The Vampire Diaries 3.13 "Bringing Out the Dead"

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

Sheriff Forbes delivers some unsettling news to Alaric and Elena about the murder weapon used in a recent killing. In Damon and Stefan's ongoing mission to kill Klaus, Stefan turns to Bonnie and Abby for help, and Damon seeks out to an old acquaintance to help him put together an elaborate plan. With a plan of his own, Klaus hosts an unusual dinner party, where he reveals another story from his family's violent history, but a surprise visitor brings the party to an abrupt end. Meanwhile, Caroline's heart is broken when she is unable to prevent a tragedy.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8:00 on the CW.

They keep killing Ric. Seriously, he must not be worried about the wonky mojo of the revival ring, as they do it again this episode. Two weird things about that: they have to, because he's already been fatally stabbed by an unknown assailant (presumably the one who also killed Bill and the coroner) … and Elena has to be the one to finish the job. That she does (because she's supernatural, it must be her) is a further testament to her new more badass persona.

The title should give away everything that happens in this episode, as Elijah proves yet again to be the anti-Klaus. Not only does he pursue his own agenda (now that he's been revived by Damon), but he frees the rest of the family (Finn, Kol and Rebekah) as well. Mostly because it's not what control-freak Klaus would have done. Because he's willing to let the chips fall where they may. One of the brothers has been on ice for 1000 years, so can I expect any sort of culture shock this time? Only if we have time for him to get a story, which the show doesn't always slow down enough to allow.

I sort of hate it when actual vamps get permanently killed by the way. It's weird, I know, but had I been Caroline's father (injured, healed, then stabbed and throat-slit, then risen) I would have found some blood and fed like Caroline did when the same thing happened to her. Instead he chooses not to live on as a vampire, a noble choice that takes him out of the game regarding the future. Despite all he's done, it reads as a loss, not just to Caroline and Sherriff Forbes.

Family meals, and the pretence of civilization, drive the rest of the episode, as Damon and Stefan (growing more human by the minute now that his mind is his own again) sit down with Elijah and Klaus to hash out the future of Mystic Falls, and Elena. Klaus makes some points that preserve his view of Elena as a blood bank and as just one more doppelganger in a long line (can we please have Katherine back to screw up his plans again, soon?), whom he needs simply because she's current. While Damon and Stefan witness a little of what brotherly love that lasts throughout the centuries entails.

Elijah does his usual thing of seeming to fake out everyone and possibly betray Damon, but I think he's actually developed a liking for the current inhabitants of Mystic Falls. So it's a great moment when he revives his siblings just to see how Klaus will react. Even though it's sort of trumped by the ongoing murder mystery (lots of talk about Meredith this week, but we only see her saving lives in the hospital) and by the final reveal involving Bonnie, Abby and the coffin that won't open.

Once Abby figures out the spell that was actually used, you know it will. And it does, in a silly moment when Bonnie wanders off. They keep teasing a dark fate for Abby, as if running to North Carolina just staved off the inevitable, but the being who emerges doesn't seem adverse to witches so much. Not sure what I think about the final reveal, as it's just … we're getting a future episode called "All My Children," which has to underline the potential of this season to turn into the Original Vampire Soap Opera. Unless they start showing some respect to the current denizens of Mystic Falls, I'd still like most of these arrogant old fogeys to get their due, just like their daddy did.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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