The Vampire Diaries Season 8, Episode 9 (“the Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch”)
It is the third and final Miss Mystic Falls (MMF) pageant and it is a great way for the show to get back to its roots. There have been so many callbacks to Season 1 throughout this season as everything is being brought full circle for the finale. Both of the previous MMF episodes were strong episodes and I think this one almost lives up to its predecessors. It didn’t really have any big, emotional moments that the previous ones did but it is still a solid episode. Especially compared to the first half of this season.
The first MMF was the really the beginning of the Damon/Elena/Stefan love triangle. It was the first time that there was a spark between Damon and Elena that they both felt. So it is only right that it would now serve as a way to re-spark Damon’s memories and emotions for Elena. The second MMF in Season 4 was also the first time that Damon and Elena began to explore their relationship. This time he is able to finally break free of Sybil. He finds the strength to tell her no. Even if he can’t fully feel what he did for Elena he can tell how important she is if Sybil can’t completely erase her. He chooses to see that as a sign and finally breaks Sybil’s control. She does get her revenge though forcing him to get his humanity back all at once. That is going to be a lot for Damon to work through.
Historically Stefan has not been his best self at the MMF pageant. In the first one he was flirting with a ripper binge and spent the whole night agonizing over whether he was going to kill a contestant or not. During the second one he was forcing Jeremy to kill vampires so that he could complete his mark and they could find the cure and “fix” Elena. And this time around he is humanity-less and actually ends up turning a contestant. Stefan is there to test Damon and the control that both Sybil and Elena have on him. He has not been an effective servant for Cade and Stefan needs him to break free of them in order to actually enjoy what they are doing.
I’m not sure if Bonnie made it to either of the first two MMFs but if she did she didn’t have much of a role in them. However in this one she gets to attend with the man she loves and they discuss their future. The ever important conversation when a vampire and a human (or ex-witch?) fall in love. Does Bonnie become a vampire? Does Enzo become human? The latter is brought up as a viable option though we don’t hear Enzo’s response to it. This would of course mean taking the cure from Elena which Damon had planned to do. But there is no reason that someone else couldn’t have it in the mean time. Bonnie has never wanted to be a vampire. Seeing how hard it has been for her friends and being a witch always made her feel that it was a terrible fate. She is more open to the idea now but she is afraid of what it would mean for her link to Elena. Would this be a loophole Kai insured against? The only viable solution is for Enzo to become a human and it is about damn time that Bonnie got some happiness.
I really liked this episode mostly because I was so happy to see Damon stick it to Sybil. She has slowly been losing her control over him but this is the episode where he really snaps out of it. And the best part is that there was no witchy magic or supernatural intervention. He did it on his own, with the help of Caroline giving him that necklace. He used his own will power to push her out. Stefan is still very much in ripper mode but Caroline is still willing to fight for him and I would bet on her.
Episode Grade: 8/10
- Seline and Sybil are in a race to get that bell and using everyone to get it. I didn’t really follow Seline’s motivation in this episode. Does she want the bell to kill her sister? Wouldn’t it kill her too? I guess if she is going down she is taking Sybil with her?
- Matt and Dorian are also searching for the bell. We learn that Matt’s family is the only one that can ring it to kill the Sirens.
- Stefan: “In his mind, this place, this event, was the beginning of their vomit-inducing love story”
- Does no one in Mystic Falls become suspicious of the MANY gas leaks?
- Episode Title: this one is from the first MMF episode. Carol uses it in describing the importance of the dance and scolding Stefan and Elena for touching each other in rehearsal.
- Body Count: 1, Stefan kills a speeder.