The Vampire Diaries – The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You
By: Luke Joseph
You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
Even if you don’t you’re still going to die
Ripper Claus is coming to town
Twas the night before Christmas in Monterey in 1917; there were two kids who weren’t sleeping because of the noise they heard outside of their tent. The first thought that came to mind was Santa Claus was lingering about but then suddenly they heard shouts and those shouts turned to cries of pure terror. Usually when one sees Santa you react with pure glee, but as the figure turns around it’s not Jolly ole Saint Nick – it’s a Ripper.
Any fan who knows the show knows that Stefan (Paul Wesley) in his darker days was referred to as the Ripper of Monterey and with the way blood is dripping down his chin and sticking to his beard it’s easy to see why he was so feared. What was supposed to be a silent night had turned into a deadly night.
Twas the Day before Christmas
Away from Monterey and back in present time Stefan is writing what might be his final entry to Elena (Nina Dobrev). Stefan explains how the present he’s giving himself this year is today. With only having twenty-four hours before he has to hand himself over to Cade he plans to make the most of the day which results in him full out decorating the Boarding House and wanting to have Christmas. “If I can’t find a way of this please remind her I tired,” he writes. Okay Stefan, that’s romantic and all but what about the part where you apologize to Elena for not saving Damon, you know your brother? Caroline (Candice King) wakes up surprised by all that Stefan has done saying, “Today we are going to do what people do on Christmas. We’re going to eat more than we should and we’re going to drink until our friends and family seem somewhat normal. The two share a quick kiss that’s what I today to be.:
Dressed and ready to celebrate, Caroline opens the door and is greeted to Alaric and the twins. As excited as Caroline is to spend time with the girls, Alaric (Matt Davis) explains that they can’t stay long and asks if she has spoken to Matt yet. Just as he’s about to confess the turn of events, the door opens. Ho, ho, ho (was he announcing Sybil’s presence?) Damon nonchalantly strolls into the Boarding House with Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) on his arm causing Ric’s eyes to widen because…well he killed Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and yet here he is. If Alaric hadn’t been so rushed into wanting to kill Damon, Damon would have explained to him that now since he’s Cade’s (Wolé Parks) servant he too is immortal. Awkward! Though Caroline isn’t the biggest fan of Damon, it seems she’s not pleased after hearing the news of how Alaric and Matt (Zach Roerig) had killed Damon (we’re with you Caroline).
Meanwhile, Bonnie and Enzo (Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey) still seem to be making up for lost time as they spend a lazy Christmas Eve day in bed. After unwrapping an Eiffel Tower paper weight Enzo reveals to her that he’s taking her to Paris. Well, that’s nice Bonnie and Enzo are happy (and also on a mission to steal that tuning fork back), Caroline and Stefan are together, but Damon is forced to spend it with that cheap Prada knockoff known as Sybil.
Back at the Boarding House things are tense because Sybil is that one family member you dread to have at the family get together, but have to deal with because you have no choice. Caroline is being extra friendly to her in hopes that she’ll find out where she is residing so that Bonnie and Enzo can get the tuning fork back. Damon ends up requesting some one on one time with Stefan because they’re in need of a private chat. It seems Cade wants to have a chat with Stefan and since Damon is the errand boy he has to deliver. The brother’s retire back to Stefan’s room where Damon begins sifting through the decorations only to pull out the star for the tree. Damon explains how Cade wants to chat with Stefan, but Stefan isn’t up for it. Sadly, Damon can’t take no for an answer causing him to pierce the points of the star straight into Stefan’s chest. Night, night Stefan! Say hi to Cade. Waking up, Stefan finds that he’s still in his room which causes him to head downstairs in search of the rest of the party goers only to come face to face with Cade.
