(Bob Mahoney/The CW)

(Bob Mahoney/The CW)

Mid-season recap.

The mayhem in Mystic Falls continued this year, though things got off on a different note from the first moments. Elena was saved and now a vampire. Although she has always kind of sucked, now she'd need blood to feast on and that was bound to cause some friction. With her feelings heightened, she couldn't fight her attraction for Damon for more than a few episodes. Since the feelings were so magnified, it makes you wonder how small they were in the first place and how much smaller than that her feelings for Stefan must have been. Of course, it wasn't just Elena registering emotions other than dismay, she was also sire bonded to Damon, making her his sex slave. In addition to upping the ante on the show's flagship triangle, this season has also provided a few added layers to its own vampire mythology.

Episode 1 - Growing Pains.

Klaus was trapped in Tyler and got his first taste of Caroline. Elena woke up a vampire and needed her first taste of blood. Not quite as traumatic as the sitcom after which the episode was named. Damon continued to be the vampire version of Kirk Cameron and Stefan continued to do his Alan Thicke impersonation. Grade: B.

Episode 2 - Memorial

We said goodbye to Alaric again. Matt got to go back to necking with Elena again (while her boyfriend watched in a church at gunpoint). And we met up with a new human character, the recently orphaned April, and the not-so-human hunter. Grade: B.

Episode 3 - The Rager.

Klaus was back in his old body and his sister was throwing parties. Bekah just couldn't get the sibling support or make any friends. Although she and the perpetually awkward April kind of got along. Klaus and Damon teamed up to torture Connor for information and Hayley continued her plot to exploit the other hybrids. Grade: B +

Episode 4 - The Five.

Flashback city. The tale of the five added yet another layer to the complicated mythology of the show. Brief Elijah sighting. Lots of bare chested men and Professor Shane got creepy with Bonnie. Grade: B +

Episode 5 - The Killer.

The killer was killed and Elena got her first taste of being a killer. These weren't the only convolutions. Caroline got caught up in the doomed hybrid revolution and Stefan and his brother plodded over what to do about Elena's raging lusts. Grade: B

Episode 6 - We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes.

After her first kill, Elena suffered hallucinations. If she'd been a normal Mystic Falls teenager and spent most of her time huffing gas, drinking Heine and popping ludes she may not have been so terrified. Stefan went on a crusade to cure her. Klaus, as usual, was the only character with something helpful to say. Keeping in character, Elena tried snuffing it and was saved again. She and Damon pulled closer and she dumped Stefan. Grade: B

Episode 7 - My Brother's Keeper.

The killer instinct started to overtake Jeremy and the sire bond started to overtake his sister... or was it love? Either way, she winded up in bed with Damon and Klaus was left wandering around town like a bored puppy. Grade: B

Episode 8 - We'll Always Have Bourbon Street

More flashbacks as the Salvatores went in search of a cure for Elena and bickered all the way. It became clear once again that Damon is actually the goody-two-shoes brother and just acts out to mask his sense of fraternal inferiority. Grade: B +

Episode 9 - O Come, All Ye Faithful.

Jer wanted to kill his sister. Shane and Bonnie teamed up to be the Mystic Falls version of Dr. Phil. The hybrid revolution failed and Klaus painted lonely snowflakes for charity. In a rather striking moment, Klaus coldly killed Carol as plastic snowflakes danced through the air. Grade: B +

When the new year rolls around, what do you want for the newly single Salvatore? Let us know by voting in the VD Poll: The Future Of Stefan.

Find out who Snow White may be executing on "Once Upon A Time" in our Primetime TV Spoilers. And there are even more Soap Opera Polls for you to vote in.

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- Matt Purvis