I've dedicated this post to recapping the first season of the Vampire Diaries. A small warning that it's very long and chock full of information piled into one place. Next weeks post will include some new pictures that the CW has released and I will discuss the differences between the books and the TV series. Good reading all!
***This is a really long post will lots of spoilers from season 1***
Stefan Salvatore arrives in Mystic Falls and catches the interest of Elena Gilbert who looks remarkably like Katherine the vampire that turned him and his brother. They grow closer even though violence is erupting throughout the town. Bonnie, Elena’s friend, is discovering her heritage and is learning how to control her new powers as a witch. Damon Salvatore, Stefan’s brother, arrives in town and creates havoc by killing several people in town. He also attacks Jeremy’s (Elena’s brother) love interest and turns Vicki into a vampire, which later Stefan is forced to kill. When Elena discovers Stefan’s and Damon’s secret, she vows to keep the secret but she cannot continue to be in a relationship with him.
Damon steps in and takes the horrific memory of Vicki from Jeremy. Stefan’s side that is more human is shown when Lexi, a 350-year-old vampire, comes to town and gives a glimpse into Stefan’s more social side. Elena takes Lexi’s advice and gives her relationship with Stefan another chance. Unfortunately, Lexi becomes a pawn in Damon’s plan to discover the names of the vampire hunters in Mystic Falls. Damon ends up staking Lexi in front of Stefan and Elena and Stefan confirms that Elena was right and she shouldn’t be anywhere near him. Stefan confronts Damon about Lexi and almost kills him. Alaric Saltzman arrives in Mystic Falls to replace Mr. Tanner (the history teacher that Damon killed) and Elena’s Aunt Jenna becomes infatuated with him.
Bonnie who has been having dreams about her ancestor Emily decides to hold a séance to contact her. Emily possesses Bonnie and uses her body to destroy a crystal that Damon wants to use that will resurrect Katherine. Enraged Damon attacks Bonnie and almost kills her. Stefan uses his blood to save Bonnie and Elena has to explain to Bonnie everything that is happening.
Elena tells Stefan she loves him and he decides to stay in Mystic Falls and they make love. While Stefan leaves the room, Elena finds a photo of Katherine and leaves the house, leaving her vervain necklace behind. Elena is involved in a car crash because she tries to avoid a man standing in the middle of the road. The man approaches Elena who is trapped in the car and Damon’s arrival causes him to flee. Damon frees Elena from the overturned car and takes her to Georgia with him in his quest to find out how to resurrect Katherine. He meets with Bree who is an old girlfriend, and witch.
Bree calls Lee who was Lexi’s boyfriend and Elena saves Damon from Lee who in turn kills Bree after she tells him to find Emily’s diary. Jeremy meets Anna who knows the true past of Mystic Falls. After Elena and Damon return Stefan confides in Elena that he was the one that saved her from the crash that killed her parents and knows she is adopted but doesn’t know who her parents are. Elena forgives Stefan after he proclaims his love for her. Alaric recognizes Damon as the vampire that killed his wife.
The man that caused Elena to crash her car is found to be a vampire and he knew Katherine. He is killed by Stefan and Damon but reveals the way to get into the tomb lies in Gilbert’s journal. Anna tries to get close to Jeremy to get her hands on his ancestor’s journals.
Bonnie’s date with Ben takes a frightening turn when she discovers Ben is a vampire. Elena helps Stefan as he and Damon race to find the missing journal that belonged to Elena’s ancestor. Stefan learns the reason behind Alaric’s interest in both the journal and the town’s history and that the way into the tomb is in the Grimoire. Although Anna stole the journal before Stefan could take it from Alaric, Stefan got a photocopy of the journal that Alaric had made.
Stefan and Elena go to Guiseppe Salvatore's grave to find Emily's spell book. Jeremy's friend Anna is revealed to be the daughter of Pearl, one of the vampires trapped in the tomb beneath the ruins of old Fell's Church. Damon takes the journal from her and goes to his father's grave.
Damon finds Elena and Stefan there after they dig the Grimoire up from his father's grave. Damon takes the book. Stefan brings Elena home and goes down stairs to get her some aspirin. He then learns that Jeremy has Anna over. Stefan recognizes the name and he runs upstairs to find Elena gone. Elena wakes to find that she and Bonnie have been kidnapped by Anna and Ben. Stefan has been trying to find her and asks Damon for help, but he refuses. With help from Grams, Stefan eventually saves Elena and Bonnie.
