Hey there all you fans of The Vampire Diaries!
Last Thursday’s episode, “The End of the Affair,” took us back in time to 1920’s Chicago, and I have to say – it was great! After last weeks action packed episode, “The Hybrid,” TVD slowed things down a little for this episode, taking us on a trip down memory lane as Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) remembered his time in Chicago during the roaring 20’s.
Before we beginning our review include the preview of the next weeks great episode “Disturbing Behavior”.
While “The End of the Affair” was a little light on action, it was heavy in intrigue, and featured some amazing performances from the cast – notably from Candice Accola, whose heart-wrenching performance of a tortured and starved Caroline Forbes bumped “Poor Caroline” up to a trending topic on Twitter. The episode also dropped a few plot-bombs that will definitely affect the path that Season 3 will take in future episodes! This was also a good episode for Team Delena (fans who think that Elena should end up with Damon), as Stefan seemingly fell further into the haze of his “Ripper” identity.
“The End of the Affair” opened up as Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) received a call from Katherine Petrova (Nina Dobrev), who asked him about the latest developments concerning Stefan’s involvement with Klaus (Joseph Morgan). As talked to her, Damon realized quickly that Katherine knew more about the situation than she had initially revealed and she was keeping tabs on Stefan.
Meanwhile, Klaus brought Stefan to one of his old hangouts circa the 1920’s – Chicago. Stefan initially questioned Klaus asking him why he brought him here, as he did not remember much about that period of his life of when he was caught in the throws of his “Ripper” phase of killing and feeding on humans with reckless abandon. Klaus simply smiled, as Stefan slowly began to remember his time in the city. “A lot of blood and a lot of partying,” he said, as us viewers were whisked away to a speakeasy in 1920’s Chicago – a place that Stefan knew well.
The first thing that we saw of the 1920’s was Stefan in full blown “Ripper” mode in the backseat of a car, as he ripped a female victim to shreds and was relishing in every bit. After he finished his feeding, he wiped the blood from his mouth and stumbled blood-drunk into the speakeasy bar. Upon entering the establishment, Stefan was immediately recognized by the bar’s owner; an attractive, fancily dressed flapper named Gloria (Enisha Brewster).
Before Stefan could get too far inside , he was approached by a mysterious blonde woman (later revealed as Rebecca, played by Claire Holt) who pulled him close and said, “Careful, Mr. Salvatore. You’re still wearing your date. She’s lovely.” Stefan immediately recognized that this woman was a vampire. When Stefan asked who she was, she refused to tell him and casually walked away back into the crowd. As the episode switched back to the present, Klaus told Stefan that they were in Chicago to find his “favorite witch” to help him with his hybrid problem.
This first peak into 1920’s Chicago was very well done. Flashback episodes like this tend to make me nervous. While they can be Emmy-worthy if the scenes work, they can derail an entire episode if they do not. Thankfully, these flashback scenes in “The End of the Affair,” fell into the former category. I really got a sense that I was back in time and re-living Stefan’s bloody, blurry days in the ‘Windy City’ as The Ripper. The setting, the clothing, and even down to the way that the characters spoke (something commonly botched in even the best flashback scenes in other shows) authentically created an atmosphere that really immersed me in this time period.
After Klaus and Stefan headed to Chicago; the episode moved on to the next morning at Elena Gilbert’s (Nina Dobrev) house, where she was awoken by Damon (who had hilariously crawled up in bed with her). Damon informed Elena that he had tracked Stefan to Chicago. As the two of them prepared to leave Mystic Falls for the Windy City, the episode shifted for a quick peek to Caroline, who was still being imprisoned and tortured by her father (Jack Coleman), who was revealing to her his intent to “fix” her need for blood as a vampire via torture.
As Damon was driving Elena to Chicago, he tried to prepare her for Stefan’s dark side by showing her the journal Stefan kept during that time period. This prompted us to travel back through time to the 1920’s once again where Stefan continued to be intrigued by the mysterious blonde vampire he had met at the speakeasy nightclub.
Back to the present day time, Stefan and Klaus entered the very same bar that Stefan was in all those years ago. They found that the bar’s owner, Gloria, was still alive and relatively young. Stefan was confused by how that was possible, but quickly learned that Gloria was a witch and was slowing down the aging process with magic. Gloria revealed to Klaus that she was aware he was trying to create a hybrid army and wanted to know of what concern she had to do with his goal.
This was when Klaus told her that he needed Gloria to help him break the Sun and the Moon curse once and for all. Gloria told Klaus that in order to break the curse that she needed to see a woman named Rebecca, who “has what [she] needs” to break the curse in its entirety. Stefan pretended to be disinterested, but was intently listening with concern that Klaus would discover that the reason the curse was not truly broken was because Elena did not die as thought. This scene did a great job of showing that despite the darkness that has descended over Stefan “The Ripper,” he still cared for Elena a great deal.
