The town of Mystic Falls in Virginia is a small community with a rich Civil War past with some mystical rumours also thrown into the mix. What they don’t know is that the rumour that Vampires actually lived in the town is quite true.
Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) is set to start a new school year at Mystic Falls High school. She is still dealing with the death of her parents, Grayson and Miranda Gilbert. Her younger brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) has spiralled into a reclusive, drug filled life and everyone that cares about him is very worried. Elena and Jeremy still live in their home and is now under the watch of their aunt Jenna (Sara Canning), Miranda’s sister.
While driving to school, Elena’s best friend Bonnie (Katarina Graham) tells Elena that her grandmother has been telling her that she is a descendant of Salem Witches, and although she mostly chalks it up to her grandma being old and imaginative, she is excited about the prospect. A crow flies into their car, terrifying them, but the crow strangely doesn’t die and seems to watch them as turn onto the road again.
Things are still awkward between Elena and her ex, Matt Donovan (Zack Roerig), who took it hard when Elena dumped him after her parents died. Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) is at school as well and as overenthusiastic as always. They all notice the attractive new transfer, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Caroline especially seems interested, but Stefan only has eyes for Elena, much to Matt’s discomfort.
Stefan has a secret of his own – he is one of the town’s original founders, and has lived for hundreds of years as a vampire. He has some dark secrets, and his descendant Zack is especially wary of the town discovering that a vampire has returned to Mystic Falls. Stefan only drinks animal blood but there seems to be another vampire in town because there are attacks happening all over the place.
The other vampire is Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), Stefan’s estranged brother. They seem to truly hate each other and Stefan is anything but overjoyed when Damon arrives. Damon calls Stefan on his true motive for being back – Elena Gilbert, who looks astonishingly alike the girl they both had loved when they were mortals – Katherine Pierce (also played by Dobrev). Stefan asks Damon to leave, but he refuses, and after they have a fight Stefan begins to suspect Damon is up to no good, but he has no idea what it might be.
At a bonfire party, Stefan and Elena talk and have a great time, and Caroline gets drunk as she watches yet another guy fall for Elena. It isn’t jealousy, its despondency, and Caroline later asks Bonnie why Elena just seems to always win, hands down. Caroline later spots Damon specifically checking her out, and feels marginally better about life. At the party, Jeremy and Vicky Donovan (Kayla Ewell), Matt’s sister, have a falling out because she won’t be with him because he is younger than she is. She kisses Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino), but Jeremy pushes him away when he ignores Vicky’s demands that he stops his wandering hands. Vicky storms away, and is attacked by Damon. Jeremy and Elena fight when she notices he is drunk and high again, and he trips over Vicky’s body as he turns to walk from his sister.
Vicky is rushed to the hospital, and the vigilant Matt sits with her. When Vicky wakes up she utters one word that threatens to complicate Stefan’s life a whole lot: vampire.
After Vicky’s attack, the town is stressed about a wild animal on the loose. Stefan visits Vicky in the hospital and makes her forget Damon’s attack through compulsion. Matt nearly spots him but he disappears. When Vicky wakes up, she tells her brother that an animal attacked her because that is what she now remembers. Jeremy visits Vicky in the hospital, and Tyler’s absence makes it abundantly clear who cares about her the most.
Elena decides to take matters into her own hands and go visit Stefan at his house. He isn’t there, but Damon is, and they start talking, with Damon telling her that Stefan had his heart broken by Katherine. When Stefan shows up he is unhappy to find Elena with Damon, and is very short with her. Chastened, she leaves, and at the town’s comet sighting, she tells him that it is okay that they didn’t work out, even though there was an initial spark.
After realising that Vicky slept with both Jeremy and Tyler, Matt notices she is missing. Everyone searches for her, and Matt tells Stefan he saw him at the hospital. Stefan overhears Damon scaring Vicky on top of the roof, and he goes to help her. Initially Damon tells Vicky that Stefan attacked her, that Stefan is a vampire, but reverses his compulsion. Stefan only becomes more suspicious that Damon is up to something, but Damon refuses to tell him what.
Later that night Stefan visits Elena and apologise, telling her that he doesn’t want it to be over. They kiss. Damon woos Caroline and they quickly sleep together, ending with Damon feeding on her.
