When Klaus first came to Mystic Falls he hit the small town like a hurricane but now, there's something worse; it can't be killed, it won't show mercy and its name is Alaric.
Though Alaric survived the ritual, no one knows he is alive and Caroline and Rebekah are the first ones to feel his newfound strength. After using the white oak stake on him, Rebekah escapes but Caroline is ruthlessly dragged into the school as the ultimate weapon has little effect on Alaric. Terrified for her life, Rebekah plans to leave Mystic Falls but when she asks Klaus to come with her, he has other plans before he leaves in the form of a doppelganger. Klaus intends to make an army of hybrids, with or without the help of his sister and after Elena is lured away from her home by Alaric, his threats are all for naught. Alaric has a simple demand, bring him Klaus so he can kill him. Luckily the Salvatore brothers are there to provide a distraction by having Alaric break their necks (not planned by the way) but when Klaus takes Elena to drain her blood for his army, Stefan and Damon should have know they could never turn their backs on the oldest player in the game.
While it was a vast improvement over last week's Do Not Go Gentle, Before Sunset still had its share of ups and downs. Although he has been transformed into the ultimate hunter, Alaric should have gotten a lot more screen time than he did in the episode. It could be that The Vampire Diaries is saving some of the bigger moments for the season finale but do they want to leave everything until the end? Alaric has always been one of my favourite characters on the show and that guy has definitely not gotten his due this year. Alaric's scene with Elena in the classroom was great and what he said to her about her choices and parents wasn't a lie either. In a twisted sense, Alaric was right about everything he said as Mystic Falls has been run by vampires while its residents have become walking happy meals.
From one extreme to the other, Elena's love triangle with Stefan and Damon somehow manages to be at the forefront of everyone's mind. It's a conversation that can't be avoided as Elena, Stefan, Damon, Jeremy and even Klaus can't help but bring it up when there is an immortal vampire hell bent on killing them all. It's also very difficult to like Elena when she is such a selfish character as well. Klaus was right when he said she avoided making a decision and even later on, Elena only focuses on what she has been through. What about how Caroline was turned into a vampire by Elena's doppelganger and how her father let himself die when he was turned or how Bonnie's mother was turned to so that no one would have to hurt Elena. It's amazing how much everyone does to keep Elena safe and happy when she is the reason people in the show get hurt. If Elena had more redeeming qualities it would be help but the writers can't keep using her age as an excuse when she continues to show maturity whenever it's convenient.
Before Sunset's two strong points were Matthew Davis as Alaric and the potential progression of the story beyond Klaus. As I mentioned earlier, Alaric has always been one of my favourite characters and he is makes the most of what little screen time he does get. The advantage of him being a vampire is that he doesn't have to sit on the sidelines while Stefan and Damon steal the spotlight each week. Watching him take the two of them apart so easily should make another battle between them pretty exciting when that happens. Lastly, it was a great twist to see Stefan, Damon and Bonnie turning the desiccation spell on Klaus rather than Alaric. Klaus's story has been running on fumes for quite some time now and a break from the original vampire is much needed. This also gave Alaric the opportunity to turn the council on Carol Lockwood and Sheriff Forbes by exposing Tyler and Caroline's secrets and change everything. Whatever happens with Alaric, hopefully he will bring a lasting change to The Vampire Diaries.
Now that Alaric has blown the whistle on a few of the vampires who knows what he has up his sleeve for the likes of Stefan, Damon, Elena and the others. We'll find out in next week's third season finale, The Departed.