TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 16 – 1912

After a 3-week hiatus, The Vampire Diaries is back for the home stretch with “1912.”

With the Originals (temporarily, I am sure) out of the picture, the focus turns to catching the killer that’s been plaguing Mystic Falls.  The prime suspect turns out to be a bit of a surprise.  Damon has his own theories on the killer, but he’s forced to divide his attention between that and Stefan, who is having some problems of his own. 

Picking up straight from Episode 15’s cliffhanger ending, Alaric comes back from his death at Dr. Fell’s hands to find himself inside a prison cell.  After a conversation with Sheriff Forbes, he discovers that Meredith is trying to frame him for the murders.  Despite his protests, the evidence against him appears to be irrefutable, and he has no real alibi during any of the murders.  Elena and Matt attempt to clear him by breaking into Dr. Fell’s apartment to look for evidence.  They appear to have found a smoking gun (and another Gilbert diary) when they are discovered by Dr. Fell and turned over to the Sheriff, who reveals that Dr. Fell herself turned in the evidence in question.  Alaric is cleared and released.

Stefan has once again decided to quit human blood, which is making him edgy.  Damon offers to help him learn how to moderate his consumption.  Stefan is initially resistant, but he eventually gives in.  Damon has a theory on the current rash of killings: he points out that the last time Mystic Falls had a serial killer – 1912 – the MO was exactly the same.  With a little help from Stefan’s diaries and some old records, they figure out that the 1912 serial killer was Samantha Gilbert, an ancestor of Elena’s whose diary was found in Dr. Fell’s apartment.

While Elena is trying to make her way through the diary, Alaric returns from the jailhouse.  Their happy reunion is cut short when Dr. Fell pays a visit, insisting that she had Alaric imprisoned and then freed for his own good.  She says that the resurrection ring has changed Alaric – he cannot continuously die and come back from the dead without being affected in some way.  She believes that he is blacking out while he commits the murders.  After a closer look at Samantha Gilbert’s diary, Elena is forced to admit that she agrees.  Samantha also had a resurrection ring; it appears the Alaric really is the killer.

An enjoyable episode overall, though some parts were better than others.  The whole killer story line dragged until the very end, when it was revealed that Alaric was likely the murderer.  The writers did a great job building Dr. Fell up as the killer, only to shock us with the revelation that it is Alaric.  He has his faults, but he is fundamentally a good character.  The way he copes with his guilt will make for far more interesting television than having the killer be someone obvious. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past these writers to be setting us up for another twist.

Damon was absolutely lovely in this episode.  He and Stefan have switched roles since the beginning of this show.  When we first met them, Stefan was the brooding good guy who couldn’t seem to stop wanting to help his brother, while Damon wanted no part of it.  Now the roles are reversed.  Damon is actively seeking to help his brother, and Stefan tries to push him away.  The scene where Damon reveals his motivation for helping Stefan is actually quite touching, even though he tries to play it off in true Damon fashion.

Really looking forward to the last chunk of the season – if the first two seasons are anything to go by, there are plenty of twists and turns in store.

GS Reporter:
Episode Rating: 3/5

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