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The Vampire Diaries Wiki

Elena: Who was in the church that they wanted to save?

Damon: A woman, I guess. Doesn't it always come down to the love of a woman?

Elena and Damon

Family Ties is the fourth episode of the first season of The Vampire Diaries and the fourth episode of the series overall.


YOU'RE INVITED TO A PARTY TO DIE FOR — Elena asks Stefan to escort her to the town's annual Founders' Party. Vicki gets Tyler to ask her to the party, then accuses him of trying to hide their relationship from his family. Zach reveals a useful family secret to Stefan. At the party, Damon tells Elena a story about the Salvatore family's past leaving Elena with questions that Stefan refuses to answer. At last, Stefan takes action to get Damon out of his life for good. 


Text in Bold and Italics are Diary entries/voice overs.

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The episode starts with Elena waking up in the middle of the night, she goes down to check if someone's in her house. When she gets down the stairs she goes to the living room where the TV has been turned on, the news is about her being found dead after an "animal attack". Damon then chases her around the house until he attacks her and bites her on the neck. Stefan then wakes up and realize that it was just a dream/nightmare. Damon was actually playing with Stefan's head when he mockingly asks "bad dream?". After deciding to stay in Mystic Falls for awhile, Damon gleefully tells Stefan that the officials have announced the capture of the "animal" responsible for the recent attacks in town.

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As Stefan writes an entry in his journal The real animal is still out there. Waiting for me. Challenging me to fight back, to stop him. But how do I stop him without becoming a monster myself. The scene then cuts to Elena's home where Jenna is watching TV, while mocking the reporter, Logan Fell. Logan apparently is the reason why Jenna moved away from Mystic Falls in the past. A dispute occurs between Jeremy and Elena regarding some family antiques, including a pocket watch that Elena polishes for the Founders Council heritage display. 

Stefan then arrives at Elena's home. The scene cuts to Elena's room where she and Stefan are hooking up, Stefan's face changes and he backs off. Elena then asks Stefan to escort her to the Founder's Ball. Stefan then says "do they still do that" which makes Elena ask if he's been before. Though he says that the Salvatore's don't get invited anymore. Anyway Stefan then agrees to escort Elena to the ball.


At Caroline's room Damon teases Caroline about "Twilight" and compels her to ask him to accompany her to the Founder's Ball. Caroline asks if the bites will turn her into a vampire, which Damon then explains how one is ‘turned' into a vampire. Vicki is angered by Tyler's indifference displayed towards her when he is with his parents. Bonnie and Caroline arrive at Mystic Grill, Bonnie is worried about Caroline seeing Damon but Caroline assures Bonnie that Damon is safe and that he just has lots of issues with his brother Stefan. Bonnie encourages Caroline to give away the secret that Damon revealed to her about Stefan. After his parents leave the Grill, Tyler repays Vicki by asking her to the Founder's Ball. Jeremy makes the unwelcome remark to Vicki that she had to ask Tyler to ask her to go to the Founder's Ball.


At the Salvatore boarding house, Zach angers Damon by asking why he has returned to Mystic Falls. Damon then chokes Zach but Stefan intervenes between the two, Zach encourages him to get rid of Damon by using vervain on him, which he has secretly been growing in the basement of the boarding house.


Tyler comes to the Gilbert home to retrieve a box of donated items for the heritage display at the Founder's Ball. While helping Elena ready herself for the party, Bonnie shares Caroline's secret, which is that Katherine picked Damon over Stefan and that Stefan did everything to break them up. Although Elena thinks that it's only Damon's side of the story. Back at the boarding house Stefan and Damon prepare for the Founder's Ball. Back to Elena. When Mrs. Lockwood phones to say that the pocket watch was not among the items that Tyler picked up for the display, Elena goes to Jeremy's room and accuses him of taking it. Jeremy then takes it out of its hiding place and claims that its suppose to be his and that it is handed down to the first born son in the Gilbert Family. Back to Stefan. Damon blames Stefan for spiking his Scotch with vervain. On his way out the door, Zach hands Stefan a small vial of vervain, telling him that this time it is twice as strong. Feeling badly, Elena decides to leave the pocket watch on Jeremy's desk.

