The “Vampire Diaries” fall finale, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” lived up to its epic billing. The show’s first-ever celebration of Christmas — at least the vague, secular aspects of it — sort of alluded to the Bible’s version of events. A man nobly sacrificed his relationship with the woman that he loved for what he perceived as the greater good. A so-called wise man offered advice. Someone was more or less reborn, though that’s arguably more Easter-like. Yes, just substitute a whole bunch of brutal deaths for the frankincense and Mystic Falls is just like the original Christmas.
Light A Candle for the Long-Time Character Who Bites the Dust
Carol Lockwood (Susan Walters) was never front and center, but she had a compelling character arc. She went from snobby mayor’s wife, to we later found out, council member, to mayor. Along the way, she learned to accept her werewolf-turned-hybrid son. Her fate was sealed when she had a touching conversation with Tyler (Michael Trevino), telling him she was proud he had become a leader and that he was following in his father’s footsteps. As it turned out, Tyler’s plan to off Klaus (Joseph Morgan) went disastrously wrong. Double agent Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) was lying that there was a witch who could provide the necessary spell that would allow Tyler and Klaus to temporarily swap bodies. (Tyler was willing to let himself be encased in cement for months to make the plan work.) Then Caroline came up with the much better plan of using Rebekah’s body; Hayley was not thrilled. Per her plan with Professor Shane, she made sure Klaus knew all of the hybrids were in the woods. He brutally slaughtered the full dozen as punishment for their betrayal as “Oh Holy Night” chillingly played on the soundtrack. This mass murder also gave Professor Shane (David Alpay) all of the unsired bodies he needed for his as-yet-undefined dastardly plan. Then, to pay Tyler back for turning all his hybrids against them, he drowned poor Carol. RIP, Mayor Lockwood. RIP hybrids. Tyler, welcome to the ever expanding Mystic Falls Orphan Club.
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A Bond Is Broken
By the start of the episode, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) still has not broken his sire bond with Elena (Nina Dobrev), at her request. She is convinced her feelings for him are real and can’t bear the thought of life without him. Damon lets Stefan think he’s severed the tie. After he and Elena help her brother fight his own hunter urges (more on that below), Damon concludes that he has to cut the cord. So, over Elena’s protests, he sends her back to her home. He will stay with Jeremy. He is setting her free. He lies that this is what will make him happy. Notably, he didn’t tell her to forget him. She gives him a quick kiss before she leaves, though she says she now has the urge to leave him. So it’s hard to tell if the bond is broken or if she is once again just following his instructions.
Stefan (Paul Wesley) has no such doubts. Moments after Damon sends Elena away, Caroline, in her usual style, blurts out that Damon and Elena are still together, and that they have had sex. He responds by throwing a chess set. That will show Damon! He was in the middle of that game!
Jeremy No Longer Wants to Murder His Sister
Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Shane work together to “deprogram” Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) of his unstoppable urge to kill vampire Shane and says he needs to use Elena as his “touchstone” and think of happy childhood memories to suppress his hunter powers. It does not work. While hypnotized, he cops to wanting to kill her. Damon points out that asking a hunter to use his feelings for a vampire to stop his urges to kill vampires is destined to fail. It’s unclear whether Shane wants Jeremy to fail, or if he is just incompetent. But Damon’s suggestion that he think of someone else he cares about, Bonnie, works like a charm. It looks like the witch and the hunter are destined for a reconciliation.
Rebekah Sleeps No More
Hayley breaks Caroline’s neck so that Caroline will not be able to thwart her plan. April finds her and freaks because she seems dead but is in fact wide awake. Caroline snatches her cell phone, then compels her to forget everything that just happened, unaware that April (Grace Phipps) is wearing a vervaine bracelet and can’t be compelled. Oops. This leads to April cowering in the caves while a devastated Tyler gets very angry about the slaughter of his pack, which leads to her finding and opening Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) coffin. At least she has her best friend back?
Stefan actually acknowledged that he and every other character have done numerous horrible things, so condemning Klaus is somewhat hypocritical.
Jeremy chopped wood while wearing a white tank top. It was pretty.
The music supervisor’s ironic use of Christmas songs throughout the episode was brilliant and made dark scenes even darker.
Klaus donates one of his paintings to the silent auction. He calls it an expression of postmodernism. Everyone else thinks it’s a snowflake.
Elena has seemingly turned into Bella Swan, not a vampire. All of her other personality traits have been subsumed by the triangle and the contrived sire bond. Her interesting darkness, her thirst for human blood, and her difficulties adjusting have miraculously disappeared thanks to sire bond. The only consequence of her being a vampire seems to be that she now prefers one vampire to another.
Matt (Zach Roerig) was barely in the episode. With Elena moving back home, we may never get to see any scenes of Jeremy and Matt’s bachelor pad.