Review by John
This episode is all about bitterness, and damn, do people take things out on the ones they supposedly loved. Damon is probably the poster child for emotional tantrums, and he leaps into the “ripper” role with Enzo with a convincing level of gusto. Meanwhile, Caroline deals with her bitterness in her typical fashion: going to a Valentine’s Day dance for the single and/or spurned. She invites Elena, unaware that Katherine is desperate to use her newfound freedom to recapture Stefan.
That last part is perhaps the most irritating of the episode. It’s not too shocking that Katherine would make moves on Stefan at some point, but considering that she wants to survive as Elena, wouldn’t it be a lot more prudent to give it some time? It’s been all of a day or two since she dropped Damon like a bad habit! There’s no better way to raise Stefan’s suspicions than to be hitting on him after all the back and forth that resulted in the relationship with Damon in the first place.
Granted, Katherine may not be aware of that history, given that she was out of the picture for a while, but she has a lot of resources at her disposal. Even Nadia is trying to get her mother to back off and get a little perspective and patience, and she’s busy running interference with Matt (who is smarter than he looks) and Tyler (who is not).
Speaking of Tyler, I finally realized what the problem is with the character. It dawned on me when he was scoping out Nadia at the bar. The writers and producers desperately want him to be the equivalent of Michael Guerin from Roswell. He’s all but doing a Brenden Fehr impression through most of this episode. I suppose it’s good he’s no longer trying to channel Taylor Lautner, but it just underscores the impression that Tyler is not a character with substance.
Maybe it’s because Tyler’s bad-boy routine suffers tremendously next to Damon’s tortured spree of violence. I can’t emphasize enough that Damon’s current spree of immoral behavior is very different than his earliest appearances, because now one can see how he is acting out. As Stefan said, it’s not to the point where he’s fully invested; he’s lashing out like this to punish Elena more than commit himself to the abyss.
The most obvious clue to his mindset was when he awoke after being apprehended by Dr. Maxfield and injected with the vampire-altering serum. If Damon was truly on the nihilistic bent that he seemed to be, why bother warning Enzo? He might as well have started snacking on his old friend, and gone after his former loved ones. He still might, if this latest revelation cracks him to an even greater extent, but my suspicion is that he will devote his efforts to finding a cure.
Previously Posted on Critical Myth.