It’s been more than a month since fans have received their last dose of “The Vampire Diaries”, but the series many liken to Twilight (the books were written well before the dawn of the sparkly vampire craze) returns for the final third of its sophomore season this Thursday (April 7th) with a new episode airing each with through the May 12th season finale. If the first 16 episodes are any indication, there will be quite a bit to look forward to.
Katherine, often mentioned but seen only once during season one, has been a primary driver in this season’s arch that has introduced us to the full story behind the Sun/Moon curse, the mythos of the Originals as well as the full story behind Damon and Stefan’s brotherly rift. She has been a bane and, most auspiciously, a boon in the brothers’ fight to keep Elena safe. Though her ulterior motives—as well as her inborn selfishness—have been showcased, we can only guess on whether or not her loyalties will remain where they’ve always been—with herself—or if she will fight the good fight and risk her neck for others.
As mentioned above, integral to Katherine’s story is the Sun/Moon curse. Limiting the effectiveness of both vampire and werewolf, it was created by the Petrova family line, a fact that is the driving factor behind Elena’s “popularity” with the Klaus and the Originals. Elena, a descendant of Katherine and the original Petrova family is the key in breaking the curse as only her sacrifice will allow vampires to walk during the day without the need of mystic rings such as those worn by the Salvatore brothers.
Speaking of the brothers, Damon and Stefan’s relationship has gone from 100% antagonistic in season one to a typical sibling rivalry laced with resentment, respect, love, and familial loyalty. Their love for the same woman has helped mend the rift caused by their rivalry for Elena. Ironically, it was also their love for Katherine that helped propagate the seeds of their enmity though Stefan’s insatiable bloodlust was the final wedge that drove them apart. Even though they may disagree, fight, and threaten each other, this season has proven that blood is stronger than acts most would deem unforgivable.
Insofar as the high school characters, we’ve seen Tyler morph from a troubled jerk to a troubled werewolf trying to find out just who he is. Similar to Tyler’s journey, Caroline’s transformation from vapid socialite to caring vampire and loyal ally to the Salvatores has probably been the greatest development of anyone on the show. Bonnie slowly come into her own as a witch while simultaneously losing her prejudice against vampires and will be key in the battle against Klaus in the Originals. But when all is said and done, Elena’s turn from damsel in distress to one determined to save her friends no matter the cost has been a welcome treat. There is definitely fight in her, something she’s no doubt inherited from her doppelganger ancestor.
Looking ahead to the last six episodes, Klaus, the baddest creature (so far) in the VD world, will make his debut. Even with the guns that they currently have, it’s fair to say that our heroes will be completely outgunned by such a powerful and cunning vampire. Their biggest ally may be Elijah, the vampire originally sent to collect Elena but who wants Klaus dead himself. Will there be a time that they become desperate enough to pull the ash stake from his heart and join forces to battle the progenitor of all vampires or will the knowledge the dying Jonas—the warlock originally working with Elijah— imparted to Bonnie be enough to fend off Klaus? And while it may not be on the life or death side of things, the one question on the mind of many fans is when will Elena admit that her feelings for Damon are much more than platonic and just how will that affect the dynamic between the once dueling brothers? And, as Katherine suggested, if overwhelmed by Klaus and his forces, they will have a final play…to turn Elena into the one thing that she doesn’t want to become but will save her from death; a vampire. There is no doubt that a major sacrifice will be made and, though I have no knowledge of who will lay his or her life down, the magic 8-Ball points toward one of the major characters sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
Most shows take time to come into their own and The Vampire Diaries is no different. Though the first season was good, it was uneven and quite slow at times. This season has been quite the opposite; there have been very few dull moments and, like so many of the episode reviews have stated, each week seems to get better and better, pulling the audience deeper into the world of Mystic Falls and all that it has to offer. While it remains to be seen if the torrid pace the writers have kept this season can be maintained I have total confidence that they can, in fact, keep it up. As it is, fans will be able to make their own conclusions starting this Thursday at 8pm on the CW.
– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)
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