In true soap opera form, The Vampire Diaries has set up many open plotlines in their first season on the air.  In recent weeks, the plot has thickened considerably, like the fog that accompanies most fictional things that go bump in the night.  Stefan (Paul Wesley), who doesn’t drink human blood, but rather, opts for animal blood, and thereby retains a piece of his former humanity, we have come to learn, is the original bad boy, and pressured his non identical twin, Damen (Ian Somerhandler), to drink blood and complete his transformation when Damen was ready to let himself die of starvation (scene pictured below).  Stefan urged Damen to drink and brought him a docile girl who he had compelled to drink from, because he wanted to go through eternity together with his brother.  Damen, who reviled himself for completing the transformation–a rare glimpse at his remaining connection to humanity, hated Stefan for helping him become a vampire and vowed to make Stefan’s life as miserable as he could for eternity.

So that would explain the healthy dose of sibling rivalry that was explained by flashback sequences.  Stefan, who turned first by the way, also was going to let himself starve until he showed up in his father’s study (James Remar, also Dexter’s father) to say goodbye, when his father told him that he had already said his goodbyes, and that he was actually the one who shot Stefan and Damen, because they were consorting with Katherine, who was found out as a vampire by this strange bit of technology–a vampire finding directional compass–invented by the original Jonathan Gilbert, a device which is being heavily pursued by both vampires and their enemies at present, in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

All season we have been led to believe that Katherine was a manipulative monster, who kept both brothers, and toyed with their emotions like the soul-less creature everyone assumed she was.  But in the chaos that ensued in 1864 when the vampire finding device was brought out, Mr. Salvatore (James Remar) cut off his sons literally, down the barrel of a shotgun.  Katherine had anticipated the development though, and she turned the two brothers, with whom she was in love, before presumably being locked in a tomb under a burning church and sealed there. 

Katherine, by the way, is the spitting image of Stefan’s human girlfriend Elena (Nina Dobrev, below), a mystery that has recently had some light shed on it.  Elena is really adopted, and it was her adoptive parents who died in the car crash.  Her real mother is Isobel (Mia Kirschner), a vampire who Damen turned, but who had given birth to Elena at the age of 15, while she was still human.  Isobel’s lineage and Katherine’s cross, explaining Elena and Katherine’s identical appearance.  By the way, Isobel happened to be having sex when she was 15 with Jonathan Gilbert (David Anders), the unoriginal, who is the brother of Elena’s adoptive father, and who Elena believes to be her uncle, and not her father.  And Gilbert is totally anti-vampire, and wants to kill Stefan and Damen, because he and Isobel want better for their daughter than a life of dalliances with the Salvatore brothers, who they feel will eventually turn her to preserve Elena’s youth. 

Now normally we’d say good luck to the human looking to kill two vampires, but Jonathan Gilbert, like Alaric (Matthew Davis), Isobel’s human former husband, has a ring that prevents him from being killed by a vampire, much like the rings Stefan and Damen have that allow them to go out in the daylight.  Damen already broke his neck and threw him off of a roof top, to no avail.  And Damen is the much stronger vampire, because in The Vampire Diaries, unlike in True Blood, the more human blood you drink, the stronger the vampire you will be.  In fact, Gilbert nearly killed Stefan already with a wooden arrow to the heart, but Elena saved him, the way Katherine once did, by having him drink her blood.  But Stefan, who has gone decades without that taste, though he recovered from the arrow, was spun out on human blood like a junkie, and began to lie, connive, and steal to quench his thirst.  He knocked off a local hospital’s blood bank, and Damen returned home to see Stefan drinking up from a freezer he had stored with blood bags.  Because of the profile of the theft, Elena and Damen tricked Stefan into captivity and pushed animal blood on him, until he drank, and became normal again–for Stefan. 

Damen remained two steps ahead of the curve, and snagged the vampire compass, knowing the damage it could do to vampires and what a hot commodity it is, but when Isobel came to town and found Elena and kidnapped her brother Jeremy, threatening to kill him if she didn’t produce the device, Elena cooked up a scheme based on the spell book of her best friend and witch, Bonnie (Katerina Graham).  Bonnie and Elena saw a diagram of the compass in the spell book, and Bonnie told Elena that the device only worked because of a witch’s spell, and otherwise was just a hunk of metal.  Damen paid Isobel a surprise visit in which he nearly killed her and told her that he wasn’t giving up the compass, even though Isobel and Jonathan Gilbert were under the orders to bring the device to Katherine, who wasn’t really sealed in the tomb with the rest of the town’s vampires in 1864.  Isobel assumed Damen would comply because he has been pining for Katherine for 145 years, and tells him not to kill the messenger, but in typical bad boy fashion, Damen tells Isobel he will kill the messenger.  “You know why? he asks.  “Because it sends a message (scene below).”

Isobel then plays the Jeremy card with Elena, who says that Damen won’t give her the device.  But Isobel insists he will, because, she says, “he’s in love with you.”  And she is right.  Bonnie the witch places a spell on the compass to deactivate it, and then Damen hands it over, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is safely returned.  But Bonnie is harboring secret resentment against vampires, and Stefan and Damen, especially–for their role in her grandmother’s death (Jasmine Guy played Bonnie’s grandmother, a master witch, who agreed to use her power to remove the seal from the tomb under the church, so that Damen could rescue Katherine.  But Katherine turned out not to be in there, and the town’s 20 or so other odd vampires were released while the stress brought on Bonnie’s grandmother’s heart attack and death.).

Bonnie (below), as it would turn out, only pretended to remove the spell from the compass, which could mean that ring protected humans come hunting Damen and Stefan, with their wooden arrows, stakes, and guns that shoot wooden bullets, led by Jonathan Gilbert, Elena’s father. 

Will Stefan regain his taste for human blood yet again?  Was Damen really convinced that Bonnie would break the compass’s spell in good faith and did he really hand over the actual compass?  Will Jeremy’s vampire girlfriend Anna (Malese Jow), who’s mother, Pearl (Kelly Hu) was locked in the tomb but later staked by Jonathan Gilbert, join forces with the Salvatores to avenge her mother’s death?  Will she turn Jeremy, whose asking for it, or will Gilbert get to her first?  Will Elena learn of Bonnie’s treachery and can their friendship ever recover?  And of course, will the aforementioned Katherine make an appearance in Mystic Falls, and if so, how will Damen react?  Or will Stefan hook up with Elena, with whom he’s grown increasingly close in recent weeks?  And just maybe, can Damen and Stefan find a way to get along?

I’m not sure about any of it, though it would be nice to get a glimpse of Katherine, and to see Jonathan Gilbert somehow killed.  What I am sure of, is there will be blood.

Be Careful,

Crack (