The Vampire Diaries Review: Game. On.

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Elena: What happened?
Damon: Katherine happened.

On "The Return," viewers were welcomed back to Mystic Falls with a slow three-quarters of an episode, as the show caught us up on events from the finale, moved pieces and characters around and laid the groundwork for what was to come.

And what, exactly, was to come? The same fast-paced, action-packed, oh-no-that-didn't-just-happen-did-it?!? twists and turns that made this the best new show on television last year.

Come to Me!

We must, of course, start with Katherine. Nina Dobrev seems like an entirely different person when she blows out her hair, dons this character's tight, black clothing and scowls in a manner of which Elena simply isn't capable.

But while Elena and her doppelganger vary in their fashion choices, facial expressions and overall outlook on life, they remain similar in one vital manner: both are in love with Stefan. And this revelation was enough to drive Damon over the edge.

We praised Ian Somerhalder's work every week on season one, but it must be highlighted again. I personally didn't believe Katherine's cutting words ("I never loved you. It was always Stefan."). She's clearly up to something. But Damon believed them, and that's what matters here - and, man, did Somerhalder sell his character's pain well.

I'd also be driven to drink if the woman I loved and and obsessed over for 145 years showed up, flirted with me, teased me with some (HOT!) foreplay, and then dropped that bomb on me.

But the alcohol at least helped Damon confront Elena over a truth fans have known all along: there's something between these two. She's lying to herself by denying it. Of course, that's no excuse for snapping Jeremy's neck, D. That was simply cruel.

In many ways, we're now back to where we were a year ago: Elena hates Damon and Damon is intent on not caring about anyone or anything. There's a dangerous difference this time, though: before, Damon held out hope for Katherine. He had a mission in life, it even gave him a certain wit and charm. But now? A vampire with an eternity of nothing to live for is a creature that has no reason to hold back. Look out, Mystic Falls.

Other thoughts/questions/observations:

  • Anyone else notice a glint in Stefan's eye when Katherine reminded him of how she plays her games, with "no rules?" There are still feelings there. Elena might not be the only one lying to themselves.
  • I need a reminder on how humans get turned: Caroline had Damon's blood in her when Katherine suffocated her, right? Does this mean she'll awaken as a vampire? That would be hard to imagine. She'll hate getting blood on her fashionable clothing.
  • Mason is a werewolf who has learned how to channel his primal rage and urges? Hmmm... did he and Stefan go to the same supernatural university? Wonder if they took the same courses there.
  • "She'll try to break us, and how we respond to that will define us." Great speech by Stefan to her brother. Too bad the pep talk didn't have much affect by the end of the episode.
  • So, why is Katherine actually back? It's too early to say. But I can't wait to find out.

Catch up on our favorite Vampire Diaries quotes now, return to TV Fanatic tomorrow for a Round Table discussion and sound off: WHAT DID YOU THINK?


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (348 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


OMG, this episode was right along the lines of the season finale. Shocking moment after shocking moment - I loved it!
I felt soooo sad for Damon, I really don't blame him for going all crazy. Ok, maybe Jeremy was a little much - Katherine was really the one to blame, not Elena. I was kind of surprised that Katherine calmly told him she never loved him and left, as if she wasn't doing it out of spite. Maybe she has a raisin of a heart somewhere!
Anyway, total shocker when Katherine killed Caroline!
Loved the Bonnie/Damon conflict, pretty awesome! Maybe he'll see something in her eventually.
Stefan/Katherine - there definitely is still something there.
Love this show! Can't wait for Katherine and Elena to meet!


GeneralRapunzel I can tell you that I read the books and she loves Damon just as much. L.j.smith said so Herself Elena loves both brothers. and there are quotes that just prove that ,but I agree that Elena in the show wasn't ready yet , Elena will forgive him with time , she did forgive worst thing in the books and she still loves and trusts him, they are both hurt and it's going to take time for her to forgive him completely but they'll get there.


That was such a great episode. I simply don't have words for it.


I'm a HUGE delena shipper (and by HUGE I mean HUGE) I felt extremely bad for Damon when Katherine told him that she never loved him and it was always Stefan (I believe she never truly loved him but I don't think she always loved Stefan, she has other purposes) and then Elena told him it'll always be Stefan.. But killing Jeremy.. Not Good!!!


Loved the whole episode! Watching it and didn't wanted it to end.. I'm not sure if I have to feel sorry for Damon or that he is just plain selfish (don't get want I want, so I will hurt you). Or maybe he did he so that Elena is going to hate him and don't love him anymore (I agree with Damon that Elena has feelings for him). Loved Stefan this episode, especially the scenes with Katherine. He's become a bit meaner this episode, not just the 'I'm here to protect you' Stefan. Cannot wait for next week!


i hate how everyone turned down Damon


can I ask a question? why is elena selfless? because she told to damon that she will always love stefan, her BOYFRIEND? yes I'm a stelena fan.. but I'm not saying that because of that.. Ok damon and elena have chemistry and tension but... what? she should have let him kissed her just because he was hurt at that moment? I'm not from the USA so perhaps there it's very easy to cheat on your boyfriend isn't it? she does NOT love damon, at least NOT YET!!! She was nice to him at first but he continued kissing her.. I felt really bad for damon with all the denial he faced, I seriously did, but that's not a reason to kiss your brother's gf.. that's what I think..


Love this show !!! glade its back would love to hear from Stefan and Elena. Damon u r the bad boy as always. Please keep Stefan & Elena together no matter what for the good.


I loved this episode. Except for Bonnie. She's increasingly angry and bitter. She's proven she can be manipulative, deceitful, and mean. If she's not careful, she's going to become what she claims to be fighting against: the wiccan version of Damon or Katherine. There may be chemistry and attraction between Elena and Damon, but Elena has repeatedly made it clear that she loves Stefan. That's what the producers said, that's what's in the books, that's what was portrayed last season. I don't want to see her deviate from that because it wouldn't be true to her character. At least not unless something changes. And while Damon isn't a very nice individual, that had to be horrible being rejected by Katherine and then Elena. It's also in Elena's character to forgive, just as it seems to be in Bonnie's to hold increasingly angry grudges. Elena will forgive Damon soon. Stefan may have feelings of a sort for Katherine, but they have got to be polluted by the past. And who doesn't have a spark left over for their first love?


I thought it was a very epiphany moment when Katherine called Damon innocent. Because in the end, through all the hotness, wit and evil he's done, he has and always been very simple. He falls in love with someone and he pretty much just have that one person in mind and pretty much to give his all to that person.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

He kissed Katherine, not me. I wouldn't do that.

Elena [to Stefan]

Katherine wants you dead, there's zero you can do about it. You will be dead.