Season 8, Episode 12 of TVD has a fitting title: “What Are You?” Because, you see, that’s the whole gist of the plot. Episode 11, “You Made a Choice to Be Good,” was filled with bad: Stefan following Cade’s orders, Stefan endeavoring to kill Elena (“his brother’s girl”) in order to be free and, even, Stefan killing Enzo when he literally got in his way. So yeah, pretty much Stefan was the bad. However, the episode ended not with Enzo’s death, but with Stefan restored humanity as Bonnie injected him with the cure, rendering him unconscious.
So where did it pick up? Well, new human, new Stefan. The title, “You Made a Choice to Be Good,” is a reference to what Elena (Nina Dobrev) once said to Stefan–good ol’ Elena, constant cheerleader for Stefan’s morality. But what will happen to him now?
But the even bigger questions nagging at the characters’ minds were not even related to Stefan: what should be done with the bell, who is this new “mystery” family, will Enzo come back and what is wrong with Matt?
This before-unheard-of family are the Maxwells. Matt ran across a skeleton of one of their members, and now he’s just not the same. Early on in the episode, Matt is experiencing that same trippy I-don’t-know-how-I-got-here stuff that he did back when he was friends with Nadia, Katherine’s daughter. Turns out, Matt seems to be linked to one of the old Maxwells via that lovely journal of Ethan Maxwell.
As far as the Bermuda Triangle that is Damon, Stefan, and Cade, the devil visited Damon to tell him that they’re deal is now void. Good news, right? Well, not so much. There’s a pretty big downside. Cade is invoking his midnight threat again: either get him the Maxwell journal or Stefan dies at midnight. As Cade put it, “it’s a small price to pay.” Any Vampire Diaries fan will know, however, that with TVD villains there’s no such thing as a “small price.”
Meanwhile, Stefan has to come to terms with his human status. In particular, he is struggling with the grief and memories flooding back.
Alaric and Damon, in an effort to figure out more about the bell and about Ethan Maxwell, perform a type of hypnosis on Matt. Donovan sees quickly the history of Ethan Maxwell: he worked with the Bennetts to create the bell, but Sybil was there, too, working her Siren powers on him. Maxwell was forced to add Cade’s personal tweak to the bell, so that it, when rung twelve times, does not rid the world of Cade, but instead released hellfire.
But Ethan was smart. He writes a letter to Bea Bennett telling her of the Sirens’ plan. The witches eventually stop the fire but sacrifice all 100 of their lives. Only Ethan and Bea survive. But the Sirens tell Ethan to kill Bea, so she traps him in the room that would become his tomb.
Ethan’s big secret? He had discovered how to kill Cade. But out of fear for her life, Bea would not let him out. So, as he died, Ethan left Bea a coded message in his journal. As soon as Damon is figuring out where the story is going, he takes the journal and flees. He delivers it to Cade, who burns it and flees, leaving Stefan alone for good (fingers crossed).
In regards to Enzo and Bonnie, she has made contact to him in his hell-state, and wants to bring him back. But can she? As Entertainment Weekly explained, it would destroy her–but only her mother, Abby, realizes this.
“Abby does the only thing she can think of: She burns Enzo’s body. She explains it’s the only way to break the connection. Enzo wouldn’t want Bonnie to get dragged into the darkness, so Bonnie’s only choice is to let him go.”
While Stefan and Caroline begin to adjust to this unexpected reality, Damon heads to the Armory to tell him, again, that he is “selfish” and sorry for it. EW confirmed, however, that there may still be a way to kill Cade.
“Damon might be able to make up for giving the journal to Cade. Apparently, Sybil had an insurance policy against Cade, and he thinks it’s this crazy dagger thing. Apparently, it was made ‘when the ash and bone of Cade was forged into glass by the fire of hell’s creation.’ So perhaps the very thing Cade created could kill him? Well, that’s one idea. But Kai has another!”
Oh yes, didn’t we mention that? Kai is back, and he seems just as despicable as ever–even down to his creepy wave.
What will the next episode have in store? Will Kai–as the witch that cast the spell–bring Elena back?
[Feature Image by CW]