The Sirens’ Origin is Finally Revealed

The Vampire Diaries Season 8, Episode 4 (“An Eternity of Misery”)
Nathalie Kelley, The Vampire Diaries

Finally, we get some backstory on the Sirens! Most of this episode is Sybil telling Stefan about her origins and it made me realize how much this character needed fleshing out. Up until this point she has been very one dimensional. Just an evil villain trying to control two of our main characters. Everyone else has just been fighting to save them. This show has a big cast and all of them should have a unique role in this but that has largely been lacking so far.

Before the Sirens there was Arcadius (or “Cade”) who was a powerful psychic. He was actually a very good man but being able to read people’s minds got him into trouble. The village eventually turned on him and burned him alive. While he was burning he saw the worst side of mankind and used his psychic powers to create another dimension, “Hell”, to punish evil souls. Years later another psychic, Sybil, was found in the village and they shunned her, casting her out to sea. She eventually washed up on the shore of a remote island where she met another psychic outcast who becomes like a sister to her, and who is later revealed to be the twins’ nanny, Seline. Seline manipulated Sybil into using their voices to lure sailors to the island so that they could use their “provisions”. There was very little food on the island so they had to do this to survive. What she didn’t tell Sybil was that she was really killing the sailors and bringing their flesh for them to eat. When Sybil realizes what they were doing she tried to kill herself rather than live this way. However, Seline makes a deal with Cade to give them immortality and in exchange they would serve him for eternity, bringing him evil souls.

Sybil tells Stefan this story in hopes that he will see the parallels between her and Seline and him and Damon. One sibling forcing the other into a life that they didn’t want. Stefan believes that Damon has gotten over it, but maybe like Sybil, he hasn’t forgiven him so completely. Stefan has always tried to save Damon because he feels guilty for making him turn. This episode reminds us of that core issue between the Salvatores, making the title of the episode, “An Eternity of Misery”, very appropriate. This story though does make Sybil more sympathetic. She didn’t want to be this way but she is. Like Damon, overtime she has grown more comfortable with her life and actually enjoys it. This whole thing also sets up what Stefan is going to have to do to save Damon, kill the devil. Seems like an easy enough task!

Meanwhile, Damon is still out doing Sybil’s bidding despite being technically free of her. She has gotten so deep inside his head that even without her Siren control he is still dedicated to her. She replaced his memories of Elena with her, but that doesn’t seem to translate to him being in love with her. Instead she is replacing his moral compass. He used Elena as his guide for what he should be doing, but now he is using Sybil. He goes looking for a Peter Maxwell who has some item that Sybil wants. It just so happens that Peter is Matt’s long lost dad. We don’t yet find out how he is going to fit into this story but this brings Matt back into the supernatural drama that he has tried so hard to stay out of.

In my last review I complained that the Siren plot was dragging this season down, the plot was moving too slow, and that it wasn’t really going anywhere. The effect of the Siren on these characters has also been very lacking. If the Siren is controlling everything that Damon and Enzo do, then how can we really say anything about them? Thankfully, this episode began to turn some of those issues around. It finally gave some backstory on the Sirens that was sorely needed and made Sybil an almost sympathetic character. It also brought Stefan a role in the story beyond just trying to save his brother. This season the show is trying to connect everything to its foundations, and that includes the original Salvatore feud. This episode also set up a secondary plot involving Matt and his dad. Both of these things made it feel like the season is finally going to be moving forward as the squad is going to have to fight the literal Devil.

Episode Grade: 7.5/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Surprisingly, Tyler’s death isn’t really dealt with in this episode. Damon tells Matt that he left Tyler to bleed to death, but as a werewolf wouldn’t he have healed? This might be a lie though since last episode it seems like Damon pretty decidedly killed Tyler. Either way, Matt goes to check it out and finds that Tyler is indeed dead.
  • Sybil reveals that Seline is the other Siren to Stefan, but she then erases that part of his memory so no one yet knows this.
  • Poor Georgie gets caught in the crossfires of Seline’s attempts to reunite with Sybil and she kills her. Not before setting her up as the second Siren.
  • Alaric gets shut in the vault and has to feel his way out. Unfortunately he doesn’t have any earplugs and so he cuts out his eardrums to deafen himself. Even for TVD that was pretty gruesome.
  • Episode Title: This one has been said a lot throughout the series though the first is in the pilot episode. Damon returns to town and tells Stefan that he is back to make good on is promise to make sure he lives an eternity of misery.
  • Body Count: 2, Damon kills the Lou the automechanic (1) and Seline kills Georgie (1).

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