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'The Vampire Diaries': Damon finally reveals his diabolical plan

56212 The play-by-play commentary seemed to be a hit last week, so I figured we'd give it another shot! Tonight's episode features the arrival of a new cast member, Matthew Davis. Best known for his turn as Elle Woods' lame "Legally Blonde" ex, Davis arrives in Mystic Falls as Alaric Saltzman. 

Will he be a good guy? A bad guy? A vampire? A werewolf? A "Twilight" fan?

Cue up those DVRs! Let's find out together.

8:00 - Poor Bonnie needs to get herself a case of Red Bull. She's having nightmares in class, featuring foreboding images of Emily (Bianca Lawson), a very distant relative. I loved Lawson as Nikki on "Dawson's Creek," and "Buffy" fans might recognize her as Kendra.  She hasn't changed a bit!

I absolutely loved how Bonnie snapped, "What are you looking at? Turn around," at her classmate when she woke up. She's very no-nonsense. She's not putting up with any bull, whether it's from her classmates or Damon.

8:03 - MATT!  "Hey!" he says. "Hey!" Caroline replies. AND SCENE. Brilliant! Evocative! Perfect!

8:04 - Here's the much-hyped first appearance of the new history teacher, Alaric Saltzman (Davis) -- but we can call him "Ric." 

Tip for those who aren't familiar with high school TV shows: If a teacher lets his students call him by his first name, he's officially what's known as a Cool Teacher. If he lets you call him by a nickname, he's not only a Cool Teacher, but also probably a Hot Teacher.

8:05 - Why hello, shirtless Paul Wesley. Good morning to you, too.  Have the Salvatores been attending the Sam Winchester school of sit-ups and crunches? I approve!

Damon, who comes bearing coffee, actually apologizes for the unfortunate events of last week. He's in pretty good spirits, considering we last saw him with a stake protruding from his ribcage. To make up for murdering Stefan's oldest friend, he offers to avoid drinking human blood ... for a whole week.

Stefan is less than impressed. "Yes Stefan," he mocks. "Now that the Secret Society of Vampire Haters is off our back, I can go back to my regular schedule of 'How can I destroy Stefan's life this week?' "

"And I can go back to sulking, and Elena-longing, and forehead brooding," Damon retorts, quick on the draw as always. "This is fun."

I agree!  As usual, the scenes with Damon and Stefan bantering at each other are the highlight of the show. Or, at least, of the first five minutes.

8:07 - So, it turns out that the late Mr. Tanner kept a "Jackass" file on his least favorite students, with a neatly typed label and everything! Classy dude.

Unsurprisingly, the file looks more like an "opus" to Jeremy, but Mr. Saltzman is offering Jeremy a clean slate -- much like Damon did. All Jeremy has to do to boost his failing grade is a project on the town's rich history, sans "Wikipedia regurgita." 

Uh-oh. This scene is getting pretty heavy on the ring exposition, and we've learned that no jewelry in Mystic Falls is just there for the bling factor. Hmm. Alaric is a local history buff, hauls around a ring that looks like it weighs 10 pounds, and is super hot?

It would almost be too obvious if he turned out to be a vampire, right? Based on previous experience, I'm guessing that the writers are going to throw us a twist here.

8:08 - MATT. "Hey!" he says. "Hey!" Caroline says. 

This time, Caroline isn't keen on letting awkward be awkward. The most appealing thing about Caroline since the pilot has been her self-awareness. She recognizes that she's a "pathetic insecure mess" -- and her recognition of that makes her decidedly less pathetic. The female characters on this show are all flawed, but they're not wilting daisies. I really appreciate that.

8:09 - "An 'I didn't kill my brother' text would have sufficed." Oh, kids these days.

Stefan tells Elena that he won't be coming to school anymore. Last week I mentioned that if he really cared about Elena he would protect her by backing off ... and now he's backing off. I love when TV characters obey my every command! It makes me feel powerful.

