The Vampire Diaries: Founder’s Day

Since “Founder’s Day” aired on Thursday night, I’ve been trying to think of a better season finale. One more action-packed, emotionally traumatizing, full of “unexpected surprises” (to quote Damon); an episode that was funny and sweet and scary and left me hanging in, like, 900 different ways. Haven’t come up with anything yet. I love this show.

Let’s talk about the last five minutes first. In retrospect, there were so many clues. The opening scene mirroring the end — we see Elena dressed up as Katherine in the opener, Katherine dressed up as Elena in the end. On the porch, she’s not wearing her vervain necklace, her outfit’s slightly different, and she’s just, well, kinda off. Would Elena not pull away when Damon goes in for the kiss? Would Elena do that after what she just said to Stefan? Would she look at Jenna like that? Of course she wouldn’t! But I bought it. I was freaking  out. I cannot believe how smart the writers were (well, I can actually believe it after this season of awesome but…) — they give the Team Damon fans what we’ve been waiting for. A smoking hot make-out. And they keep the Team Stefan fans happy: Elena loves Stefan and that wasn’t her kissing Damon. Ah! So exciting.

I have no shame in admitting that I didn’t know it was Katherine until those fingers were flying across the cutting board. I was just thinking, Would she? Would she kiss Damon and then come in here and eye those knives like she wants to murder Uncle John? How much can Elena take before she cracks? My brain was near to exploding when I finally clued in. (Part of the problem: I had read some interview with Julie or Kevin or a cast member where they said that Katherine wasn’t going to show up in the season finale. And I believed them. Trickery!)

I could talk about the Katherine/Elena trick for this whole post but there was so so much more so onward:

Jeremy and Anna. These two break my effing heart. As I re-watch the season (I’m working on the episode guide of my book this week), pretty much every scene with Jeremy makes me want to cry, now knowing where he ends up and how empty he feels after the mind-wipe. Remember in “Haunted” when he’s crying in his room after Vicki died and he says to Elena, “Why does everyone have to die on me?” As much as I just want to run in his room and pump his stomach, his decision to end his human life, become a vampire, and turn off his feelings makes total sense — from his perspective. And it just breaks my heart.

I’m so nervous for next season: what kind of vampire will he become? What if he teams up with Katherine? I can only hope he partners with the Salvatore brothers. Of course, I’m making the assumption that he completes the transition — will he? Did anyone tell him about the part where you have to drink human blood? Did Elena write about that in her diary? This is going to sound creepy but will Uncle John be fresh enough for Jer to drink his blood? That way, he isn’t harming anybody but he still completes the transition and doesn’t die. As for Anna, I was really upset to see her go. I read someone’s theory that Uncle John was mercy killing Anna, staking her so she wouldn’t burn alive. But I don’t know about that. I think he was killing her because she reached out to him. Fingers crossed for flashbacks in season 2 that bring Anna and Pearl back. I am really curious about their backstory, and hope it’ll be revealed.

(And if you’re feeling depressed about Anna and Jeremy, I recommend Malese Jow’s facebook photos. She and Steven R. McQueen were at that JoBros concert at the Grove the other day. They are very much alive and happy and good looking. It warms the heart.)

Tyler, Matt, and Caroline. How freaking cool was Tyler’s eye?? So so cool. Not so cool was how scary the accident scene was — seeing Tyler react to the vampire dog-whistle (Sarah Deeee called it that & now that’s all I can call it) and lose control of the car. They teased the Tyler plot for season 2 just enough throughout this season. Makes me even more confident that they’ve held on to enough interesting stuff to keep the momentum going with the show.

We’d seen Caroline lying in the road in the promo so that wasn’t a big surprise. But it came when I was already emotionally exhausted by the episode. I just refuse to think that there is any other possible outcome from her internal injuries than total recovery. I wasn’t a fan of Mayor Lockwood but i don’t think it’ll do Tyler any good to lose his father (not that it ever does anyone any good…). Carol Lockwood’s reaction to the Mayor going down surprised me. I assumed she would know about the “Lockwood curse,” but she had no idea why he was affected. (I wonder who’s going to run for Mayor of Mystic Falls?)

