“Stronger, Meaner . . . SEXY!” – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season 2 Premiere “The Return”

I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch
`Cause I’m better than you
It’s the way that I move
The things that I do

                                            –– lyrics from Elton John’s oh-so-apropos-to-this-episode song, “The Bitch is Back”

*      *       *       *

“But you’re different.  Stronger, meaner . . . SEXY!”

These iconic words were uttered by Katherine at around the halfway point of The Vampire Diaries Season Premiere episode, “The Return.”  And, while they were certainly accurate, regarding the person to whom they refer [Stefan], if this episode is any indication, I would extend the comment to the ENTIRE Second Season of The Vampire Diaries.  After all, “The Return” was ALL of those adjectives, rolled into one deliciously bloody package.  STRONGER . . .

MEANER . . .

and most definitely SEXY!

But before I begin recapping this AMAZING episode, perhaps we should get some “academic” stuff out of the way, first.  If you are a “fangbanger” (i.e. LOVER of all things VAMPIRE) like I am, you probably already know that this genre comes with RULES.  And each vampire story — be it a television show, or a movie, or a book — tweaks those rules a little bit, to meet its needs.   Here are some examples:

Rule:  All vampires must act suspiciously Mormon . . .

Rule:  All vampires must act definitively NOT Mormon!

Understanding the vampire RULES of a particular story is important because it will help you understand the story itself.  It also might help you to predict what comes next.  And being able to predict what comes next, makes you SMART.  Kind of like THIS GUY . . .

The Vampire Diaries’ RULES were of particular importance to this episode  – perhaps, more so than any episode of the show that has aired so far.  So, without further adieu.  Here are our RULES:

1) The Ugly Ass Ring of (sort of) Immortality

For whatever reason, The Vampire Diaries has put much emphasis on this . . . the ugliest ring I have EVER SEEN!  This is the kind of ring that, if a kid found it in his cereal box, it would probably make him cry . . .

In fact, I’m convinced that the reason that people tend not to DIE when they are wearing this ring, is that they wouldn’t want to be caught DEAD IN IT!  (Sorry, Papa Gilbert!)  Ugly Ass Ring protects the wearer from death by any supernatural being, regardless of whether the death itself contained within it any sort of supernatural element.  So, for example, Ugly Ass Ring would protect you from Damon, and his penchant for breaking people’s necks . . .

. . . or HUNGRY Stefan, and his tendency toward the Accidental Draining of Humans . . .

. . . or Katherine and her love of (staking, hand chopping, pillow smothering, strangling, carotid artery devouring, etc.)

But, it would not protect you from drowning (again, sorry Papa Gilbert!) or from Useless Aunt Jenna BORING you to death . . .

(Note:  Ugly Ass Ring is not to be confused with “Sunscreen Ring,” which Damon, Stefan, Katherine, and seemingly EVERY vampire on the show wears to enable them to walk in the sun.  Clearly, there was a HUGE sale on Sunscreen Rings back at Vamp-Mart!  Ugly Ass Rings, however, are exceedingly rare.)

2) The Healing Powers of Vampire Blood

If ingested prior to, or shortly after injury, Vampire Blood can heal you, or, possibly, SAVE YOUR LIFE!

But it only lasts about 24 hours.  After that, you get hurt?  Get dead?  YOU’RE SCREWED!

3) Turning into a vampire . . .

If you’ve ingested vampire blood, and then DIE the same day — OR you ingest vampire blood at or near the time of your death — you WILL become a vampire.  Once that happens, you have THREE DAYS to feed on human blood, or you will die . . . for good, this time.

So, now that we’ve all got our RULES down, LET’S START THE SHOW!

“911.  What’s your emergency?”

Season 2 picks up literally right where Season 1 ended.  However, it replays the events from a slightly different perspective, so that fans can fill in the gaps of what actually went on here.  Again, we see Damon kiss Katherine, thinking she’s Elena . . .

. . . which is interrupted by LAME and Useless Aunt Jenna’s arrival.   She also INVITES Katherine inside!  (MORON!)  Useless Aunt Jenna then conveniently leaves to “talk to the fire chief,” or something else random like that.  Katherine explains this to Uncle / Father / Whatever John Gilbert, before CHOPPING HIS FINGERS OFF AND STAKING HIM IN THE TUMMY!

That’s ONE way to dispose of the Ugly Ass Ring . . .

Cut to Elena chatting with Stefan about how her “stuff” got stolen (by Katherine).  She wants Stefan to pick her up at the house and take her to the hospital to check on Caroline.  But when Elena enters the house she finds THIS . . .

Elena attempts to staunch John’s bleeding, while calling for an ambulance.  However, she SHOULD be calling for THIS GIRL, instead . . .

 John whispers something to Elena.  She can’t hear him, so she asks him to repeat himself.  “BEHIND YOU!”  He repeats, echoing what fans have been yelling at their television screens during the ENTIRE 911 call!

Elena then rushes up to Jeremy’s bedroom and finds him, as Season 1 left him, OD’ed on pills, passed out, and with a smidgeon of Vampire Anna’s blood in his system.  (IS HE DEAD?  HAS HE TURNED VAMP?) 

Elena screams his name a few times, and shakes him.  At first he is unresponsive.  However, after what seemed like WAY TOO LONG, he awakens, gasping loudly for air.

