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Vampire Diaries: Daddy Issues

“You help your friend. That’s what you do.”

It’s all about in-groups and out-groups this week: friends, family, and friends-as-family on one side; everybody else on the other. The werewolves are all about denying cross-species friendship, but our heroes—ranging from the human to the vampiric to the immortal human to the witch, etc.—prefer to define their own families. And that doesn’t include Sark. Sark!

It’s hard for me to precisely quantify why I really, really don’t like the werewolves. It might be that Mason got himself into that mess by causing trouble. It might be that he always seemed like a puka-shell wearing hypocrite who preaches love and understanding while never paying the bar tab. It might be that the werewolves have basically invaded the town and seem to be about to declare a vampire-jihad against its inhabitants, or that they turned Stefan’s Yalta conference into the 1972 Olympics. It might be that they see things as black and white, werewolf versus everyone else. Jules said: “It’s our nature to be enemies.” I agree with Tyler: that sounds stupid.

It also might be that when Caroline was trapped in that cage I was physically revolted. I rarely get angry and tense watching violence on TV. It’s TV, after all. But the werewolf’s casual sadism and Caroline’s obvious fear and distress really struck a chord. Watching Damon kill, I get a frisson of voyeuristic pleasure. Watching Caroline tortured? Not so much.

Damon, of course, is simply sexier than a dirty werewolf who lives in a double-wide. Now that he’s found a new best friend/lover to compel, hopefully he can start to work out some of his issues. Wait…maybe not. After all, compelling someone into being a friend and lover is sort of one of the main issues, isn’t it?

Damon says it is in his nature to kill, but I think that’s just a really bad excuse. After all, Caroline is just as vampiric, but—while still kick-ass cool—she isn’t really a stone-cold killer. When things go bad, she wants a slumber party, not blood vengeance. It was such a treat to see the girls get some quality teenager time. It has been a while. Or, it’s been two days. Time seems to move slowly in Mystic Falls.

The girls came together, Stefan tried to broker a peace (he is usually good at the stuff, isn’t he?), Damon played buddy to Elena, Sark tried to play the daddy card, Caroline drew the line with Tyler (finally!), even Luka’s dad declared his loyalties. Everyone’s picking their teams. But there are two wildcards in the pile: Damon is keeping his recent murderous activities sub rosa (pun!), and Sark is playing some sort of game with off-screen Isobel. Elena doesn’t trust him. She must be an Alias fan.

Sark seems fated to either be playing a trick or actually changing into a good guy—either way, I don’t predict a long and healthy life for him. But the bigger question of the week is whether Damon is going to “chang[e] into a man capable of greatness.” Can he be the better man? When will he realize that’s what he is, and all the murderous bluster is just a cover for his inherently romantic nature?


• Damon: “Still waiting for the part where John Gilbert is the answer.”

• Damon: “Because I may have to go get a hero hairdo of my own, and steal your thunder.”

• Jenna: “Elena is my sister’s husband’s brother’s daughter, and her mother is my boyfriend’s deceased wife. You can’t make this stuff up.”

• Damon: “I’m steering clear of all women at the moment…Trust me, it’s in the best interest of women everywhere.” Steering clear of all women but Elena, that is.

• Damon: “He’s a werewolf. He needs to die. I’m willing to kill him. It’s a win-win.”

• Elena: “You may be my father, but I am never going to be your daughter.”

• Elena: “You’re here to protect me. Get in line.”

• Sark: “Miranda and Grayson were your parents, Elena.” He can be so convincing. Do you believe him?

And Pieces:

• Damon in the shower and in the tub. Mmm. Bubbles.

• It’s so odd that everyone seems to have figured out that Luka and his dad were bad guys off-screen. (Or am I forgetting something?)

• Damon has been drinking vervain, too—not just Stefan.

• I typically give Stefan fairly short shrift in these reviews. But he was pretty awesome this week, with the diplomacy and the slumber party and the Captain Forehead hero hairdo. Way to go, Stefan.

• We got our usual Stefan/Elena hug a bit early this week. Our final hug was between Elena, Caroline, and Bonnie. With pillows. Aw.

Four out of four vial of ashes from the white oak tree that dates back to the Original genesis.

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


  1. Was it the haircut? David Anders seemed even more Sark-like this time in a "what the heck is his evil plan" sort of way. I also found the Caroline scenes truly upsetting; I wanted to smack Tyler, and I was just starting to sort of like him. Werewolves! Boooooo!

    Wonderful review, Josie.

  2. "It’s so odd that everyone seems to have figured out that Luka and his dad were bad guys off-screen. (Or am I forgetting something?)"

    I wondered about that, too. At first I thought I missed an episode. But now I think I know the answer. Luka and his dad saved Stefan from that cave, didn't they? So Stefan probably told Elena & Co about them. Just my theory.

    And since I'm already writing... Did anyone else notice the way Damon looked Elena? Wow.

