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'The Vampire Diaries': The tomb is opened, and not everyone survives the night

56819Some television shows drag out the climactic plot points for ages, leaving viewers with questions upon questions, but hardly any answers. "The Vampire Diaries" is not one of those shows. Back in November, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) revealed his plan to release Katherine from the tomb she (and 26 other vampires) has been trapped in for 145 years. In tonight's episode, "Fool Me Once," all of his scheming finally pays off ... sort of. 

Last week, viewers were dangling from one heck of a cliffhanger when Elena (Nina Dobrev), still feeling sick from the vampire blood Damon forced her to gargle, was snatched out of her bedroom window by Anna (Malese Jow). Anna might be a tiny little girl, but her "diabolical plan" rivals Damon's.

8:00 p.m. -- When Elena wakes up, she's alone in a motel room with Ben, the hot bartender ... which isn't as fun as it sounds, considering he's one of the bad vampires. Last time we saw Ben, he was being less than gentlemanly on his date with Bonnie, which invites the question: Where is our favorite witch?

Elena was pretty tricky to pretend that she was compelled by Ben when the vervain actually kept her safe. If Anna hadn't been on the other side of that door, she might have gotten out of there safely.

Of course, then she wouldn't have found Bonnie in the bathroom! How come Elena got to sleep off her kidnapping in a nice, comfortable bed, while Bonnie got unceremoniously dumped in the bathtub? Rude!


8:03 p.m. -- Meanwhile, Stefan has been in five-alarm panic mode. Where is Aunt Jenna in all of this? She must have realized something was very, very wrong when Stefan bolted upstairs in search of Elena at the end of last week's episode. 

Stefan asks Damon, "What if your blood hasn't passed out of her system?" and it makes me wonder whether Stefan would be more devastated if Elena died, or if she "turned." He's so protective of her that I don't think he'd want her to become a vampire, but I'm not sure he wouldn't prefer that to losing her completely.

Damon is positively icy in this scene. Over the last few episodes, he's been showing signs of a reluctant affection for Stefan, but that's history now. He's not going to forgive Stefan's betrayal easily. Something tells me that as angry as he is at Stefan for stabbing him in the back, he's just as angry at himself for wanting so badly to trust Stefan.

8:05 p.m. -- I love Elena and Bonnie's friendship. The way Elena instinctively threw herself in front of Bonnie when Ben barged in was a nice touch. Unfortunately, bad guys always see close friendships as an easy Achilles' heel ...

8:06 p.m. -- Oh my goodness! Tyler is back from ... wherever he's been hiding since November. I hope Michael Trevino enjoyed his vacation, because he was certainly missed. Apparently, Tyler knows a dude named Duke who goes to Duke ... and is throwing a 10-keg party. Mystic Falls is a pretty small town. Ten kegs is enough to get everybody drunk twice.

Once again, Caroline's unabashed honesty with Matt is incredibly endearing. I love that she used the word "ooged." I hope that it enters the popular vernacular immediately.

8:08 p.m.
-- Bonnie's grandmother is one of my absolute favorite characters. She gave Damon a migraine with her brain, and she didn't even need any weird Sam Winchester hand gestures or nostril spasms to get it done!

8:09 p.m. -- While "dead mom bonding" might not go so well for Anna and Elena, it does spark some curiosity in me. Why was Anna's mother, Pearl, so friendly with Katherine? And is Anna looking to set all the vampires free as some kind of revenge on Jonathan Gilbert's ancestors, or is she only interested in getting her mother back?

8:10 p.m. --  "Is there anything to drink here?" "Are you offering?" For some reason it's hard for me to buy Ben as threatening. He just seems like such a dumb, lovable frat-boy type. He's supposed to be evil, but compared to Damon, Katherine and even Anna, he's a giant Labrador retriever.

8:15 p.m. -- Oh, of course Duke-who-goes-to-Duke's big keg party is at the cemetery.  That's really classy.

8:17 p.m. -- When Ben asks Bonnie if witches can die, and she says quietly, "Yeah, we can die," it gives me a very very bad feeling. Last week, Bonnie said quite plainly that she'd die for Elena. I'd really hate to see her be a casualty of the big tomb showdown. 

Stefan busts into the motel room with his hero face on, rescuing Elena and Bonnie, but he goes easy on Ben. "When the sun goes down, leave town," he says. "If I ever see you again, I will kill you." I don't understand why he killed Noah last week, but he's cutting Ben a break. I'm not complaining, though; hopefully this means we'll see more of Ben? Sean Faris is awesome, and if Stefan learned to play nice, maybe Ben can too.

