Vampire Diaries: "Before Sunset"

    Photo courtesy of the CW.

    On this week’s Vampire Diaries, Elena was being held hostage as Bonnie called on her mother to swoop in and save the day. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it has been the premise of roughly half a dozen Vampire Diaries episodes this season alone. Sure, the exact details and circumstances vary. Occasionally, Damon and Stefan must find a way to rescue her or its Elena’s brother who is in mortal peril.

    After a stellar few years, the last few weeks of new episodes have been repetitive and dull. The one sparkling moment of true newness, arriving in the form of a beautifully sensual Damon and Elena motel make out scene, was subsequently ignored to the point of absurdity. The writers are so involved with keeping the action coming that it seems like they forgot to let the audience breathe once in a while. Alaric’s sudden death in last week’s episode was poignant and dark so why not give Elena and the gang (not to mention the audience) another week to grieve the loss of a beloved character? And this grieving could also include a snuggle with Damon, just to ease the pain.

    Instead, we were treated to another episode of Klaus threatening to skip town (for the third time, by my count) with the doppelganger so he can use her blood to make more pet hybrids. Guess what? Damon and Stefan are upset by this, so they go to find Elena only to discover she has already foolishly walked straight into a trap set by newly indestructible Vampire Alaric. The gang decides to team up with Klaus, apparently forgetting that he wants to bleed their true love/best friend/sister dry. They bring in Abby to help incapacitate Alaric long enough to save Caroline (who was hostage #1) and Elena (who went to save hostage #1 only to become hostage #2). Klaus “unexpectedly” double-crosses Elena upon learning that her life is tied to Alaric’s. Tyler rushes to her rescue as Klaus is about to drain her of her last drop of blood, revealing that his sire bond to Klaus is in fact broken. Damon and Stefan rush in to pin Klaus down so Bonnie can perform a spell to stop Klaus’s heart, effectively killing him without actually killing him (which would destroy his bloodline). This twist would be a lot more exciting if it didn’t make me wonder why ripping out his heart entirely was never an option when they were trying to kill him. Seems like a good way to stop his heart.

    With the season finale looming up ahead, the writers are most likely trying to build to some epic vampire showdown, as they have in seasons past. But for the first time, that buildup feels forced. So many baddies have come and gone this season alone that singling out one for a battle royal is anticlimactic. The real shocker of the finale promises to be Elena’s choice between the two Salvatore brothers. I’m betting on Damon.


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