The Vampire Diaries - Season 01's Top 25 Bits
01.) 1.01 - Pilot (Featuring Caroline and Bonnie)
This was the moment I fell in love with Caroline Forbes. Trying to explain her frustration to Bonnie, how Elena always is the one, while she never is even though she tries so hard just broke my heart. It was such a real, genuine moment, and something that anyone (uhm, everybody?) who's ever had a moment of feeling less than could relate to.
02.) 1.03 - "Friday Night Bites" (Featuring Damon and Elena)
For me, this was the truly the beginning of Damon and Elena. Here he was laying the seeds of discontent with his Katherine talk, and Elena in all of her empathetic glory just bypassed that and saw his pain, and read between the lines because she's a smart little cookie. His look when she pierced straight to the heart of him (hah, see what I did there? "Pierce"d.) with such quick insight was just like whoah! This was the first teeny step that Damon Salvatore took through the door of falling in love with Elena Gilbert.
03.) 1.04 - "Family Ties" (Featuring Elena and Stefan)
This moment told me two things. 1) Elena Gilbert is awesome. 2) The Vampire Diaries was so much more than the first three episodes had shown me. When Stefan told Elena that she had to trust him, in the space of her response, I mentally rolled my eyes, knowing she would fall into his arms and assure him that, of course, she trusted him. Lo and behold, She did not! She straight-up told him that trust had to be earned. I literally sat up, eyes wide and shouted, "You go, Elena!" And that was the moment when Elena and this show completely transcended the CW teenage-swill it so very easily could have become.
04.) 1.05 - "You're Undead to Me" (Featuring Elena + plenty lots of flashbacks)
The fact that Elena figured out that Stefan was a vampire in only the fifth episode was pretty dang awesome, and I loved how we had all of those clues flipping through her mind through voice-over and flashbacks, the music ("Beauty of the Dark" by Mads Langer -- awesome song!), all of it building to this crescendo with the memory of Matt telling Elena that Vicki said it was a vampire that bit her, and Elena pulling it all together. Speaking of, Nina Dobrev was amazing in this sequence, with her expressions -- disbelief warring with belief, dawning realization paired with horror. She really helped sell the believability of the moment.
05.) 1.06 "Lost Girls" (Featuring Stefan)
This truly is a moment, but I've always adored how we begin the episode with the previouslious -- which include Elena figuring out the whole vampire angle, hopping in her car, Stefan rushing to open the door -- and instead of continuing with Elena's "Who are you?" he opens the door to a bright sunny day in 1864. Stylistically, it was just so beautifully done.
06.) 1.07 - "Haunted" (Featuring Damon and Elena)
We very rarely see Damon actually ruled by his bloodlust, unable to control himself. Not that we see that here, but this is the first time (and the only time really) where we see an acknowledgement from Damon that he is affected by bloodlust ... with emphasis on lust. See, I've always found this moment tinged with a higher degree of sexual tension than a lot of their other moments. (Not that they don't have tons of those, but many, if not most, are shaded with feelings of a deeper affection.) In this one, Elena is standing there in her cleavage-baring, sexy nurse's costume, dark red lipstick and dark hair flowing about her. She's standing up to Damon, without fear, calling him out, striking him and you know that just doesn't happen, like probably ever from a human who knows that he's a vampire. And I think that gets to him, yes, sexually. I think she kinda turns him on, and then you add to that the fact that she's bleeding. Which -- as we know -- heightens strong emotions: Like love, hate, anger, lust. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. So, yeah, I've always loved this moment because there was no other possible emotion here that could have brought out that heightened bloodlust. Yeah, I know, kinda sick. ;p
07.) 1.08 - "162 Candles" (Featuring Elena and Bonnie)
This is just such a light, happy and, yes, magical moment. It highlights the friendship between the two girls (which I always love), but it was also just so nice seeing a moment of happiness in a show that is often about drama and angst to a ridiculous (but wonderful!) level. Bonnie floating those feathers, Elena reacting to them with such a genuine smile amidst the vampire-fallout was such a lovely, lovely moment. Bonnie opening up to Elena with such a huge, unbelievable secret, and of course, Elena believing her absolutely. (Of course, how could she not at this point? But still, it was the conviction in her voice, and the smile oN Bonnie's face in response. *sigh* Love it.)
