Previously on The Vampire Diaries, nanny/Siren Selene thought she could get out of Cade’s contract by offering a trade with Alaric’s twins. Sybil had a better deal – Damon and Stefan would be her ticket to freedom. Stefan agreed on the condition he get to spend his last 24-hours with Caroline. Oh, and Alaric and Matt killed Damon — sort of.

It’s Christmas Eve on this mid-season finale episode titled “The Next Time I Hurt Somebody, It Could Be You.” Stefan and Caroline are having a dinner party and murder is on the menu.

Christmas Just Got Merry

The episode opens in a flashback. It’s Christmas Eve in 1917 in Monterey. Two children are too excited to sleep awaiting the arrival of Santa. They hear a commotion outside and sneak a peek only to find Stefan the Ripper slaughtering the entire village.

In present day we see a different Stefan. He wants to enjoy every last minute of freedom he has celebrating the holidays with the 2nd love of his life, Caroline. They’ll go forward with their normal plans of having everyone over for dinner. Alaric and the girls are the first guests to arrive. The twins keep asking about Selene. As a distraction, Stefan shows them their Christmas present — the room he built for them. Alaric tries to deliver the news to Caroline that he and Matt killed Damon, but before he can spill the beans, Damon and Sybil walk through the door. 

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Caroline Gets the Twins Back Only to Lose Them Again>>>

As expected, Damon is pissed. Caroline calls Bonnie and Enzo to tell them not to come over. (Honestly, I think this is a party I’d be okay sitting out, but for some reason Enzo really wants to go.) Bonnie is afraid Sybil will gain control over him again. Enzo asks about the tuning fork. They could use it to keep him safe. Caroline says she knows a way to get Sybil to reveal where she’s keeping it, and hangs up the phone.

Caroline serves up a round of Egg Nog, making sure Sybil’s has a little extra bourbon in it. If she gets her drunk maybe she’ll start talking. Stefan is upset Damon and Sybil are intentionally ruining his last day. Sybil reminds the hosts that Selene is the one who tried to hurt the girls, and she’s the one who saved them by creating the alternate deal.

Suddenly, Damon feigns an interest in decorating the Christmas tree. He asks Stefan to go with him to get ornaments, and he’ll tell him why he’s really there. Stefan follows. Damon tells him he just got back from spending time with Cade because Alaric killed him, and Cade has requested a meeting with Stefan as well. Stefan doesn’t want to meet Cade, but Damon doesn’t care. He takes a wooden tree topper and stakes him in the heart.

Meanwhile, Caroline has gotten the information she needs from a drunken Sybil. She figures out the tuning fork must be at her house. She relays the information to Bonnie and Enzo who go to the house only to find a solemn Selene.

Stefan’s Ghost of Christmas Past

Stefan is currently dead-dead, not just vampire-dead. He’s in a place that’s “just behind the veil” – as Cade says. Stefan tries to work his way out the deal. He tells Cade that he isn’t the guy he wants. Cade says just the opposite, Stefan is the perfect person and he’ll show him why.

Cade takes him back to Monterey 1917. Stefan has just massacred the entire village on Christmas Eve. Stefan remembers the murders, but he says it didn’t happen on Christmas.

Jumping back to present day, in front of the veil, Enzo and Bonnie are trying to get the tuning fork from Selene. She isn’t willing to just immediately hand it over. She needs them to trust her first. She tells them Alaric needs to let her see the girls. When she was with them she was prepping them to meet Cade. She actually left a psychic imprint on them that she needs to fix. That explains why they keep asking about her.

Bonnie and Enzo notice she has a list of names. She explains it’s a habit she picked up in Monterey. She goes on to tell them the story — Stefan is experiencing the story behind the veil at the same time.

Selene had witnessed Stefan sitting on a rock feeling remorseful after dismembering the village. She followed him to a house where he was scrawling the names of his victims on a wall. She had intentions of killing him, but that changed after she went into his mind. She expected to find an evil, vengeful person but all she saw was anguish. She was able to see his innocence, and it reminded her of herself. Instead of killing him, she altered his memory to help him cope.

That was the moment Cade knew he had lost Selene, and his interest piqued in Stefan. He’s extremely valuable to Cade. Stefan tells him he’ll never be the ripper again. Cade is disappointed because that’s exactly who he needs as a servant. Cade has one more stop, which I’m sure will change Stefan’s mind. 

The Vampire Diaries Episode 8.7 Photos: The Devil from Christmas Past>>> 

The Christmas Dinner From Hell

Sybil, Damon, Caroline, Alaric, and Matt and his dad are gathered around the table for dinner. Damon lets them all know he plans on killing someone before the night is done. He asks Matt’s dad what was the worst thing he’s ever done. He says gambling is probably the worst thing. Damon isn’t satisfied with that answer and digs deeper. He wants to know why Peter abandoned his family. Damon puts a knife to his throat in order to get him to talk. He confesses he was ashamed. He didn’t feel confident with his status in town and had to get out. Matt is pretty pissed about this, and who can blame him, right? After all this time, finding out his dad wasn’t around just because he was afraid of what people thought of him. Ouch. That stings worse than the cut on Peter’s cheek.

Sybil corners Peter in the kitchen. She thinks that he has something that she wants. (I’m assuming she’s talking about the weird cannonball thing Damon found in his shop a few episodes ago.) He says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She does her siren thing and tries to go into his mind to get the information herself. As she’s digging around, Enzo and Bonnie show up and strike the tuning fork rendering her helpless. It affects Bonnie as well, which could be a sign that her powers are coming back. Damon sweeps in and rescues Sybil.

Stefan’s Ghost of Christmas Future

Cade takes Stefan to the high school. It’s moments before Stefan will meet Elena for the first time. Stefan doesn’t understand what Elena has to do with anything. Cade tells him that he ruined her life. If he had never met her, never pursued her, then he wouldn’t have ruined her life. Stefan said he only wanted to protect her. Cade says never meeting her was the only way to protect her. Stefan is the one who turned her into something dark. Cade wants Stefan to bring him people like Elena. Stefan is confused. He thought Cade only wants people who are evil. Cade explains good people who can be made wicked are evil and they’re the ones he wants to feed on most of all.

Stefan and Cade’s Christmas journey ends back at Salvatore mansion. Stefan has one more offer he wants to make. He tells Cade if he turns into the Ripper he’ll be able to do his job faster. Cade agrees to give him one year to finish his mission, and if he succeeds in that time he’ll give both Stefan and Damon their freedom.

The dinner party is over. Sybil and Damon are going for a stroll through town. Damon gives her a present that Caroline had given him earlier in the evening. Sybil is thrilled at his token of love. She doesn’t realize it’s a necklace that Damon had once given to Elena. Something shifts in Damon. As Sybil leans in for a kiss, Damon leans in and rips out her heart — literally.

Stefan says his goodbyes to Caroline. He tells her that he loves her, but he doesn’t let her know details of the deal he’s made with Cade. Then he leaves.

Damon is driving and finds Stefan walking alongside the road. He tells him to get in. Damon tells him to go ahead and turn off his humanity switch, that’s the only way he’ll get through it. Stefan isn’t ready yet. He waits until they pass the sign telling them they’re leaving Mystic Falls. Then he closes his eyes. When he opens them up, he’s the Ripper once again.

What did you think of the mid-season finale episode? It looks like there might be hope for a happy ending, right? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

The Vampire Diaries returns in January and airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like The Vampire Diaries Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Casey Cummings

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV