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2011 February 6

"Let's slumber it." Yay, friendship! Photo Credit: Candice Accola Web.

Read on for my recap & review for The Vampire Diaries 2×13, “Daddy Issues,” aired Thursday, February 3rd, 2011:

“Daddy Issues” is definitely my favorite episode in a long while.  The first seven episodes of season two were just so phenomenal, but with the exception of “Katerina” (you know my Katherine obsession trumps all), I haven’t really been loving the post-Masquerade episodes.  All this save-Elena-but-leave-her-out-of-our-plans nonsense combined with the no-kill-me-kill-me-instead and my-name-is-blank-and-I-do-stupid-stuff plotlines, has just become repetitive and frustrating.  Add to that Damon’s erratic behaviour, the introduction of Rose (who I still think did not work as a character at all), and the absence of any purpose and significance for Alaric, and the result has been dampened enthusiasm for the show over the past few months.  Of course, since I was working at an enthusiasm level of x1000 at the time of “Masquerade,” this is all relative.  It’s true love between me and this show, so you all know that I’ve still been obsessed with The Vampire Diaries regardless of any complaints.  Anyway, the point is, “Daddy Issues” brought me back up to “Masquerade” levels of excitement, and I just loved the episode so much (and it is probably not a coincidence that this was the first Rose-free episode since November).  So, on with the recap …  

A. Werewolves live by a code of loyalty.  In other news, they suck.  This emphatically includes Tyler.  Meanwhile, Caroline is made of awesome.

Okay, so at the end of “The Descent,” Tyler was told about Mason’s fate, and Caroline’s involvement.  I knew that he would feel betrayed, but he handled it with a weakness and asshat-ery that I didn’t even know that he was capable of.  I now feel justified in not really caring about him, except in the context of Caroline caring about him.  Tyler, you are dead to me now.  But let’s get into the why and the werewolf hijinks involved.

The episode opens with Tyler confronting Caroline as she left her house.  She clearly feels awkward and nervous because of the kiss, and informs him, “Matt’s still kinda in the picture.  We can’t go there, Tyler.”  I like that Caroline established this before what happened later with Tyler.  She would have picked Matt anyway (because she is awesome and has flawless taste).  Tyler then says that this is fine, but soon reveals that kissing was not what was on his mind, asking what happened to his uncle Mason.  At first, Caroline denies any knowledge, but when it becomes clear that Tyler found out that Stefan and Damon killed Mason, and that Tyler knows they are vampires, she offers to explain.  Tyler doesn’t want explanations, however, but the answer to one question: “Did you know he was dead this whole time?”  Caroline finally admits this, and Tyler gives into his rage for a minute, pushing her against the car.  Hulk Tyler SMASH!  Caroline apologizes, but Tyler says accusingly, “I trusted you.”  He then pulls himself together and leaves, while Caroline looked distraught.  I guess Caroline being there EVERY STEP OF THE WAY FOR THE HARDEST TIME IN TYLER’S ENTIRE LIFE can’t compete with the words of a stranger and her werewolf loyalty propaganda.  Open your eyes, Tyler!

And speaking of werewolf loyalty propaganda, Jules then shows up at the Lockwood mansion to feed Tyler some more of it.  She’s all “I told you so,” and Tyler’s all “What do you want?”   Jules claims: “I want you to understand that a vampire will never be your friend.  It’s our nature to be enemies.”  Tyler: “You know how stupid that sounds?”  Ha!  Tyler would almost get points for that if I weren’t so mad at him, and if he didn’t later spout of this same nonsense to Stefan.  Jules says that he needs to leave Mystic Falls, because it’s not safe.  Tyler hilariously replies: “I can’t just run away with you.  I don’t even know you.  My mom would freak!  My life is here.”  I love that he’s still a bit of a teenager here.  “My mom would freak!”  Hee.  Jules argues: “Your old life.  Your new life is just beginning.  You have so much to learn.”  Tyler asks, “Like what?”  Jules: “How to survive. You’ve triggered the curse, Tyler.  It’s important you learn what it means to be a lycanthrope.  We live by a code of loyalty.  We take care of each other.  It’s my duty and honor to help you.  Please let me.”  Hmmm.  Sounds like a cult or a gang to me, Tyler.  Ruuuuuuuuun!  (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t listen to me.)

And remember how Jules said that her friends were coming to town last week?  She wasn’t lying.  First we meet Brady, when Jules goes out to the woods and knocks on a trailer.  Spoiler alert: I hate Brady.  Brady must die.  Jules, however, seems to like the guy, and is all kissy-kissy with him, which makes me like Jules less.  Oh, She-Wolf, you could do so much better than this redneck torturer.   In addition to kissing, the two talk about Mason.  Brady wants to be sure that “these vamps” killed Mason, and Jules assures him that it is so.  Brady declares, “I’m not afraid of a vampire.”  Jules replies: “I know, baby.  But I want the boy more than I want vengeance.”  Brady: “I say let’s get both.”  Uh oh.  A few thoughts here.  First, the not-afraid-of-a-vampire thing.  This is very interesting as we have been wondering why Jules has been so fearless in Damon’s presence post full moon.  Clearly these werewolves have some tricks up their sleeves and have dealt with vampires a lot in the past.  Second, Jules seems very intent on having Tyler join her Werewolf-cult.  There’s got to be a story there, I think.  Does she have something personally at stake?  Or is this part of the larger werewolf agenda?  What do the wolves want with more members? Is it just a numbers game, so that they can defend themselves?  Or is there more to it?  Finally, this vengeance thing means bad things.  DO NOT HURT CAROLINE!  Kill the Salvatore brothers if you must, but not Vampire Barbie.  I mean it.

