The Vampire Diaries: The End of the Affair (Review)

The Vampire Diaries: The End of the Affair

It just keeps getting better and better.

Though stumbling a bit out the of the opening gate, the season premiere and righting the ship in last week’s “The Hybrid”, the third installment of this season’s The Vampire Diaries continues the momentum and quality fans have come to expect over the past two years.

After coming across Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his brother in Tennessee, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is trying to pick up Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) trail. He receives a call from Katherine (Nina Dobrev, the sassy version), everyone’s favorite doppelganger, who gives him the location of the unlikely pair. After filling her in on the latest goings-on, cut to Elena waking up with Damon lying next to her. With the mandatory flirtatious banter traded—mostly from Damon, they make their way to Chicago.  Despite his willingness to help Elena find his brother, Damon is not one to sugarcoat things. He wants her to understand the place Stefan is in right now. He’s not a nice guy, more reminiscent of Damon when he first strolled into Mystic Falls.

One thing I find a bit frustrating with Elena is that she’s always harped against Damon for his actions. I’m not saying that, at times he hasn’t deserved it, but the level of hypocrisy is a bit too heavy. In “The Birthday”, Damon wanted to protect her from seeing just how much of a ruthless bastard Stefan has become. Along the way, though, he’s decided that she truly needs to know that things won’t the same if Stefan comes back to them—something Stefan himself reiterates when they talk later in the episode. Not only has he killed, he’s butchered in a way even Damon has never done. By his admission, it took him three decades to recover since his last days as a ripper in Chicago. As a person, one has to wonder just how she’s okay going back to someone who’s killed dozens of innocent people.

Klaus, with Stefan in tow, looks for answers on why the ritual didn't work.

Speaking of the Windy City, tVD offers some intriguing flashbacks of Stefan’s time in Chicago during the roaring 20’s. We’ve always known that Klaus has had more than a cursory interest in Stefan based on his ripper reputation. It comes to light that the two had been like brothers. More interesting is the fact that Stefan and Rebekah (Claire Holt), Klaus’s sister, had more than a fling. In fact, when Klaus demanded her choose between him and Stefan, she chose the latter. This perceived betrayal was the reason Klaus put her on ice with the rest of his family. As it is, Klaus needs her awake and alive to help him figure out just why his hybrid plan went wrong.

But Stefan hadn’t remembered any of this information. Wanting to leave no witnesses, Klaus compelled Stefan to forget everything that occurred between the three. Removing his compulsion for the express purpose of dealing with Rebekah, Stefan remembers everything, even Rebekah’s necklace, one key in summoning the original caster of the curse that had bound Klaus’s wolf-side. Curiously, it’s the same necklace Stefan gave Elena quite some time ago.

Using Damon to distract Klaus, Elena has her time with Stefan. She begs him to return to her, to return home. For his part, Stefan refuses, telling her in no uncertain terms that he is through with her, through with them. It’s heartbreaking for our heroine but it has to be done. Stefan knows that if Klaus finds out Elena’s still alive, he will stop at nothing to end her once and for all.

A secondary storyline this season has been Caroline’s (Candice Accola) kidnapping at the hands of Bill Forbes (Jack Coleman), her bastard of a father. Talk about tough love; conditioning her to associate blood with pain. Not a bad plan if you want her to starve, ass hat. No worries—for the short term, though. She’s rescued by her mom (Marguerite MacIntyre) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) but we know it’s not over as Mr. Forbes seems to be a man that doesn’t give up easily. As far as Tyler and Caroline are concerned, if this didn’t solidify the start to something special for Caroline and her werewolf, I’m not sure what will.

No surprise to fans, Damon still provides the most entertaining dialogue of any character in the show. His one-on-one banter with Elena at the onset of the episode and then Klaus later on in the show solidifies “The End of the Affair” as the best episode yet of the young season. Ian Somerhalder must relish his role, able to play off his character’s baser instincts while sparring back and forth with the main damsel as well as the primary antagonist. Speaking of the latter, Joseph’s smooth delivery of his own lines as well as his panther-esque demeanor puts him a step below Damon as the most intriguing character.

Overall, “The End of the Affair” provided everything fans expect from tVD.  Not only did it introduce a chink in Klaus’s armor (he’s running from someone–is it Sebastian Roche’s character?) it provided a very real and non-Klaus barrier between Stefan and Elena in Rebekah. Having his memories and, in turn, feelings returned for Rebekah, coupled with his desire to protect Elena will have Stefan deep into another triangle and I’m not really sure Elena’s heart will survive in tact. Of course, Damon will be there, as always, ready to pick up the pieces.

Vampire Bites:
  • So Katherine’s tracking Stefan and Klaus in Chi-town. She’s being pretty bold for someone who was on the run from the hybrid for 500 years. I don’t know what her angle is but I don’t believe it’s to rescue Stefan.
  • Klaus is hundreds of years old with the instincts of the two baddest predators on the planet. So how in the world is it that he cannot sense, hear, or smell Elena when she’s not twenty feet away? This is the second time in two weeks that’s happened though this week was so much more egregious considering they were in such a tight space. Writers: we do like the suspense but let’s keep it believable in the manner of what we know about the characters.
  • HRG is back on television and he’s just as hardcore as he was in Heroes. I’ve heard the term tough love but burning your vampire daughter with the sun is a bit extreme, even for him.
  • Stefan’s line about Klaus covering his tracks is very intriguing. From the start it seemed as if he was driven by something more than greed or power. Even the toughest predator fears something. Just what is it that for Klaus?
Killer Lines
  • Damon: “Came to me in a dream; I was naked, you would’ve loved it.” (to Elena when talking about discovering Stefan’s location)
  • Damon: “I had an hour to realize what a bad idea it was to leave you here alone, process it and move on.” (when Elena asks what took him so long)
  • Klaus: “I see they open the doors to the riffraff now.”

Damon: “Aww, honey I’ve been called worse.”

  • Stefan: “I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to be with you…I just want you to go.” (to Elena as she begs him to come home)

Rating: B

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– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)
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