When Esther cast the spell that turned her family into the first vampires it was to save their lives. After a thousand years of sleeping in a coffin, Esther has realized that she made a mistake and will take every action to correct it.
After last week's close call with Alaric, Elena is leaving the hospital when she is suddenly attacked by a revenge crazed Rebekah but Elijah arrives just in time to stop his sister and fills Elena in on everything that has happened in the past twenty four hours. Back at home, Elena gives the rundown to Stefan and Damon and now that Esther wants the originals to go back to being a happy family, their plan is screwed. Just when things can't get any stranger, Elena receives an invitation to a ball held by the originals and on the back is a personal message for a meeting with Esther. Damon is unwilling to even dare take the risk that Elena could be put into harm's way but Stefan sees the greater goal and knew there would eventually be a risk. It's at the party when tempers begin to flare and Elena's meeting with Esther reveals that Esther has reunited her family not to for love but instead to destroy them. Trying to juggle so many factors at once, Elena has to decide if she will take Damon's advice and play it close to the chest or follow in Stefan's footsteps and go for broke, regardless of who gets hurt.
In a drastic improvement from last's week's Bringing Out the Dead, The Vampire Diaries may have shifted itself back onto the right path with Dangerous Liaisons. What the episode did so well was to bring the relationship between Stefan, Elena and Damon to the forefront again. Stefan's steadfast refusal to let his feelings back in while Damon is overcome by his own provide a sharp contrast between the two and pull their dynamic beyond the nice guy vs. the rebel. In turn, the two of them have completely overshadowed Elena as of late as Wesley and Somerhalder's performances continue to improve.
Noticeably absent this week was Alaric after his latest near death (I've actually lost count) experience. Considering at the beginning of the episode Elena was leaving the hospital after seeing him, why wasn't he included at all. Bonnie and her mother weren't in the episode but Matt was there to be a date and have his hand broken? It's didn't make sense that they weren't there but it also goes to show that they can easily be left behind for a family of interesting vampires. It was disappointing to be told that Tyler had left town after he 'freaked out' as this was essentially a cop out to make room for the originals. Did he freak out over having to change into a werewolf again? The writers need to take more than thirty seconds to come up with exits for characters because they aren't well though out.
After so much build up, it seems like there may finally be an end in sight for at least one original. Esther's determination to balance the forces of nature after granting her family eternal life will hopefully cut down on the number of invincible beings walking freely around Mystic Falls, Klaus included. The balance of power in the show favours the originals so heavily that if Esther does not have an impact on the number of originals left alive, her presence will have been as much of a waste as Mikael's. I'm quite certain this won't be the case but I'm just as certain that her children will find a way to break the bond between them (the scene where the bond was formed was probably one of the coolest moments the show has ever had).
Dangerous Liaisons was a pleasant surprise and besides some plot holes, a dreadful dance routine and every second spent with Caroline, it wasn't bad. Though there were great elements to the episode I honestly believe The Vampire Diaries is holding back while they set up for a big finish. We'll see if I'm right beginning with next week's All My Children.