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SEASON 2

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VAMPIRE DIARIES

ITV 2

The Vampire Diaries Cast - photo courtesy of itv.com


  1. Pilot
  2. Night of the Comet
  3. Friday Night Bites
  4. Family Ties
  5. You're Undead to Me
  6. Lost Girls
  7. Haunted
  8. 162 Candles
  9. History Repeating
  10. The Turning Point
  11. Bloodlines
  12. Unpleasantville
  13. Children of the Damned
  14. Fool Me Once
  15. A Few Good Men
  16. There Goes The Neighbourhood
  17. Let The Right One In
  18. In Control
  19. Miss Mystic Falls
  20. Blood Brothers
  21. Isobel
  22. Founders' Day
Press Preview



Elena Gilbert -
Nina Dobrev

Stefan Salvatore -
Paul Wesley

Damon Salvatore -
Ian Somerhalder

Jeremy Gilbert -
Steven R McQueen

Bonnie Bennett -
Katerina Graham

Caroline Forbes -
Candice Accola

Matt Donovan -
Zach Roerig

Vicki Donovan -
Kayla Ewell

Tyler Lockwood -
Michael Trevino

Jenna Somers -
Sara Canning




OTHER VAMPIRE SHOWS
Angel
Buffy the vampire
Slayer

Blood Ties
Moonlight
True Blood
Ultraviolet







Pilot

Life has not been treating Elena well recently. Her parents recently died in a car accident and her brother has taken it badly, turning to drugs and drug dealing. Now living with their young aunt, Elena puts on a brave face for the new school term, but finds matters complicated by the arrival of Stefan, a really hot guy who just appears to be fascinated by her. When the girl that her brother is interested in gets attacked, Stefan realises that it was a vampire attack, him being a vampire himself. Then his brother Damon shows up and proves to be little less scrupulous when it comes to feeding on innocent humans.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has so much in common with TWILIGHT that it is surprising that nobody's sued yet. True, in that film the teenage girl hadn't lost her parents, but she was troubled, the vampire was troubled, there were family issues and whilst romance was blossoming people were dying in the background. All of this is the same in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES except that the principals are prettier and the dialogue is snappier in a Buffy the vampire Slayer sort of way. Oh, and the weather is better since Mystic Falls (yes, really) isn't the rainiest place in the continental United States of America.

The teenage audience that the show is targeting will lap up the mix of pretty people, high school angst, hints of sex and occasional bloody violence, but it's a bit too slick and too polished and too shallow. This is only the opening episode and matters may improve (the US success suggests that it does), but it needs to do so quickly if it is not to go the way of other recent vamp shows.


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Night of the Comet

Vicki, attacked by a vampire, is in the hospital and a threat to exposing Stefan's presence as a vampire, so he uses his mind control power on her, but since he is a vampire that doesn't feed on humans his abilities are weaker than his evil brother's. Damon has plans for his brother, plans he intends to put into practice on the night that a comet returns to the skies over Mystic Falls.

Damon's a very bad vampire, but he's trying to be a good brother, bringing Stefan back into the fold of full vampirehood, whether he wants to or not. That's the background to the plot arc of the show as revealed here with Ian Somerhalder smouldering in his most evil fashion from every corner of the screen. He's certainly a good deal more fun than Paul Wesley's tortured Stefan or Nina Dobrev's vanilla-bland heroine.

Thank goodness, then, that the plotting revolves around vamp attack victim Vicki and whether her memory loss is all that it needs to be to keep Stefan safe. That leads to another brotherly face-off, this time on a roof, before everything fizzles out. The lovers are now entwined in each others' arms, so it's hard to see where the tension is going to come from in the future.


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Friday Night Bites

Elena decides to go back to her cheerleading former life, but finds it harder than she thought. Stefan, though, signs up for the football team thanks to his inhuman skills. A meal that Elena holds to let Bonnie get to know Stefan is rudely interrupted by Stefan, who now controls Caroline and who is invited into Elena's home. The first football game, though, is where everything is going to kick off and you just know it's going to end in tears, and perhaps blood.

The introductions have been made and the situations laid out and so it's down to business as Elena learns more about the enmity between Stefan and Damon. Damon loved Katerina and blames Stefan for it, causing him to wage a centuries old vendetta of pain against his brother. Elena is now the battleground, but both sides have some moves and she isn't going to lay down and take it meekly either. These revelations shade out the characters more, giving them more depth and meaning other than to serve the central love story and giving a wider audience something to appreciate in the show rather than it's teenage angst angle.

