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The Vampire Diaries Review: A Guilty Pleasure

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Let's get right to it, shall we? To conclude the first new episode of The Vampire Diaries in weeks, Elena and Damon gave many fans what they've been clamoring for all season:

A kiss.

And not some kiss where one party thinks he's on his death bed and the other is comforting him in a time of pain. A real kiss. A definitive lip lock. An official, wet, tongue-filled jaunt to first base. Was it worth the wait, Delena 'shippers?

A Tease of Delena

Count me among those who welcomed the development. Not because I'm rooting for Elena and Damon. Nor am I cheering on Elena and Stefan. I'm simply a fan of strong storytelling and it was about time the writers chose a path for these two.

Who knows where this path will lead. Who's to say whether it goes any further or what happens in a week. But for now, when all we have to go on is what we just witnessed, "The New Deal" provided Damon with a legitimate basis for finally laying one on Elena. We've had enough longing glances, enough tip-toeing around the subject.

Damon loves Elena. Stefan doesn't want her anymore. And, hey, as Damon put it, if he's gonna feel guilty anyway, why not give himself a moment he can savor? Something to actually feel guilty about? Bravo, D. Way to make your move.

But while the Smooch Heard 'Round The Vampire Diaries World may be all most fans are talking about right now, it wasn't all that went down on the first new episode of 2012. The hour wasn't filled with the show's usual action, twists or turns - but it did feature a number of revealing conversations that should lay the groundwork for what's to come. To wit:

A House for Klaus. The scariest homemaker ever had a plan for his casketed family members: he wanted them all to live happily ever after in a mansion his army refurbishes (Extreme Makeover: Hybrid Edition?). He still does. He just has to actually get those family members back from Stefan.

Should Elena have helped this process along by handing Rebekah over to her brother? I think so. She can't trust Klaus, of course, but she can try to play his game and understand his goals. There's no point in being stubborn here. If Klaus can reunite his family, he really will leave Mystic Falls alone.

Hear that, Stefan? Stop watching ABC on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. Revenge gets you nowhere. It simply endangers the ones you love.

Farewell to Jeremy? I've read nothing about Steven R. McQueen leaving the series. It's safe to assume Jeremy will return at some point. But his departure here made perfect sense and, let's face it, if protecting Jeremy truly is Elena's priority, she made the proper decision and he should never come back.

Two ex-girlfriends are dead. Another is the most boring character on the show. His aunt has passed. Hit those slopes in Colorado, Jer. You've earned a long vacation.

You Gotta Have Faith. Or do you? Tyler thought so to begin the episode, explaining his siring to Klaus in ways reminiscent of a cult. He maintained possession of his own decision-making factors... but also showed complete faith in his leader. Can Tyler truly see right from wrong anymore? Did Jeremy's crossbow-armed message resonate? It appeared to, which means Tyler could actually end up as a secret weapon to be used against Klaus.

Penetrate his inner circle? Act like a loyal servant? Pounce when the time is right? It might take a hybrid to kill a hybrid. And the good guys have themselves a hybrid! If he's willing to play the part. How can he not? If only for the love of the (very much missed this week) Caroline Forbes alone?

Got a Secret, Can Damon Keep It? Forget the kiss. Damon should be feeling guilty for another reason: he's now teaming up with Stefan, unbeknownst to Elena. Why do I get the feeling she won't be happy when she learns the brothers are plotting behind her back?

Far more questions than answers this week. A lot of talking that, I have no doubt, will lead to far more action down the line. Sides are being chosen. Plans are being made. And, of course, spit is being swapped.

Check out the CW promo for next Thursday's "Our Town" and respond: WHAT DID EVERYONE ELSE THINK?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (526 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I may have felt depressed with the Delena scene in this episode but I know that I'll always stick with Stefan,even though he's not his normal loving self right now. Elena should pick Stefan,have the triangle end,and remember the times she loved being with him. Their love is what truly brings out the story of this show. =) 3) ;/

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i feel so bad for stefan but i will stick to him until the very end. whoever elene chooses between the two brothers it will always be stefan for me.
:-(

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I am so tired of people saying they will stop watching this show because delana are getting too close to each other . Do you know how long I have to wait for this moment to arrive, 2 seasons I have been watching stelana being lovey dovey with each other and to tell the truth that wasn't a bother for me, and I didn't complain. The fact is TVD is a great show all by itself, the writers, the cast and the rest of the team has made this series my best and I congratulate them all.
And another, It's a love triangle people, there is plenty of love to go around. IF this show was my reality and had two vampire brothers even better the Salvatars' brother after me I'd had my way with both of them. Happy New Year to TVD's Fans

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When Damon and Elena kissed, I was squeeling like a little girl. I have waited for this moment since their characters first met. Elena is the only one who understands Damon, and he is the only one that just lets her be herself. She knows each and every part of him and his character and she accepts him just the way he is for the most part. Their connection is based not only on chemistry but also on a deep and abiding friendship that has slowly and painfully grown into something more. Do they want to love each other? No, they both fight their connection. But you can only fight your feelings for so long, as anyone who has ever been in love knows. If you really love someone, you won't be pulled toward someone else. Just sayin'.

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AT LAST they kissed!and Elena was left speechless indeed!not because of the kiss itself, but because of the excitement she was overwhelmed with afterwards..she could never have imagined that a kiss from Damon would make her feel this way....THAT'S ALL ABOUT IT!Im telling you all STELENA SHIPPERS! things have completely changed after this kiss! Elena will be pondering about it and the fact that she responded herself...feeling guilty but not guilty too because she and Damon have been victims this season...victims of the circumstances and this whole Stefan becoming a ripper thing, was noone's fault...but it certainly led things between Damon and Elena to a different level...it just happened and it's nobody's fault...nor Damon's who has been respecting his brother's girl for a long time now and keeping distance..nor it's Elena's fault the way things turned out..sometimes circumstances make us change feelings for someone...love him or get distanced!

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@B: Your in the fangirl minority dear. I am not a fangirl but you are watching a completely different show then the rest of us. I hope they give Stelena closure because I don't care for them as a couple. If she must be with anyone it must be Damon.

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The scene with Stefan and Elena in this week's episode better be him apologizing to her about how he treated her last week and her forgivinig him and realizing what a fool she has been for doubting him even for a second, now that she knows the truth about why he saved Klaus. That would be so perferct!
How can Elena even think for a second of being with Damon? Isn't he the one that tried to kill her brother Jeremy on the 1st episode of season 2 because she said "It will always be Stefan"? Stefan and Elena's love was made this show so great and season 1 and 2 were so much better than 3. This season has been so boring and things seem so forced...

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I'm so down for Delena! U don't care for stelena anymore. Just my opinion

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i love this show aparrt from delena i get its a love triangle and kiss was bound to happen.. but people who are like stefan doesnt love her, he does he just puts his brother first.. what families are meant to do..whereas damon in season one just got saved by his brother kissed elena, kissed elena again series two as his brother was saving him and gave up love of his life and family so that he could save his brother.. and again he knew hed be hated but he still saved him this episode and damon repays him by kissing her.. way put family first.. if this was real life everyone would date damon and elena would be called something a lot worse than a player

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I agree with Elena giving Rebecca back to Klaus but I don't think she should have told him that she knew the truth about their mother's death. It would have been a nice surprise for him. Not to mention that I like Rebecca and want to see her up and about again (and hopefully Elijah sometime soon). As for Damon and Stefan, Damon is always plotting behind Elena's back so she shouldn't be surprised when she finds out.