If you were at all worried about The Vampire Diaries having a sophomore slump, your fears can go away. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the season 2 premiere, “The Return,” and it is The Vampire Diaries at its best.

I’m not going to give away any major spoilers, and trust me, there are some big ones coming. Perhaps my favorite part of The Vampire Diaries is that every episode has major, game-changing events, and the season 2 premiere is no exception.

However, to get you excited before the premiere this Thursday at 8pm on the CW, here are five great things to look for.

Damon’s Moment of Realization

At the end of last season Damon kissed Katherine, though he thought he was kissing Elena. In the premiere Damon has a moment where he realizes the he fell victim to “doppelganger hijinks,” and the moment alone is worth the price of admission and proof that Ian Somerhalder is giving the performance of his career on this show.

Nina Dobrev as Katherine

I typically find Elena to be one of the more boring parts of The Vampire Diaries, but now that star Nina Dobrev gets to have some fun by playing Elena and Katherine, we get to see just how great she can be. Much like Somerhalder does with Damon, Dobrev sinks her teeth into the role of Katherine and makes me hope that she’ll be around for a long, long time.

Bad-Ass Bonnie

Towards the end of the first season Bonnie was becoming better and better as she expanded her witch powers, and now she’s definitely a formidable adversary for anyone she comes across, turning the token sidekick into someone not to be messed with.

What Damon Does

I can’t and won’t give away to much, but Damon does something at the end of the season 2 premiere that left me shocked. It’s certainly a great starting point for an interesting season and will have fans debating what he did and didn’t know.

“Game On”

You’ll know exactly what this means when you see the episode, but needless to say, the game is definitely on. These two simple words will have a very lasting effect for the rest of the season and will impact nearly every single character.

Overall, the season 2 premiere captures everything we loved about the first season of The Vampire Diaries. It’s fast-paced, sexy, a little inappropriately funny and truly shocking. Get ready for another amazing season that could be even better than the first.

(Image courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.