'The Vampire Diaries': Recap of Episode 3.21 “Before Sunset”

TVD is known for its edgy, fast-paced writing but this particular episode truly made my head spin as so much seemed to happen all at once.  A lot of information to process, a new twist to absorb, but an episode containing a great combination of suspense, action, and witty dialogue to lighten the load.

Caroline and Elena at Alaric’s mercy

Without a nifty daylight ring, Alaric is trapped at the school until sunset.  Nothing like a moody vampire with a menacing glare and a hidden agenda to hint at trouble to come.  He attacks Caroline and Rebekah – an entire after-dance clean up committee of two.  Love the way these two girly rivals stand together against Alaric.  Girl power at its best.  Pity is doesn’t last long.  Rebekah bails and Caroline’s taken hostage to be used as bait to lure Elena to the school alone.  A little control and torture and the two friends are Alaric’s game field.

Damon arrives at the Gilbert house with Bonnie and the news of Alaric’s transformation into a vampire.  Apparently, Bonnie’s recovered from her witch-induced trance and is as surprised at her actions as we were.

Klaus on a mission

Klaus arrives and he’s on a mission.  He’s about to high tail it out of town and he’s come for Elena.  As if the Salvatore brothers will simply stand back and hand her over.  Right.  Ever the protectors, they slam the door in his face.  They discover that Elena’s gone but before they’re able to process where, Klaus starts acting like the big bad wolf from the classic fairytale, The Three Little Pigs.  “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”  Well, not quite, but the fairytale came to mind during this scene.  Armed with anger issues, a determination to get his Hybrid hands on Elena, and plenty of makeshift weapons, Klaus begins to bully his way into the house and all hell breaks loose.  I’ve never seen anyone cause that much damage to a house using a mere newspaper, a soccer ball, and wooden picket fences.  Classic.  Loved his raw determination and inability to take no for an answer and laughed at Damon’s retaliation.   “Missed me!”  Return fire with a broken picket fence.  Duck behind the kitchen counter.  “Missed me again!”  Typical Damon.  During the cross fire, Stefan receives a call from Alaric and all white flags are thrown up in a temporary truce.

Jeremy, Bonnie, Stefan, Damon, and Klaus go over their game plan

Mortal enemies now working together.  Their goal:  Kill Alaric.  Save Elena.  Their game plan:  Desiccate Alaric by stopping his heart.  A sip of Bonnie’s blood to bind them together, a witchy spell, and a self-sacrificing Jeremy and they’re all good to go.  Klaus, ever the alpha male, is quick to remind everyone that they can’t kill him because of the bloodline issue.  Odd seeing this vamp team working together after everything that’s transpired between them.

Alaric attempts to get Elena to kill Caroline but she retaliates with some sassy attitude and a jar of vervaine and frees Caroline.  Love the way Klaus comes to Caroline’s rescue in the hallway.  For a brief moment, we get to see the love-struck man that lurks beneath the surface of this villain when he tells her she’s safe and they’re here to help.  Alaric attacks Elena but despite her encouragement to kill her, he backs off.  A twinge of humanity or an alternative motive?  The Salvatore brothers are quick to rush to her defense but even quicker to be defeated.  Klaus gives it his best flying solo but in the end, it’s Elena’s fast thinking that stops the fight.  Thanks to Esther’s spell, Alaric’s life is directly linked to Elena through their blood.  (Hm, seems like an awful lot of blood swapping going on.) Nothing like a suicide threat to make Alaric stop and take notice.


And just as it appeared that Klaus might be playing nice with the Mystic Falls gang, he kidnaps and bloodjacks Elena.  His intention is to drain her blood until she dies.  He’s even polite about it, telling her not to worry as it won’t hurt.  Thanks, Klaus.   Seems surprising after everything he’s done to protect Elena but Klaus has discovered that if Elena dies, Alaric dies – and apparently, this vamp fears the ultimate vampire-hunting Alaric more than his need to protect his blood source. Tyler defies Klaus’s orders and rushes to free Elena.  Imagine Klaus’s fury when he discovers that Tyler’s sire bond is broken.  Go Tyler!  Tyler and Elena strike a nerve by calling Klaus out on the fact that he has no one and that his family will never trust him.  Once again, we see a brief glimpse of a softer side to this villain, a man desperate to belong but never truly does.

The game plan takes a speedy shift in direction with Klaus being the bigger villain.  For now.  In an attempt to save Elena in order to save his own hide, Alaric waves a temporary white flag and sends the Salvatore brothers to her rescue.  Something they do best.

A moment of honesty between Elena, Stefan, and Damon

And once again, TVD has yet another twist.  Tyler, Stefan, and Damon team up against Klaus, overpower him, and make the blood connection needed for Bonnie to perform her spell.  (By the way, what was with Bonnie’s spidery appearance during this ritual?)  In order to desiccate Klaus, they need to stop his heart.  When doing that, Bonnie has to stop a human’s heart in order to create the balance needed in the witchy world.  And she succeeds at doing both.  In the end, it’s Klaus and not Alaric, that is desiccated.   A villain finally defeated or a vampire on ice?

The jury is still out on Elena and her boy choice but she does shed some light on why she’s stalling with a decision.  She chooses one, she loses one.  A light bulb moment for all three of them.  The brothers don’t respond and leave for their quest to dump Klaus’s body in the Atlantic.

The love triangle between Elena and the Salvatore brothers has been the undercurrent of the show during the last three seasons but the true “heart” of the show has been the development of the relationship between the two brothers.  From hostile beginnings in Season 1 to a solid bond in Season 3.  Can their bond be broken?  Will Elena come between them?  And in true brotherly fashion, they both agree that the “losing” brother in Elena’s decision will leave town. This might work for them, but it won’t work for us die-hard Salvatore fans.

Celebrating the end of Klaus

Loved the victory party at the end of the episode.  It was great to see the cast together, celebrating their temporary win and having fun.  Nothing like a celebratory victory with good friends and several shots of Tequila.  Felt that the Salvatore brothers should’ve been part of this scene though.

Alaric spills the beans to the council about the vampires and hybrids in Mystic Falls .  He then reveals his supernatural speed by vamping across the room to stop Sheriff Forbes from leaving.  Clearly, Alaric has a plan in motion but right now it’s anyone’s guess what he has up his sleeve.

Elena collapses to the floor

Elena and Jeremy have a touching heart to heart which ends with Elena unconscious on the floor.  A result of the blood link between her and Alaric? The after affects of Klaus’s bloodjacking? Or a result of the fall she took during Klaus’s final moments?

With only one episode left, there are many questions on everyone’s mind:  What is Alaric’s game plan?  What will happen with Klaus?  (We all know the Salvatore brothers will NOT dump his body in the Atlantic as promised!)  Have we seen the end of Esther?  What will happen when Elijah returns?   Which Salvatore brother will Elena choose?

Many questions and only one episode left.  Going to be a nail biter!

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season finale airs this Thursday, May 10th at 8/7c on The CW.



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