The Vampire Diaries Review: “The Departed” (Season 3, Episode 22)

Things were looking anything but pretty for Elena (Nina Dobrev) on last week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries. Even after it looks like they are finally free from the terror of Klaus (Joseph Morgan), they still have Alaric’s (Matt Davis) anti-vampire mission to look forward to – and with the mayor and sheriff outed at the last council meeting, it’s anyone’s game.

Apparently, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) found his sister unconscious and called 911. The only people he has to call are the Salvatore Brothers, who are currently on the road deciding where to hide Klaus’s body. They aren’t particularly happy with her location, rationalizing that every other Original will be after her now that she is the key to taking out the invincible vampire hunter.

Alaric pays a visit to Meredith (Torrey DeVitto) hoping to relieve her of a patient, but only after he updates her on what’s he’s been up to. Luckily, Jeremy was smart enough to listen to Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and gets her out of their. At least at home she has the protection of Alaric being left out in the cold, now that he needs an invite to enter.

Instead, Alaric tries a more convenient approach – ambushing Jeremy at the Grill.

The Gilbert house starts to empty out when Caroline (Candice Accola) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) get a call from their moms. It won’t be long until everything is up-to-speed. Matt (Zach Roerig) doesn’t have to be on guard duty without vampire muscle for long since Stefan shows up. It’s hard to tell whether he won the coin toss or lost it.

Alaric tries to recruit Jeremy to help him rid the world of vampires using his attachment with Elena as bait. But he’s not the only one doing some recruiting. Elijah (Daniel Gillies) shows up right on schedule with a plan of his own – and it involves reviving Klaus.

The mayor and Sheriff Forbes offer every bit of their maternal instincts up when they instruct their children to run. This is setting some interesting possibilities up for next season with almost every character planning to be on the lamb.

Elena makes another deal with Elijah (let’s hope it works out better than the last) to return Klaus’s body to his siblings in exchange for them leaving Mystic Falls in their dust as they run from Alaric. This will let Elena live out her human life and give Alaric something to chase in the meantime.

Before that can happen though, Rebekah (Claire Holt) needs to pick up the body and get it out of harms way. That would have set things in motion toward a happy ending – if Alaric hadn’t beaten her there.

While the vampires of Mystic Falls plot to save Elena and themselves, Matt and Jeremy have another idea for her safety. Matt drugs Elena under the guise of over-honeyed tea and pulls a grab and run. He thinks if she can get out of town her chances of a normal life are better. I wonder if they told Alaric where to find Damon too?

With a thousand storage units for him to search, Alaric is momentarily occupied. If only Rebekah had kept her voice down when she arrived. Somehow Damon manages to catch her before it’s too late and gets the coffin ready for transport. In a completely confusing move, considering Bonnie (Kat Graham) cast a spell safeguarding Klaus, Alaric is able to stake him and we watch him burst into flames. Rebekah has never been more human then at this moment. Somehow I don’t think death will take – my guess is that it’s some sort of stunt double replica and the real Klaus is still cozy, in a manner of speaking, in unit 1020.

Well, after the commercial break we find out that he is indeed a goner. If he wasn’t lying about being the head of the same bloodline as Stefan, Damon and company, then next season is looking pretty bleak. But even if he was, Tyler and Abby (Persia White) are goners.

In a moment of desperation Elena is forced to make the decision between Damon and Stefan, and after all that waiting we’re right back to Elena and Stefan forever. It hardly seems fair for her to have to make a choice like that when she’s now at risk of losing them both regardless. At least Damon won’t be alone if death pays him a visit. Alaric has come back to haunt.

Caroline runs to Tyler who is having some unusual side effects to dying. His werewolf side might have something to say, maybe it’s enough to keep him alive. There really isn’t a precedent to hybrids.

Well, I wasn’t entirely right about the Klaus double act, but he’s not dead. He’s Tyler?

Someone better clue Rebekah in because she’s had enough of running and has decided to take things into her own hands. If the only way to kill Alaric is to kill Elena then she’s willing to take one for the team and do what’s necessary. Elena finds herself back in the same position she was when Stefan first laid eyes on her – on the verge of drowning.

When Elena had her possibly last conversation ever with Damon she said that “maybe if I had met you first.” It sounded like a line, but Damon might have had a real reason to flinch at that remark. While he’s busy getting his ass pummeled by Alaric he drifts into dreamland where he has a flashback of his own. Elena has managed to forget that they did, or at least she was compelled to.

Just like last time, Stefan comes to the rescue. Except this time Elena won’t let him save her first. Elena stops breathing before he can get back down and Alaric goes down too, alerting Damon to the imminent problem. Jeremy sees Alaric’s ghost and it doesn’t take long for him to figure out that something is not going according to plan.

Damon rushes to the hospital where the events that follow can only be described as O-M-G! Meredith tells him that her previous injuries were more severe than she told Jeremy, and then she goes on to insinuate that Elena needed more help than she could provide, medially speaking. In Meredith’s case this means she used vampire blood to save her. Vampire blood + death = vampire.

Elena is a vampire?

Elena would hate this. But, evil Alaric is dead. And Tyler? Is he dead or is Klaus just borrowing his body much like Esther borrowed Rebekah’s body?

Next season of The Vampire Diaries is shaping up to be the best one yet!

Until next season folks.