The Vampire Diaries: Season 6 Premiere

The Vampire Diaries are back and unfortunately so is Matt Davis. Yes, Alaric is back from the dead and everyone is thrilled -- except for me.

Quick refresher on the end of Season 5: Last season, spirit magic was eliminated thanks to Markos and the Travelers... but they're now all dead. Of course, the Scooby Gang managed to break the spell before it could spread everywhere -- because otherwise there would be no show -- so just the town of Mystic Falls was affected. Spirit magic was responsible for a lot of the fucked up shit that went down in Mystic Falls, but in particular it was responsible for the spell that created vampires. Since vampirism is linked to spirit magic, if any vampires step within the no-magic zone they will revert back to their non-vampire state (i.e., dead). Of course the rules of what is affected by spirit magic and what is some other kind of non-specific magic are pretty fuzzy and I'll probably rant about those inconsistencies more later on in the season. In addition to all the vampires being persona non grata in Mystic Falls, last season the Other Side started to fall apart and all the dead supernaturals were sent... somewhere. (I assume we will find out where at some point in season 6.) In what was possibly the worst thing the CW has ever done to me ever, Bonnie the Anchor managed to bring both Stefan and Alaric back from the dead but accidentally let Damon stay dead in the process thanks to dumbass Luke breaking Liv's trance before he could make it over the threshold. Noooooo, Somerhalder nooooo! Our last moments with Damon and Bon Bon showed them walking into the light hand-in-hand and while I refuse to believe that the network is dumb enough to actually kill him off for good, it's a safe bet that he will remain dead-ish for at least a few episodes.

And now onto the Season 6 Premiere, "I'll Remember":

In true Vampire Diaries fashion, the first scene opens up with a young couple making out in a tent when they hear a noise. Since the guy is black, we can assume he will be dead (or at least brutalized) shortly. That's just how TVD rolls, yo. The girl exits the tent to see what's going on, but it's just Sheriff Forbes busting them for drinking beer in the woods. Apparently in the absence of spirit magic, Sheriff Forbes has been cracking down on teenage fun and Mystic Falls has turned into the town from Footloose. (Obviously this is because it's not safe to hang out on the borders of town where all the hungry vampires are lurking.) As they're leaving, something or someone attacks them both.

Let's play Vampire Diaries "Where Are They Now?"

Alaric is alive again and still getting used to the idea of drinking other people's blood, while working at Whitmore College as an Occult Studies professor (since he couldn't exactly go back to his teaching job at Mystic Falls High School). Seriously, why did they bring him back? I will be counting the days until he dies again.

Matt and Jeremy, being two of the only characters whose lives do not depend on magic, are still living in Mystic Falls, and are bro-ing it up every day probably. Mystic Falls is totally a great place to live now that there's no more spirit magic, but Matt has gotten tough and buff as part of some "community protection squad." Ah teenage vigilantes; definitely nothing bad can come of that. Jeremy on the other hand is living a life without direction or purpose. He drinks, plays video games and hooks up with random girls.

Stefan has been MIA because a) he's grieving his dead brother, b) he's allegedly chasing a lead on some witch who can contact the dead, and c) he's just a dick, as always. He's working as a mechanic and being as angsty and brooding as he always was. Despite ignoring calls from Caroline and Elena and well, anyone else cool, he only keeps in touch with Alaric. Because my two least favorite characters on the show should totally buddy up.

Caroline has dropped out of Whitmore College and signed a lease on an apartment just outside the border of Mystic Falls, so she can have easy visits with her mom. She's been reading every occult book she can get her hands on -- thanks to Alaric -- trying to figure out a way to undo the Travelers' spell and return magic to Mystic Falls.

Tyler has enrolled at Whitmore College and is struggling to cope with being just a werewolf again (instead of a hybrid). Without his vampire side to keep him in control, he's been having a little trouble controlling his wolfy rage.

Wonder Twins Liv and Luke are both as infuriating as ever. That's all. Let's kill them off too.

Elena is starting her sophomore year at Whitmore and has finally chosen a major, pre-med, which gives her unlimited access to blood banks. She seems way too cheerful for someone whose boyfriend and best friend died a few months ago. And that's because -- plot twist! -- in her mind, Damon isn't dead. She's been using psychotropic herbs (given to her by Luke) in order to hallucinate her dead beau and live in a lovely state of denial.

