2×02 – Brave New World

Thoughts, Questions, Comments on Episode 2×02 – Brave New World

I’m just going to start by saying that I know a lot of people didn’t like this episode or were disappointed by it. I’m not one of them. I thought it was awesome and I actually liked that Damon had a few of his walls back up. Until people are ready to recognize how easily he can be hurt and adjust their behavior accordingly, then he has to try to protect himself just a little. Under it all, of course he’s still hurt, but it’s also safer for him, if no one sees that much. Not to mention that the people who really care about him, can see past those walls anyway.

Now then, on to the episode itself. Candice Accola absolutely killed as Caroline the vamp in transition. Her performance was near flawless. I just wanted to put that out there straight away. What I love about this opening sequence and in fact a lot of what we get with Caroline in the episode but especially the early bits is just how much of a vampire’s behavior is instinctual. She wakes up and clearly there’s some confusion as to what’s going on. She’s starting to remember things. And the hunger is there and she can smell blood so it working its pull on her, driving her to feed.

I found it interesting that they chose to make completing the transition just about feeding on human blood and not about feeding on an actual human. Up until now, I thought the latter was the only way.

Title crawl and cut to MF High’s Annual Carnival and Elena and Bonnie. I found this scene to be a bit bizarre. Elena clearly does not want to talk about Katherine or vampires. This much is obvious before she even actually says it. But Bonnie keeps pushing. The Kat curiosity I can almost understand; I mean the woman is Elena’s doppelganger. But honestly, what the hell difference does it make to Bonnie if Elena has talked to Damon or not?

Having said that, Elena gets a kind of trapped look on her face when Bonnie mentions his name. She just kind of freezes and it’s obvious that she’s been trying not to think about Damon and what happened and how she feels or doesn’t feel about it. But when Bonnie brings him up, her mind immediately starts to go there. She shuts it down by turning around and telling Bonnie that she doesn’t want to talk about it. I think she does this because she’s already aware that angry as she is at him, she doesn’t hate Damon and she’s actually hurt by what happened. And she’s not ready to face up to that.

Also, Elena in super organizing mode is 1) a flashback to Elena pre her parents dying I would have thought. She did mention once upon a time that the girl she’d been before the accident was involved with a lot of things; very busy. But mostly, I think it’s proof that Elena is looking for something that she can actually control since the rest of her life is fast spinning out of it.

Stefan and Jeremy – I’m going to have some more thoughts on this dynamic later when I talk about Damon and Jeremy towards the end of this episode. But for now, there’s a couple things that I found interesting/amusing.

Firstly, question : Where did Stefan even get more vervain? Either he didn’t use all of what Zach gave him that one time when he was trying to starve Damon or they’ve kept growing it.

Second question. Stefan mentions certain herbs, roots and elements being toxic to vampires. Plural. As in more than one. So begs the question, what else out there is toxic to vampires?

I don’t know about anyone else but I had to laugh when Jeremy used the word epic to describe that thing with the goldfish. We keep hearing epic used to describe Stefan and Elena’s relationship. If it can be compared to 300 goldfish – who by the by if my memory serves don’t exactly have the longest lifespans – I don’t think it’s a good sign. 😆  😆

Poor Elena. She’s tired, stressed out and worried. I don’t blame her. It just goes to show how extreme this has all become though because Elena is a tough cookie. She normally stands up to pressure really, really well.  But you can see that it’s taking a toll and everything is finally catching up to her.

I am going to put on super super Delena colored glasses on here for this next point because I know it’s a stretch and in reality it’s probably an accumulation of factors that has Elena looking so close to the edge but. Such a big deal was made in the previous episode about how Elena was the one who could push Damon over the edge. I find it interesting that Elena now looks closer to the edge after one fight – though a truly brutal one – with Damon than she ever has after any fight/issue with Stefan. I mean, as Daisy point out to me while we chatted about it, she looks worse now after fighting with Damon than she did when she found out Stefan was a vampire!

Like I said, it could be a stretch but maybe there’s something to be said for the fact that Damon is the only one who can push her to the limit and to her breaking point.

