The Vampire Diaries Review: Who Died? Who Returned?

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This is like a horror movie. - My wife, seconds after jumping approximately six inches off the couch following Jonas' last-breath grab of Bonnie.

It's hard to come up with a better way to describe "The House Guest," as it packed violent deaths, a roaring fire, shocking admissions and a surprise return into just one hour.

Before getting to the return of Isobel, the news that shook Matt to his core and the eulogies for Luka and Jonas, let's start with the most pressing question of all: where will everyone eat in the future?!? Losing the Mystic Falls Grill might affect this town more than the demise of any individual ever could.

The House Guest Scene

The episode wasted no time getting into the action, as we opened on Katherine inside the Salvatore mansion, Damon explaining how she escaped the tomb and Katherine trying to explain why: she wants Klaus dead. She knows what he looks like, she knows where he is, they need her.

Don't you just hate it when black bra-donning, 500-year old, diabolical vampires are right?

Later, of course, we learned a lot more about Katherine's scheming and her true reasoning for sticking around. I had to rewind her rundown of the deal with John to Damon, but as I best understand it:

He showed up at the tomb at the conclusion of "Daddy Issues" and told Katherine he and Isobel wanted the Salvatores out of Elena's life. Katherine could assist. In exchange for helping them kill Elijah, she could save one brother. She chose Stefan. For that reason, Elijah gave Damon the dagger and Katherine never revealed to him the fate that would befall any supernatural who used it.

Conceivably, if Katherine had selected to save Damon, John would have given Stefan the dagger... right? As Katherine herself joked earlier in the episode, likely as a wink to viewers: "So many rules. It's all very confusing." Where is all this going? With Isobel's arrival, it's difficult to say. But one thing is for certain:

Informed that Katherine truly didn't care if he died - nay, actually plotted his death! - it looks like Damon has finally gotten over his centuries-old crush. Way to go, D! Might his feelings for Elena actually dissipate now, though? Originally, at least, they were tied into her resemblance to Katherine.

As for those poor witches... Luka and Jonas were great additions to the show and they left us at the perfect time, in the perfect way: via surprising deaths that will likely play a major role going forward. After all, the Gilbert journals spoke of a witch massacre in Mystic Falls, along with the super power one can derive from a witch burial ground. Or simply the site where a witch died in a violent manner.

Hmmm, what two locations now fit that bill? The Salvatore household and the Gilbert household. Come on in, Klaus, we'd love to show you around! Might those be the words of witch wisdom Jonas imparted to Bonnie? Lure Klaus in, do some serious spelling and take advantage of the way in which he and his son perished. Something to keep our eyes on, fans.

Smiling Matt

And then we get to Matt. Poor, confused, innocent, would-have-died-if-not-for-the-blood-of-his-vampire-girlfriend, Matt. I loved his reaction to Caroline's revelation, specifically the call back to Vicki. It makes perfect sense he'd be especially sensitive to the whole vampire thing.

It did feel cheap, however, that the show cut away in the middle of this pair's confrontation. Sort of a lame way to create a cliffhanger. Still, better than The Notebook. (Sorry, ladies!)

But that's my only complaint in what was a whirlwind of an episode. The awful news? No new Vampire Diaries until April 7. The silver lining to the news? Plenty of time to discuss whether Matt will come to grips with what he's learned... what the return of Isobel means... where the witch burial ground is located... how the team will kill Klaus. And anything else that is on your mind.

Let the reactions fly!

The House Guest Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (214 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 16 Quotes

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Damon

So, let me guess... in addition to the moonstone, the doppelganger, the lion, the witch and the wardrobe you need to find this witch burial ground.

Damon