Cue the sound of sobs simply from the title of the first episode of the final season of The Vampire Diaries. On Friday, October 21st, the beginning of an end of an era graced our TV screens. In July, it was announced by the cast and executive producer Julie Plec that season 8 would be the last season of one of the most popular vampire shows on television. Since 2009 the Salvatore brothers, along with the many other characters from Mystic Falls, have filled our hearts with romance, passion, danger, tears, loss, laughs, and friendship. Viewers have spent nearly a decade getting to know these characters, and now the time has come to say thank you and goodbye.
Before even watching this episode everyone knew it was going to be emotional simply from the title. This season all episode titles will be quotes from the earlier seasons that have stood out through all these years. “Hello Brother” are probably the most well known two words in the entire history of this show. In the pilot episode we are introduced to Damon Salvatore with these very two words, and have been cemented in our hearts ever since.
The opening scene perfectly parallels the beginning of the pilot episode. A couple driving on a long, dark road surrounded by fog, when they suddenly see someone standing in the middle of the road crashing into him. We later learn this tactic is used by none other than Damon, and this year he is accompanied by Enzo in his old tricks. The dangerous duo take the young couple to our new villain of season 8. We don’t know much about her yet, other than she seems to eat people or their blood in order to gain strength.
Meanwhile Stefan, Caroline, Bonnie and Alaric are on the constant search trying to find Damon and Enzo. Bonnie is heartbroken by the separation from Enzo, and is losing hope by the day that they’ll ever be together again. Stefan and Caroline are in a good place, and Alaric has become in charge of The Armory. Caroline and Alaric are preoccupied trying to find moreinformation about what was being kept in the vault, how they escaped from it, and the other dangers surrounding the vault. After receiving information about an attack, Stefan and Bonnie go to look more into it and find several clues that lead them to the abandoned warehouse where Damon and Enzo have been feeding this new monster.
Finding his way around the warehouse, a familiar face greets him with those same two words. Hello brother. Stefan tries to take Damon back with them but is saddened to realize that he has switched off his humanity. Though Enzo barely acknowledges Bonnie during their encounter, she realizes that there still is hope for him. Reminiscing from past memories, she realizes he has been leaving her clues from a story they used to read together that describes what kind of creature this new villain is. Unable to bring them back with them, Bonnie is encouraged with these new findings.
Though Damon says he has flipped the switch to his humanity, we are given a glimpse into his mind where he is dreaming about Elena. He is reliving the moment they first met, but he tells her, “Elena. I need you. I don’t know how much longer I can fight.” Maybe there is still some humanity in him after all…
This episode was incredible! Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson did an amazing job writing and taking the viewers back to season 1. I felt like I was watching the pilot all over again and I couldn’t have been happier! The parallels from the opening scene, not only with the scenery but also the same music was perfect. As well as the way Ian Somerhalder was able to deliver that famous line so perfectly again, and remind us all why we fell in love with him in the first place. Stefan writing in his diary is definitely also one of my favorite parts. And I felt like they were vampires again. There was compulsion, vamp speed, it was gory and dark which were all things we hadn’t seen in a while. Amazing start to this final season!
We are left with several questions like why does this villain want the twins? What exactly is she? How is she controlling their minds? As well as questions surrounding each of our couples and their relationships. Next week’s episode is called “Today Will Be Different,” and I am looking forward to finally meeting this new villain.