8:12 - Bonnie clearly hasn't watched enough horror movies. Everybody knows that when you throw away a magical haunted talisman, it ALWAYS comes back at the most inopportune moments.

8:15 - It makes me sad that Stefan's whole "Let's be bros, bro" shtick has an ulterior motive. I'm still mad at Damon for killing Lexi last week, but the brother-on-brother violence was also kind of a bummer. 

8:17 - Ooh. Is Aunt Jenna going to hook up with Hot Cool Teacher? If he does turn out to be a vampire, that'll make the Gilberts three-for-three on being vamp bait. Despite his whole broody, I-eat-alone thing seeming awfully familiar, I'm still not sold that he is a vampire.

Stefan is looking for answers, so he seeks out Damon at the bar. Damon is so hungry for attention from his brother that he doesn't even call Stefan out on his obviously fake buddy-buddy stuff.

8:19 - What was that I said about the necklace showing up at an inopportune moment?

8:26 - Alaric married young and is now widowed. His wife's unexplained death is now a cold case. 

Hmm... maybe he's not a vampire -- maybe he's part of that Secret Society of Vampire Haters (henceforth to be referred to as the SSVH).

Stefan and Damon are still hanging out over by the dartboard, doing a startlingly good impression of people who don't threaten to kill each other every week. Damon plays along, though he's still wary. 

"You prefer the brooding forehead?" Stefan asks. I love it!

562088:28 - "I know! Let's have a seance!" Really, Caroline?? If ever there were famous last words.

In the middle of the most badly timed seance ever, the window slams open, the lights go out and the necklace disappears. Even with his vampire super-speed, Damon couldn't have gotten all the way to Elena's from the Grill that fast, right?

8:32 - Okay, no, he definitely couldn't have slipped away without Stefan noticing.  Besides, they're too busy with a brotherly game of football. Seriously!

This is breaking my heart, because I know it won't last. The thing that's most painful about it is that Damon clearly knows it's all a ruse! He knows it's not like Stefan to suddenly be all affectionate the week after Damon staked his BFF. 

Still, Damon goes along with it. He doesn't care that Stefan is setting him up; he'll take what he can get.  It's almost as if, even if Stefan's faking it, Damon's happy to pretend, just for a while, that things are okay between them. Damon is so attached to the past, much more so than Stefan. I don't think that's just about Katherine, but also about the way things used to be between the brothers.

Even false happiness never lasts long for the Salvatores, of course.

When Stefan brings up the elephant in the room, Katherine, we get a little more insight into her ever-mysterious "last night." I don't know about you all, but I'm dying for them to shed some more light on what happened to Katherine and the boys back in the 1860s.

Damon has spent the last century and a half believing that he was the only one with Katherine on the night of her death, so he's stunned to learn that Stefan, in fact, was the last one to see her. Is that a little bit of boastful pride I detect in Stefan's voice? Maybe he likes knowing that for once, Damon didn't get the last word.

That's not the case tonight, though, as Damon reveals, "I'm gonna bring her back."

You're gonna what now?

8:36 - The necklace lures Bonnie into Elena's bathroom, then some supernatural force locks her in there while Caroline and Elena freak out and lights flicker. Bonnie screams for her life -- and then suddenly she's quiet. Uh-oh.

When the door opens, Bonnie's in the bathroom hiding her face. Why do I have a feeling that when she takes her hands away, we're going to see Emily, not Bonnie?

8:37 - Okay, no, it's Bonnie ... but ... maybe not?

Whoa. When we got a glimpse of Emily in the mirror, I got the shivers.

While Emily's taken over Bonnie's body, where's Bonnie's spirit? Is she still in there? Is she going to remember this?

8:39 - The revelation that Stefan saw Katherine after Damon did has driven Damon to spill his guts. He's pissed off enough to reveal his entire "diabolical plan."

WHOA. This is huge. Katherine didn't die in that church with the 26 other people. She's has been stuck in a tomb under the church for the last century and a half, thanks to Emily and Damon. She's "alive" -- but, based on what we know from previous episodes, she's not partying down there. Her skin is desiccated, she's mummified and her circulation has stopped. That's not how I'd choose to spend the better part of two centuries.

