I don't understand the hate! I really don't. Nothing about this episode was off for me. Absolutely, positively nothing. While it wasn't necessarily the most action-packed episode, they don't have to be. There was great character development for Stefan and DamonI love Stefan's story this season, a big reveal in the serial killer story (Yessssssss!!!! I called it, but I'm so excited), etc., etc. So let's get started, shall we?
***MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD***
What I Loved:
1. Damon and Stefan: I can't get enough of these two. I've always adored their relationship, but the writers are just on top of it with these two in season three. While I really liked bad Stefan because he was so fun, I'm also loving "self-hating" Stefan. Watching him fight his inner urges now is such a roller coaster ride and sympathize with him greatly. As possibly one of the most dynamic characters on the show, Stefan never fails to disappoint for me, nor does the incredible Paul Wesley. Seriously, the actor is amazing. And the flashback scene where his victim's head fell off? That was classic. Totally tragic, when he tried to put her back together and kept apologizing, but still... Classic nonetheless. A brilliant scene.
2. The Elena and Matt bonding. Okay, so after season two, I wasn't really sure of Matt's purpose. Even toward the end of season two I wasn't really sure. He was the most underwritten character on the show. Then, at the beginning, they gave him the ghost-medium story but that faded after the end of the "Ghost" chapter (episodes 1-7), and he was just kind of nothing again after that. Until "Our Town," that is, when we got to see how epic a friend and amazing of a guy he is. I'm loving what the writers have done with his character in the second half of the third season, especially the scenes he shares with Elena. They're pure magic, and they were the best so far in this ep. The dinner table scenes? I mean, c'mon... Perfection.
3. Obviously, ALARIC!: I called it. I've known (well, assumed) for a while now that Alaric was the serial killer just by basic process of elimination. It was obviously not Meredith, the obvious, gun-toting, blood-healing suspect. And I can't wait to see where this whole "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde" storyline of Ric's goes. It's exactly what Davis needed for his character. Some of his best scenes in the series were when he was possessed by Klaus at the end of season two. Davis plays bad so well, and it's not something we get to see often, so seeing Alaric's slip into total, murderous insanity is going to be bundles of overwhelming fun. I am, however, dismayed that Matt Davis is starring in a new CW pilot, "Cult," because that means Julie Plec is either writing him off the show or he'll just make guest appearances for season four and beyond. I would choose the latter because killing Ric would be too much, especially for Elena. He'd be the sixth parent she lost over the course of this show, and that would just be totally and infinitely ridiculous. Why get rid of a great character like Alaric if you don't have to? Exactly.
4. Meredith. I wasn't really crazy about her character until this episode. Now I really, really like her. I'm really hoping and praying that they don't write her off like the promo pics for 3x17 makes it look like they're going to. That would be so INCREDIBLY unfortunate. Please, writers... Please don't get rid of Meredith Fell.
5. Rebekah. While some say her presence in this episode was random and unnecessary, I think just the opposite. While she wasn't necessarily needed, her being in it was so much fun. Claire Holt is such a great actress and absolutely never fails to satisfy in this show.
6. Hello, Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood!: Always love seeing these two ladies. Their appearances are rare, and, therefore, always appreciated. I love the bickering and arguing between the two. They do NOT like each other and I love them not liking each other. It's always amusing.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
1. Where was all the Sage? After this episode was presented to be a huge episode about this badass vampire chick, Sage, I'm a LITTLE bit disappointed that there wasn't more about her. I'm pretty sure there were only like three scenes. WHICH IS FINE, because she's coming to modern day Mystic Falls in the next episode and hopefully sticking around for a while. I like her. Can't wait to learn more.
I don't care what anyone else says... I thought this episode was a fantastic installment to The Vampire Diaries' third season. Can't wait for next week. TTYNW!