Fun fact: Candice Accola starred in a movie called Deadgirl back in the day.
In Brave New World, she becomes Undeadgirl when her Vampire Diaries character Caroline Forbes vamps out, raising my hopes that one day she and True Blood’s Jessica will form a bb vampire sorority.
Tyler Lockwood talks about what we call “spitting the dummy” in Oz with his uncle Mason, which is kinda fitting given the drool that puddles on my face during this particular scene.
Mason is about as subtle as Snape or Remus Lupin’s full moon Boggart when trying to determine whether Tyler is a werewolf like him.
And we say hello to Papa Stefan!
All right! Let’s get into it!
We kick off the episode with Caroline waking up after the worst slumber party ever courtesy of Katherine Pierce. Most of my girly nights have involved pillow fights; Katherine kicked it up a notch by smothering Caroline with a pillow. Luckily, Caroline had vamp blood in her system at the time, meaning she came back to unlife.
Caroline wandered around the hospital she was staying in recovering from the car accident caused by the Gilbert device acting like an extra strong dog whistle and momentarily disabling Tyler’s brain.
I remember when I watched this episode for the very first time being curious about how Caroline would handle being a baby vamp as compared with Vicki. Vampires in this mythology are like their human selves but with personality traits magnified and an inconvenient hunger for people blood. Vicki, a drug addict as a human, found controlling her emotions and hunger as a vampire difficult despite Stefan being by her side the whole time.
Caroline wakes up all alone and has no idea why she is feeling the way that she is feeling, but I was pretty convinced when I first watched this episode that after some teething problems (sorry, couldn’t resist!), she’d be an awesome vamp, given she was a control freak as a human and generally in control of her emotions. Sure enough, in later eps, the same qualities that annoyed so many people about her as a human are a major part of what made her adapt so quickly to being a kickass vamp.
But before this happens, we get lots of cool scenes of Caroline going through the transition period.
After waking up, Caroline wanders through the hospital and becomes entranced by a blood bag.
Seeing Caroline suckle on the blood bag like it is a juice box made me wonder if different blood types taste better to different vampires in this mythology. One of my favourite aspects of Sookieverse is that True Blood bottles come in different flavours like B Postive and O Negative. And of course Bella Swan’s freesia scented blood is the tastiest blood to have ever been tasted by Edward Cullen.
Really, when you think about it, human beings are less Happy Meals on legs and more like Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans – you never know what you’re gonna get!
We cut away with Caroline still chugging away like a frat boy with a keg. I think I’m gonna try the blood diet like her, because apparently an infusion of plasma and platelets do wonders for a girl’s complexion. Seriously, Candice looks gorgeous throughout this episode. Except, you know, at the end when she’s covered in carnie boy’s innards.
Only hospitalisation and vampire transitioning could keep Miss Caroline Forbes away from the town events she is usually the one planning.
Bonnie and Elena have a little exchange about Caroline as they help set up for a town carnival in the absence of their friend:
Bonnie: We have to make Caroline proud or she will kill us. I don’t how she does this all of the time.
Elena: Because she’s not human, obviously.
Sorry, I just need a moment to pick bits of my brain off my bedroom walls and shove them back in through my ears, after the writers sledgehammered me with what I guess you would call postshadowing, since Caroline is already a vampire.
Candice Accola brought her A Game to this episode, but let it not be said that Michael Trevino didn’t do some stellar acting.
Take Tyler’s first scene with Mason.
Give the boy an Emmy! 😉
Mason is fully clothed in this scene for some reason. It’s okay, Mason. You’re forever in my heart (though you no longer have one).
Want to know what my female friend, who I cajoled into marathoning the Vampire Diaries, said the first time she saw this scene?
“I so need to borrow Tyler’s towel so I can sit on it.”
With that awesome dirty insight into her mind, I realised that I wasn’t the only one who appreciates Tyler!
Though can you blame her?
I kind of love how Tyler and Mason are having this deep and meaningful chat about Tyler’s rage blackouts that we’re somehow supposed to concentrate on when Trevino’s Adonis Belt is all up in our face.
Through extraordinary sheer force of will, I managed to transcribe their conversation for this recap:
Mason: So, all this anger and aggression you’re talking about… you notice the difference when you exercise?
Tyler: Dude, I play three varsity sports, I work out four times a week, and run three; I’m gonna say no.
Mason: Do you have episodes? I mean, what happens exactly?
Tyler: It starts out normal. I mean, I get angry, typically over nothing. I’m an angry guy, you know, it just amplifies, and then I go off.
Mason: You black out?
Tyler: Yeah. It’s like I go blind with rage.
Mason: Is there a pattern? Once a month, only at night?
Tyler: All I know is I lose myself. You know? At that time I become something else. And I hate it.
I took a lot from this scene.
