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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Episode 3.19 ‘Heart of Darkness’

By on April 20, 2012

Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder in The Vampire Diaries. Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/ © 2012 The CW Network

With the season finale drawing near, The Vampire Diaries is definitely squeezing out all of the drama each storyline can offer. This week’s episode saw a substantial development in the love triangle area, some startling plot turns, and the return of a few favourite characters – dead and otherwise. Read on unless you haven’t watched it yet – spoilers ahead!

We might as well address the most anticipated and talked about part of the episode first. Previously, Stefan had encouraged Elena to figure out exactly what she feels for his brother Damon. This week Elena complied with that somewhat painful request by taking a road trip to Denver – a.k.a. Jeremy – with Damon.

Those two actors certainly do not suffer from a lack of chemistry with each other, and that was magnified in this episode. The game changing moment occurred after some lengthy, lingering stares and flirtatious hand touching. Elena and Damon have shared a few kisses over the seasons, but this time Elena initiated the lip lock quite enthusiastically on her own (not that there was any reluctance on Damon’s part). Matching the heated make-out session with Florence and the Machine’s ‘Never Let Me Go’ made it one of those memorably well done TV moments. As happy as fans were to have Jeremy’s character return in this episode, chances are a few of them didn’t love his timing when he interrupted the two with news from Rose.

Yes, Rose returned in her ghostly, lovable fashion to lend a helping hand (and to demonstrate that she is pretty strongly ‘Team Damon’, much to Jeremy’s dismay). When it was discovered in the previous episode that killing an original vampire would kill off everyone that vamp had turned, it sent everyone into a panic about which vampire was safe to stake. Considering the efforts Damon and Stefan have made in trying to annihilate Klaus, the twist proved deeply disturbing.

Unfortunately for the Salvatores, the lead Rose offered was destroyed by killer Kol, who gave Damon a beating to ‘get even’ before exiting. Ouch. Of course, even if killing Klaus would not result in the Salvatore brothers’ deaths, it would mean the end for werewolf-turned-hybrid Tyler.

Caroline and Tyler celebrate his return. Photo Credit: The CW Network.

Tyler and Caroline promptly celebrated the former’s return to Mystic Falls in a cave. Charming? Afterward Caroline joked, “At some point we are going to do this in an actual bed, right?” However, the couple’s joy was short lived once Tyler found Klaus’s horsey drawing for Caroline. Despite Caroline’s insistence that it meant nothing, Tyler stormed off in a huff.

After participating in a faux argument between Caroline and Rebekah, Matt offered the original vampire a ride home in his usual, chivalrous manner. Still smiling from Matt’s thoughtfulness, Rebekah was only a few feet through her front door before she came face to face with her mother, the loving guardian who tried to secretly murder all of her offspring. The two shared a fairly heartbreaking moment before Esther appeared to drop dead. Typically dishonest Esther had offered the explanation that she was weakened by the recent break in the Bennett witch line. Later in the episode it was revealed that Esther didn’t really die – she’s now walking around in poor Rebekah’s body somehow. And yes, she still wants to kill all of her kids.

While Damon and Elena were off kissing in hotel hallways, Stefan was at home babysitting/beating up Alaric – or rather, Alaric’s evil alter ago. Evilaric? The weary ex-vampire hunter easily agreed to let Stefan attack him in the hopes of getting a rise out of his inner villain. Paul Wesley did a phenomenal job in this episode as he struggled to fight the ‘ripper’ that is Stefan’s dark side while attacking Alaric. In an interesting moment with Klaus, Stefan explained that his dark side no longer controls him because he accepts it. Eventually Stefan’s attacks worked and they learned the location of the missing white oak stake. Not knowing that Rebekah was actually Esther, Klaus sent his sister off to retrieve the deadly weapon.

Nina Dobrev as Elena. Photo Credit: The CW Network

As usual, this episode left us with some pressing questions. Where exactly is Rebekah if her mother is occupying Rebekah’s body? It seems possible Rebekah will be completely unaware of what happened when/if she gets her body back, just like Alaric was when Klaus temporarily possessed him.

Now that Esther has her hands on the all-powerful stake, will she partner up with Evilaric in her efforts to slay all of her children? There are so many vampires and hybrids to worry about and you never know who might be shockingly written out of this show.

And, of course, how will all this smoldering Damon and Elena bonding alter the dynamics of the much-debated love triangle? Is anyone else going to throw things at the screen if Elena furrows her brow and murmurs, “I don’t know…” one more time?

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