8:18 p.m. -- Grams tells Bonnie that a witch's power is fueled by many things, including worry and anger. I have a feeling that bit of information will be fairly significant later.

Stefan tells Elena, Grams, and Bonnie to stay put. "I can't protect you if you leave the house," he says, but Grams isn't having any of that. 

"We'll protect ourselves," she says confidently. In my opinion, the thing that makes this show stand out from all of the other vampire stories available today is the strong female characters. Whenever the men repeatedly get the women into trouble, the women aren't afraid to kick butt and take names.

8:20 p.m. -- Elena has known Damon for only a few short months, but because of her ability to be objective where Stefan can't, she actually seems to understand him much better than Stefan does. After all, as Stefan pointed out at the beginning of the episode, all he can remember is hating Damon. Elena points out that Damon isn't as angry at them for double-crossing him as he is hurt by them. There's a crucial difference.56815

8:21 p.m. -- Despite the much-hyped love triangle trope, I can't see any situation that would drive Elena into Damon's arms. However, their chemistry together is incredibly strong. There's an interesting intimacy between them, particularly when she takes off her protective necklace for him. She's kind of naked without it. 

"I didn't compel you in Atlanta because we were having fun. I wanted it to be real," Damon says. He lives an incredibly lonely existence. 

8:27 p.m. -- I wonder if Matt might still have feelings for Elena. She was his first love, even if he wasn't hers. Regardless of whether he still loves her, nobody wants to see their first girlfriend manhandled by a guy like Damon. Gross.

8:29 p.m. -- Tyler and Jeremy's relationship is really fun to watch. Last time we saw Tyler, Jeremy kind of reached out to him, hoping to be a friend where Tyler obviously needed one. Tyler wasn't interested.

Now, Tyler seems to be making an attempt to connect with Jeremy. When Jeremy isn't interested in getting high with him, though, Tyler overcompensates for the ego blow. "Carry on just standing there by yourself, all alone, the enemy of fun. Do you even have any friends?"

Of course he has friends. Creepy, lurking, teen-vampire friends.

8:31 p.m. -- Damon brought Katherine a bag of blood. It's not exactly flowers or candy, but ... Happy Valentine's Day!

"Admit it," Damon says.  "You can't wait to get rid of me." Through all of this, I keep forgetting that Stefan's motivation is supposed to be to get his brother out of town. Since the show would suffer big-time without Damon, I doubt his attempt to retrieve Katherine from the tomb will be successful.

8:32 p.m. -- Jeremy seems to be trying to get over Vicki. Of course, he doesn't know she's dead. I really hope that the show revisits that story line, because it's a bit of a hanging thread. I wonder how many times he's going to have to see her "vamp out" before something jogs his memory.

8:35 p.m. -- Matt and Tyler time! I love their bro-bonding moments; I've missed them. They're just so comfortingly predictable: Matt frets about some girl, Tyler tries to convince him he's better off single, then there's shoulder punching and manly references to sports or beer. 

8:37 p.m. -- Bonnie and her grandmother chanting in the tomb is a very powerful image. The two generations coming together, speaking a language only they can understand... it's eerie.

8:38 p.m. -- Every time Stefan leaves Elena -- whether it's to find Elena some aspirin or grab the gasoline that's going to light up a vampire army -- trouble comes. Stefan needs to start carrying a backpack with everything he might possibly need at all times.

I can't say I'm surprised that Elena goes into the tomb with Damon, but it is worrisome. At this point, Elena's trust in Damon is based completely on gut instinct.

8:39 p.m. -- "She isn't coming out, baby. None of them are."  Is Grams going to trap everyone -- including Elena -- in the tomb?  Would Bonnie's grandmother sacrifice Elena for the good of ... well, the entire town, as well as possibly the state and the country? Logically, that might make sense, but it would be rather heartless.

And... there goes all chance of Ben returning for another episode! Goodbye, Sean Faris. You'll be missed!


8:40 p.m. -- Grams explains that opening the door didn't remove the seal that locks the vampires inside. That means that though Elena can get free, Anna, Katherine, Pearl, and the others are stuck in there ... and Damon can't get out, either. And the twists just keep on coming ...

8:41 p.m. -- In all of my speculating about what might happen when the tomb was open, I didn't expect this. The makeup artists have done an incredible job with the vampires; they're terrifying. I'm sleeping with my lights on tonight.

Stefan is perpetually self-sacrificing, to the point where it's almost becoming tiresome.  Of course he ran into the tomb after her! She wasn't even really in immediate danger; Anna was far more concerned with waking her mother up than with draining Elena dry.

