The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Rewind, Part 5: Blood and Other Drugs

We're passing the time until The Vampire Diaries returns by re-watching Season 1 from the beginning. This edition of "Rewind" covers Episodes 17-19; click here to read Part 1 (Episodes 1-4), here to read Part 2 (Episodes 5-8), here to read Part 3 (Episodes 9-12) and here to read Part 4 (Episodes 13-16).


Well, here we are right in the thick of summer and it seems like Vampire Diaries hasn't been on in YEARS. Don't be mad, but sometimes I forget about Vampire Diaries! It seems like a vague memory, like it was just some classic show that was on for ten years sometime in the '90s. But nope! According to my research it's only been on for two seasons, and the most recent episode aired only two months ago! Time flies when you're in jail, am I right? Just kidding, I'm not in jail, it's more like a facility with a curfew. But I DO get DVD privileges, and now that I've watched the entire run of The Jenny Jones Show, I'm finally ready to finish out Season 1 of Vampire Diaries. So the real question is, are YOU ready? Because if you're not ready, I'll turn this car right around, buster. Just kidding, I can't turn this car around and we're headed straight for a cliff!

BOOM.


Season 1, Episode 17: "Let the Right One In"

It was a dark and stormy night. Elena was asleep in her room (with the lamp on) and Anna was chillin' in Jeremy's room…

Um, WHAT? I had NEVER seen that poster before. What on earth?? Is there a real entity named "The Buttless Chaps," or were the set designers just messing with us? Anyway, Jeremy's big thing was that he wanted Anna to turn him into a vampire. She was like, "Uh, why?" and he was like, "Because." Cool debate!

Also, Anna's mom Pearl was still harboring tons of jerk vampires, including one who openly carved stakes in the living room, which everyone knows is the rudest thing to do in front of other vampires. That guy was nothing but trouble!

Stefan ran out into the woods by himself for some reason and immediately got staked by the evil vampire dude. I guess the guy was mad that Stefan and Damon had killed his lady, even though he and his lady had broken into the Salvatore mansion to be jerks. Anyway, this was a good example of Stefan's sometimes-terrible vampire instincts. How come sometimes he has a sixth sense for other vampires being nearby, but other times three idiot goons can sneak up on him in the woods and kidnap him and then shirtless-torture him for a whole afternoon? Question is rhetorical: That's just how Stefan rolls!

Elena and Damon turned to "Mr. Saltzman" for help. I guess he was still actually a history teacher then? I'd forgotten about that! See, this was back when the characters attended class and/or showed up for work on a regular basis.

There was a great scene were Damon absolutely told off Elena for wanting to go with him to rescue Stefan. He pointed out that she probably shouldn't bust in on a house full of angry vampires, plus he totally bagged on her relationship with Stefan, which was hilarious. The look on her face was the best. You got TOLD, lady.

Meanwhile Caroline was off-roading through the woods in an enormous Dodge sedan for whatever reason. Obviously her car got stuck in the mud. That goes without saying. And obviously she tried to get a cell phone signal by edging ever closer to a wet dropoff, and OBVIOUSLY her knees suddenly buckled and she just rolled down the hill. Remember, this was human Caroline, so she was slightly less awesome then.

Whoops! That wasn't no branch!! It was Vicki's corpse, just chillin' in a shallow grave by a waterfall. Honestly, I'm kind of shocked this doesn't happen every time someone goes into the woods. Can you imagine those woods? It's probably a hundred square miles of the swimming pool scene from Poltergeist.

Melinda Clarke (a.k.a. Matt's Mom) (a.k.a. THE BEST) was redoubling her efforts to be a good mom by making yellow casseroles or whatever. All great moms make yellow casseroles, right? Anyway, Matt was like, "Yeah, thanks, I needed to boost my starch intake."

But then DING DONG!

So that makes sense! I didn't realize that in Season 2, when Matt got all mad at Caroline for being a vampire, he knew for a fact that Vicki was dead. That helps explain his general jerkitude. Or, at least, it shows that he's almost always a jerk when he's sad. He was so mean to Caroline!

Like he basically told her to scram, but then when Elena came over he was bear-hugging the hell out of her RIGHT IN FRONT OF CAROLINE.

Aw, poor Caroline! Hopefully something interesting will happen to her soon and she will become suddenly awesome.

So Damon and Alaric infiltrated the vampire safe house (and obviously Elena busted in anyway) and they rescued Stefan. All the jerk vampires got super killed, but Stefan almost didn't make it. The ringleader dude stabbed him a ton (vampires should get better at stabbing), but right before he was about to die, Elena swooped in and fed him some blood.

