Tyler = Jess? Plus, some season three tips for TVD writers when it comes to Tyler/Caroline

 

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Jess Mariano had me at “huh” and Tyler Lockwood had me at “we people”.

These tiny snarky moments, delivered with perfect comic timing by Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Trevino, first hooked me on these guys, who quickly became my soul mates for two of my favourite TV girls of all time, Rory Gilmore and Caroline Forbes.

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These guys represent messiness and the unknown for our girls, control freak overachievers who deny that their true equal and match is right in front of them, because they’re too busy trying to plan out their lives perfectly, and make their love lifes with Good Boy Woobies Dean Forester and Matt Donovan fit into the perfect ideal relationshipI think they could never have with them (click here for my rant about this trope that I sourced back to the days of Dawson Forehead Leery).

Jess and Tyler are TV characters who make me fangirl like no others (aside from Logan Echolls in seasons one and to a slightly lesser extent season two of Veronica Mars, and Damon Salvatore because Ian Somerhalder there are no words!).

That might seem strange, since these characters aren’t typically appealing. They are Bad Boys but their assholery is in no way charming, in fact they are intriguing to me IN SPITE OF many of their bad traits and less than sympathetic first impressions on screen (it also doesn’t hurt that I dig dark hair more than fair/light brown hair in RL – hey, I am honest about my superficial prejudices! – I don’t mean to but I definitely have a dark hair kink. Jensen Ackles is an exception to this rule).

Them getting their just desserts for being jerks, like Jess getting attacked by a swan, amuses me to no end despite my ❤

They’re called on their flaws regularly by the writers (labelled as tools, jerks, and deservedly so), INCLUDING by the girls they love. Objectively, I completely understand how members of fandom can violently hate these boys. I also know my opinion that Matt and Dean are controlling, passive-aggressive and beneath my beloved girls (though I LOVE Jared Padalecki and it has always pained me that I hate this character of his so) is a divisive one in Vampire Diaries and Gilmore Girls fandoms. Though Dean has more sympathy from me than Matt, for sure 😉

Caring about Tyler/Jess deeply is not the same thing as me justifying their errors in judgment, or being unaware of their deep flaws. But even at their worst, something brings me back to them, and the more I think about the Caroline/Tyler and Rory/Jess ships, especially in comparison to Matt/Caroline and Rory/Dean, the more I find that they have common denominators that explain why they both just plain work for me so much.

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It is interesting that Tyler and Jess are incredibly polarising characters, inciting both passionate love but also immense disdain. The funny thing is, this gamut of emotions makes perfect sense to me, and is part of their attraction for me.

I’m planning to write a massive Tyler = Jess? meta partway into Vampire Diaries season three, analysing how Tyler/Caroline are playing out as a couple as compared with Rory/Jess, since this is the make or break season for both couples after a year of incredible build up.

In the meantime, I just knew I needed to fangirl with fellow Jess/Tyler, and Tyler/Caroline and Jess/Rory lovers, particularly those gnawing their fingernails off in anticipation of Tyler crossing the line from friends into something more.

This means that spoilers ahoy below! I have hopes, fears and fannishly obsessed tips for the Vampire Diaries writers on how I hope they handle TC, which could make up for the scarring experience of s3 Gilmore Girls, something that almost turned me off shipping for good after the shredder Rory/Jess were put through.

Don’t worry if you want to stay unspoiled. Like I said, I’ll be revisiting this meta after we are through a good portion of season three Vampire Diaries, to see which of my hopes/fears come to pass.

First, OMFG, let’s analyse the circumstances around the Jess/Rory first kiss, which are striking similar to that of Tyler/Caroline’s.

Rory is at her friend Sookie’s wedding, after Jess has presumably moved away to New York forever. He left at a time their friendship had been on the tipping point of becoming something more but circumstances pulled them back before they went any further. Rory is still dating Dean at the time, though her heart isn’t in it anymore, because she has fallen for Jess (though hasn’t fully accepted that fact).

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Rory: What are you doing here?

Jess: I moved back.

Rory: What?

Jess: I moved back.

Rory: But why?

Jess: Just… wanted to.

[longing gazes are exchanged then Rory plants one on him before drawing away quickly]

Rory: Oh my God, Oh my God!

Jess: Rory…

Rory: Don’t say a word!

Jess: Okay.

 

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Compare that with the equivalent Tyler/Caroline moment…

 

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Tyler: We need to talk.

Caroline: Why? What’s wrong with you?

Tyler: I just don’t understand one thing.

Caroline: What?

Tyler: Why would you risk it? If a werewolf bite kills a vampire… why would you risk it?

Caroline: Because you needed help.

Tyler: I could have killed you.

Caroline: But you didn’t

Tyler: I don’t understand you, Caroline.

Caroline: Why is it so hard for you to let someone else help you?

Tyler: That’s not it.

Caroline: Yes it is, Tyler. It’s like you don’t want anyone to care about you and I’m sorry I cared. I care Tyler, so forgive me if I overstepped my boundaries by actually giving a…

[he kisses her]

Caroline: You can’t do that.

Tyler: I’m sorry, it’s…

Caroline: Everyone just needs to stop kissing me! (<3)

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There’s the Bonnie/Jeremy school of coupling, where the two characters go into painful expository detail about their feelings (Jeremy: Don’t act like this is one-sided, like I’m some kid who has a crush on his sister’s friend and later when Bonnie admits his crush is reciprocated: I remember your awkward phase and then your emo phase, your druggie phase, and overnight, you turned into this hot guy who’s really sweet and…) Steven R McQueen’s charm is enough for me to love Jeremy in spite of this chemistry suck of a relationship, because holy mother those lines are hella awkward if Legal to Lust Over (TM Amy) isn’t the one spouting them.

In contrast, Tyler/Caroline and Rory/Jess are based on Show Don’t Tell, where loaded glances and restrained longing are conveyed by the actors in subtext and simple, sometimes inarticulate dialogue (especially love bookaholic, snarktastic Jess who rarely holds back what he is thinking on practically every other matter saying, “I just… wanted to”).

So much is left unsaid in these pairings, but you know exactly how they feel in these scenes. Plus Rory and Caroline both have mini freakouts about the kissing and run away, with Tyler APOLOGISING and Jess saying “okay”, very different reactions than would be the norm for them. LOVE!

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Rory might make the first move unlike Caroline, but I interpret the Forwood scene as Caroline initially being unable to resist Tyler as much as Rory is finally unable to resist Jess – Caroline responds to Tyler’s impulsive kiss, including after he pauses to pull back and gaze into her eyes briefly (so it it can’t be labelled purely instinctive or a heat of the moment reaction IMO), before drawing away like Rory does. Although there are other guys in the picture, I think the girls draw back more so because they are simply afraid of the way these guys make them feel, how this threatens to upset their neatly ordered world, and deep down aren’t quite ready to ditch the Safety School option. Hee.

These kisses are just so sexy to me (and cute at the same time with the way they are punctuated!) that it is simply ridiculous! There are no grand gestures or sweeping statements made, because contrived or forced epicness isn’t required to make them interesting.

Let’s look at some other ways that Tyler/Jess, and Tyler/Caroline and Rory/Jess, parallel each other, shall we?

Tyler/Caroline and Rory/Jess “get” each other

My favourite Tyler/Caroline moment in season two is the “I get it” scene, where they talk about her reasons for keeping Matt in the dark about her new supernatural side and why she is distancing herself from Matt.

Tyler: So… Matt’s bumming pretty hard.

Caroline: I know. [off Tyler’s look] It’s better this way.

Tyler: I get it.

Caroline: [rolls her eyes, clearly sceptical] You do?

Tyler: Yeah. You can’t be honest with him. And it’s not really fair to be with someone, and not really let them know who you are. I get it.

[Caroline stares after him in astonishment as he keeps walking ahead]

 *unicorns in eyes, unicorns in eyes*

Caroline is used to being dismissed as a neurotic control freak on crack, even by herself, and having people assume that her motives for doing things are shallow and silly, with the shorthand sometimes being “well, and it IS Caroline”. Here, Tyler is essentially saying that he knows that her reasons behind breaking up with Matt are those of a thoughtful person deserving of respect.

His ability to outline those exact reasons shows how completely in tune he is now with the way she thinks, plus he is revealing a side to himself that I bet few other than Caroline have ever seen: that he is observant about the subtleties and nuances of human relationships, and really thinks about people’s motivations for doing things. Part of the reason he is such an effective bully in season one is he understands what makes people tick and where their sore points are. I also like how this scene reinforces that if people can’t see Caroline’s goodness because they are going by superficial judgments, they’re missing out on the care of a pretty amazing girl.

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 As a bb werewolf and bb vampire going through similar experiences of adjusting to being a supernatural creature, plus having gone through Tyler’s harrowing first transformation together, there is a bond of shared understanding I truly think no one will ever be able to touch or come close to overcoming. This is one of the reasons why Stefan/Caroline don’t work as a romantic ship for me, as much as I love their friendship and Paul Wesley/Candice Accola’s chemistry.

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Stefan is more a mentor (though roles may be reversed this season if Caroline becomes his modern day Lexi) to Caroline than an equal. Yes, Caroline supports Tyler, but they have a common bond of shared experience of being a bb supe at the same time. I just think Caroline and Tyler can relate on a level Stefan/Caroline currently can’t. Ripper!Stefan may knock Stefan off his hero hairdo pedestal enough for Caroline/Stefan to be viable in the future, though obvs this is not where my preferences lie.

Withering stare…

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Rory and Jess bond for various reasons. They have a shared love of books and music, and discuss these to a fangirly/fanboi-y level.

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Although Rory doesn’t have the daddy issues complex Jess does (at least, outwardly), I think that her occasionally strained relationship with her father Christopher, who flits in and out of her life often obliviously causing damage to his daughter, means she is predisposed to relating to Jess in a way other people in Stars Hollow can’t. Except for much of season three, where we start being denied Jess’s point of view, Rory/Jess are also just open and honest with each other in the way that Caroline/Tyler are. 

Rory ends up knowing Jess so well that when he writes a book, she describes it in terms of understanding him.

Jess: You don’t have to read it again.

Rory: I know I don’t.

Jess: There’s so many things I would change in it.

Rory: Like what?!

Jess: I’d… keep the back cover, everything else goes!

Rory: You know why I love your book?

Jess: Why?

Rory: It doesn’t remind me of anything! It’s not a rip off, it’s just you.

Jess: High praise, Miss Yale Editor!

