By OBS Staff Member ifellhard

Season three opens with a bang as Stefan slaughters two women at an old country home  in Tennessee after Klaus gets the whereabouts of a man named Ray Sutton. 

Elena wakes up in the morning looking sad and forlorn, forcing herself to get up.  She goes into wake Jeremy to make sure that he’s not late for work at the Grill.   Then she’s on the phone with Caroline talking about plans for her birthday party later that night.   Caroline tells her that her mom learned of an animal attack in Memphis – the third one in Tennessee.   Caroline then meets up with Tyler and hangs up with Elena.

Elena and Alaric talk about Stefan being with Klaus.  We learn that half of the summer as passed, as Alaric has been sleeping on the couch all this time because he doesn’t want to sleep in the room that belonged to Elena’s dead parents or his dead girlfriend.   As Alaric leaves for the day, he wishes Elena a happy birthday.

Damon is taking a bubble bath, drinking champagne as Andi gets ready for work.   He asks her to get more champagne and she tells him she’s not his slave and to get it himself.  He gets up and walks naked through the house.  Elena shows up and finds Damon wet and naked in the den.  She gives him a blanket and he tells her that she should learn to knock.  Elena tells him about another lead from Sheriff Forbes.  Damon balks and Elena says she’ll go by herself.  Damon refuses to let her because Klaus can’t know that she’s still alive.   Damon tells Andi that he’s going to Tennessee and they talk about the leads as he posts the info on a map where he’s been tracking Stefan. 

At the Grill, Jeremy video chats with Bonnie while she’s at her dad’s for the summer.   The power flickers, Vickie appears and then she’s gone.  Then Anna appears.   Matt shows up and asks Jeremy to switch tables with him so he doesn’t have to wait on Caroline and Tyler.   Caroline and Tyler talk and Tyler confesses that his mom thinks that they are dating.

Back in Tennessee, Klaus finds Ray Sutton in a bar where Stefan has compelled everyone in the bar.  Klaus tells him he’s a hybrid and plans to breed more likehim.  He asks Ray to direct him to his pack.   Stefan produces some wolfsbane to help get the info since they can’t compel him.

Damon and Alaric arrive at the country house in Tennessee and find a gory mess.  The bodies are posed in a seated position on the couch and Damon tells Alaric that it’s Stefan’s signature from his days as “The Ripper”.  

Elena, Caroline, & Tyler work on setting up for the party and talk about Stefan’s disappearance and Damon helping to find him.   They contemplate whether Damon really wants to find him and Elena’s kiss when Damon was dying is mentioned.   Tyler tells Caroline he’s bringing a date to the party and Caroline has a mini-freak moment.  They end up having an awkward conversation about their vamp and werewolf urges and how they are horny all the time.  

Damon douses Stefan’s victims and the room they’re in with gasoline.  As he moves around the room, a creaky floorboard ends up revealing a werewolf dungeon.   Damon then sets the room on fire.

Ray is chained up in the bar and Stefan throws darts dipped in wolfsbane at him to torture him for information about the pack.   A woman goes up to Klaus to tell him about Damon showing up at the country house.   Stefan tells Klaus that he will handle Damon to get him to stop following them, promising to return because he is “in your service”. 

Elena is Stefan’s room dressed for the party and Damon shows up.  He gives her a gift – her necklace that she got from Stefan and thought was lost forever.   He puts the necklace on her and escorts her to the party – HUGE party.

In the den, Jeremy is rolling a joint and Matt sits with him.  He asks Jeremy what’s up and Jeremy tells him that he’s been “seeing things” since he died and came back.   He tells Matt that he hasn’t told anyone about it.

Alaric and Damon are at the party talking and Alaric laments that he’s “every parent’s worst nightmare” and the “chaperone teacher from hell”.   Elena tells Alaric that Jeremy is smoking pot and asks him to talk to him.

Andi’s at the studio on the phone and mentions that she’s the last one there.  The lights are out and a bright spotlight hits her.   She freaks out and tries to run.  Stefan appears.   She asks him where he’s been and Stefan’s face goes all vampy.

At the party, Caroline eyes Tyler dancing with “Slutty Sophie”.  Matt asks her about them and they talk about him ignoring her all summer and the friendship between Caroline and Tyler.   Tyler and Sophie walk over to Caroline and she compels Sophie to leave.

Elena goes to Damon’s room to hide out and finds Caroline in there with a blood bag.   Elena tells her she’s looking for Damon and she really wants to pass on the cake.  Caroline talks to her about moving on and how Stefan wouldn’t want her to be like this, letting her life pass her by.  Elena tells her that her birthday wish is to know that Stefan is alive.  Elena sees Damon’s tracking board and realizes that Damon has been tracking Stefan and Klaus without her.

Damon heads to the station to find Andi.  Elena calls him to confront him about the tracking board in the closet.   Damon hangs up on her and then finds Stefan.   Stefan tells him to stop following him because it’s causing problems.   He tells Damon he doesn’t need saving and to let him go.   Andi is on a catwalk and has been compelled by Stefan not to move.   He then compels her to move and she falls from the catwalk as Stefan holds Damon back from saving her.

Jeremy and Matt are leaving the party.  Jeremy gets in his car and sees Vickie there and calls out her name and she says, “Help me.”   Matt gets in the car and asks why he said Vickie’s name.  Jeremy starts the car and then sees Anna in front of the car.  Jeremy then suggests that they walk home.

Caroline and Tyler talk at the party and about Tyler’s date.  They bicker with one another and Caroline plants a kiss on Tyler.  They make out for a moment and Tyler suggests that they get out of there. 

Damon goes into his room and finds Elena there.  She confronts him about the stuff in the closet.   He tells her he’s had a really bad night and that they’re both idiots for trying to find Stefan.   He tells her to go back to the party and that the victims are all Stefan’s, not Klaus’.   He says that Stefan is a full-blown ripper and he’s gone and not coming back – not in her lifetime. 

Matt and Jeremy are at the Gilbert house eating everything they can find and Matt decides to head home.   Before leaving, he asks Jeremy about what happened in the car. Jeremy confesses that he saw Vickie, but tries to downplay it with a comment about his head being messed up.

In the bar, Ray is tied to a pool table.  After learning where to find the pack, Klaus forces Ray to drink his blood and then snaps his neck.   Stefan returns and tells Klaus that he doesn’t “care about anyone anymore.”

Alaric is packing up his things at the Gilbert house when Elena arrives home.  He tells her that he’s not a good role model and he’s not any good for anybody.   He tells her that she’s eighteen and can do a better job for them. 

At the Lockwood home, Caroline and Tyler go at it in his room.

Damon trashes Stefan’s room.

Stefan walks out of the bar into the parking lot, pulls out his phone and looks at it. 

Elena gets ready for bed and finds a birthday card propped up on her pillow.  She puts it on her dresser and heads to the bathroom.  Her phone begins ringing in silent mode from “Caller Unknown”.  She returns and answers the phone.  Stefan never speaks.  She tells him that he’ll be okay and says, “I love you, Stefan.   Hold onto that.  Never let that go.”  A tearful Stefan nods, but never speaks.

Caroline gets dressed, leaving Tyler sleeping in his bed.  She sneaks downstairs to leave and is caught by Mrs. Lockwood.  Caroline goes to grab her purse, but it burns her hand.  Mrs. Lockwood pulls a gun and shoots her three times with vervain-filled tranquilizer darts.

Ok…there was one thing that really bugged me about this episode.  Being from Tennessee, I know that there is no way that anyone could drive from Virginia to Memphis and then back home as quickly as they did.  First, Alaric and Damon made the trip and then Stefan.  Seriously…from Memphis to the northeastern part of the state, it is at least a 8-hour drive on the interstates.   Anyway….

I am really curious to know where things are going with Jeremy seeing Anna and Vickie and what that’s all about.  Why is it only those two that he sees?  Why is that significant? Is it because they were vampires?  If so, why isn’t he seeing Jenna too?  Is it because of the romantic connection? 

What did you think of Caroline getting shot by Mrs. Lockwood during her walk of shame?   Do you think that Mrs. Lockwood has any clue of her son’s alternate form?

I think that this episode did a lot to set things up for a possible Elena-Damon scenario.  Andi was a distraction and attempt for Damon to forget about Elena, but she’s dead.  While angry, he’s also mourning Stefan.  Elena knows that Stefan is gone with Klaus and that he’s killing people.   Two, single, lonely people bonding over the loss of the same person….

So, what did you think of the season opener?   Did it live up to your expectations?   What were your favorite moments (apart from Damon’s soapy walk through the house)?  Join us in the forum and share your thoughts.  We’d love to hear from you!