Stefan later ends up killing Ben for not obeying his order to leave town. Jeremy asks Anna to a party in the woods, unaware that she has her own reasons for wanting to meet him there. With the help of Bonnie and Grams, the tomb is opened and Damon realizes that Katherine is not inside. Anna enters the tomb to find her mother Pearl and helps her escape by having her feed on Elena's blood. Stefan warns Damon that the seal of the tomb has only been temporarily broken, and Elena helps them both escape in order to not be sealed in forever. Out of the tomb, Elena sees how upset Damon is and comforts him. Damon afterward confronts Anna and Pearl, and learns that a smitten church guard had let Katherine go, and she was never inside the tomb.
Anna admits to having seen Katherine in Chicago in 1983, but she was indifferent regarding Damon. At home, Bonnie checks on Grams, but finds that she has died from the strain back at the tomb. The episode ends with one of the vampires escaping from the tomb. Harper, one of the vampire who escaped from the tomb, kills a man in the woods and steals his clothes. Matt and Caroline are surprised by the sudden reappearance of Matt’s mother Kelly.
Stefan and Elena are worried about Damon’s new attitude. Damon is asked by Sheriff Forbes to take part in a fund-raising bachelor auction and asks the Sheriff for information on Alaric. Alaric discovers that his wife Isobel was Elena's biological mother, and was turned into a vampire by Damon at her own request. He confronts Damon, and the confrontation ends when Damon stabs Alaric to death with a stake. However, Alaric comes back to life, saved by a mysterious ring that Isobel gave him. Elena is determined to find out everything she can about her birth mother, but encounters warnings -- possibly from Isobel herself -- to stay away.
All the vampires in the tomb have been released, and most are staying at an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town. Pearl offers to help Damon find Katherine if he helps her out, but the visit turns violent when he turns her down. Anna arrives unexpectedly at Jeremy's house. Jeremy cuts his hand to tempt Anna, who then sucks his blood, but is interrupted by Jenna. Elena, Stefan, Caroline, and Matt go on an awkward double date to Mystic Grill where Frederick, a now-freed vampire from the tomb, mistakes Elena for Katherine. Kelly, Jenna, and Damon have some drinks at the bar, but Jenna leaves when things start heating up between Damon and Kelly.
Frederick and his girlfriend Bethanne, who blame the Salvatore brothers for their entombment, break into the boarding house and attack Stefan and Damon. Stefan stakes Bethanne, but Frederick escapes and returns to the farmhouse, where Pearl punishes him for leaving the house against her orders. Anna sneaks into Jeremy's room and chastises him for cutting himself in front of her, but Jeremy insists that he did it because he wants her to turn him.
A great storm approaches Mystic Falls, blocking out rays from the sun and making the roads dangerous. Jeremy keeps trying to convince Anna to turn him, but she refuses. While out hunting, Stefan is captured by Frederic and his friends, who intend to torture him before killing him. Damon goes to the house, realizing he cannot get in because the owner of the house has been compelled not to invite him in. Damon and Elena therefore convince Alaric to work with them to help Stefan. Damon, however, will not allow Elena to come into the house with them. Pearl meets mayor Lockwood in the Mystic Grill.
Matt is angry with his mother Kelly, but is fearful of pressuring her too much, afraid that she may leave again. Alaric enters the vampire house under the pretext of borrowing the phone. Damon kills the human living in the house, thus enabling him to enter. After her car breaks down in the storm, Caroline discovers the remains of Vicki Donovan. Matt and Kelly are heartbroken by the news. Damon and Elena rescue Stefan, but a fight erupts in which Damon and Alaric kill most of the vampires. Frederick comes after Elena and Stefan, wounding Stefan badly. Elena has to feed Stefan her blood to revive him. Stefan briefly loses control of himself. Anna agrees to turn Jeremy, but she then figures out (and he does not deny) that the real reason he wanted to be turned was to be with Vicki, whom he now knows to be dead. Damon discovers that Stefan has lost control of his bloodlust, drinking large amounts of human blood from Damon's stores of IV bags.
Stefan struggles to maintain control of his new circumstances, and Elena and Jeremy's uncle, John Gilbert, unexpectedly shows up in Mystic Falls. Stefan exhibits some unusual behavior at the Founder's Day event, and things turn ugly when Damon tries to find out why John Gilbert has returned. Matt and Tyler find themselves in conflict after an incident at the party, and the relationship between Matt and his mom reaches a new low point. Meanwhile, Elena is unable to comfort Jeremy, causing him to take action.
