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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?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (347 Votes)

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

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Excuse me? IS everyone at Mystic falls suppose to be supernatural.. i mean. tyler, Mason , Stefan, Damon ( HOTTIE) now caroline? sheesh! Well not to miss KAtherine. I hate Elena for doin tht to Damon, He loves her. N well we found out that Stefan is actually turning evil. really evil. When i saw wat he did to John, i had to recheck wheater it was REALLY STEFAN! I know tht Damon n Elena wont b together this season. The producers revealed it. Plus I think , Stefan will be evil n Damon might be a good-guy this season. Intresting. But seriosuly? I hate Elena n KAtherine. They just cant do tht to Damon. Why dones every woman who Damon fall for love Stefan (the over larger jaw guy) Damon is a sweetheart. For a chnage, i think Katherine is mean, sick, scary, sexy, hot, bitch, hag for hell.... So i think I'm gonna like her. But what she did with Damon was an exception. Damon is ADORABLE! :)

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Caroline won't be a vampire until she feeds on human's blood. On season one Vicky turned into a vampire because she died with Damon's blood on her system and then fed on Logan's blood.

Amy-jackey

yes kathern is a bitch. i really think she loves both damon and stefan. it would have been better in the middle of the season where they found out kathern was back. that way she could kept playing mind games with both guys when elaina isnt around.

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things about tonight: 1. stefan is way hotter this season than the past
2. uncle mason is HOT, but tyler is hotter.
3. poor damon, but he's still a douche for "killing" jeremy and try to steal his brother's girl, yes i'm a "stelena" fan.
4. katherine is a bitch, that's no secret at all.
5. i'm pretty sure caroline's gonna turn into a vamp now, remember she has damon's blood in her system so...
6. stefan looks so hot when he gets angry...
7. This was an amazing episode, can't wait for the other really.

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Okay for all you people who are Serious Delena shippers(like myself, got SO upset that Elena's being this way about her feelings) We have to still have hope - Remember when Elena found out Damon killed.turned her birth mother???? She said she hated him then. And i know this one was SO much more dramatic, but Come ON - It's DAMON we're talking about here, i mean - How long can somebody hold out from loving him - or even liking him as a friend, for crying out loud. So to be honest, Elena is COMPLETELY to blame here. One thing - She's a sitting duck for a unwelcome Katherine, at SOME point, she's gona get into huge trouble with Katherine(AKA Katherine cornering her and trying to kill her) and eventually Damon will give in on his suicidal downward spiral and stake Katherine - I mean, he SAID something poetic about her death. Second - She knew exactly how VULNERABLE Damon was when he was sitting on her bed in that tortured state, yet she STILL hid her feelings. And i know - Snapping Jer's Neck was COMPLETELY uncalled for and COMPLETELY unnecessary - But think of the Basics. Damon has loved her - PINED FOR HER - for over 150 years. Us humans, have only likely been in love for less then a decade. Most of us, at least. imagine 150 years of love and emotions for someone being RIPPED TO SHREADS in an instant. Thats probably the hardest thing he has EVER gone through. And Elena still had to act like a selfish person to him - pretty much blocking him off of most actual emotional and heart-to-heart conversations. COME ON - She knows him well enough then to do that, that's almost as bad as telling the council he's a vampire... COME ON, ELENA! SHOW SOME SELFLESSNESS!!!!

Serenavdw

is caroline always almost dying? will she finally die one day or become interesting?

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I was completely thrown for a loop though when K suffocated Caroline and she'll become a vampire. That's pretty cool.

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I definitely think Katherine has a bigger agenda than they are letting on but I do think she really wasn't in love with Damon. She may be lying about Stefan too, I somehow think both were games to her but stefan is playing harder to get so he seems more appealing at the moment. I do hope Elena forgives Damon soon. I'd like to think he did see the ring and knew. I also agree that there is something between Elena and Damon but she's lying to herself. I don't doubt she loves Stefan but she's at least sexually attracted to Damon. I mean come on, who wouldn't be. I also think there was a spark with Stefan and Elena but again I think that's more sexual attraction than actual love.

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I can't beleive the episode!!!stefan's changed,hes more aggresive!I can't beleive damon did that!!!when he snapped jermeys neck,i almost had a heart attack!I couldn't beleive it!It wasn't my favorite episode to be honest.I expected much more!srry

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OMGG!!!!!!!! That episode was AMAZING! Can't believe it, Katherine is a cold-hearted B*TCH! She is definately up to no good that's for sure.! I hope Caroline lives!! That would be so messed up if she died! :( Can't wait for next week and the rest of the season! LOVE this show!

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.

Damon
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