Sorry, this next quoting is extensive, but I love this scene so goddamn much and it needs to be left in full 😉 

Rory: Serious question?
Jess: Okay.
Rory: You know you’re smarter than most everybody at your school. It takes you like five minutes to finish a book. You read everything, you remember everything, you could ace those classes easily. Why don’t you? You don’t need a tutor. It’s crazy that they’re talking about leaving you back.
Jess: Whatever.
Rory: You can do anything you wanted, you can be anything you wanted.
Jess: Rory.
Rory: I… is it like a cool thing?
Jess: I could care less about being cool.
Rory: Well, inform me, please.
Jess: I’m never going to college, why waste the time in high school?
Rory: And why aren’t you going to college?
Jess: Please.
Rory: What? Please what – why is it so crazy?
Jess: Ask my mother, she could give you a couple reasons. Oh, and I’m sure Principal Mertin can chime in with a few good ones. In fact, ask your mother. She doesn’t know me all that well but I’m sure she could improvise a few things.
Rory: Do not give me that whole ‘I’m so misunderstood, Kurt Cobainy’ thing. You are way stronger than that and I don’t even wanna hear it. You have to go to college.

Jess: So, Courtney, what about you?
Rory: What about me?
Jess: What are your big ambitions?
Rory: Harvard.
Jess: And after Harvard?
Rory: I’m gonna be a journalist.
Jess: Paula Zahn?
Rory: Christiane Amapour
Jess: You’re gonna be an overseas correspondent?
Rory: Yes, I am.
Jess: You’re gonna crawl around in trenches and stand on top of buildings and have bombs going off in the background and some wars raging all around you?
Rory: What, you don’t think I can do it?
Jess: No, I do. Just sounds a little too – .
Rory: A little what?
Jess: Just sounds a little too rough for you.
Rory: Well, it’s not a little too rough for me. I hope it’s not a little too rough for me, I’ve been talking about this forever. I mean, I don’t even know what I would do if – .
Jess: Hey, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll do it. You will, I promise. I’ll help you practice, okay? Tomorrow, you’ll stand in the middle of the street and I will drive straight at you screaming in a foreign language.
Rory: Well, you’re gonna have to learn a foreign language first.
Jess: Well, it’s lucky I’ve got me a tutor, isn’t it? Okay, so I guess we should be getting back. I did promise to study if you went on this ice cream run with me.
Rory: Yes, you did.
Jess: Okay, so I just go straight and we’ll be back at Luke’s.
Rory: Good sense of direction.
Jess: Of course, I could turn right and then we’d just be driving around in circles for awhile.
Rory: Turn right.
Jess: As you wish.

Just like Caroline felt comfortable enough with Tyler to roll her eyes at him openly when he said he understood why she was distancing herself from Matt (though this situation marked a turning point in her opening up even more completely with Tyler in future interactions), Rory feels comfortable calling Jess on his Kurt Cobain-y crap. There is genuine affection and respect, and there is a solid foundation of friendship where each party wants what is best for the other and isn’t afraid of cutting direct to the issue.

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This is noteworthy because Tyler and Jess have trust issues up to the wazoo and generally keep their feelings hidden away, so having them talk like this to these girls is nothing short of revelatory.

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I remember reading a scene in a book by my favourite Australian author John Marsden, called Letters From the Inside, where the stoic, insular female character Lisa, who normally never opens up about herself, talks after lights out one night in the girl’s school dormitory about her parent’s divorce. There is a kind of reverence to the silence as the other girls listen to Lisa bare her soul, because this moment is as evanescent as a butterfly fluttering onto your palm, something fascinating that you don’t want to scare away because you know how rare this experience is. This feeling of fleetingness is part of what makes Tyler/Caroline and Jess/Rory so epic for me – there is always this feeling that this thing of beauty could so easily slip away, that these guys will clam up again despite finally opening up, and that these girls will go back to going through the motions after finally coming alive and being challenged and excited by someone in a positive way. The connections these girls share with these guys just creates a similar feeling in me as those girls in the dorm room, listening and hardly daring to breathe. Nope, I am not too invested 😉

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As a brief aside, the fact that Jess referenced Princess Bride (“as you wish”) in that scene makes him my spirit animal to this day.

This scene also touches on a shared trait of Tyler’s and Jess’s – unwillingness to try wholeheartedly because they are so convinced they are going to fail anyway, so what’s the point? That is, of course, until something comes along that finally matters. Jess is wildly smart, yet is convinced he will never go to college. Tyler is a little punk in season one who acts out constantly, and I thought his father’s line that “this is the last time you embarrass this family” is telling. Part of Tyler’s acting out is the aggression inherent in his latent werewolf gene. Part of me also thinks it is Tyler creating an image of being a dick, because if people already think lowly of him, what does he have to lose?

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I’m not surprised that Jeremy/Tyler have a grudging friendship at times, because I feel like Jeremy’s druggie persona had a similar purpose. He reacted to the loss of his parents by being as self-destructive as possible, keeping most people at a distance because getting attached meant possibly getting hurt or disappointed. Of course, like Tyler does with Caroline, Jeremy falls for Vicki, and someone DOES matter again. It’s not like the girls they love are the only ones they care about, but I feel like with them they really put their hearts on the line. So, Jyler? Completely works for me.

Tyler and Jess are highly self-aware and aware of Rory and Caroline’s occasional lack of self-awareness when it comes to their feelings

Tyler and Jess are among the most self-aware male characters I’ve ever come across, which is partly why they don’t really like themselves that much (though they do mature and grow into their skin a little) and can hardly believe when their girls think they are worth their time.

We see it in the car scene above when Jess acknowledges that he is aware of how others perceive him, and that because of the way he acts he can limit the opportunities others are willing to give him. Yet, he doesn’t care for other people’s rules or social codes about how things should be, and is happy to tell Rory as such (“I couldn’t care less about cool”) Remember also that time Jess tells Luke that he can’t believe Rory picked him over Dean in season three? I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how Tyler will feel a lot of the time in season three, and be an issue TC have to overcome.

We’ve seen this in Tyler implicitly already, what with him telling Matt that Caroline deserves someone like him (the implication being that he knows he doesn’t deserve the girl). He tells Caroline the reason he left Mystic Falls is because he thought she didn’t deserve someone like him in her life. (you know, I thought Trevino’s delivery of this was weird when the episode first aired, but in retrospect, his slightly stilted and wooden delivery made perfect sense – he is no doubt delivering a speech to Caroline he’s rehearsed or thought about a million times). Matt breaking up with Caroline made Tyler realise Matt is not worthy of her (evident in his almost imperceptible shake of the head where he is clearly thinking “you idiot, Matt”), but that doesn’t mean Tyler thinks he is.

Tyler’s also said that he is “an angry guy” and doesn’t want to give in to the darker impulses he’s aware he has. I think he is more proactive than Jess at wanting something more, wanting to be better, because it didn’t take losing the girl for him to work on this part of himself. Though Jess writing a book as part of a journey to be worthy of Rory makes it all worthwhile. Catch me while I swoon, or fall to the ground with me while you swoon in unison.

Actions tend to speak louder than words with Jess, especially in the end, and I’m curious to see if this is also the case with Tyler is season three. As much as I want “I love yous” and unicorns and glitter, I’ll be watching like a hawk for simple acts of love (like buying a wall, for example) – I am more eager for an “I trust you” than “I love you”, since I think this is the key quality underpinning Tyler/Caroline and Rory/Jess that builds into love.

Also, note the lack of karaoke in the Jess/Rory relationship (I consider Lorelai’s serenade to Luke to be a low point of a ship I adored in the first four seasons and sporadically in later seasons, partly explaining my cringing reaction to Caroline’s serenade of Matt). I think the Say Anything boombox thing is really the only occasion where a karaoke-related activity worked for me, as did its parody in Easy A. My fangirl double standards rear their ugly head in the weirdest of places.

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This lack of feeling worthy, combined with their own idiotic actions, can drive these boys to leave the girl “for the girl’s own good”. Jess left it too late to return to Rory, who never could quite forgive him enough to be with him again. Tyler returned to Mystic Falls from running away much sooner due to vaguely homicidal witches gathering ingredients for a sacrifice (Forwood shippers, the lot of them) and hurting his mother in the process. Caroline was able to set him straight on the fact that he should never have left so at least these crazy kids might make it work.

Tyler/Jess make it All About Caroline/Rory, whereas Matt/Dean make it All About Them (yes, even Dean, though he is much less suckworthy than Matt)

Tyler/Jess want what is best for Caroline/Rory, even at the expense of their own happiness. Dean/Matt basically freak out when Caroline/Rory don’t act the way they want them to. I know I’m skating on thin ice here with CuteDean fans. I don’t deny that he worships Rory in a way Matt never has Caroline, since Rory is The Girl of the series, and not The Placeholder as Caroline is. This instantly means that the dynamics are a little different, and honestly Caroline and Dean could easily get together over coffee and lament how Rory and Matt never appreciated them, because let’s face it, sometimes Rory was downright rotten in her treatment of Dean.

BUT. Dean is overcontrolling and possessive and demands Rory love him in the way that suits HIM, and not just season two Dean IMO – an unpopular opinion in fandom. When Dean broke up with Rory in season one because she couldn’t say “I love you” back, my mouth just hung open, and he lost me. Here is a girl from a broken family who doesn’t want to say an empty “I love you”, who really wants to mean it when she says it, and he acts like this?! Telling someone you love them doesn’t make them obligated to respond in kind. Seriously, Dean, take notes from Landon in A Walk to Remember, who gave Jamie time and space to tell him how she felt when she was ready.

The underlying message that Rory was punished because she couldn’t bring herself to say the words back (by him breaking up with her) was just wrong. Later, Lorelai tells Rory she doesn’t want her to have commitment issues the way that she does, and maybe that is what held Rory back from telling Dean what he wanted to hear. It’s missing the point though. If Rory didn’t feel the exact same way at the same time as Dean, or was uncomfortable expressing the intensity of her emotions, Dean should have respected this.

Dean’s All About Me side continually came out in early season two as well, long before Jess appeared. Compare his jealous freak out that Rory wants to spend ONE DAY away from him to do voluntary work to help build up her Harvard application to Jess’ support of her aspiration to become a foreign correspondent and Ivy League it:

Rory: What, you don’t think I can do it?
Jess: No, I do. Just sounds a little too – .
Rory: A little what?
Jess: Just sounds a little too rough for you.
Rory: Well, it’s not a little too rough for me. I hope it’s not a little too rough for me, I’ve been talking about this forever. I mean, I don’t even know what I would do if – .
Jess: Hey, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll do it. You will, I promise. I’ll help you practice, okay? Tomorrow, you’ll stand in the middle of the street and I will drive straight at you screaming in a foreign language.
Rory: Well, you’re gonna have to learn a foreign language first.

