‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Episode 3.20 ‘Do Not Go Gentle’
If you haven’t already watched this week’s Vampire Diaries episode, you may want to turn back now to avoid the spoilers. You may also want to prepare for the episode with one – or seven – packs of Kleenex. Aptly titled ‘Do Not Go Gentle’, this episode was a roller-coaster of emotions and a major tear-jerker.
After some fairly insistent prodding from Caroline, Elena decided to shyly and cutely ask Stefan to the ‘decade dance’. Responding in an equally sweet fashion, Stefan accepted the invite. Throughout the dance and the inevitable fallout, Stefan offered some much needed support for Elena. It was very reminiscent of the way the couple used to be in season one. The two of them seemed to acknowledge that while the dynamics of their relationship have changed, they still have a comfortable closeness with each other. Later in the episode, Stefan gave a heartfelt speech about how feeling emotions keep us human and urged Elena to never lose hope.
Apparently over his bout of angry jealousy, Tyler appeared at the dance to literally sweep Caroline off her feet. He seemed to do a pretty good job of it, seeing as Caroline remained coldly uninterested in Klaus’s continued advances. The girl’s got some willpower – does anyone else find Klaus’s offer to show her the world in his charming manner just mildly tempting? He paints horses and wants to be Stefan’s BFF, guys.
Resident witch and frequent Klaus target Bonnie Bennett was given a more prominent role in this episode. When Esther cast a boundary binding spell around the high-school, all the vampires were trapped on school grounds. When Bonnie finished with her efforts to help the group, she told a grateful Stefan that she didn’t do it for him. While she was dealing with all of that, Bonnie also pursued her new love interest, Jamie, who appeared surprisingly at ease with Bonnie’s unusual life and social circle.
Speaking of Esther, she was just as horribly evil as she has proven herself to be previously. Using magic of some kind, she removed herself from poor Rebekah’s body and proceeded to wreak havoc on Mystic Falls. After combining Alaric’s ring with the last white oak stake to create the ‘ultimate weapon’, she quietly kidnapped Elena and took some of her blood to create the ‘ultimate hunter’. She explained to Elena that by turning Alaric into the most indestructible and powerful vampire ever, she would create the best vampire hunter in history.
When Alaric revived himself (how many times has that poor guy died?), he did so just in time to save Matt and Jeremy from evil Esther. Unfortunately he did not remember what had happened while he was his alter ego. When Elena filled him in, he made the selfless decision to die instead of transition into the vampire that Esther intended him to be.
The Vampire Diaries has had more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments, but this episode featured one of the most poignantly sad scenes in the show’s history. After Elena and Jeremy tearfully bid farewell to their last remaining parental figure, nearly all of the main characters stood outside Alaric’s cave to silently say goodbye. There’s candles, tears, and really good music. Matt Davis portrayed his character, Alaric, incredibly well when he gave a wordless nod to his loved ones and then retreated back into the cave.
Of course, the episode couldn’t end without giving us yet another major twist to dwell on for the next week. Esther – when will she just go already? – appeared to Bonnie in a dream and told her to go finish what their sisters had started. Seemingly possessed, Bonnie followed through with the order and gave Alaric blood for his transition. Now the darkest part of Alaric is alive and extremely powerful. Uh oh?
Lately it has been getting a tad frustrating to watch Elena drag out her decision on which Salvatore brother she wants to be with. After this loss of Alaric, it makes sense that Elena would be more uncertain than ever about that decision. No matter how you look at it, choosing one means losing the other in at least some manner of speaking. After having lost so many people, it makes sense Elena is hesitant to draw any lines in the sand right now. So how will these developments affect the love triangle?
What will happen with the character of Meredith Fell now that her love interest – and the main part of her story – is essentially gone?
How will Damon, who had a fairly minimal role in this week’s episode, deal with the loss of his drinking buddy and best friend? He has a history of dealing with this kind of grief rather aggressively, but maybe this will be a turning point for his character.
Will any of the Original vampires die at the hands of the ‘ultimate hunter’? The white oak stake is not only still in play, it has been transformed into an even more powerful weapon than it was before.
This season is coming to a rapid finish and the final few episodes will surely hold us as captivated as always. Here’s to hoping that the next few won’t hold quite as much heartache as this week’s episode… though this is The Vampire Diaries we are talking about.