Monday, December 12, 2016

The Vampire Diaries, Season 8, Episode 7: The Next Time Hurt Someone It Could be You

Time for the obligatory holiday episode and, honestly, it’s just so pointlessly awful. Really really awfully pointless.

Caroline has decided she wants to have this big grand holiday party with a lot of food and booze. So much booze. All the booze. More booze. This is the Vampire Diaries people they can’t get up in the morning without a double of jack.

Damon, to the surprise of no-one, has got over his little stabbing episode and decides to join the party. Caroline and Stefan act like this is totally ok and Caroline, bizarrely, spends the entire episode pretty much trying to turn all these murderous people who hate each other into a merely AWKWARD dinner and why can’t everyone just try to get along and play nice and drop awkward questions like who ordered who and who has made terribad awful deals with the devil forever more, mmmm ‘kay

It’s weird. And it’s weird because we’ve seen Caroline do this before so many times when it fit her character. She was the organiser of parties, of social events, throughout their school life. This is what she lived to do – to host and organise and order and make all her friends unite and work together – but that was years ago. She isn’t that person now and this isn’t a school ball.

Anyways, in response to being murdered last episode Damon decides to murder Stefan with a Christmas ornament

Seriously, this vampire family has a giant wooden Christmas ornament with spiky bits that are reinforced enough to stab someone in the heart. Who has this?! Why?

This sends Stefan to the spirit world to have a little 1:2:1 time with Cade his new devil boss and pretty much covers the only relevant part of the episode while everyone else sits down to the Most Awkward dinner with Damon threatening to kill everyone, Pointless Matt and his even more pointless dad showing up for reasons and Caroline trying to get everyone to play nice

Anyway in the ghostworld Cade takes Stefan on a trip down memory lane where they discuss massacre #45451887 that Stefan has committed and how Cade is totally looking forward to Stefan working for him because Stefan is totally the most killy killer who every killed. This is a world setting that contains Klaus, Katerina and Cole as well as all the not very nice vampires they created, but hey let’s go with Stefan being extra killy

Back then Cade had already sent Seline off to kill Stefan and eat him for being such a naughty boy but she read his mind and decided this serial killer was totally innocent because of his whole ripperness and the fact he didn’t choose to be a vampire (naturally striking a chord with the sirens and their own unwilling serial killer cannibalness) so she decided to let him get on with his massacring so long as he felt sufficiently guilty afterwards

Cade and I agree in that we really don’t give a shit about their guilt. In fact, let’s have a side rant about this. Vampire Diaries morality is broken in three interlocking ways: anyone is instantly redeemed if a) they’re a protagonist, b) they’re a hawt love interest (and since the cast of this show and the Originals is ridiculously hawt that’s everyone. Seriously, Mystic Falls contains the most beautiful people in the world. The average McDonald’s worker in Mystic Falls has a modelling contract) and/or c) they feel sufficiently guilty about what they did. All of these ideas are bad but the last one is annoying in how common it is – your guilt means nothing to the victims and it means even less if you keep doing to the things you feel guilty about.

Cade also has another useful element in mind. Elena – because even gone for several seasons, Elena is still the centre of the universe. See, Elena, being the sainted amazing person she was, was totally going to heaven but then Stefan got all stalkery on her and that led to her becoming a vampire and a bad person and now headed to Cade’s hell

Cade wants a stake in that action – he wants Stefan to turn borderline good people evil so he can then snack on their souls

With some back and forth Stefan eventually agrees to serve Cade as a Ripper… so long as he lets him and Damon go after a year.

Wait… what? Why? I mean he’s already agreed to serve forever, why would Cade accept a shorter time because Stefan is going rippery? And Ripper Stefan is not exactly known for his turning people to the dark side schtick – that’s angsty Stefan. Is Ripper Stefan so important that Cade is willing to take a year? Yeah, I get that he thinks Ripper Stefan will love it so much he won’t leave – but making a deal OR a wager requires the other side to risk/give something as well. And Stefan’s offering Cade nothing in exchange for the time limit.

So deal is made, for no apparent reason, giving something to aim for in the second half of the season.

Back it the awkward dinner table. It’s awkward, nothing is really resolved. Enzo and Bonnie head off to find the evil tuning fork to try and get Sybill not to kill anyone over the turkey and they find Seline – who is now super guilty and remorseful and since she doesn’t have her hell pass any more, she wants to make amends. Which means she removes the unnecessary-to-the-plot-compulsion she put on the twins and has them forget her so we conveniently don’t have to deal with the fact the little kids wonder where their babysitter has gone and why they should be scared of her (which would have been an interesting and emotional storyline) – and hands over the nasty tuning fork

Duly armed, they get rid of Sybil and force Damon to rescue her. He does because of the creepy mind-manipulated affection he has for her. In fact he has so much that he thinks he loves her and even gives her a pretty necklace for Christmas.

This is Elena’s necklace and despite all of the mental tinkering that has gone on, Damon remembers this and has an OH ELENA moment. Because Elena = everything. Seriously there are Christian Morality Plays that centre god less than The Vampire Diaries centres Elena

He then rips out Sybil’s heart. Whether or not that that’s a minor inconvenience to her or literally death I do not know. But I think that’s her conveniently out of the picture

Which means my theory that Rick, a high powered rifle and patience could have ended this storyline way sooner