Things are really starting to fall into place. Even as Stefan has moved on from Katherine, Damon isn't able to do the same ... and here's why. Damon had to wait until this year to get her back because of that prodigal comet, but now all the cards are in place.

"So," Damon deadpans. "You wanna go throw some more?" The dialogue on this show always makes me grin.

8:40 - Elena is the first to realize that Bonnie isn't Bonnie. As a side note, this episode has been a nice break from Elena's boy drama. I'm really enjoying her forbidden love story with Stefan, but it's nice to redirect the focus a little. "The Vampire Diaries" has a great ensemble class and Mystic Falls has a really cool history. There's so much to explore in this universe!

8:41 - Wow. Emily is powerful enough to take Damon down with a flick of her wrist. Does that mean that Bonnie could become that powerful, with practice? It'd certainly be a useful skill.

8:46 - Back at the Gilberts, Alaric can't come in without being invited ... or maybe he's just being gentlemanly?  Okay, it's entirely possible that I'm in denial about him being a vampire, but I'm still thinking it would just be too obvious after that heavy-handed ring exposition.

While digging through his family's attic for research purposes, Jeremy stumbles across the Journal of Johnathan Gilbert, dated 1864. 

What is it about 1864 that's so important? Everything that happens in this town revolves around the events of that year. It's the Nov. 12, 1955, of the "Vampire Diaries" universe.

56207 8:48 - Oh, man. Damon not only wants to release Katherine, but a veritable army of vampires. All 27 that were stuck in the burning church that night are now trapped in the tomb, and I'm guessing they're not too happy.

Emily and Stefan aren't having it. Damon's face after the necklace exploded was absolutely tragic. Once again, Ian Somerhalder has outdone himself -- and the rest of his cast.

In a rage, Damon lunges at Bonnie, taking a chunk out of her neck, presumably to get revenge on Emily for not holding up her end of the bargain. They're not going to let another awesome chick die on this show, are they?

8:51 -  To save her, Stefan has to feed Bonnie his blood.  Does this mean that when Bonnie dies -- whether sooner or later -- she's going to go into crazy vampire blood withdrawal the way Vicki did?  That can't be good.

8:52 - MATT!

He shows up at Caroline's to tell her that he was "creeped out" by their cuddling because he never liked her. Ouch?

I love how he's so honest and upfront with her, even if his words aren't the most comforting. Every time I think he can't endear himself to me any more, he does.

8:53 - "It was real for me," Damon tells Stefan about Katherine, in possibly his first moment of true vulnerability thus far in the series. When he tells Stefan that he's going to leave town, I want to bake him some cookies for the road.

It's so gutwrenching! He's been waiting for Katherine to return all this time. He's carried a torch for her for 145 years, never giving up on the idea that he'll bring her back to him. That's love. 

8:55 - Stefan clarifies that Bonnie won't turn into a vampire as long as she doesn't die while his blood is still in her system. How come she's not getting high off of Stefan's blood the way Vicki got high off of Damon's? Is it because Stefan's isn't as potent?

I'm glad Elena's going to explain things to Bonnie. Secrets, secrets are no fun, and it'll be nice for Elena to have someone she can turn to, since everyone else who knows about the Salvatores has had his or her mind erased.

Looks like I spoke too soon about having an episode without Elena's boy drama!  After watching Stefan save her best friend's life, Elena wants to be with him ... again. She needs to make up her mind! In one of his smartest moves yet, Stefan tells her he's taking off. 

Is he going to go with Damon? Setting Damon loose on the world after this kind of heartbreak would not be smart. Maybe Stefan should tag along and make sure it doesn't get too bloody out there.

8:57 - MATT!  Apparently honest conversations give Caroline the munchies. (Fantastic music cue!  It's "Come Back When You Can" by Barcelona, if you're interested.)