*takes off super super Delena colored glasses*

Now Bri had this theory last night and I agree with it, that one of the reasons that Elena clammed up with Stefan and held back from him last night is because a large part if not all of what she needs to talk about, is about Damon and her conflicting feelings for him. This theory is backed up the fact that when Stefan asks her by the lockers what they are going to do about Damon, Elena doesn’t say that she doesn’t want to talk about it – as she did with Bonnie. Instead, she says. “He is no longer on the list of topics that we[Elena and Stefan] can discuss.” I happen to think that’s very telling indeed.

I’m also wondering if Stefan’s insistence that Katherine’s return has got Damon all on edge is his way of trying to hide the fact that Katherine’s return has got him on edge.

Okay, I’m slow but honestly it wasn’t until I’d seen the episode two or three times that I realized Carol is actually –albeit unbeknownst to her – referring to Katherine when she asks if  they have found the vamp that attacked John. It makes Damon’s response that he intends getting to the bottom of it a little bit more interesting.

I love the irony of Carol asking Damon to head the Founder’s Council. And at the same time, it’s not all that ironic because I think Damon, in his own way, is sincere about wanting to protect the town.

Enter Tyler and Mason. I find this relationship intriguing. They get along better than Tyler and his dad did – not hard, granted –but there’s also a clear sense of competition and later mistrust. Which kind of makes sense with the whole wolf/alpha male thing that’s bound to be going on.

Also random observation Mason seems to have a massive tattoo on his side/back. I don’t know if that’s the character or the actor but I’d like to see the rest of it.

Damon Salvatore! Didn’t anyone ever tell you that curiosity killed the cat?  😆  😆

Caroline testing her sun allergy. To quote Nina, “Ouchey.”

Poor Matt. Seriously.

And I don’t care what anyone says, I still think it strange that all Stefan has to say when Damon offers him human blood is, “I’m not hungry. I just ate.” It’s like…if I was allergic to peanuts and someone offered me peanuts, I wouldn’t say, “I’m not hungry, I just ate.” I would say, “I’m allergic to peanuts.”  It’s just my take it on it. I think it’s weird and I think HB would be a logical explanation for Stefan’s change in behavior.

Ian’s eyes look amazing in this scene with Stefan.

*is hypnotized*

I find it interesting that the shoe is on the other foot here now. Stefan is the one who is constantly bringing up Katherine in this episode. He did it with Elena earlier. He does here with Damon. When Damon actually deliberately changed the subject, Stefan insisted. He keeps saying that Damon is the one feeling off kilter because of K when actually 1) Damon is off kilter because of Elena and 2) Stefan himself is the one feeling off kilter because of Katherine.

I’m kind of curious what if anything Damon said to Stefan about Kat’s visit to the boarding house. He must have said something because Stefan seems to know that Kat is supposedly gone but the last time he saw her was at the Lockwood’s. So Damon must have at least mentioned it. But at the same time, judging  by Stefan’s reaction in this scene, Damon didn’t say anything about Katherine saying that she was back to proclaim her undying love for him [Stefan]. He seemed a tiny bit caught off guard by that. But maybe I’m imagining things.

Caroline is putting on her jewelry and I have to say I think there’s another continuity error. I could be wrong but I am fairly certain that when Elena gave Caroline vervain it was a bracelet and not a necklace.

I have some questions about this whole transition process. And I’m actually thinking back to a line by Lestat in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire where he talks about the “dark gift being different for each of us”. Because here, it takes a while for Caroline’s fangs to come out the first time and she’s been sipping human blood for a while now. But Stefan’s emerged practically immediately when he got a taste of Daddy dearest. Same for Damon. Is this difference down to the fact that they fed on actual humans or what?

Bonnie and Carter….flirting? *yawn*

Watcha looking for Uncle Mason? Huh, huh, what is it, huh? Actually, I’m just glad it’s not another journal  😆  😆 .