Ian Somerhalder gets more screen time and his Damon starts to turn into a more rounded villain, more charming and more deadly because now he has a purpose, however twisted that might be. He's also having a good deal of fun with it, which makes him more appealing again. He's got a long way to go before rising to the ranks of the great vampires, but he's made a good start.


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Family Ties

The introductions have been made and the situations laid out and so it's down to business as Elena learns more about the enmity between Stefan and Damon. Damon loved Katerina and blames Stefan for it, causing him to wage a centuries old vendetta of pain against his brother. Elena is now the battleground, but both sides have some moves and she isn't going to lay down and take it meekly either. These revelations shade out the characters more, giving them more depth and meaning other than to serve the central love story and giving a wider audience something to appreciate in the show rather than it's teenage angst angle.

This is pure glossy teen soap opera for the vast majority of its length. Sure it starts with vampires stabbing each other and sharing some witty banter (Ian Somerhalder getting all the best lines, of course), but then it settles down into the relationship issues. It's very well done glossy teen soap opera, however, which manages to stay on the right side of dull.

Things pick up at the party as witches start to use their powers, Stefan borrows a trick from ANGEL to bring his brother down and a conspiracy is born. Things might be looking up for future episodes.


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You're Undead to Me

Stefan has Damon locked safely away, he thinks, and can get on with his life, which means trying to make things up to Elena and take part in a 'sexy' car wash.

This episode is really all about Elena and Stefan dancing around each other as she comes closer to learning the truth and he desperately tries to hide it, though not desperately enough to stay away from her.

It's obvious from the start that Damon is going to get out, that is what the show is about after all, so there's no real tension about it happening, just a sense of inevitability. The rest of the storylines are very much in the teen soap opera mould.

As for getting the cast (except the principals) stripping off to wash cars, well that's a little bit obvious and below the show's quality.


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Lost Girls

Elena demands to know what Stefan is and so he tells her everything, including how he and Damon came to be vampires. Damon, meanwhile, is partying with Vicki and decides to turn her, but it's a process that she will need to embrace freely.

There is so much talking in this episode that information download fatigue sets in fairly quickly and severely. Stefan is finally opening up to Elena, but it takes forever and involves a whole load of flashbacks. Can there ever be a vampire show now that doesn't have ANGEL style flashbacks?

Even with the information overload there isn't enough plot to fill out the whole episode so that Stefan has to stand moodily outside Elena's house to music, Damon and Vicki have a party moment to music and Elena has to deal with what she has learned to music. We need fewer musical montages and more actual plot please.

In fact only the moments where Stefan gets shot and Damon sets Vicki on the road to vampirism rise above the a level of gloss that can't hide an empty centre and that's because they're suprise shock moments and so only last, well, a moment.


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Haunted

Now that Damon has turned Vicki, she has a craving for human blood, but none of the control needed to feed without killing her victim. Stefan starts her on the long road to controlling her addiction, but the lure of the school's Hallowe'en party is too much.

Vicki was always a bit of handful as a human, but as a vampire she's even harder to control. The main part of the story is the will she/won't she feed as the brothers squabble over the best way to help her through her change. Things liven up considerably when everyone goes to the fancy dress party.

Unfortunately, it's all a bit shallow and dull up until the party shenanigans. The Vicki character is too petulant to sympathise with and everyone else is in a holding pattern.


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162 Candles

Elena has finished with Stefan (again), but it's his birthday and his oldest friend (and we're talking over 200 years oldest here) Lexi shows up to help him celebrate. Damon, though, has other plans.

As the two lovers continue to dance around each other, finding new ways of not to be together, at least Damon comes up with a nice plan to deal with Lexi, a vampire who is capable of causing him harm in a way that Stefan can't. It can be seen coming a mile off when he puts it into play, but it at least shows some originality.

The rest, though, is all soap opera and the characters just aren't strong enough to carry it. How many excuses can the writers come up with to keep Stefan and Elena apart and how many excuses can they come up with for Stefan not killing his brother, despite everything that Damon does to him? Credibility straining doesn't even begin to cover it.


