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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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Matt-richenthal

@Everyone Who Reminded Me About the Dream Stuff: 1. Thank you. 2. I did not forget about the (HOT!) example of Katherine doing that, but I was under the impression it could only be done by an older, more powerful vampire. This one still felt different, didn't it? Because both people were 100% aware they were in a dream, while the others were clear examples of one side manipulating the other.

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@ Matt Richenthal
You forget. Remember season one ep 2 when Damon gets into Stefan's head, making him dream that he was attacking Elena? Remember Stefan trying to stake Damon after that and Damon stabbing him back? "This is Jon Vervatos, Dude. Dick. Move."
Remember Katherine getting inside Stefan's head and showing him Damon and Elena playing pool and kissing? UGH, remember the Statherine sex Stefan dreamed about courtesy of Kat just a few eps ago??? C'mon. Don't write of the most painful and heartening scene of Vampire Diaires since Damon's ILY. It showed how unbelievably sensitive Damon is. And made me cry. AGAIN. God, what is with this show? It's reducing me into a mush of saccharin.
Also @ Matt Richenthal - rememeber twilight? Love triangle b/w vampire, werewolf and human? Granted this time the chic's a vampire but in the most basic sense....
Anyway, sad, beautiful, fantastic episode! And left me with tear tracks. Also the last scene w/ Damon and that girl was so FUNNY.
Are you going to kill me?
snivle: I'm not sure.
Man, someone throw Ian an emmy already.

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"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?" TVD has shown Damon controlling Stefan's and Elena's dreams in Season 1. In TVD mythology, a vampire can do that over vampires who are (1) younger than they are or (2) weaker than they are because they don't feed on human blood. The dream scene in this episode was in conflict with that mythology because Rose was far older than Damon by many centuries and she had already fed on three humans and drank bags of blood from Damon's stash in the basement. How was Damon able to control her dream then? I'm going to choose to think it was because Rose was already dying at this point and no amount of human blood could have saved her from the effects of the werewolf bite.

Danielle50

Yes, it was a sad episode yesterday. There were less Stefan and Elena because I like romantic but not lovely dovey. Damon was just so heartbreaking this episode and Jules play a great villian.

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Oh god, The Damon show. Boring.

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Everything is Damon's fault..... Mason came to mystic falls, he didn't want a problem, so damon stabs him and causes a problem......Damon losing Rose....all leads back to damon being a jerk and stabbing mason and starting a blood war with the werewolves... Damon lovers are just too blind to see that "But Mason hurt my baby blah blah blah" Cry me a river

Whipped-by-damon

oh my Damon...there are no easy times for you! I thought it was a great episode and yet another layer in the wonderful character of Damon...Ian was immense! I felt so bad for him and I so understood why he was freaking out in such a manner...I'm not sure he killed that girl but his torment was palpable and he's come a long way since the beginning of the series.
Oh and the dream manipulation has always been completely do-able on TVD! Anyhoo...so glad my favourite TV show is back!!

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has the reviewer not watched this show? there have been many instances of vampires controlling dreams.. damon to stefan.....katherine to stefan.. come on peeps! keep up!

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I'm so upset and annoyed! Damon just reverted back to his old ways :'( why? Because of stupid Jules!!! :@ Grrrr!
He was just so nice to Rose and he just went back to evil Damon! :'( I don't really care that Rose is dead she annoyed me if i'm perfectly honest!

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I really liked this episode!
I bet Tyler is going to hate Caroline and go full hate for all vamps just cuz Caroline lied to him. I HATE Jules. I want her to go die. I hope Damon kills her lol! And Rose wasnt a super favorite of mine but I must admit it was sad to see her go. Ian did awesome in this episode! Its a lot about him feeling and not wanting to. He played the crazy psycho serial killer bit at the end AMAZING and his crying looked genuine. I think hes going to start being more evil again now. I think thats what that set Damon up for. To go back to being the bad ass killer with no mercy, only this time he will be doing it less for fun and more because he has gone somewhat crazy... Wish they had had more explaining about John and Stephen in this episode tho. Can't wait till next week!

The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

He's an Original. I don't really know what that means.

Stefan

Elena: Don't ruin the moment. You're about to ruin the moment, aren't you?
Stefan: I'm totally ruining the moment.

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