The Vampire Diaries Review: One Wrong Turn

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Let me start by saying this about "The Departed," The Vampire Diaries season three finale that most definitely gave fans plenty to talk about for the next three months:

That was a beautifully shot, very well done concluding few minutes.

From a bloody Damon Hulk Hogan-ing up and fighting back against Dark-laric; to Dark-laric falling dead and Damon realizing why; to Actual Alaric proving, via a pep talk to Jeremy, that not all ghosts on TVD are useless; to Stefan swimming to Matt's rescue; to Elena dying; to... yes, the awakening that ended it all.

Great stuff all around. But a bit of a mess to get there.

Elena in Despair

Indeed, the finale felt a lot like the back half of season three. There was A LOT going on, but without much of a direction.

Elijah popped up and offered the group a deal. Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood told Tyler and Caroline they had to flee Mystic Falls. We jumped back in time here and there. Dark-laric apparently used the non-corrupt police force to track down Damon.

Rebekah made an appearance. Bonnie cast a spell. Matt drugged his ex. Elena acted far too happy for 6:45 a.m.

It felt like disjointed chaos. It was never clear where everything going, especially as one seemingly big event after another - Elena choosing Stefan, Tyler revealed to be Klaus - took place long before the closing scene. There's nothing wrong with mystery, of course. I'm certainly not advocating that the show telegraph its conclusion.

But there is something wrong when the season finale, the episode to which the past number of weeks should have been building, lacks a flow, like a great many recent storylines were really nothing more than a giant bait and switch to get us to that final moment:

Elena as a vampire.

To me, that's where Julie Plec and company set their sights a long time ago - and everything else was merely a distraction. This is a fascinating development to be sure; I positively cannot wait for the season four premiere, but one terrific payoff doesn't necessarily make up for weeks on end of Elena oscillating between brothers, or the confusing use of Esther, or the back and forth on when or why the Salvatores wanted to kill the Originals.

Again, Elena is a vampire. It doesn't get more intriguing than that. But, man, it took some serious red herrings to get us there.

Dark Side of Alaric

What will it all mean? Will she remember Damon's shocking flashback cameo now that she's turned? Will that influence her choice of Stefan? Will she embrace the change and grow more self-confident, like Caroline?

Or will she fall into a stupor, robbed of her future and made into something she never claimed she wanted to be? Questions, questions and more questions abound.

In other, WTF-did-that-really-just-happen-news from the finale?

  • Alaric was killed.. again! Man, TVD. What did we ever do to you? It wasn't enough to say goodbye to Matt Davis once, in one of the greatest scenes in show history, you had to force us to do it again.

I think this one may stick, however, and while Alaric is simply The Man, he hadn't been featured in any main storyline until he went dark and, once that took place, it was really only a matter of time.

  • Klaus was saved... again! Color me confused on this one. Bonnie chose to save the Original because that meant her loved ones would stay alive. Makes perfect sense. So she body-switched him into Tyler? Where does that put Tyler? Is it just some kind of soul thing? And Klaus is in Tyler's body, but Tyler is still there somewhere, too, and if/when Klaus ever is removed from Tyler, then he'll die... because his body has burned up?

That's how I read it at least. It's far from clear.

Know what else wasn't clear? My TV screen as I tried to watch through tears caused, of course, by Caroline's tears. Candice Accola blubbered away brilliantly here, just moments after cracking us all up with her curling iron line. If Tyler is actually dead, I fear for this beautiful vampire's mental well-being.

  • Elena chose Stefan. This was overshadowed by that whole turning-into-a-vampire thing, but I bought her reasoning. She played it safe, essentially, selecting the guy who made her "glad to be alive," not the one who "consumed" her being. Fair enough. There's fear that goes along with total consumption, while there's safety in mere happiness.

But the love triangle was laid on a little too thick once again. I'm sorry, but Stefan thought he and Damon were dying and one of his first thoughts was how he felt bad Damon wouldn't make it back in time to say goodbye to Elena? Sort of cheesy, sort of hard to believe.

