The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Mid-Season Report Card: It's Not Pretty
Inconsistencies, Illogical Behavior and Too Much Elena, Oh, My!
Let's be honest, the writing for this season of The Vampire Diaries has been a mess. It's reminding me of the V reboot on ABC and that's not something you want to emulate. It was the bad writing for V that helped to totally kill it.
Nearly every episode has had massive inconsistencies in the writing. We've had characters behaving out of character. We've had the undermining for vampire mythology. And there's just been way too much Elena.
Elena! Elena! Elena!
I'll start with the biggest problem: too much Elena. Even though last year was giving the moniker the Year of the Kat, after episode 7 it became the Year of Elena. But she was the doppelganger and she was needed to be sacrificed to break Klaus' curse. The same situation doesn't exist this year, and yet Elena is being shoved front and center and being made the be all and end all of everything and storyline wise it doesn't make any sense.
First she was the reason Klaus couldn't make hybrids. Then her necklace was the reason that Klaus couldn't contact the Original witch to find out what went wrong. Then she was the key to making hybrids. She was the reason Vicky came back as a ghost. Alaric and Damon's friendship was torpedoed and then Alaric and Elena supposedly developed this big bond. Alaric started teaching her how to be a vampire slayer. Alaric needed Elena's help to decode the viking cave paintings. Rebekah spilled her guts to Elena. Elena figured out Klaus killed his mother. And on and on it went. She was everywhere. She was everything. It really needs to stop. It's just making people loathe the sight of this character. Maybe if the character was better written, she could handle having the whole show revolve around her, but she isn't.
She saw her brother smoking a joint and instead of acting like a concerned sister she tried to pawn the responsibility off on Alaric and when he didn't want to deal with it, either, she just forgot about it and went on her merry way. She couldn't give Damon two seconds of sympathy over watching Stefan kill his girlfriend, all she could talk about was that Stefan called her. She didn't care she was putting Alaric in danger when she manipulated him into helping her track down a werewolf tribe when a full moon was coming to help her find Stefan. She offered Jeremy no support over his ghost problem and didn't even care until she wanted Jeremy to use his skill to contact Lexie so she could help her save Stefan. She got Bonnie to wait to send the ghosts back and because of that a man was killed and mayhem took place in the entire town. She told Rebekah Klaus murdered her mother to try and get her to help kill her own brother. She had no problem with Stefan being starved and tortured if it made him go back to being her Stefan.
And this is the character the whole show is being built around. That's not good.
The Destroying of Vampire Mythology
In season one Damon had a lot of cool vampire skills, but the show didn't like Damon being that powerful as a vamp, so now basically the only real power a vampire has is the ability to compel. This season the show has seriously eroded that skill.
First, Bill Forbes claims he's trained his mind to resist being compelled. Just how did he do that? Did a vampire help him to gain that ability by continuously trying to compel him until the compelling had no affect on him?
Even worse, because of Stefan's great love for Elena, he was able to initially resist Klaus' compel spell. Klaus is a freaking Original. Only an Original can compel another vampire. So his spell should have been super duper powerful. Not to mention that Stefan didn't practice like Bill Forbes to resist the compel spell.
But worse than that was throwing out the whole rule that the older a vampire is the stronger he is and a younger vampire can't beat up or over-power an older vampire. Then along came Caroline aka Super Bionic Vampire Barbie. Then the rule was that rule only applies if you're not mad.
What followed was a couple of months old vamp Caroline beating the crap out of 145 year old vamp Damon. But it didn't stop there. Ghost Mason was able to easily knock out Damon and Ghost Lexie was easily able to knock Stefan out, but three ghosts couldn't knock out Super Bionic Vampire Barbie.
In season two fans went wild because Caroline beat up Liz's deputies to save Stefan and Damon. That was believable because they were humans and even though she was a freshly hatched vampire, she was stronger than them. The repeating of that scene with Damon and the ghosts was not the least bit believable. It goes against established facts. It's made Caroline the vampire a very bad joke, which was why I was thrilled they kept Super Vamp out of the Kill Klaus plan in 3.09, since she would have just added a ridiculous element to the whole thing if she'd been allowed to participate.
