Shallow Graves is super excited about the return of this show. The premiere episode of Season 3 does not disappoint. From start to finish it does what it does best. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. The only complaint is the lack of Bonnie. She is there but only for a very short scene. Stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled.
The scene opens in Tennessee (TN) at night at a country home. There is a girl standing outside calling for Rudy, her little dog. Oh don’t you wish your name was Toto, little dog. Then your owner wouldn’t be doomed. Or maybe she would be, just in a different way. Klaus speed vamps up to the girl and gives a story about his car being broke down and his phone dead or whatever ploy he is using to get her to invite him inside. Truthfully I saw just sitting there trying to remember what his name was. Yes I know, what a bad fan I was forgetting name of such a villainous character that I am supposed to hate for what he did to, well, everyone last season. He thinks he almost has his invite in with this phone bit and she is like duh, I will bring the phone to you. He isn’t having any of this so he compels her to let him in.
Inside her housemate is making dinner. Klaus threatens them both. He is looking for Ray Sutton. The housemate says he travels a lot and they don’t know where he is. He alludes to the fact that he knows Ray shows up there at least once a month. Recognition passes over the girl’s face. He knows they are werewolves or at least Ray is one. Klaus pretty much has the girl from outside in his control, but her housemate tries to make a break for it. She opens the door to find Stefan casually waiting there to be let in. The girls tell them about a bar that Ray frequents. Klaus tells the compelled girl to let Stefan in. Once inside, Klaus orders Stefan to kill them both. He complies. Later we will find out to what extent.
It’s morning and Elena awakes. She has this kind of sullen look on her face and sighs a lot in this scene. I guess we are supposed to know this means she is just going through the motions. She wakes Jeremy up stating that Matt called and he is already late for work. I swear I don’t recognize Jeremy every time a new season starts. That boy has definitely been in a growing spurt and only good things are happening there.
We cut to Caroline on the phone with Elena. Caroline talks about the party and Elena is not enthusiastic but knows that you can’t stop hurricane Caroline from planning anything. I absolutely love vampire Caroline so much better than original Caroline. Caroline tells her to call Sheriff Forbes about the animal attacks in Tennessee. It’s definitely a vampire but that doesn’t mean its Stefan. It’s nice to see that she is working with them. It sort of reminds me of Sheriff Valenti from Roswell. I loved when he finally teamed up with our ragtag group of teen aliens and allies. Caroline gets off the phone pretty quickly with a smile crossing her face as Tyler walks up to her.
Apparently Alaric has been staying with Elena and Jeremy since Jenna and John’s deaths. He has been sleeping on the couch because it would just be way too weird for him to sleep in their parents’ room or his dead girlfriend’s room. It is kind of weird that he is sleeping there at all but also kind of sweet. They are all grieving and I think he needs them as much as they need him. Although at this point losing their loved ones seems like old hat. Alaric wishes Elena a Happy Birthday and you can tell neither of them is really feeling it even though somewhere deep down they both mean it.
At this point in the episode I could have swore I heard an extremely high pitched noise. Could it have been the fangirls across the eastern and central portion of the nation squealing in delight? Ladies and Gentleman Damon is in the tub. He is drinking champagne. Newscaster Andy is still in the picture. She is at the mirror getting ready for work. She will not get him another bottle which causes him to get out of the tub dripping wet and naked to walk through the house to get it himself. Of course by this time Elena has walked into the house (which she still owns? Why isn’t the whole gang just living here? I mean it’s big enough.) Damon enters the room behind her, still naked of course. He calls her attention and she turns and is shocked and then annoyed with him. She knows he heard her and did it on purpose. She has information from Sheriff Forbes that could be a lead on Stefan. Damon feigns interest, but when Elena threatens to check it out herself he caves and takes the information from her. He points out that they don’t want Klaus to know that Elena is still alive. We find out he has been keeping tracking of Klaus and Stefan’s movements all summer in the closet in his room. Andy has also been getting him information through her leads at work and offers to get him the address in TN and will see him later at the party.