So, let’s get back to Caroline’s involvement.  She texts Stefan a 911 message after her run-in with Tyler, and when he shows up at her house, she fills him in.  Stefan quickly realizes that it was Jules who told Tyler about Mason’s death.  Caroline tells him: “Tyler was so upset.  The look on his face—he was so betrayed.”  The way she says it, it seems that she is much more worried about Tyler than herself, showing what a good friend she is.  But Stefan sees that this has wider consequences than just for the new werewolf.  As he succinctly puts it, “Wow, this is bad.”  WORD.  Caroline begs, “You’re not gonna tell Damon, are you?”   Stefan assures her: “No, he already wants to kill him.  He thinks all werewolves should die.”  I love the way that Caroline trusts Stefan to put her interests above what Damon might want, and that Stefan doesn’t let her down.  I just love it.  Caroline starts to say something, but Stefan continues: “And he’s not wrong to think that, Caroline.  What if Tyler tries to retaliate?  He has every right too.  He could get himself killed.”  Aw, Stefan is worried about Tyler too.  You guys, words cannot express how superior Stefan and Caroline are to Tyler.  Grrrr.  Caroline begs Stefan: “You have to talk to him.  Just try to explain.  You always know the right things to say.  Okay?  He and I … we’re friends.”  Aw, Caroline really believes that Stefan can fix this.  My heart is kind of breaking right now, knowing what happens later.

Okay, so then Stefan tries to talk to Tyler, showing up at his house, in his dad’s office.  The vampire assures the werewolf: “I’m not gonna hurt you.  I just wanna talk.”  Tyler doesn’t believe him, however, and matters are not helped when Stefan forces Tyler to stay quiet so as not to alert Mrs. Lockwood.   Stefan then tries again, saying that they’re getting off on the wrong foot, but Tyler asks about Mason.  He is clearly prejudiced against the Salvatores now, and this isn’t going to go well.  When Tyler tries to go on the attack, Stefan reminds him, “Without a full moon, you’re no match for me.”  Foreshadowing, methinks.  Stefan keeps trying to get through to stubborn Tyler, and scolds him for his treatment of Caroline: “Look, about Caroline: no matter what her flaws are, when push comes to shove, you’re gonna want that girl on your side.  She’s your friend.  Stop being a dick to her.”  Amen.  I mean, seriously, Tyler.  Tyler retorts: “I thought vampires hated werewolves.”  Someone’s been drinking the werewolf Kool-Aid.  Siiiiiigh.  Stefan explains: “That’s some sort of leftover idea from another time.  It doesn’t have to be that way anymore.  We go to the same school, we have the same friends, we keep the same secret.  This can work, Tyler.  I mean it’s your home.  It’s my home too.  I want this to work.”  Unfortunately, Tyler is too busy alerting Jules on his phone to really listen to Stefan’s words, and when Stefan realizes what he’s doing, the two struggle over the cell.  Stefan:  “Damn it, Tyler, I’m trying to save your life!  Can’t you see that?”  No, he can’t.  But to be fair, Stefan could have done a better job convincing him of that.  Fear is a good motivator—I suggest that in the future.  Cut to Jules holding her phone, as she tells Brady, “We have a problem.”  Uh oh.

To solve this problem, Jules kidnaps Caroline, as something to trade for Tyler.  Hands off, Jules!  Grrrrr.  We learn about why the werewolves aren’t so scared of vampires as this kidnapping takes place.  First, Jules sprays Caroline in the eyes with vervain pepper spray, and then Brady shoots Caroline in the head with a wooden bullet.  NOT CAROLINE!  Yeah, Damon has my permission to do some heart removals now.

Caroline wakes up in a cage, and screams in pain.  The bullet is still stuck to her forehead, and she has to pull it out herself.  Ugh.  Hard to watch.  Brady sits nearby and tells her, “I got lots of wooden bullets, other toys.  It’s gonna be a long night, sweet pea.”  Then he shoots her in the chest and she screams in pain.  Have I mentioned lately that Brady needs to die?

Meanwhile, Stefan is still trying to get through to Tyler: “Look, I don’t know what else to say to you, Tyler.  I came back to this town because I wanted a life.  I wanted to exist where I have friends and where I could build a family.  I have that here.  We can both have that.”  This heartfelt conversation is interrupted, however, when Caroline calls.  But when Stefan asks how she is, it is Jules on the other line.  She asks where Tyler is, and then Stefan responds by asking where Caroline is.  Jules makes it clear that she is holding Caroline, having Brady shoot her so that Stefan can hear her cry in pain.  Stefan threatens, “Hurt her again, and you’re dead.”  Jules: “I hurt her again, and she’s dead.  Bring Tyler to me.  The clearing by Wickory Falls.  You have twenty minutes until she dies.”  Dun dun dun.  But I have to say, that in a fight between Jules and Stefan, my money’s on Stefan.

Meanwhile, in the cage, Caroline cries in pain.  Brady asks her how many vamps they are in the town, and when she doesn’t answer, he squirts her with a vervain water gun.  Ugh.  He seems to really be enjoying the torture.  Caroline asks, “Why are you doing this to me?”  Brady answers: “You’re a vampire.  Why not?”  Ugh.  He seems to have a very narrow view when it comes to vamps—they are not worthy of any respect or compassion, even when the vampire in question is a teenage girl who is crying in pain.

