S2E12: Just when you think you’ve got The Vampire Diaries all figured out, the show goes and unravels everything. This week delivered a few expected paths, like Stefan continuing on his seemingly heartless mission and Damon being just a little proud of his ballsy smooch from last week. We also knew that there was no way Bonnie was going to make any progress with that coffin – the storyline can't speed along too quickly and Caroline’s birthday and Stefan’s sudden urgent vendetta are just the plotlines to do the job. We need to spend some time being frustrated with this conundrum so that when they inevitably get that coffin open, it will be that much more satisfying. These are the rules of melodrama and The Vampire Diaries plays by those rules oh-so well. It’s the reason we’re all so hopelessly hooked.
“Here lies Caroline Forbes.” –Caroline
Tyler maintains that he can’t control or change his sire bond to Klaus. But he makes a point of telling Caroline how sorry he is that he can’t be that dedicated to her and hands her his birthday gift: a charm bracelet with charms representing all her favorite things about high school. It’s a heartbreaking scene, but it happens first in the episode, so we know that’s not all. If only we could have seen what was coming, but we’ll get to that.
This moment puts Caroline in a terrible mood as does the fact that while it’s technically her 18th birthday, she’s undead and she’ll actually be 17 forever – a year she calls a “filler” year. Elena, Bonnie and Matt surprise her with a cake and everything, but she’s not having it, so they take her to the Falls where they hold a birthday funeral to say goodbye to the pre-vampire Caroline so she can come to terms with being practically immortal. Of course, she’s still not over Tyler, so she’s texting him the entire time, unaware that Klaus commanded him to bite her. (Remember that bit about werewolf bites killing vamps? Hybrid bites work that way too.) Tyler still has some free will, so he tells Klaus he won’t do it, but when he meets with Caroline in the woods, it seems that sire bond is even more powerful than he ever thought. As they begin passionately kissing, he bites her. He looks stunned as if he didn’t know he had done it – and here I was thinking he was returning to his hard-headed Season One ways. He was exaggerating about this whole bond thing.
“I could have a better life there.” –Jeremy
“That’s exactly what Elena said.” –Bonnie
Bonnie is just now finding out about Jeremy leaving and that Elena asked Damon to compel Jeremy to do it. She’s not so happy about it, mostly because she thinks it’s wrong that they would make that choice for him – but let’s be real, it’s also because she has some serious unresolved issues with him and no one likes to have a resolution like that taken out from under them. Still, from a storyline standpoint, Jeremy has got to go.
The fact that Bonnie gets so angry really starts to make Elena question her decision, but she decides to go through with it. She’s lost her parents (biological and the ones that raised her); she lost her Aunt Jenna to Klaus’ ritual; and she lost Stefan to his Klaus-induced depravity. She can’t stand to lose anyone else, so she decides to put protecting Jeremy before letting him make his own decisions. But would any of us have done anything differently? Probably not. In the end, Bonnie concedes and tells Jeremy goodbye. It seems she’s still frustrated but understands the need to keep loved ones safe. (And once again, from a storyline point of view, she needs a new man.)
During all of this Alaric is nowhere to be found, but my guess is that it’s because he’s too busy defending Meredith Fell from her ex boyfriend and finding out that she’s a member of the council – who he just happened not to notice for the past year. We hear Meredith talking to her old boyfriend about some experimental procedure, but we’re left there when the mood shifts so she can flirt with Alaric. Oh, except for that bit at the end of the episode when Dr. Fell’s non-vampire ex winds up dead with a stake in his heart. I know this is supposed to be a big deal, but I don’t think it will feel that way until we get more information.
“Crazy or not, that kind of love never dies.” –Klaus
Let me just say, from the getgo, that I’m really happy that Klaus is no longer this seemingly untouchable demon. When he was first introduced, he was without flaws. He bested everyone and every single one of our characters was terrified to be in the same room with him. Now, he’s becoming a real character – even sounding more sane (and at the end of the episode even more tender) at times than Stefan. Then again, Stefan really seems to have gone off the deep end, though thankfully we still see flickers that show he may still have one foot gingerly remaining on the human side of things. Not at first though.
