Credit: Annette Brown/The CW


As our Vampire Diaries withdrawal continues, all fans have to obsess over are episode descriptions, promos, and photos for 2010’s remaining episodes, the Dec. 2 return, and the Dec. 9 midseason cliffhanger. Watch the promo for the first hour, “The Sacrifice,” below. Elena doesn’t want the others to continue risking their lives to save her, so she comes up with her own plan. Jeremy tries to help Bonnie retrieve the moonstone from Katherine, and, we’re guessing, gets a little too close to her and Stefan must come to his rescue. Alaric finally gets naked. And yet, it’s the Dec. 9 synopsis — and accompanying photos — that we find most intriguing…

In “By the Light of the Moon,” the full moon approaches, which means Tyler will be transforming. That exec producer Julie Plec had already filled us in on. We also already knew that Damon and Alaric will rekindle their bromance — turns out it’s to investigate the arrival of Jules (guest star Michaela McManus, pictured), who shows up in Mystic Falls searching for her missing friend, Mason, and, possibly, a shirt that covers her bra. (Actually, I dig that she dresses sexier than the younger ladies on the show, and should she turn out to be a werewolf, like Mason, it would make sense that her body runs hot and she wears as little as possible.)

What I like about these two photos of her is 1) We can’t tell what’s behind that smile of Damon’s. Is it him welcoming her to town, pretending to be genuine; him toasting her because she’s as big a flirt as he is; or him being a smartass and the toast is “Game on”? 2) She’s talking to Matt. Is that just because he’s on the clock at The Grill, or could he fall for the older woman, which, if she is a werewolf, could get very interesting? Clearly, I’m hoping for the latter, because I want to see more of Zach Roerig, and a game of Matt in the Middle would get him some more screentime. Even though Caroline set Matt free, she would be jealous, and her desire to figuratively kill Jules could become literal since wolves and vamps are mortal enemies. Fun!

When we chatted with Plec earlier this month, she explained the challenges of writing for Matt and Aunt Jenna, the two characters on the show who are still in the dark about the existence of vampires: “On a big picture level, you want to have human characters who don’t know things because it keeps your world grounded. It keeps a reality that’s hard to hold onto when everybody’s in the know about everything. The downside of that is the characters who don’t know often get marginalized because there’s so much to do with the characters that are in that world. So you can occasionally get a good story out of the danger of someone finding out or the suspicion, but it doesn’t really lend itself, as well as we’d like it to, to hefty story lines,” she said. “Our challenge is, how can we use Jenna in stronger ways, so that the fact that she’s oblivious is helping us with our storytelling and with her relationship with Alaric? How can we build a story out of Matt being stuck between wanting to be with Caroline but becoming very suspicious of the friendship that’s been brewing between Caroline and Tyler? We love those characters [Matt and Jenna]. Everyday, we say this should be the episode where Jenna finds out just so she can finally get a good storyline, and then we have to talk ourselves off of that because the impact of that for the series is a little bit scary. Who knows? It could happen two episodes from now, or two seasons from now. It’s hard to say.”

Do you agree that Matt starting a relationship with Jules — whether it’s real, or she’s just using him — could be an interesting direction? If you want to see more of Matt and Aunt Jenna, what story lines would you give them?

And P.S., what do you make of this synopsis tease for the Dec. 9 episode: “Elijah (guest star Daniel Gillies) makes an unexpected appearance with an offer that could change everything.” What could that possibly be? (If that’s anything from the book series, start your comment with the phrase BOOK SPOILER, folks.)

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The Vampire Diaries

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

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