Mmm, one week internet problems. The next week a crazy schedule with no free time. I definitely feel like I’m playing the blogging catch up game!
I figure it doesn’t matter if I’m a bit late with my Got Forwood recap for The Last Dance, since it set at a decade dance, which is all about nostalgia. Just think of this recap as around two weeks of nostalgia in the making!
So, let’s hop to it!
In this episode, Matt and Caroline dress up as Kennedy and and Jackie O, which hasn’t turned out to be foreshadowing… yet.
I choose to think that little hand motion by Matt there was intentional
Watch out Matt! If you’re not careful, Tyler will go all Bad Cop Tyler on your ass when he comes back!
We are shown that along with being a neurotic control freak on crack, Caroline’s defining characteristic is her incredible positivity.
And ultimate Caratt cock-blocker Not Now Dana makes a re-appearance and warms my heart.
We open up with Matt and Sheriff Forbes discussing the problems inherent in being double crossing a-holes.
All Tyler/Caroline shippy-ness aside, the exchange between the pair as they talk about Matt’s double agent role getting information from Caroline for the Sheriff, and lead council vampire, made my skin crawl.
Last episode, Matt demanded that Caroline tell him everything about the supernatural goings-on in Mystic Falls, and it immediately becomes evident that everything meant EVERYTHING, including secrets that some would argue weren’t Caroline’s to tell:
Sheriff Forbes: The Salvatores are vampires. The Gilbert family is in on it. Tyler Lockwood is a God knows what.
Spidey: Hot piece of Trevino!Ass. (Yes, I may have said that out loud while watching. Sue me.)
Matt’s reaction to Caroline’s Vampire Barbie-ness being to freak the hell out was understandable, especially considering that he hadn’t seen Caroline’s story unfold in the way that we have – I mean, WE know that Caroline is a sympathetic character, but I could cut him some slack that he didn’t know this initially.
But now we find out that last week Caroline told Matt EVERYTHING during their big conversation. Presumably, this also includes the TRAGEDY of how she was turned against her own will, the incredible friendship she showed Tyler, HIS BEST FRIEND, while he went through a painful werewolf transformation even though a single wolf bite could kill her, and the many times that she has helped save their mutual friends from death.
The fact that Matt can continue plotting against Caroline, despite hearing all of this, without questioning whether he is doing the right thing or if vampires are unfeeling monsters, makes it really, really hard to not hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. How about giving her the benefit of the doubt?
It gets worse. Matt is clearly uncomfortable with the prospect of going to the decade dance with Caroline, because he is finding it hard to keep up the act of the loyal boyfriend knowing what he knows.
Sheriff Forbes: “Damnit Matt, just do it. She’s my daughter, she’s my baby. I just need some time.”
Now, some members of fandom have interpreted that as Sheriff Forbes, Caro’s MOTHER, begging Matt to give her a little more time to think before she murders her daughter, just because the whole situation is making him feel uncomfortable.
Considering Matt is meant to be a good, decent guy, this behaviour leaves me with my mouth hanging open and the words “what the ever-loving f**k” spilling forth uncontrollably.
If you have a different intepretation of this scene, guys, by all means give it to me. While I think Matt has always treated Caro like a douche, I don’t want to hate him that much.
Sheriff Forbes, for her part, is clearly feeling conflicted, and when she called Caroline her “baby”, it broke my heart. She has been raised to fear and kill vampires without question or pause, and yet here she has evidence in Caro that a vampire can function with their human personality relatively intact. Her relationship with Caroline has been shown to be shaky at best while Caro was still human, but I’m curious to see if the blood is thicker than water adage will prevail here… even if her daughter is a bloodsucker.
That is not to say that I’m not mad at Caro. I understand that after the Tyler situation blew up in her face in part because of her well-intentioned lies, she was hoping she could have a clean slate with Matt is she told the whole truth.
I just have a feeling that her openness here is going to bite her in the ass spectacularly later on.
The interplay of truth/lies is definitely the major theme of the Tyler/Caroline/Matt triangle.
Caroline has been well established as someone who can’t tell a convincing lie to save her life, and, in the past, as someone who couldn’t keep secrets to herself.
