Gah! I’ve been without internet at home for five days, the equivalent of blogger kryptonite.
Although this stopped me from uploading a Got Forwood recap earlier in the week for Know Thy Enemy, in many ways this has been a good thing.
Anyone who has glanced casually around this blog will know that I am a Tyler girl forever and always, so with all the time that has passed since the episode aired, I’ve been able to calmly and objectively consider every aspect of the Matt betrays Caroline storyline.
Right after I watched the Matt/Caroline scenes, I swung between blind rage…
… and muttering angry vowel sounds at my screen to feeling a little understanding for him. I mean, last episode, he had discovered that the girl he (presumably) loves is a vampire and remembered his sister Vicki’s claim that she had been attacked by vampires in hospital, and made the connection between the supes and her later untimely death. I honestly don’t know how I would react to this information.
It has mystified me how anyone could ship Matt/Caroline, because I actually think Matt is emotionally abusive towards her, subtly undermining her with back-handed compliments or even outright insults to her face and behind her back, and making her feel like a placeholder for his true love Elena. (This is really something that deserves to be expanded on in its own post). But I am pretty sure I would freak out too if I discovered my cheerleader girlfriend liked blood bags as much as designer bags.
Having said that, his betrayal of Caroline feels like an extension of his general douchiness towards Caroline. I don’t view it as something that exists in isolation.
As bm232 said at TWoP:
The problem with Matt and Caroline is not her vampire nature, or her lies, or Vicki (which Caroline had nothing to do with anyway), or the Council. The problem is Matt’s fundamental lack of respect and common consideration towards Caroline as a human being. Ergo I am not the slightest little bit interested in, or sympathetic to, his side of the story, only hers.
I have a feeling if Matt was still dating Elena, and Elena had been the one to drop this vampire bombshell, he might have given her the benefit of the doubt or at least not automatically assumed that Elena was involved in his sister’s death. I am very curious to see how Matt treats the Gilberts if Caroline told him absolutely everything that is going on in Mystic Falls, as was implied in this episode.
Caroline spends the whole episode running around trying to find Matt, who split from her house the night before after she confessed the truth about her supe nature to him.
It was an incredibly sad moment when she told Stefan and Elena: “You know, this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. I was supposed to tell him at the right moment, in the right way, and he was supposed to be okay with it because he loves me.”
In an earlier post about Forwood vs Caratt, I mentioned that one reason I prefer Forwood because it is based on private acts of love versus grand gestures like Caratt, which I think is overcompensation for the substance their relationship lacks. The thing is, I feel like Caroline is trapped in the relationship at the moment because not has she has been depicted as a true romantic who loves movies like The Notebook and grand gestures, even if she is generally the one making the most effort, but she is a fixer by nature: I feel like she is convinced herself she is in love with Matt, or is in love with the idea of what a relationship with the “nice guy” of the group could be, and persists on trying to make something work when it hasn’t been for over a season. Your mileage might vary, though. A real character flaw she has to work on is her tendency to romanticize her relationship with Matt specifically and her love life in general. Before everything went down in Daddy Issues, I think that she rejected Tyler because he not only represents stepping away from her humanity, but also away from the ideal of love she has in mind for herself.
Matt, meanwhile keeps himself occupied by getting flipped against a car by my viewer surrogate (for a scene, anyway), Sheriff Forbes, after he gets all aggressive demanding to know the truth behind the cover up of his sister’s death, which had been officially listed as a drug overdose.
Ironically, after searching high and low around Mystic Falls, Caroline comes home to find him inside waiting for her.
The lighting here is designed to foreshadow Matt becoming a full on antagonist or in the very least someone who will work against Caro. When Caro comes home, she stands outside framed in bright sunshine, while a dark figure in the shadows inside gradually comes into focus; it takes a sec to realise it is Matt inside. Here we have a vampire, typically who would be considered the bad guy, being watched by a human with shadowy motivations.
Caroline: You’re here.
Matt: Your mom brought me here.
Caroline: My mom?
Matt: I accused her of covering up Vicki’s death and she threatened to arrest me.
Caroline: Did you tell her anything else?
Matt: Nothing about you. I got the feeling she wasn’t gonna believe anything I said, so I shut up. Then she brought me here to cool down, and then she got called away.
Caroline: Matt… [she gets closer but he flinches away]
Caroline: Why’d you stick around if you’re still scared of me?
Matt: Because I need to know more about Vicki, about you.
Caroline: I’ll tell you anything you wanna know…
[We cut away before Caroline starts telling him everything, and later catch the tail end of their conversation]
Caroline: So after I hurt you in the woods, I made you forget and I promised myself I would stay away from you, but I-I couldn’t… ‘Cause I love you. I do. I love you, Matt, so much. God, I’m so sorry about what happened to Vicki. And I really wish you’d say something.
Matt: I’m all alone.
Caroline: No, you’re not.
Matt: My mom doesn’t care, my sister’s dead, and all of my friends are liars, and you’re a…
Caroline: I’m still me. I’m still me. It’s just I’m just a little bit… [she sits down next to him, but he gets up].
Matt: don’t. No. This is too much. All of this is just too much. I don’t want to know this.
Caroline: Tell me what I can do. Tell me what I can do. I… I want to help you.
Matt: You can make me forget. You’ve done it to me before.
Caroline: I don’t-I don’t think that that’s…
Matt: Please make me forget, Caroline. I don’t wanna look at you and see what I’m seeing right now.
