September 10, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Things move fast in season 2: By the first commercial break, we’ll know the fates of Uncle John (David Anders) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). Katherine (Nina Dobrev, as Elena’s much older doppelgänger) has returned for Stefan (Paul Wesley), which makes Damon (Ian Somerhalder) feel ”slighted, jilted, embarrassed, pissed off, vengeful, furious, sarcastic, cynical, and all around as Damon as Damon can get,” says exec producer Julie Plec. Damon and Alaric (Matt Davis) reteam in episode 3 to study Isobel’s old research, and episode 4 is another flashback to 1864. Meanwhile, with the help of his uncle Mason (Taylor Kinney), Tyler (Michael Trevino) learns about his family’s werewolf curse — while Trevino learns about the joys of acting shirtless. ”Episode 2, they’re jogging,” says exec producer Kevin Williamson. ”It’s like we couldn’t have both of their shirts off in the same scene, so we gave Michael seniority. We figure Uncle Mason will get naked soon enough.” premiered SEPT. 9

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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