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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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I have to wonder if Damon knows he wasn't kissing Elena. He put his fingers to his lips almost like he was thinking this is familar. I'll have to watch the very ending again and look at this. I have to wonder if he walked away knowing somehow it was Katherine. What do you think?

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Im disappointed that Anna got staked!!!Bring her back to life!!!! what were you thinking!!!! arggggghhhhhhhhhh

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WOW these last five minutes took me off guard!!! I was not disappointed the kiss was Katherine. I thought it felt a little sudden and out of character. The relationship really needs more time to develope.
But then: GO DELENA! Bonnie was great and it looks like we are finally gonna see some werewolves. I really like how the show set up the werevolve and witches. At some points during the season I wondered if there were ever gonna follow up on all the hints and do something with the characters. But Bonnies development turned out to be very cool, so I hope they can do the same with Tyler. And hopefully many followers of his kind ;)
As for Jeremy I hope he will turn. Don't get me wrong, I like him but it makes all the sense in the world that this drama queen would pull a stunt like this. And maybe this way we will actually see him smile for once.

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All i can say is im amazed such a great episode...MAN I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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wow i really went crazy when i saw Damon kiss Elena that i scared my aunt just screaming but was quickly let down to see that it was never really Elena but Katherine.... it was a good cliffhanging ending but im all about Delana and was disappointed cause we all know that sooner or later Elena will fall in love with Damon and i cant wait til that happens....Also it was nice to see Damon turn into Mr.softy and saying alot of thank you's and feeling the pain of others i just love Damon....

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OMGGGG what on earth that happened......... 1st thing what was mayor doing down there in the fire.... and his son IS A WEREWOLFFFFFFFFF i am fully convinced that a vampire movie/story is never complete without a werewolf in it!!!! and DAMON n elena were kissing..... i was screaming like on the top of my lungs........and entry of katherine was a gr8 way to end the season.... what i guess is damon might know it was katherine but still likes elena so katherine might get jealous and sth confusing might happen again..... Can't wait for the next season to come!!!!!!!!!

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BEST EPISODE EVER! Omg! When 'Elena' cut off John's fingers I was like omg she's fallen so in love with Damon she's become as evil as he has! And then John said 'Katherine?' And I thought yeah that kinda makes more sense..... lols.
So upset that it was Katherine kissing Damon. Boooooo. I nearly cried because I thought FINALLY some proper Delena action! But then it turned out it was just the stupid bitch of a vampire ex girlfriend.

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OMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG im kinda glad it was katherine cause Elena just finished telling Stefan that she loves him like a dozen times and was betraying him.. but im kinda sad because it would probably be a steamy way to end the episode with katherine killing John.... And the real Elena walked in. But then there would be a way that Stefan found out and i would cause a brutal fight for love in this love triangle with Damon Stefan and Elena.. and in some way...Katherine!
....

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Katernine is evil, she killed John in a house with two other humans in it. I seriously doubt she will run and hide... She will come face to face with Elena! Damon (who has to know it was Katherine.. no pulse, body temp, etc...) will come in and protect Elena, and Katherine will get away!..... So glad Delena didn't happen yet! Need more development on their relationship, and Damon saving her from Katerine would definately do that!

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I dont think uncle John is gonna die so soon. I think Elena is gonna find him in the kitchen alone and put the ring back on one of his left fingers:d At the very end, when Elena got into the house she heard noise from the kitchen as if someone was falling on the ground. I think Katherine left after stabbing uncle John; she wouldnt want Elena to see her already, she will want her all confused before revealing herself. There are so many ways the show can continue, so anything is possible at this point. One thing I'm sure tho; Katherine will play everyone as she always does and its gonna be so confusing never knowing if its Elena or katherine we're seeing:D

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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