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24 March 2013 @ 03:05 am
4.17 - In Defense of Caroline  
There seem to be a lot of viewers (I've read all over the interwebz) who think that Caroline deserved that snarky-ass comment from Klaus at the end of 4.17. However I don’t… for a couple of reasons

Firstly, Caroline didn’t think that Klaus would comfort her. She didn’t expect it, didn’t turn to him looking for it. In fact, Caroline wasn't even looking at Klaus nor was she even focused on him at all when the realization of what she had done hit her. KLAUS is the one who reached out and took her shoulders. He used a soft, comforting voice and said "Hey!" getting her attention, making her look at him all the while he was looking at her with sweet, understanding eyes. He said "you look like you could use some comfort?" in that same soft, comforting voice. Then again, barely even registering, Caroline nodded, and then he delivered his "go find someone less terrible to relate to" comment.

And going back further, there is a lot of justification for Klaus' put-down because Caroline flirted with Klaus, drank champagne, etc. and now she’s being all mean to him. The question seems to be: "What does she expect?" The thing is that this isn't the sequence of events. Yes, Caroline did flirt with him, did drink champagne, etc., but that was all because she owed him a favor. Did she enjoy herself, find herself liking him? Yup. Which is why when she talked to Stefan later, she admitted that she wanted to believe that Klaus had the ability to change, to be better.

Yet at the very time that she was allowing this possibility, Klaus had just killed 12 hybrids, and then for no reason other than that he was upset with Tyler, he killed an innocent woman, Tyler’s mother. *THAT* is why Caroline turned against him so completely. That is why the flirting, champagne-drinking, etc. don’t matter anymore. She thought she saw a better side to him and then he completely proved her wrong.

She hasn’t flirted with him, she hasn’t pretended to feel something she doesn’t, she hasn’t played any games with him since then. Did she tell him that she believed he could be capable of love while in Elena’s living room? Yeah, but she was also on death’s door—thanks to Klaus—and he was literally the only thing that could save her life. But even then, she didn’t go overkill, she didn’t flirt with him or try and promise him feelings of love, desire, devotion, etc.

Being bitchy and not so nice to him, telling him how terrible he is, since everything happened makes absolutely perfect sense. There is a before and after at play here. Caroline gave Klaus the benefit of the doubt, bought into the wounded soul/besotted suitor role and so flirted, etc. That was before. Then he killed the hybrids and Carol Lockwood, then he staked her, bit her, taunted Tyler and Caroline over the fact that she was going to die, then said he was still planning on chasing Tyler down to kill him. That was the after.

Klaus *is* terrible. And he’s shown pretty much zero remorse for his actions. Once Caroline was given undeniable proof that he’s terrible and has about zero remorse for his actions she no longer wanted to flirt with him, no longer liked him. She didn’t want to drink champagne, or spend any time with him, go to him for any reason.

So going back to the specific incident in the last episode, she didn’t go turn to Klaus. Stefan called Klaus to where she was. She didn’t ask Klaus for comfort. She didn’t think it was coming or expect it. Klaus dangled comfort, given with vulnerable eyes, a soft voice, comforting hands, to a distraught teenager who had just committed an unthinking, horrible act with tremendous consequences… only to spitefully refuse to give the comfort that HE had just offered.

I am SO Team Caroline.
 
 
 
prettygirl5130: pic#119743568prettygirl5130 on March 24th, 2013 02:04 pm (UTC)
Ha! I usually disagree with most of the interweb when it comes to this show. So much unnecessary hate going around just because they don't like how a certain story they had planned in their heads is going.

Anyway, yeah I think the writers have definitely had a certain storyarc overall this season planned for her. They made her super super judgey of ELena and Damon and pretty much everyone for a reason and they made her attracted to Klaus for this reason too. Really, this entire witch/massacre sequence was probably the most significant happening, except for her turning into a vampire, for her character. Caroline has always lived a certain way and she's always had these certaint beliefs and her belief that people can't change...people are inherently good or they are inherently bad. Damon is inherently bad and he will always be bad. he can't change...no way. Stefan will, to her, always be inherently good because he tries to be good. Yeah he may be the ripper but that's part of his "drinking" problem, without that problem Stefan is a good guy. Damon doesn't have a drinking problem. To her, Damon has a personality problem. Ha!

