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The Vampire Diaries Review: Always Have a Backup Plan

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The Vampire Diaries doesn't really start until 8:58 p.m.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating after this stunner. The show's propensity for shocking twists in the final moments is something fans know well, but this week's concluding sequence probably left even more jaws on the floor than usual.

What had been a slow-building, somewhat melodramatic episode suddenly changed course with not one, but two huge developments heading into next week.

Klaus turned Jenna? Did anyone out there see that coming? That was wild enough, but hearing that Damon is "as good as dead" left me at a loss for words.

Stelena at a Crossroads

This isn't to say the episode was boring prior to 8:58. Coming into "The Last Day," I assumed the title ominously referred to the final day before Klaus' big sacrifice.

It did, but it also referred, potentially, to Elena's last day as a human.

First we learn that after sacrificing a witch, werewolf and a vampire, the final step of Klaus breaking the curse is to drink the doppelganger's blood until her demise.

The imagery of this happening to Elena, combined with Joseph Morgan's tremendously creepy performance as Klaus leave no doubt how serious this is. But Elijah has a plan.

Well, he had one. Damon wasn't buying the "witch's elixir" BS. Maybe he should lay off the scotch for breakfast, because he made his most reckless move to date ...

Damon forced Elena to drink his blood so that she'll become a vampire if she dies! Many fans have theorized that Elena would turn at some point, but this quickly?

While Stefan taking Elena on that hike felt cheesy and Twilight-esque, they had to discuss the elephant in the room eventually, and now Damon forced it on them.

Unlike Bella Swan, Elena doesn't want to be a vampire. Bless her heart and the writers. This is true to her character and presents a new, complex moral dilemma.

If Elena does die and come back as a supernatural being, should we be happy? Is she going to wish she were dead? Will she never forgive Damon for doing this?

We may or may not find out soon. After a tearful kiss goodbye with Stefan that left Stelena worshippers everywhere reaching for the tissues, she vanished with Klaus.

Catt Picture

Meanwhile, Tyler, Caroline, Alaric and Matt all played key roles last night, some more predictably than others, beginning when Maddox flung Carol Lockwood down the stairs.

Tyler therefore returns to Mystic Falls to check on his hospitalized mom, and bumps into Caroline! Lo and behold, Klaus' sacrificial cuties coming together in one location!

Maddox nabs them both, but Damon, who's already regretting what he did, is now frantically trying to postpone the sacrifice any way he can. Plan A? Get rid of the wolf.

After gathering intel from Kat, Damon heads off to find Tyler, but is stopped by Maddox, who is shot dead by ... Matt! We might make a solid character out of this kid yet!

Matt was packing heat with wooden bullets, making you wonder what would have gone down had he gotten to the tomb first or found only Damon there and not Maddox.

After they all escape the tomb, the full moon begins to rise over the horizon. Tyler can't hold off the transition, so Caroline and Matt take shelter in the Lockwood cellar.

That was a close one, but everyone's safe ... except Klaus wasn't about to be played so easily. You learn a thing or two when you've been planning this for a millennium.

Once again, Klaus proves how hard core he is by revealing - in his slow, all-knowing, sinister tone - a backup plan. One that isn't any less consequential for our crew:

  1. Maddox is dead, but he can use Greta.
  2. Tyler is gone, but he's captured Jules.
  3. Caroline is safe, but he's got ... "her."
Klaus Pic

Her. I was wracking my brain trying to think of who it could be, but never in a million years guessed we'd see Klaus MAKE a new vampire ... out of Elena's aunt Jenna.

What I assumed Klaus would do, or try to do, would be sacrifice Damon instead of Caroline, especially after he brazenly confronted him. But Klaus has no use for him.

Katherine, his conduit, tells Damon he's as good as dead. As the screen fades to black, we see that before he escaped Tyler, he was bitten by the werewolf in transition.

Another incredible twist there. While there's no way the show is killing off Damon, I have no idea how they're going to worm out of this one. It's unprecedented.

Klaus had his Plan B. It's up to the Salvatores to come up with one now.

A final word, if I may, before turning the discussion over to your comments: I can't say enough about Ian Somerhalder as the increasingly tormented, erratic Damon.

From his sarcastic delivery ("Klaus, I presume?") to his body language and piercing stare that tell us more than dialogue ever can, he's outstanding every week.

Overall, "The Last Day" wasn't my favorite episode, but it was still very strong, heavy on emotion with more than enough supernatural action balancing it out.

Pretty much why we watch TVD, right?

