the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 1.22, Founder’s Day: The Right Thing

Stefan and a girl are getting ready for a special occasion. Their clothes are old-fashioned, so it’s a fair guess that the girl is Katherine. It’s really Elena, who’s getting ready for Founder’s Day. Everyone gathers at Mystic Falls High for the parade, looking like Civil War reenactors. Stefan is surprised that Damon’s hanging around, ready to enjoy himself since Isobel is gone and the Gilbert device has been deactivated. “It’s Founder’s Day. I’m here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl,” Damon says.

Stefan doesn’t want to deal with that rivalry right now, but Damon says Stefan started it when he made it clear that he’s insecure about his relationship with Elena. Stefan says that means Damon heard him when he said to keep his distance from her. Damon teases that he’s the better choice out of the two brothers. Now that Katherine’s out of the picture, Stefan must be worried that Damon will turn his attention to Elena. But Damon knows Elena isn’t Katherine. Even if she’s wearing a dress from the 1860s and looks more like her than ever.

Anna visits Jeremy at Gilbert Gables after a few days without contact. She’s sure that John killed Pearl, though Jeremy has his doubts, or, really, his denials. He says John just hates all vampires and doesn’t understand that they have, like, feelings and stuff. Jeremy gets where he’s coming from. John is convinced that all the tomb vampires want revenge on the town, and he wants to protect Mystic Falls. Anna confirms that they do want revenge, and that’s why she and Pearl ditched them. They wanted to live normal lives.

Anna’s decided she needs to leave town, and she’d like Jeremy to come with her. She’s ready to turn him. She gives him a vial of her blood, telling him that if he dies with it in his system, he’ll come back as a vampire. She knows what it’s like feeling alone and empty. As a vampire, Jeremy can shut that off. But he’s decided he doesn’t want to turn anymore. She leaves without responding.

Back at the school, Stefan shares Damon’s theory with Elena that John is her biological father. She appreciates the information but hopes it isn’t true, since she doesn’t like John. She wonders if she should ask him straight out if he’s her father. Stefan says to wait until she’s ready, but she knows she never will be. She already has enough problems with Jeremy. She doesn’t think he’ll ever forgive her for letting Damon erase his memories about Vicki’s death. Stefan thinks that with time, Jeremy will come around. Because…Stefan knows all about brothers and forgiveness?

Tyler’s still trying to smooth things over with Matt, who isn’t interested in making up right now. Caroline tells Tyler that he’s going to need to do more than apologize. Elena tries to talk to Jeremy, telling him she doesn’t want things to be like this with them. He sarcastically suggests that she have Damon erase his memory again and let him go back to being in the dark. The rift Elena’s caused between them won’t be fixed as easily as she wants.

The parade starts, featuring the marching band, the Battle of Willow Creek reenactment float, and the Miss Mystic Falls float. Damon’s still hanging around, smirking at Stefan and Elena from the crowd. He approaches Bonnie and surprises her by thanking her for removing the spell from the Gilbert device. It could have killed him, so Bonnie’s actions were very important to him. She says she did it for Elena, not him, but Damon’s grateful anyway. He owes her. Bonnie seems unsure how to respond to his sincerity, especially since she knows the device is still a threat to him.

While the parade continues through the town square, John and Richard plot in Grayson’s old office building. John puts the Gilbert device together and explains that once it’s activated, it will only work once, and only for about five minutes. It emits a high-pitched frequency that humans can’t hear. All vampires within a five-block radius will be incapacitated, which means the sheriff’s deputies can ID them. The vampires will be injected with vervain and brought to Grayson’s office to be finished off.

John has learned that the tomb vampires plan to attack the townspeople tonight. Indeed, the vampires are in some abandoned building, plotting revenge for the 1864 round-up. Richard is worried that this is too big a risk. As Anna joins the tomb vampires, John tells Richard that this is the only way they can draw out all the vampires and kill them.

