Here's the moment in last night's Vampire Diaries where I jumped out of my seat and cheered. Finally, somebody got proactive! And it was the character you least expect to be badass. Spoilers ahead...

I yield to no-one in my love of The Vampire Diaries, but last night's midseason premiere was curiously flat — not a great example of the show at its best, honestly. The new "Stefan has Klaus' coffins and Klaus wants them back" subplot is off to a slow start, and once again Elena's friends are all hostage-y. It feels like territory the show has trodden many times before, with the main wrinkle being that Stefan is now a dick.

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But the clip above made it all worthwhile — so Jeremy has reverted to being an underachieving loser (and for some reason, Matt isn't around to be a good influence). And he's spending lots of time with Klaus' main bitch, Tyler Lockwood. When Klaus doesn't get the coffins containing his suspended relatives fast enough, he arranges a demonstration of his seriousness, with Tyler's help — Jeremy gets almost run over by a pick-up truck driven by a random hybrid.

So it's kind of refreshing, later in the episode, when Jeremy finally turns the tables and slices off the head of the hybrid who tried to kill him earlier on. There's really not enough random decapitation in this show.

Of course, afterwards, everybody has to mope about how terrible it is that Jeremy decapitated a hybrid, and how this just proves that Jeremy's not getting to have a good life, and so on. Nobody ever looks at Jeremy and says, "Hey, good job, dude. You should decapitate monsters more often." Instead, they get in such a tizzy about protecting Jeremy from having to be a head-lopping monster-killer, that they take extreme measures. First Elena gives Klaus his sister back. And then Elena gets Damon to mind-control Jeremy into moving to Denver.

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(Symbolically, Damon's act of messing with Jeremy's head finally makes everybody forget that last season, he broke Jeremy's neck — and thus, Damon is finally able to get nookie with Elena, who looks like a stoned rabbit the whole time.)

Oh, and meanwhile, Alaric dies — again! — and it's clear his ring isn't up to the job of resurrecting him any more. (Why the ring would protect against being hit with a pick-up truck is sort of a separate question. Pick-up trucks don't become supernatural, just because a supernatural being is driving them.) And Alaric meets a hot doctor who's clearly supposed to be his new love interest.

Also, Tyler is clearly going to start rethinking this whole "being Klaus' bitch" thing. Bonnie has a convenient series of dreams which ties in with Stefan's coffins, and hopefully points the way to an actual advancement of the plot. Stefan is still being a total dick, even though he clearly has emotions and stuff. He's just being bitter and pissy, because he should have just let Damon kill Klaus when he had the chance — and then helped Damon fight off the vengeful hybrids afterwards.

Oh, and now Damon and Stefan are in cahoots once more, which means that the "halved brainpower whenever two Salvatores are together" factor is again in play.

All in all, this was a slightly disappointing start to the spring episodes — pretty much every episode last fall was so amazing, I'm probably holding this show to too high a standard. But there was not nearly enough "I can't believe that just happened" and too much "I can't believe that's still happening." Which probably only means that next week's episode will be twice as mind-rattling.