With just two more episodes remaining this spring, things are certainly falling into place for a truly epic conclusion. What that entails, however, is anyone's guess.

If The Vampire Diaries has taught us anything, it's that the game and its rules change by the minute. We'll be on the edge of our seats watching right along with you.

What did you think of "The Last Day"? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (243 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Holy crap !!! OKAAYYY !!! 5 to 10 mins later I was still like "OMG this can't be happening" (x10) loool ! true, they can't kill Damon off !! Bonnie's probably gonna find a cure or something, yeah?! I thought that he got bitten, but then when he said that everything was okay, I felt relieved, only to know that he actually got hurt...
-Jenna : didn't see that one coming !!! at all! I thought Alaric was still not really back so... but Jenna... OMG... I like her, yeah, I don't want her to go... Still can't stand Elena/Stefan...it's getting physical now lol ! I just can't ! Though I thought Damon REALLY screwed up by forcing Elena into drinking vamp blood, he was right about Stefan not having the balls to d it ! Their fight was awesome ! I wanted more !!!
-Matt big LOL ! Now he's part of the "team" ! and Tyler/Caroline, shiver ! the 2 of 'em together, just luv it !
All in all , I loved the episode ! can't wait for the next one. A bit less good than the last one , but still high in quality ! Bonnie, Jer and John next week I suppose !!!!!

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the last episode was actually the start of season 3 because: 1.damon
he has a werewolf bite now.and we all think that we will see the rose thing all over again.but the show runner are not used to do inevitable things,they love teasing us.so we all think that somehow someone will find a cure but i don't think that is the case.as many said here damon may become hybrid.and i agree with them.klaus wants to build his own race and who would be better than damon to be the first.i think that klaus saw that damon has the guts to face him.if i were klaus and i wanted to beging making my own race damon would be the greatest start...or elena!!! 2.the sacrifice
on the one hand i think it will happen but elena won't die or become a vampire.as klaus said he always has a back-up plan.
on the other hand i don't think it will happen.they said that both klaus and elijah are returning for season 3 (well they actually didn't said this but that's what you understand from their interviews.Anyway,if the sacrificve won't happen eventually i think next season klaus's story arc will be all about finding a way to do the ritual. 3.jenna
i don't think that they will kill her.she really hadn't any interesting the previous 2 seasons so i think now we will see her journey which will be interesting.also the writers said that in season 3 we will see how the thing chance for secondary characters.and yes jenna is the greatest exaple of the sacrifice's results and how affective they are! 4.damon and elena
in the end of season 2 i heard that we will see their first kiss and i believe that will happen.and when it comes to those two along with their other problems i think that we will see their feeling towards stefan (especially damon's feeling) but we will see both damon and elena(esecially elena)not able to deny the love than bonds them.maybe at the end or middle of season 3 we will eventually see delena happening!

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Tyler was only in transition when he bit Damon, not full werewolf yet. That's most likely why he'll be saved...or a little witchy action. ;)

Fortyseven

Klaus thinks he's clever but he doesn't know Kat's playing along and Bonnie's alive. Oh and Kat's hardcore!

Fortyseven

Elijah's potion will save someone, I bet. Jenna has to count for one of the deaths right?

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I hate Damon salvatore, I lost all of my respect. I hope he dies but we all know that's never going to happen :/

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This episode wasn't as impressive as most TVD eps are but it was still good. The scene were Damon forced Elena to drink his blood + everything after Matt shot Maddox was amazingly shocking. Just like an awesome TVD episode should be.
I loved that Matt isn't all bad. At first when he and the Sheriff started to work together I thought he had lost it but now I think there's still a chance for him.
The scene where Damon fed Elena blood was horrible and awesome. What he did was totally wrong but it was still such a Damon thing to do that I'm not surprised he did it. He has realised his mistake, now I only hope he will be able to atone for it.
I'm a bit disapointed that he got bit. Even though I didn't particularily like Rose I still think it's sad that she had to die from something that there obviously is a cure for. Because they will never let Damon die.
My favourite scene of the episode was strangely a Stelena scene. I loved the scene where Elena told Stefan that she doesn't want to become a vampire. It was beautiful.
Talking about vampires, I hope Jenna chooses not to become on. Right now she is just in transition. If she decides to die rather than become a killer I think it would bring a nice touch to the show.
And lastly, all the Klaus scenes were amazing!! He is creepy...

