It seems unlikely, but turning one character into the undead somehow drained the life out of the episode.
At the end of last week's episode, Catherine had just smothered Caroline in the hospital after delivering the message "Game on" to the Salvatore brothers. As the audience catches up with Caroline this week, not only is she still "alive", she has an insatiable lust for blood. Elsewhere in Mystic Falls, Tyler Lockwood (played by Michael Travino) is beginning to suspect his uncle Mason (played by Taylor Kinney) may be keeping a dark secret about the men in the family.
After a fantastic season premiere, "Brave New World" is an episode that did not measure up. While the plot twist of turning Caroline into a vampire seems like a good idea - it isn't. Turning Caroline into a vampire was not only dull but subsequently dragged the quality of the episode down with it. Almost every scene with Caroline (played by Candice Accola) was dramatically overplayed without any real emotion for a character with little depth to begin with. In the first season, the character Matt had to deal with his absentee mother while Jeremy struggled with being a social outcast. It's understandable that the show wants to develop all of their characters but if everyone is given a supernatural dark side, it takes away the grounding of the series. Since the story with Stefan, Elena and Damon was tied to Caroline all of the character development from last week took a step back to deal with the new vampire on the block.
Surprisingly, it was the storyline between Tyler and Mason Lockwood stole the show with a relationship that has its own share of secrets. While it is apparent that the Lockwood family curse is how the men become werewolves, the mystery behind the family history and the truth about Mason is an intriguing story I wish we saw more of.
I have to be honest, this episode made me eat my own words from last week and they are bitter. The story with Stefan, Elena and Damon revolving around Caroline becoming a vampire was devoid of drama and almost bled the show dry of fun. The story behind the Lockwood men proves that the supporting cast can actually have interesting stories and aren't just there to provide pacing and breaks for the main story.
It would be hard for any show to follow such a great season opener but did "Brave New World" have to be the second episode of the season? Maybe not, but the truth behind the Lockwood family in "Bad Moon Rising" may be worth this painful episode.