The mid-season finale of The Vampire Diaries was more like The Werewolf Diaries as Tyler took center stage and underwent his first transformation. It was fantastic, but sadly the rest of the show was a bit of a letdown. Maybe my expectations were too high because this is the last new episode until January 27, but I wanted a big cliffhanger. Instead, I got a few loose ends.

Tyler’s Transformation

The real story involves Tyler preparing for his first night as a werewolf on a full moon, so Caroline offers to help the very painful process. Once in the slave cave Tyler strips down to his elastic shorts and chains himself up. Normally that would sound like the start to a very exciting evening, but then the werewolf transformation starts and Tyler’s bones break and twist in ways human bones aren’t supposed to. It’s all very gross and very painful to watch, something I never thought I’d say about Michael Trevino wearing nothing but a pair of shorts.

The whole process takes a long time and Caroline stays with him as long as she can, but then he starts to really change and she flees. I have to give The Vampire Diaries a lot of credit for using clever editing and a brilliant sound design to create a brutally harsh transformation scene without access to the latest Avatar-style special effects.

The next morning Tyler is back to his non-furry self and Caroline is relieved that he’s fine. But he’s not. Physically, he’s not dead, but it’s obvious the change took a massive emotional toll on him.

Is Jules a Werewolf?

The werewolf stories continued as Jules, an old friend of Mason’s, arrives to find him. Damon and Alaric try their best to figure her out, suspecting that she’s also a werewolf. That’s definitely what we’re supposed to think since she carefully avoids drinking a wolfsbane-laced cocktail, talks to a mystery person on the phone about there being another werewolf in town, identifies Damon as a vampire and marks him, whatever that means.

Later that night at the Salvatore mansion a werewolf breaks in and bites Rose, who seems to heal quickly, but then starts to show symptoms of dying at the end of the episode while her and Damon are becoming vampires with benefits.

We’re definitely supposed to assume that Jules is the werewolf who attacked Rose, but that seems a little too easy to me. This all reminds me of the introduction of Alaric. He waited for invites into homes and had a giant ring, so all the clues suggested that he was a vampire. However, Jules never said she was one, so I think there’s more to her than meets the eye.

The Moonstone Gets Despelled (Not!)

Bonnie finds Luka to help despell the moonstone, and even though it looks like they succeed, Luka secretly pockets the moonstone and brings it back to his dad. I really want Bonnie to find out Luka is playing her so she can finally be with Jeremy, because that’s where she belongs.

Stefan is Free

Finally, Elijah scores an invite into the Gilbert home by pretending to want Jenna’s help researching the town. However, Elijah is there to make a deal. It seems Klaus is paranoid and kicked Elijah out of his inner circle, so Elijah wants to use Elena to lure Klaus to Mystic Falls so he can kill him. Elijah is a good guy? If you believe that, then you’re way too gullible for this show.

In exchange for her help, Elijah promises to get Stefan out of the tomb, which he does after Katherine starts forcing Stefan to have super hot sex dreams about her. Yeah, those clips of Stefan and Katherine hooking up were just a dream, not real, so calm down. While the tomb spell is broken, Elijah compels Katherine to stay inside until he tells her to come out.

So at the end of the episode, Stefan and Elena are back together for the 32nd time since the show began. I really want The Vampire Diaries to stop it with their on-again, off-again thing, because it’s getting hard to keep track of when they’re in love and when they’re broken up.

The Vampire Diaries won’t return until January 27, so until then, have a happy Christmas, New Year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and any of the other million or so holidays between now and then.

(Images courtesy of the CW)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.