Bonnie. Hmm. Bonnie. I have mixed feelings about Little Miss Bonnie. Unarguably, she is fierce and amazing when she gets her witchy ju-ju going, taming the flames so Stefan could rescue Damon. (Was she holding Elena’s arm to stop her from going in, or to draw power from her anger, or both?) I’m not sure I 100% agree with her decision to kill Damon if he spills innocent blood and to take Stefan out if he gets in the way. It’s that last bit that bugs me most, but also the vigilante justice aspect. With great power comes great responsibility, Bonnie. Think What Would Grams Do before you kill any Salvatore brothers.

Stefan and Damon. Not to brush over Stefan but . . . he didn’t have a whole lot of craziness happening in this episode — he was heroic; he saved his brother and for that I thank him; and I loved the scene with him and Elena when she declares herself true to him (as much as I’m hot for Damon, I don’t actually want Stefan and Elena to break up). But Damon, man. Think about who this guy was when he showed up in the pilot. And now he’s thanking people? He’s trying to save the townsfolk of Mystic Falls? He’s hurting because he wasn’t able to save Anna and he had to lie there paralyzed and just watched her die. And he’s trying to do right by Jeremy — telling him the truth because Damon knows it’s the lies that hurt Jeremy most. After seeing so much change in Damon this season (and consequently people around him, like Elena, have decided he’s worth caring about), next season is going to be a real doozy for him. Will he feel responsible for Jeremy turning? He did tell him that life is easier as a vampire. When will he realize that he was kissing Katherine, not Elena? (If he had known when he turned away, he would never have walked away and left Katherine in the Gilbert house.) How mercilessly will Katherine mock him for the sweet things he said to “Elena” on the porch? It will crush him. Oh Damon. Can he take it in stride and not revert to his old murderous ways?

So much to think about! I’m sure there are TONS of things I’ve glossed over or forgotten. And I’ll probably end up posting again after re-watching but until then — what did you think? Sound off below!

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3 thoughts on “The Vampire Diaries: Founder’s Day

  1. I have to say you practically stole my thoughts… After watching the episode more for the second time, I could, in fact, noticed ‘Katherine’s attitude’ towards both Damon and Jenna, but gotta say, I was sooo focused on the kiss (I’m Team Delena) that Nina totally tricked me!
    I had also read the comment about Katherine not showing up and totally bought it.
    I think that’s what makes things more interesting: Katherine showing up and already making a mess of Elena’s life in the first 5 minutes!
    … Damon… I hadn’t thought of him walking away of the Gilbert’s house, but I do think he noticed something weird while kissing her. You could just see it in his eyes.
    Honestly, I hated Uncle John, and kinda wanted him gone, but defently not like that! I mean, freaking Katherine stabbing him?!?! That’s too much for me xD
    And Jeremy, I just feel way too sorry about him.
    Already have a million theories about season 2, specially those concerning Katherine, but I guess we’ll have to wait. One thing is clear, though, is gonna be a hell of a season!
    xo.

  2. I really REALLY enjoyed the set up for next season. I’m not loving being kept in suspense for 4 months, but hopefully since they know they’ve got the season pick-up we won’t suffer those crazy long hiatus breaks like we did this year.

    All I kept thinking was how amazing it would be for Katherine to just waltz right on out the back door and straight out of town. Damon would have to deal with “Elena”post kiss, Elena would wonder what the hell happened in her home, Jeremy would most likely think Damon killed/hurt Uncle John which would force Bonnie’s hand – depending on how innocent she feels Uncle John is – and the crzay would just keep spiralling.

    Of course, I want Katherine to face off with the brothers… but it seems too soon just yet. It feels like it would be good to know that she’s making a mess from afar. Now she’s been invited in and they’d be hard pressed to do anything about it.

