The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 4 – TV Review
Yes. Sirens. Plural.
Because why settle for one should-have-been-on-Supernatural villainess who struggles to act, when you can have two?
TL;DR Sybil recounts her ancient story of woe, ending in the reveal that Hot Nanny is her abusive Siren big sister; also Hell is real and presided over by an ancient psychic; Hot Nanny kills Horny Intern; Damon goes after Matt’s dad for some reason, which means now Matt is back (boo); Tyler is dead for real.
Still had less screentime than Sarah Salvatore. Whatever did Michael Trevino do to the CW suits? Yikes.
So the plot this week mainly ties us up with flashbacks as recounted by Sybil to Stefan while she’s locked up at The Armory. She tells of how she manifested psychic abilities, so was exiled to a sea-bound raft, and washed ashore on an island. There, she met a slightly older girl with the same abilities, and yada yada yada to survive Big Sis Siren lured sailors to their deaths and fed Little Sis Siren Sybil their flesh by pretending it was wild boar meat. Sybil tried to kill herself when she found out, but then a mystical black man showed up, proclaimed he was the devil, and gave them both immortality in exchange for a supply of evil souls to be sent to his Hell dimension. Cute. Also, Hot Nanny (after some back and forth suspicions between her and Horny Intern) turns out to be Big Sis Siren. She mind controls Horny Intern into trapping Alaric in The Armory vault (so he has to gouge his eardrums out to find the magical exit tunnel. Jesus), and then she kills her, sending her to Hell. I think? Meanwhile, Stefan is again forced to hit beats about wanting to save Damon and not being able. Because Damon is out there still doing Sybil’s work because he’s a lost cause or whatever. He goes after some dude who is unknowingly in possession of a mystical object Sybil wanted, and this guy turns out to be Matt’s dad. Matt comes to the rescue, but he doesn’t make it to Tyler in time (Damon had left him in a car boot to bleed out). Ugly tears ensue.
Ugly, but, like hot. Matt really goes for it. No manly, single one down the cheek. And I liked it. What’s happening to me?
After the disgusting wank and waste of time of last week’s episode, this one, despite the Siren stupidity and flashback overreliance, is actually pretty enjoyable.
Do you think it could have something to do with TVD not shoving Bonnie and Enzo’s relationship in our faces as the true and enduring love of the ages we’re supposed to believe it to be?
Yes. It does.
Why I hate this episode:
Caroline is also forced to sit out this episode, though. So that’s not nice.
My only big issue with the reveal of Hot Nanny as the other Siren is that her near death scene in the first episode no longer makes sense. Virginia (Alex’s Li’l Sis) slit Hot Nanny’s throat, right? And she didn’t get up until Caroline had to “heal” her with vampire blood. Which took a while. Sybil showed us that a snapped neck is an inconvenience of only about two seconds in the very next episode, so why didn’t Hot Nanny get up? I guess you could say she was trying to stay undercover, but it seems that her goal is to get to Caroline and Alaric’s children. And Virginia’s goal was to hurt the kids. So unless Hot Nanny knew for a fact that Caroline would get home in time to save them, she was taking a pretty fucking absurd risk. I know it’s a nitpick, but goddamn.
Stefan misses a perfect opportunity to rebut Sybil’s “Hell is real” proclamation by mentioning the Other Side. Does TVD even remember the Other Side was a thing? I feel like fucking The Originals has mentioned it more since it was gone. And they already have their own afterlife dimension.
Speaking of afterlife dimensions, what the fuck, TVD? At least Qetsiyah had to do a spell and bind a doppelganger as an anchor and shit to create her dimension. The way Sybil tells Cade’s (the Devil) story, she just says that, as he was being burned at the stake for being a filthy psychic, he just, like, made a dimension happen? A psychic burst or something from a garden variety telepathic somehow made Hell real. Really, TVD? This better get some more clarification later. Because come on.
Why doesn’t Hot Nanny have the same bizarre accent as Sybil?
If we were going to get one of Matt’s parents on the show, why couldn’t we have had his mum come back? Melinda Clarke is always welcome.
Oh, and Sybil goes to great pains to continually compare her story to Stefan and Damon’s. We get it, show. Stefan and Damon’s vampire genesis was tragic. It’ll always be tragic. We understand.
But it’s not all bad:
At least Stefan drops his perpetual martyrdom momentarily and, when answering Sybil’s insistent probe about which sister in the story he identifies with (Hot Nanny the monster, or Sybil the victim), he says he’s both. Way to be self-aware there, Stefan. Only took you eight seasons.
I still can’t forgive the fact that TVD is making Sirens, fucking Sirens, part of its lore (and in its final season, no less. Wasteful!), but Sybil’s little backstory is compellingly upsetting. I recall the first time I watched some of the Original vampire flashback stuff back in Season 3 that I thought it was tangential and dull, so I’m going to give Sybil’s trip down memory lane some slack. The finding out about the cannibalism is pretty gross, though. So it worked. Can you imagine? Yuck.
Props to Hot Nanny for passing it off as boar meat for all that time. Bloody savage. She has potential.
Speaking of savage, when Horny Intern fails to bring Sybil to her, she just straight-up murders her. Snaps her neck like a twig. She’s not playing around, anymore.
But oh, the best is yet to come. As I’ve held onto for years now, my theory that Katherine didn’t get sucked into Other Side oblivion has something other than my sheer refusal to believe we’ll never see Katherine again to back it up. After Horny Intern dies, she spirit walks invisibly on the plane of reality (she sees Hot Nanny eating a bit of her, so that’s lovely). But then, just like Katherine all those years ago, she is sucked by an unseen force up and into nothingness. Now, the Other Siders also had that happen to them. But that happened to them on the Other Side. Katherine never made it to the Other Side because for some reason she couldn’t pass through Bonnie, the anchor. Which means, and get your cum rags ready, that Katherine could be still dead and well in Cade’s Hell dimension. Stock up on your weave glue, bitches. If Nina Dobrev comes back for the last season hurrah (and seriously, how could she not), then Katherine could be back in the game. Oh. My. Fucking. God.
Alaric picks up some morbid pragmatism points this episode. After Horny Intern locks him in the vault, he realises his only escape will be to find that secret passage that requires sight and hearing deprivation. A blindfold is easy enough to come by, but to ensure he’ll make it, he stabs out his ears. That’s fucked up, dude. And bonus points because he notes that a little vampire blood should be able to fix him up. Do what you gotta do.
Matt also uses vampire blood pragmatically. Damon stabs his dad, but Matt shows up and shoots Damon unconscious before he can finish the job. So Matt just slits Damon’s wrist and makes his dad chug a little vamp blood to recover. Nicely done.
Matt is, refreshingly, pretty tolerable this episode. He doesn’t do anything stupid. It’s a miracle. And I wonder why his family, of all people, has that sphere thing that Sybil needed?
Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about that hot, full-on crying. Damon remarks that Tyler could be found alive in time if Matt hurries. But alas, Matt doesn’t hurry enough, and he finds Tyler dead. Cue the waterworks, and my ashamed arousal.