Nobody panic, but The Vampire Diaries is finally back! It’s been a long summer – both for viewers and for the Mystic Falls gang. The premiere picks up a couple months after Season 4 ended – just in time for the summer to come to a close and the girls to head off to college. To bring the audience up to speed, Elena “writes” an e-mail to Bonnie telling her what everyone has been up to over the summer – which is basically just a lot of hooking up [Matt Donovan and Bex had a threesome in Prague, y’all!], with the exception of Caroline, who has been separated from Tyler all summer.
Anyway, in the present, Bonnie (Kat Graham) is dead, but we learn that she and Jeremy haven’t informed her friends yet, as she has been responding to Caroline and Elena’s e-mails through Jeremy, who is still playing the town’s medium. Elena and Damon are doing fine, and living – along with Jeremy – at the Salvatore house. We also learn that no one has heard from Stefan all summer, but that Elena has been dreaming about him – and keeping that little fact from Damon.
As for the newly-human Katherine (Nina Dobrev), she is having a hard time adjusting to her new humanity. So, when Elena leaves for college, Katherine shows up on the Salvatores’ doorstep looking for protection. Though it seems like an obvious choice, she refuses Damon’s offer to turn her back into a vampire, as she afraid the cure she took means she can’t transition again. She informs Damon that someone is chasing her, so he agrees to let her stay there to keep her safe.
Silas (Paul Wesley) makes an appearance at the town’s end-of-summer bash, where he targets Sheriff Forbes to chat and have a drink. Initially assuming he is Stefan, Liz (Marguerite MacIntyre) is confused when he draws a knife and slices her wrist open. She realizes he is actually Silas, and Silas explains the finer points of being a 2,000-year-old immortal. [It basically amounts to Silas being incredibly smug and self-righteous, believing himself to be above such lowly vampire behaviors – like drinking blood directly from human veins.] Once he’s had his lunch, Silas compels Liz to forget she saw him, but his relaxed, superior attitude is one that viewers aren’t likely to forget any time soon.
Meanwhile, Elena and Caroline (Candice Accola) are trying to adjust to college life. They get settled into their dorm [which is actually large enough to fit five normal-sized college dorm rooms inside it] and immediately break out the bloodbags to celebrate their new freedom, only to be interrupted by the appearance of their third roommate – who turns out to not be Bonnie Bennett, as was originally planned.
Confused, the girls try to contact Bonnie, who sends them an e-mail back – courtesy of Jeremy, again – saying that she has decided to put off returning for a while. [Don’t even get me started on how ridiculous it is that her ‘best friends’ don’t find it odd that no one has actually spoken to her in months, or that she would just blow off college via e-mail. Whatever.]
To say the least, Caroline is unenthusiastic about the roommate switch, and basically takes it upon herself to go through the girl’s stuff. The Mystic Falls drama doesn’t take long to catch up to them as Caroline steals a bottle of the girl’s water only to discover it has vervain in it. Caroline suspects that their new roommate might actually be a Hunter in disguise, but that idea soon becomes irrelevant when the girl dies of a vampire bite at the girls’ first college party.
To make matters even more confusing, the girls go through their dead roommate’s phone only to find a picture of the dead girl and Elena‘s supposedly dead adoptive father. Who knows what that is going to mean – possibly that her dad faked his death?
Anyway, during all this, Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) is trying to adjust to being back in the real world after a summer touring Europe and having threesomes with Bex. It turns out, Nadia (Olga Fonda), the girl who they had a threesome with stole a bunch of their stuff – including the Gilbert ring of resurrection. Before he gets a chance to break the news to Jeremy, Nadia shows up in Mystic Falls to return the ring. Oh, she also turns Matt into a demon or something. [Seriously, I have no idea what happened, but his eyes turned black as a demon from Supernatural. Someone get the salt, man.]
I’m sure Matt is in for some trouble, but Damon is dealing with some drama of his own, trying to balance caring for Jeremy, protecting Katherine, and figuring out why Silas is running around Mystic Falls. Jeremy gets himself expelled from school, but Damon compels the principal into just suspending him for a few days instead. Silas shows up offering a trade: if Damon hands over Katherine, Silas will tell him Stefan’s location.
Silas tells Damon the real reason no one has heard from Stefan all summer – that Silas has locked him away somewhere to “suffer” – which convinces Damon to ask Jeremy to bring Katherine to him for the trade-off. However, Katherine realizes Damon’s plan and crashes Jeremy’s car to escape. She walks away, leaving Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) to die on the pavement – with poor Bonnie watching helplessly. [That girl just cannot catch a break!] Damon gets there just in time to feed Jeremy his blood and keep him from dying, but by that point Katherine is long gone.
Jeremy and Damon head back to the Salvatore house while Bonnie ghosts over to the town square to watch her dad give a speech at the end-of-summer bash. This is when things get interesting – and deadly, of course, because that’s just how Mystic Falls town events go. Silas shows up and tests his strength by compelling the entire town. Once he realizes he has the power to command them all, Silas sets them all on a mission to find Katherine.
Oh, and to properly scare the townsfolk and make his point, Silas kills Mayor Hopkins (Rick Worthy). So, basically Bonnie had to watch another parent die – for good this time. [Silas, this is why you can’t have nice things.] There’s the issue of Bonnie having enough bad stuff going on in her after-life right now, but we’re also already low on parents. Looks like it’s up to Liz – and now Damon – to represent Team Guardian.
Anyway, throughout all this we have several severely heartbreaking flashes to Stefan [it was seriously hard to watch – because sad, of course, but also: lens flare overload], who is still drowning in the lake – over and over and over again – while fighting the urge to flip his humanity switch. Stefan (Paul Wesley) continuously hallucinates seeing his brother, who does his best to convince him life will be better without his humanity. Just when Stefan has about had enough, he hallucinates Elena who convinces him to hold on. Because Stefan still loves her so much, it actually works, at least for now. We’ll have to wait and see how long he can hold out.
Episode 5.02 “True Lies” Synposis:
Without telling Elena (Nina Dobrev) that Stefan (Paul Wesley) is missing, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) turns to Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) for help finding his brother. Elena and Caroline (Candice Accola) try to find out who is covering up a campus murder, and a fellow Whitmore student named Jesse (guest star Kendrick Sampson) gives Elena some intriguing information about Professor Wes Maxfield (guest star Rick Cosnett).
While Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) struggles to return to his old life, he continues to be the only person who can see and talk to Bonnie (Kat Graham), but he can’t convince her that it’s time to let the others know that she sacrificed her own life for his. After learning that Silas is searching for Katherine, Damon asks Matt (Zach Roerig) and Jeremy to keep her out of sight, but the situation quickly spirals out of control. Finally, Nadia (guest star Olga Fonda) uses violence to make a point about her own agenda.