The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7 – TV Review
Well, the fucking twins are still around.
And TVD pulls a plot point that it already used five seasons ago.
I don’t know if even Katherine’s return could save things at this point.
TL;DR Damon’s death is quickly reversed; Stefan makes a deal with Cade that is supposed to be monumental but isn’t; Matt has more daddy issues drama; Seline stokes a subplot that gives the twins screentime; Sybil and Caroline try to out-mean girl each other over Christmas dinner.
Caroline does do a good awkward holiday event dinner.
So it’s Christmastime on TVD, and Caroline organises a Christmas Eve dinner for the gang, which also happens to coincide with Stefan’s last day of freedom before he and Damon begin their servitude to Cade. But Sybil shows up with Damon on her arm (very much alive after his blasè staking last episode. Thanks, Cade) and they make things uncomfortable. But not exactly deadly, which is a shame. Except for Stefan, who Damon stakes dead so he can spend his episode in a supernatural conference call with his new boss, Cade. Some pointless backstory is revealed about how Stefan, during his Ripper of Monterey times, massacred some innocents on Christmas. Seline also tells this backstory, and reveals how she encountered him (because of course she has some absurd past connection to Stefan. At this point, why not, huh?) and, seeing not evil, but anguish, in his heart, wiped his memory of it. But Cade sees this event as the high point of Stefan’s ripping career, and Stefan brokers a deal to go full-on, no-humanity ripper for a year, and then his debt to Cade will be paid. Cade agrees, and the episode ends as Stefan, having been returned to life by Cade, joins Damon (who, strangely, jettisons Sybil) to begin their quest for arbitrary murder. Meanwhile, Seline bargains the Hell tuning fork in exchange for a chance to erase herself from the twins’ memories. Who knew ancient cannibal Sirens could suddenly be so altruistic? And during the Christmas dinner, Damon interrogates Matt’s dad into revealing why he never came back for his family: because he just didn’t wanna. It makes Matt’s feelings go ouchie.
Wouldn’t it be fab if Matt’s mum came back and put Peter in his place? It is the final season, after all. Cameos should be on the agenda.
What isn’t on the agenda, apparently, is anything with even the remotest of stakes. Or originality.
Who cares if Stefan goes on a yearlong ripping spree? Damon and Enzo spent months in the off-season murdering up and down the country, and nobody cared.
And this isn’t even the first, or second, time Stefan has gone rip-riding.
The only difference is he did it this time without being compelled by Klaus. But all the juicy drama of his time with Klaus in Season 3 was the mounting shame and guilt because he was doing it against his will.
It’s a bit more difficult to be rooting for Stefan when he’s doing it by choice.
Why I hate this episode:
Yeah, he’s basically doing it under duress in order to keep the twins safe. But: a) fuck the twins; and b) obligatory complaint about Stefan’s compulsive martyrdom.
And the episode can’t even figure out what position to take on Stefan’s ripping. Seline tells explicitly how she saw not evil in Ripper of Monterey Stefan’s mind, but only anguish. Which is why she didn’t kill him to send him to Cade. Given that Cade also has access to this memory, then I assume he has that information, too. But Cade is all like “this is how I knew you’d be perfect.” But, like, he’s not? Because he’s not evil inside? Huh?
I don’t understand Damon’s motivation at this point. I thought he was still essentially Sybil’s bitch. But then he gets a glimpse of Elena’s old vervain necklace (Caroline had given it to him as a gift, and he had regifted it to Sybil before he’d opened it. Hilarious), and he rips her heart out and fucks her off? But then he’s also totally on board for becoming Cade’s servant? What does Damon want? We need to know.
I can’t believe these fucking twins are still around. Alaric last episode: “I must take them to safety away from all this deadly vampire bullshit.” Alaric this episode: “Oh, one last meetup with deadly vampires should be fine.” Get them outta here!
Seline thinks her u-turn altruism will start her on the path to redemption so she can avoid being sent to Hell. I don’t know, cunt. Horny Intern seemed like a pretty decent chick, and she got sucked into Hell when she died. You, Seline, are an ancient hurricane of murder, cannibalism, betrayal, and kidnapping. I think it’s time to give up on that dream of the Pearly Gates, honey.
I still don’t understand why a pair of vampires are considered to be better killing machines for Cade’s purposes than a pair of Sirens. Stefan’s ripping tends to be indiscriminate, but Cade says he only wants the darkest of souls to munch on. So why get a ripper and Damon, when you can have two Sirens who can mind control with a simple hum (and vervain doesn’t get in the way of it)? Cade waffles on about how Stefan’s unintentional corruption of Elena proves that he can make them good girls go bad, which are the tastiest souls of all. But that was, like, one person. Why employ a ripper if that’s what you want? It doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I’m on crazy pills, here.
Oh, and Damon promises that he’s going to kill one of the gang at dinner to send them to Hell. But only the worst one, which is what precipitates the game to find out who sucks the most, which is how the drama with Matt and his dad is squeezed out. But then he doesn’t even kill anyone. Boo.
But it’s not all bad:
Much like the in-universe dinner, Caroline really puts in the overtime to make this episode work. Seeing her in controlling event planner mode is a constant joy in the land of TVD. And even when people like Sybil and Damon come to visit, she’s still the perfect host. This show doesn’t deserve her.
Her greatest triumph only pops up later, though, as it is revealed her gift to Damon was Elena’s necklace. I suspect she did it to try to provoke his memories of Elena. And it apparently does, as he rips out Sybil’s heart after seeing it, and he leaves her heartless and necklace-less on a street bench. Sure, he then goes back to unmotivated, do-what-the-plot-says mode as he and Stefan set out on their homicidal road trip, but every baby step in the right direction is welcome.
I also love that he was regifting it.
Like I’ve been wishing and hoping and thinking and praying for multiple episodes now, I believe this might be the end of the twins. They’re only around this episode so Caroline can have a final Christmas with them before Alaric takes them away for good. And then they only stay in the episode because Seline needs to remove her psychic imprint from them, which she does. Good. Now get the fuck out and stay out.
Sybil snarkily offers to help Caroline prepare the dinner and manhandles the hell out of the turkey. It’s kinda hot.
Sybil also hasn’t forgotten about that artifact that Peter had, as she privately questions Peter about it. She doesn’t get any answers because Bonnie and Enzo show up with the Hell tuning fork, but I’m glad to see it’s still relevant.
Speaking of the Hell tuning fork, Bonnie is also affected by it. She reasons later that witches have some kind of common ancestry with psychics, and as it’s designed (?) to affect psychics, then that could explain why it hurts witches, too (it also hurt the twins, who are witches). Could there be more to it?
I appreciate that Peter didn’t have some bullshit, vampire-related backstory as to why he skipped out on his children. He just didn’t want to be a nobody saddled with kids in some backwater small town, so he just fucked off. Ouch.
Oh, and Ripper Stefan may be unoriginal and frivolous, but he does give good Creepy Face.