The Vampire Diaries Review, Season 3, Episode 21: “Before Sunset”
Written by Caroline Dries (Teleplay) and Charlie Charbonneau and Daphne Miles (Story)
Directed by Chris Grismer
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on the CW
This week, on The Vampire Diaries: Malaric means business, Bonnie channels the dark stuff, and Klaus chooses followers over family
Despite The Vampire Diaries history of strong, action-packed season endings, there were those nervous about Malaric, Klaus, and all the other storylines the writers are currently juggling, and whether they’d be able to pull it all together in so few episodes. Fortunately, any such concerns are put to bed this week before the title card even comes up. Malaric enters the scene with appropriate menace, drive, and determination and Matt Davis sells this new, fully transitioned character, radiating intensity and purpose. There are slight glimmers of humanity underneath the performance, keeping Elena, and the audience, ever so slightly off guard, uncertain if there’s a chance Ric can find his way back or if, as indicated later in the episode, self-preservation truly is the sole motivation for Malaric’s concern for Elena.
Klaus has been such a central antagonistic figure for so long, and remains so powerful and uncontrollable, that it feels like the only satisfying narrative direction the finale can take is for him to be eliminated, but here, for the first time, we see a little vulnerability, and, if the writers can believably temper his psychosis, perhaps there is room for him to hang around Mystic Falls for a while. There was brief talk from Esther, a while back, of making the Originals human again. A human Klaus could be incredibly interesting. We’ll see which way they decide to go. Given our heroes’ triumphant declaration of victory over Klaus, if not Malaric, it seems unlikely we’ve seen the last of him (they’re not that lucky), but, as ever on The Vampire Diaries, crazier things have happened, and probably will again.
More than anything, however, the highlight of this episode is Elena and the handling of the Elena/Salvatore love triangle. Another country is heard from (Klaus is Team Stefan), but more importantly, Elena broaches the morality of their situation with Jeremy. It’s great to see the show delve, however briefly, into the hard truth that killing all vampires would probably be better overall for the world. It’s a simple calculation, and more lives would be saved than lost. Of course, nothing’s that simple and it’s great to see Elena deal with this, even accepting the role of villain if it means she gets to keep her friends. Jeremy remains fairly silent on the issue, however- it’d be interesting to find out what he thinks of all of this. He seems to mainly spend time with Matt at this point. Do we know just what he thinks of all the supernatural elements defining his life?
What did you think of this episode? Anyone else love Klaus’ attack on the house (very Big Bad Wolf!)? Who do you think isn’t making it out of the finale? Post your thoughts below!