‘The Vampire Diaries’ Proves We Might Be Worrying About The Wrong Salvatore Brother
This week, The Vampire Diaries brings back so many nostalgic things — Founders Day, Wickery Bridge, and Elena’s necklace — but it also may have changed our minds on some things, too.
After this The Vampire Diaries recap of Season 8, Episode 8, we’ll see that maybe all along we’ve been worried about the wrong Salvatore brother.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
Stefan and Damon are in an anger management group, and no, not because they could definitely use it. They’re there to find sacrifices to Cade, when we learn a new little wrinkle: Instead of just searching for evil people, it’s fair game to push people to make bad choices and then banish them to hell.
Showing that Stefan is in full no-humanity mode, he ends up killing everyone in the group, but he still says he won’t be a Ripper; he stops at tearing off heads.
Meanwhile, we finally see why the Sirens and Damon were so interested in Peter Maxwell, aka Matt’s dad. When Matt is dropping off Tyler’s box of information about the Sirens to the Armory, the new employee Dorian is there. He found the last living relative of Harvey, the owner of the box.
You guessed it: It’s Matt’s dad.
Remember that artifact Sybil, then Damon, was searching for Peter? They figure out that it is a bell, an old piece of metalwork, but they still don’t know why or where it is.
Caroline, meanwhile, is back at Mystic Falls High School on a journalism assignment from her boss to cover Founders Day from an alumni perspective — but things aren’t what they seem.
Caroline quickly realizes Sybil is masquerading as a U.S. History teacher, and let’s just say we are in for a lesson on Mystic Falls history. It was Sybil that told Caroline’s boss to assign her.
Sybil tells the compelled class that it wasn’t the Founding Families that truly started Mystic Falls, it was the group of witches there before them, who were burned at the stake in 1790. Sybil should know, she says, because she was there.
And now it’s time for a class field trip.
Elsewhere, after leaving the anger management group, Damon and Stefan try to find another target. Stefan fixates on a young doctor named Tara. Damon claims that she’s a good person, but Stefan senses dark motivations.
Stefan then vervains Damon and calls for a doctor to get closer to Tara. When Damon wakes up in the hospital, his brother has already learned that Tara’s parents were killed by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run, and the fact that they were organ donors made her want to practice medicine. Now she works for an organ transplant support group.
So, with a little cheating that Cade has endorsed, Stefan compels Tara to believe that Damon, an organ donor, is the one that killed her parents.
Back on the field trip, Sybil has brought the class and Caroline to the place where all the witches burned. She tells Caroline that she and her sister Seline had been travelling through searching for souls for Cade. The witches were giving help to a local man who was making a church bell for them. But, little did they know, the Sirens had already befriended the metalsmith.
Well this is starting to sound familiar.
Sybil spills that the church bell was last spotted with Peter Maxwell who dropped it off Wickery Bridge during the Founders Day parade, but it was never found.
Around them, the students start tying themselves to the stake. Others pour lighter fluid. Sybil says that history will repeat itself unless Caroline finds that bell.
Caroline hooks up with Matt on the phone, telling him his dad is the one who tossed the bell. But wait: We know that bridge for a reason. The night Elena’s parents drove off the bridge, the police also pulled up a bell from the water.
Ding ding ding!
Sheriff Forbes kept the bell in storage in her garage, and off they go to get it.
In the car, Matt’s dad said the only reason he threw the bell off the bridge was out of spite. He believes that the blue-collar Maxwell family was the reason Mystic Falls was even founded, but the wealthy so-called “Founding Families” never treated them with respect.
“That bell was a symbol of everything they took from us,” he says.
Things are escalating back in the hospital. Stefan tries to convince Tara that Damon is dying, and she shouldn’t try to save him because he’ll just go back to drinking and kill another family.
Tara puts up a fight saying she took an oath as a doctor to save him, but Stefan says “follow your instincts and do what you think is right” and leaves the room.
Damon half wakes up and apologizes for what he “did” and tries to convince her to save him (so she can save her soul from Cade and win Stefan’s bet). But she doesn’t accept it, and she stops his heart.
Stefan, however, is distracted outside the hospital room. He finds Elena’s necklace in Damon’s stuff.
Stefan then meets the doctor outside and says that he was just giving her a morality test. He tricked her; he wanted to see what she would do if he gave her the opportunity.
Damon then shows up behind them. He tries to tell Stefan Tara deserves a second chance, but Stefan drops a bomb.
Stefan then spills that the only reason he chose Tara was because he knew she reminded Damon of Elena. And he then pulls out the necklace. All this was to stop Damon from turning back to his humanity and love.
Back at the Armory, Dorian makes a huge discovery: The tuning fork and the Maxwell heirloom come together to make one huge mystical bell that can hurt the Sirens. The turning fork is the clapper from inside the bell.
As Matt and his dad try to save the students from legit burning at the stake, Caroline takes Sybil back to her home to (painfully) look through her late mother’s stuff. But it seems Seline got there first, and the note she left makes it seem like she took off with the bell.
This discovery makes Sybil kickstart the students’ immolation. Luckily, Matt saves everyone just in time.
In order for Damon to prove he doesn’t care, he throws Elena’s necklace out the window of the car. But Stefan is looking for something a little more. Oh, and Tara is tied up in the backseat.
Damon, to prove himself to Stefan, drinks her blood. Ugh no, Damon!
Knowing the students are safe, Caroline goes to attack Sybil, but Sybil stops her with one question: Are you sure your children aren’t still tied to me?
It might be a bluff, but it works. And then Sybil drops the hammer: “I just hope the next time Stefan goes Ripper, the kids aren’t in the house.”
Oh, and don’t worry about Damon too much. He goes back to where he tossed Elena’s necklace to go look for it. And after chatting with an inmate cleaning the side of the road about penance (ooh Damon, yay! You can redeem yourself!) he does find the necklace.
Elena’s influence is definitely still part of him. Maybe we should be more concerned about the other Salvatore brother, who ends the episode by going full Ripper through a whole wing of a hospital.
The Vampire Diaries Season 8 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of The Vampire Diaries Season 8 below: