The Vampire Diaries – Brave New World (S02E02) – Episode review

No Katherine in [[The Vampire Diaries (TV Series)|Vampire Diaries]] this week, but her nefarious activities in the season première have had a palpable ripple effect on Mystic Falls.

Let’s have a quick recap, shall we? Story of the night is the accidental ‘turning’ of Caroline Forbes into a vampire. How did this happen? Well, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) donated some of his blood to help heal her injuries from the car crash, and evil Katherine came along and smothered her. In Vampire Diaries land, if you die within 24 hours of ingesting vampire blood, you become one of the sexy undead. Seriously, have you seen an ugly vampire on this show?

So Caroline’s a vampire, but she’s got no idea how or why. Just a raging thirst.

Elsewhere, Damon’s frenzy from last week has subsided and he’s got a brand new obsession – finding out what the Lockwood’s family secret is. So what better way to expose a supernatural family than through the time-honoured medium of arm-wrestling? Damon pits Stefan (Paul Wesley) against Uncle Mason and discovers sub-human strength.

What’s hilarious about this episode is Bonnie’s (Katerina Graham) potential new boyfriend and how he gets thrown about like a dishrag by the supernaturals – first Damon compels him to pick a fight with Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino), then Tyler and Mason beat him up a little and finally a ravenous Caroline drains him. It’s no wonder Bonnie goes nuts at the end and sets fire to Damon. It’s an understandable response. We’ve all been there, right?

Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is slightly pathetic in this episode. He starts out by goading Damon about outing his secret (never mind that it would out Stefan too and hurt his sister). And though he shows up at the Salvator homestead with home-made stake in hand, Damon eventually does the wise thing and applies compassion to the situation. Good, since being glib didn’t exactly work with Bonnie.

I haven’t mentioned Elena (Nina Dobrev) in this episode, because although she’s there, she’s slightly secondary to all the action. The hero of Brave New World, for me, is Candice Accola as bitchy blonde Caroline Forbes. Accola did an outstanding job of playing confused, blood-crazed Caroline – though she quickly discovered the parameters of her powers when she realised sunlight burns, blood tastes good, and mildly hostile hospital staff can be compelled into forgetting you’ve just drained them.

I loved how distinctly ‘Caroline’ traits came across – like how she told the woman to explain her neck wound by telling people “My husband likes to get kinky.” She was a little out of character in her scene with Damon – assured, mercenary and in control of herself. We can probably write that off on her being pissed at Damon for all the things he did to her when she was human.

The implications of Caroline becoming a vampire are serious – her mother is the Sheriff and a member of the council that protects Mystic Falls from vampires. Not only that, but her boyfriend Matt is the brother of Vicki Donovan – a fledgling vampire who got staked by Stefan when she got out of control. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when her secret is finally revealed – because she currently doesn’t have a magic day-walking ring, which will make attending school difficult.

I wonder if you can buy those rings on eBay?

And before I wrap up this review, I know that a big fire started only meters away from the school carnival. And Damon was on fire, flailing around on the ground. We give this kind of thing a by-ball in Vampire Diaries because it’s just good fun. Why does Damon annoy Bonnie and Jeremy so much when a nicer attitude would get him further? Because it’s more fun. It’s not Shakespeare, people.

Quotes from Brave New World

  1. Jeremy: “I was killed by a vampire and brought back by a magic ring. How do you move forward from that?”
  2. Elena: “We’re going to be boring high school students who live in a world where the V world is not uttered.”
  3. Tyler: “All I know is I lose myself. At that time I become something else. And I hate it.”
  4. Damon: “Would you care for one?” Stefan: “No thanks. I’m not hungry, I just ate.” Damon: “Aren’t you worried that one day, all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back?”
  5. Damon: “If you want to tell people what I really am, go ahead and try. I will shove this ring so far up your ass, you’ll really have something to choke on.”
  6. Elena: “Damon’s right, isn’t he? It won’t end well for her.” Stefan: “No, I’m gonna make sure that he’s wrong.”
  7. Elena: “Nothing about my life is normal. My best friend is a witch, by boyfriend’s a vampire and I have a doppelganger who’s hell bent on destroying all of us.”
  8. Damon: “I don’t do the big brother thing very well. Sorry I don’t have any milk and cookies to offer you.”

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