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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?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (1037 Votes)

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

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it shud be stephen and elena!!!

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i l0ve stelena!!

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a elena tem escolhe oque o coraçao pedir mais eu fosse ela eu escolheria os dois ou talves damon mais ele esta com nina dobrev e stefan nao sei se ele tem alguem

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but now that elena is a vampire doesnt that mean that she is going to remember meeting damon before stefan

Allyv12

One word: DELENA!!!!!!!

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This finale was amazing, I cried, laughed, smiled and ended with my jaw detaching from my mouth.
I cannot wait to see the next season. It will be so good.

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This show is truly amazing, keeps you on the edge full time. There's a lot of Damon supporters but hey, sorry, i really really really hope she choses and stays with Stefan all the way. Great cast, great direction.

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As far as My dearest Klaus is concerned... yay klaus is alive! Julie Plec said that Morgan will be back as Klaus in long term so what now?? Just enjoy Caroline-tyler''klaus'' interactions as long they last! I do want Klaus to win her over.. the scene on 21 were he told her ''it's me.you are safe.we ll save elena'' it was oh my god! So sexy...I need Klaus' redemption,addition to the gang.. In a way i consider him to be i much much much superior case of ''chuck'' in GG... starting as the bad and lonely guy,in klaus case a mass murderer but because of love turning into good! Klaus for ever!!!!!!

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This was definately the most schocking finale on tvd! Although many support that the season lack of direction and the triangle has become tiresome and i did for a while (from episode 15 and later),i had a change of heart from ep.21...All were done the way they were supposed to be! we thought that S3=originals but in fact it was Elena's life before and after... It was clear that she felt so much for Stefan because he rescued her and was guilty because she was supposed to die with her parents and she didn't know how to live anymore- all that came full circle on the finale! She died like she was supposed to 2 years ago and her ''debt'' to stefan is complete... To all Delena Fans i beieve that in the end you will be satisfied! this show has the unique ability to restore the wrongs of the past in such a beautiful way!
Elena will be a badass vampire- i know! i know that a serious storyline will be to find a way to reverse it but a really hope they don't.. Everything is so much more exciting right now and all the things that were annoyning( elena=damsel in distress and all trying to her life) will cease to be!

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This is the best television show I have seen in years!! The story lines keep you on the edge of your seat. Damon, oh my, he is absolutely gorgeous. We discuss this at work all the time, you see I am not a teenager, I am a mother with almost grown children! This show has completely captivated me. Thank you CW for a fabulous show.

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.

Damon

Our life is one, big proverbial coin toss.

Damon

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
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