Bonnie, who sensed something off about Stefan the second they accidentally touched, is not so keen for him to be dating her best friend anymore. She won’t tell Elena why but begs her to be careful. Elena asks her to come over and spend a dinner night with her and Stefan, and Bonnie reluctantly agrees. The evening quickly becomes stranger when Damon shows up with Caroline, who is now his new live feeding bag. While Damon is trying to confuse Elena in the kitchen, Stefan notices something is off about Caroline’s behaviour but Damon returns before he can find out what exactly.
Matt is still feeling off about his broken relationship with Elena and Tyler tries to “help” by attempting to embarrass Stefan. He throws a football at Stefan’s back, but he catches it and his return throw is impressive enough that Elena urges him to join the squad. The coach, Mr. Tanner, is a horrible teacher who delights in embarrassing his students, and takes it hard when Stefan seems to know more about history than he does. Stefan gives Elena a beautiful necklace filled with vervain, an herb that is the only thing that can stop a vampire’s compulsion on a human.
At a football rally, Stefan and Damon have words and Stefan tells him that he is convinced Damon still has humanity in him. Damon kills Mr. Tanner to show that he has not one decent bone in his body, and Matt finds the corpse. Damon tries to compel Elena into kissing him but with the vervain she sees it as bullshit and smacks him before storming away.
The annual Founder’s Party is hosted by Mayor Lockwood and his wife Carol, Tyler’s parents. Elena invites Stefan and Damon compels Caroline to invite him. Vicky, who is still stubbornly hoping Tyler will suit up and become a man to date, gets him to take her, but when he sneaks her past his parents she is very upset and realises he is ashamed of her. She storms away to Jeremy, who is only too happy to be with her.
Damon has an agenda as usual and uses the party to get into the Lockwood’s house to retrieve an amber necklace he stored there just after he turned into a vampire. Damon messes with Elena’s head again by telling her the story of the original Salvatore brother’s love triangle, failing to mention that he and Stefan actually are the original brothers. Stefan slips Caroline some vervain in her drink and when Damon bites her again, Stefan is there to catch him in his weakest moment and they lock him up in the Salvatore boarding house.
The Founder’s council includes the Lockwoods, Caroline’s mother and reporter Logan Fell. They know the vampires have returned to Mystic Falls and try to devise plans to catch them, sure that they can only walk around in the night, eliminating Damon and Stefan because they both have rings that were created by Katherine’s hand maiden and witch, Emily Bennet, Bonnie’s ancestor. The Council knows they have to retrieve the Gilbert pocket watch that now belongs to Jeremy, because it is a device that can point out vampires.
Damon is weakening from the absence of human blood in the basement. He manages to get Caroline to free him, killing Zack. Vicky and Jeremy become closer and they visit some of her friends, and when Jeremy disapproves she tells him she is tired of being judged. Jeremy heads home and isn’t there when Damon arrives to kill and feed off all of them. Miraculously, Vicky survives yet another attack of Damon and he takes her to the boarding house.
The school is having a carwash as fundraiser and Bonnie tests some of her growing power. Only Stefan realises the massive fire was made by her and promises to keep quiet. An old man recognises Stefan, and even though Stefan laughs it off, Elena becomes suspicious about what he is because she has noticed things like how his face sometimes change and how quickly he heals. She asks Logan Fell if she can investigate “something” in the town’s television archives, and he agrees, getting her to promise to put in a good word about him to Jenna. Logan manages to steal the pocket watch from the Gilbert house, while Elena sees old images of a man that looks alarmingly like Stefan.
Elena confronts Stefan and he acknowledges the fact that he is a vampire. He asks to tell her the story of how they both became vampires and their love affair with Katherine Pierce in 1953, and how their father immediately betrayed them. Damon turns Vicky into a vampire, and with her unstable personality she is not a very suitable candidate to be a vampire. She flees, and while searching for her, Stefan is nearly killed by Logan Fell and the compass, but Damon saves Stefan and Vicky kills Logan and completes her transformation into a real vampire. Stefan tells Elena that Vicky is now a vampire, but she can’t console Matt or Jeremy about Vicky’s disappearance. Elena tells Stefan that she will keep his secret but that their relationship is over.
It’s Halloween, and Caroline wants Bonnie to dress as a witch. She gives Bonnie the amber necklace and when Damon tries to take it from her, it burns him. Vicky attacks Jeremy and Elena at school, and Stefan kills Vicky with a stake. Jeremy is maddened with grief but on Elena’s request Damon makes Jeremy forget what happened.
Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) is an old vampire friend from Stefan and she comes to visit Stefan on his birthday. Elena is initially suspicious and jealous, and Lexi is shocked with Elena’s resemblance to Katherine. Lexi helps Elena realise how much she loves Stefan. Damon manoeuvres himself into the Founder’s Council by killing her and saying she’s the vampire that has been terrorising town. Stefan wants to kill his brother but Elena convinces him to not do it.
A new history teacher arrives, Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis). He makes friends with Jeremy, who has become his old self since Damon’s compulsion. Mr. Saltzman tells Jeremy to write a paper on the town for extra credit to pass history, and Jeremy chooses the Vampire legend. He meets Anna, a pretty home school student who brings him lots of information on vampires. She is insistent that there are vampires. Mr. Saltzman is impressed with Jeremy’s paper, and he and Jenna seems to really like each other when they finally meet. He tells her about the mysterious death of his wife, Isobel, and admits that the not knowing what happened to her kills him inside.
Bonnie starts having strange dreams about her ancestor and the Amber necklace and her grandmother tells her the story of Emily Bennet. Caroline suggests a séance to speak to Emily, and Emily possesses Bonny. Damon finally reveals his master plan – when all the vampires supposedly burnt in the church in the 1864, Emily Bennet had sealed every vampire in a tomb, trapping them but saving their lives. Damon tells Stefan that he plans to free Katherine and all the other vampires, and Stefan worries about the town safety. Bonnie, now possessed by Emily, succeeds to destroy the crystal that would have freed the vampires. Damon nearly kills Bonnie but Stefan saves her life. Elena finally shares with Bonnie all the secrets she has been hoarding, and realises that she can love Stefan no matter what he is, but Stefan now doesn’t want a relationship with her for her own safety. Logan returns to town as a vampire at Jenna’s door, but she unwittingly keeps her life by refusing to invite him in, something a vampire needs if he wants to enter a human’s house. She tells Elena and Elena tells Stefan, who knows what Logan has become. Sheriff Forbes also knows what Logan is now, but he threatens her.
Caroline and Matt grow closer and bond, and everyone is surprised. Matt tells Tyler to back off about it and Caroline deals with the fact that Matt is probably still a bit in love with Elena. Damon is injured by Logan, who wants to know how Stefan and Damon can walk in sunlight. Logan tells Damon that he knows how to get Katherine out of the tomb, but he is killed by a vampire hunter, the teacher Alaric Saltzman, before he can tell Damon anything.
Elena tells Stefan that she loves him and he decides to stay in Mystic Falls. They sleep together, and when Stefan leaves the room Elena discovers the photo of Katherine, and is horrified by the resemblance. She leaves her vervain necklace on the photo and leaves, and is in a car crash when she tries to avoid a pedestrian. The pedestrian is a vampire, who flees when Damon arrives, freeing Elena.
Stefan is worried when he realises that Elena is now on a road trip with Damon. They head to Georgia to visit the witch Bree, but Damon doesn’t know that Bree is planning revenge on him for killing Lexi. Lexi’s boyfriend shows up and nearly sets Damon alight, but Elena saves Damon’s life. Damon kills Bree after she tells him about the spell in Emily’s spell book that can open the tomb.
Elena returns and talks to Stefan, who admits that he had checked on her month’s before they actually met to make sure that she wasn’t Katherine. He tells her that he was there the night her parents died and saved her first on her father’s orders and that he couldn’t save them all in time. Elena asks Stefan why she looks so much like Katherine and he reveals another shocker – that she was adopted. He asks her to forgive him and she does. At the bar, Alaric recalls his wife’s actual disappearance – the night he walked in while a vampire was attacking her, Damon Salvatore.
Damon and Stefan turn their attentions to finding the vampire that was involved in Elena’s car crash, and the vampire seems to be hunting Elena. Elena starts handing out more vervain filled presents to protect her loved ones. Matt takes a job at the Mystic Grill, and he and Caroline fights when she questions it. Damon harasses Bonnie, but she is saved by Ben, an attractive bar man at the grill. Ben and Bonnie seem to connect and she is excited about the prospect of an older guy.
At yet another school dance, one with a 1950’s theme, Damon and Stefan accompany Elena, worried that the unknown vampire will hurt her. The vampire, Noah (Dillon Casey) is friends with Anna, Jeremy’s new friend, who is also a vampire. They are searching for Jonathan Gilbert’s journal, Jeremy and Elena’s ancestor. Noah lures Elena away from her protectors by threatening Jeremy, but he is killed in the end. Damon and Stefan both notice Alaric’s shadowy presences, but when Damon compels him and hears the truth, they think he is in the dark about things, not noticing Alaric’s peculiar ring. Alaric tells Jenna about his wife Isobel, and Jenna make a mental realisation that Isobel was also the name of Elena’s birthmother. Elena and Stefan offers to help Damon get Katherine out, but they are actually working against him, knowing that all the vengeful vampires in the tomb getting released will be a very bad thing.
