Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola) does not have the easiest life in Mystic Falls. Here’s your Saturday dose The Vampire Diaries “Smells Like Teen Spirit” recap – Caroline Forbes style.

the caroline forbes focus

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Caroline had her first on screen encounter with Klaus and his bratty yet fabulous sister, Rebekah. For the most part, Caroline managed to stay out of Klaus’ line of fire, but she did have to witness him turning her boyfriend into a hybrid. The episode ended with a very content and optimistic Tyler, but Caroline’s reservations about the whole situation were crystal clear.

This week, we first see Caroline with Elena and Bonnie as they stand amidst a bunch of overly excited students outside of Mystic Falls High. Today is their first day of senior year, but they all seem like they just want to go back home and spend the day watching chick flicks and eating junk food. “Does anyone else think this should feel slightly more empowering?” Bonnie asks. Caroline switches gears and suddenly she’s bursting with optimism. “Okay, so Prank Night was a bust. But we are accepting it and we are moving on.” What would Elena and Bonnie do without her?

Bonnie’s boyfriend is seeing his dead girlfriends and Caroline’s boyfriend is the new hybrid in town, but they’re not going to let that nonsense get them down! …until Elena mentions that she met her (ex?) boyfriend on this day a year ago. A few sulking moments later, the girls are back track and ready to start this school year anew.

Inside the school, Elena has just finished talking to Damon on the phone when she sees Caroline putting up fliers for the annual back-to-school bonfire. When Elena admits that she forgot about the bonfire, Caroline instantly begins to try to convince her to go… that is, until Elena admits that she has already made up her mind and she is going. Caroline is so used to being Elena’s personal cheerleader that she switches to autopilot every time she senses hesitance on Elena’s part when it comes to anything important or exciting. I’m sure she knows that Elena is doing better and trying to be less apathetic about life, but I’m still glad that Caroline is looking out for her.

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Tyler steals a kiss from Caroline in the middle of her conversation with Elena, and Caroline quickly realizes that something isn’t right. Elena spots a blood stain on his shirt, and Caroline leads him into hiding in the bathroom. “Vampire 101: don’t bring your breakfast to school.” Elena checks the bathroom for eavesdroppers while Tyler explains himself. Rebekah “hooked him up” with a blood bag. At least we know he’s not going around town killing random people, right?

Side note: I am really surprised at how quickly Tyler has adjusted to his vampirism. Not long after Caroline transitioned, it was clearly difficult for her to be within reach of a human without her urges taking over. Maybe hybrids are an exception?

Tyler: “I’m his first successful hybrid, Caroline. Don’t you think that’s the tiniest bit awesome?”
Caroline: “Oh, wow. I cannot believe you just said that.”

Neither can we, Caroline. Especially considering the fact that Elena, his friend who Klaus has tried to kill on multiple occasions and who is the reason that he survived his hybrid transition, is standing right next to him. We all love Klaus for who he is, but Tyler definitely shouldn’t be on his side. After all, he is the enemy.

It’s finally time for these kids to return to the classroom. I know we’ve all been moaning and groaning about how they’re never actually seen in this setting, so it’s a nice change even if it isn’t the most comfortable. And of course, Alaric is their teacher. Awesome. Stefan enters the room and everything gets cold. Everyone’s attention is focused on him, but not for good reason, which is super ironic. Last year everyone was focused on him because they were mesmerized solely by his presence.

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Alaric then begins his lesson, but he’s interrupted when Rebekah enters the classroom and takes a seat in the front row. She introduces herself and says that history is her favorite subject. Hmm…

Later on, we see Tyler on the football field and Caroline on the sidelines engaging in cheer practice. It looks like her time away not only stole her enthusiasm about the sport, but also bumped her from captain of the squad. Also, Elena and Bonnie have both apparently quit all together. Sad day. I am LOVING Caroline’s look here, though. The braids!!

Uh oh. Rebekah has arrived and Caroline is not okay with that. She’s probably still upset about Tyler’s breakfast mishap, but she also knows that Rebekah is up to no good.

Caroline: “You can’t just come here and infiltrate all of our lives.”
Rebekah: “I’m only interested on yours. Your spunk, your popularity… maybe even your boyfriend.”

I love Caroline’s subtle “Hey… HEY.” whisper-yell that led up to this. You know, I was really hoping these two would end up as best friends, but I don’t know how that could work out at this point. I know that anything’s possible in Mystic Falls, but Rebekah just flat out said that she’s only interested in causing ruckus in Caroline’s life. Not only do I dislike petty jealously subplots (that isn’t what The Vampire Diaries is about!), I generally don’t have a good feeling about Caroline being Rebekah’s number one target. This is bad news, my friends.

Out on the football field, Tyler is busy compelling his coach to let the team off early from practice so that everyone can go get drunk at the bonfire. I’m already over the return of his Season 1 douchebaggery. Caroline runs over to knock some sense into him, but even she can’t change his mind. He’s high on his new life as the second hybrid to ever exist, and for once Caroline doesn’t seem to know at all how to fix any of this. What doesn’t help the matter is Rebekah doing cheer-worthy tumbling across the field. Caroline is obviously trying to not let Rebekah get to her, but even Human Caroline would have trouble with such a task… Vampire Caroline is resisting the urge to go over there and kick the girl’s ass out of Mystic Falls. I’m glad she isn’t attempting to do that, by the way. Caroline is smart enough to realize and keep in mind Rebekah’s ridiculous strength as an Original. This is all sad, though. Something in Caroline’s life is always falling apart.