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History Repeating

Ever since Bonnie learned that she was a witch and got hold of the necklace that Damon so badly wants, she has been dreaming of an ancestor with a dark secret, a secret that reveals whay Damon came back to town in the first place and a secret that threatens every innocent human in the community.

The romantic problems between Stefan and Elena barely feature in this instalment of the story and the episode is much improved as a result. The story moves along at a great pace, has some surprises up its sleeve, plenty of action and comes to a satisfying conclusion all before the two lovers find yet another reason not to be together.

The wrapping up of the story is so satisfying that it feels like the end of the line, so a whole new story has to be introduced and we will have to see where that takes us.


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The Turning Point

Jenna's ex-boyfriend Logan returns, which is something of a surprise since he's dead. Now, he's also a vampire, but not turned by either Damon or Stefan. The brothers actually team up to fight the new enemy, until Damon learns that there is another way to bring Katherine back from her timeless prison.

Once again the show doesn't dwell on the lovers and is all the better for it. The Logan storyline moves at a neat clip, is interesting and has enough action and twists and turns to keep us watching.

When the lovers do take centre stage, making up, taking things to the next level and then finding a whole new reason to break up again, it is just more tedious repetition.


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Bloodlines

Damon saves Elena from the car wreck sustained when she ran into a vampire. He then takes her to Georgia where he meets up with an old witch acquaintance who might have clues to another way to bring back Katherine. His welcome, however, is hotter than he expected. Bonnie, meanwhile, loses her powers.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES moves further into soap opera territory as Damon takes a road trip to Georgia and takes Elena along for the ride for no good reason. All of this leads up to what she really wants to know - why does she look like Katherine. That leads to an admission by Stefan that changes things for her, dramatically. Next to that, the story of Bonnie's fear blocking out her witch powers is tedious and almost as pointless.

Even the presence of Gina Torres (FIREFLY and CLEOPATRA 2525) can only liven things up a little.


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Unpleasantville

There's a new vampire in town and he has set his attention on Elena. Stefan and Damon have to attend the 50s theme disco at the school to keep her safe, but there is more that one plot brewing in Mystic Falls.

Now this is more like it. By getting away from the tedious on-off love strife of Stefan and Elena, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES perks up quite a lot, introducing or developing a number of plots that are going to eventually boil over. This is all far more interesting than the two lovers mooning over each other the whole time.

Which isn't to say that the teen soap opera is completely kept at bay as both Bonnie and Caroline go after their men and interest wanes drastically.


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Children of the Damned

Everyone is looking for the old journal of one of the Gilbert ancestors because it contains clue as to the whereabouts of the Witch's spellbook that should hold the answer to freeing Katherine. The identities of the new players in town are revealed as the events that led towards the turning of the Salvatore boys is told in flashback.

The modern tale zips along at a pleasingly brisk pace with some slight twists along the way, but it is bogged down by the handsomely mounted but stultifyingly dull period costume stuff that doesn't even have the courtesy of telling the whole story in one episode. Still, the main story of the road to freeing Katherine moves on, the history teacher explains why he wants Damon dead and we just know that his missing wife is going to show up as a vampire at some point and Bonnie is left in a serious situation.

Now if we can have more of that and less of the flashback stuff we'll be happy.


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Fool Me Once

The Salvatore brothers now have the book that can open the vault in which Katherine is trapped, but they need a powerful witch to carry out the spell. And they are not the only pair trying to open the tomb.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES explodes into action as all of the plotlines around the tomb come crashing to a finale all at once, but it is a surprise that lies within the tomb and one that changes at least one character quite considerably. With so much going on, any deficiencies of plotting and scripting are lost in the flurry of activity.

This is probably the best of the show so far.


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A Few Good Men

Elena tracks down a friend of her birth mother's but finds what she learns disturbing. Damon finds out that the history teacher wants him dead and goads him into a fight after the bachelor auction. The teacher learns that his wife isn't dead, but is now a vampire and Elena learns that the woman Damon killed was her mother.

Everybody is linked to just about everybody as the plotlines of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES get ever more soap operaish. It is beyond the ability to suspend disbelief that Elena's mother was the wife of the history teacher who was turned by Damon. That said, the scene where Damon taunts the teacher and later fights him are impressively brutal both emotionally and physically.

The bachelor auction that is supposed to be the focus of the episode is pretty much ignored once it has served its purpose, but the human in thrall to Isobel has a neat way of making sure that he can't be questioned.


