by Josie Kafka
…in which the writers try to trick us—but we’re too smart for that!
There are two main plots in this episode: Sybil’s backstory and Damon’s interactions with Pete, father to someone mysterious. (It’s Matt.) Both depend on misdirection for their tension, but since the misdirections are rather obvious, the results are rather sad.
Let’s start with Sybil’s backstory. Long ago, a man named Arcadius, whom everyone called Cade, was killed for being psychic. Years later, young Sybil was exiled for the same ability. While on exile island, she met another lovely brunette—Seline—who lured sailors to the rocky shoals surrounding their home in order to eat them.
Long story short, Sybil and Seline had issues, felt bad, felt good, met Cade, became immortal (and dependent on human flesh). Cade is the ruler of Hell, so I guess we call him Satan. Or we can keep calling him Cade.
It’s an interesting enough backstory, although most of the tension depended on this show’s abundance of lovely brunettes, which I noted a few weeks ago: with so many Elena-esque women running around, it was hard to tell if Sybil’s sister was the intern or the nanny.
It’s the nanny.
Is that why, a few episodes ago, Alaric told the nanny way too much about his work? Was she mind-jacking him already? How do his kids fit into it? The tuning fork hurts them as much as it hurts Sybil and Seline. Are we going to have mystical children on this show? I’m not a huge fan of mystical children.
I’m also not clear on how Sybil’s and Seline’s powers work. We’ve only seen Sybil mindjack men, but Seline might be stronger, since she convinced intern Georgie to trap Alaric under the Armory. It was this week’s most cringe-worthy story. He stuck a knife in his eardrums! I can’t imagine how much that hurt.
After wandering through the Armory tunnels, Alaric wound up in Mystic Falls, which is either a Big Reveal or Really Confusing. Where is the Armory, again? Isn’t it far away? The Salvatore house is in Mystic Falls, as is Caroline’s home (which we saw in the season opener), but Matt described Mystic Falls as still “overrun” by supernatural people. Are there other supernaturals there, or just three vampires and a witch?
We might find out, since Matt is back—hooray!—and has his dad in tow. That’s this week’s second big misdirection. I’m pretty sure we were supposed to wonder who Pete’s son was, but he looks so much like Matt Donovan that there wasn’t much tension there. The bigger question is: what was Matt’s grandmother up to, and why was she in possession of mystical objects? Is this a callback to the old Mystic Falls council?
Bites and Pieces:
• In various forums, TVD has gotten a lot of flack for its portrayal of people of color. That Satan is a black man is either a bold choice or a stupid one.
• Pete said that abandoning Grandma in Mystic Falls was the hardest part of abandoning it. Did he just leave her there? Is she dead? Did she refuse to leave? Either that line of dialogue was confusing, or we might get a mystical granny soon.
• There was a mini-misdirection, too. Damon implied Tyler was still alive, but in peril. When Matt found him, Tyler looked very dead. Rest in peace, Tyler Lockwood. May you dream of chasing rabbits and finding plot relevance.
• It’s possible Seline didn’t mindjack the intern. She might have used the threat of eternal damnation to get her to trap Alaric.
Two out of four Matt Donovans, because this episode wasn’t very exciting.
Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)