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.


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+.


Since when can Damon control another vampire's subconscious in such a manner?
Umm, he has always been able to do that. Remember in the first season when he showed Stefan the dream that Elena was dead? Seriously, do you even watch this show on regular basis?


This episode was worth the very LONG wait! One of the better ones! Every episode is great but they have been slipping on the original "scary, thrilling" parts. Glad to see you are back to scaring us here and there! Loved it! I thought the Damon and Rose scene where he was controlling her thoughts at the end was fantastic and touching. Love to see Damon's sensitive side...makes him even sexier than he is to begin with! Disappointed that he fell off the wagon though, hope the girl he bit isn't dead. Still want to see Damon & Elena hook up and definetely all for a Caroline and Tyler romance.....what a great pair. Last but not least, didn't miss much with Bonnie, Jeremy and Luca. Not very interesting characters. Bonnie is quite annoying now. Keep up the show on tv!


Since when did the vampires have supernatural abilities such as controlling the dreams? Since the beginning of season one when Damon congers that crow and the fog. You know what, just read the books it'll tell you everything you need to know.


i'm glad the writers do ignore the comments on here. if i were the writer of the show i would do the exact same thing. people on here complain so much just because they don't like a certain character. they act like they know so much about writing and creating characters. like i said this is the damon show. if people can't get over it then why bother watching the show? now that they've decided they hate damon, they're going to be bothered by everything that damon does and write whiney comments about it on the internet every chance they get. people are taking this way too serious. i don't care what anyone says. this is the best show on the cw and the writers have done a fantastic job bringing the storylines and characters to life. it is in no way boring.


i am also very nervous for Damon & Stephen seeing what rose went through with her wolf bite.


i think this episode was amazing as usual. Love this show a lot. i know a lot of people are saying the death of Rose was long and drawn out and Damon should've staked her in the beginning to get it over with blah blah but that had to be shown like that to show the intensity of a wolf bite on a vampire. I had a lot of sympathy for her during the whole show. it was some really good acting i felt bad for her just watching and of course during the show actually said a few times with tears in my eyes Damon just stake her already. but it was more because she of the pain and torment she was going through.I also felt really bad for Damon. yes was a prick for the entire show but there was always some hint that there was something hidden deeper within him that he was letting out and sure enough he misses being human. As for stephen and elena, I'm over it. i think they are very boring now and would love to see how her and damon play out instead. I didn't even notice Bonnie missing from the show but I don't really like her to much. she has trust for the wrong people. I'm not a fan of her. Caroline and Tyler, i love them together i know, wolf vampire thing probably wont work but she has been there to help even though she knew she could potentially die and i love her for that. Jules needs to go and i hope Damon kills her very very painfully. that is all =]


Matt Richenthal, one thing to note about one vampire needing to be stronger than other (ex: blood vs. no blood, original vs. regular vampire), is that Rose was dying, and very, very weak. It is no surprise that he was able to do it. I wouldn't be too surprised if she had been weak enoough to be influenced right after the werewolf bite.


Reading all the comments I have to laugh and now totally get why writers absolutely ignore comments. "I hate Damon" "I love Damon" "I hate Rose" I hate Roase" "Stefan/Elena so boring" Stefan/Elena so hot" "I wont more werewolf/I hate vampires"


Another great episode! The show does not disappoint. The writers and producers are amazing......just when I think one thing is going to happen, they do something I would have never imagined which in turn, makes the show that much better. Loved the Damon and Rose scene outside in the sun. Very sweet and fitting........a perfect way for her to die.....happy and ready to go be with her family again. Loved Damon the entire time! Love the can only go up from there.


I thought this episode was great

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The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

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


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