Luke decides that he doesn't want to give Elena anymore of the herbs because she's going through it really fast and maybe it's time to stop and come back to reality. Of course, Elena gives him the guilt trip that if he hadn't stopped the spell early, Damon would have been able to return from the Other Side like he was supposed to. That's right, Luke was a total asshole, let's definitely kill him off. He tries to give her the whole "I'm your friend and I'm worried about you" talk but I don't remember the Twins being friends with anyone but themselves. They tried many times to kill Elena and Stefan before deciding to help them because... well, reasons. So maybe they've come to some sort of peaceful terms, but they aren't friends.

He should definitely feel guilty about causing Damon to die -- and Elena has every right to hate him as much as I have always hated him and his stupid sister -- but yes, we all have to agree that this drug addicted denial is no good for Elena. (Of course, it is good for us because it means we get to see more Somerhalder. MORE SOMERHALDER!!) When guilt trips stop working, Elena turns to threats and I guess that works because then she's on a road trip with Damon. Although apparently even her magic hallucinations agree that it's time to let him go...
Fake Damon: Can I ask why there's not a Bennett witch in the back? I mean, can't Luke whip up a batch of herbs in Bonnie flavor?
Elena: You know, if I had to drive around with everyone I've lost, I'd need a school bus.
Fake DamonOr you just know that Bonnie would agree with Luke. The last thing you would do is conjure up someone who's gonna tell you the truth.
Elena: Can we not talk about this?
Fake DamonAbout what? The fact that I'm dead. Because I am.
Elena: Technically you were dead when we met.
Fake DamonGood point. Now I'm just... gone.
Elena: Damon please don't say that.
Fake Damon: And this conversation is pretty much the smart, level-headed you talking to the irrational, possible-drug-addict you... which is clear evidence of your insanity. 
There's a tailgate party or something for the Whitmore football team. God, this show loves their stupid parties. Tyler is clearly having trouble adjusting to being human-ish. He's got the tolerance of a teenage boy and the temper of a werewolf. And apparently he's got the hots for Liv who is clearly not interested. Alaric makes sure to let him know that, as he steals his beer because a) underage and b) he hasn't been buzzed since he came back to life, bummer. Every time I see Alaric I want to punch him in the face because he's alive while Damon is dead. If anyone deserved to stay dead, it was Alaric. Dr. Jo, Elena's instructor from the hospital, gets a little flirty with Alaric but he realizes that he has no game (and the fact that he's been sipping blood from a flask all day isn't exactly going to help).

While they're off not having fun, Stefan is banging some hot chick. They've been hanging out for two months now and he's secretive and distant and never talks about his family or his friends or his past. No wonder she likes him! She demands to know more about him, so he tells her that he's a vampire (to which she answers "you're so annoying") and he tells her that he likes her. Somehow that is enough to satisfy her. Come on girl, have some more self esteem. I feel like I have to mention that she's Asian, because that's a rarity on this show. That leads me to assume that either Stefan is far from Mystic Falls (since there are almost no minorities allowed to live nearby) or she's going to die at some point in the near future.

While Elena and Fake Damon are driving to the tailgate party, she starts to get hungry but is out of blood bags. Lucky for her, this poor girl from New York is on side of the road, lost trying to get to Mystic Falls. Elena feeds off of her, mainly because there were too many people of color in this episode and you know the CW doesn't allow that. Caroline startles her which allows the girl to get away (crossing over the no-magic boundary where Elena can't stop her and compel her to forget what happened). Turns out Elena is the vampire border-lurker that Sheriff Forbes has been worried about. She admits to Caroline that she's extra hungry lately because of the herbs that make her hallucinate Damon, which Caroline finds appalling. She tells Elena that she needs to let the grieving process happen (instead of just hitting pause) so she can eventually get through it. Caroline calls her mom to fix this but tells Elena she better hide out until it can be resolved.

Coincidentally and luckilywhen the girl makes it into town to seek help, Matt is the first person to find her.  She tells him what happened but he lies to his community watch group that she was bit by a dog and whisks her away with the Sheriff. Sheriff Forbes put the leader of the protection squad in his place and basically tells him to mind his business and let her do her job. Why do I feel like he's going to end up like Vince from True Blood's final season? Matt takes the girl outside the boundaries of Mystic Falls so that Caroline can compel her to forget what Elena did.

