So “Vampire Diaries” is back, and not a moment too soon. There are so many loose ends that need tying, what with that moonstone and ancient curses and dead werewolves and the like. Luckily, “VD” keeps things simple this time out, just in case you’ve been busy and had to reallocate the valuable brain space you once used for keeping your werewolves, witches and vampires straight for something like, oh, algebra or the intricacies of your data plan. But just in case you’ve forgotten, new girl in town/werewolf tried to kill Damon but bit Rose instead, vampire Caroline is torn between werewolf Tyler and nice boy Matt and Elena is generally a big, mopey bore. Caught up? Good! Let’s get to it.

[Recap of Thursday's (Jan. 27) "Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

Jules, having been stabbed by sulky-but-secretly soulful vampire Damon, wakes up naked in the woods looking like she’s been eating raw hamburger. And yet her hair is amazing. No bed head or anything! And then we find out she’s eaten some campers, so I’m even more impressed. Really, she looks amazingly put together given she’s transitioned from werewolf to human plus taken out a bunch of innocent victims. Nice work. Anyway, a sheriff’s deputy arrives to save the day, so Jules kills him. Jules is either ruthlessly efficient or the change gives her the monster munchies.
 
In other news, Elena wants to get it on with Stefan, but this being the CW and not Skinemax, he breaks the mood just in time by telling her he’s thinking of taking bad girl vampire Katherine’s advice to find Isobel so he can ask some questions. But Elena doesn’t want Stefan to get hurt! She doesn’t want anyone to get hurt! That’s why she’s making herself Klausbait for original vampire Elijah, so she can make sure the undead she loves most won’t be hurt. And then she pouts adorably, because Elena is just such a sweetie. Personally, I bet Nina Dobrev can’t wait to play Katherine just to get the icky, mopey sugariness of Elena out of her system.
 
Rose, whose werewolf bite from Jules is not healing up so well, informs us she is 560 years old and not afraid to die. Damon tries to reassure her, but tells Elena he’s lying to the old bag because she’s bumming him out. Elena makes big, sad, black velvet painting puppy dog eyes at Damon, because she knows he’s not really such a meany-weenie.
 
Time for some tortured teen romance, wheee! Tyler and Caroline are all cutesy with one another. It’s so cute when your guy buddy tries to bite through his chains and break through a wall to eat you, then totally doesn’t! Wow! She informs Tyler she’s super proud of him for not trying to eat her, as that would kill her. Tyler is shocked, yes, shocked to learn that werewolf bites can hurt vampires, but before he can explore this issue further, Matt shows up. Matt can’t express himself well. So, he just kisses Caroline, because that’s easier than talking. And she can’t! She can’t! She must run away, because he tastes delicious!
 
Meanwhile, Rose is getting worse. And delusional. Which is inconvenient, as she keeps thinking Elena is Katherine and wants to tear her face off. Of course, Damon thought it would be a good idea to let Elena babysit Rose by herself. I hope she’s making more than minimum wage for this gig. Luckily, Rose has moments of clarity, which she uses to tell Elena she’s a punk ass bitch for just laying down for Elijah. Then she throws up blood and begs Elena not to be scared of her. Really, Rose? Really?
 
Alaric, the expositional device, I mean, vampire hunter, gets Isobel’s number for Stefan. Stefan leaves a message. This is about as much of Stefan as we’re going to see this episode for some reason. I guess it just makes it that much easier for Rose to eat Elena if her boyfriend’s slinging back beers at the bar and making phone calls.
 
Damon claims to not care that Rose is turning into a senile nutjob eating blood packets in the basement, but he really does. He tells Jules he’s going to kill her unless she tells him how he can cure Rose. Jules tells Damon to get bent, as there is no cure short of plunging a stake through Rose’s heart. Hmm, I see a big, dramatic moment coming, don’t you?
 
Matt, who thought he was a pretty darn good kisser, finally tracks Caroline down to ask her what her damage is, as her reaction to a really good kiss is to get watery eyes and run away like Bambi from a hunter. Caroline tells him she loves him! But she can’t! She can’t!
 
As expected, Rose goes batcrap nuts and decides to eat Elena, who really should consider jobs other than vampire babysitting in the future. So, she chases Elena around the house and Elena exposes her to light and she screams and oh my GOD I’ve seen this in every single vampire movie ever. Elena finally barricades herself behind a door and Rose decides to make herself feel better by going down to the local high school to puke and eat a janitor. For dessert, she eats some teenagers. Luckily, Damon shows up and she conveniently snaps out of crazy mode and admits that she hates killing people. This would be more moving if she didn’t have blood all over her teeth. She looks like she lost her mind at a Brazilian steakhouse or something. Anyway, Rose begs Damon to make it stop. Which is vampirese for “Kill me now, I’m so over this.” But Damon, being a big marshmallow softy, picks Rose up and carries her home. And I’m pretty sure he ruins his shirt doing it.
 
In the increasingly tiresome Tyler-Caroline-Matt triangle, Tyler now needs to talk to Caroline. He needs to know why she’d risk her life to be with him. He doesn’t understand her. She cares about him! And he kisses her. And she’s, like, so tired of people kissing her all the time, because she can’t! She can’t! Maybe Tyler and Matt could get together, because I’m getting really bored with Caroline being such a downer on this episode.
 
So, Damon hijacks Rose’s dream and takes her to her old hometown, where she wears bright blue dresses and has long hair and plays with ponies. Life was sweet five hundred years ago in England! Who knew? Anyway, she’s not afraid anymore, and she’s looking forward to seeing her family and Trevor and I’m guessing she’s not really thinking about anyone she ate before she discovered plasma banks, but that’s fine. Damon then stabs her in the heart so he doesn’t have to race with her or listen to how happy she is to cross over. Rose dies and a single handsome tear trickles down Damon’s cheek.  
 
It’s a nice moment, but then Damon shoves Rose’s body in the trunk of his car so he can show her off to Liz and offer to bury her. Aww, what a nice guy!
 
Jules meets with Tyler and tells him she wants to be friends, as that’s what Mason would have wanted. And then she tells him Mason is dead, Caroline and her little vampire friends are to blame, and adds that Tyler’s a big, dumb moron for not realizing Caroline is not the only vampire in town. Jules can help Tyler. And she hopes Tyler will help her kill Caroline. This might be a problem for Tyler, what with the loving Caroline and all.

Elena takes her big, weepy eyes over to Damon and Stefan’s house because she wants to help Damon feel. She is one step away from making Damon sit down on the sofa and watch Nora Ephron movies and Dr. Phil reruns. Luckily, Damon tells Elena he doesn’t like to feel. Feeling hurts! And then he tells Elena to stop being such a wimp by doing what Elijah wants. He tells her to go home, but first she gives him a big hug. Aww, that’s all a mean old vampire really needs, right? That and blood, but still, it’s a start.
 
Stefan appears, much to Elena’s surprise. Because she thought he wasn’t getting paid to appear in this episode, I guess. Anyway, he tells Elena he called Isobel. And Uncle John came over. Elena looks pukey, which is a nice change from the big puppy dog eye thing, honestly.
 
Apparently Elena’s big hug has given Damon an existential crisis. For Damon, that means eating a girl after scaring the crap out of her. Those wacky vampires!
 
Do you think Caroline should pick Tyler or Matt? Were you sad to see Rose go? And do you think Elena needs to man up already?