Stories That Have Gone Nowhere
There's literally been so many, that I'm not sure I can even remember them all.
The Cave Drawings -- According to Ghost Mason they would tell how to kill Klaus. What did they really tell? That Klaus killed his mother. Unless they plan to do more with them in future, that storyline went nowhere fast.
The Uncompelling of Stefan -- In Stefan's flashback in 3.03 it was revealed that Klaus compelled Stefan not to remember Rebekah who he was involved with. Even though he was compelled he picked up Rebekah's necklace off the floor and kept it with him since then. So when Klaus uncompelled Stefan to remember that he and Klaus were friends and that he and Rebekah were involved you expected Stefan's remembered feelings to be a real threat to his feelings for Elena. By 3.04 it was like it never happened, because Stefan wasn't torn by remembering he and Klaus were good friends and he and Rebekah were possibly lovers. In fact, he was all about protecting Elena and finding a way to take down Klaus without being the least bit conflicted.
The Vervain Necklace -- Who knew when Stefan gave Elena that necklace so Damon couldn't compel her that it was a super-powerful necklace that actually belonged to his Original girlfriend, Rebekah. It burned Elena, it set Bonnie's spell books on fire when she tried to find out what it was about, and it rejuvenated itself when Bonnie destroyed it. We still don't know what it's really about, but Elena gave it back to Rebekah, so it seems that may be the end of it, especially if they keep a stake firmly planted in Rebekah's back.
Supernatural Matt -- If Jeremy thought he was special because he could see ghosts and if viewers thought it was a byproduct of Bonnie using magic to bring him back, guess again. Matt drowned himself so Bonnie could bring him back so she could see Vicky. And it worked. Yes, folks, if you have a near-death experience, you too can see ghosts. Since Matt's brief spat of being supernatural he's back to being just plain Matt again. And why did Matt who wants nothing to do with the supernatural do this to himself? Why to help Bonnie save Elena.
Jeremy's Ghost Story -- This story actually started to have some potential, then it was dropped for a few episodes. What followed was it being wrapped up in a couple of episodes. Vicky revealed the Original witch that cursed Klaus, Esther, had sent her back with Jeremy to kill Elena and in return Vicky could walk around amongst the living as a ghost. And Anna may have been sent back with Jeremy because she knew where Mikael was entombed. If Vicky didn't kill Elena to stop Klaus from breeding his hybrid race, then Anna could lead everyone to Mikael so he could kill Klaus. Although the Anna part wasn't specified.
There was very little emotional pay-off to this story, though. Matt got to say goodbye to Vicky and send her away and Jeremy got to kiss Anna, but all the people who should have been supportive of Jeremy pretty much were all about themselves. Elena wasn't even concerned about Jeremy seeing ghosts until she thought he could contact Lexie and get her to help Stefan. Bonnie was more concerned about herself and throwing a pity party for herself than worrying what these ghosts might want from Jeremy or trying to find a way to get rid of them. And Alaric was only interested in being a guardian to Elena; Jeremy could eat dirt and die as far as he was concerned.
As a result, what could have been a good story, went nowhere fast.
The Ripper -- I really think this story has gone nowhere fast, as well. We really haven't seen Stefan in full-blown out of control Ripper mode. And in no time during the first nine episodes of season three have I seen Stefan like he's got an uncontrollable quench for blood. When we've seen his feed on people, there's no unquenchable thirst of a junkie getting a taste of his fix.
Also the stuff they pulled in 3.01 about Stefan ripping apart his victims and then putting them back together again was creepy, but it didn't really seem to fit with what we knew of The Ripper. And since then we haven't seen The Ripper pull his supposed signature move on anyone else. There was also Stefan's wall of victim names in his Chicago apartment. Are we really supposed to believe that the rent has been paid up on that apartment for the last 90 years and that every time Stefan would rip apart some victim he would take a flight to Chicago and write their name on that wall? It was creepy, but not very believable.
All the bad things Stefan has done hasn't been because he's stoned on blood.but because Klaus compelled him to turn off his emotions. As a result the Ripper story's been a real dud.
