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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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Originally I felt Jenna would die too, however I'm not so sure even with the rose being placed on a Gilbert grave. It has come to my attention that while Elena, John and Jeremy are all Gilbert's Jenna is not, her sister Elena's adopted mother married a Gilbert. Jenna is a Sommers.

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At the beggining I was like: "Elena Bitch, STOP HURTING DAMON!" >,< But then I loved that she doesn't want to be a vampire & speaked the truth to Stefan :p
One more thing.. Just please tell me Damon can't die!! If he does.. I can't even think about it :(

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i am here jus to comment on a possible way to save damon... KLAUS.. he is a half and half... abd a verewolf bite cant kill him... so maybe his blood in damons body can save him... of course elijah can do it too bt it wud be more interesting to see klaus in the picture...!!!

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I think the important thing in "Damon got bitten by a werewolf IN TRANSITION" I think that how they will be able not make Damon die, but it is just a guess. I really don't see Jenna coming, I mean, I was looking who could be "her"...they should have let us wonder a little longer but as Jenna will become a vampire (a new challenge for her couple with Ric), I am pretty sure they won't turn Elena this season, but then again this is VD, you never know...
I am also happy that Tyler is back and that Matt put Caroline's mum in question. I agree with the review, Matt could become more interesting.
What I regret from this episode is the lack of Elijah. I would have love to see him and Klaus together. I just hope the scenarist just save that for the last episodes of the season...
I mean, come on! Elijah haven't left yet, has him? I guess not but still, where was he?

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WONDERFUL nose- dive,is moved tome,like alwais DAMON has been magnificent,recites with all the body.it is demostrating to more love ELENA of its (life),has made of all in order saving it,I I would have made equal,not c'it is nothing to criticize,stefan task would have had to make more,italian we fans we love DAMON for this character sarcastico.we follow this series because we love DAMON ELENA.hello

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Nina's performance when Elena tells Stefan that she doesn't want to be a vampire was HEARTBREAKING. I was crying along with her. Omg moment #1: Damon forcing Elena to drink his blood. Omg moment #2: Damon.Werewolf bite. Oh damn. Omg moment #3: Jenna.Vampire. Klaus is one twisted vampire. Hilarious moment of the episode: The whole conversation between Damon and Klaus, at the bar. I lol'd, a lot. Can't wait for next weeeeeeeek!!!!!

Heavenscent9222

Everyone who is worried about Damon dying, dont. The show is based on the core three characters (Damon, Stefan and Elena). They are not going to kill off one of them anytime soon. As for Elena, I don't think she is going to die or become a vampire this early in the series and if she does vamp out, she got a super powerful witch and two vampire brothers who love her enough to undo it somehow. I don't think Jenna is going to survive the next episode. I say this because there is a rose being placed on a grave near a "Gilbert" head stone. I also think Sheriff Forbes and Matt are possible deaths this season. As for Katherine, I think she has been running too long and has to much potential to return and stir things up for them to kill her. I see an escape in her future. Tyler and Caroline are adorable together and I'd love to see a vamp/wolf couple. I really hope Bonnie isn't going to die, cause Jeremy has suffered to much and has just started to develop as a character on the show this season. It would be aweful to break him down again by killing his newest love interest.

Thatgirl301

I actually thought that the episode was amazing. It def wasn't my favorite but I can admit it was up there. I'm a sucker for the love scenes, I was definitely reaching for tissues when Elena and Stefan shared that last kiss (it broke my heart I won't lie) but now... Realize how no1 talked about the mini scene about Sheriff Forbes?! I thought that was an important little 2 minute part. She no longer has a use for Matt, who now seems to actually think Caroline might still be the same (and I think she is too shes a sweetheart) but Sheriff Forbes is being really hard on Caroline being a vampire... Clearly, she doesn't do anything that she's not supposed to... Kinda like Stefan. Being the all-good vampire. I wonder what this means for Caroline's fate Ok... WTF how is Jenna gonna be a vampire I NEVER saw that coming... poor Alaric... he had a vampire wife and now a vampire girlfriend. You think it will be different tho? Jenna didn't ask any one to turn her, and she wasn't being inconsiderate of Alaric's feelings toward it... ughhh I'm so scared for her. Elena being a vampire? WTF I mean like I predicted it but further down the road not now because I dont think she could handle it tho but I mean it would be kinda interesting to see Tyler Caroline and Matt are DEFINITELY in a love triangle. It is more than obvious. I love it, but at the same time... Idk LoL Damon? This is the first time I wanted to hit him. I don't know why he would force Elena to take his blood. I understand its so she wont die but at the same time, WHY would you want her to be a vampire when she clearly doesn't want to be? SMH There were so many more things that I have to say but this episode left me with a lot of unanswered questions which is why it wasnt my favorite but the suspense makes up for it

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When Tyler came onto the screen, my friend and I started screaming. We both missed him, so we were happy to see him. I feel bad for Elena, Damon forced her to become a vampire. She never even wanted to become one. When Stefan started beating up Damon, I laughed. Damon stabbing Stefan in the stomach with that wooden pole thing, what an ass. The scene between Elena and Stefan, when Klaus came to get Elena, that was so cute. Poor Stefan, it looked like he wanted to cry. I'm happy that Damon got bit by a werewolf, I could care less if he died. I know people are gonna get mad at me, for saying this. But I really don't care(Not trying to sound mean about the I really don't care thing). Damon has pissed me off, so much lately. He has also become the biggest ass ever. Damon’s bite isn’t even that bad, Roses’ bite was way worse. If Matt shoots Tyler, I’m gonna be pissed. I don’t want Tyler dead, I want him alive. I hope Tyler and Caroline get together, they look so cute together. Poor Jenna tho.

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Am I the only one who could see a really hot love affair between Tyler and Caroline? I would like to see the focus on them more...Or on Delena finally getting together. I feel so bad for Damon, he has been screwed from the start. He deserves to find true love too!

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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