Thursdays 8:00 PM on The CW
The-vampire-diaries

The Vampire Diaries Season Premiere Review: Welcome to the Ripper Road Show!

by at . Comments

Pretty much everything has been turned on its head since we last visited Mystic Falls, Virginia, but it's a testament to The Vampire Diaries' consistently strong writing and acting that it already feels so normal.

Call it a new, bloody normal.

From the opening sequence to a vintage TVD shocker just before the the credits rolled, "The Birthday" was a wild ride, one that reaffirmed why the series has become a personal favorite and one of TV's best.

My great fear has been that the producers will take too many creative liberties, given the endless possibility offered by the genre, and deviate from the compelling characters and story arcs that define the show.

One episode into Season 3, consider those fears assuaged.

Klaus, Chilling

We knew after last season's finale that Stefan would enter a dark period, but boy, they didn’t waste any time prepping us for what he's become. The switch has been flipped, and a full-blown ripper has appeared.

He doesn't just kill, he gets into it, toying with victims, maybe even making them plunge 50 feet to their doom to switch it up. He even has a signature, reassembling dismembered corpses after the thirst is quenched and remorse sets in.

Like several of his co-stars, Paul Wesley looked the part of a transformed character, even if a look was all it took. He's outwardly menacing, inwardly empty (and the backlit silhouette of him in the studio was eerily awesome).

Still, we've gotten to know Stefan and what an upstanding guy he is for two years now, and we know his current position resulted from the ultimate self-sacrifice. So we actually find ourselves sympathetic toward the ripper. Amazing.

It's the kind of moral gray area and character extrapolation The Vampire Diaries executes so brilliantly against the backdrop of supernatural mayhem, of which there was plenty tonight. Where do we even begin?!

Hitting the road with a hybrid: A real blood-guzzler as it turns out. Fun as it is watching Stefan kill people on its own merit, Klaus' intentions became clear from the get-go: Find werewolves. Create a master race.

This formidable task makes sense in that he actually needs a wingman to help make it happen, and lends itself to so many possibilities the season. Will it work? How will it work? And will the Stefan of old ever return?

Judging by the tearful phone call at the end, he's not dead inside yet.

Ian Promo Pic

Damon goes CSI: Now the restrained, reasoned Salvatore brother, Damon was a busy guy tonight. He was in what appeared to be a real relationship with Andy before Stefan put an end to that/her.

He was usually drinking. He was sometimes clothed.

Most significantly, Damon bestowed upon Elena a birthday gift: her necklace. The way he put it on her, then escorted her downstairs was quite romantic and more than enough to keep the Delena worshippers' hopes alive.

Will they ever really be together, though? Their mutual love for Stefan is a driving force behind their bond. Delena may never be Delena in the romantic sense, but that doesn't mean they're not electric to watch.

Werewolf-on-vampire action: Gulp. I assumed Caroline and Tyler were dating at the onset, but they weren't, much to my chagrin and hers. Then she let him know it, they discussed their mutual hornballocity and then ... holy crap.

The sexual tension was out of control, and the sex itself was even more out of control. Their chemistry is a treat to watch, and not only when half-naked - their back-and-forth exchanges offered some legitimately fun moments.

The girl essentially c--kblocked him with her eyes. Things only vampires can pull off.

Of course, Tyler's mom caught her sneaking out, then GUNNED HER DOWN. It wouldn't be TVD without a good gasp around the 8:59 mark, would it? Caroline was (I think) only shot with a sedative or something, so she'll live.

It's bad, though. What Mrs. L. knows about, and has planned for her is anyone's guess.

Ghost hunters: Jeremy, as we know, is seeing his dead girlfriends - one of whom is his friend's sister - as ghosts nowadays. But it appears they don't stop to chat, instead haunting him haphazardly and without explanation.

We didn't learn too much about what this entails, but it did set up a great bromance between Jeremy and Matt, who's apparently along for this ride - like it or not. Hate to say it, but it beats pining for Caroline, Matty.

