The Vampire Diaries “An Eternity of Misery” Review (Season 8 Episode 4)

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On the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” we got a much-needed twist- a few of them, actually- as we found out Sybil’s back-story, and got not-one-but-two new villains for the price of one, bringing the Big Bad total to a solid trio of foes for our vamp-peeps to face down this season, in “An Eternity of Misery.”

I love a good flashback, so long as it relates to the story at hand in a meaningful way, and we began with one, this time dating way back to 750 B.C.- which may well be the furthest this show has ever gone back. Though feel free to point out if I’m wrong on this count in the comments section, as anything’s possible within this show of many flashbacks.

It’s possible I might have forgotten something or the other along the way. I know the Original vampires date back to the turn of the 11th Century, but there may have been some other beastie (or witch) on the show that dates back further than that, so let me know.

Anyway, this time around, we got the story of the Siren sisters and Arcadius, aka “Cade,” who, as far as I could tell is not based on anything real or even mythological, to the best of my knowledge. Wikipedia does make mention of a saint and martyr that refused to worship the Roman Gods and suffered a grisly death by dismemberment.

In the end, his head continued to talk, even after all his limbs were lopped off, saying things like: “Learn from my torments. Your Gods are nothing.” Now THAT’S commitment to one’s religion! (This Arcadius was a Christian, hence his being tortured for worshipping a “false God.”)

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In the show’s version, this Arcadius was a beloved villager that was known for being able to read people uncannily well- too well. At first, this served him well, until he discovered a man in the village that was having impure thoughts about a little girl.

Offering to help him, the man instead was shamed and turned everyone against Cade, labeling him whatever that period’s equivalent of a witch was. In actuality, he was instead the world’s first psychic, apparently. Either way, he was burned at the stake for his talents, and at the very end, leveled a “psychic curse” on the villagers, creating a sort of instant Hell on the spot of the village.

The villagers themselves were sent to said underworld for eternity- hence the title- as were anyone wicked that had the misfortune to die after having done something awful in their lives, even if they tried to atone for it. This was the real reason that Sybil had Damon and Enzo killing people that were “bad”- they were sacrifices to Cade.

In another flashback, we also discovered how Sybil became what she was in the first place. Also exhibiting psychic abilities in her village, she was banished to the sea, where she rode a raft to an island in the middle of nowhere. She soon discovered she wasn’t alone, as another little girl with similar abilities was present on the island.

Unfortunately, there was an overall lack of food on the island that made survival a very big problem. To that end, the other little girl took to calling out to ships that passed by, with her cries causing the sailors to crash upon the rocks that surrounded the island. In doing so, their provisions and food often landed ashore in their wake- along with their bodies.

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When Sybil discovered that the girl had done this on purpose to get their food, she washed her hands of it, vowing to live off the land. Eventually, the other little girl seemingly agreed, finding sustenance in the wild boars on the other side of the island- or so she said. As it turned out, she had kept doing what she promised not to, and was continuing to kill sailors- and was feeding on their bodies to boot.

Alas, so was Sybil, unbeknownst to her. She finally found out, and jumped off a cliff, to her death, unable to contend with what she’d done. Horrified, her island “sister” made a deal with Cade to revive her- at a price. If the two would provide him with the souls of the wicked, they would live forever, young and beautiful.

Of course, Sybil would never agree to such a thing, so she was forced to, basically unable to help herself from doing so, as much compelled to do it as her “sister” was, albeit for different reasons. Sybil did it because she was forced to, whereas her “sister” agreed to do it.

Either way, these two are doing an awful lot of killing, and if that weren’t bad enough, they were eating their victims, who were then sent to Hell for their sins on Earth, or whatever the underworld place is known as here. No name has been given as of yet, but it might as well be Hell, with Cade serving as the location’s personal Devil.

As for the “sister,” the show made one think it was Georgie at first- which is indeed who Alaric believes it to be- before pulling a fast one and revealing it was actually Seline, thus proving the movie “Suspiria” right in that women whose names begin with the letter “S” are the names of snakes! Just kidding, they’re actually sirens. But you knew that.