Jeremy is at work in the stock room and on a video phone chat with Bonnie. I am sure there is some advertisement gimmick in there but I don’t really care. This is the only bit we will see of Bonnie tonight. While they are chatting the lights in the room start to flicker. Jeremy wigs a little and tells Bonnie it’s nothing and gets off the phone with her. In the next flicker we see Vicki which startles Jeremy. He knocks something down. When he goes to pick it up Anna is behind him and reaches out to touch him. So it appears the girls are still haunt-stalking poor Jeremy. Matt comes into the room and tells Jeremy to switch with him. Tyler and Caroline are sitting in his section.
Jeremy goes to wait on Tyler and Caroline and Caroline notes this. Tyler points out that Matt thinks they are dating and so does Mrs. Lockwood for that matter. Caroline acts surprised. Tyler points out that they have been spending a lot of time together. They both seem pleased by this as they stare at each other flirtatiously. Jeremy rolls his eyes with me, because guys just get it over with already.
Ray Sutton walks into the bar mentioned earlier. Klaus walks up to him and basically starts laying it out. They have been tracking him since Florida. Ray starts to leave but Stefan blocks him in. They tell him not to bother with the other bar patrons as they have all been compelled to go about their business. He figures it out, vampires. Klaus points out, he is a hybrid and interested in creating more like himself. He wants Ray to tell him where his pack gathers to transition during a full moon. Ray doesn’t budge and they start to threaten him with a little game of Truth or Wolfsbane courtesy of Stefan.
Alaric and Damon arrive at that fated house from the beginning of the episode. Damon ignores a call from Elena. Alaric wants to know why he just doesn’t share the information with her. Damon claims he doesn’t want to say anything until they find more than half a lead. They enter the house and see blood markings on the wall and find the 2 girls posed in the living room. Alaric calls vampire and Damon calls Stefan. This scene has the markings of “The Ripper” all over it. When Stefan gives into that side of him he feeds so hard he blacks out and rips his victims apart. When he is through he feels remorse and put his victims back together again. We are treated to the head of the compelled victim rolling to the floor. Lovely.
Elena, Caroline, and Tyler are getting things ready for the party at the Salvatore mansion. Elena is of course whining to Caroline about how Damon is being Damon and being difficult about helping her with the leads she is giving him on Stefan. She doesn’t understand why he isn’t all gung-ho about finding his brother. Has she met Damon? I mean really how many times has he surprised her by what he does or doesn’t do? Tyler is doing nothing to help the situation by calling it like it is. Which I love especially with the looks Caroline is giving him to tell him to shut up. And of course the looks Elena is giving her because of all the private information Tyler knows. Caroline apologizes and is easily forgiven. As Elena takes a call from Bonnie she asks Caroline to keep the party small. Caroline tells Tyler just because she tells him stuff doesn’t mean he is actually supposed to know it. He’s about to leave so he can get ready and pick up his date, Sophie. This shocks Caroline and he basically just throws out that this whole werewolf thing has him horny all the time and he is looking to fix that problem. Caroline admits that she has the same problem being a vampire. And they screw each other with their eyes for a while.
Damon is throwing gasoline around the farmhouse to cover any evidence that could link to Stefan. They discover a trapdoor to the basement and uncover a room with chains on the wall. This was a house for werewolves. If they didn’t know that before, they do now.
Ray is chained to a dartboard and Stefan is throwing wolfsbane tipped darts at him while questioning him about where the pack gathers to transition for the full moon. Stefan has never been my favorite character. He has been fine. I didn’t mind him with Elena or as the moral compass for Damon but I am completely enjoying him as “The Ripper”. Klaus looks on from behind Stefan during this interrogation. A woman comes up to Klaus and lets him know about Alaric and Damon and their presence at the farmhouse. Klaus says they will have to be dealt with. Stefan offers to take care of it. Klaus isn’t convinced he’ll come back but lets him go to prove himself.
Elena is getting ready for the party in Stefan’s room. Damon appears in the door behind her. She promises not to cry. He says it’s her party and she can cry if she wants to. As for a gift to her he returns her vervain necklace to her. Alaric found it at his loft; you know the one he isn’t living in. This is probably one of the sweetest Damon scenes of the evening and even this fangirl was sighing just a little bit.