    Something tells me that Jeremy’s attempt to turn will fail and he’ll have to deal with THAT, too. Honestly, Elena can’t have an entire vampire family – can she? lol

    I’m just so happy I decided to give this show a shot… I was fully prepared for shlock and am SOO happy that I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

  3. I also hope that Katherine is gone when Elena gets to the kitchen . . . at least for a little while. I want to see the confusion between Elena and Damon, as well as between Elena and Aunt Jenna (poor Jenna is so out of the loop; are they ever going to tell her what’s going on? It might keep her from inviting vamps in — although not if they look like people she knows). I had no idea that Katherine was Katherine until a second or two after the finger slice. Kind of embarrassing to admit but I remember having the thought, “whoa, Elena’s turned into a real vigilante.” I blame my stupidity on the makeout session that came before. I do remember thinking that I thought Elena would have pulled away and expressed some sort of guilt immediately after and the way she talked to Jenna seemed weird, but that fact that she might actually be Katherine never entered my mind.

    And poor Damon. His chat with Jeremy was so heartbreaking and then he bared his soul to Katherine, which will no doubt bite him in the ass. I guess it’s true that no good deed goes unpunished.

    The Jeremy storyline was devastating. It’s just one example of what is so good about this show, which is that despite the crazy supernatural elements, there is an emotional centre that is so real. Jeremy has been struggling with serious depression since the show began, which sadly culminated in what can really be considered a suicide attempt. This poor kid suffered the deaths of both of his parents followed by the deaths of the only two people he managed to get close to after losing his parents. His sister, though well-meaning, really didn’t help matters by asking Damon to wipe his memory and then more or less ignoring him (not that I’m blaming Elena, as she had a lot of crazy stuff to deal with). At any rate, I’m really hoping that he doesn’t actually die. Because he essentially turned himself, there probably won’t be anyone there to help him through the tough beginning part and, as you said, does he even know that he has to feed to complete to process? I worry about Jeremy (nice biceps, though).

    I really didn’t want to see Anna go, but it didn’t seem that surprising when it happened. Malese Jow really grew on me the longer she was on the show and I loved Anna and Jeremy together — that one sex scene was so hot and I feel like they really understood each other. I also loved the way she would appear in and disappear from his bedroom.

    I feel reasonably sure that Caroline will be completely okay and I’m curious to see when she and Matt (and Tyler) will be brought into the “circle of knowledge.” They saw what happened to Tyler and the three of them were urged by Mayor Lockwood to go home before anything happened. I doubt that any of them will believe that Mayor Lockwood’s death was simply an accident (due to old wiring or whatever). I’m curious to know what Tyler’s mom will tell him about what happened to his dad since she didn’t seem to know about the Lockwood curse, though she did know about vampires. I feel bad for Tyler that he doesn’t have anyone (as far as I can tell) to guide him as he comes into his powers.

    As you mentioned, Stefan didn’t have a whole lot to do this episode, but it warmed my heart to see him save his brother, mostly because I think it would do a lot for Damon’s self-esteem (that sounds so ridiculous, but I think Damon needs to know that people really do care for him).

    I’m not too pleased with Bonnie lately, which is probably obvious. Of course, I’m glad that she did the right thing and let Stefan save Damon, but I find it strange that she seems to be okay with Stefan, even though Stefan is the one who was most recently out of control, feeding on Amber in front of Bonnie and Elena just a short time ago. I guess I can understand why Bonnie doesn’t trust that Damon has changed, but I don’t get why she is so set on taking him down if she’s able to forgive Stefan (or at least believe that he’s better now).

    And then there’s Damon, my Damon. As you mentioned, it’s really incredible how much he’s changed since the beginning of the season. And I really believe (as Damon seems to) that his transformation happened because of Elena. He was able to let his guard down and divulge his feelings . . . to Katherine. EFF! Ah well, there were lots of great Damon quips, too. My favourite was when he and Mayor Lockwood were both in the basement and the mayor asks Damon what he was doing there and Damon said, “I’m a vampire. What’s your excuse?”

    I always love seeing Nina Dobrev play Katherine and Elena. The subtle differences when she was playing Katherine pretending to be Elena were great.

    Finally, as a die hard Everwood fan, I was very excited to see Colin Hart leading the angry tomb vamps!

    It really was the best season finale I think I’ve ever seen. And despite the cliffhangers, I feel so satisfied by this episode that I don’t think the wait will be so bad. I like thinking about all the possibilities. As we’ve discussed many times, one of the amazing things about the show is that it actually answers questions — and then creates more, of course.

    Enough rambling from me.

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