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The Vampire Diaries - S8E8 - We Have History Together

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, “The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You”

Images: The CW

Having thrown his humanity to the wind, Stefan is settling into his new gig as Cade’s Soul Collector with both ease and joy. He’s noticed a change in Damon’s behavior, though, and uses their new job to get to the bottom of it. For their next offering to Cade, Stefan targets a doctor, Tara, who has a few similarities to Elena. He uses her to prove two things. First, that anyone, given the right circumstances and opportunity, can perform an evil act. Second, that Damon, despite saying otherwise, is still clinging to his past. While he successfully proves both, Tara is the only true victim. She loses her life and her soul to Cade, while Damon’s future is looking brighter as he discovers he may still have a shot at being saved. The whole experiment puts Stefan in touch with his innermost evil, and by the end of the episode he’s gone full ripper, again.

Meanwhile, Sybil also has a new job: high school history teacher. She uses her Siren skills to control her class into recreating a deadly day in Mystic Falls’ history. It’s all a ploy to get Caroline to find that pesky, elusive family artifact she’s been searching for, because if she doesn’t, the students will die. Conveniently, Matt, Peter, and Dorian are uncovering the truth about that exact artifact at The Armory. Turns out, Matt’s family are the true founders of Mystic Falls, and one of his ancestors knew the Sirens. His ancestor created a bell, which was meant to amplify the sound of a certain pitchfork. This artifact, when put back together properly, would surely be enough to destroy the Sirens. Thankfully Sybil never gets her hands on it, but that’s only because Seline managed to get to it first.

The Good

The dialogue was the best it’s been all season. There were a few moments scattered throughout the episode that were entirely smirk-worthy. Nothing causing actual laughter, but there were hints of the way things used to be on TVD.

Dorian, the intern, is back in the mix. TVD was (is) in desperate need of some new characters and so far he’s quite enjoyable. This show has never been great in terms of the diversity of its cast, so it’s nice to have another person of color join the ensemble. Here’s hoping he’s not sidelined for the remaining 8 episodes.

Matt’s family’s connection to the founding of Mystic Falls. While Matt’s story is still largely uninteresting and difficult to emotionally connect with, it was nice to learn that he has a deeper connection to his hometown. He has defended Mystic Falls on countless occasions and has never been fully appreciated for it. Not that this makes it all worth it, but it’s nice for Matt to know he’s not truly the outsider he always felt like he was.

The Bad

Sybil is still alive, which is unfortunate to say the least. In the past, the back-and-forth of the connected storyline between Sybil and Caroline, and the guys at The Armory would have made for an interesting and suspenseful unraveling of juicy information. Unfortunately, Sybil’s existence ruins the potential for getting anything close to that. Stefan should bring her along in the collecting of souls for Cade, because her incessant monologues are enough to make even the purest of people commit something heinous. To be fair, Sybil can’t take 100% of the blame. The plot here is also a huge problem. Innocent life being threatened for the villain du jour to get their way is just a regular-ass Monday in Mystic Falls. The threat is then usually narrowly avoided and a new twist is thrown in the mix. I get it, it’s their formula, but it’s a tired one that’s not much fun to watch anymore. Let’s hope Bonnie and Enzo can persuade Seline to hand over the bell as easily as the pitchfork, so these Sirens can get gone for good.

The Salvatore brothers have swapped moral positions, yet again. With Stefan’s humanity switch fully off he has taken the role of most evil brother, while Damon is starting to believe he might actually have a chance at redemption. Looks like Caroline was on to something when she gave him Elena’s necklace for Christmas; something about it is allowing Damon to have hope. This isn’t just another repeat of past plots – we’ve spent a lot of time watching one Salvatore brother try to save the other, and vice versa – though that would be annoying enough. It’s also another example of TVD not caring about how fast and loose it plays with its own rules. Just how does this humanity switch work? In the past, there were only two settings: on or off. Now, it seems like a vampire’s humanity works on more of a sliding scale. We know Damon “shut off” his humanity early in this season, maybe even at the end of the last, but now it seems as though he’s beginning to oscillate between having and not having humanity. Perhaps this will be further explored, but probably not. It just feels like more lazy writing for the convenience of plot. Sigh. 

Final Thoughts

  • Between being back in both history class and The Armory, the spirit of Ric was all over this episode. I hope we haven’t seen the last of him because Matt’s dad is a poor replacement for him.
  • There are only 8 episodes left in TVD Bonnie had better be in every single one of them.
  • You guys, over the break I had almost forgotten about Elena. Thank goodness she’s mentioned at least a thousand times per episode.
  • Speaking of the one we must never forget, this week’s title is an Elena quote from the pilot episode. When Stefan introduces himself she tells him, “I know. We have history together.” Meaning, of course, history class. In a different world, one where TVD never became a ball of fiery garbage, (Bonnie excluded, of course) this play on words would probably be clever.
The Vampire Diaries S8E8
  • 5/10
    Plot - 5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Dialogue - 7.5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Performances - 7.5/10

"We Have History Together"

The Vampire Diaries - S8E8 - “We Have History Together | Starring: Kat Graham, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Candice King, Matthew Davis, Michael Malarkey, Zach Roerig

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About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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  1. ProWrap: Week of January 8, 2016 | Project Fandom
  2. The Vampire Diaries - S8E9 - The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch | Project Fandom

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