There’s no way we can do a short post on this episode.
Ern jokingly deemed this episode “decent,” to Leeard’s retort that it was, in fact, great. But the more Ern thinks about the events, the more Ern realizes that this episode was brilliant. It took the show in a few different ways, breathing new life into it. Not that the show was dead, by any means. We just wondered what was next after the Klaus/Stefan stalemate. First of all, this episode was aptly named. With Caroline’s “funeral” (the dead girl looking back over her life), and all the emotional points it hit about growing up, moving on, and love, bringing our minds to the play “Our Town” was a perfect way to let us know what was in store.
We were pleased to see that Alaric is still training Elena to be Buffy, as hopeless a cause as that is. Klaus orders Tyler to bite Caroline, because his bite would be fatal to our Vampire Barbie. Tyler refuses and is happy to find out that he can tell Klaus “no.” Stefan and Damon have been killing hybrids as they come across them (we love when Damon pulls out hearts, even if it’s overdone in vampire fare). Stefan goes to Klaus and tells him that if Klaus doesn’t remove his hybrids from Mystic Falls, Stefan will just kill them all, and he will start killing Klaus’ family as well. Stefan unexpectedly kills a hybrid right in front of Klaus, and it’s bad ass. Stefan is becoming the better villain indeed. Damon doesn’t like this plan, because Klaus will simply make more using Elena’s blood. Even according to Stefan, protecting Elena is Damon’s job now. Stefan lets everyone know that revenge is his main priority now, but we don’t fully believe him.
Caroline has straight hair in this episode. She looks older with straight hair. It’s Caroline’s 18th birthday, but she’s too bummed about Tyler, Klaus, and being 17 forever to engage in her usual revelry. We love the way that this episode broached Caroline’s sadness about becoming a vampire at this point. As awesome of a character as she is now, it’s still an important thing. Bonnie, Elena, and (slightly surprisingly) Matt throw her surprise party which turns into a surprise “funeral” in the crypt, complete with alcohol and reminiscence about Caroline’s most significant life achievements.
Caroline and Tyler are texting, which always happens when you are drinking and emotional about a guy. Tyler comes to the crypt to talk to Caroline. Tyler gleefully tells Caroline that they can be together, because Klaus doesn’t control him when it comes to her. They start kissing and, of course, he bites her. This whole “sired” thing reminds us of that Saint Paul quote where he says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Tyler is tainted with a compulsion to do what Klaus orders, what he doesn’t want to do, even when he does not intend to do it. We feel bad for Tyler and sympathize with him. After all, Ern made a late-night run to Taco Bell for six tacos last night. Ern has clearly been sired by the Minister of Fast Food. He exists! He crawled into Ern’s bedroom at night! (Shut up, Ern.)
Matt and Elena go looking for Caroline, and Stefan shows up in the woods to smash (human!) Matt against a stone wall and kidnap Elena. Of course, Matt ends up without even bruises, gets up, finds Caroline sick on the ground, and takes her home to Sheriff Mommy. Soon, Klaus shows up to heal Caroline, in return for Sheriff Forbes’ invitation inside and “support.” Klaus is trying to get on the good side of the town and council. No one saw this coming, but Klaus is sweet on Caroline. Is it wrong that we are soooo excited and love this idea so much? Klaus feeds Caroline her blood and tells her that there is a whole world out there for her to explore, giving her hope for the future. Caroline wakes up and finds that Klaus left her a diamond bracelet that is much more mature than the stupid (but adorable) charm bracelet Tyler gave her earlier in the episode.
Meanwhile, Stefan puts Elena in his car, force-feeds her his blood, calls Klaus and tells Klaus that if the hybrids aren’t evacuated, Elena will be driven over Wickery Bridge. This is the same bridge where Elena’s parents died, making this the ultimate diss to Elena. Also, Stefan was always protective of Elena’s choice to stay human in the past. Klaus agrees to remove his hybrids from town and Stefan stops the car. Elena yells at Stefan, who replies that he doesn’t care what she thinks anymore. It’s a heartbreaking, important scene. Stefan drives away, leaving Elena on the bridge. Damon comes to retrieve her soon after.
Damon drops Elena off on the porch. Elena: “You’re not going to kiss me again.” Damon: “I know.” Elena: “It’s just not right.” Damon: “It’s right. It’s just not right now.” Clearly, Damon is writing this show and he inserted himself in as a character, because he knows what the audience knows - Elena and Damon are right, in some wrong way. Leeard spent the second half of this episode crying, off-and-on. This week brought the emotional depth along with the action, and we love it.
In addition to the main events, Alaric spoke with Meredith again. She is a founder’s heir, she knows about the vampires, she has an ex who hates her, and that ex ended up dead in the woods. He was staked in the heart, but he wasn’t a vampire. The episode ended with Sheriff Forbes deeming the killing a murder. This twist is just fan-flippin-tastic. We needed a new wrinkle in this season. We also want to mention that we loved Damon’s eye roll at Klaus upon seeing Klaus at the town’s party. It was such a Damon reaction to not respond to his presence with fear or concern, but with annoyance.
Also, Carol Lockwood has been alive for about two-and-a-half seasons too long. We trust the writers though, so we wonder what her purpose is going to be later. This show always has a reason for keeping people alive. Does anyone else remember thinking Caroline would be dead by episode five? Bonnie, self-righteous killjoy for the ages, said goodbye to Jeremy, who left town after spending the whole episode packing. We felt like we said goodbye to him last week, so we didn’t care much. However, there was a possibility that Bonnie was going to tell Jeremy about the compulsion, so we were glad when she simply said her goodbyes.
We love Bad Stefan after this episode. We kind of didn’t before. Paul’s acting felt forced and we hated that the show was ruining one of the healthiest relationships on TV. But we like seeing Stefan be badder than the show’s big bad. He really got the ball rolling, plotwise, with all the bluffing. The best move for Damon right now would be to get Elena to just leave town and hide her from Klaus until her death. And for them to kiss. A lot.
Episode grade: A