08.) 1.10 - "The Turning Point" (Featuring Alaric, Mayor Lockwood, with an appearance by Jeremy and Tyler)
Like with Caroline's moment in the Pilot, this was a single, early scene that made me an Alaric fan. Him walking out on the Mayor trying to force Jeremy and Tyler to fight, and then pretty much putting Lockwood in his place was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. He was cool as a cucumber, a tad snarky, offered up a great smile or two, and was just generally all-around confidently bad-ass. And my love for Alaric Saltzman was born. :)
09.) 1.11 - "Bloodlines" (Featuring Damon and Elena)
This is actually my single favorite happy scene from The Vampire Diaries. For me, this is the only time we've ever seen Damon and Elena completely at ease, comfortable, happy-smiley with one another (okay, without alcohol in the picture -- as it was earlier in the episode). There was just the slightest mention of Stefan (a Damon taunt that only received a smile from Elena), or Damon's wicked, wicked ways. They were just two individuals having a conversation, revealing bits about themselves, connected in the aftermath of a traumatic event in which they'd both lived through, and in Elena's case, triumphed. And the kicker was Damon's repeated "You're not the worst company, Elena," that was just filled with such a quiet happiness, as well as a tinge of realization that he really liked this girl. Just for her. Not because of Katherine, or because it would piss Stefan off, but just because he liked Elena. And Elena just kept on smiling.
10.) 1.14 - "Fool Me Once" (Featuring Damon and Anna)
This is one of my very favorite moments -- partly because it's never revealed to any other key character: Damon choosing to meet with Anna in the square. The phone call to Stefan was about saving Elena. Stefan didn't have the book, and so didn't show up. And Damon had completely convinced Stefan that he didn't care what happened to Elena. But the viewers knew the truth. Damon did care; Damon had the book, so he showed up in the square and he made the deal to save Elena all on his own. In the meantime, Stefan found Elena his own way and so Damon never got that chance, and no one -- not Stefan, not Elena, not anyone who had never seen any possibility of good in him (Sheila, Bonnie, etc.) -- knew about it. Plus, Anna's "God, it's 1864 all over again," never does not crack me up. Great delivery by Malese Jow, great line, and Damon's discomfiture and annoyance at the comment and how right it is just adds to the awesome.
11.) 1.14 - "Fool Me Once" (Featuring Damon and Elena)
*Sigh* Elena shows such complete faith and trust in him by taking off her necklace, and Damon shows that complete faith and trust back by putting it right back on her. Like the scene in "Friday Night Bites," this is one of those pivotal scenes in the journey of Damon and Elena's love story. Plus, WHOO!BOY! that chemistry. Damn, when he puts the necklace back on her and he's close, and her eyes are on his face, on his lips, on his eyes and the tension is so like a third character in the scene it is so very palpable.
12.) 1.14 - "Fool Me Once" (Featuring Elena and Bonnie)
When Grams died, I cried. This was the first and only time (as of yet) that The Vampire Diaries has made me cry. Katerina Graham did her finest acting here; she was damn, damn good. As she frantically cried out for Elena, that's when I began to tear up. Grabbing for the spell book, desperately wanting to fix it, and finally completely breaking down in Elena's arms as she realizes she can't, gah, it was heartbreaking. For such a short-lived character, Jasmine Guy's Grams made an indelible impression and everything leading up to that moment was so well-laid out. When she died, it was a sucker-punch to the gut, and I was a mess.
13.) 1.17 - "Let the Right One In" (Featuring Damon, Elena and Alaric)
I've always loved this scene because of all of the undercurrents. Damon's trying to be snarky and act like he doesn't give a damn, but his true emotions -- his fear for what is happening to Stefan, for what could very easily happen to Elena -- are on display through his facade more than they normally are. For Alaric, he hates Damon, thinks his pure evil, blah, blah, blah, but here he's seeing that the guy has genuine love for his brother, and that he obviously cares about Elena. More than that, it's obvious that Elena does trust Damon, and actually kinda likes the guy. Plus, she's not even remotely afraid of him. And you see all of this not in any of their dialogue, but through their interplay, the looks that pass in-between them, the expressions crossing their faces. And the awesome triumverate of Elena^Damon^Alaric was born!
