'The Vampire Diaries' Season 3: What to expect, and what we're hoping for

tvd-damon-elena-descent.jpgLast night's spine-tingling Season 2 finale of "The Vampire Diaries" gave us a little bit of everything we love about the show. There were flashbacks to 1864, complete with corsets and frolicking. There was romance in the most unexpected places and a deliciously dark downward spiral. Tears, gunshots, bites, death, magic, mayhem, and laughter -- we couldn't ask for more!

Okay, so maybe we can, because The CW has confirmed that Season 3 is a go. Of course, the renewal comes as absolutely no surprise given the fact that "The Vampire Diaries" is the highest rated show on the network.

So what can we expect when the series returns? More awesomeness, we're sure. Executive producer Julie Plec tells TV Line's Meg Masters that the jaw-dropper ending, in which a newly back from the dead Jeremy ( Steven R. McQueen) was reunited with his two dead vampire ex-girlfriends, was orchestrated as a way to bring Kayla Ewell and Malese Jow back into the "TVD" fold.

"So, when we start thinking of how we can bring back people that we love, and how can we give the audience the gift of seeing them again, that started spinning lots of ideas around, and we landed on this one pretty early. We're really excited about it," Plec says.

It sounds like we're guaranteed to spend some time with the returning faves next season as Jeremy navigates the "consequences" of his witchy reanimation.

"The Vampire Diaries" writers haven't quite broken Season 3 yet, so details on what's to come are scarce. But in case they're looking for ideas (which we highly doubt, as there seems to be no shortage of brilliance in that writers room) we have some hopes for what we'll see for our favorite characters next year.

Elena: Elena ( Nina Dobrev) has been put through the ringer this season when it comes to loss, and to add insult to injury, her boyfriend has just skipped town to go on a possible murder spree with the man who killed her aunt. We think it's high time that we see a little bit of Elena's dark side. We're not expecting her to go full Katherine or anything, but how long can you remain sweet and optimistic when nothing good ever happens to you? We think Elena has earned the right to be a little mad at the world. Plus, adding a rough edge to our heroine may make her better suited for a potential romance with resident bad-boy...

Damon: We're looking forward to exploring the repercussions of that kiss. Was it sympathy? Was it goodbye? Or was it genuine attraction? If we're wondering about Elena's intentions, chances are Damon ( Ian Somerhalder) is, too. We also hope that Damon plays the most significant role in Stefan's inevitable intervention. The tables have turned, and now Stefan is the "bad" brother - but that doesn't mean Damon's got to be Mr. Nice Guy. When he finds out what Stefan sacrificed for him, we're pretty sure he'll be hell-bent on ripping Klaus limb for limb.

Stefan: We don't think Stefan is a lost cause, but the season finale proved that the bloodthirsty side of him will never completely go away. His virtue is undeniable, but it's a surface thing. Stefa has been a righteous character for too long. We hope that his darkness doesn't get cleared up in the season premiere. Blood junkie Stefan gives Paul Wesley a chance to show off his immensely underrated skills. Plus, he's just more interesting this way. A guy can only go so long being loyal and strong and selfless before he snaps.

Jeremy: Last season, we were left wondering whether Jeremy would survive his suicidal attempt to become a vampire. This summer, we're once again wondering about little bro's fate. The witches told Bonnie that we'd see consequences, because she abused their power when she brought him back to life -- but are the consequences for her or for him? Was Jeremy brought back wrong? We've seen that in the last few episodes, Jeremy has felt relatively helpless when it comes to the supernatural world. Maybe his new companions - be they ghosts, hallucinations, zombies, or whatever - will help him be more integral to the plot.

Bonnie: We've made no secret of being underwhelmed by Bonnie's ( Kat Graham) character development in Season 2, so we're hoping that she becomes more three-dimensional in Season 3. We'd love to see what her life is like at home and who her parents are, and just to get a general sense of who she is and what's important to her outside of the Gilbert family. We're also curious as to whether Bonnie is still carrying the power of the hundred dead witches, or whether she burnt that out in her confrontation with Klaus. We also think she should get a talking black cat. (Just checking to see if you're paying attention...)

Tyler: Remember when Tyler ( Michael Trevino) and Jeremy were friends? Once upon a time he had scenes with people other than Caroline, and as much as we love that blossoming romance, we'd love to see that reluctant alliance between Tyler and Jeremy emerge again. Jeremy is in need of a guy friend who isn't his history teacher or in love with his sister, and these two can relate on several different levels. Hopefully, we'll also see Tyler develop a more effective way of chaining himself up. The Lockwoods are rich. Can't they build him a high-security doghouse or something? Of course, then Carol would have to learn the family secret, but given the fact that she already has the vampires' number, it won't be long before she figures out she's spawned a monster of her own.

Caroline: Romance, romance, romance. Let's face it -- Caroline ( Candice Accola) has chemistry with everyone on this show. While it seems like she and Matt have run their (extremely mercurial) course, there's still plenty to explore with Tyler. She's probably going to need some time to get over Boy Wonder, but if that extremely touching shirtless scene has any bearing, we're sure Tyler will happily help her deal with that particular obstacle. We're also not ruling out the possibility of her and Stefan connecting on a deeper level once he's off the sauce. Their scenes together were amongst our favorites.

Matt: With Vicki's reappearance in Jeremy's life, we hope that the show doesn't miss the opportunity to further explore Matt's ( Zach Roerig) feelings about his sister's death. While he made his feelings very clear about the supernatural world, he's still in Mystic Falls, so there's really no avoiding it. The executive producers have made it clear that Matt's parents may not have been entirely human, and even though Melinda Clarke is busy with Nikita, we've got our fingers crossed for a return appearance. Plus, we don't want Matt to stay away from our friendly monsters for too long, because we'd love to see Katherine's little lust-crush on him explored. He could totally work out any lingering feelings for Elena with her, too. Just sayin'.

Alaric:
After his completely adorable moments in the season finale, our only wish for Rick is for more of him. He was pretty useless this season, and that didn't do justice to Matt Davis's talent or to the character developed in Season 1. It's time to see him kick some ass as the learned vampire hunter he is, and we've got our fingers crossed that he'll move in with the Gilbert kids to play dad now that Jenna's gone.

Your turn! Take to the comments section below and tell us what you hope will happen for your favorite "TVD" character in September!
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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