The Vampire Diaries season 3 episode 3 review: The End Of The Affair

The Vampire Diaries' latest episode has its moments, but is this a show content to tread water?

This review contains spoilers.

3.3 The End Of The Affair

This week on The Vampire Diaries, we get some much-needed insight into Stefan’s past shenanigans, some of which he shared with a few familiar faces. Damon and Elena are still on the hunt, although this time disappointingly sans Alaric, and Caroline spends some quality time with her dad. He’s not feeling very paternal, it turns out.

I enjoyed this episode, but it has to be said, this was more to do with what it set up than anything stand-out within the hour itself. Stefan got a lot of screen time and, as usual, unless he’s being a vindictive killer (which, to be fair, he is for the most part), he’s like watching paint dry. There’s a moment near the end when he finally stands up for himself to Elena, but even the events of the episode are beyond his control for the most part. For some reason, we’re told, he can’t remember certain encounters of his past, and Klaus is more than happy to fill him in.

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We don’t get enough flashback episodes in this show. For all we’re told about the Salvatore brothers’ pasts, it’s all hearsay unless you get to witness it. Audiences have been waiting a long time to see some of the legendary acts of Stefan the ripper, and it works here as well as similar concepts in Buffy or Angel. There’s nothing to set this episode apart, as it covers much the same ground as previous weeks, but we are introduced to Rebecca, another original vampire and someone who’s sure to be a thorn in Stefan’s side.

If we thought Katherine was trouble, this girl looks like a boat load of fun.

We also get the extremely brief return of Katherine, making phone calls to Damon and advising the team on their rescue effort. I’m not sure they know what to do with the character at the moment, considering they can use Nina Dobrev as much as they want and, like I said, there’s another girl in town now. It turns out that the origin of Elena’s vervane-laced necklace lies with Rebecca, and it has a greater importance yet to be revealed. It’ll be interesting to see how the writers balance several strong females at once without any becoming overbearing.

Caroline’s not having much fun this week, as it turns out her dad’s a bit of a sadistic nutcase. Instead of caring for or killing his only daughter, the guy decides he can ‘cure’ her of her vampire urges. The result is some of the most troubling scenes of the show’s history. There’s a lot of love for the Caroline, and I, for one, found it hard to watch. Not many of the show’s parents have reacted well to their children’s various supernatural afflictions, but this has to be the most extreme. Again, I’m interested to see how it pans out, because the girl needs these meaty storylines in order to shine.

This episode has it’s great moments, most notably Elena getting a reality check from her boyfriend, Damon and Klaus having a meeting of messed-up minds, and the realisation that the two vampire families go back further than we thought.

It’s another strong instalment, but things need to move quickly if it can hold the attention of those hoping for more of the promised relationship drama. Rebecca looks like a solid addition to the Stefan saga, but now they need to think of something for Elena and Damon to do.Read our review of episode two, The Hybrid, here.

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