The Vampire Diaries 3.05 "The Reckoning" Review

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Tyler decide to oblige Caroline when she urges them to celebrate Senior Prank Night, but uninvited guests make for a deadly evening. Damon convinces Jeremy that his connection to the other side may be the way to defeat Klaus. Klaus uses Stefan for more dangerous and brutal intentions.

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

The writers must have gotten as bored with Klaus as I have. Because this episode is a mini-season finale all on its own (a quarterly finale?), with lots of big changes and swift moves both on and off-stage.

It's also pretty genius at utilizing the entire young cast, throwing them together in odd combinations, and even giving depressingly human Matt a major arc moment. I like that they're building on his friendship with Bonnie (they were once lifeguards together, and you know that's a bonding moment for a dumb jock), while also reminding us of his deeply dysfunctional family. I'm really not certain she and Jeremy are destined for each other.

While he's being haunted by Vicky, Jeremy is being haunted by Anna, who turns out to be very useful, since Jeremy has also been kidnapped by Katherine and shoved in the trunk of Damon's car. Those three are on a twisted road trip to find Michael, the supposed vampire hunter who even Stefan has noticed sends Klaus and Rebekah quaking in fear. I'd be more worried about this storyline (yet another "worse than anyone you've yet met" uber-super-elder-badass probably "Original" vamp? this is like the fourth time TVD has pulled that one) if they hadn't cast Sebastian Roche as Michael.

Aside from easily being able to act circles around the rest of the cast of pretty fashion models, he has given some menacing gravitas to shows as diverse as 24 (where he convincingly nearly killed Jack Bauer in a very scary spy vs. spy on "Day 7"), Supernatural, Fringe and General Hospital (hey, they're all mobsters in Port Charles, it can be badass too! Carly scares the hell out of me all by herself!). I expect him to be everything Klaus was not, and I love that both Katherine and Damon are too reckless to heed ghost Anna and everyone else begging them NOT to wake him up.

Kate REALLY hates Klaus. Well, so do I, even more so this episode since he interrupts Senior Prank Night (if ever there was a town that should probably not ever stage any pretend evil shenanigans, it is Mystic Falls; talk about playing with fire) to torture Elena, compel Stefan, and, oh yeah, snap Tyler's neck! Why you picking on Tyler, you nasty piece of Eurotrash? He's already the town's werewolf scion, hot enough to make prudish Caroline rip his sweaty practice clothes off with her teeth, and everyone wants to see … oh, still making hybrids, is that it? You're so one-note, Klaus, and Rebekah is just as annoying for doing your bidding so unquestioningly. She keeps Tyler and Caroline on ice in the unattended high school hallway until he revives, and lucky for Tyler Klaus figures out that it's not Elena's lack of being dead that has ruined the hybrid spell (that was just misdirection from the witch who hated him and good for her).

Klaus doesn't even seem to mind that she and Bonnie and everyone else he thought he killed (except for poor Jenna I guess) are still around. Because it turns out he needs Elena after all, or at least her blood, as that is the magic vampire-werewolf melding elixir. Twist! Of course, that leaves her to be his blood bank for eons to come until Damon returns (having left Jeremy in Katherine's unreliable hands, almost as deep a move as when he left Elena unattended in Stefan's murder apartment a few weeks ago), and whisks her away romantically to safety! You had me when he rejected Katherine's advances in the car, show!

How is even temporary safety possible, you ask? Because at the mere mention of Michael's dreaded name, Klaus and Rebekah vanish in a puff of smoke. That leaves Tyler as the happiest hybrid ever, and, oh yeah, Matt drowns himself in the high school pool in order to talk to his dead sister, knowing Bonnie will revive him without magical means (because she knows CPR), and receives an afterlife warning that may or may not be useful. There's a billion ways the story can go from here, as Elena has finally given up on Stefan, who (now compelled to forget his humanity by Klaus) is in full Ripper mode and can get away with unspeakable evil without any morally pesky relativism. Well, I guess that's one way to push Damon and Elena together at last.

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

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