In season one, Bonnie convinces Caro to spill a secret by saying, “Caroline Forbes, when in your life have you ever kept a secret?” When Caroline tries to keep a secret, people usually see right through her, like Elena quickly working out that Caro was working undercover for Katherine early in season two.
Caroline also can’t quite seem to find the right balance of which secrets to tell, and who to tell them to.
If she had gone to Tyler to tell him the truth about Mason’s death before he found out from another source, a secret he deserved to know, I have a feeling everything would have worked out so differently between them.
On the other extreme, I feel like she should have been more selective about what she told Matt. The fact that the tragedy of her story didn’t sway him at all, and that he was so quick to divulge her secrets and work against her, shows how wildly terrible her character judgment of people can be at times.
So, I’m not really mad at Caroline for telling all of those secrets. I’m just sad that whenever my poor Vampire Barbie shows trust in someone, it almost always seems to be squashed.
No wonder Tyler’s hesitation hurt her so much. She had his back during the transformation; she trusted that he would have hers in a life/death situation. So for the girl who always feels second best to people like Elena and abandoned by people she loves (her father never sees her; her mother is distant), having Tyler hesitate to help her and abandon her in her time of need stung badly.
The difference between Tyler and Matt is that Tyler screwed up in the heat of the moment when overwhelmed by a series of events and lack of information that could lead anyone to freeze in a moment of cowardice (let’s call a spade a spade), whereas, with premeditation and plenty of time to think it over, Matt is continuing to double cross Caro despite being told everything he could possibly want to know.
So, is it any wonder that I was disappointed that Klaus spent more time dedicating songs to Elena in this episode rather than adding some decorative blood to Matt’s Kennedy outfit?
It was hilarious that the person who told the dance crowd about Klaus’ dedication was Not Now Dana, who you might remember from The Descent as the chick who distracted Matt about a burger issue, when he was talking to Caro about why she had run away from his kiss earlier in the ep.
I’ve always been strangely fond of this chick
Heh. I bet the one thing Caro hasn’t told Matt about is a certain other kiss…
One thing that has been bugging me about the song dedication is that Not Now Dana says that a “hot guy”, no name, dedicated a song to Elena. Umm, Klaus was in Alaric’s body at the time, who is her HISTORY TEACHER. Either she is so dumb as to not recognise him, or has no probs with a teacher dedicating a song to a fellow student. Or maybe you can compel someone to remember you as looking entirely different? Yes, I get fixated on details like this.
Later, Matt picks Caroline up for the dance at her house, after Sheriff Forbes and Caroline share a bonding moment over how fabulous she looks, with Sheriff Forbes struggling to see the monster she expects to see in Caroline.
Fellow Tyler/Caroline lover 12_12_12 wrote the most incredible post imaginable about how Caroline’s doorway has been used as a metaphor by the writers for the state of Caro’s heart. Seriously, read it! For example, back in the Rose episode, Tyler broke his way into Caroline’s heart by literally breaking into Caro’s house to confront her when he thought she was a werewolf, and when Caro ended her friendship with Tyler she slammed her door in his face just like she closed her heart (for the time being) to him.
12_12_12 raised the interesting point that in this ep, Matt was framed as an intruder, standing outside Caro’s door, interrupting the mother-daughter moment. She is guessing that when Tyler/Caroline reconcile (when, not if ;)), that Caro will invite Tyler into her house, or lead him in by the hand.
I’m personally hoping for Tyler to literally kick Matt out of Caro’s house, or for the boys to have a fight inside Caro’s house after Tyler returns and sexual tension ensues after he gets back on better terms with Caro, as this would be a great way to symbolise their tug of war for her heart.
Or, I would just be happy with Caroline leading Tyler upstairs into her bedroom to have her way with him. I’m easily satisfied.
Seeing Caroline so bright and bubbly in her little Jackie O outfit was a reminder of why she is such an awesome heroine.
After all of the tragedy and crap she has gone through, she can still get excited about the next high school dance, and never loses her spirit of optimism that everything will work out.
Now, it is debateable whether there were some cracks in Matt’s vamp-hating resolve while at the dance with Caroline. He ducked out of some of her kisses and seemed a little repulsed by her, but as the evening wore on, I think he found it hard to reconcile the Caroline he was with with a complete and utter monster. Ultimately though, he didn’t admit to Caro what he and Sheriff Forbes had been doing.
For the love of God, come back Tyler!