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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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@pat: i agree, the real elena wouldn´t have done that, especially after telling stefan that she loved him like a dozen times. it would be out of character. lets hope one day they will kiss. though i cant imagine they would break up stefan and elena. i just hope that damon also finds someone who loves him and who kisses him because of that..i d do it right áway :)
katherine is a bitch, btw. shes so mean.

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I love Elena and Damon together, but it was SO out of character for Elena to kiss him now. I'm really glad it wasn't like that, and I'm so excited that they brought Katherine back. The ending was a stunner, amazing one.

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@Neka You to DVR'ed the the last ep of the season, I keep rewinding the kissing scence with Damon/elena, may jaw dropped when I released it was Katherine. My GUESS: I think Damon was so caught-up in kissing Elena that his sences were off way off were he couldn't notice fake Elena didnt have a heart beat. The there were clues about katherine: 1. Remember Elena said to stephen she was going by the school,etc then go home, she wouldn't have gotten back home so soon and she was wearing all black and her clothes were different when she talked/kissed damon. 2. After the kiss with damon, damon looked back as to punder something and touched his lips, "something is different", but just brushed it off. 3. When fake elena was putting the knifes away she did it with a little attitude and forceful and kelp looking at John's ring and her body languge was different. I love this ep, but was dissapoint in the kiss was between Katherine and daman and that is wasn't Elena and Damon,plus I wanted Damon to say those sweet words to Elena. I was mad Anna was killed off. I'm glad bonnie saved Stepen and damon, but mad at her again for the treat on Damon, she knows Damon is a Bad boy and her will spill her "innocent blood: for lying to him and making he say sorry and thank you to her, that was hard for Damon!

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but really, what a SHOCKING finale!! i dont think anyone saw that coming! wow!

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OOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!
what an unexpected turn THAT was!!!!!!! i was freakin out when damon and "elena" kissed, i was even more freakin when it turned out it was katherine! omg!im sorry for damon though, he thinks elena cares about him like that, and when he finds out it was katherine he ll be hurt AGAIN. and im also quite disappointed that damon and elena didnt kiss after all, im a delena fan

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I wanted Damon and Elena to kiss, but I don't know, I think it's not the right time for them. And I still think it's interesting that he kissed her (not knowing it was Katherine). It proves that he really wants Elena. About the Katherine thing, OMG. Although I had seen the Australian promo, I didn't think it was really Katherine, I thought she would do her come back later. I really started to get suspicious when she kept looking at the knife, I thought she was planning to take off his ring and stab him, but I knew it wasn't Elena when she cut his finger off, Elena would never do that. I'm really hoping that Katherine locks up Elena in the season premiere and pretends to be her, and that she messes up with the boys, kissing Stefan (or more ?), and Damon. That would really mess things up. The fact that they didn't get that it was not Elena ... and I hope she messes a little with Damon too. But somehow I don't think it will happen. Maybe she'll run off before Elena sees her, or maybe she'll stay and a suspicious Damon will see her (did he leave ? I think he did, he would have heard Elena's footsteps and her talking to the phone with Stefan, he would have interrupted her because he would have known something was wrong. So I think he left) Anyway, even if Katherine doesn't lock Elena up, i'd like her to mess with the Salvatores. It would be an interesting development. Elena would expect Damon to kiss Katherine, but if Stefan did, even believing he was kissing Elena, how would the latter react ? I'm so waiting for September !!

Mrsbassdorf

The episode was amazing!!! But I felt a pretty big ammount of disappointment when we found out it was really Katherine and that it therefore wasn't a Delena kiss. It will be exciting to see what happens next though.

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also...i feel like damon looked suspicious. After Katherine went in the house, he looked at the house, kind of suspicious,and then he touched his lips. Kinda like he was like..wow..she kisses like Katherine

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I agree with some of the comments about if Elena kissed Damon after that huge speech to stefan i would not have respected her. When I found out it was Katherine I was so relieved. I don't want Elena to cheat on Stefan, especially when they're so happy. I want them to have big issues over stuff and then she kisses Damon. Like...maybe stefan kisses Katherine first. Or i want her and stefan to break up and then she ends up with Damon. ORRR she could stay with stefan and Damon could hook up with either Katherine, or BONNIE. Bonnie and him could be super awesome!

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all i can say is OMG. what a season finale. the episode started off actually kind of boring but because of the earlier promos i knew something would happen later. But i didn't expect it to be this jaw dropping. i cannot believe Damon would betray Stefan in a heart beat. the part where Bonnie helped Stefan to save Damon was totally uncalled for.I mean if i found out that my best friend lied to me, i would not just stand there and let them hold my hand and try to help again.how does Elena trust Bonnie after that incident. I totally did not get how Tyler and her dad became werewolves. and how did the vampire device affect Tyler and his dad and did both of them know they were werewolves? and what was Jeremy trying to do by drinking Anna's blood and taking all those pills? suicide attempt or vampire transformation? let's get to the exciting part. How in the world did Damon not find out that it was not Elena he kissing? i mean a vampire has no heartbeat right and Elena was not wearing that outfit. i was speechless when Damon and Elena(who turns out to be Kathrine) kissed. all i could think of was the look on Stefan's face when he finds out. And i thought it was going to end with Elena having a father bonding moment with John and having a boring end to the season finale and all of a sudden John's hand was cut off and he calls Katherine's name and then i realized it was not Elena killing her father. then my jaw dropped for about five minutes. i can not imagine what next season will bring but all i can say is kudos to the writers of Vampire Diaries because now i can't wait for next season.

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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