Season 2, Episode 11 (“By the Light of the Moon”)
When I first saw this episode, my heart broke for Tyler. I still think it is one of the saddest things to happen on the show, but also the best for this character. In the first season Tyler is just kind of a jerk. He is cocky and aggressive and just all around not a great guy. But through this whole ordeal he is humbled and it leads him to being a better person. It also allows him to have a friendship with Caroline that is probably the most real friendship he has ever had. This episode also contains some plot advancement/stalling some of which is fine and some of which is potentially interesting, depending on the direction it goes from here.
After her attempts to turn herself over to Klaus in the previous episode, Bonnie, Jeremy, and Damon put Elena under house arrest. She still believes that sacrificing herself is the best choice if it keeps everyone else safe, and they are still not willing to let her do it. However, Elijah shows up and poses a third option that is somewhat down the middle. He reveals that he doesn’t want Klaus to break the curse, in fact he wants to kill Klaus. He wants to keep her safe until he is ready to kill Klaus and then use her to draw him out so he can kill him. He also promises to make sure no one else gets hurt. She is pretty happy with this deal, she gets to keep everyone safe, she might not die, and she still gets to feel like she is making her own choice. It is a better plan that the Salvatores came up with, if it works. From a plot perspective it feels more like stalling so that they can draw out the issue for longer. It allows the show to slow down this part of the plot, put it on the back burner for a few episodes, and gives the characters time to explore other options. At the very least it should provide a break from this conflict for a few episodes. But it is much too good a plan to work so easily, and Elijah makes it sound so simple that we know some plot twist will get in the way.
Meanwhile Alaric and Damon are teaming up to figure out what Jules, the new werewolf friend of Mason’s, wants with Tyler and Mason. They put wolfsbane in her drink to confirm that she is a wolf herself, but she doesn’t fall for it. This whole bit is a badly executed plan but fun to watch because anytime Alaric and Damon team up it usually is. Alaric playing the obnoxious town drunk, and Damon the “nice” guy is pretty great. However, their plan backfires when Jules turns into a wolf and shows up at his house to attack Damon, but bites Rose instead. This allows the characters (and the audience) to see first hand what happens when a werewolf bites a vampire. At first it looks like the legend was fake as Rose quickly heals, but a while later they see that it is getting much worse. This was a stupid thing for Damon to do, he picked a fight with a werewolf on a full moon. If he had just left her alone, she might not have gone after him. Though she is in town looking into what happened to Mason, so when she found out that Damon killed him, she may have gone after him anyway.
By far the best part of the episode though is Tyler’s first transition to a werewolf. Caroline is there for him every step of the way and stay with him throughout the entire ordeal, despite the fact that it could be fatal to her. No matter how many times he tells her to leave, she stays. The whole thing is heartbreaking as we watch Tyler go through the very painful transition. Being a werewolf has always been referred to as a curse, and it is clear why. While there are ups and downs of being a vampire. The urge to kill and feed are not great, but there can be joy in it if you want. You also have intensified hearing, can run really fast, can live forever, compel people. Being a werewolf has almost no upsides. You cannot choose when you transition, the transition is painful, you have very little control over yourself when you do, you have extra rage and strength, but not as much strength as a vampire. After the transition is over and Caroline tells him he is okay, then he replies “no I’m not” and they cry together, your heart can’t help but break for him. No matter what you think of Tyler as a person/character up to this point, you can’t deny that this sucks.
Overall I liked this episode, primarily for the Tyler storyline. I’m also an Elijah fan so anytime he shows up in one of his suits, I am here for it. It is also setting up some important things for the next few episodes. Obviously we will have to wait until the next episode to see Rose’s fate with the wolf bite. And whether Elijah and Elena will both hold up their ends of the deal. I feel like Elijah is very trustworthy (honor and loyalty are like his whole thing) and Elena doesn’t want to cross him. She has seen what happens when you do. But there is still a lot of season left so plenty of time for wrenches to be thrown in the plan.
Episode Grade: B+
- Damon: “Elena is on a martyr tear that rivals your greatest hits”
- Damon: “You know you should get out enjoy the sun, oh wait, you can’t”
- Damon had a lot of fun lines in those first few scenes.
- Tyler: “I don’t think it’s like the hulk where I get to keep my pants”
- Rose: “I don’t love men who love other women” that is very smart Rose.
- If Elijah has no interest in breaking the curse and wants to kill Klaus anyway, why did he have the witches only pretend to destroy it with Bonnie? Why not let them destroy it for real? Is he just trying to keep Klaus off their radar until he is ready?
- At first I thought that Jules was driving Mason’s truck, but then Damon said that he left his body in his truck. So do they just drive the same car?
- Body Count: None, though it is implied Rose may not make it through the wolf bite.