The Vampire Diaries season premiere recap: The College Years Begin

You can take the girl out of Mystic Falls, but the murder and mystery will follow her
Ep. 01 | Aired Oct 3, 2013

FUNCTIONAL VAMPIRES Caroline (Candice Accola) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) are ready for college. And laundry day.

Annette Brown/The CW

"If I have to hear the word doppelgänger one more time, I think I'm gonna actually have to learn how to spell it," Damon told Silas. Silas explained that when he became truly immortal, nature retaliated by creating a version of him that was killable -- a shadow self. Why does Silas want Katherine? We'd have no season if he told us now! All Damon needs to know is that the real Stefan is suffering like Silas had, and if Damon wants to know where he is, he'll have to fork over Katherine in trade. Damon called Jeremy and told him to turn around. Which he did. We all knew Katherine wouldn't just let Jeremy drive her to Silas. She unbuckled her seatbelt. Was she going to jump out of the car? No. She and Jeremy fought over the wheel until they ran into a telephone pole. When they didn't show, Silas could read Damon's thoughts. He was worried something had happened. WELL, DUH. I guess that's when Damon left to drive after Jeremy.

The block party was still going on outside the Mystic Grill. Matt gave Bonnie's father a beer, and the mayor didn't seem like he was ready to talk to Bonnie anytime soon. Matt then saw Nadia and stupidly followed her into an alley. She said the ring wasn't hers to take. She seductively slipped it on his finger. I can't blame Matt for being distracted -- I was distracted. That was hot. But then there was a man grabbing Matt's head from behind and doing some kind of spell. Not sexy. Matt's eyes went black -- I assume to signify dark magic -- and then they returned to their pretty blue and he collapsed. Not that I want Zach Roerig to go, but it'd have been funny if Matt died after having the ultimate threesome. A more exciting thought: What if whatever just happened to Matt makes him the season's big bad? After four seasons on the sidelines, Roerig might deserve it.

Elena and Caroline got back to their dorm room and saw the door ajar. Someone had stolen Megan's tablet. Elena looked through the photos on Megan's phone. There was a shot of Megan -- and her dad. WHAT? Megan didn't look that much younger. Was it taken shortly before he died? As if that wasn't enough of a shock, somehow Katherine was okay enough to walk away after that car crash (even though she didn't have her seatbelt on), but Jeremy, who I assume got out of the car offscreen and then collapsed, couldn't move. He asked Katherine for help and she just left. Damon got there in time and fed Jeremy his blood. Jeremy told Damon that Katherine was gone, and Damon just cradled Jeremy's head and said he didn't care. I teared up a little. I realize it's 80 percent Damon not wanting to upset Elena, but it's still nice to see him care for and watch over Jeremy.

We cut back to Caroline and Elena. They were in their beds, and Caroline listened to a voicemail from Tyler saying he was deferring school to help the werewolf pack. (I either want Tyler firmly in the show or firmly off the show at this point. In and shirtless is preferable.) Of course Elena could hear the message. Candice Accola crying always guts me. I just wanted Elena to get up and go to her. She didn't. But Caroline was happy Elena was there. We faded from Elena trying to sleep to Stefan thrashing about. Another hallucination of Damon trying to convince him to turn off the humanity switch. He doesn't deserve this pain, Damon said. Then Elena appeared instead. I got chills as she told him to stay with her and hold on to his humanity -- it's the one thing that makes him who he is. "Don't let go. Please, Stefan," she said. "For me." It was kinda like that moment when Angel got his humanity back on Buffy, right before Buffy was forced to send him to the hell dimension, but in reverse. For now, he holds on.

Damon and Elena checked in with each other over the phone, and he told her nothing about Jeremy's accident, Silas, Katherine, or anything else that had happened that day. It's dangerous to hide the fact that Silas is back from her. Have we learned nothing? Back at the town square, the Mystic Falls annual end of summer BBQ raged on. Bonnie's father got up to speak. He referenced the postcards she'd been sending him and her love of cotton candy. Ghost Bonnie was in the crowd. She smiled. Don't get all soft now, folks: Silas took the stage. He'd consumed so much blood over the summer, he wants to know how many people he can "influence" at once. He played a game of Silas Says. He told the crowd to stop talking. They did. He told them not to make a sound or to move a muscle. They didn't. He took a knife AND SLIT BONNIE'S DAD'S THROAT. Ghost Bonnie screamed and ran to him. We know he couldn't feel her. It was torture.

Now that Silas had their attention, he said, he wanted them to help him find Katherine (or a girl who looks exactly like Elena Gilbert to them). Are they his minions now? How are they supposed to reach him if they spot her? I assume the mayor's death will force Bonnie's hand -- her friends will have to know why she's not returning for the funeral. Also, she's gonna want to make Silas pay. Will this be Bonnie's best story line? Let's hope.

Your turn. Which story line excites you most? Already have theories on Silas' plan or what's going on at Whitmore? (Could it be that the school's medical department does tests on vampires and one escaped?) Let's hear 'em.

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