‘The Vampire Diaries’ season 8, episode 7 review: Stefan’s deal; Damon’s (possible) kill

Mistletoe -At the end of last week’s “Vampire Diaries,” Stefan revealed news to Caroline that was beyond devastating: Even though he was able to save her and Alaric’s children from becoming servants to Cade, he had to give himself and Damon up in the process. This is the Salvatore brothers’ new purpose, but they only have one more day to spend with their loved ones before saying goodbye.

Therefore, tonight started with Stefan writing a new letter to Elena, explaining how he would spend the last 24 hours with loved ones, while at the same time trying to figure out a way to avoid this arrangement. This meant continuing to figure out a way in which to celebrate Christmas, which meant a party! Unfortunately, it was a party that was quickly crashed, and not just by Damon and Sybil showing up, with her claiming that she had somehow done them a favor by allowing the trade to happen. She protected the kids! This, dear friends, is what we like to call a spectacularly evil delusion.

Oh, and did we mention that Damon decided to puncture Stefan moments later, or that the show conveniently decided to completely forget about Damon appearing dead at the end of this past episode? Well, both of these things happened!

Stefan’s dreamworld – Well, did you really think that he was dead? Well, we weren’t quite sure he was alive further as he and Cade had a little conversation “beyond the veil,” which apparently is not Heaven or Hell. Feels a little bit like the “Lost” island, no? Stefan went through the arrangement with Cade, where Cade insisted that he was the perfect person for him … even if he wasn’t exactly jumping up and down to have the gig.

Back at the “party,” we had a chance to see a conversation between Sybil and Caroline that was beyond awkward. Sybil introduced such topics as “why housing divisions have terrible names,” and Caroline just has to listen before she could pass some information along to Bonnie and Enzo while on their own little rogue mission. Caroline moments later found Stefan … and found Damon taunting her in the process. Raise your hand if you miss the old Damon!

There were a few little updates in here about some of our other characters: Alaric’s trying to figure out how to handle his kids who are suddenly obsessed with Seline, while Matt and his father decided to turn up at the party because they have a death wish or something. This was confirmed even more so when Damon decided to toast the party, saying that his Christmas gift to everyone would be killing one of them later. Is this any way at all to think Caroline for all of her hospitality — or for giving Future Damon a.k.a. Hopefully Not Evil Damon a gift?

Seline’s whereabouts – Bonnie and Enzo followed up on Sybil’s clues enough to locate her sister-of-sorts while at an aforementioned cheesy subdivision, which was a little bit strange of a setting to see her in. Ironically, in Stefan and Cade’s dreamworld we learned that she may have met up with him many decades ago, and proclaimed that his soul was the property of Cade. We learned that she was one of the reasons that he even believed he was worthy of love after spending so much time in ripper territory, hating himself and almost everyone around him. Let’s just say that Cade wasn’t a fan of that move, given that what he really wants as a servant is Stefan in full ripper form, being as evil and terrible as possible.

Damon’s dinner simultaneously continued, and we gotta give some credit to Caroline for trying to somehow keep this sinking ship together. We don’t know how in the world she planned to keep Damon from killing, but hats off to her for being the ultimate Bob Cratchett while surrounded by Ebeneezer Scrooges. She potentially went into “enough is enough” mode when Damon started to interrogate Peter about why he was out of his son’s life for twenty years, and when he didn’t have a good answer for it, he basically killed a part of Matt permanently.

Back to Stefan’s dreams – This entire storyline was a great one for Paul Wesley as an actor, but also a terrible one for Stefan as a character given that the character was grasping at straws, desperate to find an out from his arrangement. This included him even offering Cade a chance to have him as a ripper, provided that it allowed him eventually a chance to escape.

As sad as this was, breaking news: Damon was actually doing something that made us happy! Specifically, he took Elena’s necklace, gave it to Sybil … and then ripped out her heart! Was this evidence that he planned the whole thing, or did having it cause him to remember his entire history enough to snap back out of it? Did he actually kill Sybil either way? So many questions! Maybe this is all part of some elaborate plan, or maybe he just wanted her dead. Based on the end of the episode, we’ll choose the latter.

The endgame – Bonnie and Enzo realized that Seline may not be so evil after all, and allowed Alaric’s children to have memories of her erased from their mind. Meanwhile, Stefan returned to Caroline long enough to enjoy her past few minutes before he went into ripper mode. Matt’s daddy issues continued. Damon, following his turn, picked up Stefan and the rode off into the night. Maybe Damon still has to work for Cade, and he just wanted to off free of Sybil’s control. Stefan now, sadly, seems to be in full ripper mode.

Overall – We will admit that at times, Stefan’s whole dreamworld was frustrating simply because we’ve had so many alternate universes on this show already. Yet, there was so much other goodness in here, starting with the sole fact that he love Bonnie and Enzo as a team. Also, the Damon twist was one we didn’t see coming, even if it may not change the near future. Grade: B.

When will “The Vampire Diaries” return? We’ve got an answer for you over at the link here. (Photo: The CW.)

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