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'The Vampire Diaries' Premiere Recap: Out of Mystic Falls and into a State of Denial

'The Vampire Diaries' Premiere Recap: Out of Mystic Falls and into a State of Denial
(CW)

Life has changed for the undead of The Vampire Diaries. In the Season 6 premiere, "I'll Remember," that becomes abundantly clear, no matter how much some characters try to deny that anything has happened.

The very first scene proves it — kind of. A pair of young campers have their make-out session interrupted by strange sounds. When they go to investigate out in the dark woods... Nothing happens. Sure, Sheriff Forbes shows up to give an underage-drinking lecture, but that's about it. We've moved to the new-and-improved Mystic Falls now! No vampires in sight!

At least there are no vampires until the campers pass the city limits. Things get a little bloodier then. No amount of change or denial can keep teenaged lovers safe out there.

Denial: It's Not Just a River in Egypt
Elena isn't doing so well these days, and the broken-hearted vampire girl has set up a permanent camp in her state of denial about Damon's death in that last season finale. Outwardly, she seems to be doing fine -- declaring a pre-med major (mostly for the easy access to blood donations), planning tailgate parties and cheerfully guzzling blood-flavored Big Gulp's in class.

But all is not as it seems. Elena's "dealing" with her grief turns out to be exactly the opposite: Instead of saying goodbye to Damon, Elena is using magical-herb crack from Luke to induce hallucinations of her lost love. This is working great for the girl, despite a few side effects like a bloodlust so great that she regularly heads to the boundaries of Mystic Falls for human treats.

Yes, that was Elena attacking the campers. The girl has a problem.

Stefan Salvatore, Auto Mechanic
Stefan seems to have found his own state of denial somewhere else. Where, exactly, we don't get to learn, but it involves working as a low-rent auto mechanic and sleeping with a bubbly girl from Colorado named Ivy. She doesn't buy Stefan's "Oh by the way, I'm a vampire" line, so she's probably normal. And probably doomed too, seeing as death tends to follow human girls who sleep with Stefan.

As for the rest of the TVD crew, Stefan is pretty much ignoring them. He does spare some time for Alaric (to lie about seeking out help for the town) and for Elena (to tell her to get over it), but that's it. Everything else is just beer drinking, sulking and iPhone smashing.

Everyone Else Fails to Deal Too
OK, let's just say at this point that nobody on The Vampire Diaries is doing so hot.

  • Caroline: When not picnicking at the Mystic Falls border with her mom, Caroline is reading books about the Travelers and bugging everyone. Caroline's denial is kind of productive actually.
  • Matt: Matt has gone and joined the new Mystic Falls Community Protection Squad. That's a group of young people who do a lot of boxing and calisthenics under a guy named Tripp (played by new recurring actor Colin Ferguson). Despite a lack of anything bad to deal with in Mystic Falls, this seems to be some sort of low-rent militia.
  • Jeremy: Random girls and video games are Jeremy's life these days. It's depressing.
  • Tyler: No longer a vampire or a werewolf, Tyler is back to being a normal frat-boy jerk, complete with the barely contained rage and incipient alcoholism. He also has a crush on Liv and nearly throttles Luke.
  • Alaric: The newly not-dead teacher is ironically teaching occult studies at the university. His vampire status, however, seems to be taking more getting used to than higher education. At least Alaric is familiar with day-drinking methods, even if he has switched from whiskey to blood. He isn't liking it though.

A Very Special Vampire Diaries Episode
Now that we know how everyone is not-dealing, it's time to move on to the results of that denial.

Most of the characters just get a lot of angst out of the situation, but Elena goes further. Her final magical-herb-induced attack on the edges of Mystic Falls earns a scolding from Caroline and sends the attack victim running straight into the well-muscled arms of Matt and the Community Protection goons.

This is undoubtedly going to come back to haunt everyone later. For now, though, Matt and Caroline manage the cover-up.

But Elena is still using. At least her near-kill sends the grieving vampire down to rock bottom. One final dose of witchy herbs brings about an intervention -- as only The Vampire Diaries can do it. Elena talks out the whole thing with her Damon hallucination, realizing that it has to stop.

Unfortunately, she also realizes that this is one death too many. Elena really can't deal with this loss, not when she has eternity to grieve.

In the end, Elena turns to Alaric (how did these kids manage at all when he was dead???) and asks her quasi-Original mentor to compel her. That way, she will forget that there was ever love between her and Damon.

It's probably a terrible idea. Bad choices are, however, a common occurrence for those who reside in denial.

Oblivion or Suburban Bliss?
Because this is The Vampire Diaries, there absolutely must be one last twist before the premiere ends. And of course that has to do with the supposedly departed Damon and Bonnie.

Guess what? They still exist! Oddly, their existence seems to consist of pancakes and grunge music in a shared, cozy setting. Is this Heaven? Iowa? Some other plane of existence in which morning papers and a relationship between two regular frenemies can cohabitate?

Denial might be easier to accept than whatever this is.
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