He’s Back! A Major ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Villain Just Returned to Mystic Falls
Prepare your squeals of both delight and horror, because one of the biggest villians ever to grace Mystic Falls is officially back.
But that’s just in the final moments of the show, and there’s so, so much more to unpack in this The Vampire Diaries recap of Season 8, Episode 12, “What Are You?”
There’s good news and bad news in the opening scene. The bad news? Somehow Matt sleepwalked to the Armory and is having sweaty visions of the bell ringing, leading to screaming and blood and fire. And somehow his feet are bleeding.
The good news? Alaric is back to help.
Dorian says that the Maxwell journal Matt has could have been a Bennett witch talisman, designed to tie a soul to an ancestor of the past. Matt could have been literally experiencing what one of his ancestors experienced.
Sadly, it’s too late for anyone to help Bonnie, who won’t talk to any of her Stefan-loving friends of Mystic Falls, except to tell them that the beloved Salvatore brother murdered the love of her life, and she turned him human.
Cue human Stefan, speeding away from his destruction, haunted by memories of all the people he killed as a vampire, especially of Enzo and what it has done to Bonnie. Before he can get far, the police pull him over, and because he’s all bloody, he’s brought into custody. Luckily, Caroline was on the phone so she knows what’s up.
Damon and Caroline head to the police station to find Stefan, but Cade interrupts Damon. Because their deal was for two immortal souls, it’s currently null and void. But, of course, this is the devil talking so it’s not that simple: He wants Stefan to die and his soul be sent to hell by midnight.
Oh, but instead he could trade Stefan’s life for the Maxwell diary. Those Maxwells, they’re so in demand this season.
Something tells us Matt and Alaric aren’t going to give it up that easily. Sure enough, when Damon asks for it, he’s met with major opposition in the form of Alaric vervaining him in the back of the neck.
Stefan is in the police station, handcuffed, and the cop is showing him pictures of all of his victims. The system connected Stefan’s fingerprints to a whopping 32 murders in just the last two months. Obvi his life partner Caroline compels the officer to forget everything. Now there’s just the concern of Cade wanting him dead.
Oh, and the whole being 100 percent guilt-ridden about murdering all those people.
As penance, Stefan and Caroline go in search of the real estate agent he compelled and left for dead last week, after seeing her young daughter at the station. They manage to find the woman’s car, but she isn’t in it. She survived! At least for now.
Meanwhile, Ripper Stefan’s latest victim, Enzo, seems to be speaking to Bonnie. But when she opens the door where she hears voices, it’s her mother.
The two Bennett magic-less witches perform a ceremony to say goodbye to Enzo, and it’s straight-up devastating. But Bonnie says she still feels him and is convinced she can reach him, magic or not.
When Damon wakes up, he’s locked up in the Armory, and he sees Alaric and Dorian doing a procedure on Matt’s brain to see what the deal is with this journal and talisman. When he falls asleep, Matt sees the house where all the witches were burned (the event Sybil was going to recreate), and friends Ethan Maxwell and Bea Bennett are there, with the bell.
The bell was designed to drive vampires away from their lands. Whoa. But wait, there’s Sybil, about to ruin the plans, as usual.
Ethan, Sybil, and Seline head to the room in the Armory where Matt found the journal. This time, entranced by the Sirens, Ethan agrees to use the tuning fork in the bell, turning it from a vampire-expelling device to one that will turn his village into hellfire. And he can’t tell Bea.
Meanwhile, Bonnie and Abby are trying to reach Enzo, and Abby says she feels Enzo’s pain, and he is stuck somewhere dark, filled with suffering and emptiness. Um, hell? Now her mom wants to bury him and close that door because that darkness is reaching for Bonnie, but it might be too late. Bonnie collapses.
Elsewhere, Stefan finds Karen the real estate agent, and she stabs Stefan (because duh, he attacked her last week). While Caroline can save Karen, she can’t save Stefan because the cure won’t let him drink her blood.
We’re back in Matt’s brain. Though he can’t *say* anything to Bea, he gives her a message with the cipher Matt found last week, and rings the bell. The message said, “The bell has been corrupted, the twelfth ring will bring hellfire.”
Beatrice screams out the message, and joining hands, the townspeople sacrifice themselves to stop the hellfire from spreading. Only Bea and Ethan survive. This sends Matt into a heart attack, and he’s saved only with Damon’s blood.
Ethan and Beatrice trap the Sirens under the Armory, but they warn him that he will be destined for hell for making the bell. When they try to make him kill Bea, she traps him in the room he was found in later by Matt and Alaric.
But Ethan gets out a message first: I know how to kill the devil.
OMG. But because he cannot say, we clearly know he has written it in his journal using the cipher.
Oh, but when Matt wakes up, Damon is gone with the journal.
Back with the current Bennetts, Abby burns Enzo, telling Bonnie that Enzo didn’t open the door, Bonnie did. She won’t let Bonnie drag herself into the suffering. And now everyone in the world is tearing up because Enzo is really gone.
In the woods, Caroline begs Stefan to stay alive and keep fighting so he can make all of his wrongs right. Damon, also, is doing what he thinks he has to do to save Stefan, handing the journal over to Cade, who burns it.
If you were worried, yes the little girl reunited with Karen, her mother. And yes, Stefan was treated at a hospital and is OK. But Steroline still have to figure out how they’re going to have a future now that one of them is human.
Matt is waiting at Bonnie’s house when she gets back, to tell her how sorry he is about Enzo. It’s a modern-day Maxwell/Bennett connection when the two hug and we’re crying again.
Stefan, then, shows back up at his house to see Damon for the first time since they both turned to the good side. He wants to go to Bonnie’s to apologize, and Damon reassures him that it will take time but (as he should know) Bonnie is a good person.
There’s a true Salvatore brother moment when Stefan thanks Damon for saving his life. He asks if there’s a chance for redemption, and Damon says “absolutely,” even though he knows Cade said there wasn’t.
Sadly, before Stefan can find Bonnie, he’s tased by a masked person and taken away.
Former best buddies Alaric and Damon then reunite at the Armory, but it’s not a happy reunion. That is, until Damon tells Alaric he already knows how to kill Cade. Um, what?
Turns out, Sybil spilled to Damon that she had an “insurance policy” against Cade, and he believes it’s a dagger that Cade himself created.
Hold up, before you get too excited, a ghost of Vampire Diaries past shows up, it’s one of the biggest baddest characters ever: Kai Parker.
We legit squealed at the TV, did you?
The Vampire Diaries Season 8 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of The Vampire Diaries Season 8 below:
See the Photos from the TVD Finale Set!
Nina Dobrev Confirms She’ll Be Back On TVD — With Major Clues!
Kat Graham Spills About TVD Finale! — Exclusive
Test Yourself On This Crazy TVD Trivia
11 TVD Characters We Hope Come Back