‘Vampire Diaries’ Recap: Once More, With Feeling

Vampire Diaries Klaus and StefanWell, this changes everything.

Right about now, every Vampire Diaries fan’s head is spinning. Did that really just happen? And why is it that Elena is always the key to everything? Is she the only Doppelganger in the whole world? Are Stefan and Damon really okay with leaving town when Elena makes her choice? Is Alaric really going to kill all the vampires? Did they really sneak a Buffy: The Vampire Slayer reference into Stefan and Damon’s brotherly bonding road trip conversation? These are the questions the penultimate episode of The Vampire Diaries’ third season left hanging in the balance. And it’s literally (in the British sense) killing me (in the figuratively draining all of my blood to make a hybrid army sense) to wait. a. whole. week. for the surely epic season finale.

But this soul-consuming impatience doesn’t stem from the need to know which Salvatore Elena will choose – neither one is a bad choice. It’s not coming from the seeming fact that Klaus is officially kaput – because I have a theory that we’re not aware of the full story and he’ll be back sooner than you can say Caroline. It’s not even stemming from the fear that Alaric will succeed and eradicate the vampire race because you can’t have a show called The Vampire Diaries if there are no brooding, pensive vampires to write deep thoughts in their Lisa Frank many leather-bound diaries. My biggest fear (and simultaneous thrill) is that this episode poised Elena for the fate that dare not speak its name: Transformation to vampire. It makes complete sense; just bear with me.

Alaric is invulnerable to the White Oak Stake, sending Rebekah running for the hills while Alaric kidnaps Caroline. Klaus is about to boot scoot too, but needs to make a pitstop to pick up his handy dandy Doppleganger, Elena. There’s just one small problem: Alaric demands Elena come to the high school without informing anyone of her whereabouts on pain of Caroline’s death. Inside his classroom, now bereft of the wonder of higher learning, Alaric has strapped Caroline down with pencils and a vervain-laced gag. (It’s about as much torture – of the variety that doesn’t include a shirtless Ian Somerhalder – this audience can handle, so take a chill pill, Mr. History Teacher.) He tries to force Elena to kill Caroline, but she throws vervain in his face and Vampire Barbie escapes into the safety of Klaus’ arms, who’s come to the high school with Stefan and Damon in order to rescue Blondie and Elena, the human blood bank.

We quickly jump from the potentially romantic moment between Klaus and Caroline to Alaric throwing Elena against the lockers, but stopping short of killing her. Why? Because as it turns out, Esther used Doppleganger blood in her Super Vampire spell for a purpose we didn’t yet know this roux of a blood type could handle: When Elena dies, Alaric-Vamp dies. Esther hated vampires, so of course she had an exit strategy so that her vampire-killing machine wouldn’t also live forever like the race he seeks to eradicate.

Of course, the problem is that Stefan and Damon have been knocked out by the Super Vamp when this truth is revealed, leaving Klaus an opening to whisk Elena away and put her life in peril. Klaus plans to drain Elena completely, ending her life and Alaric’s without wasting her precious blood-elixir. Luckily, Alaric informs Damon and Stefan of the issue and they arrive in time to help the unsired Tyler defy Klaus and free Elena.

But before the plot got so out of hand, Bonnie had planned to set up a desiccation spell to stop Alaric. She fed all three vampires her blood so she could sense the moment one of the good guys got his hand on Alaric’s chest so she could complete the spell and stop the super vamp’s heart. When that fails, she uses the spell on Klaus when the Salvatores and Damon rescue Elena, stopping the Season 3 tormentor’s life rather conveniently. It all seems a little too easy – and unfair – that the Original vampire who’s been making their lives hell for a season and a half went down in a last minute Plan B situation. It’s also extremely suspicious that this series, which notoriously can’t go five minutes without a twist or tragedy allowed its characters almost 10 minutes of uninterrupted peace and happiness (also known as under-age tequila shots).

It’s these 10 minutes of peace that really drive my Vampire Elena theory home. First, as I mentioned, she has to die in order for Alaric to die. And TVD without Elena doesn’t work. If she becomes a vampire, she’s technically dead and Vampire Alaric is actually dead. Secondly, everything is sewed up way too nicely. Elena has her friend-family back, Jeremy is still iffy about vampires but makes sure to say he’d do anything to protect his big sis, Bonnie’s got the attention of Jamie and Jeremy, Caroline is Klaus-less and googley-eyed over Tyler, Damon and Stefan have settled with the fact that only one of them will get Elena, and Damon is feeling jovial enough to tell Stefan to celebrate Klaus’ desiccation “once more, with feeling.” (Thanks for the road-paving, Buffy!) Everything is too simple and Damon and Stefan’s Elena truce is based on the notion that she’ll only live about 60 more years and at that point, the two of them can return to being a brotherly duo again. How much of a delicious wrench would it be to have Elena become an immortal vampire and torch their happy little resolution like Esther’s ill-fated witch circle?

And then there are the final seconds of the episode in which Elena for some unknown reason (my theory is that she’s fatigued from being a human blood bag for three seasons) faints while painting Alaric’s old room. Perhaps all this (actual) draining and stress is taking its toll. Perhaps she needs to become a vampire to survive because her elixir bottle life is slowly killing her. But even if that dramatic little moment was just a stress fit and my extrapolations are wilder than Ian Somerhalder’s untamable eyebrows, the evidence for Elena’s eventual turn to blood-sucking is undeniable. Besides, the love triangle between the Doppleganger princess and her vampire consorts is losing steam; it can only go on for so much longer. Giving her vampiric lust and a penchant for violence could throw a curveball at all three main characters. After all, making Elena a vampire puts her one step closer to being just like Katherine – and what a delicious twist that would be.

Do you think Elena will become a vampire? Do you think she’ll choose Stefan? Or Damon? Or herself? Share your conspiracy theories in the comments!

Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.


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[Image: CW]