The Caroline Forbes Focus is a Vampire Diaries review that zeros in with what’s going on with the character of Caroline, as played by Candice Accola. It’s an exceptionally insightful read on one of our favorite TVD characters, written by Maddie Coe. Check it out below.
the caroline forbes focus

The Vampire Diaries Recap “Our Town” – The Caroline Forbes Focus

After another long hiatus, The Vampire Diaries finally returned last week, but it wasn’t until this week that we got to see the return of our favorite Mystic Falls resident (and on her birthday to boot!). Here’s your Friday dose of an episode recap – Caroline Forbes style.

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Caroline was M.I.A., much to everyone’s dismay. Before that, her highly anticipated Senior Homecoming dance was ruined, she was left out of the big events that were taking place (for her own protection, might I add), and things between herself and Tyler didn’t end on the best note. It’s safe to say that she deserved some quiet time away from everything, but we missed her!

As this week’s episode began, we were immediately graced with the voice of Candice Accola for the “Previously on The Vampire Diaries…” voiceover. I knew this episode was rumored to be very Caroline-centric, so I was hoping we’d hear Candice during that moment… and we did! If I’m not mistaken, the last (and only) time that she did the intro voiceover was for “Brave New World” in Season 2, which was a HUGE breakthrough episode for Caroline. Oh, the memories!

When we first see Caroline, she’s driving up to school while bearing one of the most zoned out and depressed expressions that we’ve seen from her thus far on the show. It’s clear that she has really hit a low point. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Tyler, who is standing awkwardly near her car, and she’s all but pleased to have to face him.

Caroline: “I can’t talk to you.”
Tyler: “I know you’re upset with me.”
Caroline: “Upset? You almost got Jeremy killed. And before you ask me to understand, or to support you, can you at least tell me what you’re planning to do about your sire bond to Klaus?”

I appreciate how, in the midst of everything that has happened, Caroline still has patience for Tyler. (I sure don’t.) She is obviously upset with him and disappointed with his recent behavior, and while she isn’t about to forgive him right away, she doesn’t yell at him or avoid him; she calmly confronts him and lays her biggest concern out on the line.

Tyler then says that there’s nothing he can do about his bond to Klaus, and that even though he wants to put Caroline before everything and everyone else, he can’t and he’s sorry about that. Caroline says that she’s sorry, too. After giving Caroline a birthday gift, Tyler walks away and Caroline is left holding a nice silver charm bracelet. Hmm. It’s probably my disinterest in the couple, and I know this is a tragic situation, but I don’t find this scene very impactful. It seems like a more dramatic version of what we witnessed between these two before the hiatus.

Apparently, Caroline never made it into the school after her conversation with Tyler. Later on we see her entering the front door of her house and she isn’t looking any happier than she was earlier. With a heavy sigh, she drops her bag on the floor and lays her keys down on a desk at the entrance, and two seconds later she’s surprised with super enthusiastic Elena, Bonnie, and Matt wishing her a Happy Birthday — while wearing bright colored party hats and holding balloons and a handmade birthday sign. I LOVE IT!! Caroline doesn’t seem to, though.

Elena explains that because Caroline ditched school, she missed out on their “birthday work of art” displayed on her locker, so they’re bringing the party to her. Or rather, they’re bringing the party to the Falls, complete with s’mores and a campfire and cake and tequila. Caroline doesn’t even try to hide how disinterested she is, but her friends are persistent. I love Bonnie’s comment about how Caroline has already claimed her birthday to be everyone’s favorite day of the year. That is such a Caroline thing to do.

Caroline: “Yeah. And now it’s just a reminder that, technically, I’m dead. Look… I didn’t even like seventeen. The only point of seventeen was to get to eighteen – it’s a filler year. I am stuck in a filler year.”
Elena: “You’re not stuck, Caroline.”
Caroline: “Yeah, I am. But it’s okay, you know, it’s all good… I will be fine, but I just need some time to wallow in it.”

