We have an alarming situation on our hands at TV Fanatic.
As loyal readers have likely noticed, the weekly Vampire Diaries Round Tables may be humorous, creative and cutting-edge... but they are also a total sausage-fest! That changes today, however.
A few of the female staff members have hijacked these discussions during the show's midseason hiatus, as Leigh Raines, Christina Tran and Carissa Pavlica deliver a women's perspective below on what Season 3 has brought us so far.
What are your thoughts on the new story arc with the Originals? Good, bad, indifferent?
Christina: Good! I thought “Ordinary People” was one of the best Vampire Dairies episodes ever. Oh, wait... I say that about only 75 percent of all TVD installments. Anyway, learning how the infamous Originals came to be, along with Klaus’ betrayal and more, has only left me with even more questions. Like everyone else, I want answers, too, but I also love the way TVD always leaves me flabbergasted with the answers I thought I wanted. More Originals, please.
Leigh: I'm very into the Originals. They've been built up for two years and I think the writers were able to fulfill our wishes. So much of the show alludes to the past, so it's great to hear those stories. Joseph Morgan is fantastic and so is Claire Holt. Now we just need to pull the dagger out of Elijah and it'll be a party!
Carissa: I'm torn between enjoying the historical aspect of everything we know to be true today, and missing the more easy going dynamic of the town waking up to its history as supernatural beings slowly but surely take over the town. There are very big things happening right under the noses of the residents of Mystic Falls, but we rarely see how they are effected. I'd like to see the town, and other families, slowly woven into the core mystery carved by the Originals.
What will the second half of the season bring for Stefan? Will he be able to undo the damage he's done to himself?
Christina: I hope the second half of this season brings more of the darker and colder Stefan. It’s not that the brooding high school boyfriend version was terrible or anything, but Stefan’s just much more intriguing as a vengeful vampire. With revenge marked as Stefan’s number-one resolution in 2012, he will be prepping for his showdown with Klaus and enlisting the help of other Originals and probably Katherine. As for the latter question, I hope so... but not anytime soon.
Leigh: One word, and also another fabulous drama on TV right now: Revenge. Stefan lost his girlfriend, his humanity, his free will and now that he's got control of himself again he's not going to shrink into the shadows. Stefan versus Klaus, game on. Will he be able to undo the damage? Perhaps some of it, but I doubt all. I also think that he's changed and maybe he won't want to go back to being brooding, romantic Stefan.
Carissa: I really like angry Stefan. He's far more interesting than lovelorn, mopey Stefan who doesn't want to be a vampire. As we've learned, he was the first vamp in the family, so the least he can do is embrace it! He didn't need to teeter so far off the edge as to eat half the women in his path, but some happy medium between who he is and surviving in the 21st century might be nice. Oh, wait, that's Damon. He seems to know how to handle it all masterfully. Maybe his little brother will finally take his lead and learn how to mesh the best of both worlds without leaving such a path of destruction in his wake.
Do you think the hybrids will bring about changes between vampires and werewolves (who are not hybrids)?
Christina: I’m not entirely certain. One thing is for sure, though: This isn’t Forks, so I don’t think that it will be as simple as a treaty being drawn up to end the war between both supernaturals.
Leigh: Hmm, interesting idea but maybe they will save that for Season 4. The storyline with the originals still has a ways to go. Mystic Falls needs to pace itself.
Carissa: Since Tyler has turned out so fabulously, I wonder why all of both species wouldn't want to become a hybrid. They're basically unstoppable, and need only worry about being werewolves for a very short period of time each month. They don't look any different or act any different than their previous selves. In the world of mythic characters, it seems the best of both worlds, so why not combine for the ultimate race?
Which actors are making the most of their characters and performances this season? Give us a male and a female.
