the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 2.12, The Descent: Oh, the Humanity

Jules wakes up in the woods the morning after the full moon. She’s near a campsite full of dead bodies, so she definitely had an eventful night. She starts moving them around, planning to burn them, but she’s interrupted when a deputy arrives. She quickly moves to plan B, fake-crying and telling the deputy her friends were attacked by a wolf. As the deputy is calling in the report, Jules knocks him out with a log.

Elena goes to see Stefan at Vamp Villa, and yeah, they’re definitely back together. Stefan doesn’t want them to be so happy about the fact that Katherine can’t force them apart anymore that they forget about the threat Klaus poses. He wants to take Katherine’s advice and ask Isobel if she can answer any of their questions. Elena drinks some vervain and reminds Stefan that she made a deal with Elijah. She hands him her glass so he can work on building up a tolerance to vervain like he’s doing with human blood. Elena wonders how Originals can compel other vampires. Stefan doesn’t know, though he also doesn’t know what it means that Elijah is an Original. That’s something else he can ask Isobel.

Downstairs, Rose isn’t looking great. She’s trying to talk herself into believing that it’s okay if she dies, since she’s 560 years old. Damon doesn’t want her to dwell on the negative. It’s still possible that it’s not true that werewolf bites are fatal to vampires. He gives her some blood, hoping it’ll help her heal, but it doesn’t do anything. He lies that the wound is better and asks Elena to lie as well. She sucks at it.

She asks Damon to talk Stefan out of trying to track down Isobel in case that upsets Elijah. Damon likes Stefan’s plan, though, so he’s not the person to turn to for help. Hey, Elena, use your words with your boyfriend. Anyway, Damon asks Elena to look after Rose for a while, assuring Rose that she’ll be a good caregiver because she’s a do-gooder. Elena quietly asks Damon if Rose is going to die. He says she probably will, but that’s good because she won’t have to suffer. He’s really blasé about the whole thing – everyone dies, so there’s no need to shed any tears.

Caroline is organizing the school’s Booster Club barbecue, because God forbid people in Mystic Falls don’t have an excuse to spend time together every week. She checks in with Tyler, happy that he got through his first full moon, not to mention without hurting anyone. He’s grateful that she stayed with him. They give each other a meaningful look, and it throws her off a little. She says they need to put more reinforcements in the cellar to make sure they can be separated from each other during the next full moon. She reveals that a werewolf bite could kill her.

Matt approaches and Tyler takes off. Caroline assures Matt that she was just chatting with a friend and nothing’s going on between them. Matt trusts her and believes she’s not interested in his best friend. He struggles with his words as he tries to tell her that the distance between them has been unpleasant. He kisses her, and Caroline is into it for a little bit, but she remembers the risks of being with him and runs off.

Jules approaches Liz at the Grill and asks if there’s any news on Mason. Across the room, Alaric calls Damon to let him know that Jules is there. Stefan joins him and asks if Alaric is doing Damon’s dirty work for him. Um, it’s called being helpful. It’s better than Alaric trying to kill Damon, right? Also, the show won’t let Alaric do anything interesting right now, so he’s practicing his spy skills. Alaric points out that Jules could know of a cure for Rose. He couldn’t find anything in Isobel’s research that they don’t already know.

Stefan asks if Alaric has a way to get in touch with Isobel. Alaric says that even if he did, she wouldn’t help them. He realizes Stefan is hunting for something to help Elena, not Rose, when Stefan mentions that Katherine said Isobel knew about Klaus. Alaric has an old phone number that might still work, though he warns Stefan not to trust Isobel.

Back at Vamp Villa, Elena puts Rose to bed in Damon’s room, trying to reassure her that she’ll be okay. Elena takes a look around the room, which she’s never been in. Rose says Elena’s lucky to be loved the way she is. Rose never stayed in one place long enough to fall in love or start a family (she and Trevor were just friends). She wonders why Elena’s willing to give up by offering herself over to Klaus. Elena denies that she’s giving up – it’s her best option. Rose corrects that it’s her easiest option.