Aww. Stefan is crying!  I love watching Paul Wesley when Stefan gets a little bit out of control. Last week he showed us Stefan's happy kid-with-a-crush side, and this is the opposite extreme. Stefan manages to stay composed even at the most dire moments, so when he really loses it, it's very powerful. I love the flash of fangs as he hurls his diary across the room.

Elena and Bonnie holding each other and crying is a gorgeous moment. Even with the music drowning out their dialogue, it's easy to peg this as one of Nina Dobrev's and Katerina Graham's most outstanding moments as far as acting goes.

9:00 - Logan is back... as a vampire? WHAT!? HOW!?

Of course that's where they end it. Thursday can't come soon enough!

Whew. The play-by-play recap isn't easy with a show like this, where there's a shocker every other minute!

It's your turn to let me know what you thoughts of the episode.  Did your reactions match mine? What do you think of the new history teacher (and his chemistry with Aunt Jenna)?  Were you surprised by Damon's motive for returning to Mystic Falls? What do you think of Matt and Caroline and their cuddling? And don't forget to tell me what you think the deal is with the Logan reincarnate!

-- Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)

Related Articles:

A not-so-happy 162nd birthday for Stefan

Vicki's Halloween surprise

Kevin Williamson on the future of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Photos: [Top] Matthew Davis as Alaric Saltzman. [Middle] Nina Dobrev, Katerina Graham and Candice Accola as Elena, Bonnie and Caroline. [Bottom] Paul Wesley as Stefan and Ian Somerhalder as Damon. Credit for all: CW.

Comments () | Archives (21)

I love this show. I wish they would've made more out of the destruction of the talsman. But the possesion scenes and Katerina's acting was awesome. I appreciate the friendship with caroline, bonnie and elena. Friends are hard to find and they focus on making sure they all stay friends. I think with Matt and Caroline she will have a chance at a good relationship that is not all about sex. Oh i think Alaric is a vampire killer, and jeremy will help him. Now that will cause some serious tension in the gilbert household.

I absolutely think Emily or Katherine might be responsible for the way Elena looks and when that is revealed, Damon will want Elena more than he does now. We have Stefan loving Elena and we have Damon loving Katherine, but are they really the same?

Bonnie's witch stuff was awesome, I loved the seance. It was like watching The Craft again...Kevin Williamson is so good at bringing the best parts of the 90's back.

Oh my god i love this show so much!!
I saw the Twilight film when my friend dragged me to see it and i have never forgiven her, so i was wary when the two were compared.
Well thank god i saw it! it was amazing and i am hooked! this show is getting better and better!
please say that the network sees what a gold mine this show is and commissions a second season!!

Don't worry Helen it's coming back for a second season! It's already been confirmed. Vampire Diaries is now the CW's highest rated show!

I started watching the show because I needed something to watch until New Moon came out, but now I am officially a fan of this show. It's always taking it to the next level and it's nothing like Twilight and I like that! The actors are amazing and the writing is just wonderful.

Keep up the good work. I can't wait for next thursday... PLEASE HURRY UP & GET HERE!!

I don't really think anything about the new teacher yet, besides that he is hot. Yes, those are my totally deep and truthy thoughts on him! But I think he has the potential to be an intriguing character as his storyline develops.

I really loved the scenes between the brothers. Their relationship and all the screwed up dynamics within are the best thing about this show. It was equal parts fun and heartbreaking to watch them together this episode.

I don't really get why they did that with the whole bringing Katherine back thing. By which I mean, I don't understand why they ended that storyline so soon. I'm hoping Emily's necklace bursting spell didn't really work because I think it would be an awesome idea to play that storyline out and have the threat of Katherine and an army of angry vampires waiting around the corner. It adds great tension, great motivation for Damon, and, haha okay, I would love for Katherine to take over Elana's body at some point.