I don’t really like the “sounds a little rough for you” bit, though most people in Stars Hollow are overprotective of her and wrap her in cotton wool, so there is some truth to this. Plus, a lot of things come easily to Rory, so Jess is a nice reminder that life doesn’t always work that way. He isn’t afraid of presenting reality to her, yet ultimately being lovely and supportive.

Also, how could I not mention the sprinkler scene in season three, where we get sexy and adorable Wet!Jess helping out Rory who also just happens to ask whether Rory is still going to do the Harvard thing, and just glows with admiration and happiness for her when she confirms that yes, she is. On a swimfan note, the Vampire Diaries writers really need to work in a wet t-shirt moment for Tyler. For more important parallel-drawing purposes.

Matt is far worse than Dean about making it All About Him. There are just too many examples, so I’ll select a choice few.

His declaration of love in early season two is more about not wanting to be lonely than making Caroline feel special.

“I’m not in a position where I can lose someone else right now. I realised, even though today I wanted to throttle you, I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with you.”

Another example is their break up scene at the end of the season. Caroline has just discovered that Matt has been conspiring with her sheriff mother to spy on her and potentially kill her. No apologies, no regrets follow his realisation that Caroline’s spirit is still intact.

Instead, we get this pearler of a speech: “I get it. This is your life now. You know what my life is, Care? My life is an absentee mom. And a bunch of bills to pay, and school, and a job, and it sucks sometimes. But it’s my life. And… I think that I just want to live it without all of this.”

Maybe if he had been more sympathetic to Caroline’s plight I could care about his, but really I just handwaved this little moment of self-pity with an inward “cry me a river”.

Yet Tyler watching Caroline on her porch from the shadows in Crying Wolf reduced me to a 13 year old girl.

If we didn’t have Tyler!Ass in skinny black jeans in the episode, I might never have recovered from the fangirl trauma 😉

He had screwed up badly at this point (though I will point out that Matt was more proactive in malicious actions when spying on Caroline despite redeeming himself a bit by backing out when he realised Caroline was Caroline, whereas Tyler hesitated as a confluence of events overwhelmed him in a critical moment – the sublte difference in intent is really significant). Tyler didn’t think making amends would ever be possible at that point, but he made sure Caroline was going to be with someone he thought would take care of her in his parting moment with Matt.

Tyler going to see Caroline after the events of Daddy Issues to make sure she was okay (“I had no idea they would come for you”) had shades of Jess saying to Luke “I made sure she was okay” after the car accident, Y/Y? Jess/Tyler can hurt people badly even when their intentions are not malicious, so I can understand how people despised them for these scenes, but their hearts are not in the wrong place and that’s what counts to me.

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It is also interesting how differently Tyler and Caroline frame issues/questions regarding Matt.

In the “I get it” scene, Caroline said, “It’s better this way [that she is distant from Matt]”, that for Matt’s sake it is better she isn’t with him. Tyler concurs, but not just because Caroline could introduce complications in Matt’s life. “It’s not fair to be with someone if you can’t be honest with them” isn’t person-specific, he could just as easily be speaking about how it isn’t fair for Caroline to not be allowed to be herself, as much as it isn’t fair for Matt to be with someone who is concealing important facts about herself. My interpretation is that Tyler cares more about the former than the latter 😉

The Tyler/Caroline deleted scene from season two reinforces this notion. Tyler asks, “Why can’t you be with him?” which is almost a reiteration of the “I get it” scene. Here, Tyler is wanting to understand better why Caroline is keeping her distance from Matt, the impact it is having on HER, the focus is completely off Matt. So where I feel like Matt often makes it All About Him (“want to know what MY life is, Care?”), Tyler is making it All About Caroline. Making his attention all the more amazing is that he had gone through a life-altering transformation the night before, a highly painful one at that, yet he could still be there for Caroline, reassuring her things would be okay with her mother and Matt, even as it was dawning on him he might care for Caroline more than as a friend.

I mean, compare Tyler (“Whatever you need, I’m here”) to Matt (“I told you I love you, what more do you need?”) and there is just no competition, is there?

Romeo & Juliet angle

Lorelai and Luke faced off after a minor car accident with Jess behind the wheel in which Rory got hurt, temporarily ending their friendship. This was a common theme with Jess and the Stars Hollow townspeople. No one really thought Jess was good enough for her or right for her, with only Rory seeing Jess for who he really was underneath the surface. The car accident was exactly that, an ACCIDENT, but apart from Luke everyone in town acted as though Jess had been deliberate in hurting Rory, when it was obvious he liked and respected her. Rory really endeared herself to me when she got completely frustrated with everyone’s reaction.

The stakes will obviously be higher with Tyler/Caroline in season three, what with them being from warring supernatural species and indications that Tyler’s mother will try to physically harm Caroline. Forbidden lovers are just catnip for me, k?

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Tyler/Jess call people on their crap

Jess turned calling people on their crap into an artform during his stint in Stars Hollow, practically making it his life’s mission to greet people with uncomfortable truths and snark. Later, he would learn to target this skill at people who deserved it like LOGAN LOGAN LOGAN, for example. (Like seriously, if not Jess, why not fucking Marty? Why Logan?)

Let’s revel in season six Jess, who justifies the existence of Logan in Gossip Girl canon for me. We get Jess/Rory interactions where he tells it like it is, but out of care for her and wanting what is best for her. Vampire Diaries writers, should you be planning to emulate Tyler in any way after Jess, this version, not season three Jess, is what you should go for. Someone who wants what is best for the girl and won’t sugarcoat stuff just because he loves her, someone who isn’t vindictive, but can stand up to her if SHE treats HIM shabbily, as Rory does Jess at one point, and forgive her because her human flaws don’t have to define her anymore than his flaws don’t have to define him from her POV.

Logan, Rory’s obnoxious latter seasons boyfriend, gatecrashes a reunion she has with Jess.

Logan: Oh. You penned the great American novel, Jess?

Jess: Wasn’t quite that ambitious.

Logan: So, what are we talking here? Short novel? Kafka length, or longer, Dos Pasos? Tolstoy? Or longer/ Robert Musil? Proust? I’m not throwing you with these names, am I?

Jess: You seem very obsessed with length.

LMAO forever Jess!

Logan: You should send me a copy.

Jess: Sure. Where do I send it? The blond dick at Yale?

Honestly, how the writers could write a scene like this and not realise Logan needed to DIAF was beyond my comprehension. I have some sympathy for Dean because Rory did walk over his heart on many occasions, but my Logan hate has an intensity all of its own.

Vampire Diaries writers, sit up and take notice of this tip: If you have Matt act like a total douche towards Caroline, as is likely to be the case given there have been spoilers about Matt/Caroline sharing an unpleasant encounter in the season three premiere, PLEASE let Tyler use his snark for the power of good as Jess did.

We’ve seen Tyler snarkage at work already. Like him cutting through Jeremy’s let’s be friend’s dance despite their general animosity in season one, once he discovers that Tyler has artistic skills to rival his own:

Click to view full size image

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Jeremy: That’s just something else we have in common.

Tyler: What’s the other thing? Vicki? Let’s hang out because we did the same chick? Go be friends with the many other guys she screwed.

In this scene he is an unrepentant asshole. Imagine if this vitriol were directed at someone who deserved it? It would be too delicious for words.

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Tyler does very impressive “bitch please” face. Bonus!

I also just love the Jess/Rory scene that follows Logan’s outburst:

Rory: Jess! Wait! [she catches up with him] Jess, I’m sorry.

Jess: We shouldn’t have done this.

Rory: He’s just in a bad way lately-

Jess: He’s a jerk!

Rory: He was in there, definitely. I am SO sorry.

Jess: I read that guy the second I saw him, I should have begged off.

Rory: Well, I didn’t want you to!

Jess: He’d better not come out here!

Rory: Please, Jess, he had a lot to drink, he’s tired from travelling… this isn’t him, I swear.

Jess: What the hell is going on?

Rory: I told you! He’s tired, and his family’s bugging him right now-

Jess: No, I mean, with you! What’s going on with you?

Rory: What do you mean?

Jess: You know what I mean! I know you, I know you better than anyone! This isn’t you!

Rory: [defensive] I don’t know.

Jess: What are you doing? Living at your grandparents’ place – being in the DAR- no Yale – why did you drop out of Yale?!

Rory: It’s complicated!

Jess: It’s not, it’s not ‘complicated’!

Rory: You don’t know!

Jess: This isn’t you! This! You going out with this jerk? With a Porsche? We made fun of guys like this!

Rory: You caught him on a bad night.

Jess: This isn’t about HIM! Okay? Screw him! What’s going on with you? This isn’t you, Rory, you know it isn’t! What’s going on?!

Rory looks down. Jess peers into her eyes, trying to read her expression.

Rory: [defensive] I don’t know! [softly, unsure] I don’t know…

Yes, Jess, it is not about Logan or Matt or Dean or even you, it’s about the girl, and how you can help her be the best version of herself, just as she has helped you be.

God, I hope that this is what Tyler will be to Caroline next season. Perhaps not in quite the same way, but just being someone who makes her feel valued for being exactly who she is, and isn’t afraid of calling her out on her BS when she is lacking integrity… but in a way where he is being caring, not controlling or possessive.

Vampire Diaries writers, Rory/Jess’s fate is a cautionary tale of how you SHOULDN’T fuck up the Caroline/Tyler ship.

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Please, please do not saddle Caroline with being in love with a guy like Logan who does not love or appreciate her in the way she deserves… and don’t wrench my heart by having the perfect guy be within her grasp, only for him to let her go just because he wants her to be happy. We’ve had Tyler do the self-sacrifice thing already with Matt, DNW a future repeat.

Unlike Jess, who knew pretty much immediately Logan is a dick, Tyler actually told Matt to take care of Caroline – in his final scene with Rory, Jess was already resigned to the fact that the girl of his dreams was wasting herself on a guy who would never be to her what he could have been, had he not been an idiot himself in the past.

Jess was extremely good at reading people (about Logan: I read that guy immediately) – I mean, he warmed to Paris almost instantly and bantered away happily with her in their one scene together, for crying out loud! Tyler is always assessing people’s motivations, but I’m curious to see his overall judgment of people’s characters will have improved in season three. In most cases he has read people incredibly well, but in life/death situations or times of heightened drama his judgment has been clouded (see Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf).

Jess: You look happier than when I saw you last.

Jess: So… you fixed everything?

Rory: Yeah. Everything’s fixed.

Jess: … I’m glad you’re here.

Rory: Yeah, me too.

[Jess leans in and kisses her but Rory pulls away]

Jess: What?

Rory: I’m… sorry.

Jess: About what?

Rory: Ah… about coming here like this! I just got the fire, and I don’t know, I just wanted to see your place, but then… this… It’s not fair to you, I’m such a jerk!