  • The scene where Elena was "forced" to choose because she happened to be in the car was, well, lame. And nonsensical. Was she equally far from each? If so, couldn't the brother have just met her someplace in the middle? And don't vampires run REALLY fast anyway. Quite contrived just to prompt a decision from poor E.

Talk about a great deal to digest, Vampire Diaries fans. We'll go through it all tomorrow again in our TVD Round Table.

My overall take for now: the show stumbled a bit this season, it wobbled a lot on the finale in order to get where it wanted to go, but... Klaus as Tyler; Bonnie harboring (and responsible for) this dark secret; Alaric dead and gone; Elena as a vampire. All shocking moments, all leaving me wanting a lot more Mystic Falls. Is it September yet?

What did you think of the finale?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (1039 Votes)

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


I have come to terms that every TVD fans have their own opinions. So i'm just going to say mine.
I know so many people hates Elena for so many reasons. One of the popular ones, the triangle. And then about every one wants to save her yadi yada yada and so on and so forth. I think Elena is very selfless. She made stupid decisions at times, yes. But everything she did was out of love and selfless reasons. And some of that turned to mistakes. But I don't think she should be judged by that. It's easy to judge when we're viewing as the third party. But when you're at that moment, deciding at that very moment, it's quite hard to take a step back and view as a third party (you'll be biased for sure). Anyways, my point might have nothing to do this episode but just to put it out there. Cause I see a lot of Elena hate comments and I don't think she deserves it.
I'm glad Meredith gave Elena the vampire blood. I hope it's from Damon's line. So that if one original from the bloodline dies, they all dies.
I don't like the twist of Klaus as their bloodline. I hope this will change in the future. Some mix up the writer would create. They're good with that. I was hoping for Rebekah or Elijah to be the bloodline. Klaus is just too predictable.
All in all, I think it's a great finale. Not the best among the three. But it was amazing. I love how Matt is like a brother to Elena. And I hope Matt and Jeremy will be a family. Since both of them are alone now.
In the world where The Vampire Diaries exists (i assume news travel fast among vampires), I wonder what Katharine would feel or think if or when she finds out that Elena is turning to a vampire? Cause when Elena was a human, Katharine might have a shot with either one after a century or so but now that Elena is a vampire, she might not have that shot anymore. haha. Poor Katharine. I love her though.


The truth...the finale went nowhere...she chooses Stefan...yet says that if she had met Damon first....maybe...wait a minute...she did meet him first...he just compelled her to forget...but as I recall Caroline remembered everything Damon made her forget after she was turned so guess what...the love triangle is not resolved by a long shot. Klaus is dead? wait a minute....he's Tyler!...again it went nowhere...we end right where we started(with a crazy original on the loose)...the only thing that really got resolved was Alaric about groundhog day. Elena becoming a vampire was the only thing that happened...and while that opens the door to a lot of interesting directions they could take it, leaving everything else hanging in the wind was just not cool. My guess is that next season Elena will have to make a choice and they will be trying to kill wait a minute...wasn't that this season? Yeah, I'll still be watching...I'm a glutton for punishment.


Okay, maybe I'm the only one, but I'm confused. Did Matt and Elena really go off the bridge into the water. She appeared to drown because Stefan saved Matt (or her parents) first. They went back and forth so much between the first time she went into the water and the second time with Matt, I wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. Then at the hospital they talked about her head injury from the previous episoide was worse than they first thought and she was going to die from it, so Meredith (Paul Wesley's new bride in the real world) saves her by changing her into a vampire. There was no mention about her drowning or nearly drowning. So was Matt and Elena going off the bridge all in Elena's head as she was dieing in the hospital? Or just the part about the first time she went into the water with her parents? If no, then did Stefan pull her out again? What about Matt? Did he drown? Very confusing (to me, anyway).


I literaley clapped when I saw the final scene!


