknesses and hunger for love make him so human in spite of his tantrums. Loved, loved, loved the attempts to get invited in - classic Klaus! I think Stefan will come to the rescue eventually and save him. Come on Elena - just give in and bring back that randy girl who jumped Damon a couple of weeks ago! The chemistry is HOT and Damon will make her so much more interesting (hopefully)!

Leon alexis

Klaus: Let is go play soccer! Stefan: No,thanks I do not whan to. Klaus: But I am going to play anyway,so take this. (boom, door is out!!) Stefan: O.k., o.k, lets go outside to play soccer.

Chrys

That was a very good episode indeed. But i was really sad when Klaus ''died''. I loved that character so much! I can't tell you how pissed i was when i saw the little '' Good Ridance Klaus'' fest they had prepared. Not that i can blame them...But i couldn't stand watching them drink tequilas while i was in a mourning mode!
Best part of the episode... The Salvatore Brothers of course. I'm shipping Delena but it would be heartbreaking to see them separate again over a girl. And did Stephen call Elena a very special girl? In what way?
Also i'm sad about Klaroline not getting any good moments before Klaus' ''departure''. Come on...I didn't ask for endgame. But making Caroline jump from joy for them getting rid of Klaus didn't even give them a decent closure.

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Klaus was hilarious when trying to break into the house. Funniest scene in a loong while! I thought this episode was easily the best of the season so far. The only thing that didn't fit into it was how whipped Damon and Stefan were! "Elena is such a special girl, we're just gonna sit around waiting who she chooses, because that's all we care about"? That is lame, guys! Come on, you're badass vampires and much better as a team anyways! Leave Elena to her brooding and get the hell out of Mystic Falls!

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Unlike you, I have hated the pantomime villain 'Klaus' with his affected accent and speeches. I have just had absolutely no interest in him or his wretched family at all. They have been the wad of hair that clogs up the water in the plughole of the shower, stopping the plot from flowing freely and forcing you to stand around in dirty, cold water that's not going anywhere. Yes, I suspect they'll bring him back. These writers seem to have a dread of actually saying goodbye to any of their creations. And I shall have a hissy fit. Good riddance.

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

Rebekah: Sorry about your teacher, seemed like a nice guy.
Caroline: Yeah. He was.

Since when does sire bond equal mover slave?

Caroline