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'The Vampire Diaries': To everything there is a season

57613 8:00 p.m. - In tonight's episode of "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Blood Brothers," fans will finally get some answers about the night that Damon and Stefan "turned." Lucky us: We get a flashback right from the start. As the brothers try to save Katherine, Damon is shot first, and Stefan watches his brother die before he stands up and is shot himself -- I think by Johnathan Gilbert or one of the other vampire hunters.

I love the way that Stefan's memory shifts in and out of focus, with present-day reality creeping in. It feels like a fever dream -- he can't keep himself aware long enough to distinguish between the two.

8:05 -Emily reveals that Katherine has been feeding Stefan her blood for weeks, preparing to turn him. She compulsed him to do it and erased his memory of it. Damon didn't need to be compulsed; he wanted to turn.

Damon looks so young in this scene where he's talking about how he watched them drag Katherine into the church. It's a resigned vulnerability we don't often see from him.

8:07 - I can't help it. I find Jeremy and Anna utterly adorable. I'm such a girl; it's gross.

8:10 - I'm so glad that even when Damon and Elena are on the same side, he can't help but antagonize her for his own amusement. We wouldn't want their growing friendship to soften him up any. "Stefan likes puppy blood. Little golden retriever puppies. Cute floppy ears. That's his favorite."

8:11 - I love David Anders, but I hate Uncle John so much. I just can't figure out his endgame!

8:11 - These poor shirtless boys look very, very cold. Scenes like this one, where Damon asks Stefan if he'll choose to die or choose to turn into a vampire, are the reason I love the flashbacks so much. Damon is almost unrecognizable here. He's weak, alone and hopeless. Still, somehow the person he is now feels like it grew organically from this lost boy we know from 1864. "This was all to be with Katherine," he tells Stefan. "She's gone. I want it over." Of course, this begs the question -- what changed Damon's mind?

8:12 - Back in 2010, Stefan echoes Damon's words, proving that despite themselves, they aren't very different at all. "After what I've done it has to end. I just want it over."

8:16 - "I don't have any friends, Elena." Oh, Damon. Keep telling yourself that.

8:18 - Anna calls Jeremy her weakness, which makes me feel like she's not going to last long. As soon as someone admits to her Achilles' heel, it's going to be exploited.

Also, earlier, when I said they were adorable? I meant adorable like baby animals or something. Not adorable like "I want to watch them get it on." They're like 12 years old; this is weirding me out. Where is Chris Hansen?

8:20 - Why is this new tomb vampire, Henry, calling Damon 'sir'? Does he have some particular reason to show Damon respect, or is Damon just so darn pretty he can't help himself?

8:21 -Back in 1864, Guiseppe Salvatore is directing Mr. Gilbert in writing the town records that Stefan refers to in the pilot episode, when he corrects their doomed history teacher. There's nothing a TV junkie loves more than unexpected continuity.

8:22 - Elena is amazing when she confronts Stefan about his refusal to eat. I love her defiance and her complete lack of fear. She's really come into her own as one of the strongest teen female characters on television right now.

That said, while I appreciate all the effort she's putting into Stefan, I don't really see how she could be with him again after everything she's seen. She and Dean Winchester should go out for a drink sometime and discuss what happens when big brothers throw their blood-addicted younger brothers into basement panic rooms for detox.

8:27 -John Gilbert just gets more and more twisty-turny. He's somehow turned these tomb vampires into obedient little minions in exchange for a few "2010 For Dummies" lessons.

8:30 - I like the way Pearl still speaks as if she's from 1864. Henry spoke like a Sigma Nu brother, but Pearl's clipped words and delicate enunciation make her sound like she really was from another era.

8:31 - Oh my gosh, I wasn't expecting this! It wasn't Johnathan Gilbert who shot the Salvatore brothers. It was their own father. He was so disgusted by their allegiance to Katherine that he wanted them dead. I'm floored.

It's appropriate that the first human blood Stefan tasted was his father's. This family is so messed up.

8:35 -I want to hear about where Stefan got his tattoos. I'm really hoping that in future seasons, we get to see the adventure of the 20th century with Stefan and Damon. There's so much time in their lives that we haven't explored yet.

8:35 - Damon and Alaric may be the most reluctant allies ever, but they can certainly relate to each other when it comes to carrying a torch for the one that got away. Each man thought the love of his life was dead, only to discover that she just didn't care to be with him.