He was IMMEDIATELY a blood-thirsty maniac. Even Elena was like, "Whoa, guy, easy." But he was all growly and slurpy like she was just some big walking Otter Pop. The look on her face was great, like it was the first time she ever realized she was dating a blood-sucking demon. You brought this on yourself, young lady!

So there you had it, a show about vampires in which the big revelation was that the main vampire character was a vampire. Cool! Great cliffhanger.


Season 1, Episode 18: "Under Control"

The next episode began with a clearly energized vampire bro doing tons of pull ups and push-ups. This was bad news! It's not enough to become immortal at the peak of your physical condition—you STILL have to work out? What a bummer!

Anyway, Damon was teasing Stefan a ton about drinking human blood. Stefan claimed he was done with it, but Damon was like, "Relax, you're a vampire." In my opinion, Damon had a good point.

Ugh, this guy. Well, Uncle John had to show up sooner or later. Now, granted, he brought with him some good twists and plotlines and he even did some interesting stuff in Season 2, but I think my main problem with Uncle John was that he looked slightly amphibious? It even looked like he had neck gills here. Now that I think about it, maybe swamp creatures should be the next monsters to be featured on this show. They could actually LIVE in Mystic Falls the water feature. Anyway, I'm getting away from myself, which is a thing that happened a lot while watching these episodes. Prequels are boring!

At school, Elena was complaining to Matt about how annoyed she was that Uncle John had showed up. It was perfect because, you know, Matt's sister had just been FOUND DEAD IN THE WOODS. So yeah, Elena, good timing! Elena is just a good friend and not at all self-absorbed.

Nothing brings two bros together like the death of the lady they fought over, am I right? It was hilarious that in this age of Nancy Grace, a beautiful teenage girl could be found in a shallow grave and nobody was AT ALL curious about it. "Oh, she OD'ed, moving on." Anyway, Jeremy and Tyler kind of patched things up, I guess.

Stefan was in straight-up junkie mode already, but he was trying to fight it by drinking tons of booze and also slamming himself against walls while making out with Elena. But who DOESN'T do these things? Vampires, they're just like us!

Oh, also, either Stefan or Damon (who cares) convinced Elena she should tell Jeremy about being adopted. So she did and Jeremy was cool with it. It's always nice when people on this show have actual conversations about their lives, even when they are as weird as this one was. I think my favorite part of these episodes is that BOTH Jeremy and Elena were having vampire subplots independent of one another, and neither of them knew that the other person knew about vampires. Although, I wonder how Jeremy views Elena's everyday life? She hangs out at an underlit mansion with two very pretty, strangely wealthy, immortal-seeming men, yet it never occurred to him that maybe THEY are vampires too? Oh well, it's Mystic Falls, not MENSA Falls.

Uh-oh. This episode kicked off "a month" of Founder's Day activities. First up was some opening night party where Sheriff Forbes showed up dressed like a LADY. Don't worry though, she was still ALL BUSINESS. By"all business" I mean she was a failure. Though I did like how Sheriff Forbes didn't know that blood banks were being broken into until Uncle John told her. Phew! Thank God for Uncle John, he knew EVERYTHING.

That's why Damon had to immediately snap Uncle John's neck and throw him off the balcony. Because that's just what happens to nosy, possibly amphibious men. They get DEALT WITH. Except haha, he had an immortality ring too. And another tidbit about that: Alaric's ring was actually a Gilbert ring that Isobel had stolen from John. Oh, Isobel!

Well, this made me feel funny! Tyler made out with Matt's mom! But then again she's played by Melinda Clarke, so maybe we should've expected this? That lady's career is THE BEST. Speaking of which, have you seen Return of the Living Dead 3? She is great in that. Oh and remember that one syndicated show she used to be in with Dennis Rodman? How weird was THAT? Anyway, I bet this scene made the actress playing Tyler's mom SO MAD.

It certainly made Matt mad, so he intervened and punched Tyler, and the next thing you know he was getting PUMMELED like crazy. Holy moly, what had gotten into Tyler, you guys??

I really have no idea why he flew off the handle the way he did. Maybe I'll never know?

Stefan swooped in and started pawing around at Melinda Clarke's head wound, because that is a normal thing people do.

How gross was it when Stefan then snuck outside and started licking his fingers? SO GROSS. Gross times infinity, blackout forever.

Whoops! Guess who found Elena's diary? No, not Katie Holmes. This is Jeremy! It shouldn't surprise anyone that Elena's handwriting is terrible, and I'm guessing her grammar is the worst. Elena is not educated! I bet she misspells "definitely" every time and dots her i's with circles. Anyway, now the cat was out of the bag (and bitin' necks, probably).

Stefan had this weird monologue about how tough it is being a vampire and whatnot. Plus, Stefan and Elena had definitely moved onto the phase of their relationship where they say "I Love You" all the time during every conversation, so that was gross. And then in the last scene, in what has to be the most CLASSIC cliffhanger in Vampire Diaries history, Stefan drank a glass of blood. OMG WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?!