Despite being on a "decline call" kick, Stefan finally answers when Elena phones. She wants to know if he has found something -- anything -- that could help them find Damon and bring him back. She doesn't understand how he can go about his day and make it through without falling apart, because she's doing it wrong. He can't give her any hope though and admits that he gave up. He realized it was pointless to keep looking for answers and just stopped and moved on. He tells her it is time for her to say goodbye too but she's devastated by the idea. And so am I. Fuck that, you selfish asshole. Damon risked his life to bring you back from the dead, you're going to give up? I'll say it again: the wrong Salvatore brother lived.

Caroline calls Tyler to tell him what Elena and Luke have been up to and he's pissed. Good move Caroline, you have to assume that the guy is having trouble controlling his werewolf temper, especially this close to the full moon, let's give him something to legitimately be angry about. Tyler confronts Luke about messing with Elena's brain and threatens him to stay away. Alaric breaks it up and Tyler storms off.  Ugh, just re-die already, please Alaric.

Elena tries to say goodbye to fake Damon (noooooooooooooo, don't goooooo) but it isn't working as well as she'd hoped. He tells her to move on but first she wants to say thank you to him for saving Stefan and bringing back Alaric and Tyler and for loving her and being a super awesome wonderful dude. She says goodbye and I love you, knowing this is the last time she will ever see him. He won't go though, because she's still holding onto him and isn't ready to face an eternity of torment and grief. Then she starts to have a tantrum as she grieves him again. He's still there to comfort her, which is... confusing. If she's letting him go why isn't he going? Either she's really not ready to face reality or she's permanently fucked up her head with these herbs.

Liv goes to Tyler's dorm to confront him and give him a guilt trip for being mean to Luke (even though both she and Luke deserve whatever he does to them). He should just rip her head off, stupid bitch.
Liv: It's not Luke's fault that your friend's emotionally blackmailing him to fulfill whatever mental head case crap she's going through.
Tyler: Grief. It's called grief. Your brother got to live that day, remember? The rest of us lost people because of him.
He admits that he's having some trouble dealing with the fact that he's lost all of his hybrid powers -- except for the worst part, the wolf rage -- but Liv don't give a shit. I think were supposed to sense a little chemistry between them, that will likely be explored later in the season, but I'm really not interested in that pairing.

Caroline calls Stefan (who of course doesn't answer) and provides some voiceover exposition for the rest of us: Everyone has drifted apart and is pretending they can get through this alone. Elena is so scared to accept what happened that she's become a completely different person. Tyler is hiding at Whitmore, as if everything's fine and he can outrun his werewolf gene. Matt and Jeremy never leave Mystic Falls anymore. There's an invisible wall between "us" and "them" and no one is doing anything about it. She's the only one looking for a way to get their home back. She tells Stefan's voicemail that they need each other, to be together, so she's not going to stop calling until he answers the phone and agrees to help her fix it.

Instead of answering the call, Stefan kills his smartphone. Nice one Stef.

Alaric is still struggling with the transition from death to living dead. He's having trouble dealing with his blood lust, heightened emotions and immortality... and admits to Elena that he hates everything about being a vampire. Elena admits to him that she did too until she realized the benefits of immortality -- being able to be with the one you love for eternity. However now that her true love is gone, she's looking at an eternity of grief. She knows that she can't move on so she asks Alaric to compel her to forget that she ever loved Damon. It's the only way she sees ever being able to move on without him and making eternity bearable. (Since Alaric was created from the Original vampire spell, he's able to compell other vampires, which... okay, sure. We'll go with that.) So we're stealing another storyline from the True Blood bag of tricks. Why not?

The episode ends with Damon making breakfast for him and Bonnie, while Collective Soul's "Shine" plays. I feel like the song is supposed to be significant because they walked into the light and now they're... where? On the other side of the Other Side? (Ian Somerhalder making breakfast is like the hottest thing ever by the way, just sayin'.) But... um... what? Is that what happens to vampires and witches when they meet the True Death? They go to a summer house and eat pancakes? At least we know the CW will probably return Somerhalder to us once again.

Next week: Alaric tries to figure out when Elena first fell in love with Damon, so he can compel her to forget it. Bonnie and Damon try to figure out where they are and why they're reliving the same day over and over.

Watch this episode now

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