Vampire Diaries: Kill or Be Killed

“You’re just being a good friend.”

Our Theme of the Week is friendship: Damon’s friendship with the Sheriff, Caroline’s friendship with Elena, Jeremy’s burgeoning relationship with Tyler Lockwood. Even Mason Lockwood’s friendship-with-benefits with Katherine, Stefan’s brotherhood with Damon, and Elena’s friendly soulmate-ship with Stefan are examples of the different ways people can express their devotion and loyalty to one another.

Much has been made of the death of friendship in the past fifteen years. Even before Facebook gave people hundreds of “friends” they barely knew, books like Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone argued that America was losing its sense of real friendship, a pair or grouping of people who genuinely care about one another, and take care of each other. Instead, we have wide circles of acquaintances, but very few real friends. I think that’s part of the appeal of shows like this: the threat of the other (vampires, werewolves, grown ups) shows our heroes exactly who their friends are, and in watching, we get to feel like a part of the group, too.

I’d like to be a part of Caroline’s group. That girl is seriously scary when she wants to be: she didn’t think twice about kicking Mason’s ass when he threatened Elena. I particularly loved that she kicked him in the groin, as it was such a Caroline-style move: no weird rules of fair-play for her, just taking her opponent down. She was even scarier in the slave quarters, with the zooming and the fruit punch mouth.

That scariness was also Caroline picking sides. She didn’t think twice about outing herself to her mother to save Stefan and Damon (which also means saving Elena’s relationship). She even killed two deputies to save two vampires. Later, when Elena asked Caroline whom Katherine had threatened, I wanted Caroline to say that it was her mother. But that’s the easy way out—a threat to her mother wouldn’t be the most effective threat, and pretending that it would be would overwrite all the tension in Caroline’s and Liz’s relationship.

Poor Sheriff Liz really had a terrible week. She tries to bond with her daughter, and winds up finding out that Damon (who just might be her closest friend) is a vampire, as is her daughter. Damon has consistently cared about Liz, and—before the revelations—even tried to prod Caroline into treating her better. Liz went along with the compulsion-plan pretty quickly. I wonder if she really does want to forget just to forget, not just to save her own life. (And she did beg to be killed, too.) She wants to protect her town, but she also hates that her friendship with Damon was a lie, at least as she sees it, and that she’s lost her daughter.

Caroline also outed her secret relationship with Katherine to Elena. That didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but it did affirm Caroline’s choice of friends over family, and even friends at cost to her own safety (and possibly Matt’s). (Yes, I’m using the metaphor of coming out intentionally. Sheriff Liz’s husband left her when he outed himself, and she has to be viewing Damon’s and Caroline’s revelations in that light.)

Tyler Lockwood, on the other hand, chose family over himself. Or did he? He didn’t think that his uncle was there to take care of him, but he did give him the moonstone. Meanwhile, he and Jeremy are playing at grownups by retiring to the study for brandies and cigars while the womenfolk play outside. Jeremy and Tyler are such a weird pairing. I’m happy to see more Jeremy, but can’t we fit him in better than that?

I figured out that the guy who tried to beat up Mason was acting under compulsion as it was happening, and it was just a short logical leap to suspecting Katherine was behind it. I didn’t expect that she was looking for the moonstone, though. I wonder if it’s a mystical device. Of course it is. This is The Vampire Diaries.

Caroline and Liz weren’t the only ones who sacrificed, either. Stefan is going back on the hard stuff in the most agonizing way: just a bit of human blood to make himself stronger. Elena is feeding him. That can’t end well. Nor can even more people knowing about the secret plan to fool Katherine end well. Really, none of this can end well. Oh, no!

Bites:

• Caroline: “You’re going to pretend to be a mother?”
Sheriff Liz: “I’ll bring my gun if it gets rough.”

• Damon: “I don’t want peace.”
Stefan: “Well, consider it opposite day.”

• Damon: “You and Elena don’t fight. Especially not over me.”

• Damon [to lemonade girl]: “Thank you, sweetie.” Not a lot of vampires would have the confidence to use the word “sweetie.”

• Caroline: “I can take you.”
Mason: “Wanna bet?”
Caroline: “Yeah, I do.” Did everyone else think of Buffy, too?

• Caroline: “Damon’s right. If there’s ever a time to break your diet…”

• Caroline: “Get some bunny in you?” This was such a Caroline line.

• Liz: “My daughter’s gone.”
Damon: “You have no idea how wrong you are about that.”

• Elena: “What you did for Caroline’s mom? That’s the Damon who was my friend.”

• I didn’t include all the friendship quotes. There were just too many of them.

And Pieces:

• Continuity error: Caroline fed on the deputies, but weren’t the deputies on vervain?

