Welcome to the first edition of Vampire Diaries does College, brought to you by a healthy dose of mystery and vervaine-laced water. Yes, kids, you heard us right. Elena and Caroline are in college and it’s not smooth sailing. We repeat, not.
But that was the least surprising bit of the episode, so we shouldn’t complain. The rest of it more or less surprised at every turn, and served as a great opening for the CW stalwart’s fifth season. Sticking with the college theme, we take a look at that brand new mystery first. From the moment Sheriff Forbes told Elena that Whitmore (their new college) is where Daddy Gilbert fell in love with medicine, we knew the campus would give us some echoes of the Gilberts. We weren’t expecting the extent to which the Gilberts would be relevant to the story – we have a suspicious roommate, a suspicious dead roommate, and a suspicious dead roommate who knew Elena’s dad and has pictures of him and her on her cell. Yes, they’re all the same person (new [dead] character Megan; relative unknown Hayley Kiyoko). Megan will likely be a recurring character. But as a ghost. Or a vampire. Bringing us neatly to the second college-based mystery: who killed her? Our money’s on hot-new-guy-for-Caroline (now that Tyler’s out of the picture), because he’s the only one getting any screen time, and we all know she can’t be happy for a hot second.
But college wasn’t the only venue providing the fun times. Back in Mystic Falls, many things took many twists. We’ll start with Jeremy because that’s the least twisty of all the things – Jer still has his hunter powers and his ghost-seeing powers and is conducting (predictably) a ghostly romance with Bonnie. Ugh these kids are so in love. But we reckon we won’t have to put up with their unsatisfied tensions for long. We sense that Bonnie’s about to try a helluva lot harder to get herself back into the world of the living… for vengeance! (More later.) The real twist in the Jeremy story is actually a Damon twist. Who would have thought Damon would be the responsible, caring guy that he is in this episode? Looking after Jeremy for Elena, taking in Katherine, worrying about Stefan… it’s kind of a new color on him, but we like it.
Next we get to Matt. Back from his summer-long sexy, sexy tour of Europe, Matt was all prepared to settle back into Mystic Falls life. But, because it’s Matt, peace can never last long, and nor can happiness. A Czech dalliance came back to bite him in the ass when a former paramour showed up in Mystic Falls with the Gilbert ring she stole, and two heavies who (possibly [we may have been watching too much Supernatural]) possess him. It’s probable that they were hoping to get to an actual Gilbert – Matt having the ring may have led them to believe he’s actually part of that dynasty – but it should be an interesting arc as it unfolds.
The main story of the week was, of course, Silas, and that was the biggest surprise of all. We were anticipating at least a few episodes during which everyone was fooled and no one knew they weren’t dealing with Stefan. Thankfully, we were colossally wrong. That suspense and mystery was dealt with relatively upfront, with the big reveal (to our central cast of characters, at least) coming midway through. The mystery, therefore, becomes ‘what does he need Katherine for’. Human Katherine made a couple of appearances, and was the undertaker of a daring escape. So she’s in the wind again (and, as we all know, Katherine is only safe when you can see her).
Silas also prompted that potential for Bonnie’s return to the land of the living. For his big move – setting the townspeople on the hunt for Katherine – he needed a big moment, and he chose well. We can only assume killing Bonnie’s dad right before her eyes was not what he intended. We’re sure he didn’t want another angry witch out to get him. But we’re also sure that Bonnie won’t let a little thing like the balance of nature stop her as she strives for vengeance. We think pissed Bonnie is back, and she’s going to be trouble.
Stefan wasn’t overlooked during the episode, though his arc was incidental. Elena appears to be able to feel that he’s in trouble of some sort, which is new and potentially bad news for Delena (though, right now, they’re all good). His arc is, for now, taking place entirely inside his head as his inner demons (Damon) battle his better angels (Elena) over his humanity switch. Will Damon reach him before he can flip the switch for good?
So a lot to think about before the next episode, and a great way to ramp up the mystery at the start of a brand new season. If it continues like this, we’ll find it hard to turn away. – K
Quoteworthy: “I was looking for attention, so I lit my house on fire and faked my own death.” – Jeremy, rehearsing his excuse for coming back from the dead (he’s a prime candidate for home schooling)