8:39 - Elena and Damon are so comfortable with each other now. They might bicker, but the way she happily rests her feet in his lap gives her away. They trust each other now. I think it was all the dancing.

8:40 - I'm blown away by the fact that Stefan convinced Damon to drink the blood, not the other way around.  Human blood, apparently, can turn off feelings of guilt and pain. That explains why Damon wreaks havoc and laughs about it while Stefan is always about to collapse under the weight of a century and a half's worth of angst.

8:47 -Is Anna really going to leave Mystic Falls? I hope not. I probably don't mention her enough in these recaps, but I've really enjoyed watching Malese Jow coming into her own as an actress. She's the strongest addition to the cast we've seen thus far. (Soundtrack junkie moment: "Song for the Waiting" by Aron Wright.)

8:48 - "You got what you wanted," Damon tells Stefan in 1864, once he's come down from his blood high. "You and me for all eternity." And then suddenly, we get a startling glimpse of the Damon we met in the pilot: dangerous and terrifying as he hisses, "But hear this, brother. I will make it an eternity of misery for you."

8:51 - "Every day I think that if I just give myself over to the blood I can make that pain stop. Every day I fight that. The next time I hurt somebody, it could be you."

With these words, it's hard to imagine how Stefan has lasted 145 years alive when dying is as easy as discarding an old piece of jewelry. Still, as Elena talks Stefan off his metaphorical ledge, she seems so confident that he'll eventually choose to live -- that he'll eventually choose her.

This is a TV show, so of course he puts his ring back on and goes back to her. How will their relationship be different now that she's seen him at his most monstrous? I have to admit that I'm looking forward to her inevitable turn toward Damon. Can Elena have two soul mates, please?

8:56 - Oh no! Someone -- probably Johnathan -- just staked Pearl. Is Harper going to die, too?

8:57 - My favorite part of every episode: the Damon and Stefan fireside post-game recap. I love Damon demanding that Stefan stop shouldering the guilt of Damon's actions. Damon wants it to be his burden and his alone, to carry or cast aside as he sees fit. His actions are what defines him, and when Stefan broods for Damon's kills, Damon feels like Stefan is appropriating part of his identity.

The true reason for Damon's spitefulness comes out, now. He absolutely hates that Katherine turned Stefan too. "It was just supposed to be me, Stefan. Just me." I have to say, I expected something a little more to have come between them than just jealousy over Katherine, considering the guilt that Stefan's been feeling. He may have cursed Damon with vampirism, but Damon had a hand in it too, and Damon could have killed himself at any time. Stefan's betrayal was less epic than I'd expected it to be.

8:58 -Malese Jow is phenomenal in the scene where Anna finds her mother's body. Anna may be 150 years old, but in this moment, she's a little girl.

8:59 - Hello, Isabel. (Soundtrack junkie moment: "We'll Be a Dream" by We the Kings.)

Next week:
Mommy issues galore!

What'd you guys think of tonight's episode? Did you expect something else from the night that Stefan and Damon turned? Were you shocked to discover that their father killed them both? What do you think Anna will do now that Pearl is gone? Comment below. I'd love to get a discussion going.

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

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Photo credit: (top) Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore in 1864. Credit: CW. (bottom) Nina Dobrev as Elena and Ian Somerhalder as Damon. Credit: CW

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Comments () | Archives (12)

Carina, Carina.

I love Damon's antagonizing, too. Enjoyed the scene where he's line-swapping between Elena and Alaric, then casually posts up to have an after school chat with his favorite house guest. He thinks he has no friends, but these people that continue to share life experiences with him keep coming back...

As for the Anna and Jeremy situation, I'll admit I'm a little confused. Although I admit that they are indeed a cute young couple, I don't believe that Jeremy can fascinate this 150 year old vampire as much as she claims. That's OK, I'll play along, Ms. Plec.

Side note: I'd like to 'plug' helping at a safe distance. I'm glad that Elena is this fierce character and can be bold enough to help out her man, but I hope everyone realizes that this is a fictional situation and if someone really is in Stefan's state, more precautions should be made. (Hey, impressionable minds are watching this!)

