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Review #3052: The Vampire Diaries 3.4: “Disturbing Behavior”

Posted on the 07 October 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Things start to get more chaotic in Mystic Falls with this episode, which provides a bit more acceleration in some of the plot threads. There is a bit of clarification on some plot elements along the way, but for the most part, this is a routine episode of “The Vampire Diaries”. Which is to say, it barely stops to take a breath, which is why this show works as well as it does.

Review #3052: The Vampire Diaries 3.4: “Disturbing Behavior”

The end of the previous episode left Elena with the necklace that Klaus needs in his quest to mount a defense against some much worse enemy, which seemed like the eventual reason for him to come back to Mystic Falls with Stefan and hot sister Rebecca in tow. It also brought Katherine back into the picture on the periphery. Now it’s pretty clear what the point of all that was: to get the necklace in Katherine’s hands, so she could prolong the hunt by leaving town with it. This also has the unfortunate side effect of leaving Elena in (yet more) dire straits.

It doesn’t help matters that Elena has lost control of her most ardent protector, Damon, because she’s too busy trying to remold him into a new version of Stefan. Damon takes to the constant efforts to rein him in about as well as one might imagine, and it ends with Alaric momentarily dead, Damon ignoring Elena’s orders to play nice with the town council, getting into a fight with Caroline, and generally getting back into the kind of attitude that we all enjoyed in the first place.

It’s not hard to understand Damon’s frustration, actually. By his standards, he’s been incredibly well behaved since Stefan’s departure. It might be a bit much for him to expect everyone to trust his motives and judgment, but at least Elena should be willing to trust him a bit. It may be more about his frustration with Elena and her inability to reciprocate on the romantic front, but all things being equal, he’s got a reason to be angry with how he’s being treated.

Speaking of Caroline, she takes a stand to protect her father, which puts their rather strained relationship in a very weird place. It also doesn’t help that this latest incident, especially ending with Damon’s little tantrum, is forcing the town council to consider its position on the vampire matter. All very ominous, but all the more creepy for the “vampirism = homosexuality” metaphor that the writers were obviously trying to push. Maybe they watched too much early “True Blood” lately? That said, Caroline’s fight with Damon was a highlight of the episode!

But if there is a problem with this episode, it’s been the same problem since the very beginning of the season: Stefan is a terrible liar. And because that’s the case, it makes Klaus look worse every time he makes it seem like Rebecca is some kind of super-psychologist for figuring out that Stefan is hiding something. It would have been far better if Klaus was simply portrayed as supremely arrogant, to the point where he knew Stefan wasn’t being honest about everything, and just didn’t think it mattered.

There was also some progress on the mystery of Jeremy’s ability to see the ghost of girlfriends past, and I was left feeling bad for Anna. Not that a new relationship with Jeremy was really much of an option, but she was clearly heartbroken over the consequences that Jeremy might be bringing down upon himself. I’m also not so sure about Bonnie at this point, because they haven’t really covered all the issues with her departure and Jeremy’s resurrection.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 7/10

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