Is that what you think I've been doing on the Other Side? I've been looking over you for a thousand years of joy and heartbreak. Your fights with Klaus. The nights you cried yourself to sleep calling out my name. Not a day has gone by that I wasn't right there with you. [...] Because it shouldn't have been a thousand years, Rebekah. No one should live that long.
Esther spends her final moments with Rebekah

Heart of Darkness is the nineteenth episode of the third season of The Vampire Diaries and the sixty-third episode of the series overall.


TYLER RETURNS TO MYSTIC FALLSElena and Damon set off together to make sure Jeremy is safe in Denver, and to see if his special abilities can help reveal the information they need about ancient vampire bloodlines. It doesn't take them long to learn that Jeremy has been hanging with the wrong people. Stefan and Klaus both go to brutal extremes in their search for the missing weapon. Caroline is thrilled when Tyler returns to town, but Tyler soon suspects that something has been going on between Caroline and Klaus. Matt has his hands full trying to keep Rebekah busy organizing the school's upcoming 1920s Decade Dance.


Alaric is locked in the dungeon, where he will hopefully morph into his other half and reveal where he hid the last White Oak Stake. Stefan decides to stay and watch over him while Damon and Elena take a road trip to find Jeremy. Soon Stefan and Alaric are drinking away the time to try and speed up the turning process. Alas, it doesn't work, and neither does Klaus killing him so they soon resort to physical violence to see if Alaric's inner persona wants to stay alive.

On the road, Damon and Elena find Jeremy at the batting cages. They explain they need him to get in touch with Rose to find out who had turned her so they can figure out the bloodline of the Salvatores. (Rose turned Katherine, unwillingly, who then turned Damon and Stefan.) There conversation is cut short when Kol, Jeremy's supposed new friend, appears. Jeremy is shocked to learn he's an Original, and soon Damon stakes him to give them a heads start to get out of dodge.

The threesome arrive at a motel where Damon, after being sarcastic, recalls how he gave Rose a dream on her deathbed to ease the pain and fear. It's enough to summon her, and soon she's communicating with Jeremy. She says hi, that she's rooting for Delena, but that she doesn't know whose bloodline she comes from because an Original didn't turn her, some vampire named Mary Porter did.

Back in Mystic Falls, Caroline is finally reunited with Tyler, and immediately after embracing they head straight to sexy time. After, as they lay under the sheets, Caroline explains that finding out if the sire bond is broken isn't his biggest problem. She reveals that if Klaus isn't responsible for the Salvatore bloodline, then he can be killed, regardless if that then kills Tyler. But the two are hit with another bump when they go back to sleep at Caroline's house, and Tyler finds the drawings from Klaus. She says nothing happened between the two, but Tyler insists on finding another place to stay for the night.

At Klaus's mansion, Rebekah returns home to find Esther there. Esther explains that her body is weakened because Abby died and her power comes from the Bennett line. In an emotional exchange, Esther also tells her daughter she's been looking over her for 1,000 years, but that no one should live that long and that's why they should all be killed. Esther grabs Rebekah's hands, but then falls dead to the ground.

In the motel room, a shirtless Damon is sipping on alcohol as Elena watches. They stare at each other until he joins her in bed. She brings up what he did for Rose and asks, "Why don't you let people see the good in you?" Damon responds, "When people see good, they expect good and I don't want to have to live up to anyone's expectations." He then slowly takes her hand, but she jumps out of bed to get away. He follows and as she can no longer resist, she kisses him. They make out, until Jeremy interrupts. Rose has found an address for Mary. At the "vampire hoarders" house, Elena and Damon find Mary dead. Turns out Kol has already gotten to her. Now they'll never know who turned Mary.

Back at the dungeon, Stefan is fighting Alaric so that he'll be threatened and hopefully turn into his psycho alter ego. It actually works, and a beaten-up Alaric reveals he hid the stake in the cave — where vampires cannot go due to an old spell.

Damon, meanwhile, wants to pick up where he and Elena left off, but she walks away. "What the hell is this?" he asks. "Stefan thinks I have feelings for you," she says. Damon then calls Elena out on the fact that she was waiting for him to screw it all up, because that's what he does, but he says this time he won't. "This time I'm not going to make it so easy for you," he says. They end up driving home in silence where Rose quietly joins Jeremy in the back seat. She knows Jeremy isn't on Team Delena so she tells him why they might be a good thing. "It's not just that she makes him a better person, but he changes her, too. Damon challenges her, surprises her. Stefan is different. His love is pure. Damon is either the best thing for her or the worst."

In the final scene, Rebekah accompanies Alaric to the cave to retrieve the stake. While in there, he tries to strike a deal that because only one Original has to die, if she helps him, he'll make sure it's not her. But then Rebekah crosses the so-called spell threshold, much to Alaric's shock. "I don't want one dead; I want them all dead." It's revealed that it isn't really Rebekah, but Esther, who is possessing Rebekah in order to kill the Originals.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



  • Antagonists: Niklaus Mikaelson, EstherAlaric Saltzman and Kol Mikaelson.
  • This episode was watched by 2.21 million viewers in the USA, making it the least watched episode of Season Three.
  • Tyler returns in this episode.
  • This is the fourth time that Elena and Damon share the same bed after As I Lay Dying, The End of the Affair and Ordinary People.
  • It is revealed that Rose was sired by a very old vampire named Mary Porter.
  • Jeremy meets Rose (as a ghost) for the first time in this episode.
  • Rose tells Jeremy that she believes in the relationship between his sister Elena and Damon, and insists that Damon will either be the best thing for her, or the worst.
  • This episode marks the first time Kol and Elena speak directly to each other in the series.
  • It is revealed that Kol has been posing as Jeremy's friend in Denver.
  • Kol mentions that he'd never get used to aluminum baseball bats. This is because he was daggered in the early 1900s, before aluminum bats were widely used.
  • Damon and Elena have their third kiss in this episode, although they have an argument afterward due to Elena still being unsure about her feelings for him.
  • Stefan sent Elena on the road-trip with Damon, as he (correctly) believes that she has unresolved feelings for Damon, and he wants to make sure that they're on the same page before they try to rekindle their own relationship.
  • This is the first episode in which Kol appears and Finn does not.


