16. "Haunted," The Vampire Diaries
Air Date: 10/29/09
Viewers who saw potential in The Vampire Diaries' problematic pilot and stuck with it were rewarded by "Haunted," the seventh episode of the series that officially elevated it from Twilight-for-TV to the worthy supernatural successor to Buffy that it is today.
The series follows Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), a stunner caught up in a love triangle with two vampire brothers and other supernatural drama in her small Virgina town. Halloween is plagued by Elena's friend Vicki's (Kayla Ewell) recent transition from human to vampire. Good guy vamp Stefan (Paul Wesley) tries to teach her the ropes of peacefully co-existing with humans, but Vicki's drug problems and overall fiendish nature as a human are amplified in vampirism, and he's forced to put her down when she can't control her urges and tries to kill Elena and her brother.
In killing off a main cast member Diaries kicked off a never-ending run of high-stakes story lines balanced by character development and genuine emotional fallout. Plus, if nothing else, "Haunted" features the unbelievably sexy Nina Dobrev in a tight nurse costume. We understand how she can put two guys who have seen a century's worth of hot chicks under pressure.