“We Have History Together” dwells upon a lot of history only to conclude that not much will change. Early in the episode Stefan tells Damon that history won’t repeat, meaning that he won’t go on a Ripper spree. Of course, the episode ends with a Ripper spree. Elsewhere, near the episode’s end, Sybil echoes the old line about the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and yada yada), and I’m not sure whether the writers wanted to troll the audience or not. The audience has seen everything in this episode before throughout the series. Yes, creative challenges mount the older a series becomes, but most writing staff’s don’t pretend to change what they repeat when they won’t change what they repeat.
The B and C stories that involved the magic Maxwell bell were decent parts of the episode. Matt and Peter worked through more of their history together and Matt learned more about his family’s history while Caroline tagged along with Sybil’s history class. You’ll remember that the last time we left Sybil Damon had ripped her heart out and left it next to her on a bench. One line in this episode suggests that Sybil’s now, literally, heartless. Sybil wanted to find the bell, and she needed to threaten Caroline into helping her by threatening an entire Mystic Falls high school class. Seline took the bell before Sybil found it (in the Forbes’ garage), which led to more threats and more reminders about Stefan as violent mass murderer. Caroline basically said that Stefan would stay disciplined this time.
He didn’t. The brother roles reversed for the 367th time in the series in “We Have History Together”. I don’t understand why the writers wanted to tell the story of a doctor who loses Stefan’s morality game because Stefan rigged the game. Damon has already struggled through his servitude to Cade and Sybil due to the memory of Elena. Sybil hacked his memories to make him stop. Remember that? An episode or two later he returned to remembering Elena. In fact, Sybil made it so that she replaced Elena in all of Damon’s memories. Her possession of Elena’s necklace motivated him to rip her heart out. That necklace motivated Stefan to play his game with Damon under the guise of playing it with the Elena doppelganger. Would he kill her or not? There was never a question. The brothers Salvatore will kill anyone when Team Good or Evil. The difference lies in their feelings about the killing. If their humanity’s on, they feel bad for an act; if not, they don’t, and then they feel bad for two acts after they switch their humanity back on—and then the writers drop it.
Damon returned to find Elena’s necklace the morning after he threw it out of the car and after he murdered the doctor who decided to let him die. (See, Elena 6.0 had the same backstory as Elena original, but when Elena 6.0 learned the identity of the killer (Damon) she made the dark choice to let him die (after Stefan’s compulsion of her.)) His morality survived another test. Now, Stefan’s Ripper spree makes it seem possible he may choose to remain with Cade after the year service (He won’t).
Was there a time in TVD when a character seemed beyond salvation? No. The writers would like fans to think the souls of Stefan and Damon could be beyond saving and bound for the eternal fires of Cade’s hell, but the exact opposite is true. The mere fact that it’s the final season ensures the inevitable redemption and eternal happiness of the Salvatore brothers, Caroline, Bonnie, Matt and his father, Enzo, Alaric and his daughters, Dorian, Jeremy, and, of course, Elena.
-The “Which Cast Member Has Clearly Checked Out” award this week goes to the TVD writers!
-Alexandra Chando guest starred as the doctor. She previously starred in ABC Family’s The Lying Game. Whenever I saw previews for The Lying Game I noted her resemblance to Nina Dobrev. They could’ve recast Elena with Alexandra for the last two seasons.
-Dorian, the world’s most exploited intern, now knows more about Alaric about Cade, the Sirens, the bell, and other such helpful expository things. Matt gave him a death glare for acting cordial with Peter. Matt’s passive-aggression is a poor look.
-Caroline’s story began as a possible homage to the late 90s romcom Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore. I interpreted it as Julie Plec’s homage to early Buffy season seven when Buffy returned to the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High as a guidance counselor.
-Matthew D’Ambrosio wrote the episode. Ian Somerhalder directed the episode.
-Only eight more episodes left!