A lackluster mid-season 1 finale

Season 1, Episode 10 (“The Turning Point”)
Chris Johnson, Ian Somerhalder (Image: The CW)

When looking up the original air date for this episode I was surprised to see that this was the mid-season finale, with the next episode not airing for two months. I was surprised because this was not a very big and exciting episode which shows like The Vampire Diaries generally like to end on before the holiday break to ensure that people will continue to watch after the hiatus. This is especially important for a new show. This episode wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. It sets up some things that will become more important in the future, but most of the episode is spent on Logan Fell’s turn to vampire and his ultimate death. Considering he was not that important of a character and certainly not that interesting, it is an odd choice to center the last episode of the first half of the season on him.

Stefan and Damon start off the episode talking about how they are going to leave town. This is obviously not going to happen and it only takes the arrival of a new vampire in town causing trouble to make them stay. It’s the classic, “I’m going to leave just as soon as I deal with this thing so everyone is safe”. But this is Mystic Falls, there will always be a new threat and thus Stefan will not be able to leave.

Damon pretty easily tracks down Logan with the pocket watch and finds him in a warehouse where he has been stashing bodies. Logan as a vampire was a bit over the top. He had a little too much energy and said all of his lines like he was a crazed villain. The whole plot with Logan felt unimportant and we really only learned two things from it, both of which we could have figured out more quickly without devoting most of an episode to this guy. First we learned that there are another vampire in town because we can be pretty certain that it wasn’t Damon or Stefan who turned him. In fact Damon tried to kill him. The second thing we learned is that Alaric is aware of vampires and is very handy with a stake.

This episode also begins to make Tyler a more sympathetic character. The relationship with this dad is explored more and we can see where Tyler gets his dickish tendencies from. Even Jeremy who has hated Tyler up to this point starts to feel bad for him as he realizes that his dad is potentially violent. After breaking up a fight between Tyler and Jeremy, Mayor Lockwood says that he is going to take them outside to deal with them and then tries to get them to fight each other more. Both of them realize that that is pretty messed up and refuse to go along with it. After the mayor pushes Tyler, Alaric intervenes telling him he looks like a “full grown alpha male douche bag” which is pretty accurate so good on Alaric.

Elena is still trying to convince Stefan that she can handle him being a vampire and all that comes with that, but he still thinks it’s too dangerous. This eventually leads Elena to stand up for herself saying that it’s not his choice to make for her. It’s one of Elena’s greatest strengths as a character that she never stands for other people (especially the Salvatores) making choices for her. She calls the shots in her own life. It would have been very easy for the show to make Elena the damsel in distress that is always being saved by the Salvatores and though that definitely happens many times, it’s not what defines her character. And apparently this is all she needed to do because Stefan immediately changes his mind and they have sex. However, during their post-coital bliss Elena is looking around Stefan’s room and finds the picture of Katherine finally realizing that they look exactly alike. She then runs away and as she is driving home she hits a man with her car but he is unharmed so we can assume he is a vampire.

It’s a good cliffhanger to end the episode on. We don’t know who the vampire is so this provides another mystery for fans to tune back in for when the show returns. We also learned from Logan that there is another way into the tomb but he dies before telling Damon what it is. This isn’t a huge revelation to the audience since it’s fairly obvious the show wasn’t just going to forget about it. There has to be another way in, but we will have to wait a few more episodes likely to find that out.

Episode Grade: B-

Other Thoughts:

  • The girl jogging at the beginning of the episode is wearing her hair down. I have seen this in movies many times and it always bothers me. It’s not a good way to jog, it doesn’t look sexy if you try it in real life, it mostly just gets in the way.
  • The Salvatores’ doorbell sounds like the little bells stores have to let them know when you come in. Also I feel like they don’t have this doorbell in the future. Why would they need one? They can hear a knock from anywhere in the house.
  • I actually agreed with Tyler about the “we people” thing. Those people are the worst.
  • Logan can’t get into his own house lol. But this makes no sense. If he is the only one living there he should be able to get in. Does he rent? How do apartment buildings work?
  • Logan/Damon: “I keep killing people and I like it” “Welcome to the club”
  • Tyler has an artsy side
  • It seems like it only just now occurred to Elena that Stefan doesn’t age which means that they can’t grow old together. Also she is very upset that he can’t be in her future but weren’t they only a thing for like a week?
  • There is some pretty good foreshadowing in this episode that I never caught before concerning Tyler and his dad and I am excited to talk about it when the time comes.
  • Body Count: 2 – Logan kills woman jogging (1), Alaric kills Logan (1)

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