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Review #3281: The Vampire Diaries 3.14: “Dangerous Liaisons”

Posted on the 10 February 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

It seems that every season of “The Vampire Diaries” must, by contract, include an episode that requires the cast to get dressed up to the nines. Not that I complain about any excuse to get Elena and Caroline in fancy dresses. I can’t complain about Rebekah, either, though I was a little disappointed that Katherine didn’t show up in some sort of corseted number.

Review #3281: The Vampire Diaries 3.14: “Dangerous Liaisons”

This episode was a lot simpler than I thought it would be, though there was a ton of subtext. In essence, Esther, the matriarch of the Originals, wants to meet with Elena. Damon thinks it’s too dangerous, Stefan is game as long as it means finding a new and exciting way to kill Klaus. It turns out that Esther is not pleased with Klaus or his siblings and what she unleashed on the world in the form of vampires. If nothing else, she wants to wipe her children out, across the board.

Somehow, I doubt it’s going to be that simple, even if the implication is that the spell is already cast. If one of the Originals dies, all of them die. And it would appear that Esther, Elena, and Phil Mikaelson (not the golfer, though that would be hilarious) are the only ones who know it. Well, perhaps Stefan and Damon to a degree, since Elena tells them everything sooner or later, but it’s still something they are keeping to themselves for the moment.

It’s a bit of a process to get the Originals in this bind, and in the course of setting them up, we see that it may not be so cut and dry. Yes, Rebekah is not happy with Elena, and wants her dead, but her attraction to Matt leaves her conflicted. Matt isn’t convinced that a relationship with a vampire, however hot and bothered, is the best of ideas. At least, not yet. The poor guy deserves some kind of action before all is said and done.

Elena clarifies her problems with the Salvatore brothers, despite how they get under her skin. Stefan is the one she’s preferred since day one, but he’s decided to bury his feelings to focus on the mission, and that (and his killing spree) has left them unable to resume a relationship. Damon, on the other hand, has admitted his love for Elena, but she continually balks, because he’s an overprotective jerk with impulse control issues. That he responds to Elena’s overly harsh rejection by snapping the neck of a bratty Original and violently shagging Rebekah is typical Damon Salvatore.

While I’m still on the fence regarding the notion that Elijah is remotely trustworthy, I’m more intrigued by the thought of a Caroline/Klaus relationship. Tyler is out of the picture for now, and Caroline deserves the screen time. They also have enough chemistry for this to be an interesting way to make Klaus more sympathetic. After all, we love Caroline, so if she comes around, we’re likely to follow suit.

This wasn’t the most complex of episodes, but there’s a lot of subtle character work involved that informs where the story will be going. They continue to solidify the notion that there are distinct and tightly-bound bloodlines at the heart of the story, and while it’s a bit of a cliché in the genre, it’s still something that I tend to enjoy when it’s done well. And as with so many things about this show, it is.

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

Final Rating: 8/10

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