Entertainment Magazine

Review #3262: The Vampire Diaries 3.13: “Bringing Out the Dead”

Posted on the 03 February 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

Perhaps more than any other show currently on the air, death is a relative term on “The Vampire Diaries”. People die in some way, shape, or form in just about every episode, and a lot of them wind up coming back before much time has elapsed. The end result is that one can never be sure when death is going to “stick”, so it’s easy to get complacent and assume survival.

Review #3262: The Vampire Diaries 3.13: “Bringing Out the Dead”

The battle between the Originals and the Salvatores comes down to a dinner party in this episode, but when the stakes are this high (no pun intended), every line of dialog has that much more meaning and context. Klaus tries to drive a wedge between Stefan and Damon, but despite the obvious issue of Elena, her survival, and their competition over her affections, the Salvatores stand together.

Speaking of Elena, the writers use the dinner party to toss out a bit more exposition to cover off her status as the doppelganger, which has never been entirely sensible as presented. As it turns out, Klaus’ mother used the blood of Tatia Petrova for the ritual that turned him, and that started the cycle of binding the Petrova legacy to the vampire and werewolves. It amounts to a lot of hand-waving, but at this point, it just serves to justify the fun parts, so it’s easy to let it slide.

It’s great to see the whole Original family in the thick of things, because it amounts to the escalation that was rapidly becoming necessary. Sure, Klaus is good at playing the villain, but it was getting mildly repetitive. Now we have all kinds of intrigue between the siblings to enjoy, and it even gives Elena and the Salvatores a reasonable chance of finding a way to survive. If there’s a true wild card, it’s Esther. How will their mother change the shape of the game? And does it pertain to the mysterious resident of that unopened coffin?

Turning from the undead to the living, the mystery of the serial killer is getting more complex than I anticipated. All the evidence points to someone who knows a lot about Elena and Alaric’s activities of late, and it seems Meredith (prime suspect #1) has a good alibi. So who could it be? I must admit, they played the misdirection well enough that I’m not sure. Could it be Katherine, seeking to upset the status quo?

Whatever the case, it led to one of the most heart-wrenching moments of the season. Caroline has long since been one of my favorite characters, so her situation in this episode was crushing. Considering that we’ve hardly seen her father, his decision to die rather than become a vampire was oddly poignant. It even had layers of social commentary, in terms of his hatred for vampires vs. his love for his daughter. Wonderful stuff, especially in counterpoint to Alaric’s resurrection. With that ring running out of juice, he may not have many do-overs left.

“The Vampire Diaries” continues to be one of the most consistently entertaining shows on the air. The writers have definitely hit their stride, and unless Mystic Falls finally runs out of people to kill off, I don’t see that trend coming to an end any time soon.

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

Final Rating: 8/10


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