“Silent Night” can now be added to that list of Christmas songs that give you chills – and not the good kind – thanks to a CW series. (“Arrow” put “Little Drummer Boy” on that list with its midseason finale.) The Thursday, Dec. 10 “Vampire Diaries” midseason finale introduces yet another new (but old, at the same time) couple in a flashforward, sees Stefan’s insistence to get revenge on Julian take a tragic turn and offers a look at what pregnancy hormones do to a vampire.
First, the flashforward. Three years from now in the “Vampire Diaries” universe, Stefan and Valerie are in Chicago and together (again). Though she tries to stop him from going, he’s not leaving Damon and Caroline in this mysterious person’s clutches. And he won’t let Valerie go with him because he’s not going to let her have a third person he cares about.
In the present day, Caroline has popped and is dealing with cravings, such as a blood and marshmallow fluff. She has also taken to her pregnancy and the parenting classes she and Alaric are attending like they’re just like a test she can study for; no one is more prepared than she is. However, when she overhears comments about her and Alaric, he has to stop her from going over to confront anyone because she’s vamping out. Later, she worries about drinking blood now that she’s pregnant, and when Alaric tries to assure her that she’s doing a great job and she’s made him happy, she turns on him before quickly leaving.
Caroline ends up at her mother’s grave, having realized it’s her first Christmas without her, and she tells her that she’s pregnant – and how she pictured this conversation being very, very different. (Namely, Caroline was human, carrying her own children, and her mother was still alive.) The babies may not be hers, but they are her responsibility, and all she wants to do is ask her mother a million questions, but she can’t.
Meanwhile, after the way Bonnie spent Christmas last year (alone, in the prison world), anything she does this year has to be a thousand times better, right? (Wrong. Sort of.) Bonnie takes lead with the toy drive, and to her surprise, Nora shows up. The heretic has enrolled in classes and she’s looking to get involved, so Bonnie reluctantly accepts her help, even turning to her for help when it comes to Stefan and Damon’s search for Julian.
When Nora focuses on a Barbie and how much it looks like Mary Louise, Bonnie gives her some tough love: they broke up, Mary Louise made a bad choice and Nora should move on and be her own person. That’s when Mary Louise shows up, hoping to talk, but she’s looking for an apology from Nora and still doesn’t see that Julian is the one in the wrong, that Valerie’s “story” as she calls it, isn’t responsible. And so Nora decides to break up with her for good, at which point Mary Louise calls her a charity case. Bonnie then finds Nora upset about that in her dorm room, and the two seem to be getting along as Nora admits that she may be a bit spoiled, especially since it’s nice having someone who thinks you’re the most amazing, beautiful girl in the world – and calls Bonnie beautiful – until she receives a text from Julian that Mary Louise has been taken. After that, all bets are off, and she leaves Bonnie unconscious on her dorm room floor.
See, Stefan kidnapped Mary Louise as a way to get back at Julian since he blames him for his mother’s death. It all begins when Stefan, Damon, Nora and Valerie bury Lily. Given a second chance to deliver his mother’s eulogy, Damon tells her, “You were a terrible mother when you were alive and a terrible mother when you were dead.” So much for that. However, Damon does join Stefan on his search for Julian – as the more levelheaded one, which is a big concern – and it leads them to a town where there’s a Santa Pub Crawl. Damon enjoys the eggnog and gets on Stefan’s case a bit about who he’ll be to the babies Caroline is carrying before they find a pub full of dead Santas.
When Julian stumbles into the bar, he’s drunk and looking for his cell phone – and carrying the sword with the Phoenix Stone. When a vampire is stabbed through the heart with it, it acts as a conduit and transfers their spirit into the stone, he tells them, to punish vampires by creating their own personal hells with their sins, and it’s clearly a threat. It’s a threat that Julian plans to carry through with after Julian’s friends join them, Damon gets himself and Stefan out of there and abandons their plan and Stefan takes Mary Louise as a hostage. Julian goes after Damon, but Stefan intervenes before it’s too late.
However, Julian doesn’t go far, and when the brothers both attack him, he succeeds in stabbing Damon with the sword before leaving. Just as Caroline joins Stefan, ready to figure out a way to save Damon, Nora shows up and stabs Stefan with the sword. And so “Silent Night” plays as the brothers are forced to face their own personal hells.
“The Vampire Diaries” season 7 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 9 “Cold as Ice”?