Spoilers for the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries past this point.
Duh, no. Despite ending the episode looking VERY gray 'n veiny, Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) most likely will not remain dead forever. After eight seasons of madness, we can be forgiven if we reacted to the sight of Damon getting staked by Alaric (Matt Davis) with little more than a shrug. It didn't help that roughly 6 seconds later the preview for next week's episode featured Damon enjoying Christmas dinner with his friends. But! It's hard not to feel something when we see our favorite anti-hero dead on the floor. We know it's not forever, but still. Damn.
"Detoured on Some Random Backwoods Path to Hell" was not only a great title for an episode of The Vampire Diaries (anyone remember which Season 1 moment it came from?), it was also a pretty great episode in general! We got some real forward momentum on the season-long story, as well as a major passing-of-the-torch between villains. The siren saga may not be completely over, but THE DEVIL is now fully in the game and he now has the world's two handsomest vampires at his beck and call. Let's talk about it!
We began in chaos: Caroline's (Candice King) kids were missing! But how would the state police be able to track down two mythological beings traveling with two other mythological beings?
Fortunately Caroline provided a cute pic of Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) plus a hand-drawn portrait of Sybil (Nathalie Kelley). All they needed to do now was blare that Amber Alert and Caroline's twins would be found in no time!
Alaric had other methods of finding his girls, though. The main one being calling Seline on the phone and shouting about how he was gonna kill her. He raised a good point about the fact that he was a trained, occasionally merciless vampire killer (not to mention his stint as an ACTUAL vampire) and wanted nothing more than to murder a villain. To her credit, Seline looked real worried.
This was going to be an interesting kidnapping.
In a surprising, but actually very understandable moment, Caroline straight-up yanked off her engagement ring and told Stefan (Paul Wesley) that until she'd rescued her children from Damon's clutches, she wanted nothing to do with Salvatores of any kind. She may be in love with Stefan, but right now she was nothing more than an angry mama lion with a bad attitude.
I appreciated that Stefan didn't even really question this. He just looked pained that Damon had once again ruined his life. So he put another quarter in the "Damon Ruined My Life" jar and walked out sadly.
After Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) finished doing sex in her high school bedroom, he immediately fell to the ground with stabbing pains in his head, face, and body. WHAT was going on?
As it turned out, Sybil was real steamed at Enzo for bailing on her, so she projected herself into his subconscious and began ripping out his insides and also poking his eye out with a scalpel. It was honestly some Hellraiser sh*t and I wasn't even mad. Like, it was sad that Enzo was having such a tough time, but I appreciate a ruthless villain in any form. Dang, girl. The whole thing was made even more sinister by the fact that while she was mentally torturing Enzo, she was physically in a diner eating bacon sensually:
Multi-tasking has never looked so villainous. Anyway, as many of you guessed, Seline had kidnapped Caroline's daughters as a sort of offering to Cade (a.k.a., THE DEVIL) and though Sybil had other things in mind, she and Damon felt forced to join her kidnapping party. Which was made more difficult when everyone in the diner's AMBER ALERT signals began blaring in unison.
But it honestly cracked me up how Seline handled it. She simply stood up and sang a moving melody.
And wouldn't you know it, it worked! Everyone there promptly forgot about the kidnapping and then went home and probably left a weird Yelp review for this diner. But Seline's problems didn't end there... There was the all-points-bulletin she had to contend with. Fortunately the sheriff's deputy they encountered was also susceptible to powerful melodies.
Actually, this one didn't work quite as well, as the twins started getting fussy and the deputy had to be murdered. But at least Sybil's claw-hand made a reappearance! Sybil's claw-hand was truly the star of Season 7 and I missed it dearly.
From there the band of supernatural kidnappers wound up at a super sleazy motel Damon had found for them. But at least it had an indoor swimming pool! Damon knows Sybil so well. Sybil is all about indoor swimming pools.
Meanwhile, Stefan attempted to help Enzo rid himself of that pesky siren in his brain, so he used his vampire ESP to jump on in there with her. When confronted, Sybil offered Stefan a deal... She'd leave Enzo alone AND perhaps give the kids back if he... Well, it was a mystery at this point. But it almost certainly involved DEVILRY. Be careful, Stefan!
Whatever the deal was, Sybil honored it, because suddenly Enzo was back to normal. This made Bonnie very happy, because she was getting tired of all the drama. Happy for 'em!
