Werewolves vs. Vampires takes center stage

Season 2, Episode 13 (“Daddy Issues”)
Michael Trevino, Paul Wesley (Image: The CW)

The werewolves versus vampire tension continues to build in this episode as Tyler is pressured to pick a side. The first time I watched this I thought that Tyler was being an idiot, because Caroline is clearly so perfect and he should just realize that. But of course we as the audience know that, but Tyler doesn’t necessarily. Watching it this time around, I felt bad for him. Everyone in this episode is trying to tell him what he should do. Stefan wants him to forgive and forget what happened with Mason so that they can all just co-exist in Mystic Falls. There doesn’t need to be a war between the two species. Jules is pressuring him to join them because she believes that vampires and werewolves can never be friends. He also gets his first taste of how violent this world can be and he doesn’t to be a part of that.

He doesn’t know who to trust. Caroline has been the only one to be there for him up to this point, but she lied to him. He doesn’t really know Jules and he doesn’t know how he feels about vampires in general yet. He makes a bad decision when he doesn’t stick up for Caroline, but it’s only because he doesn’t know what to think. When Caroline tells him that they aren’t friends anymore, he contemplates siding with Jules and her friends because they at least seem to want to protect him. Tyler doesn’t have anyone so he is probably going to side with whoever is offering to help, and right now that’s the wolves.

Though I am not really a fan of the whole vampires vs. werewolves conflict (it seems played out), one thing I really like about the way it is done here is that neither side is necessarily right. I think I mentioned sometime last season that I love when there are two sides and neither is really right or wrong. This is The Vampire Diaries so of course we are going to root for the vampires, they are the protagonists. But the werewolves aren’t really doing anything that the vampires wouldn’t do. Jules ultimately just wants to help Tyler, because that is what werewolves do. She only wants to hurt the vampires because they killed Mason and are standing in her way of getting Tyler. And that is fair, they did kill Mason. Just as the Salvatores show up to rescue Caroline, each side is just sort of looking out for their group.

In other news, Uncle John is back in town and once again no one is thrilled to see him. He is telling Elena that he wants to protect her and be a better dad. He puts the anti-vampire stuff from before behind him and seems to be trying. He objects to Elena spending time with Damon because he is Damon (can’t blame him there), not because he is a vampire. But when he recognizes that Damon and Stefan would do anything to protect Elena, he realizes they are on the same side. He gives Damon a dagger which, when dipped in this specific white oak ash, is supposed to be the only way to kill an Original. Elena however doesn’t believe any of John’s lines about trying to be a better father. In the end we do see that he is indeed in league with Katherine and Isobel which means that his true motives probably won’t be clear for many episodes.

This episode also featured a continuation of the existential crisis that Damon was having at the end of last episode. This time he is explaining his problems to Andie, the reporter he hooks up with and compels not to be afraid of him. He tells her that his big problem in being in love with Elena is not that she is dating his brother, but that she wants him to be something he is not. He wants to continue being the vampire he has always been, killing people for sport. But she wants him to “be the better man”. Her constantly telling him this during this episode indicates that she believes he is capable of change. But does he?

This was one of those episodes that there wasn’t really anything wrong with, but it’s not one that really sticks out in my mind either. The werewolf storyline has been present all season and has come to the forefront in the last few episodes with Rose’s werewolf bite and Tyler’s first transformation. I like the werewolf stuff where it pertains to Tyler and the effect is has on his character, but I am not crazy about Jules and company. The show brings in all of these new werewolves at the beginning of this episode just to have them run out of town by the end of it. Other than that, this episode just planted the seeds of the new John storyline and continued Damon’s identity crisis. Not a bad episode, just kind of a forgettable one in the grand scheme of the season.

Episode Grade: B

Other Thoughts:

  • Elena’s hair is in an unusually high ponytail -not her usual style.
  • Speaking of hair, “you better watch your back, because I may just have to go get a hero haircut of my own and steal your thunder”. I believe this is the first mention of Stefan’s “hero hair”. This becomes a running joke for Damon and I will probably point it out every time.
  • Dr. Martin and Bonnie are talking and Jeremy walks up and says “is there a problem here” as if he could do anything. They are both powerful witches, you are a 16 year old human.
  • Was this the first episode that Tyler and Stefan had a one-on-one scene together? Throughout the series they interact very little outside of squad schemes. But I always enjoy when two characters who don’t interact much are thrown together.
  • Stefan tells Tyler that he came back to Mystic Falls because he wanted to build a life and a family… but he will just have to leave in a few years??
  • I am surprised that Jenna would encourage any of her friends to date Damon.
  • Elena: “I know, you are here to protect me. Got it. Get in line.”
  • Tyler: “It’s not always like this, is it?” LOL Tyler, yes it is.
  • It was sweet that Stefan wanted to get Bonnie and Elena to help Caroline but why did he have to like bring them himself? They are all besties, they could have just shown up on their own.
  • Damon almost goes into a serial killer monologue at the end when he says “I kill people”, “I like it”
  • Body Count: 1? I noticed one werewolf that Damon definitely killed but wasn’t sure about any of the others.

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