One problem I have with this show is that I really can't get into Elana's character. It's not the actress, I think she's GREAT. It's just that the character is so serious business and dull all the time. She feels cardboard, in the sense that her actions are always easily predicted. Maybe that's how she's written in the books? I don't know. But I know there have been some really AWESOME female leads on tv series whose personalities still sparkle even when dealing with woah, crazy times. I will give her a pass for now with her parents dying and then her new-found love being a dirty neck biter. But I really hope they liven her up a bit more. Soon.

As for Matt and Caroline, well, I don't know! I really, really like his character. And I'm glad they are focusing some attention to the "norms" on the show. I like Jeremy's storyline, for the same reason. But I wasn't really feeling the Matt/Caroline love. It felt manufactured. That doesn't mean it will ALWAYS feel that way, and I loved the scene with the "heys" and such, but I'm not entirely convinced that I should be rooting for them. I can still be swayed, though!

Anyway, I liked Bonnie a lot in this episode. You are right about her no-nonsense attitude being appealing. And later, I felt for her, when she just wanted all the witchy happenings to go away. I thought her scene with Damon was excellent. Actually, I think Damon really brings out the best in all the other characters. He's like a little black dress, he goes well with everyone.

I'm not sure how I feel about Logan yet. I will have to wait for next week to see how awesome that goes over. Until then, byyyyye!

"How come she's not getting high off of Stefan's blood the way Vicki got high off of Damon's? Is it because Stefan's isn't as potent?"

I don't think Damon's blood by itself was what got Vicki high. Damon was drinking glass after glass of scotch at the beginning of that scene, so his blood alcohol content would have been pretty high. Probably feeding her his blood just got her drunk at the same time it healed her.

I'm also annoyed that they've been killing off the "awesome chicks." Now that Bonnie's getting interesting, I'm worried that her time on the show might be growing short.

I love this show! Thanks to your reviews, actually. Thanks for another great one.

I just love this show.. I hope that this series does not get canceled.. Seems like when a good vampire show comes on, they cancel it.. Let this one go on forever!!

This was a very interesting episode. So much going on! I thought the new history teacher was a vampire at first, especially taking so much interest in Jeremy, and I was sure it was him ringing the doorbell at the end of the show, then, LOGAN?? How? When? We never did see what they did with his body after Damon and Vicki attacked him...hmmm.

Some really great acting all around, with every cast member given a chance to shine. First time I really noticed Matt - he was very good last night - he plays the lonely popular kid well. And Bonnie was excellent, as well as Damon. Each week they give Ian a new dimension to his personality which is fascinating to watch. Stefan is also stepping up with the little losses of control like Carina mentioned - not always so stoic and brooding. Elena has definately changed him. I also loved the banter between the brothers at the bar - I thought Paul did an especially great job of mocking Ian as Damon. Did you catch the intense stare when he says about being brothers "we used to do that so very well" (eyebrow lift and dark stare). And yes, it was rather sad how Damon was taking whatever he could get from his brother, even if he knew there was an ulterior motive. I don't believe Damon will leave town for a minute. He's finally lost Katherine for good...the next best thing is right in front of him at the Gilbert house!

PS. Carina, do you hear of any "hard feelings" from the Twilight cast regarding this show? Is there tension between the two productions? Just wondering, as Vampire Diaries was constantly ripped when it first came out as imitating Twilight, but now that the cast and writers have proved themselves to be very different (and I believe, with superior acting), and Diaries has become successful with a following, and most people realized that Diaries was written long before Twilight...has the snarkiness settled down? I saw an interview with Robert Pattinson the other day where he practically ripped the series by name, saying "some new shows out there are doing the exact same thing, the same story as us and I say "how can you get away with that??". Curious.


Man, I missed this episode last night (and the one from the week before) and after this recap I'm going to have to go out and get myself caught up. I'm excited that there's more Matt and Bonnie in particular and that they're cooling off on the Stefan and Elena bit. For whatever reason, that storyline isn't doing much for me. But the rest sounds exciting! I'm already intrigued by the new Cool Teacher.

