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'The Vampire Diaries': Why Last Night's Episode Was the Best of the Series

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Nov 30, 2012 | 10:31am EST

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Last night’s The Vampire Diaries was, in my opinion, the best episode of the series to date. The last five minutes offered up a major cliffhanger that could possibly be a game changer for the entire series. Obviously, if you haven’t had the chance to watch “My Brother’s Keeper,” AVERT YOUR EYES NOW. SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT.

The final five minutes of the hour gave Delena fans everywhere (including this girl) a heart attack. We were ecstatic: Elena and Stefan were officially dunzo. Elena had moved out of her house and into the Salvatore mansion. Stefan moved out to give her some space. This left Damon and Elena alone, drinking whiskey, reminiscing about their dance at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant a year before. Then Damon pulled Elena up to dance, twirled her around, and dragged her in for an epic, passionate kiss that quickly escalated into shirt-tearing, furniture throwing, full-on vampire sex. And yet, we were devastated: the scene was intercut with Caroline’s hypothesizing that Elena’s only into Damon because she’s been sired by him, essentially making all of her growing up, maturing, and decision-making this entire season the result of a supernatural enslavement. And scene!

This huge game changer has yet to be confirmed (Elena truly is sired to Damon) or denied (Caroline and Stefan just can’t accept that Elena is becoming a different person). But while this (possible) twist is huge in and of itself, it is not the reason why I think “My Brother’s Keeper” is the best episode of the series.

No matter who you are ‘shipping (a term that means you root for a specific relationship on a TV show) on TVD, there was something for everyone in one episode. Every single relationship pairing fans want or hope to see was given screen time. Caroline and Klaus went on their date, and to everyone’s surprise (including Tyler, Klaus and Caroline herself), she truly enjoyed herself. This was a huge step for Caroline and Klaus, and maybe their next date won’t be the result of a bargain.

We also got a few cute scenes with Caroline acting as Stefan’s “sober coach,” listening to him vent about Elena’s feelings for Damon and their breakup and encouraging him to keep searching for the cure no matter what Elena said. She was team Stelena all the way, and did not hold back in letting everyone know whose side she was on.

Even Jeremy and Matt’s bromance was in the spotlight tonight, and with Matt moving in to Jeremy’s house to keep an eye on the newly-awakened hunter, we are only going to see that amazing friendship grow (Side Note: Jeremy picking up two full kegs like it was no big deal? Awesome).

But the most incredible part of “My Brother’s Keeper” was how the writers were able to please both Stelena and Delena ‘shippers at the same time, something I had previously thought to be impossible. These avid fan groups want the exact opposite of each other: team Stelena wants Stefan and Elena together, while team Delena wants Damon to end up with Elena. I didn’t think TVD could make both groups happy at the same time, but I guess I should know by now that you can’t assume anything (although the the one big prediction I made a month ago turned out to be 100% true!) or underestimate the team on this show.

For Delena fans, obviously the big payoff last night was Elena and Damon sealing the deal, doing the deed, getting it on, etc. etc. But even with the introduction of Caroline’s theory that Elena is sired to Damon, there is still a lot to cheer about: evidence that Elena really isn’t sired to Damon and that Caroline and Stefan just can’t accept that Elena is moving on and becoming a new person now that she’s embracing the vampire lifestyle. First of all, Elena has had feelings for Damon ever since Stefan left with Klaus and became the Ripper. Those feelings have been growing for a season and a half until they finally culminated in the passionate makeout Elena initiated in the motel in Denver. When she was in transition to become a vampire, memories Damon had compelled her to forget came back, including the fact that she had indeed met Damon first, and that he had confessed his love for her before taking the memory away in a mature move so he wouldn’t get in the way of her and Stefan. Damon never told her to sleep with him or break up with Stefan, so even if she is sired to him the decisions were all her own. All season, she has been growing stronger as a person and as a vampire, and that leads her to a more independent relationship where she can be herself with Damon rather than always being saved/fixed by Stefan. She even told Stefan just that when he let slip that he needed to “fix” her by finding the cure. Elena told him, plain and simple, that the girl he loved died when she became a vampire, and he needs to let her go.

But Stelena ‘shippers were also given reasons to hope: maybe, just maybe, the sire bond theory is true. Even though she slept with Damon, it wasn’t of her own volition. She is under a supernatural curse, feeling indebted to the vampire that gave her immortality. It was the sire bond that drove Elena away from Stefan, so maybe they still have a chance. Caroline made Stefan promise that he would keep searching for the cure that can make Elena human again, thus taking away the sire bond and Elena’s resulting feelings for Damon.

The creative and talented team behind TVD managed to make both sides of the main love triangle happy. I really hope the sire bond theory isn’t true, though. That logic would completely undermine everything Elena has done to become an independent, strong woman who makes her own decisions and doesn’t need to be saved. It really is time for her and Damon to be together, happy, with no supernatural reason to come between them. Caroline and Stefan need to let go and let Elena grow into who she is supposed to be as a vampire.

But regardless of how the sire bond story is explained and resolved in future episodes, the fact that every fan-favorite pairing was given a chance to shine last night marks “My Brother’s Keeper” as one fantastic piece of television. TVD never ceases to amaze me with how well the writing team can write themselves into what I think is a corner and then turn around and escape through a secret trap door that they had planned all along.

Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum

[Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW]

More:

'The Vampire Diaries' Twist: TV's Best (And Worst) Game Changers

'The Vampire Diaries' React: We Need To Talk About Jeremy

'The Vampire Diaries' React: I Was Bawling Like a Baby

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