56814 8:50 p.m. -- Uh-oh.  After all of his planning, it's finally obvious to Damon that Katherine is not in the tomb. Damon is usually so cool and collected. When he panicked and hurled the blood, it was like watching another character entirely.

It's worth noting that with all of Stefan's begging, it was Elena who managed to persuade Damon to get moving out of the tomb, with only one word: "Please."

8:52 p.m. --
I'm sure that Matt and Caroline's happiness is going to come crashing down really soon. Two human teenagers in a normal, healthy, honest relationship? Not on this network. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy all their romantic moments as much as I can.

8:53 p.m. -- Jeremy finally starts doing some Bella Swan-style vampire research. I hope it doesn't take too long for him to put the pieces together about Vicki. He and Matt both deserve to know that she didn't just abandon them. 

8:55 p.m. -- Damon is so ruthless when he confronts Anna and Pearl about Katherine. Anna admits that she knew all along that Katherine wasn't trapped in the tomb. Apparently, the last time Anna saw her was in Chicago ... in 1983, which is incredibly recent when you're talking about a vampire's life span. "She knew where you were, Damon," Anna says, in easily one of the most heart-rending moments in the series thus far. "She didn't care."

Poor Damon. He's never more human than he is when he's completely wrecked. I'm glad to see that Stefan is there for his brother in his lowest moment; even if they don't speak to each other, it's nice that they're not completely alone in that big dark boardinghouse.

8:58 p.m. --
Soundtrack junkie moment: Leona Lewis's cover of Snow Patrol's "Run" is a haunting match for this coda. For the rest of tonight's music, check out this great resource.

8:59 p.m. --
Oh, no. There were a lot of hints dropped that not everyone would survive this episode.   was relieved when it looked as if Bonnie was in the clear, but Grams is not so lucky. 

9:00 p.m. --
Back in the tomb, Damon's temper tantrum has dangerous consequences. The bag of O-Neg he flung at the wall fed one of the vampires trapped below ground ... and he doesn't look particularly friendly.

Kudos to Katerina Graham for a phenomenal performance in the closing scenes tonight. I'm constantly surprised by the caliber of the acting on "The Vampire Diaries." Every time I think they've peaked, the actors best themselves yet again.

Unfortunately, Salvatore fans are in for another long hiatus. While the 2010 Winter Olympics are hogging all your TV time, let's discuss "The Vampire Diaries" in the comments below! Let me know what you thought of tonight's climactic episode, and tell me what you're most looking forward to when the show returns in March. Personally, I can't wait for more of Matt -- and, of course, his MIA mother, played by Melinda Clarke (yes, Julie Cooper herself!).

-- Carina MacKenzie (chat with me on Twitter @cadlymack)

Photos: Top -- Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Grams (Jasmine Guy) in the tomb. Middle -- Caroline (Candice Accola) and Matt (Zach Roerig) at Duke's party. Bottom -- Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev).

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Comments () | Archives (23)

I just this film titled "Dirty Pretty Things." In the movie all these people may or may not be missing (or even being killed) but they are all illegal aliens working at hotel in London and so nobody noticed or reports them missing to the police, let alone might be murdered.

So Logan's killed all these hotel staff, right? So I'm thinking there might be a major illegal alien population in Mystic Falls and hence nobody notice or report all these missing people who all these vampires are killing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPIivI1K6f0

Famed outlawed Jesse James was shot while dusting a picture on his wall. Oddly enough, the picture James was dusting is the exact same as the one above Elena's bed. I don't the meaning of it, but if anybody ever dusts that picture in Elena's bedroom, nothing good is going to happen to that person.

I kind of pictured Bonnie's dad as Reverend Bennett, although since her maternal grandmother's ancestors are Bennett, I guess he isn't a Bennett? Confused. I picture Bonnie's mom wanting to reject her mom and the occult so married a clergyman, but to her disapointment, he believes in the whole "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" stuff and didn't take her side in her fights with Grams. Plus Bonnie, the sweet innocent minister's daughter, is neat set-up for her being this all-powerful witch.

So often when it comes to "The Vampire Diaries," it get compared to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series in that TVD ought to be doing more things like Buffy, but I just wanted to point something that TVD did BETTER then Buffy. It wasn't until the third episode of the second season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that the audience got the first hint that municipal officials are aware of the supernatural occurrences in Sunnydale, California and it wasn't the fifth episode of the third that we actually saw the Mayor of Sunnydale. Yet it's by the fourth episode of the first season that happened on "The Vampire Diaries" so bully for them.

