The Vampire Diaries 3.14 "Dangerous Liaisons"

A tv review article by: Shawn Hill

Damon and Stefan accompany Elena to a formal ball being hosted at Klaus's newly renovated mansion. Meanwhile, Caroline and Matt also receive invitations. While at the party, Elena discovers a plan that could lead to numerous deaths, and she must choose whom to trust with the information. Klaus shows a different side of himself to Caroline. As the evening ends in violence, it's Damon who must find a way to cope.

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8:00 on the CW.

Mommy knows best. Mommy who started it all. Mommy to whom everyone kowtows in decidedly old-school fashion. Mommy whom we know is evil because she was one of the Eloise Hawkings on “Lost,” and she’ll shoot her son in the back as soon as look at him.

Mommy’s here, freed from the fourth coffin, mostly by the witches themselves “on the other side” (though they used Bonnie and Abby as their agents) and there’s nothing wrong with Alice Evans or the character of Esther thus far. She stages a party in Klaus’ grand new mansion in order to introduce herself and her brood to Mystic Falls society properly (where it’s an open secret that she and her family are vampire royalty), thus explaining everyone’s propensity for debutante gowns (and formal gloves, and tuxes) for the rest of the episode. These people must all have servants to take care of mundane chores, as they never miss a party. Or else their houses are filthy.

Esther claims to have learned forgiveness in her thousand years of coffin-dwelling. It’s a rather old school kind, though, as she’s only forgiving everyone long enough to entrap them all in an annihilation spell. She realizes she was wrong to vamp her kids in the first place. For all her vamp-witch power, she has feet of clay that will be revealed all too soon, just as Mikael’s were.

Her five children are Rebekah (still with a mad-on for Elena ruining her prom debut), Klaus (seemingly infatuated with Caroline, even showing her his sensitive side), Finn (mama’s boy), Kol (immature twit), and Elijah (always the classiest and smartest of the lot, but too willing to trust Elena and hope for the best). When Elena learns that Mommy Cruelest plans to destroy the abominations she has created, she doesn’t tell Elijah, and Damon is all for it. The fewer originals around the better as far as he’s concerned, but Elena as always feels guilty for lying.

Caroline should perhaps be grateful to Klaus for saving her from the werewolf bite, but, then again, he did inadvertently give it to her by compelling Tyler. It’s Tyler who she loves, but she only receives a text from far away as he’s still trying to wean himself from his sire bond.  She does seem to know how to handle Klaus, as she keeps the pretty dress but gives him back his bracelet.

Could we have expected Klaus to be good with horses and to be a sensitive artist in his downtime? I don’t know if I’m more or less creeped out by these new aspects of his character, it’s just part of the fuel to the fire of figuring out what made this family so dysfunctional. Immature teenage drives magnified insanely by vampire blood at exactly the wrong time? An intimidating father that satisfied neither his wife nor his rebellious offspring? They can’t be planning much more of that angle since they killed Mikael off already. Stefan and Damon are just trying to keep up with this crew with their bargaining chips gone, and Elena is struggling to maintain her independence with so many alpha males prowling around.

In order to see Mommy Original alone, Stefan has to kill Damon to keep him out of the way, and to be willing to risk her life to let her go into the lioness den. Elena reminds Stefan that he always let her make her own decisions, even when he loved her, which is an odd way to put it.

Meanwhile Rebekah (definitely pathetic) plans to lure Matt to his death until he gives her his coat like a good date would in the cold, and she changes her mind about killing him. Her motivations are beyond teenage; they’re pre-teen, making her very dangerous indeed. And she’s nothing on her silly little brother, who gets what’s coming to him from Damon, not in a good mood after reviving. I always worry that these vamps out of time will have a hard time adjusting to their new era when revived; I forget that they see every era as their potential playground, and thus have avoided the personal growth that the Salvatores have managed in their 150 years of unlife.

I also find it odd that Mommy Vamp was aided by her witch-friend back in the day (who preserved her body) and that the other witches are working with her to restore “the balance of nature” (very important on the show, yet never exactly defined). It makes Bonnie’s family still seem somehow subservient and impotent to the lead characters unless she carries out their wishes (or even truly shares them). Already seeds of doubt are forming, as she notes that Elijah is “so moral” compared to the others. Yet the spell goes on, and as it’s bound with blood from both Elena and Finn, things are looking ominous.


Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net.

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