Bonnie’s date with Ben turns disastrous when he is also a vampire helping Anna. Anna reveals that her mother is in the tomb and plans to free her. Elena and Stefan try to find the Gilbert Journal, which Jeremy loaned to Alaric. Stefan reveals himself to Alaric and after some mutual distrust Alaric reveals why he is here – to find out what happened to Isobel. Stefan promises to help him, and they realise that Anna has stolen the journal. Alaric gives Stefan a copy of the journal, and he and Elena realises that Emily’s spell book is buried with Stefan and Damon’s father, Giuseppe Salvatore. They find it but are waylaid by Damon, who is furious. Stefan gives up the spell book to save Elena’s life. Elena tells Stefan about Jeremy and Anna, and he recognises who Anna is. He finds Elena’s bedroom empty and Elena is also kidnapped.
Elena wakes up as a captive of Anna and Ben, alongside Bonnie. Stefan begs Damon’s help but he refuses, still angered by their betrayal. Stefan calls on Bonnie’s grandmother and they do a locator spell, and Stefan saves them. Jeremy asks Anna on a date to a party in the woods and she accepts. Stefan and Elena finally truthfully offer help to Damon, but he is still angry. Elena removes her vervain necklace and tells Damon to compel her to hear the truth, and he finally believes her. He tells her that he didn’t compel her on their trip to Georgia because it was fun and he wanted it to be real.
Bonnie and her grandmother open the tomb and Damon heads in to get Katherine, taking Elena to ensure they all come out. Anna shows up and takes Pearl out, and the witches seal the tomb after Elena and Damon also exits, without Katherine because she wasn’t there. Damon is heartbroken and Anna eventually tells him that Katherine has been alive the entire time and she knew he was too, and couldn’t bother to find him. No one realises that the tomb wasn’t properly resealed and the remaining vampires escape into the woods.
Kelly Donovan, Matt’s mother, shows up, and she quickly tells Caroline that she prefers Elena as Matt’s girlfriend. Stefan and Elena are worried about Damon’s careless attitude, and Alaric starts pressuring Stefan for information from Isobel and Damon. Meanwhile, Sheriff Forbes asks Damon and Alaric to be in a bachelor fund raising auction. Damon realises what Alaric is up to and taunts him, and Elena realises that Damon turned her birthmother into a vampire. Damon kills Alaric but his ring revives him. Elena is warned by a mysterious man who warns her to stop looking for Isobel.
Anna and Pearl pays Damon a visit, revealing the escape of all the vampires and that they want control over town. Anna visits Jeremy, but Jeremy has been doing some digging of his own and suspects Anna is a vampire. He slices his hand and Anna confirms his suspicions.
Stefan, Elena, Caroline and Matt go on a very awkward double date where they see Jenna, Kelly and Damon getting drunk. Frederick, one of the tomb vampires, call Elena Katherine but he disappears before Stefan can take a look. Jenna leaves when Damon and Kelly start flirting heavily, and she is approached by Frederick, who is unable to compel her because she is wearing one of Elena’s vervain filled gifts.
Matt finds his mother kissing Damon and is furious. After everyone leaves, Damon and Stefan are attacked by Frederick and his vampire girlfriend. Bethanne is killed but Frederick escapes and returns to Pearl with his tail between his legs. Anna returns to Jeremy’s house and a fight with him because she could have killed him, and he reveals that he wants her to turn him into a vampire.
Stefan is captured and tortured by Frederic and some of his friends. Damon and Alaric go to save Stefan but he is incredibly weak and Elena feeds him some of her blood to save his life.
Caroline finds Vicky’s remains when she gets lost in the woods and everything is in uproar again. Jeremy is devastated because he was sure she became a vampire and Anna learns the real reasons for Jeremy’s desire to become one. Kelly and Matt are unified in grief but when he finds her kissing Tyler he tells her to leave town and she agrees.
