Oh, boy. We're back. This show has had a whole bunch of problems over the years. I'm not denying that. However, I'm happy to report that there were a lot of compelling things going on in this premiere episode. Hopefully the momentum can keep up as we continue into the season. Let's take a look.
Over the summer, Elena and Damon have a lot of sex, and Jeremy (newly alive) is disturbed about that. Jeremy is also helping Bonnie write emails and postcards to her father and her friends, keeping up the illusion that she's traveling. She still hasn't told anyone she's dead. Caroline and Elena are both also getting ready to go off to college. Katherine is struggling with being human. Matt and Rebekah went on their world travels, and obviously didn't leave things platonic for very long... there was even a threesome involved! Also, nobody has heard from Stefan all summer. (One thing that bothered me about this episode was the fact that nobody thought this was suspicious. I mean, I can buy that Damon and Elena didn't want to look too hard, because it's sort of awkward. But Caroline? Why didn't see try and find her friend?)
So, Elena and Caroline go off to college, and are shocked at the presence of a third roommate in their shared room. Her name is Megan, and things start to get really weird when Caroline discovers she has vervain in her water. Then, Megan gets killed by a vampire at a college party. The campus security and the police seem to be covering it up. The final pin in the weird-and-crazy coffin comes when Elena discovers a picture of Megan with Elena's father. So... that's weird. And intriguing. I think there could be some really cool stuff going on with this plot. I'm excited to see Elena and Caroline struggle with college. Hopefully we see them actually going to classes.
This plot line also unceremoniously ended the Tyler/Caroline relationship. (Leaving a message? Seriously, Tyler?) I must say, I'm not that disappointed. Their relationship always sort of bored me. I did feel bad for Caroline, though.
Believe it or not, the problems at Whitmore college are nothing compared to what's going down at Mystic Falls.
Katherine shows up, scared and human and afraid that the cure might make it impossible for her to become a vampire again. Jeremy is put out about going back to school after his death experience, and gets into a fight. He's expelled, but Damon uses compulsion to make it a suspension instead.
Silas shows up, looking like Stefan. There was a fantastic scene where "Stefan" starts talking to Sheriff Forbes and then suddenly takes a knife and cuts her wrist. When she asks what he's doing, he says "outing myself as not Stefan." It was a great line. Anyway, he also comes to say hi to Damon, who hugs the guy he thinks is his little brother, welcoming him home. However, Jeremy (with ghost-Bonnie's help) figures out that it's Silas. Damon rushes home to see that Silas is after Katherine.
Now things are getting really intense - Damon tells Jeremy to take Katherine and go, thus saving her from Silas. Damon talks to Silas, asking him to drop the Stefan look. Silas then explains the doppelganger thing to him. Damon is pretty annoyed by all of this, but quickly becomes pretty darn worried when Silas tells him that Stefan is suffering. Damon asks where he is, and Silas says he'll tell him... if Damon gives him Katherine.
The Salvatore bromance is strong enough that Damon immediately calls Jeremy and tells him to turn around and bring Katherine back. (Character development for the win, seriously. Can you imagine first-season Damon willingly sacrificing Katherine for Stefan?) On the way back, Katherine, fearing for her life, causes a car crash and leaves Jeremy dying on the side of the road. Damon shows up and saves him using his blood. This little scene between them was adorable. Damon was so frantic, and so relieved that Jeremy was okay. Unfortunately, though, Katherine got away. And that's not good news for Stefan.
At an end of the summer party, Bonnie's dad (Mayor Rudy Hopkins) is killed by Silas, who then uses mind control on the whole crowd, telling them all to help him find Katherine.
Some weird stuff was going on with Matt, too. The girl he and Rebekah had a threesome with shows up in Mystic Falls to return him the Gilbert Ring (which she had stolen), but then suddenly she's attacking Matt. We don't know his fate.
And then throughout the whole episode, Stefan is just drowning over and over. He hallucinates Damon, who attempts to convince him to switch his humanity off. However, a hallucination of Elena shows up and convinces him to stay strong and keep the humanity on.
Whew. That's a lot of information. This episode really got things rolling. There were some things I wasn't crazy about - for example, I don't really know what the heck is going on with Matt's story line. And him and Rebekah. I mean, is that a thing now? I'm also already worried about how long they're going to drag this Bonnie plot out. However, I'm also excited about some things, like Elena and Caroline in college, and Damon's obvious concern for Jeremy.
The most compelling thing is the idea that Damon wants to try and fix things in Mystic Falls and not bother Elena about all the chaos. I doubt that's going to last very long...