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The Vampire Diaries Review: Guess Who's Back...

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So much for an epic showdown between John Gilbert and the Salvatores.

Heading into this week's season finale, viewers of The Vampire Diaries were led to believe the series had built to a battle for Mystic Falls, one side anchored by Elena's birth father, the other by two of her close, undead friends.

Instead, John's device-based scheme was completed halfway into "Founder's Day" and the attention then shifted to the fallout from it... a fallout whose ramifications will be discussed by fans all summer long. Wow. What a season finale!

Producers had promised us a bunch of cliffhangers and they delivered. Below, we analyze each, culminating in the most shocking event of them all.

Damon, Elena and Stefan

RIP, Caroline? First, let us bid farewell to Anna. May she finally find peace and happiness, reunited with her mom in vampire heaven. Will Caroline soon join her in the next life? My guess is no. While this character isn't key to any ongoing storyline, the show would have killed her off last night if that was its intention.

Welcome, werewolves The reason behind Tyler's accident wasn't to get rid of Caroline. It was to push Tyler's transformation further along. To that, we say: hallelujah! In our Vampire Diaries Round Tables, we've been clamoring for more on this individual's apparent affection for full moons. It was teased perfectly on the finale. Tyler won't just have to deal with what he is now.

He'll have to deal with the death of his father. Does anyone else smell the discovery of family secrets and the impending arrival of more werewolves? We know how much fun that has been on the vampire front all season long.

The new Bonnie: I love this evolution. This witch knows who she is now and she's not shy about her loyalties. Might Elena have to choose between her BFF and her BF next year at some point?

A turning point for Jeremy It started with the death of his parents; it was pushed along by the passing of Vicki and his sister's betrayal; and it ended with the murder of Anna. Sick of feeling such pain, Jeremy swallowed some blood, downed some pills and left viewers wondering: really?!?

Will the pseudo suicide attempt really work? Will Jeremy truly go to the dark side in order to alleviate his suffering? On most shows, I'd shoot down the notion that a main character would actually end his human life. But The Vampire Diaries has proven it's unafraid to shock. Sound off in our forum: Will we see vampire Jeremy next season?

Hmmm... am I forgetting any development from the finale? Oh yeah: KATHERINE RETURNED!!!!!

Double the Dobrev, quadruple the suspense The show got me. I thought the finale would conclude with Damon kissing Elena, followed by the latter screaming over Jeremy's unconscious body. The episode was solid up to that point, but it felt like a let down. Ending such an incredible season on the fate of a character that was never central to it? Didn't feel like it would have fans buzzing until September.

Then, Elena grabbed that knife. Then, John cried Katherine?!? Then, my eyes bulged, her face morphed and we were left with the stunning realization: Katherine is back.

Just consider all the possibilities this allows for:

  • Damon goes into next season thinking he kissed Elena, which is ironic: just as this vampire discovers his humanity, his first major decision is to hurt the brother that saved his life. If Damon can truly feel now, I can't wait to see how he feels about that.
  • Of course, Damon actually got to first base with the woman he's been searching for since the 19th century. When will he find this out? And, while he may have referred to Katherine as a "bitch" last week, are his affections for her actually gone?
  • Let's mourn John Gilbert for his moment. Yeah, he's kind of a murdering bastard, but he had his reasons - and he's also Elena's birth father. Can't imagine she deals with his death well.
  • Was Isobel behind any of these developments? We know she's in contact with Katherine. Will we see Alaric's ex-wife again, as well? What is her true agenda?

Indeed, it was a stunning conclusion to what had been a somewhat meandering, disappointing episode. But that all changed with the thrust of Katherine's knife.

There's no new episode to tease for next week, so we'll just ask readers: How loudly did you scream when Elena kissed Damon? Do you feel jipped that it was actually Katherine? Or just curious and excited that she's back? Sound off now and consider the following Vampire Diaries quotes from "Founder's Day."

Damon: I'm not a hero, Elena. I don't do good. It's not in me.
Elena: Maybe it is. | permalink
Damon: Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you for that.
Elena: You're welcome. | permalink
Bonnie: You saw what I was able to do tonight. I know who I am now. If Damon spills one drop of human blood, I'll take him down. | permalink
Damon: Life sucks either way, Jeremy. At least if you're a vampire, you don't have to feel bad about it if you don't want to. | permalink
Jeremy: Even I can't remember why, I still feel empty, alone. Making me forget won't fix it. | permalink
Stefan: I try so hard to hate him, I guess it's just pointless.
Elena: You care about him, so do I. But I love, Stefan. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
  • 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (300 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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i knew it the minute she kissed damon that it was katherine...elena wouldnt hv done it!
and its ironic that the best thing damon could have ever said to elena,he ended up saying it to katherine!

