This is a review of “The Return”, for Mark O. Estes in-depth recap of the episode Click Here.
The Vampire Diaries is back and is on fire delivering twists and turns at the break neck speed (no pun intended).
Katherine appearance at the end of the finale was a surprise and something that could have been teased for much longer, but the decision to reveal her at this point seems to have been spot on, as was her departure at the end of the episode. Of course only after the merry little havoc she performed psychologically over the Salvatore brothers and physically over Caroline, hopefully Katherine will be a character that will hang forebodingly over everyone and only come out to play sporadically. Nina Dobrev’s performance as both Katherine and Elena was superb and she commanded both roles showing that it takes more than wardrobe and hair to portray these different characters.
The Salvatore brothers were once again polar opposites; Stefan emitted a sense of power and command in this episode whilst Damon was fragile and unpredictable. With Jeremy, Stefan took control in both instances of whether Jeremy could have turned, he forced a situation with Jonathan that caused him to leave town and handled Katherine pretty well. Being the more focused and stoic brother he didn’t let his emotions cloud his judgement and instead of instigating a fight with Damon that he so clearly wanted realised that sticking together would be the best course of action. Stefan will unlikely remain impervious to Katherine for the entire season but he sure did a good job here of deflecting her advances and it was particularly good to see his quick realisation that Katherine was Katherine and not Elena.
Damon is fragile, he thought he got the girl who then turned out to be the girl he had wanted for 145 years and he was rebuffed by both, so what’s he to do? Break Jeremy’s neck is what, this was probably the episodes most shocking moment even though the image and rules of the Gilbert ring had been laid down earlier it was definitely unexpected. Despite all that was going against him in this episode it was great to see Damon using sarcasm and dry wit as a defense mechanism and the scenes between the two brothers were particularly strong. Fragile Damon is more dangerous than ‘diabolical plan’ Damon as he really does seem capable of anything but it also makes him more vulnerable, leaving him open to danger as well.
Jeremy, Jonathan and Caroline were all left in peril at the end of last years finale and all seemed to make it through ok, a double bluff was given with Jeremy and the neck snap, and with Stefan’s blood in his system Jonathan was also at risk. Though it was Caroline in the end who was the one in danger; saved by Damon’s blood she received a visit from Katherine at the end with a message to deliver, swiftly followed by a pillow to the face making Caroline a new contender for being a vampire.
Amongst all this action we were introduced to a new mysterious character; Mason Lockwood, brother to Mayor Lockwood and Uncle to Tyler who seems to have the ability to quell the rage that Tyler can’t. A notable absence was Alaric but in an episode so packed it was understandable as to why, though everyone’s favourite history teacher should make an appearance soon.
This was what a premiere should be like, full of action and story that can set up for the whole year and make you want more, welcome back The Vampire Diaries we’ve missed you.