Damon escorts Elena down to her party. It’s in full swing and massive. So much for keeping it small and she says the same to Caroline as she asks to be steered towards the drinks. There is a funny little scene right before that where Damon takes a bottle from one of the teen girls and compels her basically to stay away from his booze and stick with the cheap stuff. Gotta appreciate a guy (or a vamp) who isn’t willing to waste good liquor on someone who clearly won’t appreciate it.
Jeremy and Matt are sitting in a room and lighting up. Clearly all the new information Matt acquired last season was just too much and he needs to take breaks from this reality. Jeremy…well he’s being stalked by ghosts of his past literally so I can’t fault him for needing to smoke out. They sort of commiserate. Jeremy mentions that he has been seeing things since he was killed and brought back to life by Bonnie, but he doesn’t elaborate to Matt what he sees. Caroline and Elena come in and Elena is clearly not happy seeing Jeremy with a joint. Matt comes up and wishes her a happy birthday while continuing to ignore Caroline.
Alaric and Damon are out on the veranda having a drink. Alaric clearly feels kind of awkward in this setting. He is a teacher for a good number of these students that are being reckless and illegal around him. They briefly discuss his living situation. Elena comes up and nabs a swig from Damon’s drink. Jeremy is smoking. She does that Elena thing that clearly only works with Damon because he is in love with her. She orders Alaric to talk to Jeremy. Jeremy looks up to him don’t you know. Then she walks away.
Andy is getting ready to leave work. She is on the phone commenting to someone that yet again she is the last one to leave and really she has to go because she has a party to attend. She gets off the phone and walks into one of the studios. Suddenly a massive spotlight is shined at her. She is clearly more annoyed than worried about this weird development. It shuts off and she finally starts to freak a little bit when she doesn’t see anyone else in the studio. Then the light turns on her again and someone steps into it to create a silhouette. It’s Stefan. She’s relieved and tells him they have been looking for him. He just stares as his face starts to vamp.
Back at the Salvatore mansion the party is still going on. Caroline is watching Tyler and Sophie dance (rub all over each other) across the room. She does not look happy which Matt thinks is the perfect opportunity to kills his own buzz. He starts to talk to Caroline about Tyler and she is annoyed because he has been ignoring her all summer. He points out that she has been with Tyler all summer and is clearly upset because vampires and werewolves are supposed to be mortal enemies. Caroline calls him out for this. He realizes he is a little too wasted for this conversation and wanders away. Tyler and Sophie approach. Caroline is so not having it. It’s her party and she’ll do what she wants to. She compels Sophie to leave.
Back on the veranda Damon and Alaric are still drinking. Damon got a call and has to go pick up Andy. He tells Alaric to keep an eye on things. That’s exactly what Alaric wants to do. Keep an eye on his drunken history students. Damon suggests he joins them on the drunken part.
Elena walks into Damon’s room looking for Damon and catches Caroline taking a breather from being a teenager and embracing her vamp side with a blood bag in hand. Elena tells her she is going to leave and Caroline flips out a little because they haven’t even cut the cake. Elena isn’t feeling it. Caroline tells her it’s important. She has to make a wish and blow out the candles and move on to this new year. Elena calls her out. Is this what everyone expects her to do? Do they just expect her to give up on Stefan? Clearly they all have. Caroline corrects her. They expect her to live her life. That is what Stefan would have wanted her to do. That was the whole point of everything they did last year. So she could live. Elena is stuck and needs to move. Elena says her wish is to know that Stefan is ok and not dead somewhere and she starts to stalk away. Her attention is caught by Damon’s closet. The door is slightly ajar and she sees all the information he was using to track Klaus and Stefan. Caroline wonders why he would keep this from her. Duh girls, sometimes I really wonder about them. The most obvious reason is because he is Damon and the second most obvious reason is because going after Klaus is dangerous and Elena would be fool enough to attempt it.
