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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: It takes two to make it through

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The full moon was upon us tonight. To deal with Tyler's (Michael Trevino) transformation, Mason's (Taylor Kinney) mystery friend, Klaus and that pesky moonstone, our gang of vampires, werewolves, witches and some humans teamed up in pairs of twos.

Caroline and Tyler – Caroline (Candice Accola) was right there alongside Tyler for his first transformation, which was quite the grueling and torturous affair. It made Oz's transformation on “Buffy” look like child's play. After chaining himself up, Tyler tried to drink the wolfsbane and water combo, but he spit most of it up. Then his whole body appeared to be mutating, bones cracking and bending into painful formations almost like he was coming undone. The bone breaking freaked me out more than the blood in the film “127 Hours” too. The sound is so sharp and horrific. Although it was painful to watch, and I'm sure even more grueling to film, it was nice not to see a supernatural transformation glamorized. Too often in today's films and TV, it seems so quick and easy and even romantic sometimes to transform into a vampire or werewolf. I wish we'd gotten to see a little bit more of Tyler as a werewolf. The scenes were so darkly lit and quickly spliced together, I couldn't make out much. But A+ for the process.

“It hurts,” Tyler kept crying. He ordered Caroline to leave, but she refused, wrapping him up in her arms and trying to soothe him. When it got to be too much and Tyler broke his chains, Caroline ran out. Somehow, he didn't manage to knock down the door because Caroline found him inside in the morning, crying and naked. “You're OK,” she said. “No, I'm not,” he replied. This werewolf/budding friendship/potential romance storyline is one of the most “Dawson's Creek” meets the supernatural I think we've seen on the show, and I mean that in a good way. It reminds me of Joey and Pacey's budding friendship turned romance minus the vampire fangs and wolf hair. And despite being unexpectedly charmed by Matt (Zach Roerig) and Caroline last season, I'm quite enjoying Caroline and Tyler's scenes. But then again, I also think Caroline has chemistry with Stefan (Paul Wesley) and, in a more twisted way, with Damon (Ian Somerhalder). (Love Damon's nickname -- “Vampire Barbie” -- for Caroline.) I love that there are so many wonderful, believable couple/friendship combinations on this show. I could see Caroline with any of these guys.


Bonnie and Luka – When Luka (Bryton James) helped Bonnie (Katerina Graham) unbind the moonstone spell without getting any answers, I thought, “He's either too nice, really stupid or way bad.” Looks like it's the last one. “She fell for the whole show and didn't suspect a thing,” he told his father. So much for that “code of loyalty” that bonds witches. Right now, I'm more mad at him for keeping Bonnie away from Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) for most of the hour. After last week's almost kiss, I was hoping for some kind of follow-up, but besides both being happy to trap Elena (Nina Dobrev) in the house, Jeremy and Bonnie didn't share much this episode.

Elena and Elijah – Here's a partnership I never thought would happen. Elijah (Daniel Gillies) showed up at the Gilbert house as the author Jenna (Sara Canning) was babysitting. Very good reason for why Jenna needs to  learn the truth: She'll stop inviting random vampires inside the house! Lucky for Elena, Elijah wants to play “Let's Make a Deal,” not kill her. Klaus is a reclusive, paranoid vampire, he tells her, who only trusts those in his inner circle. Interestingly, that does not include Elijah. Wonder what he did to get himself kicked out. Elijah will keep Elena and her loved ones safe if she agrees to help him draw Klaus out to kill him when the time comes. But Elena is no dummy and renegotiated to get Stefan out of the tomb, as well. Good thing too because Katherine was getting hot and bothered in there with Stefan. “I've been in this dress for days. Want to help me get out of it?” she asked, before the two went at it against the tomb walls. First of all, has it really only been days?! Wow, this show packs a lot in. Second, it's just Katherine messing with Stefan's mind, psych! Elijah let Stefan out of the tomb. Then he compelled Katherine to stay put. It was so unusual to see the unwavering Katherine truly terrified of somebody.

Damon and Alaric – When Mason's friend Jules (Michaela McManus) showed up in Mystic Falls, asking questions about him, Damon and Alaric (Matt Davis) played the drunk guy and the good guy bit to plant some wolfsbane in her drink. Even though Alaric is more of a charming than annoying drunk, she was onto them and avoided the drink. “Tonight is not the night to pick a fight with me,” she warned Damon, hinting at the full moon. “You've been marked.” How ominous. Is there a pack of Florida wolves that she and Mason ran with when they weren't sunning and surfing? She did call someone earlier to tell them Mason lied; there was another werewolf in town – his own nephew. Assuming she didn't make reservations for a cave lockdown, it seems that was Jules who bit Rose (Lauren Cohan). Did she mean to bite Damon, but missed?