Body Count


Cultural References

  • "Heart of Darkness " is a 1902 novella by Joseph Conrad. It refers to the unfathomable darkness within human beings when they commit heinous acts of evil.
  • There is also a movie named Heart of Darkness it is about a trading company manager that travels up in an African river to find a missing outpost head and discovers the depth of evil in humanity's soul. This movie was released in 1993.
  • The Roaring 20s - The 1920s, considered an exciting period of time when the economy was successful and there were a lot of changes in culture and society.
  • In the ABC TV series Once Upon A Time, there's also an episode called Heart of Darkness. In this episode Snow White wants revenge and she's even ready to kill the Queen and have justice in her own way just like Rebekah (who is possessed by Esther) wants all the Originals to die in TVD.
  • "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde " is a 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. It's about a case of split personalities. Dr Jekyll is the moral one, while Mr. Hyde is evil. The impact of the novella was such that the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" came to mean a person who is vastly different in moral from one situation from the next. 
  • Damon calls Jeremy "Whoopi". In the 1990 movie Ghost, Whoopi Goldberg plays the psychic who allows the ghost of Sam to communicate with his surviving wife Molly. Their most poignant scene happens around a pottery wheel.
  • "Home! Sweet Home!" is a 1823 song. It has become a cultural staple for many generations.
  • "Moby-Dick" is a 1851 novel by Herman Nelville. It's became the metaphor for single mindlessly pursuing one's objective, even if it brings one's own destruction.
  • "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary " is a popular nursery rhyme, although it's meaning and origin are unknown.
  • "Groupie" is a person who seeks intimacy with a celebrity.


  • The book shown as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not the proper length for the actual novel: the actual novel varies from 69 to 112 pages depending on physical dimensions and font size of the book.


Rebekah: "So you'd rather dress in tacky colors with bad hair than be a classic flapper from the Jazz Age? Honestly, I don't know what my brother sees in you."
Caroline: "You see,  unlike some other people, I don't sleep with everyone I make eye-contact with."

Damon: (to Jeremy about Kol) "Well, didn't you find it weird you made a friend so fast? Have you met you?"

Damon: (speaking aloud to Rose's spirit) "Come on, Rose. You're not going to actually make us wait, are you? I know you're obsessed with me." 

Alaric: (to Stefan about Jeremy) "Who knows? Maybe his alter ego is a pot-smoking hippie pacifist."

Rebekah: (to Esther) "Well, if you've come to spend your last moments with your loving daughter, prepare to be disappointed. You should have spent less time plotting my death."

Damon: (to Elena about Mary Porter) "Scary Mary. Really old. Super creepy."

Jeremy: "You traveled across the country to get me to talk to a dead vampire?"
Damon: "Dead vampire is redundant, but yes."

Rose: (to Jeremy) "Tell Damon I'm rooting for him and Elena."

Rose: (to Jeremy about Damon) "Tell him he is still dripping with sex."
Jeremy: (to Damon, clearly feeling awkward) "...She misses you."

Elena: "Stefan thinks that I have feelings for you."
Damon: "Do you?"

Stefan: "No matter what I go through to get her back-- fighting my bloodlust, trying to gain control of my life again-- none of that matters if she has feelings for somebody else."

Damon: (to Elena about Jeremy) "Next time we compel him, remind me to make him better at baseball."

Damon: "Mary.."
Kol: "Quite contrary."

Kol: "Shame about Mary, she used to be a blast. Don't quite know what happened. I fear all the time she spent with my family might have ruined her. She was a bit of an Original groupie."
Elena: "And were you her favorite?"
Kol: "You mean, did I turn her? I think I did. But no, wait, maybe it was Rebekah. There was also a Klaus period. And let's not forget the Elijah affair. I spoke to my brother. I know you're trying to find out who you're descended from. Now you never will. So, where did we leave off?" (He hits Damon with a baseball bat)

Elena: (to Alaric) "Stefan thinks I have unresolved feelings for Damon."
Alaric: "Do you?"
Elena: "I guess that's why I'm going on this trip."

Rebekah/Esther: "I don't want one Original to die-- I want them all to die"

Stefan: "Kill an Original vampire, kill his entire bloodline."
Klaus: "So the fate of the entire vampire race depends on you finding a stake."

Stefan: "Tell me where the stake is before I kill you. [beat] Where's the stake?!"

Elena: "Why don't you let anyone see the good in you?"
Damon: "When people see good, they expect good. And I don't wanna live up to anyone's expectations."

Caroline: "We are gonna do this an actual bed, right?"
Tyler: "Yes. Once I know how to deal with Klaus."
Caroline: "Tell him to suck it."



Last.fm_play.png "Starting Now" – Mississippi Twilight
Last.fm_play.png "Dying To Be Born" – Civil Twilight
Last.fm_play.png "Redemption" – The Strange Familiar

Last.fm_play.png "Never Let Me Go" – Florence + The Machine
Last.fm_play.png "When The Light Dies Out" – Christel Alsos



See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.