One, Tyler is usually fairly perceptive and asks astute questions (which is why his reactions in Crying Wolf bugged so much), but Mason was lucky that in this scene he was definitely no Hermoine, because he couldn’t have been more obvious about the werewolf thing than if he had asked, “When the full moon crests do you flip out?”
Two, Tyler and Summer from The OC definitely need to start the Rage Blackout Anonymous twelve step program, stat.
Three, Tyler is pretty self-aware, as evidenced in his “I’m an angry guy” comment. I like that he recognises how self-destructive his behaviour is and, what’s more, desperately wants to find a way to stop it.
Four, vampires have their innate personality traits as humans amplified, whereas werewolves happen to have a particular emotion, anger, amplified. Either way, one thing these creatures have in common is that life is a heightened experience for them.
In The Return (S02E01), Tyler asks Mason why he got “the chill gene”, and Mason responds that he hadn’t, but had learned to control his temper. I love how the potential for Tyler to control the supernatural part of his nature (though he doesn’t know the source of his anger at this point in the series) parallels fellow baby supe Caroline’s struggle to control her vampiric impulses.
Oh yeah, while Tyler has never explicitly said what he wants to be when he grows up, I think that we can expand the possibilities from artist to include white rapper based on this scene.
We cut back to Caroline, who toasts her hand on the band of morning sunlight in her hospital room before flinching back. As someone who sunburns easily, I totally sympathised with that.
Matt, still dating Caro at the time, comes into her hospital room all cute and sweet, I have to admit.
She freaks out when he tells her she will be released from the hospital in the morning, and says that she needs to get out that night.
Matt mistakes that for her wanting to take charge of the carnival she would otherwise be missing.
Matt: No. The carnival’s gonna happen without you, Caroline. I know it’s hard for your neurotic, control freak personality to process but Bonnie and Elena have it [under control].
Now, look, Matt says all of this affectionately, but you know that you are getting to saturation point with people calling Caroline neurotic and control freak-y when it turns to self-parody (“neurotic control freak on crack”) in the next ep. No wonder she had major insecurity issues in season one, when people keep calling her this to her face!
Candice Accola rocks this scene, though. Matt is about to open the blinds but she scurries to the side of the wall like a frightened child, yet channels a bit of Darth Vader voice when she tells him to “close it [the blinds]”). I really buy the rollercoaster of emotions she is going through.
It’s also awesome when Caroline starts going through vamp puberty, going all veiny in the face after another fix from her blood bag and having her fangs start coming through.
After all this s**t she is going through, I hope she was able to collect from the Vamp Tooth Fairy.
Despite everything she is going through, Caroline remains her old self underneath.
I love how after feeding on a nurse and learning by accident her powers of compulsion, she tells the nurse she has to get to the carnival because of Elena’s shortcomings as a planner: “God bless her, but she [Elena] doesn’t know the meaning of the word fabulous”.
Just in case we hadn’t had enough fanservice from the shirtless!Tyler scene, the Vampire Diaries writers come through with bicep porn masquerading as arm wrestling matches.
Seeing Tyler’s frustration at being PWNED by a grinning Mason was awesome.
Damon, who had started becoming suspicious of the Lockwoods, gets Stefan to take on Mason.
Stefan lets Mason win but realises that Tyler’s uncle has supernatural strength. He floats the possibility that Mason is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Aww, childhood memories!
Damon compels a carnie to start a fight with Tyler and not let up, hoping Mason will intervene and they can find out more about the “ambiguously supernatural uncle”, a description I loved so f**king much.
It raises an interesting point of whether supes in TVDverse have to be one creature or another, or the supernatural equivalent of bisexual. In the Sookie Stackhouse novels, a werewolf is turned into vampire/werewolf hybrid. I know a lot of commentators have said that Tyler/Caroline are tragically doomed even if they manage to sort their s**t out because they are two different species, but I don’t think we’ve been shown in canon that a werewolf can’t be vamped as well. I hope that this gets addressed one way or another.
Later on, Caroline finds Damon and knocks him on his ass after her memories of being compelled as a human to act as his vamp chew toy start coming back.
I’ll personally happy any time Ian Somerhalder is horizontal.
Caroline telling Damon “you suck” with absolutely no irony in her badass Big Girl Vampire Getup was just so perfectly Caroline, don’t you think? I don’t know anyone other than Candice Accola who could have pulled that line off.
By the way, Damon’s line that “Caroline, of all people is not going to make it as a vampire” when Damon briefs Stefan and Elena about this new development was like reverse psychology foreshadowing for just how kickass a vampire she would become.
The compelled carnie seeks out Tyler and gives him a Bad Touch.
Mason comes in and breaks up the fight and does some jumps that would make Toad from X-Men proud.
We see his eyes go all glowy in our first glimpse at Werewolf PMS in the series.
I was surfing the crimson wave!
Well, I mean, Mason is a surfer, after all.
By the way, I love how being a surfer who lives a nomadic lifestyle is what has led to Mason being labelled the Black Sheep of the family.
