The Vampire Diaries has returned for a third season of vampires, werewolves, witches, and more, and its premiere episode did not disappoint! Here’s your Friday dose of an episode recap – Caroline Forbes style.

the caroline forbes focus

(Editor’s Note: Candice Accola, we heart you, hardcore. And if you readers out there can tweet a link to Candice to one of our weekly Caroline Forbes Focus recaps so that she sees it, it would make our contributing writer of these pieces, Maddie, squee like no one hath squee’d before! Ever week on this tv blog you can expect a general “favorite things” TVD recap as well as a Caroline Forbes specific recap, and assorted The Vampire Diaries Style posts! And the fun doesn’t stop there. We have The Secret Circle recap and style posts that go on up Thursday/Friday’s as well! Make sure to subscribe and follow us on Twitter @ssscoop!)

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Caroline acted as a glimpse of happiness and optimism in the midst of the sorrow that was engulfing those around her. She also saved Jeremy’s life and had a lovely mother-daughter moment of reconciliation with Sheriff Forbes that made us all yearn for more of the same.

This week, we first see Caroline walking through downtown Mystic Falls with approximately fifteen shopping bags. She’s on the phone with Elena, chatting about Elena’s birthday party that is going to happen if Caroline has anything to do with it. Elena is all but enthused, especially when Caroline brings up how Sheriff Forbes came across vampire attacks in Tennessee. It sounds like Klaus and Stefan The Rippah aren’t doing the best job of covering their tracks.

I love how Caroline and Elena are casually talking about working with Liz in order to find Stefan. It seems as though the time has finally come where Caroline and Liz have a functional and somewhat open relationship. Of course, nothing is ever permanent in Mystic Falls, but I’m going to hold on to it for as long as it does last. I also enjoy the scenes between Caroline and Elena in general, but more on that later.

Caroline ends her phone conversation with Elena when she meets up with Tyler. Where did we leave off with those two? Oh, right. Friendly cuddling under a blanket after Matt shattered any last hope for the latest human-vampire relationship. It’s been a few months since all of that happened, so it will be interesting to see how much closer Caroline and Tyler have become. (And from the teaser video that I’m sure most of you watched one hundred times, I’d guess very.)

At the Mystic Grill, Matt has switched places with Jeremy (and not in some crazy, supernatural way) because Caroline and Tyler sat in his section, and he doesn’t want to have to wait on his ex-girlfriend. Ouch. Caroline mentions to Tyler that his mom has been acting strange lately, and that she was “eyeing” her yesterday. They’re interrupted when Jeremy arrives at their table, and Caroline knows exactly what’s going on. Jeremy just shrugs when Caroline asks if Matt asked him to switch tables. Apparently both Carol Lockwood and Matt think that Tyler and Caroline are dating, and neither of them are throwing confetti about it. Tyler comes to his mom’s defense: “We’re together all the time. It’s not a leap.” Caroline still acts shocked at the idea of something more than a friendly relationship between the two. Jeremy’s “oh, these kids” reaction was priceless.

Side note: I loved Caroline’s pre-party look! The same goes for her Season 3 hairstyle because, while she’s still rocking the gorgeous curls, it’s notably different. Her hair was… dare I say… perfect.

Later on, we see Elena venting to Caroline about her Damon woes as they sort through what appear to be birthday party materials. Tyler is there, too, which is… weird. I guess Tyler and Caroline are just friends, but they seem attached at the hip. Every now and then, Tyler throws in his own opinion in response to Elena’s problems, and his blunt attitude is driving Caroline crazy. Elena is in a delicate state and Tyler isn’t being very sympathetic about her situation. You can’t blame him for trying, but Caroline probably has her regrets about bringing him along.

Elena gets a call from Bonnie and leaves the room, so Caroline uses that as an opportunity to clue Tyler in on what’s making her feel so on edge. “Just because I tell you things doesn’t mean you’re allowed to know them!” We feel you, Caroline.

Tyler mentions that he should get going if he plans to pick up “Sophie” in time for Elena’s party. At this, Caroline’s persona changes immediately. She’s on the defensive and she definitely isn’t impressed at Tyler’s choice for a date. Tyler says that he’s “horny all the time now” and Caroline says that she’s experiencing the same problem. The way she says “it’s a vampire… thing” is super flirty. I feel like they’re going hook up this second. Their gazes lock for what seems like five minutes, but Caroline puts a damper on the obvious vibing that’s going on and tells Tyler that she hopes he “gets lucky” later. Smooth move.

Elena’s birthday party is in full swing when Damon and Elena arrive, and Caroline looks as pleased as ever at the turnout. Caroline’s bubbly attitude reminds me of “162 Candles” when she throws a party at the grill. I love the subtle parallels on this show. Meanwhile, Elena tries to resist the perkiness that Caroline exudes, but she doesn’t last long. The girls walk off arm in arm into the swarm of party-goers, ready to celebrate.

The girls end up in the Stoner Den – as Caroline calls it – where they find Matt of all people. He gives Elena a kiss on the cheek and wishes her Happy Birthday, all while completely ignoring Caroline. I am a big fan of Matt, and he may not be sober, but even I can admit that that was a jerk move. “He hates me,” Caroline says. “His hatred of me has driven him to drugs.” That line sounds so ordinary and bland when it’s typed out, but Candice Accola is amazing at making something like that into a hilarious one-liner.

Away from the Stoner Den, Caroline – gloomy expression and all – watches Tyler dance with his date and attempts to drink her feelings of jealousy away. Matt shows up and doesn’t help the situation.

