THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Season Finale: “Founder’s Day”
Read on for my recap & review of The Vampire Diaries 1×22, the first season finale, aired May 13th, 2010:
This season, on The Vampire Diaries, there was a whole lot of crazy. A parade of awesome chicks waltzed through the show, only to be killed by Damon, Stefan, and John. We wept. Katherine was fabulously evil and I couldn’t wait for her return. Elena’s long-lost-vampire-birth-mother, Isobel, revealed to everyone that Damon is in love with Elena, and it was super awkward. Bonnie pretended to take the spell off the latest vampire-killing-device and lied to Elena. Stefan oscillated from dull to a raging asshole and then back again. Caroline went from an annoying “poor man’s Cordelia Chase” to supremely awesome. Elena got her Buffy on, including a dangerous penchant for undead boyfriends. Damon went from entertaining, to the subject of my loathing, to a redeemed vampire with a soul. Jeremy got on my very last nerve. And Alaric was swoon-worthy. All of this led up to last week’s finale, a finale which I have already discussed for over three hours with the ladies of The Televixen’s TVD Podcast. But I still have more to say. Sadly, not in a timely manner, but that is grad school for you. A lot of things have been preventing my recaps from going up earlier (and my general lack of blogging), including translating Tacitus, preparing for a conference presentation, grading, reading for my research field exam, and, of course, watching as much television as I possibly can. And don’t make me feel bad about the latter. If I don’t watch an absurd amount of TV, how can I write about it? Really, it’s just research, and I do it for you. But enough of my whining and over-sharing … on to the recap …
We open on Elena getting all Katherine-ified, dressing in 1864 garb for the Founder’s Day celebration. Yes, that’s right—Founder’s Day is finally here. If Elena didn’t look so forehead broody (she’s clearly been spending way too much time with Stefan), you might imagine it was Katherine. But it’s Elena. At least for the moment … but I’m getting ahead of myself. Stefan is also getting all 1864’d up, and as lovely music plays, we see a montage of lots of costumed people arriving in the town for the parade. Carol Lockwood is supervising the proceedings, just as you might imagine Carol Lockwood would.
In town, Damon greets his brother, and Stefan wonders what he’s doing there. Damon explains: “Bonnie deactivated the Gilbert invention. Isobel’s gone. And it’s Founder’s Day. I’m here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl.” Stefan is not as amused as I am at that line: “Don’t start with me, Damon.” Damon points out that Stefan and his whining insecurity started it, and I must agree. Stefan should have known better than to bring his concerns to Damon, as that will only intensify things. Stefan: “As long as you heard it [my jealous boyfriend speech].” Damon: “Huh? What? You have no sense of humor, Stefan.” Stefan: “Actually, I have no sense of Damon humor.” Ha! Damon: “I get it. I’m the better, hotter, superior choice, and you’re scared now that now that Katherine’s out of the picture, I’m going to turn all my attention to Elena. Don’t worry, Elena is not Katherine.” Stefan:” You’re right. She’s not.” Cue the Katherine-esque Elena, curtsying no less, and smiling at the brothers. Yeah, there’s nothing twisted about this. Nothing at all. I can’t even imagine that a psychiatrist would say about this love quadrangle, which includes three vampires, and one human doppelgänger who is over one hundred years younger than the others.
Back at the Gilbert home, Jeremy is in his Civil War era soldier costume when Anna comes in. She admires his uniform, and I must say that the costume department really outdid itself with this period clothing (with the possible exception of Caroline’s dress, which I have addressed in the photo caption above). Impressive. Less impressive is the whining boy wearing the costume, but I’ll try to restrain myself. Jeremy asks how Anna is, and says that he feels “awful.” Anna: “Why? You didn’t kill my mother. Your uncle did.” Jeremy: “Are you sure it was him?” Wow, Jeremy, not the right thing to say at this moment. Anna asks, “Who else would have done it?” Jeremy then tries to explain John’s actions to the daughter of his victim: “He hates all vampires. He’s just doing what he thinks is right.” Again, Jeremy, step away from this conversation. Seriously. Anna asks with mouth agape, “Are you defending him?” Jeremy says no way, but he can see where he’s coming from: “He’s convinced that the tomb vampires want revenge on this town and he’s trying to protect it.” Anna: “They do want revenge. At least they did. My mom wasn’t after revenge. She just wanted her life back. I have to get out of this town, Jeremy.” Yes, Anna! Run, and don’t look back! Jeremy: “You’re leaving?” She nods and says that he could come with her. She hands him a vial of her blood and says that she knows what it’s like for him, alone and empty inside. He doesn’t have to feel alone as a vampire. He can shut it off. Jeremy: “I wanted to. I did. But I don’t think I can. Sorry.” Translation probably running through Anna’s head: “I wanted to become a vampire for Vicki, but not for you.” She deserves so much better, but she leaves him with the vial anyway. However, we shouldn’t let Anna off scot-free here, because if Jeremy becomes a vampire, I will not be a happy watcher. I’ll be the opposite of happy, times a thousand.