Poor Caroline. Of course this is how her birthday would pan out. Of course. However, I love how close she is to have entirely dealt with the situation and put it behind her. She’s already beginning to accept the reality of what birthdays now mean for her and she’s trying to move on. Even on her own birthday, when Caroline is left to deal with yet another reminder of the absence of her humanity, she’s reassuring herself that everything is going to be okay. Caroline Forbes is wonderful.

Well, it didn’t take long for the episode to take a weird and likely dangerous turn. It’s now dark outside as Bonnie, Elena, Caroline, and Matt walk into a strange old building that is, of course, in the middle of the woods. Elena says that instead of a birthday, Caroline needs a funeral in order to mourn her old life and move on. Hey, Elena, I love that you’re trying here, but Caroline is already doing a swell job at moving on without a weird quasi-funeral-birthday event. Caroline isn’t against Elena’s idea, but I’m not sure if she completely approves of it either because a bit of her snarky attitude emerges as she plays along. Elena, Matt, and Bonnie all list off Caroline’s human qualities and accomplishments and I’m definitely disappointed that “Mean Girl – sometimes” is what Matt chooses to contribute. After all they’ve been through? I don’t buy it.

Anyway, Bonnie then uses her powers to light the birthday candles on Caroline’s cake, and the scene ends with Elena asking Caroline to make a birthday wish. I can only imagine what Caroline chose to wish for in that moment after all of the unwanted changes that have occurred in her life.

The celebrating/mourning period seems to have come to an end by the time we see Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Caroline still held up in the creepy old building. Caroline is busy on her phone and Elena is skeptical about what she’s doing. Caroline admits that she might have texted Tyler, to which Bonnie and Elena appropriately side-eye and Matt shakes his head. Wait… Matt? Yeah. This makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I love that the four of them are hanging out together because that rarely happens, but this seems like more of a BFFs conversation – not a BFFs joined by ex-BF conversation.

Bonnie defends Caroline’s lapse in judgment for a few seconds by saying that Elena can’t control the actions of everyone else all the time, but then she brings up her disapproval regarding how Elena had Damon compel Jeremy to leave town. Matt intervenes before the conversation gets too heated, and Bonnie decides to leave. This is going well…

Earlier in the episode we saw Klaus telling Tyler to bite Caroline. Even though Tyler refused and Klaus said he’d find another way to get back at Stefan, we were sort of left uncertain about whether or not Tyler would follow through.

Eventually, we see Tyler walking through the woods, his destination being the creepy old building where the funeral-birthday took place. Caroline, Elena, and Matt are still there and they’re laughing about who knows what when Tyler arrives. (A million points to the writers for allowing Caroline to laugh and let loose a bit on her birthday! A happy Caroline is the BEST.)

Tyler apologizes, saying that he doesn’t mean to crash the party. Matt does not seem impressed that he’s there, but Caroline jumps up immediately and is ready to chat with him… alone, in the dark, in the middle of the woods. Um, I don’t like the looks of this. Matt doesn’t either, but he doesn’t stop her and neither does Elena. Matt says that he just wants Caroline to be happy. I’m VERY surprised that Elena is letting Caroline run off with Tyler without an out-of-sight babysitter. We all know that Caroline can handle herself, but Elena should be a tad concerned after what Klaus just had Tyler do to Jeremy. Tyler might as well be holding a “DANGER” sign 24/7.

Out in the woods, Tyler is attempting to take back everything that he said that morning to Caroline. He says that he refuses to let Klaus control him and then he – wait for it – tells her that he loves her. Oh my. Caroline’s poor face. She has NO idea what’s coming. They start to make out and all of the Tyler/Caroline fans die of happiness… that is, until he BITES HER. His sire bond to Klaus is clearly inescapable. He legitimately bites Caroline, which obviously means that she could potentially die from a werewolf/hybrid bite. Please, let this not be Rose 2.0 (RIP).

Side note: Parallel alert! This scene reminds me a whole lot of when Matt and Caroline made out in the woods in “Bad Moon Rising” (episode 2.03) and Caroline ended up feeding on him.

caroline forbes

Meanwhile, Tyler runs away and Caroline is left to panic and suffer alone. We obviously don’t want Tyler to be around her in this moment especially, but who will save her?! Matt?! Elena?! Stefan?! Someone?!!

