Got Forwood – Tyler & Caroline Recap – Know Thy Enemy – The Vampire Diaries

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…

 The Vampire Diaries : Caroline and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

… 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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Damon’s reaction to being annoyed being to take his shirt off. “Nuff said.

Stefan

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Amy, I totally thought of you when Stefan went strutting around in a Pea Coat of Lust this episode.

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About Spidey Sense

Pop culture junkie, fangirl, arts and theatre lover, and The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and The Walking Dead obsessive. View all posts by Spidey Sense

4 responses to “Got Forwood – Tyler & Caroline Recap – Know Thy Enemy – The Vampire Diaries

  • kjewls

    I agree with you 100% about this most recent development in the Caratt storyline, illustrating an extremely dark side to Matt’s personality. Whereas before he was just boring, and a tad whiny, now he is verging on the sociopathic, and not in a fun, Katherine or AlarKlaus way, either. (I apologize for the ad hominem attacks here. I just feel very strongly about this.)

    I could muster up some sympathy for Matt, if I truly believed that he somehow still felt that Caroline (1) was a danger to himself or society; (2) that he had hard evidence that she was no longer the person she once was, in terms of her behaviors and / or moral code; (3) that he still believed that she had possibly killed Vicki. But after Caroline’s conversation with Matt, in which she told him EVERYTHING that happened on TVD this season, he clearly no longer has any reason to see Caroline as a danger to himself personally, or to others. The fact that in this upcoming episode, Matt CONTINUES to “date” Caroline, under the guise of being her “compelled naïve boyfriend,“ in order to glean from her information that he plans to ultimately use against her, just proves that Matt is not manipulating Caroline for any sort of altruistic reasons.

    The title of this episode, “Know Thy Enemy” seems fitting to Matt’s and Caroline’s story, in particular. From Matt’s perspective, he clearly views Caroline, the woman he supposedly loves, as his enemy now. And he is getting close to her, in an effort to somehow . . . well . . . his motives are unclear as of yet, but they certainly SEEM nefarious. Conversely, from Caroline’s perspective, she still views Matt as her boyfriend, particularly now that she’s supposedly compelled him to forget everything he’s learned about her. In short, Matt may be attempting to “know HIS enemy,” but Poor Caroline, at least at this point, certainly does not know HERS . . . yet.

    It will definitely be interesting to see how this pans out in future episodes, particularly when Tyler returns to Mystic Falls. Does Matt know Tyler is a werewolf? If so, does he think he’s “DEAD” too? Or does he only hate blonde female vampires who try to save his life on a regular basis? 😉 (OK . . . there I go being snarky again. I’ll stop now.)

  • Gen

    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.”

    This hurt so bad. Again, Caroline was belittled and trashed by this guy she loves and her insecurities coming out in full bloom. When Tyler sees this incredible person, Matt sees a monster and the girl he’s “supposedly” in love with is dead. At the time, I was furious and heartbroken. As much as I adore Matt, mostly how he is with Tyler, I can’t stomach him around Caroline.

    I like the Matt-Sheriff Forbes angle. It’s finally giving these two something to do, but I’m irritated with them at the same time. Now that we have seen 2×18, we know that Matt is somewhat conflicted by the whole thing, but still went along with what Liz told him to do. I’m for either way this could go. 1.) Matt becomes an antagonist and plots against the Mystic Falls supes with Liz and The Council or 2.) He finally realizes that the supes do have their humanity in tact and can accept all of them for who they are.

    I always loved Tyler and Matt’s friendship and it’s in their friendship that I can see how good of a friend he can be. It’s evident that he and Tyler are best friends and have been for many years. Even though Tyler has done some pretty lousy things to Matt and his family, Matt was able to forgive and stay friends with him. I’m very much looking forward to their first interactions when Tyler does return. Will he accept Tyler for what he is, now that he knows the truth, or will he see him as another monster? Will this also change the way he sees Tyler and Caroline’s relationship/friendship? Before he suspected something romantic happening between the two, but now he knows that both are supes; will that calm his suspicions? That’s even if he still has feelings for Caroline and can somehow get past the fact that she’s a vampire. Will Tyler’s return just bring back those fears for Matt?

  • André

    ” Gah! I’ve been without internet at home for five days, the equivalent of blogger kryptonite.”

    That explains everything. 😀
    Sadly I am sort of in a hurry because of yesterday so I apologize if my comment isn’t quite what it used to be.

    ” I honestly don’t know how I would react to this information.”
    Pretty similar I would guess. Think about it: your family is either dead or being around them is worse than having them around. And your girlfriend tells you that she’s a vamp and that practically every person you still cared about and who seemed to be more reliable than your own family have been keeping things from you and lying to you. I would say you would feel betrayed and you know how it usually is when people are in such a situation.

    ” But I am pretty sure I would freak out too if I discovered my cheerleader girlfriend liked blood bags as much as designer bags.”
    Told ya 😉

    “Having said that, his betrayal of Caroline feels like an extension of his general douchiness towards Caroline”
    Quite the opposite in my eyes. He feels betrayed and is more than just confused. In addition he is scared and feels alone. That is a one of the worst mixtures for making decisions. Not to mention the topic that his sister’s death was covered by the overdose story. Considered his background it is to be expected that this is a touchy subject as well because that would mean that his sister is remembered as a drug addict. All in all from his point of view he is the betrayed one and so he has no objections to “betray” anyone. Well none yet; don’t forget only days have passed, that’s hardly enough time to let it sink in and considered who has come to town there might not be any.