14.) 1.17 - "Let the Right One In" (Featuring Caroline, Elena and Matt)
This is one of those small moments that just hits like a sucker punch. Vicki is dead, now Matt and everyone else knows it, and Caroline is trying to be a good girlfriend, she's trying to be there, for him, comforting him, making him feel as better as he can under the circumstances. And what she gets from him is that he wants to be left alone, and so she does. She lets him go and gives him space. And then moments later she sees him accept an embrace from Elena -- his ex-girlfriend whom Caroline fears that he still loves -- and lose himself the comfort that *she* offers. The look on her face ... oh, Caroline!
15.) 1.19 - "Miss Mystic Falls" (Featuring Elena, Caroline, Amber, and contestants)
The show has funny lines, but rarely do they attempt obvious comedy. This one actually falls under that category, I think. As the contestants sit before the Miss Mystic Falls committee explaining why they should win, we jump from Caroline's list of everything under the sun she's done at school and for the community, Elena's 'uhm, yeah, my parents died and life's been hard, so I've done shit' explanation, Amber's excitement that she was being included even if she's not a member of the founding family, and the remaining contestant we see who explains that just because her DUI made her community service mandatory, doesn't make her any less committed.. Hee!
16.) 1.19 - "Miss Mystic Falls" (Featuring Damon and Elena)
I get butterflies, squeeful feelings and just a deep contentment every time I watch this scene. It's so beautifully done in terms of the characters, the moment is so tense and yet light. Seeing these two completely lose themselves in the moment and the music was just damn lovely as a fan of the pair. It doesn't hurt that the Somerhalder/Dobrev chemistry was on fire, and they are both so DARN PRETTY!
17.) 1.19 - "Miss Mystic Falls" (Featuring Stefan and Amber)
I love this scene. You had Stefan's frustration, how he defines himself in many ways by his relation (or rather contrast) to his brother ("I don't hurt people. I'm the good brother.") which goes back to his pre-vampire days, you just know. And then there is the precise, almost sensual way he talks about wanting to kill Amber and feed on her, how he touches her neck, explains how to do it properly. It gives insight into vampires in general and how hard it is to constantly struggle with that desire to kill. Caroline mentioned that to Elena at one point (about how she always wants to kill). It's not just about needing the blood, it's that when one becomes a vampire, one becomes a killer ... and wants to kill. And for the first time we really see this struggle because we know Stefan as the good brother who doesn't hurt people. But boy, does he want to!
18.) 1.20 - "Blood Brothers" (Featuring Damon and Alaric, Damon and Elena)
This is another funny scene, and it features the awesome of the Damon/Alaric bromance, so win! First we had the dialogue that established that lovely, teasingly insulting banter of the bffs, this was then followed by blah, blah, plot stuffies before we got to my favorite part ("You tried to kill me." / "Yeah, well, you did kill me.") and then we got some more funnies when Damon got another call (from Elena!). I always get a little laugh out of how Damon pulls the phone away to check the caller ID, and then says "Hold on" into the phone without putting it back to his ear, followed by his flat, mock-annoyed "What?" which is very amusing knowing that he knows it's Elena since he checked out the caller ID. Hee! And that phone conversation begins with a typical Damon one-liner, before discussion turns to Stefan's favorite type of blood ("Puppy blood. Little golden retriever puppies with cute, floppy ears.") and I'm just cracking up so hard at this point. Hah!
19.) 1.20 - "Blood Brothers" (Featuring Elena and John)
Man, Elena is awesome here. It's another definite "moment." John tries to be all bad-ass and lay a guilt trip on Elena by asking what her mother would think of her association with vampires, and Elena just cuts him to the floor with a snide "Which one?" effectively throwing it in his face that she knows all about Isobel. *And* she knows that John knows and has kept it from her. Just such an awesome snarky, bitchy teenage Elena moment. (Ah, John, I'm gonna miss how you brought out these moments in her.)
20.) 1.20 - "Blood Brothers" (Featuring Damon and Stefan)
This is not only one of my favorite scenes of the season, it's actually my favorite Damon scene of season 01 (and number two overall). When Stefan starts on his martyr act, upset about all of the people that have been hurt by Damon and it's all Stefan's fault because he's the one who made Damon turn, Damon's response is pure gold ("Everything on this planet is not your fault. My actions, what I do, it's not your fault. I own them. They belong to me. You are not allowed to feel my guilt.") How incredibly awesome is this? It's so rare that Damon is truly open and serious with Stefan about his feelings about everything other than Elena. He just doesn't feel comfortable opening up to Stefan any more (not that I blame him, Stefan always manages to use it against him, intentionally or not), and yet, here he did. And what he says just blows me away. It reveals so much about Damon as a character, who he is, what he is, and how aware he is of those very things. And including in that was the realization that Damon does feel guilt, but he's chosen not to because he's just not ready to deal with that guilt and the ramifications. It's fantastic writing, and the delivery by Ian Somerhalder -- the bite, the bitterness, the hint of vulnerability -- is just brilliant.
