The Vampire Diaries returns, showing us the repercussions of Rose’s werewolf bite. She was bitten by Jules, who was simply out to get Damon. Damon claims that he doesn’t care, that death is inevitable, even for vampires. It’s clear that he does though, something Elena tries to make him face. When Damon has to face the kind of pain he’s spent over a century running away from, he retreats to his cold, vicious, vampire nature; the only home he really has.
I always prefer the traditional, evil-nature vampire persona, acting on instinct. This is part of the reason why I’ve always liked Damon so much better than Stefan. It was great getting a peak of that nature again. Lately Damon’s been busy keeping the order in Mystic Falls and making sure Stefan and Elena don’t get killed. Sure, he has been stirring up enough trouble his own way, like provoking werewolves, but we are brought back to the darkness that is very much a part of him.
In The Descent we get to see both sides of Damon; the man and the monster. We get to see the beast unleashed and even more importantly how it was driven out of him. He desperately struggles to find a cure for Rose, even restraining himself from revenge and self-preservation. In the end, waiting it out only drives Rose mad and insanely blood thirsty. Damon is defeated and there is no denying it. The best he can do is make her comfortable and put her out of her misery. Of course, this doesn’t put Damon out of his own misery. The last scene of the episode shows Damon’s two sides, not sure which one will prevail. There is no question having been so helpless returning to his vile nature is the only way he knows to deal with what’s happened.
Stefan isn’t in majority of the episode. Katherine told him that Isobel might have answers on Klaus. Elena has made a deal with Elijah to keep her and those she cares about safe, but that keeps her from meddling in things like this. Stefan has to know anything he can though and doesn’t see himself as part of this deal. He goes looking for answers and comes back with something entirely different.
The material with Caroline and Tyler in particular was great. He is still so lost and confused, but Caroline is there, showing him his own strength; that he can and did get through this. He’s gone through his first transformation and it is certainly only the beginning, but it’s a victory nonetheless. Caroline leaks the information that a bite from him could have killed her, letting out just how much Caroline cares for him. Their relationship might already be falling apart because of Jules. She gets to Tyler and tries to get him on her side in a war against the vampires. According to her, soon there will be many more like them joining their ranks.