Matt and Caroline Scene

It's hard to imagine a better start to the season. A few random, closing thoughts:

  • Like Parenthood's Adam Braverman, Alaric is a mess, stuck in that in-between phase. It'll pass, man.
  • How good was the music tonight? More so than usual, I thought. So appropriate for every scene.
  • Just of few of the best lines this evening: “Hello, brother.” - Stefan. “It’s your party, you can cry if you want to.” - Damon. “I love you Stefan. Hold on to that. Never let that go.” - Elena
  • Best exchange in my living room: Wife: "Since when does Matt smoke pot?" Myself: "Since when does Jeremy smoke pot?" Wife: "Dude, Jeremy's kind of a lost soul as it is, now he sees dead people." Myself: "Fair point."
  • Hottest scene: Caroline and Tyler, or the gratuitous Ian Somerhalder nudity? You decide. Win-win.
  • What happens if Caroline gets pregnant in that situation? Can she? How does that work, the cross-breeding and all. Just curious, they seem into each other. This could come up down the line. Or tomorrow.

We'll be back tomorrow to continue our coverage of "The Birthday," including our Round Table discussion, and begin discussing next week's Vampire Diaries episode. For now, sound off with your comments below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (545 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

Tags: ,
Avatar

I waited all summer for this and it was well worth the wait. I loved every second of it. I am a writer and I have to say the writers for this show are wonderful. Please keep up the good work. The actors are brilliant. I think Damon and Jeremy got even hotter looking over the summer.

Avatar

OMG, Stefan has to get back to Elena and back to his old self. The ending when he called her and she told him she loves him and he will be ok was the best part of the show!!!! I was crying. I wouldn't watch this show if I knew that Stefan and Elena don't get back together like they are meant to. Their love is sooo amazing and it makes this whole show!

Jennessis

I can't stop listening to the song from the end of the episode. It fit so perfectly as Damon acted out and Stefan called Elena. Damn it, Paul Wesley's got that expression locked up. Tears dropped from my eyes instantly. What an amazing start to this season! Loved what Elena told Stefan, too. The writers are amazing!!!

Avatar

I absolutely loved this episode. Oh My God. Stelena

Amy-jackey

Vampires cant get pregnant on here

Avatar

A sedative?! What about verveine? Mrs. Lockwood apparently knows Caroline is a vamp. And Jeremy already smoked pot in the first episode from the first season. Didn't really like what they did to Matt, he's being a bit agressive and last season he was just annoying. Tyler and Caroline together were amazing!! I was all confused at the beginning when they were at the grill, I thought they already were together together. The best moment of the is episode was the stefan/elena phonecall..

Avatar

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH OMG OMG OMG IT WAS SOOOOOOO good!!!!
sooo emotional when stefan rings Elena!!! cant wait for her to find him!!
poor damon Andy is d e a d d d d.......
please reply back to me if you agree or disagree {just write to katy} :)

Avatar

Fantastic premiere. There is nothing else to say about it!Loved it!! Forwood was incredible sexy just as I imagined it and with Katherine out of sight Caroline rocks the most =) I laughed hard when she made her pissed off "Excuuuse me" and just moved this poor guy to the side. And of course the sex szene... Jesus!!! That was hot! Thank you for this great start. At least one series that doesn't disappoint!

Avatar

best vampire show ever ..hummmm

Thatgirl301

everything about the premiere was amazing. Stefan and Elena at the end made me cry, FORWOOD was so !@#$%^&* HOTTTTT omg that was like the craziest sex ever I loved the little bit of it we got to see but that was hot... I was kinda upset that Jeremy started smoking pot (again) and that Matt did as well... but I mean everyone deals with pain differently. Damon in the beginning was hot without wearing anything... it's funny because Elena def stared at him for 5 seconds before covering her eyes (which means she was just as intrigued as we were) but yea I think it was terrible that Andy Star died. I didnt expect that from Stefan so that surely shows that he has changed a little bit. I do think its ironic how he was the one to great Damon "Hello, Brother" Then kill his g/f kind of how Damon greeted him in season one, and then killed Lexi when she came to visit. I've always been pro-Stelena but I know I would definitely not be upset if Delena happened because they are honestly too cute together. I hate Klaus, btw (from a antagonist character hating point of view) but I hope he finally lets Stefan stop slaving for him and can we get Elijah back please?! I would be so happy. OMG I have so much more to say but I'll save it. I'm sooo excited for next weeks episode!

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

It's your party. You can cry if you want to.

Damon

Hello, brother.

Stefan
×