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The Vampire Diaries Review: Doom, Gloom and Personal Growth

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Damon Salvatore has a secret, Vampire Diaries viewers, and he just couldn't keep it at the conclusion of "The Descent."

It's not that he loves Elena and it's not that he's saddened by the demise of Rose. It's that he actually yearns to be the exact thing he has spent months claiming to despise: human. I didn't see that admission coming.

Heated, Hot Argument

The 2011 premiere of The Vampire Diaries kicked off and concluded with a major body count: three campers (dead), one shirtless blood sucker (Stefan), one unfortunate female (dead? dying? Damon's new sex slave?)

In between, the plot didn't move forward very much, but plenty of information was passed between characters that planted the seeds for what should be an exciting second half of the season. To wit:

Stefan is pulling a Katherine, trying to build up his tolerance to vervain. Not a bad strategy, but let's remember how close he came to the dark side when he did the same with human blood.

When Rose was not sucking down packets of blood like they were six packs at Charlie Sheen's house, she spent a lot of time selling Elena on the advantages of being human, even saying building a family with a vampire is "not compatible" for her kind. Is this more foreshadowing of a decision Elena will soon have to make?

We've seen countless love triangles before on television, but this has to be the first between a human, werewolf and vampire, right? Then again, with the intel Jules has passed along the Tyler, he may wanna yell at Caroline more than make out with her next week. (It's true.)

That was a very strange dream within which Damon and Rose hung out, wasn't it? It was a touching scene and all, but it seemed to be an example of the show making up a supernatural rule. Since when can Damon control another vampire's subconscious in such a manner?

Can't say I missed Bonnie or Jeremy very much. No offense, guys. But let's all welcome back John Gilbert. Hope your fingers are feeling better, buddy.

Overall, one might criticize the episode for focusing too much on Rose, a character we haven't known for very long. But I see it differently. The extended death scene and the pain she was in as a result of the werewolf bite was necessary in order to depict the stakes that are on the horizon during the impending werewolf/vampire war.

A bite from the former may leave you in the arms of Damon Salvatore, but not in the way most women dream about. It's a grueling way to go, and it's a fate our heroes will stare down over the next few weeks. I can't wait.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (336 Votes)

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

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Okay, For those that are "reminding" Matt Richenthal that a werewolf/vampire/human thing has been done before....I am thinking he was being sarcastic...like "yeah, we haven't seen THAT before." Thank you to those who reminded me about the dream-controlling bit...I was actually as confused as the reviewer until I read this and remembered the other instances. Also funny, is that I didn't realize that Bonnie and Jeremy were missing until way after I watched the episode...I guess they just weren't pertinent to this particular story! I am adoring this new layer to Damon and it makes sense that he would miss his humanity as Stefan turned him against what he really wanted (though, arguably, he didn't really want to be a vampire because he thought Katherine was dead and there was no point). Ian Superhotter did a great job of making the character believable and I felt the angst. However, I am starting to feel Stefan's character falling flat. I really loved the character at first and I was completely pulling for Stefan and Elena...are the writers losing steam in making their relationship believable? I am beginning to hope for a Elena/Damon match! I hope the writers add some new layers to Stefan or viewers may stop rooting for him!

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Damon sucks! I cannot believe people feel sorry for him after everything that he has and continues to do. This show is turning into a Damon show and it's boooooring...
More Elena and Stefan together please. That's the reason I watch this show!

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Wow poor damon nothing ! After all that he's done it's so easy to feel sorry for him ? Really ? Everything that happens to him is his fault and karma! Okay so he makes this confession, and what now he's going to prey on that woman ??? That's attractive to you? His treatment towards anyone but elena is deplorable. The guy is a tool. I don't get it at all. I can't even feel sorry for him. I know he's going to be acting out due to rose's death but he doesn't have to revert into the one person elena hated the most. Wtf is TVD doing -_-

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I totally cried my eyes out on this episode! ;( Elena is getting kind of boring together with Stephan, like, I know they are happy and all but, COME ON!! How does she sees Damon suffering and not chooses him instead?! She can't love him the most, I know and feel extremely sorry for him, tough...

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can i just say that im so in love with the fact that damon now has soul. i just feel for him. i knew he would break down with all that bothers him. he misses being human, aww poor thang. elena as usual she pissed me off shes so dumb i cant take her sometimes.tyler putting caroline in some kind of crate in the next ep. cant wait to see how this plays out. jules i can tell shes going to stir trouble. she went on a killing spree she has to go. vampires run mystic falls no dogs allowed. except uncle mason rip. lol

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Rose, dying broke my heart :'(
She will be missed and remembered.

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Sorry that i didnt log in but my fone broke so i have to use my sisters crappy one and if i post long comments it logs off o_0
Well i loved the episode except that it focused too much on rose which was expected but still....i LOVED The corny but sad scene where Damon cried it was so sad to see him cry...but it was too the first time he shows emotions for someone besides elena....i think nobody saw that coming that Damon wants to be human bcz he never showed it....although i kinda missed the whole Elena/Stefan "action" and werevolve action i still tyhink it was great and cannot wait til next week AND Feb.10 when Stefan and Elena go to her lakeside house:)

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What's funny is that I totally forgot about Jeremy and Bonnie until I came here^^ a non-Bonnie hour is always good to take for me xD
I didn't cry for Rose but it was sad to see her and I totally understand that we needed to see her died "slowly" (I mean, not after 5 minutes of the episode=no impact)a lot of people have died in that show (not important one (I am speaking about vampire mostly) but still) but I never cared, because it was way to fast.
As a lot of people here, I hate Jules. I mean ok she has the right to be mad about Mason and wanting to have revenge for him (=kill vampire)but she killed humans and she couldn't care less. For me, she just is a bad person and of course Tyler is gonna be enroled by her and probably be turn against Caroline...aarrrggghh! I know Caroline lied to him but she truly cares about him whereas Jules makes her appear as an evil-planning vampire...But this is drama and I can't be negative about it because VD writers delivered us, once again, a great episode

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I thought that Lauren did an amazing job in this episode, and I think Ian did an amazing job to. I'm gonna miss seeing Lauren on the show (Rose) she's an amazing actress, and one of my favourites.

Sidewinder

I think that Damon could control Rose's dream, because she let him do it. But I think that the dream sequence was corny - I didn't like it.
I didn't like the last scene too. I feel like it was forced. But... The rest of this episode was AWESOME!