The Vampire Diaries, Season 2: The Return (S02E01) – Episode review

Welcome back to Mystic Falls, my lovelies. and the return of [[The Vampire Diaries (TV Series)|The Vampire Diaries]]! Season 2 picks up directly after the events of the Season 1 finale – with creepy Uncle John dying on the kitchen floor at Katherine’s hands. And whiny Jeremy is upstairs, having taken a delicious cocktail of Anna’s blood and pills. Yum. (He’s hoping to become a vampire, by the way).

At this point, Elena walks in and disrupts proceedings. Acting vamp Doctor Stefan arrives on the scene and pronounces Jeremy still alive as Uncle John gets wheeled off to hospital. Sadly, Uncle John remains alive, an anti-climax after last season’s finale.

Let’s forget those dweebs for a moment and get to the meaty heart of the episode – simmering tensions between the Salvatore brothers and a love triangle that’s suddenly become a square. (Suggested article title: “The Geometry of Vampire/Human Romances”). Yes, Katherine’s back, politely introducing herself to Elena’s chums. She does some flirting with Stefan and casually breaks Damon’s heart, which sends the older Salvatore brother into a teeny tiny breakdown.

Sorry, meant to say break neck. Because after Elena turns him down flat – unwittingly echoing Katherine’s words “It’s always Stephan” – he whizzes across the bedroom and snaps Jeremy’s neck. Sadly, Uncle John has given his protective ring to Jeremy, so the unfortunate neck-snapping incident ends on a happy note. But not for Elena, who has decided that she hates Damon FOR EVER!

It has to be said – Nina Dobrev is unexpectedly sexy as Elena’s evil doppelgänger Katherine. You can tell she’s relishing playing the dual roles, and her alter-ego has a hypnotic swagger when she walks that the straight-laced Elena could never manage.

I’ll also cram this small observation in: watch the scene between Damon and Stefan in the Lockwood’s garden. Does it look to you like Stefan wants to lick Damon’s face? Paul Wesley can be so intense sometimes!

What else? Well Jeremy’s attempt to become a DIY vampire failed miserably. Stefan gave a wonderfully menacing threat to Uncle John to clear out of town. Which he did. Ian Somerhalder earned every bit of his fee as Damon, lurching around being mean, murderous and duplicitous throughout the entire episode. I love it when you see Damon walking around with a glass of whiskey. That when you know things are getting interesting.

And Chez Lockwood, mysterious Uncle Mason turns up to grieve for his dead brother. Thankfully, Damon makes a quip about another uncle turning up out of the woodwork like Uncle John last year. Otherwise I’d have had to cast aspertions on how many mysterious relatives were getting the Greyhound to Mystic Falls. Turns out Mason’s the black sheep of the family, but he does seem to have an influence over Tyler that’ll play out as Season 2 continues.

I’m going to leave you now, with Katherine’s closing words to Caroline, just before she snuffed the ditzy blonde out with a hospital pillow: “Game On!” An excellent start to the new season of The Vampire Diaries. Looks like the Salvatore brothers are going to be at each other’s throats all over again…

Quotes from The Return

  • Damon: “If I do this, you and me, we call a truce?” Bonnie: “No, but you’ll do it anyway. For Elena.”
  • Elena: “Katherine was in this house. That means she’s been invited in. What are we going to do?” Damon: “Move. Katherine wants you dead, there’s zero you can do about it. You would be dead.”
  • Damon: “To rick another frown line encroaching on a very crowded forehead…we kissed.”
  • Uncle John: “My daughter should have driven a stake through your heart by now.”
  • Stefan: “Now take my advice. Leave town. Elena doesn’t want you here. You have 24 hours before my blood leaves your system, that’s enough time to disappear. Or so help me God, I will turn you into a vampire, and I will watch you hate yourself more than you already do.”
  • Elena: “She’s already messing with both your heads and Damon’s not stable when it comes to her.”
  • Damon: “I don’t get hurt, Elena.” Elena: “No, you don’t admit that you get hurt. You get angry, then cover it up and then you do something stupid.”
  • Damon: “You’re scared. You think Katherine’s going to send me off the deep end, don’t you? I don’t need her for that.”
  • Jeremy: “When my Dad died, I had a house full of strangers telling me what a great guy he was. Anyway, I know how hard all this is.” Tyler: “The difference is in your case it was true. My Dad was a dick.” Jeremy: “Yeah. Yeah, he was.”
  • Stefan: “Don’t flirt with me Katherine. I’m not Damon, I haven’t spent 145 years obsessed with you.” Katherine: “Based on your choice of women, I’d say otherwise.”
  • Damon: Ooh, cover up Fabio. You got a crazy ex on the loose. Better watch out, it looks like Katherine’s trying to steal your guy.”
  • Stefan: “Katherine’s gonna try and play us against each other. You know that, don’t you?” Damon: “Brother don’t you worry, our bond is unbreakable.”
  • John: “What happened to your parents wasn’t supernatural. It was an accident. There’s nothing that can save us from that.”
  • Damon: “Don’t pout. It’s not attractive in a woman your age.”
  • Katherine: “The truth is, I’ve never loved you. It was always Stefan.”
  • Elena: “He’s decided what he wants. He doesn’t want to feel, he wants to be hated. It’s just easier that way. He got his wish.”

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