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-Elena makes it clear she doesn’t want to be a vampire, EVER! Elena is brave, we all know that, but today, we also know one more thing—no matter how much she loves Stefan, she does not want to be a vampire like him. What she wants is to have babies, grow old, and have a regular human life. This brings us to the important question—vampires can’t procreate, therefore, if left to her, would she want to be with one for the rest of her life? And then another question—is she going to remain human at the end of Season 2? I really hope so. -Elena makes her first move of the season to show her true feelings for Damon! Yippee! I am sure I wasn’t the only one who had like a 1000 butterflies in the pit of the stomach, when Elena grabbed Damon’s hand. When she says, “You won’t (lose me)�, to Damon, it’s like her eyes speak a million words. Thereafter, Damon rushes in front of her, and for a fraction of a second there, I thought he would pull her in for a kiss after all. But what he did instead was impulsive and totally stupid, and he ruined the moment! But then, when I was mad at him, BANG--he lays down his own life to protect the woman he loves, even though he is aware of the potential consequences of foiling Klaus’ plan! Besides, did I catch Elena say, “I don’t know if I do (know what ‘love’ is)�? Well, she is right. She needs time to figure out her future—Stefan, Damon or neither? -Cheers to Stefan for being understanding and mature. Last week, Stefan acted the jealous-boyfriend-jerk part. This week, though, he was kind, gentle and patient with his big brother. Elena and Stefan are after all, the only family Damon has, and they know that they have to be good to him. Stefan gracefully accepted the fact that Damon loves Elena and he behaved all grown-up about the whole thing, although it is not very easy to do so. I was literally hooting when he said, “He did it (gave blood) because he loves you�. Even after being battered by Damon. Noble, Stefan. -“The crazy, impulsive vampire, in love with his brother’s girl. I knew one of you would try to stop me. It was just a 50-50 guess on who!� says Klaus. Damon did some kick-ass stuff today, which is one reason why he is my favourite brother! He has the guts to stand up to Klaus to his full height, and look him in the eye, direct! I totally loved the way Damon showed absolutely no surprise on meeting Klaus, and let out a bored drawl of, “Uh! Klaus, I presume�, which was so cool! Nothing or no one intimidates this guy! Even so, my heart was in my mouth when Damon said, “And back-up vampire�, before being taken-out by Klaus. But, then there was the wolf-bite which prevented Klaus from using him as the back-up. Sheesh! -Jenna is a vampire?
This is totally repulsive. I still hope something happens so that Jenna is human again. Jenna is leveraged, so that Elena doesn’t try to escape. Man, this Klaus dude is bad-ass! -Funny moment of the day!
It was funny how Alaric chose to prove to Damon & Co., that he is not possessed anymore. A red-faced Jenna was forced to stop him from blurting any further than, “The first night you and I spent together, Jeremy walked in when�. The look on everybody’s face at that moment was PRICELESS!! -Time for some witch-manship?
If Bonnie manages to find a family connection with Greta, and calls in her cousin, whom we had seen earlier this season, Klaus is potentially dead-meat! Bonnie needs to pack some witch-punch! CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT EPISODE!!

Iheartchuckbassandnatearchibald

I know one thing. DAMON MUST NOT DIE!!!! Not only is he one of the hottest, most interesting characters, but if he dies, there goes half my ships for TVD!!! :(

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wow what an amazing episode!
Tyler and Caroline were so adorable (without being cheesy)
Elena not wanting to be a vampire- thank you!
And Damon....
Ian Somehalder gets better every week!
I don't know why people are so mad. I know that he acted like a jerk, he always does! That's his character!
But the GREAT/AMAZING/IMPORTANT part about his character is to understand his actions, not only watch them.(like we must do with all great characters XD)
He's a vampire. Vampires have very strong emotions (like Stefan pointed out). The woman he loves is going to die just like that.
He was already impulsive when human... add that to the fact that he's a vampire with years of supressed feelings and hurt. And that's what you get.
The important part is to notice that he regrets being that impulsive and that he was even willing to die to fix his mistake (Alaric pointed out that he could be killed and he didn't care)
In the end he got bitten by a werewolf trying to fix his mess.
We may know he won't die.
The characters, in their own fictional world, don't. I can't honestly feel nothing but love for him ♥

The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 20 Quotes

Damon: And you're going to die, Elena.
Elena: And then I'll come back to life.
Damon: That is not a risk I am willing to take.
Elena: But I am. It's my life, Damon. My choice.
Damon: I can't lose you.
Elena: You won't.

The problem, Damon...you talk a good game but you don't actually know anything. She'll never forgive you. And never for a vampire...it's a very long time.

Elijah
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