Remember that scene in "Back to the Future Part II" when the movie, where WAY too much is going, just stops and Doc Brown gets out a chalkboard to explain the plot?

I feel like this show is getting into that territory.

i liked this episode alot, kept me on the edge of my seat, but there is one part i do not understand... how did the vampire that escaped the tomb,, escape,, when the witches all ready stopped the spell?

What's the point of Stefan? They seem to have dropped the "vampire going against his nature" stuff so he really doesn't have much of storyline, especially as Damon get more and more humanized and Elena gets closer and closer with him.

The writers keep using the same trick of him killing a vampire (Vicki, Noah, Ben) to make up the uselessness of his character and the actor who plays him. But they've gone too far over with Elena being sympathetic to Damon that Elena has no sense of right or wrong.

Elena is becoming less Dawson's Creek-style blinded by love and more like those women who marry convicted serial killers.

I don't know how they do it but each week this show gets better and better! The ending of this "chapter" of the story was incredible. I kept trying to figure out how having Katherine in town was going to work but never for a second did I think she was not in the tomb.
Ian Somerhalder absolutely broke my heart tonight; I felt SO sad for Damon when he left the tomb and Elena hugged him and told him she was sorry. The expression on his face and the way he just stood there too stunned to hug her back was gut wrenching.
It will be interesting to see what change(if any) in the realtionship of the two brothers comes about after the shock wears off. In the end Stefan was completely right about Katherine not really caring about either of them.
I'm looking forward to more Matt and Caroline, a nice guy for Bonnie and for Jeremy to get up to speed on the vampire thing.
It's going to be a LONG six weeks!

What's the point of Stefan? The more and more humanize Damon, the more pointless Stefan becomes. They seem to drop the "fighting against my vampire" nature stuff, so beyond the "Must rescue Elena" stuff that he'll be doing until the series finale, I don't get the point of him on the show.

Hate how the writers keep using the same trick of him killing a vampire (Vicki, Noah, Ben) to make up the uselessness of his character and the actor who plays him.

But they've gone too far over with Elena being sympathetic to Damon that Elena has no sense of right or wrong. She's becoming less Dawson's Creek-typle blinded by love and more like those women who marry convicted serial killers.

I guess one the questions they have to answer is why does Damon stay in Mystic Falls? It's established in Damon's very first scene that he hates small towns and I got why he stayed until Katherine escaped, but now that is out of the picture, why does he stay? Before you say "Elena," I'll buy Stefan doing that, but can it really be both of those characters' sole motivation? I feel bad for Elena, these two vampires have no movitation beyond her and her loving them. No family, no friends, no careers, heck, they don't even have health concerns, just Elena. It's a lot of pressure on a 17-year-old girl. Plus she has to wonder if it's anything to do with herself or her being a physical double of this really promiscuous vampire that apparently is walking around even today? I mean Elena has to wonder, despite Stefan's protests, that if Caroline or Bonnie looked exactly like Katherine, would Stefan and Damon be obsessed with them and not her.

I think Elena would be a terrible mother.

Her basic philosophy when it comes to Damon is "Give him what he wants because otherwise he's going to throw a tantrum." And apparently love justifies all. I mean there are plenty of men and women incarcerated today around the world because they killed somebody out of love (or jealous rage). But Damon gets a pass from Elena because he's killed a bunch of innocent people?

I guess Elena's favorite bible verse is Luke 7:47
"Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much"

I think Damon will stay because now that Katherine's gone, the only thing that matters in his life is Stefan.

We'll see, though -- maybe the writers will come up with a whole new reason for him to stick around.

I disagree with your take on Stefan's unnecessary entry into the tomb. WE knew that Elena probably wasn't in immediate danger, but all Stefan heard was screaming. And, given that Pearl hasn't fed in 146 years, it's not unlikely that Pearl would have drained Elena completely had someone not interrupted. And even if she hadn't, there were still 25 other vampires in the tomb who would have gladly finished Elena off. Stefan would know this, which is why him rushing in there makes sense to me.

Tyler's back! I've been waiting for this. What surprises me is that you still haven't picked up on the subtle hints that Tyler is actually experiencing homosexual feelings for Matt. Admittedly, it's been buried in the hints that he's a werewolf (hot temper, dad who encourages him to fight, ludicrously long shot of the full moon). But if you go back and look at the previous episodes with the right eye, you'll notice the disappointed, longing looks he gives Matt, especially when he starts to notice Matt and Caroline spending time together. Tyler takes every opportunity to undermine Matt's relationships, past and present, even if it's just through backbiting. In the football episode, Tyler even made a point of tackling Stefan in practice with unnecessary roughness, for no other reason than Matt seemed uncomfortable and kind of sad. But of course, Tyler can't do all that without his feelings becoming obvious (Matt's already called him on the "bromance bitchfest" once), so he couches it in these "sports and beer" references.

