It's sort of amazing that Vampire Diaries has taken this long to try doing an "ex-gay" storyline, in which somebody tries to "cure" vampirism with radical therapy. And we all get to debate whether it's better to accept vampires for who they are, or just people who have sick, wrong desires that they can learn to fight.
Vampire Diaries usually doesn't leave any opportunities for ridiculous, over-the-top storytelling unexploited, which is why we love this show so much. Spoilers ahead...
So it's sort of fascinating that we're being asked to accept Caroline as a sweet vampire who can't help who she is, at the exact same time that Stefan is, arguably, confronting who he really is. Caroline seems to want everybody to believe that she's a harmless sweetiepie who would never take a human life — but Stefan, meanwhile, is going full Ripper and regaining some of his lost memories of his Jazz Age atrocities, when life was cheap and blood flowed like illegal hooch.
Stefan, of course, was the poster boy for "reformed animal blood-only vampires," until Klaus reawakened his inner monster. He's the one who tried to teach Caroline that she could manage the urges and only hurt little woodland creatures — and now, she's managed to convince her formerly stalwart vampire hunting mom that she's totally harmless.
But what does Caroline's "this is who I am, dad" rhetoric actually mean? He's talking about her instinctual desire for blood, and the way her face vamps out when she gets near some. And her dad wants to use aversion therapy to re-write her instincts, so that when she thinks about yummy, hot, nourishing blood, she'll think about being burned half to death and it'll make the desire go away. But what is she supposed to live off? Rice krispies? Has this ever worked, in the whole history of people and vampires? The weird thing is, Stefan's "squirrels only" solution is probably more realistic — although in the end, vampires live a long time, and eventually the chances of a relapse go up to 100 percent.
As Stefan is proving. It's interesting that Stefan tells Elena that it took him 30 years to get himself together after he went off human blood — and yet, he expected Caroline, with her newborn vampire hunger, to go straight immediately. Maybe it's easier if you never get a taste for human blood? Or maybe Caroline is just adorable and we want to see her plan another party where stuff goes hilariously wrong, and then she compels people to let her sing again.
Oh, and I like the fact that a big chunk of Stefan's "black-outs" turned out to be because Klaus erased his memories, not just his tormented soul. And now maybe Stefan really is Klaus' pal? Up to a point, anyway. And Stefan has a new girlfriend, one who's just as clingy as Elena but possibly a lot more fun. That's another thing I love about this show — they always find a new crazy love triangle to spin out of the boring old one.