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

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!


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.


It was great. Who know the title of the song played when Caroline and Matt first kissed at the birthday party ?


wow i really missed this show..this episode was so good and stefan the ripper was really scary..paul wesley did a great job changing it up and even though im not a delena shipper i felt bad for damon..poor andie lol


Oh my gosh, this was a great episode! Enjoyed it the whole time, and then the ending had me screaming 'NOOOOOOOO?!?!' A very good beginning to a hopefully good season :)


Tilly, Klaus cannot transform a vampire into a hybrid. Remember that werewolves are only werewolves by birth (Except for say the very first werewolf, which I presume had been created by a witch). Werewolf bites do not transform people into werewolves. Also, I am guessing that non-hybrid vampires cannot transform a werewolf into a hybrid because in some way or another, the feud caused werewolves to reject vampire blood (maybe they asked witches to make their blood behave this way) as they were mortal enemies. I don't think werewolves would be too thrilled to become vampires for obvious reasons. Klaus would be the exception due to him being part werewolf.


Great. Especially forwood BUT. I'm so tired of stelena. They are painfully boring. Where is the spark? I've tried so hard to care about that relationship. I'm tired of getting delena teases. Jeremy and Matt were blah. When is matt gonna kick the bucket?

Jean salvatore

OMG Stelena call was amazing thank u to the producers for giving us some hope our couple will be again....


I was soo nervous for this first episode back and I must say I loved every minute of it. Ripper Stefan really is spooky, and though I know he is evil Klaus is always entertaining everytime he is on screen, whether it is torturing someone or faking an american accent to get into someone's house. But by far my favorite scenes were with Tyler & Caroline, from the longing looks, sexual chemistry and the banter I loved it. My favorite scene with them (besides the possible baby making one) was when he kept saying things to Elena, Caroline had told him. A little worried for Caroline next week though I guess we know why Mrs. Lockwood has been looking at her...does this mean she knows Tyler is different too??? Does this set up the whole Romeo & Juliet storyline I heard about over the break?? Will the hybrids live??? Can Klaus bite a vampire and create a hybrid or does it only happen with the werewolves??? What does he really want with Stefan?? Can't wait for the rest of the season.


Who knows the name of the song that was played in the last scene?? or the sowndtrack of the episode, pleas!!


Vampires cannot procreate because they are dead. Klaus is an exception with him being alive and dead at the same time since werewolves are living creatures.


Loved the Tyler Caroline sex scene it was hot Tyler sleeping after sex only hotter let me stop before I get all heated up again I'm guessing Tyler's mom doesn't know Caroline is a vampire or Caroline just wanted to be polite and take her time out but whatever it was a good end Alaric just Elena and Jeremy just because she's eighteen I still think she needs a adult figure and who pays the bills for the house but can't wait for next week

Tags: ,

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

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


Hello, brother.