The Vampire Diaries Season 8, Episodes 5 & 6 (“Coming Home Was a Mistake” and “Detoured on Some Random Backwoods Path to Hell”)
It’s been a while since I have combined two episodes into one review but as with much of the season so far, both of these episodes were pretty thin. I took very few notes on either of them so instead of struggling to write two separate posts I am just going to combine them. Six episodes into the final season and it feels like very little progress has been made plot-wise. You would think with a shortened season they would feel the need to move faster than normal but this feels like a glacial pace for The Vampire Diaries and there is little justification for moving this slow other than they are just biding their time to fill out the final season.
In “Coming Home Was a Mistake” Tyler’s death is mourned by everyone, even those who didn’t seem to have that much of a connection with him. There was also a lot of callbacks to Season 2, Episode 2 (“Brave New World”), specifically to the school carnival. In “Brave New World” Caroline had just become a vampire, Tyler was beginning to learn that there was something supernatural going on with him, and Damon was on thin ice with Stefan after attempting to kill Jeremy. But what is more directly called back to is the speech that Stefan gave Elena in that episode about finding small moments of happiness when they can. There is so much pain and death surrounding them but they fight through all of that so they can keep living.
We finally learn what Seline’s angle has been this whole time and why she has been pretending to be a nanny. She wants to use the twins as a trade for her and Sybil’s servitude. The twins being magic siphoners who seem to have some psychic connection with each other she believes will be an enticing offer to Cade. Sybil though makes her own deal with him and doesn’t include Seline in it. Sybil still really hates Seline, not just for making her into what she is, but also for not saving her from the Armory when she got out. Despite all of the parallels drawn between Seline/Sybil and the Salvatores last episode, these two do not have the bond the Salvatores do. Sybil will gladly let Seline die. After they are freed of having to serve Cade, Sybil retains her immortality and Siren skills but Seline does not. Which basically just means we are not done with Sybil unfortunately.
Stefan continues to fear for Damon’s soul. He is getting further and further away and he is afraid that even if he is freed from the Sirens he will never forgive himself. It is unclear how much humanity Damon still has. It seems like he has “turned it off” multiple times this season. The humanity switch in general has been a very inconsistent device. Way back in Season 2, Rose said that older vampires can’t really turn it off but it seemed like in Stefan turned it off pretty completely in Season 3. Anyway, Damon seems to be incapable of completely turning it off, he has just dimmed it quite a bit. Right now he is mostly concerned with staying out of Hell so he doesn’t want to be saved. As long as he is serving Cade he will be safe. This is why he offers him and Stefan up instead of the twins. Stefan agrees immediately in order to save the girls. Cade is much more interested in that offer than the girls so now Damon and Stefan are going to be Cade’s new servants.
Neither of these episodes had a lot of meat to them but at least the second episode presented a path forward for the season. Stefan and Damon becoming Cade’s new servants promotes him as the new villain and the Sirens are dethroned. At least the brothers are being brought together again even if the circumstances are less than ideal. But hey a Salvatore brother road trip could be very healing. Of course now we will have Caroline and company working to save them so I am not sure it is much of an improvement. With only ten episodes left to go in the series here is hoping this dynamic changes soon and we can get into wrapping up everyone’s arcs.
Episode Grades: 6/10 for both
- Matt has to make ALL of the calls to inform people that Tyler died. Is there no phone tree in this group?
- Alaric says that with Tyler the Lockwood line has ended but I feel like they have mentioned other distant Lockwoods throughout the series. What about Gracie Lockwood whose dress had too much of slit in it for the Miss Mystic Falls pageant??
- Damon speaking truth: “You know its shocking you managed to stay human this long”
- Enzo gets his humanity back after Bonnie convinces him she isn’t going to abandon him and she almost dies to prove it.
- Matt has kind of accepted that this is his life and is going to stop running from it.
- Alaric has a very Taken-like monologue when he tells Seline that he will hunt her down and kill her.
- When Sybil and Seline are in the diner Sybil is like making out with a piece of bacon and it is very disturbing.
- Episode Titles: “Coming Home Was a Mistake” is from I believe the pilot as well, or maybe the second episode. But Uncle Zach says this to Stefan about coming back to Mystic Falls. I had to look up the line “detoured on some random backwoods path to hell” which is a line from Caroline in the episode “Let The Right One In” (Season 1, Episode 17) when she is lost driving through the woods on her way to some family gathering.
- Body Count: 2 (both in the second episode), Sybil kills the cop who is on the lookout for the twins and Stefan kills one of the siren-compelled humans.