The Vampire Diaries season 3 episode 9 review: Homecoming

The mid-season finale of The Vampire Diaries leaves things nicely poised for the show's return in January...

This review contains spoilers.

3.9. HomecomingIt’s mid-season finale time for The Vampire Diaries, and things are finally starting to heat up. Klaus’ plan to resolve things with daddy dearest finally comes to fruition, and there’s some valuable allies on Elena and Damon’s side since last week. With Stefan and Rebekah now helping out on the big master scheme, the gang can get down to business.

I’ve made no secret in past weeks that I’ve thought this year of The Vampire Diaries has been moving too slowly. For any other fantasy programme out there, that wouldn’t be so much of a problem, but one of the most attractive things about Mystic Falls was the speed in which things would get resolved. Characters were never introduced just to be left hanging, and plot points were discovered, discussed and resolved within an average of half an hour.

This year, they’ve opted for a more considered approach to the originals and Klaus’ plan to create hybrids, and things aren’t heating up like they used to.

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Saying that, there are a lot of interesting elements to the show this year that they might not have been able to pull off before. The original family are all interesting, and Sebastian Roche’ Mikael only adds to that dynamic. I’m really starting to like Rebekah, who this week wants to help out by going to her first homecoming, and Klaus has a wickedness about him that’s hard to pull off without becoming pantomime. I only miss Elijah, who last year proved to be the show’s secret weapon in delivering exposition.

So there’s a high school dance this week, and we know how well those usually go for our beloved characters. Of course, Caroline’s insisting that everyone attend, and Stefan insists on accompanying Elena as protection. As he points out, considering her “track record at high school dances,” he better stick pretty close. Bonnie’s still pining over Jeremy (who doesn’t appear this week), but Matt and Tyler return after a lengthy absence. There doesn’t seem to be much function for Matt here, but was there ever?

Tyler’s hybrid status is played up this week, but his friends still don’t seem to bothered about the ticking time bomb residing in their clique. Primed to do Klaus’ bidding, and embracing his blood-sucking side more than previous characters, Tyler could be the most dangerous weapon in the bad guys’ arsenal, but none of the others seem to have noticed. Although Vampire Diaries doesn’t do subtle very often, I’m choosing to believe that this is one of those instances. The level to which he’s indebted to his sire is slowly revealed, and suggest fireworks in weeks to come.

For now, he settles for cancelling the homecoming dance and relocating it to another hybrid-infested location. Klaus senses something’s up and doesn’t want to take any chances, making sure that a massacre’s primed and ready if a fight happens to occur.

There’s a lot of double and triple crossing during the plan’s execution that may be hard to keep track of, especially when two of the main players look like Nina Dobrev. That’s right, Katherine’s back, and she’s not too pleased with any of the original family.

On a lighter note, it’s nice to see everyone dressed up for a change, and a good throwback to have Matt and Elena attend the dance together. I am really wondering where the Elena/Damon romance that the showrunners promised fans has gotten to, though, as there hasn’t really been much sign of it amidst all the chaos.

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Stefan’s still hanging around, for one thing, even if he’s not playing for the good team at the moment. Although, after this week, I’m very happy with how they’re treating the broodiest of vamps, having him take some independence from the controlling forces in his life and taking initiative in the revenge effort. The last twist revealed between him and Klaus is a doozy, and promises great things for the rest of the season.

Also on my wish list is a purpose for Matt and Jeremy. Neither have love interests at present, and neither are supernatural beings. Other than Alaric, who can appear equally lost  in the show’s mythology, they are the only characters not tied to a particular race or affliction, and surely that’s interesting in itself. It’s a given that the rest of the show will explore Tyler’s hybrid status and Stefan’s straddling of the dark side so, despite a slow start to the year, fans can still look forward to another good chunk of one of the most solid shows on the air come January.

Read our review of the last episode, here.