So not only does Mystic falls have badass witches, too many vampires, and apparently a vampire hunter (I hope we see Alaric again soon), it also has a closeted gay werewolf. Seriously, why hasn't this town been shut down by the federal government?

I'm thinking now that Damon knows that Katherine is not in the tomb and that shes alive somewhere hes going to find her..and with that new/old vampire that came out of the tomb its going to get very interesting..
With Bonnie loseing her granmother..she going to be getting better at becoming a witch

Matt and Caroline i don't think theres going to be a cash and burn with the two

Isn't Stefan's big shtick that he'll have to drink blood from a human being at some point to protect Elena? But seems to doing fine in the rescuing department so far. Granted Noah and Ben are suppose to be pretty bumbling, but he was also able to get Anna off Elena and also beat up Damon and could have staked him. All of those vampires are suppose to be stronger then Stefan, not just in strength but also reaction time. Stefan's strength seem to fluctuate based on the needs of the script. If you remove that need to drink human blood to protect Elena, a major aspect of his character is lost.

There's a damn if you do/damn if you don't aspect here. If you show Stefan with some weakeness in those fights (even if he wins), then you help remind us in the audience about his central dilemma about needing human blood to be stronger while believing in the scareness of human life. But if you show any weakness in those fights (even if he wins), this new badass Stefan that some people are liking is gone.

Brother. Witches. Laughed outloud at how Ian delivered that line. My favorite scene was when Anna told Damon that Katherine didn't care about him. That was particularly well done and just heartbreaking - the look on Damon's face. Thought for a sec he was going to lash out and kill them both out of anger. But how he looked back at them as he went out the door - these people that were also a big part of his past like Katherine and Stefan, they were the only other ones who knew how much he loved her. That was the point that you knew he was defeated, in this matter, at least. Very impressed by Malese Jow. She has gone from an innocent school girl to a world weary, scheming vampire in just a few episodes. I feel like all the actors are getting their chops on. Like one of them said in an interview, Ian brings his A game every time and makes them all better. They all fight for scenes with him because he improves their own skills so much. Like the scene where Matt tries to introduce himself and gets brushed off. First time we have seen those two together, so that was fun. And Steven was particularly good in this episode.


Katerina did a tremendous job at the end when her Grams died. Hard to watch. Don't quite understand why Grams died - the spell drained the life out of her? She was so strong, making Damon cringe in pain on her front door step. Rather mean to kill her off so early! Ben, ok, Noah, yeah...but Grams! She was such an integral part of Bonnie's growth! And I just really love Jasmine Guy.

I can see where viewers are getting frustrated by the predictability factor regarding Stefan and Elena's relationship - that he will do anything for her and always does. And the fears about Dawson Creek creeping in - really, who wants this fascinating show to turn into a mediocre soap opera? But this is where Damon comes in - he is the essense of unpredictable. So, his relationship with Elena is unexpected and not very noble. He left her alone in the dark in the tomb! He wouldn't help Stefan go rescue her from Anna. Even though she keeps giving him the benefit of the doubt and showing compassion, even as a friend, he does not respond in kind. When Elena hugged Damon out of pity, with Stefan looking on helplessly, that was some incredible foreshadowing.
So I think that's what will keep the show from getting too predictable. But you just know they aren't done with Katherine just yet...

I think that everyone should quit asking so many questions and just enjoy the show. It's one of the best shows on tv and it sure keeps everyone guessing. Love this show and everyone in it.

I love The Vampire Diaries so much and can't wait until March. I agree that the acting is really excellent. I thought this ep. was the most exciting so far. I want to see more Damon and Elena!

Katerina was awesome, and so was Jasmine Guy, sorry to see her go. This show is too scary for 8pm! But i love to be scared! You know Katherine is coming back at some point and what will be her excuse for not contacting the brothers. Who will she want when she returns?? I bet Damon will go off to find her he needs answers

i really hope katherine comes into the show to see stefan and damon that would be very interesting.
Can't wait for march to see how the story develops and to see what happens with the 26 ecasped vampires

I loved the Matt/Caroline scenes. They were cute. :) But what does "ooged" mean? Can someone explain, or give me a synonym?

This episode was fantastic!! And I just LOVE Damon!! Just one complaint....I think the whole Matt/Caroline thing is kinda cute, but really, what is the point?

 
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