The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7 Review: The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You

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The holidays (and The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7) remind me that there are two kinds of people in this world. 

People who like eggnog and people who don't. 

Damon Salvatore? Doesn't like eggnog, which once again reminded me, in an ever so subtle way, why I joined Team Damon so long ago.

Let's be clear. I'm not on the Team Damon the Soul Stealer and Right Hand Man of Satan team. But I do have renewed hope for the Team Damon the Guy Who Loved the Girl team, of which I am most definitely still a member. 

For the past season and a half, I've been annoyed by the constant references to Elena.

They always take me out of the moment making Elena a bigger part of the show than she is while she's in a coma, particularly when there are so many other breathing, talking characters still actively a part of the show.

Tonight was one moment when mentioning her, showing her in a flashback, made perfect, beautiful sense. 

Many of us in TVDland have been confused about the depths of Sybil's mind control/erasure over Damon.

Did she insert herself into his memories of Elena and replace his one true love with her own image? Did she just suppress those memories? Did he know they'd been suppressed or replaced or whatever? 

Deck the Halls - The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7

It's been kind of unnerving not really knowing the extent of her powers. It's been unnerving not knowing if Damon knew the extend of her meddling. Tonight we got at least a little bit of an answer. 

Elena's memory still exists inside Damon, on a subconscious level or otherwise.

Whether he remembers the details or just feels the feelings associated with those memories, we don't know. But he definitely knows Sybil has been inside his brain jacking things around and tonight he got angry enough to do something about it.

And that something happened to be ripping Sybil's heart out and leaving it on a park bench.

He did say he was going to kill someone on Christmas Eve. He didn't say the person would stay dead. It's a minor detail, really.

Also, if we're being technical he had already killed Stefan.

Killing Stefan sent the younger Salvatore on a walk down memory lane with Satan, who, as it turns out, was an interesting traveling companion.

Stepdad Stefan - The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7

We've long heard tales of "the Ripper of Monterey" but we'd never seen it until tonight. It was...brutal. Kids died. Stefan killed them. He would've been driven mad by his anguish if Seline hadn't intervened and seen something in Stefan that he couldn't see in himself. 

Something which, ugh. Kind of annoys me.

Before killing him, but after he'd killed a lot of people, Seline looked inside Stefan's mind and saw someone who was good.

Deep down, Stefan wasn't evil. He had been made into a monster and that had caused him to crave human blood and...yep. There goes my annoyance.

Here's the deal.

We know Stefan has always been the "good" brother. But historically, this really is all his fault. Sure, he "accidentally" transitioned and didn't really know what he was doing. But it's ridiculous to pretend that in his entire 160 years he's never enjoyed the hunt or the kill. 

Hell, there's plenty of evidence to suggest he enjoyed it more than Damon did, particularly after Seline suppressed the part of him that remembered his anguish following Monterey (which led to his stint in Chicago with the Mikaelsons...).

But Damon, once again, is the "bad" brother.

Ugh ugh ugh. Annoyed. Because it's okay if these brothers have consistently operated in the gray areas. Life is not black and white. People are not all good or all bad. Not even fictional TV vampires.

Dinner Party from Hell - The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7

In light of all these shades of gray, Cade's position on the matter is certainly an interesting one. 

The souls in possession of the most power are those inches from Heaven who are swayed back to Hell. People who are convinced or coerced or who somehow choose to do evil things.

Which, hello, is literally every character on this show except Peter Maxwell and the twins. Every single other character has been convinced or coerced or has straight up chosen to do something terrible. None of them are perfect. None of their souls are clean.

So where's Cade's line? Rather, where has the line been up to this point since now he wants to move the line?

After driving off into the...uh...midnight, what we need is a conversation between these brothers where they detail their plan to rid themselves of Cade's influence. Stefan needs to come clean about his deal and Damon needs to come clean about what he's thinking.

They have to communicate and work together on this one. 

In fact, this whole communication thing probably should've taken place before Stefan flipped off his humanity switch, but hey. We were out of time.

If Stefan is coming after the twins, which is definitely what his "what if I can speed things up" question sounded like, there will be no redemption for him. None. At all. He will die lonely and he will deserve it. 

(Is that really what he was talking about? Please say no.)

Goodbye For Now - The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7

Caroline will put the stake through his heart herself, even though it will emotionally wreck her in the process.

She will not allow him to harm her girls. And at this point, neither will Seline since the thing she's after most of all right now is redemption.

Redemption, in my mind, is our big shift for the back half of the final season.

We're going to see characters like Seline trying desperately to right wrongs. We're going to see Damon and Stefan get their eventually. I hope. 

Hell, it may not even be possible.

Since it didn't fit anywhere into my review, tell me what you think of BONNIE REACTING TO THE TUNING FORK! AH! Huge development!

Tell me what you hope we see when the season returns in January! (And tell me what you think about Stefan's deal with the Devil!)

In case you missed anything, remember you can always catch up and watch The Vampire Diaries online right here on TV Fanatic!

The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You Review

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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (62 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 7 Quotes

Damon: Merry Christmas, Ric.
Alaric: I killed you.
Caroline: WHAT?
Alaric: He deserved it.

Damon: They buried me, Stefan, in a shallow grave. Not even in the family plot.
Stefan: Well, it's hard to be sympathetic about your death when you're standing right in front of me.