Season 1 of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (which felt like two seasons, it was so packed full of plot) ended full of questions. Why was Katherine back? Would John survive her attack? What would she do to Elena? What would the boys think when they found out? Was Caroline going to live? What was with Tyler's eyes? What would be the aftermath of the fire (which killed both the tomb vampires and the town's non-vampire mayor)?
The third season premiere The Return answers most, but not all, of these questions. We find out Katherine's back for Stefan (who never loved her) and she breaks Damon's heart (she never loved him). She seemed content to play with Elena, being her doppleganger but never quite taking it far enough to cause any upset for Elena - until the end of the episode, where she kills Caroline. Tyler's hot Uncle Mason turns up, presumably to let him in on the secret behind his crazy eyes in the season 2 finale. And Stefan heals John Gilbert and runs him out of town, under threat of turning him into a vampire.
Before I go into the episode, I have to just draw attention to the pacing on The Vampire Diaries. The episodes never seem to move too fast, yet they pack as much into just one episode as many series do into two or even three. I'm not sure how they do it, but kudos to them for that. There were some weak spots, for me, in season 1, but they passed by so quickly that I decided to stick the series out. I'm glad I did because the series shaped up to be something awesome - and the second season premiere definitely follows in the same vein. ('Vein', geddit? Oh, sigh.)
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