Cue the title card, which I am told is NEW, but looks more or less the same to me.  (I think they just added a blood drip, and took the old flower away.)

The CW Graphics Department:  Changing the way you view The Vampire Diaries . . . one missing flower at a time . . .

“You mean, I’m NOT a vampire?  Damn!”

Stefan arrives just as Uncle / Father / Whatever John is being carted off into the ambulance.  Elena rushes to Stefan telling him what SHE thinks happened — that one of the Tomb Vampires (a.k.a. Hidey Hole Vamps) followed her home, and staked Uncle / Father / Whatever for sh&ts and giggles.  Elena then takes Stefan into Jeremy’s room, where Stefan does some sort of creepy Jedi Mind Trick on him, to make sure he’s not a vampire.  (Why not just check his pulse?)  “He’s fine,” Dr. Stefan confirms.

“You mean, I’m not a vampire?  Damn!”  Jeremy pouts, reminding us just how young the character actually is. (And, in the process, making all fans over the age of 20, feel just a little dirty for lusting after him, in his new tan and floppy hairdo).

Elena can’t understand, for the LIFE of her, why ANYONE would want to be undead, and she tells Jeremy as much . . . RIGHT IN FRONT OF STEFAN.  (Ummm . . . yeah . . . way to be a supportive girlfriend, Fangbanger!)

Apparently, Elena only likes SPECIFIC portions of “vampire” inside of her . . .

Dr. Stefan explains to Jeremy that he didn’t take enough pills to off himself (SUICIDE FAIL!).  The “Kinder Gentler Vamp” then slaps Jeremy around a bit for talking back to Mommy and not eating his peas at dinner to convince him not to attempt SUICIDE THE SEQUEL.  Sure, Anna’s blood saved Jeremy’s life once.  But after a few hours, it will be gone from his system.  And next time, he might not be so lucky.  Mommy and Daddy Stefan and Elena ultimately decide to GROUND Jeremy.  Then, Elena heads off to the hospital alone, to check on Caroline.

“Does this mean I won’t get Christmas presents from Santa?”

“You’ve GOT to be KIDDING ME!”

“Ex-Girlfriend-Look-Alike-Who-I-REALLY-Want-to-Bang say WHAT?”

Back at the hospital, Matt and Bonnie are waiting outside Caroline’s room comforting one another . . .

 . . . while a surprisingly sensitive Damon comforts Caroline’s mom . . .

Which one is the cougar?

Then Elena comes, and Matt and Caroline’s mom inexplicably disappear (as both are wont to do, whenever anything good happens on this show).  Damon taunts Bonnie a bit about her inability to cure Caroline through witchiness.  He suggests that HE can heal Caroline by feeding her.  “The blood will be out of her system in a day,” explained Damon, nonchalantly.  (There go those RULES again .  . .)

Elena is skeptical about the whole thing, but Bonnie agrees with Damon.

 Then, Damon asks Bonnie if they can have “a TRUCE” and Bonnie says, “No!”

(Saying no to Damon?  That girl’s got some CAJONES!  Clearly, she’s never seen him do the Eye Thing . . .)

 Speaking of the Eye Thing, after Bonnie leaves, Damon lays a strong heaping helping of the stuff on Elena.  His fingers deftly grabbing hold of her tiny wrist, Damon propositions Elena to talk about “The Kiss that Made the Whole World Drool.”

“Listen, I know this is a bad time to discuss this, but I really think we should talk about what happened last night on the porch.”

(Oh, Damon.  You kissed a girl, and you actually want to TALK about it?  Boy, you ARE SMITTEN!  You are so DEEP in SMIT, it is not even funny. — Special thanks to Amy, for the “Deep in Smit” line ;)).

Elena, who of course, has NO CLUE what Damon is talking about, blows him off. 

“I know you want to forget about it, but I CAN’T!”  Damon stage whispers.

(Tsk, tsk . . . he’s like a needy pre-teen girlfriend.  Poor Damon!)

But just when we are about to have fun, Useless Aunt Jenna arrives, to spoil things again . . .

It’s Dr. Feel Bored!

Elena asks Jenna where she’s been.  When Jenna starts explaining how she SPOKE to Elena earlier (about her lame fire department errand), and Elena looks dumbfounded, Damon finally puts two and two together.  “You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!”  He exclaims, as the realization that he has just been Katherine-d, reaches his  skull . . .

“At least I fooled ONE of you . . .”

Stefan is at the Gilbert home babysitting Jeremy, when “Elena” returns (but WE know it’s actually Katherine, because she’s got big curly “F*ck Me” hair, and wears A LOT of eye makeup).

Stefan asks “Elena” about how Caroline is doing.  She says, “Not good,” and pulls him in for a hug.  Suddenly Stefan is TOTALLY vamped out, and has pushed Katherine against the wall.  (Unlike his brother, Stefan KNOWS his Straight Hair from his F*ck Me Hair!)

“Elena’s rollers don’t make curls that big.  And I would know, because I have borrowed them on MANY occasions . . .”

But the older, stronger, Katherine eventually gets the best of Stefan, and flips him to the ground like a WWF wrestler, disappearing just as Damon and Elena arrive back at the house.

Where do I know this facial expression from?

Yep!  That’s the one!

“What happened?”  A still clueless Elena inquires.

“Katherine happened,” explains Damon.