I can’t help myself. I love this first scene with Damon and Jeremy. The same way I loved that scene in Founder’s Day. I like that Damon doesn’t take crap from Jeremy and that he doesn’t coddle him. Like I said before, Jeremy actually needs a bit of that. What’s more he recognizes that he does, hence him going to see Damon later in the episode.

And I laughed – I’m sorry but I did! – when he said, “I’ll shove this ring so far up your ass that you’ll really have something to choke on.”

This scene with Caroline and the nurse was kind of funny as well. “My husband likes to get kinky?”  😆  😆 .

I love the look on Stefan’s face when he’s arm wrestling Mason and he realizes that “this guy is beating me but there’s no way in hell should be able to beat me.” Still think Damon’s obsessing over nothing?

I love when Stefan said his Ninja Turtle line (which seriously amused me) Damon replied with “You’re not funny.” Which is exactly what Elena said to him in Bloodlines when they were standing by the side of the road.

I find it interesting that a lot of the time, Stefan says to Damon, “You shouldn’t do this.” Or “This is a bad idea” But he never actually stops Damon from doing it. Compelling Carter is a case in point.

Damon and Caroline. I love him, y’all know I do. But even I didn’t begrudge Caroline this smackdown.  😆  😆 . Plus in a way, I like that Damon was balanced out in this episode. He had one or two extreme moments but he didn’t go unscathed either. I kind of see what Ian meant now when he said Damon was going to be scared this season. He can still be a BAMF but he’s not the only one in town anymore.

Also, did anyone else catch that “oh shit” look on his face when Caroline said she had a message from Katherine?

Okay, Delena time. One thing off the bat that I found interesting here is that Damon starts by saying, “I know I’m the last person you want to see right now,”. This is important I think for a number of reasons. One, he knows how mad she is and he knows she has a right to it. Two, he’s been giving her space – it might be for his own benefit too – but its so Damon. He rarely apologizes and he never asks for forgiveness but more to the point, he knows he can’t force reconciliation. He can’t make things right – and we all know that deep down he wants to because he loves her – by rushing her.

There are not words to describe how amazing it is that after all they’ve just been through, Elena still trusts him implicitly. And I think the fact that Damon has been giving her space since the Jer incident is one of the reasons for it. She knows that if he’s coming to her now, it’s important.

The whole Tyler/Carter/Mason/Peeping Stefan scene.  Not much to say about that except for did Damon’s compulsion give Carter some extra oomph? Cos he kind of held his own pretty well for a while.

Matt and Caroline. Poor Matt. I really feel bad for him in this episode.

Damon, “Katherine is a manipulative, nasty, little slut.” Now that’s what I call epic.

Also Damon wanting to kill Caroline is kind of typically Damon. He has that Machiavellian streak in him. He’s not wrong about the odds for Caroline – and I love that he calls Stefan out for not actually disagreeing – and like he says, just fast forward to the inevitable conclusion.

I also think that Elena was a little bit surprised that Stefan agreed with Damon. I mean yes, he backed her up on it in the end but Damon was right; his silence was deafening

Caroline feeding on Carter. She is a messy eater isn’t she?

Matt and Bonnie. Poor Poor Matt. And I’m sorry, I just don’t feel any pity for Bonnie. None. But that’s my fault not hers. I can see that she’s suffering from all this. I just…don’t care.

This Stefan/Elena scene. Very interesting. First of all. That is one very agitated Salvatore.  Elena is like WTF. It’s not really like Stefan to avoid a conversation with her but she has to call out to him several times to even get him to turn around. Then the first thing he says is that Damon’s right. Not number one on Elena’s list of things she wants to hear.

And Elena saying that they can’t let it end that way. I think it’s very telling that although Stefan will later promise Caroline that he’s not going to let anything happen to her, he doesn’t agree with Elena here. And that’s new for him I think. He’s normally the first to tell her that it will all be fine. But for once, I think he’s more in his own head than Elena’s. And his head is filled with Katherine atm which is proved a few seconds later. Not only does he disagree with Elena that Katherine is doing this to her, but he actually scoffs first. Listen for it. He makes that sounds which is kind of like saying. “Bitch please,” and then says “She’s doing it to me.”

