Theyâ€™re back â€“ and theyâ€™re not alone. The seductive characters of The Vampire Diaries return for a stunning 5-Disc 22-Episode Season Two. This time Elena, Stefan, Damon and the other residents of Mystic Falls are joined by sinister new blood. Released from the tomb, Katherine unleashes her personal brand of evil in a diabolical plot. The Originals â€“ the worldâ€™s oldest and most dangerous vampires â€“ hunt for Elena, who discovers she has a terrifying connection to their world. And now bloodsuckers arenâ€™t the only monsters in town. On moonlit nights, werewolves roam in search of victimsâ€¦including vampires, who succumb to a single werewolf bite. The Vampire Diaries: unending suspense, undying romance. When Mystic Falls welcomes some secretive new citizens, vampires end up squaring off against warlocks and werewolves in the second season of the CW's Vampire Diaries
. During the gothic horror-fantasy's first year, Elena (Nina Dobrev) also found out about Katherine, her blood-sucking look-alike (Dobrev excels in depicting these polar-opposite personalities). With Katherine back in the picture, Caroline (Candice Accola) joins the ranks of the undead, Damon (Ian Somerhalder of the overactive eyebrows) gets his anger back, and Tyler (Michael Trevino) learns about his lycanthrope legacy. That leaves Bonnie (Kat Graham), who joins forces with Damon, Stefan (Paul Wesley), and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) to track down a magical moonstone before Katherine and the Original vampires, who aim to destroy Elena to break a curse. Caroline's boyfriend, Matt (Zach Roerig), Elena's aunt, Jenna (Sara Canning), and Jenna's boyfriend, Alaric (Matt Davis), also get caught up in the supernatural skirmish.
If Tyler's Uncle Mason (Taylor Kinney) contributes to the hunk factor, werewolves don't always shake things up as much as intended, especially when Twilight got there first. The adherence to vampire mythology can also be a little lax, since this variant eats and drinks just like the living, which makes their blood lust seem more like caffeine addiction. Further, with so many pivotal relationships carrying over from the first season, the second can feel a little anticlimactic, even with charismatic new vampires, such as Rose (Lauren Cohan) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies), though the bond that develops between Bonnie and Jeremy helps to counteract the more gruesome bits of business. And don't get too attached to the principal cast, because one of them won't make it out alive. Extra features offer deleted scenes, a gag reel, and featurettes that explore the wolf transformation process, the split-screen sequences, and the complicated connections between characters. --Kathleen C. Fennessy