“If Katherine wants you dead, there is ZERO you can do about it!”

After heading upstairs to explain everything that is going on to Jeremy, Elena returns to the living room for the First Salvatore Summit of Season 2!

This small scene had some of the BEST quotes in the WHOLE episode!  So, please forgive me, if this section reads more like a script, than a recap.

“Katherine was in the house.  That means she’s been invited in by my Useless Aunt Jenna.  What do we do?”  Elena asks, nervously.

“MOVE preferably to mine and Stefan’s La Casa de Rich and Awesome,”  Damon snarks.  “Listen, if Katherine wants you dead you will be dead.  And there’s zero you can do about it.  But you’re NOT dead.  So, clearly, she has other plans.”

“Actually, Elena, I just stopped by to see if you would give me dance lessons.  And to ask whether you would mind terribly, if I ruined your ENTIRE life.”

But Stefan’s not really thinking about Homeland Security, right now.  He’s more concerned with GIRLFRIEND security.  Stefan wants to know what Katherine meant when she said, “At least I fooled one of you.”

Damon very proudly admits to falling for Katherine’s evil Elena Faking tricks, if only to lay this gem on his little brother.  “Just to prevent any more frown lines from forming on your very crowded forehead.  We kissed.”

“HEY!  I DO NOT HAVE WRINKLES!  I engage in a thorough cleansing and moisturing regimen on my face EVERY NIGHT, using six different creams . . .”

But, just in case, Stefan was unclear as to what Damon meant, Damon willingly elaborated.  “Two lips pucker and they .  . . (makes kissy noises).”

Now THOSE are lips MADE for kissing!

Stefan vampire lunges at Damon, but Elena stops the brawl, by explaining that SHE would NEVER kiss Damon.  (Nevermind, that she ALMOST kissed him, about 6 times last season . . .)

DENIAL, ain’t just a river in Egypt, Elena!

Once all the COCK fighting is done . . .

 . . . the next item on the agenda is figuring out what Katherine WANTS.

“She’s Katherine.   She loves to play games,” offers Damon. 

His proffered solution?  “Ignore the bitch . . .  then, we’ll stake her .  . . rip her head off . . . something poetic . . .”

(Ummmm .  . . and what kind of effed up POETRY is that, Damon?)

Elena’s and Stefan’s idea is a bit more cogent.   They figure, since Katherine tried to KILL Uncle / Father / Whatever John, he must know her motive.   So, off AGAIN to the hospital they go.

There, we learn that (1) Caroline’s alive (at least, for now); and

 . . . she has BAD taste in television.

I guess it would be too “meta” for her to watch The Vampire Diaries.

“I will turn you into a vampire, and watch you hate yourself more than you already do.”

“Uncle John, your lipstick is a bit smudged.  Mind if I fix it for you?”

Once Uncle John is done freaking out at the sight of his own biological daughter, who he THINKS is Katherine, Elena returns his Ugly Ass Ring, to what looks like his re-attached fingers?  Perhaps, Elena neatly packed them in brown doggie bag, before carting John off in the ambulance?  (She can be very maternal that way.)  Otherwise, I’m not quite sure how they got back . . .

“Look MA!  No hands!”

Uncle John, who’s basically IGNORED Elena her whole life (not to mention, LEFT her with USELESS AUNT JENNA!), suddenly decides he’s Father of the Year, and, therefore, deserves a say in his daughter’s life.  He starts talking smack on Stefan.  “Kill me, or get out!  Because I can’t stand the sight of you with MY daughter!”  He grandstands, looking SUPER manly, in his wimpy plastic hospital gown.

But Elena isn’t having ANY of it.    “You see the world with such hatred.  It is going to get you killed,” she seethes, before storming out and leaving her Bio Dad alone with an angry vampire.

That’s when Stefan does this . . .

“Tastes like chicken.”

After forcing a nice heaping portion of Type Vampire Blood down Uncle John’s throat, Stefan explains that if John doesn’t leave town within 24 hours (There’s that RULE again.), “I will turn you into a vampire, and watch you hate yourself more than you already do.”

(Sidenote:  It’s interesting to see this New Stefan, who has learned, since last season, to dole out his rage in a more controlled and effective manner.  No more munching on pageant princesses, when the hunger gets to be too much.  Also, Stefan’s comment to Uncle John about self-loathing, is a bit ironic — seeing as how, last season, Stefan was the most self-loathing vampire ON THE PLANET.  He used to believe that part of himself made him a monster.  Now he sees that he can use it to protect those he loves and get what he wants.  This scene is a perfect example of that.)

When Stefan admitted to Elena what he did, I expected her to be pissed and judgy.  But she was CLEARLY turned on by the whole thing . . .

“I’m totally undressing you with my eyes now, Stefan.”

Aren’t we all, Elena.  Aren’t we all . . .

“We haven’t officially met.  I’m Katherine.”

Meanwhile, the ENTIRE rest of the town seems to be at the Mayor’s mansion for the former Mayor Lockwood’s pre-funeral party(?), post-funeral party(?) . . . Whatever, it was, most of the guests were dressed more like they were going to hoedown,then to the home of a once prominent community figure.  Particularly, THIS GUY . . .

 . . . Mason Lockwood, who has many times been referred to as the “black sheep” of the Lockwood family, because he . . . likes surfing . . .

