In the season 3 premiere of The Vampire Diaries it’s Elena’s 18th birthday. Elena is focused on finding Stefan and is disappointed and annoyed that Damon doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about her mission. However, Damon is doing his best following Stefan’s bloody trail across the US but keeping it from Elena because he recognises the traces of Stefan’s alter ego ‘Ripper’. Meanwhile, Caroline is planning Elena’s birthday party with the help of Tyler, and the tension between the two results in major developments in their relationship, as well as a disastrous meeting between Caroline and Mrs. Lockwood. Klaus, with the assistance of Stefan, is starting to create an army of hybrids, and Jeremy who is struggling with his newfound ability to see his dead vampire ex-girlfriends, bonds with Matt over the loss of Vicky.
As always, Vampire Diaries manages to tug at my heart strings. The music and camera work makes me feel the emotion of the characters. It made completely believable the emotions Damon is feeling when Stefan kills Andy, and by the end of the episode I felt for most of the characters in different ways. The scenes where Damon is losing it, Caroline is being shot with vervaine and Stefan is standing outside were all great.
I also appreciate that Paul Wesley finally gets to act. I have never been a fan of Stefan, mostly because he is the most boring character on the show. Now, with the introduction of Klaus and the return of his evil nature, it is finally interesting to watch Stefan, and I find myself invested in his storyline.
Damon and Elena had some nice moments on the whole, and I’m glad they didn’t play up their relationship any more than this. I do prefer their relationship to that of Elena and Stefan, but it would cheapen Elena’s character to push her into Damon’s arms this early.
Lastly, Caroline and Tyler are now probably my favourite characters. I never cared for any of them much in season 1, but Caroline becoming a vampire and Tyler a werewolf was the best thing they could have done for their characters. I think the actors have really good chemistry, and I love the humour between them in this episode.
I don’t have any big complaints about the episode on a whole, so these are mostly nit-picks and disappointments I had.
Firstly, I had hoped that Jeremy’s situation would have been explained a little better in the first episode. At the moment I don’t know what to make of it. I liked it in the ending of season 2, but now it is the least interesting thing about this season.
Also, while I loved Caroline and Tyler, I have to admit that I would have liked for them to go on as friends for a while before getting together. That is not because I feel they need to prolong the tension as much as possible (we already get that with Damon and Elena), but because I thought it was hilarious seeing them as friends. Sometimes friendships can be so much more fun to watch than relationships. That being said, the twist at the end with Mrs. Lockwood might make up for the early resolve to their relationship.
Lastly, I did not like the phone scene with Stefan and Elena. I know they needed to make it clear that Stefan has not gone completely over to the dark side, but an anonymous phone call is so cliché. I think I would have preferred if he just stood there considering whether or not to make the call or that Elena hung up without going into a long heartfelt monologue. It was a little bit too sappy for me.
All in all it was a good start to the third season. It was not as exciting as the season 2 opener, but it makes me excited about Klaus’ mission and Stefan’s situation, which I didn’t think I would be. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the season.