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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
  • 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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O.M.G. Thats all i can say!!!!!!!!!

Xxmrskolmikaelsenxx

It would've been better if Matt got killed by Damon, but it was fun seeing him getting knocked out he deserves it. As for Jenna, that was really unexpected. I love it. And, Klaus is getting yummier than I expected him to be.

Bobbie-whited

@ Miette As fun as that would be its impossible considering vampires cant have babies. if they could we would have a bunch of little Damon's around not to mention a lil Katherine/Mason.

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This episode was a great start to what will be the ultimate episode next week when the sacrifice takes place. The ending, once again, completely unexpected. Jenna was the last person I thought would get involved in the Klaus controversy. Yet, thats what makes the show amazing. As far as Damon, theres no way the writers will kill him off. He is what Stefan isn't. Without him, the cast/show wouldn't be balanced. Stefan would no longer have someone tormenting him, and would have Elena to himself. My guess is that he'll either become a hybrid like Klaus or be saved my Elena's blood. Matt and Katharine (unfortunetly) may be the ones killed off in the next episode. This season was titled "the year of the Kat", so maybe this is it for her. Overall, the events leading up to nexts week episode have been amazing. But I'm really glad that the sacrifice isn't the actual finale. The fact that we have one more episode afterwards means we'll get a taste of the aftermath, instead of having to wait to September to see it.

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Does anyone realize that if Tyler and Caroline were to ever have a child together that the child would be a hybrid like Claus?? HMMMMM.....Imagine that!

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i cant believe this happened!
i really don't see any reason to kill off Damon, and also can't see him surviving this..
i think killing him off (and maybe letting him come back like once a season as a flashback with no actual plot) is a very bad call that the writers may be doing..
if they wanted to push SE that bad they needed (imo) to find a better solution for Damon.. it's going to be really disappointing to come back to a show that lost it's main character.. just saying.. but then again, we do have a little more time before the finale - maybe the writers will come back with a BANG..

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I LOOOOVEEE Tyler and Caroline. They have become my reason for watching this show. How cute was it when he smiled after she said, "I could never hate you!" But writers, can we have more screen time for the pair that has the best chemistry on the show?

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First of all, I would like to say that "The Last Day" was epic. I'm sure you all agree with me. And about what Paul said about the microphone that showed blatantly in the scene where Caroline and Matt are running... It wasn't a microphone. It was a tree branch. :) Jenna transitioning into a vampire, seriously, was the most shocking moment of the episode. Although I'm afraid that she'd die, it is also a great thing since Jenna has been out of the loop for almost one and a half season. It's nice to see that the writers are giving their efforts to make her character develop in some other ways. But what I didn't like about it is that she's becoming a vampire for a "ritual". Why have to die, or I presume that she will, after just having your first epic moment... Not cute. And Matt... If the others are becoming vampires and werewolves, and some learning that they are from a witch bloodline... why not make a vampire hunter, right? After all, vampire hunters have been a big part of the story. But Matt being an antagonist? Not cool with it. Find another one, please. And about the elixir... why not had Bonnie check on it--see if it really has its effects. And if it does, then let Elena drink it. End of story. But since Bonnie, along with his boy Jeremy, is missing in this episode, that didn't occur. I love the part when Katherine had to expose herself to the sunlight, minus the sun protection blah-blah... I find hilarity in Nina Dobrev's performance there. But in a good way. It was entertaining to see her screaming and can't do anything just to prove that she's out of vervain. Nina really is an outstanding performer. But the real question here is... WHY HASN'T THE SHOW MADE TO THE EMMY'S? It's clearly one of the best shows that TV has ever shown.

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I can't see Jenna surviving this season :( Which is sad because there was so much potential anyway with her characters, And i dont like her as a vampire I want Elena as a vamp! And where is Jeremy in all this?
I liked how Caroline and Tyler were reunited ish, but since Tyler only bit him in half state maybe its not that bad

Bobbie-whited

To be honest I'm not shocked about anything they do anymore. Jenna is a great character but she doesn't really have much to do besides being a love interest for Alaric. I can see her going in the next episode (Unless they do something weird and Jon ends up dead). Also I wouldn't be to pissed at Damon if i was Elena, I mean with the elixir there was a 50/50 chance she was going to die anyway, and everyone was so against that from the start. Yes it should have been her choice but well at least we know if she does die (highly doubt from the season finale pictures) she will come back. Also THERE IS NO WAY THEY CAN KILL OFF DAMON. Seriously we would just have Stefan's winy bullshit and that would the kill the show. Damon wasn't bit by a full wolf but one in transition so while i see him in a lot of pain in the next eps i don't see him dying. And like some have mentioned he could turn into a wolf/vampire hybrid dont know how but wouldn't surprise me