I don’t blame Elena for being disturbed.

Tyler/Mason fight? Hot. That is all.

Okay, Damon and Caroline here bring me to a point. One that’s actually continued with the Stefan/Caroline scene later. They’re both very hands on with her, very touchy and kind of reassuring – albeit for different motives – and it reminds me of how Damon was with Vicki and also how Stefan was with Amber. Maybe this is just a vamp thing. But I’m wondering…could the brothers Salvatore have had a younger sister? It would certainly explain Zach. It’s just a random thought/theory.

Also, kind of touché with Damon telling Caroline he’s going to kill her. He did actually say that to her back in episode four, was it?

If it was possible to scare years off of Damon’s life, I think that Elena moving to stand between him and Caroline when he was moving superspeed and stake first would have done it. Because if he had actually hurt her, there would have been no fixing him. And it also shows that Elena knows him well because to get there before he did, she had to have anticipated it.

Oh that look between Damon and Elena. What I love here is that while the intimacy of the previous episode(s) between them has been stripped away, the very core of their “understanding” is still in tact. It’s about trust. It’s about holding each other accountable. Elena made Damon respect her will to protect Caroline (because it matters and you know it) and Damon made sure that Elena understood she would have to face up to whatever consequences emerge; same way he did when she chose to lock Stefan up in Blood Brothers.

Stefan/Caroline. There’s not much to say. It was perfect. I liked Stefan here, he handled her beautifully.

Also, although he told her he didn’t know why Katherine did this to her, part of me wonders if he’s not taking it on himself just a little. All of this , that’s happened to day is collateral damage from his issues with Katherine.

Damon says to Elena, “I thought you were calling the shots? No?”. Again, he’s not letting her escape the implications of her decision. It’s like, you want to be in control then fine. But you don’t get to pick and choose.  They keep each other real these two, no matter what else is going on.

And I have absolutely nothing remotely civil to say about Bonnie and this fire scene. So I am not even going to comment.

Elena is many things when talking to Stefan by the lockers but fine is not one of them.

Tyler/Moonstone. Why and how did he know exactly where it was and what does it do?

Damon/Jeremy scene. This was one of my favorite scenes all episode. And major props have to go out to Steven for this. He managed to capture just the right amount of bravado and vulnerability that explains why Jeremy even ended up there wanting to kill and talk to Damon in the first place. And despite what Damon said, he does the big brother thing very well indeed. The way that Jer kind of half smiles when Damon made that crack about people knowing how to whittle in 1864, just proves that it was what he was looking for; he’s craving that connection with an older guy who might understand what he’s feeling.

And I think that kind of “huh” that Damon let out at the end of the scene is indicative of the fact that he couldn’t have pictured this scenario. For once, I don’t think he’s solely relating to Jeremy as Elena’s younger brother. He’s finding something in Jeremy as his own person. I think it was the perfect way to really kick off that relationship.

I also want to put something out there. All things considered, if Jer is looking for a male role model. Stefan should have been the “obvious” choice. He’s a vampire too but he’s also Elena’s boyfriend. That puts him one degree of separation closer to Jer than Damon. And yet Jer is drawn/has more in common with Damon. That is NO accident on the part of the writers.

Caroline and Matt. His climbing through her window is totally their thing. But seriously, Poor Matt. He’s all in love and it can’t end well for him. But I was totally proud of Caroline for fighting through the blood lust.

Firstly, Elena does not look like she’s buying Stefan’s attempt to romance her. But more importantly that line, “I came back to this town to start a life with you?” So going to bite him in the ass. He was not supposed to know what an Elena was when he got back to MF. Never mind actually come back for her. AND. This is not the first time that the allusion has been made to the fact that he did. Zach pointed it out when he asked if the girl he’d come back for was worth it.

The final scene up there with them was kind of cheesy but cute. Just not my cup of tea. I did however appreciate that he didn’t try to sugarcoat it for her when he said that it was not going to get any easier.

Because it really isn’t.

But that’s what makes it so much fun.