After the parade, the festivities continue in the town square. Elena runs into Damon at the Grill, back in her modern clothes, and tells him that she knows Stefan’s worried about their friendship. Damon asks if he mentioned something to her. Elena asks him the same question. “Nothing worth repeating,” Damon says. Elena wants him to stop flirting and doing that thing with his eyes that makes him look even more attractive. She warns him not to make her regret being his friend.

Elena approaches Jeremy again, telling him she can’t let herself believe that their falling-out is unfixable. She was wrong for lying, but they’re still siblings, and she can’t give up on their relationship. Jeremy feels differently and tells her to go to Hell. He leaves, and Damon follows him to mock him about being an emo teenager. He tells Jeremy not to be mean to Elena anymore. She wasn’t the one who erased his memories. But Jeremy doesn’t think Elena had the right to make that decision in the name of protecting him.

Damon grabs him before he can walk away. Jeremy threatens to cause a scene, but Damon says he’ll knock Jeremy out before he can try it. Stefan intervenes but backs up Damon’s attempt to smooth things over: Damon turned Vicki and Stefan killed her, so Jeremy shouldn’t take it out on Elena. Still, Jeremy’s upset that his memories were changed without his knowledge.

After he leaves, Stefan tells Damon to stay out of Elena and Jeremy’s relationship. Damon asks if Stefan’s the only one who’s allowed to be a “do-gooder hero.” Stefan tells him to get over himself – he’s obviously not doing this for the right reasons. It’s not real if Damon’s doing it because he hopes he gets something in return. Not that Stefan expects Damon to understand the concept of selfless kindness.

John and Richard present John’s plan to Liz, who says it’s too dangerous to use the townspeople as bait for the tomb vampires. But the men knew she would say that, so they’ve already gotten the deputies on board. John says this is the whole reason for the Founder’s Council – so they can take out vampires without the town knowing anything. Liz puts her foot down, so John sends Richard away so he can talk to her alone. Except instead of talking, John knocks her out and handcuffs her to a table.

That night, everyone’s still hanging out in the town square. Anna finds Damon and warns him that the tomb vampires are planning an attack. She’s a double agent, making them think she’s on their side when she isn’t. The attack will start during the upcoming fireworks. Damon guesses that that’s when John will use the Gilbert device to ID the vampires. Since it’s supposedly deactivated, the vampires will be able to kill anyone they want.

The tomb vampires arrive in the town square as Damon finds Alaric and tells him to go get his weapons. Then he tells Stefan and Elena what’s about to happen and sends them off to safety. Elena wants to find Jeremy first. At the Grill, where Caroline tries to talk Matt into making up with Tyler, Richard tells his son to go home. When Tyler says no, Richard starts getting aggressive. Caroline steps in, so Richard tells her, Tyler, and Matt to take his car and leave.

Anna tracks Jeremy down elsewhere in the restaurant as Richard goes to the town square to give a speech to kick off the fireworks. He signals a deputy, who contacts another deputy to let John know when to deploy the device. The fireworks start, and Richard and Carol slip away to avoid the massacre they think is coming. A tomb vampire is watching them closely, so focused on them that he bumps into Bonnie. Her psychic powers tell her that he’s up to something.

Just as John is about to set off the device, Damon confronts him in Grayson’s office building, asking if he has any idea what he’s done. John says yes, then activates the device. Damon, Stefan, and Anna are all overcome by the noise it emits. This works out well for John, who’s easily able to inject Damon with vervain.

In the car, Tyler also hears the noise. Matt and Caroline don’t, so they’re confused about why he seems to be in pain. Tyler yells and covers his ears, sending the car crashing into a fence.

Back in the town square, a deputy spots Elena tending to Stefan and approaches him to inject him with vervain. Alaric spots him and says he’ll take care of Stefan, sending the deputy away. He and Elena get Stefan to a safe spot, and Alaric explains that the deputies are doing a more sophisticated version of the 1864 vampire round-up.

Richard has also felt the effects of the device, and he’s unconscious, bleeding from his ears. Anna isn’t quite that far gone, but she’s weakened enough that two deputies are easily able to separate her from Jeremy. Back in Grayson’s office building, where the vampires are being brought to the basement, John tells the deputies that the device is spent, so they’ll need to kill the vampires before the vervain wears off. They start splashing gas on the vampires, who include Damon and Anna.

John recognizes his nephew’s girlfriend and sends the deputies away. As Damon watches helplessly from across the room, John stakes Anna. He splashes more gas around, then heads up the stairs and lights a match. The vampires closest to the stairs start to burn. Damon is still in the safe zone, but not for long.

With the device done, Stefan has recovered without anyone capturing him. Alaric tells him and Elena that vampires are being taken to Grayson’s building. Stefan guesses that the device was used, which means Bonnie didn’t succeed at neutralizing it. He and Alaric figure out that she lied about her removing the spell. Elena asks Alaric to take Jeremy home while she and Stefan try to find Damon.

Carol discovers Liz and frees her, informing her that her deputies took Richard. She doesn’t get why he was affected by the device, since he’s not a vampire. Back in Grayson’s building, Damon realizes that Richard is one of the captives. Richard is surprised that Damon is a vampire. Damon wonders what Richard is; he can’t be a vampire, since the vervain didn’t affect him. Instead of answering, Richard tries to get away from him. A tomb vampire grabs him and snaps his neck.

Paramedics tend to an unconscious Tyler, whose eyes are suddenly yellow and animal-like. When he wakes up, he seems fine, and his eyes are normal. Unfortunately, Caroline has collapsed.

Stefan’s vamp hearing lets him know that Grayson’s building is on fire. He and Elena run into John, who tells them that Damon is with the other vampires, and it’s over for all of them. He has no apologies for his actions – he did the right thing. Stefan is welcome to try to save his brother, but John figures he’ll just die with Damon, which will save John the trouble of killing Stefan himself.

Elena sends Stefan to a side entrance, but John won’t let her go with her boyfriend. He threatens to have the deputies kill Stefan if she leaves. Elena tries to make a personal appeal, but John says that doesn’t mean anything to him. “As my father, it should,” she replies. They’re both surprised, he that she knows and she that she spilled that she knows.

Bonnie follows Stefan to the side door, warning him not to go in. Stefan is willing to take the risk if it means saving his brother. Elena joins them, and Bonnie apologizes for lying about removing the spell. She does some magic as Stefan opens the door to the basement. The flames die down enough to let him get down the stairs and zoom back out with Damon. Whoever’s still alive down there won’t be for much longer. The power of the spell takes a little out of Bonnie, but Stefan and Damon emerge safely.

Once the fire’s out, Elena and Stefan regroup at the Grill, wondering where Damon disappeared to. They don’t seem worried that he could have gone to hunt down John. Stefan admits that no matter how hard he tries to hate his brother, he can’t. Elena acknowledges that they both care about him, but she loves Stefan. He doesn’t need to worry about Damon coming between them. She repeats that she loves Stefan until he gets that she won’t let Damon steal her from him.

Elena plans to get her things from the school, then head home to check on Jeremy. Damon’s already there, giving Jeremy the news that Anna’s dead. Jeremy says he expected that as soon as the deputies took her away. Damon tells him that he wanted to help her, but he couldn’t. If Jeremy wants his pain removed again, Damon can erase it, this time with his permission. Jeremy says the pain is still there, even if he can’t remember why. He feels empty and alone even without remembering that he watched Vicki die. Erasing his memories won’t fix what’s really wrong.

Damon continues his sincerity tour, saying that what he did to Vicki was wrong, and he’s sorry that he played a part in what happened to her. Jeremy brings up what Anna told him about vampires being able to turn off their emotions. Damon confirms that but says it doesn’t make things easier: “Life sucks either way.” It’s just that vampires can choose not to feel bad about it. Damon turned his humanity off for a long time, and life was easier. There’s an unspoken “but…” at the end of that.

Matt and Tyler are at the hospital, waiting on news about Caroline’s condition. Tyler apologizes for the crash, but Matt doesn’t blame him for it. Liz tells them that Caroline needs surgery for internal bleeding, and the doctors will do everything they can for her. She then tells Tyler to call his mother.