Jess: I – I don’t know what you’re talking about!

Rory: I couldn’t even cheat on him the way he cheated on me!

Jess: Who? Who cheated on you – that guy?! Oh… you’re still with him.

Rory: Yeah.

Jess: I thought everything was ‘fixed’.

Rory: Everything but him.

Jess: I hate this.

Rory: You should, I’m sorry!

Jess: You came here alone, to Philadelphia!

Rory: He was out of town.

Jess: I don’t deserve this, Rory.

Rory: No, you don’t! You don’t deserve it! I just… I’m in love with him. Despite all the bad he’s done, I can’t help it, I’m in love with him.

Jess: [ironically] Love, huh?

Rory: Yeah…

Jess: I guess I’ll call Matthew, he’s a poet, and have him explain love to me. Poets know all about it, right?

Rory: They’re supposed to. I’m so sorry I came here.

Jess: I’m not. It’s what it is, you, me. [as Rory walks away] Hey, uh… if it makes you feel better, you can always tell him that we did ‘something’.

Rory: Thanks, Jess.

Loved that Jess wanted confirmation that Rory was happy and “whole” (that she had “fixed” everything) before making his move. Just like Tyler was there for Caroline when she was crying up over breaking up with Matt purely as a friend, even though as Dogtown has pointed out at Television Without Pity, in the past Tyler would probably have taken advantage of a girl in a vulnerable position like that, coaxing her into sex to make her feel better that would later leave her feeling anything but.

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Just as Caroline AND Tyler were culpable for the fallout in Daddy Issues, both Jess and Rory have hurt each other. Jess abandoned Rory, and here Rory is using Jess to get back at Logan, though I still think she was drawn to visiting him because he’s Jess. Caroline’s lies, though well-intentioned, were largely swept under the carpet, and I hope her complicity in the whole Mason cover up is revisited (although 12_12_12 has talked me off this particular ledge with her belief that, while an oversimplification, Tyler’s shouldering the blame is a refreshing gender reversal because usually the girl would get most of the criticism in a situation like this, so we’ll take it).

Loved that Jess is so quick to forgive Rory and even offers that she can say they did something if she wants, even though saying this must have broken his heart. Likewise, Caroline and Tyler’s ability to reflect on what happened and realise they were wrong in their own way and just missed their friend, so were instantly caring about one another’s well being when Tyler returns to Mystic Falls? LOVE!

What I did not love is obviously that Rory just let her soul mate go. Vampire Diaries writers, I implore you to not have Caroline settle for less than she deserves OMFG. Please don’t hurt my heart like this!

Also, writers, please, please do not have Caroline regret losing Matt in any way, shape or form ALA Rory with Dean. Dean at least loved Rory wholeheartedly, perhaps too much, whereas Matt’s love is debateable, declarations notwithstanding. Rory did not deserve to be punished for choosing someone who was more compatible over the Safety School choice by having Dean’s Perfect New Girlfriend Lindsey rubbed in her nose. I will weep angry tears if Caroline is left feeling like she missed the boat by not ending up with Matt, especially as she tried much harder than Rory to keep that relationship together.

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Final word: we keep hearing about how Tyler will cause Caroline’s chest monster to erupt when he dances with Urges Girl at Elena’s birthday. This cliché can work if an original spin is taken on it. Gilmore Girls itself took a unique approach at the dance marathon in season three. Rory was dancing with Dean rather than watching Jess dance with random girl Shane, watching these dance marathon spectators jealously in an inversion of this trope. I hope Tyler is more mature than Jess was at this point and that his Urges Girl date isn’t a calculated attempt by him to get Caroline to see the light on her feelings, since I think Tyler is above that at this point. Pretty please just let it be him trying move on, and give us a fresh approach like you’ve done with almost everything in the TC arc.

Because I am 13 at heart, I LOVED the childish squabbling of Rory/Jess where they were both clearly digging each other but woudn’t admit it in so many words. Their Ron/Hermionesque banter where they’re working out their angst but arguing about anything but the real issue at hand worked for me. Considering Caroline is treated as The Placeholder and Rory The Girl in their shows as a general rule, a different tack with the Caroline chest monster would be better. I just want Tyler to reassure Caroline of her importance in his life, take her jealousy in his stride, and genuinely ask her why she’s so upset he’s dancing with someone else.

As much as the Jess/Rory arc pains me because of an ending that leaves me feeling unfulfilled, in some ways that tragic sense of missed opportunities and what ifs (what if Jess got it together earlier? what if Rory hadn’t had a brief fling with Dean after he got married and ditched Jess when he first tried to reunite with her? what if Rory hadn’t been dating Logan when she and Jess kissed again in season six?) is what makes the pair so memorable. This same sense of missed opportunities underpinned Daddy Issues, and is why I love this episode – it hurts my heart so badly but it is so damn powerful at the same time.

 So, bbs, we are on the home stretch, counting down to the Vampire Diaries season three premiere. What is your take on Jess/Tyler? Do you have any other tips for the Vampire Diaries writers to heed based on the Jess/Rory arc?

Do you want Tyler/Caroline to be bittersweet like Rory/Jess’s ending was in the long term?

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

23 responses to “Tyler = Jess? Plus, some season three tips for TVD writers when it comes to Tyler/Caroline

  • Susan

    This is very impressive. I loved Rory/Jess alot, but they were never an OTP like Tyler/Caroline are. I’d be absolutely CRUSHED if they ruined TC in the same way they ruined Rory/Jess at the end. I’m just going to comfort myself with the notion that they were playing Jess as her bad boy boyfriend before she went off to college and Tyler/Caroline’s relationship, elevated by supernatural circumstances, will be much more intense and epic. Things don’t have to go perfectly, but I really hope they eventually ditch the Matt/Caroline angle and move him on to someone else or off the show entirely. Caroline needs to stop being so weak. It makes her look pathetic. I want Tyler to be her great love.

    And I will stop watching the show forever if they ever do romantic Caroline/Stefan (this isn’t GG. They don’t need Caroline to get with every guy on the show! And they don’t need her to get with another guy who will always only care about Elena) In fact, I hate all of their interactions now. Their fans have seen to that. Also, the writers for throwing Tyler under a bus in 213 just to prop the SC “friendship” in 213 (that episode also tainted Caroline for me too). I’ll have to change the channel if any of that crap comes on now unless the writers go on record saying that it will never be romantic and that they’ll just be good friends.

    • oxymoron417

      “This is very impressive. I loved Rory/Jess alot, but they were never an OTP like Tyler/Caroline are. I’d be absolutely CRUSHED if they ruined TC in the same way they ruined Rory/Jess at the end. I’m just going to comfort myself with the notion that they were playing Jess as her bad boy boyfriend before she went off to college and Tyler/Caroline’s relationship, elevated by supernatural circumstances, will be much more intense and epic. Things don’t have to go perfectly, but I really hope they eventually ditch the Matt/Caroline angle and move him on to someone else or off the show entirely. Caroline needs to stop being so weak. It makes her look pathetic. I want Tyler to be her great love.”

      YES, YES, YES.

      I think they also wanted to do Rory/Jess as an obstacle for Luke and Lorelai, and I don’t know if the writers ever had a long term plan for Jess.

      I think Caroline and Tyler will fare better. And YES to Tyler being Caroline’s great love.

    • Spidey Sense

      Hi Susan!

      Is this Susan from Fan Forum by any chance?! If so, I always love your dry wit and posts over there (yes, I lurk often, but am often so mind-exhausted after writing meta like this that I run out of witty or even half-way interesting things to say ;))

      So glad you enjoyed the meta! I was re-watching season two of Gilmore Girls because I’d already been thinking of similarities between Jess and Tyler. Imagine my amazement at being reminded how many parallels these two couples have, right down to that first kiss 😉

      I’m taking a cue from optimistic Forwood unicorn bunny Alyssa and believe that Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf was like season three of Jess/Rory concentrated, and now we are in for a whole season of a Tyler who is like season six Jess – still essentially Tyler, but with undiluted awesome!

      Honestly, I think the main issue with Jess/Rory is that Milo Ventimiglia only signed a two year contract so they knew he would be moving on soon and had to torpedo the ship. I’m happy with the way they redeemed Jess, and am glad that if Rory couldn’t end up with him in canon (though no one will ever convince me that she didn’t end up with him a few years down the track ;)), at least Rory ended up with her career rather than freaking LOGAN.

      Funny, I haven’t come across many pure Caroline/Stefan shippers – more Forwood shippers who could handle Stefan/Caroline happening as a diversion down the track. I guess I tend to hang out with in forums with cool shippers like you, since I have had any bad experiences… yet. I really am just left scratching my head when people actually think Caroline and Matt are healthy and cute because, just, no. Just, no.

      12_12_12 has raised some good points about why Caroline/Stefan should remain platonic. Caroline has always been treated like The Placeholder, with Elena The Girl who gets everything. Tyler is someone who truly belongs to Caroline and Caroline only – I love that Tyler is friendly with Elena but immune to her charms. Stefan’s love might experience some obstacles, but Stelena are set up as a linchpin supercouple for the series, so I doubt any girl will act as a true obstacle. Moreover, Caroline does not deserve yet another one of Elena’s castaways if she breaks up with Stefan as all signs indicate this season – an important part of Caroline’s arc is the girl who is “never the one” being the ONLY one for someone, IMO.

      It’s interesting how Tyler’s actions in Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf received such a vehement response (and honestly, that is partly why I love him so much – he is held accountable by the show AND fandom, I hate characters who are absolved just because)… but Stefan’s actions towards Caroline AND Tyler for that matter seem to be largely whitewashed.

      From Tyler’s point of view, Stefan was involved in his uncle’s murder and despite ostensibly selling a Martin Luther King positive coexistence speech, his use of intimidation of Tyler just contradicted this message. Vampires are in a position of privilege compared with werewolves in this verse; there is a haves/have nots vibe (compare Salvatore mansion to Jules/Brady’s caravan – Lockwood mansion is an exception, which I attribute to my spec that vampires Elijah and Klaus are linked to the Lockwoods). I was mad at Tyler, yet gobsmacked that people completely overlooked the Mason factor and Stefan’s approach to talking Tyler down, which is hardly what Caroline had in mind when she asked Stefan to help out. His cuteness with the sleepover etc seemed to completely block out Stefan’s more ambiguous actions in this episode, but for me this wasn’t the case. I think more attention should have been put on Stefan’s moral ambiguity here.