Damon is at the news station. He answers a call from Elena. She wants to know where he is. He fakes that he is still at the party. She isn’t buying it and says she knows about his tracking board. He gets off the phone really quick with some excuse about beer pong. Stefan is standing in front of him and they begin their showdown. It’s kind of weird because this time they are on opposite sides than they usually are. It’s usually Stefan trying to be the voice of reason to Damon’s reckless side not the other way around. Stefan tells Damon to let him ago. Damon tells him he is walking a fine line between what he once was and what he worked so hard to become. Stefan isn’t falling for it. Damon throws the Elena card at him. Stefan throws Andy off the scaffolding. He compelled her up there and to the end of one of the walk ways. He calls Damon’s attention to this right before he tells her she can move again and she walks right off the end. He speed vamps Damon against the wall with a hand to his neck and tells him to let him go. And then he is gone and Damon is hovering above Andy’s dead body. He compelled her and she was only a substitute, but he looks like he really did care for her even if he didn’t love her like he loves Elena.
Matt is wandering around outside looking for his truck. Jeremy sees him and offers him a ride home. As Jeremy gets into the driver’s seat Vicki appears in the passenger seat and asks him to help her and then is gone. Jeremy utters her name and Matt sits down and asks him what he said. He says nothing. In the headlights of his car stands Anna. Jeremy turns the car off and suggests they are both too wasted to drive and should walk. Matt knows something is up but says nothing.
Tyler confronts Caroline about making his date leave. He tells her he has been down this road with her before and she said no last time so if she wants the right to do that she has to tell him. It’s pretty intense but Tyler isn’t wrong. She can’t have it both ways and she already knows he is interested. They kiss and decide to take their party somewhere more private.
Damon arrives home to find Elena in his room looking at all the information he has on Klaus and Stefan. She jumps on him for not sharing it with her. He is no longer in the mood to sugar coat it for her. She wants to know why he made her feel dumb every time she brought him new information and he basically says because she was being dumb. They both were. The victim trail that they have been following is not Klaus’, its Stefan’s. Elena doesn’t believe it at first. Damon tells her Stefan is gone. He flipped the switch and isn’t coming back. And to make his point final he adds, not in her lifetime and walks out of the room as she starts to crumble.
Matt and Jeremy are in the Gilbert kitchen with the munchies. Ice cream seems to be their food of choice. Matt starts to leave and stops. He gets serious for a minute asking Jeremy about what happened at the car. He heard Matt say Vicki’s name. Jeremy finally admits to seeing Matt’s sister. This is just one more piece of information that Matt cannot handle or digest right now. He justifies it to Jeremy telling him that he thinks he sees Vicki all the time too. He misses her too. And with everything going on he just can’t add ghosts to the mix. Jeremy doesn’t push the issue.
Ray is laying on a pool table. He has finally given Klaus the information about his pack. Klaus begins to tell him there is a 3 step process. First he has Ray drink his blood, second he snaps his neck, and third…well we won’t get to third until next week. Stefan has returned. Klaus said he knew he would. He has passed the test but he still failed in that he proved he still cares about his family. He doesn’t care though because with each passing victim’s blood Stefan is distancing himself from them.
Alaric is packing his bag when Elena arrives home. He can’t stay there anymore. He isn’t anyone’s role model. Sure he can bluff that everything is ok at school but his life is one giant mess. Elena is 18 now anyway and already equipped to handle being on her own.
Caroline and Tyler are going hot and heavy in bed. Damon wanders into Stefan’s room and starts trashing the place. Stefan leaves the bar and pulls a phone out of his pocket. I am surprised he isn’t worried about being caught or overheard by Klaus making a phone call. Elena is getting ready for bed. Her phone registers Caller Unknown. She answers it and it’s quiet on the other end. She guesses right away that it is Stefan. She tells him she knows and that it’s going to be ok. She tells him to just hold on and never let go. Clearly he has been putting on a bigger act for Klaus than Klaus realizes because Stefan’s face is totally getting ready to crumble in this scene.
Caroline is getting dressed to leave Tyler’s. I am not sure if it’s just her getting somewhere safe before the sun comes up or if she is having regrets or what’s going on. She goes downstairs and runs into Mrs. Lockwood. She tries to explain and then just thinks better of it. As she turns around to grab her purse it burns her. Mrs. Lockwood put vervain on it. She picks up her hand and shoots Caroline in the back at least 3 times with what look to be vervain darts.
And that’s it for this evening folks. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. The greatest comfort we have is that this show doesn’t make you wait long for answers. Join us next week when Alaric and Damon go chasing after Elena who is clearly chasing stupid in her quest for the werewolves. It will be so much more awesome than it sounds. I promise.