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Vampire Diaries: The Murder of One

“You beat him by being better than him.”

After a weak entry last week, VD came back at full throttle this week as numerous threads tied together—and ultimately got nipped in the bud. (I mix metaphors with wild abandon. Wanna make something of it?) Our band of heroes has been attacked from all sides recently, but this episode, among other things, was a chance for most of them to come together for a common purpose.

Stefan, Damon, and Alaric worked together to create 12 white-oak stakes: seems like overkill for just a handful of Originals, yes? Especially given the in-depth “scenario” training run by Damon and Stefan, which reminded me of the sort of role-play required by various customer service jobs. (“You have one customer on the phone, two in front of you, and the espresso machine is shooting out sparks. What is your top priority?”)

Despite their numerous past sins—and, taken together, our heroes have plenty—their strength comes from teamwork and a willingness to support one another despite those sins. Caroline forgave Alaric for killing her father, Stefan forgave Elena for her feelings for Damon. The bond of love that holds them together looked like it might give them the advantage this week.

Klaus and Rebekah, however, continued to slowly chip away at our heroes’ plucky band. Rebekah wanted to compel Damon to kill either Stefan or Elena. Klaus used Bonnie to undo the very spell that our heroes were counting on to help them succeed, and used a threat to Jeremy (via Kol) to make her do it. And Finn (unintentionally) provided Sage’s motivation for betraying Damon last week and fighting Stefan, Elena, and Matt this week.

Early on, this episode established the moral quandary of such a close group of friends fighting evil: is the top priority to make sure each person is safe? Or to win the larger battle and then pick up the pieces? Stefan didn’t want to spend time rescuing Damon, and he didn’t think Damon would want that, either—but Elena did. Despite all of their collective sins, this group is strong because it asks those questions. The Originals don’t.

By the end of the episode, those questions were writ large. When an Original dies, their entire line dies. Finn’s line was short, because he was stored in a box for 900 years. Who knows how many descendants Klaus has? While most of our heroes can trace their vampire genealogy to Katherine and Rose (nice continuity!), we aren’t sure what happened before that. Maybe Katherine knows? Because it’d be great to see her again. As for Tyler’s potential death—well, I’d feel bad for Caroline.

Bonnie, still stuck out in the cold without her friends, dealt with that problem on a smaller scale: Klaus threatened her mother and Jeremy to make her undo the binding spell. Bonnie chose to protect her loved ones despite possible future risk, and I suspect our heroes will choose the same. Caroline, Stefan, and Damon hopefully won’t volunteer to die.

Stefan, particularly, doesn’t seem to have quite the death wish that he did for so much of this season. After a stern talking-to from Klaus, he’s one step closer to the “well-adjusted Stefan” that Caroline likes so much more. So well adjusted, in fact, that he is coming to terms with Elena’s complicated feelings for his brother. I wonder where that will lead?


• Caroline: “Elena Gilbert. Savior of the cursed and the damned.”

• Finn: “He stored us in boxes!” I shouldn’t have laughed, but I did. Is that what my books say to each other after I move?

• Alaric: “Did you learn nothing from the moonstone in the soap dish?”

• Stefan: “Ex-girlfriend? Guy’s been in a coffin for 900 years.”

• Caroline: “I hear you had a run-in with Buffy the vampire.”

• Caroline: “I miss well-adjusted Stefan.”

• Caroline: “Maybe Sage was so in love with Finn she just died of sadness.” Caroline, I love you.

• Damon: “This was much different in my head.”

• Klaus: “Stop, stop. Before you hurt yourself.”

• Stefan: “I’ll be a ball of sunshine once Damon gets Alaric’s stake back. Promise.”

And Pieces:

• Did anyone else’s brain go to a shippery place when Damon wouldn’t let Elena into Alaric’s apartment?

• Also: watching vampires cook is Sexy Thing #1. Watching them use power tools? Number 4, at least.

• Caroline laid down plastic sheeting so Damon’s blood didn’t stain the floor.

• Jeremy does have a puppy. I guess that wasn’t cryptic serial killer code.

• Way to go, Matt!

As we’ve left it, there’s still a lot at (pardon the pun) stake. The Damon/Elena/Stefan triangle is blurrier than ever. Alaric’s evil alter ego (can we say “Fauxlaric”?) has hidden a stake, which means Klaus might start killing people out of vengeance if Fauxlaric doesn’t get there first. Rebekah is threatening to stay in Mystic Falls, as the cracks in the Original family are turning into chasms. Bonnie is having a much-needed breakdown. And we won’t find out what happens next until April 19th.

