Season 3, Episode 18 “The Murder of One”
This episode was a huge step up from the previous one even if it technically contained a lot of the things I typically don’t like about the second half of this season. It continues to center around yet another attempt to kill the Originals that falls apart as quickly as it came together. Also the love triangle is back on track after taking a couple of episodes off. It’s not that I don’t like a good love triangle, this one just gets drawn out for too long. However this episode manages to not make me hate those developments because they both gain some forward momentum that actually seems driven towards resolution.
Almost as soon as they found the newest Original killing weapons, they find out that there is a consequence to using them. This time what stops the plan from working is not that it can’t work, but what will happen if they succeed. Killing an Original will kill all of the vampires in their bloodline. When they kill Finn, Sage and her friend Troy die as well. Since half of the cast is sired from the same bloodline, killing the Original that they descend from would kill them too. This whole device is a bit too convenient, and a stretch. However, it stops them from just killing all of the Originals and most importantly keeps Klaus around. At this point I think it is fairly obvious they don’t plan to kill Klaus off so they need a way to keep him alive that makes sense. Regardless of who they descend from, Tyler was turned into a hybrid by Klaus, so he will certainly die along with him which I don’t think Caroline or Elena would let happen. Basically this particular Original killing plan is a way of ending the attempts to kill the Originals.
The love triangle is a much more subtle part of the episode until the very end and feels less obnoxious because of it. Stefan is finally back to himself and sees clearly the consequences of everything he went through this season. He is tired of seeking revenge on Klaus because it has gotten him no where, and only caused him to lose more in the process. He still loves Elena and wants her back, but he is afraid he has lost her. If he hadn’t been so focused on killing Klaus, this might not have been the case. Elena’s concern for Damon almost causes her to give up on the Original hunt to save him. Stefan is annoyed that she would let her feelings for Damon get in the way of carrying out the plan. He finally confronts her with the fact that even if she loves him, she is in love with Damon too. She finally admits to being confused about how she feels for him and they leave it at that. She has been so concerned that she is not supposed to be in love with Damon, that she can’t admit she is. Not admitting it has been very unfair to both of the Salvatores and to herself.
Alaric is also having to face what he has done, even if it was his alter ego. He wants to turn himself in to take responsibility for the murders, but the Salvatores won’t let him. He didn’t just kill a medical examiner no one cared about, he killed Caroline’s father. Elena tells Caroline that it is a supernatural force that is making him do it, just like everything they have done. They all have blood on their hands, but none of them asked for it, so you can’t blame them. This is an interesting point that will be explored many times throughout the series. What is the moral line in this supernatural world? Can you blame a vampire for being a vampire? Can you forgive a person for killing someone you love if they weren’t themselves when they did it? Do you have to forgive Alaric because it was his alter ego? Do you have to forgive Stefan because he was under Klaus’s control? Right now most of the characters seem to be leaning towards yes but that might not always be the case.
As I said at the top, this episode was much better than the previous. Not even with regards to subject matter, it just had a lot more liveliness than the last one. It moved better and was an instance where involving more of the cast was beneficial – though sometimes that can hurt it. Stefan seems ready to end his war with Klaus which can only be good for the show moving forward. Also the love triangle is pushed forward in a way that is going to force Elena to resolve it, at least for now. The future is looking up!
Episode Grade: B+
- “Finally have our own stakes to kill an Original. I’m not going to miss because you can’t whittle” I love Sassy Stefan
- “Unlike some people in this room, I’d like to take responsibility for the people I’ve killed”
- Not sure why they included Matt in the Original killing plan but I like to see him being used in schemes. He will continue to get more involved in their plans in the next few seasons.
- Finn’s accent makes no sense. He has been in a coffin for 900 years but his accent is closer to turn of the 20th century, British chimney sweep.
- “Bus boy?” “Do I have a choice?” poor Matt, you really don’t since these are the only friends you have…
- “We need to keep Klaus separate and occupied. Caroline.” “Why do I always have to be Klaus bait?” “Because he’s obsessed with you” But we don’t actually see her do this in this episode.
- More AT&T produce placement. Klaus uses a stylus to write “I will” back to Kol which would probably have been quicker to text.
- Body Count: 3, and all by Matt! Finn, Sage, and Troy die as a result of Matt stabbing Finn with the white oak stake.