Last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries featured ball gowns, dancing, confessions, resistance, wooing, and surprise gifts — and we couldn’t have loved it more. Here’s your Friday dose of an episode recap — Caroline Forbes Style.

the caroline forbes focus

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Caroline endured the loss of her father. While we weren’t too fond of Bill Forbes, the scenes he had with Caroline did tug at our heartstrings, and… Well, when Caroline cries, we cry. Thankfully Elena and Matt were around to console Caroline when she needed them the most.

This week, we first see Caroline at her house, reacting to receiving what we can assume is the first voicemail from Tyler since he left town. As the voicemail ends, she hears a knock on her door, but when she answers it, all she sees is a giant gift box. It looks as if Mr. Original Hybrid Admirer is striking again. Also, the aesthetics of this scene? GORGEOUS.

It appears that not only has Klaus invited Caroline to the Original Ball, he has asked her do dance with him while she’s there… AND he’s given her a beautiful gown! Caroline hilariously throws the invitation aside with annoyance. When she first sees the gown, she allows herself to stare in awe for a few seconds but then shuts the box, as if to push the “Oh, oh, oh, this is perfect” thoughts out of her mind. It’s okay, Caroline. Feeling conflicted is okay, but you can always feel conflicted while wearing the pretty dress. Just saying.

“It’s some twisted Cinderella fetish is what it is!” Caroline says, as she and Elena discuss what this Original Ball could possibly mean for everyone involved. Elena is in search of a “drama-free body guard” while she’s in attendance at the event and Caroline thinks that the Salvatores in a tux — specifically Stefan — would be a perfect fit. When Elena seems resistant to the idea of being in the presence of either Salvatore brother, Caroline blurts out that she knows Elena and Damon had a big moment, and she is NOT happy that she had to find out about its occurrence through Bonnie.

I have to note that I appreciate how the writers continue to allow Caroline to align Damon with discomfort and disapproval — she deserves that much. I choose to believe that Elena held off on telling Caroline about her kiss with Damon partially because of his unforgiveable history with Caroline in Season 1. (Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part… but it would make sense.)

Rebekah interrupts the heart-to-heart between the two friends when she reassures Elena that all isn’t forgiven for her surprise daggering that went down earlier this season. Elena and Caroline exchange confused looks as Rebekah walks off. That is, until they spot her handing Matt an invitation to the Original Ball. Uh oh.

Caroline: “Oh my god. She’s inviting him to the ball. Why is she inviting him?”
Elena: “Probably to get this reaction from us.”
Caroline: “Ugh. What time is this stupid dance?”

I love how Caroline still gets jealous when other girls are interested in Matt. Granted, Rebekah is a dangerous Original vampire with a vengeance, so she does have reason to feel overprotective. Either that or she still loves him. I’m going with both.

Later on, the ball is in full swing but it appears that Caroline is still battling those aforementioned conflicting feelings. She’s frantically raiding her closet at home for something nice to wear, but her eyes inevitably wander to the perfectly packaged gown that is practically taunting her from its place on her bed.

Despite the fact that I’m as conflicted as Caroline is about the Caroline/Klaus relationship, I am already a flailing mess at this point and the two haven’t even interacted. I take that as a good sign.

In the next scene, we see Caroline enter the ball looking beautiful. She’s wearing white silk gloves and the elegant blue gown Klaus gifted her, and her hair is styled in a lovely up-do. Her persona is an obvious indication that, not only does she look like a princess, she feels like one, too.

Klaus eventually greets Caroline after subtly swooning over her appearance. Caroline’s “I need a drink” response translates into “What the hell do I think I’m doing?” and it’s all too fantastic to handle.

Okay, so, speaking of being unable to handle something. That dance scene? Oh my goodness. I am incapable (and will be forever incapable) of fully articulating how much I loved every single thing about it. I’m going to quote it below because it is so perfect, you guys. So perfect. Klaus and Caroline!!! Matt and Caroline!!! Everybody and everybody!!! It was a chemistry explosion! There were so many attractive people in pretty dresses and nice suits and they were DANCING! AAAAAHHHHHH. Like I said, inarticulate is the way to go with this one. Too many feelings!! Anyway, onto the quotes, then.

Klaus: “I’m glad you came.”
Caroline: “Well, it was either caviar or sympathy casserole, so.”
Klaus: “I heard about your father.”
Caroline: “Don’t. Seriously.”
Klaus: “Very well. Onto more mannered subjects, then, like how ravishing you look in that dress.”
Caroline: “I didn’t really have time to shop.”
Klaus: “And the bracelet I gave you — what’s your excuse for wearing that?” … “You know, you’re quite the dancer.”
Caroline: “Well, I’ve had training. I happen to be Miss Mystic Falls.”
Klaus: “I know.”