Anyhow, in response to your other observations...
*Uncle John is a jerk! The original Johnathan Gilbert did too love Pearl!!
*Guiseppe Salvatore- Shame! Killed your sons! And it was definitely unsettling how Stefan transformed off his father's blood. Was that supposed to be symbolic? Yuck!
*Anna joins Matt as motherless child. Sad.

Overall, the episode wasn't heart wrenching like we're used to, but definitely essential for understanding character development. We'll definitely be getting our usual dose of anxiety next week...."Hello, Isobel."

I feel the same way about Anna and Jeremy. They are cute together in their own way, a completely clothed middle school dance way. Watching them together reminds me why I have not opened the box to my dvd of The Reader. I love how Elena feels very empowered the last few episodes but I have to wonder if her defiance is in her best interest. One should think about how many times you confront a rabid dog before it bites you, no matter how said dog looks in a wife beater. I suspect there is more to Damon and Stefan's relationship besides jealousy, I just don't know what. Thanks for the recap.

Danielle, I LOVE your comments every week. I've decided that the vampires kind of stay emotionally the same age they were when they turned... because otherwise, Stefan and Damon would be creepy pedos, and we can't have that. So Anna gets a pass, too.

Next time my vampire boyfriend hulks out on me, I'll make sure to maintain a safe distance.

Now Anna, Matt, Stefan, Elena, and Jeremy are all kids-without-parents. And Damon too, if he counts as a kid.

--

Mary, oh, I think there's a lot more to their relationship other than jealousy!! I just expected there to have been some great betrayal from Stefan, to explain why Damon was carrying such a grudge. I don't know why, but I thought it was more than the Katherine thing. I guess that Damon is still mad that Stefan convinced him to turn... though, he was willingly drinking the blood beforehand.

There's no point in me even saying how great this episode was, I feel like judging it is pointless now, it's all varying shades of 'A'.

I'm getting far too attached to Anna- It's awful(ly brilliant) how in a show I can count on to kill people off for the sake of the story, I become so damn attached to the characters that the possibility of them dying is just the worst. I can't help but feel like she's gonna be gone soon though, but that might just be me expecting the worst.

The flashbacks were brilliant! Seeing Damon as the vulnerable one, and Stefan being the ultimate... peer-pressurer (that's just not a word) was one of the best twists they've had. Loved Elena and Damon, but that's just pointing out the obvious. They cast them all so well, the chemistry is tingly. Haunted Stefan is just getting better and better- the writers are unravelling everything so well. There are constantly new secrets and twists being revealed, but I'm not getting pissed about it. Normally, I get sick of all the bs in shows that just have twist after twist after twist, but I'm so ridiculously invested in this show that I care about each one.

Super sad about Pearl- Kelly Hu was fantastic, totally not above cutting a bitch, but so put together at the same time. Can NOT believe that Giuseppe's blood was what finally turned Stefan. Loving that they don't shy away from making Stefan be a real creep with the blood, all that smushing and smudging- blergh.

PLEASE bring back Matt soon (and his HB mum). Danielle, I totally do get Anna and Jeremy. I'm assuming Anna hasn't been around humans in a non-murdery way in a while. She comes across as a sweetheart, who wants someone to tell everything to, someone who likes her as her, and maybe Jeremy is the first one who she's had an emotional connection to? She seemed pretty...ahem....capable with the physical. That sentence was weird to type. As I'm paranoid that she's gonna die, I'm guessing that they won't last long. Even if she does, I'm sure she'll move on soon. Unless they make Jeremy a vampire...

Elena being all 'rawr'? She's what, 17? And Stefan will seem like a weird sort of liferaft- he's the least likely person to go and die on her, he's a total babe, and he loves her. I don't think many girls who have been through what Elena has would give up that easy.

I need to stop talking about the characters as though they're real.

And just because I can't stop. I'm thinking that Damon considered getting turned to be with Katherine more 'noble' than being turned just to be a vampire.

And Damon and Alaric? Hot. Damn.

just when i thought Anna can happily living her normal 'teenage' life,
but of course John had to came and stake 'em Pearl and Harper with those stupid hand-carved wood T_T *#$%&@ John!* poor mama's lil daughter Anna, but at least she doesn't have to leave Jeremy anymore now and can just stick around him all she wants.

and, Y to the A to the Y for all those STELENA epic moments (^^
*crazily waves STELENA flag* finally, they're back together ♥
honestly, as much as i love the ever sexy bad brother Damon, i have to say that Elena belongs only with Stefan, just the exact same way he does with her:) poor Damon, i don't know if it's just me but i sorta got this feeling that love of his life, Katherine did always love Stephan a tad bit more than him :"(

Anna and Jeremy ARE totally adorable!