So, I honestly think this massacre is going to change Caroline's views on so many things and I honestly could see her accepting damon as being a changed vampire if not by the end of this season then by next season. This is a huge development because out of every character on this show...Caroline and Damon's relationship has been a longstanding battle. They just do not get along and I think this may change and I also think it may be one of the most significant things for Damon and Elena's relationship because there will be less conflict when Damon and Elena do start to really date with no sire bond (or a bond that's less about Elena's feelings but more about Elena's free will) and Elena having a handle on her humanity.

As for Caroline and Klaus....really, really interesting development that I quite like to be honest. Up to this point, it's been kind of eyeroll worthy for me. Oh look Caroline is manipulating Klaus again. Oh look Caroline and KLaus are talking about snowflakes again! But, this development in the idea that people who do or have done bad things can't change and are just bad people and taht Klaus has made Caroline realize that...hey are you a bad person? MAybe you shouldn't be talking... is going to be HUGE for the two of them to deal with and I can honestly see Caroline giving into her attraction to Klaus now because she's going to feel like Klaus is what SHE deserves. SHe doens't deserve someone good and heroic like Tyler....she deserves the worst person. She is no longer perfect...she is now just another monster.

I'm hoping Caroline will realize that no, she does deserve better than Klaus...she deserves someone like Stefan. They both try so hard to be good. They both have a lot of the same views in how they view people. "Damon will always be a monster." "I will always be better than so and so because I have never did this or that without being prompted by either blood or compulsion." Seriously, I think Caroline and Stefan are probably the best for each other and Caroline just needs to realize that.
edgeoftheocean8 on March 24th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
I agree with a lot of this! And Stefan and Caroline have like the exact same black/white, bad/good worldview, which I think is for sure why they get along so well. But, especially now, both have done terrible things, so where does that fit? Very interesting.
I do have a bit of an issue with your point that Caroline and Damon "just don't get along" and never have though, because (and I know the writers have sort of retconned this, but it still happened), first season Damon was terrible to her -- coercive, scary, taking away her free will and essentially raping her for a good period of time. Yes that was "bad" Damon before he was "reformed" by his love for Elena but still. I don't like how often fandom forgets about that and is like "god Caroline is just so mean/judgmental about Damon!"
prettygirl5130: pic#119743568prettygirl5130 on March 24th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Well, unfortunately the fandom forgets about a lot of things. LOL!

I think Caroline and Damon have always had a very tumultuous relationship. I don't know if either one of them would go so far to say they hate each other, but Caroline definitely judges Damon and thinks he's bad news, especially when it comes to Damon and Elena. Caroline doesn't think Damon can be reformed in the way he acts and thinks. I think Caroline considers most of the good things Damon has done for the benefit of himself more than for him wanting to be good just to be good. Mostly I think caroline thinks Damon only does good things when he feels like it and if Elena pushes him enough to do it. Unlike Stefan who is good because he wants to be good. Maybe back in past seasons this was true but I think Damon has changed a ton just for his own benefit and no one else...take the high road as he said in 4.6 when he knew he could have had Elena right then and there in her bedroom. Caroline just doesn't see that change or want to see that change in people like Damon, especially in Damon because he abused her viciously in season 1.

Either way, I actually like Caroline more this season than any other season because she's flawed and is making mistakes and has a POV that is being explored and dealt with. She was getting really boring with her perfection since season 2. So, i'm also team Caroline all the way and right now her development this episode is awesome! It's nice to see people supporting her and not bashing her.
Arabian: Damon08arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
Caroline in season 01 and 02 is my favorite, but I'm definitely loving her way more this season than I did last season. That season did ding my Caroline love. Ugh, Tyler.

Other than that, I agree with all you've said.
Arabian: Damon09arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry, not here for the "raping" her comment. I will never not argue that when someone brings it up in my lj. He did NOT rape her. Caroline slept with him willingly before any compulsion happened. And he compelled her to be OK with him as a vampire, he did not compel her to sleep with him. Do we know that Caroline would have slept with him had she known? No. On the other hand, we also don't know if she WOULDN'T have. And knowing all we know about Caroline, I think it's more fitting with her personality that she actually would have even knowing he was a vampire. The point is that we don't know if she would or would have slept with him had she not been compelled to just accept him being a vampire so to say she would have definitively not slept with him thus calling it rape doesn't fly in my book. We don't know that. So, no he did not rape or "essentially" rape her. He was emotionally abusive and a TERRIBLE boyfriend and treated her totally like crap, but (a) his humanity switch was off, and (b) he did not rape her.

And it wasn't bad Damon who was reformed by his love for Elena. It was a humanity-switch off Damon who hadn't been moved by his love for his brother and growing affection for Elena, plus renewed love for the town that had him turn the switch back on.

So while Damon was terrible, that Caroline is still so mean and judges him DESPITE the fact that (a) his switch was off, and she knows what that means now, and (b) he's saved her life a few times, as well as the lives of everyone she loves and cares about more than a few times, I do think she should let up. A few weeks of being a switch-off horrible boyfriend compared to almost a year of saving all of their asses should have some meaning at some point.

I do agree completely about Stefan and Caroline. Partly why I love them is because they are so alike at the core with enough differences to make it interesting.

I'm sorry if it feels like I've gone off, but that's a real sore subject with me. I love Caroline. I love Damon. But I try and see them through facets of ALL of their actions, both good and bad.
prettygirl5130: pic#119743568prettygirl5130 on March 25th, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
It's funny when I first watched season 1 it never occured to me that Damon raped caroline. It wasn't until I became part of the fandom that everyone would talk about Damon raping Caroline and I was like, "what? When? What episode was that?" Ha!

I think the whole compulsion thing Damon used to do a lot with his women is a very gray area. With Andie, she was clearly into him and ready and willing to go all the way and he only compelled her to not be afraid. I think the fact that she was aghast of what he was saying kind of makes it seem like she would rethink her bath with him if has hadn't compelled her. Wtih Caroline they slept together without the use of compulsion in the beginning and after that it kind of gets murky.

I don't know if the show retconned it, but it's a gray area when you think about it. Since the show and Julie have pretty much all but stated...no, Damon did not rape anybody, he may have abused them in other ways, but he did not rape them. So, I go with what the show has told us. Even so, Damon has changed anyway and is in a much better place emotionally than in seasons 1 and 2.

I think when you watch a vampire show, that isn't Twilight, you have to expect that there will be situations that woiuld be defined in real life as abusive. Stefan and Elena have had many. Damon and caroline. Damon and Andie. Stefan and those Twister girls. Klaus and everyone. They would all be completely unacceptable in real life, but this isn't real life. So I think it's best to just take out the real life morality. Otherwise, none of these relationships would be considered healthy not even Matt and Elena because Matt DRUGGED Elena and put her in his car to take her out of town. This is what happens when you have vampires as your protagonists and not the antagonists.

Edited at 2013-03-25 03:56 am (UTC)
Arabian: Damon04arabian on March 25th, 2013 08:57 am (UTC)
Firstly, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your comments in my journal. We don't always agree, but you have such a positive outlook on the show too and I love that. :)

It's funny when I first watched season 1 it never occured to me that Damon raped caroline. It wasn't until I became part of the fandom that everyone would talk about Damon raping Caroline and I was like, "what? When? What episode was that?" Ha!

Yeah, I never thought it either, nor did people I know who watched the show.

I do think it's a grey area in that he compelled them to be OK with him as a vampire, but I don't think it's grey that he raped them. At all. And I don't see how it's been retconned actually. Hmm, I've never heard Julie or anyone else on the show specifically address it. But I'm glad to hear that.

The bottom-line for me is what you write here:

I think when you watch a vampire show [...] you have to expect that there will be situations that woiuld be defined in real life as abusive. [...] this isn't real life. So I think it's best to just take out the real life morality. [...] This is what happens when you have vampires as your protagonists and not the antagonists.

