Brave new world, indeed: this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries is all about Caroline's first days in her new vampire body. We watch her struggle through all the rites of passage: baby's first human, first feat of strength, and so on. Meanwhile, Tyler inches closer to finally uncovering the secret about his family. Like the last time there was a carnival in Mystic Falls, no high school event is without its share of drama. Ready to talk about it? Just read on.
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- It's Fall carnival time, which means there are lots of plans to be made while Caroline's in the hospital (secretly sorting out her vampire issues). While Bonnie and Elena are chatting, the witch inquires about why Katherine looks so much like Elena. Does this mean we might someday actually find out why Elena is a "dead ringer" for her ancestor?
- Mason is still beating around the bush with the whole werewolf thing. His hints can't get any more obvious ("Do your blackouts happen once a month when it's dark? Have you seen my moonstone?") but Tyler doesn't start getting really suspicious until he gets a glimpse at old uncle yellow eyes. Thankfully, it looks like we'll finally get some answers next week.
- Aww, Stefan makes a joke! When Damon is musing about the mysterious Lockwood family, Stefan chimes in that maybe they're Nina Turtles. In typical big bro fashion, Damon sasses him back and reminds him he's not funny (sounds like someone's a little worried about the witty competition).
- Hot werewolf takes on hot vampire in an arm wrestling match. That's all I have to say about that.
- Scary vampire face bonding, you guys! Stefan gives Caroline a crash course in controlling her emotions by stroking her hair and comforting her about her new urges. It's a sweet moment, until he promises her that he'll never let anything happen to her. Oaths like that usually don't end well.
- Bonnie blames Damon for what happened to Caroline, and retaliates by trying to set him on fire. It only lasts for a minute or so until Elena swoops in, but it's morbidly entertaining to see Damon's weaker side (flailing around like a bug no less).
- Is an unlikely friendship forming between Damon and Jeremy? First Jeremy tries to get tough by showing off his ring, then he breaks into Damon's house with intention of staking him, but then he changes his mind. In the end, there's some male bonding about daddy issues. It's an unexpected bond, but I'm excited to find out where it goes. (Maybe Damon will take Jeremy shopping at his favorite plain black T-shirt store.)
- Stefan's little romantic interlude (compelling the Ferris wheel guard: be still my heart!) with Elena is supremely cheesy right down to skyrocketing her to the top of the ride. And I loved every second of it.
- Caroline comes strutting into the carnival and has a showdown with Damon in the hallway. She confronts him about all the ways he manipulated her before knocking him down with one swift kick. It's almost a perfect moment, until she spurts out a puny "you suck." Clearly this vamp needs to learn the meaning of the words "finish him."
- So it's perfectly normal for vampires and witches to run around Mystical Falls, but werewolves are comparable to Ninja Turtles? I guess the line needs to be drawn somewhere, but the fact that Stefan and Damon haven't encountered a werewolf in their 150 years seems unlikely.
- Confused Caroline wakes up in the middle of the night, and she's hungry (or should I say thirsty?). Unfortunately the poor girl has no idea why she's so entranced by a blood bag—but that doesn't stop her from guzzling it down like a Capri Sun pouch. Later she takes it up a notch by gnawing on the nearest nurse. At least she leaves the compelled aide with a good alibi.
- Caroline's acclimation to the blood-sucking world continues when she makes Carter into a snack at the carnival. It's her first truly animalistic scene, complete with straddling him and ending up with a face full of blood. So much for a new boyfriend for Bonnie.
Thoughts on this week's episode? This season of VD already has a different feel (where are Aunt Jenna and Alaric, by the way?), but I'm digging it. I'm particularly excited to find out more about the werewolves next week. What about you?