      Moreover, Caroline/Stefan would need to address issues of season one for me to ever believe them as a couple. Stefan used Caroline as a freaking vervaine vehicle to take Damon down, which I guess you could argue was desperate times calling for desperate measures, but I hated that Caroline was left to wake up alone and presumably no one cared for her afterwards. Stefan said antagonising Damon and trying to get him to stop doing stuff only made it worse, but I still find him allowing Damon to hurt Caroline without intervening, much like the current Andie situation, to be hard to swallow. Why not give Caroline vervaine straight away? It took AGES for Stefan and Elena to give her the vervaine necklace.

      I love all of these characters a lot, but I refuse to put on rose coloured glasses for them. My honest conclusion is that Caroline/Tyler are the true soul mates, and if there is to be a Tyler/Caroline/Stefan triangle, they should play the familial versus love angle more. There are more intriguing possibilities than romance here: Caroline being Stefan’s new Lexi, Papa Stefan wanting to keep his baby vamp away from the big bad wolf when his Ripper phase is over, tension between Caroline/Tyler over Stefan’s guiding role in her life despite Stefan’s role in Mason’s death.

      • Susan

        Yes, that’s me! LOL. I’m so embarrassed now because I sound like a freak half of the time! LOL. I’m just a very damaged shipper.

        I love all of these characters a lot, but I refuse to put on rose coloured glasses for them. My honest conclusion is that Caroline/Tyler are the true soul mates, and if there is to be a Tyler/Caroline/Stefan triangle, they should play the familial versus love angle more. There are more intriguing possibilities than romance here: Caroline being Stefan’s new Lexi, Papa Stefan wanting to keep his baby vamp away from the big bad wolf when his Ripper phase is over, tension between Caroline/Tyler over Stefan’s guiding role in her life despite Stefan’s role in Mason’s death.

        I wish the show was this smart…but honestly the writers would just mess it up and the fandom would be horrible.

        Funny, I haven’t come across many pure Caroline/Stefan shippers – more Forwood shippers who could handle Stefan/Caroline happening as a diversion down the track. I guess I tend to hang out with in forums with cool shippers like you, since I have had any bad experiences… yet. I really am just left scratching my head when people actually think Caroline and Matt are healthy and cute because, just, no. Just, no.

        I would NEVER be able to handle any kind of romantic SC. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Just because Stefan would be broken up with Elena doesn’t mean he needs a love interest and it definitely doesn’t mean that love interest would have to be Caroline. It honestly disgusts me. Where’s the tension in that relationship?! That’s cause there IS none. It would be boring. Just keep them friends if they have to have scenes at all.

        The delusional SC fans are out there and they come out every once in a while to attack Tyler as an abusive Gary Stu and preach about how Stefan is the only person who’s never abused Caroline. Yeah…with a straight face. *SIGH*

        It’s interesting how Tyler’s actions in Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf received such a vehement response (and honestly, that is partly why I love him so much – he is held accountable by the show AND fandom, I hate characters who are absolved just because)… but Stefan’s actions towards Caroline AND Tyler for that matter seem to be largely whitewashed.

        The fandom was a HORRIBLE place after 213. I nearly quit. I hated how the writers made it all about Caroline’s captivity and didn’t allow Tyler a POV about being lied to for episodes about Mason’s murder and other vampires. He had to get his info from a bunch of psychos. And then he’s supposed to this resourceful action guy when he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on?! Ridiculous. They tore down TC/Tyler to prop up Stefan/Caroline’s friendship and the Matt/Caroline relationship. Many people forgave Tyler after 214 and his big speech to Matt, but there are a few people (who became hardcore SC fans) who will never forgive Tyler’s inaction and will always always bring up how horrible he is…and go on and on about how Stefan is the only person who Caroline can be herself with and just be a mess with or whatever. It makes me laugh hysterically.

        Oh and I also think that Klaus and Elijah are ancestors of the Lockwood bloodline…at the very least Klaus with his werewolf side. Because the werewolf gene is genetic, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we could trace it all the way back there.

        • Spidey Sense

          Hi you! Believe me, if you’re a freak, I’m a freak – heck, I’ve dedicated an entire post to angsting about Tyler/Caroline ending like Rory/Jess. You are not the only shipper who is cautious based on past experience. We put time and energy into caring for these characters, so I’m quite happy to admit I am invested in their arcs more than I probably should be.

          It’s interesting that people might ship Stefan/Caroline on the basis that they are Caroline fans who want who will treat her the best. I think this ties in with the double standard that the show’s Salvatore/Elena doctrine can create. I adore the holy trinity, but I think some members of fandom worship them blindly and are wilfully ignorant of their flaws and highly dubious actions.

          Which is funny, considering Vampire Diaries has never struck me as a show about right or wrong, good vs evil like Buffy, but more our entourage vs your entourage – it’s about protecting your own. Buffy sacrificed herself to save the world from Glory, Elena was unwilling to be vamped, even if it meant protecting the world from a strengthened Klaus – and that in a nutshell encapsulates the differences between our heroines. One is more of a black/white “hero” (made more obvious by vampires being creatures of pure evil rather than the more humanity-ridden versions on The Vampire Diaires); even if Buffy’s actions were sometimes questionable there was a definite sense of her saving the world as a whole. Compare this with Elena, who is not better or worse, but is approaching the situations she is thrust into with a different mindset.

          Remember the scene where the Scoobies save Willow, even when her safety is posited on the Scoobs trading a box essential to the Mayor’s ascension? Their decision to save Willow rather destroy the box is philosophically like the Vampire Diaries generally is. To me, Vampire Diaries’ characters are defined by their shades of grey, and the only reason why some characters are treated as the “good guys” is because we’ve been conditioned to view them in a particular way and see the world from their perspective. That’s always what I keep in the back of my mind while watching, and I like this complexity. So people hating on Tyler forever? I think they are missing some of the subtleties of the show.

          Take Stefan as an example of a character who does both very good and very bad things. Stefan, plain and simple, used Caroline as a vervain vehicle by spiking her drink so that he could incapacitate Damon, causing Caroline physical harm in the process, and didn’t even check on her wellbeing afterwards. To say Stefan has never abused Caroline is just plain wrong. Indirectly, he caused her physical harm. I hate the term abuse in this context, because it is obviously deliberately inflammatory words being used to provoke a particular reaction.

          Stefan was also there for Caroline after she turned – admittedly because she’s Elena’s friend – but he was there nonetheless. He’s even perhaps become a better friend to Caroline than Elena, being the one to organise the sleepover. But I do not forget the way he treated Tyler in the episode, and how he let his prejudices against werewolves cloud his actions, any more than his intimidation of Tyler makes think less of the good he did for Caroline when he taught her how to hunt etc.

          Also, how can people justify Tyler’s hesitation as abuse? He hesitated during a life-threatening situation, something he’d never experienced, because everything he thought he knew about the world and Caroline had come crashing down around him. Stefan basically enabled Damon to drink Caroline’s blood by spiking her drink knowing full well Damon would go for her! The intent in Tyler’s scene was confusion, whereas Stefan used Caroline as a means to an end. I could go on about this, but I’m thinking I need to do a retrospective on Daddy Issues and Crying Wolf, teasing out some of these issues, plus the double standard of fandom forgiving Damon snapping Jeremy’s neck versus Tyler HESITATING. Not comparable crimes IMO! I love Damon and Tyler both, I just think that if you are going to accept these characters exist in layers of grey and you will do your utmost to understand one character’s reasons for doing what they do, you should do the same for other characters as well.

          Most of all, I hated how the writers conveniently forgot Tyler’s questioning, perceptive nature. I guess you could fanwank that the rush of emotions like betrayal, plus things happening too fast was responsible for his poor judgment. But Tyler is the guy who picked up on Caroline saying “I know” when he mentioned that he had taken her to a cellar on the old Lockwood property, or asking how she knew a were bite was fatal to a vampire. He doesn’t just swallow and accept things, he plumbs to the depths of an issue. His constantly assessing nature and reluctance to trust are defining traits of his. Again, I can only fanwank that he trusted Jules so quickly because he was moved by her code of loyalty plus the fact that she was of the same species.
          Having said all of that, I am glad we had the Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf arc, because the gut wrenching effect it had on me made me realise just how incredible the stakes in this relationship is. I actively cared whether they could resolve their issues. Imagine if I had been indifferent? Aside from Tyler’s out of character lack of questioning, I thought it really brought to a head all of the lies and well-intentioned deceit, plus character flaws/poor judgment of Tyler and Caroline (like trust issues) nicely. If nothing else, I appreciated the storyline as being well constructed with payoff on a character growth and plot level. It was a very Romeo and Juliet storyline in and of itself, in terms of a tragic ending between two people who deeply cared about one another due to a chain reaction of “what if” situations (what if Caroline had told Tyler the truth before Jules did? What if she had talked to Tyler rather than getting Stefan to? What if Tyler had chosen to listen to Caroline’s explanation rather than just losing his temper?). It was masterful and full of high intensity emotions, and if the fallout had been fairer in showing Tyler’s POV, I would say the storyline would rival the Angelus arc on Buffy.

          • Susan

            RE: Abuse

            It’s not just the hesitation (or in some people’s eyes: how Tyler let Caroline get kidnapped and tortured by his buddies…um no), but also how he apparently “manhandles” her (2×08 and 2×13…I even saw someone say that Caroline was scared of him in 2×13 after he pushed her against the car?!) I think abuse and abusive are thrown around too easily these days to bash something someone doesn’t like. Because it makes me feel angry. I don’t ship abusive, unhealthy relationships…and people seriously calling Tyler abusive?! Um…wtf. Caroline could kill Tyler on any day that’s not the full moon. And any kind of physical confrontations they have with each other cannot be judged on a standard human scale. People try to make it out to be this man versus woman thing, when it’s really two supernatural beings who hare hardwired to hate each other…clashing. I mean that’s all there is to it. Tyler wasn’t always a stand up guy and he did treat people (girls) like crap, but he was never a hypocrite…and he never tried to make excuses for it. The show explained stuff about his home life and then his supernatural lineage, but he never got a free pass for it. He had to earn everything. And that’s why I fell in love with his character. Back in Season 1, I was like…who is this dude?!? But now it’s like…I can’t imagine the show without him. He’s my bb…and Trevino is delicious.

            • Spidey Sense

              Again, people’s double standards just make me laugh my head off. Caroline isn’t above using her vampire super strength, which she knows is superior to that of werewolves based on her altercation with Mason. I don’t classify the throwing around by Tyler as abuse in Daddy Issues – yes, he got rough, but he knows Caroline is stronger than him at this point and therefore that this wouldn’t hurt her. I will concede that Tyler got aggressive with Vicki and wasn’t above menacing Caroline with a glare when she refused to tell him what she knew in Rose – in these instances he flirted with the difference between aggression and the potential for real violence, but he did not follow through. That’s not to say his actions were in any way justifiable in those instances, but let’s call a spade a spade, and abuse it is not.