Exactly. I wrote something similar (I think in my post or comments for 2.19.)
prettygirl5130: pic#119743568prettygirl5130 on March 25th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
I seriously don't understand where all of this negativity comes from with the fandom. I honeslty don't get it. Sure season 3 had some "iffy' parts towards the end there...I will give everyone that. BUt really, this show and the writing and the acting is pretty damn awesome for the most part. I just don't get everyone always complaining about how the writing sucks. I've come to the conclusion that they're just basing their opinions on whatever couple they ship and that's it. It really has nothing to do with the writing at all...it's just them frustrated because DE aren't together and happy (which come on! When is a couple ever happy on this show for longer than an episode?) or SE aren't making schmoopy faces at each other anymore. So, I appreciate anyone in the fandom, like you, who watches the show, analyzes the show, and genuinely ENJOYS the show and its characters. It's refreshing, it really is.

Oh and to stay on topic: I love what they're doing with Caroline and I love how her interest in Klaus has played a part in all of it. I never thought it would go this way and I love when the show gives a payoff you didn't even know you wanted like with Caroline doing the massacre and her and Klaus' interactions. It's just nice to see all that work coming together in an unexpected way.
Arabian: Caroline03arabian on March 31st, 2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Centuries later, I respond....

I seriously don't understand where all of this negativity comes from with the fandom. I honeslty don't get it.

Except for a few shows and mostly only when those shows are in dire straits, it seems like "fandom" is synonymous with bitching about the show you watch. I do not get it. And TVD seems to be at the fore of shows to bitch about. I do not get it.

Sure season 3 had some "iffy' parts towards the end there...I will give everyone that.

See, I can't even agree with that. For me this has been the strongest season overall so far. I haven't ended any episode with disappointment, and have been pretty durn happy overall with everything they've done. But you know how I am about this show!

I've come to the conclusion that they're just basing their opinions on whatever couple they ship and that's it.

I think that's part of it, but I think it's more of a general 'it's not happening how I *want* it to happen therefore it sucks.' Not just with the couple, but with the characters as well. And I will never understand that kind of complaint. I've always maintained (whether it works for my couple or not) that if it makes sense character-wise and narratively speaking, I will defend the writers.

So, I appreciate anyone in the fandom, like you, who watches the show, analyzes the show, and genuinely ENJOYS the show and its characters. It's refreshing, it really is.

Right back atcha! :)

Re: Caroline.. I am SO much happier with Caroline this season (even with her anti-D/E-stuff) than last season where she seemed to exist solely to be "the girl" for Tyler and/or Klaus. Now the story is about HER as a character as much as it is has been about Tyler or Klaus (or even Stefan) as characters. That's what I like.





Arabian: Stefan & Caroline01arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'm sure this won't surprise you, but I absolutely agree with all of this. From Caroline's arc being the strongest it's been, to how she views good vs bad, to how Stefan has a "drinking" problem while Damon has a personality problem.

I do expect something to happen with Caroline and Klaus, but I'm not sure that it will go as you suggest with Caroline thinking she deserves the worst person, because there is a huge difference between Caroline as a "bad" person and Klaus as a "bad" person. But I can see the lines becoming blurred for sure!

And, yes, she and Stefan are TOTALLY perfect for each other, but you already know I feel that way. :)
Thoughts= stars I can't fathom into constellations: DEx 2thesicko1012 on March 24th, 2013 03:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, thank you for this. I am in complete agreement. Caroline had a right to say everything she said in that episode and I was so annoyed when Klaus made that remark at that end. Seriously, he just continues to prove her point. And Caroline has been getting so much hate for this and it is just really frustrating.
Arabian: Damon & Elena26arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
It's crazy, right?! Now, I wasn't annoyed with Klaus because it was perfectly in character (and hilariously so), I just can't get over the number of people who are upset with Caroline and say she deserved that because she hurt poor, widdle Klaus' feelings. Dude. It's like you said, he just keeps proving her point. And that she's the one getting hate for it and haha!, Klaus pwned her just boggles my mind. Poor Caroline. :(
faith5by5_1013: The Vampire Diaries: Carolinefaith5by5_1013 on March 24th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
I definitely don't think she deserved his snarky comment, but I think it was very him to say that to her.

