This review contains spoilers.
3.2 The Hybrid
The Hybrid is another strong instalment for The Vampire Diaries, but there’s an overwhelming sense of everyone taking a step backwards this week. As much fun as Stefan the ripper was last week, for example, here we get the brooding wet-wipe of last year. Elena’s being stubborn to the point of annoying, and there’s still no Bonnie to be seen.
The action of the episode concerns another search for the absent Salvatore brother, with Elena using emotional blackmail on her would-be father figure, Rick, to help. He agrees to accompany her to the woods, but is sure to enlist Damon as backup just in case.
Seriously, is there a more inappropriate parent for the mess that is the Gilbert family? Well, yes, I suppose there was Jenna. Answering the door to your step daughter half-naked and hungover is probably better than turning a blind eye to everything your charges get up to.
And that’s exactly what dear Mrs Lockwood has been doing for the past two seasons. With her husband and son’s deaths barely registering on her stony-faced radar, this week Tyler brings her to earth with a cataclysmic bump. With a missing Caroline and little words of comfort from mommy-dearest, Tyler decides that instead of just telling her about his little condition, he’s going to show her.
His transformation was one of the more effective parts of the episode, and the involvement of the older generation, as with Caroline’s mother before her, has always been a welcome addition to the show. Speaking of, Heroes‘ Jack Coleman makes his much buzzed about guest appearance in this episode, and the twist of his identity is a good one. I can’t wait to see what they do with him in the coming weeks.
Matt’s still trying his hardest to stay out of the way, but Jeremy soon dangles the carrot of his dead sister in order to get some help contacting her. I’ve always had a soft spot for Matt, as he’s been the most clueless of the group for a long time. His quick acceptance of the supernatural has been a refreshing change for the character, and the Vicky plot-lines have proved an ingenious way to get him involved, however reluctantly.
I also enjoy Matt’s scenes with Jeremy, as Steven R McQueen has consistently had more chemistry with the other male cast members than the girls the writers try to force him with. There’s a reason that the Jeremy/Tyler pairing got a massive fan reaction last year, and I hope they keep this friendship going for a few more weeks at least. I can’t imagine many people are missing Bonnie the energy-sucker.
What wasn’t so good about the episode was anything involving Stefan and Klaus, an admission I didn’t think I’d be making based on last week. Although the violence and graphic nature of the scenes they share is still present, it should be more fun than this in its early stages. The Vampire Diaries has always possessed that mix of horror and comedy that any guilty pleasure relies on, and I’d like to see Stefan be a little more evil. His pining for Elena isn’t entirely necessary, and feels a little Twilight at this point.