I think the writers just enjoyed the implied wolf in sheep’s clothing joke, because I don’t think that chasing after the perfect wave qualifies someone for Black Sheepdom.
When Mason and Tyler arrive home, Tyler demands to know what the hell the moves he pulled were.
Mason claims they were just Brazilian martial arts.
In light of Trevino’s jokes that Tyler is at werewolf camp after leaving Mystic Falls in Crying Wolf, I would love the writers forever if Tyler came back a black belt in this particular fighting style.
Anyway, something tells me Tyler needs a trip to Hogwarts for Snape to get it through his head that Mason’s a werewolf. [Insert Tyler wand joke here].
The poor carnie compelled to fight Tyler continues having a sucky night when his bloody nose from the Tyler fight attracts Caroline at the carnival and he ends up as her chocolate salty goodness.
Damon attempts to give Caro his Joy Stick, but since Elena secretly wants it herself so she jumps between the pair.
After convincing Damon to let Caroline go without trying to stake her, Stefan then slips into my favourite mode, Papa Stefan mode.
One of the best parts of vampires in this show is that their blood beards are NOT attractive at all.
Caroline is a total mess, with blood and mascara running together as she sobs about being a vamp. Don’t worry, Caro, soon you’ll be awesome!
We hardly ever see Caro be anything but immaculate (her scenes post torture in Daddy Issues the only other time that springs to mind), so seeing her this way really affected me.
Stefan is just there for her so completely, in a way that Lexi had been in the past when he was Bad!Stefan.
He teaches her how to breathe through her vamp impulses to overcome them and is generally just awesome. *hugs Stefan*
It’s a good thing he taught her all of this, too, because after Caro has acted oddly all day, Matt sneaks into her window that night and she gets all hot and bothered by a Caratt-y hug that was way less sexy than the CaroTy one that happens in Rose.
Matt tells her he loves her, and I know that I was meant to be swept away by the romance of it all, but at the time, even before Forwood even happened, I remember just being left with a feeling of residual doucheyness.
Caroline: What are you doing here?
Matt: I came to see if today’s basketcase period had expired.
Caroline: You know, you should just go because my mom is gonna be home soon…
Matt: No, no, no… You’ve been dodging me all day. I’m more insecure than you are now.
Caroline: What do you mean?
Matt: It means that you almost died and it really freaked me out. And, it got me thinking, you know, ‘cause I’m not in a position where I can lose someone else right now. I realise that even though today I wanted to throttle you, I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with you. And now it seems like you don’t feel the same way.
Seriously, I cannot think of one compliment that Matt has given Caroline to her face or when talking about her to others that is not couched in negative terms, as reflected in this declaration of love.
For example, in The Descent, he tells Caroline, “You’re a lot of things, but you’re not a liar…”
Passive-aggressiveness like this shows a lack of respect for someone, and there is no way he would speak to Elena like this.
I see the good side of Matt around practically everyone BUT Caroline.
Tyler wasn’t Caroline’s biggest fan to begin with, but his final words to Matt in Crying Wolf were the unequivocal appreciation she deserves.
Tyler: I’ve been going through a rough time. Something I can’t really talk about. Caroline has been helping me through it. She’s been there for me, more than anyone has ever been there for me in my entire life. I kind of fell for her. I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t because she’s pretty incredible.
It was interesting having Tyler say that, because the meta narrative of the show as evident in season one and early season two about Caroline is that she is full of neuroses and insecurities, and that she is somehow less deserving of love than the other females because of this. Yet this speech from Tyler shows a narrative shift in the way the writers want Caroline to be perceived; the message they convey through his words is that anyone Matt who doesn’t appreciate her awesomeness is clearly an idiot (“I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t…”).
There is a brief scene between Tyler and Mason at the end of the episode that deserves a mention. Uncle and nephew kiss and make up on the surface, but after Mason brings up the moonstone he has been searching for in the episode with Tyler’s mother, we discover that Tyler has been hiding the fact that he knows the whereabouts of the moonstone all along. This was a great little character insight into Tyler’s trust issues.
The moonstone is hidden in a floorboard that was presumably his father’s hiding spot for important stuff. Not only does he keep the hiding spot a secret from Mason, but I highly doubt his father would have kept this stuff in the spot if he knew that Tyler knew about it. So it’s possible Tyler has known about this hiding spot for years and has clearly never trusted his father or mother (who doesn’t think to search for the moonstone there) enough to tell them that he knows about it.
Salvatoreo Moments of the Week
Damon and Stefan have a little chat about the Stefan bunny diet, which leads to this awesome Damon line: “Aren’t you worried that one day all the little forest animals are going to band together and bite back? I mean, surely they talk.”
Such a perfect metaphor for the anti-vampire Mystic Falls Council. People underestimate the humans in this story, but don’t forget that Liz and her deputies make pretty good work of the Salvatores in a later ep, a situation that only Caroline is able to save them from.
Can’t go past the Papa Stefan moments!