The goal of storytelling is to do something surprising, but yet, when the audience thinks about a twist later, they realize it made total sense — of course it had to happen that way. I can’t take credit for that wisdom. It’s a notion Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant shared with me in a recent interview. But it’s the first thought I had after I stopped cursing at Klaus for making me like him as he told Caroline about the great cities, music, art, and genuine beauty that await her if she’d chose to live another thousand birthdays and not let Tyler’s bite kill her. Did I ever picture Klaus and Caroline sharing a moment? No. I could blame my willingness to see chemistry between them on the swelling music, or the tears in his eyes when he told her he’d thought about ending his life before, but this wasn’t a cheap trick: Klaus had just agreed to send away his hybrids and was no closer to getting back his siblings and de-daggering Rebekah. He’s truly alone, which we know is his greatest fear. And there was Caroline, a beautiful young woman who needed not only his blood to survive, but also a fellow vampire to tell her how to envision her future. Stefan is obviously not offering his mentoring services at the moment and Damon is preoccupied with Elena. It makes sense that Klaus would want to cradle someone’s head as she drank from him, just to feel close. What choice did Caroline have if she wanted to live? (Would Tyler’s blood have worked, or does it have to be the Original hybrid? Maybe Caroline refused to see Tyler, so he had to call Klaus in regardless.)
The bigger question is what happens next: Klaus left Caroline a gorgeous bracelet, purposely putting Tyler’s charm bracelet to shame, I assume. I don’t think Caroline falls for Klaus — young girls like the bad boys, but she knows all this one’s done — but I would buy Klaus continuing to try to connect with her. Will he be surprisingly kind to her, having learned that pressuring people to stay with you isn’t a good way of keeping them around? (My guess.) Or will he come on too strong, popping up unannounced at her house now that he has been invited in, out of desperation? The dueling bracelets could be the start of a pissing match between him and Tyler, and what better way for Tyler to redeem himself at this point than by — gulp! — sacrificing himself in an attempt to keep Caroline safe from Klaus? Either way, this turn of events certainly made me look at our First Look photos of Caroline and Klaus waltzing in the Feb. 9 episode “Dangerous Liaisons” in a new light. Him saving her life has to change the way she looks at him, even if he’s the one who made Tyler bite her in the first place. You can understand that someone needs to die but not want to be the one to pull the trigger (or whatever it is you do to kill an Original hybrid). All Klaus asked Sheriff Forbes for, in exchange for saving Caroline, was her support. Now he has the sheriff and the mayor open to the idea of not killing him.
Of course, there is a third option: What if we’re being played, and Klaus doesn’t feel for Caroline at all? What if his only move was to get someone on Stefan’s side sympathetic and hope that she’ll help reunite him with his family?
NEXT: Stefan gets badass.. and party in the cemetery!