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The Vampire Diaries Review: Always Have a Backup Plan

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The Vampire Diaries doesn't really start until 8:58 p.m.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating after this stunner. The show's propensity for shocking twists in the final moments is something fans know well, but this week's concluding sequence probably left even more jaws on the floor than usual.

What had been a slow-building, somewhat melodramatic episode suddenly changed course with not one, but two huge developments heading into next week.

Klaus turned Jenna? Did anyone out there see that coming? That was wild enough, but hearing that Damon is "as good as dead" left me at a loss for words.

Stelena at a Crossroads

This isn't to say the episode was boring prior to 8:58. Coming into "The Last Day," I assumed the title ominously referred to the final day before Klaus' big sacrifice.

It did, but it also referred, potentially, to Elena's last day as a human.

First we learn that after sacrificing a witch, werewolf and a vampire, the final step of Klaus breaking the curse is to drink the doppelganger's blood until her demise.

The imagery of this happening to Elena, combined with Joseph Morgan's tremendously creepy performance as Klaus leave no doubt how serious this is. But Elijah has a plan.

Well, he had one. Damon wasn't buying the "witch's elixir" BS. Maybe he should lay off the scotch for breakfast, because he made his most reckless move to date ...

Damon forced Elena to drink his blood so that she'll become a vampire if she dies! Many fans have theorized that Elena would turn at some point, but this quickly?

While Stefan taking Elena on that hike felt cheesy and Twilight-esque, they had to discuss the elephant in the room eventually, and now Damon forced it on them.

Unlike Bella Swan, Elena doesn't want to be a vampire. Bless her heart and the writers. This is true to her character and presents a new, complex moral dilemma.

If Elena does die and come back as a supernatural being, should we be happy? Is she going to wish she were dead? Will she never forgive Damon for doing this?

We may or may not find out soon. After a tearful kiss goodbye with Stefan that left Stelena worshippers everywhere reaching for the tissues, she vanished with Klaus.

Catt Picture

Meanwhile, Tyler, Caroline, Alaric and Matt all played key roles last night, some more predictably than others, beginning when Maddox flung Carol Lockwood down the stairs.

Tyler therefore returns to Mystic Falls to check on his hospitalized mom, and bumps into Caroline! Lo and behold, Klaus' sacrificial cuties coming together in one location!

Maddox nabs them both, but Damon, who's already regretting what he did, is now frantically trying to postpone the sacrifice any way he can. Plan A? Get rid of the wolf.

After gathering intel from Kat, Damon heads off to find Tyler, but is stopped by Maddox, who is shot dead by ... Matt! We might make a solid character out of this kid yet!

Matt was packing heat with wooden bullets, making you wonder what would have gone down had he gotten to the tomb first or found only Damon there and not Maddox.

After they all escape the tomb, the full moon begins to rise over the horizon. Tyler can't hold off the transition, so Caroline and Matt take shelter in the Lockwood cellar.

That was a close one, but everyone's safe ... except Klaus wasn't about to be played so easily. You learn a thing or two when you've been planning this for a millennium.

Once again, Klaus proves how hard core he is by revealing - in his slow, all-knowing, sinister tone - a backup plan. One that isn't any less consequential for our crew:

  1. Maddox is dead, but he can use Greta.
  2. Tyler is gone, but he's captured Jules.
  3. Caroline is safe, but he's got ... "her."
Klaus Pic

Her. I was wracking my brain trying to think of who it could be, but never in a million years guessed we'd see Klaus MAKE a new vampire ... out of Elena's aunt Jenna.

What I assumed Klaus would do, or try to do, would be sacrifice Damon instead of Caroline, especially after he brazenly confronted him. But Klaus has no use for him.

Katherine, his conduit, tells Damon he's as good as dead. As the screen fades to black, we see that before he escaped Tyler, he was bitten by the werewolf in transition.

Another incredible twist there. While there's no way the show is killing off Damon, I have no idea how they're going to worm out of this one. It's unprecedented.

Klaus had his Plan B. It's up to the Salvatores to come up with one now.

A final word, if I may, before turning the discussion over to your comments: I can't say enough about Ian Somerhalder as the increasingly tormented, erratic Damon.

From his sarcastic delivery ("Klaus, I presume?") to his body language and piercing stare that tell us more than dialogue ever can, he's outstanding every week.

Overall, "The Last Day" wasn't my favorite episode, but it was still very strong, heavy on emotion with more than enough supernatural action balancing it out.

Pretty much why we watch TVD, right?

With just two more episodes remaining this spring, things are certainly falling into place for a truly epic conclusion. What that entails, however, is anyone's guess.

If The Vampire Diaries has taught us anything, it's that the game and its rules change by the minute. We'll be on the edge of our seats watching right along with you.

What did you think of "The Last Day"? Discuss!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (243 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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David-and-sabrina-2014

after watching these final 3 episodes, boy did they grow shocking every time. Having the backup plan worked and Elena is back, still as a human. When there's love and friendship, anything is possible to accomplish. If Elena and Stefan can show this even more stronger, they will be able to accomplish anything, nothing will ever tare them apart, and their friends will live in peace. Love and Friendship is always the best thing on this show. Nothing is ever better than this show. =)

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I do not want Damon with Elena...she is with his brother...flip-flopping is just nasty.... Elena is too soft. I think Damon needs a woman that is just as cutthroat as he is. Some new blood would be nice. It would be nice to see Damon as a hybrid. I would love a story love triangle with Caroline, Tyler and Jules…Matt needs to go he is just boring to me. I like the Jena twist but it would be nice to see how she and Alaric work threw all this. It would be nice to have another witch or even a warlock to put some spice in Bonnie’s life. The original brothers Klaus and Elijah’s story needs to be more informative. I would love to see more originals. In addition, it would be nice if some of Klaus’s werewolf bloodline is still around but hiding. My over all take on things is this show is GREAT! Writers keep up the good work and keep us coming for more!!!