• After all the bluster of last season’s mystical devices, it was nice to see a technique as simple as spiking the punch bowl used as a vampire detection device.

• I was sort of impressed by Paul Wesley when he decided to drink human blood.

• That huge Salvatore house, that used to be a rooming house, and Caroline gets stuck on the couch?

• It looks like VD won’t return until Thursday the 21st.

Three and a half out of four glasses of evil lemonade. (I’m deducting half a point for too much Tyler and not any Alaric.)

(Screencap courtesy of vampire-diaries.net. Thanks!)

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

11 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Caroline did nothing for me in season one, but she absolutely rocked in this episode. I like her now. Making her a vampire was a terrific move; she makes a great vamp.

Josie -- your review rocks, too.

Mark Greig said...

Last season Caroline was someone who constantly got on my nerves the most and yet now she’s practically my favourite character. After Damon and Katherine, that is.

Speaking of Katherine, it's clear now that Lucrezia Borgia’s got nothing on her. I guessed from the start that Mason’s friend must’ve been compelled by Katherine. Not that they were working together, however, that caught me by surprise. Does Katherine want the moonstone because it gives her the power to control werewolves? I figure Katherine is hiding from someone, more than likely another vampire (her maker maybe?) and having her own vamp killing pet could no doubt prove useful.

Another terrific review, Josie. Keep up the great work.

Enid said...

Josie, I love your reviews too. I have to agree I'd want to be part of Caroline's group too. She was a force to be reckoned with. I know there are some who don't like the Tyler and Jeremy pairing, but for some reason it doesn't bother me. Oddly enough, I find their pairing more interesting than Tyler and Matt.

At first I thought maybe the council and Sheriff stopped taking it because they thought the vampires were gone, but the again Liz had vervain in her blood so that didn't add up. So nice catch on the deputies and the vervain issue.

@Mark I also wonder if there is another vamp in the wings controlling the strings. Katherine is diabolical but she had to have learned from someone.

I can't wait for the 21st to see what happens.

Paul Kelly said...

I kind of got it into my head that the moonstone brings people back from the dead. That way, Tyler chucking that girl down the stairs resulted in her death... the moonstone brought her back to life (was it in his pocket?)... and Tyler will be wolfing out next week.

Pretty feeble theory I know. In fact, if I were a writer for the show the fan community would probably be booing my crappy ass plotting right now.

◊◊◊ Heather♦Elaine ◊◊◊ said...

This is just a guess, but I feel like the moonstone might allow Mason to change into a wolf whenever he wants, either that or stop the change during the full moon. I think that would make the wolf thing more interesting.

Alex said...

Not ONLY did I think of Buffy too during the Caroline scene in the woods but it also reminded me I'd read some chatter on the net Candice Accola wanted/or was discussing the role in the Whedon-less remake. I have to admit, if they are really going through with that atrocity, it would be interesting to consider Accola in the role, no?

Patryk said...

Maybe they eased on the vervain after they supposedly burned all vamps in last seasons finale.

topher darling said...

Go Caroline!

I started watching this show only because the reviews would pop up frequently on this site and so far you all have not steered me wrong with TV choices. I watched the first episode months ago, convinced myself that I couldn't continue but I braved through it due to winter break at school. Now I'm probably going to fail one of my winter quarter classes because I can't stop!

Although it's the only TV show I won't admit to people that I watch, it's very very well done. In fact, this episode won me over in such a way that I am outing myself here on this site as a VD fan!

It's the details that get to me. I love the tension between the love interests and intentions of the main cast members but it's clear that the writers have also put a lot of thought into Caroline. One thing that stood out to me was that she broke up with Matt. I've only watched up to this episode so I'm not sure if it's true but she stated that Kathryn threatened Matt and Caroline earlier ran up to Matt to do exactly what she knew would make him mad: she threw a jealous fit. Basically, she did what Stefan and Elena were pretending to do. Way to take a throw-away shallow blonde character (who initially reminded me of how much I disliked Shannon from LOST) and make her one of the most fascinating characters on the show!

Josie Kafka said...

Topher darling, it only gets better.

ChrisB said...

Josie -- all of your reviews are excellent, but this one is truly outstanding.

Well done.

Marianna said...

Like everyone else, Caroline irritated me early on, but at some point I realized that her character is actually well balanced. That balance actually fits in with character traits that were established from the beginning. She's blunt, which leads to her hurting peoples feelings, but the other side of that is that she's honest and actually a good communicator, which is why she was so annoyed when people in her life weren't speaking to each other (Elena and Bonnie, Matt and Tyler). I might even call her... dare I say it... a more nuanced version of Cordelia! Anyway, my compliments to the writers and to Candice Accola!