Three and a half out of four bear traps.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


  1. One down, four more to go.

    A much stronger episode than last week's, but I'm still having a problem with how the Klaus arc is progressing. Every few weeks our heroes (we really need to think of a catchy group name for them) come up with a new plan to kill Klaus only to have it fall fall apart at the last hurdle. This is like the fourth or fifth time they've tried and failed to kill him. At this point I'd just give up and move to Paris.

  2. I have so much respect for this show BECAUSE of the fact that they've had 6 plans to kill Klaus fail. After an entire season of building him up, i'm glad they just didn't have him bite the dust at the first attempt. He's a worthy foe, a terrifyingly unstable one whose whip-smart and quick on his feet. Very few TV shows can pull off a character like that.
    An episode like last night, with a volte-face to the entire storyline ups the stakes even more, is exactly why i'm borderline obsessed with this show. I'd marry Julie Plec just to hear her pitch ideas all day long.

  3. Actually, doesn't Alaric's name already kind of suggest he's vacated the building? Maybe if we emphasised the "a" a little with a hyphen and went for A-laric -- the "a" giving the sense of no/without (asexual, atheism, etc.) -- how would that work? Or is that too boring?

  4. Ahhh I really enjoyed this episode :) And your review, Josie! Thanks for reminding us about Rose, I couldn't remember her properly, that's bad, isn't it. I am betting she's Klaus' bloodline and the heroes have one More obstacle to killing Klaus. Maybe Bonnie can make Stefan, Damon, Caroline and Katherine invincible for a short while Klaus is offed.

    I've been enjoying them prolonging the Klaus killage, but I do wonder why he keeps letting Stefan and Damon go. It's rather dumb of him to not have disposed of the threat before now.

  5. Paul, I like the subtlety of A-laric. Alarus is also a possibility, as counterpoint to this season's Stefanus.

  6. The end of the bloodline thing is certainly going to make things interesting for a band of merry souls. Somehow, it seems inevitable that they will all tie back to Klaus -- season cliffhanger?

    I'm very pleased that Stefan and Elena did not simply fall back into each other's arms. The triangle is one of the most compelling storylines in this series, so I would hate for it to be resolved too easily.

  7. I did wonder a while back if killing off the Originals would have an effect on the rest of the Vampires... Much was made of that in Anne Rice's books, I believe in "Queen of the Dammed".
    Perhaps they could find a way to dagger the rest of the originals and bury them for all of eternity? ;o)

    I got a BIG laugh from "Buffy the vampire."! Poor Buffy, her worst nightmare come true on another show! :D

  8. Call me crazy-but Klaus has grown on me. He is a great nemesis, and I would hate to see him go. I think he will be the link for Rose, and think I still like the idea of a twisted romance with Caroline as well. She deserves a man of calibre and I think he would be that man (and perhaps her be his muse and the key to finding his humanity)
    Perhaps Klaus 'leaving' Mystic Falls will leave the door open for future storylines -did I hear the words 'spin off series'?
    I loved the homage to Buffy from our gal Caroline--but there was another, when Rebekah first stabbed Damon with a 'hello lover' straight from season 2 of Buffy (v's Angelus).

  9. Actually, there were three homages to Buffy - the dream where Elena was saving Damon was a straight reference to Buffy saving poor tortured Spike in the seventh season's episode Showtime. Or at least I got that vibe from it :)

  10. I simply love this show. An episode like this one really spoils us all, we're all to raise our standards of show quality. You all have said so many important things, it's hard not to get repetitive.
    But I had a bad feeling when Damon made Alaric wear that cursed ring again -- and now which Original will go down? And which vampire storyline would go along with him/her? I'd love to think that the Salvatore line came from Elijah.
    And boy, hasn't Bonnie managed to get full control of her powers, and doesn't she have a strong mojo now? Hope it'll be enough to break the original-vampire line thing. And my favorite line of today's episode: "You know what they say, the way to a psycokiller's heart is through his stomach" It made me laugh hard. April 19th? Too long isn't it?

  11. "Poor Buffy, her worst nightmare come true on another show!"

    Yes, it's called Ringer.

  12. "Caroline laid down plastic sheeting so Damon’s blood didn’t stain the floor."

    Do you mean Rebekah laid down plastic sheeting?

    (Feel free to delete this comment.)


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