The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 8 – TV Review
At least Alexandra Chando’s young doctor doesn’t tease us with the possibility of becoming an actual character, like Rayna did.
And it was nice of TVD to throw her a bone after passing her up all those years ago, thereby sentencing her to ABC Family Hell.
Thanks, Season 8.
TL;DR Stefan starts off being evil but not being a ripper, but then becomes a ripper; Damon’s brain cells suddenly appear out of nowhere and now he’s concerned; Sybil regales Caroline with a tale of how she and Seline were connected in yet another bizarre way with our characters’ and Mystic Falls’ past; Matt whinges at his dad in between bloated chunks of exposition.
At least the twins are gone. That’s got to count for something, right?
So we’ll start with the Salvatore brothers, who are out on their murder road trip for Cade. Stefan, for some reason, is resisting the descent into full-blown ripperdom, while Damon, who hasn’t had a cogent thought to his name for the entire season so far, inexplicably begins to behave with some semblance of rationality. In between massacres, of course. Stefan also discovers Damon appears to be going soft because of the Elena necklace, so targets a young doctor who resembles her in a game of chicken to make Damon prove his cock ain’t soft. Damon tries to save her, but the poor dear ends up corrupted, and Damon murders her to shut Stefan up. But given that Stefan eventually falls off the Don’t Become a Decapitation Machine bandwagon to close out the episode, did it really matter? Meanwhile, Sybil holds Caroline captive by threatening to kill a bunch of Mystic Falls students if Caroline doesn’t help her find some old bell. Said bell was part of a weapon (when combined with the Hell tuning fork) designed to hurt the Sirens, which was created by that gaggle of witches who were killed at Mystic Falls a hundred years ago (remember those ones that, like, haunted that old mansion back in the early seasons or whatever? Those guys), and Matt’s ancestors. Because connections. But psych, it turns out Seline’s already stolen the bell out from under everyone’s noses, and Matt and his dad save the students. When they’re not bitching at each other, that is.
With only half a season left to go until TVD is over forever, aren’t you glad the show hasn’t forgotten to give fucking Matt more backstory?
This whole episode is essentially an enormous exposition dump. There is no forward momentum in the Sybil/Caroline/Matt B-plot. It’s only there to set up this bell bullshit (Belleshit?).
The Stefan/Damon A-plot is no better. As predicted, a swath of insignificant extras are butchered for the sole purpose of an eventually meaningless tug-of-war between the brothers.
Why I hate this episode:
Does TVD even care, anymore? This is the final season, and the closest thing to interpersonal drama between our established characters is Stefan and Damon’s pointless disagreement over their mission for Cade. Again, who cares?
Then you’ve got Matt and Peter’s continuing swamp of garbage over Matt’s daddy issues. TVD tries to imbue this with some kind of importance by revealing their family connection back to the pre-founding days of Mystic Falls, and the Sirens. But come on, TVD. You had eight seasons to find a reason for Matt to exist. It’s too late. Just give up. And stop the whingeing.
Sybil’s revelation about how she and Seline were around back then, too, is just as eye roll-worthy. How many fucking retcons do we have to endure? It’s laughable. It’s not quite PLL-level. But it’s close.
While I appreciate that Damon has stopped acting like a little bitch, his transformation is unfounded. All he did was briefly glimpse Elena’s necklace last episode, and now he’s back to his old self. Like nothing that happened earlier in the season mattered. And he also remembers Elena with apparent clarity. How? Didn’t Sybil completely mind fuck her out of his brain?
I don’t know why TVD expects us to be horrified at yet another tableau of horribly murdered extras. You played that card way, way too many times.
Alaric’s other intern is apparently still around. Just die, already. It’s inevitable.
Oh, and Stefan’s whole plan with Young Doctor isn’t fair. He compels her into being bad. That shouldn’t count, should it?
But it’s not all bad:
Young Doctor was the rare minor character who I genuinely wasn’t sure if they’d let her live or not. I could see her becoming a multi-episode recurring presence, or even a supporting character for this back half of the season (if Sarah Salvatore can do it, anyone can). So I did actually become invested in her plight.
Plus, she was a pretty good person. Compelled villainy notwithstanding.
Sybil managed to make the fountain of exposition she had to spew sound cute, despite the accent. That girl knows how to sell smugness, baby. And her budding rivalry with Caroline is the highlight of this episode (and last episode).
The more exciting things about this episode, sadly, are the things that aren’t here. Most importantly, of course, is the twins. Caroline’s diary entry to Elena mentions that Alaric has finally (fucking finally) taken them into hiding. Let them never return.
And Bonnie and Enzo’s trumped up love ridiculousness is also on holiday. In Paris, to be specific. Let them never return. Unless they break up and snipe at each other. I’d be into that.
TVD makes an unusually compelling callback for once when we find out that Matt’s dad threw the bell Sybil’s looking for into a river back in 1992. From Wickery Bridge. We learn that after Elena’s parents crashed off the bridge, the river was dredged, and the bell ended up being put in storage by Liz. Which is where Seline steals it from before Sybil can get to it. I liked it.
Oh, and you poor, poor extras. Get out while you still can.