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!


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.


I wish elena wouldn't become a vampire. Her being human puts the thrill to the series. If she becomes vampire, i'm sure the series wouldn't be as good as it was anymore. What I think is that having Klaus drink Elena's blood to the point of killing her will drain out the vampire blood in Elena's system. In that case, she wouldn't become a vampire anymore. But how would she survive? Elijah's elixr. It was said that it will revive her life if she drank it. In Damon's case, I don't think he'll die either. Tyler bit him when he's not yet fully tranformed. Or maybe the werewolf bite does harm Damon but it wouldn't kill him. There's gotta be a way for Damon to survive or else The Vampire Diaries TV series won't sell to people anymore. And one last thing. Tyler lockwood CAN'T die. :(( He's the only werewolf main character in the movie! They can't rid the series of him. Not Caroline and Bonnie either. They can't leave. I would be relieved if Matt or Sherrif Forbes will die instead of them. If not Matt or Sheriff Forbes, then I guess it goes down to Jenna or Alaric. But them dying will make me cry a lot. :(


So... First, in the books Elena becomes a vampire very quickly - far before Klaus shows up! So the show has dragged that out, not that they are doing anything remotely similar because Damon was never this pathetic over a teenager in the books. Now I LOVE Damon beyond words but it really annoys me how Elena treats him. In the books she never strung him along, she never pushed him away, she was completely entranced by him and we don't see that in the show. I think Stefan and Elena deserve each other and the writers should change the show to The Damon Show because Stefan and Elena are beyond boring. I loved that Damon saved Caroline twice :) I think they'd be better together because Caroline knows how to have fun and balances his darkness with her sunshine. I still like Caroline/Tyler but Matt needs to go! I've always really liked Sheriff Forbes but in this episode she was a disappointment. That's her daughter! Damon has been her friend! How can she turn on them like that when they haven't done so to her??


I'm so happy to see Tyler back!


It was a pretty good episode, i gave it a 5 star....cant wait for the next two. I am super excited!!!


TVD's cliffhangers are getting crazier!! I thought this episode was really great. I'm anticipating how Jenna will deal with being turned and how they'll play out Damon's wolf bite. I think it's so interesting that it's Damon because he so first hand everything that a wolf bite did to Rose so it's going to hit him close to home. Good job with this episode, TVD! And I agree that Ian was once again.. Amazing :)


I think that damon will get to be a mix out of a vampire and a werewolf like klaus so that the chances of killing klaus are better.
and i really didnt see the thing with jenna coming. i thought that katherine had called elena. sry for my english


I have to say that I'm completly shocked at this weeks episode. There were so many twists and turns, my heart was pumping the whole time. Poor, poor, poor Jenna and Damon:( Jenna cause of the whole vampire/dead thing and Damon just because. He's so messed up but at least we're slowly understanding why. He's in love and he doesnt know how to deal with that. I just have one plee though...he can't die! He can't, he can't, he can't! The show would like plumit to an all time low. Hopefully there'll be like some sort of Delena moment over this and the writers might actually throw us fans a REAL bone. Then there's Matt Caroline and Tyler. I really don't like Matt. He seems like such a drag to the show (even if he is showing some potential) and I just think Caroline and Tyler are cutter. I pray that next weeks episode will be as awesome as last nights one and possibly save Elena from having to become a vampire? It's to soon for her to change. (Then again the writers DO change the rules..alot) But maybe someone will come to the rescue for Elena? Damon, Bonnie, Alaric, Stefan?


I'm at a loss for words...cried like a baby when Damon showed that he got bit by a werewolf. I hope there is one of those awsome TVD twist that cures Damon and he doesn't die.Aunt Jenna a vampire??? WOW Alaric really has a thing for women that go vamp doesn't he lol???


if damon drinks Klaus blood he should be fine cause he isn't affected by werewolf blood so that way they will healed him and the show will still have their credibility for the writer of TVD. love the fact that elena didn't want to be a vampire love her and stefan defo endgame i miss bonnie and jeremy hopeful der back next week i want tyler and caroline together forget matt that traitor cant wait for next week


ahh really great episode! def a damon fan! damon getting bit was a shocker to me but
I know he won't die off bc he makes this
show worth watching! maybe he will drink the
exilary and turn human! kinda like the book. (book
sucks) but what would happen to Jenna and Elena!?
Maybe Jenna will die. Hope not I don't like
To see anyone die off. Except that rose chick
She was getting way close to Damon! now Caroline and Matt. Not a fan. Tyler and Caroline
Perfect!!! loved when they were chained together and that
Cute ass smile Tyler had ahh! Stephan needs to man up he's to emotional. Yuk! Where's Jeremy and Bonnie! love them together!!! Elijah,,I like him so far. And for some odd reason I think
He will fall for Elena weird but possible! Katherine,,don't want her to be killed off..I rather
Her then Elena! Maybe she will end up with Stephan.
he doesn't deserve both..poor Damon :( this whole cast is hot! still looking for my own Ian somerhalder!!!!!

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