While walking around the bar feigning disinterest in Klaus’ conversation, Stefan found an old picture from the 1920’s taken at the bar: A picture of himself, with his arm around none other than Klaus! This shocked Stefan (and myself!) as it meant that Stefan somehow knew Klaus all those years ago, but for some reason had no memory of the friendship. This scene did a fantastic job of reminding us why Stefan has continued staying on as Klaus’ henchman – his desire to protect Elena from him has superseded anything else in his life.
Back to the torture chamber where Caroline was imprisoned, we learned that Caroline’s father was still trying to “fix” her by attempting to associate her craving for human blood with pain from his torture tactics. As Caroline screamed for her father to stop torturing her, Damon and Elena then arrived at the apartment that Stefan lived in when he was staying in Chicago. Elena questioned Damon as to why he brought her here, to which he responded by revealing a secret room – crawlspace behind a hidden liquor cabinet. Inside the hidden room was a huge wall, scrawled with the names of hundreds of people that Stefan had killed.
Damon left Elena alone in the apartment for her to contemplate this new information about Stefan’s past, while he went to find Klaus and Stefan. Those two had just entered a darkened warehouse in another part of town. As Stefan and Klaus walked deeper into the building, he questioned Klaus more about how he knew him in the 1920’s and why he couldn’t remember. At first, Klaus blew Stefan off, but then in a change of heart, Klaus went over to open a coffin hidden in the back corner of the warehouse. Inside the coffin, contained the body of the mysterious blonde woman revealed to be named Rebecca, the same name of the woman needed by Gloria! Rebecca, who as an Original vampire cannot be killed, was in a dead-state due to a specially prepared knife jammed into her chest.
As Klaus began to revive Rebecca, by removing the special knife, he told Stefan that Rebecca was his sister. Stefan asked him once again how the two knew each other. Klaus only replied cryptically, saying that at first, he did not like Stefan one single bit, which again sent the viewer back to the 1920’s. We arrived back at the nightclub, where Stefan continued getting to know Rebecca. As the two of them sensually fed on a victim in back of the speakeasy, we saw that the blonde vampire, whom we learned is named Rebecca, was wearing the very same necklace that Stefan would eventually give to Elena in Season 1. What is more, it was then revealed that the necklace was a magical charm and was given to Rebecca by a witch.
Right when Stefan and Rebecca went back to their victim, a man that Rebecca referred to as “Nick” interrupted the two. When the camera panned around and showed “Nick’s” face, we saw that it was none other than Klaus, using the name Nick as an alias while living in Chicago. The episode moved back into the present for a second, as Klaus told Stefan that he learned some of his “best tricks” from Stefan during the 1920’s. This statement launched us back into the past, where we saw Stefan showing Klaus how he would drain a cup of blood from one of his victims at the bar, only to force the victim’s husband to drink the bloody cocktail. This scene did a great job of showing just how twisted Stefan was in his “Ripper” phase.
The episode moved back to the present, where Klaus compelled a human warehouse worker to offer himself to Rebecca for her to feed on and revive herself. Klaus told her to meet them at Gloria’s Bar before she kills him for good. Klaus then told Stefan that in order to prove that they knew each other in the 1920’s, he would take him to his old apartment (the very same one that Elena just so happened to be staying at all by her lonesome) and would show him a secret about the place that Stefan confided in him all those years ago.
As Stefan and Klaus made their way to the old apartment, Damon was making his way into Gloria’s bar to ask her if she had seen his brother. Immediately, Gloria seemed amused to see Damon, even going so far as to state that she “always liked [him] better.” I could not help but laugh as I watched that scene, as I imagined the hilarious role reversal of Damon being “the good brother” while Stefan was busy being a “cocky ripper-douche,” as Damon so eloquently put it, in 1920’s Chicago.
Gloria confessed to Damon that she had seen Stefan and Klaus and that they were running an errand for her. Also, the two would be back at the bar later that night, but Gloria refused to tell Damon anything more. “You may be cute,” she said, “but you’re still a vampire.” Back at the old apartment Elena sat while reading one of Stefan’s old journals, which featured a nice shout out to Stefan’s now-dead vampire friend Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) introduced in Season 1. Besides being a great continuity call back for long-time fans of the show, the entries that Elena was reading also did a good job of showing how Stefan slowly stumbled out of the haze that his Ripper identity surrounded him with.
