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'm so shipping Meremy (Matt and Jeremy) Not only because is it a play on "Marry Me" because of Mr. Commitment (aka Matt). I mean seriously they'd be the perfect couple. Elena has already reduced Matt to her gay BFF that she talks about BOYZZZZZZ with. All of Jeremy's relationships with girls have failed (partially because the majority of his exes died...) But whatever, Meremy for the win. Why would Elena meeting Stefan first change anything? Really? So forced. Vraiment stupid. If anything when you meet the second and like them you should question why you would when the first was so great. I'm not done with this show. But... I'm not excited for the next season to roll around either. I find that the way Elena treated Damon has maybe ruined DE for me. You can't even say "I Love You" to a (maybe) dying man that has risked his life for you multiple times? Oh well.


I don't get why everyone thinks taylor is dead?? hello?!!? klaus also was in alaric's body and well alaric survived,.. taylor was just acting that way because klaus went into his body,not because he was dying.And since the salvatores and caroline are still alive I'm pretty sure tyler is as well.


I definitely see that the writers are setting up Delena to be the end result, but to be honest, I have had it with her playing it safe always. Now we are in for another season of her being torn and confused about who she loves.. and if she does choose Stefan, we are in for her basically being with him while having feelings for Damon yet again. Other than the new vampire element, it is going to be the same Elena and Damon dynamic that we had for 3 seasons. I am bored by it. Its like they can't put Damon and Elena together because they feel like the show would lose something, but they should just come up with better story lines and keep us interested. Us Delena fans deserve some darn Delena at this point.. and at this rate, she won't even choose him until the end of the show and we will never actually get to see them together. We are totally being ripped off.


I think she will be with Damon for a little while next season, since she found out about meeting Damon first until she realizes she loves Stefan.


So wait a minute...The Forwood goodbye scene was actually a Klaroline one? No wonder why i freaking loved it! But where the f@@@ is Tyler? And what got into Bonnie... I kind of like her dark and badass, but i still find her change a little abrupt.
Damon was awesome!!! Loved his first meeting with Elena. Loved his last scene with Alaric :((((Bye, Bye Ric)
And the Originals! And above all...Elijah!!!! His scene with Rebekah was heartbreakingly beautiful.
So Elena as a vampire. I like the idea. It would be a bit more exiting if not everyone in Mystic Falls hadn't turned before she did. I'm sure Mat will be the only one staying human in the end.


I still think Delena's endgame. Why would the writers put in those flashbacks and let Elena say that thing about Damon consuming her (that sounds... Kinky. LOL) if they aren't gonna end up together? And yes, the look on Elena's face when Stefan kissed her wasn't the look of love. It was the look of pity.


I am in the minority when I say that I enjoyed this episode. I think that it tied up some loose ends and left others tantalisingly open. I am rather annoyed that Elena copped out by choosing the safe option but hey ho, 3 months and that'll all change. I thought Caroline saying goodbye was beautiful, and I'm intrigued about what'll happen with this new, rather odd triangle with Klaus sharing Tyler's body. Damon on the phone did make me giggle!
Also amused that everyones glad that Bored Now is threatening to leave. My two pennysworth is that please stop expressing your opinion like it's all of ours, and that it's the only one that matters! Thank you!


Elena loves Stefan which is why she choose him. BECAUSE SHE LOVES HIM! Safe or not it doesnt matter because she wants to be with him. That flashback to Damon meeting her first was dumb and pointless. And a little creepy. She said she cared for Damon not loved him. And I really dont see how that flashback could change her mind. It doesnt change how she met Stefan


YES!!!!!!! STELENA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Maybe I'm reading into it too much one of the breakdowns for the finale I read that the episode was more about making the right choice for love (even if it wasn't the one you wanted). Did anyone else get the feeling that Elena was just going through the motions with Stefan? It didn't feel legitimate to me. So I know this is really analyzing but here's what I think:
Elena knew she was dying from the hemorrhage and she knew that Damon and Stefan might die too. I think even though part of her loves Stefan that she feels a great deal like she owes him for saving her from the wreck. Did you see her face after Stefan said "in case we don't have time for goodbye later"? That didn't look like love to looked like guilt and obligation. I really feel that Elena thought it would cause more damage to both brothers if she told Damon that she wanted him. Elena KNEW she was dying but she wasn't 100% sure they would (how could she be giving everything she's been through?). Don't you think it would have been harder for them to move on if she had chose Damon? I mean, Damon finally gets the answer he has been waiting for all these years and Elena dies before anything can come of it? The other thing with the compulsion and Elena remembering all of it when she is turned...everyone only seems to be pointing out that she will remember meeting Damon first. What about the time he was in her room and told her he loved her and compelled her to forget it?? She will remember that too.
Also if her feelings are amped up as a vampire and Damon already consumes her will she fight that times 10???? Just saying...
If anything I think it more likely that Damon rejects her after having his heart broken again then she not choose Damon next season.

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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