Matt: “Since when are they a thing?”
Caroline: “I thought you were ignoring me.”
Matt: “I’m not ignoring you.”
Caroline: “You’ve only said five words to me all summer. Those were four of them.”
Matt: “Maybe because every time I’ve seen you, you’ve been with him.”
Caroline: “‘Cause he’s my friend, which is what I thought you were.”
Matt: “Aren’t you guys supposed to be like, mortal enemies? I mean, isn’t that how it works in the vampire-werewolf universe?”

Oh boy. Neither of them are sober. Plus, we now know that they haven’t spoken in months. This is turning ugly fast. Matt almost spilled the beans to a good amount of the high school population, but… hopefully no one noticed? Yes, let’s hope. Matt quickly realizes that he took it his bitterness too far. I feel bad for him. I’m ready for Matt to have a real storyline. One day he’s pining over Caroline, the next day he wants nothing to do with her. I love them together, but not when they’re never on the same page.

Tyler asks Caroline what happened between her and Matt, but she isn’t about to re-live it. His date tries to make nice with Caroline, but Caroline compels her to leave the party. I guess Tyler won’t be getting lucky after all.

Elena is on a mission when she comes across Caroline, who has taken a time-out to have a snack and regroup. Caroline seems like she has relaxed a bit until Elena says that she wants to “pass on the whole cake thing.” Caroline is extra passionate about the cake and generally celebrating Elena’s birthday. We have to remember that Human Caroline was all about planning parties and socializing, so in her eyes it would be detrimental for this celebration to go awry in the midst of everything else she is dealing with. Let’s be honest: the poor girls on this show constantly need hugs that they aren’t receiving nearly often enough. They go through so much on top of just being kids in high school.

Caroline: “You have to admit that you’re kinda just letting your life pass you by. And isn’t Stefan the one who wanted to make sure that you lived it?”

That moment between Caroline and Elena is by far my favorite from this episode. The delivery is spot on. These two are so often off balance, and they rarely see eye to eye, but I value the fact that they’ve remained friends all along. I very much enjoy their friendship. With this statement that Caroline made, she’s referring to Elena living in the moment and soaking up all that she can at this point in her life because it won’t last forever, but that isn’t what Elena wants. It’s tough because Caroline doesn’t have that option. I feel like she’s almost pleading, hoping that Elena won’t take for granted something that she’ll never have the opportunity to experience.

While Caroline is drunkenly apologizing for how she reacted to Elena’s disinterest in party activities, Elena comes across a bulletin board full of newspaper articles and possible routes that point to where Klaus and Stefan The Rippah have attacked. Uh oh.

Side note: I’m honestly concerned about how they’re going to continue Stefan and Caroline’s connection at this point. They built that bond (friendship?) up last season and sort of abandoned it, and now it seems like Caroline hasn’t given much thought at all as to what’s going on with Stefan’s life aside from being in the middle of converstations between Elena and Sheriff Forbes. Maybe they’re implying that she’s just as concerned as everyone else, but I would think that she’d act on it.

Next we see Caroline making her way through the dancing crowd. I love how she’s managing to say “excuse me” yet she gets fed up enough to lift a guy up by his chin and move him out of the way. Caroline is BAD ASS. Have I mentioned that yet?

Tyler jumps in front of Caroline, demanding an explanation for what happened earlier.

Tyler: “If I shouldn’t be dating, all you’ve gotta do is say something. If you don’t say something, then I’m gonna keep dating.”
Caroline: “What would I say?”
Tyler: “Don’t do that, Caroline! I’ve already been there once with you, okay, and you said no. You shut me down. I’m not going back there again unless you make it crystal clear that-“

The conversation ends on that note because they kiss. And millions of giddy “Forwood” fans fall to the ground. I do not ship Caroline and Tyler together for various reasons (and believe me, I’m aware that I’m in the minority), but I do admit that I was considering it for these few seconds. I’m going to blame the music, okay? That scene was played out really well.

So, Tyler did get lucky after all. As did Caroline. I have had “Drop In The Ocean” by Ron Pope in my head ALL night because of this scene. Like I said, I don’t like these two as a couple. However, that aside, I don’t think the “vamp-wolf sex” lived up to the hype. Then again, maybe I’m a little biased.

In Caroline’s last scene, we see her getting dressed as Tyler lays asleep on his bed. She looks regretful, as if crossing that invisible line wasn’t such a good idea. Unsurprisingly, she sneaks out and begins the walk of shame. Unfortunately for Caroline, Carol Lockwood heard everything and is waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. Caroline works a few angles, but eventually gives up and goes to leave the house. But wait… her purse burns her hand! Carol has a gun! The gun is loaded with vervain needles! Caroline collapses!

Naturally, the credits roll. Caroline can’t catch a break! I wasn’t under the assumption (or I had forgotten) that Carol knew that Caroline was a vampire, so I that scene was mind boggling.

Also, we all recall how last season’s premiere episode cliffhanger was Katherine turning Caroline into a vampire, right? Hmm… definitely an interesting point to note.

The promo for the second episode of Season 3 doesn’t preview any of Caroline’s scenes, so we’re really in for a long week of agonizing speculation! Why is Carol Lockwood after Caroline? What does she know? Will Caroline’s mom come to her defense? Will Caroline and Tyler become an official couple? Tune in to The Vampire Diaries on The CW next Thursday at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. central to find out!

Written by Maddie Coe. Visit her Candice Accola Fansite (and Candice Accola Fan Twitter Account) for the latest details about the actress. View more The Birthday Screencaps at Candice Accola Web today!

View The Vampire Diaries Episode Guide Season 3

View The Secret Circle Episode Guide