I love Caroline. She's one of my very favorite characters on the show. I love a lot of them, but she's probably in the top three (with Damon and Elena). So I am also very much Team Caroline.
Arabian: Caroline01arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I agree. I loved that he made the comment, set it up and all because it's so Klaus and it was perfectly OOC. I just can't get over the number of people who are saying that Caroline deserved it because she hurt poor Klaus-y's feelings.
eolivet on March 24th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
Klaus dangled comfort, given with vulnerable eyes, a soft voice, comforting hands, to a distraught teenager who had just committed an unthinking, horrible act with tremendous consequences

I take issue with this, because I don't think this show has seen (or portrayed) them as actual teenagers for a long time (and if so, then should we be a lot more horrified about underage Elena being truant from school and running around New York City, drinking. I, for one, wasn't.)

By that same token, I don't think one is supposed to whitewash what Caroline did. I think that line is there to remind the audience that despite her intent (which was indeed pure, to save her friend), Caroline has now taken 12 lives. Klaus is a terrible person (that's not in dispute), but Caroline now has become slightly more terrible than she was before. 12 lives is a big deal.

I've seen the show whitewash the actions of its protagonists (Stefan killing Andie, for example) and rationalize and excuse them. I think Klaus' line was put there specifically not to let Caroline off the hook. The feminist implications of that really aren't great, but I believe that was their intent. To me, that exchange is supposed to remind the audience that Caroline is now just a little bit closer to Klaus' level.

(Especially since he's the new lead of the spinoff -- so other tertiary characters [not the Big Three] are likely to be knocked down in his favor, to cement his leading man status.)

I loved this Klaus/Caroline, quite frankly -- all snark and rolling eyes. If he's saving the puppy eyes for Hayley in the spinoff, that's fine by me. Give me snarky Klaus/Caroline any day. Morgan and Accola play so well off each other, I'll take any interaction we can get until Morgan (and Holt and Gilles) leaves the show.

Edited at 2013-03-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Caroline06arabian on March 24th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
I know that they don't live very teenage lives, so when we get those moments where it really hits, that's why it hits so hard. As it did in this moment. Because mostly they don't, and then something like this happens and it's a reminder (to me) at least that they are just teenagers.

With that said, I'm a bit confused by your response. I don't think we were supposed to whitewash what Caroline did, and I was fine with Klaus and Caroline interacting like this. My post had nothing to do with that. It was solely about the fact that everywhere I look on the internet, people are laughing, hahaha! at Caroline because Klaus got that dig in because Caroline so deserved it and is soooo terrible because she's been mean to poor Klausy-pooh! That is all I was getting at. Nothing about white-washing or the relationship between K/C. It was all about how unfair I see the Caroline hate over this episode. My point was that people are ignoring why Caroline stopped flirting with him and why she turned so completely against him. As I said in my post, there was a before and after here with a very clear, delineated line between the difference in how Caroline treated Klaus because of *his* terrible actions, and so few people are taking that into account.
(Anonymous) on March 25th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
I really agree with this and it is bugging me how many comments I've seen not just in fandom but in "professional" reviews and recaps that Caroline deserved that comment from Klaus. She deserves to feel terrible about what she chose to do, but not from HIM. Did Caroline do something horrible this episode and should she rightfully be very distraught about this and be questioning her worldview after being very rigid about it for a long time? Absolutely. She is the only major vampire character on the show so far who hasn't had to face this kind of issue until this season, because aside from the one guy she killed right when she turned (when she had no idea what was even happening to her) and the two deputies she killed in Season 2 (to save Damon and Stefan), she hasn't been put in a situation to choose between her friend and random innocents. The show touched on this earlier in the season with the hybrid Chris, but that wasn't solely Caroline's doing, although now I feel like it was a setup for this. Caroline needed an arc that wasn't just about a guy and that actually shifts her character and evolves her (and yes, that means doing problematic and "bad" things; perfect characters are boring!), and I really hope this is a springboard for something new and interesting for her character the way Elena, Damon, Stefan, and even Bonnie now have made difficult, questionable, borderline (or actually) evil choices that have pushed their stories forward and evolved their characters and their relationships.

