Though he has been a vampire for over a hundred years, Damon must face the hard truth that losing someone you care about doesn't get easier with time.
After Rose was bitten by Jules it seemed as if the bite of a werewolf was quite as deadly as it seemed, that is until the bite didn't heal and only got worse. With the clock ticking on Rose's life Elena watches over her while Damon goes to talk with Jules in the desperate hope of finding a cure. Meanwhile, Stefan continues to try and save Elena from Claus and The Originals and even goes as far as contacting Elena's vampire mother Isabelle in an attempt to gain help.
After a few months of hiatus, The Vampire Diaries returns with of the best episodes on television this season. Since her initial appearance, Rose (played by Lauren Cohan) has been one of the least interesting characters on the show in my opinion as her past always seemed cliché but her relationship with Damon in "The Descent" changed all of that. Her imminent death was met with fear, sorrow, anger and regret in a way most shows on television can only dream of achieving. While there were other stories present throughout the episode, Stefan and Caroline's scenes were almost an unnecessary addition to this episode given its tone. Breaking up the central story this week almost felt like a commercial interruption when the show was reaching its most intense moments and that only threw the pacing of the episode off.
Rose and Damon's powerful emotion throughout in "The Descent" was wonderfully portrayed by Lauren Cohan and Ian Somerhalder. Rose's downward spiral towards her death could have been cheesy as she went through an assortment of emotions but Cohan pulled it all off masterfully. Instead of being dramatic in Rose's death, Cohan's conservative depiction gave us so much more than we could have hoped for. As amazing as Cohan's performance was, Ian Someralder somehow managed to steal every scene even when another character was dying. Damon has become more complex with each passing episode and his struggles with his own humanity have been a pleasure to watch the entire time. Damon's insistence that life can be discarded at a whim and his tireless rejection of humanity in the face of loss breaks down over the course of the episode is heartbreaking, especially in his final moments with Rose. The closing moments of the episode served to show how broken down he has become when he murdered Jessica; hurting someone else to take away his own pain just revealed another side of Damon we rarely get to see.
Overall, "The Descent" was probably the best episode of the season thus far. While other stories have were developing it was the scenes between Damon and Rose that took centre stage in a storyline I could only call tragic. While it may have just been for an episode, I hope there are more stories just as good as as "The Descent" this season as The Vampire Diaries has made a spectacular return.