She continues that she doesn’t think Bonnie really destroyed the moonstone. Elena doesn’t, either, since she’s guessed that Bonnie probably did the destruction spell with one of Elijah’s witches. Rose says that at least she fought for her life, spending hundreds of years on the run. She goes to sleep, so Elena starts to leave, but Rose starts mumbling about something that happened hundreds of years ago. Elena gives her more blood, but Rose can’t keep it down. Elena goes around the corner to get a wet cloth from Damon’s modern, open-concept bathroom (it’s nice!), and while her back is turned, Rose ambushes her, calling her Katerina.

Elena desperately tries to convince Rose that she’s not Katherine before Rose kills her for ruining her life. Rose snaps out of it and apologizes. She asks Elena not to be scared of her. Elena promises she isn’t and assures Rose that she’ll stay with her. Rose tearfully says that she wants to go home. Elena distracts her by telling her to talk about where she grew up. Rose does, then says that after you live long enough, “everything disappears.” She wishes she hadn’t wasted so much time being scared.

Stefan leaves Isobel a message asking to talk about something related to Elena. Damon arrives at the Grill, and Stefan intercepts him before he can attack Jules. Damon insists that he’s not angry with Jules because she attacked Rose. Vampires die; it’s no big deal. He just wants to chat with Jules.

Stefan gets a call as Damon joins Jules, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t tell him how to cure a werewolf bite. “Bite me,” she replies. Ooh, good one. As far as villains go, Jules is pretty unimpressive. Damon chastises her for not being more afraid of him. Jules taunts that Rose must be getting pretty sick by now. He demands a cure again, but she just continues listing what Rose is in for – pain, dementia, and rabid behavior. The only cure she knows of is a stake to the heart.

Elena again makes the mistake of not keeping an eye on Rose, who has disappeared from Damon’s room. Elena calls Damon to tell him to come home. She hears noises in the basement and finds Rose down there, binging on Damon’s stash of blood. She again mistakes Elena for Katerina and almost attacks her. This time, Elena isn’t able to talk her down.

Rose tackles her, but Elena’s able to rip open some curtains and burn her with sunlight. Elena runs for the door, but Rose beats her there. Elena digs her fingers into Rose’s bite, then barricades herself in Stefan’s bedroom. She opens the curtains and breaks a chair to make herself a stake. Rose calls through the door that she knows Elena isn’t Katherine. She asks for Elena’s help, but Elena isn’t sure if she’ll be safe.

Matt finds Caroline at the barbecue and asks why she ran away after he kissed her. He urges her to tell him what’s going on with her. She says she loves him, but that’s not enough to get him to drop the subject. A classmate comes to get Matt, and Caroline takes advantage of the distraction to zoom away.

Back at Vamp Villa, Rose has been quiet for a while, so Elena tentatively leaves Stefan’s room. She goes looking for Rose but instead finds the front door open. Oh, and it’s dark outside now. Damon arrives and she has to admit that she doesn’t know where Rose is.

Rose has made it to the school, where she attacks a maintenance worker. A deputy finds his body sometime later and summons Liz, who in turn summons Damon. They have the barbecue moved inside so they can search the area for vampires. Elena leaves Stefan a message asking him to call, then heads off with Damon to find Rose.

She’s attacking a couple of students in the parking lot, and though Damon is able to calm her down, he can’t stop her before they’re dead. Rose sobs, upset with herself for killing innocent people and distressed over suffering from an illness that’s turning her into a monster. She begs Damon and Elena to make it stop.

They take her back to Vamp Villa, where Rose says that the desire to hunt and kill is the worst part of this illness. She tells Elena that Damon is like her – “he wants to care, but the minute he does, he runs away from it.” She encourages Elena to fight instead of giving Klaus what he wants. She asks why Elena’s being so nice to her. Elena says it’s part of her humanity. Rose says she’s haunted by what it was like to be human. It’s the only thing that has kept her going. She reports that her pain is easing, but then she starts writhing around, calling out in pain. Damon sends Elena away, saying he’ll take care of Rose.