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I Think It Is Ment To Be Back On in Mid September? :/

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this is a bit late but i love the vampire diaries and have done for ages but i am wondring cuz iv been witing for ages when is it back on cuz my friends and i are dieing for the vampire diaries to come back on and i fill so sorry for jeramy cuz he took the blood and anna died so he cant spend his life with her xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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any body one knows when vampire diaries is going to be back on tv.im having withdrawl symptoms already??

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I noticed something was up when "Elena" didn't pull away, I knew it was Katherine for sure when she came into the house and acted likeit wasn't such a big deal. Elena loved Stephan, she also likes Damon (in a way that she still doesn't realize) but she would freak out if that had happened, she would definately not be calm about it.

Delenaivampires

I screamed like there was no tommorow, I was talking to my friend during the episode when "elena" and damon kissed.I couldn't stop sreaming and i was laughing too! I kept watching the show and BAM, john is dead and katherine is back! Why can't these people let us have a least just 1 delena moment. :)

Shrimpie

I leaped for joy when damon and elena kissed but I was devastated when it turned out to be katherine!

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I thought it was so mean by Katherine. Damon likes Elena, and when he opens up to her, it is actually Katherine. What does she actually want ? She did not want to see Damon, but here she is all of the sudden. And I was kinda happy that Damon kissed "Elena", it showed that Damon kinda. . . I dont know. But what happened to Jeremy, Jenna and John ? Katherine killed John, but were has she taken him ? Has she just left him there in the kitchen ? And what about Jenna, were was she when the real Elena came home and called for Jeremy ? She was there to let Katherine in. And what would happened if Jenna and John was not home ? Because Jeremy was upstairs in his bedroom asleep or something. . . So if no one were home, how could Katherine get in ? Because she is a vampire. And what is going to happen with Elena, cause it could be that Katherine is still there, because you heard some noise in the kitchen. And what about Damon ? He thought he kissed Elena, and when he maybe meets her, he is going to act different, then maybe Stefan wants to know what is going on. But Elena would not know, because Damon did not kiss her, he kissed Katherine. And that is going to maybe kinda break his heart, because he loved Katherine, and I think maybe he has feelings for her still. But he is starting to like Elena, but she does not share the same feelings does she ? And what about Stefan ? He loves Elena, but now Katherine is back, there is going to be more complications between him and Damon. And what if Jeremy becomes, or dies with Annas blod in his system, he can choose to be vampire or die, but can Katherine take him on her side ? Yeah she looks like Elena, but she can show him who she really is. And wont that contribute to Jeremys hate and anger towards Elena ? And when exactly does season two come out ? ANSWER PLEASE ! !

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one more thing i also hope that kat plays around with the boys i think stef should find them kissing and blow up while kat sits back and watches ha ha ha ha ha or have her coiming out of one room then going to the next one like old times lol- im not sure who i want to figure out it's not elana 1st, but i think stef will and hell keep kat busy one day while damon finds her alomst dead b/c kat has been draing her of info and feeding on her. then dmaon will have to give her his boold to heal her and she fall asleep on him an d as she sleeps he leans over and whipsers that he loves her ( while she is asleep)and stef will come in and see them too close again. yummy. oooh and i think she'll teach jermey a few things. My only question is how is goign to work. elans whole house is messed up kat is there, jerm is a Vamp livng there? and her aunt is human what the ****? as for elans mom she may come back and fight for elana and may die trying to save her. Oh one more thing i feel that its way to soon for Damon and Elana i feel she is pretty open and will tell himthat he deserves to not be shared. he'll respect that and may wait but put it to the side for while. hmmmmmmm

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i dont think damon knew it was katherine why? he would not leave her-- yes the show left it open but damon would have not left the house and would have watied for elana to come home. i think he touched his lips b/c he was in shock or that it reminded him of kat he did look puzzled. I did wonder too ab the heartbeat- vamps dont have beating hearts right?, but i do remb in the episode that dam took E to atl, he was eating and told her that all his parts worked( ha not he baby making part)