Season 3, Episode 10 (“The New Deal”)
“The New Deal” was the first episode back from winter hiatus and it definitely has the setting up for the second half of the season feel. Now that Stefan is out from under Klaus’s control the question is where do we go from here? It is a question I am not sure the writers had figured out at this point and it shows. If Klaus isn’t trying to kill doppelgängers and he isn’t forcing Stefan to be his partner in crime, how does he still fit into this show? The writers clearly wanted to keep him around because he is a great character and villain. But they have to find a new way to keep him relevant. The result is not terrible but certainly not great.
Klaus’s family is very important to him, it is all he really has. However, he only wants to deal with them when he feels they are loyal to him. This is why he keeps them close by but locked up in boxes. When Elena hands Rebekah’s body back over he chooses to keep her daggered rather than facing her after she learned that he killed their mother. He is apparently settling in Mystic Falls for now, he bought a house and was going to share it with Rebekah, maybe reunite the family, but for now will have to live alone. Knowing the importance of these coffins to Klaus, Stefan steals them, igniting a bit of a war between him and Stefan with Elena’s loved ones paying the price. This war of the coffins is a fairly weak reason to keep Klaus around.
The better part of this storyline comes from Stefan’s side of it. His humanity is starting to creep back in, though for now he is focusing on getting revenge on Klaus. As we will see in future instances of vampires switching off their humanity, when they turn it back on, the flood of emotions can be overwhelming. It is easier to focus on one thing and build yourself back up. This is what Stefan is doing, he isn’t fully back yet because the only thing he is allowing himself to feel is anger.
Damon finds out that Stefan saved Klaus in order to save his life, again. Damon is upset because every time Stefan saves his life, he owes him. He has to continue fighting for him. Damon would never actually want Stefan out of his life permanently but he especially hates the idea of losing him when he was just trying to save him. He was also starting to hope that he would no longer have to feel guilty about his feelings for Elena. Though he does kiss her at the end of the episode, it is romantic but pretty innocent. It doesn’t feel like he is really pursuing her or trying to win her over, he just wanted to do it at least once while Stefan’s humanity is still in a grey area.
Elena makes the decision to send Jeremy to Denver to basically start over with a new life. He has gotten too mixed up with the dangerous, supernatural drama in town and he doesn’t have to be. It is another instance of her choosing for him instead of letting him decide what he wants. She even gets Damon to use mind control on him to make him go without asking questions and not want to come back. Something that she is always adamant that no one do to her. She wants to protect him but at the cost of allowing him to make choices for himself. Of course without their parents she feels responsible for him so I can understand why she does it, but he is only one year younger than she is.
Finally, Tyler is still unaware of how much he is affected by his sire bond with Klaus. Klaus relieved him of the werewolf curse and he is grateful. Therefore, he doesn’t see it as if he has to serve Klaus, but that he wants to. He is blind to the lack of free will he has because of this loyalty. But as Klaus starts to push things too far with Jeremy, Tyler is starting to see how this bond is problematic.
After the great fun of the previous episode this one definitely felt like a bit of a dud. It is a set up episode but it also feels like it is stalling. They need time to figure out what to do with Klaus and they want to keep Stefan in a grey area for a while before they will let him become Humanity Stefan again. He isn’t quite as evil as he was when he was under Klaus’s compulsion, but he is definitely not his old self. I feel like the reason for this is so that they can continue to build the romantic tension between Damon and Elena and have a real love triangle going on.
Episode Grade: B
- Elena is being kind of mean to Tyler when he is at their house. She makes it very clear he is unwelcome. I get that he is siding with Klaus but they have to realize he has no control over it?
- Alaric’s ring only resurrects him now, it doesn’t heal him anymore.
- Jeremy: “He [Damon] says you owe him a drink”
- I am surprised this is the first time anyone has said that they should just move out of Mystic Falls. It probably wouldn’t change much for Elena, but the others would really be much safer.
- Alaric’s doctor is Meredith Fell, that other Founding Family everyone forgets about. She is also played by Torrey DeVitto who also plays Melissa Hastings on Pretty Little Liars.
- I appreciated that Damon told Elena about Stefan saving his life just as she is thanking him for being there for her through everything. This is a moment where he definitely takes the high road, he wants to make sure Elena has all of the information so that if she ever chooses him it is for the right reasons
- Body Count: 1, Jeremy’s first kill of the series. He just chops off the head of one of they hybrids. Apparently the only way to kill them is by chopping their heads off or ripping their hearts out, as so conveniently told by Tyler.