Christina: I might be a little biased as I’m kind of in love with Paul Wesley, but I think it’s safe to say that Stefan’s been absolutely phenomenal this season. From the heartbreaking Stelena scenes to his ripper ways, Paul’s performance has been the most noteworthy, as Stefan’s humanity has definitely been the most interesting development of this season. As for best female, I’m going with the lovely Candice Accola. What’s not to love about Caroline Forbes? It’s been fun watching her move Forwood and she’s still the best party planner in Mystic Falls.
Leigh: Klaus is the obvious choice here, there's absolutely no doubt that Joseph Morgan is phenomenal in his role. However, he's been great since his arrival, so I'm going to go with some original cast members and coincidentally my favorite couple, Forwood. Tyler and Caroline have stolen the spotlight and I am LOVING it. Caroline is so badass this season. Tyler is more than drool-worthy. He's now a hybrid with an enhanced storyline. Together they create sparks. Screw Delena... Stelana... I'm alllllll about the Forwood.
Carissa: Jeremy finally has a purpose other than whiny little brother, and Steven R. McQueen worked magic with the returning-girlfriends storyline. I look forward to him being included in more adventures in the future, now that he has proven himself to be worthy of working and supporting the group. Nina Dobrev has also done amazing work as Elena. While the character and performance could have taken the woe is me turn after losing the love of her life, she's been strong and always thinking of the endgame rather than her own needs. She's been willing to help Stefan come back, but didn't allow him to do so as a monster. All the while, Dobrev has made Elena's choices and emotions incredibly moving.
Who is the most underutilized character? What would you do to change that?
Christina: Hands down, Elijah. We’ve only seen him in a single flashback this season, and it just wasn’t enough. If I’m not mistaken, Elijah’s coffin is with the other Originals. Stefan ought to bring Elijah back to life first to assist in his plans for revenge. It’s time to take down Klaus!
Leigh: It's a tie between Bonnie and Katherine. They both pop in when they're needed, but don't have real storylines. We need a stronger witch figure. Katherine used to be way more entertaining. Hopefully in the second half the writers will amp them both up instead of just using them as fillers.
Carissa: Caroline. Accola has easily become a fan favorite, and yet Caroline spends too much time on the sidelines of major story arcs. Of all characters, she should be right in the middle of The Originals, as her boyfriend is now the first successful hybrid. Her loyalties have to be torn, yet we've not seen much from her in that regard. Most of the stuff she's doing is secondary to the main plot, but I think she deserves to be more fully integrated, especially since we now know her father has been fighting vamps (maybe her own lineage is wrapped up in the Originals?). I just want more more C.
Any other hopes and dreams as the season progresses?
Christina: I still think that Stelena ultimately belong together, but a part of me is dying to see some Delena action. Blame it on the writers’ impressive continuous development of feelings between Damon and Elena. Enough with the teasing... bring on Delena!
Aside from more flashbacks and stories of the Originals, I can’t wait to learn more about the original Petrova doppelganger. All we know is that her blood was used to seal the sacrifice and she bears a resemblance to both Katherine and Elena. However, what’s she like? What’s her connection to the other dopplegangers, Originals and Salvatore brothers? Is it January yet?!
Leigh: Elijah, where art thou? I also would like to see Elena a little bit happier. I get that she's in love with Stefan and I also get why. (Thank you Netflix for allowing me to re-live Season 1) but at some point she needs to pick herself up by the bootstraps and be a happy 18 year old girl. Go to school, party with your friends, find love with someone who wants to give you that. You're only young once, unless you get turned into a vampire. No more brooding! Obviously this is all easier said than done, but is it too much to ask the writers to give Elena a smile? Just one? Also, I need shirtless Tyler at all times. Thanks.
Carissa: I want more sex and romance. Not because it will necessarily progress the story any faster, or add anything super important to the end game. Just because we have what appears to be one of the most attractive, talented and passionate casts on television. Let's use that people! In between solving world peace and writing historical volumes of supernatural framework, let's see some love and happiness. Watching beautiful people begets happy viewers. Yes, I want the smoldering Delena, but I'd also like to see Forwood on fire and Jeremy with...someone!!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.