In the Salvatore kitchen, unbeknownst to what happened to Stefan, Caroline begins to carve the turkey only for Sybil to intervene. Wanting to keep up the pleasantries, Caroline lets her stay watching as she rather than using a knife like us regular folk ops to rip it apart with her own hands (you’re supposed to wash your hands Sybil, no wonder why you never get invited anywhere). Looks like keeping up with the act of being polite to Sybil pays off when Sybil reveals to Caroline where she is staying resulting in Caroline immediately sharing this information with Bonnie and Enzo. “It’s times like this I really miss Elena. If she were here, Damon wouldn’t be doing any of this,” confesses Bonnie. “Yeah, well she’s not here and…” Caroline stopping mid-sentence as wheels suddenly begin to turn in her head. Dashing up the stairs to share with Stefan her plan, she’s met with Stefan’s dead body on the floor.
Poor Caroline, this day isn’t going exactly as she had hoped. “Damon is alive, Bonnie and Enzo are late and Stefan’s dead. Merry Christmas! I’ve got gifts,” she proclaims before taking a much needed drink. Well, that’s definitely an interesting welcome for Matt and his father Peter (Joel Gretsch) who have just walked in and surprise, surprise it seems that Damon and Sybil have been waiting for this guest of honor (Matt’s dad). Still, Caroline wants to get back into the heart of Christmas, which in her book deals with forgiving. So, as she’s passing out the gifts she also ends up giving one to Sybil (but who cares). It’s the fact that she’s handing one over to Damon as well noting, “Even though we’ve had our moments I know that there is a future you that is going to ask for my forgiveness one day. This is for that guy.” The surprise is clearly etched on Damon’s expression as he hesitantly accepts (Caroline is looking pleased) it before explaining why he’s here. Looks like Damon is back to playing “who’s the worst” telling the gang that “one lucky little elf is going to get an all expense one way trip straight to hell, meaning I’m going to kill one of you.” I bet if you told kids if they ended up on the naughty list they’d end up going straight to hell and naughty would no longer exist.
Ghosts of Christmas Past
Not having to endure the Christmas chaos, Bonnie and Enzo find their way to what they believe is the place Sybil is staying. It seems like they found it when Enzo realizes he can’t get in (she picked a place with an owner who is singing Christmas carols for Seline). Once given the okay, Enzo is invited in. Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) requests (only way she’ll give the weapon back) for Bonnie to hand her phone over so she can make a call to Alaric explaining how she had been training the girls for Cade, leaving an imprint, and if she doesn’t remove the imprint they’ll always be linked to her. Bonnie catches Seline making a list and in turn Seline explains how she’s making a list of everyone she’s killed in chronological order, she picked it up in Monterey. Yup, looks like she has a past with Stefan because back in 1917 she had stumbled across him and though she had been tempted to feed on him she didn’t because when she had looked into his mind she didn’t see evil. “I only saw anguish,” she explains. Flashback time with 1917 Stefan and Seline. “I was made into a ripper who craves blood all day and all night,” Stefan confesses to Seline (Excuse me? Stefan, you made yourself the Ripper because of your lack of control). Stefan then proceeds to beg her to kill him, but instead Seline finds herself feeling sorry for him. Seline had felt she related to Stefan because they each became a monster they didn’t desire to be. Rather than kill him, she spared him from Cade’s wrath and wiped away the memory. Handing the tuning fork over seems to be one good deed that results in Alaric bringing the twins to see her. It’s somewhat heartbreaking when you realize Seline genuinely cared for these two girls and now she has to not only say goodbye, but wipe their memory of her away.
Back with Stefan it seems he’s somewhat pulling a Scrooge and taking a trip back to 1917 Christmas past when he gets to see the handiwork his Ripper self did back in the day. Apparently Cade deemed this to be a work of art (we view art differently) and during this very day he had decided he wanted Stefan. With Seline sharing the memory Stefan is now reliving that moment with her and realizing she had taken that specific memory away from him. This in turn made Cade realize that Stefan would be his new servant because he’s valuable. Cade wants the Ripper to come out and play, but Stefan says, “I will never be that Ripper again, not for you, not for anyone.” Cade has one more trip he wants Stefan to take with him, which brings them to the high-school – the first day Stefan officially met Elena (stalking her the whole summer doesn’t count). Cade notes, “She already had enough tragedy in her life, you just had to insert yourself. All because you had to know her. You took a good girl’s life who was heading down the right path and you veered her right into the median. Never meeting her was the only way to protect her.” Well Cade, you do have a point but you need to remember Elena is a doppelganger as she was cursed the second she was born and sooner or later Salvatore brothers or not, Klaus would have come looking for her and most likely killed her.
