There will be nine installments of summaries for “The Vampire Diaries”, one for each season. This is just the first of nine. We hope you’ll tune in for all of them! There are spoilers, so if you’ve never seen the show and you’d prefer to not have anything spoiled for you, I suggest you don’t click past here. For those of you who do read, please enjoy! And please remember, this has been condensed, so some information may be missing.
During season one of “The Vampire Diaries”, we’re introduced to characters who live in present day — well — almost. The show begins in September 2009. Elena Gilbert is starting her junior year in high school and everything is different. Her parents, whom she loved very much, are both deceased. Living in her home in Mystic Falls, Virginia are her Aunt Jenna [Sommers], her younger brother Jeremy, and herself. Everything that mattered prior to her parents’ accident, (which was May 2009,) lost all meaning to the seventeen year old. Parties, cheerleading, and her ex-boyfriend Matt don’t seem so important anymore. Her life changed in ways she could have never imagined. Unfortunate events changed her life as she knew it forever.
Soon enough, we’re introduced to Elena’s friends Bonnie [Bennett] and Caroline [Forbes]. We later find out that Bonnie is a witch along with her grandmother, Sheila [Bennett], otherwise known as “Grams”. Caroline fits many stereotypes for the peppy, borderline annoying cheerleader, but can also be a great friend when she wants to be. Matt Donovan, who was Elena’s boyfriend prior to the car crash is introduced around the same time Caroline and Bonnie are. He’s tense and awkward around Elena, which is understandable after a break-up.
A mysterious new student, who goes by the name of Stefan Salvatore struts through the hallways of Mystic Falls High School with all eyes on him. Bonnie and Caroline get good looks at him before anyone else has a chance. It’s made very clear early on that blonde, bubbly Caroline wants to make this man hers — and who can blame her? Any woman with a pulse could easily be attracted to the stranger with romance novel looks. Elena runs into him while exiting the boys bathroom. As you can probably infer, that made for a pretty awkward first meeting. They appear to be entranced by one another, despite how strange the situation is.
And the fun doesn’t end there.
At the annual bonfire, foul play is suspected when Vicki Donovan (Matt’s sister) appears to be attacked by some wild animal. Jeremy Gilbert finds her and she is immediately rushed to the hospital. While on her hospital bed, she’s speaking to her brother and says that a *gasp* vampire was responsible for her injuries. This concept is entirely foreign to her brother. Confusion is clearly painted on his face from that point on. It gets stranger when we hear about reports of other animal attacks happening around Mystic Falls. Why would a wild animal wander into a quaint town and just start tearing people to shreds? There are so many unanswered questions. Life for these residents is about to get more complicated than they ever could have imagined.
The first episode, known as “Pilot” concludes with the introduction of yet another character: Damon Salvatore. He’s the older, darker, even more mysterious of the two Salvatores. It is then said that Elena is a “dead ringer for Katherine.” This infuriates Stefan and they have a vampire showdown — vamped out and all. All we really know about this mysterious Katherine is that she does indeed look just like Elena. She was a vampire who was locked in a tomb 145 years ago. In addition to that, she was the ex-girlfriend of both Salvatore brothers. Confused yet? I’m sure many people were when this episode first aired. Rest assured all of your questions are answered in future episodes! Maybe not the one right after which was called, “The Night of the Comet”, but it is answered eventually.
Episode two, which was mentioned in the preceding paragraph opens with preparations for yet another town event. This one is celebrating a comet which is passing by. Elena finally meets Stefan’s brother Damon after entering the Salvatore boarding house uninvited. Tension between the three could be cut with a knife. Stefan looks hungry and exhausted. This could be because he doesn’t feed on human blood. Instead, he quenches his thirst by going out into the forest and hunting the animals there. His meals are made up of squirrels, rabbits, and any other animal that can be found outdoors. At the celebration, Elena decides she can’t even considering being with Stefan due to mutual complications in their lives. To contradict everything mentioned at the celebration, Elena and Stefan end up kissing. Damon, mischievous as always, successfully locates a victim: Caroline Forbes.
Damon begins feeding on Caroline while compelling her to be his little plaything. This is all part of his plan to get closer to Elena, which he begins succeeding in. Elena is wary of the older Salvatore, especially after episode three. When he tries to plant a kiss on the unsuspecting human who is unknowingly wearing vervain (a herb that blocks compulsion) in a necklace from Stefan, Damon finds himself getting slapped right across the face. During the Founders Party, Elena finds bite marks all over Caroline’s body and immediately knows they’re from Damon. In the end, we see that Stefan snuck vervain into Damon by putting it into Caroline’s drink. When the “bad” brother bit her, the semi-poisonous herb transferred into his system. Damon is then locked into a dungeon-like room in the Salvatore basement. He’s left there to desiccate since Stefan considers him a threat.
In the next episode, which is episode five, Damon is able to escape from his imprisonment, killing his nephew, Zach in the process. After not eating for a while, the older Salvatore goes and indulges in humans at the cemetery: including Vicki Donovan. He ends up taking her home where they feed on one another. Unlike most, Vicki is enthusiastic about being fed on and feeding on a vampire. The pair dances around the house and appears to have a great time. This is actually the first time we see Damon having fun without endangering another person. The fun concludes when Damon snaps Vicki’s neck, throwing her into vampire transition.
Vicki’s transition is completed when she feeds on a journalist who is hunting vampires. His name is Logan Fell and he’s the ex-boyfriend of Jenna Sommers. All emotions are amplified when someone becomes a vampire. Vicki is impulsive, out of control, and angrier. This is touched upon more in episode seven, “Haunted.” Before I can get into the details of that episode, we need to learn about what else happened in episode six. Elena finds out Stefan and Damon are vampires, promises to keep Stefan’s secret, and then proceeds to end her relationship with him. Vicki’s transition makes being with Stefan unbearable for Elena which is the cause of their unfortunate break-up.
Halloween arrives in Mystic Falls. The high school is holding its annual Halloween party. There are a few interesting (and dangerous) guests in attendance. Our entire previously mentioned crew is there, including Vicki, who is practically rabid. She finds Jeremy who is in love with her, especially after their summer hook-ups, and begins fooling around with him. Due to her bloodlust, she begins losing control and bites him, drawing blood from his bottom lip. Elena and Stefan do their best to get Jeremy away from Vicki, who could obviously easily end his life if she drained him. Vicki attacks Elena and Stefan sends a wooden “stake” straight through her heart.
Jeremy, the sixteen year old who just saw the girl he loves get killed, is now horrified. Stefan offers to compel him to forget everything, but is too weak. Compulsion isn’t strong unless the vampire feeds on humans. Damon, who does feed off of humans enters the conversation and offers to compel Jeremy for Elena. There is some visible hesitation, but because Elena wants what’s best for her brother, she agrees. All of his pain and suffering is taken away from what we can tell. No one knows where Vicki is, including her brother Matt. Where was her body taken and how will they explain her disappearance? You might find out in part two of the season one review! Be on the lookout for that! You’ll learn more about The Vampire Diaries than you ever expected!