'The Vampire Diaries': Recap of Episode 3.22 “The Departed”
It doesn’t take long to realize that the opening scene of this week’s TVD is not in present day. Elena awakes with a smile and a zest for life – something we haven’t seen in a very long time. A flashback to a simpler life when her parents are still alive, Matt is on the scene, and there isn’t a vamp in site.
Back to present day – and a harsh reality. Elena’s in the hospital with a mild concussion. According to Dr “I love Vampire Blood”, she’s fine and “there’s nothing to worry about”. Right. Love how protective Jeremy is of his sister. Of course, Damon is outraged that Jeremy has taken Elena from the safety of her no-vamp zone at home to the hospital where it’s free for all. Cut the guy some slack – he just found his sister bleeding and unconscious on the floor.
Damon: “Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you not being the dumbest brother on earth?”
Damon and Stefan are still on their road trip to dump Klaus’s body when they get the call that Elena’s in the hospital. To protect their bloodline, they need to keep Alaric from finding Klaus’s body and staking him. Using their popular coin toss, they split up. Damon takes Klaus to stash his body in a storage facility and Stefan returns to Mystic Falls.
Damon : “Our life is one big proverbial coin toss.”
Alaric gloats to Meredith Fell at the hospital – he’s been spilling the beans on everyone in town who’s been running with the vamps. Carol Lockwood and Sheriff Forbes are to be released of their duties and the council intends on getting Meredith’s medical license suspended for using vampire blood on patients. Ouch. Alaric’s on an unstoppable mission to get Mystic Falls back under control. Pulling out the guardianship card, he heads off to take Elena home but her friends have beaten him to it. Just as well as evil Alaric acting all guardian-like would’ve been just plain creepy.
Back home Elena is banished to the couch and coddled by Matt, Tyler, and Caroline. Sweet moment of friendship between them all. Elena falls asleep and has more flashbacks of her time with Matt, her turmoil of emotions to a fading relationship with him, and to the day her parents die. When she wakes up, Matt is watching her. Clearly, Matt never read the memo that watching someone sleep is just weird. Elena offers a long overdue apology for stringing him along towards the end of their relationship, something she’s doing to the Salvatore brothers. Stefan arrives and there’s hugs of relief all round. Sweet reunion.
Enter Elijah out of the blue. Hello again. He’s come to make a deal – help disarm Alaric from his magic stake, take Klaus’s body, and haul ass across the globe. Coffin and all. All vampires – and Elena – will be safe. They’ve run from a vampire hunter before. Alaric should be no different. Had to laugh at Damon’s reaction on the phone. “No, no, no, no!” The man has a point. Since Elena’s life is tied to Alaric’s, what’s stopping the originals from making her their next hot target? Much to his disgust, Elena makes the deal with Elijah.
Elijah: “I give you my word, Elena. I will not revive Klaus within yours, nor even within your children’s life times. Perhaps that will finally teach him some manners.”
Needing a sidekick, Evil Alaric approaches Jeremy for help. He needs to know where Klaus’s body is. His goal – to wipe out the entire original family, thus ending the vamp race for good. Considering the drama they’ve had since the vampires came to town, Alaric’s proposal hits a nerve with Jeremy. Just as it looks as though Jeremy might cave on the loyalty front and side with Alaric, he spins Alaric a tall tale about Damon taking Klaus’s body to the woods. And the plan is in motion.
Alaric: “Be on the right side of this.”
Mamma Lockwood and Sheriff Forbes call Caroline and Tyler home to tell them they have to run before the council finds and kills them. Thanks Alaric. Caroline and Tyler agree to run. A teenage fantasy come true – except this fantasy has the blessing of two mothers protecting their offspring. A quick escape plan and they split up with the promise of meeting back at the cellar in two hours.
Caroline: “I will go anywhere with you. If we have to spend the rest of our lives running, I will run with you. But first, I have to help our friends.”
Damon takes Bonnie to Klaus to do a witchy locator-jamming spell on Klaus to keep him hidden. Something’s up with Bonnie. She’s a little too confident and has some weird attitude brewing. She asks for time alone with Klaus – alarm bells anyone? Found Klaus’s unmoving body but open eyes really creepy.
Damon: “One beef-jerkified original.”