              People throw each other around constantly on The Vampire Diaries, and if what Tyler does to Caroline constitutes abuse, then she has abused him. I mean, she has used her strength on him several times, but because a female is dishing it out and it’s a girl power moment no one questions it. It’s the same weird double standard logic that allows Jason on True Blood to be raped repeatedly in an episode in a way that would never be allowed with a female character.

              In a supernatural context like this, normal rules don’t apply and frankly don’t view Caroline or Tyler’s expressions of strength as abuse. I guess it is a mileage may vary instance, like some people viewing compulsion as rape, and other people not considering this to be the case.

              You’ve hit the nail on the head what I love most about Tyler. He isn’t given a free pass, he earns our respect, and being a fan of his will never be easy but ultimately rewarding because of his complexities. Plus, as you so astutely note, that Trevino is as delicious as the cookie pic he tweeted 😉

  • oxymoron417

    Cherie, you continue to amaze me with every new post you do. Seriously!!!

    I have to say, I’m not a Jess fan, or a Jess/Rory fan, I actually did prefer Dean/Rory, but I think it’s more because of JP and the fact that during the Dean/Rory relationship I was a bitter, sardonic, single teenager who wanted a boyfriend like Dean, but you know, I have to say, upon closer viewing he was controlling and passive-aggressive and did have jerky moments.

    I think it was just the way they had Rory treat him, when she should have outright ended the relationship, but TPTB butchered BOTh JP’s and MV’s characters, and for that, I feel bad for both Jess fans and Dean fans alike. The show should have ended with an opportunity for Jess/Rory and let Dean be happy with Lindsay, but this is the same show that dealt us the mind fuckery of Luke and Lorelai, and for that I will forever hate Amy Sherman Palladino, deeply.

    But your analysis is spot on regarding Tyler and Jess. They’re not your outright “bad boys” but there’s something alluring and appealing, and they do tend to lean more towards the bad boy side of life.

    And they do tend to shift the focus to the girl of their attention, rather than on themselves.

    And Caroline and Rory are both the only two who could really get Jess/Tyler to open up. Notice that?

    I like your astute observation about TC dealing with Caroline “choosing” him, and I agree, it will be an issue especially when Matt King of Doucheberry Land comes sniffing around, which is when I fear that any issues Tyler/Caroline have will be more internal with Tyler not feeling like he is good enough rather than external and having to do with Matt himself.

    Matt and Dean do tend to make everything more about them, but given the fact that Dean’s major flaw was loving Rory TOO much, I cut him more slack than Matt, the guy who never loved Caroline enough.

    And the conversations Jess/Rory and C/T have are very cut-through-the-bullshit, get right to the point, with no road trip stops on the smalltalk. Jess and Tyler are very I’ll tell you what I feel, I don’t care what you think.

    With that being said, I have to say from the interviews from ASP, she was very egotistical, and she plainly didn’t give a shit about the fans, and as much as JP is a Matt fangirl, and tends to come off as talking out of her ass, I do think KW and JP understand the love of TC and get that dynamic, and therefore, whatever ending TC have I think will be better than JR had.

    • Spidey Sense

      Aww, thanks! Your comments always bring me so much joy and entertainment (plus extra doses of optimism ;))

      The way JP and MV’s characters were torpedoed was so disappointing, though Jess fans were lucky to get a redemption arc. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for Dean fans, watching their boy end the series bitter as a result of his experiences with Rory and his poor judgment. You know, just as long as Rory chose her career over that douche Logan, the ending was quite nice, since I like to think of Jess/Rory crossing paths again and Dean finding a girl he loves like Rory who loves him with the same ardency. Dean was prone to being overcontrolling and possessive, but I do understand that in season two he could feel Rory slipping away and was just trying more desperately to cling on than ever so he wouldn’t lose her (having the opposite effect of driving her away even quicker). For me, even at their best, Dean/Rory just don’t really challenge each other to grow in the way Rory/Jess did, and Caroline/Matt are just plain unhealthy for each other.

      Tyler and Jess have deep flaws, but their best sides are brought out by our girls, and vice versa. Dean seemed to bring out a passive-aggressive side in Rory, Rory an overly jealous streak in Dean, Caroline Matt’s contempt, and Matt Caroline’s worst manifestation of her insecurities. So while things are never perfect with Tyler and Jess, their basic personalities just mesh so well with Caroline and Rory. It’s undeniable chemistry for me, which is why I always find it hilarious to stumble on fan sites and see just how differently people view the Dean vs Jess debate in particular. I just have this talent for appreciating a pairing that is not always well-liked, for some reason, even though their OTPness seems plain to me 😉 I like people disagreeeing and debating though, life would be boring otherwise.

      Oh, I definitely noticed that Caroline and Rory are the only ones to get these boys to open up. I’m a curious person, and every little piece of themselves they reveal to these girls just makes me eager to find out even more. I LOVE characters who seem like one-dimensional jackholes at first, but reveal layers that turn your impression on their head. JK Rowling did this on many occasions in Harry Potter, like with Sirius Black. It’s an arc I’m partial to, for sure.

      I hope Matt DOES come sniffing around, since I’m angling for Caroline to unleash her righteous blades of equality (points if you get that reference ;)) on Matt, and for Tyler to pwn him the way Jess did Logan. The though of recapping that makes me more happy than it should. Hee!

      Oh, I def cut Dean more slack than Matt, and of all the Good Boy Woobies he is the one I stomach best.

      Heh. I never read ASP interviews, but I would say her treatment of Luke/Lorelai is evidence enough of contempt for fans. I think KW in particular has affection for Caroline and Tyler/Caroline (e.g. “the little vampire that could”), and if nothing else they have to see that Trevino/Accola’s chemistry is palpable whereas Roerig is like a wet gym sock when it comes to generating romantic heat (just gimme Dark!Matt, please writers please!). Plus, the story potential with TC is so extensive. I hope like Susan they don’t just rely on romantic discursions for conflict with TC. Why not keep these obvious soul mates together in the long term and just rely on the conflict inherent in this pairing and everything that it involves?

      • oxymoron417

        Yes, both JP and MV did get the short end of the stick.

        I like to think Dean would have eventually gotten over Rory and found someone who really did love him. And also, I think you’re right about MV. He didn’t seem like the type to be pigeonhold into a “teen” drama.

        You know who else fits this pattern?

        Pacey and Joey vs Joey and Dawson.

        Joey and Dawson were that immature love who never lets each other grow up or apart or change, i.e. Matt/Caroline, whole Pacey and Joey challenge each other like Caroline and Tyler.

        Dawson was always SUCH as asshole IMO too. Him and Joey were friends their whole lives, yet Pacey was the one who knew her and got her, just like Matt never really GOT Caroline. He had this image of who he wanted her to be, the rebound girl, and I think Caroline is partly at fault here too for having this idealized version of Matt rather than that Matt who is really standing in front of her.

        Dawson makes the boat race in S3 about him, and yet, Pacey buys Joey a wall, making it about HER. Dawson keeps saying “I let you find yourself” when he never really did. And though I hate the way PJ were butchered in S4 finale, I think Pacey did it more for Joey because he didn’t want her being saddled with the “loser” townie boyfriend while trying to find herself at college. His intentions were there, it just didn’t come out right.

        Sort of why IMO Tyler left town. It was because he was
        confused, but also because he didn’t couldn’t stick around and be the man he wanted to be for Caroline at that point in time, hence his “I can’t say…not like this.” And I agree he would always put Caroline first, even if he meant sacrificing his own happiness.

        Tyler and Caroline are just natural, not forced. Being with each other is as natural as breathing, and they don’t have to pretend or be anything other than who they are. No hiding, no apologizing, no bargaining, just being with each other

  • Izzles

    I’ve never even WATCHED Gilmore Girls and I’m already shipping Jess/Rory so hard I might have popped something. They don’t sound like the “perfect couple” (because I think “perfect” implies safe and thus boring i.e. Matt/Caroline) but they do sound like the RIGHT one.

    I really loved the parallels you drew, because they seemed really appropriate and it’s rare to get a good cross-series analysis, especially one that isn’t entirely set on Damon/Elena or Stefan/Elena (TIRED of Stelena and all its supposed fluffy goodness) and their already massively dissected relationships.

    I also loved Tyler’s snark being addressed – glad to see I’m not the only one loving his little comments. He’s like an alternative Damon in the comic relief sense, although I by no means mean he’s lesser.

    Your wants for the T/C S3 relationship are so interesting and nicely realistic as well. TVD has proven to be very fast-paced and fresh in a lot of its storylines – it would be a CRIME of vast proportions for them to throw this out of the window for a tired jealousy cliche. However, I’m less anti if, as you say, Tyler’s not purposefully doing it but instead is trying to move on from what he sees as a fairly hopeless situation between himself and the lovely Care.

    Overall, I’m just excited to see where it goes next and also to have found a hardcore Forwood shipper. Sadly, other sites – which in many other ways are equally as awesome – lose points on their Tyler hate. How can you hate something so obviously right??? Anyway, great job 🙂

    • Spidey Sense

      Hi Izzles! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I’m also excited to meet another hardcore Forwood shipper.

      LOL, Tyler hate? How can such a thing exist? 😉

      No, honestly, I get people’s antipathy to Tyler, even if I don’t agree with this assessment. We were conditioned to hate him from day one, and the onus is on you to choose whether you like him or not in light of the way his character has been evolved. More so than any other character, we don’t really get writing signposts about how we should feel about Tyler, and I like that freedom. His actions are so murky that I can see how some people reach one conclusion with him while others don’t. There isn’t a clear cut take on Tyler we are meant to have. I like this character because he is difficult and frustrating and is really just a recappers dream, because there are all these complexities you can examine in him. Stefan/Katherine hold a similar attraction to me to Caroline/Tyler, because they can evoke such strong and wildly different reactions in people, yet most of their relationship is in the subtext. So, yeah, I don’t get the lack of Tyler and Tyler/Caroline meta (though its steadily growing, with 12_12_12’s livejoural a gold mine of it), because I think it is the most interesting to write.

      That said, I enjoy recapping just about every aspect of this show, including examining why certain things don’t work for me, like Caroline/Matt in particular.

      Yippee, another lover of Tyler’s special brand of snark! I may just have to write a tribute to Tyler snarkery post! His cocky little headtily and “we people” speech was what made me realise that “hey, I like this Tyler dude!” He gets the way people interact and their motivations more than he would ever admit, and this allows his to just serve people. I like having the balance of Damon’s and Tyler’s humor on the show – snappy one-liners and smugly sexy humour, plus a dry wit that often needles at people’s sore points. Tyler’s funny because he’s astute and isn’t afraid to just tell it like it is. That’s why I hope Damon/Tyler antagonism continues for the rest of the series. I would LOVE to see these boys have snark offs.