Jeremy drinks the vial of Anna’s blood, then finds the bottle of Elena’s pills that Vicki once helped herself to. He pours a bunch of them out on the bathroom counter.

Stefan runs into Bonnie outside the Grill, and she tells him that she helped him and Damon tonight because Elena cares about them. But Damon has to change. Stefan assures her that they both want the same thing, but Bonnie disagrees – yes, they both want to protect the people they care about, but only Stefan cares about Damon. It’s obvious from Bonnie’s actions tonight that she’s become more powerful. She knows who she is now. If Damon hurts anyone innocent, she’ll take him down, even if it means taking Stefan down, too. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Stefan says.

Elena gets home just as Damon’s leaving Gilbert Gables. (Music: “Bloodstream,” Stateless) He tells her he came to try to do the right thing. He puts her things down for her, like a gentleman, then admits that he came back to Mystic Falls wanting to destroy the town. Tonight, he wanted to protect it instead. He’s not sure how that happened. He’s not a hero and doesn’t do good; that’s not in him. “Maybe it is,” Elena says. Damon says that’s her, Stefan, and Bonnie’s domain. After all, Bonnie is justified in hating Damon, but she still helped Stefan save him.

Elena asks why Damon’s surprised. He says Bonnie did it for Elena. “Which means that somewhere along the way, you decided that I was worth saving,” he tells her. He appreciates that. He kisses her cheek, then moves in for a more significant kiss. She kisses back until Jenna opens the door and sees them on the porch. She tells Elena it’s late and she should come inside. She’s not happy that her niece was just kissing her brother’s boyfriend, Elena says she doesn’t want to talk about it. Damon leaves, reeling a little from what just happened.

Jeremy gets into bed, waiting to pass out.

Elena accidentally spooks John by entering the kitchen without making a sound. He tells her that he first met Isobel as a teenager and fell in love with her right away. He doesn’t think she ever loved him, though. One of the reasons John hates vampires so much is because Isobel changed after she became one. He wouldn’t have sent her to Damon if he’d known Isobel wanted to turn. Elena’s putting dishes away, so John offers to help. She accepts.

Then she slams her hand on top of his, cuts off his fingers – including the one wearing the Gilbert ring – and throws him up against the sink.

“Katherine?” he says.

“Hello, John. Goodbye, John,” Katherine replies. She stabs him in the stomach.

The real Elena is now on the front porch, talking to Stefan on the phone. She’s just now getting home because she couldn’t find her things at the school. She’s going to check on Jeremy, then meet Stefan at the hospital to find out how Caroline is. When she enters the house, she calls upstairs to Jeremy, asking if he’s still awake. She hears a clattering in the kitchen and goes down the hall to investigate.

Keep in mind: Tyler was affected by the Gilbert device.

Etc.: I like the trick in the first scene, where it looks like Katherine’s getting ready but it’s really Elena. In a way, it’s a hint that we can’t assume we know who we’re watching in this episode.

I also like that the Gilbert device will only work once, which means the writers can’t go back to that well any time they want.

Honestly, I’m really amused when Damon acts like he’s going to try to steal Elena from Stefan, and I think it’s mostly because Stefan’s so humorless about it. It’s typical sibling behavior. If you let your sibling see that what he’s doing annoys you, he’s going to do it more.

The deputies who inject Anna and drag her away right in front of Jeremy are idiots. The whole point was taking out the vampires without any humans knowing! Fire them, Liz.

Despite what Damon said to Alaric in the last episode, his humanity is most definitely on now. Personally, I think he turned it on (or never actually had it off) because Elena makes him happy.

I still don’t get why John sent Isobel to Damon if he didn’t know she wanted to turn. Wasn’t he worried about her safety? And shouldn’t he be worried about his own safety now? He should have expected Damon to come after him for trying to burn him alive.

This doesn’t get cleared up until the next episode, but Jenna isn’t in the house when Katherine attacks John. Which makes sense, because she hasn’t been present for any other significant scene in season 1, so why would that change at the end?

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