  3. Anonymous, that makes lots of sense. Going back to my mid-season finale theory of "un-happenings," I guess the writers un-happened an un-happening off-screen.

    Billie, I agree. I think it's because we don't know what his end-game is.

    Y'know, we haven't had any mention of Elena's and Jeremy's grandparents. Wouldn't Victor Garber be a wonderful Grampa Gilbert?

  4. Much improvement over last weeks episode. Lots of story lines to follow.

    How did Mason cause trouble? He was being compelled by Katherine after all, not like he had a choice. He didn't even confront anyone til Damon and Stefan started poking and prodding, much like Jules. Let's stop provoking the wolves and hopefully they'll go away.

    Why is Caroline always getting the short end of the stick. First Damon then Katherine and now werewolf torture. It's like every baddie that walks into town goes after her. Leave Caroline alone!

    Tyler seems genuinely confused. He doesn't know which side to pick. Not only is he dealing with his werewolfism, but he just found out that Damon, Stefan and Caroline killed his uncle. His hesitance to save Caroline was inexcusable, but somewhat understandable. That scene with all the girls made me shed a tear.

    Did Damon kill the newswomen? If so he needs to stop killing people. I like Damon as a character but I can't get behind his actions when it's been made clear that killing is a vampire's choice. Stop attacking innocent women! They better not make it a kill of the week type of thing.

  5. Josie, Victor Garber would make an awesome Grampa Gilbert.

    It was distressing watching the sadistic Brady torture Caroline. I actually jumped when he shot her in the head. I kinda feel justified in my disliking of Tyler now. Can’t believe that after everything Caroline had done for him he was just going to stand there and let her get killed. Even Damon at his worst isn’t that much of a dick.

    What is going on with Sark and Katherine? Last time they saw each other she chopped off his fingers and shoved a knife in his gut. And now he’s going to help her escape the tomb? Was trying to kill him just one exceptionally farfetched bluff?

  6. I love your reveiws, Josie!
    I'm a norwegian girl who started watching VD this Christmas, and after each episode I have to read what you've written! I'm not so good with remembering all the details, or seeing all the connections, so I learn a lot :)

    I'm pleased to read that I'm not the only one who was wondering why everybody all of a sudden knows about Luka and his dad... I felt kind of lost there for a while..

    I like the way you call "uncle John" Sark. I'm an Alias fan myself, but in my head he'll always be Kenseii (Heroes).. and I would LOVE Victor Garber as Grampa Gilbert! He would save the day, for sure :)

  7. Hey Josie, way to go!
    This episode was really a thrill. To think our three vamp-heroes would have died without Luka's dad interference is really crazy, and although I hated every single moment of Caroline's revenge, I'm not ready to hate Tyler yet, he has had so much to deal with in the last few episodes, he's totally lost. Either way, let's just wait till next week. I may be ready to hate him then.
    Now, Damon in the shower and Damon in the tub. That was incredibly hot. I just don't think he compelled the "sexy TV girl" into the tub with him, he really doesn't need that. Now, he did that after she almost freaked after hearing the "I kill people" sentence. It's sad he is so desesperate to reveal his feelings he's ready to do it any time he knows people won't remember a thing later. He's got so many layers and I love evry single of them- mainly the first one...
    We don't really need another thing to be watching out our backs, and here comes Uncle John with Katherine in the tomb. So much to happen.
    Either way, I'd also rate it 4 out of 4 naked wet Damons.

  8. I meant revenge against Caroline...

  9. Great review Josie, I chuckled about the Mystic Falls speed of time passing. Also thanks for elucidating the witch sitch for me, I had forgotten what the state of play was with them!

    Poor Matt - always left in the dark but this time being perfectly clear that Caroline was lying to him.

    Feeling sorry for Tyler, but he should have told Jules to let her go straight away outside the caravan.

    Loved the Caroline sleepover at the end, Stefan's a star for thinking of it.

  10. Torturing Caroline is the best way to make me hate someone. My favorite character since season 2 started. But i liked her initial storyline (getting used to being a vampire and the reveal to her mom) then all that Tyler bonding. So i hope from now on she will have a better storyline with more opportunities to show how badass she is. :)

    No hair report? Almost everyone had something new on their heads. Elena the ponytail, Bonnie straight hair and Jeremy had more hair.

    Yeah probably Stefan made an educated guess who the witches that let him out are.

  11. Felipe, you wrote: "How did Mason cause trouble? He was being compelled by Katherine after all, not like he had a choice. "

    I can't recall the exact episode, but one of the Salvatores mentioned at some point that supernatural beings can't be compelled, and there was no evidence that Katherine had compelled Mason to do anything. So I personally feel that Mason did have a choice. Although I'll concede that an Original might have been able to do it.

  12. I want to echo what everyone said about the Scooby gang finding out about Luka & his Dad. That was terrible writing. I too had thought I'd missed an episode during the scene with Bonnie.