However, for Klaus (or the show) to suggest that she is anywhere near HIS level of evil is laughable. No one on this show except perhaps Klaus's siblings approaches his level of awful, and the fact that he can't see that and that he would actually petulantly attack Caroline at her lowest point proves to me that he doesn't truly know her or love her; he's just obsessed with her (which I knew already).

(And I say all this as someone who likes Caroline most of the time but has never understood all the fandom worship of her ever since she became a vampire.)

By the way I love reading your episode recaps. I see people here and there saying the show is horrible now and that they've stopped watching (or they watch and just bitch about it) and it makes me sad because I really don't agree and think it's still a very high-quality show, so I love reading people who still have lots of positive things to say about it!
Arabian: Caroline06arabian on March 25th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
I really agree with this and it is bugging me how many comments I've seen not just in fandom but in "professional" reviews and recaps that Caroline deserved that comment from Klaus.

I know! I just couldn't deal with it anymore when everywhere I turned that was all I was reading.

She deserves to feel terrible about what she chose to do, but not from HIM.

Yup!

She is the only major vampire character on the show so far who hasn't had to face this kind of issue until this season,[...] she hasn't been put in a situation to choose between her friend and random innocents.

Very true. We're really starting to see some lovely shades of grey being forced onto Caroline, and I'm so happy seeing her in a story beyond Tyler!Tyler!Tyler!

now I feel like [Chris] was a setup for this

I think you're absolutely right.

Caroline needed an arc that wasn't just about a guy and that actually shifts her character and evolves her (and yes, that means doing problematic and "bad" things; perfect characters are boring!)

Yes, yes, yes! I remember bemoaning how everyone was doing STUFFS in the premiere and Caroline was all 'Ooh! I'm gonna make out with my boyfriend!' Now we're getting to HER story. YES!

and I really hope this is a springboard for something new and interesting for her character the way Elena, Damon, Stefan, and even Bonnie now have made difficult, questionable, borderline (or actually) evil choices that have pushed their stories forward and evolved their characters and their relationships.

I can't see how it won't... man, this show is soooooooooooo good.

However, for Klaus (or the show) to suggest that she is anywhere near HIS level of evil is laughable.

Well, I agree that Klaus was suggesting that, but he's a jerk, but I didn't think the show was at all.

that he would actually petulantly attack Caroline at her lowest point proves to me that he doesn't truly know her or love her; he's just obsessed with her (which I knew already).

Exactly! That's what gets me with people saying she deserved it. I was just all 'wha!??!?!?!'

(And I say all this as someone who likes Caroline most of the time but has never understood all the fandom worship of her ever since she became a vampire.)

I've actually been a HUGE Caroline fan from season 01 (pre-vampire), and I'm kinda confused why she's worshipped so post-vampire state to the degree she is.

By the way I love reading your episode recaps.

Thank you. :) Feel free to jump in and add your thoughts, I love hearing from others.

I see people here and there saying the show is horrible now and that they've stopped watching (or they watch and just bitch about it) and it makes me sad because I really don't agree and think it's still a very high-quality show, so I love reading people who still have lots of positive things to say about it!

I'm so with you. I just don't get it. I watch this show and continue to be amazed by how wonderful it is. :)
La vida de lloronalaudanumdream on March 27th, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I took that route in your episode recap earlier. I really am more fascinated by Klaus's character and those little moments where he's trying to work out in his brain why he can't get his toys to work without breaking, when really he needs to realize that these are relationships and not toys so he can't just mess with them and treat them like puppets (i.e. when he was talking to Damon about being bad with a purpose).

I also think I've been pulling a "Bonnie" with Caroline this season; maybe I'll grow out of it like I did with Bonnie.
Arabian: Caroline03arabian on March 27th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC)
Oh, don't apologize. Like I said, LOTS of people felt that way. I just was not one of the them and wanted to defend her because I saw it differently. And I am a way bigger Caroline fan than a Klaus fan so for me my allegiance lies with her.