Daddy Issues is an all around kick ass episode. The war between the werewolves and vampires comes much quicker than expected. Damon and Stefan are bombarded, never really seeing what was coming. Caroline is shot with wooden bullets and taken hostage where she is caged and repeatedly shot; her torturer getting impatient. The goal is to keep her alive at least long enough for them to get Tyler, but one of the werewolves is getting so trigger happy that Caroline might not last until then.
Although, the werewolves are clearly the villains, we get to see a little more of their mindset so it isn’t completely black and white. We can at least understand where they’re coming from and really they have every reason to get vengeance on those who are responsible for the death of a friend. It just so happens the killer they are seeking vengeance upon also happens to already be a sworn enemy. When they have something else that they want, there is no reason for them to hold back. Jules explains it’s about loyalty; helping and sticking with their own.
The step Tyler and Caroline took last week is now completely shattered. He finds out that Caroline lied to him about what happened to Mason and even held the secret of who killed him, something he has been searching for tirelessly. She betrayed him, he isn’t sure he ever really knew her. At the same time he certainly doesn’t know these werewolves, but they might be his only hope for answers on something that he will have to deal with for the rest of his life.
Trust is a major theme in this episode. In most of the cases, such as trusting Elijah to keep Elena and her friends safe despite her being the intended sacrifice and John Gilbert suddenly trying to help Elena, it’s expected that Elena is being deceived. She knows that and is on her guard because of it in case she is proved right, yet it seems there might be hope for trust after all. They could have a shot in beating this and others might actually help them get there.
As always the material with Caroline is fierce. She’s made a victim against her will. She faces it though. The torture, the pain, the anguish; she faces it all. In the end, it makes her stronger. After Caroline endures the pain that is forced upon her, it also drives her to be stronger. She’s not the same girl she used to be. She doesn’t like to need other people. Caroline’s friends are there for her regardless, even Damon who was set on killing her for a while when she first turned. They come through for her, but others let her down. When she is moments away from death she has to learn who she can really trust. Caroline doesn’t want to be a victim and doesn’t plan on letting herself become one again.
Last week’s episode left us with a very interesting Damon dilemma, as he is pulled to both a humane side as well as his signature blood sucking beast side. For him it’s more than just being a vampire; it’s a thrill, it feels right; it’s who he is, and who he wants to be. It makes him feel alive and whole, without it he’s not really fully living. Damon opens up, possibly more than he ever has about Elena and himself. He loves Elena, but he can never have her. The reasoning is bigger than what always seemed to be standing in his way before, that she’s in love with his brother. She wants Damon to be good, something he is not. Damon can never be himself if he wants to make Elena happy. Without her, he will be eternally torn. As enthralling as this thoughtful side of Damon is (especially when he’s shown in a sudsy tub), the note we end on is the monster in him. It’s obvious it’s not something he could leave behind if he wanted to. That’s who he is and that’s who he will be until he faces his final death.