The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present paid a visit to Mystic Falls on Friday’s Vampire Diaries, laying the groundwork for a pretty grim future.
Let’s begin in the present, where Stefan vowed to spend his last day as a free vampire celebrating Christmas Eve with Caroline — a plan which lasted for all of five minutes. I mean, it’s kind of hard to enjoy the holidays with your fiancée when your brother and his evil siren girlfriend crash your dinner, hellbent (teehee!) on stealing one of your guests’ souls. It’s also tricky when your brother literally kills you, forcing you to spend the whole night reliving your treacherous past with the devil himself. (More on that later.)
Caroline did a lovely job setting up dinner for everyone — additional kudos to Sybil on that savage bird-carving — but even she knew who was really in control of the meal. In an attempt to pick the darkest, tastiest soul in the bunch, Damon rehashed the Donovan family’s past sins: Matt killing Penny (hey, low blow!) and “Peter” abandoning his son while he was still in utero. Fortunately, they both got to leave the Salvatore Mansion with their bodies in one piece. (Their hearts, however? Shattered.)
And that wasn’t the only madness Stefan missed while taking his little “nap.” He also didn’t see Damon receive a special gift from Caroline — Elena’s necklace! — thus triggering his memories of her. And he definitely didn’t see Damon rip out Sybil’s heart on a damn city bench. (That said, don’t throw dirt on her grave just yet. She was featured in the promo for the next episode.)
Now, for the past: Through a series of flashbacks, we learned that (bearded) Stefan has a history with Caroline and Alaric’s “hot nanny!” Following a Ripper-induced massacre in 1917, Seline came to Stefan with the intention of delivering his soul to Cade — but after looking into his mind, she determined he wasn’t inherently evil. Apparently, Cade’s had his eye on Stefan ever since.
During Stefan’s little death nap, Cade also took him back to Mystic Falls High School, where he explained that the only way Stefan could have protected Elena was by not meeting her in the first place. By pursuing her (“I have to know her!”), he deterred her from the correct path. I’m not entirely sure what he meant by all of that — is he suggesting Elena has an impure soul? — but it felt very full-circle and made me pretty emotional. (Guys, there are less than 10 episodes left!)
Lastly, the future… Thanks to our interview with Candice King, we know that we’re in for a medium-sized time jump — like, say, the 365 days for which Stefan promised to be Cade’s personal Ripper, perhaps? — but it’s anyone’s guess what will have happened in the meantime. Will Seline successfully sever her psychic link to the twins? Will Bonnie and Enzo have a nice time in Paris? Will Stefan decide to remain a Ripper and grow out his beard?!
Either way, we’re almost at the end of the finish line, friends. So give the fall finale a grade below, then drop a comment with your thoughts and hopes for 2017.