Then we cut to Stefan and Elena, in the middle of him telling her about John being her father. Elena: “I really hope it’s not true. What am I supposed to do? Do I just confront him and say, ‘Are you my biological father?’?” Stefan: “When you’re ready.” As my sister would say, this is all a bit “yawning.” Elena then goes off on how Jeremy will never forgive her. Blah blah blah. Stefan says that he will, she just needs to give him time. At this point, it occurred to me that Jeremy is both Elena’s brother and cousin. For some reason, that amuses me. But let’s carry on.
Caroline and Matt are all dolled up and getting their picture taken. Caroline makes Matt hide his cast, because “it’s not era appropriate.” Ha! I love Caroline. Tyler offers to take the next photo, so Matt goes off in huff: “I’ll be at the float.” Tyler looks at Caroline, helplessly, and says that he apologized. Caroline: “You made out with his mother, and then beat him to a pulp. You’re gonna have to do better than that.” A bit of an exaggeration, I think. Matt threw the first punch, as you might recall. Don’t start a fight you can’t finish, Matt. And don’t start fights that knock your mother into tables, causing her to bleed, even unintentionally. That is just not acceptable.
Elena goes to talk to Jeremy and compliments his appearance and the work on the float. But it doesn’t melt Jeremy’s icy heart. Nope. Like Matt, Jeremy is all about holding a grudge. What is it with the boys on this show? Jeremy snarks, “Why don’t you have Damon erase my memory again?” Ouch. He continues, “Something like this doesn’t just get fixed,” and walks off. “Something like this”? I mean what else is there like this particular situation, Jeremy? How much experience do you have of getting your memory wiped by a vampire because you saw your sister’s boyfriend kill your vampire-girlfriend?
Cut to the start of the parade, as Carol Lockwood introduces the high school marching band. She then introduces Mr. Saltzman’s students’ recreation of the Battle of Willow Creek. It looks good. Then we see the Miss Mystic Falls float, with Caroline, Elena, the rest of the court, and their escorts. See the photo above for my comments on the dresses. On the sidelines, Bonnie waves at her friends, and then Damon cuts in, mockingly mirroring the little hand gesture. Oh, Damon. Bonnie tries to get out of there when she sees Damon, but he follows. And then he does something unprecedented on this show. Seriously, it is quite shocking, so I hope that you are all sitting down. He thanks Bonnie: “Thank you. The device that Emily spelled could have killed me. I don’t take what you did lightly, so thank you.” Wow. Bonnie says that she did it for Elena. Damon replies: “I know that, but I’m still very grateful. And, I owe you. Enjoy the parade.” Um, he thanked her three times. And he was sincere. I still have not recovered. All my attempts to hate Damon have failed. I give in.
Cut to Johnathan Gilbert, explaining the silliest magical device in history to Mayor Lockwood (okay, fine, there are probably way dumber devices): “It’s a high pitched frequency that humans can’t hear. Any vampire within a five block radius will be incapacitated, exposing them.” Then, the plan is for the sheriff’s deputies to shoot the fallen vamps with vervain, and “bring them back here, where we’ll finish them off.” Um, do I even need to explain why that’s a bad plan? Well, I will. One, you went through all kinds of complicated maneuverings to get some magical device that turns out to be just a high pitched dog whistle? I mean, take a trip to a hardware store. Or, if the high pitch frequency is that special, how about an electronics store, or at last resort, a scientist. You do not need an invention from 1864 that has been charmed by a witch to puncture a vampire’s ear drums. Just ask Superman. Also, this device only works for 5 minutes? And then you have to send out humans to gather them up in the middle of a festival with hundreds of people around? And then, on top of that, you still have to kill the vampires with a fire? Is that really the best plan you could come up with, Uncle John? And if this is Katherine’s plan, I am disappointed in her. Sigh.