Stefan is struggling to deal with having drunk human blood and spirals out of control. John Gilbert Elena and Jeremy’s unpopular cousin shows up in Mystic Falls. He tells the Founder’s Council that there are still vampires in Mystic Falls, and Damon pushes him off a balcony. John survives because he has the same strange ring Alaric has. John seems to know a lot of Isobel. Stefan is still struggling with control and finally begins drinking human blood again but in secret, hiding it from his brother and Elena.
Stefan returns to school and seem fine. Bonnie returns to school and acts very strangely around Elena and Stefan, and she quickly reveals she can’t handle Elena’s association with Damon and Stefan. Sheriff Forbes tells Damon that some vampire robbed a blood bank and Damon realises it is Stefan.
At the Miss Mystic Falls contest, Elena and Caroline are both contestants. Caroline is desperate to win, sure Elena will take the prize. Stefan is completely out of control and Damon tells Elena what Stefan has been up to, and he freaks out. He takes one of the contestants with him when she witnesses him breaking a mirror. Meanwhile, Damon stands in as Elena’s partner when Stefan fails to appear. Anna shows up at the contest and makes amends with Jeremy, not seeing that they are watched by John Gilbert. Jeremy reads Elena’s diary at home and now knows what happened to Vicky. Bonnie, Damon and Elena find Stefan and the girl and Stefan flees the scene while they make the girl forget what she saw. Elena injects Stefan with vervain and locks him up in the boarding house to detox.
Stefan is haunted by memories of his past, and Damon also tells Elena about it, and how horrible Stefan is on a diet of human blood. Damon reveals that Stefan was the one that made them both transition into vampires. Elena manages to convince Stefan to keep on living. Jeremy and Anna grow closer and Anna enrols in Mystic Falls High. Pearl and John Gilbert has an altercation when Pearl tells him that she gave a device Jonathan Gilbert gave her as a apology gift to Damon, and he kills Pearl and Harper. Anna finds her mother’s body and is devastated.
Isobel shows up and she is obviously different from the woman Alaric had loved so much. She demands to meet Elena and asks for the device that Damon has. Elena refuses and Isobel threatens to destroy everyone Elena loves. Isobel kidnaps Jeremy to get the device and Damon says he will give it to her after they realise what it is – a device that kills vampires. Bonnie says she can reverse the spell and she pretends to do it, and they give the device to Isobel and Jeremy is saved. Isobel tells Damon she knew he would give it to her because he is in love with Elena, and Stefan and Elena overhears. Isobel compels Alaric to be able to move on from her, and Damon deduces that John Gilbert is Elena’s biological father. Anna appears and tells Jeremy that John killed her mother.
On Founder’s Day the town is preparing for celebrations. Jeremy is close again with Anna, and she gives him her blood to finally turn. John uses the device to trap the vampires and Damon is stuck in the burning building. Strangely, Tylor and his father are also affected by the device and Mayor Lockwood is also locked in the building that is set alight. Stefan refuses to let his brother die and Bonny helps him get Damon out alive. Bonnie warns Stefan that she helped because she loves Elena, but warns him that if Damon kills another innocent she will destroy him and will take Stefan down if she tries to stop him.
Damon is in deep emotional pain, finally unlocking the feelings he has suppressed for centuries. He tells Jeremy of Anna’s death in the fire and offers to make him forget once more, and apologises for his part in Vicky’s death.
Damon finds Elena on the porch and they kiss, and Damon is very confused. As she enters the house, Katherine reveals herself not to be Elena, and kills John Gilbert.
I really enjoyed Vampire Diaries Season one. It is a solid story that develops at a good pace. Everything is explored quite nicely. I like most of the characters and having seen up until about season four, I can say that a lot of them become very decent and have good character development.
I am definitely a Delena shipper. In the beginning of season one Damon is a really reprehensible character and you sort of side with Stefan’s irritation with his brother. As the season progress you start noticing that Stefan is anything but the decent man he makes out to be and that there are parts of him really dislikeable. I actually find his martyr routine pretty irritating compared to Damon who just accepts his dark side.
Some story plots were underdeveloped and left behind too quickly. Katherine being stuck in the tomb was all the rage and then they pushed the whole breaking of the tomb into one episode. I also think that the tomb vampires deserved more exploration and their sudden deaths were not satisfactory at all.
I enjoy most of the characters. Nina Dobrev can be a bit grating at times but she does become less irritating as the season progress. I didn’t like Vicky Donovan, the character or the actress. Vicky as a character was just way too insecure and selfish for me to associate with and the actress just didn’t bring even a little bit of her personality to life.
Have you watched the season? What did you think?