Brady then leaves trailer, and Jules asks, “Get it out of your system?”  Brady: “No.  I’m just getting started.”  Jules: “I just want the boy.  It’s our duty to help him.  It’s who we are.”  Brady: “You want to talk duty and honor?  These are vampires.  They cross one of us, they cross all of us.  That’s who we are.”  Hmmm.  It’s interesting that Jules doesn’t really seem to approve of the torture, yet she doesn’t really seem to have a problem with it either.  It seems that she has a much clearer view of her purpose and sees what Brady’s doing as a waste of time.  Thus, while I would be happy for the demise of both of them, I especially want Brady to die a horrible death.

Eventually, Stefan shows up to the clearing with Tyler.  Stefan tells Jules to let Caroline go, and then he’ll release Tyler.  He then proceeds with some “We’re not your enemies” talk and adds, “You need to leave town.  No one else has to get hurt.”  Jules says that she’s not leaving without Tyler, which is rather tiresome since Stefan already agreed to release Tyler.  Plus, he wasn’t even kidnapping the idiot, but just breaking and entering to talk to the guy.  I mean, Jules kind of created this mess herself with the Caroline kidnapping.  What a drama queen!  Stefan says  that Tyler is free to make his own decision, and then Damon shows up (having been called earlier and filled in on the werewolf happenings).  Damon puts up his usual bravado: “My brother the peacemaker.  Since Stefan got here before me, I’m gonna let him try it his way before I resort to my way, which is a little bloodier.  So, give us Caroline.”  There’s more back and forth, and then Damon declares: “Without a full moon it’s not an even fight, and you know it.  We will take you.”  Jules replies, “I’m not so sure about that, tough guy.”

With that, Jules whistles, and a whole pack of wolves step forward.  They’re holding flame throwers, stakes, and crossbows.  Uh oh.   Jules asks for Tyler again, and Damon tells Tyler to get over there.  But the exchange is not going to cut it after all, it seems.  The wolves want revenge.  Brady asks, “Which one of you killed Mason?”  Damon: “That would be me.”  Brady: “Boys, make sure that one suffers.”  Shut up, Brady.  Totally on Damon’s side in this fight.  Kill a lot, please, Damon.  Yeah, you read that right.  All bets are off when it comes to Caroline.  Damon tells Stefan: “We can take ‘em,” but Stefan is more attuned to reality and is not so sure.  That doesn’t stop either Salvatore from putting up a good fight however, as Damon and Stefan each do their signature moves—Damon removes a heart, and Stefan catches a stake from a crossbow in the air.  Love it.  Unfortunately, things get worse for the brothers as Stefan is staked in the back and Damon is shot by Jules.

Back inside, Tyler sees Caroline in the cage, and after staring dumbly for a little bit, he FINALLY responds to her pleas to let her out.  Is he on drugs or something?  What is with his dumb expression and lack of any ability to speak?  Caroline finally gets out, but when she heads outside, Jules pins her against the trailer with a gun to her neck.  Tyler just looks at her, speechless, and then just looks down.  Um, Tyler, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.  Also, you are worthless.  Ugh.

Then Brady is about to stake Stefan (or was it Damon?) when the he suddenly collapses in pain.  A Bonnie-style aneurysm?  Looks like it.  Did Bonnie show up?  Nope, but Dr. Martin did.  Never been happier to see that warlock on this show.  And the aneurysm spell doesn’t just affect Brady, but all the wolves go down in pain.  Dr. Martin is careful to spare the Salvatores, Caroline, and even Tyler (sadly), however, and he explains: “Elijah made a promise to Elena.  I’m here to see it’s upheld.  You need to go.  [Long pause.]  Get out of here.  Now.”   When the vampires are gone, Dr. Martin addresses Tyler: “When your friends awaken, give them a message.  They need to get the hell out of this town.”  Tyler just stands there mutely.  Aaaagh!  Why does Tyler just stay there?  He considers them his friends now?  After he found Caroline in a cage covered in blood and tears?  Seriously?  Why does he trust these violent strangers?  Why can’t he speak?  When was the lobotomy performed on him?  So many questions.

Later, Tyler shows up on Caroline’s doorstep, and she sends him packing, but I’ll discuss that in detail in the next section.  However, afterwards, Tyler shows up to see Jules and Brady at the trailer.  Seriously.  I know, right?  Tyler tells them that he’s sorry about their friends.  Seriously.  Grrrr.  Honestly, I got angrier at Tyler with each rewatch of this episode, and writing this is not helping matters.  Brady motions for him to sit, and hands Tyler what looks like home-made liquor.  Tyler takes a drink and asks, “It’s not always like this, is it?”  Jules: “No.  Is it, Brady?”  Brady: “No, man.  You’re living in vampire country, that’s all.  It’s way better than this.”  Tyler: “Mason didn’t tell me anything about it.  He was gone—dead I guess—before he could help me.”  Oh, and here is where it gets good.  Brady: “I don’t get what Mason was even doing here in the first place.”  Jules explains: “His brother died.  You know that, Brady.”  Brady: “Why was he stupid enough to stay and get himself killed?”  Tyler has somehow inexplicably decided to trust this torturous maniac and answers, “Because of this rock he was trying to find—a moonstone.”  Brady and Jules exchange significant glances.  Jules tells Brady, “I had no idea.”  Brady asks Tyler: “Moonstone?  Did he find it?”  Tyler: “Yeah.”  Brady asks where the stone is now, but Tyler doesn’t know.  Dun dun dun.  So, the werewolves are looking for the moonstone it seems, but Mason didn’t tell the others that he was looking for it, or that he had a lead.  Was Mason keeping that information to himself for Katherine’s sake?  Was he planning to give that stone to Katherine after all?  Or did he have plans to keep the moonstone to benefit himself and the other werewolves?  WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

B. Caroline is the best vampire of all vampires who ever vampired. Stefan is a really good friend and is deserving of his Hero Hairdo.