Before Elena could get too far into his journal though, Stefan and Klaus had burst into the apartment, which prompted her to crawl into the secret closet. Elena then listened in horror as Klaus began to tell Stefan that he knew all about the secret closet where Stefan wrote the names of his victims, realizing that her hiding place was about to be discovered! Klaus opened the secret closet, but stepped away before looking in, leaving Stefan to glance upon the names of his hundreds of victims.
Stefan spotted Elena immediately and the two shared a brief, but powerful, moment of eye contact. After the moment ended, Stefan called out to Klaus and said, “Look what I’ve found.” For a split second Elena was shocked as she was thinking that he was about to give away her location, but then Stefan finished his sentence, as he said to Klaus that what he had found was an old bottle of liquor. Stefan then closed the secret closet and led the deranged Hybrid out of the apartment, leaving Elena alone to breath a sigh of relief.
A moment later, Damon arrived back in the apartment, agreeing with Elena’s scolding that it probably was not the best idea to leave her alone in the apartment. He then told her what he found out from Gloria, that Stefan and Klaus would be at the old bar later that night. As Elena began to get dressed and ready to head there to face the two of them, Stefan and Klaus were already back at the bar. It was there that we were pulled back again into the 1920’s, as Klaus told Stefan that not only had they know each other all those years ago, but that they were good friends.
We were picked back up to the 1920’s during the same night where Stefan and Klaus had met. The two were sitting at the speakeasy’s bar, where Stefan was telling Klaus not to worry about the other Original vampires and that he should be ruling them instead. It was a chilling scene that gave me an unsettling sense that it may just have been none other than Stefan himself who first planted the seed for Klaus’ delusions of grandeur. After this revelation, the scene cut back to the present, where Stefan seemed as equally shocked by this bit of news as I was.
As Stefan sat at the bar dumbfounded at idea of his former friendship with Klaus, the episode moved back to the dark chamber where Caroline’s father was attempting to torture the Vampire aspects into repression. This was both a harrowing scene as well as an emotional one to watch. Caroline pleaded with her father, begging to know why he was trying to “fix” her. “Because it’s the only option,” he said, “so I don’t have to kill you.” That was a horrible thing to say to one’s own daughter, but the line was delivered with a heartfelt note of desperation that did a great job of demonstrating that Bill Forbes legitimately believed he was acting in his daughter’s best interest by torturing her.
As Bill left the torture chamber for the night, he was confronted by Caroline’s mother, (Marguerite MacIntyre) and her boyfriend, Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino). Sheriff Forbes held her ex-husband at gunpoint, as she expressed her disgust for what he was doing to their daughter. The same time Tyler freed Caroline from the chamber.
The episode went back to Stefan and Klaus then, who were back at Gloria’s bar. “If we were such good friends,” Stefan said to the Hybrid, “then why did you sacrifice my girlfriend on an alter of fire?” Klaus simply smirked and said, “All good things must come to an end.” That line prompted another trip back to the 1920’s, where Stefan was still at the old speakeasy and was dancing with Rebecca as Klaus watched. In the middle of the song however, the Chicago police department had burst into the bar, riddling the place with bullets.
The three quickly found that the bullets the police were firing were wooden, which meant that they knew who and “what” they were! Realizing that this meant one of their enemies had tipped off the police, Klaus and Rebecca fled from the nightclub, so quickly in fact, that Rebecca’s necklace, the one he would give to Elena eight decades later, fell off of her neck and onto the dance floor. Before leaving the bar for good, Klaus grabbed Stefan and compelled him to forget that he had ever met him and his sister. Klaus revealed then this was why Stefan could not remember their prior meeting.
Back in the present, Stefan pressed Klaus to reveal why he compelled him to forget. Stefan said that he would have had no reason to have to cover his tracks like that unless he was running away from someone. Before he could get Klaus to reveal who, or what, he was running from; Damon walked into Gloria’s bar and from across the room motioned to Stefan to meet him outside and away from Klaus’ notice.
Once outside, Stefan was irate with Damon and told him to get Elena back to Mystic Falls as quickly as possible. Damon scoffed at Stefan’s plea, but Stefan continued, saying that it was imperative that Klaus continue thinking that Elena was dead in order to keep her safe. If Klaus was aware that something went wrong with his attempt to break the curse, Stefan then told Damon that it was only a matter of time before he realized that meant that Elena was alive. Damon told Stefan then that if he wanted Elena to go home and to forget about him, then he’d have to tell her himself. Damon motioned over to where Elena was standing and left the two in the parking lot alone, while he went inside to make sure Klaus was still distracted.