We then cut to the tomb vamps, where someone who looks very much like Amy Abbott’s coma-boyfriend is leading the charge against the founding families, with a map and everything. Cut back to John and the mayor: “They want revenge … blah blah blah …We’re taking an enormous risk.” John adds: “This is the only way to draw them out and kill them. All of them.” See earlier rant. Sigh.
Meanwhile, Elena and Damon meet up at the Grill, unintentionally. ”Drawn together” and all that. Elena has changed back into her street clothes, and Damon tells her: “I like you better like this. The period look didn’t suit you.” Elena: “Is that an insult?” Damon: “Actually, Elena, it is a compliment, of the highest order.” Elena sees the possible danger in such adorable compliments: “Look, I know Stefan is worried about our friendship…” Damon: “Did he mention something to you too?” Elena: “No. Did he mention something to you?” Damon: “No. Nothing worth repeating.” Ha! Elena: “So I think you should stop with the flirty little comments and that eye thing that you do.” I love that the show recognizes the eye thing. Hee. Damon: “What eye thing?” In return, she gives him a hilarious look that cannot be accurately recapped, and adds, “Don’t make me regret being your friend, okay?” Those two are just too good together. Love their rapport. My entertainment is interrupted, however, when Elena sees Jeremy sitting at a nearby table, and walks over to talk to him. She offers a heartfelt speech: “I don’t believe that we can’t fix this. […] You’re my brother, Jer, and I love you and I have to fix it. So just tell me, what can I do?” Jeremy: “You can go to hell, Elena.” Then he walks off in a huff. Sigh.
Damon follows, mocking Jeremy: “I have so many emotions, but I don’t have any way to express them. Being a teenager is so hard.” Ha! Thank you, Damon. Jeremy: “Dick.” Hee. Damon is not amused: “You do not talk to me like that. And from now on, don’t talk to your sister like that either.” Jeremy: “What? So you’re gonna kill me just because I hurt Elena’s feelings?” Hey, no one said anything about killing anyone, drama queen. Damon advises, “Cut her some slack.” Jeremy: “She erased my memories.” Damon points out, thank goodness: “No, I did. She was protecting you.” Jeremy: “That wasn’t her call to make.” Yes, Jeremy, we’ve been over this. But let’s move on. As Jeremy tries to walk away, Damon grabs him. Jeremy tells Damon to let go of him before he causes a scene, but then Stefan intercedes. Oh, boys. Stefan: “What my brother is trying to say, is don’t blame Elena for this. Damon turned Vicki, and I killed her. She was a threat to you and a threat to your sister. I’m sorry that it happened. I wish that it hadn’t.” Jeremy turns to Damon, “You shouldn’t have made me forget,” and he leaves. Oooookay, so the forgetting part is the only part that pisses you off, Jeremy? No crying and yelling at Damon for turning your beloved? No screaming at Stefan for actually killing her? Jeremy is more self-absorbed than I thought.
With Jeremy gone, Damon turns to Stefan: “Good cop, bad cop. I like it.” Stefan: “What are you doing?” Damon explains, “He was being a punk.” Despite the deep truth of that statement, Stefan tells him that Elena and Jeremy’s relationship is none of his business. Damon: “Oh, there’s only one do-gooder hero role available. I’m sorry.” Actually, yes, Damon. I’m pretty sure that’s how vampire shows work. Stefan will need his own spin-off, à la Angel, before you’re allowed to be the hero. Sorry. Stefan then proceeds to lecture his brother on what it really means to be good, since he has a “pure heart” and is sooo superior to the rest of the world: “You see, Damon, it’s only real when it comes from your desire to do the right thing, for nothing in return. And I know that that is a completely foreign concept to you. I completely understand why you wouldn’t get it.” Yeah, like everything good that you have ever done has been entirely selfless, Stefan? Shut up.
