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Cult Recap

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Alaric on a warpath in 'Before Sunset'

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Season 3, episode 21

Holy crap! The penultimate episode of this season's Vampire Diaries was so good that you wonder how they're going to top it next week in the actual finale.

It was inevitable, really, that the day would come when Klaus is defeated. He has been such a huge part of the show that it will be interesting how the writers will fill the void left by him. Having said that, there's still an opening for Klaus to return at some point, but for now everyone can celebrate that they've taken down the villain who's been terrorising them for so long.

The Vampire Diaries s03e21: 'Before Sunset'

© The CW



It's weird to be thinking so much about Klaus afterwards when you consider that Alaric was presented as the greatest threat at the start of 'Before Sunset'. And why wouldn't you - he's an immortal vampire with no humanity inside of him. He holds Caroline hostage and tortures her, cruelly encouraging Elena to put her friend out of her misery.

Klaus agrees to work with Damon and Stefan to help with the spell Bonnie intends to perform. It will desiccate Alaric - stop his heart, effectively killing him. Alaric easily overpowers the trio, though, and he comes within inches of slaying Klaus.

However, Elena figures out in yet another great twist that her life is what's keeping Alaric alive, and when she threatens to kill herself, Alaric is distracted enough for Klaus to escape with Elena. All of a sudden, it's Klaus who's keeping Elena hostage. As much as he loves the idea of being part of a family, he can't resist the temptation to create one of his own with hybrids - one who in theory he can control.

I want Joseph Morgan to stick around for much longer. He's awesome. But at the same time, he's a baddie, and in a world like in The Vampire Diaries, he has to get his comeuppance.

The Vampire Diaries s03e21: 'Before Sunset'

© The CW



The way it was done, however, was genius. It was only a few episodes ago when we thought there was no way to take down an Original - in fear of wiping out the wrong bloodline. And even in this episode, Klaus (possibly untruthfully) brags that he was the Original who's responsible for the likes of Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Tyler and Bonnie's mother, luring us into thinking that they wouldn't dare get rid of him. But for the Salvatores and Bonnie to perform the spell on Klaus so suddenly was a brilliant and shocking moment.

Klaus's face when he realises what's happening adds to the dimensions of the character. He was about to kill Elena - he was draining her completely of her blood, and that alone gives us every right to cheer for his demise. Yet, Klaus is also a likeable villain with a real personality and real feelings. Of course, him being entombed means he may not be gone forever.

Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Tyler were two characters I was extremely worried for. When Rebekah was confronted by Alaric at the high school (a nice touch just before referencing her missing out on the decades dance), you knew it wouldn't be good news for her, but thankfully Caroline came to the rescue. As for Tyler, I've found him a bit bland recently, but when he stood up against Klaus to save Elena, I was instantly won over and was concerned that Klaus may swiftly end him in that heroic moment.

The Vampire Diaries s03e21: 'Before Sunset'

© The CW



For an episode that climaxes just two-thirds in, it's also commendable that the aftermath is equally captivating. It was great to see the characters smile despite Alaric still being out there, and Elena admitting that she doesn't want to make a decision between Damon and Stefan was a poignant scene. If she chooses, she loses the other as a close and trustworthy friend.

As Damon and Stefan drive to dump Klaus's lifeless body into the Atlantic Ocean, they agree that if Elena does make up her mind, the other will leave town. It's an interesting exchange. After all they've been through as brothers, they'd still rather have Elena. She must be one very special girl, indeed.

With all that's happened in 'Before Sunset', there were only a couple of scenes that helped build up to next week's finale. Most intriguing is Alaric seemingly attempting to seize control of the founders council. Then there's Elena collapsing to the floor. Perhaps it wasn't the strongest scene to close out the episode, but that doesn't affect our excitement for the season closer 'The Departed'. Bring it on.

What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!

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