Television Tourniquet: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 1.22


The Vampire Diaries Episode 1.22
"Founder's Day"
Written By: Bryan Oh and Andrew Chambliss
Directed By: Marcos Siega
Original Airdate: 13 May 2010 

In This Episode...

It's Founder's Day, and the shit is about to hit the fan.

Word around town is that the tomb vampires plan on taking their revenge on Mystic Falls's founding families.  John's plan is to set off the Gilbert Device once the fireworks begin.  It will work once, for about five minutes, and emit a high-pitched whistle that only vampires can hear.  When the vamps are incapacitated, the deputies will poison the vamps with vervane, collect them in the basement of the old Gilbert medical office, and set it alight. 

Damon knows about the plan, but still believes that Bonnie deactivated it.  He is wrong, and he gets vervane'd and swept into the basement along with Anna, the mayor, and a bunch of tomb vamps.  Damon sees Anna fighting against her vervane poisoning to be able to escape.  John sees this and stakes her.  Damon plays dead.  Alaric stepped in to save Stefan from being collected by the vampire police, and once the alarm is over, Stefan can hear where Damon has been taken.  Despite the risk to his own person, Stefan is determined to save his brother.  Bonnie, feeling guilty for lying about working her mojo, uses her magic to make the fires recede long enough for Stefan and Damon to get to safety. 

You may be wondering why the mayor got caught up in the vampire sweep.  No, he is not a vampire, but the vampire alarm affected him, as it did his son Tyler.  Tyler got in a car accident because of it, sending Caroline to the hospital with severe internal bleeding.  When the paramedics were checking out Tyler, his eyes dilated to animalistic proportions.

Anna wants to leave Mystic Falls, and wants Jeremy to go with her.  She gives him a vial of her blood and how to make the change.  Jeremy has changed his mind, but he saves the blood.  He is still furious with Elena, and Damon, overhearing this, tries to step in and clear the air between the siblings.  It doesn't work, but Damon hasn't given up.  He meets Jeremy at home, with the offer to wipe his memory again - this time it would be Jeremy's choice.  He declines - the memories may go, but the feeling of loneliness and anguish do not. Damon tells Jeremy that Anna is dead, and Jeremy didn't seem surprised by this.  He figured that would happen the moment the Gestapo dragged her away. He questions the ability to turn those emotions off as a vampire.  Damon confirms it, and Jeremy knocks back Anna's blood, followed by a bottle of pain meds.

Elena bumps into Damon as she is coming home and he is leaving.  Damon admits he was there making a feeble attempt to do the right thing.  He is maudlin, telling Elena about how he came to town to destroy it, but finds himself wanting to save it.  He is unaccustomed to being a good guy, and thanks Elena for being important enough that she would want Bonnie to save him.  He kisses her sweetly on the cheek, but hovers.  When Elena doesn't pull away, they kiss passionately - until Jenna opens the door.  Embarrassed and annoyed, the two separate.

In the kitchen, John makes an attempt to bond with Elena over sodas - she told him she knew that he is her biological father.  Spying the magic ring on his finger, she grabs a knife and hacks it off, then drives the knife into his heart.  With his dying breath, he breathes, "Catherine."  And the real Elena is just getting home.

Dig It or Bury It?

While watching this episode, it seemed somewhat uneventful, especially compared to last week's episode.  But recapping it also made me realize that, though the episode wasn't jam-packed, it was well-paced, it certainly had a lot going on.  The Catherine thing was obvious, though I liked John as a bad guy.  Jeremy's death was a little too much like a 14 year old girl's cry for attention.  Man up, Jeremy!

I'm a little irked that they are bringing in werewolves.  What is it about vampire properties that demands they bring in werewolves? Plus Vampire Diaries also has a witch.  I think in season three they are going to introduce zombies and a Godzilla.  Noticeably, werewolf properties never bring in a busload of creatures.

Myths Revamped

Apparently vampires are like dogs with the high-pitched whistle.  Does that mean that a dog whistle could have the same effect on vampires as the Gilbert Device?  This seems especially true since Tyler and the mayor -both seemingly werewolves - were affected by the whistle.  Is there some kind of frequency that works on all supernatural beings?

Blood Lust

It wasn't a particularly bloody episode, but there were a lot of important deaths.  Anna - gone.  The mayor - gone.  John - gone.  John's death was easily the bloodiest - a lopped-off hand and a butcher knife to the chest.  Jeremy is undead, or is about to be.  A whole mess o' vamps burned in the basement fire.


Catherine is going to cause massive problems, naturally.  I hate those "mistaken identity" plotlines, but I am certain that Damon was able to recognize that he was kissing Catherine and not Elena.  Hopefully that will prevent season two from devolving into a "who's on first" situation. 

It's gonna be a long summer.