Inside the bar, Damon approached Klaus and told him that all he wanted was his brother back. Damon continued on and told Klaus that he would leave him be as soon as he could leave with Stefan. Klaus responded to Damon’s request by grabbing him by the throat and stabbing him with a wooden toothpick repeatedly. Outside, Elena attempted to inject Stefan with vervain to knock him out and bring him back to Mystic Falls. As Stefan thwarted Elena’s attempt, Klaus kept stabbing Damon; telling him that by the time he was done with Stefan, he would not want to return home with Damon.
Back out in the parking lot, Stefan told Elena that Klaus was aware that he had not broken the curse properly and that if Klaus saw her alive now, he would know why immediately and would not hesitate to kill her. Then Stefan told Elena that there was no hope for him, despite her loving insistence that there was. “That part of my life is over. I don’t want to be with you, I don’t want to see you,” he said to her, deliberately trying to crush her feelings in order to drive her away, to keep her protected from Klaus.
As Elena got into Damon’s car, utterly heartbroken, to make the drive back to Mystic Falls; the episode jumped back to the Forbes’ household, where Tyler and Sheriff Forbes were taking care of Caroline. After finally being freed from her harrowing ordeal with her father, Caroline was weak. As Caroline’s mother fed her a bag of human blood, she explained to Caroline to not hate her father, that they were all raised to fear and hate vampires. Her mother, Liz, continued by saying that one day his mind could be changed just as hers, herself was. Her mother left the room and Tyler climbed into bed with Caroline, comforting her as she sobbed at the horrible thought of her father hating her for what she had become.
Back at the warehouse where Rebecca’s body was stored, Klaus saw that her coffin is now empty. Realizing that Rebecca had awakened and was hiding, he called out her name. Within seconds, Rebecca rushed out of the shadows and stabbed Klaus in the stomach with the same silver dagger that he had used to keep her incapacitated. As a look of shock spread across Klaus’ face, the episode shifted back into the past, picking up right after Klaus compelled Stefan to forget about meeting Rebecca and himself.
As Klaus had tried to convince Rebecca to leave Stefan behind so that they could get out of Chicago, Rebecca refused to leave with Klaus. Rebecca stated that she was sick of running and wanted to be with Stefan. Unable to accept this development, thinking that ultimately Stefan would lead to her sister’s demise, Klaus stabbed Rebecca in the heart. The stab had incapacitated her, leaving her in the comatose state that he would have just recently released her from in the present.
Back in the present time, Klaus pulled the dagger that Rebecca stabbed him with out of his gut and explained to her he had brought her a peace offering. Klaus then called Stefan into the room. Then, as Stefan looked upon Rebecca, Klaus compelled him once again, unlocking the memories of his friendship with him and his love for Rebecca.
As Stefan stared at the two of them with a renewed awe, Klaus approached Rebecca and told her that Gloria needed something from her to break the curse. Immediately, Rebecca realized that it was her necklace that Gloria needed, the same one that she lost all those years ago. The exact and very necklace that Stefan had recovered and eventually gave to Elena.
As Klaus and Rebecca panicked over the loss of the necklace, Damon and Elena arrived back in Mystic Falls. We caught up with Damon as he was once again talking to Katherine on the phone. Damon was explaining to her that their mission to retrieve Stefan had not gone that well. The phone call ended with Damon unsuccessfully attempting to guess where Katherine was calling him from.
Just as the phone call ended and Katherine stepped out of the phone booth, we were whisked away to the 1920’s for the final time. There, we see that Katherine herself was at the speakeasy the entire time keeping tabs on Stefan. She watched him as he picked up Rebecca’s necklace from the floor of the nightclub that night.
The episode finally ended as we were moved back into present day Chicago. Rather than being focused on Klaus and Stefan however, we are instead focused on Katherine. We could see she had followed Stefan and Klaus to Chicago, and had been keeping tabs on them while they were there, just as she had done in the 1920’s. The final scene of the episode was that of Katherine as she stepped into a cab and smiled, with the implication being that she was aware that Klaus needs Elena’s necklace to break the curse. To keep us viewers in suspense and anticipation for the next episode, we were left to worry of Klaus finding this necklace, which would mean Elena’s certain death would happen.
All in all, “The End of the Affair” was an amazing episode! It made great use of the 1920’s setting and really raised the stakes for all of the characters. It also raised quite a few questions. With Stefan proclaiming to Elena that their relationship is over, does this pave the way for a future relationship with Damon? Will Stefan’s rediscovered admiration for Klaus and love for Rebecca, push Stefan away from his end goal of protecting Elena from Klaus? While I do not pretend to know any of the answers, I will await with baited breath for the next episode of The Vampire Diaries to find out! Check out the video clip for a preview of next Thursday’s episode.
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