The Vampire Diaries Season Finale – Founder’s Day (S01E22) – Episode review

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s with a degree of sadness and light relief that we approach the first season finale of [[The Vampire Diaries (TV Series)|The Vampire Diaries]]. The banality of some of the storylines, the legion of guest stars and not since Buffy was in her prime have so many characters been dispatched by splinters of wood.

As ludicrous as this series can sometimes be, the eye-candy cast and the hyper-tense plots were enough to keep us all tuning in each week.

Founder’s Day sees the residents of Mystic Falls having their annual jizzfest about their town’s beginnings, with everybody running around in period costumes that the props department had lying around from the numerous flashback episodes. Handy that. To be honest, the circle-jerk mentality of celebrating the founding fathers of a small, inconsequential town must be a serious insult to the townspeople who aren’t descended from the illustrious founding families. But screw them – if they don’t like it, they can move to Springfield.

The episode is jam-packed with action. Sadly, about halfway through the episode I realised that rather than resolve the long-running story arcs, the writers were busily setting up for Season 2. Uncle/Daddy Jon turns out to be right about the Tomb Vampires plotting to destroy the town (only the founding families, of course), but his ethnic cleansing of Mystic Falls includes young Jeremy’s girlfriend, Anna and “Evil” Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder).

Anna conspicuously gives Jeremy a vial of blood so that if he dies with it in him, he’ll come back as a vampire. Top notch idea, Anna. Too bad you won’t be around to share the fun.

So yeah, the Mystic Falls Founder’s Day wraps up quickly enough: Jon activates the nefarious Vampire killing device. Except it just gives them headaches for a minute or two. Long enough to be identified, pumped full of Vervain and taken to a basement to be burned??? Seriously, did we have to destroy an entire building rather than simply stake the undead fiends? I thought this Founding Families group had some kind of interest in heritage, but there’s Jon, dousing an historical building in petrol (sorry, gasoline). Vampire Diaries writers got teh smarts.

A nice little sub-arc running through the finale was Damon versus Jeremy. Damon sees Jeremy continuing to be distant toward Elena (Nina Dobrev), and sticks up for her. It’s quite a nice moment, because it’s clearly not his place, but he does it anyway. Being the person who ‘turned’ Vicki Donovan, he seems to feel guilt for his part in her demise and tries to explain why erasing Jeremy’s memories was in his best interests. He returns to Jeremy later on to give him the news that Anna is dead, but this time he can give Jeremy that memory removal option. Jer doesn’t take it, because he’s Emo and wants to feel every ounce of pain. And since he doesn’t have scissors for teh self-harming, he slugs down Anna’s blood and a handful of Elena’s old pain meds. Sleepy time!

Sorry, went off point there for a moment. The point is, Damon’s very convincingly coming over as the good guy now. For those of you who didn’t get that, we even had a little dialogue showdown between Damon and Stefan ([[Paul Wesley]]) about who has a monopoly on being good.

Elena finds out that Uncle Jon is her biodad, but nobody really cares about any of that. Well, apart for Daddy Jon’s misguided outreach moment at the end…but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Just like in the L.J. Smith books that inspired the series, the threat of multiple psycho vampires destroying the precious Mystic Falls is built up and fizzles out five minutes later. I’d kind of hoped that TV would take a threat to the town and make it real. Sadly, despite having over a century in a dank tomb, the vampires of Mystic Falls failed to destroy anything. Zero body count. Pathetic.

Vampire Diaries, Season 2

So, we get to turn our attention to the complex setup for season two. In case you didn’t spot the clues, here they are, in handy point form:

  • Tyler and his father can hear the squealing from the anti-vampire device. Hmm…what else can hear high-frequency noises that human’s can’t? If you’ve read the LJ Smith books, you’ll have spotted the werewolf plot coming a mile off.
  • Jeremy’s suicide slumber. Yes, while all hell is breaking loose downstairs, Jeremy Gilbert is lying down with a bellyful of vamp blood and an ill-advised amount of pain pills. Will he wake up with a dry throat, pointy teeth and an aversion to sunlight? In the Vampire Diaries novels, it’s Elena who shockingly turns into a vampire, so having one main character become undead isn’t impossible.
  • Damon luvs Elena. As far as we know, Damon doesn’t know that the person he kissed wasn’t Elena. So, to that effect, he’s going to get a shocker when he tries to repeat that trick with Miss Gilbert, or gloat about their tonsil-tennis session to Stefan. Either way, the lines that define this love triangle are getting more and more blurred.
  • Katherine’s back! She’s a super-bitchy vamp, she’s a dead-ringer (geddit?) for Elena, and she’s back in Mystic Falls. Evil Katherine has returned. She’s sliced off Uncle Dad’s protective ring and thrust a blade in his gut – will Jon survive? Has Elena lost another parent? And is Katherine back to claim her boys? Er…find out when Vampire Diaries returns later this year!
  • Bonnie draws some battle lines: She may have saved Damon and Stefan’s cold, dead asses, but Bonnie doesn’t have to be happy about it. She warns Stefan that if Damon puts a fang out of line, she’ll waste him, and Stefan too if he gets in the way. And something tells me, she means business.

As always, looking forward to this ludicrous romp of a series. Now with 100% added teenagers howling at the moon…

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