So, it was surprising to see this “black sheep” dressed in ALL WHITE.  Seriously, his outfit looked like the pajamas they make patients wear in mental hospitals.  (Note to Taylor Kinney’s wardrobe designer:  Was NOT a fan of Mason’s duds.  HOWEVER, I do have some pictoral suggestions, as to how you can remedy this problem.  Wanna see?)

Now, isn’t that much better?

At the mansion, Bonnie and Damon are busy engaging in Witty Eventually-We-Will-Screw Repartee.

“So, Bonnie, do you generally prefer to be on top, or on bottom?”

Damon taunts Bonnie, bragging about how he saved Caroline’s life.  This was the same life that Bonnie had put at risk, by handing over to Uncle John the Supernatural Dog Whistle thing that made Were Tyler swerve off the road, tossing Caroline’s body, rag doll style from the car.  Bonnie doesn’t like hearing the truth about herself.  So, she uses her witchy powers to shoot a large slushie in Damon’s mouth . . .

“At least she didn’t throw it in my face, like the do to all those Glee kids!”

 . . . giving him a massive case of BRAIN FREEZE!

At the exact same time, KATHERINE is entering the mansion, because TYLER invited her in, thinking she was Elena.  Bonnie also thinks she’s Elena.  So, she starts whining to the vamp about Damon, in such a way that you just KNOW she already has the hots for him.  “He just makes me sooooo UGGHHHH!”  She gripes.  (How many times have we heard THAT line in teen shows?  “UGHHHHHH” clearly = horny)

Bonnie also conveniently explains to Katherine how Caroline has Damon’s vamp blood in her system for a few more hours.  (Important later.)  But when Bonnie touches Katherine, her spidey sense tells her , “That’s one EVIL Bitch!”

“That’s my name.  Don’t wear it out.”

Bonnie’s suspicions are confirmed when she calls Elena on her cell phone, while Katherine is still in her line of sight, and Elena answers.  Bonnie tries to escape, but it’s too late.  “We haven’t met yet.   I’m Katherine,” says the vampire politely, before shoving Bonnie up against a wall and choking her.

Bonnie once again uses her inner Slushie to temporarily gain control, but Katherine regains it easily.  Finally, Bonnie is forced to spell the doors open, exposing Katherine to the rest of Mystic Falls.  And so, she is forced to behave.  How boring.  Fortunately, Stefan has arrived, to make things interesting for her (and us . . .)

“Wanna play with me?”

After drooling a bit over Elena’s ex and Caroline’s current Guy Friday, Matt  (“UGHHHHH . . . His eyes are SO BLUE!”  She coos.  See what I mean about the UGGHHHHH?), Katherine takes Stefan outside for a little chat.  “You wanna play with me,” she asks flirtatiously.

“How do I play, if I don’t know the rules?”  He inquires.

“No rules, Stefan,” she replies.

After being told he’s stronger, meaner, and sexy, the obviously aroused, Stefan (Can you blame him?  These two are HOT together, with a capital “OT”!), finally remembers he has a girlfriend.  “Don’t flirt with me, Katherine.  I’m not Damon.  I haven’t been pining over you for 145 years.”

“Based on your current choice of girlfriends, I’d say differently,” Katherine demurs (TOUCHE!)

Throughout the whole scene, the two characters are up in one another’s grills so much, you can almost see the steam rising from their bodies.  Katherine explains that she came back for Stefan — that it was always Stefan, and that it hurts that he has fallen for someone else.    Stefan assures her that he never loved her, that everything they had together was as a result of her compulsion on him, and that she is a “lying, selfish, manipulative bitch,” who he hates. (Gee Stefan, why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel?)

“Hate, huh?   The way I see it, that’s the beginning of a love story, not the end,” posits Katherine, before calmly staking Stefan in the stomach with a poker.

Who knew the phrase “love hurts” could be taken so literally?

“Doppelganger hijinks ensued.”

“A Broody Damon is a Sexy Damon.  Heck, ANY Damon is a Sexy Damon!”

While Team Kefan fans are drooling over the Katherine / Stefan drama OUTSIDE, Team Delena fans are waiting hopefully for their favorite couple to return to their happy place, INSIDE.  Elena approaches Damon all concerned, and shrinky, wanting to “talk about his feelings.”   (Oh sure!  NOW she wants to talk . . .)  Back to being a typical dude, Damon claims he’s just fine.  “Doppelganger hijinks ensued,” and he lived to tell the tale.  (Give this man an “I SURVIVED Doppelganger Hijinks” t-shirt, please.)

But, not knowing when to give up, Elena keeps pushing Damon to open up, claiming that he is “hurt,” and in trying to deny that hurt will do something stupid.  (Gee, foreshadow, much?)

Knowing she’s right, Damon changes the subject to one he’s more interested in, “The Kiss.”  Clearly, all this time, some part of Damon (and some part of US fans) believed that, if Elena was on the porch with Damon that night, SHE would have kissed him too.  And its THAT thought, that keeps Damon going during what has already been a difficult episode for him.  And it’s about to get much worse.  “Why are you so surprised I would kiss you?”  Damon inquires probingly.

“I’m not surprised you kissed me.  I’m surprised you thought I would kiss you back,” responds Elena, without tone or emotion.

Massive hole in Damon’s heart #1

“Now, I’m hurt,” said Damon, sorrowfully, as the fans’ hearts collectively ache right along with his . . .

