The Vampire Diaries – Recap & Review – Brave New World

photo: cw

The Vampire Diaries
Brave New World

Original Air Date: Sep 16, 2010

Meg – Senior Reviewer

There’s a new vampire in town! Tonight’s MVV (most-valued vamp) award goes to Candice Accola who rocks it out of the park this episode. As the newly-turned vampire, Caroline Forbes, Candice manages to be equal parts hilarious and heartrending as she struggles to come to terms with what’s happened to her. Elsewhere in Mystic Falls, the Salvatores start sniffing around the Lockwoods, Jeremy needs a big brother, and Bonnie sets Damon on fire.

The Lady is a Vamp

After being smothered by Katherine, Caroline “wakes up” in her hospital bed. The nurse tells her that Elena (well, technically Elena’s saucy minx of an evil twin) came to visit.

To her credit, Caroline figures out that she’s a vampire pretty quickly—although her new found thirst for blood, sensitivity to sunlight and silver, and painful fang growth probably gave her a few clues. As Caroline guzzles down a stolen blood bag, Candice Accola does a great job showing a mix of confusion, revulsion, and ravenous hunger.

Adorable Matt comes to visit. I’ll be mad if she eats him. Matt is ecstatic because the hospital is going to release Caroline in the morning. Caroline, realizing that she’ll likely burn to an unflattering crisp, wants to leave now.

After snacking on a nurse, Caroline learns that she can compel people to do her bidding. She compels the nurse to tell people that her gaping neck gash is because her “husband likes to get kinky.” Hee! Caroline heads off to the carnival. Really, Caroline? You just learned you’re an undead creature of the night and you want to go play ring toss?

The Lockwood Mystery

Although we all know that the Lockwoods are wolves of the “were” variety, the rest of the town is still in the dark. Damon starts to get suspicious, however, when he overhears Uncle Mason probing Tyler and being hilariously un-subtle.

Mason: So, do you ever, you know… have random bouts of violent rage?

Tyler: Uh… I guess?

Mason: Does that happen a lot? Say, once a month, at night, (UNDER A FULL MOON!)?

Smooth, Mason. Real, smooth.

At the carnival, Damon wants to see Tyler’s strength in action, so he compels Carter, a friendly teen, to go pick a fight with him. Fisticuffs ensue, but when Carter hits him, Mason busts out with some mad acrobatic skillz and flashes Tyler the crazy eye. When Tyler later asks him, “Hey, what was with the glowy eyes and the supernatural strength?” Mason claims he knows Brazilian jujitsu. Riiiiiiiiiight.

Carnival Time

Because every week in Mystic Falls features some sort of epic town event, tonight we’ve got a high school carnival to go to! We get some clarification on the fate of Jeremy (who had his neck snapped last episode by Damon), who sums it up pretty well: “I was killed by a vampire and brought back by a magic ring.” Well, okay, then…

Caroline runs into Damon and lays a beautiful smackdown on him. She tells him that she remembers how he manipulated, abused, and fed on her. Caroline delivers Katherine’s message (“Game on”) and then throws Damon to the ground to give him a message of her own: “You suck.” Aww, I love newly empowered Caroline!

Damon goes to Elena, who wants nothing to do with him, and tells her there’s an emergency. Frankly, I’m surprised that she trusts him enough to go with him. When Damon, Elena, and Stefan conference over the Caroline issue, Damon insists they have to kill her. When they protest, Damon reminds them of the disaster that was Vicki Donovan.

Caroline and Matt have cutesy time, until she finds herself sniffing his neck… Horrified, she runs away. Caroline sobs in the parking lot, where she sees handsome Carter recovering from his throwdown with the Lockwoods. Because he’s sweet (and doomed), he tries to comfort her. Caroline cries that she’s sorry and starts feasting on his neck.

Stake in hand, Damon sets out to find and kill his accidental vampire progeny. Caroline, face covered in blood, is freaking out. Damon arrives to comfort (and kill) her, telling her that he wants to help her (die). He’s about to pull the old “hug and stake” move, but Elena and Stefan rush to the scene. Caroline panics at the sight of Elena, demanding to know “why did you kill me?” Damon takes his chance and lunges at Caroline with the stake. Elena throws herself in front of her friend, leaving Damon with a stake at Elena’s heart. The amazing part about the scene is that this show has shown that it has no qualms about killing off characters (RIP Vicki, Anna, Logan, Lexi, Pearl, Mayor, Grams, Harper, Uncle Zach, Noah, Ben, Bree, and various woodland creatures munched on by Stefan). Watching this scene, I honestly didn’t know if Caroline would die. Well done, show!

Now, of course, Bonnie shows up to discover that her friend is out of the hospital (yay!), but has been turned into a vampire (no!) and ate her potential love interest for dinner (double no!). Bonnie starts mind-torturing Damon and sets him on fire with some handy pyrokinesis. Elena continues her role as Princess Intervention this episode and begs Bonnie not to kill him. Hmm… I wonder if she’d be doing this if Jeremy hadn’t been revived. Bonnie relents. Dear show, please give Bonnie some actual character depth beyond her one-note anti-vamp anger.

Stefan cleans Caroline up and tries to comfort her. He coaches her through the transformation and teaches her how to control the blood lust. Caroline asks him why Katherine did this to her. Personally, I think a better question would have been “who the hell is Katherine?” because I’m pretty sure nobody has filled her in on that tidbit… Regardless, this seems to work, as Caroline is able to control herself later when Matt shows up and tells her he loves her. Awww…

I’ve never really been pro or con Jeremy – to me, he’s generally been sort of ‘meh’. However, I have to give him kudos for a good job tonight. Chez Salvatore, as Damon is about to take a drink, Jeremy surprises him, confesses that he laced the drink with vervain, and pitifully tosses his stake to the floor. He is just so lost and alone in that small moment, that some tiny part of Damon seems to pity him. They bond over their vamp-hating papas and Jeremy’s apparent stake-whittling skills.

In our denouement, Stefan surprises Elena with an after-hours return to the carnival. They talk about the importance of carving out “normal” moments for themselves amid the constant chaos. As Elena holds on, Stefan jump-flies (what the heck is this, Smallville?) the two of them to the top of the Ferris wheel. We end on a bit of a downer as Elena and Stefan agree that “it’s never going to get any easier.”

This was a good follow-up to the premiere. The supporting characters (Tyler, Caroline, Jeremy) really brought their A game tonight. I’m also glad the show is giving Caroline more depth. I really hope she sticks around! I wonder how her mother is going to take the news… What did you think of the ep? Leave some comments and let me know your two cents!

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2 Responses to The Vampire Diaries – Recap & Review – Brave New World

  1. dom says:

    I really liked the episode and Caroline actually seemed pretty bad-ass (which was awesome), but the ending didn’t have enough mystery and excitement in it. Plus, Katherine didn’t even show up in this one :/

    • Meg says:

      Yeah, I was surprised at the ending – they normally do a good job with cliff-hangers and setting up the next episode, but this felt like such a whimper!

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