The insanely beautiful, insanely popular (and just plain insane) kids of Mystic Falls are back, and I couldn’t be happier. No show on television makes me gasp with more guilty pleasure glee than The Vampire Diaries. In many ways, it’s like the anti-Buffy, which was all about the uncool kids saving the world from monsters and demons. In Mystic Falls, it’s all up to the cool kids, and if there’s an uncool kid anywhere in town, we haven’t met him yet. It’s probably fitting that the show is all about the kids that really reach their peak in high school, being quarterbacks and homecoming queens, because so many of them are destined to become vampire or werewolf food before they ever even think about picking up a college brochure.
When the premiere episode, “The Birthday,” begins, we’re still in summer break, which hardly matters, since no one ever goes to school anymore anyway. Elena, of course, survives Klaus’s ritual, but he ends up taking Stefan with him, which, I think, is what any one of us would have done in the situation. Who cares about the doppelganger? Take the power bottom. So, Stef is gone, but Elena and Damon are supposedly tracking his travels with Klaus. Elena is not content to let Stef go, and I can’t blame her. She’s not going to find that level of brooding in any other boy in Mystic Falls, vampire or not. Honestly, Stefan could give even Jordan Catalano a run for his money when it comes to brooding. And leaning.
There’s still plenty of eye candy to be had, even with Stefan gone. Damon strolls around the house naked, dripping and covered with bubbles from his bath. Ian Somerhalder seems extremely comfortable with this, so I’m going to imagine he does this at home and at hotels, continually surprising the UPS man or room service. Even after surviving a werewolf bite, Damon is still the bitchiest queen on television. To paraphrase Libby Gelman-Waxner, Damon is like a drag queen who’s just too lazy to put on a gown. Plus, he’s still a little hung up on that kiss Elena gave him when she thought he was dying. That old excuse.
I’m a little surprised to find Alaric sleeping on Elena’s couch, but she seems perfectly fine with it. Alaric has become a surrogate father to the Gilbert kids, which makes sense, since he’s sort of, kind of Elena’s ex-step-father. She offers him a room, but since his choices are either his dead girlfriend’s room or Elena’s dead parents’ room, he declines. It’s like he’s not so subtly holding out for her dead brother’s room. Jeremy, however, came back to life at the end of last season, so the waiting game continues. And poor Jenna, by the way. She was never one of the cool kids, so she had to die, I get that. But they could have just told her not to invite vampires into the house and that would have gotten her through at least another season. Now that she’s out of the way, it looks like poor Matt has just moved up a notch on the expendable list. Not only is he hard-working and lovelorn, but his ex-girlfriend seems to be hooking up with his ex-best friend.
They haven’t hooked up just yet, though, but Tyler and Caroline do have a discussion about being horny. Apparently, it’s not a teenager thing at all; it’s a vampire/werewolf thing.
Ordinarily, they’d be angels, co-presidents of their high school’s chastity club. Damn these demonic urges!
But that’s not even the stupidest thing going on in this episode. Elena, against all history and evidence, agrees to have a birthday party. WTF?! Even though every party these people ever have ends in slaughter, she’s picking out a dress to wear. She chooses white, since it goes so well with splattered blood, I guess. Well, what can I say? Score one for Elena. She must know something I don’t, because the only person who ends up dying is someone who meant to go to the party, but didn’t quite make it.
Meanwhile, Stefan and Klaus butcher their way through the South, looking for werewolves. They finally find one—and guess who it is? It’s David Gallagher, the voice of Riku in the Kingdom Hearts games. As Stefan chains him to the wall and starts throwing darts at him, I kept hoping Sora, Donald and Goofy would show up and save him. No such luck. He’s doomed to become a hybrid, the first soldier in Klaus’s werevamp army.
Horny Caroline tells Elena that life is passing her by, and Stefan would want her to keep calm and carry on, like a good vamp tramp. But Elena is having none of it. If the situation were reversed, and she were the butt boy of some ancient vampire, Stef would never give up on her, right? This got me thinking. At what point would I give up on my vampire boyfriend? After he decapitates a bunch of people and then tries, unsuccessfully, to reassemble them? After he kills his brother’s girlfriend by compelling her take a 100-foot dive onto the concrete? I once broke up with a guy because he’d never seen Star Wars, so I’m not as patient as Elena. Elena decides she’s not giving up on him.
And he’s apparently not giving up on her. To illustrate this fact, and because they’re contractually obligated to do a certain amount of product placement for Sprint, Stefan fulfills the quota by prank calling Elena. He doesn’t say anything, but she tells him to hold on to her love (and his guyliner). Speaking of guyliner, Jeremy bats his eyes at Expendable Matt and tries to give him a ride home, since they’re both high or drunk or both. Ordinarily, this would lead to some guilt-free straight boy experimentation, and since neither of them have parents or guardians, there’s no risk of getting caught. But since this is Mystic Falls, Jeremy gets visited by Vickie’s ghost before he can put the moves on Matt. Damn Mystic Falls.
Similarly, it’s bad enough that Caroline’s doing the walk of shame after her hot werewolf/vampire snogging session, but then she also gets busted by Tyler’s mom. And since this is Mystic Falls, mom shoots her with some vervain tranquilizers. Caroline! Never turn your back on a mom who finds you sneaking out of her son’s room, pulling on your clothes. Trust me on this. People always think it’s the dads you have to look out for. Oh no, dads are oblivious. It’s the moms that always know.
You’re a vampire, Caroline. Next time, fly out the window.
Read all of FBOTU’s Vampire Diaries Diary entries here.