I'm glad we got to see Matt Davis as real Alaric one last time before he is gone, I wouldn't want the last memories of him to be of the evilric. I think the writers are trying to give both Caroline focused ships what they want by putting Klaus in Tyler's body lol. Really sad for Caroline though because not only does she have to deal with losing her boyfriend but now she has to deal with the fact that Klaus has taken over his body. I don't think the fact that Damon met Elena first changes anything. Damon wasn't the Damon Elena fell for back then. He was evil Damon who was obsessed with Katherine still. What would it change if she had remembered? You really think a two min conversation she didn't even know would change the fact that she met Stefan and fell in love with him. She obviously didn't see Damon after that so just based off that interaction it changes nothing. Can't wait for the show to return and see how her being a vampire changes things.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

@If Elena's turning was the conclusion for this season, WHERE WAS THE BUILD UP TO IT? It would have made a lil bit more sense back in s2 when Elena actually talked about all this its like out of nowhere.
Actually i'd say it would have made more sense as conclusion of S1 as S1 actually explored her human life and drew parallels between her and her mother and katherine. S2 had potential in that but the show failed to focus on how the whole katherine stuff and sacrifice stuff affects her life and was too busy throwing us random plot twists already. So yeah, turning would have worked best emotionally and shockingly in the s1 finale, with exact same scene, but with katherine instead of becky.


In the scene where damon meets Elena first, he compels her to "find all that she is looking for".
Then when she met Stefan she says she "fell for him instantly".
Stefan did such crazy stuff to her this year and she forgave him in a matter of seconds.
I think she is on some level "compelled" to love Stefan.
Of course she does but there's a level of compulsion going on because it simply makes no sense. Damon was there for her all year long and that kiss in the motel wasn't normal. They have so much chemistry and an unremarkable bond. And it was so hard for her to admit it for even say out loud that she has feelings for Damon because she "found" Stefan, and is compelled towards him.
And now she will forget. She will still love Stefan, but that bond that was with them bc of that compulsion will be gone and all the memories that were erased with Damon will be restored THUS remaking the love triangle.
There's no way they put that scene in just to show that they met first.


@If Elena's turning was the conclusion for this season, WHERE WAS THE BUILD UP TO IT? It would have made a lil bit more sense back in s2 when Elena actually talked about all this its like out of nowhere. Instead of steadily building believable twists, the writers pull random tricks out their asses. Everything they do is so obvious, no subtly whatsoever. Damon compelling Elena screams plot device, and Alaric telling boring Jeremy that he will watch over him is an obvious a way to keep Alaric "alive" in some way on the show. The characters have all become plot devices instead of real people with real goals and intentions. And, why are ALL of the Originals not dead? From the looks of it, they will be around again in season 4. I shudder at the thought.


She also said that technically elana will remember everything Damon made her forget, And there will be new information next seasons in the first episode, she thinks it just a ongoing friends and a romantic Entangledment That Elena has with Damon, And that she will never be able to shake it compliantly, And so it will cause a complication with Stefan, but don't worry stefan and Elena fans, she also said She is completely commit to Stefan, she loves Stefan That we're going to see them together for a while. Los who know what that means. But her feeling can change and so could there it depend what she becomes next season and who will like it.


I just read the Julie plect talks about the season final, hears what she told ever body,
That she want Elena to change into a vampire for so long now, that this was the epsiode that was she was going to do it. She technically said that Elena is definenutly going to be a vampire next season.
The Oth thing about the whole elana and the brother trangle she said that She always choice what she want in her life and want to be in her life romantically. She obviously Grow. To love Damon and probe be in love with him, But even at her worst she never fell out of love with Stefan, And you just can't let go of someone like that, So letting Damon go was the right thing for her but of course now who knows what's foing to happen, Her life just got turn around and ripped up side down, god only know how the brother are going to handle it,

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The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 22 Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.


Our life is one, big proverbial coin toss.


The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 22 Music

  Song Artist
So what So What Pink iTunes
Low vs diamond wasted Wasted Low vs Diamond iTunes
Shadow rewind airplane Airplane Shadow ReWinD iTunes