    What is more strange is that there was no need for it either. That scene was pointless in itself, but even more so when Luka Sr. showed up at the end and saved them all on behalf of Elijah. That should have been the moment the group worked out he was working for Elijah the whole time. They could have even had the Bonnie scene with him in the next episode if they had to have it. Bad writing from a usually tightly written series.

    Loved Sark/Uncle John/Tensei/Dr Whale again. The scene at the end with Catherine got me all giddy as I love seeing a scheming David Anders (is there any other David Anders?). I really did think that he was trying to redeem himself too. I thought that Sark turning good that quickly was also bad writing, but I was willing to go along with it because it's Sark, but him still being up to no good is much better.

    Can we get Isobel back? Mia Kirshner's Mandy was my favourite character in 24 and Sark was in Alias. Them being a couple would have made me squeal with delight back in 2002... and still does a bit in 2015.

    Also need for Alaric!

  13. I just started binge watching this on Netflix and I love your reviews! I thought I was the only one confused with Bonnie suddenly hating Luka & family. Also Arrow is one of my fave shows and when I first saw Stephen Amell in the previous episode I squealed. Can't wait to see what else his hot self does (I don't even care that he's a bad guy here).

    Sark is definitely the man.

  14. Filipe, Mason wasn't compelled by Katherine. Werewolves can't be compelled. He was just tricked because he's stupid. As far as whether or not he deserved it, Damon did start things by trying to kill Mason first. But then Stefan extended an olive branch and tried to smooth things over and Mason responded by attempting to get both Damon and Stefan killed, even though Stefan had never done anything to him. So he's definitely not blameless.

    Poor Caroline! Not only does she get tortured, but she's been caught in a lie by Matt! I kind of want her to tell him about being a vampire even though the logical part of me thinks it's a bad idea. And were those teeth she was pulling out of her wound? I hope they weren't werewolf teeth! And if they were I hope it doesn't constitute a bite. (They looked to small to be werewolf teeth. Maybe vampire teeth?)

  15. I know this is super old but in 2020 a lot of time inside this summer. I started watching TVD. I've enjoyed most of it
    However Caroline, I've loved her in S2 up till her Tyler supporter. Her actions played a part in this episode she should've left Tyler alone like Stefan told her to. Instead she lied to him and eventually when he learned to small Vamps he'd know she lied to him.
    Also Tyler has been a dbag the entire show and always bagged on Caroline.
    Agree with the review, I really dislike the werewolves. They are hyper aggressive and dicks. Jules is ridiculous and deserves a stack to the heart, she lies all the time. She didnt know they killed Mason, she tells everyone they did though, which Damon did but she doesnt know that.
    I do love Stephen Amell though.
    Just going to say I miss Katherine I honestly like her more then Elena.

    1. Also just to add Bonnie says that Elena told her the Luka family is working for Elijah. Make sense when she demand that Stefan be let out she found out who is witches were.

  16. I have to stick up for the werewolves here. We don’t really get to know them very well and it seems to me Josie, that you’re letting your fondness for Damon blind you to the fact that he’s objectively as bad as any of the werewolves on the jihad front. There were clear parallels between him telling Caroline not to be friends with Tyler and Jules telling Tyler the same thing, and the torture of Caroline echoes the torture of Mason. Frankly, I would argue that he’s worse given that the werewolves only came to town after one of their number was murdered, whereas he tried to kill Mason without any provocation at all. He’s also been advocating killing Tyler, which is particularly unfair given that if they hadn’t killed Mason, Tyler wouldn’t have been turned into a wolf to begin with.

    How did Mason cause trouble? He came to town to get the moonstone for Katherine because (as far as we know) he loved her. Although he didn’t entirely trust her since he hid the moonstone somewhere she would need him to retrieve it. I’m guessing he wanted to bargain with her to find out why she wanted it. since it doesn’t seem like he had discussed it with the wolfpack. He had no intention of harming the Salvatore Brothers until Damon went after him. And his torture and death accomplished nothing. They didn’t need to kill him to get the moonstone and didn’t learn anything useful from him about Katherine’s plans. Though why they allowed Katherine to bring the moonstone with her into the tomb after going to such lengths to get it, I have no idea.
    Or even look at things from Jules’ perspective. She comes to this small town in Virginia because her friend has disappeared, and Damon threatens her and more or less announces that he killed Mason. How would you expect her to react? It’s only after she receives the panic text from Tyler that she kidnaps Caroline and she clearly does it to make a hostage exchange, not to start a war. We know that Stefan isn’t going to kill Tyler, but she doesn’t know that; she thinks Damon has him. Brady’s pretty much an unredeemable vampire hater, but not really any different from Damon’s attitude to werewolves.

    While I like the show, I feel it cheats a bit by making all the Salvatore brothers enemies remarkably lacking in charm and wit, so that we root for them when objectively, it’s sometimes not clear that we should.


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