Season 1, Episode 19: "Miss Mystic Falls"

Uh-oh, you know there's a problem when Stefan pulls up at school in THAT CAR wearing THAT JACKET and THOSE SHADES and THAT FACE. Can vampires be clowns? Because THIS is a clown. Anyway, Elena was stoked to see him at school, and he was like, "Back at'cha babe," and then he did the thing that only people on TV shows do, where he was all, "You go ahead, I'll catch up," and then when Elena walked off he opened his trunk to an INCRIMINATING VISUAL.

Haha first off, WHAT? WHY are those in there? Did he pack his trunk full of EMPTY blood bags before he left the house? Or did he pull over eight times on his way to school? This made no sense, except that this TV show wanted to make sure we know that Stefan secretly drinks tons of blood now. Okay, whatever, we GET IT.

Hey Bonnie! You guys, look who's back after a two-episode break! I guess she'd been off mourning Jasmine Guy's death (RIP GRAMS) and realized her circle of friends includes too many people who drink human blood? We've all been there, right? Anyway, Bonnie was looking super emo with her straight hair and baggy clothes and she was giving EVERYBODY the side-eye. Basically, this version of Bonnie was THE BEST! MORE of Emo Bonnie in Season 3, please!!

Also more of THIS LADY in Season 3! Look at her. Who WAS this lady? She was helping Madame Lockwood judge the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, but maybe she was also an ORIGINAL? I don't know, that's for you figure out, Julie Plec. I'm just saying, this woman has STAR QUALITY and I want to see more of her!

Aw, this plotline was slightly tragic because it showed how much Caroline just wanted a normal life where girls enter pageants and do well in high school and have normal lives. Hang in there, girl, IT GETS BETTER. ("Better" in the loosest possible sense of the word, but still.)

Oh, and Elena got nominated for Miss Mystic Falls also, but only agreed to do it because her mom would've wanted her to. Hey you know what else her mom would've wanted her to do? NOT F**K VAMPIRES.

This girl was the best. I don't know who she was, or what her story was, but I was rooting for her immediately. I guess at this point I was getting slightly bored with Season 1 because DUH I know what's going to happen later. So my attention started turning toward anything even remotely new:

Great job, guy!

You too, red hay around a tree trunk! Speaking of which, WHAT? I may not be a Pulitzer Prize-winning gardener (they give Pulitzers for that, right?) but is this a real thing that people do in the South? Do they make red hay like in War of the Worlds and then surround tree trunks with it? Whatever, life is a mystery sometimes.

Anna and Damon bonded over shared history. It was awesome when Anna mentioned that she'd competed in the Miss Mystic Falls pageant of 1864(!). Because, you know, just a reminder:

Everyone knows that child beauty pageants were HUGE during the Civil War era. Anna was basically the JonBenet of her times.

Behind the scenes of the pageant there was tons of nonsense with Stefan's blood-addiction, plus Elena having intense discussions with Damon about Stefan's blood addiction, plus string quartet versions of EVERY Coldplay song? Also Caroline was just chilling in the background staring into the mirror like a sad movie star.

At least she won! I mean, I'm sad my pick of RANDOM GIRL didn't win, but at least Caroline beat out Elena and also OTHER RANDOM GIRL who was currently outside getting bit up by Stefan.

Finally Damon, Elena and (awesomely) Bonnie caught Stefan in the act and Bonnie brought Stefan out of his RIPPER RAGE using her mind control tricks. I like this Bonnie the best because she kind of helps but she's super annoyed about it and more than anything it just seems like she just wants a life without vampires in it. TEAM BONNIE! (Barf.) (But still.)

Anna's mom Pearl gave Damon a thing. I don't know.

Elena TRICKED Stefan into hugging her, then she stabbed him with a Vervain Pokey Thing (medical terminology) and threw him into the dungeon to, I guess, go into forced withdrawal, Trainspotting style.

And in a swell parallel to Season 2's events, whenever Stefan was in ripper mode, Damon and Elena would bond. I guess they're now going to sit outside the dungeon all night? Might as well! Neither of them have lives, one of them in a literal sense.

BYEEEE!!!


QUESTIONS:

... Did you feel bad for Caroline back then?
... Do you miss Jeremy's old haircut?
... Is it hard to rewatch these episodes knowing what comes later?
... Do you miss Matt's mom as much as I do?
... What does red hay taste like?



RELATED STORIES:
+ The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Rewind: Let's Kick it Old School
+ The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Rewind, Part 2 That's More Like It!
+ The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Rewind, Part 3: Full Speed Undead!
+ The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Rewind, Part 4: Coming Out of the Dark!

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