See this? This is the face of the best vampire on television. Photo Credit: Candice Accola Web.

Okay, so before Caroline was captured and tortured she had a far pleasanter run-in, with Matt.  He catches up with her outside the Grill, noting that he hasn’t seen her around lately.  Caroline quickly claims, “I’m not avoiding you, I swear.”  Matt good naturedly replies, “Yeah, you’re avoiding me a little.”  Caroline admits, “Okay, maybe a little.”  Matt asks if they can talk later, after work, to  “clear up some of this weirdness,” and Caroline happily agrees.  Such sweetness between these two.  It’s bound to end in tears.  Sigh.

Of course, Caroline is unavoidably detained by maniac werewolves, and can’t make her date with Matt.  You can’t blame her for forgetting about it for the moment, as she sits at home after escaping the cage, covered in blood, and picks out the splinters from the wooden bullets.  She is physically healing, but she really looks damaged.  We have to remember that this whole vampire thing is new to her, and that she is still a teenage girl in a lot of ways.  When Matt calls wondering what happened, Caroline realizes that she missed showing up.  She can’t say, “Well, I was kidnapped by werewolves and tortured, while your best friend just stood by and watched,” so she covers.  Badly.  Oh, Caroline.  She claims that it was “A friend thing,” and that Bonnie really needed her.  Matt asks if she is with Bonnie right now, and when Caroline says yes, his face just falls.  He says that he hopes everything works out, but when he hangs up, we see that Bonnie is there at the Grill, happily laughing with Jeremy.  Awwww.

Now, let’s backtrack a little bit to right after Dr. Martin tells the vamps to leave the clearing.  Stefan brings Caroline and Stefan and continues to just be an amazing friend.  Their (platonic) relationship has really become one of my favorite parts of the show.  He is just so truly kind to her, asking about her mom, and making sure that she’s okay to be alone.  Caroline puts up a brave front, saying that she’s fine, but he doesn’t believe her: “You don’t have to pretend with me.  Anyone would be upset after what you went through tonight.”  Caroline again claims to be fine: “I’m okay.  I’m not girly little Caroline anymore. I can handle myself.”  Honestly, this made my eyes water when watching that scene, and it is happening again as I write this.  Caroline makes me feel ALL OF THE EMOTIONS.  Stefan sadly replies, “Sure you can.”  Caroline claims that she really just wants to shower, and so he says goodnight, but he looks concerned.  To be continued …

Later, a much less welcome visitor shows up on Caroline’s doorstep: Tyler.  He seems to have found his tongue, and asks if she’s okay.  She replies, “I’m fine,”  and Candice Accola’a delivery was just the best delivery of two words ever.  ALL OF THE EMOTIONS, I tell you.  Tyler makes excuses: “I had no idea they would come for you.”  Caroline asks, “Do you know what they did to me?”  And at this point, both she and I are on the verge of tears.  Tyler: “I’m sorry.  But, it’s crazy now.  Okay?   I don’t know who to trust.  You lied to me.”  Caroline doesn’t fall for this guilt crap: “I lied to protect my friends.  I lied to protect you.  Don’t you get that?”  Tyler: “Caroline …”  Caroline’s voice rises: “You just stood there!  When they were going to kill us, you just stood there.  You didn’t do anything!”  You tell him!  Tyler: “I didn’t know what to do.”  See, and that is the problem.  Caroline tells him: “You help your friend.  That’s what you do.”  And her voice just sounds so sad.  You guys, I’m seriously getting teary-eyed right now.  Tyler apologizes again, but it’s too late.  Caroline has the last word: “No, it’s too late because we’re not friends anymore.  And what happened to me tonight, that will never happen again.  So you take that back to your little werewolf pack, and you get the hell out of my house.”  She slams the door, and part of me I wanted to cheer, but the other part wanted to cry.  I think this whole experience has really been a defining moment for our newbie vampire, and it shows us what she is made of.  (In case you are wondering, yes, it is awesome that she is made of.)

Okay, and now that I’m already all sappy, let’s move on, to the real tear-jerker scene of the episode.  When Stefan left Caroline’s place earlier, he didn’t forget about her, but cryptically asked Elena for her help.  Later, Stefan shows up to see Caroline again.  He tells her, “I was a bit worried about you, after everything you went through tonight.”  Caroline again claims to be fine.  Stefan: “Well, good.  But just in case, I uh brought some backup.”  He then truly earns his hero hair, as Elena pops out and  says, “We’re gonna slumber it.”  TEARS.  And, you guys, even Bonnie shows up!  Can you believe it?  So many tears.  As the three friends hug (see picture at the top of post), Elena mouths to Stefan: “I love you,” and Stefan does the same in turn.  Honestly, that may be my favorite Elena and Stefan moment ever.  For once, I actually got caught up in their romance.

