'The Vampire Diaries' recap: It takes two to make it through
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)
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Photo: Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Jules (Michaela McManus) share a drink. Credit: Annette Brown
/ The CW.