THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW) “Brave New World” Review

Brave New World

The second episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES season 2 is called ‘Brave New World’, but it could quite easily have been called ‘Consequences’. Nearly everything that happens in this episode related back to the brothers Salvatore, and with that comes some surprises.

Carol Lockwood asks Damon to take over as head of the Founder’s Council. He happily accepts, but soon overhears Hot Uncle doing his best Spanish Inquisition and asking Tyler about his mood swings. It doesn’t take much for him to add 2+2 and figure out that the Lockwoods are hiding something. So that night, he volunteers Stefan in an arm wrestling contest against Hot Uncle. After Stefan loses, Damon compels a carnival worker to goad Tyler into a fight. Hot Uncle comes to the rescue with some suspect supernatural moves and the Salvatores confirm that there’s something going on with Hot Uncle Lockwood. But what?

Caroline is now a vampire. After drinking from blood bags, compelling nurses and trying to get out of the hospital as soon as darkness falls, she’s at the school confronting Damon. Not a good move, since he decides she has to die. Stefan and Elena stop him from staking her, but not before Bonnie turns up on the scene and sees what her friend has become. As soon as Stefan and Caroline leave, she tries to burn Damon to death, but Elena stops her. It looks like Elena isn’t the only one with an ancestor problem – Bonnie’s getting seriously badass, just like her great-grandmother, Emily.

Hot Uncle has spent the day looking for a strange stone that Tyler’s father inherited. Carol Lockwood promises to keep an eye out for it, but after they go to bed Tyler takes it from his father’s safe. What is this stone and what is it’s significance to the Lockwood secret?

Jeremy is still dealing with his death experience. Stefan gives him vervain and tells him how to kill a vampire. It seems to be mostly for his peace of mind, as he warns Jeremy not to go up against Damon. That night, Jeremy visits the Salvatore house and spikes Damon’s vervain. He almost drinks it, but Jeremy tells him not to, unsure what hating vampires just to be like his father and uncle would actually accomplish. Damon softens and tells Jeremy about his own father hating vampires and makes light of Jeremy’s attempts at whittling.

Stefan calms Caroline down and teaches her to control her bloodlust before taking her home. This pays off when Matt comes to visit and declares his love for her. She kisses him and hugs him and fights back the urge to tear his throat out, which it seems for vampires is pretty damned romantic.

She gets bested by Stefan, though, who plays his awesome boyfriend card and grants Elena her wish of a kiss at the top of the ferris wheel, albeit just before dawn, when the rest of Mystic Falls is sleeping.

I went into this episode expecting Damonus to be in full swing, wreaking havoc and brooding like crazy, but instead found something interesting. While Damon is being – dare I say it – sensible, it’s Stefan who seems to be slowly losing it. From punching a trailer to admitting that Katherine is hurting people to get to him – before telling Elena that he wants to build a life with her – Stefan is full of bad decisions. Occasionally, it seems like there’s anger building in him that can’t possibly be good for anyone around him. And even worse, he knows that Katherine is hurting others in order to hurt him, yet he clearly intends on sticking around. If he loves Elena, why doesn’t he leave to protect her and those she cares about?

The Lockwoods are, hopefully, getting close to revealing what they are. Tyler now knows there’s something up with his Hot Uncle, so it can’t be too big a leap for him to realise there’s something wrong with him, too. After all, Hot Uncle hasn’t been too subtle in his questioning. As interesting as this plot thread could become, I am starting to wonder if there will be any humans left in his show by the end of season 2.

Speaking of which, for the first time I really liked Caroline. The bitchy, whiny thing was starting to get old, and this new twist really freshens the character up. She’s badass yet sensitive, a female Stefan, if you will. And she even has her own Elena in Matt, though he probably won’t react as well as Elena did when he finds out what Caroline has become.

The bathroom scene between Stefan and Caroline and the living room scene between Damon and Jeremy were incredibly sweet. Stefan was almost fatherly in the way he tended for Caroline and reassured her. I hope we get to see more scenes like that between the pair. Damon and Jeremy were more brotherly (even if Damon quipped that he’s not cut out for the big brother thing), with Damon actively finding something in common with Jeremy. It’s not often that we see Damon try to forge a more human connection, but when he does it’s a delight to watch.

The only weak link for me in this episode was Bonnie. Since the death of her grandmother, even though we know her powers are growing, we don’t get to observe it until she uses them against Damon or to help save the day. It would be great to see some more behind the scenes stuff with Bonnie to help build her character and give us an insight into the continuing training of her powers.

What did you think of this episode of The Vampire Diaries? Do you think Stefan is being a bit selfish in not leaving Elena to a normal life? Did Damon’s sensible actions after last week surprise you? And what do you think that special Lockwood stone is about?