The Vampire Diaries: Do Not Go Gentle

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

For a thousand years Esther watched her children destroy countless lives. In order to atone for turning them into vampire so long ago, she will do whatever it takes to kill them all.

Unaware his sister has been possessed by his supposedly dead mother, Klaus indulges Rebekah's (Esther's) wish to attend the Decade Dance before they leave Mystic Falls. Alaric also has the same idea when he tells Damon he's leaving town for a few days but unfortunately, that isn't true. Evil Alaric is giving Damon the slip so he and Esther can follow through with a ritual to make the last white oak stake indestructible and turn him into the ultimate hunter, capable of killing her children. Elsewhere, Elena is having her turn with Stefan when she asks him to the dance but after Klaus shows up the party is over. Tyler is back in town but he isn't too keen the first vampire hitting on his girl but plays along to keep his secret of breaking free of his sire bond. It's at the dance when Damon catches up to Elena and Stefan to let them know Alaric has gone rogue but when they try to leave, Esther is already one step ahead and used a spell to trap them. Now the Salvatores have to choose between saving their good friend or killing him before he can't be stopped.

Do Not Go Gentle had a lot going on and for almost the entire episode, it was bad. From beginning to end it felt like earlier in the season with every character making an appearance just for the sake of being there. Caroline still has her issues with Tyler's jealousy of Klaus, Bonnie has a new guy she's interested in and Jeremy has returned to Mystic Falls so he can storm off from a conversation every chance he can get. Having so many characters is difficult enough for any show but when something interesting is happening to Alaric for the first time this season, it's hard to care about the small stuff like that. Most of Do Not Go Gentle's time should have been with Alaric and Esther but it's a consistent problem The Vampire Diaries to write off the best characters just when things are getting good.

Moments before the closing scene Alaric had the opportunity to say goodbye to his loved ones and friends and it was one of the worst scenes ever in The Vampire Diaries. For a character that has been on with the series since the first season (even though he has died several times), having everyone stare at him while he stood inside a crypt was ridiculous. The scene between Alaric and Damon, while touching, was brief and didn't establish a connection to the viewer it needed in order to sell the idea that Alaric could die. Because so little effort went into the whole scene, it was apparent one the shows trademark "twists" was just around the corner as Alaric became another ultra vampire.

If The Vampire Diaries wanted to do something interesting they would have kept Esther rather than turn Alaric into a vampire. Even before it happened I wondered why the evil Alaric would even go through with the ritual at all. Did he just not know what he would become or did he not care that he would be the thing that he hated the most? Bonnie's compulsion/whatever that was at the end was intriguing and I would be more inclined to see her carry the torch for Esther since vampires have taken almost everything from her in the course of her life. Unfortunately, Kat Graham is one of the worst actors on the show and could never convincingly be the villain. Oh well, we can always hope Klaus will stop fawning over Caroline with sketches and poems and go back to being a murderous psychopath.

With a few episodes left in the third season, The Vampire Diaries needs to make something happen but an exciting climactic finish may not be the best way to go. What the show has failed to do this season is establish the numerous characters they have brought on like Mikael, Kol of even Esther. Now that Alaric has joined the league of heavy hitters, hopefully he will get the chance to be front and centre in next week's Before Sunday.

Tags: The Vampire Diaries, Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore, Elena Gilbert, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev

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