C. Elena wears a plucky ponytail, and deals with daddy issues.  Damon helps, and tries to be the better man.

Okay, so in the last episode, Uncle John showed up, so coffee at the Gilbert house the next morning is bound to be a little awkward.  However, Elena is wearing a ponytail, so she means business.  (Seriously, ponytail Elena is ADORABLE.)  She wants to know why he’s there, and John claims, “I’m here to protect you.  That’s all I can say at the moment.”  Elena asks what this means, but John just says cryptically, “I’ll tell you more when I’m convinced I can trust you.”  This discussion is interrupted when Jenna and Alaric come downstairs.  Neither is thrilled to see John.  Quick reminder: Jenna and John once dated and it didn’t end well, and Alaric was married to John’s baby-mama.  AWKWARD.  Jenna is confused and pissed to see him, and asks, “What the hell?”  At this point, Alaric does the smart thing and gets the hell out of this awkward conversation.  Bye, Alaric!  We’ll miss you.  Jenna doesn’t want John to stay at the house, but he retorts. “Actually, you can’t stop me from living here.”  Jenna: “Actually, I can, as legal guardian.”  John: “Yeah, about that, um, Elena, you want to explain the situation, or should I do the honors?”  Father and daughter exchange significant glances and Jenna asks what’s going on.  Elena starts to answer, but John cuts in: “I’m Elena’s biological father.  There, now you know.”  Jenna is shocked and disbelieving.  First of all, just because John is Elena’s biological father doesn’t mean he has any legal rights of guardianship.  I mean, he’s not even on the birth certificate, so would he have any legal standing where it comes to Elena?  Second, David Anders is looking especially Sark-like on his return to this show, so I’m finding it really hard to judge him as he deserves.  Did he get hotter since we last saw him on the show?  Why did we hate him again?  I can’t remember anymore.  Swooooooooon.

Sometime later, Damon shows up at Elena’s house asking where John is.  Elena says he left and she doesn’t know where.  She fills Damon in about the morning coffee reveal, and they commiserate about the annoying interloper.  Damon asks, “Did he say what he was doing here?” Elena says no, and both agree that they don’t believe John about why he’s here, despite what Stefan says.  Their shared distrust established, Elena asks Damon what he’s going to do, and he replies, “Kill him.”  Elena rather hilariously cries, “Damon!”  Damon claims, “I’m joking.  [Pause.]  Okay, I’m a little serious.”  Hee.  Once again, Elena scolds, “Damon!”  I guess even though she doesn’t like her dad, she still doesn’t want him dead.  Damon explains: “I’m not gonna hurt him, Elena.  I’m the good guy now, remember.”  Hmmm.  So Jessica, the redhead in the road, was just a slip-up?  I wonder what Elena would think about that.  Elena questions what Damon means, and he replies, “I’m gonna have a civil conversation with your father.”  Heh.  Elena then follows Damon out the door, not to be left out this time.

At the Grill, Elena and Damon catch up with Uncle John, as the troublemaker is in the midst of inviting himself to join Jenna and Alaric for lunch.  Oh, what a tangled web.  Before walking over, Elena cautions Damon: “We just need answers.  Please don’t do anything stupid.”  Damon: “I know, but stupid’s so much more fun.”  SO NOT TRUE.  Elena asks him to try to keep it together and adds, “Be the better man.”  Ugh.  It’s just so … obvious and heavy-handed.  But it is the heart of the show, and I definitely appreciate the sentiments behind the words.  As Julie Plec recently described The Vampire Diaries, in an interview with TV Fanatic , “I can only say that it’s a show predicated on a girl coming back to life and her development of love for one brother who then, because of who she is, changes the life of the other brother and that’s our show.”  Elena is certainly changing Damon’s life, but does she have to be so conscious of it and deliberate about it?  Hmmm.  For some reason, that bothers me.  Still, Damon takes her words to heart, and hilariously approaches all fake nice and friendly to Elena’s dad: “John, buddy, how’ve you been?”  Hee.  John plays his part and is all fake politeness in return.

A bit later, however, the two men are left alone, and have some time for even more entertaining rapport.  Damon: “So, John, rumor has it you know a lot and won’t say anything.”  Ha!  John asks, “How do I know you can be trusted, Damon?  Originals can compel vampires and according to Stefan, that’s why Katherine is still in the tomb—because an Original has compelled her to stay there.”  Damon: “Only because all the vervain had left her system.  Stefan and I, on the other hand, are chock-full.”  What what what?  Hold up, wait a minute.  So, The Originals are still affected by vervain?  And yet, Katherine is immune to it?  Point 587 for Katherine.  The end.  John is surprised to hear that the Salvatores are drinking vervain.  I’m surprised that Damon is, but it makes sense.  Damon replies, “It’s an acquired taste.”  He then moves to the threatening portion of the conversation: “I don’t see that magic little ring on your stitched finger, so if you know something about Klaus, you better tell me, or I will kill you in your sleep.”  Well then.  First of all: stitched finger!  So he does have his fingers back.  I could never quite tell.  John does not appreciate the threat: “Now, is that any way to convince me that you and I are on the same side?  First I need to know that I can trust you, Damon.  That I can count on you.  Then we’ll talk.”  Hmmm.

