Season 3, Episode 3 (“The End of the Affair”)
We have heard about Stefan’s dark past for the past couple of seasons, but only in vague terms. We got a glimpse of what he is like when he is on human blood at the end of the first season, but he never went completely off the rails. In this flashback episode we see what Stefan is like when he fully indulges in human blood and has little to no humanity. He is much worse than Damon ever was, in fact he is much more like Klaus. He sees humans as lesser and his to play with. He enjoys toying with his victims before killing them and putting their name on his wall. If Stefan continues on his current path with Klaus, this is what he could become again.
Much of this episode is Stefan, and the audience, learning about his past with Klaus in the 1920s in Chicago. Stefan was full on ripper in those days and he meets Klaus for the first time while there. They were best friends, they even called each other “brother”. It is now clear why Klaus has been so interested in Stefan. He was impressed by Stefan’s cruelty and they were genuinely close. Klaus can easily force Stefan into servitude, but he wants him to want to be there again. He wants the camaraderie back, it is probably the only time that Klaus has really had someone around him that he saw as an equal, and who wanted to be his friend. As I said in my last review, Klaus craves having people around him who are loyal, but he generally has to get it by force. In the 20s he didn’t have to force Stefan’s loyalty, and he is hoping that will happen again.
In these flashbacks we also meet a third Original, Rebekah. She is Klaus’s sister and she had a romantic relationship with Stefan. Their affair ended when a mysterious man who was looking for them shows up and raids the bar they were hanging out in. Terrified of this man, Klaus and Rebekah are forced to flee. However, she wants to stay behind with Stefan who she has fallen in love with. But Klaus compelled Stefan to forget them and then he daggered Rebekah and put her in a coffin until present day. At first I was not sold on Rebekah, I wasn’t excited about having to learn about another Original, but she grew on me as the season went on. She and Klaus have a very antagonistic, sibling rivalry, type relationship. We also learn that the necklace that Stefan gave Elena actually belonged to Rebekah and they need it back to contact the original witch, and find out why Klaus’s hybrids aren’t working. This will of course lead them back to the very not dead Elena.
Damon and Elena make a trip to Chicago to find Stefan. Damon is filling Elena in on Stefan’s dark ripper days by reading his journals from the time and showing her the wall of names in his old apartment. Elena however is not deterred, she is still determined as ever to find Stefan. When they finally get to meet face-to-face, Stefan tells her that she needs to stop trying to save him. They officially breakup as he tells her that it can never be the same. Elena is resistant at first but seems to finally get the message at the end and leaves with Damon. Elena is of course not giving up on Stefan, but she is going to be less actively trying to hunt him down and save him.
Meanwhile, Caroline’s dad is torturing her as part of some weird, vampire conversion therapy. He believes that being a vampire is a choice that she can overcome by learning to not be controlled by her bloodlust. He thinks that if he can get her to associate blood with pain that she will no longer drink it. This is of course ridiculous, she is a vampire and without blood she will desiccate. Tyler finds out about what Bill is doing and he and Liz come to rescue her. Caroline has always felt that she had a better relationship with her dad than her mom, but since becoming a vampire, that has changed. Liz has learned to accept it, her dad has not.
Flashback episodes are almost never my favorite to rewatch since they generally serve to fill in background information that I already know. However, this is a pretty good one. It is not only filling in background but also giving us a context for the relationship between Klaus and Stefan, and really furthering Klaus’s character development as we see how much he actually wants friendship. This is also the first of the filling in of the Salvatores’ lives in between 1864 and the start of the show in 2009. Up until now we have only seen their 1864 flashback, but they have been living their lives for the past 150 years. There will be several more throughout the series, showing us what both Stefan and Damon have been up to at various times throughout the last century.
Episode Grade: B+
- Stefan still has an apartment in Chicago but he hasn’t been there in decades. Where else do he and Damon have property? Why hold onto it? I have never really understood the money thing. All vampires seem to be rich from being alive for forever, but they don’t legally exist anymore so how do they get and accumulate money?
- Stefan makes a human drink his wife’s blood because it is fun to watch. Stefan is a straight up sadistic, serial killer. I also love watching him be evil.
- Klaus and Damon don’t get a lot of one-on-one scenes together but I enjoy it when they do. Klaus just seems annoyed by Damon’s existence. He sees Damon as very small time evil vampire, Stefan is the real deal when he wants to be. Damon is also not afraid of Klaus.
- Klaus: “Well I am torn, you see I promised Stefan I wouldn’t let you die, but how many freebies did I really sign up for?”
- Klaus daggers Rebekah for not choosing him over Stefan. This is how he forces his siblings’ loyalty.
- Body Count: 3, Klaus compels the security guard to let Rebekah kill him so even if Rebekah is the one do drain him of blood, it is because Klaus compelled him to (1). I am assuming Stefan killed the girl he was feeding on in the beginning of the episode and he definitely killed Liam Grant (2).