TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 17 – Break On Through

It’s a busy time in Mystic Falls, centering around the restoration of Wickery Bridge.

Damon gets a visitor from the past, but the happy reunion doesn’t turn out quite as planned.  Caroline and Bonnie work together to help Abby, who is having trouble adjusting to life as a vampire.  Elena and Stefan work with Doctor Fell to help Alaric, but the situation turns dangerous when they realize that he is worse off than any of them thought.

The restoration of Wickery Bridge has everyone occupied, and it draws an old friend of Damon’s to town.  Sage has returned to Mystic Falls to find Finn, one of the original siblings.  They were in love many years ago, and he turned her so that they could be together forever.  They work together to discover that Rebekah has been snooping around looking for the whereabouts of the other white oak.  Once they discover that it was used to build the Wicker Bridge, Damon agrees to leave Finn alone if Sage helps him kill Rebekah.  However, he omits the detail about all the siblings being linked – Sage finds out and double crosses him, and Rebekah beats him to the bridge and burns the white oak scraps.  Damon gets the last laugh, however, as he manages to salvage the old Wickery Bridge sign, which is also made from the white oak.

Alaric is having trouble coping with his new-found dark side. They contact Bonnie, whose family originally spelled the ring. Bonnie tells them there is a counter-spell, but they need a personal item of Alaric’s from before he started wearing the ring.  Elena goes to his apartment looking for his wedding ring. She finds Stefan there, and they stumble across frightening evidence of Alaric’s plans to kill all of the council members. Also, he wants Jeremy to continue his fight after he is gone.

Back at Elena’s, Alaric has an episode and attacks Meredith. Elena and Stefan interrupt and manage to subdue him, but not before she is gravely wounded. Stefan heals her with his blood, and Bonnie arrives to perform the spell.  She and Elena have a touching moment where Bonnie forgives her for what happened to Abby.  Sadly, while she is with Elena, Abby decides that she cannot cope with everything that’s happened and leaves after arguing with a distraught Caroline.

I thought this was a very good episode, even if it did feel a bit like filler.

Sage is an interesting character, and it’s always good to have female vamps around as they can be more brutal than the men.  Even so, I am not sure what her purpose really is – none of the Mystic Falls gang ever fares well when they team up with outsiders. This week was no different – Damon thought he could trust Sage and was proved very wrong. Hopefully we will see more of her before the season ends.

Matt Davis has really started to shine these past few episodes.  It’s a real credit to him that even though he has been committing these violent murders, you are hard pressed to feel anything but sympathy for him.  This reaction is embodied in Doctor Fell, who reveals that rather than turn Alaric in, she felt compelled to protect him.  At the same time, it was interesting to see “bad” Alaric for the first time.  He doesn’t appear all that different from his usual self, but eventually the cold, calculated edge starts to show.  It’s very subtle (aside from the violence) and well-played by Davis. There are a couple of things to look out for from here: 1) how will the spell affect Alaric and 2) will the same thing happen to Jeremy, who currently wears the other ring?  His brief reintroduction at the end of the episode suggests it very well may.

Stefan and Damon received a morale boost in their fight against the originals and appear to be on the same page again. Hopefully this means we’ll be seeing Klaus again soon, as he’s been absent the last few episodes.  The writers would do well to remind viewers exactly why it’s so crucial to get rid of the originals – a blood bath at the bridge re-dedication ceremony, perhaps; at the moment, this viewer would definitely be sorry to see them go.  Good villains are hard to come by these days.

Episode Rating: 3.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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