How Dark Will ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Get in Season 4?

"The Vampire Diaries": Paul Wesley as Stefan, Nina Dobrev as Elena, Ian Somerhalder as Damon, and Kat Graham as Bonnie (Nino Muñoz/The CW)

How to preview the first two brilliant  episodes of “The Vampire Diaries” Season 4 without spoiling them? It’s almost as big a dilemma as how to become a vampire without drinking human blood. The twist and angst filled episodes will alternately have fans screaming in shock, crying, and laughing. This is a darker, more mature season as every character grapples with change and loss. But there’s still plenty of the romance, shirtlessness and hilarious quips that have made the show must see television for the past few years.  Watch the first minute of the season premiere, airing Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8/7c below, then read on to learn more.

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Vampire Elena Resets the Triangle: Last season ended with Elena (Nina Dobrev) becoming a vampire thanks to the one-two combo of Meredith (Torrey DeVitto) dosing her with vampire blood and Stefan rescuing her from a watery grave slightly too late. The first two episodes find her coming to grips with a fate she once declared worse than death. Given that becoming a vampire exaggerates a person’s human characteristics, Elena finds herself feeling everything way too deeply. She is determined not to hurt anyone. Elena’s transformation reboots the Stefan/Elena/Damon triangle, as the brothers clash on how to best help her transition, and Elena remembers everything Damon (Ian Somerhalder) compelled her to forget. Though she is more committed to Stefan than ever, she ends up sharing a very intimate experience with Damon.

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A New Mystic Falls Order: The premiere starts with a huge event that dramatically alters the power structure of Mystic Falls. It places most of the show’s main characters in jeopardy, especially Elana, who is in a physically vulnerable state. Just when you think you know where it’s going, the storyline takes a shocking 180 degree shift at the end of the first episode that absolutely no one will see coming. What happens will impact everyone’s lives and result in the introduction of two intriguing new characters.

Bonnie Goes Too Far: Bonnie (Kat Graham) began dabbling with dark magic last season. This year, determined to help her friends, she goes farther than she ever has before. The consequences are disastrous for both her and somebody that she loves.

Jeremy Gets Another Power: First he could see dead people. This season Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) develops a mysterious new power. Its significance is initially unclear, though it may be another form of his second sight.

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Klaus and Tyler: Two Hybrids, One Body: At  the end of last season, Klaus (Joseph Morgan)  took over Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) body in order to avoid being killed by the white oak stake. He soon finds that being Tyler has a few advantages — like having Caroline lust after him. But it soon becomes clear that looking like Tyler puts him in danger, and he takes drastic steps to regain his body. He finds one of his main ambitions is thwarted by a most unlikely adversary.

Matt Has Survivors Guilt: Matt (Zach Roerig) is alive and well thanks to Stefan saving his life before Elena’s. Now he blames himself for her becoming a vampire. His attempts to make things up to her leads to laughs when he teams up with Damon, who lets it be known that he would have let him die to help Elena out of a dangerous situation. Matt ends up proving himself to be the greatest friend ever when he makes a huge sacrifice for Elena.

Blasts from the Past: Two former characters that were thought to be gone from the show forever make brief returns. If the one that ends the second episode does not make you cry then you do not have a soul!

The Season 4 premiere of “The Vampire Diaries” airs on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8/7c on the CW.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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