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There Goes The Neighbourhood

Stefan and Damon attempt to have a normal night by double dating with Matt and Caroline, but drunken mothers and members of the new vampire army are determined to spoil those plans. Jeremy learns that Anna is a vampire whilst Pearl gouges Damon's eyes out.

Soap opera alert! Apart from Pearl's demonstration of superiority over Damon (brutal and unexpected), which reveals that vampires strengthen with age, and the attack on the Salvatore brothers towards the end, this is all about four teenagers (in appearance at least) going on a date. Normally, character episodes are welcome, but when it's just a lot of teenage angst that has been done before on who knows how many teenage soap operas we could give it a pass.

It is a nice eye gouging scene, though.


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Let The Right One In

Some of vampires recently escaped from the tomb that was supposed to hold Katherine are tired of Pearl's slow, patient build up and take Stefan hostage in order to torture him at their leisure. Damon doesn't go much on this, but he is unable to get inside since he has never been invited into the house. The only non-vampire in town capable of surviving a few seconds inside the house is the history teacher with the invincibility ring, but he's not overly keen on helping.

This episode is all about the action and that makes it much more interesting than those that have focussed on the soap opera aspect of the relationships. Damon's assault on the vampire house is brutal and unforgiving, though it does take the vampires resident within far too long to realise that something is wrong. The scenes of vampire on vampire fighting suffers from the fact that it is speeded up to give the impression of vampire speed, but ends up just looking absurd.

That said, the discovery of Vicki's body in the wilds is about to put the soap opera cat amongst the pigeons and the damage done to Stefan requires him to drink Elena's blood, something that sets off an unquenchable thirst. Things are looking more interesting than they have for a while.


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In Control

Following his taste of human blood, Stefan is violent and unpredictable, going through the shakes of withdrawal. Attending the Founders' Day Kick Off party probably wasn't the best move.

And we're back into soap opera country. Stefan is fighting his drug addiction (just say 'no' kids) in the unsubtle metaphor storyline, which is well-meaning but nothing else. Matt's embarrassing mother is of no interest to anyone.

The return of Elena's uncle is, however, since he comes armed with a 'can't be killed' ring and more knowledge about the current situation than is likely to be good for anyone.


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Miss Mystic Falls

Stefan is still under the influence of human blood and has raided the hospital blood bank for a secret supply. Normally, Damon would be very happy about this, but the presence of the unkillable John Gilbert makes it a very difficult time for Stefan to be out drinking from girls. There just happens to be a supply of those at the Miss Mystic Falls contest.

More soap opera as Stefan's addiction continues to control him. Changes this to any normal drug from drink to cocaine and it could be straight out of any daily soap. Bonnie being back in town and being majorly pissed off with Stefan about the death of her grandmother just adds to the soapiness.


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Blood Brothers

Stefan refuses to drink the animal blood that will help him back from the addiction to human blood. He wants to die. As Elena tries to get through his suicidal guilt, the full truth about how the Salvatores became vampires and why Damon so hates his brother is finally revealed.

The last pieces of the backstory slot into place just in time to prepare for the final two episodes of the season. John Gilbert continues in his search for the device that is so important to him and Alaric the teacher finally gets the information that he needs to bring Isobel back to him.

But the focus here is on the backstory and there is enough interest there to get by on. It's nicely shot and at least has the nerve not to cop out on the complex feelings between the two brothers. From a narrative point of view, though, it's not very satisfying.


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Isobel

Elena's birth mother shows up and enters the search for the mysterious device that Damon is holding, a device that turns out to be a weapon against vampires. Bonnie clears the spell that makes the device work, but fakes it, wanting to see vampires dead for her own reasons.

Welcome Mia Kirshner to the show as Isobel, the kind of villain that has been needed ever since Damon went soft. Completely uncaring of human life and willing to kill and threaten every person that Elena cares about, she is cold and deadly and a real breath of fresh air. She also gives this episode a sharp focus that keeps the more soap opera aspects of the show under control.

Those soap opera influences are there as Elena finally meets her birth mother and the audience learns who her birth father is. This could have been horrible and mushy, but Isobel's nasy nature keeps it entertainingly off-kilter. That she goes all gooey over her husband right at the end can be forgiven. The betrayal by Bonnie is an interesting twist that nicely sets up the show's finale.