Later, Damon finds out all about the Tyler situation, and wants to kill the newbie werewolf.  Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t mind, but Elena makes it clear that he is not to hurt Tyler.  Damon tells Elena, “You need to stop doing that.”  Elena asks, “Doing what?”  Damon: “Assuming I’ll play the good guy because it’s you who’s asking.”  Elena just continues with her obvious morality policing, and instructs him, “Be the better man.”  Well, at least they’re both aware of the way that this whole Change Damon Project is going down.  Again, I’d prefer a little more subtlety.  The heart-to-heart is interrupted when John bursts in.  He does not like the intimacy between the two that he sees, and asks what’s going on.  However, Damon has bigger problems, because he has to go help out Stefan and Caroline, so he heads out.  Elena wants to go with Damon, but Damon instructs John, “First dad duty: ground your daughter.”

Elena and John are then left alone to discuss their issues.  John tells her that she’s not leaving the restaurant, but she asserts that he can’t tell her what to do.  She is wearing a ponytail, after all.  When Elena says that her safety is already taken care of, John mocks the deal with Elijah.  He doesn’t seem to think that Elijah will keep his promise and states, “Putting your faith in him was a dumb move.”  She reminds him of what he did to Stefan and Damon.  Oh yeah, he tried to kill them in “Founder’s Day.”  Was not really bothered by that.  And it wasn’t really John’s fault that Stefan ran in to save his brother.  Why else am I supposed to hate him?  Oh, yeah, Anna!  That was horrible.  I will try to stay mad at John for Anna’s sake, but it is really hard with all his Sark-iness.  John tells his daughter, “We’ve had our differences.  But you and I, we’re family.”  Elena does NOT take kindly to this, and says angrily: “You don’t get to use that word.  That word is off limits to you.”  John: “Fine.  But it doesn’t change the facts.”  Elena: “You’re right.  Facts are facts, so listen up.  You may be my father, but I am never gonna be your daughter.  You got that?”  Ouch.  Let that be a lesson to you: don’t piss off Elena.  She can be fierce.

Later, John shows up at Damon’s, saying, “We didn’t finish our conversation.”  Damon: “I’ll bite.”  The two head inside, and John gets to the point: “I’ve been thinking—personal feelings aside, Damon, I think you and Stefan will do all you can to protect Elena.”  Damon replies, “I agree with that statement.”  John: “So, I come bearing gifts.”  He pulls out some stuff wrapped in a cloth, and Damon asks what it is.  John explains: “This is how you kill an Original.  In this vial is ash from a white oak tree that dates back to the genesis of the Originals. The dagger must be dipped into the ash, and then plunged into their heart.”  This “white oak tree” stuff seemed vaguely familiar to me, and when I checked on’s Wiki (don’t click on that link unless you want to be book-spoiled), sure enough, this is a book reference—though it was white ash wood there.  Kind of cool.  Damon asks how John knows this, and John replies: “Isobel.  She’s very good at finding out things.  But of course you know that.”  Damon asks where she is, and John is cryptic:  “Let’s just say that if she accomplishes what she’s attempting, Klaus will never set foot in Mystic Falls.  Where Elena is concerned, you and I are on the same side.”  This seems to perhaps be set-up for the finale.  Hmmm.

Sometime later that night, Elena is startled by John in the Gilbert kitchen.  He apologizes for earlier, but Elena has had enough.  She makes it clear that she doesn’t want him here.  John says, “I didn’t come here to fight with you, Elena.”  Elena: “I know.  You’re here to protect me.  Got it.  Get in line.”  Ha!  One of my favorite lines of the episode, for sure.  That is one long line.  John then starts to get sentimental (or at least he pretends to), and he gives her a charm bracelet.  He claims that it belonged to the mom who raised her, Miranda: “I remember her wearing it when she was young.  I found it in a box with some things that your dad left me.  Here, it’s yours now.  [Hands it to her.]  Miranda and Grayson were your parents, Elena.  And I know I’m nothing to you.  You have no reason to believe me or trust me. I’ve done so many horrible things.  But when you lost your parents, I lost my brother, my family, I lost my way.  And I’m probably never going to make things right for you—I know that—but I’m going to do everything I can to protect you, and protect this family.”  He appears to get teary-eyed and emotional during the scene, and then leaves the room.  Elena is left with wet eyes herself, and looks relieved when Stefan shows up.  She tells her boyfriend that she just doesn’t believe John, but I still don’t know where I stand.  I mean, I could totally see John dying to save Elena’s life at some point.  We shall see …

D. Damon takes a shower and a bubble bath.

On Friday morning, I got a hilarious message on Twitter from Serena, one of my readers:

@heroine_tv I need you to be EXTRA mean to Damon in this week's recap. I tried to hate him but then he took that shower and..uhm. Be cruel:)

This cracked me up for real.  I know that I have a bit of a reputation for being hard on Damon, and I’ve probably lost some readers because of this tendency, so it made me happy that people have a sense of humor about it.  I certainly do.  If you’re not having fun when watching The Vampire Diaries, you’re doing it wrong.  But Serena, I’m so sorry to disappoint you … I kind of liked Damon in this episode.  I mean, he helped to get Caroline back, ripped out a werewolf heart, and had some great scenes with John.

