Episode: The Vampire Diaries 1.07 – “Haunted”
Original Air Date: October 29, 2009
Screencaps by toxic_caps.
Halloween has come to Mystic Falls, as it does to many small, gothic, Southern towns. Outside of Bon Temps, most of those small towns don’t have a resident vampire family, let alone one that were among the town’s founding residents.
After a week off, Vampire Diaries comes back with a bite. Halloween is a time for sci-fi and horror shows to bring it with all they have, and Vampire Diaries, much in the tradition of Buffy, celebrates Halloween with gusto.
The episode is all about poor little Vicki Donovan, all vamped out with no one to bite. The fledgling vampire is in a hopped-up frenzy, craving blood, even from her icky ex-boyfriend Tyler Lockwood. Fortunately for Tyler, Stefan and Damon rescue his sorry self and glamour him into forgetting little miss Vicki the Vampire. It is rare that we get to see the transformation and bloodlust of a freshly-turned vampire treated with such vigor, yet also in completely practical terms. This baby vamp is neither idolized nor ostracized, but she is a little girl lost.
At least, that’s what the rest of town thinks she is. While Stefan and Damon are keeping Vicki safe (hostage) and each teaching her how to be a good vampire in their own special contradicting ways, Jeremy, Matt, and the rest of Mystic Falls are out organizing a search party for the missing teenager. It’s hilarious to see Stefan and Damon impart their wisdom, so much so that Damon calls Stefan “Count Deepak.” Turns out coffee is great for vampires, it warms their blood, as Stefan instructs Vicki throughout the first half of the episode. Stefan also introduces her to drinking animal blood, much to the distaste of his brother. They both compare it to a vampire 12-step program, which Vicki warns doesn’t work for her.
Of course, Elena has to get involved, and she shows up at the Salvatore boarding house looking for answers from Stefan. Elena is much like many viewers of Vampire Diaries — new to vampire mythology. Through her, the audience gets to learn about this world and the greater world of vampires in general. If Elena didn’t want Vicki seeing her little brother before, she really doesn’t want her to now. But Vicki is willful, headstrong, and impetuous, and decides she’s gonna do whatever the heck she pleases, including dating Jeremy, much to Elena’s chagrin. So much so that Vicki threatens Elena.
When last we saw Bonnie, she showed up at her grandmother’s house, looking for guidance and answers into her magical heritage. Bonnie has spent the weekend with Grandma, learning family and magical history. Grandma (Jasmine Guy) gives her a sage piece of advice: she must understand how to be a witch before she can become a witch.
Meanwhile, Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood are at the diner, talking vamps and still scheming about their little Council, thankful for the secrecy, all the while Damon listening in unknown on their conversation. Turns out they have known vampires have been back for some time, but they cannot prove anything about the Salvatore brothers. That’s a good thing, because this group may not have their stuff together completely, but they are powerful and well-funded.
Back at the high school, everyone is abuzz with Halloween plans. Caroline, in an attempt to forget about Damon, designated herself costume mistress and brought a cute witch outfit complete with gift-from-the-ex-boyfriend-slash-new-costume-prop of an historical jewel recently stolen by said ex.
Vicki is entirely bored by staying cooped up all day with Stefan and Damon, so once night falls, Damon takes her outside to practice her new vamp senses and skills. This is also the perfect opportunity for Vicki to run away, which she does immediately. She shows up at home and gets Matt to invite her in and call off the search party. No matter how hard she tries, she is still hungry, and she doesn’t yet realize it’s for human blood. She convinces Jeremy to meet her at the haunted house at the school, which could only lead to tragedy.
Meanwhile, Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood are having a Halloween drink, all Great Gatsby-like when the Mayor has to leave and Damon shows up. A martini and some great flirting later, we learn that Damon is pretending that Zach has gone missing, all the while knowing that he was supplying the vamp slaying Council with vervain.
Bonnie’s amulet does some crazy magic, which sends her running back to Grandma, who reveals the amulet has been in her family for centuries, and was considered lost. In a crazy coincidence, it used to belong to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was Katherine’s servant when she turned the Salvatores.
Back at the school, Elena and Matt show up rather awkwardly in last year’s Halloween costumes (although they were both last minute), both anticipating and dreading Vicki’s arrival. She shows up, rather fittingly, as a vampire. Of course, Vicki is a hungry vampire with issues, in a room full of teenagers, including her boyfriend, which cannot end well.
This episode pulls out all the punches, and leaves you begging for more. It elevates Vampire Diaries from guilty pleasure to can’t-miss television. I, for one, am re-invested in this show’s potential, now that it has established itself as something beyond the usual fare of its fellow CW shows.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars