If I had to sum up Season 2 of TVD in one word, it would be “growth”. All of the characters on the show have grown in ways we could scarcely have imagined in Season 1.
I have written previously about Damon’s character (“Damon’s Dilemma”, “The Nobility of Damon Salvatore”, “The Quality of Mercy”) and how my opinion of Caroline has been completely transformed in Season 2 (“The Compassion of Caroline Forbes”).
Caroline and Tyler, particularly, have matured in countless ways – and the growth has come through their transformations from human to supernatural beings, and the challenges they are facing as a result.
We have watched Tyler’s transformation – both literal and figurative – and his reaction to his fate.
But what struck me in “Crying Wolf” is that a lot of his behavior is remarkably similar to Damon’s more noble moments.
In the final scenes of the episode, we see Tyler leave home with Jules. Before he goes, he does three things that showcase his new-found maturity.
First, he buys flowers for his mother and leaves them in a prominent place with a note, the contents of which we can only guess at. No doubt he reveals only that he is leaving for a while to sort things out; and he probably tells his Mom he loves her and not to worry.
But I am sure he leaves no hint of whether or when he may return.
The next stop is to the Mystic Grill to speak with Matt.
For a while now, there has been a triangle building among Caroline, Tyler and Matt. But Tyler is seeing things a bit clearer after his experience with the wolf pack.
He tells Matt as little as possible about what’s going on with him, and how much help Caroline has been. But he reveals that he’s fallen for her.
Then Tyler tells Matt that Caroline deserves better than him – she deserves Matt. (This is reminiscent of Damon telling Elena that she deserves someone better than him – she deserves his brother Stefan.)
Tyler then tells Matt in unmistakable terms that Caroline loves him, and he needs to take care of her. What a guy!
Finally, Tyler makes a stop at Caroline’s home – but when she comes to answer the door, Tyler is not there.
This is a subtle reminder of Damon erasing Elena’s memory after he confesses his love. I believe that, like Damon, Tyler doesn’t want Caroline to be conflicted – he wants her to be clear that her choice of Matt is the right one.
Tyler has transformed from an angry young man into quite a noble one. I know that we have not seen the last of him and I can’t wait to see what his next move is.
I have a feeling it is going to be heroic.