Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Vampire Diaries, Season 8, Episode 12: What Are You

Matt is being made relevant again – with lots of ancestral visions which is apparently a thing he has now. This involves some very unfortunate sleep walking which ends him joining Alaric and Dorian

Dorian continues to hint about something going on in his life but is constantly interrupted when he tries to elaborate

Anyway, since they’ve adopted an archaeological system of “let’s find distant descendants and give them random things which may have their surname attached” it seems that one of these items is causing Matt to have ancestral dreams about his bell making ancestor working with the Bennet witches – Bonnie’s ancestors.

So last episode Enzo died and I’m supposed to care. Apparently Bonnie super super cares and is super upset. She’s also not ready to speak to Damon,  Stefan, Caroline or anyone else who will inevitably say “we’re so sorry” before moving on to another subject and dragging her into it

Caroline, having a moment of almost prioritising Bonnie, sends Bonnie’s mother to her. Hey there Abbie – where have you been? No, really, where have you been?

She’s here to help Bonnie with the funeral and letting go and tell us where she’s been – oh wait, not the last part. Bonnie’s been hearing Enzo’s voice which she takes as a sign that she can get Enzo back. Alas for her, no – Bonnie does not get happy endings. Instead it seems her grief and connection for him in hell risks pulling her in – she is saved only when Abbie burns Enzo’s body. For more grief and tragedy

Stefan, meanwhile, has all the Manpain now he’s a human again with human feelings. He’s duly torn up by his suddenly active conscience. He’s also splattered in blood which leads to him being arrested and confronted by his many many many many many many many crimes. I wish I could say this was even remotely about the victims, but it’s all about Stefan’s guilt.

Caroline arrives to cause utter paperwork chaos by simply making all the police forget him and remove all evidence of him. Because removing a police suspect with this much evidence against him is just that easy. On the way out Stefan is confronted by that rarest of beings – the daughter of one of his victims. She’s all alone in the world and Stefan has All the Guilts

They decide to go find her mother’s body and as they go on this side quest they find out that she’s actually alive. They find her, save her with Caroline’s vampire blood and Stefan gets stabbed. And because he has the cure in him vampire blood cannot save him – they have to use actual medicine to patch him up again

But having saved one woman we’ve now moved Stefan onto the whole redemption pathway. He even talks to his brother about it – about whether they can find redemption, whether they can be absolved

I’d have more sympathy for this if it weren’t all about Hell and them trying to escape it. No-one cares about absolution before Cade appeared on the radar. None of this is about actual sorrow or the victims – this is about saving themselves. Relatedly, Stefan decides he wants to go see Bonnie. I mean part of this comes with an excellent line from Damon that redemption is a long path, forgiveness takes a while but the clock doesn’t start ticking until you say sorry. I like that line – I like that sorry is seen as the first step but not the last. I like that it’s a process, a long, difficult process in which you have to earn forgiveness it is not just granted to you because you said sorry. While at the same to forgiveness does require that apology

But no matter how quick you are to want to get on with it, does Bonnie really need to see Stefan now, over the ashes of Enzo? I’m going to go with no. Again, we’re centring Stefan’s desire to be forgiven and the path for that, not the pain of the victim

If we want more evidence of that, Cade comes to Damon with a deal: see their old deal is off by Stefan becoming mortal and invalidating it. But if Damon doesn’t want Cade to kill Stefan and claim his soul he needs to grab a book – the journal belonging to Matt’s ancestor.

Damon of course agrees, because why wouldn’t you agree to what the devil asks? And it’s not like they ever think about their decisions. Also the Salvatore brothers are now reaching Winchester levels of unhealthy co-dependence

He raids Matt, Dorian and Alaric but is easily brought down by vervain because the script says so. Which means we’re treated to long vision/flashback Matt trying to access his ancestor’s memories of making the bell to defeat the sirens – and the sirens corrupting it to unleash hell instead. Oopsie.

While a lot of Bennet witches and townsfolk died in fire, said ancestor and old Bennet witch managed to lock the sirens in the tunnels. But not before their siren song corrupted Matt’s ancestor and ancient Bennet had to lock him in the cavern where he died and his skeleton was later found by Alaric and co.

But not before he recorded how to kill Cade in his journal.

Which Damon now steals and hands to Cade to burn. Well done Damon.

Alaric is Not Amused that Damon has done this stupid thing. However, for once Damon wasn’t all bad and his dipping in and out of Sybil’s mind means he has seen what the Cade killing weapon is – a dagger forged in hellfire which they have lying around and haven’t decided to farm out to a descendent yet.

Because this is what everyone wants. Didn't he die?