The bonfire is in full swing, but where are our favorite Mystic Falls teens? Oh, right, plotting to lock Stefan up. Elena goes over the plan and notes that she wants to keep Bonnie away from Stefan because she doesn’t trust that he won’t hurt her. I understand that Bonnie isn’t a vampire or a werewolf or a hybrid, but she isn’t the only one in the group who is liable to get hurt by Stefan. Anyway, Caroline’s job is to make sure that the old Forbes jail cell is ready for Stefan. Yikes.

Damon: “We’re forgetting a key player here: Rebekah. Wherever Stefan goes, the blonde ponytail tends to follow.”

Elena: “Which is why it’s your job to keep her away.”

Damon: “How? She’s an original. Last time I checked, we’re out of daggers.”

Elena: “So, then, pre-occupy her with your charm.”

Alaric: “You might have better luck finding the dagger.”

I hope everyone noticed Caroline’s chucking in the background after Alaric’s comment because it was priceless! Finally, in walks Tyler, a bit late to the party. Hopefully he doesn’t have any remnants of his supper on his shirt. Elena tells him that his job is to raid his mom’s vervain supply – with gloves on, I hope… or does vervain not work on hybrids? – but he says that it’s not in Klaus’ best interest to do this to Stefan. Um.

Caroline: “But Klaus is the bad guy, Tyler… Why are you acting like some kind of freaky hybrid slave minion?”

Damon: “Uh oh…”

Alaric: “What?”

Tyler: “Klaus made me who I am, Caroline. I owe him everything.”

Damon: “Oh boy.”

Caroline: “Okay can we cool it on the commentary, please.”

Caroline is the best.

Tyler tries to make an exit, but Damon stabs him and knocks him out before he can get out the door. Damon explains to a bewildered Caroline and everyone else in the room that Tyler has been sired, meaning he’s loyal to Klaus because Klaus’ blood created him. (What about Elena’s blood?!?!) Damon’s answer regarding how to fix him is for Caroline to get a new boyfriend. “Uh oh” and “Oh boy” were right.

Later we see Tyler return to consciousness. His rendition of Matt’s “What the hell?!” line cracked me up.

Tyler: “How did I get home?”

Caroline: “I brought you here. You were being a dbag.”

Tyler: “What is your problem today?”

Caroline: “My problem is that you’ve been sired. Do you even know what that means? It means that you put Klaus’ needs first. He is your master now.”

Tyler: “I’m not anyone’s pet, Caroline. He doesn’t control me.”

Caroline: “Well something’s gotta be controlling you because I don’t know why else you would be acting like the old you.”

Tyler: “The old me?”

Caroline: “Yeah! The old you. The pre-werewolf you. You know, the obnoxious you that I would never be friends with.”

Tyler: “Whoa… wait wait wait. I’m sorry. I don’t wanna be that guy. I hated that guy.”

Caroline: “You’re a vampire now, Tyler. Everything about your personality is heightened, so you have to be careful.”

Tyler: “I will. I promise. Just don’t hate me. Everything I like about me is you.”

I thought it was interesting how Caroline brought up the “old” Tyler. She described every aspect of him that initially made him my least favorite character on the show way back in early Season 1. It’s kind of amazing how spot on she was, too. He acted exactly like his “old self” throughout this entire episode and brushed off her concerns as if they were unimportant. I know we’re supposed to sympathize with Tyler because of what he’s gone through, but I already wasn’t too keen on this romance, so this just makes matters worse.

All is well again when Tyler – with his puppy dog eyes, might I add – apologizes and confesses that everything he likes about himself is Caroline, meaning that she brings out the best in him, that she completes him. Even as someone who is far from a fan of this couple, I thought this was such a wonderful line. I just wish it could have been voiced in a different moment. I unfortunately saw it here as a manipulative tactic to gain Caroline’s forgiveness.

There’s not much to say about Caroline’s last scene, other than that she was completely adorable throughout its entirety. You can’t help but love her!
And… in conclusion:

First of all, this episode was so aesthetically pleasing! The outside scenes were beautiful. It was one of those episodes where I had to resist including about fifteen different screencaps throughout my recap. I think I realized the aesthetics more so in this episode because a bunch of the scenes were well-lit. The show is usually dark (while still beautiful), so the outdoor and naturally lit scenes were very refreshing. I loved seeing Caroline in blue! I think that’s her go-to color this season.

Secondly, it was hinted at before this episode aired that it would be quite nostalgia-inducing… and it was. I’m always bowing down to any scenes that involve parallels, but seeing as how this episode as a whole was a parallel to the beginning of Season 1, I knew that discussing each instance individually would equal to me saying “Ah! Parallels! Love!” over and over. But… Ah, parallels… LOVE.

Written by Maddie Coe. Visit her Candice Accola Fansite for the latest details about the actress. View more Smells Like Teen Spirit Screencaps at Candice Accola Web today!