That someone is Matt Donovan. After too many minutes of worrying, we finally see Matt knocking on Caroline’s front door as he yells for Sheriff Forbes. He hurriedly carries Caroline into her house and lays her down (SWOON!!!), all the while trying to clue Liz into what he thinks happened. Caroline is in a horrible state and it looks like her bite has already worsened immensely. The way Candice delivers that “I’m sorry, Mommy” line! OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can’t handle this!!! Teardrops everywhere.

Side note: Parallel alert #2! This scene reminds me of when Matt carried Caroline home in “162 Candles” (episode 1.08). You know, back when they were normal, human, unaware-of-the-supernatural teenagers.

caroline and matt vampire diaries

Soon, Klaus of all people shows up at the Forbes residence saying that he’s there to help. Matt is skeptical and angry. Sheriff Forbes ends up inviting him in because, honestly, she had no other option. Klaus smirks at Matt as he walks inside, which leaves me feeling really uneasy.

Caroline is resting when Klaus makes his appearance. She’s much calmer now than she was before, and I wonder if she was just extra worked up earlier because she was processing the initial shock of being bitten. Either way, she definitely looks scared of Klaus when she sees him.

Caroline: “Are you going to kill me?”
Klaus: “On your birthday. You really think that low of me?”
Caroline: “Yes.”

Klaus seems weirdly genuine in this moment. I keep expecting him to do his classic smirk, but there’s something different about him.

I’m going to include the entire conversation between Klaus and Caroline here because I found it extremely compelling. (as did the Twitter world, seeing as how they were the subject of two simultaneous Trending Topics last night – WOW)

Klaus: “I love birthdays.”
Caroline: “Yeah. Aren’t you like… a billion? Or something?”
Klaus: “You have to adjust your perception of time when you become a vampire, Caroline. Celebrate the fact that you’re no longer bound by trivial human conventions. You’re free.”
Caroline: “No. I’m dying.”
Klaus: “And I could let you – die – if that’s what you want. If you really believe your existence has no meaning. I thought about it myself once or twice over the centuries, truth be told. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s a whole world out there waiting for you. Great cities and art and music. Genuine beauty. And you can have all of it. You can have a thousand more birthdays. All you have to do is ask.”
Caroline: “I don’t wanna die.”
Klaus: “There you go, sweetheart. Have at it. Happy Birthday, Caroline.”

I have so many feelings that I can’t articulate!! That speech!!!

Finally, Caroline wakes up the next morning and it seems as though Klaus’ blood did the trick. Her bite has been healed. Thank goodness. Not only did Klaus save Caroline’s life and deliver and wonderful speech, he also left her a very nice necklace as a birthday gift. Interesting.

Okay, I know that many of the fans are already on the Klaus and Caroline train. I’m not there quite yet, despite how much I LOVED what he said to her before she drank his blood. For one, I always thought that Klaus had a more-than-sibling level of chemistry with Rebekah, and Caroline and Rebekah are very similar, so Klaus having an interest in Caroline is weird to me. And secondly, Klaus is dangerous. The genuine to separate agenda ratio during that speech of his seemed to be about 50:50. I love Klaus, but I do not trust him. Was Klaus compelling Caroline during that moment or was she so affected by her bite that she was delirious? She didn’t seem like herself, and I’m sure the reason why will come out soon enough. (The same goes for when Sheriff Forbes invited Klaus into the house. She didn’t seem like her normal self then, either. She was too at ease.)

Where do you think Caroline’s story will go from here? Will she somehow be sired to Klaus? How many strikes is Tyler allowed before the group entirely disowns him? Will Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline have TRUE girl-time in any upcoming episodes? Will Stefan and Caroline ever interact again? So many questions, so much time to analyze and predict. It’s great to be back!

Written by Maddie Coe. Visit her Candice Accola Fansite for the latest details about the phenomenal actress.

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