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Vampire Diaries Recap: S03E03: The End of the Affair
Episode three, "The End of the Affair," brings us flashing back to Chicago in the 1920s, the very end of Stefan's run as "The Ripper." As is customary with a flashback episode, we are treated to fabulous period costuming and information that deeply enriches our understanding of our favorite vampires and what has brought them to be the characters we know and love today. In other news, my favorite vampire gets tortured by her father...
Caroline's father wants some information from his daughter; he wants to know how she walks in the sun. She twitches her hand (which is still strapped to a chair, I might add), and he promptly takes her ring and throws it on the ground. "Blood controls you sweetheart. This is how I'm going to fix you," he states ominously before opening a skylight of sorts that shines sun down onto his only daughter.
"I'm conditioning you to associate vampirism with pain," he explains, "In time, the thought of human blood will make you repress your vampire instincts completely." Well at least he doesn't want to kill her, is my first thought, but that goes out the window when he reveals that that is his back-up plan if his training fails. I understand that the Forbes have been conditioned to hate vampires, but it is pretty easy to see that Caroline is still essentially Caroline, just with an added penchant for blood.
Luckily, one of Caroline's parents can forgive and forget. Once Tyler and Sheriff Forbes realize that Caroline is MIA, they rush to her rescue. Back at home, Caroline's mother tries to explain why her father hates vampires and how difficult it can be to come to terms with the fact that your only child has been turned. Unfortunately, that does not ease the pain that comes with knowing your father hates you for something beyond your control. Of course, Tyler is there to comfort her, so perhaps there is an upside to all of this.
The Roaring Twenties
We begin the show with a call from Katherine. In typical Katherine style, she calls up Damon to be cryptic and let him that she knows where Stefan is.
The thing is, however, that Stefan does not really know where he is. He knows that Klaus has taken him to Chicago, of course, but the significance escapes him. So Klaus begins the arduous task of enlightening Stefan, and the audience, as to this location's importance. We step back in time to find Stefan fully confident in his killing and his abilities to woo the ladies. One woman, Rebekah, does not seem impressed initially. That could be because she happens to be an original vampire and Klaus' beloved sister. This association brings Klaus and Stefan together. They become friends, even brothers, of sorts.
That is, until Klaus' past catches up with him. Klaus and Stefan's friendship ends when police raid their speakeasy loaded with wooden bullets. Ready to run, Klaus compels Stefan to forget the both of them. "Thank you. I had forgotten what it was like to have a brother," he says in way of parting. Who told the police about the vampires, and who did Klaus feel the need to run from?
More Family Troubles
The important question is, why is Klaus bringing Stefan to Chicago now? Does he just want to relive his past? As always, this original vampire has a motive. Because his curse was not fully lifted, he is now trying to track down the witch who originally cursed him. The owner of the club he used to frequent in the 1920s, Gloria, is a witch who can help him find who he is looking for, but first she needs something from Rebekah.
It looks like Klaus did not lie completely to Elijah when he said the family members he killed were safe. Rebekah is preserved, at least, and Klaus wakes her up to help with the search. The only problem is that Rebekah needs the necklace she always used to wear, a necklace that now belongs to Elena.
We are left with Rebekah's panic over her missing necklace, but I am interested to see where her loyalties lie. She had sided with her brother against her family, but when Klaus wanted to run, Rebekah wanted to wait for Stefan. She loved him, and when forced to pick between the two, she chose Stefan over her brother. And Klaus killed her.
"I brought you a little peace offering," Klaus tells her when they reunite, revealing Stefan. Klaus gives Stefan back his memories, so now he can remember the past we just witnessed. With Stefan on the outs with Elena, we will have to see if anything rekindles with Rebekah, and how many times loyalties will shift.
The Search for Stefan
Speaking of Elena, she and Damon start off for Chicago after Katherine's call (and an interesting moment where she wakes up with Damon in her bed... why can't I wake up like that?). Upon reaching Chicago, they head for Stefan's old apartment. There Damon shows her the closet, where an entire wall is decorated with names of Stefan's victims. While Damon goes fact-finding at the old speakeasy, Elena amuses herself by reading through Stefan's old diaries, which detail the time after his association with Klaus when Lexi came and saved him from himself. Though Damon left Elena to keep her safe, Stefan and Klaus show up, so she quickly hides herself.
Elena saw Stefan's list of names, and knew that they were his victims. What she didn't know is that he wrote them down to relive the kill. Still, she is determined to save him. She comes to the speakeasy at night and meets Stefan outside. While hugging him, she tries to inject Stefan with vervaine so they can get him home. He stops her and gets angry: "It's done. That part of my life is done. I don't want to see you. I don't want to be with you. I just want you to go." Even if Elena were to bring Stefan back now, it would take him years to recover, years that she does not have to give, so he walks away from her.
I am extremely interested to see how the writers work their way out of the obstacles they are building for Stefan and Elena. Stefan is right after all, it would take a long time to get the blood lust under control. But that assumes that he is completely at its mercy, which we know he is not. But now with the return of Rebekah, Stefan may now have a legitimate reason to stay with Klaus.
Can Stefan be saved like Elena hopes?
Next Time, on The Vampire Diaries...
"Disturbing Behavior": Bonnie returns and Jeremy now has to juggle his current girlfriend with his ghostly exes. Stefan has plans but they appear to spiral out of control. And Damon and Elena have to navigate some sexual tension and some moral ambiguity.