This review contains spoilers.
3.13 Bringing Out The Dead
The last episode of The Vampire Diaries saw the long awaited return of Elijah, and with him comes a whole lot more action from the original family. Everything was getting a little civil among the many different factions of Mystic Falls, but the episode number meant that peace cannot have fallen only half way through the season’s run. Bringing back a much loved and ambiguous character like Elijah has done the trick, as this set-up episode teases some enticing future developments.
The first order of business is Rick’s bad taste in women, something Elena refuses to believe. Last week’s plot strand of Damon and Rick hunting for Meredith’s true motives was a highlight, but things now seem a little less clean-cut. Fingers are being pointed in every direction over the murder of the doctor a few weeks back, even leading Sheriff Forbes to the Gilbert household. Tyler is enemy number two, but he’s fallen fowl of limited space in The Vampire Diaries ensemble, and doesn’t feature at all this week.
Most new characters are greeted with guarded distain by VD fans, but Meredith’s presence in the original novels suggests she will play a bigger role than initially suggested. In the books, she is Elena’s best friend and a worthy adversary to Damon. But a reinvention on this scale probably means she shares only name with the Meredith of the books. The character isn’t winning any hearts at the moment and, knowing this show, that means she won’t last too long.
Her medical dabbling with vampire blood lands the Forbes family in deep trouble, as she heals Caroline’s father just before a mystery attacker takes their opportunity. His subsequent transformation (or lack thereof) creates the most compelling plotline of the episode, and gives us our first experience of a vampire-to-be who resists his first craving for blood. It’s a convenient tool to bring Caroline and her father’s story to a close, while Candice Accola melts hearts with a lovely performance.
Of course, when there’s human drama, the writers can always be trusted to bring Matt out from hiding (seriously, where does that guy live?), and the guy is on top form this week. At first, we’re led to believe he’s there to serve Caroline’s story, but some choice words from Klaus reintroduce the long-past Elena/Matt pairing. Against my better judgement, I’ve always been a fan of Matt, and a brief, chaste romance between the only two humans on the show would be lovely while we wait for the girl to choose between her two undead lovers.
But the cliffhanger is what the episode will be remembered for, as we get an original family dump in its final moments. Not only is Klaus joined by Elijah and Rebekah, but the rest of the siblings decide to show their faces too. Bonnie’s dull-as-dishwater story finally reveals what was in the lockbox, and that provides the real kicker.
Things are bound to get interesting next week, and the character count is getting harder and harder to keep track of. For a filler episode, a lot is set up for future weeks, and some loose ends are tied up neatly in preparation.
Read our review of the last episode, here.