Cut to Sheriff Forbes sticking up for the town against the insanity and bad planning of John and Mayor Lockwood. I officially love Liz Forbes now. She seems to be the only smart one on the Founder’s Council (despite her regrettable penchant to trust Damon WAY more than she should), and the only one with real compassion for human life. Case in point: “You want to use our town as bait? It’s too dangerous. It’s insane.” Thank you. Mayor Lockwood is not having it though, and says they’ve gone over the plans with the deputies. She’s pissed that they went behind her back, but the mayor says that that was only because he knew that she’d react this way. Sigh. Liz reminds them why she is reacting in this way: “Our children are here!” Go, Liz! John: “Our founding fathers created the secret council for just this purpose.” Oy, with the founders already, John. Give it a rest. Liz sticks to her guns: “I’m the sheriff. It’s my call. And I say no.” John asks the Mayor, who is apparently named Richard (which I think may possibly speak to his character), to speak to the sheriff alone, and when they’re by themselves, he knocks her out and handcuffs her to the radiator. Uh oh.
Cut to Anna and Damon in the town square, and it’s night. Anna tells Damon about the impending attack by the tomb vampires, explaining, “They want the founding families dead.” I think we get that by now, thanks. Damon: “When is this supposed to happen?” Anna: “When the fireworks start.” Of course. Damon then adds even more exposition: “John Gilbert wants to use that invention on them.” Yeah, I think we got that too. We really don’t need to see every scene in which characters are informed of plot points we already know about, thank you very much. I like a little explanation as much as the next viewer, but let’s not go overboard. She says that they need to leave town then, but he says that it’s been deactivated. Anna: “Well then a lot of people are going to die.” Dun dun dun. She then adds, “They’re already here, Damon.” Dun dun dun.
Cut to the tomb vamps being sent out by their leader: “It’s not about the feed. It’s about the kill. You know what to do.” The ferocity of the tomb vamps is a bit belied, I must admit, by the fact that a number of them are wearing Founder’s Day tee-shirts. You just can’t be fully intimidating when you’re wearing a yellow festival shirt.
Meanwhile, Damon turns to Alaric, his new best friend, for some vampire killing implements Yay, Team Blood and Beer. Damon then goes on to warn Stefan and Elena, finding the opportunity to hold Elena’s hand in the process. Oh, Damon. Elena wants to go find Jeremy … of course not as much as she wants to stay with her boyfriend and his brother. Let’s be honest: Jeremy is a third priority here. Maybe that’s why he’s so bitter.
In the Mystic Grill, Caroline and Matt sit at a table, while Tyler plays pool alone. Poor Tyler. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence. Caroline tries to broker peace between the two boys, but Matt is not having it. Then Tyler’s dad enters, and forcefully tells his son that he needs to go home. Caroline intervenes, and asks what’s going on. Go, Caroline! Also, Matt is not far behind, so methinks he protests too much when it comes to the Tyler-hate. Mayor Lockwood says that he can’t explain, but that they all need to get home. He gives his keys to Tyler, and Tyler accepts. All three kids leave together, as they can tell he means serious business.
Also at the Grill, Anna drags Jeremy into the bathroom, in order to tell him stuff. This time we’re spared the conversation, thank goodness.
Soon after, the Mayor offers a speech on this auspicious occasion: “For 150 years, Mystic Falls has been the kind of town everybody wants to call home. Safe, prosperous, and welcoming. And we have the founders to thank for that.” Ha! He continues, “That’s why I’d like to dedicate this evening’s fireworks display to their legacy.” Yeah, isn’t the entire month of events dedicated to their legacy? Whatever. With that, the fireworks begin, both literally and figuratively. (Yes, I know that I am super cheesy.) As the Lockwoods walk off, we see Bonnie and possibly-Amy- Abbott’s-dead-boyfriend pass each other by, but Bonnie realizes that something is off with him and follows.
Meanwhile Damon goes in to see John, and they have a conversation that is so very arch that it’s rather comical (but in a good way). As Julian Sark triggers the Rambaldi device, Damon asks, “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Sark: “Yes, as a matter of fact I do.” Damon drops in pain, holding his ears.
