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The Vampire Diaries Review: Guess Who's Back...

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So much for an epic showdown between John Gilbert and the Salvatores.

Heading into this week's season finale, viewers of The Vampire Diaries were led to believe the series had built to a battle for Mystic Falls, one side anchored by Elena's birth father, the other by two of her close, undead friends.

Instead, John's device-based scheme was completed halfway into "Founder's Day" and the attention then shifted to the fallout from it... a fallout whose ramifications will be discussed by fans all summer long. Wow. What a season finale!

Producers had promised us a bunch of cliffhangers and they delivered. Below, we analyze each, culminating in the most shocking event of them all.

Damon, Elena and Stefan

RIP, Caroline? First, let us bid farewell to Anna. May she finally find peace and happiness, reunited with her mom in vampire heaven. Will Caroline soon join her in the next life? My guess is no. While this character isn't key to any ongoing storyline, the show would have killed her off last night if that was its intention.

Welcome, werewolves The reason behind Tyler's accident wasn't to get rid of Caroline. It was to push Tyler's transformation further along. To that, we say: hallelujah! In our Vampire Diaries Round Tables, we've been clamoring for more on this individual's apparent affection for full moons. It was teased perfectly on the finale. Tyler won't just have to deal with what he is now.

He'll have to deal with the death of his father. Does anyone else smell the discovery of family secrets and the impending arrival of more werewolves? We know how much fun that has been on the vampire front all season long.

The new Bonnie: I love this evolution. This witch knows who she is now and she's not shy about her loyalties. Might Elena have to choose between her BFF and her BF next year at some point?

A turning point for Jeremy It started with the death of his parents; it was pushed along by the passing of Vicki and his sister's betrayal; and it ended with the murder of Anna. Sick of feeling such pain, Jeremy swallowed some blood, downed some pills and left viewers wondering: really?!?

Will the pseudo suicide attempt really work? Will Jeremy truly go to the dark side in order to alleviate his suffering? On most shows, I'd shoot down the notion that a main character would actually end his human life. But The Vampire Diaries has proven it's unafraid to shock. Sound off in our forum: Will we see vampire Jeremy next season?

Hmmm... am I forgetting any development from the finale? Oh yeah: KATHERINE RETURNED!!!!!

Double the Dobrev, quadruple the suspense The show got me. I thought the finale would conclude with Damon kissing Elena, followed by the latter screaming over Jeremy's unconscious body. The episode was solid up to that point, but it felt like a let down. Ending such an incredible season on the fate of a character that was never central to it? Didn't feel like it would have fans buzzing until September.

Then, Elena grabbed that knife. Then, John cried Katherine?!? Then, my eyes bulged, her face morphed and we were left with the stunning realization: Katherine is back.

Just consider all the possibilities this allows for:

  • Damon goes into next season thinking he kissed Elena, which is ironic: just as this vampire discovers his humanity, his first major decision is to hurt the brother that saved his life. If Damon can truly feel now, I can't wait to see how he feels about that.
  • Of course, Damon actually got to first base with the woman he's been searching for since the 19th century. When will he find this out? And, while he may have referred to Katherine as a "bitch" last week, are his affections for her actually gone?
  • Let's mourn John Gilbert for his moment. Yeah, he's kind of a murdering bastard, but he had his reasons - and he's also Elena's birth father. Can't imagine she deals with his death well.
  • Was Isobel behind any of these developments? We know she's in contact with Katherine. Will we see Alaric's ex-wife again, as well? What is her true agenda?

Indeed, it was a stunning conclusion to what had been a somewhat meandering, disappointing episode. But that all changed with the thrust of Katherine's knife.

There's no new episode to tease for next week, so we'll just ask readers: How loudly did you scream when Elena kissed Damon? Do you feel jipped that it was actually Katherine? Or just curious and excited that she's back? Sound off now and consider the following Vampire Diaries quotes from "Founder's Day."