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At the Founder's Ball, Damon and Caroline arrive and so do Elena and Stefan. Caroline confronts her mom. A former boyfriend of Jenna's, Logan Fell, makes an attempt at reconciliation. At the display room the first guest registry where Elena sees Stefan and Damon's name on the list. Just in time Damon walks in and claims that they were the "original Salvatore Brothers, there ancestors". Caroline asks Stefan for a dance, leaving Damon alone with Elena at the Heritage Display.

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Damon apologizes for his forward behavior at the game, and explains that the Salvatore brothers are cursed with sibling rivalry. Stefan toasts to Caroline and watches her sip from the glass that he obtained for her. Elena listens as Damon shares the ‘first' Salvatore brothers history involving the woman that they both loved being killed with 26 others inside a church fire, and that the 'first' Salvatore brothers was shot, murdered in cold blood . Insulted at Tyler's refusal to treat her with respect, Vicki leaves the party early. Bonnie alone at a table relights a candle just by staring at it. Elena ask Stefan for a dance. The scene cuts to Jenna and Logan though the conversation was sharp and short. Elena asking about Katherine though he doesn't tell her. Frustrated, Elena leaves Stefan alone on the dance floor.


Carol Lockwood pressures Elena to locate the pocket watch after she makes excuses for its absence. Damon reveals the true motive for attending the Founder's Ball when he retrieves a crystal hidden in a wooden box in the Heritage Display. Logan wins over Jenna when she finally agrees to a date. Bonnie amazes herself when she is able to light every candle in the dining room using her powers. In the comfort room Elena questions Caroline about the bite marks that Damon has left on her body.


Elena threatens Damon to stay away from Caroline. When Elena tells Stefan about the marks, Stefan maintains his secrecy and rushes to deal with Damon. Vicki appears on Jeremy's doorstep and they kiss. Having removed Caroline from view, Damon sinks his teeth into her neck, then collapses on to the grass in pain. Stefan confesses to Damon that he couldn't spike his drink so he spiked Caroline's drink with vervain. After awakening, Caroline grabs the crystal and conceals it within her purse. Elena then comforts Caroline.

As the voice over begins I did what I had to do. To protect Elena. To protect everyone. Yes Damon, the headline reads "Deadly beast captured. All is well in Mystic Falls. Stefan and Zach lock Damon into a cell in the basement of the boardinghouse. Later that evening, the mayor, his wife, Sheriff Forbes, and Logan Fell meet to discuss how to retrieve the pocket watch, saying, "They've come back."


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



  • Antagonist: Damon Salvatore.
  • Elena mentions some of her deceased relatives, such as Grandma Beth and Great-Great-Grandma Mary. She also mentions other deceased characters such as Sheriff William Forbes and Mayor Jacob Lockwood.
  • On some level, Caroline knows that Damon is a vampire, because she asked him why he doesn't sparkle in the sun, similar to Edward Cullen (from the Twilight Saga).
  • Elena believes the stories about Stefan in regards to Katherine that Damon compels Caroline to tell her.
    • However, when she sees the bite marks on Caroline's neck, she begins to distrust Damon.
    • For some reason Damon doesn't heal Caroline's bite mark wounds.
  • The Lockwood Mansion's address number is 2129.
  • Elena leaves the Gilbert family pocket watch at home, prompting Logan to search the house for it while he simultaneously tries to get back with Jenna.
  • The official roster of the first Founders' Celebration reads: "The Founding Families of Mystic Falls, Virginia welcome you to the inaugural Founders Council Celebration on this, the twenty-fourth of September in the year Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Four."
  • Bonnie is not only able magically to relight a candle that has gone out, but is also able to light all of the unlit candles in the Lockwood dining room.
  • This is the first appearance of the Founder's Council in the series.
  • The Founders' Council is shown to involve at least Logan Fell, Sheriff Forbes and Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood.
  • The crystal that Damon takes from inside the Lockwood home was dropped when Stefan takes the vervained Damon home.
    • It was revealed in Haunted, that the crystal was a talisman that belonged to Bonnie's ancestor Emily Bennett. It was also revealed in History Repeating that Emily used the talisman to seal the vampires into the tomb under Fell's Church to prevent them from being burned alive in the vampire round-up in 1864.
  • Tyler's parents, Richard and Carol Lockwood, appear for the first time in this episode.
  • Damon is the first vampire invited into the Lockwood Mansion, followed shortly afterward by Stefan.
  • There are many references to the Twilight series in this episode. Damon is seen reading one of the books while Caroline is getting dressed, and Caroline makes a reference by asking Damon why he doesn't sparkle in the sun like Vampires in the Twilight series.