Outside, Stefan does the same, overcome by the powers of noise. At the Grill, Anna does too, and she cries out in pain. We then see a montage of vamps falling to the ground across the town, as the deputies stab them with vervain. Then, those of us waiting for Tyler to “come out of the furry closet” (tm @conallen) get our wish, as Tyler is affected by the sound, while driving. As he screams in pain, the car veers off the road.
Then we cut to a little Alaaaaric moment. Our favorite history teacher/ vampire slayer pretty much saves Stefan’s life, telling a clueless deputy that he has this corner (where Stefan is laying prostrate) covered. And scene.
Then we learn that Mayor Lockwood collapsed because of the noise too, and we see that his ears are bleeding. Yep, the sound affects the werewolves too. What about the bunnies?!?! It was bad enough that they had to deal with the Stefan diet.
Cut to a few deputies entering the bathroom to drag Anna off, while Jeremy weakly protests. Not that he goes after her … or tries to find out what happened … or goes to get help. Oh, no. He’s too busy being Jeremy.
We then return to the Rambaldi device, and Sark turning it off. (I will stop calling John Sark when he stops messing with a Rambaldi device.) Now that the vampires all got a really bad headache for five minutes, he notes that the vervain is the only thing that’s keeping them down. Among the gathered vamps in the basement, we see Anna and Damon. Uncle John tells the others to head up and that he’ll take it from there. And then he pulls out a stake and stakes Anna!!! How could he??!! I was very specific in the last podcast that Anna must not be killed. I could not have been more clear. Sigh. I’m not sure that Connie will ever recover, and there are a number of theories about Anna possibly still being alive, however, my feeling is that she is most definitely dead. Sigh. There goes another awesome chick, to join the likes of Vicki, Lexi, Bree, and Pearl. Oh, John, you are an evil bastard. But why did he do it? I think it was for Jeremy. He sees himself in his nephew, and he doesn’t want Jeremy to make the same mistake, being in love with a vampire. Also, there is something darkly poetic and symmetrical, as Johnathan Gilbert of 1864 condemned Pearl to death, and Johnathan Gilbert of 2010 then kills both Pearl and her daughter Anna. Uncle John then finishes pouring the gasoline over the vampires, and lights the fire. All the while, it is crucial to note, Damon lies there watching, but unable to move.
Cut to Elena and a recovering Stefan in an alley/ stairwell. Stefan realizes that it’s the Gilbert device that caused him to drop, and tells us so. Thanks, Stefan. I wasn’t sure. Alaric says that Bonnie may have de-spelled it. Thanks, Alaric. I wasn’t sure. Of course there is still more discussion until finally Elena and Stefan realize what is going on. Sigh. Also, they all realize that none of them know where Damon is. Elena asks Alaric to get Jeremy and take him home, while she stays with Stefan to look for Damon. See what I said about priorities? Not that I’d want to hang out with a whining Jeremy either, so I guess I shouldn’t judge.
Meanwhile, Carol Lockwood goes to the Sheriff’s Department and find Liz chained to the radiator. She frees her and explains: “Something happened to Richard. They took him. […] I don’t understand. He’s not a vampire.” Liz: “Let’s go.”
And speaking of Richard, down in the basement Damon spies the mayor, who asks him what he’s doing there. Damon: “I’m a vampire. What’s your excuse.” Ha! Damon: “The vervain didn’t affect you. You’re not a vampire. What the hell are you?” Unfortunately, a tomb vamp steps in and breaks Richard’s neck before this conversation can go any further. Why was that tomb vamp vervain-free enough to have the strength to break the mayor’s neck? Sigh. Or perhaps a better question: Is the mayor really dead? Do werewolves have regenerative capabilities that withstand neck breaking? Hmmm. I tend to think that he is really dead.
Meanwhile, at the scene of the car accident, Matt is worried about Caroline, but she is more worried about Tyler. As Tyler is treated by the paramedics, he reveals his wolfy eye. And it is pretty darn cool. Kudos, show.
