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It's week two for the Salvatore brothers, Elena, Bonnie, Caroline and Matt and the fallout from Katherine's return begins to ripple through Mystic Falls. The episode, aptly titled "Brave New World" opens on Caroline waking in the hospital. For those who tuned in last week, Bonnie convinced Elena to let Damon give Caroline his blood. The traumatic accident at the end of the first season left Caroline hovering near death, but Damon's blood helped her injuries to heal rapidly. Unfortunately, Katherine arrived with a message for the brothers Salvatore: "Game on!" She then smothered Caroline.
Post Mortem after the jump. Beware of spoilers if you haven't seen the episode.
Teen Vampire Angst
Caroline awakens in the hospital and it is a new world for the fledgling vampire. It's late at night. She walks out into the hallway and asks the nurse where everyone is. The nurse tells her it's late, everyone went home (except for Katherine who posed as Elena to visit a few hours before). Caroline is hungry and she can't figure out what the smell is. She slips into another patient's room and steals the blood bag hanging over the IV.
The nurse shoos her back to her own room and Caroline obeys, but once back in her hospital bed. She looks at the bag of blood and then can't stop herself from drinking it. Caroline's transition to a vampire is in stark contrast to Vicki Donovan's transformation in the first season. Vicki was a train wreck before she became a vampire whereas Caroline is a composed, focused and an overachiever. She quickly learns that sunlight hurts, she can move fast, she needs the blood and when she and nurse face off, she can compel.
Not bad for a girl who didn't even realize she was being turned. But the best is yet to come - because as vampires transition, they begin to remember all the times they've been compelled and Caroline was compelled -- a lot. She leaves the hospital to head to the school for the carnival and one of the first people she encounters is Damon.
And yes, Damon.
The Mystery of the Lockwoods
Damon is obsessing about the Lockwoods. In part, he is doing it to distract himself from Katherine and her revelations. He is even amused by Stefan's walking on eggshells around him. So far, though, Damon does not appear to blame Stefan for Katherine's choice ... but the key phrase there is so far. Damon's got his emotions under tight reign.
While sharing tea with Carol Lockwood, it was near laugh out loud funny that she wanted Damon to step up and lead the Council. But of course, Damon is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect the town. While at the Lockwoods, he's listening to Mason and Tyler talk. They've just run miles and miles and both are hot and sweaty, but not exhausted. They discuss Tyler's "episodes" - his black moments of pure fury and the memory lapses. Mason is pushing him to see if there is a pattern.
Mason obviously knows what is going on and is fishing to see how much of it Tyler actually understands. Since Papa Lockwood was a control freak, it's obvious Tyler knows nothing about the family "curse," but the episode avoids naming what they are.
During the carnival, Damon sends Stefan over to "arm wrestle" uncle Mason. He's a bit disgusted when Stefan loses and says, "You could have at least put some effort into it."
Stefan retorts, "Actually, I did."
The boys share a look. Despite Stefan's earlier mocking, he too now believes something is up with the Lockwoods. Unfortunately, Damon sends the handsome carnie out to pick a fight with Tyler so he can "observe" what happens. Stefan doesn't like it, but again, Stefan doesn't really stop him either.
Caroline versus Damon
In the school hallway, Caroline confronts Damon. She's got this empowered, sexy aura going on that is very unlike Caroline's insecure, sex kittenish ways. She tells him she remembers. She remembers everything.
Puzzled, Damon knows that's impossible - unless she's becoming a vampire. He knows he gave her his blood, but she was alive and the blood should have passed out of her system. Caroline then drops the bomb. Katherine says, "Game on!" She then sends Damon flying across the floor and storms off.
Damon heads off to find Elena lickety split. It was an intense moment as he loomed up to her and quietly, but forcefully stated that he needed to talk to her - RIGHT NOW. Elena resists, but it doesn't take her long to realize just how serious Damon is. So she goes with him and learns what Caroline has become. She is horrified.
Determined to stake her and be done with it, Damon is amused when Stefan agrees with Elena that they won't. Stefan knows it's a bad idea, but he wants to do what he can for Elena. Damon argues with them and is determined to stake her anyway.
It's a powerful moment when Damon finds Caroline next to the dead body of the Carnie he incited. She attacked and killed the man and is now devastated by her own actions. Damon promises to take care of everything, he comforts her and then arches back the stake to drive through her heart. Stefan saves her and though the brothers argue, Stefan tries to take Caroline away when Damon rushes forward.
Elena puts herself between the stake and Caroline and Damon halts the thrust just inches from Elena's heart.
"She's my friend, Damon." Elena's plea does not fall on deaf ears, but unlike Stefan, Damon doesn't sugarcoat it.
Fine. She can live. But whatever disasters follow her will be on Elena's head.
Damon collapses in agony, gasoline spills, ignites and floods toward the vampire, burning his legs and arms horribly. Elena finally gets Bonnie to stop - this wasn't Damon's fault and she drags Bonnie away before the witch can finish what she started.
The Lockwood Showdown
This is a little out of sequence, but before Caroline killed him, the carnie picked a fight with Tyler and Mason interrupted the knockdown drag out. When the carnie brought the smack down on him, Mason leapt across the car on all fours with glowing eyes and pounded the poor guy. Tyler was stunned by the transformation, but Mason avoided explaining what was going on. So what's a teen to do, he takes the moon stone that Mason is looking for and pockets it.
Elsewhere in Mystic Falls
This jam packed episode was full to the brim with excellent storytelling, compelling character moments and long-term story arcs. Notable standouts were the Jeremy and Damon scenes. Jeremy's smart mouth earned him a threat from Damon, who put the little boy in his place and even took his "magic ring" away. Later, at the end, Damon comes home and pours himself something to drink.
>Jeremy is sitting in a chair behind him and tells him not to drink it, because he's laced it with vervaine. When Damon asks him why, Jeremy says because he brought a stake and he was going to kill him. Damon's bemused, after all, he's warned Jeremy off twice now and just last week Damon snapped his neck.
But Jeremy is lost and he needs someone to be there for him. He can't trust Elena, Jenna's in the dark and Uncle John is the dick who staked his girlfriend. Damon tells him he's lousy at the big brother thing and when Jeremy starts to storm off in a huff, Damon calls him back.
Like Jeremy, Damon's father also hated vampires. He understands Jeremy's dilemma and in that moment, a small, but tangible bond formed between the two. While Damon may not care for the soppy moments, he's the kind of guy to keep Jeremy in line and to be a "good big brother" and it may go a long way to repairing the damage with Elena.
But we'll see.
Other Stand Out Moments
It's hard to imagine that they packed all of this into just a one hour episode, but they did. It seemed just as we caught our breath with one thing, another happened. In no particular order, here are five of the stand out lines or moments.
- Stefan taking Elena for their ferris wheel ride
- Caroline being stung by the "vervaine-laced" necklace Elena gave her
- Caroline's delight with the compelling - even though she wasn't sure how or why it worked
- Stefan explaining to Jeremy how to kill a vampire and reminding him that if he thought Jeremy wanted to kill him, it would be an entirely different conversation
- Elena and Bonnie trying to manage the carnival for Caroline and being overwhelmed by just how many details that Caroline can handle
The second episode has really laid the ground work for this season. Katherine's presence is felt, even if she isn't seen and I think I really like Caroline is a vampire. But I feel terrible for Sheriff Forbes -- if she ever does find out, this will kill her. She's hunted vampires for so long to protect her town and her daughter -- that I don't think she could take the knowledge that Caroline is a vampire. It is indeed, a brave new world,
What did you think of the episode?