The Vampire Diaries Season 8: Episode 7 recap, a ripper Christmas carol

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Stefan and Caroline tried to spend one last happy day together celebrating Christmas, but we all knew that wasn't going to happen. Find out what went down in The Vampire Diaries mid-season finale here

The final episode of The Vampire Diaries before its winter hiatus begins with Stefan putting up Christmas decorations and preparing for the Christmas Eve dinner that was planned, despite all the recent events - i.e. Stefan becoming Cade's minion. Stefan is intent on enjoying his last day with Caroline and spending Christmas together the way normal people do. Alaric stops by with Josie and Lizzie, but says they can't stay for very long. Caroline is disturbed that the girls keep asking where Seline is; they clearly didn't pick up on the grave danger she put them in. Just as Alaric is about to tell Caroline that he killed Damon, Damon and Sybil show up. Thanks to The Vampire Diaries Episode 7 trailer, we're not surprised to see that Damon is alive, however the same cannot be said for Alaric.

Despite Damon and Sybil promising to leave Josie and Lizzie alone, Alaric takes his daughters upstairs, away from the party. In an attempt to find the ancient tuning fork that renders Sybil powerless Caroline acts nice and friendly towards Sybil, hoping that she'll mention where she is staying, which is probably where she's stashed the tuning fork that she stole from the Armory. Damon lures Stefan away "to look for the family ornaments" with him. Damon explains that he's not dead thanks to their deal with Cade, and he even got to hangout with the head honcho while he was momentarily deceased. Damon then stakes Stefan with one of the wooden ornaments, killing his brother so that Stefan can hangout with Cade for a bit as well. Stefan wakes up "behind the veil," as Cade puts it, and attempts to get out of the deal he made. However Cade declares that Stefan is the perfect person to serve him, and he proceeds to show Stefan why.

Cade takes Stefan back to Monterey in 1917, where Stefan, during his ripper days, massacred an entire work campsite on Christmas. Cade shares that he knew there and then that Stefan would serve him. Stefan denies that he would commit such a heinous act on Christmas, but Cade reveals that Seline was there and she decided to spare Stefan. After some chit-chat with Sybil, Caroline finds out what area the siren is staying in. Caroline gives this info to Bonnie and Enzo to help them search for the tuning fork. Caroline then finds Stefan's dead body, but Damon reassures her that it's only temporary. Matt and his father show up for the dinner, and Matt is shocked to see Damon alive and well. Sybil mentions that they've been waiting for Peter Maxwell, Matt's father. Caroline actress Candice King teased that Episode 7 will unveil the Donovan family history, however all we learned is that Peter has a really crappy reason for abandoning his family.

Based on the clues that Caroline gave them, Bonnie and Enzo narrow it down to one house, but they find Seline inside and she has the tuning fork. Seline declares that she doesn't want to hurt the intruders and uses Bonnie's phone to call Alaric and beg him to let her help his daughters. The training she'd been doing with them left an imprint; which is why Josie and Lizzie keep asking where Seline is. But Rick doesn't believe her; can you blame him?

Seline then tells Enzo and Bonnie the story of running into Stefan in Monterey, where she picked up the habit of writing down her victims' names from Stefan. Seline shares that when she looked into Stefan's mind all those years ago, she saw anguish instead of evil, which is why she spared him. Instead of delivering his soul to Cade, Seline took away the memory of what Stefan did, which helped him to turn over a new leaf. Seline is scared of what will happen now that Sybil cut her out of the deal and she will go to hell, where Cade will endlessly torture her, once she dies. Therefore, she is trying to redeem herself which entails helping Alaric's daughters. Seline gives Bonnie and Enzo the tuning fork as a sign of good faith.

Back in Stefan's death trip, Cade declares that Seline's act of mercy revealed that he had lost her as a loyal servant, but this moment also piqued his interest in Stefan. Cade wants the ripper that Stefan used to be to serve him, but Stefan maintains he will never be that person again. Cade then takes Stefan to the moment that he met Elena, and blames Stefan for ruining Elena's life. Cade reveals that not only does he want Stefan to track down bad people, he also wants Stefan to lead people down the wrong path, like he did to Elena. Corrupt people who would have barely made it into heaven, have the souls that Cade wants to feed on the most. Stefan makes a new deal with Cade which entails Stefan becoming the ripper again and get the job done quicker than he would in an eternity. Cade agrees to one year, after which both Stefan and Damon will be free, however he predicts that Stefan won't want to return back to normal after a year as a ripper.

Matt's father Peter has some mysterious object that Sybil wants. As she tries to get it from him, Enzo and Bonnie show up and hit the tuning fork to stop Sybil. The noise hurts Bonnie too for some reason. Damon instinctively saves Sybil, but later on when Sybil tries to take the Christmas gift that Caroline gave to Damon, which is Elena's necklace, Damon's memories of Elena come back. Instead of handing over the necklace to Sybil, Damon rips out her heart and leaves her on a bench outside. Alaric finally allows Seline to see his daughters and erase the memories they have of her. The episode ends with Damon and Stefan leaving Mystic Falls, and Stefan flips his humanity switch and becomes the ripper. Uh-oh we don't know if we're ready to see Ripper Stefan. What did you think about The Vampire Diaries' mid-season finale?

Source: The CW