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.


This comment is for Autumn "Damon was bitten by the werewolf in transition." personally i don't thing the show will lose credibility because they had to kill rose because that is what set Damon off we all know we cant deal with feelings. so if they don't kill rose off their would be no off the hurt and all the killer humans again, also i don't thing Damon will dead because if you watch the episode were rose was bitten hers was a lot bigger and also alot more serious them Damon i thing this is because Tyler had only just going in transition so i think some damage will come to Damon but not death to early to let him die.


First, I was soooooo right. I knew Damon would give her blood to try and save/keep her. Second, I also figured Damon would be a casualty of the show. Why, I don't know, but it seems with the wolfe bite he could be. I can't see how they will save him without losing credibility. They couldn't save Rose. Or chose not too. My guess is Elijah will have some fancy knowledge that will lead to a cure for Damon. We can only hope. Personally, I always love Damon but I am getting sick of his bad attitude. The thing with Jenna was bizarr. Didn't see that coming. I'm glad that Alaric is ok. He is slowly becoming my fave since Damon keeps acting so foolishly. I love how Alaric has come to be a champion of sorts of Damon. He is a friend and has proven it. Im sorry the end is near but at the same time, I'm ready for a break from the heaviness.


@GossipGfan If that's the case, they killed Rose for no reason! hahaha sry if I'm being a little insensitive I just couldn't stand her!!! @Jenna I'm also a Delena fan and thought Stelena's tearful goodbye was rly cute and sad!


my idea is maybe a little bit irrealistic, but maybe there could be a way to safe Damon. Imagine Klaus is able to accomplish the sacrifice (even if i don't like the idea of Jenna being dead/vampire) then he's both: vampire and werewolf; so it might could be that a werewolf bite isn't killing a vampire, but it turns a vampire in a hybrid thing like Klaus, so Damon would be both too. I don't know how i got this thought, but for me there are no many other ways out of this sad situation.


the writers CAN'T kill damon off the show, but HOW are they gonna save him??? but i still don't think elena is going to be a vampire! This was to be expected FOR LATER but certainly not yet!! i love caroline and tyler together. a lot lot lot of better than caroline and matt. i really don't get him. did he go to the tomb with the gun to shoot caroline?????? what did he expect to find and why did he go there to begin with? awesome twist to turn jenna. hopefully she survives. though poor alaric! but who else is going to die in the final episodes? i kind of think it could be katherine but i don't hope so!


I'm just hoping against hope that Elena doesn't end up a vampire. If anyone has any words of wisdom, or hope for me to cling to, then please, for my sanity, share with me! At this point, I'm basically begging. Loved the episode. Tortured Damon is always intriguing to watch...and it's so true, Ian is simply fantastic. I may be a 'Delena' fan, but the moments between Stefan and Elena were adorable. Jenna was a huge shock for me, I never saw that one coming, but I'm thinking that it is going to be goodbye to both Jenna and Matt by the end of this. I predicted that Damon would get bitten, but I was still so upset about it. A glimpse of a caring Katherine (the look on her face when Damon said that it was only him who was trying to stall the sacrifice was priceless...and very revealing) was fantastic. After all, with Klaus around, Katherine really looks quite tame! Great episode, it had my jaw dropping the the floor a few times, and some genuinely sweet moments (Elena/Damon, Tyler/Caroline, Elena/Stefan, Matt sticking up for Caroline to the sheriff who is starting to get on my last nerve) and has me so frustrated that it is a week till the next one.


This was my favorite episode of season 2 so far !! I loved everything about it, i loved the forwood scenes i am so glad tyler is back !! And jenna OMG i did NOT see that coming.


jenna as a vampire is an epic twist because she will finally start to understand what the others have been hiding from her for 2 years. also, she might die. damon, will most certainly live but i have a feeling that Elena might save him now that she has been forced to drink his blood, maybe she'll give some back? tyler, caroline, matt = awkward...hmm matt confuses me, he's nice but at the same time you kind of want him to develop further as a character. stefan and elena....are cheesy, and elena doesnt want to become a vampire? didnt she want to back in season 1 and when rose was around? besides, becoming a vampire means living with her one and only love stefan forever.


Elena has to feed to complete the transition right? So.. just dont feed and die and then you would have your wish? I think what Damon did was jerkish. Stealing Elena's right to choose sucks and smacks of another vampire series (im looking at you Twilight) but i guess i understand it in some twisted way. It doesnt make it right. But he loves her in some dark way. Elena is the light for Damon. And without her, he will lose any humanity he has managed to gain thus far. Again, does that make this right. No, not at all. But i guess i see his desperation and the impulsive stupid thing he did starts to make more sense. Overall, Stefan's inability to actually be a multifacited character is getting on my nerves. He lets Elena make really stupid choses sometimes. And while im all for her taking control of her destiny, THEY are the supernatural beasts with a lot more experience with the doom and gloom. Take some advice for a change Elena. Doesnt make you weak, makes you smart! I feel quite sorry for Delena fans because the writers seem quite determined to push the SE endgame. Whatever happened to ambiguity? While im sure Elena loves Stefan, does she have to say it every other moment and crush the hearts of every other fan out there? Its cheesy sometimes and its starting to seem like no matter how we SEE the chemistry between Nina and Ian, its never going to be utilised in any meaningful way. I mean, here's a thought! Put Damon and Elena together and see Stefan MAYBE develop a pair! Great drama AND we get to see Stefan be something else. Oh wait! He might just let her go, do the right thing, blah blah. Oh Stefan. You really are in need of a serious rewrite soon so that you wont be such a bore! Where is Bonnie and Jeremy. Miss them! Jenna! *gasp* Poor Alaric. Two women. Both Vampires.


not aunt jenna :L I LOVE JENNA, she is gonna make a GREAT vampire (if she survives)
ily MATT the "boy wonder" hahaha
Thank GOD Elena didn't want to be a vampire, though that climb was very Twilight-esque
WHY DID KLAUS AND ELIJAH NOT SEE EACHOTHER??! i swear, when that door flew open and Klaus goes, you're not meant to be here, i thought it was Elijah :/
oh, and, uhm, did anyone else love Tyler's hair :$ why is he so adorable.

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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.