TV REVIEW: Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episodes 10 and 11 – The New Deal and Our Town

After a mid-season hiatus, television’s prettiest cast is back for the second half of Season 3. 

The last time we saw the gang from Mystic Falls, Klaus had just survived an elaborate plot to kill him.  While Elena and Damon tried to come to terms with Stefan’s apparent betrayal, Stefan himself immediately set out to get his revenge against Klaus for months of captivity.

“The New Deal” picks up right where we left off, and things kick off in typical TVD fashion.  Caution: Contains Spoilers…

Episode 10: The New Deal

Bonnie’s been having nightmares about coffins.  She dreams about four coffins in the basement of the old witches’ house, where she thought she was no longer welcome.  Convinced the witches are trying to tell her something, she goes out to the house to investigate.  She finds Stefan there, along with the coffins, and he asks for her help in concealing them.  It turns out that the witches hate Klaus more than Stefan or Damon, and more than they want to stay angry at Bonnie, so they are all finally back on the same side.

Klaus reappears in Mystic Falls after a few months’ absence and reveals that Stefan has stolen the coffins containing his family members.  In true Klaus fashion, he threatens retribution on anyone and everyone until he gets his family back.  Meanwhile, Jeremy has been fired from his job and has been spending a lot of time with Tyler Lockwood, Klaus’s loyal hybrid.  Elena and Alaric don’t like Tyler’s connection to Klaus and try to tell him so, but their plans are interrupted when a compelled Jeremy gets a phone call from Klaus and immediately walks out onto the road in front of a speeding SUV.  Alaric manages to push Jeremy (who’s not wearing his ring) out of the way, but he himself gets hit.  The SUV is driven by Tony, another of Klaus’s hybrids.

Seeing that Klaus means business, Bonnie reveals Stefan’s location to Damon and Elena.  When reasoning with him fails, Damon resorts to baser means of persuasion.  Once Stefan reveals that he only saved Klaus in order to save Damon’s life, Damon decides that he wants in on whatever Stefan is planning.  Stefan agrees, on the condition that Elena be kept out of it.  Elena has other plans, however; she makes a deal with Klaus to trade Rebekah’s body for Jeremy’s safety.  Not trusting Klaus to keep his word, she asks Damon to compel Jeremy to leave Mystic Falls and never look back.

Overall, a great episode to return with.  In true TVD fashion, there are several “Oh sh*t!” moments (as I like to call them), but there are also a lot of touching scenes which balance out the brutality of Klaus’s return.

Unfortunately, it looks like the end of Steve McQueen’s run as Jeremy, at least for now.  Rumors were circulating that Damon’s actions would cause a main character to leave the show – given that it’s his compulsion that sends Jeremy away, this appears to be the case.  It was a good episode for McQueen, whose Jeremy is always involved in the drama but is often overlooked.  He really takes comes to the forefront here, taking charge and protecting his family the only way he knows how.  He’s come a long way from the annoying, angsty teenager he was in Season 1, but as Elena reminds us, he is only 16.  She doesn’t think he should have to live like this and decides to send him away.

Joseph Morgan is great as Klaus, who continues to be one of the most enjoyable bad guys ever.  There is a veneer of geniality about him, but he delivers retribution with such cool, brutal efficiency that there can be no doubt that he is as bad as they come.  I am looking forward to his reactions as the season goes on and he gets more desperate to find his family.  It’ll definitely be interesting, sweethearts.

One final note – Torey DeVitto makes her first appearance as Meredith Fell, a doctor at the local hospital.  DeVitto, who is married to Paul Wesley in real life, has a multi-episode arc and may be a love interest for Alaric.

Episode 10 Rating: 4/5

Episode 11: Our Town

A pretty good follow up to the mid-series premiere, “Our Town” really showcases Stefan as the newest bad guy in town.

Caroline’s 18th birthday turns into a bit of a mess when Tyler 1) declares his love for her and 2) bites her after swearing to her that he would never hurt her, even for Klaus.  He flat out refuses when Klaus asks him to bite Caroline, but then does it anyway when he and Caroline kiss and make up, leading us to believe that Klaus somehow compelled him to do it.  Hybrid bites are lethal to vampires, and Klaus’s blood is the only known cure.  He eventually turns up at Caroline’s bedside and saves her – the price for that is yet to be revealed.

The Klaus/Stefan feud really ramps up this week – Stefan wants the hybrids gone from Mystic Falls, and Klaus flat out refuses unless Stefan returns his family.  When Stefan threatens to kill the hybrids, Klaus doesn’t seem to care, as he can always make more.  Stefan calls his bluff, kidnapping Elena and threatening to drive her off the same bridge that killed her parents and almost killed her.  He almost succeeds, but Klaus relents at the last minute.  Sad as it is, the break between Stefan and Elena seems almost complete now, with Elena realizing just how far Stefan is willing to go to kill Klaus.

While all of this is going on, Jeremy is getting ready to leave for Denver.  When Elena reveals that she had Damon compel him, Bonnie struggles to decide whether or not to reveal the compulsion to Jeremy.  In the end, she decides to let him go, and Alaric puts him on his plane.  Meanwhile, Meredith Fell returns and appears to have a sordid past, arguing with her ex-boyfriend at a council meeting/party.  Said ex-boyfriend also happens to be the medical examine that signs off on all of the “animal attacks” in Mystic Falls, and he warns Alaric to stay away from Meredith for his own safety.  Predictably, he winds up dead at the end of the episode – staked through the heart.

This was a great episode for Paul Wesley.  “Evil” Stefan has been intense, and he really turns that intensity up.  Damon has always viewed Stefan’s humanity as his biggest weakness, but he really proved in this episode that he is willing to do whatever it takes to beat Klaus at his own game.  He’s no longer trying to keep up with Klaus – they’re on equal footing now, and Klaus’s response is bound to be epic.

Matt makes his first appearance of the mid-season, injecting a bit of normalcy into the craziness around Caroline’s birthday “funeral” and the subsequent events.  He continues to be a grounding influence for Elena, which has become important as she continues to lose those around her to Klaus.  It may become doubly important in the weeks to come, as the fallout from Caroline’s near death experience plays out.

This was a solid episode overall, though Stefan’s performance was the only thing that really stood out.  While Klaus came out on the losing end of the battle this week, one gets the sense that it wasn’t a complete loss.  He managed to get the Council, and possibly the Sheriff and Caroline on his side.  As always, the pieces are still very much in motion.
Episode 11 Rating: 3.5/5
GS Reporter: Mirjana

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