First of all, I love this show. Here are some of my questions. Do you think the hot teacher might be looking for his wife, ummmm prehaps Stefan's friend, that Damon killed could be his wife. I keep on going back to the episode were Stefan and his vampire friend are talking about Elena. She ask him why he does not just give her sex and get it over with. Stefan replies "you know it does not work that way." What is he talking about, what happens after she tells him she loves him? Or am I reading way to into this, IDK! I want to see what happens when she finds out she looks just like Katherine, and why is that, would they hurry up and tell how or why they do?

I completely think that Logan is not Logan but Alaric in disguise, because he obviously wants to get into that house for some reason but Jenna didn't invite him in, so he's got to play the one card that will guarantee his entrace: resurrecting the Logan image.(Jenna doesn't know he's dead, she just thinks he left). And the scenes for next week? Another vampire is going around killing?! Def Alaric. I mean they made it way obvious with the whole shot on the ring, but betting my money that he's the new vampire. Especially with a name like Alaric. ohh maybe he's friends with Lexie, and he's come to find out why she didn't return to where ever she had to return to.
Also, I bet Jeremy finds out about the vampires from Johnathan's, and then his memories all come back. That would be a twist.
So excited for next week!!

"What are you looking at? Turn around," lol yeah I loved that too! SHe's SO cool! That's why she's my fave character! :)
I ABSOLUUTELY LOVE RIC! He's SO cool! I mean throwing away the 'jackass' file, letting Jermey make up his grade, being a vampire ( WHICH I TOTALLY BELIEVE...even if u don't) I mean, could he be COOLER?

I think the Salvator Bro Bonding (SBB) IS WICKED! I ABSOLUTEY LOVED IT! I also loved when they acted like each other lol.
"Yes Stefan, Now that the Secret Society of Vampire Haters is off our back, I can go back to my regular schedule of 'How can I destroy Stefan's life this week?" lol GO STEF!And I can go back to sulking, and Elena-longing, and forehead brooding, This is fun." Damen ALWAYS cracks me up! That's one of the many reasons I love him! :)
Damen's so sweet. :) He wants to bring back Katherine. I ?<-D=

Ok, since it looks like I'm the only person here who's read the books:

ALARIC IS NOT A VAMPIRE!!!! So help me, if this series turns Alaric into a vampire I will heave my 52" TV out the door in a fit of vampire rage! I have gotten over making Matt and Vicki brother and sister, turning 4-year-old Margaret into freshman Jeremy, making Aunt Judith fun Aunt Jenna, and getting rid of Meredith, but I will not stand by and let them make Alaric into a vampire. DO YOU HEAR ME, MR. MAN???

For the person who asked, TV show Elena is nothing like book Elena. Book Elena is actually very manipulative and selfish. Her friends called her many things (not all of them complimentary) but dull is not one of them.

I thought the powers that be explained that Alaric was a "vampire-hunter" a la Buffy, not a vampire. Pretty sure that is what the interview I read with matthew davis alluded too and he said that "alaric is only supernatural in his own mind".

First of all: shirtless Paul Wesley is an amazing thing. Just putting that out there.

I've read the books, so I'm hoping they keep Alaric relatively the same aka not a vampire. I think they are just trying to put out some red herrings so that you think he's a vampire. I'm going to guess that his wife got killed by a vampire and he's gone crazy with trying to figure out that whole world. I'm pretty sure i'm right.. because I'm good at guessing things like that.

I'm really upset that this show isn't coming back on until January.. but oh well. I love it, and even though I'm a big fan of twilight.. I'd have to say I like the Vampire Diaries SHOW better. It's weird.. I think the twilight books are better than the vampire diaries books (VD book version of Stefan is dull dull dull.. and you don't really get to know his and elena's relationship)... but the VD tv show is WAY better than the twilight movies. Better acting and better writing.

I love this! Please keep up the good work!!

when is it coming back

pls write the whole story in a short 1 im a writer 2 i write a 719 paged book in 5 line sdo that with these episodes it will answer alot....
pls thanx love u if u do that

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