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.

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Review

Editor Rating: 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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The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

He's an Original. I don't really know what that means.

Stefan

Elena: Don't ruin the moment. You're about to ruin the moment, aren't you?
Stefan: I'm totally ruining the moment.