'Vampire Diaries': The truth hurts, Damon

The bulk of "Vampire Diaries'" first season centered on Katherine's tomb and Damon's quest to open it. We finally see it through in the episode "Fool Me Once," but there were some shockers that will change some of the characters' lives forever.

The episode that was:

It's the aftermath of Elena and Bonnie's kidnappings. Elena wakes up in a nondescript hotel room and attempts to leave, getting past a sleeping Ben (guest star Sean Faris). As she unlocks the door, Ben "glamours" Elena into staying, but it obviously doesn't work thanks to the vervain necklace. As Elena opens the door, Anna conveniently pushes her inside, locking her in the bathroom where Elena discovers an unconscious Bonnie.

Meanwhile, Damon is busy reading the grimoire that was hidden in his father's grave, looking for the key to unlock the tomb. Stefan asks Damon for help, and the brothers have a heart-to-heart about what happened in the previous episode. Stefan even apologizes to Damon about causing the townspeople in 1864 to take Katherine away. Damon accepts his apology, but when Stefan asks his brother to tell him what he knows about Anna, Damon bluntly says: "I hope Elena dies." Now now, play nice gentlemen.

Back at the hotel room, Elena tells Bonnie the reason she was kidnapped in the first place. Because Anna and Ben are fighting to open the tomb, as is Damon, they needed a witch to break the spell in order to let the vampires out. At the Mystic Grill, Jeremy and Tyler continue their macho jealousy, Matt is busy working and Caroline invites Jeremy to that night's shindig. Caroline and Matt talk about the state of their relationship, with Caroline giving Matt an out to their relationship, but being the sweetheart he is, Matt doesn't bite.

Elena finds out Anna's reason to open the tomb is to get her mother Pearl (guest star Kelly Hu) out. The unlikely pair bond, sort of, until Anna cuts their precious connection by using Elena's phone to call Stefan so they can meet. While Anna is out meeting one of the Salvatore brothers, she tasks beginner vampire Ben to watch Elena and Bonnie.

Anna bumps into Jeremy while on her way to meet with one of the Salvatores. Jeremy invites her to that night's party, and it's quite sweet. Oh young love .. er, lust. Damon meets Anna, and they hesitantly team up. But because Damon is without a witch and Anna is without the grimoire (aka spellbook), strength in numbers right? They plan to meet after sundown at the church. With Damon taking care of Anna, Stefan rescues Bonnie and Elena from Ben by throwing back the curtains and letting light stream in.

With Elena and Bonnie safe at Bonnie's house, Elena makes a plea in Damon's defense. She wants to help him get Katherine because maybe then will the madness stop, but ultimately it's Grams (guest star Jasmine Guy) who volunteers to be the one to open the tomb. Meanwhile, Anna discovers Elena and Bonnie have been taken by Stefan, but it doesn't really matter. She knows Damon's desperate so she's banking that he'll still figure out a way to get the tomb opened, and she'll just happen to be there too.

Elena pays a visit to Damon at the Salvatore house. She tells Damon that he can trust her, but understandably, Damon's not jumping on the bandwagon. So Elena does the only thing she can to relay to Damon that she has no hidden agenda in helping him: She takes off the vervain necklace, throwing away any type of protection she may have out the window. Damon sees that she's sincere and puts the necklace back on her.

Damon and Elena meet Stefan, Grams and Bonnie at the tomb. It just so happens that the party that night is also a couple feet away. Hm, how convenient. Bonnie and Grams (the witches of Mystic Falls) succeed in opening the tomb, but Anna, Ben and their "kidnapped party" Jeremy arrive just in time for the festivities (that is, after Anna tells Jeremy she and her mother are "moving away"). Ben and Stefan have a showdown (of the lamest proportions) in the middle of the woods, which results in Ben burned to death and Jeremy passed out on the ground. At the tomb, Damon and Elena walk into the tomb, but Grams decides to go in because she knowingly tells Bonnie that none of them are going to make it.

In the tomb, all that's there are decayed bodies of the vampires, who were stuck inside for over a century without blood to survive on. Anna uses Elena's blood to get her mother Pearl back to life, but Stefan goes in to save Elena after hearing screams, even after Grams reveals that she had no intention of breaking the spell. With this rule, vampires can go in but they cannot get out. Bonnie and Grams bring the seal down for a limited time, which allows Anna, Pearl, Elena, Stefan and Damon to escape from the tomb. The temporary breaking of the seal ends up being Grams' last deed of her life.

In the mother of all twists, Damon finds out Katherine was never in the tomb. It turns out that the conniving little vamp used her goods to trick one of the guards to let her escape before the tomb was eventually closed. Poor Damon. Anna tells Damon the last time she saw Katherine was Chicago in 1983. After more than half a season of chasing someone who never wanted to find him, that revelation must be devastating for anyone to deal with, especially Damon.

To make matters even worse, the blood that was sprayed on the tomb wall gets into one of the vampires, who wakes up and opens the door. Uh-oh.

"Vampire Diaries" is back on hiatus until March 25. 'Til then.

Highlights & Observations:

  • Now that Damon knows the truth about Katherine, should he have seen it coming?
  • Tyler's rare appearance was much-needed, even if it was unnecessary story-wise, if only to remind us that he still exists.
  • Matt and Caroline's romance is sweet, but frankly, they need to play a bigger role in the show's mythology for them to remain relevant. Aside from the fact that Matt is Elena's ex-boyfriend, and Caroline is the daughter of the town's sheriff (who we haven't seen in a while) and buddies with Elena and Bonnie, they aren't necessary. Yet.
  • Grams getting inside Damon's head (literally) was a nice touch. Made her death that much more powerful.
  • Scene of the night: Damon and Elena rekindling their trust at the Salvatore house.


What are your theories on where the rest of the season will go now that the Katherine/tomb mystery has been solved, for the most part? Are you liking the Elena-Damon dynamic more now that we see Damon has a conscience?

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