After last week's so-good-it-hurt episode, ''The Ties That Bind'' somewhat unravels some of the awesome that has made season 3 so compelling to watch. It was a dose of vervain I simply didn't need. Mostly centered around Bonnie, it's the kind of episode that you can predict what's just around the corner, and that just aint VD's style.
Bonnie has a dream that leads her to believe that her mother, who abandoned her as a little child, could help in opening the magically locked casket. Fair enough. It's just with the season making stride after stride with revelations, the hour comes to a considerable halt, and yet still doesn't manage to touch on the kind of character development we got last week (in between all of the hybrid bites, decapitations and heart piata).
Save for a welcomed return by Elijah, there wasn't anything remotely shocking about the events this week. Dr. Fell gives her dying patients vampire blood and Caroline's father shows up to teach Tyler a few doggie tricks. The entire hour is charged by uninteresting sub-plots, and a very generic main plot with Bonnie. Where are my twists, eh?
I also found the writing, especially where Stefan and Elena are concerned, to be extremely on the nose. When Stefan looks Elena dead in the eye and remarks about her growth as a character, her newfound strength, it reminded me of the clunky dialogue of seasons past. It also just bugged me on a fundamental level because I genuinely do not want to see these characters rekindle their love for one another. I like Stefan as a badass vampire with the occasional glimmer of a heart. I happen to like this version of Elena who can defend for herself and kick a little ass every now and then. When their mushy worlds collide, as witnessed here, both characters lose some of their appeal for me.
While Klaus manages to retrieve three of his coffins, and the ending is genuinely exciting, this is about as close to filler as the series can get. Ok, so Bonnie's mother is sticking around, until whatever spell she's needed to cast is done, and she's tragically killed off.
Predictable and meandering...can you believe I'm talking about season 3?