Everyone said the season 5 premiere felt like a return to The Vampire Diaries of old, and this episode makes it official. I've always enjoyed the mythology side of the show as much as the romance, but when you keep the mysteries a bit simpler, you bring the focus back on the characters. Their dialogue can be more personality-driven when it's not exposition. Everyone is getting juicy stuff now -- even Bonnie, in a way. Her moment on the other side with ring-wearing Matt made me tear up -- she finally got the hug she needed! -- but she's gonna need to come clean about her death soon or we're all going to start throwing stuff at our TVs. Let's dig in.
We opened with Bonnie telling Jeremy about losing her father. Since her dad was human and not supernatural, he won't be on the other side. Silas had told the town to forget what he'd done. Jeremy was the only person who could comfort her. He wanted to embrace her, but she wouldn't feel him. All he could do was make sure Damon knew that Silas wanted Katherine and had the town looking for her.
Katherine was on the run from the car accident, still in her robe, bruised, with bad hair. Now she was coughing. A woman stopped to help her. She said she looked just like Elena (which is what Silas told the town to be on the lookout for). "Actually, I'm much prettier," Katherine snapped. The woman maced Katherine and was going to call Silas. Human Katherine is still badass. She lunged at her and took her to the ground. Only difference now is Katherine's fist hurts when she punches. Matt came out with a shotgun. Safe but captured again, Katherine.
Stefan dream sequence: He was imagining lying with Elena on the grass by a waterfall. Was it the one he'd taken her to in the season 2 episode "The Last Day" before Klaus' sacrifice ritual? I thought it looked like younger, human Elena. Dream Elena asked why Stefan had them there. He's remembering the good moments, the simple ones that matter and keep him from falling apart. They kissed. All together now, "Ahhhhh." Beautifully brutal. Dream Elena started coughing up water. Real Stefan was coming to again, so he could drown again. POOR STEFAN.
At Whitmore, Caroline was being classic Caroline by complaining about the size of Megan's memorial. "College kids are so dramatic," Caroline said, noting that most of them knew her for, like, a day. Elena reminded Caroline that Megan was dead; Caroline can stop competing with her now. Ha! Caroline informed viewers that Tyler not only deferred from enrolling, he's deferred from returning her calls. She vowed never to have sex with him again, which is unfortunate. I miss my favorite chenille blanket. But back to Megan: Her death certificate gave the cause of death as suicide and mentioned nothing about the vampire marks on her neck. Someone was covering it up, just like the founders council had in Mystic Falls. They needed to know what this person, Dr. Wesley Maxfield, knew. So Elena got them enrolled in his applied microbiology class to investigate. Caroline was pissed: She was expecting Intro to Communication. She's a drama major. Comedy.
Damon, meanwhile, had taken Liz to the quarry. He assumes since that's where they were going to drop Silas' body, that's where Silas dropped Stefan's. Liz doesn't exactly have the resources to dredge the entire thing, but she said she'd do what she could. Damon's "Thank you, Liz," was cute. As was Damon's hair. Over the phone, Jeremy told Damon that Matt had found Katherine and Silas had mind-controlled himself some new friends. "How shockingly useful," Damon quipped about Matt. He told the "Gilbert-Donovan brain trust" to hide Katherine. If Silas wants her, they want her more. Katherine got it: She's the leverage, the thing everybody wants. Then came the hilarious realization: "I'm the freakin' moonstone." I love that kind of payoff for longtime fans.
NEXT: Class is in session