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Founders' Day

The vampires recently released from the tomb are planning to attack the town and take their revenge on the Founding Fathers. Elena's uncle has the device that will incapacitate any vampire in the area and plans to set it off at the start of the attack. Since they believe that the device has been deactivated, Stefan and Damon are both in town and so is Jeremy's girlfriend Anna.

And so all of the threads that have been meandering all over the place since the start of the series come together in a season finale that has more action in one episode than the rest of the season has managed all together. It's fast, it's furious and it still has time to throw in character development and set up the plot threads for the next season to boot. If you want a cliffhanger then Jeremy is on his way to suicide with Anna's blood in him, meaning that he will be reborn as a vampire and Katherine, the root cause of all this trouble has finally entered the frame.

Because there's so much action to get in (almost too much as some of it seems kind of rushed) there are no soap opera elements to distract or slow things down. If the rest of the show could have been as good as the finale then it would have been a whole lot better.


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Press Preview

A young woman in a new place is torn between two men of supernatural origin, vampiric to be precise. Sound familiar? If you've managed to miss the whole TWILIGHT phenomenon then (a) you've been living in a cave in darkest Borneo with only the local wildlife for company and (b) you won't know that it's sparked off the biggest resurgence in the bloodsucker genre ever. We have the short-lived likes of
BLOOD TIES and MOONLIGHT to be thankful to it for (if thanks are the right word) as well as the possibly more successful TRUE BLOOD. Now comes THE VAMPIRE DIARIES to ITV 2 and here's the advance word from itv.com:

"ITV2 presents 'The Vampire Diaries', a brand new and exclusive drama for viewers to sink their teeth into. Think you know vampires? Unsuspecting Elena Gilbert (NINA DOBREV) is about to get to know two when a pair of very different brothers; one good, one evil ó go to war for her soul. Created by Kevin Williamson, the writer behind the iconic 'Scream' films and much loved TV hit 'Dawsonís Creek', 'The Vampire Diaries' is the story of a compelling love triangle with a dark, dramatic twist. How far will the vampire brothers take their sibling rivalry to win over Elena, the object of their obsession? The sleepy town of Mystic Falls will never be the same again."

"Elena Gilbertís life has been turned upside down since the tragic death of her parents in a car accident four months ago. Over the summer that follows, Elena tries her best to keep troublesome younger brother, Jeremy (STEVEN R. MCQUEEN) from spiralling out of control. He has turned to alcohol and drugs to hide his grief and trouble brews when he becomes infatuated with rebellious Vicki, (KAYLA EWELL) the sister of Elenaís former boyfriend Matt, (ZACH ROERIG) who still has feelings for his ex. Elena attempts to salvage what family life her and Jeremy have left, with the help of their Aunt Jenna (SARA CANNING), now the Gilbertís legal guardian. "

"On her first day back at Mystic Falls High School, Elena meets Stefan Salvatore (PAUL WESLEY), the devastatingly handsome but mysterious new boy at school. There is an instant attraction between the two lost souls and they form an immediate deep connection. However, Elena is unaware that her enigmatic new boyfriend is hiding a dark and deadly secret. Stefan is a vampire, continually resisting the urge to taste her blood. Elenaís best friend Bonnie (KATERINA GRAHAM) is coming to terms with her new found psychic abilities and the bad feeling she picks up from Stefan leave her deeply worried. There is also competition in store as Elenaís rival Caroline (CANDICE ACCOLA) sets her manipulative sights on Stefan."

"When the residents of the usually quiet Mystic Falls become the victims of a series of violent attacks, Stefanís suspicions are raised and itís not long before his greatest fear is realised. His older brother and bitter enemy Damon (IAN SOMERHALDER) has followed him back to their childhood home to wreak havoc and claim Elena for himself."

"The brothers have a turbulent, brutal past and Damon understands his brother's fixation with Elena better than anyone. She looks exactly like Katherine, a woman Stefan loved more than a century ago and who Damon tried to make his own. Now history is repeating itself and the immortal brothers are battling it out for Elena's soul."

"The series was a ratings smash when it premiered in the US in September 2009 and is based on the bestselling series of books by L.J Smith. 'The Vampire Diaries' is packed with tension, drama, mystery, romance and plenty of bloodsucking!"
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SEASON 2

OFFICIAL SITE

HOMEPAGE

A-Z INDEX

TV SHOWS

FILM ARCHIVE


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