Recap: The Vampire Diaries, Episode 3.20, “Do Not Go Gentle”

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The literary among you will notice that this episode is named after a villanelle by Dylan Thomas: a poem which was written about his dying father, and ends thus:

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

THIS MAY BE A HINT.

Let’s review: Elena and Jeremy’s dad? Dead. Matt’s? Long gone. Tyler’s father? Killed in Season One. Elena’s bio dad/adoptive uncle? Killed in Season Two. Caroline’s father? Killed this season (by AltAlaric). Mikael had the dubious honour of being dispatched by his own son – like Mr. Salvatore. In fact, only Bonnie’s father is still alive, and he seems to be permanently out of town, conveniently for Bonnie, who is having a thing with her mother’s adopted son (a little too Bobbi Brown for me). All this does not bode well for Alaric, the closest thing to a father the Gilberts have left.

Alaric talks to Damon on the phone

Wait, the mortality rate for father figures is HOW high?

Of all the plot questions which dominated last week’s episode, just one is resolved in this one: the location of the last white oak stake, which AltAlaric gave to Rebesther (keep up at the back). She brought a stake back for Klaus to burn (which he duly does) – but it’s not the stake. Back in her own body, Esther uses Alaric’s magical insanity ring (with AltAlaric’s permission) to spell the stake so that it’s not just single-use-only: it won’t burn up in the body of the first Original it kills:

The ultimate weapon, for the ultimate hunter.

And Esther makes AltAlaric the hunter too, as she did for Mikael: using Elena’s blood, she tries to turn him into a vampire, but Alaric regains control, stabs Esther, and refuses to complete the transition as AltAlaric would have. This leads to tearful goodbyes for both Jeremy and Elena:

Taking care of you and Jeremy has been the closest I’ve ever come to the life I’ve always wanted.

“¦a candlelit vigil outside the tomb by everyone (including Dr. Fell):

The gang stand outside the tomb, L-R: Jeremy, Bonnie, Meredith, Tyler, Caroline, Damon, Stefan, Elena.

YES, I CRIED. OK?

“¦and a few last drinks with Damon, because a bromance like this never dies:

Damon: Sorry I killed you – twice.
Alaric: So I actually have to die to get a real apology out of you.
Damon: Just drink.
Alaric: Actually I’ve been thinking about cutting back.
Damon: That stuff’ll kill you.

Esther, however, has one more trick up her sleeve, and gets through to Bonnie FROM THE OTHER SIDE (where she got to know AltAlaric, apparently), so Bonnie goes to the tomb, disables Damon, and gets an unconscious Alaric to drink her blood”¦ so heeere’s Alaric the Vampire +/Hunter:

Vampire Alaric brandishes the last stake

That stuff didn't kill me – it just made me stronger!

Under the circumstances, nobody seems particularly bothered about the second of last week’s questions: trying to find out who sired Mary Porter, and therefore Stefan, Caroline, and Damon (and we can be pretty sure Valaric won’t give a shit, either). Tyler does, however, tell Caroline he thinks killing Klaus is worth the risk to him, if they find out that Caroline is not from Klaus’ bloodline. Plus, since Klaus has a thing for Caroline, and, perhaps, a long-term plan:

You mark my words: a small-town boy, a small-town life – it won’t be enough for you.

Tyler really really wants to be rid of him:

I’m not gonna hide while he’s macking all over you!

The third major issue – how Elena will distribute her affections, Salvatore-wise – is of course unresolved, but if you’re on Team Stelena, like Caroline, you’ll have liked this week, as Caroline succeeds in getting Elena to invite Stefan to the 1920s dance in the school:

I’ve watched the Bachelor – fair is fair! It’s Stefan’s turn!

(If you like portmanteau names, of course, any week is a good week.) Stefan and Elena are predictably adorable, and Stefan is as sweet and generous as I’ve ever seen him:

Close up on their faces as Stefan dips Elena while dancing

After everything I’ve put you through, I’m just honoured to be your date tonight.

OK, but tragedy and death aside, can we talk about Bonnie for a second? That girl just keeps getting used by one side or another to save someone or other that she cares about; as she tells Jamie, her friends are the most important thing to her. But in this episode, it’s Esther and her ancestors that are using her, to turn Alaric – no-one is in danger,  and it’s not even clear that she has any free will at all when she completes the transition for Alaric. I would really like to see her make her own choices, for once.

Close up of Bonnie looking sad

Can't a witch catch a break?

Predictions for the last two episodes of this season: will we find out who sired Mary Porter? Will Valaric be able to kill any of the remaining Originals? Will Elena make a choice? And seriously, guys – where are Katherine and Elijah?

Screencaps from homeofthenutty.com

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[M] QoBRecap: The Vampire Diaries, Episode 3.20, “Do Not Go Gentle”

2 Comments on “Recap: The Vampire Diaries, Episode 3.20, “Do Not Go Gentle””

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  1. Avatar of Meg Bo
    Meg Bo

    I shed a few tears as well, even though I was pretty sure he wasn’t actually going to die. Quit playing games with my heart, VD!

    I think Elena needs to pull a Kelly Taylor and choose herself. After some hot Damon sexin’.

    1. Avatar of [M] QoB
      [M] QoB

      Ha, yes indeed. To a large extent it’s a false dilemma – the Salvatores aren’t going anywhere, and Elena is (supposed to be) only a teenager still: what’s the hurry ?

       

      (glad to know someone else cried! I had feelings!)

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