Vampires celebrate a number of very important milestones throughout their accursed lives. First sip of human blood; first murder; first compulsion; first face-off with an immortal wizard. Over the course of its first seven seasons, The Vampire Diaries has explored most if not all of these milestones several times over, but there was at least one it saved for Season 8: MARRIAGE. For whatever reason, vampires just don't get married very often, particularly not to other vampires. That changes now. Ladies and gentlefolk, Steroline is engaged!
"Today Will Be Different" ended not with a shocking, twisted cliffhanger, but with one of The Vampire Diaries' sweetest romantic moments in its entire run: Stefan (Paul Wesley) popped the question to Caroline (Candice King) after demolishing a room in his home to make room for her children. But the episode didn't stop there. We also got a heart-punching scene between Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey), plus an extremely weird brainwashing for Damon (Ian Somerhalder) by his new siren girlfriend/master. Yep, it was a good episode. Let's talk about it!
We began with a certain dashing undead Southerner hanging out in a hotel bar with a silver-haired businessman.
Apparently they were at some kind of gun convention, and Damon's new drinking buddy was a man bragging about how he helps gun manufacturers make their death gadgets. (Whoa, TVD getting political!) Now that we know the siren only likes to eat "bad" people, this guy sounded like a candidate for a meal!
There was a cute bit wherein siren Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) had taken over the hotel swimming pool and was entrancing her prey into docility so that they'd drown peacefully. Damon pointed out that she'd just finished eating 87 people who'd all died in sheer terror, so she changed her mind and forced this guy to panic while he died. But honestly, my main concern was that all of her meals were going to taste like chlorine? That can't be healthy, not even for a mythological cannibal.
Still, I liked her. She seems fun and has a clear zest for life. Also she wears dresses in the pool, which is always a chic choice, despite how it may limit her mobility during Marco Polo.
Damon was not quite as excited about working for Sybil, though. Maybe back when she was a mysterious water ghoul, he could at least get some reading done. But now she was constantly sashaying around, demanding attention and trying to get into Damon's and Enzo's heads so she could learn their secrets. Very annoying! It was no wonder Damon was constantly trying to meditate and go hang with Elena in his dreams.
Though it was a little weird that he was experiencing memories of himself in the third person? So there were TWO Damons on screen? Man, vampires are real creeps sometimes.
Like I said, the siren REALLY wanted to figure out what made Enzo tick, but his brain was impenetrable. Better luck next time, you wet demon!
Bonnie and Caroline had uncovered more of Enzo's clues and this led them to take a road trip with Stefan to go track down Sarah Salvatore! Now, you are probably wondering who "the eff" is Sarah Salvatore? Remember last season when we found out there was a long-lost niece or cousin or whatever, and Enzo went to go harass her for a little bit and then Stefan brainwashed her into staying away from vampires? It was that Sarah. They needed to go find her! Except Bonnie just sat in the backseat frowning whenever Caroline and Stefan got cute with each other, and I think we all related to that. Like, love is precious and beautiful but GET A ROOM.
Anyway, yeah, Sarah Salvatore was found going about her day as a normal college student. Unfortunately, it was Damon and Enzo who found her first.
Fortunately, she was prepared for an encounter with a cold-hearted vampire dick and she immediately stabbed Damon with vervain! Way to go, girl.
As it turned out, Enzo had been pretending he was in love with Sarah so that when the siren read his mind she wouldn't see Bonnie. But then the siren sent these two to go kill Sarah for whatever reason. It was all very complicated, and it became even more complicated when Bonnie, Stefan, and Caroline showed up to intercept Sarah, and Damon stabbed Caroline and stole her sunlight ring. Rude, right? Damon don't care, he flipped that switch. Caroline did not appreciate the sun's harsh rays, nor the fact that Damon broke her phone. That was just bad friendship in her opinion.
Bonnie had managed to spirit Enzo away for some private time (she vervained him and drove him into the countryside), which meant Damon and Stefan squared off over the fate of Sarah Salvatore. In what would prove to be a sort of hurtful revelation, it turned out that Stefan had purposely hidden her existence from Damon, mostly because of situations JUST LIKE THIS ONE.
But if any part of Damon wanted to let Sarah Salvatore live out her days free of vampire cousins, that changed when Sybil arrived, stabbed Sarah, and hypnotized Stefan into being unable to feed her his blood. Even worse? She decided to zap herself into Damon's brain and rewrite all his memories of Elena with herself instead!
The nerve of her! Apparently, in order for the siren to completely take over a vampire's free will, she needs to find out their hopes and dreams and loves and systematically replace them with her own selfies. And that's how Damon came to stop being sad about missing Elena, and start treating Sybil like the love of his life. Ugh, the oldest trick in the book.
Then Sarah Salvatore was like, "Whoops gotta go," and died. She's better off, if we're being quite honest.
I liked this heartfelt moment between Bonnie and Caroline in which Bonnie finally admitted that she's kinda jealous of every aspect of Caroline's life, particularly now that Bonnie's life was lonely and sad one hundred percent of the time. Caroline apologized for being so awesome and promised to, like, hang out more. What was she supposed to say?? Whatever, they seem fine now.
Okay, I buried the lede BIG TIME, because probably my favorite thing about this entire episode was the revelation that Alaric's buddy at the Armory had once gone TO HELL. And now she had a tattoo of the HELL SYMBOL on her tum-tum, and that same symbol was found in a book and on a weapon the pair found in the siren's secret cave!
In other words, the siren was an emissary to the hell dimension, and — I'm actually giddy as I type this — we need to brace ourselves for the arrival of THE DEVIL. God, can you even imagine? This show has upped the ante when it comes to villains to such an extreme that in its final season they'll be facing down the Devil. It's almost too much to bear. YES PLEASE.
Back at the hotel pool, Enzo returned to find his boss and his co-worker eating a lady. At this point Sybil REALLY wanted to poke into Enzo's brain again, and this time she was successful:
We were then treated to a moment that had happened back when Bonnie attempted to whisk Enzo away from this world (his nose started bleeding a lot and he had to get out of the car). In a truly gorgeously filmed scene, the two gave life to every high school fantasy of impossible romance: He had to leave for her own protection, but he'd find her someday and they'd be together forever afterward. You could almost hear a solar system's worth of stars sighing in agony. These two! (The bad news was now Sybil knew about Bonnie. Watch out, girl!)
Earlier in the episode, Stefan had spent some quality time with a sledge hammer destroying a room in the Salvatore Mansion to make way for some tiny bunk beds for Caroline's kids. When she came in to inspect the damage, he directed her to an antique dresser, where she found a little velvet box! That's right, it was an engagement ring. And despite Stefan mumbling for a few minutes and even attempting to NOT technically ask her to marry him, Caroline insisted he actually do it. So he proposed, and in between tons of making out, she said yes!
From the swelling music to their wonderful performances, this scene was really terrific and moving. We've been with these kids since the beginning and to imagine how far they'd come, and all they'd been through, this moment felt borderline cathartic. Still, this show LOVES complications, so it's hard to believe planning a wedding (let alone spending an eternity together) will go off without a hitch. But either way, the moment was important enough to take the place of the usual insane cliffhanger. On this show a storyline doesn't have to be insane to keep us interested; sometimes it can just be lovely as hell. (Well, not that hell.)
-Did you cry during that last scene? Be honest.
-Are we going to meet THE DEVIL this season? Will he be a hottie?
-Is Bonnie in danger girl?
-Will Damon remember Elena again?
The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW.
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