Back in town, Stefan’s intrusive super-hearing comes in non-stalkery use, for once, as he hears the vamps and the flames. On the way to the fire, they run into John. Elena tells her newly revealed father, “You’re crazy.” John: “Why? Because I’m doing what should have been done 145 years ago? This is the right thing, Elena.” Stefan is anxious to save his brother, and John doesn’t stop him: “Go ahead. You won’t make it out. It will save me the trouble of killing you myself.” Elena makes to follow her boyfriend, but John holds her back, telling her that if she follows him, he’ll alert the deputies about another vamp. Elena: “I’m asking you not to.” John: “That doesn’t mean anything to me.” Elena: “As my father, it should.” John: “You know?” Oh, John, you fell for the oldest trick in the book. Deny, deny deny! Elena: “I wasn’t sure. Now I am.” Again, Elena must explain this, in case the audience didn’t get that. Thanks, because I really needed that Dr. Evil like exposition. All kidding aside, however, it was a pretty awesome moment for David Anders. His face, when he realizes that his daughter knows him, finally drops its guarded expression, and I couldn’t help but feel a little compassion for the guy, despite the fact that he killed two beloved characters. Hey, I didn’t say that I’m proud about it, guys.
At the scene of the fire, Bonnie is outside the burning building, and tries to stop Stefan from going in. Stefan tells her, “He’s my brother, Bonnie.” Aaww. Bonnie is able to stop Elena from going in, however, and she apologizes to her friend for lying. Then she uses some hocus pocus to control the fire, so that Stefan is able to open the door and save Damon. Elena asks if they’ll be okay, and in response Bonnie gives her friend her new creeeeepy look, of which I’m not a fan. I’m sorry, but you are not the Bonnie whom I know and love. Sadness. Then the Salvatore boys make their way out, safely.
Cut to an ambulance and then another cut to Stefan and Elena inside the Mystic Grill. Elena: “The fire’s out. The story is it was the building’s old wiring that caused it.” Stefan: “Did you see where Damon went?” Elena: “No, he just kind of disappeared.” Stefan: “Figures.” Despite Stefan’s poutiness, Elena is really glad that he’s okay, and because of what happens later in the episode, I will point out that this is real Elena because of the necklace. Stefan: “I try so hard to hate him.” Sigh. Elena: “You care about him. So do I. But I love you, Stefan. And I know that you’re worried about that.” Sigh. Stefan: “No, I just .. you know, I know my brother … I know the trouble he can cause.” Sigh. Elena interrupts repeatedly and assures Stefan that it is him that she loves, and kisses him. She assures him, “We have nothing to worry about, okay?” Oh, Elena, baaaaad move, given the horror movie that is your life. Try to avoid such phrasing, as it never ends well. Stefan is temporarily appeased, however. Elena adds that Jenna called and Jeremy’s home. She just has to run by school to pick up her stuff and then she’ll go check on him. A little detail, but it will be important later.
At the Gilbert home, Jeremy sits in his room alone. Because that’s what you do when your girlfriend is kidnapped and dragged off to be killed. Just sit in your room feeling sorry for yourself. Ho hum. Damon comes in and tells Jeremy that Anna is dead. Jeremy: “I figured that once they took her away.” Really, Jeremy? You were blazing angry at your sister for lying to you, but when your girlfriend is killed, you “figured” as much? Jeremy: “I know you cared about her.” I’m not so sure. Jeremy: “Yeah, I did.” Damon: “I saw her killed. I was watching and all I could think about was … I wanted to help her. But I couldn’t.” Wow. Damon is clearly a vampire with a soul these days. Love it. Jeremy: “Why are you telling me all this?” Damon offers to take away Jeremy’s suffering, again, but this time it’s his choice. Jeremy: “Look, I know you think you took it away, but it’s still there. Even if I can’t remember why, I still feel empty, alone. And making me forget won’t fix it. It won’t fix what’s really wrong.” Damon: “What I did to Vicki was wrong. Sorry for my part.” An apology … from Damon. Whoa. Pair that with his thanks to Bonnie, and it is like he is a whole new vampire. Jeremy: “Anna said that vampires don’t have to feel pain. That they can turn it off, if they shut out their humanity.” Damon: “It’s very true?” So you all keep saying, vampires … yet, you all choose to reveal your humanity sooner or later, it seems. Jeremy asks if it’s easier that way. Damon: “Life sucks either way, Jeremy. At least if you’re a vampire, you don’t have to feel bad about it.” And that is my favorite quote of the episode. This scene does a lot to improve the quality of the episode, and from here on it is all gold. Jeremy asks, “Is that what you did?” Damon explains: “I did it for … I did it for a very long time. And life was a lot easier.” Damon turns and walks away, looking sad, and soulful. Not that there are souls in this mythology, but I can’t resist. Remember, I am allowed two Buffyverse references in every recap. (Okay, fine, this is the fourth reference. Stop counting!)