  • Charlotte

    Okay, I just saw this spoiler from Zap2It and I had to send you the part about Tyler and Caroline. I’ve been deprived of Tyler and Caroline news since I went on vacation.

    “Meanwhile, back in Virginia, Caroline (Candice Accola) is planning Elena’s birthday party at the Salvatore place… and by the looks of this photo, she’s enlisted the help of her friend Tyler (Michael Trevino). These two have spent the summer hanging out together, in a totally platonic sense, but their raging hormones and monster “urges” are escalating.

    MATT! (That felt good. It’s been a while.) We’re not sure there’s any explanation needed for this photo. The looks on their faces says it all, doesn’t it? The last time we saw Matt (Zach Roerig), he dumped Caroline. They haven’t seen much of each other all summer — unless you count a few encounters at the Grill — and they certainly aren’t speaking

    That doesn’t mean Matt hasn’t noticed how much time Caroline and Tyler have been spending together, though. He’s noticed, and he’s not psyched.
    While he’s focused on her, though, Caroline is distracted… watching Tyler work out some of those urges with his date to the party.

    Confrontation! When we first met Caroline in the pilot, she was the kind of girl who was forced to stand by and watch someone else get the guy. Caroline is… not that kind of girl anymore.”

    First of all, EWWWW this person is a Matt fan! Yuck! I swear his name leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m hoping that Caroline tells him to F – Off. Also, no ones gives a damn Matt about what you think about your ex girlfriend and ex best friend hanging out and digging on one another. Go follow Elena around like a lost puppy you loser. Whoa, I am just pent up with Matt hate at the moment. If you haven’t seen the pictures you have to go see them. By the way interesting parallels, I’ll have to get back to that later. Just wanted to let you know Spidey.

    • Spidey Sense

      Hi Charlotte! You are such an amazing spoiler maven!

      I’ll post my answer in a blog post deconstructing these stills. Let me die, though, at Caroline’s expression while she watches Tyler dance with Urges Girl. She could not care less about Matt and is completely distracted by Tyler, as it should be 😉

    • Izzles

      All aboard the good ship MattisaJERK! Hurray for Matt-bashing. Because seriously, if another person tells me how super woop wonderful he is, I may go all Damon and rip out some hearts. Ok, well maybe not so much, but you get my meaning. Matt = douchebag on a stick when it comes to Care, regardless of how lovely and sweet he may be at other times. Reminds me of a quote from a Forwood fic I love: “Dude’s basically got rings bought for you and Elena. ” This illustrates that he is a massive wet blanket who needs to GET OVER HIMSELF. Gah. Is my Matt hate showing?

      Also, spoiler heads-up was insane 🙂 I’m squeeing like a small puppy.

      • Spidey Sense

        I am just such a lovesick puppy for Tyler/Caroline, plus these two as individuals that it is crazy!

        Funny that you have jumped aboard that ship. I’ve got a glossary for my Got Forwood recaps where I refer to Mother Ship (Titanics, like Forwood) as being cockblocked by icebergs like Matt. I can keep an open mind. When Matt showed concern for Caroline in that episode where he took on the witches and Damon, he endeared himself to me a tiny, eensy, weensy bit for making it All About Caroline for once. Since this was some aberration on the way he acts and he slipped back into Captain Cardboard The Tool mode the following episode, my sympathy for him remains limited. LOL, I remember my reaction when I heard Kev Williamson say the Matt/Caroline/Tyler love triangle would still be in play, and the vehemence of it made me realise, “Damn, the only fictional character I’ve come close to hating this much is Dawson Leery!” There are definite types that appeal to me and others that make me curse the writers for developing.

        The spoilers have been AMAZING, and before we know it will be rehashing the first episode of season three altogether. And it will be awesome 😉

  • Izzy

    HA Titanic is both an awesome and slightly morbid metaphor. I’m basically just sitting here hoping that global warming makes Matt the cock-blocking iceberg melt into non-existence and we can all ride the Forwood unicorn into the land of hearts and flowers. Or something anyway.

    Just got my S2 dvd yesterday – there was excited high-pitched squealing and babbling – and thankfully was able to watch some of it last night. Weirdly, I’d forgotten how brutal some of it is i.e. Mason Lockwood, a poker and Damon looking spectacularly evil. A friend of mind (TVD virgin) was watching w/me and was a bit o.O which surprised me because I still think Damon ripping out hearts is badass.

    AND S2 (as I jumped in at Plan B) reminded me that Matt is basically a mega-tool. He makes Caroline so SAD – if a guy did that to one of my friends, I’d be going all Hulk-zilla on him. Captain Cardboard is alive and setting the world to wrongs.

    As for the S3 love triangle… oh Kevin Williamson, why, WHY? My only salvation in this is Candice TOTALLY shutting down whoever asked that question about her and Matt. Which frankly, is how it should.

    Oh and the reason I’m hiding out here for the time being? My alternative TVD source has, with further investigation, revealed itself to be shipping Captain Cardboard and Vampire Barbie like it’s gone out of fashion – which it totally has but w/e. I cannot take their Tyler-bashing, so I’m here, soaking up the Forwood fuzzy goodness 🙂

    • Spidey Sense

      Ohh, I like your idea of melting!Matt – maybe Bonnie could take some time out of helping Elena/the Salvatores and use her witchy powers to take him out this way. *evil* LOL at the image of a Forwood unicorn trotting into the land of hearts and flowers. I promised at the end of one of my recaps circa Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf that when Tyler/Caroline hooked up properly, I would plaster my blog with so many unicorn images that it would like a rainbow had vomited on it. Let’s just say that I have a folder at the ready that I expect to get a workout VERY soon.

      I’m getting my season 2 DVD soon, all the better for me to squee over the insight into Michael Trevino’s transformation scenes. I think the tragedy on the shows is so relentless that as a defense mechanism our minds block some of it out. The heart rippings is a truly interesting death-inflicting method. It’s like a more visceral snapping of someone’s neck. I especially loved Elijah ripping two hearts out simultaneously. The perfection of that moment still brings a tear to my eye *sociopath*. J/K, but it was an awesome moment.

      I take Candice’s word as gospel more strongly than Kevin Williamson. She is a consummate PR spinner – personable and lovely but is always streets ahead of the journalists interviewing her, dancing them around in circles. Trevino cannot keep a spoiler to save his life (and we love him for it), but as a comms major I adore watching Candice working the interview circuit because she uses a lot of techniques I learned at university with such finesse! So, for her to drop the “shiny, dreamy first love versus friendship love potentially leading to something more” party line, I would say that the triangle is hardly a consideration. Now that I’ve had time to calm down after my initial vicious reaction to that spoiler (yes, I get upset when my bb Caro is on the line!), I think Kev Williamson might be talking the extreme short term and the “triangle” comment is hopefully only in the context of the unpleasant encounter between Matt/Caroline and Matt’s jealously that Caroline’s heart now evidently belongs to Tyler.

      I laugh though at the “unpleasant encounter” spoiler. I can count on one hand the number of PLEASANT encounters. 😉

      I’m happy I’m giving you the Forwood fuzzies you haven’t been able to find elsewhere. It’s funny, most areas of the internet I go to are very pro-Forwood – my pal Julie from TV Recappers Anonymous, Television Without Pity, 12_12_12’s Livejournal, Price Peterson’s recaps. I love Carina’s Zap2It recaps – she may be a Matt fangirl but she strikes me as more a fan of him that Matt/Caroline – and he can be okay away from Caroline. Plus, she is obviously very fond of Trevino, which I give her a gold star for.

      Zach Roerig is cute and all but he’s not my cup of tea. Matt had some stellar friendship moments, so I can understand liking him for that reason. I just will never understand people actively shipping Matt/Caroline, since I see it as an emotionally abusive relationship. Beyond just liking Matt/Caroline on a physical “aww, two blondes together!” level, I’m not quite sure what justification people would give for them being good for each other. So, I admit, I am very curious about WHY they ship these two.

      Eh, no matter. Everything will be Forwood and nothing will hurt, and Matty… you mashed your potatoes, now you have to eat them! 😉

  • Izzy

    Oooh excitement! That folder had better see some use soon as or else words will be had with Kevin and Julie. Gah. That trailer with its split-second Caroline jumping Tyler’s bones has got my mind going supersonic pretty much. THE ANTICIPATION IS KILLING ME. Plus, I have NO idea when it’ll be showing in the UK :/

    Oh the heart ripping is just *drool* because it’s so utterly badass. I am shipping Elijah (and just Elijah) so hard it actually hurts. Honestly, just #pullthedaggerout to quote the SBH lol. Can’t wait for him to come back and make Damon go all shock and awe. Yeah, I’d agree actually that it wakes us up a bit – it’s hard to get inured to it when it’s so brutal.

    Yep, if they drag out the Matt/Care triangle I will not blame Candice one tiny bit. I’m NOT a comms major, but I’ll trust you on this one. Plus, it was just so AWESOME to have her issue the ultimate smack-down. Also, my feminist tendencies were all ‘Yessss you GO girl!’ because she’s so clearly up for Care being a strong, confident woman. This gets thumbs up forever and not just because Caroline being stronger than Tyler insanely great.

    I have to admit, my fangirling on this level is relatively recent which possibly explains why I’m only on here now. I’ve always been big on TVD, devouring fanfic like it’s going out of fashion, but the foray into the wider fan world has been, umm, slow. It’s good to know that Tyler isn’t being bashed everywhere because his character development is so great this season (of course, Caroline takes the biscuit). Seriously, I was so intrigued on the second viewing by how much you can see them changing as peoples. Also, it seems like the more periphery main characters are actually growing than Stefan/Damon/Elena. Stefan’s alright, but Damon just gets put in this massive “save Elena no matter what” rut and I swear to God if Elena is all “I must die for everyone” again (this after three episodes) I might do it for her.

    Matt on his own can be awesome. It’s just he’s a total dweeb about Caroline. I think people think he’s super pretty (to use your words, not my cup of tea) and a sweetheart. Perhaps they’re shipping book Matty not screen Matty? Or just blind? Honestly, some sites managed to turn some really dickish Matt/Caroline moments into ‘awww it’s so tragic’. I was confused, to say the least. And the chemistry… so not comparable to the Forwoody goodness.

    Mash potatoes are too good for Matt. Or rather, DoorMatt.

    • Spidey Sense

      Oh, there will be blood (jk!) if Kevin and Julie don’t give me an excuse to release those herds of unicorn gifs into the world. I also have some choice gifs of unicorn tusks piercing objects, and may be tempted to use them as a metaphor when Matt watches wistfully while Caroline ignores the hell out of him and focuses on her true love instead.