Caroline: But maybe after…
Matt: Just make forget, Caroline!
Caroline: Ok. Ok, Matt. [crying softly, she gets up and takes his face in her hands].
Here is how I felt for Caroline during this conversation:
We discover afterwards that Matt wasn’t compelled because he’d taken vervain and had been working with Sheriff Forbes to extract as much information from Caroline undercover as possible. What’s more, the Sheriff and Matt cry about how they feel like Caroline is dead.
It isn’t even really just the betrayal of Caroline that stings so much, but more the way Matt goes about it.
Matt’s manipulation of Caroline is crueller than it needs to be. When Caroline asks Matt why he waited for her if he is still afraid, she is obviously hoping the reason will be that he still loves her. Finding out that he is there purely for information had to be a slap in the face for her, especially in light of the fact she had given him her blood to save his life only the night before.
Now, you could argue that all Matt wants is the truth. OK, fair enough. But Caroline says she will tell him anything he wants to know and proceeds to do so – there was no need for deception on his part. Although we aren’t shown exactly what she tells him, after the Tyler debacle, I think it is safe to assume she would tell him everything, given how badly her lies blew up in her face last time.
The fact Matt didn’t trust Caro enough to ask for the truth BEFORE going to Sheriff Forbes, and that he only asks Caroline for information as a kind of undercover agent, speaks volumes about the way Matt feels about Caro. When Tyler was told by Jules about Caro’s lies, he at least had the decency to confront her first.
The fact that he looked sexy as hell while doing so didn’t hurt
Matt had been lied to for a long time, but the fact that Caro voluntarily went to him with information should have impacted the way he acted towards her, if he truly cared about her.
It’s interesting that Matt later tells Sheriff Forbes that he feels like Caro is dead, because he certainly doesn’t treat her like a soulless creature with no emotions; quite the opposite.
Matt: Don’t. No. This is too much. All of this is just too much. I don’t want to know this.
Caroline: Tell me what I can do. Tell me what I can do. I… I want to help you.
Here he is playing on her guilt and pity, even though she clearly is trying to be supportive towards him and convince him that he is wrong when he says he is alone.
Probably the worst thing he says to her is this: “I don’t want to look at you anymore and see what I’m seeing.”
A major part of Caroline’s character arc has been desperately wanting to be accepted for who she is and her overcoming her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. Matt could have just said everything was too much for him to handle and left it at that. Instead, he says something that hits Caroline where she is most vulnerable. It’s one of the most cold-blooded things ever said on this show, and the very fact that he says it contradicts his belief that Caro is now just a monster and has lost all her humanity; if she was truly “dead” in this way she wouldn’t have reacted with the emotions that she did.
Matt not accepting her for who she truly is (“I’m still me”) as a vampire is really par for the course, though. He’s never really accepted her as a human being, so I’m not really surprised that he wouldn’t accept her as a vampire. Everyone said how they shocked they were by the Sheriff-Matt double cross reveal, but I would have been more surprised if he had taken the time to listen to Caroline first before making his judgments.
The only thing that I can say in the Sheriff and Matt’s defense is that maybe they meant “dead” in a different way than literally. Maybe they view vampires kind of like drug addicts; the person they once knew is “dead” and never coming back because a dangerous side of them has become dominant. So even though Matt obviously could see that Caro still has human emotions, her addiction (human blood) has the potential to make her be untrustworthy and commit terrible actions even if she desperately wants to good. I highly doubt this though. As far as Sheriff Forbes is concerned, vampires are animals like the soulless vamps of Buffy, and I can’t imagine Matt siding with her unless he subscribes this theory.
So, Matt, cry me a river.
I must say, I am incredibly excited about where things will go for Matt/Caroline storyline from here (on the proviso that Matt dies by season’s end or that Tyler/Caroline get together). Will Caroline discover that Matt is double crossing her and start doing the same to him? I mean, imagine Matt dating her despite her vampiric nature secretly making him sick on the inside, and Caroline keeping up the charade even though she knows he repulses her.
Will Caroline finally realise that one thing that makes Tyler infinitely better for her is that he accepts who she is, supe nature included?
And OMG, the possibilities when Tyler, who told Matt to be good to Caroline before he left Mystic Falls, returns are making me bounce up and down with glee. One hot Bad Touch isn’t too much to ask, right?
The timing of Caroline discovering Matt’s deception, as she inevitably will on this kind of show, will be interesting to watch. It is entirely possible that she will find out about Matt working against her only at a crucial moment, like the night of the actual sacrifice ritual, and it is too late for her to try to handle the situation because it gets completely out of hand. We’ve seen Sheriff Forbes take down the Salvatores before with a little planning, so it isn’t too far-fetched to believe that she and Matt will be able to do real damage with some planning.
Personally, I’m hoping that Matt will become conflicted about viewing Caroline as “dead” to him, because I’m sure if he doesn’t believe it now, he’ll recognise that vampires DO have humanity, and the girl who fell in love with him is still alive. It’s too late for me to hope that Matt/Caro will survive this latest blow to their relationship, but I feel like him going after Caro would be more interesting if he is second guessing if what he is doing is right. Even if he joins Team Vampire, his fundamental lack of respect for Caro, as a human or otherwise, is what I think will be their ultimate undoing.
Are you as excited as me?
Salvatoreo Moments of the Week
Damon’s reaction to being annoyed being to take his shirt off. “Nuff said.
Amy, I totally thought of you when Stefan went strutting around in a Pea Coat of Lust this episode.