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wondering if the sacrifice will occur creating a bigger/more power character for season 3 that the mystic falls crew needs to try and kill. Hoping Bonnie or Tyler will have some type of solution in which Damon will have to go through his own transformation, death, and rebirth - becoming a hybrid like Klaus and being the only way to kill the new and stronger hybrid Klaus - this would be an awesome route for the show. I also can't help but feel that elijah, with obvious signs of having loved Katherine and being hurt by her -also showed some feelings towards Elaina. I would hate to see Caroline die - but what a shocker it would be if her mother killed her - then was turned vampire herself right after only to remember the time she spent with her vampire daughter and loved her even as a vampire. Then let her make the decision to sit in the sun with her daughter in her arms crying and burn up

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wondering if the sacrifice will occur creating a bigger/more power character for season 3 that the mystic falls crew needs to try and kill. Hoping Bonnie or Tyler will have some type of solution in which Damon will have to go through his own transformation, death, and rebirth - becoming a hybrid like Klaus and being the only way to kill the new and stronger hybrid Klaus - this would be an awesome route for the show. I also can't help but feel that elijah, with obvious signs of having loved Katherine and being hurt by her -also showed some feelings towards Elaina. I would hate to see Caroline die - but what a shocker it would be if her mother killed her - then was turned vampire herself right after only to remember the time she spent with her vampire daughter and loved her even as a vampire. Then let her make the decision to sit in the sun with her daughter in her arms crying and burn up....

Tilly

Did not see Jenna being turned coming at all but at least she is a part of the story now. So happy Tyler is back and loved his heart to heart with Caroline, especially his face when she said she could never hate him. Loved the fact that unlike Bella Swan, Elena doesn't want to be a vampire, it makes me love her character more. Always happy to have Elijah hoping he makes it next season (hoping Caroline & Tyler do too) Am I the only one who thinks there may be a cure for a werewolf bite and that maybe Jules told Tyler?

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Really love the show, this one was pretty good. So happy Tyler is back and I adore him n Caroline! Chemistry is up there with delena and that says a lot. I've been enjoying Klaus and Elijah, although the latter has a chance to be in my top 5 fave characters list lol. Damon, Elena, Tyler and Carebear. I think its Katherines time to die and maybe sheriff and matt. All are getting stale. Obviously they can't kill Damon! Great performances all around and looking forward to a few things...first, Elena realizing Damon may die and her true feelings surfacing, there must be a kiss! Second, How the hell is Elena gonna dupe Klaus? He's become such an epic baddie it makes me think he'll be around next season. Three, how are they gonna save Damon? BTW did anyone notice endgame clues when Elena was talking to Stef? I heard a " I luv u But I'm only 17 and a lot can happen"...yay! Our kiddo is growing up hehehe

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This epi was good not great. I'm offically so over stelena. I saw bigtime foreshadowing when elena told stef, "I'm only 17"...ie puppy luv wouldn't be endgame.. A la Delena once he finds his humanity. Love Elijah and Klaus, Damon won't die. Right now outside of (maybe) Elena, Damon is the most popular character on the show. His fans are rabbid and outnumber everone elses. I'm becoming more of a fan and I was an original stelena shipper. Love Ian, he his incredible and makes u feel his emotions.

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While I don't really like Jenna ( she's kinda boring) I feel like Elena isn't gonna have any humans left in her life pretty soon.

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I really liked this episode! I am a Delena fan all the way and I think that is was horrible for Damon to force Elena to drink his blood, but it was definitely a Damon move - very true to character. I didn't really like the Stelena stuff - it was kinda boring, but I thought the scene where Elena admits that she doesn't want to be a vampire was beautifully heartbreaking. It does make you wonder though about her future with Stefan ( or Damon for that matter) because if she wants to have kids and a normal life, she can't have that with either of them. I wonder if she will eventually change her mind. Damon getting bit was a huge shocker, I totally thought Klaus was going to use him as the vamp sacrifice. I know that they would never kill off Damon, but it was still heart stopping. Many are saying that he will become a vamp/wolf hybrid like Klaus, but I think that after some GREAT "deathbed" scented by Damon and Elena, Stefan will discover that the cure is the blood of the doppleganger ( i.e. Elena) and she will save him. Another shocker? Jenna getting turned! While I don't particul

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Why can't they just use Katherine as the backup vampire instead of having created a whole new one out of Jenna?

The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 20 Quotes

Damon: And you're going to die, Elena.
Elena: And then I'll come back to life.
Damon: That is not a risk I am willing to take.
Elena: But I am. It's my life, Damon. My choice.
Damon: I can't lose you.
Elena: You won't.

The problem, Damon...you talk a good game but you don't actually know anything. She'll never forgive you. And never for a vampire...it's a very long time.

Elijah
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