Stefan has been adamant about not wanting to deliver the Ripper to Cade, but that all changes once the big, bad devil threatens the twins, which results in Stefan having a sudden change of heart. As much as he’s been holding back on letting the Ripper out it’s the only way that Cade won’t go after the girls. Though Stefan loves not being the Ripper, he loves Caroline much more which in his eyes is enough to make a deal with the devil. Returning back to the real world, Stefan wastes no time whisking Caroline downstairs and kissing her right under the mistletoe. “I needed one thing I planned for today to actually work,” he explains to her. Though the moment is tender, Caroline wants answers. Stefan shares, “I serve him for a year and then I’m done because what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it makes it worth it to him.” What is worth it? Sorry Caroline, Stefan isn’t budging because right now he wants to be here with you.
Returning to the most awkward dinner ever, Alaric included he enters the dining room as Damon continues to probe Peter for answers on what’s the worst thing he’s ever done. “You left your son, you abandoned your family,” but Matt’s father is being useless not fessing up which makes Damon try another tactic, threatening. Peter confesses, “I was ashamed Kelly was pregnant again and I couldn’t come back and be another toilet scrubber in this town. I had to get out.” So, rather than having a good reason Peter was simply a douche earning him the prize of being the little elf who gets a first class trip to hell. Before this happens though Sybil needs to have a word with him, requesting he gives her what she needs (can she be anymore vague?) Peter; however, still has no clue what she’s talking about causing Sybil to become a little more violent. Thankfully, Bonnie and Enzo enter and Sybil (and Bonnie?) go down as Enzo hits the tuning fork against the island counter. Seeing Bonnie affected by the fork causes Enzo’s attention to go straight to her as Damon flashes in and saves Symbol, I mean Sybil (apologies I don’t remember fakes).
“Something’s happening in there,” Sybil explains to Damon as they stroll through Mystic Falls, saying it was instinct that he had saved her. “Is that my Christmas present in your jacket,” she asks causing Damon to retrieve the gift that Caroline had given to him. Sybil’s eyes light up (alright Sybil you were at the house when Caroline gave him the gift, calm down! It’s not like he took the time to buy it for you. He’s being an Indian giver) as she reveals the gift and holy s–t it’s Elena’s necklace! The sight of it not only having an effect on fans, but Damon as well as he’s suddenly hit with a memory of Elena’s birthday. It seems that by giving Sybil the necklace it caused Damon to recall the time he had given it to Elena as a birthday gift. Damon’s looking at the necklace completely transfixed by it as if it holds the key to everything and in some way it does. Drawing out of the memory he begins to place it around Sybil’s neck to wear (Can he choke her instead? If the necklace touches her skin will it burn her? She’s not worthy) which in turn causes her to lean in closer as he…he begins to lean in as well. Just as fans, including myself are about to pick up our pitchforks and take the first flight out to Atlanta, something wonderful happens. Damon rips out Sybil’s heart. Even with Elena not physically there with Damon she’s still managing to save him and there is something beautifully ironic with the way it had all played out. Sybil had ripped away Damon’s heart (Elena) so in turn he literally ripped out her heart. Poetry at its best!
Fa- la la la la Highway to Hell
The episode closes with Damon picking up a straggler on the road, Stefan. “Hop in,” Damon smoothly supplies causing Stefan to halt his steps as he looks over at his brother. “Aren’t you light a passenger,” he notes – hinting about Sybil. “Three’s a crowd,” Damon responds back before Stefan finally slips inside of the car. Once entering the car things are tense as Stefan realizes he’s closer and closer to doing what he wishes he didn’t need to do. “The Salvatore brothers back on the road again! We need a theme song or something.” They turn on the radio on as ‘On this very Christmas Night’ echoes in the car. Not the best choice of theme song Damon, but okay. Mystic Falls City Limit the sign greeting them as they pass it causing Stefan to say goodbye to Mystic Falls and hello to the Ripper. Well…this can’t be good.