At the Founder's Day Gala, Elena and Caroline compete in the "Miss Mystic Falls" contest. Bonnie returns to town and Elena is very happy to have her back, but Bonnie still has some issues to work out and feels alienated from Elena because of her association with the Salvatore brothers. At the Miss Mystic Falls contest, Damon tells Elena that Stefan has been drinking human blood again. Stefan gets angry when Elena confronts him with this information, and breaks a mirror. To his despair, one of the Miss Mystic Falls contestants sees him do this, so Stefan takes her.
Back at the dance, Damon poses as Elena's escort, since Stefan was not there. Meanwhile, John Gilbert tries unsuccessfully to intimidate Damon.
As Stefan tries to come to terms with his past, he and Damon reveal pieces of their history to Elena, including the truth about how they were turned into vampires. Pearl and Jonathan Gilbert have an an ugly confrontation. Meanwhile, Damon and Alaric attempt to track down a mysterious invention before Jonathan can find it.
Jeremy and Anna's relationship continues to grow. At the end, Jonathan Gilbert kills Pearl by staking her and Anna cries over her dead body. When Elena releases him, Stefan goes blood crazy and wants to die but Elena manages to talk him out of it. They return to the house and Stefan seems to be cured of the blood-craze but Damon doesn't seem happy about it.
Isobel returns to town and surprises Alaric with her new cynical and cruel attitude and her demand that he arrange for her to meet Elena; despite her seeming indifference toward him, it appears that she still loves him and that she is not truly happy with her life as a vampire. When the two finally meet, Isobel refuses to answer most of Elena's questions, but states that she is also looking for the mysterious invention that John Gilbert has been seeking. Upon learning that Damon has the device, Isobel orders Elena to obtain the device from Damon and threatens to kill Elena's loved ones if she refuses.
It soon becomes apparent that both Isobel and John are working for Katherine. Isobel attempts to intimidate Damon into giving her the device and offers to reveal Katherine's whereabouts in return, but he makes it clear that he will not tolerate her threatening him or the people he cares about, and that he no longer wants anything to do with Katherine. Isobel later kidnaps Jeremy in order to force Elena's hand, and Elena implores Damon to give her the device, which he does. Bonnie offers to remove the spell from the device, which can supposedly kill vampires; it is later revealed that Bonnie only pretended to deactivate the device, due to her vendetta against vampires.
Elena gives the device to Isobel, who reveals that the reason Damon surrendered the device to Elena is because he is in love with her. It is revealed that John is Elena's biological father, and that he and Isobel had dated in high school. John plans to use the device to kill all the vampires in Mystic Falls, including Stefan and Damon. Isobel, who appears to care for Elena after all, expresses her fear that the Salvatore brothers may eventually turn Elena into a vampire- a life that she doesn't want for Elena- and that getting rid of them is the best thing she and John could do for their daughter.
On Founder's Day, and everyone is preparing for floats and fireworks. Jeremy, still alienated from Elena for lying to him about everything, seek Anna's company; Anna gives him a vial of her blood and offers him the choice of becoming a vampire. Though Damon and Alaric team up to try to stop John Gilbert from utilizing the mysterious device to kill vampires, John sets his plan in motion, leading to a chaotic, destructive, and deadly end to the Founder's Day celebration.
Caroline is severely injured in a car accident involving Tyler, and it is suggested that Tyler and his father, the mayor, are werewolves. John kills Anna and burns many of the tomb vampires alive; Tyler's father dies along with them. Stefan realizes that, despite everything Damon has done, he does love his brother. Elena confronts John with the knowledge that he is her father, Stefan having informed her so.
Bonnie saves Stefan and Damon from John's rampage for Elena's sake but tells Stefan that if Damon kills another innocent person, she will not hesitate to take him down. Damon finally realizes that there is some good in him, and that he may actually want to become a better person. Jeremy learns of Anna's death; he drinks Anna's blood and overdoses on pain pills, hoping that his emotional pain will ease if he becomes a vampire.
Damon kisses Elena on the front porch. But is actually Katherine who cuts off John's fingers then stabs him. The scene fades when the real Elena enters the house and starts toward the kitchen.