Meanwhile, Matt and Tyler are at the hospital, waiting to hear about Caroline. It seems that Tyler is fine now. Tyler apologizes to Matt for the accident: “Hey man, I’m so sorry. Like, I don’t even know what happened.” This time, Matt is more forgiving, and seems to have turned a corner on his grudge-holding: “It’s okay, man. She’ll be alright.” Aaaww. Yay, Matt. Then my new hero Sheriff Forbes comes in, worried about her daughter. She tells the boys about Caroline’s condition: “There was some internal bleeding. They’re taking her into surgery.” She says, “They’re going to do everything they can.” Wow, so Caroline is seriously injured? Is this just due to the accident? Or are there supernatural forces at work? Am I overthinking this? Probably. Liz then tells Tyler that he needs to call his mom. When he asks why, she explains, “It’s your dad.” So, like I asked before, is Mayor Lockwood dead? Or did whatever supernatural abilities that he has save his life? And with that, we have two more cliffhangers.
Back at the Gilbert home, Jeremy drinks Anna’s blood from the vial. Well, that’s one way to mourn your girlfriend’s death. Then he pours out Elena’s pills on the sink counter and picks up a pill in his hand while he holds a glass of water. It seems that he plans to kill himself while Anna’s blood is in his system, and thus turn into a vampire. Boooo. Don’t make Tyler a vampire, Show. Pretty please with a cherry on top. My hopeful theory: He took the pills, but it won’t be enough to kill him. Thus, Anna’s blood will safely pass out of his system, without turning him. Jeremy’s actions will be deemed a suicide attempt, and that will have ramifications, but he won’t actually die or be turned.
Cut to Bonnie and Stefan uptown, outside. Bonnie explains why she saved Stefan: “Elena is my best friend. Because she loves you, I couldn’t let you or Damon die in that fire.” Stefan says he’s grateful. But Bonnie doesn’t let him off the hook: “But I hope you know that things have to change. Damon has to change.” Perhaps you might try telling Damon this, Bonnie? But not in this episode, because I can’t take anymore rerun conversations. Stefan: “We both want the same thing.” Bonnie: “We both want to protect the people we care about. The difference for you is that Damon is one of them. You saw what I was able to do tonight. I know who I am now. If Damon spills so much as one drop of innocent blood, I’ll take him down. Even if I have to take you with him.” Ooooookay. When did Bonnie become so self righteous and secure in her powers? Is this Emily Wan-Kenobi’s influence? Stefan: “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.” Bonnie: “Let’s hope it doesn’t.” Okay, then. Glad we settled that. Draaaamaaaa. It’s not that I have a problem with her actions, but rather her personality. I don’t even know who Bonnie is anymore.
Meanwhile, Elena goes home, and sees Damon leaving. Except that it’s not really Elena, it’s Katherine all Elena-fied, mirroring the opening of the episode, in which Elena was all Katherine-ified. Nice. Of course, we’re not supposed to know that it is Katherine yet, but now that I know it, I can’t un-know it, you know? So “Elena” asks what Damon’s doing there, and he replies: “A failed and feeble attempt at doing the right thing.” Elena: “Which was?” Damon: “It’s not important. I’ll take this for you.” With this, Damon acts like a gentleman, and takes Elena’s stuff from her. It’s just a subtle little thing, but it really tells us a lot, I think. “Elena” thanks him and seems a bit surprised. Damon bares his soul: “You know, I came to this town wanting to destroy it. Tonight I found myself wanting to protect it. How does that happen? I’m not a hero, Elena. I don’t do good. It’s not in me.” Elena replies, “Maybe it is.” Damon: “No that’s reserved to my brother and you … Bonnie, even though she has every reason to hate me, she still helped Stefan save me.” The woman who looks like Elena asks, “Why do you sound so surprised?” Damon: “Because she did it for you. Which means that somewhere along the way you decided that I was worth saving. And I wanted to thank you for that.” Not-Elena: “You’re welcome.” He kisses her on the cheek … and then moves in. And they kiss! And for a couple seconds, I though Elena and Damon were really kissing and I gasped. I mean, I am not immune to a gasp here or there. I was shocked. But then, Elena seemed a little too into it, and wasn’t pulling away. Elena should be freaking out and feeling guilty right now, my brain told me, and I started to get very excited. Who looks like exactly like Elena, but is decidedly less well-behaved? Katherine!
