TV REVIEW: The Vampire Diaries, Season 3, Episodes 3 &4 – The End of the Affair & Disturbing Behavior

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In episode 3, we learn why Klaus was so determined to take Stefan away from Elena, and Elena makes another bid to change Stefan’s mind and bring him home…Caution: Contains Spoilers.

Review: Episode 3 – The End of the Affair

I often find myself justifying the reasons why I watch this show.  Most often, I tell people that a) in my opinion, it’s not a show geared toward “tweens” at all, and b) in a genre that can be trite and predictable, there are a surprisingly high number of episodes that surprise me, both in plot and in the way the characters are written.  Episode 3 is one of those episodes.

Klaus and Stefan have traveled to Chicago to find an old witch, one who can help Klaus figure out why he wasn’t able to convert his hybrid army.  Stefan has history in Chicago, which he doesn’t seem to remember but which Klaus keeps alluding to.  When they find Gloria, she tells Klaus that in order to figure out what’s gone wrong, she needs to contact the witch that placed the curse.  Before she can do that, Klaus has to resurrect his sister Rebekah, because she has something Gloria needs.

As it turns out, Klaus, Rebekah and Stefan knew each other in Chicago in the 1920s.  In fact, Rebekah and Stefan were in love, and Klaus and Stefan were good friends.  But when a raid on the local club forces Klaus and Rebekah to flee, Klaus wipes Stefan’s memory of them.  When Rebekah chooses to stay behind with Stefan, Klaus stabs her – but because she’s an original, she can’t technically be killed, so she’s been lying in a coffin this entire time.  As all of this is revealed to Stefan and his memories are restored, he realizes that a) there is someone or something that Klaus is running from, and b) Rebekah’s necklace, which Gloria needs to contact her witch, is the same necklace he found on the floor of the raided club and then eventually gave to Elena.

Meanwhile, Katherine makes her first appearance of the new season, tipping Damon off about Stefan’s whereabouts.  He and Elena make the trip to Chicago in an attempt to bring Stefan home.  Stefan and Elena finally come face to face, and Stefan impresses on her that the only thing keeping her safe is that Klaus thinks she’s dead.  He tells her definitively that he does not want to be with her, and that he is not coming back with her.

Tyler is distraught trying to find out what happened to Caroline, so he turns to her mother, the sheriff, for help.  Caroline is locked in a basement with her vampire hunter father, who is torturing her in an effort to train her not to drink blood so that he doesn’t have to kill her.  The sheriff figures it all out, however, and she and Tyler rescue Caroline.

I really enjoyed this episode, mostly because it focused on the past friendship between Klaus and Stefan.  I like that Stefan isn’t the brooding, goody two shoes he appeared to be in the first season.  And at the same time I am not convinced that he’s entirely returned to his ripper ways.  He is obviously still driven by his desire to protect Elena.  It will be interesting to see if and how that changes now that he’s remembered his past relationship with Rebekah.

Klaus continues to fail at being unlikable, at least for me.  Joseph Morgan plays him with such charisma, especially in the 1920s flashback scenes.  There is a pretty touching moment where you can see just how lonely Klaus is – after all, he and his sister are constantly on the run.  A bit of that carries over to the modern day – he brought Stefan with him not only because he likes how ruthless Stefan used to be, but also because at one point they were good friends.  I will definitely have my eye on Paul Wesley in the coming weeks to see how he deals with having his memories returned to him, and how Stefan reconciles those with what he knows now.

It’s early, but this was my favorite episode of the first three.  Bonnie returns in Episode 4, so hopefully we’ll see more of Jeremy and his storyline.

Episode 3 Rating: 4.5/5

 

Review: Episode 4 – Disturbing Behavior

With Rebekah awake and adjusting to modern day life, Klaus and Stefan appear to bond over their exasperation with her shopping habits.  Meanwhile, having figured out that Stefan is up to something, Katherine reveals herself to him – whatever he’s planning, she wants in.  Stefan tells her that he is trying to find out more about the hunter Klaus is running from, but declines any help from her.  Gloria, the witch, is successful in locating Elena’s necklace, but when Stefan goes back to quiz her on it, she paralyzes him and extracts the information from his memories.  She doesn’t get the opportunity to use the information, however, as Katherine shows up and kills her.  At the same time, she susses out the truth about Elena’s necklace.

Caroline’s father is now locked in the same room where he held his daughter.  The sheriff calls Damon in to wipe his memories, and to compel him to leave town.  However, at the next council meeting they discover that he has trained his mind to be immune from compulsion.  With the threat of his cover being blown to the other council members, Damon attacks Bill, only to be thwarted by Caroline.

Jeremy is back this week, and happy to find out that he is able to communicate with Anna.  He discovers that she has been trying for some time to warn him about Vicki, that there is a darkness around her.  Bonnie is back as well – she spends the episode trying to figure out what kind of mysterious magic is contained inside Elena’s necklace.  When she is unsuccessful, she returns the necklace to Elena.  Except, it turns out, that it was Katherine posing as Elena.  Armed with the necklace Klaus is so frantically seeking, Elena approaches Damon for help, and he agrees.

While all of this is going on, Klaus and Rebekah have figured out that Stefan is hiding something, and the episodes ends with their return to Mystic Falls.

While this episode had some really good moments, it fell short in comparison to the three that came before it.  It felt a bit like a filler episode – like they were reverting back to old tricks in an attempt to progress the story without really saying anything.

I didn’t like the way Damon was written in this episode – at times, it feels like the writers can’t decide what they want his character to be.  They’ve spent the first three episodes making it clear that he is willing to protect Elena no matter the cost.  In Episode 4, he decides to leave with Katherine because he’s in a sulk over everyone calling him out (and rightly so) on his behavior toward Caroline’s father and Alaric.  While Stefan has always been a bit broody, Damon has an edge of selfishness about him that make his mood swings feel almost childish.  I am hoping that he quickly comes to his senses.

This was a strong episode for Alaric, who spent much of the first three episodes either drunk or wallowing in self pity.  While that was understandable to a degree, it was good to see him finally take some control and be assertive.

Overall, a bad week for the main characters, but some strong showings from those on the side.  Hopefully, next week – when Klaus finally discovers that Elena is alive – will pick up the slack a bit.

 
Episode 4 Rating: 3.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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