Following a record-setting, mythology-heavy first chapter, The Vampire Diaries returned with a streamlined plot, more Somerhalder and solid plot twists. I'm a firm believe it's the second episode of a series that tells viewers whether a show works or not and after having seen Night of the Comet, I definitely think this show works.
"Your asshat of a history teacher shamed me good yesterday."
Providing a glimpse at what it must be like to suddenly be the guardian of two teenagers, Elena's Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning) was given significantly more screen time than she was in the pilot. The expansion of her role is a perfect example of why this episode worked better for me. The plots and characters were able to stop and take a breath while we got a better glimpse of them in their day-to-day.
Jeremy's behavior has forced Jenna to become the kind of suspicious and law-abiding authority figured she never thought she would be.
We also learned that in her younger years, Jenna could eat her weight in nachos when she had the munchies.
Bonnie's Grams was mentioned yet again. She already has her granddaughter exploring a psychic gift. Now, Bonnie's spreading Grams' belief that a comet set to pass over Mystic Falls in the coming days will cause all sorts of paranormal activity, just as it did 145 years ago.
By the episode's end, she's had another psychic vision after grazing fingers with Stefan.
"We are your friends. You are supposed to share the smut."
Caroline survived her encounter with Damon last week. How? She didn't talk to him. Unfortunately that's a decision she regrets and has been keeping her eyes peeled for her mystery man everywhere she goes.
"It's good to be home. I think I might stay while."
In what's becoming a tradition on the show, the teaser featured a couple in the nighttime woods. With these two camping, he didn't need to get hit by an SUV for dinner this time.
Ian Somerhalder seems to be having a great time with this part. It's just plain fun watching the joy Damon gets out of screwing with his brother's life while Somerhalder chews through the scenery and adds a touch of the psychotically funny.
If there's one thing I'll always want more of from this show its Damon's "games." And in this episode he sets two of them into motion that are sure to have far reaching effects.
After meeting Elena for the first time, he "accidentally" mentions Stefan's lost love, Katherine. This triggers the inevitable ex's conversation and forces Stefan to reveal more than he wants to.
Later, Damon reveals himself to Caroline who isn't going to let this second chance go to waste. The two are in bed when Damon reveals his true face and begins to feed.
What do you think? Is this the end of Caroline? Could she be turned? I'd love to see Candice Accola play Caroline as one hell of a nasty vamp.
"You'd think getting ripped up by a rabid animal would merit an extra sick day."
After surviving her ordeal last week, Vicki began the episode in the hospital. Matt's been spending as much time there as he can since he's the only family close by. Her brother hasn't asked about what happened since she told him it was a vampire that attacked her.
This poor girl. She's attracted to pills and jerks and now two vampires are using her as a pawn in their decades-old sibling rivalry.
After sneaking into the hospital, Stefan uses his ability to persuade mortals into believing, to wipe the memory of the attacker from her mind. But, as we saw in the last episode, Stefan's powers are not nearly as strong as that of a human-feeding vampire. His edit of Vicki's mind slowly cracks until the real memories come flooding through when she's face to face Damon at episode's end.
Jeremy spent this episode doing what he does best: pine for Vicki, disrespect his elders and fill scripts.
All is not lost with Vicki, though. Despite ending the episode by hooking up with her ex, she's definitely being nicer to Jeremy. Cut her some slack what with all that she's been through. Between the blood loss, pill popping, glamoring, de-glamoring, re-glamoring...
"I have a lot to apologize for."
Stefan's storyline was largely reactive. He's tried his hardest to stay one step ahead of his brother only to keep finding himself one step behind. Guess that's what happens when you try and juggle school on top of everything else. That Mr. Tanner is a slave driver when it comes to homework.
"I welcome the day."
Elena spent this episode dealing with her fears about where things are going in her life. After deciding it's better to tell Stefan the things she would usually save for her diary, the two share their first kiss as the comet passes over Mystic Falls.
The Mystic Grill
The addition of the Mystic Grill, a dimly lit pool hall in the town square, was a great idea. Every series needs a base of operations for their characters to mingle. The Bronze, Merlotte's, uh, need a non-vampire show... The Maxx! All of these settings provided a central location for their respective ensembles to drift in and out of. The set design on the Grill was top notch as well. It looks like a warm, inviting, and fun place to spend the night with a group of friends.
I missed his name in the credits last week but hopefully some of you took note of the name Marcos Siega, supervising producer. Marcos has worked for Dexter and Veronica Mars. He's also directed music videos for Blink-182 and Weezer, including my personal favorite "Keep Fishin,'" starring The Muppets.
Great Lines and Moments
Caroline: It's easy. Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. Sex.
Elena: He didn't tell me he had a brother.
Damon: Well, Stefan doesn't like to brag.
Damon: Not bad. Have you been eating bunnies?
Stefan: What are you up to, Damon?
Damon: That's for me to know and you to dot-dot-dot.
Aunt Jenna: I see the hiding places haven't gotten any more creative.
What did you think of the episode? Did you find the performances and twists as fun as I did?
With Grams going on about "paranormal activity," it sounds like Mystic Falls will have a lot more than vampires and psychics to contend with.
Be sure and tune in for next week's episode "Friday Night Bites."
Following a record-setting, mythology-heavy first chapter, The Vampire Diaries returned with a streamlined plot, more Somerhalder and solid plot twists. I'm a firm believe it's the second episode of a series that tells viewers whether a show works or not and after having seen Night of the Comet, I definitely think this show works...