This scene is why I love The Vampire Diaries. And all of a sudden, I'm feeling as though the most compelling relationship in the show isn't between the Salvatore brothers, or any of the show's 10,000 love triangles. Instead, it's the totally nonsexual, non-romantic relationship between Caroline and Stefan Salvatore. Who knew?
One of the things that's consistently amazing about Vampire Diaries, even as it becomes more ludicrous and randomized, is the way it stays connected to the histories of the characters and actually makes you feel as though these people have real chemistry and shared experiences. And I really love the fact that Stefan recognizes that while he's been going bonkers and turning into a neck-tearing serial killer, Caroline has just been quietly awesome and a decent person.
Given all the metaphors this show has given us about vampires being unable to control their murderous nature lately, it's kind of neat to play with the idea that becoming a vampire was a source of personal growth for Caroline, and she's a better person than she was as a human. And that's why I'll always love Muppet Angel, despite his many flaws — he actually does notice Caroline's goodness, and doesn't leap to take credit for it even when she offers it. Sure, Stefan helped teach her, but she's done a lot on her own.
Most of last night's episode, though, is given over to a much more misanthropic (is that the right word?) view of vampires.
Rebekah and Elena engage in a kind of "Mean Girls" battle of bitchiness, with Rebekah trying to provoke Elena into biting a classmate in the girls' room and then throwing Elena's daylight ring into the insinkerator at Rebekah's party. Ooh, snap! Elena wants to kill Rebekah, but Stefan convinces Elena that if thousands of Rebekah's sired vampires die as a result, Elena will feel really really bad for a long time. But at least Elena gets one moment of enjoying being a vampire: her stunt double gets to stand up and do a "King of the World" thing on a motorcycle, while she makes happy faces in extreme close-up in a studio someplace. Wheeee! And then Elena's vampire nature finally gets way out of control, and she almost kills poor Matt.
Damon promises to teach Elena how to be a vampire, in a way that Stefan can't or won't. (And Elena has werewolf-venom hallucinations, in which her subconscious version of Damon tells her that she's more like Damon than she is like Stefan, now that she's a vampire. Just how naughty is Elena going to get? When Katherine finally comes back, is Katherine going to be the nicer of the two? Could be fun.)
And then the other notable storyline among the 10,000 plates this show keeps whirling in mid-air is that of Connor, the sexy, sexy vampire hunter. He tries to recruit Jeremy as his new apprentice, which I desperately want to see happen for real. He poisons Rebekah and Elena with werewolf venom stolen from Tyler. (Tyler has a new love triangle, which is only interesting because of some ultra-campy exegesis from Klaus.) He nearly blows up Damon with a booby trap that's practically labeled "booby trap" before Damon triggers it. And finally, he nearly gets himself killed by Damon and Klaus — until Klaus notices something that interests him.
And with last night's episode, Klaus seems to have officially become One of the Good Guys. (It happens to every villain on TVD eventually.) The Damon-Klaus team-up was a thing of sheer joy, especially Damon and Klaus agreeing that, yes, Klaus is the most evil there is, full stop. Klaus has apparently figured out that something really terrible is coming, and he's going to do something about it. Which means that he still needs Elena alive, even as a vampire, and Connor the Vampire Hunter is also important, because he's one of the Five. Mysteries piled on top of mysteries. But mostly, we love Klaus because he can narrate all of the character's endless love triangles with ludicrous panache.