I love Caroline’s attitude! This is exactly how I would envision her character reacting to a situation such as this one. The writers are spot-on. It’s like she’s playing hard to get, but really she just knows that this isn’t a good idea at all. And yet, she can’t fight it. Klaus is such a charmer here, too. I initially thought his pursuing Caroline was part of a larger, unfortunate agenda, but now I’m officially convinced that he’s sincerely interested in her.

Caroline: “What are you doing? Why are you here with the she-devil?”
Matt: “What was I supposed to say? No? And why the hell are you here with Klaus?”
Caroline: “Don’t even get me started.”

Hearts in my eyes! They are bickering like an old married couple!!! And they’re dancing together!!! AND NOW THEY’RE SMILING AND DANCING!!! I’m melting. Melting into a puddle of happiness. (I know, I know… moving on…)

Later we see that Caroline has stepped outside for some fresh air and time to herself. Caroline Forbes standing alone outside in her ball attire, practically glistening under the moonlight. Could this scene get any prettier? I don’t believe so.

Klaus: “You like horses.”
Caroline: “I’m not talking to you until you tell me why you invited me here.”
Klaus: “I fancy you. Is that so hard to believe?”
Caroline: “Yes.”
Klaus: “Why? You’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re full of light. I enjoy you.”
Caroline: “Well, I’m spoken for. By Tyler.”
Klaus: “I thought you two ended things?”
Caroline: “Yeah because of you and your freaky sire bond with him.”
Klaus: “So you aren’t spoken for?” … “You know, uh, horses are the opposite of people. They’re loyal. My father hunted me for a thousand years and the closest he ever came was the day he killed my favorite horse. He severed its neck with a sword as a warning.”
Caroline: “Did you ever consider sitting down with your father and talking it out?”
Klaus: “I’m afraid my relationship with my father was a little more complex than yours.”
Caroline: “Maybe so. But I let my father go with no regrets. And to answer your question: Yes, I like horses. But I also like people and they actually like me, so I’ll be inside.”

Back at the dance, Klaus and Caroline end up walking into a room full of art, which we find out are the products of none other than Klaus himself. When Caroline admits that she hasn’t traveled anywhere, Klaus immediately offers adventure, but Caroline isn’t as receptive as he’d hoped.

Caroline: “I’ve… never really been anywhere.”
Klaus: “I’ll take you. Wherever you want. Rome. Paris. Tokyo?”
Caroline: “Oh, wow.” … “Must be really nice to just snap your fingers and get whatever you want. Is that why you collect hybrids? A little servant army to take you places and bring you things?”
Klaus: “You’re making assumptions.”
Caroline: “Then why do you need Tyler? Stop controlling him. Give him his life back.”
Klaus: “You know, this has been a fun evening. But I think it’s time for you to leave.”
Caroline: “I get it. Your father didn’t love you so you assume that no one else will either. And that’s why you compel people or you sire them or you try to buy them off. But that’s not how it works. You don’t connect with people because you don’t even try to understand them.”

I enjoy what Klaus has to say about Caroline — I really do. It is all very true. It’s everything we all see in Caroline that no other character has truly taken the time to tell her, and especially not on multiple occasions. However, I also enjoy how Caroline isn’t falling for Klaus immediately. Sure, she appreciates what he’s done for her and she knows that it’s made her feel good, but she also has the decency to challenge him. Caroline forces Klaus realize that she isn’t going to ignore the awful, destructive, deceptive aspects of himself that he’s made so apparent to her and her friends ever since he first landed in Mystic Falls. Klaus has done a tremendous amount of damage, and now he’s trying to buy Caroline as a companion through materialistic things. For Caroline to realize all of this and keep it in the back of her mind (as she appears she has been) shows that her priorities are in line.

Back at the Forbes residence, Caroline looks emotionally exhausted as she leaves a voicemail for Tyler, saying that she misses him and really wishes he was there. When she hangs up the phone, she notices another surprise gift box lying on her bed. The appearance of it is all too familiar, and it’s only a matter of seconds before we see what Klaus has given her this time.

Caroline mutters her disbelief to herself as she opens the box, but she’s caught off guard when she sees a hand-drawn portrait of herself and a horse, complete with a note from Klaus that thanks her for her honesty.

At the beginning of this episode, Caroline was conflicted. I was equally, if not more, conflicted. Now that the episode has ended, not much has changed. I’m not sure where I stand with Klaus and Caroline. I definitely am intrigued by Klaus’ persistence and what he’s brought to the surface about himself thus far in their scenes together, and I love that he is forthright with his humanity when he’s around Caroline, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to accept him as a love interest for her after what he has put everyone through.

Nevertheless, that entire dancing scene at the ball will go down in history as one of the greatest scenes on television. Yes, I said it. I’m still swooning.

What did you all think of the Caroline and Klaus scenes? Are you officially “Team Klaroline” or are you ready for Tyler to return already? Or are you pining away like I am at the idea of Caroline and Stefan rekindling their BFF status?

Tune in to an all new episode of The Vampire Diaries next Thursday at 8pm EST/7pm central on The CW!

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