Of course, there were also THE BATHROOM SCENES.  All the Damon fangirls are probably unconscious right now, so should I even talk about his bathroom time?  Well, just in case, I’ll say a few words.  There’s not much to say about the opening shower scene, other than Damon was naked and taking a shower, and he looked like he was still struggling with all the emotions he’s fighting.  However, I will dissect that final bath-tub scene and give my perspective.

First, we must note that Jenna is apparently friends with Andie Star (Dawn Olivieri), a local news reporter.  Andie is clearly charmed by Damon’s eyebrows at the Grill, and asks Jenna to introduce her.  Oh, Andie, this won’t end well for you.  Siiiiiigh.  She offers to buy Damon a drink, but he blows her off.  As he tells Elena, “Trust me, it’s in the best interest of women everywhere.”  I agree, but, of course, this does not last.  He’s in a soapy bathtub with the woman by the end of the episode.  Lack of willpower much?

In the bathtub, Damon continues his emo run with discussion of his feelings to a compelled woman.  What else is new?  He explains that he needs a distraction, and she says, “You can booty call me anytime you want.”  Damon takes this as invitation to share his problems: “See, the thing is, Miss Sexy Reporter Girl, I have a problem I need help with.  It’s really messing with my mind.”  Rather than say, “I said booty call, not free therapy” (OMG, I wish she had said that so much!), she invites him to tell her about it.  Damon spills: “I’m in love with a woman I can never have.”  Andie: “I knew it.  I know how to pick ‘em.  So why can’t you have her?  She’s with another man, I assume.”  Damon looks offended by this reading of his tortured soulful problems: “Yeah, but that’s … that’s not the point.  The point is, I’m in love with her and it’s driving me crazy.  I’m not in control.”  Andie: “What, you don’t you don’t trust yourself around her?”  Damon: “I don’t trust myself around anyone, Andie.  I’m bad, Andie.  I do things.  I kill people.”  At this, she has the presence of mind to look scared, but then he quickly compels her not to be afraid.  She then asks, “Why do you kill people?” Damon: “Because I like it.  It’s in my nature.  It’s who I am.  But then I have to stay together to protect her, and she wants me to be the better man, which means I can’t be who I am.  Do you see the problem I’m having, Andie?”  Andie: “Well maybe this is who you are now.  Love does that, Damon, it changes us.”  Damon: “Just stop talking.  Just kiss me.  Be my distraction.”  With that, they make out, but the kissing turns to biting, and Andie’s blood spills down into the bath water.  Ew.  Compelled not to fear what is clearly dangerous for her, Andie has now become Damon’s unwitting sex toy and midnight snack.  She may have wanted to be Damon’s booty call before she found out that he kills people, but she was ready to run after that reveal.  Now, all her interactions with Damon, sex-related or not, are happening because of compulsion.  I’m never gonna be okay with that.  Still, I’m glad that he is on Elena’s side in the upcoming troubles.  Oh, and I hope he’ll teach Caroline his heart-removal move so she can use it on Brady.

Additional Quotes

  • Stefan: “I’m sorry about Rose.”  Damon: “Whatever.  I knew the woman for … five minutes.” Stefan: “Well you cared about her after five minutes.  Wonder what that means.”  Damon: “It’s mean I care, Stefan.  It means I’m changing and evolving into a man capable of greatness.  Better watch your back, because I may just have to go get a hero hairdo of my own and steal your thunder.”
  • Dr. Martin: “You must be feeling very confused about us.”  Bonnie: “There’s nothing confusing about it.  I trusted Luka, and he betrayed me.  Elena told me you’re both working for Elijah, so don’t lie about it.”  Dr. Martin: “I won’t.  But that doesn’t mean we’re not also looking out for you.”  Bonnie: “Spare me the witch loyalty crap.”
  • Jenna: “I can’t believe it.  Elena is my sister’s husband’s brother’s daughter.  And her mother is my boyfriend’s deceased wife.  You can’t make this stuff up.”
  • John: “I know you were expecting someone else.”  Katherine: “I sent Stefan to find Isobel.”  John: “She got your message.  She was busy, so she sent me instead.”  Katherine: “Does Stefan know you’re here right now?”   John: “No.  No one does.  This is between you, me, and Isobel.”  Katherine: “I want out of this tomb, John.”  John: “I’m already on it.”


  • Uncle John: evil or hot?  Or both? Okay, so, we had the whole episode where John claims to be back to protect Elena, and plays the part of a caring father.  But then, there was the final scene—see quote directly above.  John goes down to the tomb at the end, and it is revealed that he came back to town under Katherine’s instructions.  LOVE the reveal that Katherine sent Stefan off to find Isobel for her own interests, not because she was feeling sentimental.  That’s our Katherine.  Now, we already knew that Isobel and John were working with Katherine, so that part should not be a total shocker.  Back in “Isobel,” the following phone conversation took place.  Isobel: “On your doorstep you’ll find what you’ve been looking for.”  John: “And my ring?”  He finds the envelope on the stoop, including his ring.  Isobel tells him: “Don’t screw this up.  You know what you have to do, John.”  John: “I got it.  I won’t fail.”  Isobel: “You better not.  Katherine wants all of those tomb vampires dead, and I want to add two more to that list: Stefan and Damon.  I don’t want this life for her.”  John: “That was always part of the plan.  Consider them gone.”  Isobel: “She’s our daughter, John.  We owe that to her.”  Soooooo, I don’t think that this tomb scene necessarily means that John is NOT looking out for Elena’s safety.  It just means that he’s going to do so high-handedly and sneakily.  This makes me wonder what Katherine has told / promised/ threatened Elena’s birth-parents, and whether John and Isobel have plans to double cross Katherine.  And why did Katherine chop off John’s fingers and then stab him, in “Founder’s Day”?  Because he tried to kill Damon and Stefan and that wasn’t part of the plan?  Or just for the fun of it?  Hmmm.
  • What is Isobel up to? Katherine wanted Isobel to come back to town, but she was too busy, John claims.  Doing what?  John says cryptically, “Let’s just say that if she accomplishes what she’s attempting, Klaus will never set foot in Mystic Falls.”  So she is working on the Klaus problem?  I must know more!  Oooh, the suspense.

