Well well well. I finally can post in the "live" show threads.
Tragically Evil Stefan is great. Genius plot twist (and well foreshadowed too) that should enliven the whole season. Taking Stefan out of the equation not only leaves the possibility of sparks between Damon and Elena (which is probably the producers' hidden agenda here) but more interesting for me, opens up the possibility that Damon will be forced to evolve beyond his mopey/snide persona and become a more complex character as well. I think this season will be the watershed for how both brothers are being portrayed. They've been kind of locked in their silos for the first two seasons.
Don't care about Klaus and his silly hybrid scheme. There's something about the guy, he lacks the gravitas to be a really chilling villain. Stefan is way scarier. Klaus just seems like a self-involved twit. I hope we don't have to have him around for the whole season.
Whatever happened to Katherine? Hopefully she scrammed and she can come back later in the season to be inevitably killed for good.
I like the Romeo & Juliet thing with Caroline and Tyler. No points for guessing that Klaus will inevitably threaten Tyler.
They need to come up with a more pro-active motivation for Alaric. Having him mope around and join other people's little schemes ain't cutting it anymore. He's a grownup surrounded by teenagers who are dealing with tragedy and danger. He really should be taking it on himself to be more, I dunno, in charge? I'd like to see him directly challenge Damon's approach to the Stefan problem, if for no other reason than that kind of stuff is great bromance fodder, which is the real reason Alaric's still alive while all the other adults have been falling like chaff.