Damon's Had Enough -- I cheered when Damon finally had enough of Elena wanting him to be like Stefan and told her this is who I am, accept it or not. Of course, her response was that she couldn't have him around her if he acted like that. There was even a great scene between Damon and Katherine where Katherine guessed that Elena wants Damon to act like a hero, but Damon doesn't like to play pretend. Of course, all that got thrown out the window when Damon learned Elena was in danger. He even seemed to blame himself for it as he vowed never to leave Elena, again. This could have gone back to Chicago when he left Elena alone in Stefan's apartment and she made a big thing out of Damon having left her alone and that Klaus could have got her. But Elena's whole, "Where were you?" made no sense, since she said she couldn't have Damon around her if he acts like a vampire.
Alaric Joins The Council -- Alaric muscled his way on the the council to protect Elena's interests and that was basically the end of that.
Partners In Crime -- One of the high points of the first half of this season was Damon and Katherine teaming up to take down Klaus. Of course, the partnership was over before it began.
So much for that.
I'm sure there's many I missed, but those are the ones that have stuck in my mind.
Know Your Facts
It's pretty said that I know the facts the writers established better than the writers that established them. Elijah said Originals could walk in the sun without being affected, but when they did The Originals flashback, Rebekah got burned by the sun. Klaus, as a hybrid, was supposed to be invincible, so the wooden stake that could kill an Original should have had no affect on him.
Katherine and Damon had a bizarre conversation where she claimed the Damon she knew wouldn't risk his life for someone, but he died risking his life trying to save her. Equally ridiculous was Damon firing back that he wouldn't do it for Katherine, when there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for Katherine. He spent 145 years trying to save her.
And those are just a couple of the facts that the writers have gotten mangled, this season.
Characters Behaving Strangely
Why on Earth would Rebekah spill her family history to Elena, a woman she can't even stand. Because she forced Elena to help her pick a dress out for the Homecoming dance?
Alaric didn't want to act as Jeremy's guardian, but he suddenly wanted to take care of Elena. He also suddenly turned on Damon acting like he was a child molester trying to molest Elena when he didn't do anything to warrant it.
If Esther was a witch, then why did she ask witch Ayanna to try and save her son, instead of doing it herself?
Why did Jeremy have to be tortured into helping Damon and Katherine find Mikael so they could kill Klaus? His Aunt Jenna was murdered by Klaus, so shouldn't he want to do anything it took to kill Klaus?
Why can't Elena and Lexie understand that getting Stefan off blood isn't going to change the fact that he's been compelled not to feel anything?
Why would Stefan steal the coffins from Klaus? Klaus had let him go and they were on good terms? Stefan has no reason to want revenge on Klaus. He agreed to Klaus' terms in exchange for getting the cure to save Damon.
Exactly when was Klaus supposed to have promised not to kill Damon? That's what he claimed to Damon when he showed up at the end of 3.05. He certainly didn't promise it in 3.03 when Gloria had to stop Klaus from staking Damon and after that Klaus would hardly promise Stefan anything like that when he learned Stefan was betraying him.
Klaus claimed Stefan taught him how to be evil, but since he murdered his mother and slaughtered Katherine's family, it seemed he already knew how to be evil without any lessons from Stefan.
There's also been some really ridiculous stories.
Damon The Punching Bag -- Practically every episode up to 3.08 featured Damon being beaten up or skewered by someone and Damon not even being allowed to fight back. It got to the point of ridiculousness.
Elena the Vampire Slayer -- Seeing Elena the perpetual victim being trained by Alaric in the skills of the vampire slayer was equally ridiculous to watch. I'm sorry, but in no way, shape or form is she Buffy.
And this has been what the writing has been like this season. It hasn't been pretty. However, in the last two episodes the writing seems to taken a turn for the better. Concentrating on Damon and Stefan's relationship, which is the heart of the show, is a step in the right direction. Keeping Elena out of the action at the Homecoming dance was a welcome respite from Elena overload. And it was a nice twist that Katherine ruined the plan to kill Klaus to save Damon's life because she loves him. However, Stefan stealing Klaus' family when Klaus had let him go in peace, makes no sense.
So it remains to be seen if the first half of the season was just a bad writing patch, or if when the show returns it'll be riddled with more of the bad writing that has plagued the show for most of the first half of season three.