The cool, new history teacher arrives

Season 1, Episode 9 (“History Repeating”)
Matt Davis (Image: The CW)

As we are nearing the mid-season 1 finale, a lot of the mysteries that have been going on in the background for much of the season are finally brought to light. There is also a surprising new twist that poses a new threat to Mystic Falls.

All season so far Damon as avoided answering the question of why he came back to town. It’s certainly not to bond with Stefan, though he certainly has delighted in making his life difficult. The show has also been intentionally vague on what happened to Katherine. She was a vampire, which means that she should have lived forever. Stefan thought she was dead, but Damon has known that she wasn’t for the past 145 years.

Katherine, along with 27 other vampires, have been trapped underneath the church that burned in a tomb sealed by Bonnie’s ancestor since 1864. Damon came back to town to free her, and if the rest of the vampires get out as well thats an added bonus since they will likely destroy the town which Damon believes they deserve for trying to kill them in the first place. The mysterious crystal is needed to open that tomb.

The Vampire Diaries is known for having a lot of plot twists and burning through plot quickly. Though the early first season does some meandering to get here you can bet from here things are going to get a lot more fast paced. Many other shows would have delayed this reveal longer and given us a lot more background on Katherine before revealing that she is still alive. But with Vampire Diaries you know that there is more to the story and there will likely be even more twists surrounding this tomb. The twist at the end that Logan is not dead is also a pretty good one. If he isn’t dead he must be a vampire. So who turned him? It wasn’t likely Damon or Stefan.

In this episode we also get the introduction of Alaric Saltzman (a.k.a. Warner Huntington III) the new history teacher. They make sure to distinguish him quite a bit from the previous dick history teacher by making him pretty cool. He gives Jeremy a break and doesn’t just believe that he is a “jackass” according to Mr. Tanner’s file. He has a bit of a tragic backstory but he meets Aunt Jenna and they click pretty instantly.

Caroline continues to grow in likability. Even if she is being a bit immature about the crystal with Bonnie, she calls out her friends for not telling her things. She also supports Bonnie when she says that she is a witch even though she doesn’t really believe in it herself. That’s the mark of a really good friend. Caroline and Matt also continue to grow closer as they bond over their loneliness. Their scene at the end where they are sharing junk food is pretty cute. Sometimes you don’t need to have much in common with someone to bond with them, especially if you don’t have a lot of other people to talk to.

A lot of good stuff happened in this episode as we really start to dive into the background with Katherine and the vampires in the tomb. I’m not sad to see the crystal get destroyed, it was kind of a dumb plot piece. How will they get in that tomb now? The arrival of Alaric is also fantastic. If we can’t have Lexi, he is a great alternative.

Episode Grade: B

Other Thoughts

  • Elena thinks she is ready to hang with the vampires, but Stefan is not so sure now. Ugh. They get exhausting with this back and forth.
  • Bonnie now knows about vampires because Elena decides she can be trusted. Note she still doesn’t include Caroline in that.
  • Damon and Stefan imitating each other was one of the funniest things I have seen in this show. Stefan attempts to do the eyebrow thing that Ian Somerhalder does so well, but doesn’t really pull it off.
  • Throwing a crystal into a field that is not that far from the road is really not that great of a place to throw it. Throw it in a lake or something where retrieving it would be difficult.
  • That Previous History Teacher was a Dick: He had a file called the “Jackass File” for all of the students he didn’t like.
  • Alaric is a Cool History Teacher: He throws said file in the trash. And you can call him “Rick”.
  • Body Count: I don’t think anyone died this episode!

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