This review contains spoilers.
3.18 The Murder of One
Well it seems that the murder of one really does mean the murder of just one as, only a couple of weeks after the original family was joined together, Bonnie helps Klaus split their destinies once again. As with much of this year’s The Vampire Diaries, this renders many previous episodes fairly redundant, but at least we get a tasty new predicament for Elena, Caroline and their favourite vampy brothers to mull over during the show’s spring break.
The predicament is teased over the course of the episode, but isn’t revealed until very near the end. It’s a real doozy, as the fate of the villainous family is now tied not to each other, but to the characters we already know and love. With the death of Finn this week, we find out that once an original vampire is killed, the rest of his bloodline die with him. Katherine, Stefan, Damon and Caroline are all descended from the same line, but they don’t know who originated it, and killing Klaus will certainly kill a still-missing Tyler. I bet Matt’s feeling pretty lucky right about now.
The tease for this week sets things up for a solid mid-season finale (although we’ve only got four episodes left), as the whole gang (bar Bonnie) get together and form a plan of action. There has been far too little action this year, so plans to storm the castle at last are very welcome. Even more welcome is the involvement of Matt in the central storyline, even if it is just to flirt with Rebekah. Last week’s final line, “let’s go kill some originals,” got long-time fans excited for a return to form but, while I feel we approached that form, the episode didn’t quite pan out how it was sold.
For last week Damon made the mistake of spurning Rebekah’s affections, and she’s not very happy about it. In one of the gorier sequences of the show, or anything shown on the CW outside of Supernatural for that matter, she decides to bleed the vervane from his veins, making him vulnerable to compulsion once again. I like when the show finds loopholes to the rules, however time-consuming they are, as it makes sure the character’s don’t come across as invincible. The Vampire Diaries used to kill characters off with gay abandon, but now it takes a season and a half to even defeat the villain.
Damon’s capture means that the rest of the group go forth separately, with Elena and Stefan particularly at loggerheads about whether to save Damon or not. The triangle is going around in circles at the moment, with Elena still pitting the pair up against each other in search of her affections. With Stefan dealing with a couple of his demons this week, it seems likely that he and Elena will reconcile, but it seems he’s seen far too much of her feelings for Damon. She doesn’t know what she feels, for some reason, even though the audience have known since around episode twelve or the first season.
After the promising appearance of Matt in the pre-credits teaser, he disappears again, but Bonnie is more prominent here than she has been in weeks. No matter how I feel about her character, she’s even becoming a liability to her friends and family. Just as Matt and Elena finally manage to kill Finn, she’s been blackmailed into reversing the linking spell, and everything becomes a waste of time. What’s to stop Klaus from locking her in the mansion and making her his own personal witch? Jeremy makes a brief appearance as one of his bargaining chips, and we see from a preview that he’ll return in the next episode.
With a lot to deal with going forward, the cliffhanger on top of the cliffhanger was the revelation that Alaric is still having crazy spells. Unless Stefan can return all of the stakes he whittled from the white oak bridge, the group aren’t safe from repercussions, but Alaric has hidden one during a blackout, proving Bonnie’s herbal tea isn’t working quite as well as they’d like. With this hanging over them, as well as the prospect of the vampire race being wiped out, the last four weeks should be a little more action packed than the show has managed lately. But, please, no more twists to the tale.