The Vampire Diaries Review: A Pierce to the Heart

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Someone has to tell Julie Plec and company that they got Valentine's Day all wrong: it's a holiday where one's heart is meant to race out of love, not fear.

But following the concluding events on "Down the Rabbit Hole," most Vampire Diaries fans are now in full-on panic mode: Is Tyler really gone for good? Is Jeremy actually dead? Is Damon truly a decent person?

And is Matt at least getting paid for all this overtime at The Grill?

Charlie Bewley on The Vampire Diaries

For the most part, this was a strong - albeit far from spectacular - hour of The Vampire Diaries. It meandered in certain places, most of them involving the irritation that has become Shane and the annoyance that somehow, prior to tonight, NO ONE BOTHERED TO ASK ABOUT THE CURE.

Sorry, my keyboard got away from me there. But considering how big of a deal this little elixir became for all characters, it was a constant source of consternation that no one asked the obvious question: How much of a cure is there? Everyone just heeded the words of a professor who claimed to know all just by... knowing it all.

But that ignorance did at least lead everyone to the island and to the well and, by extension, to the developments that now have every Internet user buzzing. Let's break each down:

Katherine is back. Not entirely shocking, as one astute member of The Vampire Diaries Round Table did make this call two weeks ago after that intruder broke into Shane's office. But while we've often joked at TV Fanatic that they ought to changed Katherine's name to Plot Device, I'm intrigued by her appearance here.

Mostly because I can't imagine she wants the cure for herself. If anyone adores the life of a vampire, it's Katherine Pierce, right? She craves power and she's all about survival. No way she's take a sip of something that would guarantee eventual death.

So... why does she want the cure? For whom? Those are the questions we ought to be asking.

Tyler is gone. We all love Michael Trevino and we all hate to see Caroline cry, but this departure would have more impact if Tyler didn't also skip town during The Vampire Diaries Season 2... and The Vampire Diaries Season 3... and was absent for weeks until last Thursday. The guy spends more time away from Mystic Falls than Bonnie's dad.

So, yes, he'll likely be elected Mayor in a couple years. But his exit here doesn't have that great of an impact. We've seen it many times before, although sources do say Tyler will truly be gone for an extended period of time. Still, his goodbye (sorry, his Until We Find a Way) led to one of my favorite moments from the night:

Caroline basically admitting she didn't want the cure. Thank you! This is one human being who has seriously evolved as a vampire. As Klaus said, she's become strong, ageless, fearless. And also gorgeous, of course. Let's not forgot gorgeous. Really, really, really gorgeous.

But Candice Accola gushing aside, it was refreshing to hear a member of the undead admit that it's sort of awesome to be a member of the undead. And I won't even mind the Klaroline chatter that will inevitable follow now, considering Klaus is right: these two do have that affection for power and strength in common.

Jeremy is dead. I mean, he's not really. Right? Right?!? I just don't see the series going there, no matter what next week's preview implies. It would be a bold move for the show, killing off a legitimate main character. And the fallout, especially for Elena, could go in any number of directions.

But Jeremy has finally come into his own this season as a hunter and as a really good wearer of wife beaters. Heck, I've been more invested in his storyline than the repetitive love triangle. I never thought I'd say it, but I really hope Jeremy Gilbert is not dead.

Which, of course, is exactly why he probably should be dead. The more a viewer thinks that way, the bigger impact a death has.

So that's where we stand heading into next week's "Stand By Me." Were you shocked by Katherine's return? Jeremy's apparent demise? Tyler's farewell? Totally and completely turned on by Vaughn's accent?

Sound off now!

Down the Rabbit Hole Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (1112 Votes)

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

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