The Vampire Diaries: The Departed

The Departed- DamonNote:  This review contains spoilers.

I had to take a few days to really let the season finale of The Vampire Diaries sink in. There were some good things that had happened, but the big choice that has been coming for quite some time now came out for the worse. There has been sexual tension between Damon and Elena through this love triangle since the beginning, especially heating up this season to go beyond just the tension. Every time she gets close to him she ends up pushing him away. Damon is evil-natured and embraces what he is, which Elena rarely approves of. When it comes down to it there is something undeniable between them; passion, a love that consumes them, and fighting to the death for one another.

The main problem has always been other people’s judgments and Damon’s reputation. He has killed plenty of people with little to no remorse and embraces the darkness within. This is what he is though and honestly Stefan isn’t too far off. They are vampires, either Elena accepts that or she doesn’t. Stefan’s ripper days aren’t that far behind him still and he even stated he could never really go back. Elena tells herself excuses, because she is afraid to truly let her guard down around Damon. He has been there for her completely this season especially. He was there when Stefan wasn’t. Damon helped her through everything, pushed her and made her stronger, and even gave her a wake-up call when she needed it.

The Departed- Salvatore Brothers

I will admit on paper there are reasons why she would choose Stefan. She fell in love with him and never really fell out of love even when she did fall for Damon too. He was there at a time when she needed someone and something different. He was like a breath of fresh air with an air of mystery when she felt lost and indifferent to so much around her. Elena entered a new world with him, but it still felt safe enough with him. It didn’t cross enough boundaries to completely scare her away since he was the more moralistic and less vicious one.

Out of all of the recent vampire shows/movies with the more moralistic romantic choice I do like Stefan the best. I am far more drawn to the evil-natured, alluring vampires who embrace their nature. I like vampires that bring out what vampires are; blood-sucking beast who have an inherent otherworldly, alluring aspect to them.  Damon embodies this adding a bit of a snarky charisma. This was initially targeted at the silly morals of Stefan, but has become much more targeted at their enemies and the situations they find themselves in that have them fighting for their lives and him desperate to save Elena at all costs.

Stefan’s character has become far more interesting in the past two seasons. He isn’t quite as strictly “good” as most of the obvious romantic interest choices in these vampire shows are. Stefan has layers of light and darkness within him. He battles with a number of things and has been drastically pushed as a character, developing to such intriguing character dynamics. Still, I haven’t been able to ever get on board with Stefan as a romantic interest. He is caring and would protect Elena with his life. I have never felt that passion, thrill, or spark in any type of exciting nature brought out from Stefan in Elena though. He’s a damn good character, but he’s always been lacking as Elena’s eternal love whether Damon is in the picture or not.

The Departed- Damon and Elena Flashback

Through flashbacks we see Damon being even more selfless. He shows he truly wants Elena’s happiness and for her to have exactly what she wants. It just so happens it was the consuming love that he makes her feel. It’s so maddening that Elena had to make that phone call when she did. Damon had been to hell and back for her. Our hope is slightly built up just to be thrown in Damon’s face. Why wound him further? Love triangles can be plenty thrilling and push plots along, but they do get to a certain point where it’s like beating a dead horse. The door is being slammed shut only for it to get opened up again.

From what the producers have stated on where this storyline will be going in season 4 it is just about guaranteed that things will be explored further with Elena and Damon next season, perhaps more so than they ever have before. If this was the direction, why take 2 steps back? Beyond the constant of pulling the audience in one direction and shoving them in another to pull them back again, I love Damon as a character far more than Elena. I am sick of him being emotionally damaged by her. She needs to immediately shape up and give him all that he should be given or just end it there and be done with it.

The Departed- Elena Drowning

The Departed- Elena Awakened

Of course, things are going to be far different next season with Elena’s vampiric nature. It has been a long time coming and will make certain things far easier as she won’t have malicious supernatural forces trying to kill, sacrifice her, or use her blood. I am very enticed by the thought of her being a vampire, all of the strength she will hold to back up her strong instincts and will power has plenty of potential. She will be a stronger character in many ways and hopefully even a little bit of Katherine will brush off on her while still holding on to what makes her Elena. Elena will be dealing with a lot among this transition. There will be urges, darkness, and seeing things in a new light which is sure to include Damon. I just pray that with her new form she will drop the doubts and hesitation and embrace what is before her. Putting Damon through anything more is only going to anger fans further; Team Damon certainly seems to be that majority of the viewing population.

The other thing that had really had me numb to all else was killing Klaus. Not only was he dead, or the original’s version of death in his sleeping state, but now his entire body has been burnt. Luckily, not all traces of Klaus are gone. I’m thrilled that we aren’t totally devoid of Klaus, what a sad world that would be. He is the epitome of vampires. While many of the more wicked and dark qualities are at Damon’s core, Klaus wears them on his sleeve. He’s the original vampire and never looked back or regretted anything. He thrives on not only preying on the weaker, but bringing evil out from his influence. He glees from being a puppet master, bringing malevolence to the world under his beck and call. Regardless, the show needs a villain that is enticing and thrilling for fans to be so conflicted with. We should be able to be so interested that we can’t look away even when he’s putting other character’s we love in utter torture and despair. Someone like him is necessary. There is only one Klaus so there’s no need to kill off what the show needs so badly.

The Departed- Klaus Corpse

It will be interesting to see how he takes on his new form, especially considering all of the endless possibilities it may have with Caroline. I love her as a character and it will surely mess with her and put her through great anguish, but I am endlessly enticed by any storyline with Klaus. From the second it was hinted at I couldn’t wait to see where the Klaus and Caroline relationship went. His intentions were never fully clear, whether he had some feelings for her within his brutal, conniving persona or if there was a more sinister plan in the works. Either way I still want to see more of where that could go and Klaus’ new state certainly gives ample opportunity for that. Despite a major upset in the finale, there has been plenty of set up for a kick ass fourth season full of changes and new forms, steamy passion, and strong, unrelenting characters.

Kelsey Zukowski is a horror actress/ writer and internationally published alternative model who gravitates towards dark, complex material full of thematic exploration.

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