Damon and Rose – She promised to stick around and help him with “all things Elena.” When Damon grazed her leg, she made it clear that she wasn't interested in coming in second. “I don't love men who love other women,” she said. “I think more of myself than that.” I kind of love her. Then she added: “But it doesn't mean I can't be your special friend.” I still love her. She's not threatened by Damon's love for Elena. She's not fooling herself into thinking this is something more. And she knows what she wants. Damon digs her too, big surprise. Too bad she's marked for death. As soon as she was bit, my brain screamed, “Female Vampire Death Alert!” But as much as I like Rose's no-nonsense, truthful ways, I'd rather it be her than, say, Caroline.

Readers, what did you think of Tyler's transformation? Are you finding yourself slowly coming over to the side of Caroline/Tyler? Are you hoping Rose can be saved? And were you surprised to find Elijah suddenly a very reasonable vampire?

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

RELATED:
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Self-sacrifices and spells
'The Vampire Diaries': Six teasers from executive producer Julie Plec
Complete "The Vampire Diaries" coverage on Show Tracker

Photo: Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Jules (Michaela McManus) share a drink. Credit: Annette Brown
/ The CW.
 
Comments () | Archives (7)

I agree. I thought Carolina/Tyler scenes were really intense, and I think they are both adorable. Its kinda nice to see Tyler become adorable in a vulnerable way, which is a huge transformation from the season 1 Tyler.
I also love Rose. I hope she doesn't die (again). I think Luka is a douche for doing that, but then again characters in this show have done crazier things for family, friends and loved ones.
Didn't really love Jules or her coming into town. There's already a lot going on, and I don't think there needs to be an additional character to throw everyone's chemistry off.
LOVED tonight's episode, but hate waiting another week to find out about Rose and see more of Caroline/Tyler!

Great episode. That transformation to a lot to watch. I dont see how Caroline can go back to Matt, she is just to involved with tyler now. I hope Rose can be saved.
there are so many couple teasers i dont know if i want bonnie with luka or jeremy.

So nice to see Elena and Stefan getting some couple time again. It is crazy how their relationship is such a small part of this season. I didnt expect to want to focus on other couples.

Wow, Michael Trevino did fantastic work with the whole transformation ordeal! The Tyler/Caroline scenes were the highlights for me tonight. I must admit that I hope those two will have a romantic relationship. And I hope that Rose stays for a while.

Tyler/Caroline= always and forever for me. They are IT. Even over ANY other pairing on the show. They have it in spades. Don't mess it up writers!

Matt can go find a nice human girl. He'll never be able to compete with what TC have now shared.

I loved Caroline and Tyler. I agree Caroline has chemistry with every male co-star and she is believable with all of them. I am tried of Damon. When will he learn to think before he speaks. How many people have to be killed or hurt because of him. When will he learn. I don't understand how people find Damon's irrational and reckless behavior attactive and find Stefan rational and responsible behavior boring.

I really liked Elijah he scenes with Elena were great. I loved that Elena leverage her power to free Stefan. Nicely played.

Caroline's pairing with Tyler is FAR more interesting than with Matt (poor Matt, can the show please do something with him?). Hat's off to Michael Trevino for such a physical performance last night (he's so animal - and a hot one). Caroline's comfort and dedication to Tyler through his change makes me love her all the more - and judging from the sneak peek of January 27's episode, so does Tyler. Vlada, you're so right, she would make a great pairing with any of the males of Mystic Falls. I would say not to write off Luka as a baddie yet. I think he likes Bonnie and it was significant that he wouldn't hand the moonstone directly to his father. I am SO on board with the Elena/Elijah pact because it's so unpredictable as to how it will all turn out. Even though I'm sure it won't happen, I'd love it if Elijah began to develop feelings for Elena. I'm so curious to see who they'll cast as Klaus. To the producers of the show: I know you plan to kill off a character come this season finale. If you kill off any of the following, I won't watch your show anymore: Caroline, Tyler, Bonnie, Jeremy, Matt or Jenna.

I love Caroline/Tyler. I hope they get together soon.
As far as Stefan getting out of the tomb, dont be fooled. Remember that we still dont know the terms of the deal Elena had to make to get him out of there. Does anyone really think this is going to go over smoothly? Stefan didnt ask her either, even when Elijah told him he made a deal with Elena.

I like Damon over Stefan, but I dont get how Damon is to blame for killing Mason. Stefan and him both agreed to take out Mason, and thats how they almost ended up dead because of Mason turning them into the sheriff. Also, Mason was in town helping Katherine. Missing Mason is the reason Jules came into town true, but what were they supposed to do with Mason? Let him go happily on his way back to Katherine? I dont thnk so. He was in love with Katherine and was obviously on her side.


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