Ah, here’s that feeling again. That feeling that usually comes in the first third of a season (here not until after the halfway point) of things clicking into place. Things started off well (or at least in a novel way) with ancient being Cade being burned at the stake for being basically a kind of witch. But then the real witches, Sybil and Selene (okay, sirens) showed up and have been making a lot of high-pitched noise all over the place. They’ve just about worn out their welcome with their petty bickering, and apparently all involved parties agree. The structure of the episode is simple and elegant. Damon is unconscious, trapped in his own mind since Sybil flipped his humanity switch for him. All his bad deeds come flooding back to haunt him, and I was afraid we were going to repeat the last time people (with some kind of hell-sword and cursed gem) were trapping him and Stefan in mental hells. I was so not up for another trip through wrong-side-of-the-Civil-War survivor guilt, but that’s not what we get, happily. Oh, the forsaken soldier Damon betrayed shows up when Bonnie and Caroline enter his astral plane, but he’s the majordomo at the Salvatore Inn (something that actually happened for a while until Damon destroyed it, I think, with living Salvatore heirs and the birth of doomed Sarah Salvatore), but he’s just a shade of Damon’s own anxiety about his responsibilities. As will be everyone else they encounter in their journey through Damon’s mental maze. It takes the women (using Caroline’s vamp powers as Bonnie’s magic is still unlit) a few tries to get what’s going on, but Sybil proves surprisingly helpful (she just lashed out at Damon because he was torturing her I guess, and she still wants the stupid bell) and so Caroline returns to encounter the next guardian. This time it’s Sheriff Forbes at the town grill, and Caroline can’t resist a chance to talk once more with her departed mom. Bonnie understands, and goes after guardian 3 (a resurrected Vicky Donovan, as indifferent to her fate as ever). You got it, the nostalgia is really for us, and it’s not a bitch at all, as the callbacks to past seasons and their ghosts are exactly the kinds of sad stories this show (where most parties fail, sometimes in massacres, but nothing ever disrupts a wake or a funeral) always excels at. Sheriff Forbes takes a note from Caroline’s dad and tortures her daughter to confess to a spate of “animal murders.” But really Damon wants to know if she’s ever forgiven him his many violations, and it turns out, she has. She understands his worth and his struggles now, which is news to even herself. Bonnie, meanwhile, gets some hints from Vicky, but even more when she visits a house we haven’t seen in a while, to find: Grams! And Grams has no tests or trials for Bonnie, but basically offers her help as only Jasmine Guy can do (because next to Elena, Bonnie is still whom Damon loves the most). Which was always the smartest way possible to keep him from killing her so Elena could wake from her cursed slumber anyway. Alas, it is Stefan’s forgiveness he wants to get (and give) most of all, as it is due to Stefan that he became a vampire (and thus all the heinous fall out over the century). But Stefan has his emotions off, and tries so hard not to care. But even he fails, because no one can resist Damon in love-machine mode. In Gram’s house, Bonnie finds the letter he wrote her when he fled Mystic Falls to mourn Elena’s curse, and she lets him know that she is never going to read it until he’s there to witness her do so. So at the end of the episode, awake and sane, he shows up and recites it word for word. As she (and we) choke back tears, because we want to believe in an actual strong and wise Damon. I mean, he even apologizes to Matt for killing Vicky back in season one!? Matt, to his credit, doesn’t spit in his face. Oh, btw, Matt had to ring the Maxwell bell twelve times to destroy the sirens (and most of Mystic Falls potentially), unless he could forgive Damon under duress (that was some Stefan vamp-foolery), but he only gets to eleven before Damon knocks him out. Which doesn’t destroy the town, but apparently is enough arcane mumbo jumbo to make Cade solid again. Which means time is up for our sinuous sirens, who burst into simultaneous flames! Bye-bye, Little Bads. Big Daddy Bad has arrived. The Vampire Diaries 8.10 “Nostalgia’s a Bitch”Shawn's Rating4.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.