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1. You Will See Elena Evolve: Considering a person’s most defining trait is amplified when they become a vampire, you would expect Elena to be the most compassionate and self-sacrificing vamp ever, right? Wrong! “As I play her more and more as the episodes progress, her personality is changing and she’s constantly evolving,” Nina teases. “We’re going to see a side of Elena that’s going to surprise everyone…she walks a fine line, which is even more confusing for her, that’s why she’s even more conflicted with everything that she does and thinks and says. It’s like the worst PMS you can ever have; that’s what being a vampire is like for Elena at least. She’s just crazy and emotional and has cravings, except instead of craving a pint of ice cream, she craves a pint of blood.” In episode two, we’ll see her try ever flavor of blood: animal, blood-bag and the fresh-from-a-human kind (a human we all know and love, to be precise).
2. You Will Cry: We’re not going to spoil anything (because where’s the fun in that? Plus, we like our jobs!), but we were a big, crying, snotty mess by the end of episode two. Hint: It’s a Damon scene. (Also, the paper lanterns that come just before this scene definitely warmed up our tear ducts, just sayin’.)
3. You Will Be Intrigued by Jeremy’s Emerging Storyline: Elena’s little brother (Steven R. McQueen) will have a surprising connection to Connor (Todd Williams), the intense and lethal vampire hunter in town investigating the pastor’s death. Though new threats don’t tend to last long in Mystic Falls, trust us when we say Connor is no flash-in-the-pan hunter, dude is ruthless.
4. You Will See Stefan and Damon Hit the Campaign Trail: The campaign to lure Elena to their practice of blood-drinking that is. Stefan is determined to teach Elena the ways of the animal diet, while Damon insists its unrealistic for a new vampire to live off of woodland creatures. Alas, trouble arises when Elena’s body has a very weird (and gross) reaction to certain kinds of blood. “They have these fundamental differences,” Paul explains of Stefan and Damon. “It’s like Republicans and Democrats. Ian’s Mitt Romney. I’m Obama. He’s more like Paul Ryan. I’m Bill Clinton!” So how does Ian feel about this comparison? “If Paul fancies himself as Bill Clinton, then I will give that to him and I will be his Monica Lewinsky!”
5. You Will See a Return to Basics: Paul says that season four feels like a new beginning for the show. “I feel like towards the end of season three, there were so many events occurring and there was so much happening, I was starting to get confused myself,” he explains, “So it’s nice to sort of go back to like, OK, there’s an issue, this is the issue…it is sort of a restart in terms of a whole new plot-line, a whole new story.”