TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 21 – Before Sunset

Having received the good news that the show has received an early renewal, there are just two episodes left to go in the current season.

The Mystic Falls gang discovers that Esther is a bit more persistent than they gave her credit for, so they must join forces with a surprising ally. Meanwhile, Bonnie calls on Abby to help her with a spell that may be able to stop Alaric for good.

Klaus must have taken pity on his sister, because Rebekah is back this week. She and Caroline are cleaning up after the disastrous decade dance when they discover that Alaric is still alive. Rebekah manages to escape, but Alaric catches up with Caroline and drags her back into the school. Rebekah runs home to Klaus to deliver the bad news. She wants to leave immediately; Klaus won’t go without Elena.

Alaric calls Elena and tells her to come to the school alone, or he will kill Caroline. Somehow, Elena sneaks off without alerting Stefan, Damon or Jeremy. They only discover she’s gone when Klaus comes to collect her. There’s nearly a showdown at the Gilbert residence, but Alaric calls Stefan and tells him he’s got Elena and Caroline. He will kill them both unless Klaus turns himself over. This plan does not sit well with the Salvatores, as they may be of Klaus’s bloodline. If Alaric kills him, they die as well.

Bonnie decides that she can stop Alaric by using a desiccation spell to stop Alaric’s heart, like the one Abby used on Michael. She gets Abby back to town to help her, but Abby warns her that this is dark magic. She also tells her that in order to stop a vampire’s heart, she will have to restore the balance of nature by stopping a human heart. Jeremy volunteers, since he’s got the most experience coming back from the dead.

Caroline escapes thanks to Elena, but Alaric won’t let her go; she discovers that Esther tied Alaric’s life force to hers. When the attempt on Alaric fails, Klaus kidnaps Elena and takes her to his mansion to drain her of her blood. Alaric warns the Salvatores, and they go rescue her. While they are there, they turn the tables on Klaus and Bonnie is able to successfully perform the desiccation spell on him. Meanwhile, down but far from defeated, Alaric calls an emergency council meeting. He then reveals to the council that Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood have been hiding their own supernatural family members.

I thought that this was a great episode. It was action-packed, and a good lead up to the season finale.

Matt Davis is so good as the evil vampire hunter – absolutely everything that was good and lovable about Alaric is gone. There is a teaser moment where the audience is led to believe that there might be some humanity left in him, but we find out that his reluctance to kill Elena is only because his life force is tied to hers. He’s taken over Klaus’s role as the ultimate villain, getting the others to work together in ways they never would otherwise. His plans for the council are sure to be trouble.

The brotherly bond between Stefan and Damon is stronger than we’ve ever seen it, despite the Elena elephant in the room. They have a heart-to-heart about it, and Stefan is the first to announce that should Elena choose Damon, he will leave Mystic Falls and let them be happy. Damon grudgingly agrees to do the same, though it’s difficult to tell whether he’s more upset about losing Elena, or having to once again be away from his brother.

Jeremy’s often written off as the annoying, whiny little brother (and he definitely earned that classification in Season One and parts of Season Two), but he’s grown into a strong, steadfast member of the group. He’s taken it upon himself to protect his sister, and he doesn’t care who he offends by doing it. It’s a strong return for him after having been absent for part of the season.

The finale is almost upon us – time to start placing bets on who’ll be left standing at the end of it all.

Rating: 4/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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