“I’d fight me!”

After skewering Damon’s most vital organ (at least, aside from his YOU-KNOW-WHAT), Elena heads outside to find Stefan hunched over, and nursing his own puncture wound.  Dr. Stefan, Nurse Elena is now reporting for duty!

Damon arrives outside, just in time to see Elena helping Stefan lift up his shirt, revealing those INSANE abdominals of his.  “Cover up, Fabio!  There’s a crazy ex on the loose!”  Damon needles.

“Hey, Fabio’s got NOTHING on ME!”

“Hey, was STEFAN ever in an “I Can’t Believe it’s NOT Butter,” commercial?   I don’t think so!”

Knowing the start of a Classic Pissing Contest when she sees one, Elena scampers away, and let’s the two “manly men,” duke it out over her LOVE (or lack thereof).  Damon gets in Stefan’s face and taunts him, desperately looking for a fight.

“Come ON!  Fight me!  I’d fight me!”  Damon taunts, shadow boxing like the adorable ten-year old he is deep down.

But Stefan is NO ten year old.  He’s not even a real 18 year old.  Stefan is 162.  And somewhere within the past year, he became “mature.” 

Maturity sucks!  I want to see a fight!

And yet, as much as I was disappointed that Damon and Stefan weren’t going to have a repeat of their classic Pilot Episode throwdown, I was PROUD of Stefan for FINALLY, after an entire season, being able to see the humanity in Damon.  “You kissed [Elena] because you feel something for her.   You care.  It means you are WILLING to feel something.”

Yep, Damon feels something all right . . .

But all joking aside, this was a very Sweet Salvatore Brother moment.  It was a moment when two brothers put aside their differences, and agreed to battle a common enemy, an enemy intent on tearing them apart.  You go BOYS!  (Plus, I’m sure they’ll fight over Elena at some point this season.  So, we haven’t totally missed out. . . . After all, good things come to those who wait.)

Speaking of fights . . . how did you LIKE Tyler tackling his MOM?

It takes a REAL man to fight a Mommy!

Mason explains to Tyler that his untenable rage is a result of the “Curse of Lockwood.”  (a.k.a. Were-curse)  And yet, you know what curse, I think Tyler has?  Curse of the Douchebag, that’s what!

Also on the NOT-Fighting list were Jeremy and Uncle / Father / Whatever John, who engaged in a rationale mature conversation about the merits of vampires (Jeremy was PRO, Uncle John, obviously, CON), whether Papa Gilbert was a vampire lover, the responsibility that comes with knowing supernatural secrets, and why the Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality didn’t save Jeremy’s Pop’s from death (See RULES above . . .).  On first watch, this seemed like a throwaway scene — seeing as Uncle John was skipping town, anyway.  However, I’ve come to view this little scene as one of the most important ones in the episode.  More on that later.

“Kiss me or kill me, which one will it be?”

I know, I know!  Damon never FULLY took his shirt off in THIS, the HOTTEST scene in TVD history.  But I really like this picture.  So, I decided to use it.  You got a problem with that? 🙂

After having what seemed to me like the crappiest day EVER (heart broken, brain frozen, no one to wrestle with), Damon arrives back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome to find Katherine sitting on his couch, in front of the Perpetually Burning Fire (of Damon’s heart).  The two banter back and forth a bit, testing eachother’s boundaries.  Katherine claims she’s leaving.  (LIE!)  Damon calls Katherine old. (BURN!)  Etcetera, etcetera, so on and so forth . . .

Until, Katherine utters her iconic line.  “Kiss me, or kill me, which one will it be?”

That’s when things get REALLY interesting . . .

At first, it seemed as though Damon would get the battle he was looking for.  Him and Katherine rolled on the floor together for bit, snarling and scratching eachother, testing eachothers’ ability to withstand pain.  But the more they clawed, the hotter they both became.  Suddenly, Damon was straddling Katherine, and kissing her neck and her lips.  And . . . yes . . . I do believe dry humping was involved.  Katherine closed her eyes in ecstacy.  “See?  That’s better,” she whispered, lustfully.

(See what you’re missing, Elena.  I gather STEFAN doesn’t go for rough sex!)

Then Katherine rises from the floor, and the two start fighting again.  Katherine pushes Damon against the wall.  She rips open his shirt.  He rips open hers.   And . . . . we are back to making out and dry humping . . . For a few moments, it REALLY looks like we are going to get an honest to goodness sex scene on the CW.  But then, to everyone’s MASSIVE disappointment, Damon, ever the glutton for punishment, requests a “brief pause.”

“WHAT . . . IS . . . WRONG . . . WITH  . . . YOU?!”

Poor Damon!  Well into his mid 160’s and STILL equating sex with love!  Silly boy!  Katherine is a Trick, and Trix are FOR KIDS!  A very emotional Damon tells Katherine that he will be willing to forget her basically screwing him over for  century and a half, if she just answers ONE question.  And, of course, we ALL know what that question will be . . . )

(LIE, KATHERINE!  LIE LIKE THE WIND — SO YOU CAN GET LAID . . .  and WE can WATCH!)

But Katherine DOESN’T lie.  She tells Damon that she NEVER loved him.  And that it was ALWAYS Stefan that owned her black heart.