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So, this doesn’t entirely make sense, as we know that, for some reason, Sybil was after Alaric and Caroline’s kids. You’d think that Seline would have filled in Sybil that she was, you know, kind of their nanny and all. Then again, Sybil made it clear to Georgie that she had no desire to see her sister again, so clearly, the two have not spoken in some time, though, of course, she had been locked away in the Armory for some time.

Whatever the case, she refused her sister’s help in escaping the Armory yet again, opting to actually stay behind with Stefan, in part to inform him of the above story, and point out that he and Damon had a similar sort of past, in that they were siblings who were at odds with one another at time, and had both done bad things.

In the end, Stefan admitted to Sybil that he was both good and bad, having done both within his extended lifetime. Sybil informed him that it didn’t matter- both him and his brother were damned and destined to go to Hell- or whatever- when they die, because of all the bad things they’ve done over the years.

The only way out was to somehow find and kill Cade, but that was easier said than done. Sybil hasn’t exactly filled in Stefan on how to do that as of yet, and indeed, blacked out her sister’s name from his mind, which means that, as far as anyone knows, it’s Georgie, not Seline. This is because of Georgie’s actions, which were themselves because of Seline, who caught her breaking into Alaric’s house.

Upon doing so, she ostensibly called Alaric, telling him what Georgie had done, thus leading him to think she was the one after his kids, which was only driven home by Georgie’s actions, who locked Alaric in the hidden room in the cave and then knocked out Stefan and locked him in the cell with Sybil, which was where she wiped his mind of what she’d told him about her sister, at least in terms of her name.

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Of course, all of this was at Seline’s behest, but they don’t know that. Even if they did, it doesn’t matter much, as the episode ended with Seline taking out Georgie, then feeding on her, as we saw Georgie arrive in the afterlife, only to be snatched up, much in the same way as Katherine, who, one assumes, was likewise snatched up by Cade, which goes a long way towards explaining how Katherine will pop up again on the show.

In other developments, Damon ran afoul of a returning Matt Donovan, when he unwittingly tried to kill his dad, Pete (Joel Gretsch, of “V” and “The 4400”). Damon was sent there by Sybil, who retains a hold on him, even from her cell. She was looking for a specific artifact, which she believed Pete to possess, though not where he kept it.

Damon discovers that Pete is under the protection of vervain, via a watch given to him by his son, Matt, though Matt stopped short of telling him for what reason. It seems Pete abandoned Matt as a child, for unknown reasons, but the two were reunited eventually, though Matt and he had what could be considered a rocky relationship at best.

However, after the attack by Damon, who tries to kill Pete, Matt arrives, shoots Damon repeatedly, then tortures him for information on why he’s there in the first place. Damon readily tells him, knowing that Matt will never believe it, as he is out of the loop of Team Salvatore. In addition, he tells Matt what he did to Tyler, telling him where to find him.

Matt rushes to Tyler’s location, dad in tow, only to find Tyler dead in a trunk. Oh well- he didn’t last long! Matt’s dad comforts him, as he breakdowns from what he’s seen. Matt also finally fills in his dad on what’s really going on. Though he’s disbelieving at first, it’s hard to argue when a vampire’s blood, which Matt made him drink, saves his life.

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I believe that was about it, aside from Damon finally finding the item Sybil was looking for- a spherical object with an X and M on it. We still don’t know what Seline wants with Matt and Caroline’s kids, or why Seline hasn’t harmed them yet, but it obviously has something to do with Cade and Hell and all that. Perhaps the girls are the key to defeating Cade. Given their reaction to the bident’s ring, they might just be types of Sirens themselves. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

Keep an eye out for a special bonus article delving deeper into my feelings about the new Big Bad- or Big Bads, as it were. Until then, I’ll just say this was a great episode, easily the best of the season so far, with lots of fun twists and turns and a great flashback sequence. Thumbs up, big time!

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What did you think of the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries”? Are you onboard with the main plot now? Or does it still leave you cold? What do you think about the whole Siren back-story? Or Cade as the “ultimate” bad guy? Will Matt end up killing Damon in revenge for Tyler, sending him to Hell (or whatever) in the process? Are you sad Georgie died so soon? Sound off down below with your thoughts, and see you next week!