Where We Left Them
For those that don’t remember, at the end of season one, Uncle John along with the Mayor knocked out Sheriff Forbes and handcuffed her to the radiator in her office. Then they set off the device in Grayson Gilbert’s medical office. The device, imbued with Emily’s magic created a sound so high pitched and excruciating that it incapacitated the vampires – and the Lockwoods.
The Mayor found himself in the Cellar with Damon, Anna and the rest. Uncle John staked Anna (guess he didn’t like her booty calls with Jeremy), but failed to stake Damon (thankfully). Gotta love those Gilbert men, despite all his protestations John doesn’t give a crap about Elena. He just cares about his little war. Damon and another vampire took out the Mayor while Alaric and Elena saved Stefan.
Stefan and Elena went after Damon to save him and Bonnie helped because she didn’t want Elena to get killed. I adore Bonnie, but sadly a lot of what occurs in the next couple of episodes can be traced back to her lie to Elena – not that I blame Bonnie, she’s got a lot of reasons to hate the vampires, Damon in particular.
Tyler had a bad accident because of the sound and Caroline was near death. Damon revealed his caring for Elena and kissed her – only it was Katherine who accepted Jenna’s invitation into the Gilbert House (forever to be known as Vamp Central) so that she could attack John.
Upstairs, Jeremy downed Anna’s blood and a jar full of pills because he wanted to become a vampire – note to Jeremy, the emo transition is so 1985. This is a boy that needs goals.
Fair Warning, Spoilers Ahead. If you have not watched The Vampire Diaries, 2.1: The Return, and you do not want to be spoiled, turn back now.
To say that I have been anticipating the return of The Vampire Diaries all summer is an understatement. I’ve watched, dissected and enjoyed the first season several times (thank you iTunes) and picked it up on DVD so that I could convert others over to the Mystic Falls side (and it worked), but now the show is back and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation …
What will happen next?
Short Form Reaction:
Holy Shizzle; I have to say these are writers who do not want you to spend too much time attached to any one given situation and no one is safe. I think our big three are “somewhat” safe, as in they can be tortured unmercifully, but no one else is. And the end actually had me tearing up, not necessarily because of what happened – but because of the raw pain in it.
Long Form Reaction
We, the fans, knew that Katherine was in the house when Elena went in. We watched with concern as she discovered John. Elena has every reason to hate John, but she tried to save him. When she grabbed the giant butcher knife, dripping with his blood, I had that initial “police procedural” reaction – as in they were going to think Elena did it (thank you Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson for not going there). It was interesting to watch Katherine watch Elena.
Katherine is fascinated.
This is not a good thing.
Elena finds Jeremy, but thankfully baby bro’s attempted vampicide is a bust – Anna’s blood prevented the pills from actually killing him (oopsie!).
At the hospital, Liz is a wreck and it was very touching to watch Damon comfort her. I think Damon actually likes Sheriff Forbes a bit more than he has admitted too. He’s a good friend to her (despite the lies). He can save Caroline and he tells Elena and Bonnie as much. Elena doesn’t want Damon to give her his blood, but Bonnie says he should (dude, I love that she’ll use Damon if he’s useful, but beyond that she would happily stake him out in the sun). No waxing back and forth for her character – bravo.
Damon wants to talk to Elena about their kiss and shared feelings (ut oh), but when Elena “plays dumb” because she has no idea what he’s talking about, Damon’s confusion deepens. His mind also goes into overdrive to puzzle it out. But when Jenna shows up and swears she talked to Elena earlier and Elena denies it – Damon realizes what’s up.
His very understated reaction was hysterical.
Kat and Mouse
Flash over to the Gilbert household where Katherine walks in, trying to play the part of Elena. Too bad for Kit-Kat, Stefan’s not buying. Was anyone else cheering his Damon-esque flare when he turned on Katherine? I was. It made me like Stefan a lot more (and he needed that injection of anti-whine).
Unfortunately, I have a concern – Katherine is considerably older than Damon or Stefan. We’ve seen that age for vamps in The Vampire Diaries equates with strength, Katherine didn’t really even bother to fight back. She was amused that Stefan recognized her immediately, when Damon didn’t.
Seconds after she exits, Damon and Elena arrive. Okay – for those who are confused, the bigger the hair, the more likely it is to be Katherine. Elena favors the sleek, close to her face look, Katherine is the 80s big hair girl.
The episode becomes a game of cat and mouse between the Salvatores, Elena and Katherine. Bonnie figures Katherine out and nearly gets her neck broken for her trouble. I did love it when Bonnie blew open the doors forcing Katherine to retract her claws so to speak and Stefan’s polite, yet firm “Let her go.”
Damon’s emotional roller coaster, unfortunately, went off the rails. Katherine, forever may she be known as The Bitch, toyed with him until she finally hooked up with him in the Salvatore boarding house. The passion sizzling in Damon’s cold fury led to a few brutal kisses, but he wrenched himself away and wanted to know whether she’d ever loved him – because he was willing to forgive her for all of it, the abandonment, Stefan – everything.
Then she dropped the bomb.
She’d never loved him. Poor, innocent Damon. She’d used him. She’d enjoyed herself with him. But it was always Stefan she’d wanted.
You could hear the heart shredding in Damon’s eyes. I knew Damon would go to Elena – because Damon genuinely cares for her, he genuinely likes her and maybe even respects her. But Damon drinking, hurting and twisted in knots by Katherine is not a good Damon. This is the Damon that hated for 140 years.
Damon crowded Elena, he wanted her to not lie to him about her feelings. I think Damon’s right, I think Elena does care, but she’s placed Damon squarely in the “not-boyfriend” category and unlike the bitch-ancentress, she doesn’t play one boy off another. But when she unconsciously echoes Katherine’s declaration …
… sigh. Damon’s sanity jumped off the cliff along with his heart. Jeremy’s arrival, seeing Damon all over Elena, was ill-timed. I do not think Damon would have hurt Elena, but Jeremy was a great target for him.
- Jeremy who treated Elena badly.
- Jeremy who waxed poetic about how bad life was.
- Jeremy who had already tried to become a vampire
So Damon struck out at Elena, at himself and at Jeremy by snapping his neck. It was a heart-stopping moment. Damon wouldn’t have done it if not for Anna’s blood and as later Stefan asserts, Jeremy was wearing the Gilbert ring. (Wasn’t that special that John left it for Jeremy? At least the schmuck did one decent thing).
But Damon’s actions were an attempt to put himself as far from Elena as possible and it’s working. She was devastated and Stefan’s attempts to soothe her wouldn’t work. When Jeremy’s eyes finally popped open – we could breathe.
Kat’s Not Done
Unfortunately, Kat’s not going to take Stefan’s rejection lying down. She goes to see Caroline in the hospital. Caroline who is juiced up on Damon’s blood. Caroline who is a hapless bystander in the Mystic Falls shenanigans. \
Katherine has a message for Damon and Stefan. She wants Caroline to deliver it.
The message: Game On!
Then Katherine smothers the messenger.
The episode is so jam packed that I know I didn’t cover it all. I didn’t get to dive into the Lockwoods or more about the Gilbert history or even the fact that Stefan and Damon are circling each other over Elena – Damon wants the fight, Stefan is holding back (in part because of Elena’s advice) and in part because he doesn’t want to fight his brother. Then there’s Stefan’s Damon-esque threat to Uncle John and forcing John to drink his blood. 24 hours to get out of town and away, or John is going to worm food.
I really did miss my show this summer. My heart is grieving for Damon.
It’s so not going to be pretty where they are all going. But the writers, actors and production values delivered.
What did you think of The Return?<