….ANNDDDD we’re back! Welcome to 2017 and the final leg of The Vampire Diaries saga and Ian Somerhalder‘s final directorial credit.
As with one of Elena’s first statements to Stefan, ‘We Have History Together,’ this episode kicks off with multiple dynamics. Damon and Stefan are working together to bring souls to Cade, all the while not agreeing on their game plan. Then there is Matt Donovan and his long lost father, and finally, Caroline and Sybil who bicker during an actual Mystic Falls High history class.
Caroline, of course, opens the episode with a quick update to Elena. An easy way to write off characters not being used currently, but also just lets us know that Ric is off in self-imposed exile and that Bonnie and Enzo did get to have their awesome Paris vacation. However, the rest of the update is that she has been sent to Mystic Falls High for some type of assignment and it just so happens that a new history teacher, Sybil, and making learning a Siren affair. The situation quickly escalates into that of killing innocent teenagers, you know an average day on TVD.
Turns out Sybil wants help finding a bell and one that was created by one of the other pseudo founding families. Sybil is also willing to burn all her history class students at the stake to make sure Carolines brings her this bell.
Understanding the bell leads into the dynamic between Matt and his estranged dad Peter Maxwell. Turns out the bell was created by the Maxwell family. So, in essence, The Vampire Diaries took eight seasons to finally make Matt Donovan important. Aka, Matt is a descendant of one of the more important families in Mystic Falls and they also had a hand in trying to take down the Sirens in the 1790’s. The tuning fork, or now known as the Staff of Arcadius, since Dorian is now in the circle of trust, was created at the same time as the bell. There was this lovely gentleman in the Maxwell family who was friends with the Sirens back in the 1700’s and whose bones happened to also be in the depths of the armory. So for the first time, Peter has also become useful to the story, he relates the tale of the Maxwells as bell makers.
Back over on the school history field trip of doom, Sybil relates the other half of the bell story to Caroline. It seems that the 100 witches who burned in Mystic Falls before the founding were actually helping a local bell maker instill some extreme magic into the founding bell (no not the one on the parade float). Since it once stood as the founding bell but has been lost since 1992 it has fallen to Caroline to now find out what happened to it; apparently part of it was it landed in the river off Wickery Bridge.
A few phone calls to the Donovan clan reveal that it was actually Peter who chucked the bell into the river when he wanted to disown his family name and heirlooms. Another point of contention now between the father and son duo, but at least Matt knows the bell was dredged up when Elena’s parent bodies were taken from the river at the dawn of the series. The bell is neatly tucked away in an evidence shed. Easy peasy…
Thankfully, our plucky little history major Dorian connects all the dots for everyone. The bell goes hand in hand with the Staff of Arcadius to essentially amplify the abilities of the fork. This, in turn, could actually kill the sirens. Guess we know why so many people were murdered once for this. Yet, Caroline takes Sybil off to find it in the shed, but in the best turn of events, it looks like Seline got to the bell first. Just a small note is left for her sister in the place it once stood.
…oh Matt and his dad save all the students.
Back out with the Salvatores Stefan thinks that Damon trying to choose their next victims. Stop #1 is a support group, but they’re not us much fun for the brothers. After that is a small cafe where they come across a young doctor who looks awfully like Nina Dobrev and gets to Damon just a little. This becomes the perfect game for Stefan, and he drugs his brother to trick the young doctor into thinking he’s a dying patient. The game from there goes on to somehow convince the young doctor to kill Damon, as Stefan has convinced her that Damon was the one who killed her parents years ago. It all ends up working and the good doctor falls prey to the manipulations of the ripper. Sadly, it only ends in her death, because she really does look like Elena and Stefan wanted to make the death hurt just that much more.
Stefan has caught onto the fact that Damon keeps Elena’s necklace with him and that it grounds him a little. Between forcing him to kill the doctor doppelganger, Stefan also forces Damon to get rid of the necklace as a way to prove that he isn’t still attached to that portion of his life. Though Damon goes through with all these things by the end of the episode it feels as if it only works to push Damon away from his brother and possibly closer to being good again. One of the last shots of the episode sees Damon going back the next day and looking for the necklace on the road after he threw it out the window of the car. Even going as far to tell the member of a roadside cleaning crew that he wants it back because it makes him feel better.
In the end, the Salvatores are becoming more of who they really are. Damon shows the better sides of his personality and at the very end, even with trying to maintain control, Stefan goes into full ripper mode. Doesn’t look that great for his fiance Caroline to get back the man she loves.
The Vampire Diaries airs on The CW Friday 8/7c