TV Review: The Vampire Diaries 8×01 “Hello, Brother”

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THE CW

Hope hurts in the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries as Damon and Enzo lose all control while Bonnie, Caroline and Stefan are on the hunt to find them and figure out the mystery behind The Armory’s vault.

Damon and Enzo’s Vault Full of Problems

“Hello, Brother,” a nod to Damon’s iconic line from first episode of the series, starts a couple of months where we last left off with Damon and Enzo being taken by the mysterious creature in the vault. The opening scene is reminiscent of season one with an unsuspecting couple driving down a misty road, ironically discussing their date night and how they are glad the “vampire thing” is out of fad. The next thing they know Damon is standing in the middle of the road and they swerve out of the way just to hit Enzo instead.

As part of Vampire Diaries tradition, the couple does not last long at the hands of the two with the guy being hooked and lowered into a vat of bloody water by Damon and the girl being bitten by Enzo.

We then learn that Damon has shut off his humanity switch, which is a big no-no in the vampire world because once do that you lose all sense of morals and become killing machine. This time seems to be different though, because both Damon and Enzo know that they are being mind-controlled by the creature. Damon chooses to shut off his humanity in order for the creature to not find out about the ones he cares about. Enzo, on the other hand, is still holding onto his humanity and goes behind Damon’s back to place clues for Bonnie to find in order to aid them in their escape. Enzo has hope, Damon on the other hand believes that his life is over and that he will be forever trapped serving the creature he says is from “fire and brine-stone” hell.

Alaric’s New Job and the Woes of Babysitting

Alaric in the meanwhile is revealed to be running The Armory with a group of eager interns, primarily Georgie (who has a thing for Alaric) and Dorian, who end up making a huge discovery about the vault: you have to be blind and deaf to get out.

They try this experiment out on Alaric who is blindfolded and wearing earplugs as he feels around the walls to find an exit. Suddenly he walks through the wall with the interns excitingly following along. They end up discovering some ancient treasures, a golden statue and a skeleton that almost defiantly has a connection to the creature that’s controlling Damon and Enzo. But before they could get much further, Caroline frantically calls him after an unsettling phone call with the babysitter, Selene, who is watching their two children.

Poor Selene didn’t last very long, as soon as she realized something was up at Caroline’s house when the front door opened she had her throat cut by Virginia. Remember Virginia? The girl who warned everyone not to open the vault? Now she is back and after Caroline’s kids. We don’t know why yet, when Caroline arrived and saved Selene she only managed to get a couple of words out of Virginia before she spit out her own tongue. All we know is that whatever the creature is, it wants Caroline’s kids.

Stefan, Caroline and Bonnie on the Case

Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline are still going strong as a couple, but Bonnie is slowly falling apart as she reminiscences about the good times between her and Enzo learning guitar and reading Homer’s The Odyssey (which ends up being important later on). When Caroline finds out that a body had been found, Stefan and Bonnie go to the scene of the crime to find the girl Enzo killed tied to her car. Bonnie worries that this news is just another let down, but Stefan reminds her that she has to keep hope and, luckily enough, they notice an investigator pulling wax out of the victim’s ear and notice a guitar string around her neck.  A clue that seems a bit unusual for just any old murder and connects directly with Enzo.

They figure out how to find where Damon and Enzo are by the victim’s car only having three miles on it and Caroline’s research into the local area finding out that there is an old slaughterhouse only three miles from the crime scene. Since slaughterhouse equals blood which equals vampires, it’s the obvious place for Stefan and Bonnie to check out first.

It’s not a pretty sight when they eventually find them though. When Stefan finds Damon we get the iconic, “Hello, Brother” line in a similar context to the first season with Damon on an evil streak. He wants Stefan to leave, but Stefan refuses by staking him. This plan fails though when Enzo makes his appearance as Damon grabs Bonnie threatening her. The look Bonnie gives Enzo is absolutely heartbreaking and he reacts by ignoring her and giving Stefan a “look” to get out and never come back. Stefan eventually gives in and the two leave, but not without Damon commenting that it was Stefan’s fault that he was turned into a vampire.

This totally destroys Stefan. After an awkward car ride home Bonnie reminds him of the advice he gave in the beginning of the episode about never giving up hope, but Stefan still seems to have his doubts that Damon will ever forgive him.

To get back to The Odyessy, Bonnie has a realization that Enzo has not lost his humanity, but is trying to help them save himself and Damon from the inside. She realizes that the position the girl was tied in and the wax in her ears is an allusion to the scene in The Odyssey when the men are sailing through the sea and sirens are beckoning them to their deaths so they had to tie themselves to the ship’s masts and plug their ears.

And the big twist in this weeks episode: The creature is a siren, and we get to see her at the end of the episode stepping out of the vat dripping in blood as Damon and Enzo gaze on at the newest evil to hit out screens.

Thoughts on the Episode

This was a solid episode in my opinion that reminded me of the first season with it’s scares, drama and mystery surrounding our new villain leaving us with a ton of questions like what does the siren want? She is really as evil as she seems to be? Will Damon and Enzo makes their escape from her clutches? And what does she want with Caroline’s kids?

Rating: 8/10

 

Amanda is a student and writer living on Long Island who is passionate about good storytelling, collecting books, watching TV and her two cats. Some of her favorite TV shows are Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, House of Cards, Vikings and The Vampire Diaries. Her dream is to be a best-selling fiction author someday, but in the meantime she is exploring her love for writing articles and wants to pursue a career in magazine writing. She is currently writing for her school's alumni magazine and recently had her first short story "Skeletons" published by a literary magazine.