The Vampire Diaries Review: Meet the (Scheming) Parents

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"Do you think Bonnie ls lying?" my wife asked me last night, immediately after the character claimed to have reversed her ancestor's spell.

"No way," I replied. "That would be extremely traitorous."

Serves me right for trying to forecast what's ahead on The Vampire Diaries, a show that continually throws twists and turns at its viewers, layering characters with new sides and agendas, all of which make sense in the grand scheme of things.

On "Isobel," The Vampire Diaries took a breath. It wasn't as fast-paced as many other episodes, but it moved the necessary pieces into place for next week's season finale and it dropped a bomb on us:

John Gilbert is Elena's father! Did anyone see that coming? I was so busy thinking mean thoughts about Isobel that, unlike Damon, I didn't put her story together. This tidbit spun Isobel's return to Mystic Falls and her icy attitude in an entirely different direction.

First Encounter

She actually has Elena's best interests in mind.

We got a glimpse at her humanity, which she claimed didn't exist (and which Damon explained to Alaric in a nice conversation between the two frenemies, one that referenced Stefan's desire to "feel How I Met Your Mother." Ha!), when she compelled Alaric to get over her and returned his ring.

But during her episode-concluding phone chat with John, we learned that it was all an act. Or at least most of it (that gay cowboy and waitress were certainly legit). Isobel simply doesn't want her daughter to live among vampires. Her and John "owe" Elena that much.

If we can remove our knowledge of Stefan and personal affection for him, it's hard to blame a mother for taking that stance, isn't it?

Speaking of affection, there was movement on the Delena front.

After Isobel outed Damon's love for Elena, Stefan confronted his brother. But he wasn't just concerned about Damon's feelings, was he? Stefan noticed a couple glances between his girlfriend and his sibling earlier in the hour. He must suspect that a real bond has formed between the two.

It was also great that Damon didn't deny Isobel's accusation. He smiled his usual, mischievous smile and he sort of said he wouldn't pursue Elena - but his reaction confirmed what he must not have thought could have been possible a couple months ago: Damon loves a human.

Finally, we get to Bonnie. The show has done a masterful job building this character into an integral player in the story, after we complained initially that she was the most boring witch of all-time.

Can you blame Bonnie for lying about the curse? Her closest relative is now dead, thanks to the presence of vampires in Mystic Falls. Her judgment is not clouded by love for a blood sucker, as one could argue Elena's has been. Like Isobel, Bonnie sees the danger these creatures can cause.

And that's the appeal of The Vampire Diaries. Nothing, and no one, is black and white. Looking ahead to the May 13 finale, we hope John doesn't go through with his plan to kill Stefan and Damon, that's for sure. But if this somehow happened, we could understand why. That's an impressive feat for the show to pull off.

What did you think of the episode? Should Matt forgive Tyler for almost doing his mom? Who will die next week? Sound off now and enjoy The Vampire Diaries quotes below:

Isobel [to Elena[: As long as you have a Salvatore on each arm, you're doomed. | permalink
Isobel: Don't look for any redeeming qualities. I don't have any. | permalink
Damon: I like being a living dead person. | permalink
Damon: Stefan is different. He wants to be human. He wants to feel every episode of How I Met Your Mother. | permalink
Alaric: She threatened to go on a killing spree.
Damon: I take it that's not okay with you guys? | permalink
Damon: You successfully cured him of anything interesting about his personality.
Elena: Remember who helped me.
Damon: I hate myself. | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (82 Votes)

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


The following list of semi-popular characters are not signed on yet for season 2 according to IMDB: Tyler
Sheriff Forbes
Uncle Jon Unlikelies:
*Alaric is safe, we've all heard that much.
*Tyler...well that would be a shocker we wouldn't see coming. *Sheriff Forbes, well we wouldn't be so sad to see her go, but we would feel sad for Caroline. Most Likelies:
*Anna, yeah, I know... Shocker right? It's like they're are selling us on her adorable character just to set her up for an early kill off. I don't see how she will live through next week. I'm not happy about it.
*Uncle Jon... sounds like a likely twist. We just find out he is Alena's father, only to have him die...


i uber love the episode. and i was disappointed that bonnie lied to elena, exploiting her and the brothers' trust. though you couldn't COMPLETELY blame her. and the oh so awesome john gilbert being the dad. i sort of got the hint but with VD you couldn't be absolutely sure with anything


no one will die! ...right?


but i dont trust either of them :/

Well thats too bad

i don't think isobel and john's plan is entirely evil. it actually surprised me that the two actually cared enough about elena to not want that life for her. i think isobel sees that this elena/stefan/damon situation will mirror stefan/katherine/damon and that ended well for neither one of them. i was so shocked of her maternal instinct to actually not want that for her 'daughter'. john on the other hand, his agenda makes so much sense now. i liked that development. i can say if i were in their shoes i'd do the same thing. btw, i soooo called john out as the daddy. as the forum comments i made indicates it ^.^


obviously their not killing stefan and damon.. the main characters of the show. I think something goes wrong in the next episode and they don't die


i think isobel and john's plan is evil. if their daughter wants something they shouldnt interfere.. i mean its not like shes still safe in a human world! but i understand the worry kinda


i found it interesting that it was really emily who put all the magic in the inventions not john gilbert. that makes so much more sense because i was always wondering how the hell did that guy make all this stuff? and why can't anyone make it now?


They can't kill damon and/or stefan..right? I'll hate it if that happens. The show is awesome though, I can't wait to see the finale! It seems amazing. And I really love all the twists this show keeps bringing.


We can only hope that Damon saw through the charade or figures it out. the extended promo is awesome. i am both excited and dreading next week because i know i will be anxious all summer. This is the one show that watch the repeats doesn't suck:)

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The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 21 Quotes

Damon: You successfully cured him of anything interesting about his personality.
Elena: Remember who helped me.
Damon: I hate myself.

Alaric: How could I not search for you?
Isobel: Because I wasn't lost, Ric.