Stefan and Elena share a quiet moment alone where he promises to protect them. Elena has something to say but stalls, telling him they can talk later. Stefan agrees, but instead of walking away, he hesitates, takes the final leap, and kisses her. Not the rockets and fireworks like the kiss she shared with Damon a few episodes back, but the kiss is beautiful and real. Loved this scene as Season 3 has seen far too few kissing scenes.
Stefan: “That’s just in case there is no later.”
Thanks to some nifty detective skills, Alaric finds Damon at the storage lockers. One quick snap and Damon’s out, leaving Alaric to play a game of hide and seek –although there’s more seeking than hiding … with there being a thousand lockers and all. Rebekah arrives and Damon is quick to warn her of Alaric. They team up and move Klaus’s body but Alaric blindsides them and stakes Klaus. Love the way Damon protects Rebekah, his mortal enemy. Little does he know he’ll regret this decision later. As for Klaus and his sired Salvatores – a horrible final moment of a fallen villain and a sad farewell between two brothers expecting death at any moment.
Damon: “Call me if you cough up a lung.”
Matt and Elena share an honest moment over tea and she explains her feelings for the Salvatore brothers. Stefan saved her and made her want to live again. Damon consumes her. In choosing one, she’ll lose the other. Matt drugs her tea, hauls her to his truck, and high-tails it out of town. The only way to protect Elena. Bold move for Matt. When they get word of Klaus’s death, Matt gives Elena a choice. Keep driving to Damon or turn around to Stefan. Hm, crossroads. She calls Damon and finally makes her choice. She loves Stefan. Maybe if she’d met Damon first it might have been different. Some raw honesty, a powerful moment.
Elena: “No matter what I feel for you, I never unfell for him.”
Klaus is dead and Tyler’s fate is sealed. A quick, tragic goodbye between Caroline and Tyler before the wolf starts rearing its head and in true hero style, Tyler sends Caroline away. Grab the tissues. It gets worse. The burning question – how are the Salvatore brothers still alive if Klaus is dead? The answer … Bonnie has embraced her witchy powers and has dabbled with some dark magic. Klaus is still alive and thanks to her witchy ju ju body-swap spell, he’s taken over Tyler’s body. Thinking that Klaus is dead, all bets are off and Rebekah’s on a rampage – to kill Elena. Thanks to her quest for revenge, Matt and Elena veer off Wickery Bridge and crash into the river below.
During a struggle with Alaric, Damon has his own flashback to the day he first met Elena – before she met Stefan – but he compelled her to forget ever having met him. A gorgeous scene but one that struck me as odd as it seemed a bit out of character for the Damon way back then. Hm, makes me wonder if this is the door left open for a possible rekindling of a relationship between them for later?
Damon: “You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure and even a little danger.”
During a series of flashbacks between Elena’s accident with her parents and her accident with Matt in the present day, we see what happened the day her parents died. A heartbreaking, silent goodbye between Elena and her father. Cut back to present day … Stefan arrives but Elena stubbornly insists that he help Matt first. Torn between his protective instincts and respecting her wish, Stefan pulls Matt out of the car and disappears. I expect him to reappear within seconds for Elena … but he doesn’t. With acting skills that easily rival many other actresses, Nina Dobrev pulls off the most breathtaking, underwater dying scene. And still somehow manages to look amazing.
During a heavy fistfight between Alaric and Damon, Alaric dies and Jeremy receives a visit from Ric who’s come to say goodbye. Damon and Jeremy make the connection that Elena is dead – a heart wrenching moment to watch. Sniff, sniff. Love the fact that Alaric’s final appearance in TVD is as Ric, and not as evil Alaric.
Damon rushes to the hospital where Meredith confesses that in order to help Elena earlier, she’d given her vampire blood. And the penny drops. Gasp. A crazy, whiplash, sucker-punch realization. The sight of a grieving Stefan standing over Elena’s lifeless body is tragic and breathtaking. And in a touch of Twilight style, Elena opens her eyes and takes one huge, vampire breath.
A whopper of a cliffhanger ending, a mountain of unanswered questions, a complete plot-changer to the TVD series, and a finale that most certainly topped all others. It’s going to be a long four months until TVD returns.