  • Is Dr. Martin a good guy after all?  Did his interference change your mind about trusting Elijah? The whole gang is now wise to the Martin warlocks’ affiliation with Elijah.  Phew.  However, what does this really mean?  Dr. Martin tells Bonnie that working for Elijah “doesn’t mean we’re not also looking out for you.”  Bonnie doesn’t believe him, but should she?  Dr. Martin tells her: “You may not want to believe this, but Elijah is a man of his word.  You can trust that he’ll keep his end of the deal with Elena to keep you and your friends protected.”   He then seems to prove this when he steps in to help during the werewolf debacle.  After saving their lives, he tells the Salvatores, “Elijah made a promise to Elena.  I’m here to see it’s upheld.”  But to what end?

Random observations

  • I liked the news coverage about the recent deaths (Roses three victims at the barbecue, the campers, the park ranger, and redhead Jessica) because it was nice to see that people are aware of the body count that keeps increasing.  If I lived in Mystic Falls, I might start to think about moving at this point.
  • Elena seems to have more scenes with Damon than anyone else on this show.  No wonder Damon can’t stop thinking about her.  Maybe they need some space.
  • Jenna makes some pointed comments to Alaric about keeping secrets.  I’m thinking this foreshadows some reveals to come.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, because I want Jenna to stop inviting vampires in the house.
  • Even though he didn’t really get to do anything, Alaric was looking especially swoon-worthy in this episode.  Very Han-Solo-esque.  On that note, I’ve been watching What about Brian (the whole series is on Hulu) to help get through the lack of Alaric-storylines, and wow.  Matt Davis is almost unrecognizable as the baby-faced pretty-boy lawyer on that show—still adorable though.  And get this: his love interests have included Ellie from Chuck and the superior Victoria from the Twilight films.

  • At the memorial service in town, I loved the conversation between Uncle John and Carol Lockwood.  When he asks about the council, she replies: “Damon Salvatore is leading the council now.  Talk to him.”  Ha!  That has got to burn.
  • Hey, Bonnie and Jeremy were in this episode too!  And I was actually really happy to see them!  And they were certainly very happy to see each other.  Luka who?

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Uncle John is evil and hot. David Anders certainly knows how to pull that off. Caroline is starting to eclipse Katherine as my favorite vampire. I don't know how this happened. Travesty! I wanted to give Caroline a high five after she told off Tyler. I could not believe Tyler actually thought about whether he should save Caroline or not. She was being tortured in a cage! I love how Katherine sent Stefan to find Isobel. She always has multiple back up plans. Will Isobel be back? I hope so. What an awkward family reunion. I hope someone invites Jenna. Thank you for the in depth recap. P.S. I laughed when I saw you use baby-mama in your recap.


oh, Tyler! I totally agree. I can't believe I gave him a chance these past weeks. A normal person should be upset to see a complete stranger being tortured, and he hesitates to help his FRIEND?? It took me a whole season to ( almost ) forgive his aggressive behaviour towards Vicki in the Pilot..and now this??? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


- hee. you DID NOT help me with my Damon obsession, but I had to know you'd kinda like him in this episode..he helped Caroline, he didn't kill innocents..that's progress for him, right?? and you pictured it right. the fangirl in me is still unconscious on the couch. - if your feeling about Jenna is correct, poor Alaric. She will not be happy to find out that he knew about John and Elena, that his wife is alive ( undead, but still! ) and that he actually killed her ex! yes, Logan was a cheater and a liar, but if my boyfriend killed my first love, it would upset me a little bit!! - Doctor Martin may be a good guy, but who knows how he's bound to Elijah? Maybe he owes him his life ( like Lucy with Katherine ) and can't refuse to help him. Of course, right now Elijah is actually keeping his promise to Elena (intriguing!) so that might not be a bad thing. - Lucia! John is EVIL!! He didn't just stake Anna, he killed Pearl!! They were both awesome!We all hate him for that! Yes, he's hot. But he's baaaaad!! See? You help me with Damon, I'll help you with John :)


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  2. […] Lucia, Heroine TV, “Daddy Issues recap”: A few thoughts here. First, the not-afraid-of-a-vampire thing. This is very interesting as we have been wondering why Jules has been so fearless in Damon’s presence post full moon. Clearly these werewolves have some tricks up their sleeves and have dealt with vampires a lot in the past. Second, Jules seems very intent on having Tyler join her Werewolf-cult. There’s got to be a story there, I think. Does she have something personally at stake? Or is this part of the larger werewolf agenda? What do the wolves want with more members? Is it just a numbers game, so that they can defend themselves? Or is there more to it? Finally, this vengeance thing means bad things. DO NOT HURT CAROLINE! Kill the Salvatore brothers if you must, but not Vampire Barbie. I mean it. […]