'The Vampire Diaries' Review: Elena and Damon's Excellent Adventure
'The Vampire Diaries' Review: Elena and Damon's Excellent Adventure
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The Vampire Diaries had a huge start in 2009 with great ratings, a loyal fan base and a People's Choice Award for Favorite New Drama.  Can the show keep that momentum up in 2010?

Yes, and that is almost entirely due to Ian Somerhalder.  The delightful joy he takes in playing the sinister but charming Damon Salvatore is getting stronger as The Vampire Diaries realizes he's the real star of this show.

In this episode, Damon rescues Elena from the mysterious vampire who caused her car crash and takes her on a road trip to Atlanta to find Bree, a witch, bartender and old sex buddy of Damon's.  Elena is all too eager to get away from Stefan the liar after finding out she looks just like Katherine, and Damon is just trying to find another way to open Katherine's tomb.

Much like the rest of America, Elena is slowly won over by Damon's nonstop charm and exuberance, ultimately getting wasted with him.  If The Vampire Diaries wanted viewers to find it believable that Elena could theoretically go after Damon instead of Stefan, this episode did it.

Adding to the excitement is the fact that Bree is played by Gina Torres.  You may know her from Angel, Firefly, 24 or, most recently, as Vanessa's mom on Gossip Girl).  She is great at playing everything, so we see Bree as a fun, flirtatious, sexy bartender, a betraying friend and ultimately, a terrified victim.  Why isn't Gina Torres the star of a show?

The Vampire Diaries also brings in the continuity, because Bree calls Lexi's boyfriend in to try and kill Damon, but Elena uses emotion to keep him alive.  But the really headline is that Lexi's boyfriend is also a vampire, despite what Elena thought, proving that the whole human/vampire romance thing really can't work.

And just in case you forgot that Damon is the villain, he learns that Bree set him up, so Damon repays the favor by reaching into her stomach and ripping the insides out.  It's gross, but totally worth it for him, because first he found out that there is another way to open the Tomb by finding Emily's original witch book.

What Else Happened on The Vampire Diaries?

-After Elena gets back home, Stefan reveals that he was there the day her parents died in a car crash, and that he went to save them, but her dad told him to save Elena first.

-If that's not enough of a shocking revelation, Stefan then blurts out that Elena is adopted, which is how a Gilbert can be related to a Pierce like Katherine.

-That's a lot of crap for Elena to process, but she handles it well, mostly by using the knowledge that she's adopted to get out of trouble with Aunt Jenna for being AWOL.

-Bonnie loses her magical mojo, so Grams tells her to face her fears by returning to Katherine's Tomb to get her groove back.  Unfortunately, she fell into a crypt and found a pentagram door that it's safe to assume is the way into the Tomb.

-Stefan saves Bonnie after he learns where she is by revealing his true nature to Grams.

-Though he doesn't want one, Jeremy gets a new girlfriend when he literally bumps into awkward Anna in the library.  She's a home schooled geek who's a little too into the vampire lore of Mystic Falls.

-Alaric Saltzman gets off the Vampire Watch List by stepping into the sunlight without his giant ring.

-Alaric also remembers his now dead girlfriend or wife, and at the end of the episode, we learn what Alaric already knows: Damon is the vampire who killed his girl.  Damn it, Vampire Diaries, don't make me choose between the hot teacher and the hot vampire.

(Image courtesy of the CW)