      Supersonic is such a great word and perfectly encapsulates the intensity of fangirling in Forwood camps of late. After the Daddy Issues/Crying Wolf arc, where we barely got any shiny happy moments before the shit hit the fan, I’m eagerly anticipating some shippy goodness mixed with forbidden love angst.
      Just casually, I’m jealous of you for living in the UK. It’s my dream home away from home (Australia).

      LOL, I love Elijah so much that Gen tags him as “Cherie’s husband” on her Tumblr (she claimed Tyler for herself of course, we are all but dirty mistresses to her husband). Indulging in a little fangirling that is somewhat cray-cray to the outside world is good for soul, and I for one intend to revel in it this year 😉 I read on the Television Without Pity forum that Elijah is the kind of guy who could stop you mid-coital bliss and say, “I’m about to come, I just wanted to prepare you for this” in a calm voice that would be the sexiest thing you’ve ever heard. I think that sums up his appeal perfectly! Team #pullthedaggerout for the win.

      Matt/Caroline is underpinned by insidious sexism and emotional abuse that doesn’t receive as much criticism as it should in some corners of the internet, I think because the writers sell the message that Matt is a Good Guy (therefore anything crappy is fine because he’s a Good Guy, it must bejustified), his abuse isn’t physically manifest even though the danger signs that could develop into this in the future is more than enough to turn me off for good and/or people are still conditioned to see Caroline as less worthy of love than Elena, Bonnie and the other female characters on the show (apart from Katherine). I see TC as the ship that is rich in feminist values, especially in comparison to Matt/Caroline.

      Ohh, I’ve been a big fangirl of The Vampire Diaries and loved Pacey/Joey and Logan/Veronica from Veronica Mars on a similar level for a long time. Tyler/Caroline just have this way of turning you into an even more passionate shipper than you have ever been! The writing, acting, direction… everything in this arc has been exemplary so far, and I am hoping it continues to be this way. TC also happen to be a recappers dream because of the subtext, complexity, foreshadowing/payoff and continuity of details in their arc, so it’s fun to love them from an analytic point of view too.

      Jeez, seems like I need to storm the trenches of some internet website and spread the Tyler love! Ah well, our OTP is like the best kept secret of the show, quietly stealing hearts and building a following in a low key way that is representative of the quality of their relationship.

      Have you read stainofmylove’s or Alyssa’s TC fan fiction? Absolutely brilliant! My girl Paloma is also working on a fan fiction that is growing to novel length almost, and I am impatiently awaiting its release.

      I agree with 12_12_12 that Matt could make a convincing villain because he has the manipulative, self-pitying personality type that can easily snowball into darker territory. I think he is highly observant of people’s emotions and can play people like a fiddle when he chooses (most notably seen in the “make me forget, Caroline” scene). At the same time, he a genuine level of maturity and ability to be sweet to certain friends that would lend him to being a conflicted villain, who redeems himself somewhat before being killed off. That is my hope for him 😉

      I’ll never understand the appeal of Matt/Caroline, but then again loads of people don’t understand my TC predilection. I have the feeling that Matt/Caroline fans are more often than not MATT fans first and foremost, whereas Tyler/Caroline fans tend to either be Caroline fans first and foremost who want her to be happy, or care equally about Tyler and Caroline. I know I’ll probably get myself in hot water with any Matt/Caroline fan who comes on here, but honestly, how can you say you are a Caroline fan if you want her to be with someone who says “I’ve told you I love you, what more do you need?” versus “anything you need, I’m right here”.

      Matt fans, by the way, you are more than welcome here at Spidey and some debate could spice things up. So, if you’re out there, feel free to pick holes in my arguments 😉

  • Izzy

    If you can pierce Matt with a unicorn horn, my day will be filled with joy and happiness. Seriously. I was watching thae fateful ‘Daddy Warlock goes apeshit’ ep yesterday and Matt is SO MEAN. Grrr!

    Oh Elijah! *swoon* I have to admit, I pay way more attention to him than anyone else when he’s in a scene (except if Damon’s there in which case my love is split equally) because humnahumnahumna… Woops, sorry, I’ll try not to drool on your husband 😉 Yes, he’d say that and yes, you’d go all melty. *tingles* BAMF is the only word to describe him!

    It’s interesting that you say that because actually, he’s really a manipulative bastard! Reminds me of an ex *muttermutter* I don’t think it’s fair that people fangirl them as a couple so hard when he’s actually pretty nasty to her and then screws her over massively behind her back WITH HER MUM. I think maybe the rose coloured glasses kick in around Matt. Why? Why?!

    Tyler, you big hunk of bad guy turned good, I do love your sweet awkwardness 🙂 Also, porch seen where she’s all ‘We’re not friends’ is awful, but really good in one way because Caroline stands up for herself in a way she never does around Matt. I like that Tyler lets her do that.

    Foreshadowing… oh so dreamy! All the way back to Plan B 🙂 Or even the fateful Halloween. Ohhhhh! And no, I haven’t read either of those yet but will go have a hunt and check them out 🙂

    I think Matt’s already heading down that road tbh, seeing as he’s already been in cahoots with Liz and he’s now effectively cut himself off from ALL HIS FRIENDS by pulling his ‘I can’t deal with this I’m so ordinary blah’ crap. I can see him heading to a pretty dark place – honestly though, I’m just bored of him because he’s so self-pitying the whole time. Man up!

    • Spidey Sense

      I loved when Daddy Warlock went apeshit and glassed Matt in the neck. I was like “WOOT! He’s a total Forwood shipper!” 😉 All witches are, really. I mean, witches hurt poor old Tyler’s mother. End result? Tyler back in town! Witches took down Tyler and Caroline to lock them away for the sacrifice ritual. Boom! “I could never hate you, Tyler” scene with Tyler’s half smile #letmemelt
      Elijah is such a honey. He has this weird gravitational pull when on screen, where his hotness is so intense it just pulls everything else towards it. He’s like an extremely hot black hole or something LOL 😉 Elijah and I are in an open relationship – I wouldn’t dream of depriving you all of him. Hehehehehe.

      One of the reasons why I detest Matt so much is that he reminds me of an ex too. A guy who just has this insidious way of picking at your self-confidence without doing something so explicitly awful that you can easily pinpoint why thinks don’t feel “right” between you. I think a lot of Matt/Caroline shippers miss the warning signs that the constant undercutting of Caroline of Matt points to emotional abuse. I think people just either miss the subtleties, or are a fan of Matt – his eyes are so blue, therefore I will ship him strongly with whichever poor girl has the misfortune of being in his orbit. I am fine with people being upfront about purely superficial shipping. I feel kind of sad if people actually ship Matt/Caroline because of the way the couple has been written because everything points to how unhealthy Matt is for Caroline, and how they bring out each other’s worst sides. The thing is, Matt DOES have a good side around other characters. So, I wish the writers would stop persisting in putting him with Caroline. DNW anymore, writers!

      Tyler will be so adorable to watch with Caroline. He may have lots of physical experience, but he has little or no emotional experience in a serious relationship. The thought of him being in a “we people” relationship is gold!

      Unless I am told otherwise, I am convinced that Tyler/Caroline had a sexycute hookup offscreen in the Halloween episode. I mean, Caroline must have been joking that she needed to drink until someone was hot enough to hook up with, because beer goggles or not, Tyler is, as you said, a big hunk.

      Matt will probably never man up, because the writers think they have created a Good Guy, and therefore he doesn’t need to be redeemed. So, I fervently hope that they take him down a dark road. It would make him interesting, plus his detachment from the others dovetails nicely with the storyline, with his earlier history with the other characters adding an element that would make him a very personal villain to face.

  • Izzy

    I’ve been ravaging Elijah’s face with my eyes throughout S2 now I have it on dvd. He gives me shivers (in a good way) with that super intense stare and his ACCENT. I mean I AM British so I’m surrounded by tasty English accents all day long. There’s just something about his though… maybe it’s the sort of transatlantic tinge to it – somewhere between American, British and Australian. Isn’t he from your neck of the woods originally? Lucky you *narrows eyes jealously* And the fact that he says ‘OMG’ is *win* – I’ve watched that scene over and over on my dvd 🙂 Also, side note – he and Nina SIZZLE with chemistry, in both incarnations. I do prefer him with Katherine though – she’s really sweet/cue in 1492 IMO.

    Ugh yes, Matt is that guy who made you feel like crap and you never even realised until someone pointed it out; the guy who insulted you so subtly you wouldn’t notice, but you’d feel worse at the end of the day. I think he’s just too pretty (although he doesn’t do it for me) for people to make in the way he undermines Caroline. Personally I don’t understand WHY he’s like that with her. Particularly, it puzzles me because I don’t see Elena letting ANYONE mess her around. I’m not really sure how he went from being so sweet with Elena to screwing Caroline around. I know they’re two very different girls but it still confuses me – unless of course, he’s still hurting from Elena dumping him and he’s hurting Caroline to work out his pain. Idk though, seeing as he’s always the nice guy with everyone else, it doesn’t make much sense. I CAN understand why Caroline doesn’t call him on it though because in spite of her amazing bad-assery, she’s really insecure underneath it all – especially in the Elena stakes. For her to “get” Matt in the first place and to hold on to him after Elena is actually harder for her than we realise (IMO). I think she feels like she’s never good enough in comparison (still) so any problems that arise therefore lie with her, even before vampireyness. Defo DNW them involved again.

    Aww Tyler! He’s such a “we people” person, even if he doesn’t realise it. He and Caro were defo made for “we people-ing”; I think it took him registering her as more than a piece of ass for him to be able to grow into someone who COULD have a relationship. She brings out the good in him ad he calms her crazy. He “gets it”. They “get” each other – that’s why I can’t understand anti-Forwood stuff. I get that people ship Catt and far doos, sometimes they’re cute. But it’s almost impossible to deny the sense of a meeting of minds in Caro and Tyler. I ship them because I think they’re the best for each other – plus, they force each other to grow and change in GOOD ways, as well as supporting each other as baby supes.

    Personally I almost don’t want them to have hooked up Halloween although it would make sense. I quite like the idea of them having recognised each other as two people from the same cloth and just have acknowledged this before moving on to their conquests. BUT I think they might’ve, because, duh, Tyler = big hunk (btw I might just call him that from now on).

    Hmm I’d like Dark!Matty. I think seeing Vicki’s ghost (or not seeing) could be the tipping point for him going all crazy and villainous. Not sure, but could be interesting. He could hardly get LESS bland.

    Anyway, now I’ve written you a blog entry of my own, I’ll leave it here!

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