The utter pain on Damon’s face in this moment, was enough to literally bring tears to my eyes.  I’m guessing brain freeze sounds like a good alternative to what you are feeling right now, huh Damon?

Massive holes in Damon’s hear #’s 2 through 145. 

“He got his wish.  I hate him!”

With all Damon endured during this episode, was it any wonder he turned toward the bottle?  Wouldn’t YOU?  At the Gilbert house, in Elena’s bedroom, Elena initially tried to comfort Damon, and stop him from being self-destructive.  She’s seen this train wreck coming ALL episode long, ever since Katherine re-entered their lives.  And yet, up until the last moment, she is still trying to avoid it.  Damon calls Elena a liar, for denying her feelings for him (which may very well be true.  But, of coruse, he is going about it ALL WRONG).

Then, in a move filled with heartbreak and desperation, Damon grabs Elena’s face and pulls it in for kiss, struggling with her as she tries to pull away.  The scene functions as a perfect contrast to the slow, sultry and gentle kiss that occurred between Damon and Faux-lena in the Season 1 Finale. 

Now, I’m Team Delena ALWAYS, so I was REALLY looking for something to get me hot in this kiss.  But, admittedly, there was very little.  Damon was too broken and too drunk to really work his mojo with Elena, and melt her heart the way we all KNOW he can.   This was Face Rape . . . plain and simple.  “I care about you.  I do.  I care about you,” Elena admits tearfully.  “But I love Stefan.  It has always been Stefan.”

(And, thus, we bear witness to the SECOND time in the episode, during which someone explicitly chooses Stefan over Damon.)

But this last one causes Damon to break, totally and completely.  After years of pushing aside his emotions, he finally let them win.  He fell in love . . .twice.  And all he got for it was heartbreak and pain.  He wants to turn off his feelings — the Great Vampire Myth, never truly realized.  He wants Elena to hurt the way he hurts.  But how?

And then it happens.  When Jeremy comes into the room, to see what all the commotion is about, we SEE Damon drunkenly rationalizing his next move, in that blurred head of his.  Others may dispute me, but I TRULY believe I saw him eye Jeremy’s hands, which were folded protectively across his chest.  Not just his hands.  His FINGERS. 

Then, Damon grabs Jeremy by the neck.  “You wanna be a vampire?”  He yells in the face of a petrified Jeremy.  “You wanna know what it’s like to turn your feelings off?  It’s really simple.  All you have to do is flip the switch and. . . SNAP,” concludes Damon, twisting Jeremy’s neck in one sharp turn, just as he did to Vicki the previous season.

Damon staggers backward, as Jeremy drops to the floor. Elena rushes to him, holding his hand to feel for a pulse.  Damon looks on sadly for a few moments, before leaving Elena alone to mourn.  (See?  If he REALLY thought Jeremy was dead, I DOUBT he’d be able to leave that calmly — especially in the highly emotional state he was in.)

Alone, a crying Elena looks at Jeremy’s fingers and sees the Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality, which, Uncle John must have given him prior to his departure from Mystic Falls.  Jeremy will live, it seems.  Now, Elena will just have to wait for him to wake up.  And then Stefan magically appears . . .

“I’m serious.  I have no clue when or how he got there.”

While Elena cradles Jeremy in her arms, waiting for him to reawaken, Stefan comforts Elena.  He tries to explain to her that Damon MUST have known that Jeremy was wearing the Ring, or else he couldn’t possibly have done that.  “He didn’t see the ring,” Elena argues tearfully, perfectly illuminating how, in the course of a single episode, these two have completely swapped positions, with respect to Damon’s humanity.  “He doesn’t want to feel anymore.  He wants to be hated.  Well, he got his wish.  I hate him, Stefan.”

Then, suddenly, Jeremy, gasps awake, just as he did early in the episode.  “Damon killed me,” he remarks dumbfoundedly. 

Well . . . technically .  . . yes.  But did he, REALLY?

“Game ON!”

Back at the hospital, Caroline is busy sleeping off a Jersey Shore-induced hangover, when Katherine enters her room.  “Elena?  What are you doing here?”  She asks groggily, seeming more than a bit annoyed at her “friend’s” unwelcome intrustion.

“My name is Katherine.  And I have a message for the Salvatore Brothers . . . GAME ON,”  She says evilly, as she smothers Caroline with her pillow.

There is a brief struggle, and then Caroline falls silent, her head lolling lifelessly onto her shoulder, her face pale and DEAD . . . or VAMPIRIC?  Remember the RULES, boys and girls.  Has it been 24-hours since Damon healed Caroline?  We already know that Bonnie TOLD Katherine about the healing . . .  so the knowledge is definitely there.

  Sure, a dead body belonging to the friend of the woman they both loved would send a message to Stefan and Damon.  But you know what would send a BIGGER message?  Having to BABYSIT a brand new vampire for ALL ETERNITY!  We all remember how much trouble Vicki was .  . . don’t we?

Sweet dreams, fellow Fangbangers! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

 

 

16 Comments

Filed under The Vampire Diaries

16 responses to ““Stronger, Meaner . . . SEXY!” – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season 2 Premiere “The Return”

  1. imaginarymen

    So much Salvatorey Goodness!!! Great job on a very layered episode. I have plenty to blab about this FABULOUS premiere, but I gotta go to bed! 😦

    I’ll be back and I will be swooning for BadAssStefan and weeping for PoorBrokenDamon :->

    Vampire Diaries are BACK!

