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The Vampire Diaries “Brave New World”

Photo Credit: The CW

Sweet Caroline.

She well and truly vamped this evening, following Katherine’s big FU “game on” smothering-by-pillow.

“Brave New World,” written by Brian Young (“Isobel,”, “Let the Right One In,” and others), was directed by John Dahl (Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, and for TVD, “Friday Night Bites”), and his noir sensibilities of good people really trying to do the best they can in bad situations, but not necessarily succeeding, was used to great effect.

Caroline awakes from her death hungry for blood, yet fortunately in the exact right place to pilfer and greedily devour blood bags and violate unwitting nurses. Poor Matt’s as bewildered as ever to the who, what, and why when she’s weird about daylight, so he begs off to leave her with her new behavioral ticks. Handy for Caroline, she remembers pieces of her domination by Damon (from last season) and starts to realize what she is. She even finds the power of compulsion pretty nifty when she feeds on a nurse (and
ever still Caroline, apologizes profusely).

Meanwhile at the high school, Elena and Bonnie are trying to make Caroline proud by running the annual carnival. Elena is still mightily aggrieved that Damon killed Jeremy, and Jeremy is still mightily confused. Stefan, who seems to have stowed his melancholy, is instead drinking from the well of reason, peace, harmony and “we can fix this,” trying to clue Jeremy in on vervain, stakes, and steering clear of Damon, which Jeremy filters but doesn’t necessarily listen to. Stefan is also still not totally condemning Damon for murdering Jeremy.

Elsewhere, Damon is still bent, a loose cannon, and being solicited by the Carol Lockwood to lead the town council (hah) while she fills in as mayor, but he’s too busy wondering WTF about the Tyler and Mason. He even uses his vamp hearing to eavesdrop when Mason is quizzing Tyler on what sets off his rage and Tyler’s response is “pretty much everything.” A potential romantic interest for Bonnie is introduced and marked as a red shirt early on, and I don’t even think we got his name (I think there will
be some crap here about “token black dude as victim”—just saying).

After downing a few bags of go juice and a few pints o’nurse, Caroline sashays into the high school and confronts Damon with her new condition. He goes straight to “we have to stake her” to prevent another Vicki debacle, but Elena and Stefan intervene. After Caroline kills red shirt by overfeeding, Bonnie (who seems to be forgetting that she asked Damon to feed Caroline to save her) lights Damon on fire. Against her better judgment, Elena steps in and stops her.

There’s a very sweet scene of Stefan cleaning red shirt’s blood from Caroline, calming her down from her vamp face, and holding her while she tries to breathe through the panic—lessons that come in handy later when Matt climbs in her bedroom window and confesses that he couldn’t possibly stand to lose her because he’s in love with her. They kiss, she starts to vamp, and then she talks herself down and is proud of her restraint.

Jeremy confronts Damon at the carnival, and is threatened with unfriendly placement of the undeading ring on his person in return. Later, he shows up at the Salvatore Mansion to stake Damon after lacing his scotch with vervain and instead has a heart-to-undead-heart about “My dad hated vampires.” Damon admires Jeremy’s staking handiwork, which I think he’ll use later. (Sidebar: “dick” became “prick” in the closed captioning, so I guess the CW okayed “dick” later. Heh.)

The Lockwoods are still sorting their drama. Tyler takes the big honking moonstone that Mason is looking for from a floor safe in his dad’s study (hee that the safe also contained floppy disks/double hee that it was 1000 degrees in July in Atlanta and they had a fire in the fireplace). Before that, though, the boys had a throwdown in the school parking lot when D amon instigated red shirt (before he comes across Caroline; seriously a bad, un-PC idea, show) into a fight with Tyler, which Mason broke up with glowing eyes and dog-like moves.

Not everything is sad and dark and drama. There’s a moment of sweet. Before everything goes straight to hell, all Elena wants is a Ferris wheel ride-and-smooch with her honey. After the evening goes sideways, she goes home, but Stefan comes to her bedroom just before dawn and flies her to the top of the Ferris wheel (something we’d not yet seen him do) so they can have a real, tender moment in this real life he so
desperately wants with her.

No Katherine and no Alaric in this episode, and no sheriff, even though she was referenced, but many, many seeds planted. Takeaway thoughts: Bang-up job from Candice Accola. She was sad, funny, and dangerous and yet still very much Caroline. I hope she’s kept around as a newbie vamp and allowed to find her way. We’ve not done that yet on TVD. I liked that Elena is still trying to maintain normal despite all evidence to the contrary. Paul Wesley was sort of an eerie, quiet calm with Stefan’s evenness in the face of Damon’s maybe-sane/most-likely-not brand of simmer.

See you next week!

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