In one of this episode’s major storylines we see Caroline turning 18. After everything that happened with Jeremy and Tyler in the last episode she is feeling down, and is not up for celebrating her birthday. After some persuasion, Elena, Bonnie and Matt manage to get her to come with them and they replace her birthday with a funeral. In theory this should have been a really nice moment. I love Caroline and sympathize with her feeling of being stuck at 17 forever, with a life that is incredibly complicated. However, it didn’t resonate with me to have four teenagers sit in a grave yard drinking tequila together. While I’m sure that was fun for them, I couldn’t see how that would make Caroline forget her problems.
Meanwhile Klaus, who is trying to get the upper hand on Stefan, orders Tyler to bite Caroline. At first it seems like Tyler stands up to Klaus and manages to avoid it. However, as he turns up at the ‘funeral’, telling Caroline he is finally able to control Klaus’ influence, he bites her on the neck. Caroline asks him to go and Matt takes her home. In the evening Klaus shows up to give Caroline his blood and they share a tender moment where Klaus tells her she deserves better. I am not sure how to feel about this. Caroline falling for Klaus seems impossible in my mind, but in this scene she seemed to be touched by what he was saying. If I am to believe this connection I hope they give it time, because I don’t see how she can turn down Tyler for being bound to Klaus, only to turn around and be with Klaus himself. That being said, I do think Klaus is getting more interesting as a character, and that the writers are trying to humanize him in an attempt to make it possible to keep him on and not kill him at the end of the season. It is also possible that Klaus sees Caroline mainly as some form of replacement for Rebekah. Only time will tell.
In a different part of town, Stefan and Damon are having trouble opening one of the coffins and their focus turns to the hybrid problem in the town. Stefan’s take on it is that in order to get Klaus to rid himself of his army, Stefan needs to be the better villain. Damon on the other hand worries that killing off Klaus’ army will only make him create more hybrids; thereby ensuring that Elena becomes a human blood bank. The disagreement is not resolved, but Stefan starts following through on his plan. Klaus is ready to retaliate, which leads to the aforementioned order for Tyler to bite Caroline. As things come to an end Stefan takes the final step by kidnapping Elena, feeding her his blood and threatening to drive her off the bridge where her parents died. Klaus caves, and says he will send his hybrids away, but Stefan doesn’t stop. At the last moment he stops the car, and what follows is a confrontation with Elena.
I really enjoyed Stefan as a psychopath, watching him go head to head with Klaus. With his willingness to let both Damon and Elena get hurt as long as he gets what he wants, he is proving himself to have completely cut all ties to his human connections. I am actually happy that the writers have gone so far with his character, and have no idea how they will redeem him at this point. Another interesting point to all of this is that just as Stefan is spiralling out of control, Klaus is starting to build relationships with Caroline and the council, thereby establishing himself as the better person in this battle. I believe his angle is to put Stefan in the position Klaus has been in for a long time now, thereby pushing himself into the circle of trust. I will reserve my judgement on this until I see how this plays out with the rest of the people in Mystic Falls, but I’m fairly certain their trust will be hard to earn.
When it comes to the scene between Stefan and Elena on the bridge, I don’t know what to say. It was clear that Elena is done with him. She might still love him, but I don’t see any way back after he threatened to turn her into a vampire at the exact same place her parents died. Good for her for telling him. On the other hand, it was more or less clear from Stefan’s reaction that he still cares for her but can’t allow him because he knows she won’t take him back. I don’t see how this will play out in the future, but I’m sure that Stefan will have to do some thinking before he dares to try to redeem himself again.
In the closing scenes we see Matt and Elena connect by having a resemblance of a funeral for her old self. I don’t know exactly what the intention was, but it was a nice moment for Elena to leave behind who she used to be. Matt was sweet as he helped her see that she is not a bad person, just a different one. I just hope this doesn’t mean that there are some resurfaced romantic feelings for Elena on Matt’s part.
We also see Damon and Elena share a short moment on the porch after he picks her up and drives her home. Instead of stepping around the events of last week’s episode, Elena addresses it and says it’s not right for them to kiss again. I like that Damon agrees only to the timing being wrong.
In plots that I didn’t care much about we see Alaric continue to connect with Meredith Fell, who supposedly is on the council as well. When her former prom date turns up dead with a stake through his heart at the end of the episode, I’m assuming that is supposed to mean she killed him. We also see Jeremy leaving, saying goodbye to Elena and Bonnie. I will be sad to see him go now that he finally started to have something to do on the show, but hopefully he won’t be gone for too long.