The first original vampire arrives!

Season 2, Episode 8 (“Rose”)
Daniel Gillies and Nina Dobrev (Image: The CW)

This episode introduces some of the biggest and most important plot lines of this season and the series. We learn a lot of information and meet several new vampires as the world begins to open up. The first season, and much of this one so far, have focused on the vampires and stories of Mystic Falls. The Salvatores have been vampires for 145 years, but that is relatively young compared to many others. Vampires have been around a long time, and they come from everywhere. In this episode we meet vampires who are much older, and who have histories intertwined with Katherine, and are therefore interested in Elena.

This is the first episode that we hear mention of the Originals, specifically Elijah and Klaus. This episode begins to build a lot of mystery around them, and who they are and what they want will slowly become clear throughout the rest of this season. For a show that is generally in a hurry to tell stories, they really take their time with the Originals. Considering that they eventually got their own spinoff series – The Originals – it is probably because of how much they liked them. I was skeptical when I first watched this plot unfold mostly because I was wary of having to get invested in new characters, but over time I did become invested in them and can say they are one of the best additions to the series.

However, in this episode we only meet Elijah and we learn that he has been after Rose and Trevor for the past 500 years for helping Katherine escape the fate of the doppelgänger (the sacrifice of the Petrova doppelgänger breaks the Sun and the Moon Curse). To gain their freedom from him, they kidnapped Elena, the new Petrova doppelgänger, to give to Elijah. He is a pretty interesting character, he always wears a suit no matter what the occasion, and he values honor and loyalty above all else. It is because of this that he spares Rose, who was only being loyal to her friend. Trevor on the other hand was disloyal to him and therefore despite his attempts to set things right, Elijah kills Trevor by using his hand as a blade. We get a few hints in this episode that the Originals are a little different from other vampires when we see that the wooden stake through Elijah’s heart doesn’t kill him permanently.

Damon, Stefan, Bonnie, and Jeremy are working to rescue Elena. After Bonnie uses a locator spell to find where she is, Damon and Stefan go off to rescue her while Bonnie and Jeremy stay behind to wait. While on their rescue mission, Damon and Stefan are dancing around some of their issues. Stefan knows that Damon is helping him rescue Elena because he loves her, not because he wants to help his brother. Twice in this episode, Stefan tries to bring up a portion of their baggage so they can hash it out, but both times Damon shuts him down. He is still too closed off to admit that these problems exist and need to be addressed. But Stefan doesn’t want these things to come between them anymore, because if they are going to protect Elena they can’t be divided. But of course that is easier for Stefan to say since he is the one that has Elena, and wasn’t the one that had to turn against his will.

This leads to them giving parallel speeches at the end of the episode, Stefan to Damon and Damon to Elena. They both say things that are more for their sake than the person hearing it. In both cases, they are telling the other person things that that person already knows but has never actually been said to them. Damon likely knows that Stefan is sorry for forcing him to turn and that he did it so that he could have his brother with him. Elena already knows that Damon is in love with her. They both admit to their actions being selfish. They both know that to protect Elena, they have to be united. This is why Stefan tries to apologize to Damon. It’s also why Damon recognizes that he has to put his feelings for Elena aside and let his brother be happy.

While all of this is going on, Tyler is struggling to deal with his transition to werewolf. He isn’t used to his new strength and his anger is still intensified. He realizes that Caroline knows something and continuously confronts her until she comes clean and admits that she is a vampire. Despite not really liking each other all that much in the past, they begin to bond in this episode over their transitions. Caroline pretends to be the only vampire in town, and Tyler is completely alone in being a werewolf. He is terrified of the entire thing and has no one that he can talk to about it. For most of the first season I really hated Tyler, but it is hard not to feel for him through this.

This is a pretty good episode that introduces some very important information and does a lot of set up for the rest of the season. We will continue to learn more about Katherine’s history with the Originals, the Sun and the Moon Curse, and the importance of the doppelgänger. As well as Tyler’s journey as a werewolf and why Katherine wanted to turn him in the first place. The next episode is going to give us even more history and important information, we are only just scratching the surface!

Episode Grade: B+

Other Thoughts:

  • Damon: “If you want to drop the hint to your mom that Aimee’s body is at the bottom of the ravine with a cracked spine, it might save your mom some time”
  • Bonnie and Jeremy beginning to bond a lot in this episode. They are both kind of lonely in different ways (this is a theme for the women Jeremy is into). Bonnie doesn’t have many people to talk about witch stuff with, and Jeremy doesn’t have people to talk to in general.
  • Elijah sniffing Elena to confirm that she is human was very strange
  • Stefan: “Guess I just needed my brother” a sentiment that is repeated by Damon I believe in a later season
  • Body Count: 2, Trevor kills the guy who kidnapped Elena and Elijah kills Trevor.

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