For me, an episode is difficult to write about for one of two reasons: either it ain’t my cup of tea (a rarity with this show), or it’s so good and complicated and layered that I worry about adequately covering all the reasons why it was so bloody awesome. Dangerous Liaisons falls into category 2. Centuries of backstory feed into the events at the Mikaelson ball, as well as two-and-a-half seasons of The Vampire Diaries’ carefully orchestrated relationships. So a small gesture — like Elena taking the arm of both her suitors — is for us dedicated viewers an iconic moment. And this was an episode full of these intense, capslock-inducing moments done so well and fraught with so much feeling.
Though we’ve known since the beginning of this series that family is important in Mystic Falls, Bringing Out the Dead was an ode to family — in all its messed-up glory. For better or worse, these bonds tie together these characters, across the centuries, but the “family above all” credo raises the question: do you punish sins/crimes perpetrated by family against family or forgive the unforgivable? Whatever the final decision is, in the meantime, at least have a vampire-speed fist fight. Or two.
Family takes all forms in Mystic Falls, and though the ties that bind these characters to each other are often touted as the most valuable and important force, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t fraught with all kinds of bad ju-ju. In The Ties That Bind, the relationships between family, friends, and romantic interests are tested, tried, and tentatively repaired.
Not to have an over-the-top love fest or anything, but do you guys ever feel extremely lucky that this show exists? No seriously, this show effortlessly moves from delightfully gruesome decapitations to heartfelt friendship moments to tortured impossible romances and it looks so good doing it all. The Vampire Diaries rewards its loyal viewers with resonant moments that reach back to the first season or to the book series (or both! hello Wickery Bridge), but it never fails to surprise us. And its daring choices are not cheap, shock-value twists but bold storytelling that, in my opinion, dovetails with who we know these characters to be, their past choices and circumstances, and the established mythology of the series. And this episode was just the perfect illustration of the awesomeness of this show, instantly jumping into my favorites this season. Okay. Love fest over (for now); onto Our Town’s birthday edition of Be a Better Villain…
The hiatus is over, our show is back, and life in Mystic Falls is as high stakes as ever. The New Deal certainly felt like the kickoff to the second half of Season 3, but the question is, if 2012 is the year of Klausageddon, will it be deadly for the Original Hybrid himself or for…everyone else under the sun?
Ba-boom! The first part of Season 3 has come to a close, my friends, and it wouldn’t be The Vampire Diaries if it didn’t leave us hanging with a million questions, theories, and relationship statuses to debate.
Flashback hair. Sword fights. Elijah. The origin story of a predatory species. A thousand-year-old lie. (Probably.) We got a ton of information in Ordinary People — if you haven’t already, make sure to read this rundown of the Original Family, complete with a boatload of speculation and interesting comments. As in every other good Vampire Diaries exposition session, it was done not only to satisfy our burning questions about how things came to be, but to push characters in compelling directions, provide parallels across storylines and centuries, and set up what is sure to be an explosive midseason finale next week.
The one and only Julie Plec tweeted that this episode was meant as a holiday treat for longtime fans, and Ghost World delivered on that promise. Such a high mortality rate in Mystic Falls means a wealth of ghostly potential to draw on. Bringing back lost fan favorites could have played out like a cheap emotional trick, but instead in true TVD form, Ghost World was all treat, tying up loose ends in a way that resonated across the storylines and set up new mythological goodness for the episodes to come.
I need to get a thesaurus, because the phrase “another amazing episode” is going to get tired this season. But Smells Like Teen Spirit was another amazing episode. As the seniors (and Jer) returned to Mystic Falls High and reflected on how different their lives were one short year ago, we were treated to a number of callbacks to season 1 to share in that feeling of how simple things used to be. But thank the TVD gods that things have become so damn complicated.
Elena’s life is the worst. She shouldn’t even try to be happy anymore, because the second that girl smiles, her worst nightmare is just waiting to pop up around the corner to make her suffer. Season 3 was already exceeding my very expectations, and The Reckoning was another amazing episode, one that delivered many clues to the past (read the two excellent posts on hybrid and mythology speculation if you haven’t already!) and set up so much complicated plot and relationship goodness for the future.