Last week's long-awaited return of The Vampire Diaries was tremendous, thrusting us right back in the middle of Damon's quest, Elena's history and Stefan's unending desire to be a hero.
In Thursday night's "There Goes the Neighborhood," all sought a break from those things, though it didn't work out that way. Damon claims he's over Katherine, but we know it's not true.
Stefan and Elena, meanwhile, decided to forget their issues act their age (well, hers) and go have fun for a change. Even if fun meant an awkward double date with Caroline and Matt.
The results were surprising and led to a solid, albeit unspectacular episode, save for a great twist at the end. Our review of last night's The Vampire Diaries commences below ...
Now Caroline and Elena both have history with Matt.
Before we catch up with our favorite trio (and Matt and Caroline), there's the small matter of the house in the woods jam packed with vampires. Led by Pearl, this is their hideout.
Early on, Pearl visits Damon and gouges his eyes out, temporarily, when he seems reluctant to help them with their mission. Pearl is not about to take no for an answer, however.
The goal? Wait until the time is bite (sorry, terrible) and make Mystic Falls theirs once again. This is going to mean all kinds of bad things for everyone involved, you can just tell.
The new recruit, Harper, is content to follow orders from Pearl and Anna but a nasty vampire named Frederick and his girlfriend Bethanne are impatient and possibly on steroids.
In any case, they hate laying low and want to hit the town. Which they do.More on that in a moment. Stefan and Elena decide to double date with Matt and Caroline, who's clearly insecure about Elena's past with Matt. Oh, to be 17 again. Do you miss it?
This being Mystic Falls, and specifically Mystic Grill, Frederick and Bethanne show up for some action. Oh, and Damon can also be found getting hammered with Matt’s mom, Kelly.
Aunt Jenna is also with them, making for some embarrassingly drunken scenes. Ian Somerhalder and Melinda Clarke (Kelly) were way too convincing in their respective roles here.
Frederick sees Elena and calls her Katherine, to which she flips out. She tells Stefan and they "move the date to his house," which is actually a safety precaution, not a pickup line.
There, it's cute when Matt confides to Stefan that he's happy because Elena's happy, and he gets Stefan's car up and running again. Then he makes out with Caroline in it. Aww.
Matt was actually a very likable guy in this episode and we can definitely relate to the awkwardness of those years, so we'll forgive the incredible cheese factor here ... this once.
Damon found himself in all sorts of troublesome situations.
Of course, if there's a date killer, it's walking in on Damon and Matt’s mom about to drunkenly get it on. As you can imagine, that brings the night to an awkward conclusion for all.
Everyone bails but Stefan and Damon, which is Frederick's cue to shatter a stained glass window and get revenge the Salvatores, who he blames for his 145-year stint in the tomb.
The fight scene was pretty intense, as they usually are with vampires, and had us worried for a second (the promo for next week proves this guy is a force to be reckoned with).
But last night, the two Salvatores were too much for the invaders, killing Bethanne and forcing Frederick to flee, for now, after realizing he can't take them both single-handedly.
Dude lives in a house full of vampires, though, so look out.
Meanwhile, there was a subplot that seemed a bit boring until a dramatic turn to close out the episode. Elena’s little brother, Jeremy, is still fascinated with vampire lore as we know.
After talking with creeps in chat rooms online (very bad idea, teenage readers ... stick to TV Fanatic for your vampire scoop), he's thrilled to learn that Anna is back in town for good.
Pathetic and mopey as Jeremy is, he pulls an awesomely bold move by slicing his hand to tempt her. Anna can't deal, and sucks on it hard ... we didn't mean that to sound dirty.
Later that night, she shows up to chastise him, but for Jeremy, it was just the beginning. When she asks that he not expose her, he responds that he has different ambitions:
"I want you to turn me."
Additional thoughts and questions:
- Pearl putting Frederick in his place, wooden spoon style? Bad. Ass.
- Man, 27 vampires in one house must get so bored, don't you think?
- Caroline: Cute and sweet, or lame and annoying? All of the above?
- Was Stefan kidding about the double date with the Playboy models?
- By the end of May, the whole town is gonna be "turned." We love it.
What did you think of "There Goes the Neighborhood"? Up to par or a little short? Share your comments with us below and vote in our survey as well: