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The Vampire Diaries Review: Doom, Gloom and Personal Growth

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Damon Salvatore has a secret, Vampire Diaries viewers, and he just couldn't keep it at the conclusion of "The Descent."

It's not that he loves Elena and it's not that he's saddened by the demise of Rose. It's that he actually yearns to be the exact thing he has spent months claiming to despise: human. I didn't see that admission coming.

Heated, Hot Argument

The 2011 premiere of The Vampire Diaries kicked off and concluded with a major body count: three campers (dead), one shirtless blood sucker (Stefan), one unfortunate female (dead? dying? Damon's new sex slave?)

In between, the plot didn't move forward very much, but plenty of information was passed between characters that planted the seeds for what should be an exciting second half of the season. To wit:

Stefan is pulling a Katherine, trying to build up his tolerance to vervain. Not a bad strategy, but let's remember how close he came to the dark side when he did the same with human blood.

When Rose was not sucking down packets of blood like they were six packs at Charlie Sheen's house, she spent a lot of time selling Elena on the advantages of being human, even saying building a family with a vampire is "not compatible" for her kind. Is this more foreshadowing of a decision Elena will soon have to make?

We've seen countless love triangles before on television, but this has to be the first between a human, werewolf and vampire, right? Then again, with the intel Jules has passed along the Tyler, he may wanna yell at Caroline more than make out with her next week. (It's true.)

That was a very strange dream within which Damon and Rose hung out, wasn't it? It was a touching scene and all, but it seemed to be an example of the show making up a supernatural rule. Since when can Damon control another vampire's subconscious in such a manner?

Can't say I missed Bonnie or Jeremy very much. No offense, guys. But let's all welcome back John Gilbert. Hope your fingers are feeling better, buddy.

Overall, one might criticize the episode for focusing too much on Rose, a character we haven't known for very long. But I see it differently. The extended death scene and the pain she was in as a result of the werewolf bite was necessary in order to depict the stakes that are on the horizon during the impending werewolf/vampire war.

A bite from the former may leave you in the arms of Damon Salvatore, but not in the way most women dream about. It's a grueling way to go, and it's a fate our heroes will stare down over the next few weeks. I can't wait.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (336 Votes)

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

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@Amy Jackey Guess what, we don't want to be obsessed with Damon, but we just can't help it! He is too amazing! He's good looking... hot... sexy... his eyes are dreamy, compelling! His acting is ridiculously awesome!!! If there is a way to help me not to be so obsessed about him? Please tell me!

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even though I'm a stelena shipper... I cried my eyes out when damon killed rose, but it had to be done, and that dream, sooooo sweet! I feel bad for him, poor baby damon.

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This episode was amazing ! And vampires are able to control dreams...Damon did it in season 1 to stefan and Katherine did it to stefan in memory lane !

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ian omerhalder makes this show with his outstanding acting skills going into the show (having read the books previously) i loved stefan and hated damon...he turned that around
(yeh okay his looks helped) but you cant help but watch him, he portrays damon perfectly i feel really sorry for damon actually, its no wonder he doesnt want to feel becuase when he does he gets hurt katherine, elana, rose... he just keeps getting hurt thats the reason he acts why he does, i just hope someone can stop him from going on a killing rampage again oh and i hope elana somehow remembers his confession (yeh im a delena fan) :)

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I LOVE STEFAN. I ALWAYS HAVE I ALWAYS WILL!! :D he is soooo cutee

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I agree with TVD fan that jules should go painfully, too but i disagree that elena and stefan are boring. their relationship is ths silver lining in all the gruesome gloom and doom brought about by the vampire/werewolf tragedies descend on the human. if the tv series does not have this, everything else will be just one of those sci-fi themes. Whereas, in TVD, the supernaturals, i.e. stefan is 'humanized'.

Amy-jackey

some of you people are so damn obssessed about damon. I like him and he's hot and all but you don't have to be obessed over him. The show is not all about him its about the others too. I agree that the lycan needs to die. I still don't think elaina and damon are going to get back together. i bet she will start hating him again since hes going back to his oldself. I also doubt tyler and caroline will get together because of whats going to happen next week on the show.

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I have not read the books, but screenwriters often stray away from the books, and put in things that they feel are more interesting or take artistic liberties very often. As for Bonnie
the actress Kat Graham has stated that in the books there is a
relationships or affair between Damon and the witch, the writer
obviously doesn't care to expand on that now if ever who knows, perhaps it's because the witch in the TVD story is black, or the fans are showing they don't like her, like some on these comments.
The episode was outstanding, the actor that made that possible
is Ian Somerhalder, he makes the show period. The other actors
are D actors, trying hard to act. Only teens would think otherwise.

Bobbie-whited

I had actual tears in my eye's when Rose died, which was odd because she was pretty much just introduced. I think its because you could feel the guilt damon had over her death. People wonder why Damon turns off his emotions, its because everytime there on his heart gets crushed, now im not even sure if he can turn them off anymore.

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I live in Maryland and have been waiting to watch the Vd for months ,went to watch last night and it wasn't on a stupid basketball game was on biggest letdown of my week like the snow wasn't bad enough they shouldn't mess with weekly shows for sports so now i have to wait till Sat.to watch it