The Vampire Diaries returned tonight and set the stage for the new season with a surprising death, ghosts, a vampire/werewolf hook-up, and one badass hybrid.
It’s the morning of Elena’s eighteenth birthday and Elena is definitely not in the parting mood. She’s been looking for Stefan since his departure with Klaus. Any leads she has stumbled across have all been dead ends and her friends are worried about her. Namely Caroline, who planned a huge party for Elena in the hopes that Elena will begin to enjoy life again.
Caroline is breaking all the stops for this party. She may have invited the entire school. I’m pretty sure this episode had red flags all over it from somewhere, because it had all the teen no-no’s in it: sex, drugs and a really poor excuse for a chaperon. Alaric was drinking as much as the kids were and he did nothing to break up the pot-smokers circle, which by the way, included Matt and Jeremy.
Speaking of Jeremy, he is being haunted by the ghosts of Anna and Vicky. The odd thing is that at one point, Vicky tells him, “Help us!” Since they were vampires it leads you to wonder if the witches are holding them somewhere, making their, er, afterlife a horrible thing and preventing them from passing on to rest. Why are they appearing to Jeremy and not Bonnie? She’s the one with the powers. Jeremy confides in Matt, but Matt’s reaction is to say that he thinks he sees Vicky sometimes too. He puts it down to grief and Jeremy let’s it go. Probably a good thing since Matt is still not used to all the supernatural stuff he’s just learned about.
Meanwhile, back on the road, Stefan has become Klaus’s killing slave and they are out looking for a werewolf named Ray. They track him to a house where two girls are living and torture them for information on where to find Ray. It’s chilling how Klaus orders Stefan to kill one quickly and tells him to make the other suffer. The screams as Klaus is walking away from the house are the stuff nightmares are made of.
Klaus and Stefan catch up with Ray and they begin torturing him when he won’t give up the location of his pack. Here is where we find out Klaus’s master plan to create more hybrids like himself. To what, take over the world? Set himself up as a god? Well, he already thinks he is one, perhaps he wants worshippers.
Following up on the lead that Elena gave him, Damon and Alaric head out to the house where the two murdered girls lived. Damon recognizes the work of “The Ripper”, which is what Stefan used to be called back when he was first turned vampire and he used to rip his victim’s bodies apart after feeding off of them. I was shocked when one of the girl’s head rolled onto the floor. Stefan has become “The Ripper” once again. Damon also discovers a hidden trap door in the floor and when opened, it reveals chains embedded in the walls. So they know these were werewolves.
Stefan breaks into Andie’s news station and glamours her into calling Damon down to meet her there. When he arrives, it’s Stefan that he meets and he has Andie standing on the edge of a scaffold where he commanded her not to move. Stefan tells Damon to let him go, then demonstrates how cold and ruthless he has become by ordering Andie to “move” and she walks off the scaffold to her death. Yikes! Apparently, Stefan wants Damon to let him go!
As a stunned Damon returns to his house where Elena’s party is still rockin’, he finds Elena in his study holding all the news clippings and his notes as he tracked Klaus. She is angry and flies at him about keeping this a secret from her. He finally tells her that the killings were not caused by Klaus, they were all Stefan, and he makes her see that Stefan is now truly a monster.
Caroline and Tyler finally give into their enhanced sexual drives and have steamy sex at Tyler’s house. Yay! In the morning, as Caroline is quietly leaving a sleeping Tyler, she is caught by his mother, who has coated her purse with vervain and then proceeds to shoot her down with tranquilizers. I would have just kicked her out of my house and called her mother, but every mom deals with this kind of thing in her own way, I guess. What’s she going to do when she finds out her son is a werewolf? She’s tough!
Back in Elena’s bedroom, her cell phone starts to ring and it’s Stefan. When she answers she is met with silence. What’s he going to say to her? “Hi sweetheart! Miss you! Love you! I’m going to rip someone’s head off now. Catch ya’ later!” Why, oh why did he call her at all? This frustrated me to no end, but I guess they had to show that there is still a part of Stefan that can be reached and saved.
This episode was titled “The Birthday” and as I said, they did a fine job of setting up the season for us. Elena and Damon will continue to search for Stefan, though I don’t know what they’ll do when they find him. Klaus is unstoppable! Jeremy needs to figure out why he’s being haunted by Vicky and Anna. I’m clueless as to where Caroline and Tyler’s storyline is headed. Matt has to figure into all of this somehow. Alaric moved out of Elena’s house, telling her he’s really not a good role model for her and Jeremy. D’ya’ think?
All in all, it was a great season 3 launch! What did you guys think of it?