In reading the other comments about the real age of the vampires versus their actual age and their interaction with young people. I think there is something about people perceiving you for the age you look and that being the way you move through the world. These "young" vampires are people that have never wrinkled, had kids, gotten old or aged, or done almost any of the things that connote maturation.

This episode had the most soap opera feel to it. I loved it just the same! It is not believable that Jeremy is in love with Anna or if he will be, so I hope he doesn't utter those words for a while. I love the scene with those two while he is sleeping, so sweet!

Elena won this time. I applaud how strong her character is. She not always crying somewhere.

I was shocked on how they turn and Stefan feeding on his father was sick. But Elena is right he does need to talk to someone. Damon was outstanding in the last scene telling Stefan he brutes to much. Damon deliver lines with such attitude.

I was sad to see pearl die, this is a show without parents and I liked her character. Somebody needs some supervision. Well I guess it shows the parents instill values in these teens because they continue to attend school, work, maintain relationships without adult supervision.

I think the betrayal b/w the brothers started when Stefan went to his father thinking he would understand rather than turn on his own kids. Daman blames Stefan that Katherine was caught in the first place and even after Damon knew she could be saved he took everything out on Stefan for the past 145 yrs cus of his misery knowing she turned Stefan as well. Katherine played with both of them and I think she wanted Stefan more cus Damon was too easy for her. She had to compel Stefan but not Damon.
Also I can't believe Pearl is dead! She was a great character. I really hope Anna is taken away anytime soon. She is a great little vamp totally fierce and sweet at the same time.
Best team duo chemistry definitely belongs to Alaric and Damon!

"That said, while I appreciate all the effort she's putting into Stefan, I don't really see how she could be with him again after everything she's seen."

HUH??? You can't see how Elena can be with Stefan after what he's done, but you don't mind her getting closer to Damon after everything he's done to her and the people she cares about? That makes no sense.

So first of all! Where the heck is Bonnie, I don't like how the writers are just putting in and out some character (Bonnie, Caroline, Matt, Tyler ...) I know the triangle is the focus of the show, but they just "casually" forget about other character.

That said I like how the flashbacks tie up the story, like Elena said is important to talk about this thing, it doesn't matter how gross it was seeing Stefan feed on his father. I know most people is down for Elena and Damon to happen :( but I just can't see that happen, I notice too how much more comfortable Elena is with Damon now, but SHE LOVE STEFAN and for me they are soulmates, and if Damon is stupid enough to fall for his brother's girl, then arggg!!! lol I mean, I understand why with Katerine, since she wasn't Stefan to begin with, but Elena is with Stefan and if Elena is consisting , she will chose Stefan, ALWAYS!

To get back on the episode lol I really really like Johnathan! I love character that are hard to figure out!! that said I hated it when he killed Pear and Harper (who btw was a pointless character)

And the fathers thing, It seems like there is no one strong parental figure in this show, not even Sheriff Forbes, and now with Isobel lol let's just say parents are not appreciated in this show

I think everybody's right in saying this episode really centered on Anna, even though she was only in a couple of scenes. Her story seemed to resonate the most, with finally finding her mother, only to have her staked by evil Uncle John! I also loved the uneasy comraderie between Damon and Alaric. They totally hate each other, but seem to respect each other at the same time. Until Damon cruelly went on about how he couldn't resist Isobel, there was just something about her - and Alaric had to tell him to shut up!
I did love the turnabout with Stefan being the evil pusher and Damon just going along for the ride, out of shock at losing Katherine. And then to admit it at the end "It was just supposed to be me!" He didn't appreciate the whole love triange behind his back one bit.
The chemistry between Damon and Elena seems to be brewing. Did you notice the little smirk when he said "oh, so you're spending the night again tonight?" I thought, yep, there's going to be some bedroom lurking and wistful face touching going on like in the first episodes for sure.
MIA: Bonnie, Matt, Tyler, Caroline...what's up? Guess they're saving it all for the big bang cliffhanger finale in two weeks. Oh no! All season with no VD. What kind of summer is that?


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