We pick up right where we left off last May. Vampress Katherine Pierce has just snookered the Gilbert family (and gentlevamp caller Damon Salvatore) into believing she's Miss Elena Gilbert. When the real Elena arrives at Gilbert Gables, she finds Uncle John sans a couple of digits, bleeding out on the kitchen floor. Upstairs, Jeremy Gilbert lies seemingly unconscious, dead or undead on his bed. Meanwhile, across town, car crash victim Caroline Forbes is fighting for her life at the local hospital.
Jeremy is still alive and human, and predicatably, he's all emo about it. Caroline's position is far more precarious, until Bonnie orders Damon to give Caroline some of his blood. Bonnie's all badass now, so Damon complies, despite Elena's objections. He soon figures it out it was not the fair Elena who kissed him, but rather the foul Katherine, and while he talks a good game about staking and beheading her, once he faces off with Katherine all alone, he cannot resist her. Unforunately for him and the rest of Mystic Falls, Katherine makes no bones about the fact that she has only ever really wanted Stefan (who makes it clear he hates her evil guts).
When things go to hell, like they will, Katherine visits Caroline in the hospital, gives her a "bring it" message for the Brothers Salvatore, then smothers Caroline with a pillow. WHAT?! I freak out until I remember Elena's objections to healing Caroline with vampire blood. Caroline must now be the newest member of the fang gang -- yes? Oh no, this cannot bode well for anyone, most especially her boyfriend (my Pudding Pop) Matt Donovan, who has been keeping vigil at Caroline's bedside.
Back at Gilbert Gables, Elena tries to have a heart to heart with Damon, but when she, too, says it will always, only and ever be Stefan for her, he tries to win her over by snapping her little brother's neck, as vampires are wont to do. Luckily, Jeremy is wearing the Gilbert family ring that protects him from supernatural death. This is where the mythology gets a little fuzzy. I will hit that in detail, in the full weecap. Anyhow, Elena now hates Damon, and Damon hates everyone, most especially himself, his brother and his brother's girlfriends. This is going to be completely and totally awesome.
In other news, Stefan has laid down the law with Uncle Snark Daddy and orders him to leave town. The delectible Mason Lockwood (Taylor Kinney) arrives for his Mayor-brother's funeral and gives nephew Tyler a semi-cryptic spiel about the Lockwood family curse, and the audience even more eye candy to ogle. What an embarrassment of riches, babies.
Why it gets an A-: The pacing is A+; I dearly appreciate that the premiere picked up right where the finale left off. The plotting gets a solid A, and the mythology (particularly the ring thing) is getting an B for the nonce. Damon's inner struggle is the meat of this episode, and it puts filet mignon to shame. I'm struck by how well his duelling natures are personified in Katherine and Elena. Were I wearing a hat, I'd tip it in Ms. Nina Dobrev's direction, for her nuanced portrayal of these two very different characters. Sharp, sharp work.
I'll catch you on the flip side with the full weecap. In the meantime, come on over to the forums. Katherine hasn't been invited in yet, so it's as safe as houses.
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Welcome back, everyone! There's nothing like a cliffhanger to slow a long, hot, humid summer down to a sweaty crawl, but it's September now, so I'm releasing the edge from my grasp, confident I'm about to dive into something deep, cool and refreshing. I know some of you are new to the show or only caught part of last season, so how about a fairly thorough...
Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: For over a century, noble vampire Stefan Salvatore lived in secret, but now he's taking a flying leap into the sunshine of orphan Elena Gilbert's love. It's complicated, but not in the awkward Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin sexy fun-time way. It's complicated because Stefan's equally fangy brother, Damon, is a beautiful but oh-so-evil Evil Pixie Monster, who indiscriminately wields the power of the Eye Thing, and tends to go for Stefan's kind of girl. Long ago and far away, the dashing Brothers Salvatore were two sides of a love triangle concocted and completed by their eventual siress Katherine Pierce. And? Elena looks just like her. You say that's on account of Nina Dobrev playing both characters, I say it's magic, but let's not quibble. Back in 1864, Katherine compelled Stefan to love her, but Damon was that bitchy love's bitch of his own volition. It ended badly, as these things do, so I won't dwell.
Nowadays, Matt "Pudding Pop" Donovan is hung up on his childhood sweetheart Elena, but since she's all about Stefan, Matt deals in a healthy way, by getting involved with the lovely but insecure Caroline Forbes, whose mother, Liz, is Mystic Falls' sheriff. Elena's best friend, Bonnie Bennett, is a witch whose hobbies include pretending to deactivate a vampire-disabling device (the Gilbert Gizmo), while actually doing nothing of the kind. There's this whole big vampire ensnarement and massacre thing at the Founders' Day shindig that ends with Bonnie relenting and allowing/enabling Stefan to save his brother from a fiery death. Damon knows that Bonnie chose mercy only for Elena's sake, and therefore deduces that he is important to Elena -- with whom he is smitten, regardless (or because) of the fact that she is his brother's woman. So, when Damon goes to thank Elena for his life, they TOTALLY MAKE OUT. Judgy Guardian Aunt Jenna catches them in the clinch and RUINS EVERYTHING by bringing Elena inside Gilbert Gables. Once Jenna is off screen, we learn that the Damon-kissing-Elena isn't actually Elena at all. Oh no, she's dead-ringer KATHERINE PIERCE. Katherine enters the kitchen, cuts off John "Uncle Snark Daddy" Gilbert's fingers (including the one that bears his gaudy but mystical protect-o-ring), knifes him in the gut, and leaves us hanging for an entire summer, just as the real Elena arrives home.