There were huge expectations from the midseason finale of the season 8 of The Vampire Diaries. Lately, the stakes haven’t been very high. Sure, there has been plenty of talk about an eternity of misery and hell, but for a show that has made us gasp out loud unexpectedly, it lacked the shock element. Since it is the final season, it is supposed to have a lot of weight, which typically comes with the death of a character. Yes, Tyler did die, but his character was only in a few episodes in the last few seasons so it didn’t really do the job. While the finale didn’t shock, it was still a fun one.
Why? Primarily, it brought about some really good memories, which made us nostalgic and the episode used this very nostalgia for taking the plot further. The story begins in the year 1917 in Monterey and fans of the show know exactly what this means; Ripper Stefan. Apparently, he didn’t believe in shaving, which has made him considerably less attractive. In the present day, the younger Salvatore is groomed and is probably writing his last journal entry to Elena. He tells her about the deal he has made and asks her to remind Caroline that he did everything to come back to her (in the event he doesn’t succeed).
After completing his entry, he is ready to have the perfect Christmas Eve dinner. They have planned this event for a long while and all he wants is to spend time with Caroline, eat more than he should, drink enough that his friends and family seem normal, which is highly unlikely. Caroline is supporting him fully. Ric makes his appearance with the girls just then and unluckily for him, Sybil and Damon are not very far behind. Ric is taken by surprise as he and Matt killed Damon in the previous episode and even buried him.
However, they didn’t know about his deal with the devil and so he has come with Sybil. Even though they promise not to harm the girls, Ric thinks it is better for him to spend time reading bedtime stories to his daughters while Caroline deals with dinner. Our vampire Barbie checks in with Bonnie and Enzo to tell them not to come. Enzo has given Bonnie a trip to Paris as a present and the couple are on the mission to find where Sybil is staying so they can get the tuning fork, a weapon against the mermaid, before they crash dinner.
Caroline is planning to get Sybil drunk on eggnog to find out where she has been staying and while she is telling Sybil that one sibling cannot be blamed for the mistakes of the other, Damon declares he wants to talk to Stefan alone. When Damon died, he had a chat with Cade who requested to speak to Stefan. Therefore, Damon kills his brother so he can realize why he is the ‘perfect choice’ for serving the devil. In the kitchen, Sybil tells Caroline that big houses with pools are her favorite, but there are only a few of them in Mystic Falls.
Hence, it is clear she is staying at The Pond Estates and that’s where Enzo and Bonnie are headed. Bonnie’s statement about Damon not acting this way with Elena around gets Caroline thinking. Meanwhile, Stefan is in Monterey where Cade is showing him his masterpiece; a murder on Christmas, but Stefan doesn’t want to believe even he could do it. Cade reveals that only after the murder did he decide to make Stefan his. Enzo and Bonnie arrive at the place where Sybil and Seline have been staying.
Seline calls Alaric and tells him that she placed a psychic imprint on the girls she needs to remove and shows Enzo and Alaric a name of her victims. Apparently, a Salvatore inspired her. She reveals that she had come to collect Stefan for Cade in 1917 in Monterey, but found the names he had carved into the wall of the cabin he lived in. She had fully intended to eat his flesh, but she saw only anguish in his mind rather than evil so she altered his memories and he cannot recall the Christmas massacre.
This piqued Cade’s interest when he realized that someone was capable of turning his best servant into a good guy. Thus, he wants Ripper Stefan now, but the younger Salvatore is not ready to commit. Back at the Salvatore house, Matt shows up with his father and Caroline hands out gifts. Damon also gets one. The dashing Salvatore is more interested in sending the most evil person to hell. He and Sybil grill Peter during dinner and get him to admit that he left town because he wanted to. Before Sybil can take what she wants from his mind, Enzo and Bonnie come with the tuning fork, which also hurts Bonnie.
Sybil and Damon escape, but they don’t get far. Damon gives the siren her present, which is what Caroline gave him. Turns out it is Elena’s necklace. Damon’s experiences a flashback to Elena’s birthday in season 3 and the memory is powerful enough to get him to rip out Sybil’s heart, take the necklace and leave her there. Our Damon is still lurking in there somewhere. Stefan’s field trip down memory lane leads him to Mystic Falls High School and his meeting with Elena. Stefan states this was a good part of his life.
Cade doesn’t agree. He tells Stefan that his interference in Elena’s life caused her to veer off from the right path and become something dark. He wants Stefan to do the same to others; good people who can be turned back are evil to their core apparently and have powerful souls, which Cade wants. He threatens to hurt Caroline’s girls if Stefan cooperates and the latter negotiates. He says that he will become Ripper Stefan to get the job done quickly thereby serving Cade only for the year. Cade seems skeptic that Ripper Stefan would want to stop, but he agrees.
Stefan gets his kiss with Caroline under the mistletoe and tells her that he will be finished in a year. Ric lets Seline erase the girls’ memories before Caroline has to wave goodbye. Bonnie realizes that she was affected by the tuning fork because all witchcraft deals with psychic energy, which means she is connected to Cade and the sirens. Hence, she is probably going to be the key to save Damon and Stefan. For now, she is heading to Paris with Enzo. Damon offers to give his brother a ride out of Mystic Falls and Stefan turns off his humanity in the car. This was an excellent scene. The Salvatores are ready to celebrate Christmas.