21.) 1.21 - "Isobel" (Featuring Damon and Isobel)
Again, this one falls closer to a moment than a lot of the others. Damon having Isobel fully believing that he's same-old Damon, submitting to his seduction, and then he goes all medieval on her ass. The way he grabs her throat, delivers the show's best line ever with silky smooth menace! ("I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message."), and then that emphatic head bang. Ooh! It was just chill-inducing.
22.) 1.21 - "Isobel" (Featuring Alaric and Isobel)
I adore this scene. (I know, I know, I adore them all.) It's the very first glimpse we get that Isobel actually does have a heart, that she does feel guilt, and has regrets. We also see the love that was truly there between them, love that both still feel, and love that Isobel releases Alaric from. Not gonna lie, it gets me a bit misty-eyed. And I have to say that as much as I like Sara Canning, and am fairly indifferent to Mia Kirshner, I do think that Kirshner had way, way more chemistry with Matt Davis than did Canning. I so could have shipped them. Ah well. Both women are dead now anyway now. :(
23.) 1.22 - "Founder's Day" (Featuring Damon and Jeremy)
Honestly, if this list were top 50, it'd probably have every Damon/Jeremy bit on here because I seriously love every single moment that we get to see these two interact. This is just my favorite of the interaction probably because Jeremy actually does need someone like how Damon treats him here. Someone who will tell him when he's being an emo dick, telling him what he has to appreciate and to wake up and damn well appreciate it. Plus, it's funny. The whole Damon imitating Jeremy cracks me up.
24.) 1.22 - "Founder's Day" (Featuring Damon and "Elena")
I thought the Damon/"Elena" discussion and the kiss was so completely awesome in pretty much every way under the sun. First of all, Nina Dobrev's phenomenal acting choices. I was thrown a teeny bit by "Elena"'s expression when Damon kissed her on the cheek. It was like "WTF ARE YOU DOING?!" and it wasn't in an amusingly exasperated way, or an annoyed, 'Dude I'm dating your brother' way. It was in a 'what the fuck are you doing?' And I couldn't understand why Nina made that acting choice. And then the SECOND Damon looked shell-shocked and touched his lips, I thought it was Katherine. I went back and rewatched the kiss (a few million times), and that expression made perfect sense knowing that it was Katherine because Katherine wouldn't expect Damon to be nice and courtly, kissing Elena on the cheek. I imagine that she's been keeping tabs enough on things, and she knows what a bad, bad boy Damon's become. So that "WTF!?" made perfect sense coming from Katherine. FANTASTIC acting by Nina in subtly giving that information away in retrospect once you know it's Katherine.
Plus, has there ever been a more perfect song accompanying a kiss than "Bloodstream?" I just do not think so. It's not just the beat, the melody, but also how it builds and wraps itself around their words and the moment, ratcheting up the tension between them. Finally, it's the lyrics and how they so perfectly encapsulate not just what Elena does to Damon, but also what Katherine did/does to him ... and so it does fit that particular reaction they both arouse in Damon.
25.) 1.22 - "Founder's Day" (Featuring "Elena" and John)
I said above how awesome Nina Dobrev played this scene, and she really did. Again, in retrospect, you can really tell it's Katherine by how she moves and speaks (or rather barely speaks). When she sees John, "Elena" moves in this tightly-coiled way that after the fact is obviously so Katherine-esque. And, of course, we get that AWESOME, AWESOME moment when Katherine fully reveals herself by CUTTING JOHN'S FINGERS OFF! The "Hello John. Goodybe John." STAB! Is just icing on the awesome-Katherine-cake.
And there is my list. This was fun. And, damn, Damon and Elena REALLY are my two favorite characters. Out of the 25, Elena was featured in 14, Damon was in 13 of them, while the next two closest were Alaric and Stefan with 4!
Here is the link to my top 25 favorite bits from Season 02.