He’s decided to really test Klaus’ hold and he says he doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. In fact, when he goes to Klaus to tell him to make his hybrids leave, he threatens to dump Elijah in the Arctic to which Klaus replies he’d be happy to let his brother go in exchange for taking Damon’s life. Stefan claims he doesn’t care. Klaus is running out of people to make Stefan feel the pain, which is why he tries to get Tyler to kill Caroline – she and Stefan were close once. But if he’s not stopping for Damon or Elena, he won’t stop for Caroline.
Klaus tries another method: he bribes Carol Lockwood with a hefty check and the promise that he’ll protect Tyler and the town and that the council will leave vampires alone. There’s one big catch: Damon’s got to stop Stefan from killing all Klaus’ hybrids. He doesn’t have to because Stefan has another plan. He kidnaps Elena and tells Klaus he’s going to kill her if he doesn’t call of his hybrids. The old Stefan would have played a trick with Elena in on the whole thing, but this time, it seems that he might actually be serious. Klaus doesn’t believe that Stefan would really do it because he saw how much he loved Elena, but between Damon’s pleas that Stefan has lost his mind and the fact that Klaus didn’t count on Stefan feeding Elena his blood so he could kill her without killing her, Klaus says he’ll get rid of the hybrids.
Stefan stops the car, but Elena is still reeling. He was about to take away her choice – the one they had discussed at length when they were in love – and he was about to do it on the bridge where her parents died, where he saved her life. He explains that he knew Klaus would break or he wouldn’t have done it and that he’s made it his mission to kill Klaus because he has nothing left. She says he had her, but he insists that he lost her when he left town capping off this heartbreaking scene with “I don’t really care what you think of me.” And even though we’re disposed to dismiss the things Stefan says lately, I think there’s a little more weight to these words. As soon as Stefan left town, Elena nursed Damon back to health and they proceeded to spend every waking moment together from that point on. Let’s not also forget that up until Stefan left with Klaus, Damon’s love for Elena had been making Stefan fairly jealous. Now let’s put it all together: could it be that Stefan doesn’t care what Elena thinks because he knows in his heart that she’s falling for his brother? (This is just my theory, feel free to refute it.)
Of course, the principle of delayed gratification dictates that we can’t jump from one Salvatore boyfriend to another, so Elena asks Damon not to kiss her again and he says he understands – it’s not right…now. Damnit, more waiting for these two.
“You can have a thousand more birthdays. All you have to do is ask.” –Klaus
While Elena is coming to terms with her existence as “a girl who falls in love with vampires” and says goodbye to her old self, Caroline isn’t quite ready to part with her human self. Plus, thanks to Tyler’s bite, she’s lying in bed dying. And it’s not Elena’s blood that saves her, but Klaus’. First he switches to being genuinely tender and sweet, sharing his own feelings about first accepting his never-ending life. He tells her of all the wonderful things she can see now that she’s got all the time in the world to do it, convincing her of the beauty of immortality. She takes the bait and drinks his blood, only to wake up to a present from Klaus: an exquisite bracelet that puts Tyler’s to shame. I did not see that coming. In fact, when I heard that Klaus would get a love interest, I thought it must be a ruse to throw us off the scent. It couldn’t possibly be anyone already on the show, right? Wrong. Caroline couldn’t be with a guy sired to Klaus, but now, she’s made a genuine connection with the villain himself. Please, please don’t let this agonizing storyline be solved too quickly. It’s too wickedly strange and potentially messy - two things that spell a whole lot of fun for a series like this.
What did you think of the episode? Did you see the Caroline/Klaus thing coming? Do you think Stefan knows Elena loves Damon? Do you think he believes she loves Damon more than she loves or loved him? Let me know in the comments or find me on Twitter! @KelseaStahler