BUT in a bit of trickery Stefan gave Caroline and Alaric the wrong motel address, and in their frustration the parents started shouting at each other in the parking lot. Basically Alaric no longer wanted his daughters to be with Caroline because they were not biologically hers, and also wherever she went, ancient evils seemed to follow.
This made Caroline upset, mostly because it's super sh*tty to deny her the title of their mother. But in my opinion -- hear me out -- this show has more than established that there is paranormal evil literally everywhere, and Caroline and her friends are actually BETTER equipped at protecting these girls (who, again, are supernatural themselves and would thus attract attention). I mean, how many thousand-year-old immortal wizards do you need to defeat in order to earn a little respect around here? Alaric was being a jerk.
Even though Stefan had made some kind of agreement with Sybil, she still sic'ed a dozen brainwashed goons on him in order to, I guess, prove that he was dark-hearted enough to impress the devil. This was, pardon my French, so dumb. Like, newsflash Sybil: Stefan has murdered probably tens of thousands of innocents by now. Every few decades he becomes a Ripper, and even when he's "good" the bodies stack up. I don't know, this just felt like an unnecessary inconvenience. But suffice to say, Stefan did definitely murder one brainwashed dude and now he was READY to serve Cade. Who, by coincidence, had just been summoned from a flaming swimming pool!
He was just as handsome as we'd remembered from the flashbacks, but now he was wearing an exquisite suit. This was one elegant devil. Anyway, at this point Seline presented the twin girls to him as replacements for herself and Sybil. But Sybil then offered a deal of her own: The Salvatore Bros! And it should come as no surprise to anyone with a fondness for handsome Italians just whom Cade chose. Also, considering a pair of vampires had been the one supplying him with souls for the past summer, this was just a matter of cutting out the middlemen. Er, middlewomen. Er, middlesirens. You know what I mean.
Next thing we knew, the twins were back in the care of Alaric and Caroline... At The Armory for some reason. But yeah, they were now both feeling kinda sheepish for having shouted themselves hoarse at each other earlier. Alaric fully apologized for what he'd said, and Caroline reiterated that she IS their mother for sure. But she also agreed with him that maybe Mystic Falls was not a great place when it comes to safety from big bads. Was Alaric going to move out of town and take the girls? I guess we'll find out.
At this point Caroline started to suspect that Stefan had made some insane deal with the literal devil in order to rescue her kids and when she tried to take back the engagement ring, Stefan broke the bad news. Starting in 24 hours he and Damon were to become the Devil's henchmen!
Caroline was not thrilled to hear about this, mostly because a lot of their wedding decor had already been picked out. But Stefan assured her that at least they had 24 hours to chill still! Also, part of her must have realized that this was gonna be just another thing that the boys would get themselves out of eventually. But for now she was really sad.
I loved when the sirens went to dinner to, I guess, celebrate being free of serving Cade, but then Sybil dropped a bombshell. Her deal with Cade had been for HER only. And because she specified that she'd be keeping her powers and immortality, that might mean that Seline would not? Also she cryptically mentioned that their work was not done yet, so who even knows what that means. I'm glad they'll still be around though. I think they're pretty good characters, what about you?
The final scene was a doozy but it made a lot of sense. Damon was drinking and being obnoxious in a bar when two handsome humans ran in and shot him a ton! Matt (Zach Roerig) and Alaric had teamed up to take Damon down, mostly because Alaric was really in the mood to murder a d---. And he did! He staked Damon!
This was extreme, even for these characters. But you know what? Damon kinda deserved it. And yeah, considering he's the damn star of this show, I am under no illusions that he's gone. If anything he'll spend a few minutes in Hell and then get resurrected somehow. And if he does go to Hell? Oh God, do I even need to say it? It could be A Very Katherine Christmas. (Dare I get my hopes up?)
I genuinely enjoyed "Detoured on Some Random Backwoods Path to Hell"! The stakes of recovering Caroline's daughters felt high and the drama it caused was intense! Add to that the very pleasing way in which the two sirens' plans came together, plus the pay-off of Cade's new gang, and this was one of the best of the season so far. Plus I really like where it leaves us for the second half of the season... These boys are gonna dance with the Devil. Probably even literally.
--What deal did Damon cut with the Devil?
--Where exactly would the twins be safe from evil?
--Did Sybil seem kinda petty when she tortured Enzo?
--What do you think Jeremy's up to these days?
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