Tyler is waiting for Caroline when she gets to Fort Forbes. He wants to know why she would risk her life to help him. Caroline simply says that he needed help. She accuses him of not wanting anyone to care about him. As she sarcastically rants about possibly overstepping her boundaries by caring, Tyler kisses her. Like with Matt, she enjoys it for a bit, then pulls back. “Everyone just needs to stop kissing me!” she exclaims before running inside.

Damon lies in bed with Rose, who’s surprised to see his nice side. She falls asleep and dreams about her childhood home – trees and horses and a field where she can run in the sun. Damon’s there, having heard from Elena that this was her favorite place as a child. Rose says she misses being human. Damon thinks humanity isn’t as great as it seems. Rose misses having friends and family, and a life where she mattered. He says she still does, and though Rose disagrees, she thinks Damon matters. He built a life while she merely existed and tried to survive.

Rose asks Damon to sit with her for a while and enjoy the fresh air. He holds her and they take each other’s hands. She thanks him, telling him the pain is gone. She asks if she’ll see her family again. Damon tells her she’ll see whoever she wants to see. Rose says she’s not afraid anymore.

In reality, Damon lets go of Rose’s hand and, with his arms still around her, picks up a stake.

Back in the dream, Rose challenges Damon to a race. They’ll go on the count of 3.

They don’t make it to 3. Damon stakes Rose to end her suffering, and she dies in his arms. He lets a few tears fall and continues holding her.

Later, Damon takes Rose’s body to Liz, telling her the most recent vampire rampage in Mystic Falls is over. He’ll bury her body himself.

Tyler meets with Jules at the Grill, and she tells him she knows he and Mason are werewolves. She also knows Caroline is a vampire. Since Tyler wasn’t able to sniff Caroline out, Jules realizes he’s baby wolf. She offers to help him, but all Tyler wants to know is where Mason is. Jules reveals that he was murdered – by Caroline and her vampire friends. Tyler still thinks that Caroline is the only vampire in town, so Jules sets him straight about there being more. “Don’t worry – we’ll get them,” she says. She knows other werewolves, and they’re on their way to Mystic Falls.

Elena’s still at Vamp Villa when Damon gets home from burying Rose. She wants to offer support to her friend, who’s obviously grieving no matter how much he insists that he doesn’t care about Rose’s death. She accuses him of pretending that he’s turned off his humanity so he can ignore his feelings. Damon admits that he does feel, and it sucks. The worst part is that he was Jules’ intended victim, and Rose died in his place. But he doesn’t feel guilty, because that’s a human emotion. He blasts Elena for giving up and kicks her out. She agrees to go, but first she gives him a hug. Damon tries not to cry again.

At Gilbert Gables, Elena tells Stefan that Rose is gone. He has news, too – he didn’t find Isobel, but he brought back someone connected to her: John.

Damon pulls the trick Katherine taught him where he lies in the road until a car stops, then ambushes whoever gets out to check on him. This time, it doesn’t go the way it usually does. Instead of killing the driver, Damon, who’s drunk, compels her to be still so she’ll listen to him. He wants to tell her a secret. He can’t be what other people want him to be – what “she” wants him to be. This is who he is.

The driver tearfully asks if Damon’s going to hurt her. He’s not sure, since he’s going through an existential crisis right now. He admits that he misses being human. There’s only so much he can take, so he might have to explode and kill her. The driver begs for her life, so Damon lets her go, then chases her and bites her. Apparently he can only be nice for a few hours before he has to go evil again.

Etc.: Stefan really is naïve, huh? He listens to Katherine, he thinks he can trust Isobel, he thinks John can be helpful. Anything for Elena, right?

Elena finds a copy of Gone With the Wind in Damon’s room, and while I can buy that he might read that, I don’t buy that he would leave it sitting around for anyone to see.

The werewolf stuff just…goes on forever. I think the problem is that they couldn’t find a good Klaus, so they had to drag out the other plots on the show until they could move forward with him. That means werewolf stuff that barely ends up mattering in the end. They should have spent more time on Luka and Jonas, who are much more interesting, and whose motives only get brought up later, with barely a thought.

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