Body Count

  • This is the first episode in which no one dies.

Production Notes

  • Matt Donovan doesn't appear in this episode and this is the first episode in which he doesn't appear.
    • This is also the first and only episode of the series to feature Vicki but not Matt.
  • In the bloopers for the scene where Elena reads out the registration from 1864, Nina was supposed to say the name "Honoria Fell", but it didn't appear in the final version, for unknown reasons.
    • Nina says the name "Benjamin Lockwood", though on the registry it reads "Jacob Lockwood".

Cultural References


  • When Carol Lockwood speaks to her husband, she calls him "Charles," but calls him Richard in all later episodes. This is a continuity error.
  • Caroline continues to wear scarves to cover the bite marks she received from Damon. It's unclear why Damon didn't heal Caroline's bite marks with his blood.
  • The process of turning someone into a vampire is explained by Damon. This process will later be illustrated when he turns Vicki into a vampire in the episode Lost Girls.

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 3.53 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.28 million less than the previous episode.
  • The title of this episode may refer to Stefan and Damon's ongoing feud.


Stefan: "The real animal is still out there. Waiting for me. Challenging me to fight back, to stop him. But how do I stop him without becoming a monster myself?"

Stefan: "I did what I had to do. To protect Elena. To protect everyone. Yes, Damon, the headline reads, "Deadly Beast Captured. All is Well in Mystic Falls."  

Damon: "You know what's coming now."

Damon: "Oh, you know how easy it was to get in your head just now? You really need to get some human blood. It might even the playing field."

Damon: (pulls the knife out of his chest) "Alright, I deserved that."

Damon: "It's all over the news! 'Deadly Beast Captured, All's Well in Mystic Falls.'"

Damon: (about Elena) "Well, the vervain keeps me out of her head. Maybe that's not my target."

Damon: "Believe it or not, Stefan, some girls don't need my persuasion. Some girls just can't resist my good looks, my style, my charm, and my unflinching ability to listen to Taylor Swift."

Jenna: (at Logan on the TV) "Scumball. Scumbucket."
Elena: "Who are you talking to?"
Jenna: "Him."
Elena: "The news guy?"
Jenna: "Also known as Logan Scum Fell."

Elena: "He's cute."
Jenna: "He is not cute. There is nothing cute about him."

Jeremy: "That stuff is Mom and Dad's. You can't just give it away."
Elena: "I'm not giving it away. It's called a loan, Jeremy."

Mayor Lockwood: "Are you sure?"
Sheriff Forbes: "Five bodies, all drained of blood. I'm certain."
Logan: "They've come back."



Last.fm_play.png "Opposite Direction" – Union of Knives
Last.fm_play.png "I'm a Lady" – Santigold
Last.fm_play.png "I'm Not Over" – Carolina Liar
Last.fm_play.png "Shadows of Ourselves" – Thievery Corporation
Last.fm_play.png "Back in Time" – VV Brown

Last.fm_play.png "Fallout" – Sofi Bonde
Last.fm_play.png "Wild Place" – Glass Pear
Last.fm_play.png "All We Were" – Matt Nathanson
Last.fm_play.png "Brightest Hour (Morgan Page Remix)" – The Submarines
Last.fm_play.png "Believer" – Viva Voce


See also