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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Season 8, Episode 4

Matt and company say goodbye to Tyler, and hello (again) to the carnival

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

TV Show
run date:
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
The CW

Well, I hope you all brought some tissues, because the opening of tonight’s episode is devastating as Matt drives Tyler’s body back into town and slowly calls and alerts all his friends that they’ve lost yet another person they love. And that brings us right to the episode title…

“Coming Home Was a Mistake”: Stefan first said these words to Elena in the season 1 episode “History Repeating.” After Elena tells him that she can handle his complicated vampire life, he tells her that he’s decided to leave town. “Too many people have died. Too much has happened,” Stefan says before he decides that “coming home was a mistake.” Too many people have died… and here we are again. So now the question is: Was Matt’s decision to come home in this episode a mistake?

Once everyone learns of Tyler’s death, the mourning begins. I’m not going to lie; Ric saying “he was one of us” really got to me. Plus, as Ric reminds us, Tyler was the last remaining Lockwood, which means that family legacy is now gone.

Across town, Stefan is letting out his anger by shattering glasses. “Tyler deserved more than to be collateral damage in whatever game Sybil’s playing with Damon,” Stefan tells Caroline, who can’t remember the last time she talked to Tyler. Stefan might be at a loss in terms of how to help Damon, but as Caroline reminds him, right now is about mourning Tyler. They all owe him that much.

That being said, Bonnie is going to have to mourn on her own, because she has trapped Enzo in the cabin by using the “flame of imprisonment” — some dark object that works the same way as a spell, essentially. And as the person who lit the flame, she’s the only one who can put it out… but she refuses to do that until Enzo turns his humanity back on, and that’s not exactly a battle he’s ready to lose just yet.

At the armory, Ric gets his intern to set up an intercom system and “test” the tuning fork every hour on the hour to torture Sybil. So, with that in place, it leaves him free to join Caroline, Stefan, and Matt at the cemetery for Tyler’s funeral. Only, Damon’s there. And he’s dug graves for all four of them.

Ensuring that he’s hated, Damon feeds Matt vampire blood and threatens to ruin the poor guy’s human-only existence after all these years. Thankfully, he doesn’t go through with it, but only because he feels the hatred of everyone around him. “Our ties are severed,” he announces, telling them that there is no saving him. And just like that, we all realize why he killed Tyler: It’s his way of cutting off all the ties that Sybil mentioned. It gets them to let him go. So yes, there is a bit of humanity left in Damon. He cares about those he loved. But at the same time, does that justify killing TYLER? No. (Couldn’t he have fake-killed Tyler like that one time Bonnie faked her own death in season 2 to save herself from Alaric-Klaus??)

As far as Stefan’s concerned, there’s only one way to save Damon now: Put him down for as long as necessary. It’s the only way to protect everyone, and they all agree.

Looking for answers, Damon then pays Sybil a visit at the Armory. And it’s in that moment that she realizes something: He felt pain when he killed Tyler, which means that his humanity is trying to come to the surface. As far as she’s concerned, that means Damon isn’t fully hers, so either he turns that dimmer switch back down, or he drowns himself in emotions and tries to find some semblance of happiness before death delivers him to Cade. So, what does Damon decide? More on that in a moment.

NEXT: Tyler’s last message