    Mommy Likey!

    ;-000

    • Thanks Amy! And thanks for your help with the editing and the order of events! You have a KICKASS memory! I’m a little jealous.

      This may have been the most action packed and complex hour on TV. And this is coming from someone who watched LOST! I’m so glad we got to experience it together. It would have been NO WHERE NEAR as much fun alone!

      Nighty night! 🙂

  2. Carol

    This episode was so great. Perfect, just like the season 1 finale.

    I’m Team Damon, see? While I clearly enjoyed the premiere, I felt so bad for him. Broken hearted two times in the same episode? How sad is that? I was nearly crying while watching those two scenes.
    Choosing Stefan over Damon? What are Katherine and Elena thinking? Well, I suppose Stefan isn’t too bad, but hello, it’s Damon!
    I think that there should be a drunk dancing/partying scene in the next episode.

    Katherine is such a badass. My favorite HBIC these days. Nina Dobrev keeps amazing me with her acting skills.

    Caroline as a vampire? I guess this could turn out interesting, maybe. But not like Vicki, please.

    I had so much more to comment, but my head is aching. I wanted to read the live blogging and all, but I could not bare any spoilers, so.

    • Hey Carol! I’m so glad you got to see the episode! I felt awful on Thursday, that we couldn’t find a live link for you to watch it with us.

      As you know, I’m Team Damon too. So, despite its AWESOMENESS, this was a difficult episode for me. I just hated seeing Damon’s heart broken, over and over again. It broke MY heart.

      And yet, it allowed Ian Somerhalder to show his amazing acting range. Unlike Stefan, who aside from his bouts of blood lust, is typically even- keeled and controlled, even when he is threatening somenone, Damon is a more volatile vampire, who lives in extremes. (The fact that any character on the show could think that DAMON lacks humanity is ASTOUNDING to me.)

      For someone who claims to have disavowed emotion, Damon is pretty darn emotional most of the time — whether he be crazy happy, and having the time of his life, intensely romantic, or unquenchably angry. But this was the first time we saw him genuinely heartbroken and depressed. Damon’s not used to that, so he substituted those feelings with rage. This would be like a DREAM character for ANY actor to play. But there is NO ONE more suited for this role than Ian.

      That being said, I just hate reading all the message boards, and seeing how so many fans have so quickly turned on the character for what he did. Have a little faith! Actually, if you watch the “neck break scene” in HD, there is a frame — when Damon pushes Jeremy up against the wall — where you can clearly SEE Jeremy’s ring. I would NEVER have noticed it on first watch. I think the reason they had Jeremy fold his hands across his chest when he entered the room, was so that the FANS couldn’t see it. But, I truly believe that Damon did.

      LOVE Vampire Katherine! She is just too cool. That sex scene between her and Damon was SO HOT! Sure she’s evil, but I was SO disappointed when Damon broke up the whole thing, prematurely.

      Stefan’s and Katherine’s little powwow was pretty sexy too, but in a different, more subtle, way. I think Katherine sees Stefan as a challenge, hence the attraction. He’s unemotional, like she is, but he is also fundamentally “good,” in a way that she is not. She always had to compel him to get him to do what she wanted, while Damon was always game, and always pining. Katherine likes games, and with Damon she’s already won. But with Stefan . . .

      Yeah, I’m still torn about Caroline as a vampire. It just seems too similar to what they did with Vicki. Of course, Caroline is a very different character than Vicki. So, perhaps her prissy, girlyness contrasted with her crazy blood lust, will bring some humor to the series. Honestly though, I think it would have been more fun to see Jeremy as a vampire . . . And yet, I trust the writers of this show. They’ve been right so far . . .

      We’ll chat soon, I’m sure. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I’m so excited that Season 2 is finally here!

  3. Cherie

    Love the Fangirls Forever shop so much! I couldn’t resist getting a “Life Sucks, Death Bites” jersey shirt – sporty and cute at the same time!!!

    Rewatched the premiere and thought Damon’s emotional state is actually a pretty cool counterpoint to Stefan’s HB bender. While Stefan found it tough managing his blood cravings after all this time of going completely cold turkey, the exact same seems to be occurring with Damon and his emotions. He should have spent his vampirehood feeling his emotions and learning to control them (just like Stefan with the blood!), but by switching off the button of his humanity all this time, now his emotions are controlling him… I think Jeremy’s snapped neck is a pretty strong argument in this respect!

    I totally agree with you in the liveblogging post that you think Damon will be redeemed in both Elena and viewers’ eyes. Interesting how even in the same breath where she condemnds him she is still able to empathise with him and understand where he is coming from: “He doesn’t want to feel, he wants to be hated. It’s just easier that way. He got his wish. I hate him, Stefan.”

    I tell you what though, the writers must have something pretty amazing up their sleeze to get Damon back to a place of redemption! I think Damon, not Stefan, needs to be the one to kill Katherine, as this will be the single biggest defining step of his character changing. But not before we get some Kefan action first, with much Damon angsty hijinks ensuing, hopefully! 🙂

    • I’m so glad you liked our store! We have plenty more t-shirt ideas, so there will be much more where that came from. (I’m still trying to figure out how to make the Salvatoreo shirt, without infringing any copyrights! ;)) Thanks so much for shopping! Amy and I really appreciate it, and hope you like the jersey!

