Welcome back to Mystic Falls, y’all. After a season that was simultaneously incredibly dull and incredibly frustrating, we return to Vampire Central with the Race For The Cure completed and the Originals spun off to New Orleans.
We check in with everyone via a previously voiceover from Stefan and an email to Bonnie from Elena. Status report: Damon and Elena have been humping like bunnies all summer. Caroline has been pining for Tyler, who’s been doing some volunteer work with a werewolf pack in Appalachia. Jeremy‘s back from the dead and helping cover for Bonnie, who’s dead but hanging around as a ghost. Rebekah and Matt are on their European tour, having three-ways with random girls because we haven’t had a lesbian vampire thing yet. Katherine is wandering around town, rendered human by the Cure. And Stefan is locked in the Angel season three finale safe at the bottom of the local quarry while Silas walks around wearing Stefan’s face (which is really Silas’s face, because Doppelganger).
Jeremy sends Elena an email from Bonnie’s phone in furtherance of the cover-up, closing by asking whether she’s heard from Stefan. As Damon exposits in a towel (the very best sort of exposit) that Elena is leaving for college the next day, she ponders calling Stefan. She decides against it, which is probably for the best since Stefan is busy drowning and reviving over and over again. Title card!
The next morning Jeremy practices the speech he’s going to give to be reinstated at school now that he’s back from the dead, a web of lies about how the deaths of his parents led him down the path of drugs, alcohol, recreational arson and faking his own death. He wonders, as do I, why he’s bothering to go back to school at all. Elena dithers about going off to college before Jeremy’s settled back in at school but Damon pretty much orders her out, to “drink cheap beer and protest things you don’t care about”. Yeah, that’s about right. He promises to keep an eye on Jeremy and Elena heads out.
Elena and Caroline stroll across the Whitmore College campus and Elena reveals that she’s having weird vibes about Stefan. She wonders if she should call but Caroline diagnoses it as a case of guilt for making the “terrible but completely reversible mistake” of hooking up with Damon all summer. Sheriff Liz pops into frame for a line and then pops right back out again. Caroline giggles “We’re here!” Ghost Bonnie briefly appears and echoes the sentiment, but no one can see or hear here.
The girls start unpacking their stuff in their dorm room, which is bigger than my apartment. Liz drops off the last of their boxes and has a teary goodbye with Caroline and Elena, telling Elena how proud her dad would be to see her at his alma mater. She leaves and the girls decide to drink a toast to their grand new adventure. Before they can pop open their blood bags, there’s a knock at the door and another girl enters, introducing herself as Megan, their new roommate. Apparently they didn’t notice the third bed but I kind of get that because that room is ridiculously huge.
Back at Mystic Falls High Jeremy’s hanging out in a classroom talking to Bonnie; seemingly talking to himself should allay any concerns the administration might have about welcoming back a drug and alcohol-abusing arsonist who faked his suicide. Jeremy wonders how long she plans on delaying revealing her death to her dad but Bonnie is sure Dad doesn’t care enough to wonder about it. And she assures him that Elena’s happy at college. She declares how lucky they are that even death can’t keep them from talking but he counters with the fact that they can’t touch before heading off to class.
Megan sets up her product-placed tablet as Elena explains the roommate sitch to Damon. He suggests compelling Megan to GTFO; that was also Caroline’s idea but Elena thinks having a third will help immerse them in the college experience. Elena assures him that everything will work out and he can’t really argue with that since he has to hang up to deal with the newly-arrived Katherine.
Later that same day Mayor Rudy is glad-handing citizens at some end-of-summer party on the town square, the sort of party a town would throw during school hours on the first day of the semester. Matt’s pouring beers for the Mystic Grill tent when Rebekah approaches, teasing him about going from five-star restaurants in Paris to slinging suds at the Grill. They make out against a tree as Matt explains that back in the real world he needs to make dat money. Rebekah’s all for it so he can pay to replace the earrings “that street rat Nadia” stole from her. Matt points out that she also stole his protecto-ring and he has no idea how he’ll explain that to Jeremy. Rebekah suggests telling him about the threesome. Yep, should work. Rebekah lays on a last few kisses with some final words: “Don’t call, don’t write, and whatever you do, don’t you dare miss me.” Girl, trust, not missing you? Not a problem.
Elsewhere at the party “Stefan” approaches Sheriff Liz, who’s eating her feelings after dropping off the girls. He sits down, grabs a cup and then Liz’s wrist, slicing it open to bleed her into the cup. She twigs that it’s Silas and wonders why the knife since vampires usually go for the throat. He takes umbrage at being called a vampire, calling them “perversions” of him. Silas reads Liz’s mind and discovers that she doesn’t know whatever it is he’s trying to find out, so he compels her to believe that it was just Stefan stopping by to say hi. “Call your friends,” says Liz, apparently not wondering why after a hello from Stefan she’s bleeding from a sliced open wrist.
The roommates head out from the dorm and Elena and Caroline fill in Megan on their various boyfriend situations. Caroline then sets out some roommate ground rules: Do not get roommates wet; do not expose roommates to bright light; do not feed roommates after midnight. Megan’s down for the rules just in time to receive a flier inviting them to a party at “Whitmore House” that night.