Our Scarlett O’Vampire does not reveal herself just yet though, and the kiss is interrupted by Aunt Jenna. Jenna is not at all happy to witness her niece making out with Damon, but seems to find it plausible, thus making the mistake of inviting her in: “It’s late. You should probably come inside.” Uh oh. If only Elena had warned Jenna about her evil vampire-twin! Katherine enters the house, still putting on the Elena act. (Although her Elena act is a little more Marissa Cooper, and a little less Elena Gilbert. Just more evidence that something was off.) Jenna asks, disapprovingly, “What are you doing?” Katherine: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Cut to a quick look at what Jeremy’s up to. We see the empty sink counter and the empty vial. Then Jeremy goes and lays on his bed. So, did he take the pills? I totally assumed that he did, but in discussion on the podcast, I started to worry. Not that I want Jeremy to die and become a vampire. Because I decidedly do not. But it’s a little bit of a cheat if Jeremy didn’t even take the pills. I mean, if Jer didn’t even take the pills it would be a lame cliffhanger, right?
Downstairs in the kitchen, Uncle John, or more correctly, I suppose, Papa John, opens the fridge. When he closes the door, Katherine is there, surprising him. Of course he thinks she’s Elena. John decides to take this opportunity to communicate, to make her understand his actions: “You know, I first met Isobel when I was a teenager. I fell in love with her instantly, although I’m pretty sure she never loved me. She was special. Part of why I hate the vampires so much is because of what she became. How it ruined her. I never would have sent her to Damon had I known that she wanted to turn. It’s my fault. I’m telling you this because I hoped maybe you’d understand.” Too little too late, Papa John, I’m afraid. Katherine thanks him, while she puts away dishes. And plays with A BUNCH OF SHARP KNIVES. John asks if he can help. Help her do what, John? Sharpen the knives she’s playing with? Uh oh. Katherine looks at the ring on John’s hand, and then suddenly grabs one of the knives and cuts of his fingers. Thus, removing the ring, and making John vulnerable. Aaaand being scary awesome and definitely not Elena. John screams, and asks, “Katherine?” Katherine goes all vamp face and replies: “Hello John. Goodbye John.” Bad ass. Now that is a villain.
Cut to the real Elena, engaged in far less homicidal pursuits. She is arriving home, and on the phone with Stefan: “I looked everywhere. Yeah, someone definitely took my stuff. Just gonna go check on Jeremy before I go to the hospital. I love you Stefan.” She hangs up and enters the house, calling for her brother. As she walks towards the kitchen, the episode ends.
As hard as it is to believe, season one of The Vampire Diaries is over. What did you think of the finale, and the first season in general? Comment below.
My sister Paeleena, age 17, called me as soon as she had seen the episode: “Oh my god! Oh my god! I just can’t believe everything that happened.” As I prompted her about various things that had transpired, including Katherine, she replied: “I thought that when Elena kissed Damon that it turned her evil or something.” Me: “What? You never supposed that Katherine was back?” Pae: “You know what I actually thought was that Elena had gone crazy.” Also, she said that this episode was a turning point for her. Before, she liked the show, now she loves it.
When Francesca, age 27, called me, I told her about Pae’s excitement about the episode, and how she couldn’t believe everything that happened. Frani’s response: “Wait … whaaaat happened in the episode?” (And in case you’re wondering, yeah, she had already seen the episode.) There you have it. I could not make this stuff up if I tried.