      Ooh, Damon killing Katherine! That would be an awesome and really intense scene. I could picture it now. There would be this EPIC battle: Stefan and Damon versus Katherine. After being on the winning end for most of the scene, suddenly Katherine is backed into a corner. She has no where to go.

      So, she taunts Damon and calls him weak — telling him he will never get over his love for her. And that he could never kill her. Damon is all teary and emotional – truly torn. She’s gotten inside of him, AGAIN! For a second, we think he will back down. Then he says, “I will always love you, Katherine” and chops her head off, a la Russell Edgington and the Magister. Ooh speaking of True Blood (finale tonight – yay!), a Hot Sex Death, a la Poor Talbot, would also be a fitting demise for Katherine at the hands of Damon . . .

      OR . . . maybe Damon sacrifices his own life to save Elena’s. (Of course, they will both end up surviving, but the sentiment is there.)

      I have no doubt that Kevin Williamson will come up with something even better than these alternatives. And I can’t wait to see it all play out.

      I think you raise a really good point about Stefan’s weakness being his blood lust, and Damon’s weakness being his hidden emotionality. Both act like drugs to these vampires. Once they start indulging, it completely takes them over. I also like what you said about Elena, understanding Damon’s motivations and pain, even in the midst of her “hatred” of him. No matter how hard Elena tries, she will never really be able to break the connection she has with Damon. And, perhaps, the harder she tries to fight it, and convince herself that there is nothing there . . . 😉

      Man, so much to analyze! We should all co-author a book about this show! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. It’s always fun to psychonanalyze shows with you, Cherie.

  4. This episode was ballin. Vastly entertaining recap, as usual. Particularly – Rule: All vampires must act suspiciously Mormon/NOT Mormon. You are right that Damon is 10 while Stefan is all of 162. Poor Damon, he is so sensitive. And Katherine loves to prey on that – calling him her “sweet, innocent Damon” emphasized her desire to pervert that which is good. This is probably why she is pursuing (and once pursued) the noble Stefan. I loved her animalistic near-sex scene, a bit of a contrast to Elena’s bed behavior.

    Random note: one of the funniest juxtapositions I’ve seen was after Damon chomped down on Vicki or some unsuspecting victim, and some crackers ad immediately appeared asking, “How do you satisfy YOUR cravings?”

    • Hey Noelle! It’s great to see you! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, and for your kind words.

      I love the point you made about Katherine and Elena having such different sex styles. Elena (at least with Stefan, I suspect Damon would make her more kinky;)) was all hearts and roses, while Katherine literally LIKES IT ROUGH. All that snarling, scratching, heavy breathing and clothes-ripping that Katherine and Damon were doing . . . It was all so very Animal Kingdom, and an utter joy to watch! “How do you satisfy your cravings?” INDEED.

      (Speaking of which, attention all advertising companies: Anything that Damon Salvatore is selling, I am BUYING! The opportunity for commercial endorsement by vampires is a vast and untapped market. Just putting it out there . . .)

      I also like your idea of Katherine pursuing Stefan to “pervert” him and making do “BAD THINGS.” Katherine still thinks Stefan is all good and innocent — but only because she has never seen the TVD Episode entitled “Miss Mystic Falls.” 😉 (Pageant Princess Munching, anyone?)

      • Hah! Hm… how long will it take before Damon is on everything? Actually one of Katherine’s comments about Stefan struck me. Stefan and Damon were adorable, playing some version of football, when Stefan warned her to be careful of Damon’s rough ways. She flirtatiously added, “Somehow I think you play rougher!” Maybe it was just her idea of putting on the moves, but I remember wondering, why would you think that? Look at Damon’s eyebrows! He looks like the naughty one. But maybe it was part of the whole corruption thing.

      • I DO remember that scene, now that you mention it! That was from fairly early in Season 1, right? It might have even been the first time they did a flashback scene on the show, and, therefore, the first time we officially met Katherine. The “Children of the Damned” episode, perhaps? Wow! You have a very good memory there! I’m impressed! 🙂

        I’m wondering if Katherine immediately recognized in Stefan some of that repressed anger, we started to see boiling over, during his “blood lust” phase last season. Damon was never one to hide his anger (hurt and sadness, maybe, but NEVER anger). And because Damon never hid his anger, he probably felt it less severely than Stefan.

        Stefan always struck me as more of a “Slow Boil Type” – someone who was always mild-mannered, and even keeled, until you crossed him one too many times. Then he would explode in a scary rage. It’s possible that Stefan was that way, even before he became a vamp.

        Katherine, who, despite being evil, seems to have a pretty intuitive sense about people, probably saw this hidden rage in Stefan, and assumed he would use athletics as a healthy outlet for it.

        Just a thought . . . 🙂

  5. irokzmysokz

    i love DAMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Kaito

    I love Damon Salvatore!!! XD

    • Damon Salvatore is beautiful, brooding, smart, sexy, looks spectacular with his shirt off, and has eyes that can melt the polar icecaps. What’s not to love? 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Kaito!

  7. Pingback: Mixtape Mondays – Spidette Caroline – The Vampire Diaries « myspideysenseistingling

  8. Pingback: Got Forwood Rewind – Tyler & Caroline Recap – The Return – The Vampire Diaries « myspideysenseistingling

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