    ” 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.”
    Still hard to tell how much she told him. He definitely knows that Tyler is a werewolf. Although it is hard to tell if he knows the specifics. As evidenced by the last episode during the dance there is still the old topic of misinformation.
    Or maybe it is just bad writing, which is always a possibility.

    “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.”
    Yeah, well telling him after he nearly died from being stabbed and then Caroline’s – what is the word for that behavior? Well the way she acted was probably one of the worst ways to handle it.
    In addition, although many might hate me for it, I think Caroline’s decision to take away his memories again was wrong. It is understandable considered her character and the circumstances but it is wrong for two reasons:
    1. She has allowed her relationship to become a lie
    2. Now she is back to the whole pretending and lying thing.
    It would have been better if she had refused. As hard as it might have been at least it would have been out in the open.
    Considered the Tyler disaster this action by her is rather a regression than a progress.

    ” 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.”
    I think you are on to something there and I believe we should analyze Caroline’s part in this disaster more instead of focusing on Matt and Tyler. Clearly her actions are understandable but so are those of the other two.

    ” Here we have a vampire, typically who would be considered the bad guy, being watched by a human with shadowy motivations.”
    Why not? 😉
    To be honest it speaks for a great deal of immaturity of Caroline that she didn’t seem to sense that something is wrong right away when Matt just showed up. It could be her flaw of over idealization that you mentioned that pretty much colors her way of seeing things. Another reason why I think Tyler wouldn’t have been the best choice for her at the moment.

    ” What’s more, the Sheriff and Matt cry about how they feel like Caroline is dead.”
    To be expected. I already said Matt’s reasons. In the case of Mrs Forbes the reason is very simple: she failed completely. In such a case it is easier to tell yourself your daughter is dead than to deal with the facts.

    ” 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.”
    Wait until you see the next episode. ^^
    Anyway, neither does her mother. Both are clearly hurt and this leads us to the question how much of their actions are now due to panic and pain. Both are in a clearly bad situation for making the right decisions and when looking at the big picture right now it doesn’t look as though there will be any help soon. Or maybe it will, the show is just so fast.

    ” 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.”
    From your point of view no. From his point of view I say yes. Of course there is the question how much deception was there and how much not (considered the nature of the show a mixture is the most likely option). Well we might find out soon.

    ” 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.”
    But Tyler wasn’t thrown into the cold water the way Matt was and he still had a foundation apart from himself. And what does it tell about Matt? Is he a bad person now? Not more than anybody else because not acting the way he did would have been weird. However the fact that he goes to the sheriff might also speak for another part of him that, if the writing I done right, could prove to be good stuff later on. He immediately found out that the sheriff was in it and that she knew about it. That is a feat that shouldn’t be ignored so there might be more to Matt than what was shown so far.

    “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.”
    Sorry, but that is not how people work. Especially not in such a fast pacing situation. Had she given him a week it might be different but that didn’t happen.

    ” 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.””
    What makes you think that he is playing on anything? People don’t just become big badass manipulators in a few days. What he is saying could be the full truth.
    Let’s face it, so far the actual issue of vamp-human-relationships has only been scratched at on the surface. It was designated to come up this way and Matt’s reaction is not unjustified considered the whole deal. A vampire in TVD is basically a clinically dead human body that is animated by consuming blood. And basically, their preferred foot is humans. That is not something normal people could easily forget. Matt is not a teenage girl who is madly in love with the mysterious stranger, he is not a boy that thinks that there is something in for him, neither is he a soul that has been cast into the supernatural ocean of which he cannot escape because he is part of it and now clings to every hand like a drowning man to a piece of wood.
    What reason is there that he should not see Caroline as what she is?

    ” It’s one of the most cold-blooded things ever said on this show”
    Cold-blooded? I doubt that Matt is such a good actor all of a sudden. Sounded more like character that is in pain to me who needed to get his feelings out.
    One thing: what if Caroline wasn’t the only one overidealizing something? Considered that, both of their images of each other are shattered. Nobody takes that well.

    ” 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.”
    I wasn’t shocked. But because of the reasons I named already, not because I think Matt is a douche.

    “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.”
    I can. He doesn’t know where else to go, just like Tyler did with Caroline, or Rose with Damon. And considered the sheriff’s attitude towards vampires: We have to face the facts that this is not unjustified. Just because vampires have emotions doesn’t mean that they are not dangerous. And, like I said, people are food to them, which is not something to be trivialized. In addition, if there would only be an insignificant number of vamps who give over to their hunger, there wouldn’t be the term “ripper”. And humans aren’t any different than vamps. The most visually open are the bad ones and so of course they are just by that image. In such a case people usually didn’t or don’t have the luxury of asking and have to do what is necessary for survival.

    ” Will Caroline discover that Matt is double crossing her and start doing the same to him?”
    She already does.

    ” 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.”
    I just don’t get where that hatred comes from. Like I already asked kjewls on her blog, other characters have acted far worse and they are forgiven, sometimes even beforehand. Why this intense Matt-hating?

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