Damon: I'm not a hero, Elena. I don't do good. It's not in me.
Elena: Maybe it is. | permalink
Damon: Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you for that.
Elena: You're welcome. | permalink
Bonnie: You saw what I was able to do tonight. I know who I am now. If Damon spills one drop of human blood, I'll take him down. | permalink
Damon: Life sucks either way, Jeremy. At least if you're a vampire, you don't have to feel bad about it if you don't want to. | permalink
Jeremy: Even I can't remember why, I still feel empty, alone. Making me forget won't fix it. | permalink
Stefan: I try so hard to hate him, I guess it's just pointless.
Elena: You care about him, so do I. But I love, Stefan. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (300 Votes)

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

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Umm, when I saw Damon locking lips with "Elena", I fell on the floor screaming and crying. It's pretty much what I've been waiting for all season, and now I'm jealous she was the one kissing that gorgeousness.

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I can't tell how 'glad' i was when i found out it was katherine kissing damon cause Elena just finished telling Stefan that she loves him. I would not like her at ALL if she did that. There where some signs though during the episode about katherine.
Can't wait for season 2 !! And i must say i am a little dissapointed, i really like damon, but it felt really wrong that he would just betray his brother ( who just saved his live) like that
..... maybe he knew it was katherine?? i really don't know...

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U GUYS SHOULD JUST COME DISCUSS THIS HERE... http://www.tvfanatic.com/forum...

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OMG OMG OMG, I can't stop saying "OMG" during the entire episode!

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I was so shocked when Elena and Damon were kissing. For a sec, my opinion changed on both of them. Damon, just as he discovers his humanity, his first major decision is to hurt Stefan that saved his life. Tht's a really nice way to say thx to someone who saves your life. Just when I started liking Damon. And then Im thinking that Elena is betraying Stefan because she just said how mush she loved him. Thank god it was Katherine (I did not see that coming) because my opinion on Elena would have changed completely.

Rekireed

o and yea to the death of john HE IS A BASTARD

Rekireed

ok so i think damon knows its katherine. right after damon and "elena" kissed, and jenna interupted them and "elena" went inside damon felt his lips in a "HMMMMMM" kind of way. he has been searching for katherine for over a hundred years i think he would know her kiss

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Okay, I went to Casttv.com, where you can just click the end of the show without watching the whole thing over again. Maybe there wasn't really anything to Damon's reaction to the kiss. He looks back at the door and touches his lips, but just walks away. No real strange look there. Oh well.

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ohh, i know rox731. im going to rewatch the ending again to try to figure this out.. or just drive myself crazy. but i think damon did know that something fishy was up!

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i knew it was katherine when the kiss went on for more than a second. elena(at this point in the story) would not kiss damon for that long, especially after she was just finished telling stefan that she loved HIM and that he had nothing to worry about. i cant believe that jeremy did not want to go with anna at first, but then when she was dead for reals he decides that he will become a vamp. i dont like his character his "uhh, im sad and empty inside and dont know why" gets old fast, and him becoming a vamp means that next season he will really die,or become evil, or just leave. When anna grabbed uncle johns leg, i thought that he would save her because of jeremy. because when he saw her, he said "Anna" and he sounded surprised, like she wasnt supposed to be there. but no, the idiot staked her and infront of damon. i was surprised when damon did not tell jeremy that john killed anna, but it was because he genuinely wanted to help jeremy. then damon had that heart-to-heart moment with elena, but it wasnt her!!!! i kind of think damon at the end knew it was katherine, but if he would have know he would have killed her, right?? or maybe he wanted her to kill john. i dont know! but i cant wait!!!!!

The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 22 Quotes

Elena: What can I do?
Jeremy: You can go to Hell, Elena.

Elena : I think you should stop with the flirty little comments and the eye thing you do.
Damon: What eye thing?
Elena: Don't make me regret being your friend.

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