I missed reviewing the premiere, so let's recap.
The new season begins with Stefan tagging along with Klaus, who's on a mission to create a hybrid army. Stefan, while still retaining some of his human side, has almost completely lost his mind, and he now kills on a whim.
Elena (it's her birthday!), now without a guardian or a boyfriend, is left to pick up the pieces and move on. But of course, we're talking about Elena, so she won't move on. Ever. Unfortunately, every time she finds a clue to Stefan's location, Damon and Alaric do their best to make sure it amounts to nothing.
Damon, on the other hand, has been actively tracking Stefan's every location, and he knows exactly who Stefan is killing and how. Except he won't tell Elena. Because he wants to protect her. The typical motive.
At the end of the first episode, we've gotten nothing much but a bit of Stefan's new personality, a dead minor character, and a frustrated Elena.
Oh, and Caroline is suddenly blinded-sided and taken down with vervain by Tyler's mother.
Ah, and we can't forget Jeremy and his new ghost-seeing ability.
Now, onto episode two!
Now that the secret is out about Stefan's whereabouts, Elena enlists the help of Tyler and Alaric to track down the werewolf pack that Klaus and Stefan are targeting. I can't help but wonder why 1) Elena would think Alaric would actually let her go through with this and 2) why she would think Damon wouldn't catch on anyway. You'd think she would know better by know, right?
But she doesn't. And so Alaric tells Damon, and he tries to stop them from going. Except, like usual, Elena's stubbornness prevails, and Alaric, Damon, and Elena end up searching for the werewolf pack...
Stubborn Elena is stubborn!
As it turns out, werewolf to hybrid conversion doesn't exactly work quite right, which leads to a pack of werewolf/vampire/zombies slowly dying in agony. But not before the first test subject escapes after biting Stefan. Oh my!
Except what was once a death sentence is now easily solved by Klaus' blood. If you play his sadistic little games. Thus, Stefan heads off after the rogue were-vamp-zombie. Which of course leads him straight to the Elena-Alaric-Damon tri-fecta, neither of whom, for some odd reason, notice he's there. You know, sometimes I wonder about these vampire and werewolf super-senses.
The rest of it plays out like the usual VD action scene. There's a fancy CGI werewolf (who ends up back in human form when he actually fights Damon...), a touching brother scene where Stefan proves he's still "in there," and the typical Damon promises Elena he'll do something after *gasp* finally admitting he was wrong scene!
Meanwhile, Klaus, now surrounded by dead failed hybrids, gets into his pouty, depressed mode, concedes to heal Stefan (who conveniently forgets to mention the presence of the tri-fecta), but not before wondering just why his hybrids all died horribly. Because he killed a vampire, a werewolf, and the doppleganger!
This is one of those tense moments where I never know where VD is heading. Does Klaus figure it out? And if he does, why doesn't he say anything? Then again, we know Klaus is sadistic and clever, so maybe he's just waiting for the right time. Or does he really just miss it? Seems implausible, doesn't it? And the following "my only comrade" speech he gives to Stefan is a just a tad too suspicious if you ask me.
But that's just me.
Or is it?
But wait, what's been happening with all the other characters?
Well, Jeremy and Matt get a few paranormal cameos throughout that basically culminates with the (approximate) utterance from our dearly departed Anna: "Don't trust Vicki!"
Jeremy, run! Your dead girlfriend said don't trust her!
When we last left Caroline, she was in a bind. And she still is at the end of the episode. Because the last 30 seconds or so is the only time she's in it. Which, again, seems to be a typical facet of VD. Anyway, while Caroline is stewing (presumably unconscious the entire episode) is a dirty, dark basement (like usual), Tyler is gradually unraveling the truth about his dear, dear mom.
Of course, it takes a rather corny "I think the cream is bad" coffee jab and a chat with the much neglected Matt to get there. But I must say, his solution is fantastic. Instead of pulling another running-away-from-home stunt, he instead treats dear Mrs. Lockwood to a front row seat of his werewolf transformation, after which she seems to completely reverse her stance on "monsters."
Too bad the guy she handed Caroline over to doesn't think the same way.
Also too bad that the guy is apparently Caroline's father.
And there you have it: unexpected ending, brotherly bonding, stubborn Elena, random obliviousness in characters that aren't usually so oblivious, a myriad of killed-off characters whose names we never even get, and that lingering slap in the face that things are about to get so much worse.
Now that's an episode of the Vampire Diaries.
Overall Grade: B+
See you next week!